Two weeks after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Capital Program Review Board rejected the agency’s five-year budget proposal, three Queens elected officials are pressing for one of the program’s smaller items to make it into the final draft of the financial plan.
In a letter dated Tuesday, Reps. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) and City Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) urged New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner and MTA Capital Program Review Board Chairwoman Joan McDonald to approve a $40 million proposal to reopen a Long Island Rail Road stop in Elmhurst.
It’s deja vu all over again in Queens as six additional emergency family shelters are likely to be placed here.
Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) said he was told by the Department of Homeless Services that it is now reviewing a site for one in Bayside.
(An open letter to writer Joyce Shepard)
In response to your letter to the editor, I would just like to be sure I understand your position, as you feel the residents of Glendale and Middle Village are narrow-minded bigots because they oppose a placing homeless families in a large warehouse shelter at the site of an old factory, in the midst of a brownfield, adjacent to a chemical plant and freight railroad, in an area severely underserved by public transportation, and within the most overcrowded school district in New York City.
Aside from your opinion that this ill-conceived plan to place a shelter at this particular location should be incontrovertibly accepted by the community, I suppose you have done your research and have concluded that NYC, the Department of Homeless Services and their contracted service providers are
actually effectively and efficiently assisting the homeless. So, I guess it is safe to say that you are for large-scale shelters operated by “not for profits” that receive 99.9 percent of their funding from government sources and private property owners who receive well above market-rate rents via our tax dollars, while the homeless are underserved and not transitioned to permanent or supportive housing in a timely manner?
You are for spending over $3,600 a month to house one family for one month, when perhaps they just need a rent subsidy? You are for a system that awards cronyism, as many of these shelters are run by former high-ranking officials in the New York City Housing Authority and DHS, who set policies to privatize shelter operations? You are for a system that continues to award multi-million dollar contracts to shelter providers cited in audits as misappropriating millions in taxpayer funds? You are for shelter operators and landlords who fail to pay water and sewer charges? You are for shelter operators and landlords who harass market-rate tenants out of apartments, which reduces the housing stock further, adding to the housing crisis, so that they can get lucrative homeless shelter contracts? You are for landlords and shelter operators who evict homeless in their shelters because the city wants to reduce the exorbitant amount paid per rundown apartment by a mere 10 percent? Need I go on? I am glad I now understand your position.
The system is not working and needs to be changed. Do your research before you attack a community of hardworking, compassionate people.
LaGuardia Airport may not stay in the third world after all.
On Monday, Vice President Joe Biden and Gov. Cuomo unveiled a state plan to modernize and revitalize LaGuardia, JFK, Republic and Stewart airports.
A nondescript house on what shall remain a nameless street in Flushing is nurturing families struck by domestic violence.
Rainbow House was founded by a Korean pastor, the Rev. Keumhyan Yeu, and merged with the Korean American Family Service Center in January “because we saw a greater need of providing a culturally sensitive shelter,” said Grace Yoon, executive director.
New York City taxpayers paid more than $92,200 for each of the 11,408 inmates at Rikers Island between July 2013 and June 2014 — double the amount spent per inmates in Los Angeles, which has the country’s largest prison population at 18,710.
These findings were highlighted in a report released last week by city Comptroller Scott Stringer. The audit found that the city spent a record $1.1 billion dollars for the 2014 fiscal year, even though the inmate population has declined by 18 percent since 2007.
“Elaine Hajian: The Evolution of an Artist,” Queens Botanical Garden, Visitor & Administration Building, 43-50 Main St., Flushing, admission included with entry ($4 adults, $3 seniors, $2 students/children 3-12). Contact: (718) 886-3800, queensbotanical.org.
New York City has begun its preparations for any eventual brush with Ebola patients.
Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton on Tuesday met at the White House with Lisa Monaco, assistant to President Obama for Homeland Security and counterterrorism, and also with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
In July, the state Department of Environmental Conservation issued an emergency 30-day permit to Omni Recycling, requiring all trains carrying municipal solid waste from Long Island be properly sealed and environmental monitors be present along the tracks, including at Fresh Pond Rail Yard in Glendale, among other improvements.
Now, numerous area elected officials are calling for such provisions to prevent the escape of pungent odors often given off by MSW into neighborhoods surrounding the tracks to become permanent.
