Tony Avella

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Statement from Senator Tony Avella on DCP's Proposed Zoning Changes

“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.

March 26, 2015
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Release: Avella Calls on MTA to Reopen 3rd Avenue Exit on Whitestone Expressway

(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.

March 25, 2015
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Release: Avella Obtains Pre-K Information Booklets

(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.

March 23, 2015
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Release: Avella Introduces Bill to Establish State Nursing Scholarship

(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.

March 23, 2015
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NY1: Queens State Senator Proposes Bill Heightening Charges for Resisting Arrest

A State Senator from Queens wants those who repeatedly resist arrest to face harsher punishment. 

Resisting arrest is, right now, just a misdemeanor.

State Senator Tony Avella has introduced a bill that would allow people who've been charged with resisting arrest twice before to face felony charges the third time, however. 

The felony would be known as "aggravated resisting arrest." 

The previous two charges would have to have happened within the last decade. 

Whether a person is actually charged with the new proposed felony charge would be up to the prosecutor. Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz is introducing the bill in the other chamber.

 

March 23, 2015
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New York Post: State senator proposes harsher penalties for resisting arrest

Resisting arrest will lead to harsher penalties under legislation proposed by a Queens Democrat.

State Sen. Tony Avella is behind a bill that would create a felony charge — “aggravated resisting arrest” — for people who have been convicted of resisting arrest twice in a 10-year period.

The legislation is in response to protests last December following a Staten Island grand jury decision not to charge a police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

The bill is based off a letter the Lieutenants Benevolent Association sent to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton in January requesting an “aggravated resisting” charge.

“This helps everybody,” LBA President Louis Turco told The Post. “Civilians don’t get hurt and officers don’t get hurt.”

March 23, 2015
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CBS New York: State Lawmaker Calls For Signage Instructing People Who See Someone On Subway Tracks

A state lawmaker on Monday launched a plan to get the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to put up new subway signage, in an effort to help save lives.

Commuters know the subways can be dangerous – riders can fall or get pushed onto the tracks for waiting a train.

March 17, 2015
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Times Ledger: Senator Avella heads up NYC social services task force

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (D-Nassau) announced last week the new Task Force on the Delivery of Social Services in New York City.

March 16, 2015
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RELEASE: AVELLA, WEPRIN AND CIVIC AND BUSINESS LEADERS RALLY AGAINST TOLLING EAST RIVER BRIDGES

(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.

March 13, 2015
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Times Ledger: Senator Avella calls on DEC for probe into Lumber Liquidators

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) called on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation last week to launch an investigation into levels of formaldehyde found in some Chinese-made laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators.

March 13, 2015
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Statement From Senator Avella on Department of Investigation Homeless Shelter Report

“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.

March 12, 2015
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Avella hopes to stop plans of overdevelopment on massive Whitestone vacant sites

Winter may be coming to an end, but state Sen. Tony Avella isn’t planning a warm welcome for anyone who purchases a controversial site in Whitestone if they plan on overdeveloping the property or building something that doesn’t comply with zoning.

The large property, which comprises six acres of vacant land near the intersection of 150th Street and Fifth Avenue, will be up for sale on April 10 in an auction. The site was part of the former Cresthaven Country Club and then was owned by real estate firm Whitestone Jewels LLC, but has been in foreclosure since 2007.

March 11, 2015
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Statement From Senator Tony Avella on DEC's Revised Mute Swan Eradication Plan

“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.

March 11, 2015
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Queens Chronicle: Clearview repaving is set

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) last week announced two multimillion-dollar initiatives by the state Department of Transportation to repave the Clearview Expressway.

March 5, 2015
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The Legislative Gazette: Senate report finds sex offenders living close to preschools, spurs new legislation

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.

March 2, 2015
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Queens Chronicle: Sex offenders living near UPK

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.

February 26, 2015
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Times Ledger: MTA workshop to discuss bus service in NE Queens

The MTA is conducting a free public workshop next week to get feedback from northeast Queens residents on how to improve bus service in the area.

February 23, 2015
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Queens Chronicle: Another abandoned site and no action

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.

February 12, 2015
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Times Ledger: Avella wants new criminal charge for police car vandals

Although it is in its early stages, the PBA already welcomed the idea that calls for a bill to establish a new crime category for people who vandalize law enforcement vehicles.

February 11, 2015
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