2005-05-04 / Political Page

On the brief side...

Maloney Urges Retirement Credit For 9/11 Service

Assemblymember Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) has introduced legislation aimed at redressing a technicality that is preventing some National Guard troops from receiving federal retirement credit for service after 9/11 while others got credit for similar service.

Maloney explained that several hundred soldiers from the New York Army National Guard who responded to the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 terrorist attacks are not receiving the military retirement benefits they deserve because they were not officially put on federal active duty.

“As a result,” Maloney said, “they did not receive federal military retirement credit for their more than 300 days of service.”

Meanwhile, other soldiers from the same unit were also activated for post-9/11 duty to secure the U.S. Military Academy and have received the appropriate retirement credit. “Clearly,” Maloney stated, “all National Guard troops who served during this unprecedented national emergency deserve equal status.”

Clinton Calls On Fed To Support Small Businesses

If funding cuts to a federal program for small businesses are not restored in the 2006 budget, United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton warned, agencies like the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) stand to lose their federal funding support.

Clinton called for restoration of the cuts which assist the city’s smallest businesses

The QEDC is a not-for-profit organization based at Queens Borough Hall. It was established about 26 years ago to create broader access to economic opportunity for all Queens residents.

The agency provides “a spectrum of service to existing businesses, entrepreneurs and commercial centers, to create, expand, or attract business through the delivery of hands-on technical assistance, information assistance or neighborhood development assistance,” Clinton explained.

Clinton called on her colleagues to provide $5 million to assist these small businesses.

Vallone Brothers Share Experiences At Career Day

Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., who represents Astoria, and his brother, Paul, an attorney, were among graduates of St. John’s Prep and Mater Cristi H.S. who shared their experiences with present-day students at the recent Career Day 2005 at St. John’s Prep.

Councilmember Vallone (Mater Cristi ’79) said graduates from the two schools traveled from throughout the northeast to attend. Included among them were some 30 careers, including a medical doctor, television producer, college professor, certified public accountant and, of course, attorney Paul Vallone (St. John’s Prep ’85). Both are sons of former Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. and his wife, Tena. A third brother, Perry, is also an attorney.

The alumni discussed their educational backgrounds, interests and talents as well as the opportunities which led to their career choices and present positions.

Archie Spigner Post Office Dedication

Archie Spigner, who served in the City Council for 27 years, many of them as Deputy Majority Leader under Speaker Peter Vallone, will have the St. Albans Post Office at 195-04 Linden Blvd., dedicated in his name on Friday, at 11 a.m.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) and Congressmember Gregory Meeks (D–Southeast Queens), who sponsored the legislation naming Spigner’s community post office after him, will participate in the ceremony.

Spigner rose from the civil service ranks to city legislator and simultaneously was a Democratic district leader in the Jamaica area. He was instrumental in electing the first African-Americans from Queens to the state Supreme Court , Assembly, state Senate and Congress.

During his council tenure, Spigner chaired several committees, among them Housing and Buildings, Economic Development and the legislative Office of Budget Review.

Avella Protests Summer Bus Sked

Councilmember Tony Avella (D–Bayside) has protested to Lawrence G. Reuter, president of New York City Transit (NYCT), that the summer bus schedule the agency has issued will negatively impact his Northeast Queens constituents. He asked Reuter to reconsider the summer service reductions.

Avella said in a letter to the NYCT head that two bus routes in his council district, the Q30 and Q31, will be reduced by 8.6 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, “Each route will have fewer trips and more people,” Avella noted.

As a result of the service reduction, Avella said, “Reuter’s Schedule Adjustment Summary states that the Q30 a.m peak hour ridership will increase from an average [of] 31.3 people to 43.8 riders. This is unacceptable. This means that riders on these buses will most probably have to stand, rather than enjoy a seated ride for which they are paying.”

Avella also said he found it hard to believe that despite the loss of four bus trips, the waiting time will only increase by two minutes.

“Both of these routes traverse areas with large senior populations that depend on bus transportation,” Avella noted. “As you know, my area needs additional bus service, not less.”

Padavan Honors BHS Award Recipients

State Senator Frank Padavan (R-C, Bellerose) presented citations to three Bayside Historical Society (BHS) members who best exemplify the ideals of the organization’s founder, Joseph H. Brown, at the society’s 40th anniversary celebration recently at the Officer’s Club at Fort Totten.

Founders Award recipients included Arthur B. Lawrence Jr., Charles G. Meyer Jr., and the organization’s executive director and past president, Geraldine Spinella. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall topped the guest list at the affair.

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