• August 26, 2019
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Queens Chronicle


No Holocaust revisionism

The number of hate crimes committed against Jews in the city nearly doubled in the first half of this year, with 110 incidents reported, compared to 58 in the first half of 2018. Those 110 anti-Semitic crimes made up more than half of all hat…

Safety: drivers’ responsibility
Posted: August 22, 2019

Many people today believe that motor vehicle collisions, whether with other cars or trucks, bicyclists, pedestrians or inanimate objects like buildings, should never be described as “accidents.” They should always be called “crashes” or something similar, because someone’s always at fault. There are no accidents, they say; there is “traffic violence.”

We disagree that no car crash should ever be called an accident. When recklessness or gross negligence leads to a collision, that’s one thing; we avoid the term in those instances. But some crashes are just accidents. Does anyone believe the man who ran over his wife at a gas station in Maspeth last Saturday did it on purpose? Of course not. A couple of mistakes, leaving the vehicle in gear and stepping on the wrong pedal in an attempt to stop it, led to that fatal tragedy. Our hearts go out to him.

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Paid time off not city’s call
Updated: August 22, 2019 - 11:53 am

Out on the presidential campaign trail, Mayor de Blasio is touting his proposal to require all businesses in the city with more than five employees to provide their workers with two weeks’ paid time off. It’s an idea he offered in his State of the City address back in January, and now it’s part of his campaign’s “Workers’ Bill of Rights.”

“We’re going to pass a law in New York this year, two weeks paid vacation for every working person,” de Blasio recently said on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

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Success students need space
Posted: August 15, 2019

Charter schools have, on the whole, proven to be highly successful in raising up children, especially minority students from difficult neighborhoods, getting them to academic heights many would not have reached in traditional schools.

Among the top-performing charters are the Success Academy schools headed by former Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz. The Success schools in Queens where students take the statewide tests in math and reading were ranked in the top 2 percent all state schools. In just one important metric, 70 percent of black students at the schools scored an advanced grade in math, compared to 11 percent and 15 percent, respectively, of those in traditional schools in the two districts where the Success academies are located. (Eighty-seven percent of Queens Success students are black or Hispanic; only 1 percent are white.)

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Some incremental gun law reform?
Updated: August 15, 2019 - 12:09 pm

We’ve been here so many times before, and there’s little reason to believe anything will change this time either. The country suffers a mass shooting — in this case two in less than one day, and another one a week before those — and nothing happens. The usual suspects send their thoughts and prayers, the usual suspects denigrate prayers and those who believe in them, and nothing is done to make it harder for sick people to commit massacres using high-powered rifles.

The only exception in recent years is the federal ban on bump stocks, the accessories that allow semiautomatic rifles, like the AR-15 and civilian versions of the AK-47, to mimic fully automatic fire. That was done in response to the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting that killed 58, wounded 422 with gunfire and injured 429 more as people fled. The ban took effect last March.

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Thursday 08/08/2019
More flood relief
Posted: August 08, 2019

Residents of one small part of Queens have reason to be glad this week as the city has finally addressed the continual presence of deep standing water on Edsall Avenue in Glendale. All it took were four new catch basins, 160 feet of new sewer lines and 676 feet of new curbing, $300,000 — and about 10 years of distress for the area.

An exponentially larger project remains ongoing in Southeast Queens, where flood conditions caused by a high water table and a halt to the city’s pumping of drinking water from the area have been terrible for decades. As of last March, $900 million out of a planned $1.7 billion had been spent on new storm drains, sewers and the like.

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Thursday 08/01/2019
Congratulations, Melinda!
Updated: August 08, 2019 - 12:05 pm

Thirty-five days after voters went to the polls to elect a new Queens district attorney, Borough President Melinda Katz was declared the winner on Monday by the Board of Elections. No citizen can ever say his or her ballot doesn’t count after sixty votes separated Ms. Katz and Tiffany Cabán, a margin of 0.000665 out of 90,142 votes.

Barring a judge overturning the recount challenge, Ms. Katz will have her work cut out for her once she assumes office January 1, 2020. Judging by her success as borough president, we have no doubt she will be up to the challenge.

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Cuomo signs important gun bills
Posted: August 01, 2019

Congratulations to the New York State Legislature and Gov. Cuomo for passing and signing new laws restricting guns.

One of the new laws bans bump stocks, the attachment used to turn a semi-automatic weapon into a rapid-fire machine gun used by Stephen Paddock in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that killed 58 people and wounded 422.

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Thursday 07/25/2019
Fix the infrastructure!
Updated: August 01, 2019 - 12:46 pm

A pattern develops every time we have a major weather event. Whether it’s subway delays, blackouts, flooding or other related storms, politicians follow the same protocol.

They go on TV, hold press conferences or send out releases expressing outrage at Con Ed, the MTA or other agencies. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio bashed Con Ed Monday with the mayor saying he was “extremely disappointed” and promised the city would investigate.

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Revenge porn bill finally law
Posted: July 25, 2019

At times, we have to scratch our heads in amazement why certain proposed laws aren’t passed immediately. A prime example is the “Revenge Porn” bill signed into law Tuesday by Gov Cuomo. The legislation defines revenge porn as the criminal act of unlawful dissemination or publication of an intimate image when done with the intent to cause harm to the emotional, financial or physical welfare of another person and when the image was taken with a reasonable expectation that the image would remain private.

This bill was first proposed by Bayside Assemblyman Ed Braunstein in 2014. Unfortunately, the Internet Association, a lobbying group that represents Google and other web companies, pressured the Republican-controlled state Senate to table the bill prior to the Democrats gaining control this session.

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Thursday 07/18/2019
Mr. Mayor – please give up!
Updated: July 25, 2019 - 11:41 am

W hile running for re-election in 1969 Mayor John Lindsay called being mayor of New York “the second toughest job in America.” Three years later in 1972, Lindsay launched a brief and unsuccessful bid for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination. He came in second place in the Arizona caucus and fifth place in the Florida primary.

After being accused of neglecting local problems including protestors from Forest Hills opposed to a low-income housing project in their neighborhood, Lindsay abandoned his presidential dreams.

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Utility bill is smart
Updated: July 18, 2019 - 12:40 pm

I magine having to pay the city thousands of dollars to repair water line damage that you didn’t cause.

Well, that’s what many homeowners on 188th Street in Fresh Meadows have had to go through. A probe commissioned by the city Department of Environmental Protection found that the pipe damage on the homeowners’ properties was caused by stray electric current from disconnected Verizon cables. The utility hasn’t admitted responsibility, but earlier this year it did offer to reimburse the homeowners for the repair costs, as long as they agreed to release it of all claims over the damage.

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Thursday 07/11/2019
Crime amazingly drops more
Updated: July 18, 2019 - 12:14 pm

It simply cannot be overstated: The reduction in violent crime in New York City over the last 30 years is the most amazing improvement in society in our lifetimes.

In 1990 the city saw 2,245 homicides. The number has been collapsing ever since. This year there have been 135 so far, putting us on track for 270 by year’s end. This would have been unthinkable even just a few years ago. It marks a 13.5 percent drop even from just last year, when there had been 156 up until this point.

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Every vote counts
Updated: July 12, 2019 - 10:03 am

The ongoing count in the race for Queens district attorney shows how fortuitous it was that primaries were moved up to June from September.

As of press time, only 16 votes separated the two leading candidates in the Democratic primary held June 25, with Borough President Melinda Katz in the lead over public defender Tiffany Cab·n. We back Katz, believing Cab·n’s policies would mark too radical a shift away from the law-and-order approach of late District Attorney Richard Brown.

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Wednesday 07/03/2019
A bipartisan bill addresses the crisis on the border
Updated: July 11, 2019 - 12:03 pm

To put it in the words of comedian Jeff Foxworthy, if you don’t think the immigration and border security bill Congress put forth last week is a good compromise, you just might be an extremist.

Conditions at the border with Mexico and within some of the facilities housing immigrants have been horrific, not meeting the standards that should be met by the United States of America. No, they’re not concentration camps, as some have said — reflected for one thing by the fact that people keep coming here knowing they will be held in them — but neither are they anything to be proud of.

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