2016-09-21 / Political Page

Crucial Prez Debate Tuesday Night

The “huge” talk night is finally here – the first of three one-on-one talk fests between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – just the pair of bitter antagonists, each hoping the other makes the fatal blunder that does serious damage to his or her campaign, now only 48 days away, as they face off in their first debate.

The fact that the first debate will finally be here – if indeed it actually occurs – would be a victory for open government. We thought Trump would try to avoid doing it somehow, because frankly, we don’t consider it in his best interests for him to deliver his campaign message in response to clearly defined questions.

Clinton, on the other hand, easily approaches public speaking, speaking clearly and confidently. She will have to be at her very best Monday evening. Her recent bout with pneumonia, and other reasons, found her for the first time falling behind Trump in the polls, and she must use Monday evening’s brawl to regain some ground because the end of the ball game is in sight.

However, there is a danger Clinton faces, something associated with her recent sickness – the raspy coughing bouts that are prone to come suddenly upon a person recuperating from a throat ailment. It can be very disconcerting, but it is something she’ll have to guard against.

In general, Trump has been taking advantage of the opportunities that have come his way recently. For instance, when an opening occurs for him in a given key state, he seizes upon it without hesitation and revises schedules and visits the state to try to reinforce the poll numbers while they’re swinging his way

Meanwhile, Clinton’s side is getting some much-needed help from President Obama, appearing here and there to give Clinton’s campaign a boost at a time when it’s greatly needed. But Obama’s most urgent efforts are needed to maximize the black vote for Clinton, which is fast approaching. Clinton’s Hispanic and women’s vote also need reenergizing in her campaign as the closing phase approaches.

SHELTER ALREADY HOUSED HOMELESS: State Senator Jose Peralta issued the following statement: “After reaching out to the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) for several months, it has come to our attention that the Holiday Inn Express, located at 113-10 Horace Harding Expressway, has been housing homeless families for months. The number of rooms being utilized for the purpose of housing the homeless has routinely exceeded thirty to forty percent of the building’s capacity, and neither elected officials nor the community were notified. Although the community is extremely sympathetic to the homelessness crisis, and we know that many are just a paycheck away from becoming homeless themselves, it is our hope that this hotel is not converted into a permanent homeless shelter. News that a permanent conversion may be taking place is especially troubling following the City’s failed attempt to convert the Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth into a shelter this month. With five permanent homeless shelters already operating in this region of Queens, our communities have contributed more than their fair share to alleviate the homelessness crisis that we are facing in New York City. We will fiercely fight any attempt by the City to convert yet another local facility into a shelter. A successful effort to address the pervasive issue of homelessness starts with an open dialogue between DHS, elected officials, and community residents, not by forcing a neighborhood to take on additional burdens without first gathering meaningful input from those who are to be affected.”

BARNWELL PRAISES PROTESTERS, CITY’S DECISION TO DELAY OPENING OF MASPETH SHELTER: Brain Barnwell, who defeated Marge Markey in last week’s Democratic Party primary election, praised the city’s decision to postpone the opening of the Maspeth shelter, which was originally slated for October 1st. However, Barnwell pointed out that the delay in the original opening date is just that – a delay.

“I am encouraged by the city’s decision to postpone the opening of the shelter,” he said. “They listened to thousands of residents who stood up against Mayor de Blasio’s radical transformation of our neighborhoods. However, we need to continue to put pressure on our elected officials, because nothing about today’s decision implies that the shelter will not open eventually.”

Barnwell said he “is concerned… that the timing of the decision is just more political theater from Assemblywoman Markey and the de Blasio administration. “At the recent public meeting held on August 31st, Barnwell asked DHS Commissioner Steven Banks if the city had a signed contract with the owner of the hotel. Banks stated that they did not.

“If there was no signed contract, then how could the shelter open in less than a month, anyway? These things take time to plan. The fact the comptroller didn’t receive the paperwork is the true reason this shelter has been postponed, not an alleged phone call.” Barnwell explained.

“We can’t be distracted by these kind of games that politicians play,” he said. “They need to be held accountable. We can’t take our victory lap until it is all over.”

