Queens, NY – Due to the efforts of Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Cathy Nolan, and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, sound abatement equipment for the 7 train ventilator plant in Hunter’s Point has successfully been installed. The elected officials’ secured funding for the equipment last year after complaints of ear-splitting sounds coming from the MTA East River ventilator, located at 50th Avenue between 5th Street and Center Street.
NYC Transit President, Thomas Prendergast, sent a letter to the three elected officials in October indicating that the equipment’s installation was complete and area noise levels reduced.
Local leaders protest recent area crimes and introduce initiatives to make the neighborhood safer.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and Council Member Peter Vallone, Jr. today held an anti-crime rally to protest the concentrated number of criminal activities that have occurred in the neighborhood recently. The elected officials, as well as community leaders and activists, also announced new crime-fighting initiatives to increase safety in the neighborhood.
Queens, NY – “Today, we honor all of the brave individuals who put our nation’s safety before their own lives. Our veterans deserve thanks every single day for their love of this country and their sense of responsibility to protect us from danger. I salute New York’s veterans as well as veterans across the country for their dedication to ensuring our safety from those who wish to do us harm. Their service is admirable.”
Senator Gianaris continues to accept nominations for the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. Nominations can be made to email@example.com or by calling Senator Gianaris’ district office at 718-728-0960. Inductees will be announced early next year.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris is sponsoring the New York State Senate Thanksgiving Day Creative Celebration for western Queens elementary schools as part of this year’s holiday. Eligible students are invited to submit a piece of artwork, poem or one-page essay expressing why they are thankful on this Thanksgiving. The program is called “What Are You Thankful For?”and is offered to students in kindergarten through 6th grade.
“As Thanksgiving approaches, I encourage all our elementary school students to participate in this fun, reflective program,” Senator Gianaris said. “The program gives students the opportunity to be creative and convey thanks for their family, friends and community. I look forward to seeing all of the imaginative submissions.”
Queens, NY – As winter approaches, Senator Gianaris reminds western Queens residents of a federal program offering low income households assistance to pay their energy bills. The program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), particularly helps those households with the lowest incomes paying a high proportion of household income for energy.
“During these difficult economic times, energy costs are an increasing burden for all New Yorkers, particularly for those in need,” Senator Gianaris said. “Programs like LIHEAP are vital to many members of our community who struggle to keep warm during the cold winter months. I strongly encourage all who are eligible to see how this program can help their families.”
“For more than a decade, Greek-Americans have been without our place of worship in one of the most significant locations in this country. This long-awaited deal reminds the world of New York’s emphasis on religious freedom and the value of reconstruction as we continue to remember all we lost on September 11th. I look forward to celebrating the rebuilding of Saint Nicholas with my fellow Greek-Americans and all New Yorkers. I thank the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Governor Cuomo and the Port Authority for their hard work to bring about today’s agreement.”
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris is pleased to welcome the installation of free Wi-Fi in Astoria Park, one of five New York City park locations offering free wireless service, provided by AT&T and the City of New York. The addition of this new digital network will allow western Queens residents to enjoy the outdoors while browsing the Internet without extra charges to their cell phone or cable bills.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Cathy Nolan and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer today held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the refurbished Vernon Boulevard Dog Run in Long Island City. The elected officials, along with Queens West Development Corporation (QWDC), New York State Department of Parks and DOG LIC, a local advocacy group, worked together since last year to secure funding for the much-needed renovations to the dog run and are pleased to finally announce the renewed run is open and ready for use.
Twice as many texting-while-driving tickets handed out this year than last year.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris praised the effectiveness of a recently enacted driving law, which has led to double the number of drivers ticketed for texting while driving in August 2011 than in August 2010.
The Distracted Driving Bill makes the use of portable devices while driving a primary offense. Previously, using these devices while behind the wheel was a secondary offense and police could only stop motorists if they were committing another, primary offense – such as speeding or running a red light.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Catherine Nolan and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer today announced that long-awaited renovations to the Vernon Boulevard Dog Run in Long Island City have begun. The elected officials, along with Queens West Development Corporation (QWDC), New York State Department of Parks and DOG LIC, a local advocacy group, have worked together since last year to make major improvements to the park.
