Michael Gianaris

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Schumer $hocking 'gougers'

The Post reported that following the announcement of Governor Cuomo's proposal regarding tax abatements for power companies, Senator Schumer has sent a letter to energy companies around the state asking "why the firms believe their tax breaks are in danger and how much of their windfall would go to stockholders. " I have also written similar legislation to the Governor's bill.

Sen. Chuck Schumer yesterday posed four tough questions to operators of the state's private power generating plants -- as consumers and politicians battle shocking rate increases the companies are planning for this summer.

April 15, 2011
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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.

April 14, 2011
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Community protests Green Asphalt plant

Queens Chronicle wrote about the rally Senator Gianaris participated in against Green Asphalt Company, which is trying to construct a plant without sufficient community notification.

Area leaders and community members gathered last Thursday to ask the Department of Environmental Conservation to rescind a license issued to a green asphalt plant scheduled to open in Long Island City.

Residents say the DEC failed to notify them that Green Asphalt Co. LLC, planned to open at 37-98 Railroad Ave. The state agency said it sent letters, but elected officials and Community Board 2 say they never received them.

April 14, 2011
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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.

April 14, 2011
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Gov. Cuomo plans legislative move to block power companies from raising electrcity rates 12 percent

The Post wrote an article about Governor Cuomo's proposed legislation to give permanent property tax cuts to power companies,  removing the option for the rate hikes that FERC passed, which are scheduled to start May 28. The Governor's bill is extremely similar to the bill that I have written on the issue.

ALBANY -- Gov. Cuomo is racing to the rescue of heavily burdened New York City electricity customers who face a massive and unexpected 12 percent rate hike next month, The Post has learned.

April 14, 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.

April 13, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Visited Local Businesses After Two Fatal Car Crashes

The Western Queens Gazette wrote about the Senator's visit to businesses near the site of two fatal car crashes off of the Queensboro Bridge. Senator Gianaris reassured the business owners that he would use all his power to make sure that the Department of Transportation improve safety along this dangerous stretch of road.

On April 7, state Senator Mike Gianaris visited the café that narrowly missed being hit by the cars that exited off the Queensboro Bridge off-ramp in Long Island City. He met with some of the employees of Tozt to assure them of his efforts toward making the area safe and accident free.

April 13, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Bill Protecting People From Hidden Dangers

The Western Queens Gazette wrote an article about Senator Gianaris' bill regarding the outlawing of concealed vehicular compartments These hidden spaces can be extremely dangerous and can aid drug, gun and human trafficking.

State Senator Michael Gianaris’ (D-Astoria) legislation making it illegal to install or possess a concealed compartment in a vehicle passed through the New York State Senate Codes Committee.

Law enforcement personnel nationwide as well as within New York state have witnessed a surge in the number of hidden compartments found in motor vehicles, which often aid drug and gun trafficking. With the advent of advanced electronics, concealed vehicular compartments have become even more difficult to find.

April 13, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Leads Fight for Traffic Safety Improvements Near Queensboro Bridge

The Western Queens Gazette wrote a front page story about Senator Gianaris' press conference at  the Queensboro Bridge following two major accidents in 10 days at one of the bridge's off-ramps. Senator Gianaris has helped lead the charge to improve safety along this dangerous stretch of road.

April 13, 2011
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Our view: State Senate GOP should keep promise

Utica Observer-Dispatch editorialized on redistricting reform and calls on constituents of Senate Republicans to remind them of their promise of reform. Redistricting reform should be passed without delay.

One would suppose that by now we should be used to politicians talking out of both sides of their mouth. Just once it’d be nice to see them actually keep a promise — especially when it’s good for the people.

But alas, redistricting in New York state by independent commission no longer is in the best interest of state Senate Republicans. Ergo, the promise made last year to create an impartial, independent panel on redistricting seems to be kaput.

