After a summer hiatus, the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic Association resumed its meeting schedule on Tuesday evening at St. Helen School cafeteria.
The more than 300 neighborhood residents who packed the meeting heard from elected officials and representatives of city agencies. Many expressed their concerns about area problems including rodents and traffic on residential streets.
A picture of dignitaries at the 9/11 ceremony showed Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Gov. George Pataki, state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. All were placing their hands across their hearts for “The Star-Spangled Banner,” except Mark-Viverito, who had her hands locked together in front of her.
What was that all about? Did she not have respect for our country and all those who have died and gave their last measure of devotion to the nation? It was also reported that before she ran for speaker she would not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at ceremonies.
I’m really appalled that someone of Mark-Viverito’s status would show such disrespect and lack of patriotism at this most solemn and sacred anniversary memorial to those who died on 9/11. This act I find most sad. I myself served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era and was proud to do so. I hope all who read this letter will write to Mark-Viverito and tell her that her actions are just not acceptable and she needs to apologize to the city and to all who lost loved ones on that day of infamy.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) appointed a lifelong Ozone Park resident to be his new chief of staff last week.
Sal Simonetti, who has been president of the Our Neighbor’s Civic Association in Ozone Park for several years, was promoted to the post. He had previously served as deputy to Ulrich’s former chief of staff Rudy S. Giuliani, who resigned last week after he was appointed borough director at the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations and the Build it Back Program, a position in which he will report directly to Amy Peterson, the head of the city’s Hurricane Sandy recovery program.
Following the July 17 death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner while he was resisting arrest for allegedly selling single cigarettes, an already-existing campaign to dissuade police from enforcing the law on some minor crimes and violations picked up steam. Enforcement of such laws, what is known as the broken windows theory approach to policing, is one target of the protest led by the Rev. Al Sharpton that is set to take place on Staten Island Saturday.
According to activists such as Sharpton, as well as some elected officials including three members of Congress who represent parts of Queens, broken windows policing has an unfair impact on minority communities, such as the one where Garner, who was black, died.
Borough President Melinda Katz and Mayor de Blasio made it very clear the dismissal of nearly half of the Queens Library Board of Trustees was entirely due to the scandal enveloping the library’s CEO Tom Galante, who allegedly misused capital funds.
Jacqueline Arrington, the 2013 board chairwoman, Joseph Ficalora, William Jefferson, Grace Lawrence, Terri Mangino and George Stamatiades received letters from Katz notifying them of their termination on July 23. Mayor de Blasio sacked two mayoral appointees, Patricia Flynn and Stephen Van Anden.
Civil rights organizations, including some who prodded the city to reduce the searching of individuals police deem suspicious, are now demanding the NYPD abandon the broken windows theory of crimefighting, which they say unfairly targets minorities — the same argument they made against stop and frisk.
The criticism against broken-windows policing — which involves strict enforcement of minor crimes in order to deter, prevent or uncover bigger ones — follows the death last week of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died in police custody after resisting arrest. Garner was allegedly selling single cigarettes. Many, including Mayor de Blasio, said it appears as if one officer used an illegal chokehold on the overweight, asthmatic man, who told the police he couldn’t breathe before dying.
In what can only be described as a Wednesday afternoon massacre, Borough President Melinda Katz and Mayor de Blasio axed nearly half of the Queens Library Board of Directors.
Diana Tarantola asked the tow truck driver where on the receipt she should sign. When he pointed to the line, she sighed.
“I should know how to do this by now,” she said.
At least nine bus stops in South Queens will be fitted with countdown clocks that will tell passengers how long until the next bus arrives.
The clocks, which each costs about $20,000, use GPS to track buses and estimate their time of arrival. The city Department of Transportation is spearheading the program to install them at major bus stops across the city. Currently only two have been erected, both in Staten Island.
Lindenwood resident James Noto lives four blocks east of Spring Creek, but whenever it rains, the basement of his home on the corner of 81st Street and 153rd Avenue essentially becomes part of it.
For years now, during heavy rainstorms, sewer backup has flooded his basement, causing mold and mildew to develop and forcing Noto to spend a fortune in repairs.
Former mayors Ed Koch’s and Rudy Giuliani’s first weeks in office in 1978 and 1994 respectively were dominated by brutal winters and criticisms of their handling of them, just like Bill de Blasio 20 years later.
Endless snow removal in Bayside reflects the city’s huge snowfall this season of 55 inches and it’s not over yet. Mayor de Blasio is not the first who had to deal with big snowstorms at the start of his tenure, so did his predecessors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani.
The city post-Hurricane Sandy recovery program “Build it Back” is doing anything but, according to many residents, civic leaders and officials in South Queens. They say the program needs to be completely revamped and needs to be placed on top of Mayor de Blasio’s priority list.
