On the brief side...
DA Brown Sets Gun BuyBack
Citing the success of gun buybacks in other jurisdictions as well as crime increases in Queens, District Attorney Richard A. Brown will hold a gun buyback day on February 21 in Far Rockaway at a site to be announced.
The district attorney said he is working with local clergy and the Police Department to find a site where illegal guns can be turned in for $200 each, according to City Councilmember James Sanders (D- Rockaway), an advocate of the program.
Brown will announce more details about the program and possibly more buybacks in other areas, a spokesman for his office reported.
Buyback programs in other boroughs have proved successful in getting guns out of circulation. No such program was held in Queens last year. Council Says Don't Idle Engine Near Schools
In an effort to reduce harmful pollutants fouling the air near schools, drivers now may idle their cars' engines for only one minute instead of the three currently permitted under a bill passed last week.
City Councilmember John Liu (D- Flushing), who introduced the bill, said excessive idling has gotten out of hand. His bill will help clean the air in front of schools.
Councilmember James Gennaro (D- Fresh Meadows), chairman of the council Environmental Protection Committee, supported the bill, which authorizes the Departments of Parks and Sanitation to enforce the new restriction, in addition to agencies that already have that enforcement power. Crowley: Put In For Tax Credit
Congressmember Joseph Crowley is urging low-income families and individuals to find out if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If they do, they could be entitled to a federal tax refund of up to $4,824.
Crowley (D- Queens/The Bronx) said taxpayers can find: if they're entitled to an EITC by visiting www.gov/eitc calling the New York City IRS Taxpayer Assurance Center at 212-436-1000 or meeting one-on-one with tax experts at a local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) preparation site. Call 311 to find a VITA office in your neighborhood.
"In these difficult economic times, every dollar counts and this extra boost can make the difference for many struggling New York families," Crowley said. "Too many qualified families miss out on the tax credit because they don't know about it."