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The Department of Environmental Conservation may not try to capture or kill every mute swan in the state after all.
Noting that the majestic white birds are not native to New York and claiming they are disruptive to its natural ecology, the DEC recently had announced a draft plan to get rid of every single one of them by 2025, either by moving or killing them.
Mass transit advocates took issue with how Gov. Cuomo would like to redirect $40 million in next year’s budget for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
But the governor’s office is responding by saying that the money will help the MTA pay down debt and still keep the agency flush with increased cash.
The words “commute” and “New York City” usually make one think of squeaky, dirty, crowded subway cars snaking through tunnels and along elevated rails. Or perhaps one conjures up thoughts of passengers packed into buses like sardines or jockeying for room under bus shelters. Some, especially out here in Queens, may think of a commute as idling on a packed highway in a car.
One thing that most New Yorkers may not think of — unless maybe you’re from Staten Island — is boats.
CFE-style lawsuit launched to raise school spending
TA coalition of advocates and individuals, including Community Education Council 28 in Central and Southeast Queens, and a parent from Far Rockaway, are suing the state to increase its funding for education.
Mayor de Blasio and Public Advocate Letitia James share a laugh as they lead the parade marchers on Skillman Avenue.
The Department of Environmental Conservation may not try to capture or kill every mute swan in the state after all.
Resorts World must rehire or find new jobs for the 175 workers it laid off recently without prior notice, who cooked and served at the buffet. We were informed that they just shut the buffet and let the workers go because it was losing money, although the price had increased to $40 a plate.
Whereas we are grateful that these workers were told that they will receive between one and five weeks of severance pay, along with a package that includes unused sick and vacation days and four months of family medical coverage, we demand to know how many have been rehired, since the casino assured the Hotel Trades Council, the union that represents these workers, that it will let them apply for any open positions.
We have always worked with Resorts World as a job creator, not a job killer, and while we appreciate the fact that it has created many jobs and brought revenue that goes to public schools across the state, these local workers must be given jobs to feed their families.
Resorts World has brought phenomenal profits to its owners since it opened, and our community has contributed to its growth. Its exponential expansion has, and will always affect our community, in both positive and negative ways. As a community advocate and district leader who serves the Ozone Park, South Ozone Park and Richmond Hill area, I again join forces with state Sens. Joe Addabbo Jr. and James Sanders and call on Resorts World to give more jobs to our community, and to rehire these suffering workers.
We have reached out successfully to management to help the community with jobs. Many residents were painfully displaced when the Aqueduct Flea Market was closed after decades of existence, a casualty of Resorts World’s expansion. Many have since been given jobs there.
Resorts World should, and can, do more. Some of these job applicants are regulars and are part of the loyal base of gamers who have helped Resorts World earn millions. Hiring policies and data must be made more open and accessible to all, and more information about job vacancies and hires should be made public to the surrounding communities.
Councilman Danny Dromm, center right, with Public Advocate Letitia James, right, former Speaker Christine Quinn, center left, and Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer, second from left, and Julissa Ferreras, left, at last year’s Pride Parade in Jackson Heights.
Queens Library President and CEO Tom Galante, under fire from some city officials and at least one state lawmaker for making nearly $400,000 a year, told members of the borough’s press corps that he probably works close to 100 hours a week.
Galante makes $392,000 a year as head of the library, a private, nonprofit group that contracts with the city to provide services. His salary was revealed earlier this month by the Daily News, prompting the City Council to hold a hearing and the city comptroller to launch an audit of the library.
City agencies’ defense of Industrial Business Zones — areas set aside to promote industrial growth — has become somewhat of an affectation as more and more pieces break off of the IBZs to accommodate residential and commercial uses.
Almost one year ago, a plan to erect a 90,000-square-foot residential building was presented at a Citizens for a Better Ridgewood meeting. Many were thrilled at having a new residence on the corner of Woodward Avenue and Starr Street but urban planning and IBZ advocates said the building is a blatant contradiction of City Planning’s “iron-clad commitment” to preserving manufacturers and industrial businesses.
Officials eye higher fines, lower fines for not shoveling snow
The cost to property owners of not removing snow from sidewalks would go up under a bill before the City Council — and down, but only for some people, under a separate proposal.
Borough President Melinda Katz on Tuesday called on the Queens Library to implement several reform measures in light of the controversy over its executive director's salary, benefits, office renovations and outside employment. ... After the board meeting, the library put out another statement from Taussig, saying the members had initiated several reforms, including the elimination of a component in Galante's contract, called the "evergreen clause," that saw it renewed it every year for the next five years.
A proposal by a city councilman from the Bronx may lead to a whole new way for local community boards to share information and get area residents involved.
But exactly who is going to foot the bill for any incurred costs remains a primary concern.
“Enough is Enough,” said the acting U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak when he recently released his office’s report, The Health Consequences of Smoking. “We need to eliminate the use of cigarettes and create a tobacco-free generation.” While we’ve made great strides in reducing smoking rates, much more needs to be done to fight the tobacco epidemic and prevent our youth from smoking.
