On the brief side...
Mothers of children who have died in military service would be honored on “Gold Star Mother’s Day” under a bill sponsored by Assemblymember Ann Margaret Carrozza (D–Bayside), which passed the Assembly recently.
Carrozza stated: “The loss of a child is the ultimate heartbreak, but to lose one in military service is a noble sacrifice. This is a day to honor the mothers whose children have given their lives for their country—a humble way to show our gratitude.”
Gold Star Mother’s Day has been celebrated throughout the United States on the last Sunday in September since 1936. Carrozza’s measure would commemorate the day in New York state. In 1929, a group of 25 mothers in Washington, D.C. started American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. Today it is a national, federally chartered organization of mothers whose sons or daughters died in U.S. military service.
Carrozza’s bill must now be considered by the state senate.
New Law Reduces Pollution From School Buses
The School Bus Clean Emissions Bill, which will reduce pollutant emissions from buses that transport children to and from school, was signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday.
Sponsored by City Councilmember John Liu (D–Flushing), the new law will make the air cleaner by requiring all school buses to utilize low-sulfur diesel fuel and have pollution control technology installed.
Liu, hailing passage of the measure, said, “For too long we have allowed outmoded school buses to literally blow soot into children’s lungs.”
Gennaro Praises Water Board’s Rate Hikes
City Councilmember James Gennaro (D–Fresh Meadows), council Environmental Protection Committee chairman, characterized the city Water Board’s proposed water rate increases as justifiable, particularly because of the agency’s concerted effort to keep rate increases to a minimum.
Gennaro said the proposed 3 percent hike would be lower than in previous years and could be attributed to the board’s successful efforts to nail non-paying scofflaw homeowners he thanked Board Chairman James Tripp for keeping a commitment. Tripp made last year to work with the council in setting the new rate.
New Fields At Bowne, Newtown H.S.
A new softball field was dedicated at John Bowne H.S. in Flushing last week by Borough President Helen Marshall. The following day, she dedicated a $4 million Take the Field project at Newtown H.S. in Elmhurst. The facility will include new football, soccer and baseball fields and tennis courts.
Marshall’s office provided $500,000 toward the $4 million overall cost of the Newtown project and $500,000 in funding for the Bowne field. Both projects are supported by Take the Field, a non-profit, public–private organization that builds new school athletic fields.
Flushing BID Goes Online
At an unveiling last week, the Flushing Business Improvement District (BID) flipped the switch on the organization’s Web site, www.flushingbid.com. The Flushing BID is the first such entity to have a Web site.
BID Chairman Jim Gerson said at the launching that he hoped members will see the Web site “as another means for us to communicate and to update their business information for the directory.”
Council Celebrates Asian–American Heritage Month
City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and Councilmember John Liu led a celebration of Asian–American Heritage Month at City Hall last week which included a panel discussion on youth culture and activism and a recognition ceremony for young leaders throughout the city. Also participating were members of the council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.
The youth aspect of the ceremony was highlighted by a special appearance by world–famous 22-year-old musical prodigy Lang Lang.
Marshall Opens Expanded Corona Library
Helen Marshall, who supported plans for a new Corona library branch almost 60 years ago when she first moved into the borough, took part last week in opening an expanded Corona branch.
Marshall’s office provided part of the funding for the project, a $575,000 grant. Assemblymember Jose Peralta (D–Corona), also present, said the Assembly provided $300,000 for the project The new library, at 42-11 104th St., will be double the size of the present one, and will have a larger children’s room.
Tree Planting At Cunningham Park
The Queens County Friends of Cunningham Park, Inc. will receive a $4,000 grant for planting trees in the huge park in Eastern Queens, state Senator Frank Padavan (R–C, Bellerose) announced. The funds are part of the Urban and Community Forestry Grants allocated in this year’s state budget, Padavan said.