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Citi Bike Coming to Astoria Under Expansion Plan, Lawmaker Says

Senator Gianaris announced that the Department of Transportation has agreed to include Astoria in future plans for Citibike, the city’s new bike-sharing program. Since Citibike’s debut, Senator Gianaris has worked with DOT to ensure that Astoria and other western Queens neighborhoods will be included in the program. Senator Gianaris, a lifelong Astoria resident who regularly bikes around the neighborhood, is pleased that Citibike is on the horizon for Astoria. 

You can read all about it at DNAinfo. 

August 19, 2013
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Five Queens stations to get ‘next train’ audio announcements

The Daily News wrote about Senator Gianaris' work to bring Real Time Countdown Information to Subway stations in Astoria. In response to years of advocacy by Senator Michael Gianaris, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York City Transit will implement Real Time Information, an automated system that will announce how long riders have until the next train arrives, in five Astoria stations. Senator Michael Gianaris has advocated for Countdown Clocks in western Queens Subway stations since the fall of 2010. 

August 19, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Brings Real Time Countdown Information to Astoria Trains

- Automated Announcements Will Tell N and Q Train Riders How Long Until the Next Train -

(Astoria, NY) Life will get easier for straphangers on the N and Q trains in Astoria. In response to years of advocacy by Senator Michael Gianaris, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York City Transit will implement Real Time Information, an automated system that will announce how long riders have until the next train arrives, in five Astoria stations. Senator Michael Gianaris has advocated for Countdown Clocks in western Queens Subway stations since the fall of 2010.

“I am pleased the MTA listened to our community and made the daily commute of N and Q train riders easier,” said Senator Gianaris. “Countdown Clocks were a great idea three years ago, and although it took some time, I am pleased to see that western Queens will now be able to enjoy Real Time Information. I thank the MTA and New York City Transit for realizing the need for service improvements and I hope this is a sign of things to come for Astoria and other rapidly developing western Queens neighborhoods.”

August 19, 2013
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Senator Gianaris’ Bill to Protect Children from Sun Overexposure Becomes Law

(Albany, NY) Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill authored by Senator Michael Gianaris and carried in the State Assembly by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, which will increase cancer prevention and reduce the dangers of sun poisoning for children. The law will strengthen existing regulations regarding the application of sunscreen in schools and summer camps to ensure that children are able to apply sunscreen when spending time outside.

The New York State Department of Education and the Federal Food and Drug Administration include sunscreen on their list of over-the-counter drugs, previously requiring a note from a doctor before a child would be allowed to use it during school hours. Summer camps also follow these guidelines.

Understanding how important it is for children to protect themselves from sunburn and overexposure to the sun, Senator Gianaris’ newly passed law will only require a note from a parent.

“Our first responsibility is to protect our kids, and we fail to do that when illogical regulations force schools to put our children in danger. Our schools should be encouraging sunscreen use, not preventing it,” said Senator Gianaris. “I am pleased Governor Cuomo signed this common sense measure into law, allowing us to rest assured that our children will not be at risk when they play outside at school or at summer camp.”  

August 19, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Gets Astoria Included in Future Bike Share Plans

Urges DOT to Bring Citibike to Queens Quickly

(Astoria, NY) Senator Gianaris is pleased to announce that the Department of Transportation has agreed to include Astoria in future plans for Citibike, the city’s new bike-sharing program. Since Citibike’s debut, Senator Gianaris has worked with DOT to ensure that Astoria and other western Queens neighborhoods will be included in the program. Senator Gianaris, a lifelong Astoria resident who regularly bikes around the neighborhood, is pleased that Citibike is on the horizon for Astoria.

“Citibike will be a great addition to Astoria, which has a growing cycling community and is already one of the most bike-friendly neighborhoods in the city,” said Senator Gianaris. “Bike share will allow people to enjoy the neighborhood in a fun and healthy way and will help people more easily travel around western Queens, an area in dire need of better mass transit. I look forward to the day when all of western Queens will enjoy the benefits of Citibike.”

August 19, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Blasts MTA for Leaving Out Western Queens, Again

(Astoria, NY) For the second time in as many rounds of MTA service restorations, the MTA did little to nothing to relieve the transit problems faced every day by the residents of western Queens. At the 30th Avenue N and Q station in Astoria, Senator Gianaris continued to advocate for mass transit options in western Queens and repeated his call for the MTA to improve service in Queens neighborhoods.

