2003-06-18 / Political Page

On the brief side...

Pataki: Merge
On the brief side...

On the brief side...

Pataki: Merge ‘Do Not Call’ Registries

Governor George Pataki, pointing to increased assistance for consumers and financial savings for the state, has filed a bill in Albany to merge the federal and state "Do Not Call" registries. Under the bill, New Yorkers already entered on the state registry will automatically also be listed on the national registry.

Starting July 1, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will offer consumers who have Internet access and a valid e-mail address the option to sign up directly on the federal Do Not Call registry via a special registration Web site.

Later in July, the FTC will announce a special toll-free registration number that will enable New Yorkers to register directly.

State Consumer Protection Board Chairperson Teresa Santiago said the state program has been a great success in significantly reducing unwanted telemarketing sales calls. "But now we want to help make the national program a great success, as well," she said.

Pataki said merging the programs will give New Yorkers even greater protection.

Lauds College Scholarships For H.S. Students

Delivering the keynote address recently at the eighth annual awards ceremony of the Quality of Life program, under which college scholarships are awarded to high school students, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky congratulated award recipients from New York City high schools for coming up with creative, challenging and innovative ideas to improve the quality of life in New York City.

In all, $35,000 in college scholarships was awarded to students from local high schools, including Forest Hills H.S., Forest hills and Townsend Harris H.S., Flushing.

Stavisky said, "This program is a fine example of how young adults can be inspired to take on a proactive role in solving real-world community issues and promoting cross-cultural understanding. This problem-solving approach prepares civic-minded young scholars and future community leaders."

Liu: ‘Car Alarms Don’t Block Car Theft’

Speaking at a hearing on his bill to prohibit sale and installation of audible motor vehicle alarms, City Councilmember John Liu testified the alarms have proven to be more of a nuisance than an effective means of preventing car theft.

Liu said, "There are more affordable and effective alternatives to audible car alarms on the market." He also cited Police Department and Department of Environmental Protection testimony that audible car alarms are documented as substantially eroding the quality of life for New Yorkers.

For these reasons, Liu said, "This leads me to conclude that a ban on audible car alarms is absolutely necessary. Too many people are losing sleep over this—literally."

Councilmember James Gennaro (D–Jamaica Estates) chairman of the Environmental Protection Committee, which held the hearing, agreed with Liu. Gennaro said he was committed to doing whatever he can to relieve the residents of this city from "the blaring annoyance of car alarms."

Weprin Water Bill Passes Assembly

A bill sponsored by Assemblymember Mark Weprin would require the New York City Water Board to wait at least 30 days after the adoption of the city’s budget to establish the annual fee and charges for metered water and sewage usage was approved by the Assembly.

Weprin said that presently the board bases its rates on forecasts in April and votes on them in May before hearings on the city budget. "Historically," he said, "the board tends to adopt artificially high rates."

Weprin said if his bill becomes law it would be a "win–win" situation. He explained, "The taxpayer has accountability, water conservation will be rewarded and the budget process would allow for any surplus in savings to be applied to reduce rates or to fund additional water and sewer system needs."

Katz Helps Dedicate New Flagpole

Councilmember Melinda Katz (D–Forest Hills) joined with the Richmond Hill Historical Society and the Richmond Hill branch of the Queens Borough Public Library last Saturday in ceremonies dedicating a new flagpole for the community. Held at the library on Hillside Avenue at Lefferts Boulevard, the dedication ceremony was a recreation of one performed in 1910, almost 100 years ago, by writer Jacob Riis. Katz performed a rendition of "God Bless America."

Movie House, School On Historic Register

The RKO Keith’s Theater at Hillside and Myrtle Avenues and the century-old P.S. 66 at 85th Avenue and 102nd Street, both in Richmond Hill, have been placed on the Register of Historic Places.

The school and theater were the only two buildings in Queens to make it on the prestigious list, which is published quarterly.

The RKO Keith’s was built in the 1920s and served as a vaudeville house and later a movie theater. It is now a bingo hall P.S. 66, a brick building, recently was restored to its original condition.

Nancy Cataldi, president of the Richmond Hill Historical Society, said both sites will now be recommended for placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

Plaque Dedication At Elmhurst Firehouse

A plaque will be dedicated in honor of Michael Cawley and Christopher Pickford, two firefighters from the Ladder 136/Engine 287 firehouse at 86-35 Grand Ave. at Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, who gave their lives on September 11. The 11 a.m. ceremony is open to the public. All off-duty firefighters and their families have been invited to attend.

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