DA Brown Headed For 6th Consecutive Election Victory
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown is headed for election to a record sixth consecutive term as county prosecutor in the November 8 election, but there will be little activity on the rest of the ballot in this off year election.
Brown, who will reach his 79th birthday five days after the election, will again be running without opposition, benefiting from endorsements from his own Democratic Party as well as those of the Republican and Conservative parties.
All of the ballot information was provided by the New York City Board of Elections.
On the lower part of the official ballot are the elections of six state Supreme Court justices in Queens and just one other contest, the balloting to fill the 28th district City Council seat covering Jamaica and several adjacent areas. In this election, candidate Ruben Wills, a Democrat, is unchallenged for the post.
In the judgeship races, six Democratic Party candidates and an equal number of Republican- Conservative candidates are competing for the major judicial posts, which will go to the six individual competitors that have the most votes when the final vote is counted.
Democrats are expected to win them all since registered voters for that party hold a clear edge over the two other political party organizations backing the six other candidates. Similar elections in the past have demonstrated this conclusion many times in the past. In addition, all six Democrats have won previous elections, five of them for Civil Court judgeships and the sixth for a Housing Court judge’s position, which boosts their favorite status.
Five of the Democratic Party candidates on the ballot who are sitting Civil Court judges are: Janice A. Taylor of Jamaica; Allan Weiss of Forest Hills; Rudolph E. Greco Jr. of Jackson Heights; Vincent J. Dufficy of Breezy Point in the Rockaways and Ira H. Margulis of Oakland Gardens.
The sixth Democratic Party candidate is Pam B. Jackson-Brown of Jamaica, who is a sitting Housing Court judge.
The six opposing candidates who all have Republican and Conservative lines on the ballot, are: Robert V. Beltrani of Jackson Heights; Gabriel Tapalaga of Middle Village; Joseph F. Kasper of Ozone Park; Kate Christoforatos of The Bronx; Milton Florez of Oakland Gardens; and John F. Casey of Flushing.
Winners will be determined by which candidates individually receive the highest number of votes. Winners will receive 14 year terms; salary is $136,700 per year.
DA Brown started his string of victories in the 1991 election as he ran for the four-year term in November after he had been appointed in June by then-Governor Mario Cuomo to fill the vacancy created when former DA John Santucci resigned the seat.
In virtually all of his succeeding re-elections, the highly respected prosecutor, whose career spans almost 50 years in public life, has in most cases enjoyed bipartisan support for election.
In an interview last week, Brown explained that the New York State District Attorneys Association encourages DA candidates to seek multi-party endorsements.
Responding to a question we asked about the endorsements, Brown responded, “They [the DA group] urge their members to seek more than one endorsement to demonstrate the nonpartisan nature of the DA’s office.”
Needless to say, Brown’s popularity and the high respect he enjoys, which preceded his taking more than the sensitive DA’s post, has resulted in the other political parties offering their support at re-election time.
Since he became the Queens DA 20 years ago (making him the longest serving DA in the country’s history), Brown has always been a hands-on official. Early on, he started the practice of personally visiting crime scenes in the borough “for a first hand look” no matter when and where they occurred. Brown still continues this practice.
In addition, the Queens office under Brown, has continually wracked up high annual performance ratings. Last year, he said, the office handled 80,000 arrests, and despite the high figure, most of those cases were arraigned within 24 hours to dispatch arrested suspects quickly through the judicial process.
Also last year, he related, the office issued 900 search warrants and conducted 500 line-ups in precincts and had one of the highest conviction rates in the city.
Despite the heavy work load, you’ll find Brown at his office around 6:30 a.m. each day to get a head start on the official 9 a.m. workday start.
Brown says he’s in “exceptionally good health, we have a great staff, get good results and have the respect of the people we serve in Queens. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished and we’re looking forward to another four years”.
MALONEY CHECKS OUT NEWTOWN CREEK: Congressmember Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) among a group in attendance as the federal EPA held a boat ride on Newtown Creek as they lectured on the timetable being set for the monumental 20-or-so year cleanup of the environmental disaster waterway that splits Queens and Brooklyn.
Despite the massive cleanup of the creek that is expected soon to get underway, Maloney was optimistic that it will one day return to its former glory.
“In the Civil War, this waterway was considered a beautiful waterway [and] I’d like to see it restored to its former glory,” said Maloney. “The cleanup has been a long time coming and it will take a long time to complete, but the results are worth it.”
The preliminary work to map out and determine what and how to start cleaning up the mess is due to start in about a week, but it will take about seven years to complete and then about another 15 years for the actual cleanup, according to the EPA, and at a cost of about $1 billion.
