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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.
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.
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.
More than 200 people gathered on the steps of Borough Hall on Monday as political and civic leaders embraced Israel’s cause during this latest round of rocket attacks.
The rally was organized by the Queens Jewish Community Council, and drew numerous elected officials from city and state government.
Geraldine Ferraro’s place in American history has been secured for nearly three decades.
And on Sunday, the city renamed a patch of Forest Hills where she walked with her husband, shopped and chatted with her neighbors for 37 years in her honor and loving memory.
They came from fields that include business, economics, biology and aviation safety.
And all but one said the North Shore Marine Transfer Station now under construction in College Point is a disaster waiting to happen at the foot of one of the busiest commercial runways in the world.
Government agencies and opponents of a solid waste transfer station in College Point have been invited to a town hall meeting tonight, Sept. 20, at the Flushing Branch of the Queens Library.
The meeting is being sponsored by Assembly members Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and Michael Simanowitz (D-Flushing) and state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Whitestone).
Six-time incumbent State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) pulled ahead in last night's Democratic primary.
Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) told supporters he has won the primary to retain his seat, beating challenger Etienne David Adorno. Miller's campaign staff said Miller took 71 percent of the vote to Adorno's 29 percent, citing unofficial Board of Elections figures.
As expected following this year's redrawing of state legislative districts and the Board of Elections' admission that it directed thousands of people in Queens to the wrong polling places, a number of voters were unpleasantly surprised when going to cast their ballots in Thursday's primaries.
On a blustery Monday afternoon, Democratic Assembly hopeful Ron Kim and state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Whitestone), along with members of the 1199SEIU labor union, held a press conference to discuss Queen’s hospital closings.
“We’re here for a very simple reason,” Kim said, in front of Flushing Hospital Medical Center. “We want to make sure that our hospitals stay open.”
“FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal to state.”
The phrase is taken directly from bill S7204, sponsored by state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, which would require the Board of Elections in Queens to provide written ballots, voting instructions and voting mailers in Bengali, Punjabi and Hindi, three South Asian languages spoken by an increasing number of borough citizens who are eligible to vote.
State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, at the microphone, and Assemblyman David Weprin, fourth from right, have introduced bills that would make language assistance at polling places available for speakers of three major South Asian languages.
Two Queens legislators have introduced bills that would assist immigrants from southern Asia on Election Day.
Companion bills by state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Whitestone) and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) would require the Queens Board of Elections to offer written language assistance in Bengali, Punjabi and Hindi. If passed in Albany, the rules would apply to ballots, polling place signs, voter mailings and information on the board’s website.
Two Queens legislators are looking to protect illegal immigrants trapped in domestic violence situations in the event federal protections for them expire in June.
State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) plan to introduce companion bills that would safeguard the confidentiality of the victims who seek the protection of police and the courts.
The State Senate has adopted a measure sponsored by Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) that the senator said will bring the state into the 21st Century while saving nearly $600,000 per year.
The bill would allow state employees who receive direct deposit to get electronic rather than paper pay stubs.
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, left, and Assemblywoman Grace Meng cheered State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky as she announced her re-election campaign last week.
State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) may no longer live in the reconfigured 16th Senate District, but her decision to seek the Democratic nomination there could make a lot of electoral sense.
More than 100 supporters and elected Democratic officials were on hand outside the Queens Library’s Flushing Main Street branch last Friday. And while state regulations would force the senator to move her residence should she win in November, she and the gathered community leaders were completely at home with each other.
More older Americans nationwide are choosing to remain part of the workforce than they were a decade ago, according to data by the National Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whether the reason is financial necessity or personal satisfaction, one thing is certain, workers are going gray.
In March 2002, there were 59,651 civilian workers over the age of 55, according to NBLS data, compared to 79,520 for the same time this year — that’s a 33.3 percent increase.
State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) will not run against state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), and instead will announce her campaign for the 16th Senate District on Friday, according to an announcement sent from her camp on Tuesday.
A pair of audit reports issued by Comptroller John Liu last week led to scathing attacks on the Department of Finance by elected officials in Queens who had asked Liu to probe the process by which DOF reassessed condominium and co-op tax assessments in 2011.
Speaking on April 13 at the Cryder Point condominium complex in Beechhurst, Liu said DOF still has not completely answered to his satisfaction just how it arrived at preliminary assessment increases that often topped 100 percent.
“Save Our Beacon! Save Our Beacon! Save Our Beacon!”
The chant could be heard loud and clear around the block as hundreds of concerned parents and brokenhearted children crowded into the courtyard of JHS 190 in Forest Hills on Tuesday afternoon in protest of the scheduled closure of the school’s Queens Community House Beacon Program.
Elizabeth Crowley said it was not by accident that she chose the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park as the backdrop for the rally announcing the formal start of her campaign for Congress.
“This was built as a symbol of our country’s diversity and strength,” Crowley said.
In order to better ensure child safety, the state Senate unanimously passed a bill on Feb. 29 that would make it illegal for parents or guardians to leave children under the age of 8 alone in a motor vehicle. Multiple infractions would constitute a misdemeanor.
The bill applies to any person legally charged with care of a child and states that they cannot be left alone or with anyone under the age of 12, “under conditions which would knowingly or recklessly present a significant risk to the health or safety of the child.”
The state’s largest public employees’ union has struck back against Albany legislators in the wake of new pension rules adopted last week, and Senate Democrats— who left the chamber long before a vote was taken — are examining options of their own.
The so-called Tier VI plan, championed by Gov. Cuomo, will reduce some benefits and increase costs for future hires. All current employees will keep their current benefits. He said it will save the state and municipalities $80 billion over the next 30 years.