Issues: Recreation and Tourism

Residents Make Last Stand at Final Public Forum on East River Greenway

By Mary Johnson

KIPS BAY — The final public forum to debate the proposed East River Greenway project drew a hefty crowd of more than 300 people on Tuesday night with residents still divided over the best fate for the project.

Most of those present testified in favor of the deal, which could bring to life a project that has been decades in the making: filling in the gaping hole in the East River esplanade from East 38th to 60th streets.

September 21, 2011

Gianaris, Nolan and Van Bramer Announce Improvements to Vernon Blvd. Dog Run

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Catherine Nolan and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer today announced that long-awaited renovations to the Vernon Boulevard Dog Run in Long Island City have begun. The elected officials, along with Queens West Development Corporation (QWDC), New York State Department of Parks and DOG LIC, a local advocacy group, have worked together since last year to make major improvements to the park.

Renovations to the park and dog run include:

• More than double space in dog run from 4,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet;

• Cleaned out, re-graded and leveled-off dog run with new dog-friendly gravel surface;

• New separate fenced-off areas for large and small dogs;

• Drinking fountains for dogs and their owners;

September 20, 2011

Press Conference: Gianaris, Nolan and Van Bramer to Hold Press Conference Announcing Construction on Vernon Blvd Dog Run

Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Cathy Nolan and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer will hold a press conference announcing the start of construction on the Vernon Boulevard dog run on Tuesday, September 20 at 2 pm. The elected officials have been working with Queens West Development Corporation, New York State Department of Parks and DOG LIC, a local advocacy group, to renovate and greatly enhance the dog run. The press conference will be held across the street from the dog run, on the west side of Vernon Boulevard at 48th Avenue.

September 20, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Glimmerglass Festival Set To Expand

COOPERSTOWN, 09/17/11 – The Glimmerglass Festival hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking with State Senator James L. Seward on the planned future site of the company’s new rehearsal hall Saturday morning at 4152 U.S Highway 20 in Warren, New York.

“I very much recognize that not only is Glimmerglass a cultural icon, it is a big part of our economic region,” said Senator Seward. “People come here from all over the world to visit the opera. While they are here, they stay in our hotels and bed & breakfasts, dine in our restaurants and frequent our shops.”

September 19, 2011

Rally to Save Ruppert Playground

Senator Serrano joined Yorkville residents for a rally at Ruppert Playground as part of a campaign to save the park from permanent closure.

Related Cos., has proposed building a 49 story building at the location, and is ready to begin preliminary work on the site. The park was closed on September 12th, and local elected officials are working to prevent any future construction and to once again make the park available for community use. Ruppert Park, which was opened in the 1970s, contains basketball, tennis and handball courts.

September 10, 2011


Queens Gazette wrote about the thousands of jobs the film industry, aided by the film tax credit which was championed  by Senator Gianaris, has brought to New York. 

State Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria) had high praise and satisfaction for a program he supported which has created many jobs in his district and elsewhere in New York state.

Gianaris pointed out that the New York State Film Production Credit, which rewards companies that produce films and TV shows in the state with a tax credit, also creates jobs. Gianaris was a lead supporter when the legislation was created and later expanded.

September 7, 2011

Griffo Says New Yorkers Should Have Say In Legalizing Casinos

Griffo Says That Removing Gambling Barriers Should have NYers’ Approval

September 7, 2011

Senator Gianaris Praises Job Creation Through Increase in Film and TV Production

Queens, NY – Thousands of New Yorkers have been hired by the television and film industry, due to the New York State Film Production Credit championed by Senator Michael Gianaris. New York City is currently the production site for a record 23 television shows, including 8 new primetime series. New York City’s media and entertainment industry employs 100,000 New Yorkers and generates $5 billion per year for the city’s economy.

August 26, 2011

Closing New York City’s East River Greenway Gap

by Steven Higashide

A concept rendering of a potential new East River esplanade and greenway.

