Speaking at an open house meeting regarding the restoration of the West Pond, Broad Channel residents and nature enthusiasts last Thursday overwhelmingly agreed that the loop at the pond needed to be secured and the body of water should be brought back to its freshwater status.
“We’d like to see a complete circle on that pond,” one person said. “I think that’s the most important thing.”
On her 387th day in office, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz delivered her first tate of the Borough speech, listing accomplishments that she spoke of with pride, and future goals that she addressed with a mixture of hope and determination.
“Our motto at Borough Hall is simply this,” Katz told a capacity crowd at the Colden Center at Queens College. “If it’s good for our families, it’s good for Queens.”
State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) was arrested Thursday morning on a five-count federal indictment charging him with taking millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks disguised as outside income from a private law firm for the last 15 years at least.
Silver was charged with fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Community Board 5 didn’t support a rail tunnel underneath New York Harbor when it was first proposed a decade ago, and it sure isn’t going to support it now.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has proposed five waterborne and five rail alternatives to the current system of moving 90 percent of the New York City metropolitan area’s freight by truck, something officials say is no longer efficient.
For months, the debate has been whether to put parkland or a train on the old Rockaway Beach rail tracks.
But state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) has a different idea: Do nothing.
Following in the footsteps of the late Martin Luther King Jr., nearly a thousand attended a rally and march last Thursday to send a message to airlines, subcontracting companies and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to allow 12,000 subcontracted service workers to unionize, earn a living wage and have benefits.
The event was spearheaded by officials from Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, the nation’s largest property service union. Protestors, many of whom were shuttled from 32BJ’s Manhattan headquarters by bus, assembled on a lawn adjacent to the National Car Rental station on Ditmars Boulevard, not far from LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal.
(BPT) - Should you buy eggs instead of cereal? Popcorn in place of pretzels? For consumers seeking “better-for-you” foods at the grocery store, these types of decisions can feel overwhelming, and for some, time-consuming.
The Queens Jewish Community Councilheld its legislative breakfast at Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills this past Sunday morning as planned, but the event took on an even more urgent feel than might have originally been expected, as the focus shifted to include the recent terrorist attacks in France.
Originally, the central issue was to be security at area synagogues, a concern that has grown following recent incidents in Jerusalem and Crown Heights in Brooklyn.
“Let’s hear it for public schools!” city Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) said before a passionate crowd last Thursday evening.
Dromm, chairman of the Council’s Education Committee and a former teacher of 25 years, was among fellow electeds, parents, school administrators and other advocates at the State of Our Schools Town Hall, which took place in the auditorium of PS 69 in Jackson Heights.
(BPT) - Shocking statistics show that nearly three-quarters of the cats who enter our nation’s animal shelters each year, most of whom are free-roaming and un-owned, are killed. Fortunately, Americans’ love of animals doesn’t end with the pets that live in their homes; their care extends to the millions of cats who do not have owners and simply live throughout towns and cities. Across the country a growing number of communities are adopting humane ways to manage these populations and reduce the number killed in shelters.
The year started out with the installation of two new city councilmen — Paul Vallone of Bayside and Rory Lancman of Fresh Meadows. Vallone replaced Dan Halloran, who did not seek re-election following his indictment on federal bribery charges. Lancman replaced Jim Gennaro, who was term-limited out of office.
Many South Queens residents rang in 2014 with a lot of questions still on their mind. When would the city begin restoring homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy? When would the city address flooding issues in Lindenwood? Would Mary Ann Carey give in to pressure and resign as the district manager of Community Board 9?
Some of those questions, and others, were answered throughout the past 12 months, but still even more questions have been raised or have yet to be answered.
For a group of undocumented students at the City University of New York called the CUNY DREAMers, it boils down to one thing: Pass the DREAM Act.
That was the message they brought to Albany recently, urging Gov. Cuomo to include funding for the DREAM Act in his executive budget proposal next year. The act would allow undocumented students who meet in-state tuition requirements to access state financial aid and scholarships for college. It would also open 539 tuition savings accounts for all New York youth and establish a commission to raise private funds for a college scholarship program.
Close to a dozen people gathered at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue on Sunday to call on the city to improve transportation infrastructure.
“There’s nothing that we don’t disagree with when it comes to improved transportation in Queens,” said Phil McManus, president of the Queens Public Transit Committee.
New York City will spend $130 million over the next four years, as part of a comprehensive plan to reduce crime, jail re-entry and the number of people with mental illnesses, who are often locked up for minor offenses.
The plan, proposed by Mayor de Blasio’s Task Force on Behavioral Health and the Criminal Justice System, came in response to a number of cases in which mentally ill inmates died under questionable conditions at Rikers Island, the country’s second-largest correction facility.
Action needs to be taken to improve mobility between northern and southern Queens along the Woodhaven Boulevard corridor, including to and from Midtown Manhattan.
