The U.S. Post Office in Springfield Gardens soon will bear the name of a trailblazer in Queens politics.
The U.S. Senate in a recent vote passed a House of Representatives measure naming the building at 218-10 Merrick Blvd. for Cynthia Jenkins, who was the first African-American woman from Southeast Queens voted to the state Assembly when she took office in 1981.
Close to $5 million has been allocated to the revamping of the Cross Bay Bridge’s infrastructure and electronic equipment that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy, U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced last Thursday.
“Superstorm Sandy damaged Rockaway’s critical infrastructure like the Cross Bay Bridge, which connects the community with the rest of Queens and beyond,” Schumer said in a written statement. “I am pleased to announce $4.7 million in FEMA funding which will help repair and protect the Cross Bay Bridge in the event of a future storm.”
Police Officer Robert Ehmer spent Sept. 11, 2001 running into burning skyscrapers to save people he had never met.
He spent the final three years of his life, from 2007 to 2010, fighting cancer believed to have been caused by his four months working at Ground Zero.
The City Council Committee on Higher Education is slated to hold an oversight hearing on how city private and public colleges address cases of sexual assaults.
The move came in response to growing concerns nationwide, as women advocacy groups and sexual violence victims criticize college officials for their failure to investigate sexual assault cases.
There have been skepticisms and bipartisan disagreements on Capitol Hill, even among Queen’s congressional members, after President Obama’s congressional authorization for the country to train and arm the Syrian Free Army to combat the Islamic State militant group, ISIS.
Some lawmakers argued that the Muslim extremist group, who released videos of two American journalists they recently beheaded, poses an extremely high threat to the United States. Opponents like Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) said action has to be taken to degrade the terrorist group, but the country is repeating previous history in Middle Eastern conflicts when they armed rebels who later joined terrorist groups.
A picture of dignitaries at the 9/11 ceremony showed Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Gov. George Pataki, state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. All were placing their hands across their hearts for “The Star-Spangled Banner,” except Mark-Viverito, who had her hands locked together in front of her.
What was that all about? Did she not have respect for our country and all those who have died and gave their last measure of devotion to the nation? It was also reported that before she ran for speaker she would not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at ceremonies.
I’m really appalled that someone of Mark-Viverito’s status would show such disrespect and lack of patriotism at this most solemn and sacred anniversary memorial to those who died on 9/11. This act I find most sad. I myself served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era and was proud to do so. I hope all who read this letter will write to Mark-Viverito and tell her that her actions are just not acceptable and she needs to apologize to the city and to all who lost loved ones on that day of infamy.
At the 9/11 Remembrance held at the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps last week, Vietnam veterans, firefighters, EMTs, elected officials and Auxiliary Police stood, saluted, and silently watched as Boy Scout Troop 106, the same unit Richard Pearlman belonged to, lowered the American flag.
Richard Pearlman, an 18-year-old EMS volunteer from the FHVAC, was at Police Plaza when the planes struck. The last photograph of him shows him helping a bloodied woman out of the World Trade Center.
Rep. Grace Meng’s (D-Flushing) bill to make the Quaker Meeting House and the Bowne House part of the National Park Service passed the House on Monday night.
The Flushing Remonstrance Study Act, HR 3222, would require the secretary of the Department of the Interior to study the viability of the NPS acquiring the two locations and operating them.
A group of 50 or so people erupted into cheers as the newly re-elected state Sen. Toby Stavisky stepped out of the elevator in the Good Kitchen restaurant on Tuesday.
“I’m sure all of you have heard by now, but if you haven’t heard, let me be the first to tell you Sen. Stavisky defeated her opponent by a landslide,” Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), said.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, left, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Grace Meng and state Sen. Toby Stavisky announce their support for giving more opportunities to women-owned small businesses, such as Data Conversion Laboratory in Flushing Meadows.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, right, with Rep. Grace Meng, wants colleges to be held accountable for the number of sexual assaults occurring on and off campus.
New York lawmakers are pressing the U.S. Senate to pass a bill that would create more opportunities for women-owned small businesses seeking federal contracts.
On Monday, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside) were joined by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows), state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) at Data Conversion Laboratory — a woman-run business.
As college students begin to head back to school, lawmakers are trying to create a safer experience on and off campus after nationwide criticism of certain colleges’ sexual assault procedures.
The Campus Accountability and Safety Act, a new bipartisan bill co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), aims to put some teeth into previous legislation in order to change the way colleges handle sexual assault reports.
When it comes to rights of the disabled, the United States has been at the forefront. With the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, passed more than 20 years ago now, this nation has proudly ensured more equitable and dignified treatment of 57 million Americans — including many residents here in Queens County.
But a notable blemish remains on our record: The United States has failed to step up to the plate as a true global leader on the issue, and help ensure the rights of disabled Americans as they work and travel overseas. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a treaty that enshrines the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities the world over.
Right now, we have a chance to make it right. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is debating the treaty again right now. And it’s up to every senator, including our own Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, to make sure it gets to the floor — and passes. In December 2012, the last time the Senate voted on this treaty, it failed to reach the required two-thirds majority by five votes — Yeas 61, Nays 38.
The Disabilities Treaty calls upon countries to ensure equal treatment and equal access to justice, healthcare, education, and employment for all persons with disabilities. This convention sets a standard, one that resembles our own standards here in the U.S., worldwide to create legislation or improve upon current laws.
The treaty is a common-sense document, yet the U.S. is in a minority of nations which have not ratified the treaty, keeping company with countries like North Korea, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, many of our key allies — like the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Italy and South Korea — are among the 147 other nations who have already formally joined the CPRD.
