2010-05-19 / Political Page

Message To Hiram: Crowley & Dems Back Moya For Corona Assembly Seat

Congressmember Joseph Crowley, acting in his capacity as Queens Democratic Party leader, announced his endorsement of Francisco Moya for the 39th Assembly Democratic (Corona) seat, for which Moya is running to succeed Jose Peralta, who left it when elected state senator from Jackson Heights.

Along with Crowley, other regular Democrats adding their endorsement of Moya include Peralta, Assemblymember Michael DenDekker (Jackson Heights), and City Councilmembers Julissa Ferreras (Corona) and Daniel Dromm (Jackson Heights).

When Monserrate was dumped from the senate, there was speculation that he might try a comeback by running against Peralta this November or running for Peralta’s former Assembly seat.

There’s been no word from Monserrate regarding any possible comeback, but the

message from Crowley and the other Moya supporters is abundantly clear: fuggedaboutit!!

Pictured with Moya, front row second from left, are: Senator Jose Peralta, Assemblymember Michael DenDekker, Congressmember Joseph Crowley and City Councilmember Daniel Dromm. They are joined by many community supporters. Pictured with Moya, front row second from left, are: Senator Jose Peralta, Assemblymember Michael DenDekker, Congressmember Joseph Crowley and City Councilmember Daniel Dromm. They are joined by many community supporters. Moya’s supporters combined are a powerful nucleus of support for the campaign Moya will be forming to get elected in the Corona–Jackson Heights area, so Monserrate could very well be thinking he would be slaughtered in a race against Moya, just as he was in his attempted comeback against Peralta in their special election for the 13th senate district seat.

Monserrate may also be planning to take on Moya, although there’s been no evidence to back that up. Monserrate has been in the papers a few times recently, but he’s never given any clues as to what his political plans might be. He challenged a former senate rival to put on the gloves and join him in a few rounds of sparring. He dropped the court action to try to regain his seat. And he announced in a New York Post story that he and Karla Giraldo, the girlfriend he assaulted, leading to the senate’s sending him packing, had split up for good.

There has never been the slightest clue in all those press reports as to any possible political comeback plans. If there were, the political power behind Moya could surely change Monserrate’s mind.

Moya has been a familiar face in Corona/Jackson Heights political circles. He lost to Peralta and Ferreras. He’s also been active in community projects, including attempts to expand Elmhurst Hospital Center. He has worked for Time-Warner in government relations, and is presently a Democratic district leader-at-large.

Crowley hailed Moya as “not only a friend, but a good Democrat who our community can count on in the state Assembly”. That cannot be said about Monserrate.

HEVESI PRIMARY OPPONENT EMERGES: Joe Fox, a Forest Hills resident for more than 30 years has served on Community Board 6, worked in the Koch mayoral administration and on several state Assembly committees, announced he will challenge Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi in the Democratic primary in September.

Fox jumped into the race after Lilianna Zulunova withdrew following her recent marriage.

Fox, a graduate of St. John’s University law school, spent several years working in Albany prior to going into private practice, serving as counsel to the Consumer Affairs Committee.

Under Mayor Ed Koch, Fox served as attorney for the Office of Economic Development and later as director of real estate for the Department of Ports, International Trade and Commerce, where he reintroduced ferry service to New York City.

Fox and his wife, Helaine, are the parents of two grown children. His son is a graduate of Cornell and now a student at Brooklyn Law School; his daughter attends Hunter College. Fox is a member of the Forest Hills Jewish Center.

Assemblymember Hevesi represents Forest Hills, Rego Park and Middle Village, and is seeking election to his third term.

HALLORAN ATTACKS WATER RATE INCREASE: In previous years, Democratic Councilmembers David Weprin (now Assemblymember) and James Gennaro led the fight against water rate increases. Last week, Councilmember Dan Halloran, a Whitestone Republican, joined the attack.

Halloran charged, “I’m a homeowner in Whitestone and I know my water fees are going toward growing our government even more. We should focus on making the DEP smaller and more efficient, instead of stuffing it full of our hardearned dollars.”

Halloran noted the current proposed increase would be the fifth straight year of a rate hike. Currently, the average yearly charge for a single family home is about $911, but the Independent Budget Office projects the annual water bill will be more than $1,375 by 2015.

VALLONE SEEKS IMPROVED CELL ANTENNA LAWS: City Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., one of the leading advocates against the indiscriminate placement of cellphone antennas in residential areas, introduced legislation last week calling for more industry regulation and community notification when cell antennas are installed.

Under this series of proposals, Vallone calls for:

•Alerting community and local officials when a new tower or antenna is to be installed or mounted on to a building.

•Providing community boards and councilmembers with written notice before applying for an installation permit from the city Department of Buildings in order to keep an up-to-date record of antennas in a neighborhood.

•Placing an identification number on each antenna so that residents and community groups can reference potential concerns related to specific equipment.

•Proof that a company has made the best possible effort to install antennas in nonresidential areas.

Vallone stated, “We pushed for the city to list the location of cell antennas and now we are pushing for the community to be notified when carriers are planning to install new antennas.”

He added, “We are not against cell towers, but believe they should be responsibly placed until we are sure of their health effects. We don’t want this to be the same situation we had with lead paint and asbestos, where everyone assumed they were safe and then we found out years later that they weren’t.”

VAN BRAMER SEEKS TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR ASSAULTS ON ELDERLY: Last April 5, 81-year-old, lifelong Astoria resident Mayer Behmoiras suffered a brutal, near-fatal beating during a robbery attempt. Under current law, his alleged assailant, a 23- year-old male with a record of four robbery assaults and two other assault arrests, faced only up to a year in prison if convicted.

That is hardly enough punishment for an assault on the elderly, according to Councilmember James Van Bramer (D–Woodside). Van Bramer has filed a resolution which “will protect the most vulnerable member of our society who deserve special attention against vicious attacks”.

Such attacks are only misdemeanors calling for a penalty of up to one year in prison, Van Bramer said. Under his resolution, the penalty for an assault against the elderly or disabled would be considered a violent penalty, punishable by a sentence of four to seven years in prison.

Van Bramer also introduced another bill aimed at protecting public safety, in this case a pipeline explosion. The bill requires that any entity drilling near flammable materials, such as oil or gas lines to have a permitting authority on site when such potentially dangerous drilling occurs. The Fire Department must also be notified.

The second bill was occasioned by an incident on Nov. 17, 2009 when during a construction project in Woodside, a section of the Buckeye Pipeline was ruptured by drilling causing jet fuel to leak onto Skillman Avenue.

MENG CALLS FOR LIBRARY FUNDING: “We cannot and must not let budget constraints shut down our libraries,” Assemblymember Grace Meng declared last week referring to possible budget cuts for the Queens Library system.

“In such challenging times, our residents need the critical services provided by the Queens Library more than ever,” the Flushing lawmaker added.

The library “serves as a lifeline to those most in need”, Meng said, and it also connects people especially immigrants, small businesses, and people looking for jobs, to information about government services.

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