The city’s Office of Emergency Management last month published updated hurricane evacuation zones.
And while adjustments are slight from ones prepared in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, OEM has been spending the last few weeks getting the message out about the new maps, and precautions Queens residents should exercise before a storm hits.
A new, lucrative way of making money in the housing market has swept over the city in recent years.
Move over, luxury Long Island City high-rise condos and Brooklyn brownstones, homeless shelters have become hot commodities among some landlords.
There was a groundbreaking ceremony at the Flushing Commons site that is replacing Parking Lot 1 last week. Many think this new behemoth project is good for Flushing, others are skeptical or against it altogether. Mayor Bloomberg and developers pushed hard for it with building renditions of grandeur and talked about how good this was for Flushing. Downtown Flushing needs parking desperately. The developers “cured” that problem by putting a large underground parking lot under the Commons site to hold about 1,600 vehicles. What nobody talked about is the fact that shoppers don’t like to park in big underground lots. Shoppers who drive won’t go there anymore.
The Commons underground parking lot is a nail in the coffin for drivable Flushing. No longer does it make sense to drive to downtown Flushing to shop. Some European cities have fabulous underground automated parking lots that are popular and well-used. Not here. People, I for one, don’t like to park in large underground parking lots with low ceilings, cramped spaces, with a gate at the entrance and exit. Not to mention feeling safe in them. And, I certainly don’t like paying a minimum three bucks for a stay that will only last a few minutes.
The best use of the site would have been for a city-owned five-story parking lot similar to the one in downtown New Rochelle. There you drive in, no gates, park in a numbered spot, put your spot number in the parking machine at the mall entrance, and you pay for the amount of time you expect to use, be that 25 cents for 15 minutes, or two to three hours at $1 per hour to go to the Imax Theatre. When you leave you just drive out. There are no lines. Gated lots are nightmares. If you’ve ever gotten stuck behind somebody who can’t figure our how to use the ticket machine at the Queens Center mall, you would appreciate this kind of easy-access lot.
The loss of above-ground parking is sealing off Flushing to those who live there and nearby. I would rather drive to Macy’s in Manhasset to shop because I can park right outside the doors. Goodbye, drivable Downtown Flushing. It was good to know you.
Shortly after he was kicked out of the state Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference in 2013, people in Albany and Southeast Queens began calling him the man without a party.
Now locked in a primary battle for his political survival and a federal corruption trial restarting in January, state Sen. Malcolm Smith apparently can only watch as every party leader, elected official and natural Democratic constituency group lines up behind former Councilman and Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie.
John Liu, left, has the support the Queens Democratic establishment, most elected Democratic officials and several unions in his fight to unseat Democratic state Sen. Tony Avella. But on Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio endorsed Avella, and the Working Families Party withdrew its support of the former comptroller, electing to remain neutral in the primary.
This was supposed to be the week John Liu was to be surging with major political and union endorsements; the week state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) was supposed to be glancing nervously into his rearview mirror.
And it was — until about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, when Mayor de Blasio endorsed Avella and the Working Families Party withdrew its pledged endorsement of Liu, choosing to remain neutral in the Democratic primary in the 11th Senate District.
If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.
Residents of Pomonok Houses in Flushing, for years considered the crown jewel of public housing, are about to see some long-awaited improvements but, according to the president of the Pomonok Residents Association, a lot more needs to happen.
The city Department of Education announced last month that it was making changes to its Blue Book — the annual document that outlines school organization and utilization — based on suggestions from a panel created earlier this year by Schools Chancellor Carmen Fari–a.
The Blue Book has been the focus of several education-related debates in the city in recent years, from trailers in schoolyards to co-locations. Critics allege the Bloomberg administration’s Blue Books underestimated how much space schools need and overestimated how much space was available to make co-locations politically palpable.
Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo are believed to have cut a deal that resulted in Tuesday’s announcements that help State Sen. Tony Avella and certainly does not help former Comptroller John Liu, his opponent in a Democratic primary.
The strange but true history of the New York State Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference took a turn for the positively wild on Tuesday, with Mayor de Blasio endorsing incumbent IDC members Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and Jeff Klein (D-Bronx).
Adding to the surprise was the announcement that the Working Families Party had withdrawn its backing of former city Comptroller John Liu, who is challenging Avella, and former state Attorney General Oliver Koppell, who is primarying Klein, and will remain neutral in both races
Queensbridge residents love their neighborhood park along the East River, but they don’t want the twain to meet. Now they can have some piece of mind that they won’t.
Officials and activists gathered in Queenbridge Park on Vernon Boulevard under the summer sun Tuesday to celebrate the completion of a $6.65 million seawall and 6-foot-wide promenade with benches and plantings with a small fishing wharf at the northern end. The planning took more than a decade, but once construction started, it was completed in a year.
A newly minted New York City police officer feels the pride that Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton encouraged them to have at the Police Academy graduation ceremony at Madison Square Garden on June 30. The 616 new officers already have hit the streets in some of the city’s busiest precincts.
New York’s Finest welcomed 616 new members to their ranks on June 30 as a new class of officers graduated from the Police Academy in ceremonies held at Madison Square Garden.
