Michael Gianaris's News items

Motorists Face Tougher Driving Laws - Next Edition!

A package of driving law enhancing bills were passed by the Senate in early May. Queens Gazette wrote about the bills and quoted Senator Gianaris on one of them.

[...] State Senator Michael Gianaris said about the legislation that was passed May 3, “Funerals should be given the respect of an uninterrupted procession. I was pleased to vote in favor of the legislation to end traffic interference of a funeral procession as we must be able to honor the deceased members of our community while maintaining safety on our roadways.”

Read the full article here.

May 18, 2011
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State elections

Redistricting, calendar up in the air

State lawmakers' penchant for procrastination could leave up to the courts key decisions governing the 2012 elections.

In the coming months, the Legislature has to confront two vexing issues: redistricting and changes to the start of the election cycle to comply with federal law. However, lawmakers have yet to act on either one individually, and a convergence of the two will make it even more difficult to resolve either in the coming weeks.

May 17, 2011
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GOP shocker for city electric rates

New York Post wrote an article about the legislation that Senate Republicans passed that expands giveaways for electric-generating companies. We should be standing up for ratepayers not huge corporations.

ALBANY -- Last-minute legislation to head off a threatened 12-percent rate hike for New York City electricity customers was in danger last night as Senate Republicans unexpectedly passed a different measure that could cost the city nearly $2 billion.

Outraged lawmakers and city officials accused the Senate GOP of seeking a massive give-away for electric-generating companies that already are receiving city tax breaks on their property taxes.

May 17, 2011
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N.Y. redistricting talks bog down

Ithaca Journal wrote an article about redistricting reform. We must to rally together in order to get this inportant reform passed.

ALBANY -- With just five weeks to go before the Legislature breaks for the summer, talk at the Capitol has been driven by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's legislative priorities: a property tax cap, an ethics overhaul and legalizing gay marriage.

Noticeably absent, however, has been much talk on redistricting reform, a major campaign issue that garnered significant attention earlier this session, but is still unresolved.

May 16, 2011
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Officials Demand Change After Third Bridge Accident

Senator Gianaris was interview by WCBS 880 on the latest accident at Queensborough Plaza.

Click here to listen to connect to the audio.

May 16, 2011
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DOT blames span drivers

New York Post followed up on the latest Queensborough Plaza accident.

In the wake of a third crash at the dangerous hairpin-curve offramp of the Queensboro Bridge, the city Department of Transportation continued yesterday to blame bad driving as the cause of the accidents -- two of which were fatal.

"NYPD reports suggest excessive speed appears to be the dominant factor," said DOT spokesman Montgomery Dean, adding that the city has already installed speed-limit signs, flashing lights and rumble strips in an effort to slow drivers as they exit onto Queens Plaza South.

But two politicians questioned the agency's commitment to safety in light of Saturday's crash, when a speeding Volkswagen Rabbit careered into scaffolding and a livery car.

May 16, 2011
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Bridge toll mounts

New York Post asked Senator Gianaris to comment on the recent accident that occured on the Queens side of the Ed Kick-Queensborough Bridge.

A treacherous Queensboro Bridge offramp that has already claimed two lives was the scene of another spectacular crash early yesterday.

A speeding Volkswagen lost control on a hairpin turn at the lower-level offramp at about 5:30 a.m on Queens Plaza South -- ping-ponging between barriers before it went airborne and landed on the roof of a parked livery cab.

The smashup took place at the exact location of two other Volkswagen crashes -- both fatal -- in the last two months.

THE QUEENSBORO BRIDGE'S TREACHEROUS OFFRAMP

May 16, 2011
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City hearing sheds light on Census challenge

Queens Chronicle wrote an article on the latest developments regarding the Census and its flawed results. This is a serious problem and must be fixed.

At a City Council hearing on Monday, the Census Bureau’s New York regional director, Tony Farthing, testified that a processing error may have caused the agency to undercount city residents.

Farthing reportedly brought up the potential error in response to a comment by Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Brooklyn), but did not explain exactly what type of error he was referring to.

May 12, 2011
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LIC welcomes new DOH Queens embraces Health Dept.'s arrival as 'shot in the arm'

Queens Times Ledger wrote about the opening of the new headquarters of the NYC DOH in LIC.

The city Department of Health has finally come to Queens, holding its grand opening Friday by tying the bow on one of many moves that it is hoped will revitalize the Long Island City area near Queens Plaza.“It’s a great shot in the arm and a vote of confidence from the city to relocate such an important agency in the heart of Long Island City,” said state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria).

“One would hope and anticipate that there are some additional stores that are coming as a result of this development,” Van Bramer said. The 2 Gotham Center location has retail space available on the ground floors.

May 12, 2011
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LIRR trains idle too loudly: Sen. Gianaris

Queens Times Ledger wrote about my efforts to rid Long Island City of idle LIRR trains.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) is incensed over the MTA idling its trains near Borden Avenue in Long Island City, but the Long Island Rail Road said that while the running motors may be loud, they are also a necessity.

The LIRR yard outside the tunnel to Manhattan has been used by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and LIRR’s trains, many of which are now run by diesel fuel, for 100 years. Like most of Long Island City, the adjacent area has been seeing increased residential growth with condominium complexes like The Foundry, Murano Condo and One Hunters Point being built along Borden Avenue near the yard.