“For the second time the MTA has seen fit to restore service across the city but has ignored western Queens. The MTA’s drastic cuts in 2010 hit our area particularly hard, and since then western Queens has continued its dramatic growth as home to New York’s hottest neighborhoods,” said Senator Gianaris. “As western Queens continues to grow, our transit infrastructure must keep pace. Right now mass transit in our area is being left behind.”

August 19, 2013
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WWII hero honored by Mets

Senator Michael Gianaris attended a ceremony at Citi Field on Saturday honoring Luke Gasparre, a World War II veteran and an usher for the Mets. Gasparre lives in Astoria and has been working as an usher for the Mets for 50 years. The Mets organization took the opportunity to salute his service to the team. Gianaris, a lifelong Mets fan and Astoria resident, was proud to help honor his friend and fellow fan.

Check out the Queens Chronicle for more on Luke Gasparre and the Mets.

July 29, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Honors Astoria WWII Hero for 50 Years with the Mets

(Queens, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris attended a ceremony at Citi Field on Saturday honoring Luke Gasparre, a World War II veteran and an usher for the Mets. Gasparre lives in Astoria and has been working as an usher for the Mets for 50 years. The Mets organization took the opportunity to salute his service to the team. Gianaris, a lifelong Mets fan and Astoria resident, was proud to help honor his friend and fellow fan.

“Luke’s life has been about dedication. He is dedicated to his country so he served with distinction in World War II. He is dedicated to the Mets, so he has brought passion and energy to his job as an usher every day for 50 years,” said Senator Gianaris. “He is dedicated to Astoria, and he has worked for years to make our neighborhood a better place to live. He is truly a treasure of our community.”

July 29, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Advocates Inclusion of Western Queens in Upcoming MTA Service Enhancements

(Queens, NY) As the announcement of MTA service restorations appears imminent, Senator Michael Gianaris continued to advocate for mass transit options in western Queens by calling on the MTA to improve service in Queens neighborhoods. The area is notorious for transit troubles, as any local resident who rides the 7, N or Q trains or takes the bus to get around western Queens can attest.

 

July 29, 2013
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Queens Residents Fed Up With Apparent Unsafe Dutch Kills Traffic Conditions

Senator Michael Gianaris took Jessica Schneider of CBS News on a tour of Dutch Kills to show why the neighborhoods needs traffic safety improvements now.

Watch the video on CBS Online.

July 29, 2013
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Senator Michael Gianaris, Joined By Councilman Van Bramer, Calls on DOT to Improve Traffic Safety in Dutch Kills

(Dutch Kills, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris, joined by City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, rallied local residents and community leaders at a particularly dangerous Dutch Kills intersection in Long Island City to demand traffic safety improvements for the area. Residents of Dutch Kills had grown concerned over increasingly unsafe traffic conditions in their neighborhood, citing a need for traffic control infrastructure and for enforcement of existing traffic laws. In a letter to the Department of Transportation, Senator Gianaris urged the DOT to take immediate action.

July 29, 2013
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Pol wants CitiBike to come to Astoria

In a letter sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Transportation, Senator Michael Gianaris formally requested that Western Queens be included in future plans for Citibike. Citing the area’s love of cycling and pressing transportation needs, and highlighting recent bike-friendly developments in western Queens, Senator Gianaris called for the DOT to include Astoria and Woodside in the next phase of Citibike expansion.

Check out this TimesLedger article for more on this story. 

July 29, 2013
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Gianaris Declares Western Queens the Perfect Place for Citibike

(Astoria, NY) In a letter sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Transportation, Senator Michael Gianaris formally requested that Western Queens be included in future plans for Citibike. Citing the area’s love of cycling and pressing transportation needs, and highlighting recent bike-friendly developments in western Queens, Senator Gianaris called for the DOT to include Astoria and Woodside in the next phase of Citibike expansion.

“Western Queens is the perfect place for Citibike. We have the bike paths, we have the need for transportation alternatives, and most importantly we have the people who want this new and exciting bike-sharing program,” said Senator Gianaris. “I urge Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Transportation to include Astoria and Woodside in plans for the next phase of Citibike expansion.”

July 29, 2013
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Gianaris and Simotas Open New District Offices in Astoria

Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and I have moved into new District Offices in the heart of Astoria. We will be hosting an open house later this summer and I invite all of you to join me and check out our new offices.

