Michael Gianaris's News items

Renovated LIC dog run opening soon

The Queens Chronicle wrote about the improved Long Island City dog run on Vernon Boulevard, which Senator Gianaris along with Queens West Development Corp., the state Parks Department and DOG LIC implemented.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer announced on Tuesday that the long-awaited renovations to the Vernon Boulevard dog run in Long Island City have begun.

The elected officials, along with Queens West Development Corp., the state Parks Department and DOG LIC, a local advocacy group, have worked together since last year to make major improvements to the site.

“I look forward to seeing western Queens residents and their pets taking advantage of all this new dog run will offer,” said Gianaris (D-Astoria).

September 22, 2011
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LaGuardia College names academic hall for Maltese

Yournabe.com wrote on LaGuardia Community College's dedication to an academic hall last Thursday to former state Sen. Serphin Maltese, for whom Senator Gianaris offered kind words.

Educators at LaGuardia Community College dedicated an academic hall last Thursday to former state Sen. Serphin Maltese, a man who worked with lawmakers across the aisle and who has a lot in common with the students at the college.

“Serph Maltese is old-school,” said Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), who spoke at the dedication. “He goes back to a time when things were bipartisan and cooperative.”

Read the full article here.

September 22, 2011
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Bloomberg in LIC praises decline in city smoking

Yournabe.com reported on the positive impact of Mayor Bloomberg's anti-smoking policies in Long Island City.

While Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-smoking policies have been criticized as draconian, he declared them a success on a visit to the city Department of Health in Long Island City, saying the number of adult smokers is at an all-time low of 14 percent.

[...]

The mayor touted the decline in smoking residents early last Thursday at the DOH’s headquarters at 42-09 28th St. Bloomberg said the number of adult residents who smoke has decreased by 35 percent since 2002, the year the mayor’s Smoke Free Air Act was passed by the City Council. In that year, the number of smokers in the city was at a high of 22 out of every 100 residents.

September 22, 2011
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Redistricting Advocate Discussion The Best Way To Redraw State Lines

Senator Gianaris was on NY1 with Inside City Hall’s Errol Louis and executive director of Common Cause New York, Susan Lerner, to discuss redistricting and the need for an independent redistricting commission.

See the full video interview here.

September 22, 2011
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Please Be Seated!

The Queens Gazette wrote about the installment of new benches along Steinway Street, for which Senator Gianaris attended the ribboncutting event and thanked the Steinway Astoria Partnership for continuing to improve the experiences of shoppers and visitors through these eco-friendly additions.

Members of the Steinway Astoria Partnership, elected officials and local community leaders attended a ribboncutting celebrating the new benches now lining Steinway Street.

 

September 22, 2011
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Smokers at record lows in New York City

Queens Courier wrote about the decrease in New York City smokers over the last ten years and included Senator Gianaris' comments.

More New Yorkers than ever have put out their last cigarette.

The number of New York City smokers has reached all-time lows, officials recently announced. In the past decade nearly half a million New Yorkers have put out their cigarettes, with 100,000 smokers quitting between 2009 and 2010. Smoking is down 35 percent throughout the city over the past eight years.

“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable, premature death in New York City and the nation today and we’re proud that a record number of New Yorkers are saving their own lives by quitting,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

September 22, 2011
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Kids can learn and grow in new garden

Queens Courier wrote about the unveiling of the 'Learning Garden' at P.S. 84:

[...]

Senator Michael Gianaris, who attended P.S. 84 as a child, secured funding for the original garden, which was renovated to create the modernized “Learning Garden.”

“This garden is an excellent tool for students to learn in a more hands-on capacity and enhances their understanding of the environment,” said Gianaris, who attended the unveiling. “It is a great example of community members, advocacy groups and government pulling together to make productive use of this space. We are always in need of more avenues to teach children about the environment, how it works and how we can benefit from it.”

September 19, 2011
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Solemnity Rules At Blvd’s Co-naming

Queens Tribune wrote about the renaming of the "Boulevard of Bravery" at 65th Street and Queens Boulevard. Senator Gianaris spoke at the event. 

Bagpipes and beating drums brought 65th Street and Queens Boulevard in Woodside to a solemn silence on Sept. 9. The “Boulevard of Death” turned silent.

Honoring the firefighters of Rescue 4 who lost their lives in the line of duty and on Sept. 11, 2001, local elected officials and community members gathered with the families of the fallen to enshrine the bustling thoroughfare as “The Boulevard of Bravery.”

Although the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks rehashed the devastation caused that day, some elected officials paused to ensure that the memory of each first responder will live on.

September 15, 2011
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Avella, Gianaris call for state independent redistricting

Queens Campaigner wrote about the Queens LATFOR meeting and the need for an independent commission to redraw district lines.

If any teacher wanted to instruct students about gerrymandering, a field trip to state Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) district might be a good place to start.

The lawmaker represents an unpopulated, rocky stretch of sand that forms a border around — but does not encroach upon — the neighborhood of Bay Terrace. It connects the neighborhood of Whitestone to the rest of his district by winding around the coast of Little Bay near the Throngs Neck Bridge — but only during low tide.?

