2016-08-10 / Political Page

After Bad Week For Trump, Rudy Gives Him A Lift

As the polls held steady for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump last week and some supporters were reported to be leaving him, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani continued his support for Trump and stated the race was far from over.
Appearing on a Sunday talk show, Giuliani expressed assurances that Trump would reverse his slide and was still very much in the race against Clinton. Giuliani was quoted in one report as saying, “Everyone should calm down about it. There’s certainly every opportunity for Trump to win this election,” he stated on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, as the discussion centered on Clinton’s comfortable lead over him in the polls.
Giuliani also pointed out that in past elections it wasn’t unheard of that poll leads became reversed, and Trump was still capable of reversing Clinton’s nine-point lead.
Trump found himself in a precarious position as the contest for the nation’s presidency continued to narrow with voting scheduled for November 8. Trump precipitated his own problem, as he criticized the parents of a son killed in action who spoke during the Democratic National Convention. Also thrown into the mix was Trump’s refusal to endorse Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and U.S. Senator John McCain, both of whom were facing tough election opposition. However, he eventually endorsed both, but some damage had already been done.
Meanwhile, other Republican lawmakers chided Trump over his actions and statements that placed Republican lawmakers reelection campaigns in peril. One of these was U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R–Arizona) who was worried that Trump’s statements were a problem which could give Democrats and Clinton a chance to win in Arizona in the November elections.
Flake noted that if Hispanics came out to vote in Arizona, “it will be a changed ball game here.” Flake reported Republicans have won the state in every election since 2000. He said, “We need immigration reform here,” but Trump is saying the opposite.
The same situation exists in Ohio, another key state. The governor there is John Kasich, whom Trump defeated in the Republican presidential primaries, along with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
Although Cruz attended the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Kasich’s home state, Kasich did not attend because of his differences with Trump. So the question now arises: Will Kasich support Trump’s efforts to win Ohio, another key state?
Kasich was interviewed this past Sunday by CNN and he stated very clearly that he does not intend to vote for Clinton. But as far as not voting for Trump, he was adamant in answering “no,” although he was asked several times by the interviewer.
The only reason Kasich gave for refusing to vote for Trump was because Trump is “always on the dark side of things” while Kasich “is always on light side.” So in response to questions regarding Trump’s chances of carrying Ohio, he voiced serious doubts about it.
Kasich stated, “he’s going to win parts of Ohio where people are really hurting. There will be sections he will win because people are angry, frustrated and haven’t heard any answers, but I still think its difficult if you are dividing to be able to win Ohio.” Kasich also said, “Trump should try to unify voters.”
But he made it clear he would not help Trump in campaigning in the state.
ADDABBO URGES WIND PROJECT OFF ROCKAWAY PENINSULA: Shortly after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his support earlier this month for a proposed offshore wind project off the coast of Long Island, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. is renewing calls for support of a similar project slated to take place off the coast of the Rockaway peninsula.
The Governor recently announced he is in favor of a 90-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Montauk that would serve the South Fork region of Long Island by providing clean, renewable energy, and helping to eliminate hundreds of thousands of pounds of harmful chemicals from the air each year. This project mirrors a plan known as the Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Project that seeks to bring a similar facility to Rockaway, about 12 miles off the coast of the peninsula, said Addabbo (D–Howard Beach).
This proposal – a collaborative effort by Con Edison, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) – gained even more momentum in November after Governor Cuomo vetoed a plan that would have allowed the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas project to take place off the coast of Rockaway Beach. In the wake of the heavily justified veto on this dangerous, controversial liquid natural gas project, which Addabbo opposed, the Senator is now focusing efforts on working with the state as plans for the offshore wind farm continue to progress.
“When the risky Port Ambrose LNG project was vetoed in the fall of 2015, it cleared the path for the wind farm to be talked about as the future of renewable energy for Rockaway and Long Island,” said Addabbo. “I have been a supporter of this wind project from the start and still believe that this is the most viable option for bringing clean power to our community. New York has long been a leader on environmental issues, and we have shown our strengths in finding innovative ways to harvest green energy for our future. This project is the next step toward setting a precedent for others to follow.”
Addabbo cited a recent study conducted by the New York Public Service Commission which estimated that for every megawatt of fossil power used, approximately 900 pounds of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere. By that estimate, the construction of the Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Project would help eliminate more than 540,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere – the equivalent of removing 120,000 vehicles from local streets.
