Michael Gianaris's News items

SHADOW PLAY

City and State wrote an editorial that talks about the upcoming release of New York state's new lines for election districts. Senator Gianaris believes that LATFOR's redistricitng process is nothing more than a political power play.

It was one of the last of the group’s dozens of public hearings before drafting new lines for election districts. Dilan, representing the Senate Democratic Conference on the task force, was upset about a memo from a Senate Republican lawyer that advocated for a 63rd Senate seat. The memo had been placed on the LATFOR website late on a Friday, with no Democratic input.

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January 30, 2012
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Local pols reject Morgan Stanley price fixing settlement

The Queens Courier wrote an article about the Department of Justice's $4.8 million settlement with Morgan Stanley for their illegal pricing scheme, which cost ratepayers roughly $300 million. Senator Gianaris and other local politicians are pushing the Dept. of Justice to increase the fine, arguing that the current settlement is unacceptable and would allow Morgan Stanley to keep millions in profit.

Local elected officials are expending “energy” to ensure Morgan Stanley doesn’t get a quick “fix” to its illegal pricing ploy.

January 23, 2012
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Community Victorious Over Strip Club

An editorial by Queens Tribune talks about the State Liquor Authority's denial of the Gypsy Rose strip club's liquor license application, which was a favorable result for Long Island City community members. According to Senator Gianaris, the type of person and business that adult establishments tend to attract are not welcome in Long Island City.

The community spoke and its voice was heard by the State Liquor Authority, who denied the 21 Group Inc.’s application for a liquor license for the Gypsy Rose establishment in Long Island City during a hearing Jan. 18 in Manhattan.

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January 23, 2012
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A slap on the wrist for illegal millions?

The Queens Chronicle investigates the alleged prixe-fixing scheme employed by Morgan Stanley and KeySpan that overcharged New Yorkers for electrictity while garnering Morgan Stanley and KeySpan $21.6 million. Senator Gianaris believes that the Department of Justice's recommended fine of $4.8 million is inadequate.

A price-fixing scheme allegedly concocted by Morgan Stanley and KeySpan, and involving Astoria Generating Co., may have overcharged New Yorkers for electricity while garnering Morgan Stanley and KeySpan millions, according to published reports and two area politicians outraged at the scheme: Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) and state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria).

January 20, 2012
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Just say no to gerrymandering

An editorial written by the Queens Chronicle highlights a 2012 New York Redistricting Project where students were able to propose ideas for state Senate maps and express their opinions on how political lines should be drawn in order to meet the needs of groups with similar interests. Senator Gianaris believes that this demonstrates how excellent redistricting proposals can be made in a short period of time.

And the winner is ... districts that are not gerrymandered.

January 20, 2012
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State Liquor Authority rejects Long Island City strip club’s bid for license

NY Daily News reports that the State Liquor Authority has rejected the Gypsy Rose gentlemen club's bid for a liquor license, following protests from Long Island City residents and community leaders. Senator Gianaris believes the decision was an important step in establishing the neighborhood as a wholesome, family friendly environment.

For the second time, the State Liquor Authority has rejected an application by the owners of a Long Island City strip club for a liquor license.

“I believe that there is sufficient good cause for us to deny this application,” Dennis Rosen, chairman of the authority, said Wednesday.

Community leaders who are opposed to the club, known as Gypsy Rose, have flooded the board in recent weeks with petitions and testimony.

January 20, 2012
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LIC employer Fresh Direct eyes N.J. move

The Times Ledger wrote an article that talks about Fresh Direct's potential move to New Jersey and New York's attempt to keep them in the city. Senator Gianaris agrees that it would be disappointing if the online grocer were to leave New York.

A Long Island City online grocery company has filed for a large tax incentive program in New Jersey, but New York state and city agencies are hoping that Fresh Direct stays — if not in Queens, then at least in the city.

“It would certainly be disappointing if they left,” said state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria). “I think it’s important that the business climate in New York continues to be welcoming.”

January 20, 2012
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Elderly Passengers Upset About TSA’s Strip Search Denials

CBS posted a video with Senator Gianaris' comments on the TSA's response admitting some wrongdoing. 

Watch the video here.

January 20, 2012
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TSA regrets 'discomfort,' but says elderly fliers weren't strip-searched

CNN reports that although the TSA has altered their responses to the allegations that they wrongfully strip searched two elderly women travelling through John F. Kennedy Airport, they are standing by their statements that neither of the women were asked to remove any clothing. Senator Gianaris believes the TSA has failed in admitting to their misconduct and in making sure their procedures are welcoming to the flying public.  

January 20, 2012
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TSA apology? Two elderly women were screened improperly

The Los Angeles Times investigates the matter involving two elderly women who claim to have been strip searched while travelling through Kennedy Airport and the subsequent denial by the TSA that such strip searching actually occured. Senator Gianaris says that the letter he received from the TSA acknowledges standard procedures were violated but that it didn't go far enough in admitting the strip searches were done and in apologizing to the victims.

The Transportation Security Administration has offered a mea culpa, of sorts, for the screening of two elderly women who said they were partially strip-searched at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport in November.

