2015-11-04 / Political Page

$2M From State For Pomonok Houses

SIMANOWITZ ANNOUNCES $2M FROM STATE FOR POMONOK: Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz announced a $2 million award to The Pomonok Houses in Flushing to fund security upgrades.

The lawmaker said the allocation comes from a recent initiative by Governor Cuomo, which directs a total of $41.6 million in state funds towards 76 New York City Housing Authority developments.

Simanowitz (D–Flushing) explained that Assemblymembers met with Cuomo earlier this year to discuss the needs of NYC Housing Authority developments in their districts. At the meeting, Simanowitz advocated for funds to upgrade security at Pomonok’s 35-building complex, arguing that “growing resident concerns about gang and drug-related violence makes improved public safety measures a priority…”

Simanowitz also pointed out that Pomonok is “home to over 4,200 residents and shares the neighborhood with nearly 19,000 students of Queens College.”

Declaring he was “proud” to announce the $2 million safety improvement award to Pomonok, “Simanowitz stated: “Pomonok is a diverse neighborhood of hard-working families that have deep roots in our community. Our residents should not have to live in fear for their well-being and safety.

“These funds will help to alleviate such concerns and keep Pomonok a safe place to live. I applaud Governor Cuomo for making this a priority and will continue to work with the necessary agencies to ensure the fulfillment of the upgrades.”

Adding her thanks for the award, Monica Corbett, President of the Pomonok Resident Association added: “It’s been a long, uphill fight to secure more funding for upgraded security systems. The residents of Pomonok Houses are overwhelmed with joy for Assemblyman Simanowitz and our Governor for allocating another $2 million as an investment into the lives of Pomonok residents.”

ADDABBO SPONSORS FREE CUNY INFO SESSION: State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. announced he will once gain cosponsor a free event to provide information about the City University of New York college network to potential students.

Representatives from CUNY will be on hand at MS 137, located at 109-15 98th Street in Ozone Park on Saturday, November 7 from 11 am to 2 pm to give information about the network of CUNY schools. Addabbo said CUNY officials will answer questions from aspiring students and their parents about financial aid, scholarships, student life, degree programs and other common college topics, the lawmaker said.

Addabbo (D–Howard Beach) is cosponsoring the event along with colleagues Assemblymembers Mike Miller (D–Woodhaven) and Phil Goldfeder (D–Rockaways), and City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R–Ozone Park).

Addabbo stated, “CUNY is made up of more than 20 of the best colleges and universities in the county that offer incredible advantages to New York City residents applying to college. The opportunity to meet with representatives from CUNY to discuss first-hand what these advantages are is something that should not be passed up.

Addabbo emphasized, “There is no doubt that applying to and choosing a college can be a very overwhelming experience not just for students, but for their families as well. This free event eases much of that pressure by providing information and details that will make the process much easier for everyone involved. I am excited to work with CUNY to host this event and look forward to a continued partnership in the future.”

For more information, contact Addabbo’s Howard Beach office at 718-738-1111.

MALONEY: GOP BILL ‘SHORTCHANGES’ 9/11 SURVIVORS’: In a surprise slap in the face to 9/11 survivors who became seriously ill from working at Ground Zero, Congressional Republicans have proposed reauthorizing the Victim Compensation Fund for only five years.

In sharp contrast, Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney and most of the Congress were close to passing the entire Zadroga Act program permanently.

Commenting on the Republican House Judiciary Committee’s proposal, Maloney stated, “…this bill falls far short of our commitment to 9/11 first responders and survivors. We must permanently and properly reauthorize these programs to ensure we live up to our promise to never forget.”

Joined by Congressman Jerold Nadler (D–Manhattan), co-author with Maloney of the Zadroga Act, Maloney continued in rejecting the GOP proposal, saying:

“The proposal attempting to extend the Victim Compensation Fund for only five years is deeply flawed, and could result in current claimants seeing their awards cut by as much as 60 percent. We cannot tell those who have been out of work for years because of their injuries, or the widows and children of those who have died, that the money they were promised could be cut by more than half. That is not how Congress should treat American heroes.”

Maloney noted, “For the past 14 years we have devoted our time and energy to protecting the health and well being of the heroes of September 11, 2001. Five years ago, along with our colleague from New York, Rep. Peter King, we were proud to pass the James Zadroga Act on behalf of 9/11 first responders and survivors. We knew at the time that five years would never be adequate to answer the sacrifices of those heroes. That is why, this year, together with countless advocacy organizations, we authored legislation to make these programs permanent and ensure that no one who risked everything that fateful day would be forgotten.”

Maloney then explained and reviewed the bill she introduced to continue the original Zadroga Act which expired at the end of September and funding will run out by September 30, 2016. The bill Maloney and her colleagues introduced permanently extends fully both the health and compensation programs. Currently it has 237 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House and 61 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate.