September 15, 2011
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Marshall Calls For In-Borough Congressional Districts

Queens Gazette wrote about the redistricting hearing that took place in Queens, in which Senator Gianaris participated:

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Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he would veto any plan that does not meet his criteria for fairness. Cuomo proposed the creation of an independent commission, but legislation introduced in the Assembly was not approved in the senate. LATFOR consists of six members, four from the state legislature and two non-legislators.

September 14, 2011
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GIANARIS BILLS STRENGTHEN VOTING PROCESS

Queens Gazette wrote about the bills Senator Gianaris has introduced that enchance the voting process:

Four bills which would result in increased voter participation, a more efficient Board of Elections and make ballot casting more convenient have been introduced by state Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria).

The lawmaker said, “The upcoming special elections remind us of the importance of voting. As we quickly approach 2012, it is vital that we make voting an accessible and convenient process in order to maximize turnout. Every ballot counts and New Yorkers must be able to exercise this valuable right as easily as possible.”

The four bills do the following:

September 14, 2011
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"Learning Garden" Teaches Queens Kids About Rainwater Collection

NY1 did a feature story on the opening of a new outdoor classroom for P.S.84 in Astoria. Senator Gianaris, who attended theschool when he was young, participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Watch the video here.

September 13, 2011
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Gianaris: Not Voting On Health Exchange ‘Foolish’

State of Politics wrote about Senator Gianaris' comments regarding the healthcare exchange from his interview on "The Capitol Pressroom." Senator Gianaris believes that we should not refuse large amounts of federal aid that would benefit New Yorkers simply for political reasons.

Not voting on a measure that would create a health-insurance exchange in New York is “foolish” Sen. Michael Gianaris told Susan Arbetter earlier today.

Gianaris, who has increasingly become the public face of the Senate Democratic Conference, blamed Senate Republicans for obstructing the bill.

September 13, 2011
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Woodside Mural Pays Tribute To 9/11 Victims

NY1 did a story on the commemoration ceremony of a mural in Woodside to the tenth anniversary of September 11. Senator Gianaris participated in the ceremony, hosted by Woodside on the Move and Councilmember Van Bramer.

Watch the video here.

September 11, 2011
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New districts cannot divide immigrant neighborhoods in Queens, advocates say

The Daily News wrote about how redistricting could affect various immigrant groups in Queens.

State officials must draw new district lines that give growing Queens immigrant groups a stronger voice, advocates demanded this week during a nearly six-hour public hearing.

A joint Senate-Assembly body that oversees redistricting has held public sessions throughout New York since July - and the meeting Wednesday in Queens drew one of the largest crowds in the state.

September 9, 2011
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Bedbugs found in Astoria school

Queens Chronicle wrote about Senator Gianaris'  Bed Bug Notification Bill, passed last year, a measure to prevent incidents such as the one that occurred at P.S. 70.

Bedbugs have infested PS 70, an elementary school in Astoria, according to reports published last week, which said the school has the worst bedbug problem in the city.

The Department of Education discovered the infestation last December, including evidence the bugs were breeding, but never told anyone at the school about it.

For the first time, the DOE has admitted the problem came from within the school itself. In the past, the department has claimed bedbugs were brought into schools by students.

Residents and area politicians are incensed with the agency’s oversight.

September 8, 2011
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State Sen. Gianaris criticizes NY's redistricting system

Queens Times Ledger wrote about Senator Gianaris' fight for an independent redistricting process:

The state agency responsible for redrawing legislative district boundaries was set to hold a forum this week to solicit input from the public.

The boundaries for districts of the state Legislature and Congress will be redrawn in 2012 in response to the 2010 U.S. Census. The boundaries of the City Council will be redrawn in 2013.

Since the populations in each district have either risen or fallen, the boundaries need to be adjusted so each legislator represents a similar number of people.

September 8, 2011
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Astoria leaders fuming over bedbug find

Queens Times Ledger wrote about Senator Gianaris' demand that DOE investigation the bed bug incident at P.S. 70.

Elected officials from Astoria were furious after the news broke that PS 70 on 42nd Street had the worst bedbug problems in the city and did not inform administrators or students.

“This type of negligence puts students and teachers at risk, and prevents families from taking necessary steps to protect their children,” state Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) said in a statement.

September 8, 2011
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Queens Residents Fear Divided Neighborhoods Through Gerrymandering

NY1 reported on the redistricting public hearing that took place in Queens.

Every 10 years, a task force draws new district lines for state politicians based on census results, and at a Wednesday hearing today in Kew Gardens, Queens, critics alleged that lawmakers do it first and foremost with keeping their seat in mind.

Watch the video here.

September 8, 2011
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Pols remember 9/11: SENATOR MICHAEL GIANARIS

Queens Courier asked Senator Gianaris about his memories of September 11th:

Where were you when you heard that planes had struck the World Trade Center?

September 11th was an Election Day for municipal offices. I was campaigning with Peter Vallone Jr., who was a candidate for the City Council that day. After the attacks, we went to the rooftop of our polling place and saw the Towers burning with our own eyes. It is an experience I will never forget.

What was your initial reaction to the attack?

September 7, 2011
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