On the brief side...
The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and the Queens Jewish Community Council organized the project and will deliver the holiday packages before the holidays begin.
Gennaro said that close to 1,000 packages were prepared by volunteers and community leaders. He said the packages will go to “those people who are no longer able to share this sacred time with their families. The packages contain all the foods for the holiday occasion and remind those who receive them that their neighbors support and care for them,” Gennaro noted.
$4M For NY Airport Improvements: Schumer
United States Senator Charles Schumer (D–New York) announced recently that the U.S. Department of Transportation had awarded more than $4 million in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants to Kennedy and La Guardia Airports for improvements to ensure safety in daily operations and to meet demands fueled by more passengers.
Schumer, stating that “safe, dependable and fast air service is crucial to New York’s continued economic growth,” said that La Guardia will receive more than $3 million to improve two of its taxiways, which must be restored to ensure safe aircraft operations. The funds will also repair a vehicle service road and concrete aprons on the west side of the airport.
An additional $960,000 will be used to update the airport layout plans at La Guardia, Newark Liberty International, and JFK. The plan includes a five to 20-year development plan for all publicly owned and operated airports throughout the state, Schumer said.
Council Hearings On Private Bus Takeover
The first of three public hearings on the MTA’s takeover of six privately-owned and operated bus companies, most of them in Queens, will be held today at City Hall, starting at 10 a.m.
The hearings will be held by the Committee on Transportation, headed by City Councilmember John Liu (D–Flushing). The other hearings will be held on October 6 and November 4, also at City Hall. The deadline for the takeover is December 4. The acquisitions originally were slated for June, but they could not be finalized at that time and the process was extended.
Liu said the takeover had been extended twice and if he didn’t extend it, it would have to be moved back again.
“These hearings are necessary to keep the pressure on to ensure progress is being made,” Liu said. “It is unfair to several thousand bus riders who are kept guessing whether their bus service will continue. The riding public must be assured that on December 5 there will be bus service to take them to work, school, doctor’s appointments and other daily events.”
Hearing On Avella’s ‘Demolition By Neglect’ Legislation
A hearing was held at City Hall yesterday on a bill introduced by City Councilmember Tony Avella, called “Demolition by Neglect” legislation, which is aimed at what Avella charges is the intentional destruction of official city landmarks by owners who care little for the special status of their properties and “are only interested in making the most money on the property.”
The Avella bill will amend the Landmarks Preservation and Historic Districts law to address deficiencies which have resulted in a lack of administrative or civil action being taken against owners who are responsible for destruction of their property as a primary result of their intentional neglect, Avella said.
Queens C Of C In Project With DHS
The Queens Chamber of Commerce announced it has entered into an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to solicit feedback from businesses on the impact of increased security measures on their operations, specifically with the news of increased terror alert levels and new targets.
The Chamber will share the feedback with the DHS and will include it in reports to Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. In addition, the businessmen’s organization will research the origin of the security measure to try to work out an arrangement with the involved parties to facilitate the flow of business.
Bill Egan, Chamber executive vice president; stated: “In this time of heightened security and increased tension, this is a natural partnership to ensure that businesses are ready in the event of an emergency and that the impact of increased security on business operations is minimal.”