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Following public commentary and a lengthy discussion among board members at their monthly meeting on Nov. 13, Community Board 8 voted 17-14 to approve a change in zoning that would allow a developer to build a four-story residential building on Union Turnpike near Parsons Boulevard.
The affirmative vote appeared to reflect concern by board members that without the rezoning, a 10-story pyramid-shaped structure for medical offices could be built at the site.
In response to a request for traffic calming measures on Cherry Avenue and Main Street in Flushing, which was the site on Oct. 3 of the tragic death of Allison Liao, 3, the city Department of Transportation has agreed to enhance safety there.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows), state Sen. Toby Stavisky, (D-Whitestone) and Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) sent a letter to Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan requesting a comprehensive traffic safety review of the area.
A state appellate court has upheld a lower court ruling that will allow yellow medallion axis to accept so-called “e-hails” from electronic applications, or apps, as part of a pilot program.
The program has been challenged by parties in the black car livery industry on a number of grounds, including that the Taxi and Limousine Commission had exceeded its authority in authorizing the pilot program.
Although the apple-green outer-borough taxis have been roaming the streets for several months now, some Queens residents are still confused about how the program works and are concerned about its implementation.
Erica Leyva, an external affairs analyst for the Taxi and Limousine Commission, explained the plan to members of Community Board 6 at its meeting last Wednesday night and assured them that she would relay their concerns to the commissioner.
On Saturday, 19-year-old Luis Bravo was walking eastbound on Broadway when he was struck by a dark-colored sedan at the 58th Street intersection in Woodside.
The driver, traveling southbound subsequently fled the scene, leaving Bravo to die on the concrete until police and EMS responded and transported him to Elmhurst Hospital.
At 7:48 a.m. last Thursday at the corner of 71st Street and Grand Avenue, a Honda Pilot barreled into five students on their way to school, IS 73.
The driver, 40-year-old Francis Lu, was attempting to parallel park his car but as the SUV swept into the space, he stepped on the gas instead of the brake just as Angie Pena and her two friends walked by.
NYPD eyes Syria as strike threat grows, Jewish holidays near
The city Department of Transportation is looking at a request for pedestrian plazas in Ozone Park along the Queens-Brooklyn border and some community members are wondering where the support is for them in our borough.
I write to support overriding the mayor’s veto of two important pieces of legislation important to our community and city — the bills known as the Community Safety Act. I joined a rally of concerned Council members, justice advocates and residents July 18 to make clear my support and help push back against the tremendous pressure being put on courageous Council members who put their constituents, justice and public safety first.
When race or ethnicity is the determining factor to question or arrest an individual, society sends the wrong message. In knocking on thousands of doors in, and campaigning throughout, Council District 27, covering all or part of Addisleigh Park, Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, Queens Village and St. Albans, I found that young people of color made clear the devastating impact that profiling inflicts on them. The practice should be illegal.
No New Yorker should be singled out because of his or her ethnicity; these bad contacts only widen the divide of distrust between police and the communities they serve. The then-New York attorney general’s 2001 report confirmed that the NYPD applied “stop and frisk” tactics more ag
gressively and broadly to African Americans and Latinos than to whites.
The police commissioner must be held accountable to the law’s reporting requirements and its ban on profiling.
As a community and labor activist, president of Amalgamated Transportation Union Local No. 1056, which represents drivers and mechanics who work for MTA New York City Transit’s Queens Bus Division, co-chairman of the MTA Labor Coalition of 29 unions and more than 60,000 workers, and a longtime southeast Queens resident, who has worked with our community’s young people including as a co-founder of Brothers Unlimited, which assists families in need, and as a mentor with United Black Men of Queens and Life Camp, I know our community needs this reform.
That’s why I support the Community Safety Act and advocate overriding the mayor’s veto.
The writer is a candidate for City Council in the 27th District.
Plans are in the works for a state-of-the-art research and learning center dedicated to the environment and sustainability, and the city says the Rockaways will likely play host to the institution.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan announced the creation of the new Science and Resilience Institute, which will be operated by the City University of New York, at Riis Landing in the Rockaways on Monday morning at a press conference with Mayor Bloomberg, National Parks Director Jonathan Jarvis, City Parks Commissioner Veronica White, Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica), Acting CUNY Chancellor Bill Kelly and Peter Madonia, chief operating officer of the Rockefeller Foundation, who will be providing some of the funding for the new institution.
