For a group of undocumented students at the City University of New York called the CUNY DREAMers, it boils down to one thing: Pass the DREAM Act.
That was the message they brought to Albany recently, urging Gov. Cuomo to include funding for the DREAM Act in his executive budget proposal next year. The act would allow undocumented students who meet in-state tuition requirements to access state financial aid and scholarships for college. It would also open 539 tuition savings accounts for all New York youth and establish a commission to raise private funds for a college scholarship program.
Gov. Cuomo last Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have delayed a plan to kill or remove every mute swan in the state. The Department of Environmental Conservation considers the birds an invasive species and wants all 2,200 of them that live in the state gone by 2025.
Following an uproar from faunitarians, or animal lovers, the DEC decided it would revise its plan. State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in the upper house and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) in the lower chamber authored a bill that would have put a two-year moratorium on any swan slaughter. It also would have forced the agency to hold at least two public hearings in areas where mute swans live, and to include a public comment period of at least 45 days after the second one, before adopting any swan management plan.
Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have delayed a plan to kill or remove every mute swan in the state. The Department of Environmental Conservation considers the birds an invasive species and wants all 2,200 of them in the state gone by 2025.
See what I’m talking about? State Sen. Tony Avella looks on as a truck blocks a lane of traffic on Union Street in Flushing. The senator and community leaders called on the DOT to address the traffic situation surrounding the Flushing Commons development.
The U.S. Post Office in Springfield Gardens soon will bear the name of a trailblazer in Queens politics.
The U.S. Senate in a recent vote passed a House of Representatives measure naming the building at 218-10 Merrick Blvd. for Cynthia Jenkins, who was the first African-American woman from Southeast Queens voted to the state Assembly when she took office in 1981.
Opponents of the Pan American Hotel’s transformation into a homeless shelter six months ago have new ammunition in their fight to get the shelter shut down.
On Friday, members of the civic group Elmhurst United, other area residents and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) rallied outside the shelter to shed light on living conditions they described as “horrendous” inside the Boulevard Family Residence in a press release announcing the event.
Close to $5 million has been allocated to the revamping of the Cross Bay Bridge’s infrastructure and electronic equipment that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy, U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced last Thursday.
“Superstorm Sandy damaged Rockaway’s critical infrastructure like the Cross Bay Bridge, which connects the community with the rest of Queens and beyond,” Schumer said in a written statement. “I am pleased to announce $4.7 million in FEMA funding which will help repair and protect the Cross Bay Bridge in the event of a future storm.”
In an effort to help families affected by Superstorm Sandy rebuild their homes, the city’s Build it Back program is seeking a new construction manager for Queens.
“Since the mayor’s overhaul, this has been a year of significant progress,” Amy Peterson, director of the mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery, which oversees the Build it Back program, said in an email to the Queens Chronicle. “And we expect the onboarding of new construction firms — who will deploy new strategies to target entire neighborhoods — will continue to accelerate the city’s Sandy recovery.”
State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) last week dismissed Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s (D-Glendale) assertion about gender discrimination in hiring at the Fire Department, instead arguing that most women are simply not interested to become firefighters or aren’t fit for the job.
Savino made those comments in a Facebook post, moments after a City Council Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice hearing, chaired by Crowley, grilled Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro about the lack of female representation in the department. The state senator dismissed Crowley’s claims that the FDNY is using “excessive testing” and rigorous exercises which cause women to drop out of the academy.
An example of state Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) concerns with the Flushing Commons construction site could be seen by all before his press conference began last Friday.
A large truck blocked a lane of traffic at the intersection of 39th Avenue and Union Street while a crane lifted materials off it.
It took 16 years, but the bill to form a commission on the creation of a National Women’s History Museum went to President Obama’s desk this week after being passed by Congress.
“When you go down the mall, everything is there,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens), who introduced the bill in 1998, said. “They have museums for postage stamps, for law and order, and yet there is not a single museum dedicated to the accomplishments of women.”
It’s likely a federal feasibility study to look into the National Park Service acquiring and operating the historic Bowne House and the Quaker Meeting House, both in Flushing, will be undertaken.
The measure, introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), was approved by the Senate Saturday as part of a larger appropriations bill. It previously had won House approval and now goes to President Obama for signing, though no date has been set.
Beginning Jan. 1 the Department of Sanitation will no longer collect old electronics left at the curbside. That includes computers, televisions, DVD players, keyboards, MP3 players, video game consoles and a variety of other devices.
