(NAPSI)—It is not surprising that most New Year’s resolutions revolve around health and financial matters, two areas that emerged as key priorities for Americans in Northwestern Mutual’s 2014 Planning and Progress Study. The study underscored the need for better decision making, with 60 percent of Americans stating that their financial planning needs improvement and more than half admitting that they do not feel financially secure. Moreover, with longevity and costs increasing at a steady pace, there is also likely heightened pressure to prepare for the future, especially considering that, per Bankrate research, one-third of American workers have no retirement savings whatsoever.
This year, although there was a good turnout of voters, our polling location ran smoothly as always because of our professional poll workers and translators. I just couldn’t help but think about how easy the “shower curtain” voting booth was. With no small print and the searching f
or the right offices and the right names. But we were all there voting the new way making sure that we voted for our candidates. The candidates that were re-elected to their positions were Rep. Nydia Velazquez, state Senator Joe Addabbo Jr. and Assemblyman Michael Miller; every one of these incumbents was re-elected. The Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation and the Woodhaven Business Improvement District congratulate all of our elected officials and look forward to working with them to keep our beloved Woodhaven community strong, prosperous and safe. Now we continue working with our elected officials on all of our local ongoing projects such as the Rockaway Beach Branch Line/Queensway Proposal (as I mentioned in my last column), which we do not want to affect the Woodhaven homeowners on 98th Street, and their quality of life. There are alternatives here, one to make the entire area parkland, go underground at the Atlantic Avenue entrance or leave it as is. Also to be noted: the GWDC and the WBID wish list project for last year was our request of LED street lights for our Woodhaven’s Jamaica Avenue. This wish fulfilled by our Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. The GWDC and the WBID thank Katz for this lighting.
Also, we got the enclosure of our now historically landmarked Forest Park Carousel for all year use. Hopefully the two remaining wish list projects will also be fulfilled.
(BPT) - For many, earning a college degree opened the door to the working world; it may have even been instrumental in landing your current job. But are you applying what you learned in college to your current career field? A recent survey suggests this might not be the case.
“Craziness in the Council” (Editorial, June 5) makes sense.
Will NYC Councilmembers dip into their own pockets or program several million of taxpayers dollars to pay for pork-barrel member items to make up for the lost Walmart charitable contributions made on a voluntary basis? Any poll of ordinary New Yorkers shows support for the right of Walmart to open stores in NYC. Residents of New York State outside of NYC have had the option of shopping or not shopping at Walmart for decades. The same is true for virtually every other city and state. Only NYC is behind the times.
Construction of a new Walmart can provide work for construction contractors and their employees. Once opened, there are employment opportunities for many workers. Over 7 percent of New Yorkers are out of work, along with 7 percent who have given up looking for employment. The city would benefit by millions in tax revenue, which could help fund services everyone desires.
Walmart is the nation’s largest private sector employer with over 1,200,000 employees and growing each year. Tens of millions of Americans own stock in Walmart. The same is true for the various retirement and pension plans. Starting pay averages several dollars above the minimum wage for new employees around the nation. Promotional opportunities are common. Walmart may actually pay higher salaries and offer more benefits than some of its competitors such as Target, K-Mart, Costco and BJs, which are already here.
Several hundred thousand New Yorkers work off the books with no benefits. Many existing retailers pay minimum wage with no benefits. Public officials opposing Walmart never talk about these abuses.
Free enterprise made our nation great. Economic growth and the creation of wealth comes from businesses — small and large.
Many New Yorkers need the great prices, quality merchandise and affordable food, drugs and school supplies that Walmart offers.
Consumers have voted, with their feet, all over America, making Walmart the No. 1 retail merchant success story it is today. It is time to allow Walmart the opportunity to compete in the NYC marketplace as well!
For years, voter turnout in the 38th Assembly District has been among the worst in the state.
But two men are looking to change that and will square off this fall in the race for Democratic district leader.
(BPT) - Children learn by doing, and every child has a unique learning style all his or her own, child development experts tell us. The same can be said of adults if a recent survey is any indication. A majority of Americans say hands-on training is the hands-down winner when they want to learn something new in an educational environment, according a Harris Interactive poll conducted on behalf of Everest College.
It is my opinion that most historians will rank the 113th Congress as the least productive in history. It will even outdo the one that prompted President Truman’s famous remark about that “good for nothing” 80th Republican Congress! Our Congress is truly not the top banana. In all polls, voters gave the 113th only a 9 percent approval rating.
Blame should go equally to both chambers, the Democratic Senate and GOP House. The Senate worked 99 days and the House 117 for the entire year in 2013.
In the Senate, Republicans stalled the approval of 93 presidential nominations. The logjam broke only after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said, “Enough is enough!”
