On the brief side...
On the brief side...
Vallone Meets With Polish Official
Recently, city Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. (D–Astoria), council Public Safety Committee chairman, met with Warsaw City Councilmember Iwo Bender who is chairman of the corresponding committee in his respective legislative body.
Vallone said he and Bender discussed anti-terrorism and disaster management efforts in both New York City and Warsaw. He also discussed these issues with other Polish officials accompanying Bender.
"In our efforts to combat terrorism and to maintain the safety of our city, meetings such as these offer an invaluable opportunity to share information," Vallone said. "The NYPD is the world’s best in counter-terrorism, but it would be presumptuous to think that we can’t learn from other cities, just as they can learn from us."
Avella Applauds Action On Sports Complex
The default action taken by the city Department of Design and Construction (DDC) against ADC Contracting and Construction, the firm hired to build the College Point sports complex, was applauded by City Councilmember Tony Avella (D–Bayside).
The action was taken by DDC because the contractor failed to meet several deadlines under the contract and performed shoddy work, Avella said.
Despite the fiscal crisis and reductions in the city capital spending budget, Avella has been able to secure $600,000 in the fiscal year 2003 and 2004 budgets for the long-delayed project. The sports facility suffered a great setback about a decade ago when a contractor buried illegal landfill at the project site when work on the field was in its beginning stages.
Annual Member Exhibition For Art Group
The Queens Council on the Arts will hold its third annual member exhibition at the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center, 100-01 Northern Blvd., Corona January 3 to 31, it was announced.
The exhibition is curated by George R. Dixon and will feature outstanding works by 27 Queens artists using a range of media, including photography, sculpture, collage oil, acrylic and ink.
The works will cover a variety of subjects, including nationalism and humanist themes, landscapes and abstract perspectives. The public is invited to meet the artists and celebrate the exhibition at a reception on Saturday, January 24 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Schumer Fumes At High Gas Bills
Despite the fact that natural gas inventories are 7 percent larger than at this time last year, according to United States Senator Charles Schumer, gas heating bills are up about 21 percent over the same period.
Schumer (D–New York) called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the anomaly. He said that the average homeowner heating with natural gas will be paying on average $91 more for gas this winter, or more than $148 million for all city homeowners using gas.
Carlo Matteucci Honored By Sons Of Italy
Carlo Matteucci, a longtime member of the Sons of Italy at national, state and local levels, was honored recently by the Marcus Aurelius Lodge at its 21st annual scholarship dinner.
As part of the festivities, City Councilmember Tony Avella (D–Bayside) presented Matteucci a special City Council Proclamation.
Avella, chair of the City Council Italian–American Caucus, said, "Carlo and his wife, Madeline, have been active members of the Sons of Italy for many years serving in many capacities at the national, state and local level. His leadership has helped to promote Italian–American pride, culture and history. The Matteucci family has established perpetual education scholarships."
Council Approves Diesel Emissions Bill
Environmental Defense called the City Council’s unanimous vote of Monday, December 15, to approve Intro 191A a groundbreaking action and a tremendous step forward for healthy air in New York City. Intro 191A will clean up dirty emissions from the city’s construction fleet and contracts.
Intro 191A will require city construction contracts to call for ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD at 15 ppm) and pollution control technology on heavy diesel construction machinery above 50 horsepower. ULSD, combined with the best available retrofit technology, has the ability to reduce diesel emissions by up to 90 percent. As written, Intro 191A provides a reasonable time frame for implementation and provides flexibility for agencies and contractors to adapt to its requirements.
"One million people in New York City have asthma, and nonroad vehicles, like diesel construction machinery, put out more fine particulate pollution than cars, trucks and buses combined," Darrell said. "We urge Mayor Bloomberg to make this bill law. There is no reason not to. The technologies are available, the cost is reasonable and the benefits for health are significant."
The bill was based on a successful project to cut emissions from construction vehicles at the World Trade Center site. There, Environmental Defense worked with Governor George Pataki to establish a commitment that would require all state construction vehicles at the World Trade Center site to use retrofits and ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. Intro 191A will begin downtown, and then extend further to bring the benefits citywide within a reasonable time frame.
Environmental Defense, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 400,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems.