STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Staten Island officials are keeping up the fight for a resident discount on the borough's Port Authority bridges in the face of steep toll increases that have recession-weary drivers feeling the pinch.
And one, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn), is taking the battle against the tolls to court.
Grimm is set to submit an amicus (friend of the court) brief in support of the Automobile Club of America's (AAA) lawsuit against the hikes, filed yesterday.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - ROSSVILLE - A true-blue patriot, Jordan T. Czerniawski fought for his country in the Korean War. And long after his active-duty days were over, he pledged his time to local veterans while remaining a fixture in the community as an upstanding individual. Czerniawski was honored by state Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) earlier this month with a nomination into the New York State Veterans' Hall of Fame. The Rossville resident's wife of 59 years, Phyllis, accepted the honor on his behalf. Czerniawski, 79, passed away last December. The Hall of Fame was created to honor and recognize outstanding veterans in New York who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life.
If you snatch relatively safe yellow school bus service away from schoolchildren, even 13-year-olds, they are going to be more at risk getting to and from school on their own. The Bloomberg administration and the city Department of Education dispute this simple statement mightily, but it stands to reason. The truth of it was made starkly clear June 28 when a seventh-grader racing to catch a city bus after the final day of classes at the Staten Island School for Civic Leadership on Goethals Road North was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer truck. Aniya Williams, 13, was one of thousands seventh- and eighth-graders - most of them on Staten Island - who were denied the variances that had allowed them to get yellow school bus transportation before this school year.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A bill to amend the state education law to mandate that the city Department of Education provide yellow school bus transportation to children in grades three through eight who live more than one mile from school passed the state Senate in the waning days of the Legislature last week. But it awaits action in the Assembly Education Committee, which could come if state lawmakers reconvene in a special session, possibly later in the summer. The Bloomberg administration yanked yellow bus service for seventh- and eighth-graders at the start of the school year last fall to save an estimated $2.1 million annually. Education officials argued that middle-school students citywide were old enough to take public transportation.
ALBANY, N.Y. — Megan Bonstein says modern health care has provided her oral chemotherapy in a pill to fight her leukemia, but modern health insurance has failed her.
"Ten years ago, that was a very grim diagnosis," the 26-year-old Columbia University social work major said of her cancer, leukemia. But advances since then — and since her own diagnosis in early 2009 — like oral chemotherapy have worked. For many cancer patients, the pill form provides a way to trade hospital intravenous treatments, hair loss and nausea for a dose taken in their own home, on their own schedule.
It's hard to believe that it has been four years since the state Legislature finally gave Staten Island its own, separate judicial district after decades of rejecting calls for this borough's judicial independence. Of course, partisan politics factored heavily into that steadfast refusal. Leaders of the Democratic-controlled Assembly preferred it that Staten Island was an appendage of Brooklyn's 2nd Judicial District because Brooklynites invariably elect judicial candidates nominated by the Democratic Party. But in 2007, the Assembly finally relented and passed a bill creating the 13th Judicial District.
With a property tax cap for homeowners across the state - except for New York City homeowners - taking center stage in Albany, members of the borough's delegation pointed to legislation they advanced earlier this year, co-sponsored by state Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) and Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island). It would cap the yearly growth of property taxes at either 2 percent or the level of the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. Also from Lanza and Ms. Malliotakis is legislation calling for an independent audit of Metropolitan Transportation Authority finances. "The MTA consistently deals with a deficit of its own creation and consistently comes to the taxpayers with their hands out," said Lanza.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- New York state's empty pocketbook could keep Staten Islanders from getting swifter justice. State Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) and Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island) have introduced legislation that would add six judges to the Island bench over the next three years. But with each judge costing an estimated $1 million in salary and support costs per year, that would add $6 million to an already financially strapped state budget that is predicted to face further deficits in the future. The new legislation would bring the borough's total of elected Supreme Court justices to 10, roughly in line with rule-of-thumb that says counties should have one judge for every 50,000 residents.
On Thursday, the New York State Senate passed a bill which would never have been necessary but for the zealotry of the state Department of Environmental Protection. The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Andrew Lanza, would force the DEC to allow the unrestricted removal of phragmites and other fire-prone weeds from state-regulated wetland areas. The debate over the eradication of phragmites, which serve as abundant tinder for dangerous brush fires, has been a fascinating and infuriating story of the ideological intransigence of a government agency even in the face of a serious threat to citizens.
Published in the Staten Island Advance: Saturday, April 09, 2011, 1:18 AM
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- When a new ambulatory care center was first imagined for the hospital in West Brighton, the facility was on the cusp of a transition to new owners and was struggling with financial uncertainty.
Now that Richmond University Medical Center has reclaimed its status as a linchpin of Staten Island’s health care network, the dream for the Ambulatory Care and Endoscopy Center has been realized, hospital leadership said yesterday during an emotional groundbreaking ceremony for the $6 million upgrade.
We are going to develop the finest ambulatory care and endoscopy center on Staten Island," said Richard Murphy, president and CEO of the hospital.
Those scrambling to meet the fast-approaching April 18 tax deadline should be careful they don't miss out on the free and low-cost tax-preparation services being offered across Staten Island. Any taxpayers who have yet to file taxes and have an annual income of $57,000 or less can take advantage of the following opportinities for help: The Food Bank for New York City has two locations on Staten Island offering free help with taxes in both English and Spanish. The location at 1546 Castleton Ave., Port Richmond, is offering help on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between noon and 7 p.m.; the phone number is 646-315-7703. The other location is on the second floor of the Sovereign Bank at 15 Hyatt St., St George.
Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 5:58 PM Updated: Thursday, February 17, 2011, 7:26 AM
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Looking to recover jobs and health care benefits for laid-off workers -- and bring new revenue to state coffers -- state Sen. Andrew Lanza said he will introduce a bill tomorrow seeking an independent vendor to resume operations of a reconstituted city Off-Track Betting Corporation.
He said he thinks there would be "three or four potential suitors" including, perhaps, one of the state's existing track entities.
"The potential for revenues is tremendous," said Lanza (R-Staten Island). "We are talking about something real here."