Michael Gianaris's News items

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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TSA Denies Grandmother Was Strip Searched at JFK

FOX News reported on the recent string of controversies surrounding TSA's strip searches of elderly women and their later denial of such happenings. Senator Gianaris was interviewed byLisa Evers of Fox 5about the need for an investigation into what actually happened.

An 85-year-old grandmother says Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York humiliated her by strip searching her earlier this week and she plans to sue, the New York Daily News reported.

But the TSA denies that ever happened.

Lenore Zimmerman, from Long Beach, N.Y., says she was pulled into a private screening room by security Tuesday who then proceeded to take off her clothes, the newspaper reported.

December 6, 2011
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Senator Gianaris on WOR's The John Gambling Show

Senator Gianaris was featured on WOR 710's The John Gambling Show in light of the recent strip searches on elderly women at Kennedy airport.He discussed his letter to the TSA requesting a much more in-depth investigation of the JFK strip searches.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

December 6, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Fights for Air Travelers' Rights

Asks TSA officials to investigate strip-searching of elderly women at JFK Airport.

Queens, NY – A staunch advocate for air passengers’ and senior citizens’ rights, Senator Michael Gianaris continues to fight for the dignity of air travelers and seniors by calling on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to investigate search procedures at JFK Airport in New York City.

Following reports of alleged unnecessary strip-searches of two elderly women at Kennedy Airport, Senator Gianaris sent a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole requesting an immediate and comprehensive investigation of both incidents.

December 6, 2011
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Another Elderly Woman Says She Was Subjected To Strip Search At Kennedy Airport

CBS New York wrote about two elderly women getting strip searched at Kennedy Airport. Senator Gianaris offered his insights as to why senior citizens were being violated and spoke for the need to get to the bottom of what exactly they had done to endure such humiliation and embarrassment. 

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Lenore Zimmerman, 85, was angry and embarrassed after what she claims was a strip search at Kennedy Airport.

Now another woman in her 80s said she was exposed one day before at the very same terminal. From her home in Sunrise, Fla., 88-year-old Ruth Sherman said she knows for a fact senior citizens are being violated at a screening checkpoint at JFK.

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December 6, 2011
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WCNY's The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter

Senator Gianaris was on WCNY's The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter to discuss the upcoming session and the need to for fair independent redistricting. 

Click here to listen to the whole interview.

December 6, 2011
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Giving Thanks

The Queens Gazette wrote about the 22nd GHOA's Thanksgiving Meal giveaway which was held at the organization’s headquarters, 23-49 31st St. this year. Senator Gianaris, along with other elected officials, volunteered to distribute meals to the elderly, the poor, the homeless and the lonesome in our community.

While millions of Americans spent their Thanksgiving holiday in the warm surroundings of home with family and friends, an equal number, including many throughout the city, experienced just the opposite.

December 1, 2011
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Queens Officials Unveil Tougher Crime Bill

NY1 also wrote on the elected officials' responses to the recent surge of crimes in Astoria, including Senator Gianaris' plans to protect small businesses and organizations from lawsuit should they need to be safe havens for residents who feel they are in danger.

NY1 VIDEO: At an Astoria rally on Thursday, elected officials revealed new crime-fighting legislation that will dole out harsher punishment for sex crimes and not have store owners be liable for injuries that happen while helping a victim seeking shelter.

Watch the full clip here.

November 29, 2011
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Crime wave in Astoria sparks call for new civilian patrols and block watchers

NY Daily News wrote on the recent efforts by Senator Gianaris and other elected officials to resond to the string of crime in Astoria. Senator Gianaris' bills to protect children from predators in addition to expanding the Good Samaritan Law to small businesses will combat these crimes and reduce the amount of danger in our streets.

A recent spate of gropings, car break-ins and purse snatchings is sparking calls for expanded civilian patrols and block watchers in Astoria.

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Vallone, along with state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria), rallied with local residents last week and unveiled a anti-crime plan that includes both legislation and civic activism.