The Build it Back program was created last June to help residents whose homes were damaged in Hurricane Sandy get access to relief money, contractors needed to help rebuild or funds to acquire homes of homeowners who wish to move.
It’s February and the city has been socked for weeks by snow, ice and frigid temperatures in the most miserable winter many can remember. At City Hall, a new mayor from a political party that has not held the city’s top office in 20 years has just taken the reins of power, and his honeymoon period when he should be unveiling his ambitious agenda is instead frozen over by the icy weather.
But this is not 2014. Instead it’s 1994 and that new mayor is Rudy Giuliani.
The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association kicked off 2014 on Saturday with new leadership and a full agenda.
Topping that list of items was participatory budgeting, the process by which members of the public pick capital projects in the community to be funded in the city budget.
In your Dec. 5 editorial, “Bloomberg’s greatest achievement is in fighting crime,” you correctly credit Mayor Bloomberg with reducing violent crime. The problem with your editorial is you give scarcely any credit to the man primarily responsible for reducing violent crime and making New York City safe, Mayor Giuliani.
In 1989, the year before Mayor Dinkins took office, there were 1,905 murders. In 1993, Mayor Dinkins’ last year, there were 1,946 murders. In Mayor Dinkins’ four years in office there were 8,340 murders, the most for any four-year period in New York City history. In 1994, Mayor Giuliani’s first year in office, murders dropped to 1,561. In Mayor Giuliani’s last year there were 649 murders. This “remarkable” 67 percent drop in murders made New York City the safest city in America.
Mayor Bloomberg continued to reduce murders to 414 last year, for a drop of 36 percent. To give more credit to Mayor Bloomberg than Mayor Giuliani is misleading. To give credit to Mayor Dinkins is insane.
I do feel you have another agenda, which is to rewrite history. Misrepresenting the miracle of the Giuliani crime reduction and misinforming the citizens of New York allows for misguided views, which lead to events such as the mayoralty of Bill de Blasio during which, I fear, this great city will regress.
The appointment of former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton back to his old post once Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio takes office was lauded across Queens and the city.
As commissioner under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Bratton drove crime down and instituted the CompStat tracking system that has been a staple of the NYPD ever since. The system is cited as a key reason crime has declined for more than 20 years, as it gives police notice of where crime is happening so they can deploy accordingly.
A horrific car accident, allegedly caused by a driver impaired by alcohol, killed one man and injured two others in Howard Beach very early on Saturday morning.
The accident happened at the intersection of 159th Avenue and 98th Street at around 1 a.m. According to police, a 2006 Ford sedan operated by James Celauro, 23, of Ozone Park, was traveling southbound on 98th Street, entered the intersection and struck a 2001 Saturn, operated by James Sinisi, 38, of Glendale, who was killed.
Of all the accomplishments of Mayor Bloomberg’s three terms in office, which this page will be examining over the next several weeks, along with his shortcomings, the most profound is the remarkable reduction in violent crime that he has achieved.
The cut in the murder rate over the last 20 or so years has been nothing short of a miracle. In 1990, homicides in the city peaked at 2,262. They began dropping the next year under Mayor David Dinkins, and continued falling under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. But it was under the leadership of Mike Bloomberg that New York became, as he would be the first to point out, the safest big city in the United States, with murder rates far below comparable municipalities such as Chicago and Los Angeles.
Former Mayor David Dinkins was instrumental in securing the National Tennis Center and the US Open as fixtures in Queens.
And it was there that Dinkins attended a meet-and-greet last Friday prior to a book signing of his new memoir.
Claire Shulman rose to power in 1986 with the death of Borough President Donald Manes, but 1989 was the year she was elected to her first full term.
Shulman, who was Manes’ deputy, succeeded the troubled and scandal-ridden borough president, who committed suicide. She was appointed to replace him by the City Council and later in 1986 elected to complete his term.
Restrictions placed on the Police Department as a result of the federal lawsuit over stop and frisk are all on hold, and the judge who imposed them has been thrown off the case by the Court of Appeals.
The court determined that Judge Shira Scheindlin compromised her need to appear impartial in the case and criticized her for making sure she got to hear it when it was filed six years ago.
For many Queens Republicans, there was hope that Tuesday’s primary election for state committee positions, also known as district leaders, would put an end to the ongoing civil war within the party.
But as results trickled in Wednesday, it appeared there wasn’t any decisive decision one way or another.
A mailer from the 26th Assembly district GOP state committee race includes an endorsement from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani for Sal Bacarella and Anne Marie Devlin, who are running against Queens Republican Chairman Phil Ragusa and former Board of Elections commissioner Judith Stupp.
In tomorrow's Republican primary for the state committee positions in the 26th Assembly District, which includes Auburndale, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck and Whitestone, Queens Republican Chairman Phil Ragusa and former Board of Elections Commissioner Judith Stupp are facing off against Sal Bacarella and Ann Marie Devlin, in a race that could end the years-long civil war in the county party.