2003-12-10 / Political Page

On the brief side...

Schumer Files Tough Gangs Bill
On the brief side...

On the brief side...

Schumer Files Tough Gangs Bill

A bill cracking down on gang activity, including a provision making it easier for prosecutors to seek the death penalty for gang related murders, has been introduced by United States Senator Charles Schumer.

The bill would also permit juveniles who commit gang violence to be tried as adults, calls for a 30-year sentence for anyone who commits two gang-related street crimes and outlaws gang recruitment of minors, an offense that would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The new measure, which was introduced because street gangs are becoming more of a problem all over the U.S., would give enforcement agencies $463 million in funds to fight drug dealing gangs, hire 94 more federal prosecutors and expand community gang-prevention programs.

Besides Schumer, a Democrat, a prominent Republican, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, is also a sponsor, giving the bill a good chance of getting approved because of its bipartisan backing.

Onorato Gets Grant For Youth Club

State Senator George Onorato (D–Astoria) announced that he has secured a funding grant for the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens in Long Island City.

According to Anne Buehler, the club’s first executive director, Onorato has been a staunch supporter of youth and especially her organization. She said members of the club are planning a special program to recognize his work and his long support for the organization.

Marshall Searches For Borough Bard

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Queens College are conducting a search for the borough’s third Poet Laureate. The position is intended to encourage poetry writing and reading and other literary activities in the country’s most diversified county.

Marshall said, "The post of Poet Laureate is an honorary position that requires a full-time commitment to the borough of Queens." The new Poet Laureate will replace Hal Sirowitz, whose term has expired.

The Poet Laureate committee of Queens College, working in collaboration with Marshall, is screening candidates for the three-year post, according to committee secretary David Cohen. The final decision on a choice will be made by an independent panel of judges comprised of professionals from the literary community.

Candidates must have resided in Queens for at least the past five years and have published poetry inspired by the borough. Applications for the position, which must be in by January 9, can be obtained by calling Cohen at 718-997-3626 or by emailing davide@qcl.qc.edu.

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