November 29, 2011
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MTA LIC Noise Reducer Complete

The Queens Gazette reported on the recent installment ofsound abatement equipment for the No. 7 train ventilator plant in Hunters Point. Senator Gianaris, Assemblymember Cathy Nolan and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer worked together to resond to the noise complaints from the MTA East River ventilator. The community can now say goodbye to restless nights and headaches.

November 29, 2011
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Astoria Community Says Enough Is Enough

The Queens Gazette reported on the efforts by Senator Gianaris and other elected officials to address the recent crimes in Western Queens. In addition to addressing questions and concerns from the community, Senator Gianaris has also introduced the expansion of the Good Samaritan laws that will protect our local businesses and non-profits from lawsuits so that they can be havens for victims who feel at risk in their surroundings.

Fed up with incidents of groping, car vandalism and even attempted rape, community leaders and activists met to discuss new crime fighting initiatives to create a safer environment in Astoria.

November 29, 2011
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Neighborhood Watch Kicks Off In Astoria

The Queens Tribune wrote about the Neighborhood Watch, which was enacted in response to the recent surge of crimes in Queens. Senator Gianaris, along with Vallone and Simotas, has also proposed legislation that will protect children from predators after a girl was inappopriately touched by an unknown man. 

In light of a recent Astoria crime surge, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) organized the first meeting of a new Neighborhood Watch in an effort to take back the streets.

November 29, 2011
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Sunnyside icon honored by Chamber of Commerce

Community activist Luke Adams was awarded the newly created award, "Luke Adams Sunnysider of the Year" by the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, Sunnyside Post reported. Senator Gianaris was pleased to have been able to be part of the roasters that celebrated Adams' long-time devotion to the betterment of Queens.

Long-time community activist Luke Adams was honored Monday night with a newly created award titled: the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce “Luke Adams Sunnysider of the Year.”

The award ceremony was held at Dazies Restaurant, where Adams was praised in the award for his “vision, compassion, ferocity and trustworthiness.” Given Adams’ devotion to Queens, the “Luke Adams” award was created for him and will be presented to worthy recipients on annual basis

November 22, 2011
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New hotels in Queens sign of tourism boom: Mayor

Times Ledger wrote on Mayor Bloomberg's praise for the tourist boom, stating the increase in hotels in Long Island City as one of the pimrary reasons for such an improvement. Senator Gianaris is proud of Long Island City's many hotels and its achievement in establishing itself as a tourist hot spot.

Surrounded by a spectacular rooftop view of Manhattan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg touted the increase in hotels in Long Island City and elsewhere in the five boroughs during a visit to Z NYC at 11th Street and 43rd Avenue, saying the tourism industry has earned the city $31 billion.

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“It’s a great sign that Long Island City is desirable to come to,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said.

November 22, 2011
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NY State leasing space despite vacant buildings

Senator Gianaris was interviewed on ABC Channel 7 by Jim Hoffer. He discussed poorly managed state-owned property and the issue of New York State leasing space for its agencies despite several vacant properties.

Click here to watch the interview.

November 22, 2011
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Area pols hold anti-crime rally in Astoria

Queens Chronicle wrote about the anti-crime rally in Astoria where Senator Gianaris and other elected officials spoke out against the recent string of crime, such as robberies and groping incidents. The senator's proposed expansion of the Good Samaritan laws to businesses would allow for organizations to protect victims without worrying about libel suits.

November 22, 2011
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Trees planted in Astoria using money from Con Edison

Times Ledger reported on City Park Foundation's project to plant 850 new trees in Western Queens, funded by Con Edison. Senator Gianaris participated in this green intiative by planting trees on 27th Street.

Representatives of the City Parks Foundation and other nonprofits planted trees on and near the corner of 27th Street and 20th Avenue in Astoria Monday as part of an initiative to bring 850 new trees to western Queens in the next three years.

The trees are being paid for with $2 million of a larger settlement from the electric utility Con Edison as restitution for a major blackout in 2006 that left some residents in Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside without power for as long as 10 days.

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November 22, 2011
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