May 12, 2011
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LIRR trains idle too loudly: Sen. Gianaris

Queens Times Ledger wrote about my efforts to rid Long Island City of idle LIRR trains.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) is incensed over the MTA idling its trains near Borden Avenue in Long Island City, but the Long Island Rail Road said that while the running motors may be loud, they are also a necessity.

The LIRR yard outside the tunnel to Manhattan has been used by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and LIRR’s trains, many of which are now run by diesel fuel, for 100 years. Like most of Long Island City, the adjacent area has been seeing increased residential growth with condominium complexes like The Foundry, Murano Condo and One Hunters Point being built along Borden Avenue near the yard.

May 12, 2011
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Gianaris Attends Opening Of DOH HQ In LIC

Queens Gazette included a photo and short blurb about the opening of the NYC Department of Health headquarters in Long Island City, which Senator Gianaris attended.

On Friday, May 6, state Senator Michael Gianaris (far r.) attended and gave remarks at the opening of the city Department of Health’s new headquarters in Long Island City. Seen here at the opening are (L. to r.); Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley and Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs.

See the photo and full page here.

May 11, 2011
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Gianaris Blasts Easing Regs For W. Queens Power Plants

Queens Gazette wrote about Senator Gianaris' vote against the S.191 bill that would fast-track the construction of new power plants.

State Senator Michael Gianaris has voted against legislation that establishes a fast-track process for the siting of new electric generating facilities without providing enough safeguards for overburdened communities.

The bill, S191, allows for the placement of new power plants without properly considering the cumulative effect of new plant construction on neighborhoods that already house numerous power plants.

May 11, 2011
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Pols' bid to zap rate hike

The Post wrote about legislation that Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg are introducing to resolve the FERC rate hike issue. Senator Gianaris is proud to be one of the first people to stand up and fight against this outrageous rate hike.

ALBANY -- Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg announced legislation yesterday that will head off a threatened 12 percent rate hike for New York City electric customers.

The legislation, first reported by The Post last month, guarantees permanent property-tax abatements to local electric-generating companies, removing the basis for a little-noticed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision in January that could hike city electric rates by $500 million a year.

May 11, 2011
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LIC annoyed by loud trains

Queens Chronicle wrote about the noisy trains that are disturbing residents in Long Island City.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) said he and his constituents have had enough of the racket at the Long Island Rail Road yard located at Borden Avenue and 2nd Street in LIC.

Trains idle at the yard and pollute the air. On Saturday, Gianaris announced he had penned a letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder, asking him to silence the locomotives.

“It is unacceptable that the MTA wastes expensive fuel while transit fares rise and services are being cut,” Gianaris said.

May 5, 2011
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Astoria taxi stand request

Queens Chronicle wrote about Senator Gianaris' request for a taxi stand at 31st Street and Ditmars Boulevard.

After receiving numerous complaints from residents and business owners, state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) has requested a taxi stand be created in the vicinity of 31st Street between Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue in Astoria.

Gianaris wrote a letter to Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky this month to inform him of congestion caused in the area due to idling cabs. Gianaris wrote that livery cabs often illegally respond to passengers who hail them, block traffic by double parking along the streets and sit in metered spots for hours without paying.

May 5, 2011
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Gianaris: ‘Idling Trains Hurt Quality Of Life In LIC’

Queens Gazette wrote about Senator Gianaris' letter to the MTA requesting a "no idle" policy at the Long Island City rail yard.

Continuing his fight to improve the quality of life in Western Queens, state Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria) has called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to cease immediately the idling of Long Island Railroad trains at the Long Island City rail yard in Queens.

Gianaris charged that the idling trains pollute the air with the excessive amount of fuel they waste while sitting idle and disturb the neighborhood with the loud noise of their running engines.

May 5, 2011
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LIC Community Calls For Improved 7 Train Service

Queens Gazette wrote about the rally to improve service on the 7 train.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, state Senator Michael Gianaris and state Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, were joined by local businesses, transit advocates and residents at a rally on April 28 to demand that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) expedite repairs to address the frequent unreliability of No. 7 train service and the long-term MTA infrastructure problems facing the rapidly growing area of Long Island City.

May 4, 2011
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Gianaris Wants More Trees

Queens Gazette wrote about Senator Gianaris' request for more trees to be planted in Sunnyside and Woodside.

As part of his continued commitment to improving the quality of life in Western Queens, state Senator Michael Gianaris sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg requesting the planting of trees along various avenues in Sunnyside and Woodside. Gianaris is requesting that trees be planted along Queens Boulevard, 48th Avenue, 47th Avenue and 43rd Avenues between 38th Street and 48th Street.

May 4, 2011
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Teen wants MTA to revive X-bus to Manhattan

Queens Times Ledger included that Senator Gianaris sent an article to the MTA asking for the Q22 bus to be restored.

A Whitestone teen who attends school in Long Island City is circulating a petition asking the MTA to restore an express bus from Jackson Heights to Astoria and Long Island City to midtown Manhattan that had been cut last year.

“The service needs to be reinstated because people would use it if people knew about it,” said Ali Fadil, 17.

April 29, 2011
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