The effort to connect Flushing and Jamaica via bus rapid transit is starting to draw criticism from elected officials who believe it would have a negative impact on their constituents.
But the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is saying those officials are by far in the minority on the matter, and supporters think a new bus route could cut commute times by 20 percent between Northern and southern Queens.
Councilmen Peter Koo, center, and Paul Vallone, next to him, celebrated the city’s first Korean American Day outside City Hall on Tuesday with leaders of that community.
In December, the City Council passed a resolution sponsored by the two members, which commemorates Jan. 13 as Korean American Day in New York City.
A tight-knit school community was rocked over the weekend with sudden news that Most Precious Blood, a Catholic school located at 32-52 37 St. in Astoria, will close in June.
Parents say they were told in a cold manner, with the Rev. William Krlis reading a letter at Sunday Mass and then walking away without taking questions.
To many Queens elected officials, Mario Cuomo was more than a governor — he was a political inspiration.
“A native of Queens, Governor Cuomo was an inspiration to me and to many borough residents who entered public service in the hope of following his example and building on his legacy of achievement,” Borough President Melinda Katz said in a statement.
2014 began with tragedies in Western Queens. From the death of a 7-year-old to the discovery of Avonte Oquendo’s remains, it was a difficult winter. But not all of 2014 was bad. Many traffic-calming measures were installed throughout the borough to make Queens streets safer and a huge chunk of affordable housing was set aside in the Astoria Cove project. Here’s a look back at the top stories from the past 12 months.
A city bill regulating the use of drones has been proposed by Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), who is optimistic it will move forward quickly.
Another drone bill in the hopper has been proposed by Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan). His would completely ban private drones, with the only exceptions for police and law enforcement with a warrant.
Current and former city officials gathered in City Hall on Tuesday for a surprise party in honor of former Council Speaker Peter Vallone’s 80th birthday.
Presented with a cake by former Mayor David Dinkins, Vallone, center left, was lauded by Mayor de Blasio as a major contributor to the ongoing drop in crime in the city.
Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) has proposed a resolution that calls on the city to designate Jan. 13 as Korean-American Day to commemorate the anniversary of the first Korean immigrants’ arrival on United States territory in 1903.
Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, there are over 1.4 million Korean Americans living in the United States. An estimated 96,741 New York City residents are of Korean descent, of which two-thirds live in Queens.
The epic battle between animal rights groups and Central Park horse carriage drivers has come to a head as Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) announced a bill that would ban the centuries-old practice from the city’s most iconic park.
“The morality of a nation can be judged by the way society treats its animals,” Dromm said in a prepared statement. “Horses don’t belong on New York City’s congested streets amid cars and pollutions. There have been too many crashes and too many horse deaths and injuries to justify the continuation of this industry.”
A proposal to charge consumers 10 cents for every single-use plastic bag they use at checkout is gaining traction again. City Hall held a discussion Wednesday to discuss a bill introduced by Councilmembers Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) and Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan) that’s designed to reduce disposable bag use in the city by implementing the 10 cent fee.
According to its sponsors, the goal of the bill isn’t to charge consumers the fee but to incentivize them to change their habits and become more environmentally conscious. Retailers would keep the money and the bill exempts transactions made using food aid programs.
As a young man growing up in Ozone Park, Joe Addabbo Jr. had more reason than most to stay out of trouble. While most kids might be worried about parents, principals or even police catching them doing something wrong, Joe Jr. was also concerned about public perception. Whether boyhood mistakes like putting a carelessly thrown baseball through someone’s window or more serious teenage risks such as alcohol or drugs, he had an extra reason to steer clear: He didn’t want to cause his father, U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Addabbo, to lose an election.
“I was afraid to walk on my neighbor’s lawn because it might cost my dad a vote,” Addabbo said. “I felt that because of who my father was, I had to show respect to the community.”
Carolyn Scarano has lived in Astoria all her life, and there’s nothing that could ever change that.
“I just love it. It’s such a diverse community with so much culture,” she said.
Public Advocate Letitia James and 32 members of the City Council have sent a letter calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reject a series of ads that they say are anti-Muslim and could provoke violence.
The ads were purchased by the group American Freedom Defense Initiative, which claims they tell the truth about the dangers of radical Islam.
Domenick Pinto, left, former Councilman Peter Vallone, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, retired Judge Anthony Gazzara and Councilman Costa Constantinides.
A Douglaston resident claims his name, address and a signature that is not his were wrongly included in a letter supporting John Liu sent out by the candidate’s campaign team last week.
Liu was mounting a primary challenge, which ultimately failed, against state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in the 11th District in northern and northeastern Queens. Avella is a maverick member of the Independent Democratic Conference, which joined the Senate Republicans in a power-sharing agreement, and Liu a former city councilman and comptroller who was supported by the Democratic establishment in Queens.
A Douglaston resident claims his name, address and a false signature that is not his were wrongly included in a letter supporting John Liu sent out by the candidate's campaign team last week.
Queens’ members of the City Council did not miss many days of work, according to attendance records taken between January and May of this year, and when they did, it was often because they couldn’t be in two places at once.
The notable exception is one member who is under indictment.
Amid frequent outbursts that resulted in at least one attendee being escorted out by police, a crowd of about 300 area residents packed the auditorium at the Museum of the Moving Image on July 23, concerned about the recent conversion of the Westway Motor Inn in East Elmhurst into a potentially permanent shelter for homeless families. In the end many of their questions were left unanswered.
The elected officials on the panel, Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria), all of whom have expressed concern over the suitability of the inn as a shelter, were joined by representatives of the Department of Homeless Services, social services provider Women In Need, Community Board 1 and the 114th Precinct.
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.
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.
The statue may be in Brooklyn, but it clearly still has some fans in Queens.
Eighteen months after it was moved from the perch outside Borough Hall it sat on since the LaGuardia administration, “Triumph of Civic Virtue” resurfaced as an issue at Tuesday night’s Community Board 9 meeting.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, left, Assemblymembers Michael Den Dekker and Marge Markey, Queens County Supreme Court Justice Kevin Kerrigan, state Sen. Mike Gianaris, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, Rep. Joe Crowley, CB 2 Chairman Joseph Conley, Democratic District Leader John Smythe, former Councilman Peter Vallone Sr. and CB 2 members Gert McDonald and Marie Konecko at the event Saturday.
Two City Council committees held a joint hearing April 25 on a package of four bills designed to assist and better protect people with autism, especially children, in the wake of the recent death of Queens teenager Avonte Oquendo.
Lawmakers and supporters also held a press conference outside City Hall to promote the measures. They would extend the Silver Alert notification system to people with developmental disabilities regardless of age; create a volunteer registry for individuals, such as Avonte, who are prone to running off; expand the voluntary use of GPS tracking devices; and ask the federal government for more autism-related funds.
Peter Vallone, the former councilman for the Astoria area and borough president candidate, accepted a position from Gov. Cuomo to act as special assistant to the state’s Corrections commissioner.