Renovations to the park and dog run include:
• More than double space in dog run from 4,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet;
• Cleaned out, re-graded and leveled-off dog run with new dog-friendly gravel surface;
• New separate fenced-off areas for large and small dogs;
“September 11, 2001 is an experience that will remain engrained in our psyche forever. The emotional scars of that day will never leave us as we remember those who were lost, and my condolences continue to go out to their families and friends. May their memories be eternal.
While New York City will never be the same, it is gratifying to see the unity that developed among New Yorkers and the work that was done in the last decade to increase our preparedness and help prevent another attack.”
Reminds New Yorkers of the importance of voting in upcoming September 13 elections.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris has introduced four bills in the Senate that would strengthen the voting process and make ballot-casting more convenient. These measures would result in increased voter participation and a more efficient Board of Elections.
Senator Gianaris 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 amend New York State law in the following ways:
Queens, NY – Thousands of New Yorkers have been hired by the television and film industry, due to the New York State Film Production Credit championed by Senator Michael Gianaris. New York City is currently the production site for a record 23 television shows, including 8 new primetime series. New York City’s media and entertainment industry employs 100,000 New Yorkers and generates $5 billion per year for the city’s economy.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris applauded the passage of a new ethics reform law, the Public Integrity Act of 2011, which was signed into law by Governor Cuomo. Senator Gianaris voted in favor of the bill when it was brought to a vote in the Senate during this legislative session. The law increases transparency, establishes more stringent disclosure requirements, and creates a new, independent ethics panel to oversee elected officials.
New law protects law enforcement officials from “hidden dangers”
QUEENS, N.Y. – Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas announced that Governor Cuomo has signed a bill they sponsored cracking down on criminals who attempt to impede felony investigations through the use or installation of explosive devices and other hazardous materials.
The law takes effect amid a nationwide surge in felons – specifically narco-traffickers – “booby-trapping” the transport and storage locations of illegal goods. This practice endangers law enforcement personnel seeking to prevent the spread of contraband in our communities.
QUEENS, NY--Senator Michael Gianaris’ Bed Bug Notification Bill for New York City Public Schools was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Senator Gianaris wrote and first introduced the legislation in 2007, when he was a member of the Assembly. The legislation requires that the Parent Teacher Association and all parents of potentially affected New York City school children receive notification from school health officials upon detection of bed bugs in their child's school. The notification includes informational brochures that enable parents to take preventative steps and make more informed decisions regarding the health and safety of their children and families.
“Ramadan reminds us of the value of helping others. As we continue to face difficult economic times, it is important that we take a break from the rigors of our own daily lives and remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
During this holy month, I wish all Muslims Ramadan Mubarak.”
Report shows that MTA is not doing enough to prevent or alert riders of subway service disruptions
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris applauded State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and City Comptroller John Liu as they released a joint audit that takes the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to task for leaving subway riders in the dark about wasteful and unproductive service diversions. According to the audit, subway service diversions are increasing and over budget with little explanation or instruction to riders.
Senator Gianaris on Sunday joined the Comptrollers at a press conference at Queensborough Plaza in Long Island City to announce the audit’s results.
Procedures for Transporting U.S. License Plates Strengthened After Inquiry from Senator
Queens, NY – Due to Senator Michael Gianaris’ concern for Americans’ safety following a serious mishandling of official United States Government license plates, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has revised and strengthened its procedures for transporting federal license plates.
The procedure will require official government license plates to be hand-delivered after Senator Gianaris discovered a mishap where more than 30 license plates were mailed to a wrong location in Astoria rather than their intended destination of Montrose, New York.
Number of confirmed cases tripled this year in NYC public schools
Queens, NY – The number of bed bug cases in New York City public schools drastically increased during the 2010-2011 academic year as compared to the prior year. According to the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE), around 3,590 cases of bedbugs were reported this year, which is over three times more than last year’s 1,019 cases. Senator Gianaris stresses that school teachers and administrators need to be more vigilant in notifying parents of measures they can take to combat bed bugs in order to keep the epidemic from spreading.