The Senator noted that as details of the wind project continue to emerge, he has kept in close contact with Governor Cuomo’s office, including participating in a conference call last week during which Addabbo learned the federal government plans to offer a lease on a property for the wind farm by early next year. He also pledged to work with the Governor’s office and relevant state agencies to ensure the project stays in the public eye, with the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) hoping to obtain the lease.
“The wind project has made major strides since November, and I am proud to be a supporter as it continues to progress into an revolutionary step into New York’s environmental future,” said Addabbo. “It is inevitable that cleaner, safer energy sources must be harvested in order to keep our city, and our state, flourishing for years to come.”
Next month, NYSERDA intends to release a preliminary plan of its hopes for the Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Project, after which Addabbo will look to have a meeting with the agency to discuss the proposal in further detail, in order to keep the residents of Rockaway updated.
DA BROWN, REPS. CROWLEY AND MALONEY BID BRATTON FAREWELL: Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and Congressmembers Joseph Crowley and Carolyn Maloney were effusive in their praise as they bade farewell to Police Commissioner William Bratton, who announced his retirement from that position last week.
Brown, Crowley and Maloney also offered their good wishes to James P. O’Neill, the current NYPD Chief of Department, who was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to succeed Bratton.
Bratton headed the NYPD twice, briefly in the mid-1990s and more recently for a 31-month period. O’Neill started his career as a police officer some 30 years ago and worked his way up through the ranks to become the Chief of Department.
DA Brown stated: “As he announces his retirement today as Police Commissioner, I want to express my gratitude to – and respect for – Bill Bratton on behalf of the people of Queens County. Under his leadership in the mid-1990s and over these past 31 months, the NYPD has made tremendous strides in reducing overall crime to significant and historic low levels. It is a remarkable achievement, and one that Bill and all New Yorkers should be proud of. On a personal note, I thank Bill for his friendship and wish him and Rikki the best as he moves on to the next chapter in his life.
“NYPD Chief of Department James P. O’Neill is an excellent choice to succeed Bill Bratton as Police Commissioner given his broad experience in law enforcement. A true son of the City, Chief O’Neill has served the public for more than three decades, both as a police officer and as an effective and talented administrator. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for his selection, and am confident that Chief O’Neill will do a superb job in his new role. I look forward to working closely with him in keeping crime down and continuing to improve community relations.”
Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, released the following statement on the resignation of NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton and the appointment of Chief of Department Jimmy O’Neill as his replacement in September:
“I thank Commissioner Bratton for his tremendous service to New York as the leader of our City’s police force. A veteran of law enforcement, Commissioner Bratton has been a consummate public servant. I thank him for his work in keeping our City safe and I wish him the best in his next endeavors.
“I would also like to congratulate Chief of Department Jimmy O’Neill on his appointment as our next commissioner. I look forward to working with him help keep our families and our communities safe.”
Congresswoman Maloney released the following statement:
“Commissioner Bratton has been steadfast in his commitment to protecting our City during his tenure as Police Commissioner,” said Maloney. “He took command at a time where mistrust of the police was running rampant across our nation, and he has worked hard to combat those issues. Under his lead, crime in our great city declined to historic lows, while he simultaneously helped restore trust within minority communities by scaling back stop-and-frisk. He trained thousands of new officers to protect our streets, and enhanced the NYPD’s technological capabilities.
“Commissioner Bratton will long be remembered for his dedication to the people of New York. He has bravely stood by his officers, even when that put him at odds with Mayor de Blasio. He has been a loyal and steadfast civil servant, and I thank him for his service.
“Congratulations to Jimmy O’Neill, who has been appointed our next Police Commissioner. O’Neill has some large shoes to fill, but with his years of experience I am sure he is more than up to the task. He has spent his years in the NYPD building a national model for bringing together the community and the police to fight crime. I look forward to seeing how he builds upon the legacy left by Commissioner Bratton.”
VAN BRAMER STAGING 7TH ANNUAL SCHOOL SUPPLIES DRIVE: Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer has announced his 7th Annual Back to School Supplies Drive, which is conducted every year, collecting backpacks, notebooks, pencils, crayons and other school supplies for children in need in Western Queens. The collections will end September 8.
“No parent should have to worry about affording school supplies for their child,” said Van Bramer. “This school supply drive helps ease the burden for many families at this stressful time of year. I encourage everyone who can to pick up some supplies and donate them to our friends and neighbors in need.”