The Senate should support the equality of people with disabilities worldwide by giving its consent to this treaty.
I’ve recently returned from Washington, DC, where I met with Rep. Grace Meng and staff members in the offices of Rep. Gregory Meeks, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Chuck Schumer about issues that may seem far from home, but are near and dear to core American values.
One of them is the vital importance of supporting United Nations peacekeeping operations, particularly in nations like the Central African Republic — a country teetering on the brink of genocide. UN peacekeepers are desperately needed there — and in other volatile and terror-plagued nations around the globe — to restore law and order and save countless lives.
Fortunately, the UN Security Council, with support from the United States, has approved a robust peacekeeping mission in CAR. But currently, the U.S. is in the red on its UN peacekeeping dues, and this year’s federal budget underfunds UN peacekeeping by $350 million. During our meeting, I urged Ms. Meng and, through their staff, the other legislators to address this growing concern and provide full support for peacekeeping funding.
I am not alone in this conviction — a recent bipartisan poll found that two-thirds of Americans support full and timely payment of UN dues, including for peacekeeping operations. That includes Americans like me and hundreds of others who traveled to Washington for the annual meeting of the United Nations Association of the USA, an organization dedicated to informing, inspiring, and mobilizing the American people to support the ideals and work of the UN.
As our representatives consider the fiscal year 2015 spending bill, we must fully fund all peacekeeping needs, including this newest mission in CAR.
A new bill introduced by Congressman Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens) on March 4 would allow those caring for elderly relatives who do not live with them to receive a tax credit of up to $1,200 for qualified elder-care expenses.
Many of those caregivers — who, according to Israel, spend on average $5,530 out-of-pocket each year on expenses for their aging relatives — cannot claim their parents as dependents because they live elsewhere.
The U.S. Senate passed legislation last Thursday that would relieve the flood rate hikes mandated by a 2012 law aimed at stabilizing the finances of the National Flood Insurance Program.
By a vote of 67-32, the Senate approved the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which if made into law would delay the increases in the flood insurance rates mandate under the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012, until the Federal Emergency Management Agency does an affordability study to determine how the rate hikes would affect homeowners in food zones. It also would require FEMA to certify that its flood maps are accurate and ensure local levees and other flood control structures are taken into account in the mapping process.
A total of $3.4 million was allocated from federal Sandy aid funds to reimburse the MTA for 90 percent of the cost to repair the Gil Hodges-Marine Parkway Bridge for damage that occurred during Hurricane Sandy, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced Tuesday.
The reimbursements include $1,519,087 for repair of scour and erosion damage for the storm surge; $161,144.20 to repair switchgears, which were flooded with saltwater; $600,914 for the repair or replacement of electrical parts related to the navigation and security lights that were submerged under saltwater; and $44,498.00 for the replacement or repair of spare parts such as cables, lights, gear wheels and motors that were damaged.
Washington heavyweights were among the more than 400 people on hand on Monday as the Greater New York Inter-Alumni Council of the United Negro College Fund held its 24th annual awards breakfast in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King.
U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-New York) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) both were on hand, as was Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau).
Nearly $5 million in federal funds has been allocated for major Hurricane Sandy-related repairs and emergency protective measures at Beach Channel High School and related cleanup in Jamaica Bay.
The total funding, $4,902,607.21, will reimburse 90 percent of the costs the School Construction Authority undertook for post-storm repairs at the school on the shore of Jamaica Bay. They include cleaning up an oil spill caused by the school’s ruptured oil tanks; rental and installation of temporary power generators, including staging for more than two dozen other schools in the disaster zone; rental and installation of a temporary boiler and a fuel oil tank; and new fire alarms.
Howard Beach’s PS 207 may have been the most heavily damaged school in Queens by Hurricane Sandy.
The school, at 159-15 88 St., is in the heart of the heavily residential Rockwood Park section of the neighborhood that was hit hard by Sandy’s storm surge last year.
This Thanksgiving, New York’s wind energy has given us a lot to be grateful for.
A new report by Environment New York, “Wind Power for a Cleaner America,” shows that wind energy in New York is already avoiding carbon pollution equivalent to taking 382,203 cars off the road. In addition to reducing global warming pollution, wind energy in the state is also avoiding 1,724 tons of smog-causing nitrogen oxides which contribute to asthma, and 2,130 tons of sulfur dioxide which is a major component of acid rain. These benefits have made wind power a key component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which seeks to reduce global warming pollution 17 percent by 2020.
Federal incentives for wind–the investment tax credit and the production tax credit–are largely responsible for wind’s success, but are set to expire at the end of 2013. To curb global warming pollution and prevent future extreme weather events like Sandy, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand should continue to be champions for clean energy, and I call on our House delegation to do everything within their power to extend these critical clean energy incentives before the end of the year.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, along with our own Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, was correct when asking for a straight up or down vote to reopen the government and raise the debt limit.
Buried within the bill recently passed was a $147,000 death benefit to the family of the late New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg. His family is worth over $50 million. How many other amendments were buried in this bill which have nothing to do with reopening the government and raising the debt limit? This is a clear example of why we need means testing for all, including members of Congress who benefit from various government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Obamacare.
It is an old Washington parlor trick to allow both senators and Congress members to amend basic bills with language that benefits their own special interests. It is horse trading between the leadership and members to obtain their votes for the basic bill they may not support.
If Sens. Reid, Schumer and Gillibrand are all serious about reform in Washington, let them pass future legislation with straight up or down votes, without adding amendments.