But “instead of taking up this bipartisan legislation, which would clearly pass the House, a new bill was drafted and introduced with no bipartisan support or input from advocacy organizations,” Maloney said, adding, “None of us were consulted on drafting the legislation or notified that it would be introduced.”

VAN BRAMER ENDORSES NEW PLAN REDUCING TRAFFIC CONGESTION: There’s a new traffic congestion reducing plan in town and City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer jumped aboard early last week, giving the plan his endorsement.

Van Bramer (D–Sunnyside) joined more than three dozen supporters of the Move MY Fair Plan, which sponsors promise will generate $1.35 billion annually, enough to eliminate the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s $10.8 billion deficit and still provide substantial funding for NYC’s roads and bridges and expand city transit facilities.

Van Bramer stated, “We’ve seen massive congestion problems both on the subway cars and platforms of the 7 train themselves, and then in addition to that, in the run up to the Queensboro Bridge. That’s why I am saying now we need to focus on this investment into our mass transit. The Move NY plan is the best and most responsible way to get us there. This is a responsible way to ensure that the MTA’s needs are fully funded on an ongoing basis without putting a financial burden on the backs of riders.”

Van Bramer made no mention of whether tolls would be imposed on the East River bridges, which are presently toll-free. But in a recent Daily News story on the subject it stated that Van Bramer favors the tolls.

Regarding Van Bramer’s endorsement of the plan, Move NY stated: “Councilman Van Bramer’s endorsement gives the campaign to enact the Fair Plan a nice shot in the arm,” said Alex Matthiessen, Move NY’s Campaign Director and President of Blue Marble Project. “As the City Council’s Majority Leader and a widely respected member of the Queens delegation, his support is especially meaningful and significant. Councilman Van Bramer has done his homework and like a growing number of New Yorkers, has come to the conclusion that the Move NY Fair Plan is the best and only option for reducing traffic, improving transit, and securing a sustainable revenue stream to maintain and expand our transportation network. We look forward to working with Councilman Van Bramer and other elected officials to make Move NY a reality for the millions of riders and drivers who rely on our subways, buses, roads, bridges, and commuter rail to get around this great city.”

According to Move NY, its plan “offers positive benefits to New York’s transit riding public, including those who live in City Councilman Van Bramer’s district: new select bus service, expanded ferry and Express Bus service, and discounted Express Bus and intra-city LIRR and Metro-North trips seven days a week. Unique to the Move NY plan, these improvements go beyond the MTA capital plan in expanding the delivery of more affordable, more accessible options to get around the city.

“For those who rely on a car to get around, the plan sets aside $350 million annually to keep our roads and bridges in good repair. With the Move NY “toll swap,” where the MTA’s outer bridge tolls are slashed by up to 48 percent, Queens residents will experience substantial toll relief on five out of six of the borough’s bridges while also benefiting from more transit options and reduced traffic congestion, crashes and asthma rates in Hunters Point, Long Island City, and Astoria.”

According to published reports, Van Bramer joins about 13 other reported Councilmembers who have endorsed the Move NY plan. When then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg strongly favored a congestion pricing plan several years ago, it passed the Council, but was blocked in Albany. Regarding this new plan, neither Mayor de Blasio nor Governor Cuomo has taken a position on it.

CROWLEY, MALONEY APPLAUD RETURN OF EXPORT-IMPORT BANK: Queens Congressmembers Joseph Crowley and Carolyn Maloney applauded the passage last week of legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank which provides assistance to American businesses that export goods and services overseas. Previous to passage of last week’s reauthorization, “House Republicans shut it down this summer, putting thousands of US jobs and America’s economic competitiveness at risk,” Crowley (D–Queens/The Bronx) stated.

“Earlier this month,” Crowley added, “218 House Democrats and Republicans signed a discharge petition, a procedural move to force Republican leaders to allow a vote on the legislation.”

Crowley, the Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, applauded the reauthorization legislation, stated:

“As a Congress, we should take steps to help American companies compete and succeed in the global economy, not hinder their ability to do business and jeopardize American jobs. But that’s exactly what House Republican leaders did when they allowed the Export-Import Bank to expire in July – an action that forced companies like GE to move hundreds of jobs overseas. The Export- Import Bank is a critical tool for American businesses, big and small, that helps level the playing field against foreign competitors, sustains and creates American jobs. Thanks to the support from Democrats, dozens of Republicans, business leaders, and workers, the House took important action today to revive the Export-Import Bank and strengthen our economy.”

Congressmember Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) “praised the House’s effort to save American jobs by restoring the Export-Import Bank.”

The lawmaker, a senior member of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, who in July had released a report from the Joint Economic Committee Democrats, showing the Bank has supported $217 billion in exports and 1.3 million jobs since 2009, stated:

“The Export-Import Bank helps to create jobs by supporting exports. That’s why I’m so pleased that Republicans and Democrats joined together today to finally pass a bill to renew the Export- Import Bank’s charter, which was allowed to lapse over three months ago.”