The change stems from a state law that will make it illegal to throw out such electronics in the regular trash. The goal of the 2010 Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act is to encourage the proper disposal of potentially harmful electronic waste. Residents who leave such items at their curbs may receive a summons and most will have to bring them to designated drop-off sites.
Flushing community leaders on Friday said small businesses on Union Street are hurting more and more due to the worsening traffic situation near the Flushing Commons development site.
"For too long, the Department of Transportation has ignored the dangerous traffic conditions caused by the Flushing Commons construction," said Ik Hwan Lim, president of the Union Street Merchants Association.
Since all persons who do the same job should be paid the same salary, I am skeptical a two-tier salary for New York State legislators would be legal and fair (“Two salary tiers for legislators,” Editorial, Dec. 4). As to a salary increase for a part-time job and for a group with far too much corruption, that raises more serious questions. If, however, all things considered a case can be made for a salary increase, I believe it should be conditioned on the following:
1. All state legislators, Assembly and Senate, should be paid a salary of $150,000 a year, but shall be prohibited from engaging in any other outside work for pay.
2. If item 1 is not feasible, they should all be paid $100,000 a year, but each year they must file an affidavit setting forth all outside activities they perform for pay, listing who paid them, the amount paid and the outside activities they performed and how much monthly time was devoted thereto.
I could not agree more with “Two salary tiers for legislators.” Consider that after our state Assembly and state senators have been re-elected, many are looking to pass legislation in a lame-duck session, which will give them a future salary increase.
The 2014 state Legislature session calendar covered a six-month period from Jan. 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014. There were 129 available weekdays. After subtracting New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day and Memorial Day, most ordinary New Yorkers worked 125 days. The Legislature was in session only 62 days. Not bad for a part-time job. Many members find the time to hold down second jobs paying even more.
Most members in the majority Democratic state Assembly and Republican state Senate-Independent Democrat coalition supplemented their base pay of $79,000 with lulus for chairing dozens of useless committees and subcommittees. These run up to $41,500, for a salary of $121,000 per year. This is supplemented by day-to-day meal expense accounts and reimbursement for travel to and from Albany.
Nobody was drafted to run for public office. Everyone knew of the salary, perks of office and limited work requirements. Members of the state Legislature are lucky to have their part-time jobs! There are plenty of out-of-work New Yorkers who would be more than happy to replace them. They would gladly show up for work full-time, not constantly complain or ask for a salary increase.
More than three dozen community leaders and members of various organizations and civil rights groups gathered last Friday at the First Baptist Church of East Elmhurst to pray for those they said have been “betrayed by our criminal justice system.”
The move came in response to a Staten Island grand jury’s decision last week not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold death of Eric Garner. The man’s death triggered hundreds of protests nationwide, conversations about race relations and police use of excessive force.
A temporary, stop-gap measure to partially resurface deteriorating Depew Avenue in Litte Neck has been ordered by the Department of Transportation, following an inspection Monday with state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside).
Susan Seinfeld, district manager of Community Board 11, who participated in the inspection with the DOT, said Depew is an old thoroughfare without a base and the surface has deteriorated so much that the dirt underneath is encroaching on the street.
When a gunman shot Anastasia Massey just feet from her apartment, the four Massey children didn’t just lose a mother; they lost a baby sister as well.
The tragic deaths of the 27-year-old and, hours later, her newborn daughter — who, according to friends, would have been called Tru Melody — happened early on Thanksgiving eve.
The Queens Public Transit Committee is asking the people of Queens and the region to support the restoration of the Queens Rockaway Beach Line, the new Queens Crosstown. This unused transit corridor is only two to six blocks east and parallel to Woodhaven Boulevard, the most congested and dangerous roadway in Queens. Formerly a branch of the Long Island Railroad, its right-of-way remains largely intact and is owned by the City of New York.
State Assemblyman Philip Goldfeder; state Senator Tony Avella; U.S. Reps. Gregory Meeks, Hakeem Jeffries and Jerrold Nadler; City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, chairman of the Council Committee on Transportation; Assembly District Leaders Lew Simon and Geraldine Chapey; John Samuelsen, president of TWU Local 100; New York Daily News; The Wave; Queens Tribune; Queens Courier; and Times Newsweekly have all called for reactivating the line. In addition, Community Boards 5, 10 and 14 support restoration.
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.