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“I think we let Iran off the hook,” said City Councilman-Elect Rory Lancman, echoing similar reactions other Jewish leaders representing Queens had about the new nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran.
On Saturday, President Obama announced the Joint Plan of Action a deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China) to greatly reduce Iran’s nuclear activity for the next six months. Iran will have to permit inspectors daily access to its facilities while the P5+1 countries will curtail its sanctions in certain areas including the auto industry, oil and gold exports.
Queens has a rapidly growing elderly population facing severe problems, such as mental illness. Fortunately, there’s a place where many troubled seniors get help — Club Pride, part of the Pride of Judea Mental Health Center at 243-02 Northern Blvd. in Douglaston.
Funded by the Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services and New York City’s Dept. of Mental Health & Hygiene, Club Pride (launched in 1997) is a geriatric psycho-social club. It provides counseling, therapy and social re-adjustment services for Queens residents, from 55 to 94, who suffer from mental illness & substance abuse. Clients come from Flushing, Kew Gardens Hills, Whitestone, College Point & Bayside.
They’re referred by psychiatrists and other mental health providers, after their discharge from psychiatric and chronic care hospitals. If not for Club Pride, many of them would have to be reinstitutionalized, at a heavy cost to taxpayers.
Club Pride provides daily transportation to members via two buses for the Flushing and Bayside areas. But Flushing bus service will end on Dec. 6 due to budget cuts. Many riders are physically disabled. They can’t use public transportation and can’t afford Access-A-Ride’s daily $5 roundtrip fare. They’re distressed by the fear of losing Club Pride’s vital assistance.
Don’t let this happen. Contact U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (212) 486-4430, Congresswoman Grace Meng (718) 445-7860, State Sen. Tony Avella (718) 357-3094, City Councilman Mark Weprin (718) 468-0137 and Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio (212) 669-7200. Urge them to save an essential resource for their constituents.
The City Council voted overwhelmingly to approve a school at the site of Keil Brothers Garden Center in Bayside Hills, despite the plan having being delayed and thought to be dead.
The Council approved the 416-seat school Thursday 36-2, with Council members Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) voting no. Vallone’s brother, Paul, is the councilman-elect for the district that includes portions of Bayside Hills.
Queens is getting the outer-borough treatment when it comes to public participation in the choice of the next City Council speaker.
A series of public forums on filling the position will be held this week "across the city," in the words of Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan), who announced the events Nov. 18.
Well, not quite across the city. Queens and Staten Island have been left out.
The City Council voted overwhelmingly to approve a school at the site of the current Keil Brothers Garden Center in Bayside Hills, despite the plan having being delayed and thought to be dead.
Tuesday’s elections turned out just as the pollsters and political junkies said they would.
Following a tough primary battle, Democrat Bill de Blasio strolled into the mayoralty of New York City, taking 73.4 percent of the general election vote compared to 24.3 percent for Republican rival Joe Lhota, according to preliminary Board of Elections figures.
Area Democratic incumbents won their City Council races Tuesday in Districts 20 and 23.
Councilman Peter Koo of Flushing had no Republican opposition but faced three third-party candidates. Koo took 79.6 percent of the vote, outdistancing himself from the others who ran: Independent Jobs and Education candidate Martha Flores-Vazquez, who took 10.5 percent; Reform candidate Sunny Hahn, who took 6.5 percent; and Green Party candidate Evergreen Chou with 3.4 percent.
On Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 6 p.m. in the International High School at Prospect Heights, the Department of Education’s Panel on Educational Policy voted on all co-location proposals. Martin Van Buren High School, IS 59, August Martin High School, PS 40, JHS 226, MS 72 and the Corona Arts and Sciences Academy are the schools in Queens facing co-location.
Last week, the DOE called off its plans to co-locate a new elementary school in the building of PS 1 after parents, teachers and elected officials spoke at the hearing against the proposal. At the Martin Van Buren High School co-location hearing on Oct. 23, state Sen. Tony Avella, Councilman Mark Weprin and I — along with parents, teachers, civic leaders, students and community members — urged the department to hold off on its plans to co-locate a new school in the building. However, the DOE has ignored our request for a meeting and is instead pushing through with the proposal.
Queens elected officials hit the field on Sunday in New York City’s first-ever Battle of the Boroughs Bowl at Monsignor McClancy High School in East Elmhurst.
The event brought together representatives from Queens and the Bronx for a friendly round of touch football.
Democratic incumbents for City Council Districts 20 and 23 have only minor party opposition in Tuesday’s elections.
Councilman Peter Koo of Flushing has no Republican opponent in the District 20 race, but will face three third-party candidates. They are Sunny Hahn on the Reform ticket, Martha Flores-Vazquez on the Independent Jobs and Education ballot, and Evergreen Chou, representing the Green Party.
A public hearing on Oct. 23 predictably brought out hundreds of staunch defenders of Martin Van Buren High School who want a new principal to get the time he was promised to turn the school around.
What those defenders may not have anticipated, however, was an unusually large and highly vocal group of nearby homeowners and civic groups who are very supportive of Mayor Bloomberg’s plans to co-locate a Pathways in Technology program in the school next year.