Public hearings on the first phase will be held on October 27 at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City. The cleanup of the creek, a federal Superfund site, will be paid for by companies which polluted the waterway over a long period of time.
ROOSEVELT OR GOVERNORS FOR HI-TECH DEVELOPMENT? There’s been lots of speculation that the hi-tech educational establishments Mayor Michael Bloomberg envisions to be attracted here to boost the city’s economy will be housed on Governors Island, but some Queens leaders say Roosevelt Island could be more suitable.
Recently, officials from Cornell and Stanford Universities, which are among those eyeing NYC, expressed some favoritism for Roosevelt, for the key role, so last week several elected officials joined local community and business leaders for a tour of the island for a firsthand look.
Among the group were Maloney, state Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria) and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
Maloney reportedly said that creating a hightech campus there would offer a great opportunity for major developments for Western Queens’ economy and job growth expansion as well as the entire borough.
Gianaris noted there already are subway facilities in existence connecting the island to Western Queens communities.
Marshall and members of the Long Island City Partnership and the LIC Business Improvement District also expressed more than a little interest in making Roosevelt Island the applied science campus locale.
After some speculation about getting into the presidential race again this year, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani declared last week he would not run this year, according to the Long Island newspaper Newsday.
Attending a luncheon function out there, Giuliani stated, according to the newspaper, “Now is not my time.” Taking himself out of the race, Giuliani said the Republican Party wants someone more conservative than him. It came a few days after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also took himself out of contention for the GOP nomination.
The story said Giuliani would be interested if someone offered him the vice president’s office. He did not express his choice from among the several seeking the party’s nomination at this point.
AGAIN: By now, City Comptroller John Liu must be conducting his own probe into certain contributions to his mayoral campaign after the publishing sources cast some doubt on the large number of $800 donations made by a high number of Asian Americans. The $800 donations are made, according to published reports, because eight is a lucky number among East Asians. The Times and Crain’s Business Weekly cast suspicions that the large number of $800 gifts raised some doubts about their authenticity. Liu’s reaction was to review the situation himself to respond to suspicions.
At stake here is the huge campaign fund Liu has reportedly set aside for his mayoral campaign in 2013, a treasury already reaching about $1.5 million. Some say the whole situation may be damaging his campaign already, but we think that’s premature.
ST. NICHOLAS CHURCH REBUILDING BRINGS JOY: The announcement of the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church near the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, which was destroyed on 9/11 was greeted warmly by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Congressmember Joseph Crowley (D–Queens/The Bronx), state Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria) and Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. (D–Astoria.
The mayor recalled that in 2009, Archbishop Demetrios sought his help in convincing the Port Authority and state leaders to work on a solution and that he was “glad to be of assistance”.
“Now, thanks to cooperation between all parties,” the mayor stated, “a plan has been put in place that will give the community a new sanctuary and place for healing.”
Crowley greeted the news of St. Nicholas Church’s rebuilding by saluting Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Port Authority and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
“And a special word of thanks to New York’s Greek-American community for their commitment to this effort. It is because of their dedication and tireless work that St. Nicholas will be rebuilt,” Crowley said.
He added that the reconstruction of St. Nicholas “is a powerful symbol of the strength of our city and of its people and I am proud to have joined in the effort to ensure the church is rebuilt.”
Gianaris declared, “For more than a decade, Greek-Americans have been without our place of worship in one of the most significant locations in this country. This long-awaited deal reminds the world of New York’s emphasis on religious freedom and the value of reconstruction as we continue to remember all we lost on September 11.
“I look forward to celebrating the rebuilding of St. Nicholas with my fellow Greek- Americans and all New Yorkers. I thank the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Governor Cuomo and the Port Authority for their hard work to bring about today’s agreement.”
As a Greek-American, Gianaris added: “I was thrilled to learn that a deal has been reached to rebuild St.
Nicholas Church, an important symbol of our heritage, which was a spiritual refuge for our community for decades. I am deeply grateful to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Port Authority for coming to an agreement. I look forward to the opening of the new church, which will once again stand as an inspiring symbol of New York’s commitment to religious freedom.”
Vallone started by saying he thanked Cuomo on his efforts to facilitate a compromise. The lawmaker noted, “Negotiations had stalled for far too long, but thanks to the governor’s leadership on this issue, and the ability of both parties to reach a settlement, St. Nicholas Church will be rebuilt. This church served its community for 90 years, it was destroyed on September 11 and suffered a 10-year disruption, but much like our city, itYess!!will be stronger than ever.”