January 20, 2012
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Fresh Direct Ponders Move

The Queens Gazette wrote an article that talks about New York City's push to keep the online grocer Fresh Direct from making a move to New Jersey. Senator Gianaris believes that it is crucial to remain welcoming to local businesses, like Fresh Direct, in order to keep jobs in our neighborhood.

Fresh Direct, an online grocer that delivers to residences and offices in the New York City metropolitan area and one of the largest employers in Long Island City and Queens as a whole, has become a prize in a bidding war between New York City and New Jersey. The business, which bowed in New York City in 2002, is rapidly expanding and expects to outgrow its Long Island City facility in a few years.

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January 20, 2012
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P.S. 234 Elementary School Gym Repaired

The Queens Gazette article announces that the P.S. 234 School Gym, which has been closed since September due to flood damage, was finally repaired as a result of the efforts made by parents and elected officials.

Following a joint effort by Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr. and state Senator Michael Gianaris, the gymnasium at the Astoria Elementary School, P.S. 234, which suffered substantial flood damage, has been repaired and is now in use.

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January 20, 2012
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TSA admits wrongdoing in cases of two elderly woman who claim they were strip-searched

The New York Daily News reports that the Deptartment of Homeland Security admitted that TSA screeners violated standard practice in the cases of two elderly women who alleged they were victims of humiliating strip searches at Kennedy Airport.

In an about-face, the feds have admitted wrongdoing in the cases of two elderly women who say they were strip-searched at Kennedy Airport by overzealous screeners.

Federal officials had initially insisted that all “screening procedures were followed” after Ruth Sherman, 89, and Lenore Zimmerman, 85, went public with separate accounts of humiliating strip searches.

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Gianaris, who wrote to the TSA requesting a full investigation, said the feds’ account is still full of holes.

January 20, 2012
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Pols’ power play

The New York Post wrote an article about community leaders from Queens who are complaining that a $4.8 million fine issued to Morgan Stanley for a price-fixing scheme is not enough. Senator Gianaris feels that such an insignificant fine would continue to permit the bank to reap the benefits of its illicit profits.

Two local lawmakers have asked a judge to pull the plug on a deal that leaves victims of a huge electricity price-fixing scheme out in the cold.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris and City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., both Queens Democrats, wrote Manhattan federal Judge William Pauley asking him to order Morgan Stanley to refund millions of dollars to Con Ed customers.

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January 20, 2012
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Strip club Gypsy Rose causes a stink

The Queens Chronicle wrote an article about Long Island City residents and elected officials opposing the opening of a new strip club, the Gypsy Rose, in the neighborhood. Senator Gianaris believes that the presence of a new strip club will undermine efforts to establish Long Island City as a family-friendly, safe environment.

Area politicians and residents are fighting the opening of a strip club called Gypsy Rose in Long Island City, located at 42-50 21 St.

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“When we’re trying to establish Long Island City as a family-friendly, safe environment, where parents can feel free to walk down the street with their children, having a sex-based business staring them in the face is not the best message,” Gianaris said.

January 20, 2012
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Queens Officials Protest New Strip Club

NY1 posted a video of protesters gathered outside the Gypsy Rose Cabaret, rallying against the opening of a new strip club in Long Island City. Senator Gianaris attended the protest and believes the effects of the strip club on the neighborhood would be detrimental. 

Watch the video here

January 20, 2012
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The Capitol Pressroom for January 10, 2012

WCNY posted Senator Gianaris' interview with Susan Arbetter discussing redistricting and the Senate GOP's attempt to add a 63rd Senate seat. 

Listen to the interview here

January 20, 2012
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LATFOR site subtly announces 63rd Senate seat

The Empire wrote an editorial that discusses the letter posted by LATFOR, which intends to justify the addition of a 63rd Senate seat. Senator Gianaris says that the attempt by Senate Republicans to add a 63rd seat represents "everything that's wrong with state government."

Below is the letter that LATFOR has posted on their website justifying the increase of the State Senate from 62 to 63 seats. The move had been anticipated after Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos indicated last week that there was “a good chance” the Senate would add a 63rd seat.

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In a phone interview, Democratic State Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens said Senate Republicans have reached “a new low in old Albany partisan politics.”

January 20, 2012
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Politics don't always add up

An editorial written by Times Union investigates the matter of Senate Republicans' wanting to add a 63rd Senate seat, despite the fact that New York is losing two seats in Congress. Senator Gianaris and Senate Deomcrats are opposed to the addition of a 63rd seat on the grounds that the Senate Republican ploy is unconstitutional.

New York is losing two seats in Congress, so how in the world can it add another state senator?

Under the current and much-maligned redistricting process, the Republicans who control the state's upper chamber hold the pens in the once-a-decade exercise that draws district lines. Late Friday, they released an analysis explaining why they will draw 63 Senate districts, adding a member to the chamber.

January 20, 2012
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Senators Debate Constitution Over Adding 63rd Senate Seat

Politics on the Hudon posted a video of Senator Michael Gianaris and Senator Martin Malave Dilan discussing redistricting and responding to the Senate Republicans' effort to add a 63rd Senate seat.

Watch the video here

January 18, 2012
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