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Smokers are calling it a victory, but last week’s state Supreme Court decision that overturned a ban on lighting up in state parks is expected to have little effect in Queens or the rest of the city.
State parks announced in April 2012 that it was instituting a new policy banning smoking within state parks as well as beaches, playgrounds and pools. The agency backtracked but reintroduced its plan last December.
Why would Long Islanders want to add the profits of a private corporation onto the fees for electricity delivery on the Island, especially if that corporation is a New Jersey corporation? Why would Long Islanders want to shift jobs from Long Island to New Jersey and see new taxes — corporate and personal — flow to Trenton instead of Albany?
The assertion that customers of the Long Island Power Authority are unhappy with the service they receive, and with LIPA’s response to Superstorm Sandy, is a falsehood. I am a shareholder in a cooperative community of 2,600 families on the Rockaway Peninsula — at a remote extreme of the LIPA network and at the epicenter of Sandy destruction — and I can state that LIPA takes good care of us.
The predecessor of LIPA, private LILCO, under which I also lived, gave us power outages or at least power blinks once or twice a month, regularly crashing my computers, and also squandered $5 billion on the nuclear gamble at Shoreham. Steadiness of supply was soon established by LIPA, a nonprofit, t
rue public utility. LIPA did heroic and successful total restoration of our electricity within less than three weeks of the massive flooding of Oct. 29, 2012, and there has not been even a single blink of electric power (or crash of my computers) in all the months since.
If there were a problem with mismanagement of LIPA, blame for that would fall on Gov. Cuomo, since he appoints those responsible for overseeing LIPA. Cuomo’s assurance that it will be two and a half years before private greed plunders us is no comfort.
The only explanation for the bum’s rush to throw LIPA and its New York State assets into private hands, into the hands of New Jersey’s PSE&G, is high corruption.
While Liberty Natural Gas, LLC thinks a deepwater port about 20 miles from the entrance to New York Harbor is exactly what New York and New Jersey need to keep fuel prices down, residents and environmentalists believe the proposal is outrageous and a scam.
Dan Mundy Jr., a member of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatch, strongly opposes the port. He called it a terrorist threat and an environmental disaster “with no benefit to the country.”
Frustrated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port Authority’s apparent indifference to the noise complaints of their constituents, the Senate and Assembly passed legislation last week, requiring the Port Authority to conduct a noise and land-use compatibility study of the areas surrounding the borough’s airports and make the results public by June 1, 2014.
However, there is still a long way to go before the bill — which Gov. Cuomo has yet to sign— becomes law. The Port Authority’s jurisdiction includes both New York and New Jersey, so the legislation will not take effect until a similiar measure passes in New Jersey and Gov. Christie signs it as well.
Supreme Court backs same-sex marriage benefits
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled a major provision of the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, cheering supporters of same-sex marriage nationwide.
Gov. Cuomo announced last week that A train subway service will be restored to the Rockaways on May 30, just over seven months after Hurricane Sandy destroyed tracks across Jamaica Bay and seriously damaged two stations.
“Superstorm Sandy devastated the entire MTA network like no other storm, but the MTA did a remarkable job of restoring service following the storm and at the end of this month, the A line to the Rockaways will be up and running,” Cuomo said in a statement issued Thursday morning.
It doesn’t say all that much for our political situation when it’s worth going out of our way to congratulate an honest politician. But that’s how it is.
“Shocker! Post finds honest NY politician” a New York Post page 2 headline blared last Saturday. That politician is Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who blew the whistle on a builder’s alleged efforts to bribe him.
From his office on Bell Boulevard and 73rd Avenue, City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) says he can hear his frustrated constituents at the former Q75 bus stop swearing, yelling, and literally crying out for someone to restore the cancelled bus route.
The Q75, which ran from Oakland Gardens to the F train stations in Jamaica, was eliminated along with 32 other bus routes, 570 bus stops and two subway lines on June 27, 2010, a $93 million service reduction.