2008-07-09 / Features

On the brief side...

Windmuller Park Concerts

A summer-long series of outdoor concerts in local parks, made possible by a $125,000 state grant received by Assemblymember Margaret Markey (D- Maspeth), will be launched tonight at 7 p.m. in Windmuller Park in Woodside, 39th Drive and 54th Street.

The concert, featuring the music group Blue Angel, will be followed next Sunday by "Family Fun Day" from noon to 4 p.m., also in Windmuller Park.

Other "Family Fun Days" in July will be held on: Sunday, July 20, at Big Bush Park, 61st Street at the BQE and Laurel Hill Boulevard; and Sunday, July 27, Frank Principe Maurice Park, 54th Avenue and 63rd Street. All are noon to 4 p.m. Markey's funding will also help support a series of Children's Performance programs at these and other parks and playgrounds on weekdays in July and August featuring activities for youngsters between four and 10 years old, including dance, readings, children's puppet and theater shows. For more information about parks events, call 718-520-5919. Holocaust Damages From Hungarian Gov't

Laeb Goldstein, a 101-year-old Holocaust survivor who lost his parents, three siblings, a wife and seven children in the Holocaust- only two family members survived- will be awarded damages from the Hungarian government, Congressmember Anthony Weiner (D- Queens/Brooklyn) announced.

Weiner had been working with the United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg in Brooklyn and the U.S. Embassy in Hungary to provide the award in a timely fashion considering Goldstein's age.

After being contacted by UJO in March, Weiner wrote authorities, "As you will note, Mr. Goldstein is elderly and eager to have this matter justly resolved in his lifetime. Nothing will ever heal the heartache and loss Mr. Goldstein has endured, but today we have finally helped to ease his struggle and I am proud to have served him." Gioia Goes After Deadbeat Diplomats

City Councilmember Eric Gioia (D- Long Island City) has called for a crackdown on deadbeat diplomats who owe the city more than $7.5 million in outstanding parking tickets and nearly $60 million in unpaid property taxes.

Gioia says that according to the city Department of Finance, 175 nations currently have outstanding unpaid parking tickets, with the top two offenders, Egypt and Kuwait, owing over $3 million.

To crackdown on offenders, Gioia proposes that the NYPD begin towing the cars of chronic offenders, those with more than $5,000 owed, whenever a new ticket is issued. For those who owe tax arrears for non-consular property, Gioia proposes issuing them a 60-day notice to pay up or face the cut off of their power and water. He said that in the past, offending nations have reacted to pressure from city authorities. Gotbaum: Give City War Vets Tax Relief

Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum has brought together city and state lawmakers to help in her fight to get a break on property taxes for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

Gotbaum said the state Real Property Tax Law presently grants a partial real estate tax exemption for veterans of wars dating back to the Spanish-American War. She cited the sacrifices being made by today's veterans in making her plea.

"No matter what war a veteran fights in, they deserve to receive the support from their country for their sacrifice. Amending this law will uphold this nation's ideals and our support for veterans, giving them a benefit they deserve," she said.

Among those supporting her plan was Councilmember Hiram Monserrate (D- Corona), himself a vet. He said, "Our own history sets a precedent for ensuring our soldiers who make it home are provided these property tax breaks."

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