Jose Peralta's News items

Goodbye Times Square, Hello Queens – Officials Push to Bring Tourism to Borough

As reported by The Forum:

Move over, Manhattan – it’s Queens’ time to shine.

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) and other officials announced at Borough Hall on Tuesday that they are pushing for an initiative to expand tourism outside of Manhattan, particularly to spots that Queens residents already know and love – but which tourists may never catch a glimpse of during their visits to the city because of a Manhattan-centric approach to advertising.

In an attempt to draw tourists from the incessantly flashing lights of Times Square to places across the borough, from the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to the Louis Armstrong Museum in Corona, Peralta unveiled a bill that would give each borough a portion of the state hotel occupancy tax it collects to promote local tourism.

For full article, click here. 

August 28, 2013
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Queens lawmaker seeks more state funding to promote outer borough tourism

As reported by the Daily News:

A Queens lawmaker is trying to carve out more cash for promoting tourism in the outer boroughs.

State Sen. Jose Peralta introduced a bill that would take a chunk of the state’s hotel occupancy tax and redistribute it to local groups.

“What’s being promoted — outside of the big landmarks in Manhattan?” said Peralta (D-East Elmhurst).

Each borough’s allocation would cap at $300,000 and be distributed through the city’s official tourism arm, NYC & Company.

Organizations, such as the Queens Chamber of Commerce and Queens Economic Development Corp., would coordinate with NYC & Co. on advertising blitzes.

For full article, click here.

August 21, 2013
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Queens Officials Want Cut Of Tourism Revenue To Help Attract Visitors

As reported by WCBS 800:

A Queens lawmaker has proposed giving the outer boroughs more money from the state hotel occupancy tax.

State Sen. Jose Peralta has unveiled legislation to send up to $300,000 a year from the hotel tax to the outer boroughs to promote tourism.

“People who come to New York also want to go elsewhere besides Manhattan,” Peralta told reporters including WCBS 880′s Ginny Kosola. “When you talk about Citi Field, when you talk about the Louis Armstrong Museum.”

For full article, click here.

August 21, 2013
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Senator Launches Legislation To Boost Queens Tourism

As reported by NY1:

As part of an effort to attract more tourists to Queens, state Senator Jose Peralta unveiled legislation on Tuesday that would give up to 4 percent of the state's hotel occupancy back to the boroughs, money which would be used toward promoting unique attractions citywide.

To view full video, click here. 

August 21, 2013
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Decision to close immunization clinics shows Bloomberg administration's ill will

As reported by the Daily News:

Closing down two of only three remaining immunization clinics in the city seems especially thoughtless and cruel even for an administration that, like Mayor Bloomberg’s, is notorious for its blindness when it comes to the most vulnerable New Yorkers.

Yet that’s what the city’s Department of Health is planning to do at the end of this month.

The clinics are in Corona, Queens, and Tremont in the Bronx, and thousands of people visit them for free vaccinations every year. Their disappearance will impact mostly poor immigrants and low-income people, who will be left with only one immunization center miles away in Fort Greene.

For full artilce, click here. 

August 19, 2013
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Corona Health Clinic Slated To Shut Down

As reported by the Queens Tribune:

According to plans set in place by the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Corona Health Center on Junction Boulevard is set to close weeks before the start of school.

The services provided by the Corona and Tremont Health Center in the Bronx will no longer be available to children, particularly low-income and immigrant families, in need of a public health functions.

On Aug. 14, elected officials along with Local 436 at District Council 37 rallied in front of the Corona Health Center, demanding the City to push back the closing date.

“We are hoping to keep the pressure on the City at least through the school rush,” said Judith Arroyo, president of Local 436 at District Council 37.

For full artilce, click here.

August 19, 2013
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EXCLUSIVE: Money-losing Queens Latino festival is canceled for first time in 15 years

As reported by the Daily News:

An annual celebration of Latino culture in Queens was abruptly canceled for the first time in 15 years amid more mystery than a Borges novel.

The troubles started a year ago when long-time sponsor Chase pulled its support for the money-losing festival — though the bank did not say why.

Then, after two years of fiscal setbacks, the Queens Theater, which hosts the festival, declined to renew the contract for Claudia Norman, who had organized it for 15 years.

For full article, click here.

August 15, 2013
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Immunization clinic slated for closure

As reported by the Queens Chronicle:

Barring mayoral intervention, the only Department of Health and Mental Hygiene immunization clinic in the borough, located in Corona, will be shut down as of Aug. 21.

Many elected officials and community leaders protested the closure on Wednesday outside the fated clinic — the Corona Health Center at 34-33 Junction Blvd.

The clinic provides vaccinations recommended for those older than 4 years old from Hepatitis B to pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

The Tremont Clinic in the Bronx is on this month’s chopping block, leaving Ft. Greene Health Center in Brooklyn as the only DOHMH clinic to remain.

For full article, click here.

August 15, 2013
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Shutdown of Corona clinic causes uproar

As reported by the Times Ledger:

At the height of the back-to-school vaccination rush and in a month dedicated to spreading immunization awareness, the city Department of Health is shutting down the only free-immunization clinic in Queens next week.

Closures at both the Corona, Queens and Tremont, Bronx health centers are scheduled to take place at the crucial time before children need the required immunizations to attend school. The families depending on these services must make their way to the Fort Greene Health Center in Greenpoint, Brooklyn starting Aug. 21.

District Council 37, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), Commissioner on the Public’s Health System Anthony Feliciano, and other community leaders gathered at the Corona Clinic Wednesday to protest what they called “a threat to public health and safety.” The threat came without warning or community input, according to District Council 37.