When voters go to the polls on Tuesday, those who aren’t political junkies may be surprised at some of the names on the ballot and propositions they’ll be making decisions on. Think the mayor’s race is between Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota? Sure it is, along with 13 other people. Ready to make a choice on a parcel of land in the Adirondack Mountains? You’ll be asked to. Here’s a comprehensive guide to what Queens voters will see on the ballot, according to the city Campaign Finance Board.
“MVB don’t want to share! Mayor Bloomberg, he don’t care!”
Thus went the battle cry on the steps of Martin Van Buren High School last Friday as more than 200 students, joined by elected officials, marched against the Department of Education’s effort to lower the Bellerose school’s enrollment next year to accommodate a Pathways in Technology, or P-Tech, charter school in the building.
As election day nears, voters were given another opportunity to become better informed via “Meet the Candidate Night” at St. John’s University on Monday evening.
The forum included the participation of the two leading candidates for borough president along with the candidates for City Council from districts 23 and 24.
Community Board 8 members discussed a variety of issues during their meeting on Oct. 9 at the Hillcrest Jewish Center, where they also approved their capital and expense budget priorities.
Free immigration assistance from a lawyer, a new service for the CB 8 area, will be provided on the first and third Fridays at its office at 197-15 Hillside Ave. in Hollis, through June. Funding came from Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and CUNY Citizenship Now.
Angry over dramatic funding cuts that would lead to axing some of its Advanced Placement courses and hurt the overall quality of the school, students at Benjamin Cardozo High School rallied Wednesday afternoon, calling on the city Department of Education to leave its funds intact.
The DOE said because enrollment at the Bayside school is below projections — by just 15 students according to the latest DOE estimates — the agency took back some of the funding the school received for this year.
Council members Mark Weprin, left, and Jimmy Van Bramer have been mentioned as possible candidates for City Council speaker.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) is hosting a homeowner town hall meeting with Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) on Wednesday, Oct. 2 from 7 to p.m. at Armenian Church of Holy Martyrs, 209-15 Horace Harding Expressway in Bayside.
Homeowners will be able to discuss issues regarding property taxes, foreclosure prevention, loan programs, school zoning, STAR exemption and other subjects.
After Nov. 5, there will be one more race to watch before the new city government takes office and that will be who succeeds Christine Quinn as speaker of the City Council.
The position, which has only had three occupants since being created in 1989, wields tremendous power over legislation that passes through the Council and the annual budget negotiations.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley celebrated the grand opening of her new campaign office on Sunday with elected officials, union leaders and other supporters including Democratic nominee for Queens borough president Melinda Katz, right, and from left, Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and Assemblymen David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows) and Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven).
Crowley’s campaign office is located at 67-45 Myrtle Ave. in Glendale. She is running against Republican candidate Craig Caruana for the 30th District seat, which includes Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven and Woodside.
A scathing report issued by the New York State Inspector General’s Office blasts actions taken by the Indian Cultural and Community Center — and inaction by the New York State Dormitory Authority — in connection with the sale of more than four acres of property on the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center site in Queens Village.
The ICCC was before the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals on Tuesday in continuing its effort to construct a pair of nine-story towers on the property.
City Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera (D-Bronx) called roll for the override vote of the Community Safety Act on Thursday and when bill co-sponsor Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) was called, all eyes were on him.
Williams stood up, looking overwhelmed with emotion.
Queens City Council members allocated $12,500 for the Queens Council on the Arts on Friday to fund services and programming that will help individual artists and arts organizations throughout Queens.
Council Members Leroy Comrie (D- St. Albans), Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) have been consistent supporters of the association for the past three years.
Tired of threats to close libraries? Picture a future without petitions or rallies. Picture six-day service sealed into city law. Honorable Council members James G. Van Bramer and Vincent J. Gentile, DC 37 and the library local unions have proposed legislation designed to retire the library’s annual budget dance with City Hall.
Baseline Funding (Intro. 1050-2013) will siphon 2.5 percent from existing property taxes. Rest assured, the bill is not tied to any increase in property taxes. Public library systems in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Detroit, Columbus, and Pittsburgh all receive various forms of baseline funding. In our city, the American Museum of Natural History’s Planetarium and public schools benefit from baseline funding.
Honorable Council Members Charles Barron, Gale A. Brewer, Fernando Cabrera, Margaret S. Chin, Leroy G. Comrie, Inez E. Dickens, Daniel Dromm, Mathieu Eugene, Julissa Ferreras, Helen D. Foster, Sara M. Gonzalez, Robert Jackson, Letitia James, Andy King, Peter A. Koo, G. Oliver Koppell, Karen Koslowit
z, Brad S. Lander, Stephen Levin, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Darlene Mealy, Rosie Mendez, Annabel Palma, Donovan Richards, Ydanis Rodriguez, Deborah L. Rose, Mark S. Weprin, Jumaane D. Williams and Ruben Wills have pledged co-sponsorship. The public will not vote on this specific piece of legislation. If a majority of council members vote for the bill, it will be sent to the mayor to sign in to law or veto.
Remember the bill’s supporters at the polls on Sept. 10!
The writer, a senior librarian with the Queens Library, specified that her views are her own, not an official position of the library.