Over the past six years, Van Bramer’s office has collected thousands of school supplies for students in need at schools throughout the 26th Council District. Donors can bring supplies to the District Office of Council Majority Leader Van Bramer, 47-01 Queens Boulevard, Suite 205, or to the following Queens Library locations:
• Sunnyside Library, 43-06 Greenpoint Avenue, Sunnyside
• Woodside Library, 54-22 Skillman Avenue, Woodside
• Long Island City Library, 37-44 21st Street, Long Island City
• Court Square Library, 25-01 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City
• Broadway Library, 40-20 Broadway, Long Island City
DE BLASIO’S RUMORED HOMELESS SHELTER SLAMMED: Brian Barnwell, an attorney from Woodside seeking to unseat incumbent Assemblymember Marge Markey to represent District 30, believes elected officials should join with civic groups and the community to challenge Mayor de Blasio in court over the rumor that the Holiday Inn at 59-40 55th Road in Maspeth is going to be made into a homeless shelter. Barnwell stated:
“De Blasio has been creating shelters throughout the city without giving the communities reasonable notice to be able to express themselves. We certainly must care for the homeless, but de Blasio doesn’t care about the communities he radically changes because of his actions. The Mayor often declares emergencies which fast tracks the shelters, leaving the people who live in these communities without an opportunity to voice their concerns. De Blasio doesn’t care because he doesn’t have to live in these communities. Now, any time a hotel is built, the community must ask if de Blasio is going to create a homeless shelter out of it. The elected officials who represent the people should ban together and challenge de Blasio in court. That’s what I would be doing if I were elected.”
Election Day for this primary is Tuesday, September 13, 2016.
CROWLEY TO FTC: GUARD US AGAINST ZIKA SCAMS: Congressman Joe Crowley (D–Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging the agency to take continued action to defend the public against businesses and products that are preying on fears of the Zika virus to defraud consumers.
In the letter addressed to FTC Chair Edith Ramirez, Crowley points to reports of products promising to protect against mosquitoes, or even Zika itself, without offering actual science-based solutions or proof they work.
“Unfortunately, in times of fear and concern, we see opportunists who try to capitalize on these worries and cash in,” said Rep. Crowley. “Americans are already increasingly concerned about the Zika virus, they shouldn’t have to fear being taken advantage of as well. The FTC must remain vigilant and take any and all action to keep consumers aware of deceptive products and services, and keep companies honest.”
This week, Florida state officials said 14 cases of locally transmitted Zika have been confirmed just outside Miami. The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites by reducing standing water, keeping screens on windows and doors, and using Environmental Protection Agency-approved insect repellents, which have been evaluated for effectiveness. For more information on preventing and preparing for Zika, visit http://www.cdc.gov/zika.
STAVISKY OPENING OF 149 STREET BRIDGE: State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D–Flushing), joined by Department of Transportation Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia, Korean American Association of Queens President Paul Yoo, community leaders and members of the 149th Street Merchants Association, announced the long-awaited opening of the 149th Street Bridge in Murray Hill.
After five years of being barricaded and closed off to cars, the new two-lane bridge over the LIRR tracks was finally opened this week after preliminary work began last November. Originally, the crossway – which was in need of a concrete deck replacement – was set to open in 2012, but it was found to be faulty and unsafe for cars. The structure remained shut off to traffic while a replacement bridge was planned for development.
The surrounding businesses – mostly Korean-owned – suffered major financial loss or went out of business altogether. Upon learning of the effect the closed bridge was having on mom and pop shops Stavisky, with the help of her colleague in the State Assembly Ron Kim and Councilman Peter Koo, worked with the Department of Transportation to open the bridge as soon as possible.
“I am so happy to finally cross the 149th Street Bridge off my list of things to do,” Stavisky said. “After five years of frustration, countless meetings and phone calls, I cannot tell you how relieved I am. The Murray Hill business community will no longer face financial struggles because of a damaged bridge and residents will not have to walk past this eyesore again. This is all due to the effort of KAAQ, the merchants, my colleagues in elected office, Assemblyman Ron Kim and Councilman Peter Koo, the DOT Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia, who, from day one, made the opening of this bridge a priority.”
Originally, the 149th Street Bridge was scheduled to open in early 2017, but the senator pushed to expedite the process and the DOT listened. The transportation agency even put stipulations in place that would penalize the contractor if construction went any longer.
In addition to the bridge opening, the DOT – at Sen. Stavisky’s request – installed two-hour metered parking, after local business owners shared concerns over a lack of parking. The meters will ensure quicker turnover, so that spots will be more readily available for patrons. Two-hour metered parking was installed at 41st Avenue, between 149th Place and 150th Street; at 149th Street between Roosevelt and 41st Avenues; at 150th Street between Roosevelt and Barclay Avenues as well as Roosevelt and Barton Avenues, and Roosevelt and 41st Avenues; as well as at 149th Place between Roosevelt and Barton Avenues, and 41st and Barclay Avenues.
