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The late park advocate and Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy founder Pat Dolan was honored with a trail named in her honor, with state Sen. Toby Stavisky, left, Borough President Helen Marshall, Rep. Grace Meng, friend Norma Stegmaier and Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz attending on Sunday.
Elected officials and activists gathered on Sunday at the entrance to Willow Lake to honor late greenspace champion and Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy founder Pat Dolan, renaming the trail leading through the wetland in the her honor.
Dolan was the president and creator of the conservancy that bears the park’s name, and a tireless champion of the lake and its many inhabitants.
In 2009, civic leader Pat Dolan asked state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) to meet her in front of the Kew Gardens Hills Library on a Saturday at noon.
Upon arrival, the senator saw a line of local residents waiting to get into the library that snaked around the building.
Lawmakers, city officials and Queens activists cut the ribbon for a new comfort station at the Rachel Carson Playground located in the Kissena Corridor Park on Colden Street between Juniper and Geranium Avenues, in Flushing.
The $1 million comfort station was funded by the City Council. It features sustainable design techniques to make the building energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers are learning from the gas shortage caused by Hurricane Sandy and moving forward with preventative measures.
The recently passed 2013-14 budget includes a funded mandate for gas stations to be pre-wired or equipped with backup emergency generators.
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), along with community members and other elected officials met at the 71st-Continental Avenue subway stop Tuesday to rally together and raise awareness of the sexual assaults in Forest Park and Elmhurst — but the crowd received some good news at the last minute.
“We were originally going to meet today to ask the people of Queens County to help us in the search of a man wanted for attempted rape,” Quinn said as she held up a sketch of the perpetrator. “But the great news is the perpetrator who attacked a woman in park not too far from here has been captured.”
The power of the local press was on full display in the tight 2009 City Council race between Democratic nominee Kevin Kim and Republican Dan Halloran.
Halloran did not allow Multi-Media’s role in the race to go unnoticed. In September 2009, the Tribune ran a story originally headlined “Democratic Victor vs. Pagan Lord” that detailed Halloran’s unconventional religious practices.
The state Assembly voted 101-44 to hike the state minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour — a move that Queens lawmakers support as way to help working families get above the poverty line — but whether the increase will pass the Senate and be approved by Gov. Cuomo is an open question.
The bill that passed would also allow for automatic increases tied to the rate of inflation.
Flushing lawmakers have again called upon the city to make the Asian Lunar New Year a school holiday, citing a high absence rate that counts on students’ records.
Congresswoman Grace Meng, state Sen. Toby Stavisky, Assemblyman Ron Kim and Councilman Peter Koo, all Flushing democrats, were joined by Chinatown state Sen. Dan Squadron (D-Manhattan) to ask the absences during the annual celebration not be counted.
While any hope for No. 7 train service during Flushing’s Lunar New Year festivities is lost, elected officials and members of the business community are already fighting for more service in 2014.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Flushing leaders have been at odds over the 7 line’s truncated service as it undergoes signal upgrades in the Steinway tunnel. The piecemeal work has been ongoing during the winter months, when the MTA says demand is lower than during the U.S. Open and baseball’s peak from spring through the fall.
The most recent battle over a tax abatement for co-ops and condos is over, as the state Legislature passed a bill that would retroactively instate the tax break and extend it for three more years. But a bigger resolution ending the seemingly perpetual renewal of a temporary fix remains on the horizon.
The measure, authored by state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside), will raise the tax abatement from 17.5 percent, retroactively effective to June 30, 2012, to 25 percent in 2013 and 28 percent in 2015 for properties with an assessed value below $50,000 (equivalent to a market value of about $500,000). The bill also ends the abatement for property owners who use their co-op or condo as a revenue-generating rental property or an investment, and not their primary residence.
The field for the 24th Council District has grown by one, as millionaire and former Queens College professor Isaac Sasson entered the race to replace term-limited incumbent James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows).
If the 72-year-old marathon runner’s name rings a bell, it’s because his name has been on the ballot several times already. In 2003, he ran for the 20th District Council seat against John Liu, and he opposed state. Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) in 2009.
New York lawmakers this week overwhelmingly passed the NY SAFE Act, a set of bills that ban certain assault weapons, require stricter licensing and background checks, limit bullet purchases and restrict the mentally ill from obtaining guns.
The stringent laws are the nation’s first set of gun control bills approved since the Newtown, Conn., shooting, where 20 children and seven adults were murdered in the nation’s second largest school shooting.