This Sunday, more than 700 teams and 3,000 participants are expected to attend the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The 3-mile-long walk, beginning at the Unisphere and the Fountain of the Planets, raises money for breast cancer research. It will take place rain or shine.
The Queens version of the High Line may actually happen after all.
The plan to turn the abandoned Rockaway Beach rail line into a linear park has a detailed proposal. A piece of it, in the northern end of the former Long Island Rail Road route, could even be built within the next year.
Just weeks after the City Council passed the Justice for Hit-and-Run Victims Act, sponsored by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), a young man was critically injured by a driver who fled the scene in Woodside and the community is looking for justice.
“The days of Queens Boulevard being the ‘Boulevard of Death’ will no longer be tolerated,” Van Bramer said in a written statement. “Together with the NYPD and the community, we are sending a message directly to the driver who left a man clinging to his life, as well as all reckless drivers in the City of New York. We will track you down and punish you to the fullest extent of the law for your actions.”
Worn, damaged stairs and platform edges, broken tiles, lights and peeling paint on walls are some of the problems that plague numerous subway stations in Queens, with the city’s effort to combat the problem lagging.
The problems were highlighted in a report published last week by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. He stated that New York City Transit does not make it a top priority to maintain the subway stations after they are renovated.
Mass transit advocates are praising this week’s vote by the City Council that could grant tax breaks to about 450,000 New Yorkers who ride mass transit to and from work.
The legislation, introduced by Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan), will, if signed by Mayor de Blasio, require all companies with 20 or more workers to offer them the opportunity to set aside up to $130 per month for mass transit costs.
Queens Congressional representatives have joined with colleagues from Long Island and five other states to form a new Quiet Skies Caucus with the aim of combating aircraft noise in neighborhoods near major airports.
Formation of the group was announced locally in a joint statement issued on Oct. 1 by U.S. Reps. Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens), Joe Crowley (D-Queens, Bronx) and Grace Meng (D-Flushing), along with Carolyn McCarthy (D-Nassau).
Borough President Melinda Katz is not on the Aqueduct soccer stadium bandwagon — at least not yet.
At Community Board 10 last Thursday in South Ozone Park, Katz said she “likes the idea” of a Major League Soccer stadium in Queens, but had “deep reservations” about siting it at Aqueduct, which she said is not easily accessible from other parts of the city.
A Long Island Rail Road locomotive derailed in Maspeth on Tuesday evening, sending gallons of diesel fuel spilling out of the tipped engine.
The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. about a mile west of the Fresh Pond Rail Yard, near the intersection of Eliot Avenue and 60th Lane.
A Queens man was sentenced to pay state taxes he owed for purchasing 15,600 liters of untaxed liquor from the Fort Hamilton Army base in Brooklyn and reselling most of it to a Long Island City store.
Moniram Barran, of South Ozone Park, appeared before a Queens County Supreme Court on Sept. 30 and was ordered to pay the state $76,218 in personal income tax, $30,810 in alcoholic beverage tax, and $27,882 in sales and use tax, for a tax total of $134,910.
A major Queens institution celebrated its 120th birthday last Saturday, but hardly anyone noticed. That fact, along with the possible fate of said institution, is a shame.
We’re talking about The Big A, Aqueduct Race Track. Today the only racecourse in New York City, Aqueduct opened on Sept. 27, 1894 and has had a storied history ever since.
With some 75 area residents in attendance, the Queensboro Hill Flushing Civic Association held its first meeting of the season on Tuesday night at St. Ann Church in Flushing, raising a multitude of issues ranging from airplane noise to idling vehicles.
One of the evening’s guest speakers, Helen Ho, Mayor de Blasio’s Queens community affairs chief, kicked off the meeting with an explanation of the city’s new municipal ID cards, which she said would start being issued in January and be available to anyone 14 years of age and older.
Absent a last-minute extension, the emergency suspension of alternate-side-of-the-street parking around the Queens Supreme Courthouse in Kew Gardens will end on Monday morning, giving residents and businesses the first full taste of life without the condemned Borough Hall parking garage.
The garage, where the city’s Department of Transportation had about 400 spaces used by people going to the court house and Borough Hall, was shut down last week, about seven months after published sources claimed the city determined it to be unsafe.