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The Queens County Republican Party has endorsed Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) for re-election to the City Council. Holden now will appear on the ballot on the Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Save Our City lines.

“My priorities have always been the issues that unite most New Yorkers, like public safety, clean parks and quality education,” Holden said in a statement. “I’ve always thought of the people of the district as my party, because they’re who I serve.” Read more

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority now will be enlisting private developers in its effort to make more subway stops handicapped accessible with a zoning change approved by the City Council on Oct. 7.

The Zoning for Accessibility initiative expands the areas where the city can offer incentives to developers of large projects near subway stations who allow easements for elevators, ramps or other accommodations. Read more

Friday, October 15, 2021
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Transit advocates and elected officials are calling on the MTA to expand an existing discount ticket program on the Long Island Rail Road to every commuter rail station within New York City — an initiative that would have a considerable impact on Queens. 

The Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee rallied at the Woodside LIRR station on Wednesday morning to make that case to the MTA that lowering fares does not mean lower revenues. Read more

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Breon Peace, left, appointed U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York by President Biden, was sworn in Friday by U.S. Chief District Judge Margo Brodie in Brooklyn.

Peace had been a partner at the New York office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. He worked in the white collar defense and investigations and litigation groups. Read more

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Two weeks after paying a surprise visit to Rikers Island, Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) introduced a bill that would cap the shifts of correction officers at two back-to-back tours of duty.

Staffing problems, from injuries and AWOLs to the lack of new hires in the last two years, have led to guards on Rikers being forced to work 24 hours straight or more in order to fill all posts. Read more

After Hurricane Ida flooded large swathes of New York City and became the most recent climate event to expose its vulnerabilities, the City Council passed two pieces of legislation aimed at addressing climate change last Thursday.

One bill, sponsored by Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn), will require the city to identify and plan for climate change-related hazards. Another, sponsored by Councilmember Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), will tackle its carbon footprint by creating a fleet of electric buses. Read more

The westbound Union Turnpike to westbound Grand Central Parkway ramp is a new concept. The ramp from eastbound Jackie Robinson Parkway to eastbound GCP is a redesign, is carried on a new bridge structure, has standard lane and shoulder widths, which did not exist before, and eliminated a stop sign that had been at the bottom of the previous ramp.

The state Department of Transportation said approximately 600,000 drivers use the interchange daily, which causes extreme traffic. Read more

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Gov. Hochul signed a bill into law last Thursday that promotes the use of opioid antagonists to combat drug-related deaths and overdoses.

“Addiction can impact any family, suddenly and harshly — those who find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle are there through no fault of their own,” Hochul said in a statement. “This is a personal battle for me and I am proud to be able to combat the opioid crisis by signing these bills into law.” Read more

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Social Security and Supplemental Security Income payments will jump 5.9 percent in January, the government said Wednesday, the biggest increase in nearly 40 years.

The average retiree will see his or her monthly benefit go up $92, from $1,565 to $1,657, according to the Social Security Administration. The average older couple, both receiving benefits, will see a hike of $154, from $2,599 to $2,753. And the average disabled worker will see an increase of $76, from $1,282 to $1,358. Read more

The NYPD and the Office of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz will host a gun buyback event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6 at First Baptist Church in East Elmhurst.

Participants can receive a $200 pre-paid gift card for turning in any operable handgun or assault rifle with no questions asked; and a $25 card for other rifles, shotguns and air guns. Read more

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is temporarily ceasing preparatory work on the controversial $2.1 billion LaGuardia Airport AirTrain project.

“At Governor Hochul’s request, the Port Authority is undertaking a thorough review of potential alternative mass transit options to LaGuardia Airport,” the agency said in a press release Tuesday afternoon. “The agency will work in close consultation with independent experts and stakeholders, and will complete its work as expeditiously as possible, consistent with the need for the review to be thorough and rigorous. During the review, the Port Authority will pause further action with respect to the LaGuardia AirTrain project.” Read more

Monday, October 11, 2021
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The NYPD is seeking the public’s help in  locating two men who committed a street robbery in Rego Park on Oct. 1.

Police in the 112th Precinct said the incident took place at about 3:15 a.m. at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and 63rd Drive when the victim was approached by two men. One placed a hard object against the victim’s body and demanded his property. The pair then took an iPhone, AirPods and a fanny pack. They fled into the subway station at 63rd Drive in Rego Park — both caught on video avoiding the fare. Read more

Thursday, October 07, 2021
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Just prior to a well-publicized outdoor press conference on Monday featuring opponents of the LaGuardia AirTrain, Gov. Hochul announced that she directed the Port Authority to examine alternatives that get more people to and from the airport while also getting them out of their cars and onto mass transit.

But many of the participants were just as interested in what Hochul’s statement did not say as what it did. Read more

City Correction Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi on Oct. 1 vowed to a state oversight committee that the highly publicized troubles on Rikers Island are being addressed.

The commissioner, accompanied by First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan and others, said the city has corrected many of the poor conditions listed by a federal monitor and seen firsthand during an unannounced visit by members of the City Council. Read more

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A Covid-19 vaccination mandate went into effect on Monday for New York City public school teachers and staff, leaving some Queens schools to fill the vacancies left by those who refused the shot.

“Unfortunately, we have teachers that are adamant about not getting the vaccine,” said Phil Wong, president of the Community Education Council 24. Read more