Michael Gianaris's News items

Pols seek DOT’s help on parking

Queens Chronicle wrote about the letter I sent with Assemblymember Aravella Simotas requesting more parking spaces and increased traffic safety measures in Long Island City.

If you live or park on 14th Street between 34th Avenue and 33rd Road in Long Island City, relief from a lack of parking spots and an excess of litter may be on its way.

In a letter dated June 27 to Department of Transportation Queens Commissioner Maura McCarthy, state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) requested the establishment of angled parking spaces and the implementation of alternate-side parking on 14th Street.

July 18, 2011
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Trees are coming to Sunnyside/Woodside

Sunnyside Post wrote about Senator Gianaris' continued work to get more trees planted in Sunnyside and Woodside. It is expected that hundreds of trees will be planted in the area within the next two years, thanks to the help of local leaders.

Hundreds of trees will be planted in Sunnyside and Woodside within the next two years, according to the neighborhood’s political leaders.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris, who wrote a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in April insisting that more trees be planted on the south side of Queens Blvd, said that the first wave of tree planting is likely to begin in October.

July 18, 2011
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Annual Tour De Queens

Queens Gazette wrote about Senator Gianaris' participation in the Tour de Queens.

A record number of people biked through Eastern and Southern Queens on July 10 as part of the Fourth Annual Tour de Queens. Around 2,000 bicyclists were joined by New York Mets mascot Mr. Met, state Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson for the event.

“Bicycling is truly a fiveborough phenomenon,” Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives Paul Steely White said. “Thousands of people proved that in Queens yesterday as they rolled through 20 miles of New York’s largest borough for the fourth year in a row.”

July 13, 2011
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Inmates key in redistricting issue

There is a cloud over the entire redistricting process. Albany Times Union wrote about LATFOR's continued use of prison-based gerrymandering, despite a 2010 law making it illegal.

ALBANY -- Good-government and civil rights groups charge New York's commission on legislative redistricting will break a 2010 law if it counts inmates where they are jailed.

The legislative commission, known as LATFOR, held its first meeting last week in Albany and announced it will for now ignore a 2010 law -- passed when Democrats controlled the Senate, Assembly and Executive Mansion -- that requires inmates be counted at their last known address.

July 12, 2011
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Census gives NY office miles and miles of data

Queens Chronicle wrote about how census offices in several other states will be closed, making New York's office responsible for collecting and organizing even more data.

How many infants live in Puerto Rico? Workers at the New York regional office of the U.S. Census Bureau will soon be responsible for keeping tabs on the island and many more states, according to the bureau.

July 11, 2011
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Gov. Cuomo must stand firm against Legislature's moves toward the same old partisan redistricting

The Daily News editorialized on the need for passage of an independent, nonpartisan redistrcting panel.

Defying one of Gov. Cuomo's key goals for reforming Albany, the Legislature is gearing up to shamelessly gerrymander election districts so as to protect incumbents and preserve power.

In his winning campaign, Cuomo rightly backed nonpartisan redistricting as critical to breaking the bossism that cows individual lawmakers and makes them less accountable to voters.

But now, as the time approaches for drawing the lines based on the results of the 2010 census, the Legislature has set up a commission that is steamrolling toward doing the job its way.

July 11, 2011
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Cyclists Undertake Annual "Tour De Queens"

Senator Gianaris attended the "Tour de Queens" bike race and talked to NY1 about the importance of and fun in biking around New York City.

Cyclists took to the streets of the city's largest borough Sunday for the fourth annual "Tour de Queens."

Organizers said more than 2,000 people showed up for the 20-mile ride that started and finished in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and took riders through the eastern and northern parts of the borough.

Advocacy group Transportation Alternatives organized the event, and spokesman Michael Murphy said today's enthusiasm shows biking is truly a five-borough phenomenon.

July 11, 2011
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Security gates get makeover to fight graffiti

Queens Courier wrote about the roll down gates press conference Senator Gianaris participated in.

New York City storefronts are getting a makeover.

July 6, 2011
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114th Precinct Cops Honored, Hidden Auto Compartments Outlawed

Queens Gazette wrote about the passage of Senator Gianaris' concealed vehicular compartment legislation, sponsored in the Assembly by Aravella Simotas. Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Simotas announced the bill's passage at the 114th Precinct Community Council meeting.

Police Officers Peter Predescu and Mubashir Tohfafarosh were honored as Cops of the Month at the June 28 meeting of the 114th Precinct Community Council.

July 6, 2011
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Wager Honored in Street Co-Naming

Queens Gazette wrote an article about the event co-naming part of Steinway Street the "Julie Wager Way." Senator Gianaris, a friend and supporter of Julie Wager, spoke at the event. 

Members of Julie Wager’s family along with Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr., state Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney and Central Astoria Local Development Coalition President George Stamatiades, gathered together amid a friendly crowd on June 30 for the co-naming of the corner of Steinway Street and Broadway, Julie Wager Way.

Family, friends and local officials exchanged stories of their lost friend.

July 6, 2011
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The Rockets Red Glare

Queens Gazette wrote about the Astoria Independence Day celebration and Senator Gianaris' participation in the festive evening.

