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Borough President Melinda Katz, left, and Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, seated right, go over the budget priorities for the Queens Borough Board for the fiscal year beginning on July 1. But their priorities may exceed the capacity of Mayor de Blasio’s checkbook.
In his preliminary budget for next year, Mayor de Blasio is looking to increase city spending by more than $4 billion.
But Borough President Melinda Katz wants more.
Anyone who has watched the evening news over the last month has seen the dramatic images of the civil unrest sweeping through Ukraine.
Since the protests, known as Euromaidan, over now-ousted president Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to stop Ukraine from entering on the path to potentially joining the European Union in the future began last November, over 100 protesters and a dozen law enforcement agents have been killed.
The snow keeps falling on the city and slushy corners on local streets continue to be a thorn in the side of Community Board 6, which discussed that and other issues at its monthly meeting on Feb. 12.
“One of my major concerns is the bus stops,” said CB 6 Chair Joseph Hennessy, also noting that snow removal was “not happening” due to the extreme cold.
A proposal by a city councilman from the Bronx may lead to a whole new way for local community boards to share information and get area residents involved.
But exactly who is going to foot the bill for any incurred costs remains a primary concern.
The food stamp program, Medicare and Social Security benefits, affordable housing and funding for transportation are among the immediate concerns to the Queens Interagency Council on Aging, which is sponsoring its 31st Annual Legislative Forum on Feb. 7 at Queens Borough Hall in the hopes of seeing some positive action on behalf of the borough’s seniors.
It may be a new year with a new city government, but change apparently is not coming to the former Parkway Hospital site anytime soon, according to two area civic leaders and the Borough President’s Office.
The land containing the vacant building at 70-35 113th St. in Forest Hills has been the subject of complaints and frustration since it closed in 2008.
It’s that time of year again: the annual slicing of the state-issued parking placard by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside).
A major proponent of cracking down on the use of phony state-issued parking placards, Avella sliced a copy of his valid one on Friday at his office in Bayside to inspire action by the state and city governments.
It is the Civic Virtue statue site no more.
Borough President Melinda Katz is in the process of organizing a meeting between Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and herself to discuss the renovation of the location, and the area has a new name, according to Katz spokesman Michael Scholl.
Learning how to say “Happy New Year” in Chinese could prove more useful than ever, as the wheels are in motion to recognize the Asian Lunar New Year as a legal holiday, meaning schools would be closed.
Nearly a dozen elected officials representing all levels of government were on hand at a press conference on the steps of the Flushing Library last Friday, in a show of growing support for recognizing the cause.
Despite the brutal race for City Council Speaker that left the chairman of the Queens Democratic Party at odds with Mayor de Blasio and the ultimate winner, Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan), the borough was not left out when key committee chairs and other powerful posts were doled out Wednesday.
In fact, it will be a Queens member, second-term Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who will be the new majority leader, the second most powerful job in the body and second-in-command to Mark-Viverito.
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) was on hand Friday to help cut the ribbon on two new computer labs at Russell Sage Junior High School in Forest Hills.
During the ceremony, students gave presentations to classmates, faculty and Koslowitz about the advantages of using the technology, which cost between $30,000 and $40,000, money the councilwoman allocated.
Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) was officially elected speaker of the New York City Council Wednesday afternoon.
What was expected to be a contentious vote ended up being a scene of unification and reconciliation as the new Council walked on the floor around 1 p.m. After being greeted by thunderous applause, Mark-Viverito’s last opponent, Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan), formally conceded, praising the new speaker with a hug and congratulations.
The site of the former “The Triumph of Civic Virtue” statue outside Borough Hall will have to wait a little longer for a makeover.
The pedestal is all that remains at the statue’s former site on Queens Boulevard, as the sculpture was relocated to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery in December 2012.
In a city the size of New York, politics and crime are often the biggest newsmakers, as was the case in 2013.
There was no shortage of political headlines this past year, an election year at that. Queens elected a new borough president while Forest Hills and Rego Park opted to bring back Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) for another term. Area politicians made their collective voices heard throughout the year, filling the Chronicle’s pages for months.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) responded this week to critics over his decision to back his colleague Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan, Bronx), a staunch liberal Democrat, for speaker.
Ulrich, the only Republican on the City Council outside of Staten Island, was re-elected in November. He announced that he would back Mark-Viverito on Dec. 19, along with six other Queens Council members and members-elect, including Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) and Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn, Queens).
Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) is declaring victory in the race to be the new speaker of the City Council, but opponents of her bid are not conceding defeat, setting up battle lines just weeks before the Council is scheduled to vote on the second-most powerful job in the city.
Mark-Viverito, who represents East Harlem and the South Bronx, announced Thursday that she had the support of 31 members of the 51-member body, including herself and seven Queens members: re-elected Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside); Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights); Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst); and Donovan Richards (D-Rosedale); two Council members-elect Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) and Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn), who though from Brooklyn, represents a district that covers part of Ridgewood; and most notably, the borough’s only Republican, Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park).
Queens is a New York success story that its residents and political representatives should be proud of, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said as he presented “An Economic Snapshot of Queens” at Silvercup Studios last Friday.
The borough’s population growth outpaced the city overall, with a 20 percent increase over the past three decades, reaching 2.3 million in 2012. Immigrants hail from over 120 countries and account for 48 percent of the borough’s residents and no single group dominates the most diverse county in the nation, if not the world.
Though the signs have been hung and decision finalized, the fight over co-naming the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge continues.
Outgoing Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) has introduced a bill that would remove former Mayor Ed Koch’s name from the historic bridge and place it on the Municipal Building in Manhattan.
Elected officials, area clergymen and dozens of onlookers gathered on Sunday night to watch the lighting of a 16-foot-tall menorah at Federoff Triangle on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills.
Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz, Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and Chabad of Rego Park Rabbi Eli Blokh spoke to the crowd, which also included Congresswoman Grace Meng.
Elected officials, area clergymen and dozens of onlookers gathered on Sunday night to watch the lighting of a 16-foot-tall menorah at Federoff Triangle on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills. Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz, Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and Chabad of Rego Park Rabbi Eli Blokh spoke to the crowd, which also included Congresswoman Grace Meng. Five of the menorah’s candles were lit to recognize the fifth night of Chanukah and Woodside resident Harry Bieber was also honored for his service in Israel’s War of Independence. — by Christopher Barca
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz with Katz at the menorah lighting.
Ever since June, Queens residents have been taking full advantage of a state appellate court ruling allowing specially licensed green livery cars to accept street hails.
But with the landslide election this month of Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio, the program faces an uncertain future, and City Council members representing some of the areas where the Granny Smith-green cabs have been most popular are not commenting as to just where they stand on the matter.
Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz, second from left, Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, River Fund of New York Executive Director Swami Durga Das, and Jason Hilliard from the office of Congressman Gregory Meeks assist the needy in Richmond Hill on Saturday.
The end of the election season did not mean that Queens politicians would be sleeping on Saturday, when Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz, Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and former Congressman Anthony Weiner were in Richmond Hill handing out Thanksgiving groceries at the River Fund food pantry.