Michael Gianaris's News items

Legislature prepares for session with elections looming

The Ithaca Journal wrote an article that highlights the Senate Republicans rejection of the formation of an independent redistricting task force, which was proposed by Senate Democrats. Senator Gianaris believes that redistricting reform is an urgent matter and that Senate Republicans have abandoned their promise to fix it.

Lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have spent recent months touting their legislative accomplishments in 2011: an on-time budget, a 2 percent property tax cap, a revamped income tax code and a sense of renewed collegiality in a Capitol long known for its partisanship.

That doesn't mean, however, that there isn't plenty on the table for 2012.

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January 18, 2012
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Gianaris Announces Legislation Expanding Good Samaritan Laws

An article written by the Queens Gazette looks into the new legislation proposed by Senator Gianaris, which would expand on current New York Good Samaritan laws in order to protect local businesses and non-profits from being held liable for damages or injuries that could occur while helping a victim.

Continuing his fight to ensure safety in the neighborhood, state Senator Michael Gianaris announced he has introduced new legislation expanding New York’s Good Samaritan laws.

 The legislation would protect local businesses and non-profits offering themselves as safe havens from being held liable for damages or injuries that may have occurred while helping a victim.

January 18, 2012
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Parents from P.S. 234 angry over unusable school gym

The Queens Courier wrote an article about the delay in reopening P.S. 234’s school gym, which has many parents concerned. Senator Gianaris believes the handling of the situation is unacceptable.

Parents from P.S. 234 are exercising their voices in disapproval of the delay in reopening the school’s flood-ravaged gymnasium.The elementary school, located at 30-15 29th Street in Astoria, has been without a gym since September due to damage caused by severe rain storms. The flooding produced “bumps” in the gym floor and has prevented the facility from being used thus far this semester, prompting many parents to wonder whether their children are receiving the proper physical education.

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January 18, 2012
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Gianaris calls on NY State to expand “Good Samaritan” law

Sunnyside Post reports on Senator Gianaris’ introduction of new legislation that expands on New York’s Good Samaritan laws. The new bill extends liability protection to local business and non-profits acting as safe havens for individuals who feel unsafe.

January 18, 2012
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Push On To Strengthen New York Good Samaritan Law

CBS New York wrote this article that talks about the appeal by local officials to expand New York’s Good Samaritan laws. Senator Gianaris feels that strengthening the law will be effective in preventing crime.

January 18, 2012
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Ambitious residential and commercial project proposed for Astoria waterfront

The New York Daily News wrote an article about a new development proposal that would bring significant change to Astoria’s waterfront.

An isolated swath of Astoria that has largely been ignored by developers and businesses could soon undergo a major facelift under a proposal to erect seven waterfront residential towers and a supermarket.

The Lincoln Equities Group wants to create a project dubbed Hallets Point, with roughly 2,300 units of housing and a waterfront park along the East River near the Astoria Houses.

The public review process is expected to begin next year, city officials said.

January 18, 2012
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Elected Officials Seek Construction Funding For P.S. 2, P.S. 11

The Queens Gazette wrote an article drawing attention to a School Construction Authority (SCA) budget ammendment proposal, which reduces construction funding for schools in desperate need of assistance. Senator Michael Gianaris, along with parents and other elected officials, urges the SCA to include these schools back in the capital plan in order to ensure that the needs of the children are satisfied. 

While supporting needs throughout District 30, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblymember Catherine Nolan and state Senator Michael Gianaris spoke in support of two especially beleaguered schools: P.S. 2, Jackson Heights and P.S. 11, Long Island City.

January 13, 2012
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Damaged gym at PS 234 Astoria means students watch movies, do jumping jacks in classrooms

The New York Daily News article investigates a school gym repair delay that has deprived students at Public School 234 of physical exercise. Senator Gianaris speaks out against the delay, stating that physical exercise is an educational requirement. 

While a Queens elementary school waits for the city to fix its gym, the phys ed program consists of jumping jacks in the classroom and movies in the auditorium.

A city Education Department official said work on the the gym at Public School 234 in Astoria is expected to begin over the winter break and should be completed within the next three months. The facility was damaged by April storms.

January 13, 2012
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Schumer, Gianaris Calling For TSA Passenger Advocates

The Queens Gazette wrote an article about the announcement made by Senator Gianaris and Senator Schumer, which called on the TSA to designate on-duty passenger advocates at airports in order to resolve disputes between passengers and agents over screening issues. 

“While the safety and security of our flights must be a top priority, we need to make sure that flying does not become a fear-inducing, degrading, and potentially humiliating experience,” Schumer said. “Right now, passengers who feel that their rights are about to be violated have nowhere to turn, but by training passenger advocates at each of our airports, the TSA can finally give passengers a voice.”

January 13, 2012
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New Senate seat plan is GOP power play that will cost taxpayers

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle wrote an editorial calling Senate Republicans out on their reneged campaign promises of redistricting reform. Senator Gianaris believes this kind of political power play is intolerable. 

Many of the same Republican state lawmakers who hoodwinked New Yorkers into thinking they supported independent redistricting now insist that adding one more seat in the state Senate is good government. Unlikely.

This time around New Yorkers need to let GOP lawmakers know that their ploy for power is as transparent as plastic wrap. Call them and tell them so.