For full article, click here.

August 15, 2013
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Op-Ed: Cashing in on tourism

As reported by the Queens Courier:

By State Senator Jose Peralta:

While New York struggles to recover from the recession of 2008, it is clear that at least one of its major industries is thriving like never before–New York City tourism.

In 2012, the city welcomed a record-breaking 52 million visitors, despite the devastation wrought by Sandy.  According to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, these tourists, who paid for a total of 29 million hotel room nights, poured more than $55 billion into the city’s economy.

What’s more, the city’s hotel occupancy stands at 87 percent, the highest in the nation. Better yet, there is good reason to believe that tourism remains a growing industry, with much of its potential still untapped, particularly outside of Manhattan.  In the past six years, 72 new hotels have been built in boroughs other than Manhattan and a record-high percentage of non-Manhattan hotels are under development for the next four years.

For full article, click here.

August 15, 2013
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Inquilinos viven en condiciones inhumanas

Según ha informado WXTV/Univision:

Una pareja de inquilinos denuncia las condiciones inhumanas en las que viven y el abuso por parte del casero.

Para el video completo, haga clic aquí.

August 15, 2013
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‘Dangerous’ Rego Park Intersection, Calls For Speed Cameras

As reported by The Forum:  

For Pat Martin, president of Friends of LeFrak Library, it is only a matter of time before a child gets seriously injured at a Rego Park intersection near PS 206 – unless, she and other community leaders said, the city does something about it.

 “We’re all so scared of the day a child gets hurt there – and after that, the city will put in a crossing guard, but we shouldn’t have to wait for that,” Martin said of the intersection at Junction Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway that is routinely crossed by elementary school students on their way to PS 206.

For full article, click here. 

July 9, 2013
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Be Our Guest: Affordable housing plan for Willets Point is reduced and could be doomed

As reported by the Daily News:

By State Senator Jose Pealta:

If City Hall put a wrecking ball to 2,000 units of affordable housing to make room for a shopping mall, it would be front-page news and there would be no end to the outrage.

That’s essentially what’s happening at Willets Point. Unfortunately, it’s hardly causing a stir with anyone other than local affordable housing advocates.

The Willets Point development plan agreed to by the City Council in 2008 called for a a mix of retail space and housing, including the construction of 820 homes for families making $38,400 a year or less; 330 homes for families earning between $38,400 and $46,080; and 770 units for families earning from $46,080 to $99,840.

For full article, click here. 

July 1, 2013
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Queens pol pushes city to put speed camera at busy intersection

As reported by the Daily News:

A dangerous Queens intersection near an elementary school may get a lot safer.

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) has asked the city to place a speed camera at Junction Blvd. and Horace Harding Expressway. He co-sponsored a recently passed law to provide 20 speed cameras in various school zones.

The Rego Park intersection is about two blocks from Public School 206, which lost its crossing guard there several years back due to budget cuts, Peralta said.“It will at least slow people down when they realize there’s a camera there,” Peralta said. “We don’t want any kids injured when they’re crossing the street.”

For full article, click here. 

June 26, 2013
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Qns. pols demand MTA restore station agents

As reported by the Times Ledger:

Elected officials and Transport Workers Union Local 100 representatives gathered in Astoria last week to demand the MTA restore station agents at subway booths who were removed throughout New York City in 2010.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who spearheaded the rally, joined members of TWU Local 100, along with City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) and state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), outside the Steinway Street-Broadway station in Astoria June 6 as part of a citywide day of action and petitioning to highlight the need for restoring station agents and booths across the city’s subway system.

For full article, click here. 

June 17, 2013
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Calls For Affordable Housing Continue

As reported by the Queens Tribune:

The debate over the Willets Point redevelopment plan continues, as the City Council and community members calling for more affordable housing seemingly refuse to move towards middle ground.

One side wants to see affordable housing built in Willets Point right away, or at least see a guarantee of affordable housing, while the other wants to build a community in a an undeveloped area before building housing complexes, which would include affordable housing units.

For full article, click here. 

June 7, 2013
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Calls to put housing ahead of mall at Willets

As reported by the Queens Chronicle:

Housing advocates, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods chanted “What do we want? Affordable housing!” across the street from Citi Field on Friday, decrying what they considered a lackluster push for it in Willets Point and calling for a new agreement between the city and the development group selected to rejuvenate the Iron Triangle.

For full article, click here. 

June 7, 2013
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Willets housing vow lost to city’s legal fears

As reported by the Times Ledger:

Developers of the $3 million Willets Point project are not contractually required to build affordable housing in part because the city wants to shield itself from a potential lawsuit.

The Bloomberg administration did not want to risk paying out legal damages to the developers — Related Cos. and Sterling Equities, the real estate arm of the New York Mets — should the city fail to build additional ramps off the Van Wyck Expressway, an essential precursor to constructing the housing component of the project, officials and the companies said at a recent meeting.

For full article, click here. 

June 6, 2013
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Locals Worried About Affordable Housing Promise In Willets Point

As reported by NY1:

Willets Point has had a development plan in the works since 2008, but after a recent revision, some are worried the city won't keep its promise regarding affordable housing.

To view video, click here. 

June 4, 2013
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Labor Gains: Session Countdown on Labor

As reported by City & State:

Legislation raising New York’s minimum wage didn’t please everybody in Albany, but the final agreement, which incrementally increases the wage to $9 an hour by the end of 2015, was acceptable enough for both houses and the governor to sign on.

That bill is likely to be the biggest piece of legislation directly affecting the state’s workers this year, but there have been other important changes as well—and still more are under discussion.

For full article, click here. 

May 29, 2013
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