The case of United States of America v. Sheldon Silver speaks not only to the alleged corruption of one of the most powerful political figures in the State of New York but also the urgent need to truly reform a political system that again and again shows itself to be easily turned into a money-making machine for elected officials.
Silver is accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks over the years in exchange for steering business to a pair of law firms, one of them Weitz and Luxenberg, with which he was openly affiliated. He was arrested last week and charged in a five-count federal complaint that prosecutor Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said will lead to an indictment.
For months, the debate has been whether to put parkland or a train on the old Rockaway Beach rail tracks.
But state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) has a different idea: Do nothing.
2014 began with tragedies in Western Queens. From the death of a 7-year-old to the discovery of Avonte Oquendo’s remains, it was a difficult winter. But not all of 2014 was bad. Many traffic-calming measures were installed throughout the borough to make Queens streets safer and a huge chunk of affordable housing was set aside in the Astoria Cove project. Here’s a look back at the top stories from the past 12 months.
The year started out with the installation of two new city councilmen — Paul Vallone of Bayside and Rory Lancman of Fresh Meadows. Vallone replaced Dan Halloran, who did not seek re-election following his indictment on federal bribery charges. Lancman replaced Jim Gennaro, who was term-limited out of office.
Southeast Queens had a year with a new mayor and old problems with accusations of political corruption, and possibly lost ground in its fight to keep airplane noise under control.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Help is on the way for many residents still suffering from Superstorm Sandy.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau) announced on Monday that he is reintroducing legislation that would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to forgive the overpayment of emergency aid to victims of natural disasters, if they were given the funds due to a clerical error.
Many Queens lawmakers back President Obama’s executive order on undocumented immigrants, which says that many who have lived in the United States for at least five years without a criminal record can apply to legally work in the country and be protected from deportation. Up to five million may qualify.
Officials here largely said the move will not alleviate all the problems that exist in the nation’s “broken immigration system,” but is a “welcome step” that will move the country in the right direction.
Two days after the Republicans took control of both chambers in the United States Congress and the New York state Senate, York College hosted a post midterm election talk, which highlighted the implications it has on the nation going forward.
Bad messaging, focusing on the wrong issues and lack of communication are some of the reasons why the democrats lost a large number of their seats across the nation, even in deep-blue states, according Errol Louis, host of the NY1 News political program “Inside City Hall.”
The formal opening of a new apartment complex doesn’t often draw politicians, business and civic leaders to the ribbon cutting.
The developers of Norman Towers welcomed the public to a reception in their courtyard at 90-14 161 St. in Jamaica on Oct. 28.
At the 32nd annual legislative forum of the Queens Interagency Council on Aging, held Oct. 24 at Queens Borough Hall, it became clear that while strides are slowly being made toward an improved quality of life for seniors, much work remains to be done.
Perhaps the biggest coup since the last QICA forum was an increase in eligibility for SCRIE, the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption. Through the efforts of state and city lawmakers, the income level was raised from $29,000 to $50,000 per household.
With Election Day around the corner, residents across Queens are firing up to cast their votes Tuesday.
In the race for governor, incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo is challenged by Republican Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive.
Democratic state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli faces Republican Robert Antonacci, the Onondaga County comptroller.
Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is up against John Cahill, former chief of staff to Governor George Pataki.
As Election Day nears, state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) has once again nabbed an endorsement from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the largest union representing New York City police officers.
Addabbo, who is challenged by real estate attorney Michael Conigliaro in the 15th District, has always worked with police precincts and first responders.
If Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) is successful, Glendale will soon secede from neighboring Ridgewood, at least in the eyes of the United States Postal Service.
On Monday, the congresswoman introduced legislation calling for a new ZIP code for Glendale, which has shared Ridgewood’s 11385 since 1979.
Every 15 seconds, a woman in the United States is battered.
That adds up to more than 16,000 homicides and more than two million medically treated injuries due to intimate partner violence each year in this country.
When it comes to illegal immigration, our state and nation remain divided. On the one hand are those who want to quickly legalize most of the estimated 11 million undocumented people in the United States — about 500,000 of whom are living in New York City — and give them the rights citizens have, and on the other hand are those who want them all deported and a flood of personnel sent to the Mexican border to lock it down.
In between are the reasonable people, including us.
Congresswoman Grace Meng’s (D-Flushing) legislation that aims to stop scammed calls that trick people to obtain their personal and financial information was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The freshman Democrat introduced the bipartisan bill, Anti-Spoofing Act (H.R. 3670), after receiving complaints from seniors and the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET), a civic organization in her district.
Gov. Cuomo recently met with officials from New Jersey as well as the federal government to discuss pre-emptive security measures at mass transit sites in the New York City region.
Cuomo says the security upgrades are merely a precautionary measure given the recent increase in terrorist activity abroad.
There have been skepticisms and bipartisan disagreements on Capitol Hill, even among Queen’s congressional members, after President Obama’s congressional authorization for the country to train and arm the Syrian Free Army to combat the Islamic State militant group, ISIS.
Some lawmakers argued that the Muslim extremist group, who released videos of two American journalists they recently beheaded, poses an extremely high threat to the United States. Opponents like Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) said action has to be taken to degrade the terrorist group, but the country is repeating previous history in Middle Eastern conflicts when they armed rebels who later joined terrorist groups.
(NAPSI)—Recently, the price of gasoline reached a six-year high. Fortunately, there’s a way to handle that cost. You can use less gas—without reducing your driving. Making that possible is one of the more promising alternative energy sources, ethanol, which is blended with regular gas—a little in most cars and a lot in flex-fuel vehicles.