Since 1964, more than 20 million Americans have died prematurely as a result of tobacco use. Smoking causes disease in nearly all the organs of the body, and one out of three cancer deaths is now caused by smoking. Women are now just as likely as men to die from smoking. And 5.6 million children alive today will die early from smoking if we don’t do more to reduce current smoking rates.
In Queens, 261,000 residents and 6,000 public high school students smoke. One-third of them will die prematurely as a result. We must renew our efforts and do more to provide the resources needed to reduce these numbers.
We know what works to lower smoking rates and prevent youth from lighting up: strong smoke-free policies, hard-hitting media campaigns, high cigarette prices and robust tobacco prevention and cessation programs. By sustaining and expanding this comprehensive approach, we can save lives and create a tobacco-free generation.
If we’re going to end the tobacco epidemic, our efforts must focus on communities and populations in Queens with a higher prevalence of tobacco use and lower rates of quitting. Over the past five years, the Queens Smoke-Free Partnership has worked with health advocates and community organizations to raise awareness around smoking, specifically among immigrant and low-income communities. We also educate Queens youth and encourage them to speak out against the tobacco industry’s aggressive marketing tactics that lure kids into addiction.
We can break the cycle of sickness, disability and death if we make smoking less accessible, less affordable and less attractive.
CVS Caremark’s decision to stop selling tobacco will reduce access to cigarettes and help save lives. As the mother of a 2-year-old daughter, I don’t want CVS Caremark’s example to be the exception, but the rule. We must renew our commitment to eliminate tobacco use and protect our youth from addiction. Enough is enough. The time to start is now.
One of Queens’ longest-running controversies is the fate of the decaying, abandoned Long Island Rail Road Rockaway Beach Branch from Rego Park to Ozone Park (the somewhat misleading name signified that the line hooked up with what is now the subway system’s Rockaway branch at its southern end).
As is the case for other abandoned railway lines throughout the country, the conflict pits those who want to make the roadbed into a nature trail or park against transit advocates who wish to reinstitute rail (or subway) service.
(BPT) - Living with or caring for someone with a rare disease can be challenging as symptoms of these diseases are often misunderstood, misleading or misinterpreted, and as a result, people affected by uncommon illnesses are sometimes left feeling discouraged, frustrated and isolated.
A lawsuit claiming that the shopping mall proposed for the Citi Field parking lot in Flushing Meadows Corona Park is illegal under state law was filed today.
The suit charges that the mall, approved by the City Council near the end of former Mayor Mike Bloomberg's last term, cannot be built without the approval of the state Legislature because the location is parkland.
The following is a transcript of Mayor de Blasio's State of the City Address, as prepared, sent to the media before the speech was delivered.
A lawsuit will be filed tomorrow, Feb. 7, in an attempt to prevent the construction of a shopping mall in the Citi Field parking lot, which is technically part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Queens Chronicle has learned.
The suit will be brought by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Whitestone), City Club, NYC Park Advocates and a number of Corona businesses and residents, according to a source who has seen the papers that will be filed.
Each year, the New York League of Conservation Voters puts out a scorecard that grades all Council members on environmental issues and for the 2012-13 City Council year, Queens had some of the highest scores and the lowest.
The scores are based on voting and sponsorship records on 17 bills that cover recycling, composting, clean energy, biodiversity, transportation, air quality, energy efficiency, resiliency and more.
NYPD Detective Patrick Blanc, president of Embrace Your Kids, recently was honored by Public Advocate Letitia James for his years of service and leadership in efforts for the city’s youth.
Embrace Your Kids focuses on education, mentoring and community-based activities for children.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) was ceremonially sworn in for his second term Jan. 30 in the packed auditorium at PS 63 in Ozone Park, where he was a student from kindergarten through fourth grade.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James joined Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan, Bronx) and several more of Ulrich’s colleagues to speak at the swearing in, which was conducted by Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park), standing in for Justice Augie Agate, who was under the weather. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also made an appearance, as did Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica), and prominent Republicans, including former Rep. Bob Turner, former mayoral candidate Joe Lhota and former Councilman Tom Ognibene.
In 2013, Queens had the highest number of car accidents involving pedestrians in the city, and it appears the trend hasn’t cooled down during these first few weeks of 2014.
This week, six people were killed or injured on Queens streets, which elected officials said proves all too well how desperately traffic reforms are needed in Western Queens.
After news came out that Queens Library President Tom Galante agreed to renovations of his offices in the Central Library branch, including an outdoor “smoke deck,” elected officials were quick to support Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s (D-Sunnyside) decision to conduct an oversight hearing.
The meeting started off calm Wednesday as Galante opened with the number of accomplishments the Queens Library has achieved since he was appointed — including being named the best library system in the country in 2009 — but soon escalated into a tense back and forth between Galante and Council members who called his salary excessive and his outsourcing of custodians in need of reform.