Queens Lawmakers On The Move April 20, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Peralta Secures $75,000 State Allocation for Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst Homeless Cleaning Services

State Senator Jose Peralta

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Corona, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst) yesterday announced that he helped secure $75,000 in state funds for the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE).

The nonprofit will provide job readiness training and jobs to participants in the program.

The state allocation will allow ACE to offer cleaning services along Roosevelt Avenue between 82nd and 90th streets. Additionally, ACE participants will provide services along Ditmars Boulevard from the Grand Central Parkway to the intersection with Astoria Boulevard, including the overpasses located at 27th Avenue and 31st Drive.

Among the services, ACE participants will provide street sweeping, cleaning the sidewalks and removing filled garbage bags from the Sanitation Department bins. Participants will work five days a week along the Roosevelt Avenue stretch and four days along Ditmars Boulevard.

“As we are facing a homeless crisis in the City, it is imperative that we help New Yorkers get back on their feet. And one way of doing this is by helping those who are less fortunate with job training, work experience and ultimately a full-time job,” said Peralta. “The work experience and development will offer participants in the program with a safety net that, I am hoping, will lead them to permanent, full-time jobs. This is a win-win situation because we are helping New Yorkers while maintaining our neighborhoods clean.”

Vallone Chairs Hearing on Combating Helicopter Noise

City Council Member Paul Vallone

Council Member Paul Vallone (D-College Point, Whitestone, Malba, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, North Flushing, Auburndale), chair of the council’s Committee on Economic Development, this week held a hearing focussing on reevaluating the safety protocols and practices in the sightseeing and charter helicopter industries and addressing overwhelming community concerns regarding helicopter noise pollution.

The hearing was in response to last month’s tragic Liberty Helicopter crash  in the East River that claimed five lives.

At the hearing, the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) revealed that the sightseeing helicopter industry only provides $2-3 million in revenue for the City. Vallone and committee members questioned whether this surprisingly small amount of revenue is worth the environmental impact, safety concerns and unending misery from noise pollution that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers face.

“Who do we bring to the table to tell the 8.5 million people of this city that they are safe? It’s clear after today’s hearing that the safety standards and operating procedures for any helicopter in New York City must be completely revisited, as well as a complete analysis of the economic impact the tourist helicopter industry has on our City” said Vallone. “Any new study should include not only sightseeing helicopters, but charter flights as well, which have long destroyed the quality of life of Queens and Long Island residents.”

With regard to noise pollution, the committee heard Vallone’s resolution calling on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make changes to the North Shore Helicopter Route, which currently favors Long Island to the detriment of all residents in Northeast Queens.

“Every day our residents must endure the constant onslaught of helicopter and aviation traffic and noise over their homes, while their quality of life is continuously eroded. I am tired of an industry that hides behind the FAA and Port Authority without offering any voluntary changes to a system that they can easily fix without legislation,” said Vallone.

“Particularly in Northeast Queens, there has been a growing and seemingly endless attack by low flying charter helicopters above my constituent’s homes at all hours of the day and night. If the FAA is going to keep dragging their feet on revisiting the North Shore Route, we need to either stop this by having helicopters use the South Shore Route, or mitigate it by imposing on charter helicopters,  the same restrictions that sightseeing helicopters have,” he added.

Sanders Brings Back Sexual Assault Defense Training

Sen. James Sanders

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway), in recognition of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, is once again bringing back his Sexual Assault Defense Training for the third year.

A self defense expert will teach you how to fend off an attacker and the NYPD will provide safety tips. There will also be resources to help victims. The event, open to women and men, will teach you how to protect yourself if under sexual assault. It is conducted with the support of the 103rd Police Precinct, NY Self Defense Academy, Recoveries R US, Created For Greatness Leadership Group, and the South Ozone Park / Richmond Hill Lions Club.

The event is slated for 6:30-8:30 p.m., next Thursday, April 26 at Knights of Columbus, 135-45 Lefferts Boulevard, South Ozone Park. You must RSVP to attend. Call Sanders’ Office at 718-523-3069.