Let me briefly focus on the worst chamber, the GOP House of Representatives. These outstanding achievements occurred: 1) The House voted 45 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare to the GOP). 2) They voted to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program over the next 10 years. 3) They for
ced the government to “shut down” for 16 days last October at a cost of $25 billion. 4) They refused to extend benefits to long-time unemployed workers; ‘Takers’ to republicans. 5) Chairman Darrell Isa (R-Caliph.) and his oversight committee held a series of “witch hunts”: fast and furious, Benghazi, IRS vs. Tea Party. Chairman Issa invited “select” folks to his political circus, which resulted in lots of hearsay talk over many days of long hearings.
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.
This year’s elections and a lawsuit filed this week against the city together demonstrate the need for two reforms in the electoral process.
First off, voters are entitled to privacy when voting, but under the system being used now, they’re not getting it. Mayor Bloomberg himself said that a poll worker had seen his ballot.
While thousands of people lined up in schools, churches and synagogues to cast their votes for city offices and state proposals, another group stood huddled together in Jackson Heights to conduct an election of their own.
The New York Coalition to Expand Voting Rights conducted a mock election complete with mock voting booths, ballots, poll workers and ballot boxes in Diversity Plaza.
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.
Transit union leader Daneek Miller topped a crowded Democratic field on Tuesday night, taking the party’s nomination for the 27th District Council seat now held by Councilman Leroy Comrie.
Unofficial totals posted by the Board of Elections on Wednesday had Miller atop the six-candidate field with 24.35 percent of the vote.
The old-fashioned lever voting machine made a comeback in Tuesday’s primary elections, replacing the electronic ones used last year.
While many Queens voters rejoiced at the return, some voters were upset with the technological relic.
While all the attention as of late has been on the mayoral and city comptroller races, due mostly to certain candidates running, there’s a much quieter campaign happening for the second highest-ranking job in the city — public advocate.
According to the New York City Charter, the public advocate serves as the ombudsman between City Hall and the public.
With the Senate session winding down in Albany, and about a thousand bills left to debate, the hydrofracking moratorium bill may not even hit the floor for a vote. Most Queens lawmakers oppose allowing the drilling process in New York State without conclusive scientific evidence that it can be done safely, without contaminating groundwater.
The drilling process known as hydrofracking is used to obtain natural gas from rock formations, such as the Marcellus Shale, which stretches from New York’s Southern Tier to West Virginia. Fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of water along with a slurry of sand and about 600 chemicals into a narrow horizontal pipe at high pressure to induce “mini-earthquakes,” which release the natural gas.
For years, Walmart has tried to open a location in the five boroughs, but pushback from workers unions and the City Council have cast the superstore behemoth back to the suburbs.
Most recently, the retail giant intended to open shop in Brooklyn but was shot down by the Council in the fall of 2012, and it seemed as though the company had largely abandoned Operation: Get into New York City, for good.
Superstorm Sandy’s impact could be felt everywhere in the weeks following the hurricane. And of course it left its mark on politics.
There were long lines on Election Day and it wasn’t just because people were anxious to do their patriotic duty as Americans. Many people had been displaced, their homes badly damaged or destroyed by Sandy, while others couldn’t travel because the fuel shortage had left their cars with little or no gas.
A poll worker assists a voter.
Three days before Election Day, Isabel Valencia rang a doorbell on Roosevelt Avenue in Corona. When there was no answer, she glanced at her partner, Fausto Gara, and rang again. After a minute, Roger Davila answered the door.
In Spanish, Valencia immediately launched into an introduction that she had made hundreds of times since Sept. 8: she works for a faith-based organization; she hopes you will vote on Nov. 6; and please join thousands of others in telling Congress to pass the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which would grant deportation deferral and temporary work permits to qualifiying illegal residents.
Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) defeated Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) for the newly drawn 6th Congressional seat, becoming the first Asian American to represent New York in Congress.
The second-term Assemblywoman won by nearly 54,000 votes, defeating Halloran by a 36-point margin with all but one of the district’s 409 election precincts reporting.
Politics as usual indeed.
Tuesday’s elections confirmed what everyone already knew: people cheat. Even when they don’t need to.
Missing wheelchair ramps, blocked paths and locked doors at accessible entrances are some of the barriers that have prevented disabled persons from voting, according to one advocacy group, and now a federal court has ordered the Board of Elections to adopt a plan that would eliminate such obstructions.
The BOE must have one Americans with Disabilities Act poll worker at every city voting location in time for the Nov. 6 general election. The person will be trained on poll-site accessibility by the Center for the Independence of the Disabled in New York.
This week the Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations of New York City, which represents more than 250,000 retired city workers, announced that three candidates for office in Queens had signed its pledge to oppose any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment insurance. The candidates all pledged in fact to spend more on those programs, agreeing to “adjust them to the rising cost of living.”
The three are all Democrats, office holders already, one seeking higher office, one defending his seat against a tough challenge and one running for re-election unopposed. They are, respectively, Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who’s running for the 6th Congressional District seat against City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone); state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), who’s running to retain his seat against Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park); and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck), who has no opponent.