The skies above the East River as seen from Astoria Park lit up as more than 20,000 people gathered in awe on June 30 to celebrate America’s birthday. The fireworks, provided by the Grucci Family, went off at 9:15 p.m., lighting up the skies between the Hell Gate Bridge and Robert F. Kennedy Triborough Bridge.

The fireworks display came after the Astoria Symphony Orchestra performed in front of a crowd on the Astoria Park Lawn. The lawn was filled with people sitting and standing as children blew bubbles and played with glow-in-the-dark swords sold by vendors.

July 6, 2011
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Watchdog Groups Call For Independent Redistricting

Politics on the Hudson wrote about the need for the Legislature to return to session to approve independent redistricting, in light of the first public meeting of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR).

Remember independent redistricting?

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo scored legislative victories last month, there’s one glaring piece of unfinished piece: establishing an independent panel to draw district lines in 2012. Cuomo wants it done, but Senate Republicans balked and they left town without considering it.

But the issue will take center stage today when the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) holds its first public meeting this morning in Albany.

July 6, 2011
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On a roll against graffiti with see-through gates

The Daily News quoted Senator Gianaris in a story on the new roll-down gates required for storefronts, an initiative led by Councilmember Vallone.

Solid, rolldown security gates around the city may become a thing of the past - but not overnight.

A new city law, sponsored by Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), went into effect last Friday and will require that all new rolldown gates must provide at least 70% visibility through the storefront window.

But business owners who currently have solid metal gates will have until 2026 to replace those with the higher-visibility ones.

July 5, 2011
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Mayor, City Council reach budget deal

Queens Chronicle included Senator Gianaris' statements on the restoration of Ladder 128 in LIC as part of the New York City budget.

Seven weeks after detailing an executive budget fraught with some of the most severe cuts the city has ever seen, Mayor Bloomberg, joined by members of the City Council, announced last Friday night that they had reached an agreement on an on-time fiscal year 2012 plan that averts teacher layoffs and the closure of fire companies and senior centers.

June 30, 2011
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Wedding bells ring for gay New Yorkers

Queens Chronicle quoted Senator Gianaris on the historic passage of the Marriage Equality Act.

It is said that marriage marks the beginning of the rest of your life, and for gay and lesbian New Yorkers, Friday night was nothing less than a fresh start.

“We are now being treated as fully equal citizens,” said gay Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), touting the passage of state legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. “Having the option just makes us more whole as human beings, whether we choose to get married or not.”

In bars and in clubs, in homes and on the steps of City Hall, New Yorkers from all walks of life celebrated.

June 30, 2011
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Battle on vs. LIC strip club: Decision on liquor license has been postponed

The Daily News wrote a story on the liquor license application for a LIC strip club, which Senator Gianaris opposes. He is glad the decision has at least been postponed.

A decision on whether to recommend a liquor license for a proposed strip club in Long Island City has been postponed.

Owners of the club, called Gypsy Rose, pledged to Community Board 2 on Thursday to follow a strict set of guidelines to avoid problems at the site, which sits at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge.

Local politicians and residents have denounced the club, saying it feeds into the seedy image Long Island City is trying to shake.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) has asked State Liquor Authority Chairman Dennis Rosen to reject the application.

June 27, 2011
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Strip club tries again for liquor license as Long Island City community voices opposition

The Daily News asked Senator Gianaris for his input on the attempted renewal of a liquor license for  a strip club located in Long Island City. The Senator vigorously opposes this application.

The owners of a planned Long Island City strip club are making their second bid for a liquor license, just months after their previous application was overwhelmingly rejected by local and state officials.

The firm, 21 Group Inc., plans to open a gentlemen's club called Gypsy Rose at 42-50 21st St. They will outline their plans tonight to members of Community Board 2, which will then vote on whether to support their application to the State Liquor Authority.

June 23, 2011
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$2.9 M Grant Announced To Serve NYC Schools

Queens Gazette quoted Senator Gianaris from the press release announcing of millions of dollars in funding for City Year New York. This initiative was led by Congresswoman Maloney, and Senator Gianaris is grateful for her hard work to make this happen.

June 22, 2011
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Plans to bring trees to Sunnyside-Woodside on track

Senator Gianaris is hosting a meeting with area leaders to determine where the trees he requested to be planted in Sunnyside and Woodside should be located. Sunnyside Post wrote about the upcoming meeting.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris is holding a meeting on Friday with Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and civic leaders to determine those areas of Sunnyside and Woodside where trees need to be planted.

The meeting comes after Gianaris sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg urging him to plant trees in the neighborhood arguing that there was a lack of trees in many parts of the area—particularly on the south side of Queens Blvd.

June 22, 2011
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Family Members Seek Justice For The Wrongfully Convicted

Senator Gianaris for years has been advocating for a "Peace Commission" to review the cases of potentially wrongfully convicted individuals in order to decrease the number of cases of wrongful conviction in New York.

Dozens of family members stood on the steps of City Hall Thursday, shouting the names of related prisoners that they say have been locked up for no reason.

"I know he is innocent, and that's what hurts," said Louis Holmes, father of a current inmate.

Family members and activists say Albany leaders need to form what they called an "Innocence Commission," a panel with subpoena powers to investigate the cases of inmates who claim they're not guilty and should be set free.

June 17, 2011
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