In an interview with Barnwell, who appeared to come out of nowhere to help fire up the protest against the newly proposed Maspeth Shelter, and then defeat Assembly Member Marge Markey in last Tuesday’s Democratic primary to become the candidate for the 30th AD (Maspeth) seat in the November 8th election some background on Barnwell emerged.

The 30-year-old and single Woodside native, who lives in Boulevard Gardens, worked for a spell with Council Member Costa Constantindes on several local projects. His efforts with the then-new lawmaker occurred when he returned home from an extended visit out West, where he earned a degree from Arizona State University, as well as a law degree, he recounted.

Previous to his wanderlust period, which he described as “a great period in my life,” one of his great joys was playing second base for a local baseball amateur team.

Barnwell, a slight-built person, always had the facility “to talk with people or help people and do my own thing,” which made it “real easy” to join the community’s fight against the Masepth shelter.”

KOSLOWITZ’ PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING: City Council Member Karen Koslowitz is kicking off the third cycle of Participatory Budgeting in District 29 in which residents of Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Rego Park, and parts of Richmond Hill have the opportunity to directly decide how to spend $1 million of public money.

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a grassroots democratic process, in which community members directly decide how to spend $1 million on things such as parks, streets, schools, or libraries. “PB gives the residents of District 29 real power to make real decisions over real money,” Koslowitz noted.

Last year through PB, residents funded bathroom renovations at three elementary schools, safety improvements at the intersection of Austin Street and 71st Avenue, and an outdoor reading room at the Forest Hills Library.

You can voice your ideas at any of the upcoming Neighborhood Assemblies, or submit your proposals online by going to ideas.pbnyc.org

MALONEY CONTINUES CALLS FOR INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT: During a recent hearing of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), Ranking Democrat Carolyn B. Maloney called for a balanced approach to the federal budget, including both policies to deal with long-term drivers of the debt and policies to lay the groundwork for economic growth.

Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) called for improving long-term economic growth by investing in education and infrastructure. The Congresswoman supports such infrastructure projects in her district, New York’s 12th, including the Second Avenue Subway project, East Side Access and the replacement of the Kosciuszko Bridge.

“History is instructive,” Rep. Maloney said. “Investing in broad-based economic growth was at the core of America’s success in the decades after World War II. We invested in our people through the GI Bill, and in our infrastructure, building the nation’s interstate highway system. It paid off. While publicly held debt more than tripled between 1945 and 1981, it fell by about three-quarters as a share of the economy. In my district, I have made following this model a priority, ensuring that we are investing in projects like the Second Avenue Subway, East Side Access and replacement of the Kosciuszko Bridge that not only have economic benefits, but also will make the lives of New Yorkers and their commutes better.”

Building the Second Avenue Subway has been one of Congresswoman Maloney’s top priorities since she was first elected. Based on its progress, the Congresswoman awarded the project an A- in May for its merit, economic benefits, the MTA’s outreach efforts and the pace at which construction is being completed.

The MTA says the subway will open for revenue service this December, providing a one-seat ride from the Upper East Side to Midtown, Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Congresswoman secured $1.3 billion for Phase 1 of the project and will advocate for federal funds for Phase 2 as the MTA begins construction on the uptown portion of the subway. This is the first major expansion of the New York City subway system in more than 60 years.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is continuing work on its East Side Access project, for which the Congresswoman seeks $2.6 billion in Federal Funds. East Side Access will bring LIRR trains into Grand Central Station, cutting commuting time and reducing crowding on trains and subways in and out of Penn Station.

In addition, State DOT is making rapid progress in replacing the Kosciuszko Bridge, one of the state’s most dilapidated and poorly designed bridges. With $670 million in federal funding (roughly 85% of the total cost), the state is building two side-by-side cable-stayed bridges that will provide eight lanes for traffic with improved sight lines, wider lanes, standard shoulders, reduced road incline and a new pedestrian/bike way. The first phase of the new bridge is expected to be completed in 2017.