Flushing lawmakers are asking the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to spare them any future fighting over service disruptions to the No. 7 train during the Lunar New Year. But they don’t like what they’re hearing.
Business owners, elected officials and organizers of Flushing’s annual Lunar New Year extravaganza are upset the MTA plans to truncate No. 7 train service during the event, despite numerous pleas to let the train run its full route at least during the weekends of Feb. 10 and 16.
Earlier this month, New York City lost one of its most respected and effective schools chancellors when Frank Macchiarola passed away. His service as chancellor coincided with the period of my husband Leonard’s service as Chairman of the Assembly Education Committee.
Dr. Macchiarola’s academic credentials were impeccable — his law degree and Ph.D. were from Columbia University and membership in the Thomas Jefferson Club, a powerful Brooklyn political organization.
As a result, he understood the theoretical and how to get results. He combined intellect with street smarts, imposing rigorous standards, stopping automatic social promotion and restoring respect in the classroom. He was a friendly, warm person who somehow remembered that my son was attending PS 193 and always asked for him.
Shortly after I was elected, there was a vacancy for chancellor and I saw Frank at an event. I, along with many others, tried to convince him to return as chancellor. He declined and it was the city’s loss.
For many Queens residents, 2012 will be forever married to Superstorm Sandy and the havoc she wrought. For good or ill, North Queens was spared the brunt of the storm.
A sizeable number of downed trees and power outages hit the area, but most counted their luck. Compared to the borough’s southern edge, Sandy was forgiving to Flushing and its satellite neighborhoods.
Take your big-ticket 2012 headlines about superstorms and elections and throw them out the window for a moment. Sure, the year was filled with its fair share of natural and political change. But scratch a little deeper and you’ll find 2012 was the year residents felt divorced from their government, when city agencies were called out for dubious practices.
The year was pockmarked with calls for transparency and fair representation. In short, there was often a gulf between government’s practices and voters’ desires.
Queens politics in 2012 brought new districts, a historic election in the 6th Congressional District and enough cloak-and-dagger intrigue to fill a Robert Ludlum novel.
But when Hurricane Sandy struck in October, killing 12 people in Queens and more than 40 in the city, devastating the Rockaways, Howard Beach, lower Manhattan and Staten Island, the people of central Queens, who were largely spared the storm’s wrath, rallied to the cause of those worst hit.
State Sen. Toby Stavisky, left, Councilman Peter Koo and Flushing Business Improvement District Executive Director Dian Yu joined local small business owners and elected officials in demanding the 7 train run during Flushing’s Lunar New Year celebration.
When Grace Meng is sworn into Congress in January, she will become New York’s first Asian-American politician on Capitol Hill.
Meng’s political rise — from representing Flushing in the state Assembly all the way to Washington, D.C. as a member of Congress — is the latest example of an emerging Asian-American political base spawned in Queens during the last decade.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority plans to cut service along portions of the No. 7 line during Flushing’s annual Lunar New Year celebration, leaving local businesses and elected officials promising to fight for full service the weekends of Feb. 10 and 16.
The MTA plans to shut down the 7 during selected weekends for ongoing signal upgrades along the line’s Steinway tunnel, only running the train from Main Street to Queensboro Plaza from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday to 5 a.m. on Monday.
Major League Soccer on Tuesday evening held a town hall discussion in Queens Theatre in the Park aimed at reaching out to the community and airing thoughts surrounding its proposed 25,000-seat stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
A town hall meeting that featured Argentinian soccer broadcaster Fernando Fiore riling up the crowd and leading chants of “Futbol en Queens.”
Parents call it the “Jewel of Bayside,” or perhaps more specifically, it’s a sapphire.
The pale brick building on the east side of Springfield Boulevard, blends in with the college and high school it sits adjacent to, but inside the structure is an institution of learning that has gotten the attention of education officials right up to those in Washington, DC, who awarded it a prestigious honor this year.
A legislative snafu has some co-op and condo owners up in arms, decrying the prospect of increased property taxes if the state legislature does not reconvene before January. Others are seeking to cool tempers, taking Gov. Cuomo at his word when his office promised a property tax abatement will be at the top of the agenda when lawmakers return to Albany in January. Blame Hurricane Sandy.
At the heart of the kerfuffle is a property tax abatement for co-ops and condos, which expired on June 30. The lost tax break could cost some $1,200 per unit, a figure many say would break the backs of owners already on a tight budget.
State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), left, Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and Congresswoman-elect Grace Meng encouraged kids and parents to support local businesses.