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Democratic reaction to state Sen. Tony Avella’s decision to jump ship and join the Independent Democratic Conference in Albany is officially “disappointment,” but beneath the surface there appears to be anger and a desire for retribution.
Avella, of Bayside, last week joined the now-five-person IDC, which was organized in 2011 and runs the Senate with the Republicans in an unlikely coalition. He indicated he joined in an attempt to pass more legislation and that “at the end of the day, it will be helpful to my district and the Borough of Queens.”
Rep. Joe Crowley, center, with Assemblywoman Marge Markey, right, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, center right, state Sen. Mike Gianaris, center rear, and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, left, at PS 11 in Woodside.
The fate of incoming PS 11 students has been decided but a rally was held Tuesday as a final attempt to persuade the Department of Education not to temporarily relocate students to PS 171 while construction on PS 11 is completed.
Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) was joined by state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria), Assemblywomen Cathy Nolan (D-Sunnyside) and Marge Markey (D-Maspeth), Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and community members and parents in front of PS 11 located on the corner of 56th Street and Skillman Avenue in Woodside.
Major changes to city road rules are set to hit the five boroughs and not everyone is happy about it.
Mayor de Blasio released details for “Vision Zero,” an initiative that aims to eliminate traffic fatalities within 10 years.
While it may not have been the central theme of his State of the City Address, Mayor de Blasio briefly touched on a subject concerning many Western Queens community members: his “Vision Zero” initiative.
The plan to eliminate pedestrian fatalities in New York City within five years was announced on Northern Boulevard, a corridor that has experienced many accidents, several weeks ago and Queens elected officials have been quick to volunteer areas in their district to be studied.
After dozens of business owners rallied with Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) and other lawmakers in protest of No. 7 train weekend service cuts, the MTA said it is willing to give in to some of the demands, just not the ones the community was hoping for.
During a meeting held last week, the MTA said it would develop an advertising campaign to market Long Island City — particularly the Hunters Point area — to offset the expected business lull.
Councilman Costa Constantinides addresses a group of residents with state Sen. Mike Gianaris, right, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, left, and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, center left, at the intersection of 21st Street and 33rd Road.
After an objection from parents, elected officials are stepping in to ask the Department of Education to reconsider its PS 11 plan.
To combat the overcrowding of schools in the area, the School Construction Authority announced that it would build a new school in Woodside and add on to PS 11 on Skillman Avenue.
The residents of Sunnyside Gardens won a major battle over the Aluminaire House on Tuesday.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously rejected the proposal that would have moved the house into the historic neighborhood, against the wishes of many of the residents and elected officials.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, center, with state Sen. Mike Gianaris, center left, Community Board 2 Chairman Jon Connelly, center right, and students from IS 125.
A veteran of the Vietnam War who also retired from the MTA and was an auxilary police officer, Cohen was a regular at press conference and public events in the borough, where he would take photos and converse with other photographers, reporters and officials. He was known for telling people his job “didn’t feel like work.”
Cohen spent more than a decade taking photos for the Queens Tribune and Press of Southeast Queens newspapers, and his photos would regularly grace the covers of both papers.
After years of dealing with overcrowding, IS 125 in Woodside will finally get some relief.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo, state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria), Principal Judy Lynn Miller, students and community leaders gathered in front of the trailers that have been home to fifth-grade classrooms for some time now.
The key to coping with expensive real estate in Manhattan? Expand to Queens. In a New York Magazine opinion piece, writer Christopher Bonanos suggested ways to improve housing in Queens where, he wrote, there’s more buildable land that’s less expensive.
But according to members of the Queens community, while cost-effective suggestions are made, such as replacing the Javits Center with apartment buildings, or relocating 115,000 public housing residents to the outer boroughs, there are already enough Queens residents struggling to find affordable housing.
State Sen. Mike Gianaris speaks with Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, center left, state Sen. Toby Stavisky, center, and members of the community. Gianaris’ new bill is a direct response to the death of an 8-year-old in Woodside.
In Western Queens, 2013 was the year of development and affordable housing. Willets Point, Hallets Point, Hunters Point and 5Pointz became names commonly thrown around by politicians, community boards and civic groups throughout the area. There wasn’t a month that didn’t go by when residents, electeds and developers went head to head on major development projects, illegal apartments, a massive soccer stadium plan or even the possible closing of their neighborhood movie theater.
After years of elected officials, community leaders, business owners and residents rallying and pleading, the Department of Transportation and the NYPD announced that the notoriously dangerous Queensboro Bridge exit ramp will be closed a night.
The single lane merges suddenly with Queens Plaza South, resulting in many cars careening off the ramp and into a storefront, often resulting in the death of the driver.
Days after 8-year-old Noshat Nahian was struck and killed by a tractor trailer, state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) began drafting legislation that would make it a felony when drivers with a suspended license kill or seriously injure someone. The driver of the truck was operating the vehicle with a suspended license.
As it stands, drivers like the one involved in the death of Nahian can get away with a misdemeanor. Gianaris also proposed the immediate impoundment of the license plate of a vehicle being operated by someone with a suspended license.
Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas speaks at the podium at a rally held by state Sen. Mike Gianaris, right, students, parents and teachers of PS 85 in Astoria. Every five minutes, a train passes the school, disrupting lessons and distracting students.
A pilot passenger ferry program between Manhattan and the Queens and Brooklyn waterfronts due to end next June instead has been extended five years into 2019.
Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement last Friday, and officials in Western Queens are cheering the decision.
Elected officials, community leaders, parents, teachers and students from PS 85 in Astoria rallied together to demand the MTA and Department of Education address noise problems created by passing trains.
Classes have been forced to rely on hand signals that stops the class each time a train passes by for 30 to 45 seconds. The trains, operating on an elevated line along 31st Street, pass every two minutes during rush hour and every five minutes the rest of the day.
An Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge exit ramp is living up to its reputation once again as another car has driven off of it into a storefront on Queens Plaza South.
On Tuesday at 2 a.m., Elissa Toro, an off-duty NYPD police officer, was driving a silver 2004 Ford Focus when the car careered off the ramp, slamming into a vacant storefront and throwing her from the vehicle.
Grover joins Sen. Chuck Schumer, center, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, left, Councilman-Elect Costas Constantinides, state Sen. Mike Gianaris, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and George Kaufman as they cut the ribbon on the new backlot.
“I know they call us ‘Hollywood East’ but soon they’ll be calling Hollywood ‘New York City West’,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joked in Kaufman Studio’s Stage K on Tuesday.
The senator, joined by founder George Kaufman, Kaufman Astoria Studios President Hal Rosebluth and city and state representatives, cut the ribbon on Kaufman Studios’ new outdoor lot — the first backlot ever in New York City.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, center, with state Sen. Mike Gianaris, center rear, rejoice in the planting of new trees at Shady Park with community leaders and Long Island City residents.
Trees are finally back in Shady Park after being wrecked during Hurricane Sandy.
On Nov. 20, local residents joined Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria), Friends of Shady Park and the Long Island City Partnership to celebrate the restoration of Andrews Grove in Long Island City, affectionately referred to as Shady park.