The probationary officers’ first assignments were expected to be during the July 4 weekend.
Construction of the new performance space and central green at Murray Playground in Long Island City was completed last week and the site officially reopened last weekend.
“Murray Playground is a great community amenity for Long Island City residents of all ages, whether human or canine,” Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said in a written statement.
Former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone was on hand Tuesday when the City Council formally restored a CUNY scholarship in his name.
The $11.1 million fund will allow city residents attending CUNY schools to receive about $400 per semester to help with books and other costs.
Grant Lally, the Nassau County lawyer seeking to unseat Rep. Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens) in the third congressional district, may have cleared the first hurdle.
Lally, who is backed by the Conservative and Libertarian parties, was certified by the state Board of Elections as the winner of the Republican primary Tuesday over his opponent Steven Labate.
I would like to know why libraries will be housing universal prekindergarten when there are financial investigations going on.
The Woodhaven branch already has given out UPK applications. I am outraged that library space is being sacrificed for this program and now the Woodhaven community will lose its downstairs space. The UPK space cannot be used for any library programs even when class is not in session or after the school day is over.
Our children will miss out on all the enriching programs: game days, movie making, toddler time, guitar lessons and so many others the library offers. Adults also will lose their programs: ESL, fitness, music book, Zumba classes, etc.
Woodhaven, we must speak up, not only for our community because this is just the beginning of UPK taking over our libraries. Mayor de Blasio didn’t like charter schools taking public school space; what makes it okay to take over community library space?!
Library President Tom Galante stated at the reopening of the Woodhaven Library after upstairs renovations that there will be a phase 2 for downstairs to make that a children/teen space. Well, I guess he meant just 18 children! Maybe he will get a new position to be in charge of the UPK budget.
Other libraries will be taken over if we just bury our heads. The renovation is starting July 11 at the Woodhaven Library. Please speak up!
Seventy-five billion dollars, Mr. Mayor, and you could not put the funding in the fiscal 2015 budget for the Rockaway-Brooklyn Army Terminal ferry service. Five borough presidents, Community Board 14, some of our representatives in Congress, the state Senate, state Assembly and City Council — and most important, the residents of the Rockaways, Broad Channel, Breezy Point and Brooklyn — are all in support. We think you should rethink this and add the funds needed for the operation of this most needed form of transportation, our only form of water transportation for the entire Peninsula.
Now I know why you never came to the thank-you rally we held for you because you extended our ferry service. Most likely you knew when the train was going back into service and our ferry would sail away for good. This proves once again that Rockaway is truly the stepchild of New York City
I read with much sadness the news of the passing of Queens Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa. I met him on many occasions during a number of political campaigns I was involved with, for former Mayor Bloomberg, former state Sen. Frank Padavan and for Bob Friedrich, president of our Glen Oaks Village Co-op Association, when he ran for City Council and state Assembly.
I found Phil Ragusa most personable, honest and a man of integrity. I also found him to be concerned for the community and its residents, with ideas to make things better for all concerned. He will be truly missed for he was the voice of all we hold most dear.
God bless you, Phil, for all that you stood for, and let me also offer my heartfelt prayers for your family, who are missing you at this sad time of mourning.
Legislation introduced in the City Council this week would give the city Department of Investigation oversight over Sandy aid money.
The bill, introduced by Councilmembers Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn), would require the DOI commissioner to investigate instances of waste, fraud and abuse dealing with storm aid. The DOI would also advise the relevant agencies on practices and policies to improve the overall effectiveness of disaster recovery-related programs.
The New York Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision that the Bloomberg administration exceeded its authority by passing a ban on large sugary beverages in 2012 last Thursday.
The Portion Cap Rule spearheaded by former Mayor Bloomberg and supported by current Mayor de Blasio states that certain food establishments may not sell, offer or provide a sugary drink in a cup or container that can contain more than 16 fluid ounces.
As Vision Zero meetings pick up speed around the city, residents of Maspeth gathered Monday evening in IS 73 to voice their traffic safety concerns.
Discussions of Vision Zero — Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious initiative that strives to eliminate all traffic-related deaths by 2024 — had particular meaning in Maspeth, where just weeks ago a city Sanitation worker was crushed and killed by a street sweeper.
After dozens of complaints from residents and Community Board 2 members, the city finally has issued a moratorium on filming in certain parts of Long Island City.
“I never thought it would happen,” Helen Gluck, 65, of Dutch Kills said. “It really is a nuisance but with all the exposure it brings to the neighborhood, I never thought the city would act on it. I’m happy something’s finally being done.”
Going back to visit their old high school is something many students do. The objective is to see their favorite teachers, administrators and friends to see what changes been implemented since their departure.
Unfortunately, the new graduates of Jamaica High School will not be able to do this.
Supporters of the police tactic stop, question and frisk are getting ready to say “I told you so,” now that new statistics show a spike in shooting incidents.
According to the NYPD, shootings jumped 11 percent compared to the same time last year and this past weekend, there were 21 shootings alone, causing some to second-guess Mayor de Blasio’s decision to drop the city’s appeal against amendments added to stop and frisk.