January 13, 2012
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TSA Passenger Advocates Sought By New York Lawmakers

Associated Press wrote about Senator Gianaris' and Senator Schumer's are call for an investigation of the alleged strip-searching incidents by TSA agents at JFK Airport. They are also calling for a designated Passenger Advocate at all airports.Huffington Post picked up on the story:

Two New York lawmakers have called for a passenger advocate at airports to immediately act on complaints by passengers over security screenings.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and state Sen. Michael Gianaris of Queens want the Transportation Security Administration to create the position at all airports.

December 12, 2011
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Gianaris Says GOP Is Taking Page from Mitt Romney Playbook

Politicker wrote about the passage of major Democratic priorities during the special legislative session.

he buzz around Albany yesterday was that Gov. Andrew Cuomo did the Senate Republicans a huge favor by taking the millionaire’s tax off the table in his tax overhaul plan. The thinking was that without that wedge issue to run against, Democrats have been denied a key talking point going into the 2012 elections.

On Fred Dicker’s radio show today, Queens Sen. Michael Gianaris, who is in charge of the Democratic effort, said Republicans should be praised for adopting the Democratic agenda.

December 12, 2011
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Sen. Gianaris on Democratic Support of Tax Code Deal

Senator Gianaris was on YNN"s Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss the passage of the restructured tax code - a major priority for the Senate Democrats.

Watch the video here.

December 12, 2011
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Stony Brook, Rockefeller among tech campus rejects

Times Ledger wrote about the potential building of an applied sciences or engineering campus on Roosevelt Island, after the proposal rejection of Stony Brook and Rockefeller. Senator Gianaris feels the multiple benefits of an added campus in Roosevelt Island will be a wonderful addition to Long Island City.

Two entities have been rejected in their bids to build an applied sciences or engineering campus somewhere in the city because they did not meet the criteria for the city’s competition, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last week. Roosevelt Island is one of the possible sites.

December 8, 2011
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State Senate Approves Plan For Middle Class Tax Break, Millionaire Tax Hike

NY1 wrote about the recent Albany passing of the change in the state's tax code, which will essentially up the taxes for the wealthy in New York and give breaks to millions of other residents. Senator Gianaris supports this change, hoping that during these difficult economic times, this tax break will benefit middle class families in New York.

Albany lawmakers on Wednesday passed a major overhaul of the state's tax code that will mean higher taxes for the wealthiest New Yorkers and a tax break for millions of residents, pending the approval of the State Assembly.

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December 8, 2011
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Gianaris calls for investigation into TSA strip search

Sunyside Post wrote about Senator Gianaris' urging for further investigation into the recent strip searches of elderly women by the TSA at JFK Airport. In line with his New York Airline Passenger Bill of Rights, the senator hopes to bring justice to the women who felt violated and embarrassed by the searches that the TSA is denying ever existed.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris, who wrote the New York Airline Passenger Bill of Rights, has called for an investigation dealing with the two elderly women who were allegedly strip searched by TSA officials at JFK airport.

Click here to read the full article.

December 8, 2011
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New program offers Sunnysiders trees

Sunnyside Post wrote about the need for more greenery in Sunnyside and Woodside. Senator Gianaris hopes initiatives will be made to plant more trees on Queens Boulevard, where some have already been planted due to his urging.

Sunnyside and Woodside residents who want trees planted on their streets have two options, according to Kyle Richard, community coordinator with the New York City Parks Foundation.

Place a request with the City Parks Department to request a tree; or get 6 to 8 residents together and request trees from the Greening Western Queens fund.

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In September, State Sen. Mike Gianaris spoke to the Parks Dept. and urged them to plant trees in this area—since, he said, it lacks sufficient greenery.

December 8, 2011
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Annual Astoria Toy Drive

The Queens Gazette reported on the Annual Astoria Toy Drive where more than 200 children showed up to meet Santa Claus in addition to enjoying other festivities like karaoke, a magician and delicious cheeseburgers. Senator Gianaris attended this annual event to participate in the holiday festivities. 

The 114th Precinct and 114th Community Council held its annual Christmas party and toy giveaway on December 3 at Riccardo’s by the Bridge in Astoria. More than 200 neighborhood children came to meet Santa Claus at the joyous event that also featured karaoke, a magician and McDonald’s cheeseburgers.

December 8, 2011
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Astoria\LIC Kiwanis Hosts Holiday Auction Extravaganza

The Queens Gazette wrote about the Astoria/LIC Kiwanis Club holiday auction that sought to raise funds for charity. Senator Gianaris auctioned off his tie in order to provide scholarships for college hopefuls.

An annual local tradition, The Astoria\LIC Kiwanis Club holiday auction was attended by more than 125 members and guests who came to bid on a host of items for charity on December 5 at Riccardo’s by the Bridge.

 

“It’s one of the greatest events of the year,” said state Senator Mike Gianaris who had the privilege of auctioning off his own tie to help raise money to provide scholarships for graduating high school students who are going to college.

 

December 8, 2011
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Second Annual Skillman Avenue Holiday Lights

The Queens Gazette wrote about the Second Annual Skillman Avenue tree lighting. Senator Gianaris attended this great event to kick start the holiday season in the community.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer was joined on December 1 by the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, state Senator Michael Gianaris, Queen of Angels Father Brian Dowd and more than 200 community members to mark the beginning of the Second Annual Skillman Avenue Lights. The festive snowflakes are now hanging from lampposts from 43rd to 53rd Streets, which is an expansion of four additional blocks from last year.

Click here to read the full article.

December 8, 2011
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