At one point, Vallone, who represents one of the largest Greek populations in this country, introduced a resolution calling on the Port Authority to reenter into negotiations with St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in an effort to have the church rebuilt.
PERALTA: ‘NO SECRET QUEENS IS GREAT’: Commenting on the Municipal Art Society Survey on Livability, which concluded that Queens County was the best place in the city to live, state Senator Jose Peralta stated:
“It’s never been a secret to life-long residents of Queens that it’s a great place to raise a family, so it’s hardly surprising that more than eight in 10 residents feel that way. For decades, our great borough has been welcoming families from all over the world, affording them an opportunity to make a home and to succeed.
“Clearly, there is room for improvement and a great deal of work needs to be done, as any family sending a child to a severely overcrowded school or struggling to make ends meet in this economy will tell you. Those of us in government owe it to them to keep doing all that we can to make things better.”
MARSHALL, SJU CELEBRATE ITALIAN HERITAGE MONTH: Seven outstanding individuals of Italian descent on St. John’s University’s campus in Jamaica/Hillcrest were honored by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and school officials in celebration of Italian Heritage Month last night at a ceremony held at Marillac Hall on the SJU campus.
Marshall stated: “This year’s celebration of Italian Heritage here in Queens also marks the 150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy forged in 1861. I thank Mr. Joseph Sciame, St. John’s¦ University’s¦ Vice President¦ for Community¦ Relations¦ and chair of the school’s¦ Italian¦ Culture Center; our¦ volunteer committee,¦ this year’s honorees and all those who make this annual celebration possible.”
Honored were the following:
•Ms. Giovanna D’Elia, for her 25 years as a volunteer and national coordinator of an Italian social service agency and for spearheading the creation of Piazza Italia in Whitestone, where Italian culture and heritage programs are presented.
•Richard Italiano, for 24 years of service to Community Board 4 and his outstanding service as an advisory board member of the National Children’s Study and New York Hospital/Queens in Flushing.
•Peter Mannarino, for his 30 years as a teacher, assistant principal and now Principal of Christ the King H.S. in Middle Village and for service on the board of the Ridgewood Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation.
•Joan Migliori, for service as Assistant Director for Community and International Programs at the John Colandra Italian American Institute; she is also a recipient of Italy’s Cavaliere of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.
•Ms. Annalisa Sacca, Ph.D., for her teaching, writing and humanitarian efforts, which have garnered various awards, including the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor; she also co-founded the Frates Foundation, which provides nutrition, education and health assistance to indigenous tribes in Amazonian Ecuador.
•Sister Thomas Angela, CSJ, for her service to immigrant families and work with the Ferrini Welfare League, where she established English as a Second Language and many after-school programs.
•Ms. Giada Valenti, for outstanding cultural contributions in singing and song writing to the Italian American community; also for being honored as Woman of the Year by the Organization of Italian Charities in America and also by the Order of Sons of Italy in America.
MARKEY ANNOUNCES FREE FLU SHOTS: Senior citizens and those who are most at risk for severe illness from the flu will be given priority to receive free flu shots which will be administered at Assemblymember Marge Markey’s district office at 55-19 69th St., Maspeth on October 27, between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
An appointment is required, Markey said, so call (718) 651-3185 for a reservation.
Markey is joining with health professionals from Elmhurst Hospital to offer the free flu shots for residents of Maspeth and Woodside.
The lawmaker said residents of her 30th AD will have the opportunity to get them and she “urged the most vulnerable to the risk of illness to take advantage of this opportunity”.
Besides seniors, children between ages of four and 18 will get priority service but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian or have a signed consent from the guardian, Markey said.
STAVISKY TO WOMEN: ‘GET MAMMOGRAMS’: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month says state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D–Whitestone), so she’s urging women to get a mammogram now.
Working in conjunction with the Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program, Stavisky said she “commends the Adelphi University School of Work
¦ Social for¦ assisting women¦ in obtaining¦ free or low cost mammograms”.¦
And she adds:¦ “Although most mammograms are normal, early detection is key.”
Hillary Rutter, director of the Adelphi program, added her urgings to women to get a mammogram, pointing out that “approximately 95 percent of all mammograms prove to be normal.” Her program can also help women to find out how to get a low cost or free mammogram and also answers questions and concerns about breast cancer and offers counseling and emotional support.
For more information and to locate an accredited mammography facility, call the Adelphi program at 800-877-8077 or visit www.adelphi.edu/nysbreastcancer. Callers can also get emotional support from specially trained volunteers, most of whom are women who have had breast cancer.