Michael Gianaris's posts related to Local Government

Senator Gianaris Introduces Ratepayer Protection Act

Targets Companies That Unfairly Raise Electric Rates

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris announced that he will be introducing legislation to safeguard New Yorkers against unfair increases to electricity bills. The proposal, dubbed “The Ratepayer Protection Act” eliminates property tax exemptions and abatements for power-generating corporations that unfairly raise their rates. The legislation was introduced in response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision to approve a rate hike by power generating companies in New York.

Recently, FERC approved the 12% increase in electricity rates for New York City residents and a 17.5% increase for New York City businesses, which would be implemented on May 28, 2011.

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Senator Gianaris and Community Rally to Protest Placement of Asphalt Plant in Long Island City

The Western Queens Gazette wrote about a rally to protest the placement of a dirty asphalt plant in Long Island City.The rally was hosted by Senator Gianaris along with Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley.

Elected officials and community leaders are asking the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to rescind a permit it issued to an asphalt plant in Long Island City until a proper Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is issued.

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Call For Investigation In Qns Plaza Crashes

Queens Tribune wrote about the press conference Senator Gianaris held in response to the crashes at Queensborough Bridge.

In the wake of two similar disastrous car accidents on the Queens side of the Queensboro Bridge, local officials are asking the city to change the traffic pattern that they say has caused two accidents that killed two and destroyed a business - twice.

In the span of two weeks, two Volkswagen Jettas crashed into a store on Queens Plaza South and Crescent Street. Both cars collided with the store after jumping the curb exiting the Queens-bound outer roadway of the Queensboro Bridge. Both accidents occurred at about 4 a.m., when the normally-congested bridge is nearly empty. Tragically, both drivers each lost an arm.

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Pols demand change after copycat crashes

Queens Chronicle on the Queensborough Bridge rally.

Politicians and community members gathered at the base of the Queensboro Bridge on Friday to demand traffic changes after two people were killed in almost identical yet separate accidents.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) said the accidents were too similar to be coincidental. “DOT needs to step up and stop saying they had nothing to do with it,” Gianaris said.

Read the full article here.

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Local district faces firehouse closing

Sunnyside Post asked Senator Gianaris to comment on the possible closure of Ladder 128.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to close as many as 20 firehouses – including one in Long Island City—has drawn the scorn of many of this district’s politicians.

Ladder Company 128, which serves Sunnyside, Woodside, LIC, Blissville and Greenpoint, is among those firehouses that face the chopping block.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris said that “the closure of ladder company 128 would increase response times and would have a detrimental effect on the safety of people in western queens.” Gianaris added that the closure made little sense at a time when the area is expanding and developers are building more high-rise buildings.

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SENATOR GIANARIS FIGHTS FIRE COMPANY CLOSURES

Demands Mayor Keep Ladder 128 Open

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.

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Lawmakers Vehemently Oppose Fire Company Closings

Queens Gazette asked Senator Gianaris to comment on the fire company closures announced by Mayor Bloomberg. In Gianaris' district, Ladder 128 is scheduled to be closed.

The release last week of the city’s long awaited list of fire company closings has Queens lawmakers fuming, vowing to keep open as many of the targeted units as possible.

The list, released by FDNY officials on May 18, includes four Queens fire companies in neighborhoods scattered across the borough:

•Ladder 128, 33-51 Greenpoint Ave., Sunnyside

•Engine 306, 40-18 214th Pl., Bayside

•Engine 294, 101-20 Jamaica Ave., Richmond Hill

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Pols decry plan to close Ladder 128

Queens Times Ledger asked Senator Gianaris to comment on the closure of Ladder 128 in Long Island City.

[...]

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said that given the population boom and the increased number of high-rise condominiums being built in Long Island City, closing the firehouse would be “a horrible mistake.” He said when Long Island City previously lost Engine 261 in Long Island City, which closed in 2003, response times lengthened.

“The last thing we need is to lose a ladder company,” Gianaris said.

The senator also said he would work to make sure the city reverses its decision, and if anything the area needs more fire services.

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Maloney touts rail project at Sunnyside Yds.

Queens Times Ledger quoted Senator Gianaris from Congresswoman Maloney's press conference on the new federal rail grant.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) visited Sunnyside Yards last Thursday to tout not only a federal grant to fix the bottlenecking of trains at the yards and prepare the yards for high-speed rail, but also the jobs and economic boost expected to come from the construction work.

“The first high-speed rail project in America is going to be this one,” Maloney said.

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