Maloney noted, “There’s never a really good time to commit economic suicide — but now would be an especially bad time. Exports have declined in recent months. Eighty-five other nations have similar export credit agencies. Without the Export-Import Bank, our companies are at clear disadvantage compared to their foreign competitors.

“It is imperative that Congress pass this bill and send it to the President’s desk for his signature. We’ve already seen US companies cut US jobs because of the lapse in the Export-Import Bank’s charter. Today we are taking a step to bring those jobs back to this country and provide an important boost to our economy.”

Previous to the crucial vote to renew the Export-Import Banks charter, Maloney, as a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, joined a majority of the House of Representatives in a procedural move that would force a vote to extend the charter of the Export- Import Bank. Maloney signed a “discharge petition” with 218 of her colleagues to require a vote on legislation that would reauthorize the bank.

Earlier this year, on April 21, Maloney testified before the New York City Council Committee on Economic Development during a hearing on the importance of the Export-Import Bank to New York’s businesses. Local business leaders called on Congress to extend the bank’s charter because of the significant and positive impact the institution provides to New York’s economy.

PERALTA RAPS ‘RESALE TICKET PRICES’ TO SPORTS EVENTS: Objecting to “some of the costliest World Series tickets seen in history, especially for the New York Mets home games,” state Senator Jose Peralta says he “supports measures designed to curb skyrocketing resale ticket prices to attend sports events and other popular entertainment venues.”

Going a step further, Peralta (D–East Elmhurst) is co-sponsor of a bill that would cap profits on the resale of ticket prices at 20 percent above their face value. The bill (S.192) is sponsored by state Senator Daniel Squadron (D–Manhattan/B’klyn).

Peralta, whose district includes Citi Field, stated: “There are thousands of Met fans, the regulars who go to the games throughout the season, that are turned away from the opportunity to buy tickets to watch their beloved Amazins. Some reports point out that the cheapest tickets to see the Mets at Citi Field against the Royals now cost at least $600, and that is an out-of-reach price for working class New Yorkers.”

Peralta described the ticket resale prices surrounding the World Series at Citi Field as “exorbitantly unfair to consumers,” at an average cost of more than $1,600 per ticket.

Peralta added, “Scalpers and people using automated ticket purchasing software are buying tickets that would have ended up in the hands of true Mets fans. Today it’s the Mets, but tomorrow could be the Knicks, Islanders, Yankees or Rangers. We need to stop this practice or working class fans will never be able to watch their team win a championship.”

He even reminded that scalpers even resold tickets during the Pope Francis visit to New York City.

The Senator said that in 2007, the State Legislature lifted restrictions on the ticket resale market in favor of creating an open marketplace. Unfortunately, changes in the law have resulted in unintended consequences that have failed to drive the resale prices of tickets downward. “I want to commend Senator Squadron for taking up this issue geared toward protecting consumers and putting an end to this unfair market,” Peralta said.

Squadron thanked Peralta for “continuing to draw attention to this issue. Peralta concluded: “Hard-working Mets fans, unfortunately, will have to settle for watching their Amazin’ Mets win on television. They were simply priced out of cheering for their team like they do during the regular season at Citi Field, due to these outrageous ticket resale prices.”

ADDABBO ON 3RD SANDY ANNIVERSARY: Summing up his memories of Superstorm Sandy on its 3rd anniversary, October 29, state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D–Howard Beach) stated:

“The visions during the aftermath of Sandy are still etched in our memory, probably forever. The devastated homes and businesses, cars, boats and large sections of the boardwalk, still with the handrail attached, tossed about our streets like unwanted, broken toys. On this 3rd anniversary of the horrific storm, my thoughts and prayers remain with those who work each day toward putting their lives, homes and businesses back together. My staff and I will continue to be vigilant in assisting others until everyone is fully recovered and restored.”

STAVISKY URGES ALZHEIMER’S AWARENESS: Recognizing November as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky urged New Yorkers to learn more about this disease and how to detect and address it.

“People living with Alzheimer’s need treatment, care, and understanding, and that starts with having well-informed people in their lives, Stavisky (D–Flushing) stated. “I urge New Yorkers to learn more about the signs, symptons, treatment options and services associated with Alzheimer’s, not only during the month of November, but all year long.”

The lawmaker noted that Alzheimer’s, a degenerative disorder that attacks the brain, is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and can affect anyone at any age. In the early stages, this disease causes mild memory loss, ultimately leads to debilitating memory loss, inability to carry on conversations or respond to surroundings, and over the course of 4 to 20 years, death.

For information about Alzheimer’s and dementia, please visit:

www.health.ny.gov/disease/conditions.dementia

www.aging.ny.gov/Caregivers/Index.cfm

http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_ disease_ what_ is_ alzheimers.asp#basics

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