Queens GOP Selects Challenger To Gianaris
When the Republican majority in the state senate sat down to create new senate district maps early last year, one of their prime objectives was to draw the 12th District in Western Queens in such a way that a Republican candidate would have the best possible chance of defeating the Democratic incumbent, state Senator Michael Gianaris, in this November’s election.
Last Saturday, Queens Republicans selected their candidate to oppose Gianaris and their choice was Tony Arcabascio, formerly of Astoria but now living in Jackson Heights. Arcabascio is not a Republican officially, he’s a registered Independent, as far as party affiliation is concerned.
But the important thing is that he will have the Republican line on the ballot, and hopefully, the Conservative Party line also in November opposite Gianaris.
Reached in Albany for comment on Arcabascio’s designation, Gianaris stated: “I am incredibly proud of the work I have done representing Western Queens in the state legislature. From shutting down the state’s biggest polluters to supporting our local schools to promoting local businesses that create much needed jobs, together we have made a big difference improving people’s lives. I look forward to once again putting my record before the voters this November and continuing to serve my neighborhood for another term.” Queens Republican Chairman Phil Ragusa said he was pleased with the choice because Arcabascio “has the independence and commitment to represent this Northwestern Queens district with integrity and intelligence.”
“As an Independent I am really honored that the Republican Party will support me for state senate and agrees with my focus on jump starting the economy, creating jobs, improving schools and health care and reforming government to make it more transparent and accountable. I agree with Chairman Ragusa that Queens residents are tired of the relentless partisanship of my opponent and will be looking for practical solutions to the challenges we face.”
The Queens GOP law chairman, Vince
Tabone, directed his comments at
Arcabascio’s “opponent”, whom he did not name. Tabone stated: “When we look at the fact that his opponent has wasted all his time on either sponsoring leftwing social engineering legislation raising taxes on working families and employers or raising special interest funds for the Democratic Party instead of delivering for his constituents, Tony Arcabascio’s independence, common sense and commitment to community provide a stark contrast.”
In the news release announcing Arcabascio’s selection for the 12th SD seat, it gave little background on his previous political activities, affiliation with any political organization.
Arcabascio was born in California and came east to Astoria where he attended public schools (not named), graduated from CUNY, not further identified, and is “a respected senior level technology professional for over 25 years”.
COUNTY GOP CHAIRS DISCUSS 2013 MAYOR: In other Republican news, especially the speculation that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly may wind up as the GOP mayoral choice in 2013, the city’s five Republican Party county chairmen said they would not announce their choice until the fall.
According to published reports, they said their first choice is billionaire supermarket magnate John Catsimatides, who had considered running in 2009.
However, Catsimatides disclosed that his first choice as the GOP mayoral candidate was Commissioner Kelly. He said he had been supporting Kelly and he would “be in the bullpen if Ray Kelly doesn’t do it”.
Some other possibilities for mayor include: Diana L. Taylor, Mayor Bloomberg’s girlfriend; former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso; state Senator Martin Golden, of Brooklyn and two Democrats—Eva S. Moskowitz, a charter school developer and former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr.
TURNER COMMENTS ON 9/11 TERRORIST TRIAL: Congressmember Bob Turner (R–C–Queens/Brooklyn) issued the following statement on the trial of the 9/11 terrorists:
“Finally, after a three-year postponement, the men accused of the most despicable act of cowardice have been arraigned. Today’s procedures are the first step toward ensuring that those responsible for the attacks are brought to trial and the families who have waited so long for justice to be served will be able to watch firsthand as these terrorists are given their day in court. I commend the military for allowing the families of those who were killed in the attacks to view the proceedings and encourage them to continue to do so in the future. My thoughts and prayers remain with the families who lost loved ones, including those watching these proceedings today at the Fort Hamilton Army Garrison in Brooklyn.
LIU CONTINUES TO BLAST MAYOR ON 911 REPORT: City Comptroller John Liu, after recently releasing a year-long audit detailing massive mismanagement by the Bloomberg administration and cost overruns in the 911 upgrade, issued a follow-up blast after the mayor belatedly disclosed the contents of a taxpayer-funded consultant’s report on the city’s 911 call system.
Liu stated: “It’s sadly ironic that the city hired an expensive outside consultant to review the work of other expensive outside consultants. This report is not only a waste of more taxpayer dollars, but seems to be duplicative of what my auditors have already found. My audit team is currently finalizing our second report on this project, which will delve further into issues regarding the financial mismanagement of this important initiative. We will review the details of what is being released today, but it won’t change the fact that City Hall has consistently shirked its responsibility to properly manage IT projects during the past decade, which has resulted in fraud, cost overruns and massive completion delays.”
STATE GOP CHAIR COMMENTS ON JOBS REPORT: Commenting on April’s bleak unemployment report, NYS Republican Chairman Ed Cox stated:
“While millions of Americans want to get back to work, today’s jobs report indicates the labor force has shrunk by over 300,000 people, clearly showing many Americans have given up searching for a job entirely. Those currently employed have had to cut back on expenses to factor in rising prices for groceries, gas and health care. For millions of Americans, this economy is simply not sustainable.”
