Two weeks after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Capital Program Review Board rejected the agency’s five-year budget proposal, three Queens elected officials are pressing for one of the program’s smaller items to make it into the final draft of the financial plan.
In a letter dated Tuesday, Reps. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) and City Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) urged New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner and MTA Capital Program Review Board Chairwoman Joan McDonald to approve a $40 million proposal to reopen a Long Island Rail Road stop in Elmhurst.
Some communities in Queens, such as Glendale and Elmhurst, view the Department of Homeless Services as an enemy, degrading their neighborhoods one homeless shelter at a time.
DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor, in a sitdown interview with Chronicle staff on Thursday, said he and the agency are both proactively and reactively dealing with the city’s homelessness crisis the best it can in their first year in office.
The Astoria Cove project has proven to be a sore issue with affordable housing advocates, and on Monday, City Council members were not afraid to slam the developers during a Zoning and Franchise Subcomittee meeting.
“As it is now, I cannot stand behind this project,” said Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), whose district the development would be in and whose opinion will most likely influence the votes of his colleagues.
It’s deja vu all over again in Queens as six additional emergency family shelters are likely to be placed here.
Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) said he was told by the Department of Homeless Services that it is now reviewing a site for one in Bayside.
Responding to the controversy that has enveloped the Queens Library since the end of January, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) on Wednesday introduced a package of six bills meant to strengthen the oversight of and increase the transparency of all three library systems in the city.
The legislation would require:
Plaza College and the Forest Hills office of Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) will soon have two more reputable neighbors planting their flags a few floors away.
The New York City Board of Elections and Regus, an office suite provider with more than 2,000 locations in 100 countries, have signed leases totaling nearly 50,000 square feet with Muss Development and will soon be moving the real estate firm’s Forest Hills Tower at 118-35 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills, according to Regus’ website and published reports.
Responding to the controversy that has enveloped the Queens Library since the end of January, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) will on Wednesday introduce a package of six bills meant to strengthen the oversight of and increase the transparency of all three library systems in the city.
Coming out of the closet has been described as one of the hardest things a person can do, especially someone who comes to the realization of his or her sexual orientation later in life.
In accordance with National Coming Out Day — a countrywide event to encourage people to come out to their friends and family and fight for equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community — millions of people took to Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites to talk about the first time they told someone of their gender or sexual preference.
In 2009, New York enacted a law that mandates the state to translate and print ballots and all other voting materials in Russian, yet many eligible Russian-American voters who don’t speak English have been deprived from voting and are forced to return home because the state has never implemented the measure.
The translation rule was enacted in 2009 by former Gov. David Patterson. The state failed to translate voting materials in Russian, the third-most commonly spoken language in New York City, behind Chinese and Spanish, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey. Officials cited lack of funding as the reason.
With some 75 area residents in attendance, the Queensboro Hill Flushing Civic Association held its first meeting of the season on Tuesday night at St. Ann Church in Flushing, raising a multitude of issues ranging from airplane noise to idling vehicles.
One of the evening’s guest speakers, Helen Ho, Mayor de Blasio’s Queens community affairs chief, kicked off the meeting with an explanation of the city’s new municipal ID cards, which she said would start being issued in January and be available to anyone 14 years of age and older.
Senior living, meet the 21st century.
Elected officials, heads of city agencies, Selfhelp administrators and their corporate partners gathered Tuesday to cut the ribbon on the nonprofit group’s newest, most technologically savvy senior residence at 137-39 45 Ave. in Flushing.
A recent crackdown on so-called dollar vans near the Archer Avenue-Parsons Boulevard transit hub was prompted by a recent visit by the mayor and compounded by a high-speed police chase that seriously injured a 22-year-old woman two weeks ago.
Leaders from Southeast Queens gathered on Monday to say that neither ever needed to happen. They are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to provide more buses in the region, and for the Taxi and Limousine Commission to completely overhaul its enforcement operations against illegal vans.
The Board of Trustees for the Queens Library placed CEO Tom Galante on administrative leave effective immediately on Sept. 11.
Chief Operating Officer Bridget Quinn-Carey was named interim CEO.
Community Board 5 was active in its return from summer break last Wednesday night, even without the presence of a singular agenda-dominating issue.
In terms of voting, the board unanimously, 35-0, opposed the granting of a 600-plus person liquor license for a former factory in Ridgewood, while voting 32-3 in favor of an educational campus at the site of the proposed homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale and the two surrounding properties.
Anticipated to be a nail-biter, the Democratic primary race for state Senate in the 11th District, which covers much of Northeast Queens, did not disappoint.
Shortly after midnight on Tuesday, various sources, including The New York Times and NY 1, indicated that, with 95 percent of the precincts reporting, incumbent Tony Avella led challenger John Liu 52.2 percent to 47.8 percent.
2013 elections show the campaign finance law works, study says
The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman earlier this year from a combination of drugs including heroin exemplifies the startling statistics recently released by the city Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, which indicated that the rate of unintentional overdose deaths involving heroin among Queens residents has more than doubled from 1.9 per 100,000 residents in 2010 to 4.3 per 100,000 residents in 2013.
So distressing are the numbers that in February, the department urged the state Legislature to approve legislation that would increase access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse heroin overdoses. That was done, and some police officers are now carrying the antidote under a program funded by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.
Defeating an incumbent state legislator is usually an uphill climb for any rookie challenger, especially when that incumbent has been in office for 15 years.
Community activist and former area education leader Dmytro Fedkowskyj believes that incumbent Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth), his opponent in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, not only can be beaten, but needs to be defeated for the betterment of the 30th District.
Activists fighting for the reclassification of the Ridgewood Reservoir shouldn’t uncork the champagne just yet, but they may have scored a victory this week.
The Parks Department will apply to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for a redesignation of the reservoir, within Highland Park on the Glendale-Brooklyn border, from a Class C “high hazard” dam to a Class A “low hazard” dam, according to agency spokesman Zach Feder.
Ask what is at stake in the Sept. 9 primary for the 14th Senate District and most will say the political future of state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis).
Ask Smith, and he says what is at stake is the immediate and long-term future of funding, programs and representation for the people of Southeast Queens when Democrats go to the polls.
A crowd of about 100 constituents turned out Tuesday night for the Bay Terrace Community Alliance’s Meet the Candidates Forum, which featured eight hopefuls seeking five different positions.
Gubernatorial incumbent Andrew Cuomo is being challenged in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary by law professor Zephyr Teachout and political satirist Randy Credico.
Leroy Comrie’s message to voters, as he tries to unseat state Sen. Malcolm Smith this September, is a simple one.
“I’m not going to Albany as a typical freshman.”
As students and teachers head back into the classroom, some parents and union officials are heading into the courtroom.
At issue are teacher tenure and other job protections for educators. The plaintiffs in two lawsuits filed against the state this summer — including two parents from Queens suing on behalf of their children — contend that tenure and the lengthy process for removing teachers are so onerous that many bad educators remain in the system, denying children their constitutional right to a sound basic education.
The new Queens Library board took further shape Tuesday, as Borough President Melinda Katz made her first appointment to the 19-seat body since she and Mayor de Blasio together purged eight members on July 23 in response to the controversy surrounding the institution.
The new member is Robert Santos of Sunnyside Gardens, who Katz said in a prepared statement “has had a long, wide-ranging career in higher education, cultural institutions, municipal government and construction.”