ADDABBO, MILLER HOST ANNUAL FALL RECYCLING FAIR: State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., a member of the New York State Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, announced he will host his annual Fall Recycling Event later this month, in partnership once again with Assemblyman Mike Miller.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 25, crews will be on hand at the Forest Park Bandshell to accept items – including electronics, paper, clothing and various household items – to be safely and properly recycled. Addabbo cosponsors this event each year as a way to not only encourage more residents to recycle as much as possible, but to create an easier and more convenient way to do so by making it possible to responsibly discard many different items all in one central location, Addabbo (D–Howard Beach) stated.

“There are so many things that people may not know can be recycled, or things that don’t get recycled simply because it’s a hassle to do so,” said Addabbo. “This eliminates those hurdles and provides our constituents with a stress-free way to take care of all their recycling needs. In years past, this annual fair has proved to be one of the most popular events I’ve ever held, and I am confident that will continue into this year and for many to come. I thank our vendors for their support and participation year after year, as well as Assemblyman Miller (D–Woodhaven) for his partnership and the Department of Parks and Recreation for their cooperation as we hold this great community event.”

The recycling fair will host a paper shredder that will allow documents to be safely and securely recycled on site while residents watch to ensure confidentiality. Electronics recycling will accept items including computers, monitors, cell phones, fax machines, televisions, PDAs, printers, batteries, cameras, power strips, wires, chargers, cable boxes, fans, telephones and VCR tapes.

Household items will also be accepted, including clothing, coats, bedding, paired shoes, dishes, silverware, lamps and curtains. All donated items must be clean and dry. Air conditioners, paint, tires, medical waste and cardboard will not be accepted.

For more information or questions about what items can be recycled, please contact Senator Addabbo’s Howard Beach Office at 718-738- 1111.

ADDABBO TO HOLD MOBILE OFFICE HOURS AT GLENDALE LIBRARY: In his ongoing scheduling of mobile office hours around the district, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. will meet with constituents during mobile office hours in Glendale later this month.

Addabbo (D–Howard Beach) visits each library in his district multiple times per year as part of his commitment to personally assist as many people in his district as possible. The Senator will be at the Glendale Library, located at 78-60 73rd Place, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 22 to meet with residents wishing to talk with him about a problem they may be having or to bring a community issue to light. By holding mobile office hours at different libraries throughout his vast Senate district, Addabbo makes it more convenient for constituents to come to him at a time that is easier for them and a site right in their own community.

“As an elected official, making sure I interact with the people I represent is one of my top priorities,” said Addabbo. “I have always urged my constituents to contact me if I can help them in any way, but it is not always easy for some people to do that during normal business hours. These extended office hours, held at night in various neighborhoods throughout my district, are an excellent way to make sure I am not only reaching as many residents as possible, but also making it more convenient by coming to them. I look forward to another successful round of mobile office hours over the next few months and, as always, encourage those who need assistance to take advantage of these library visits.”

This will mark the second time the Senator has held office hours in Glendale this year, following a June 23 visit. Additional mobile office hours are being scheduled for future dates and locations throughout the district. For more information, contact Addabbo’s Howard Beach Office at 718- 738-1111.

MALONEY ENCOURAGES ACCESSIBLE SUN CARE IN NATION’S SCHOOLS: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D–Queens-Manhattan), Skin Cancer Caucus Co- Chair, joined with Congressman Charlie Dent (PA) as well as Representatives David Joyce, Rosa DeLauro, and Evan Jenkins, to introduce a resolution in support of state, local and community level initiatives encouraging caregivers to take preventative measures against sunburns in the minors under their care.

“Rates of melanoma and skin cancer continue to grow across the United States, yet this trend is entirely preventable,” said Maloney. “Sunscreen is a proven effective method of minimizing the damaging effects of UV radiation, thus reducing the chance of developing skin cancer later in life. We need to discuss the dangers of sunburns in the same way we discuss the dangers of smoking. I believe this resolution is a strong statement in reminding parents, teachers, and other childcare professionals that skin cancer prevention is a lifelong practice and should be instilled in childhood.”

Currently, many schools require physician authorization for the use of sunscreen, which must be kept in nurses’ offices. This resolution seeks to eliminate this unnecessary burden on guardians and teachers and make sunscreen exempt from the over-the-counter medication bans in our nation’s schools so that it is more accessible and therefore enabling children to be better protected from the sun’s harmful rays at a young age, Maloney added.

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