2005-07-13 / Features

On the brief side...


Congressmember Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) says a new congressional report means 79 percent of wage earners in her district under 55 would face benefit cuts in the switch from wage indexing to price indexing called for in President George W. Bush’s proposed Social Security changes.

The benefit cuts for these 133,000 wage earners would be greater than 20 percent, she said. Benefit cuts for wage earners under 35 would be an average of $10,260 per year, and for wage earners in the 35-to-55 age group, the average benefit loss would be $3,600 per year.

According to Maloney, the report by the Special Investigation Division of the House Government Reform Minority staff found that the middle class residents of the district would bear 64 percent of the cut. In total, the loss for her constituents would be $33.2 billion in benefits from the indexing change.

Maloney’s district includes parts of Midtown and the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Astoria, Sunnyside and Long Island City in Queens.

Astoria, LIC Get Parks Funds

Reversing a trend of non-involvement in Astoria and Long Island City parks, Assemblymember Catherine Nolan says, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has made grants of $250,000 to Rainey Park and to several Astoria/Long Island City parks totalling $75,000.

The funds for Rainey Park, on the East River waterfront, will be used to reconstruct portions of the park and will include 10 more volley ball courts, a picnic and barbecue area and a new waterfront walking paths.

The second grant, for a second year of “community visioning,” will build on initial visioning with key community stakeholders, including small pilot events, development of outreach materials and launching of targeted programming, Nolan (D–Ridgewood) said.

“Preserving the quality of our open space for the enjoyment of our residents and families is vital,” Nolan said.

College Pt. Kindergarten Was 1st In U.S.

Congressmember Joseph Crowley recently presented a framed copy of a Congressional resolution commending the establishment of a kindergarten in the Poppenhusen Institute in College Point in 1870 to Susan Brustman, institute executive director. The Poppenhusen kindergarten was the first such endeavor in the United States.

The free public kindergarten was opened for the children of Poppenhusen’s factory and the community, Crowley said. Historically, kindergartens were philanthropically supported and were established to fill the gaps in social services offered by cities to improve the lives of the urban poor.

Accepting the framed resolution from Crowley, Brustman said she was proud of the institute’s tradition of service to the community and its longtime commitment to preserving the institute, a historic site.

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