KOSLOWITZ SAD OVER MAYOR’S BUDGET: Commenting on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed $69 billion 2013 budget, Councilmember Karen Koslowitz (D–Forest Hills) stated she was disheartened that it particularly targets early childhood service and after-school programs.
Koslowitz went on: “These drastic cuts will directly impact parents who rely on these programs to provide a safe place for their children after school while they are at work.”
ABOUT THE 6TH CD RACE: Assemblymember Grace Meng (D–Flushing), a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 6th CD race, voted to establish the state DREAM Fund, which would raise funds to provide scholarships to children of immigrants headed to college. She praised bill sponsor Assemblymember Francisco Moya (D–Corona).
Moya praised Meng as a champion of immigrant rights who actively supported her efforts to get the measure approved.
The city Sanitation Officers Association endorsed Meng last week for her commitment to organized labor.
Another candidate seeking the Democratic nomination in the 6th CD Democratic primary, Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley (D–Glendale), was endorsed by the city Sanitation Workers Union. Harry Nespoli, the president of the 6,100-member union, cited Crowley’s support of a bill that would make attacking a sanitation worker an assault in the second degree.
LANCMAN-HALLORAN CLASH ON WAGE BILL: Last week, Councilmember Dan Halloran (R–C–Whitestone), who has the Republican line in the 6th CD contest, voted against the living wage bill, arguing it would eventually cause some low paid workers to lose their jobs.
Halloran was blasted for his no vote by Assemblymember Rory Lancman (D–Fresh Meadows), who’s also seeking the 6th CD nomination in the June 26 Democratic primary. Lancman charged: “Halloran’s no vote on the living wage bill… was a slap in the face to working New Yorkers desperately struggling to get by in this economy.”
ELMHURST TRIANGLE GETTING RENOVATED: Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and a crowd of pols gathered last Wednesday at the Dunningham Triangle, 82nd Street and Baxter Avenue in the Elmhurst/Jackson Heights area, to hail the BP’s official announcement of a $200,000 renovation of the triangle.
The triangle was named in honor of Jabez Dunningham, an early 1900s civic activist from Elmhurst who founded the Queens Council of Civic Associations. He died in 1945.
Marshall, who contributed $150,000 toward the community improvement (the rest came from Mayor Bloomberg), said at the ceremony:
“It is fitting that we are here today to focus attention on this land that will create an outdoor gathering place for the community, enhance local business activity and enliven this shopping district.”
Marshall added that the occasion “marks another step forward for this vital Business Improvement District (BID)”.
In April, the 82nd Street Partnership, announced significant improvements were being made in the area. BID Director Seth Taylor was among those present. Others in attendance were: the city Small Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski and Councilmembers Julissa Ferreras (D–Corona) and Daniel Dromm (D–Jackson Heights).
Dromm praised Marshall for her “unswerv- ing commitment to preserving… open space in our area”. Ferreras did likewise, thanking the BP “for her continued support of our district”.
STAVISKY NOTES ‘PAPERLESS’ ADVANCE: “New York state took another step into a paperless 21st century,” state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky observed, when the senate passed a bill which allows state employees to receive electronic confirmation of direct deposit of paychecks into bank accounts.
“By allowing enrollees in the state’s deposit program to opt out of paper delivery of their pay stubs, we can save money for taxpayers,” said Stavisky (D–Whitestone), who introduced the bill. The measure will reduce printing and mailing costs, she said, labor savings will total “more than 140,000 hours”, and the overall savings from direct deposit will total nearly $600,000 annually.
GOLDFEDER BLASTS WATER RATE HIKE, CAPS IT: Complaining that water rates are at an all-time high in Queens, and probably going higher, Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder (D–Rockaways) has introduced a bill to cap annual water rate increases at four percent a year in New York City.
Presently, the city Water Board is seeking another seven percent increase after a series of annual increases in double digit territory.
SUMMER JOBS: Summer jobs for youths which pay a salary and offer work experience also were part of a package sent out by Assemblymember Mike Miller (D–Woodhaven) to local schools and youth organizations recently. Miller explained: “Given our difficult economy, it is imperative to offer opportunities to hard-working young people. The Summer Youth Employment Program (run by the city Department of Community and Youth Development (DCYD) provides our young people the ability to gain real-world job experience in addition to earning a little cash.”
For applications, go online to www.nyc.gov/dcydor or contact Miller’s district office at 718-805-0950 or at 83-91 Woodhaven Blvd. in Woodhaven. The Application deadline set by DCYD is May 18.
SENATORS SEEK SINGLE AIRCRAFT NOISE COMPLAINT LINE: Presently the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Port Authority (PA) maintain separate aircraft noise complaint hotlines, and it’s causing the public to be confused.
U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have contacted both agencies to register their concerns with those setups, noting that, “This approach has led to confusion as to where noise complaints should be made.” They registered their complaints on behalf of Queens and Long Island residents, but both the FAA and PA may already be on