A new study by Queens College, Community Impact Study of Proposed Uses of the Rockaway Beach Branch Right of Way, reports that the region’s transit users must endure a subway trip that is 42 percent longer than the New York City average. In some cases, such as from Far Rockaway to Midtown, the subway journey time is at least an hour. Travel to other parts of Queens can exceed two hours. In contrast, the Long Island Rail Road trains that crossed Jamaica Bay on the Rockaway Beach Line took as little as 43 minutes.
Once any snow we may get melts and the weather warms up again, Ridgewood residents may have yet another unique, brand-new eatery to kick back and relax at.
Community Board 5 voted 24-7 in favor of granting a 600-plus person seasonal beer and wine license to The Back Yard, an outdoor gathering space planned for 56-06 Cooper Ave. in Ridgewood, last Wednesday.
(An open letter to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission)
On behalf of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council, we would like to extend our gratitude in response to the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s cancellation of the proposed administrative hearing on Dec. 9, 2014, which would have likely resulted in the decalendaring of nearly 100 landmark-worthy individual properties and two landmark-worthy districts.
We feel that if the LPC was to engage in a massive decalendaring, it would set a risky precedent, where those properties may undergo demolition as-of-right, and the public would speculate that future calendared properties may be decalendared and also demolished. Residents, community groups, elected officials and preservationists at-large work tirelessly to research, propose and advocate for new landmarks, which have largely resulted in those properties to have been calendared.
The public is routinely presented with the opportunity to testify on hearing items, but a “commissioner only” vote on decalendaring would have appeared as if the public has no voice in the landmarking process, or as if we inhabited the days of protests before the classic Pennsylvania Station’s demolition.
Our landmarks and potential landmarks are a unique contribution to our city’s architectural and cultural history, diversity and aesthetics, and are cornerstones in the eyes of residents. As per the Landmarks Law, which enables the public to provide testimony for properties, the public needs to have a say in the future of the nearly 100 individual properties and the two districts.
Reviewing the listing of the proposed decalendaring items, our boroughs would lose their identity and distinctive qualities of a livable community. Some cases in point are the Ahles House and the Douglaston Historic District Extension in Queens, the IRT Powerhouse and Loew’s 175th Street Theater in Manhattan, the 5466 Arthur Kill Road House and Garner Mansion in Staten Island, the 65 Schofield Street House and the Samuel Babcock House in the Bronx and St. Barbara’s Roman Catholic Church and St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church and Rectory in Brooklyn.
We strongly encourage the LPC to schedule public hearings for all of the calendared items, beginning where there is most pressure to alter, sell or redevelop the site, or where development patterns in the community could compromise the site’s integrity or longevity. May the LPC and New Yorkers work as a team, to emphasize how a governmental body and its constituency can operate cohesively for our city’s improvement. Thank you for your consideration.
Preservationists are applauding the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s decision to back off plans to take nearly 100 sites off the city’s list for landmarking, but realize there are no guarantees in the future.
LPC Chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan indicated last week that a vote would be taken Tuesday to remove 94 buildings and two historic districts from the list for landmarking without a hearing.
A Staten Island grand jury’s decision last week not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner has triggered nationwide anger, including among Queens congressional members who are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to slap a federal indictment against the cop.
At a press conference last week in Washington, moments after the announcement of the decision, lawmakers renewed their calls for the DOJ to launch a federal investigation in Garner’s death. The DOJ said it will probe the man’s death, including how the grand jury reached its decision.
Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fari–a last Saturday announced that the city has reached a tentative contract agreement with the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, the union that represents public school principals and other officials, which includes retroactive and future pay raises.
“This agreement with CSA means that all of our school administrators will get the fair wages they deserve in a way that protects the City’s long-term fiscal health,” de Blasio said at the union’s annual conference over the weekend. “But above all else, this is an education contract that will spur innovation and help us ensure the best educators are leading our schools.”
I read the November 20 South Queens edition of the Chronicle with a great deal of interest. In particular I appreciate the effort that the editors are making in covering the competing proposals to develop the former LIRR Rockaway line. The paper has repeatedly provided the readers with advocates for both proposals, for a park and for a rail line.
This particular edition had a story, “Use surplus cash on rail line: Goldfeder” by Anthony O’Reilly, reporting on Assemblyman Goldfeder’s proposal for rail service. The other, an Opinion by Andrea Crawford, argues in favor of park space.
A report by a special MTA commission stated last week that the transportation agency must add new transit options in its system to continue serving a growing population, an assessment that Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) sees as supportive of his proposal to reactivate the Rockaway Beach rail line.
“The @ReinventTranspo report agrees with @MTA, elected officials residents, the @NYDailyNews and so many more that we must restore @RBL1910,” Goldfeder said in a tweet shortly after the report was released.
The newly formed South East Queens Chamber of Commerce is hoping to revitalize the Downtown Jamaica area and turn it and other neighborhoods into shopping destinations.
The group’s motto is “Together, we can!” and the Rev. R. Simone Lord, who founded the chamber last July, has faith the community will come together to support her efforts.
Preservationists are worried that the city’s plan to eliminate nearly 100 historic buildings and districts — including eight in Queens — from the landmarking process will be a major setback for saving many of the locations.
Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan indicated last week that the commission will vote on the proposal next Tuesday. There will be no hearing.