On Earth Day, State Senator Tony Avella announced that the New York State Senate passed his bill aimed at protecting mute swans.
For the second year in a row, the Senate passed Senator Avella’s bill (S.1555) that would place a two year moratorium on the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) plan to completely eradicate New York State’s entire mute swan population. Since DEC announced the controversial plan in 2013, declaring the species “invasive,” it has been met with criticism from animal rights activists and various lawmakers. Senator Avella has led the fight by calling on DEC to rethink their eradication plan and instead implement a non-lethal method for controlling the mute swan population, which currently amounts to 2,200 birds throughout the state.
(QUEENS, NY) State Senator Tony Avella today called on the developer of a vacant lot in Whitestone to immediately abandon recently-announced plans to construct more than 100 townhomes on the property.
Edgestone Group, LLC, which owns the 15-acre lot located at 151-45 6th Road, announced at a meeting Tuesday night that the company plans to build 107 townhouses on the empty site, formerly known as the Bayrock property. This plan would bring a total of 203 new residential units to the neighborhood, nearly four times the number of units that was agreed upon in 2008 when the community board and City Council negotiated a plan for 52 single-family homes to be constructed at the site.
(NEW YORK, NY) Today, State Senator Tony Avella was joined by activists from Friends of Animals, League of Human Voters, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other animal rights groups as he announced the introduction of a bill (S.4686) that would ban the import, possession, sale or transportation in New York of the “Big Five African Species.”
“As Chair of the Ethics Committee, I was shocked to learn that public relations and strategic communications firms are not subject to the same registration and disclosure requirements as lobbyists. The fact of the matter is that these firms are meeting with government officials, all the while advocating their outside clients’ interests.
“As the former Chair of Zoning and Franchises, I worked hard, along with my colleagues, community boards and civic groups throughout the city, to rezone as well as create new zoning laws to preserve the residential character of our many unique neighborhoods.
The changes proposed by the Department of City Planning now pose a serious threat to those efforts which took years, and in some cases decades, to achieve. It is outrageous that the City now wants to undo all of those efforts and destroy the quality of life in these communities.
It is no secret that there is an ever-increasing need for senior and affordable housing in New York City, but weakening the zoning protections citywide is not the solution to this problem.
(QUEENS, NY) Today, in a letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) State Senator Tony Avella criticized the agency for continuing to delay the opening of the 3rd Avenue exit of the Whitestone Expressway.
(QUEENS, NY) With Pre-K signups now underway across the City, State Senator Tony Avella announced today that his District Office has a limited number of information booklets containing details about the enrollment process as well as a directory of schools in Queens.
The directories, provided by the New York City Department of Education, contain more than 100 pages of important information about how and where to enroll your child in Pre-K. The booklets include details – such as location, contact information, school features and number of available seats – for every Pre-K site in Queens, broken down by education district. Each pamphlet also contains one application along with instructions on how to properly complete it.
(QUEENS, NY) State Senator Tony Avella announced today he has introduced a bill (S.4431) in the Senate, authored by Assembly Member Aileen Gunther, that would create a New York State scholarship for nurses looking to pursue an advanced degree in their field and become a teacher.
(QUEENS, NY) Today, State Senator Tony Avella was joined by Assembly Member David Weprin, Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free, the Small Business Congress of New York City, which represents over 180,000 small businesses throughout New York City, the Queens Civic Congress, which represents over 100 Queens civic and cooperative associations, members of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Friends of La Guardia, and community leaders to protest the latest congestion pricing proposal included in Move NY’s transportation plan.
“Today’s report released by the New York City Department of Investigation, citing serious dangers in many of our homeless shelters, is further proof that major improvements are needed when it comes to delivering homeless services to those who need it most. During my tenure as Chair of the Senate Social Services Committee, I worked to shed light on the appalling conditions that exist in many homeless shelters across the City, including calling for an investigation into many of the concerns that this report highlights.
“After seeing the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Revised Draft Management Plan for the handling of mute swans, I immediately reached out to various animal rights groups to consult with them about the changes that were made. While I am glad that DEC has revisited its original inhumane plan to completely rid New York of more than 2,000 of these innocent birds, a complete review of the details in the updated plan will ultimately reveal whether more changes are needed.
The Senate Majority and a group of breakaway Democrats released a report last week that found a number of residency restriction violations by sex offenders in New York City and what they call a gaping loophole in the laws determining where sex offenders may live.
An investigation by the Independent Democratic Conference has found that registered sex offenders are legally allowed to live near universal prekindergarten programs, because they are not recognized as schools by the state.
It seems to happen all too often in Queens. Frustrated neighbors get no help from the city concerning abandoned houses with overgrown yards, boarded-up windows and owners who are also derelict in paying their taxes.
One such site that has been on state Sen. Tony Avella’s radar for five years is located at 80-44 233 St. in Queens Village. The two-level structure was built in 1930.