Tony Avella

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Release: Avella Praises Stopping Sale of Lumber Liquidators Flooring

(QUEENS, NY) Today, State Senator Tony Avella, Vice Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, commended Lumber Liquidators’ decision to immediately halt the sale of certain Chinese-made laminate flooring that was recently found to contain dangerously high levels of formaldehyde.

The company announced Thursday that it was suspending the sale of the controversial flooring that caused them to come under fire after a “60 Minutes” report aired in March showed that the product contained extremely high levels of the chemical. Formaldehyde can pose serious health risks – including coughing, nausea and dizziness – and has been linked to certain types of cancer, if exposed for long periods of time.

May 8, 2015
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Release: Avella Announces 3rd Ave Exit Opening

(QUEENS, NY) State Senator Tony Avella today announced that the 3rd Avenue Exit of the Whitestone Expressway has finally been reopened to all traffic.

May 8, 2015
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Release: Avella Gives $100,000 to Bayside Historical Society

(BAYSIDE, NY) Today, State Senator Tony Avella was joined by Paul DiBenedetto, President of the Bayside Historical Society, to present the organization with a $100,000 grant.

Senator Avella obtained the money for the Bayside Historical Society from this year’s state budget and will help the group cover operating costs. The funding is part of more than $1.3 million Senator Avella secured for programs and organizations through his district and across the borough of Queens. The historical society was in desperate need of additional funding in order to continue operating, and the money provided by Senator Avella will allow the organization to continue serving the community.

May 7, 2015
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Release: Avella Announces Opening of 11th Avenue

(QUEENS, NY) Today, State Senator Tony Avella announced that 11th Avenue in College Point will be reopened to the public Friday after months of construction to repair sewer pipes.

The stretch of roadway between 130th and 132nd Streets has been closed to residents for more than a year as the City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) made improvements to the sewer system for residents along 11th Avenue and to the Tallman Island Water Pollution Control Plant. When the project began, DEP anticipated the work to be completed by the fall of 2014, but the opening of the roadway was pushed back by several setbacks in the process.

May 7, 2015
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Legislative Gazette: 11-year-old Helps Draft Bill to Recycle Batteries

A state senator, who has been a long-time environmental advocate, is following the lead of an 11-year-old boy from his district in Queens on an important issue in environmental policy: recycling of batteries.

At a press conference on the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, Sen. Tony Avella, vice chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, announced the introduction of bill S.4522 that would require New York to establish a recycling program for everyday-use batteries.

At the conference Avella, D-Queens, introduced Eliot Seol who lives in Queens. Seol contacted the senator requesting he introduce a bill to address that batteries people use in common electronics are not recycled properly.

May 6, 2015
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Times Ledger: Traffic Measures Announced Ahead of 3rd Avenue Exit Reopening

The city Department of Transportation announced traffic calming measures in conjunction with MTA Bridges and Tunnels’ anticipated reopening of the Third Avenue exit ramp at the Whitestone Expressway.

DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, along with state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), announced plans to install bollards, or short posts that identify an area to guide traffic and safeguard vulnerable spots, for additional traffic calming.

“Local intelligence is critical to creating smart, safer designs for streets,” Trottenberg said in a statement. “Our ongoing conversations with the community and these elected leaders led to this important safety upgrade which will make vehicles slow down as they approach residential streets.”

May 6, 2015
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Times Ledger: Mute Swan Bill Passes Senate a Second Time

A bill that seeks to protect mute swans from a state Department of Environmental Conservation plan to eradicate the population in the state passed the state Senate last week. An earlier version of the bill was vetoed last year by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The bill, introduced by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), would impose a two-year moratorium on the DEC plan.

Since the DEC announced the plan in 2013, on the grounds that the species is “invasive,” both animal rights activists and numerous lawmakers have voiced their opposition.

Avella called on the DEC to consider a non-lethal method for controlling the mute swan population, which is currently about 2,200 birds throughout the state, including the Rockaways.

May 6, 2015
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Release: Avella Gives $210,000 Grant to Udalls Cove Preservation Committee

(QUEENS, NY) On Saturday, April 25th, State Senator Tony Avella was proud to present a check for $210,000 to the Udalls Cove Preservation Committee.

The money was allocated by Senator Avella from this year’s state budget and is part of more than $1.3 million he secured for programs and organizations throughout Queens. The money will allow the organization to purchase another portion of the wetlands reserve, further protecting the area from destruction or development.

April 28, 2015
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Times Ledger: Avella, Park Advocates Appeal Willets Megamall Case

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and park advocates say they are hopeful after a panel of judges heard arguments last week in the case of a proposed megamall on the former site of Shea Stadium.

The appeal filed by Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), City Club of New York, Queens Civic Congress, several members of Willets Point United and nearby residents and business owners against the Willets West mega-mall proposal was argued before the state Appellate Division.

The Willets West mall project is part of the Queens Development Group’s $3 billion redevelopment of Willets Point into a new neighborhood with commercial, retail and residential space.

April 24, 2015
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Times Ledger: Avella, Homeowners Group Want Landmarking for Broadway-Flushing

Residents of the Broadway-Flushing neighborhood want the Landmarks Preservation Commission to recognize the neighborhood as a historic district.

