Queens Lawmakers On The Move May 7, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Nolan Wants MTA Town Hall In Sunnyside or Long Island City

Assembly Member Catherine Nolan

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Sunnyside, Ridgewood, Astoria, Woodside, Long Island City, Maspeth, Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Dutch Kills, Blissville) recently wrote Metropolitan Transit Authority Chair Chair Joe Lhota requesting the MTA hold a town hall in Sunnyside or Long Island City to better inform residents about the looming L train shutdown and address issues regarding the 7 line reliability.

“My office has been working with the MTA to alleviate many of the short and long-term issues regarding 7 line reliability.  Mass transit service in western Queens and the long-term impact that the L train shutdown will have on our Long Island City & Sunnyside communities must be addressed,” said Nolan.

“At the request of Access Queens the MTA recently held an open house in Ridgewood to better inform residents of the L train shutdown. