Queens Tag All blog entries tagged as Queens http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Sat, 22 Mar 2014 08:06:14 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Scandal-Plagued Councilman Drops Out of #NYC2013 Race http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/elections/2013/05/01/scandal-plagued-councilman-drops-out-of-nyc2013-race http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/elections/2013/05/01/scandal-plagued-councilman-drops-out-of-nyc2013-race Embattled Councilman Dan Halloran says he will not seek reelection.

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The Queens Republican was indicted in a scheme to bribe GOP party heads as a means to secure a mayoral ballot line for Democratic State Sen. Malcolm Smith. Currently facing federal corruption charges, Halloran said that he would instead focus on clearing his name and restoring his reputation.

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"After much thought, I have concluded that it is impossible for me to properly do these things and take on the enormous demands of a political campaign," Halloran wrote in a statement.

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Halloran thanked the community and his Council staff, adding that he would continue to "discharge my sworn duties as a member of the New York City Council."

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In early April, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said that Halloran was stripped of all committee assignments. Soon after, the Council's standards and ethics committee began a review of Halloran's role in the scandal.

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By not seeking re-election, Halloran — one of four Republicans currently in the City Council — opens the floor for what the Queens Courier reported last week to be an already crowded field of potential replacements, including four Democrats.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) Elections Wed, 01 May 2013 17:09:14 +0000
Quinn Says of Halloran's Participatory Budget Press Release: 'Stupid,' 'Outrageous' http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/04/09/quinn-says-of-hallorans-participatory-budget-press-release-stupid-outrageous http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/04/09/quinn-says-of-hallorans-participatory-budget-press-release-stupid-outrageous

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called Councilman Dan Halloran's press release celebrating his district's participatory budget "stupid" and "outrageous."

Quinn spoke about the embattled Republican councilman during a press conference in City Hall today, referencing one of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's oft-used turns of phrase.

"I don't usually quote Mike Bloomberg, but it's one of the stupidest things I have ever seen," Quinn said, adding that Halloran would have no say in how discretionary funds would be allocated for the projects his residents voted on last week.

"I don't care how many stupid press releases he issues," she said.

Halloran, who is accused in a bribery scheme to get Democratic Sen. Malcolm Smith on the Republican mayoral ballot line, sent out the press release yesterday in which he congratulated the winners.

In response to Quinn's comments today, Halloran spokesman Kevin Ryan said there seemed to be a misunderstanding about the press release's intent.

Ryan said that the statement was meant as an update on the six-month-long process towards residents voting on projects to receive almost $1 million in discretionary funds, and that Halloran had no more influence on the vote than any other participating Council member.

"I don't think it's fair," Ryan said, "to penalize the people who spent so much time on this and not get their projects funded."

The Daily News reported yesterday that any funding toward winning projects would be decided on by Quinn with consultation from the Queens Council delegation, although the participatory budget results would not be binding.

Quinn's office announced last week that Halloran had been stripped of all committee assignments following his arrest in the bribery case.

The Council's Committee on Standards and Ethics met briefly before Quinn's news conference to begin a review into Halloran's role in the scandal while the federal investigation continues.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Tue, 09 Apr 2013 19:36:17 +0000
Today's Lead Story: State Looks For Quick Action on Gun Laws http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/21/todays-lead-story-state-looks-for-quick-action-on-gun-laws- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/21/todays-lead-story-state-looks-for-quick-action-on-gun-laws-

State Looks For Quick Action on Gun Laws

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to toughen New York's gun laws and according to The Times Union Cuomo wants to do it as soon as next week. A source told the times union that a gubernatorial aide presented Senate Republicans with a draft of proposed gun legislation on Wednesday but Republicans turned it down. Republicans deny turning down any legislation. A myriad of Assemblyman have confirmed they were asked to stay in Albany on Wednesday in case a special session came to fruition this week but now all eyes or on Dec. 28. Cuomo has said he will address the issue of gun violence in his Jan. 9 State of the State Address but with the action in Albany it seems like something could happen much sooner. Cuomo has said he wants to eliminate loopholes in the state's assault weapons ban. Meanwhile, the Times Union reports that the same venue Cuomo will give his State of the State address in next year will also scheduled to host a gun show two weeks after the speech.




In the Press...

Fear, Death and Rumors in Queens High Rise (NY Times)

City's Incarceration Rate Plummets (City Room)

Bloomberg Vows to Redouble Efforts on Gun Control (NY Times)

New York Stock Exchange Sells Itself (Crain's)

Unemployment Rate Tumbles (Crain's)

Former Gov. Paterson Loses Radio Show (NY Post)

Volunteers Try to Plug Gaps in Hurricane Response (Capital)

Suit On Police Stops is Reinstated (NY Times)

Liu Calls for Increase in Minimum Wage and Sick Pay (NY Times)

Legislators Rally For Tougher Gun Laws (Gotham Gazette)

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) City Fri, 21 Dec 2012 13:50:24 +0000
Rockaways Get Train Service, Could Use Some More Help http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/19/rockaways-get-train-service-could-use-some-more-help http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/11/19/rockaways-get-train-service-could-use-some-more-help

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that a new free shuttle service dubbed the H train will begin providing service to residents of the hard-hit Rockaway Penninsula at 4 a.m. tomorrow.

“The A train tracks from Howard Beach to the Rockaways were almost completely destroyed by the storm, and replacing them is a tremendous undertaking,” Cuomo said in a statement. “While that work continues, this new shuttle service will help improve travel for people in the Rockaways who are still recovering from Sandy’s effects.”

According to Cuomo's office, the cars that make up the new service were trucked to the Rockaways after the A train tracks were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

“MTA New York City Transit has responded with unprecedented creativity to restore subway service to Rockaway customers,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. “This partial restoration of service is an important step for the Rockaways, but our work won’t be done until the A train is fully restored.”

The Rockaways are still in need of basic relief aid like shelter, food and heat.

Naomi Rothwell of Greater NYC for Change recently launched a pettition on Change.org demanding more help from FEMA for the Rockaways.

“Unless FEMA steps in right away, children, the elderly and the sick could be in danger of hypothermia as they are exposed to freezing nighttime temperatures this week," Rothwell wrote. "Rockaway residents with no access to heat or electricity urgently need FEMA to set up emergency stations that will provide heat, warm meals, medical care, and a warm place to sleep.”

A sampling of comments from pettion signees seems to show a growing dissastisfaction with relief efforts in the area:

"I have been volunteering out there in the last week and have seen the conditions close up. We are carrying boxes and distributing supplies while 10 FEMA reps sit staring at their computers. Some concrete help sure would be appreciated!" -- Ingerid H.

"I am a medaled US Army Veteran, and it is EXACTLY for relief in this type of emergency situation for which I fought. PLEASE FEMA, GET IT TOGETHER, and GET IT TOGETHER NOW!" -- Brian P.

"Given the scope of damage, and the freezing temperatures, the residents of the Rockaways need priority assistance. Do the right thing and do it now!!!" -- Ruth G.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) City Mon, 19 Nov 2012 20:25:40 +0000
Tuesday is Election Day — Sandy Be Damned [Updated] http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/elections/2012/10/31/tuesday-is-election-day-nsandy-be-damned-updated http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/elections/2012/10/31/tuesday-is-election-day-nsandy-be-damned-updated

Editor's Note: This post has been updated with statements from the city's Board of Elections.

"Election day will be on Tuesday, that is not going to change," John Conklin, spokesman for the New York State Board of Election, said earlier today.

He said county boards across the state are currently assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to polling places and trying to determine what alternate arrangements need to be made to make sure everyone who wants to vote can.

"The local boards impacted by the storm are assessing damage to the polling places right now," Conklin said. "We have been in meetings with the governor's office and local boards to work on these assessments. We have to see if power still remains at the polling site, if they remain accessible to the public, the board and the machines. We also need to make sure the sites are safe. Once that is done, we will check on alternate polling sites and make sure they have tents, generators and whatever else they need."

Conklin said he hopes that all polling sites will have power, but he admitted, "Some might not." In that case, paper ballots will be made available for voters. The ballots will be put in a lock box and then scanned at county BOE headquarters.

There isn't a firm deadline on when the poll site evaluations need to be completed. "We didnt give a deadline," Conklin said. "I dont know how to put a deadline on a thing like this. We hope to have it done by the end of the day."

Obviously, with the damage done by Sandy, voting may not be on the top of everyone's to-do-list. Conklin said turnout for the primary election last year was depressed in the parts of the state that were effected by Hurricane Irene.

"I hope turnout is not siginificantly impacted," said Conklin, adding that "some people's homes also were burned down, some are under water and voting is not their biggest concern ... But we want to make sure that when they choose to vote that they have a place to do it."

City Board of Elections Commissioners Maria Guastella and Frederic Umane said in a statement on the agency's website that the BOE staff "has been working diligently to make sure that we are prepared for Election Day."

They said they have been assessing damage to poll sites caused by the storm. Meanwhile, poll workers are being trained and a temporary Manhattan office has been opened.

The BOE's usual Manhattan office is in lower Manhattan, where power is still being restored.

The commissioners also said that the "processing of absentee ballot applications has been delayed."

"But our staff are working diligently to process all absentee ballots that will be distributed by USPS overnight mail," they said. "Other NYC agencies have assigned some of their workers to assist in our efforts and we appreciate their assistance."

Sen. Joe Addabbo of Queens issued this statement in response to questions about how voting in his district might be affected.

“As of now my main priority and that of my campaign staff is to focus on assisting my district in the clean up and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, as many areas of my district were hit incredibly hard by the storm," said Addabbo, who is in a battle to retain his seat from his main challenger, Councilman Eric Ulrich. "The safety and well-being of my constituents is the most important to me, and I will not focus my attention elsewhere until the recovery is well on its way.”

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Aerial photo of Breezy Point, Queens provided by the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) Elections Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:04:07 +0000