In recent decades, New York City has done much to open up its waterfront with new parks and piers. A key part of that has been the Hudson River Greenway, a bicycle and pedestrian path along the river that has become a major transportation and recreational asset on Manhattan’s West Side. The East Side equivalent hasn’t been as successful, in part because of long interruptions, including a 22-block gap between 38th and 60th Streets. Recently passed state legislation creates the possibility for a land-swap deal between NYC and the United Nations that would change that.

August 24, 2011

NYC’s TV boom

NY Post editorialized on the state's film tax credit, which creates thousands of jobs for New Yorkers and helps boost our economy.

Hollywood it ain’t, but New York now has 23 prime-time TV shows filming inside the city -- a record for the Big Apple.

And it’s not just cop dramas: Even shows set in other cities are taping here, including HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” (Atlantic City) and CBS’ “The Good Wife” (Chicago).

The trick?

Producers have been pouring in since the state first offered a 30 percent tax credit to TV and film studios in 2004.

It’s a welcome twist in a city where high taxes have been driving residents and businesses away for decades.

August 24, 2011

Senator Gianaris participates in ribbon-cutting ceremony of Windmuller Park in Woodside.

Senator Gianaris joined local leaders and elected officials to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Windmuller Park.

August 23, 2011
August 2, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM


Named Legislator Of The Year

State Senator Patty Ritchie, an avid snowmobiler and outdoors person who has championed the sport both in her previous role as County Clerk and now as State Senator, was named “Legislator of the Year” by the state’s leading sled riders’ group.

The New York State Snowmobile Association presented its coveted “Bill Sears Appreciation Award” to Senator Ritchie at the group’s annual meeting Saturday in Cicero, Onondaga County.

Sen. Ritchie, who has been riding for over 40 years, owns several sleds and regularly rides trails throughout St. Lawrence County, is the first freshman lawmaker to receive the honor, named for the former State Senator from Central New York who was an early advocate for snowmobiling, and who helped create a statewide trail system that today spans more than 11,000 miles and is a boon to the wintertime economies of many Upstate communities.

August 9, 2011


Local Bills Pertaining to Newburgh and The Wallkill River

Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) announced today that two pieces of local legislation have been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.


August 5, 2011

LaValle: DEC To Issue Refunds To New Yorkers For Saltwater Fishing Licenses

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said today that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been directed by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to issue refunds to recreational fishermen and charter boat operators who purchased a Recreational Marine Fishing License (RMFL) in addition to refunding license fees to New Yorkers who purchased lifetime licenses. The federal government requires all fishermen in marine waters must be registered, and the state originally met this requirement by adopting the RMFL program. However, the 2011-2012 New York State budget eliminated the license fee, and created a no-fee registration program to comply with federal law. Therefore, any New Yorker who purchased a license for 2011 will be issued a refund.

August 5, 2011

Governor Approves Extension of Personal Watercraft Exemption

            Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law legislation that extends an exemption for jet ski and personal watercraft renters from New York’s boater safety course requirement.

August 5, 2011


By Kerry Barger

State Sen. Greg Ball (R-NY) presented a $100,000 check to the Town of Patterson Recreation Center this morning to assist with the building’s renovations.

August 4, 2011

Seward Bill Favored By Cortland County Sportsmen Signed Into Law

ALBANY, 08/04/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) announced today that legislation allowing Cortland County sportsmen and women to use a rifle while hunting deer or bear has been signed into law.

“This is common sense legislation that mirrors regulations already in effect in neighboring counties allowing the use of rifles while hunting big game,” said Senator Seward.  “More importantly, Cortland County sportsmen and women, who collectively have an impeccable safety record, strongly support the change.”

August 4, 2011

Daily News: Brooklyn's Bridge Park will see fewer luxury condos and more community amenities after Albany deal

By Mark Morales

A complex deal that could wipe out the construction of two high-priced condos in Brooklyn Bridge Park was signed yesterday.

State Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn Heights) spearheaded a deal that could cut the number of luxury condos planned for the gleaming waterfront park down to none while also getting parkgoers a skating rink, a swimming pool and other perks.

"We found a path to address long-standing community concerns about housing on site, complete the park and increase the amenities," said Squadron.

August 4, 2011
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