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On Tuesday, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) announced the upcoming improvements to be made to the Paul Raimonda Playground in Astoria.
Joined by Councilman-Elect Costa Constantinides, center right, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, District Leader Carol Scarano, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria), Community Board 1 Parks Chairman Richard Khuzami, third from left, and members of CB1, Vallone announced his office had allocated $800,000 for renovations which will include a new Steinway piano-shaped spray shower, benches, gate repair, fitness equipment and a renovated basketball court.
How disappointing to learn that “Council OKs school at Keil Brothers site” (Domenick Rafter, Nov. 21, multiple editions). Keil Brothers Inc., established in 1930 as a flower shop, grew into a well-respected, full-service garden center.
The owners of Keil Brothers had annual revenue in the millions and they provided gainful employment to over a dozen people. Many are our neighbors. Both the owner and employees pay taxes like the rest of us. They also generate employment for many suppliers, along with gardeners and landscapers who purchase their products. With 8 percent of residents out of work, 7 percent who have given up looking and many more looking to upgrade from minimum-wage or part-time jobs, the last thing we need is to drive more stores such as Keil Brothers out of business.
Many residents oppose construction of a school on this site for good reasons. It is primarily a residential neighborhood with two other schools located only blocks away.
The site rests along two major bus routes, and is next to a large thoroughfare in an area made up mostly of narrow residential streets. These capacity-constrained streets will be negatively impacted by both school buses and parents dropping off their kids during rush hour taxing strained city resources. Street crossing for students could be dangerous.
The City Council approved this new school by a vote of 36-2. Only aspiring candidate for Council Speaker Mark Weprin and outgoing Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. voted no. Weprin was unable to convince 49 other Council members to protect a thriving business and residential neighborhood. How effective would he be as the next Council speaker? Perhaps there are better candidates for than Weprin, ones who can protect small businesses and the residential neighborhoods which make up the heart of New York City.
A bill introduced by Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. would remove former Mayor Ed Koch’s name from the Queensboro Bridge and place it on the Municipal Building in Manhattan despite the City Council approving the co-naming more than two years ago.
Though the signs have been hung and decision finalized, the fight over co-naming the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge continues.
Outgoing Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) has introduced a bill that would remove former Mayor Ed Koch’s name from the historic bridge and place it on the Municipal Building in Manhattan.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will install noise dampers on all N and Q line trains serving the Astoria- Ditmars Boulevard subway stop in order to alleviate noise problems stemming from application of the trains’ air brakes.
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) wrote to MTA President Thomas Prendergast last year, stating that the noise became increasingly disruptive as more of the cars became fitted with the brakes.
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. is looking to amend legislation which requires the NYPD to report crimes that occur within the city’s 31 largest parks. He would like the policy to go further and apply to all parks greater than one acre in size.
The City Council’s Public Safety Committee, chaired by Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), held a hearing on the councilman’s proposed law that would require the Police Department to submit reports of crime in all parks and playgrounds that are greater than one acre in size to the Council.
As it stands, the NYPD only discloses crime data from the city’s 31 largest parks.
For the first time in two decades, the District 22 City Council seat will not be taken up by a member of the Vallone family.
Due to term limits, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) will be stepping down from the post he has had for 12 years.
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.
The stop and frisk debate continues and now a new study has been thrown into the mix.
The New York Attorney General’s Office released a report last week that supports the claim that the policy targets mostly young men of color and did not reduce crime.
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.
For the first time since 1974, a member of the Vallone family will not hold the District 22 seat as Councilman-Elect Costa Constantinides won handily against his opponents last night.
“The voters have spoken,” he said. “I feel very humbled about the weight of what this means and the faith the people of this district have put in me.”
Following a contentious head-to-head battle in the 19th Council District, Democratic candidate Paul Vallone defeated his Republican opponent Dennis Saffran 57 to 43 percent in a bid to replace Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), who was indicted on corruption charges earlier this year and did not seek re-election.
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Vallone’s vote count stood at 12,791; Saffran had 9,582 votes.
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) ,center, and his brother, City Council candidate Paul Vallone, hit the stage on Oct. 25 at the Korean-American Association of Queens’ 33rd Annual Benefit Gala in Flushing.
The Vallones joined J.D. Kim, executive vice president of the association, on stage for a three-song set in front of more than 300 people.
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.
With Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) finishing up his term, Danielle De Stefano, running on the Independence line and one of several candidates for District 22, said she’s the right person to take over.
“I have lived here my whole life and I know what works and what doesn’t,” she said in an email. “As a volunteer in this community for over 20 years I have a strong connection with the people who live here. I have worked with many of them. My family is rooted in this neighborhood. I have a vested interest in it because I live here, my parents live here, my in-laws live here and I am raising my three children here.”
The doctor is in. It’s time for Queens’ decennial checkup.
The New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, aimed at discovering the collective health of the city’s residents and determining ways to improve it, is underway and will continue through February 2014.
Election Day is just around the corner and candidates are seeking your vote.
In Western Queens, Council incumbents Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), Daniel Dromm (D- Jackson Heights) and Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) are running unopposed so all three are expected back in the Council chambers come January.
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.
Lynne Serpe, one of several candidates looking to take the District 22 City Council seat being vacated by Peter Vallone Jr. in January, says residents are in need of a change.
“Democracy is about choice,” she said. “This is the first time in a long time that the seat is completely open. For me, this election really gives the voters the opportunity to move forward and move forward in a way that is sustainable.”
Tony Arcabascio, the Republican candidate for Queens borough president, is asserting that Queens Public Television decided against airing a debate between him and his Democratic opponent, Melinda Katz, out of politics, a charge the station denies.
Arcabascio and Katz had debated before the QPTV cameras on Oct. 10, and the station said it was going to broadcast the event a dozen times before Election Day. But before the first airing, at least two newspapers, the Queens Chronicle and the Daily News, ran articles on the event.
Though there was little ground to break elected officials and leaders of the Mount Sinai Health System gathered under a big white tent on Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking for the medical center’s Queens expansion project at 30th Avenue and Crescent Street in Astoria.
Just behind the podium, as an audience of 100 or so sat listening to reminiscent tales of the hospital once known as Astoria General, stood a mountainous pile of rubble and debris with a crane sitting on top like an angel on a Christmas tree.
Tony Arcabascio, the Republican candidate for Queens borough president, is claiming that Queens Public Television decided against airing a debate between him and his Democratic opponent, Melinda Katz, out of politics, a charge the station denies.
Former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr., left, parade Grand Marshal Consul-General Natalia Quintavalle, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. and Independence Party candidate for City Council Danielle DeStefano.
A rendering of the proposed Hallets Point development that was approved by the City Council last week. Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said he is happy with the plan and that the project will integrate well into the neighborhood.