Read all about the move in the Queens TimesLedger

July 10, 2013
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Legislature Passes Gianaris Bill to Protect Children from Sun Overexposure

(Albany, NY) Both houses of the State Legislature  passed a bill authored by Senator Michael Gianaris to increase cancer prevention and reduce the dangers of sun poisoning for New York students. The bill will codify New York State Department of Education (NYSED) regulations regarding the application of sunscreen in schools and summer camps to ensure that children are able to apply sunscreen when spending time outside. Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas carried the bill in the State Assembly.

The NYSED and the Federal Food and Drug Administration include sunscreen on their list of over-the-counter drugs, previously requiring a note from a doctor before a child would be allowed to use it during school hours. Summer camps also follow these guidelines.

Understanding how important it is for children to protect themselves from sunburn and overexposure to the sun, Senator Gianaris’ bill would only require a note from a parent.

“Our schools should be protecting our kids, not putting them in danger,” Senator Gianaris said. “Prohibiting children from using sunscreen is senseless and harmful. I urge the Governor to sign this common sense measure into law immediately to ensure that our children are not at risk this summer.”

June 26, 2013
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Senate Passes Senator Gianaris’ Bill Getting Tough on Sexual Abusers

(Albany, NY) Senator Mike Gianaris’ bill to strengthen laws regarding persistent sexual abuse passed the New York State Senate by a vote of 59-0 this week. Senate Bill S.612 will amend existing law to exclude any spent in prison from the 10-year period during which penalties are increased for multiple crimes. Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, author of the legislation, has championed the legislation in the New York State Assembly.

“There should be no place in our society for criminals who repeatedly sexually abuse others in our community,” said Senator Gianaris. “This bill would crack down harder on these miscreants who commit multiple sex crimes in a 10-year period.”

June 26, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Honors Astoria WWII Hero as Veteran’s Hall of Fame Inductee

(Astoria, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris honored lifelong Astoria resident and World War II hero Robert (Bob) Danke as an inductee into the New York State Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame. The Veteran’s Hall of Fame is designed to pay tribute to New Yorkers whose gallantry in the U.S. Armed Forces is complemented by service to their communities. Mr. Danke was officially inducted into the Veteran’s Hall of Fame at a May 21st ceremony in Albany. Senator Gianaris presented the former Navy Seaman First Class with an official certificate and poster outside his home in Astoria.

“Bob Danke is a true American hero and I am grateful for the opportunity to commemorate the services he rendered his country and his community,” Senator Gianaris said. “He fought bravely to protect our country’s freedom and he is a neighbor of whom all of us in Astoria can be proud.”

June 26, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Attends Woodhaven Town Hall

(Woodhaven, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris addressed dozens of attendees at the Woodhaven Residents Block Association Town Hall meeting on Saturday. Woodhaven residents offered their opinions on topics ranging from broad  issues such as transportation and public cleanliness to more specific issues like the future of a recently collapsed building on Jamaica Avenue. Amplifying these Woodhaven worries is the concern that the most recent bout of redistricting has divided the neighborhood into multiple State Senate districts. Senator Gianaris reassured those present that his advocacy on their behalf would not be diminished by an imperfect redistricting process.

“Woodhaven is a one of a kind neighborhood with its own unique issues and concerns,” said Senator Gianaris. “I will ensure that the needs of Woodhaven residents are represented in the State Legislature as we work to preserve and improve this vibrant community.”

June 26, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Promotes Voter Empowerment

(Queens, New York) Senator Michael Gianaris, a long-time advocate of reforming the state’s electoral system, cheered a recent electoral reform package proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“I am thrilled to see Governor Cuomo is taking real steps to empower the voters of our state by making it easier to register to vote and encouraging voter participation,” said Senator Gianaris. “Reforming the voter registration process will allow more New Yorkers to participate in the most fundamental aspect of our democracy, and thereby improve government from the bottom up.”

June 26, 2013
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Senator Michael Gianaris Honors APAC’s Taryn Sacramone at Women of Distinction Ceremony In Albany

(Albany, NY) On Tuesday May 7th Senator Michael Gianaris honored Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director of the Astoria Performing Arts Center, at the 16th annual New York State Senate Women of Distinction Ceremony in Albany. The ceremony provides Senators across New York State with an opportunity to honor outstanding women whose contributions to their neighborhood have enriched the lives of those in the community.

“Through her work at APAC, Taryn Sacramone highlights the creative spirit of western Queens and embodies our prioritization of culture and the arts,” said Senator Gianaris.

June 26, 2013
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