“Reopening the 149th Street Bridge puts it back on the map for pedestrians, drivers and bicyclists,” said DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Garcia. “By restoring all access to this important north-south connection in the Murray Hill transportation network, we are making it easier for residents to get to their homes, students and seniors to meet friends, and customers to visit local businesses.”
“Finally, after far too many delays, I am pleased to join our local leaders and other elected officials in announcing the opening of the 149th Street Bridge. Our community has been understandably frustrated by the years of postponed plans and overdue construction, and by the many transportation issues this has caused. With today’s official opening, we can now begin a new chapter in the story of Flushing’s continued growth and transformation into one of the most vibrant communities in New York,” Kim said.
“Today’s celebration is the result of sustained advocacy by community leaders and elected officials from all over Flushing, who recognized that the hiatus caused by the closing of the 149th Street Bridge impacted more than just street traffic, but also the quality of life of all who live, visit and do business in Murray Hill. Thank you to the DOT for fast-tracking the construction of this project, and especially for establishing penalties in the event of further delays. While it has taken a long time to get to this point, the expedited completion of the 149th Street bridge is a fine example of the city doubling its efforts to correct past failures,” Councilman Peter Koo said.
“I’d like to thank Senator Stavisky and her staff for their tireless advocacy on this bridge opening. I also thank the new Commissioner of the DOT and her staff for her prompt action to help our community,” KAAQ President Paul Yoo said.
“Over the past six years due to the delayed 149th Street Bridge reconstruction there was enormous damage to the minority-owned small businesses nearby. However, Senator Stavisky and her staff actively fought for this long neglected neck of woods and finally brought us the bridge opening of with help from DOT. We, the merchants deeply appreciate all her endeavors,” Murray Hill Merchants Association President Young Hwan Kim stated.
MENG ANNOUNCES SIGNING OF NEW LEASE FOR KEW GARDENS POST OFFICE: Congresswoman Grace Meng (D–Queens) announced on August 4 that the United States Postal Service has renewed its lease for the Kew Gardens Post Office, located at 83-30 Austin Street in Kew Gardens.
This past March, Meng asked the Postal Service about the future of the facility after residents in the area expressed concern that the lease may not be renewed. Postal officials replied by saying that the agency planned to renew the lease, and they have informed the Congresswoman that a new five-year agreement has been signed by the Postal Service and the property’s landlord. Postal officials signed the new lease on August 3. It expired on July 31.
The Kew Gardens Post Office has been located at its Austin Street location since April of 1951. The term of the new lease runs through July 31, 2021. The most recent lease was a five-year term, as well.
“The renewal of this lease is a relief for residents in Kew Gardens who had concerns about the future of this post office,” said Meng. “These residents said loud and clear that they wanted this facility to remain in their community, and I’m pleased to deliver the good news. I’m glad that those who live in the area will be able to continue to take advantage of the convenience and services that this postal facility provides.”
“We are grateful to Congresswoman Meng for her efforts in ensuring that the post office lease was renewed for another five years,” said Dominick Pistone, President of the Kew Gardens Civic Association. “We would also like to work with the Congresswoman on a long-term solution for our post office to avoid another last minute solution in 2021.”
“Knowing that the lease for this post office was set to expire, we were concerned about it being renewed, and contacted Congresswoman Meng to find out if it would be,” said Murray Berger, Executive Chairman of the Kew Gardens Civic Association. “We’re extremely pleased to learn from her that it will remain in our neighborhood, and we thank her for inquiring with the Postal Service.”
The Kew Gardens Post Office provides a wide array of services including international shipping, money orders, post office boxes, packaged stamps, pickup services, priority mail and other general postal services.
Retail hours of operation under the new lease will remain the same: Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lobby hours will remain the same as well: Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
FARINA ON NYC-STATE TEST SCORES: “We have seen incredible improvement on these exams, and it’s so important that we’ve seen it in every single school district – testament to not only the hard work of students, but the importance of having strong educators at the helm: our superintendents, principals and teachers,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Since day one as Chancellor, I’ve focused on strengthening literacy instruction, and our students and educators should be proud of the increased scores in every grade, across every district, in every borough. In addition to the increases in proficiency, we saw a substantial decrease in students scoring at the lowest proficiency level – particularly black and Hispanic students; these students are Equity and Excellence agenda, and we’ll continue to strengthen elementary and middle-school ELA and Math instruction and achievement. We have much to celebrate today but no time to slow down. I look forward to working together with students, families and educators to build on these essential accomplishments.”

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