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.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris applauds the enactment of the Distracted Driving Bill, a traffic safety measure that will help reduce the number of car accidents across New York.
The bill makes utilizing a portable device while driving a primary offense, allowing police officers to stop drivers using their cell phones, MP3 players, laptops, or any device with a screen while behind the wheel.
“Distracted driving is dangerous and can have critical consequences,” Senator Gianaris said. “This law will make our roadways safer, our drivers more attentive, and will result in fewer accidents.”
“New York City is known for its ability to unify diverse communities from around the world, and no landmark better symbolizes that unique characteristic than the RFK Bridge. This iconic structure allows New Yorkers from all over the city to easily connect with one another and learn about the distinguished aspects of their respective cultures.”
Sent letter to NYC DOT requesting side-angle and alternate side parking.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas are working together to improve traffic and safety measures for local residents and workers in western Queens, specifically those located near 14th Street between 34th Avenue and 33rd Road in Long Island City. Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Simotas sent a letter to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) requesting the establishment of angled parking at these streets due to an inadequate amount of available parking spaces in the area.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris lauded the saving of Ladder 128, in Long Island City. Ladder 128 was one of 20 fire companies throughout New York City that was marked for closure due to budget cuts. After sustained protests regarding these closures it was announced on Friday, June 24 that all fire companies, including Ladder 128 would remain open.
Ladder 128 serves the neighborhoods of Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and Greenpoint.
“Ladder 128 is vital to our community and I am thankful it will remain open to ensure our neighborhood receives the fire protection it requires,” Senator Gianaris said. “It goes to show what can be accomplished when our community comes together to fight to protect our quality of life.”
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris was proud to be one of the 33 votes in favor of the Marriage Equality Act, which passed the New York State Senate on Friday, June 24 by a vote of 33-29 and was signed into law by Governor Cuomo.
New York is now the sixth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage, giving LGBT couples the same domestic and human rights as heterosexual couples.
“Today, New York reclaimed its mantle as the nation's human rights leader. I am proud to be one of the 'yes' votes that made marriage equality a reality in our state,” Senator Gianaris said. “May our example set the tone for the rest of the country so that all Americans can enjoy the same rights and privileges.”
New TV shows to be filmed this year due to film tax credit.
Queens, NY – A record number of new television series are scheduled to be filmed in New York State this year due to the New York State Film Production Credit championed by Senator Michael Gianaris. Eight new television series will be filmed in the state in 2011, creating more than 4,700 industry-related jobs.
The Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development announced that the film tax credit lured 70 new projects to New York since January. These projects are expected to spend a total of more than $1 billion.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris continues his efforts to increase energy affordability for consumers while enhancing energy efficiency and protecting the environment in New York State. On Wednesday, May 25, 2011, he, along with various Senate colleagues including fellow Queens Senator Jose Perlata unveiled a package of alternative energy bills aimed at making energy affordable.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris is fighting against the closure of Ladder 128, a fire company located in Long Island City, Queens at 33-51 Greenpoint Avenue. This fire company recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary and serves the neighborhoods of Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and Greenpoint.
Mayor Bloomberg has announced that he is planning on closing 20 fire companies across New York City. Ladder 128 is one of four fire companies in Queens marked for closure.
Following the announcement that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has reversed its decision to allow power generating companies to massively increase their electric rates, Senator Gianaris said, "I'm glad this misguided rate hike has been reversed and proud that the State took swift action to save ratepayers millions of dollars. Governor Cuomo deserves thanks for working closely with those of us who were alarmed by the FERC decision to resolve the problem."