The association has been fighting for the designation for the last 11 to 12 years, according to Robert Hanophy, the association’s president.

The designation would prevent the city Department of Buildings from letting developers take on projects in the neighborhood that violate the area’s restrictive covenants, which are deed restrictions put in place in 1906 that prevent the construction of walls or fences within 20 feet of the property lines and streets, prohibit flat roofs and mandate minimum lot sizes and construction costs for homes.

April 24, 2015
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Queens Chronicle: Poppenhusen Gets $100,000 Grant

Call it coincidence, but the $100,000 grant state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) was able to give the Poppenhusen Institute for expenses is the same amount it cost to build the historic site 147 years ago.

Avella announced the grant at the College Point building Monday. The funding, which is the largest single expense grant the institute has ever received, will help Poppenhusen cover operational costs.

The money was obtained by the senator as part of more than $1.3 million he successfully allocated for programs and organizations throughout his district and across Queens.

April 24, 2015
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Times Ledger: Briarwood Gets Subway Stop Named Solely for Neighborhood

After decades of confusion, Queens residents can now rejoice in the clarification of the Briarwood subway station. State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) , Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows) and Seymour Schwartz announced the renaming of the Briarwood-Van Wyck subway station to simply Briarwood after a 14-year battle.

Avella and Weprin both introduced legislation that required the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to remove “Van Wyck Boulevard” from all signage at the stop. The bill was passed but later vetoed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. MTA was then directed to make the changes.

Avella recognized what a victory this was for Briarwood residents.

April 24, 2015
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NBC New York: NY Senator Proposes New Law to Clarify Sex Offender Residency Rules

New York State Sen. Tony Avella has introduced new legislation demanding more uniform sex offender residency laws after NBC 4 New York's I-Team discovered a discrepancy in how far from a school offenders can live.

Last week, the I-Team exposed a legal loophole that allowed level 2 and 3 sex offenders on parole or probation to live at the Bellevue Men's Shelter over the last several years, despite a state law saying they must live at least 1,000 feet from any school.

The private Churchill School and Center is just around the corner from the shelter, and depending on how someone measures the distance from the men’s city shelter on 30th Street, that distance can be above or under the mandatory 1,000-foot rule.

April 23, 2015
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Release: Avella Marks Earth Day by Introducing Battery Recycling Bill

(ALBANY, NY) Today, State Senator Tony Avella was joined by Eliot Seol, an 11-year-old student from Queens, to introduce a bill (S.4522) that would require New York State to establish a recycling stewardship program for all “single use” batteries. The bill was drafted by Senator Avella, who serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, after Eliot brought the idea to the Senator’s attention.

April 22, 2015
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Release: Senate Passes Avella's Mute Swan Bill

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.

April 22, 2015
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Release: Avella Denounces Plans for Vacant Whitestone Lot

(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.

April 22, 2015
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Legislative Gazette: Senator Avella worried about lobbyists in consultants' clothing

According to the new chair of the state Senate's Ethics Committee, Tony Avella, and a recent news report, public relations firms are playing two positions in the field of government influence.

The Queens Democrat says the dual-role these firms are fulfilling is an ethical issue that needs to be addressed.

A member of the breakaway Democrats in the Senate, Avella, is drafting legislation that would hold public relations firms to the same disclosure standards as lobbyists.

Avella released a statement April 2 expressing concern about the possibility that some PR firms may have extra pull over elected officials.

April 14, 2015
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Capital NY: Avella proposes lobbying ban for political consultants

ALBANY—In light of a report that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has met with a political consultant and campaign strategist who also represents organizations that lobby City Hall, State Senator Tony Avella has introduced a bill that would bar lobbyists from also being political consultants.

“If you're a lobbyist, you can't be a campaign consultant because there's an inherent conflict of interest when you have people who are running elected officials' campaigns and then representing clients who are lobbying that same legislator,” Avella, a Queens Democrat, told Capital.

April 10, 2015
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CBS New York: Proposed Bill Would Ban Import, Sale of Five Endangered African Species in NY

Legislation has been introduced in New York that would ban the import, possession, sale or transportation of the remains of five endangered species native to Africa.

State Sen. Tony Avella was joined Wednesday by animal rights advocates on the steps of City Hall to announce the bill, which covers elephants, leopards, lions, black rhinoceroses and white rhinoceroses.

All five species are currently facing extinction and are further threatened by illegal poaching and sport hunting, advocates said.

“We’re supposed to be the stewards of these species and shame on us if we allow them to become extinct because of sport hunting,” Sen. Avella told 1010 WINS.

April 10, 2015
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EARTH DAY 2015 POSTER CONTEST: DISTRICT 11

Dear Students,Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the New York State Senate’s Earth Day Poster Contest.  This year we received many outstanding posters that exemplify the creativity of the young people in the 11th Senatorial District. Each entry from my District displayed tremendous originality and vision as well as obvious concern for the ecological future of our communities and our state.  I am proud of your work and that of your classmates, and encourage you to continue to study and learn more about the serious challenges that face our environment.I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 2015 Earth Day Poster Contest from my District is: Jiayu Yan3rd GradeP.S. 94Q School

April 10, 2015
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