Plans for the reconstruction of the Rockaway Beach boardwalk, destroyed in Hurricane Sandy, will be out in September, Parks Commissioner Veronica White said Monday,
“We’ve hosted several meetings out in the communities in the various parts of the Rockaways to discuss what we need going forward, and what the community has made clear to us and what the mayor has made clear to me is that we rebuild the boardwalk,” White said at a press conference at Riis Landing to announce CUNY’s planned institute at Jamaica Bay. “In addition we will build some kind of protection for the communities while we do that. We will be coming back to the community with the design in September, discussing that in the fall and hoping for construction to start on the new boardwalk by the end of the year.”
City Parks Commissioner Veronica White, left, National Parks Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, Mayor Bloomberg, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Rep. Greg Meeks at Monday’s announcement of CUNY’s new Science and Research Institute to be built near Jamaica Bay.
A legislative package related to the city’s response to Hurricane Sandy, which sailed through the City Council last week, seeks to fix a number of issues that came up since the storm from adequate supplies at city shelters to tax assessments of damaged properties.
A dozen pieces of legislation were approved by the Council on July 24 and sent to Mayor Bloomberg’s desk. They stemmed from months of testimony from Sandy survivors, responders and those involved in the recovery efforts on how to better prepare and recover from an emergency like Sandy in the future.
Lawmakers call for hearing on NYPD IG, stop-and-frisk bills
Frequent collisions and speeding cars are a fact of life in the Dutch Kills neighborhood of Long Island City, but now that there is more pedestrian traffic with hotels and businesses popping up in the former industrial area, residents and politicians want that to change.
State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) called on the Department of Transportation to “implement a traffic plan that makes sense in a growing neighborhood,” at a press conference on July 18.
The NYPD will soon begin installing 57 new surveillance cameras around Queens, eyes in the sky that will be paid for with $2 million in capital money allocated by Borough President Helen Marshall.
In a statement issued by her office, Marshall said that since the money was allocated in her 2013 budget, the NYPD has been conducting rigorous studies of data in order to place them where they will do the most good for law enforcement.
The bridge in Murray Hill located at 149th Street between Roosevelt and 41st avenues is still blocked off, and local politicans are still looking for answers.
In 2010 the bridge above the LIRR tracks closed for construction funded by taxpayers’ money. After delays, the bridge appeared to be finished in May 2012, but a city DOT inspection found cracks on the bridge making it unsafe to carry vehicles.
Touting the success of its pilot car-booting program, the city announced last week that it will go citywide by the end of July.
The pilot program, which began in Brooklyn last June, has resulted in 4,200 cars booted and the collection of $55 million in fees and fines, according to New York Department of Finance Commissioner David Frankel.
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) is running for borough president as the most “accessible” advocate for Queens with experience in both the business and public service worlds.
“We all bring government service backgrounds to this position — thank God I don’t have any Albany experience — but what I bring that no one else does are two things: I was a small business person for 10 years before I was elected ... and the second thing is a background of keeping people safe,” Vallone, who is term-limited out of the City Council this year, said during a sitdown interview with the Queens Chronicle editorial staff last week.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) Friday blasted the city’s Department of Environmental Protection for what they saw as a lackluster response to chronic flooding in Fresh Meadows and similar neighborhoods all across the city.
“This is a decades-old problem in neighborhoods like Fresh Meadows. But after the wake-up call Sandy delivered, there’s just no excuse for inaction. We need a water system that matches the extreme weather we face, and policies that treat homeowners fairly when their homes are damaged through no fault of their own,” de Blasio said during a rainy press conference, ironically adding “We can’t keep leaving families high and dry.”
The Malba Gardens Civic Association is worried the city’s Department of Transportation may have forgotten a promise to study traffic conditions in the area after former Queens DOT commissioner Maura McCarthy’s departure.
Two years ago, the civic asked Fifth Avenue be converted to a west-bound one-way street from 150th Street to the Whitestone Expressway Service Road. A DOT survey found 107 cars traveled down the street per hour, with a third of them speeding. Most were drivers who got off at the final exit before the Whitestone Bridge, after accidentally getting snagged onto the approach for the span.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio minces no words when asked why he is running for mayor and why he feels he is the best choice for the Democratic nomination.
“I am fundamentally dissatisfied with things in the city,” he said last week at a meeting with the editorial board of the Queens Chronicle.
Elected officials and community leaders are looking to make Forest Park safer and they may have found their answer: horses.
“Installing permanent stables for police horses would be a great thing for the park,” J. Richard Smith, secretary of the 102nd Precinct Community Council, said. “We just need the funding for it which is going to be tough.”
The chance for improvements at the corner of Horace Harding Expressway and Junction Boulevard seem bleak.
The Friends of LeFrak Library, the Parent Teacher Organization at PS 206 two blocks away and state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) have been asking for a crossing guard there for years. But the NYPD said it is a secondary location to the guard stationed at 99th Street and even though the funding is there the department doesn’t have enough employed crossing guards to dispatch.