April 13, 2011
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Koch: It’s ‘retribution day’ for pledge-jumpers

Capitol Confidential blogged about Ed Koch's robocalls to constituents of legislators who have reneged on their pledge for redistricting reform.

NYUprising’s Ed Koch said “retribution day” had arrived for the 42 lawmakers who signed a pledge to support independent redistricting but have subsequently backed off on that promise.

Out of the 138 elected officials or candidates now in office who signed NYUprising’s pledge before the fall elections, 31 senators and 11 Assembly members have changed their mind — “all are Republicans, save for one Democratic Assembly member,” said Koch, himself a Democrat.

April 12, 2011
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Senator Gianaris tells seniors that Title XX funding has been restored.

This restored funding included in the 2011-2012 state budget will allow senior centers to remain open. Senator Gianaris travelled to local senior centers to deliver the good news.

April 12, 2011
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A legal way to fix New York

A Times Union editorial calls on Senator Skelos and Senate Republicans to stop stalling on redistricting reform and pass it now.

Nice try, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Real slick argument, trying to stop the more independent redistricting for the Legislature that you and the other Republicans promised during last year’s campaigns. Now you say that it is unconstitutional.

With a state budget in place, there should be nothing to stop the Legislature from making good on those pledges to change how state government works. That begins with changing the way district boundaries are drawn for the 2012 legislative elections.

April 12, 2011
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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.

April 11, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Bill Protecting People from “Hidden Dangers”

Gianaris Bill Outlawing Hidden Compartments in Vehicles Passes Through Committee

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris’ legislation (S2510) making it illegal to install or possess a concealed compartment in a vehicle passed through the New York State Senate Codes Committee.

Law enforcement personnel nationwide as well as within New York State have witnessed a surge in the number of hidden compartments found in motor vehicles, which often aid drug and gun trafficking. With the advent of advanced electronics, concealed vehicular compartments have become even more difficult to find.

April 11, 2011
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New York Times Calls for Reform, Commends Senator Gianaris

Over the weekend the New York Times called for substantial reforms to the way New York State Government funcitons. One of the reforms they highlighted was my  call for independent redistricting.

Check out the full article here

 

 

April 11, 2011
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Gianaris Fights for Traffic Safety at Queens Plaza in Long Island City

Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, along with local businesses and residents, held a rally demanding that the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) investigate the layout and design of the street grid around Queens Plaza.

In the last 10 days two major accidents have occurred in this area.

In both incidents, vehicles failed to acknowledge and negotiate the sharp turn at the end of the Long Island City side of the Queensboro Bridge as they exited, causing them to jump the curb and crash. This horrific oversight resulted in not only serious injuries to the vehicles’ drivers and passengers, but also in the fatality of a pedestrian and considerable damage to local businesses.

April 8, 2011
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Press Conference: Press Conference on Queensboro Plaza Accidents

Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer will hold a press conference with community leaders at base of the Queensborough Plaza to demand that the New York City Department of Transportation (NYDOT) investigate the layout and design of the street grid around Queen Plaza. In the past 10 days two major accidents with one resulting in a fatality have occurred in this area. These officials and community leaders will also demand the NYCDOT strengthen traffic safety on the bridge and at the ramp to avoid any future accidents and tragedies.

April 8, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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Senator Gianaris protests construction of an asphalt plant in Long Island City.

Senator Gianaris held a rally with other local leaders to protest the placement of an asphalt plant in Long Island City. The plant is being planned without proper input from the local community and without proper notification.

April 7, 2011
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Pol out to switch off rate hike

The New York Post wrote an article today on legislation Senator Gianaris has authored and will introduce to the Senate in response to the electricity rate increases. His bill is called the Ratepayer Protection Act.

A Queens lawmaker wants to pull the plug on the looming electricity rate hike.

The city's private power-plant operators would have to return every extra penny they collect from a rate increase approved by a recent federal ruling to households and businesses, according to state legislation being formulated by Democratic state Sen. Michael Gianaris.

Read the full article here.

April 7, 2011
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