For the second week in a row, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has announced he’s saved a senior center from closing —and a third one is expected to be announced next week.
On Tuesday, Avella met with members of the College Point Senior Center, a satellite of the North Flushing Senior Center, to tell them that their worst fears have been allayed. He presented the center with a $100,000 check from the taxpayers, which is expected to keep the facility open for at least two years.
Jackson Heights is one of the most diverse areas of Queens, where a significant number of those living and working are undocumented and, according to immigrant advocates, unable to achieve the American Dream.
“I’ve been here five years and my children have been here their entire lives,” Rosa, a Jackson Heights resident and undocumented immigrant from Ecuador, said. “I would like to have better rights here and have opportunities. If not for myself, at least for my children.”
Former GOP mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis was fined more than $11,000 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board April 10 for a mailer against Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) during the latter’s re-election campaign last year.
The CFB fined him $1,473 for not including a “paid for by” notice on a mailer attacking Ulrich during Ulrich’s re-election campaign last year.
Republicans continue to deny that they’re waging a war against women. If so, how can they explain that Senate Republicans blocked a vote last Wednesday to open debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would hold employers more accountable for wage discrimination against women. The bill would prohibit companies from retaliating against employees who share their salary information with each other, eliminating the culture of silence that keeps women in the dark about pay discrimination. It would also force the Department of Labor to require employers to show that wage differentials between men and women in the same jobs are for a reason other than sex.
Every single Republican voted against it. Every single Democrat, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont, voted for it. What a surprise! Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said before the vote, “In other words, it’s just another Democratic idea that threatens to hurt the very people that it claims to help.” What? Equal pay for women hurts women?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) criticized McConnell. “Are they so repulsed by equal pay for hardworking women that they’ll obstruct equal pay for equal work?” he asked. “I’m at a loss as to why anyone would decline to debate this important issue.”
If you ask me, all President Obama has to do to have the Republicans support this legislation is to say that he is against it.
Youngsters gathered last Saturday at Bowne Park in Flushing to take part in the Northeast Queens Republican Club’s Easter egg hunt.
Free baskets were provided for the first 150 children. Hundreds of eggs were hidden in the park and were stuffed with prizes.
Not to be outdone by other Queens elected officials, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) announced a bill Monday that would not only limit pay for the Queens Library president, but also call for an entire new board of directors by January.
“The other bill, initiated by Borough President Melinda Katz, doesn’t go far enough,” Avella said. “My bill limits outside employment [for the director] and reduces the number on the board.”
Unlike some of the contributors to the Letters to Editor section, I have maintained my dignity by not mocking, vilifying or denigrating anyone with an opposing viewpoint. It seems my angst that our unsustainable debt and growing obligations for limitless, unconditional, well-intentioned entitlements ,once called “assistance,” have morphed into guaranteed lifestyles is evidence I support “people dying in the streets.” In their effort to create an egalitarian utopia, many are blinded by their fervor and self-righteousness and are oblivious to the unintended consequences of good intentions.
Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, is a case on point. Notwithstanding that Obamacare was passed by Congress without a single Republican vote, our Constitutional rule of law acknowledges and accepts it as the law of the land. However, since its passage, many provisions of the law have been changed, tweaked, omitted, adjusted, fine-tuned, adapted and delayed — over 30 times without congressional approval. Many Democrats seeking re-election will now be able to deny having voted for Obamacare in its present form since the original law and intent no longer exist.
Congress is the only government entity that has the power to write or change laws. We are told the justification for changes instituted by unauthorized individuals is an unselfish motive and that it will benefit the masses. William T. Gossett, a lawyer and entrepreneur, observed, “The rule of law can be wiped out in one misguided, however well-intentioned, generation.”
The foundation of our freedoms is the rule of law. No man can violate the rule of law and usurp the power of Congress by edict or proclamation. Once again, I quote author Ayn Rand: “Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”
For years, regulars who attend the senior center at the Whitestone Armory have dreaded the day it would be closed because funding ran out. On Tuesday, they cheered that their facility is safe for up to three more years.
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) announced to members of the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers and Civic Association Senior Center that he had secured $100,000 in the state budget to keep it functioning.
The lawyer representing former Queens Republican official Vince Tabone is crying foul over an attempt to oust her firm from representing him.
On Monday, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office asked federal Judge Kenneth Karas to question Tabone on whether he wants to keep his attorneys, Lally & Misir. The office contends that Tabone could be hurting his own defense by using a firm whose lead partner, Grant Lally, is running for Congress against Rep. Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens).
Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg came under heavy criticism for his handling of the city school system in his final years in office.
But a gathering in South Jamaica last Friday, hosted by state Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-South Ozone Park), showed that many parents and education advocates have similar or new concerns with the policies of Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo.
It won’t be as extravagant as the 1939-40 or 1964-65 World’s Fairs were, but officials hope the summer celebrations to commemorate the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the events will be noteworthy.
According to Borough President Melinda Katz, the programs will rebrand Queens as a destination reflecting the heart and soul of New York City.
