Elected officials, union members and city employees ripped into Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a rally Monday, saying his decision to cut funds to the city Department of Health will mean rats will run rampant throughout Jackson Heights and Queens.
“We feel he’s allowing the dirty, rotten rats in our neighborhood,” said City Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights).
Dromm, Council members Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst), state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and members of Local 768 Health Services Employees Union protested the $1.5 million cut from the city budget when it was passed in June, which eliminated the jobs of 63 of the city’s 84 pest control aides.
Politicians, pest control workers and community members gathered in a trash-strewn area of Jackson Heights on Friday to protest the layoff of around two-thirds of city pest control aides, responsible for fighting rats on private properties.
Without the aides to clean lots, officials worry that the rat problem in Queens and around the city will get worse.
“Rats endanger the health and welfare of our residents,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside). “I have a block in my district in Long Island City that is just overrun with rats.”
With the recent layoff of 63 out of 84 of the city’s pest control workers to save $1.5 million, some local elected officials worry that a pest crisis is on the way.
“Pest control defines a civilized society. Cutting back on these valuable city workers will diminish the quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras. “We cannot allow the front line in the war on pests to be ripped apart in the interest of saving a small amount of money.”
The cut comes at a time when rat sightings citywide have increased by 8 percent this year alone. Other officials like City Councilmember Daniel Dromm accuse the city of being reluctant to take measures to prevent it.
Business owners near Corona Plaza, upset over what they contend is unfair competition from vendors who operate on the streets and moving vans which take up parking spaces for customers, have asked elected officials for help.
“They are taking the bread and butter from the other people,” said Ruben Pena, president of the Corona Community Action Network.
Pena, who operates Cristal Liquors on 40-28 National St., said moving vans park along Corona Plaza — a small, triangle-shaped park under the No. 7 train stop adjacent to Roosevelt Avenue and National Street — from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., feeding the one-hour meters with quarters.
John V. O’Shea, Executive Director of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, honored Senator Owen H. Johnson for his 29 years of service to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission for his steadfast commitment to fisheries conservation.
On October 13, 2010, Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) sponsored a free caregiver seminar in the Atrium of White Plains High School. The event featured experts from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) who offered tips and techniques for taking care of loved ones and preventing caregiver burnout.
White Plains School Superintendent Christopher Clouet welcomed the audience and introduced the Senator, saying “Senator Oppenheimer has the vision to bring community members together to discuss and strategize on the delicate issues facing caregivers. The school district is delighted to host this important event.”
Senator Owen H. Johnson presented a Legislative Resolution to Dr. Beth Virginia Blau, West Islip School District Superintendent of Schools, upon her retirement after many years of dedicated service. The celebration took place on October 1, 2010 at Captain Bill’s in Bay Shore.
“The excellence and the success of the West Islip Public Schools is due, in a large part, to Dr. Beth Blau’s efforts and many years of dedicated service,” Senator Johnson said. “Her enthusiasm and unparalleled devotion to the quality of educational programs and opportunities has left a legacy to the residents of the West Islip community and to future generations of its students.”
Queens, NY, October 13, 2010 -- On Monday, October 4, NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and NYS Assembly Member Audrey I. Pheffer walked with inspectors from the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs and Small Business Services, and visited businesses along Crossbay Boulevard from Liberty Avenue to 159th Avenue for the Annual Business Education Day.
New York State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today helped break ground on Farmingdale State College’s new Campus Center. Senator Fuschillo and Assemblyman Bob Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) secured state funding for the project.
Senator Owen H. Johnson joined with local officials to applaud Roberts Plywood Co. for their enthusiasm about “Going Green.” On October 2, 2010 the company unveiled a new Solar Panel System which will create clean and natural energy for the company’s operation without polluting the environment. Roberts Plywood, located at 45 North Industry Court in Deer Park, is a family owned business operating for 33 years and dedicated to the preservation of the environment.
Photo left to right: Norman Roberts, President of Roberts Plywood Co.; Scott Woodrick, President of Solar & Wind Concepts; and Senator Owen H. Johnson.