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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
The NYPD Guardians Association, a fraternal organization for African-American officers, honored the families of three fallen officers on Sunday at its 32nd annual Memorial Breakfast at Antun’s in Springfield Gardens.
Honorees this year included the families of Officer Curtis Johnson of the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, Det. Dennis Guerra of Police Service Area 1 and Det. Derrick Baity of the Brooklyn North Gang Squad.
Monday night’s decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo. Police Officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown has filled up any openings in the Rev. Phil Craig’s normally busy schedule.
“I’ll be in Staten Island tonight,” said Craig, pastor of The Greater Springfield Community Church in Jamaica on Tuesday afternoon. “I’ll be at the press conference in Manhattan on Wednesday.”
Commissioner Joseph Ponte of New York City’s Department of Correction said last week that Rikers Island is “ill-equipped and ill-designed” to be a mental health treatment center, which makes it a challenge for his team to adequately provide quality medical assistance.
Ponte, who took the helm of the DOC in April, told state lawmakers that one of his top priorities is to step up medical care for mentally ill inmates. The commissioner said he’s also exploring best practices and policies that are used by other correctional facilities across the country.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Tuesday began questioning the Department of Sanitation regarding its policy of fining business owners for garbage dumped on their sidewalk after their doors have closed, according to a letter from the politician obtained by the Chronicle
“I am writing to your office to request a review of Department of Sanitation New York City overnight ticketing policy concerning trash that is dumped by third-parties and leads to violations being issued to property owners,” Stringer said in the Nov. 18 letter to DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.
His way is not the QueensWay.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) on Monday called on Gov. Cuomo to allocate part of the state’s $5 billion surplus for the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach rail line.
Mayor de Blasio signed two bills into law last week that mandate the city to reject most requests from the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to detain undocumented immigrants for deportation, except in limited circumstances.
Intro. 486-A bars the Police Department and the city Department of Correction from honoring detainer requests without a judicial warrant. Other exceptions include if the immigrant is on the U.S. terrorist watch list, has been convicted of a violent crime or has committed a serious crime in the past five years.
Vishnua Mahadeo, center, discusses plans for the removal of trailer classrooms in the playground area of Richmond Hill High School. The plan and recent improvements at the school were lauded by Barbara Sherman, left, deputy policy director for Public Advocate Letitia James, and Community Board 9 Education Committee Chairman Seth Wellins, right.
Advocates and leaders of Richmond Hill High School last Thursday announced that the school’s much-maligned classroom trailers will be removed and replaced with a playground facility by spring 2015, and that seven additional classrooms will be constructed within the building to accommodate students.
“The school is returning to its former glory,” said Vishnu Mahadeo, president and executive director of the Richmond Hill Economic Development Council, at a press conference in the school’s auditorium.
Now that the election results have been finalized, many voters and officials have high expectations for the re-elected Gov. Cuomo, specifically on social issues.
“The first term was about balancing the budget and developing trust between the state government and the public,” state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) said. “Now he can sort of get back to social issues and his Democratic base.”
The battle between QueensWay and Rockaway Beach rail line advocates was fought over Twitter on Monday, as Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) faced off against Adrian Benepe, director of city park development for The Trust for Public Land and a former city parks commissioner.
Several advocates of the QueensWay, a proposed 3.5-mile stretch of parkland along the abandoned rail line, began tweeting at Goldfeder, expressing opposition to the findings of a survey the Queens College Dept. of Urban Studies released on Monday.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) and officials from Queens College on Monday released the results of a study that concluded reactivating the long-abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch would generate 500,000 subway rides per day, but that residents of the Rockaways support the alternative park plan.
“Reactivating the Rockaway Beach line would connect South and northern Queens in a way that is not currently possible,” Goldfeder said at a press conference in Queens College’s library.
St. John’s University and two other New York colleges have reached an agreement with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to stop asking prospective students about their contacts with the criminal justice system, including arrests that have not led to a conviction, sealed or expunged records or pardoned records.
Schneiderman said an arrest or police stop that did not lead to a conviction or criminal record “indeed must not” be a standard question on a college application as it will discourage those who are seeking a higher education.
(BPT) - When you hear the word cancer, which cancers come to mind?
(BPT) - Multidrug-resistant organisms, such as MRSA – also known as “superbugs” – are on the rise, and now, another superbug, which is typically picked up at hospitals and nursing homes, is posing new challenges for public-health officials. Clostridium difficile, commonly known as C. diff, is a potentially life-threatening bacterium responsible for at least 14,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.1