Queens politicians and immigration activists rallied last Friday to support a move by House Democrats to force a vote on immigration reform that would affect the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
“Our message to [House Speaker] John Boehner is, stop delaying,” Congressman Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens) said outside Flushing Town Hall.
Smokers’ group sues to block new law on e-cigarettes
The Brooklyn-based group CLASH, or Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, said Tuesday it is suing to overturn the city’s new law restricting electronic cigarette use the same way it controls conventional smoking.
Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie did not exactly deny the gist of a New York Post article claiming he told the paper he is “90 percent ready” to enter a primary against embattled state Senator Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis).
But he would not comment on quotes critical of Smith that the paper said he told a reporter.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino for governor, with Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano for lieutenant governor, along with Carl Paladino for comptroller might give the GOP a fighting chance in 2014.
Astorino and Mangano win in counties with voter registrations favoring Democrats. Paladino brings money and Western New York to the ticket. All three could appeal to the 2,271,671 statewide voters who declare no party affiliation. They would have to overcome Cuomo’s advantages of statewide registered Democratic voters outnumbering Republicans by 5,441,541 to 2,649,058. Don’t forget Cuomo’s $36 million campaign kitty, primarily raised from pay-to-play campaign contributors.
This would be an electoral battle of David (Astorino) versus Goliath (Cuomo).
Republicans have a way with words — whether they don’t like what’s being proposed or they’re trying to fool the American public that something is good for them. Even when it’s not.
Healthcare reform? Everyone will like that. They’ll call it “government takeover of healthcare.” Continued drilling for oil doesn’t sound clean. They’ll call it “energy exploration.” Instead of letting Democrats refer to it as an “estate tax,” they call it a “death tax.” Instead of saying “poor people,” they say “the takers.”
They can’t say “don’t tax rich people,” so they say “encourage the job creators.” They can’t say “don’t let black people vote” so they say “clamp down on voter fraud.” “Call for the return of slavery”? Not politically correct. They call it “phasing out race-based quotas.” Giving corporations more power while getting rid of collective bargaining for workers? Let’s call that “Citizens United.” Destroying unions? Let’s call it “right to work” legislation.
Democrats should learn from the GOP. To get Republicans to support food stamp legislation, all they have to do is rename them “Christ coupons.”
Grant Lally, a Republican lawyer from Lloyd Harbor, LI, who announced last month that he will run to oppose Rep. Steve Israel, has been endorsed by the Queens County Conservative Party.
Israel represents parts of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens, including Douglaston, Whitestone, Little Neck and Floral Park.
After months of pushing and rallying, the Dream Act will remain just that, a dream.
The legislation — which would allow undocumented immigrant students to receive aid through the Tuition Assistance Program — was rejected by the state Senate on Monday. It lost by two votes, 31-29.
Mayor de Blasio may get the funds he wants to implement universal prekindergarten citywide this year, though he won’t get them the way he proposed.
The state Senate, controlled by a coalition of Republicans, who are opposed to the mayor’s plan to raise taxes on city residents with incomes of $500,000 and over to fund pre-K, and Independent Democrats who back it, passed a budget proposal last Friday that excluded the tax hike, but included $540 million for pre-K in New York City, the full amount de Blasio sought to raise with his tax hike.
A Navy veteran from Laurelton is the latest candidate to challenge state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) in his reelection bid in the 14th Senate District.
Bernadette Semple has filed paperwork with the state Board of Elections that allows her to conduct fundraising.
Someone should tell Malcolm Smith that the weather’s warming up and indeed spring is nigh.
The state senator from Hollis seems stuck in wintertime. Maybe the harsh season gave him a bit of cabin fever. Or maybe there’s some other explanation for the oddball fundraising “event” he has planned for March 24.
Forgive state Senate Democrats if they view their colleagues from Queens with a jaundiced eye.
Depending on whether Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) can win re-election, and just whom he winds up caucusing with, he may become the second Queens Democrat in two election cycles to cost his party working control of the august body in Albany.
You are cordially invited to more than nine hours of golf in the outdoors, in the company of and in honor of state Sen. Malcolm Smith.
The (GOP-controlled) Arizona Legislature sent a bill to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer that would allow business owners to turn away gay and lesbian customers, as long as they claim to be doing so in the name of “religion.” How long before they put up the “no gays” sign over the water fountains and restrooms?
Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson had this to say: “When you force me to bake you a cake for your gay wedding, that’s fascism.” You heard right, infringing upon a bigot’s right to deny pastries to homosexuals is “fascism.” Amazing. But not surprising.
The homophobic, ignorant, backwoods supporters of bills that promote hate should look up the name Matthew Shepard. In 1998, University of Wyoming student Shepard was kidnapped, tortured and tied to a prairie fence overnight in freezing temperatures. He died five days after he was finally found. His “crime”? Being gay.
Perhaps we should have two Americas: the Democratic States of America, where civil rights apply to everyone, and Teabagistan, where ignorance, bigotry and racism rule the day.