On the heels of numerous reported complaints about senior citizens facing evictions and the legal process that undocumented immigrants are confronted with, the City Council created a new Committee on Courts and Legal Services and appointed Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) as chairman.
The committee, created last week, will oversee city courts and legal services and ensure that New Yorkers are given equitable, free or affordable legal representation within the court system, from eviction cases, incarceration or other legal problems.
At the St. John’s forum are Andrew Taranto, left, Assistant Vice President for Government Relations Brian Browne, Erica Andriamaherimanama, Councilman Rory Lancman, Matthew Larkins, and Daniel Cahill.
Just nine months into his first term, it appears likely that the legacy of Mayor de Blasio will largely rest on an important issue: his ability to improve relations between the Police Department and the city’s communities of color.
A panel discussion titled “Broken Windows ... Broken Theory?” held at St. John’s University on Monday delved into race relations.
Anticipated to be a nail-biter, the Democratic primary race for state Senate in the 11th District, which covers much of Northeast Queens, did not disappoint.
Shortly after midnight on Tuesday, various sources, including The New York Times and NY 1, indicated that, with 95 percent of the precincts reporting, incumbent Tony Avella led challenger John Liu 52.2 percent to 47.8 percent.
Councilmen Jimmy Van Bramer, left, and Rory Lancman, right, introduced two bills that could help reach Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero goal.
Queens leaders took center stage in the fight to reach Vision Zero’s goal of eliminating pedestrian fatalities.
A hearing was held Wednesday by the City Council Transportation Committee to discuss legislation to establish civil penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a collision, introduced by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), and legislation to protect taxi and livery cab drivers, introduced by Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows).
Former Councilman Leroy Comrie on Tuesday locked up about the only political endorsement he did not yet have.
And it was the big one.
Queens’ members of the City Council did not miss many days of work, according to attendance records taken between January and May of this year, and when they did, it was often because they couldn’t be in two places at once.
The notable exception is one member who is under indictment.
Flushing’s Pomonok Housing was once considered the crown jewel of the NYC Housing Authority, but some tarnish has accrued over decades of neglect, mismanagement and budget cuts, according to tenants.
Monica Corbett, president of the Pomonok Residents Association, guided elected officials through the development last Thursday to show them the unkempt grounds, flooded parking lot, broken doors and overall lack of maintenance.
More than three years ago, dignitaries, civic leaders and even some South Queens residents gathered under a tarp in the lot next to what was then known as the South Queens Boys & Girls Club at 110-04 Atlantic Ave. in Richmond Hill to put shovels in the ground. On that chilly rainy April day, they promised to be back in several years to welcome the first children into a bigger, better club.
On Tuesday, three years, four months and a name change since the first brick was laid, and in noticeably different weather conditions, the job was done — for the most part.
Tuesday’s press conference on a St. Albans Street corner was intended to cement support at all levels of government for Leroy Comrie.
But the longest shadow at the Farmers Boulevard meeting may have been cast by a man who was not there, and whose name was not mentioned by speakers until they were confronted with it.
Former Rep. Kathy Hochul, left, who is running for lieutenant governor on a ticket with Gov. Cuomo, talks to a voter on Main Street in Kew Gardens Hills on Friday with Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz, center, and Councilman Rory Lancman.
Former Rep. Kathy Hochul causally stepped out of the Elite Cafe at 72-28 Main St. in Kew Gardens Hills into the drizzly Friday afternoon. As her shoes hit the sidewalk, she suddenly stopped, her wide eyes opened wider by something happening in front of her — a traffic enforcement officer standing in front of a minivan writing a ticket for an expired meter.
“Oh my goodness, whose car is that?” she asked in her thick Western New York accent.
Commissioner Emily Lloyd of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection probably was anticipating the loud grumbling she elicited Monday night when she discussed water rate increases at a town hall meeting in St. Albans.
“Rates have gone up 181 percent in 12 years,” Lloyd acknowledged before a crowd of more than 150 in the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center.
When state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and her husband rented a car and traveled through Israel to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary years ago, they decided to see the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip for themselves, she said.
“The minute we got to Gaza, we saw the rocks and the stones being thrown at our car,” Stavisky said. “Why? Because the car had an Israeli plate.”
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz speaks at a pro-Israel rally at City Hall, flanked by Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, left, Councilman Rory Lancman, Michael Miller of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and other allies. Pro-Palestinian counterprotesters assembled a few yards away.
One Jewish Democratic official called it “touching the third rail of Queens politics.”
A Democratic district leader from Jackson Heights posted one word and a symbol on her Facebook page last week and it has sparked criticism. Depending on whom you ask, her comment ignited a hot debate within the Democratic Party, or was just exploited in a cynical ploy in an obscure political race that is part of the ongoing battle between the Queens Democratic establishment and a group of anti-establishment party members backed by several citywide elected officials.
Seeing Hollywood horror classics and family-friendly movies in Southeast Queens this summer won’t mean having to deal with sticky floors and $9 sodas.
A Better Jamaica is bringing back its Classic Film Fridays program to Rufus King Park for a sixth straight year.
This was supposed to be the week John Liu was to be surging with major political and union endorsements; the week state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) was supposed to be glancing nervously into his rearview mirror.
And it was — until about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, when Mayor de Blasio endorsed Avella and the Working Families Party withdrew its pledged endorsement of Liu, choosing to remain neutral in the Democratic primary in the 11th Senate District.
On Friday, June 27, Chapin Home for the Aging in Jamaica inducted into their “Century Club” 14 residents: Thirteen are 100 plus and one almost there at 99. These residents, families and friends were treated to an afternoon of celebration receiving proclamations hand-delivered by NY state Sen. Tony Avella who gave a spirited speech on what the celebrants have meant to our city and state.
Avella made his way around the crowded room making sure to greet each celebrant with a handshake and kind word. Also sharing words of support and celebration were Assemblyman David Weprin who also arranged for certification for each of the centennial celebrants and Councilman Rory Lancman. Although unable to attend, City Councilman Paul Vallone made sure to send certificates from his office.
The City Council is hoping to cover all bases when it comes to traffic safety to coincide with the far-reaching Vision Zero initiative.
On May 29, 11 bills were approved by members to crack down on dangerous drivers and pedestrian deaths, and Queens lawmakers made up a majority of the sponsors — introducing seven of the 11 pieces of legislation.
A bill sponsored by Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) that would make the desecration of cemeteries overseas a violation of religious freedom punishable by sanctions was passed last week in the House and now goes to the Senate.
The legislation would amend the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to include vandalizing of cemeteries as one of several crimes against freedom of religion.
The city’s Department of Transportation has agreed to extend a one-way section of 168th Street in the wake of an accident that badly injured a 16-year-old student at a Jamaica Hills religious school.
Councilmember Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) and Akhter Hussain of the Jamaica Muslim Center said Tuesday that a northbound one-way zone existing between Hillside and Highland avenues, will be extended to include the block running between Highland and Gothic Drive.
Joined by Martha Taylor of Community Board 8, center left, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and other area residents, Councilman Rory Lancman warns that the condition of 179th Street could result in a tragedy (see inset).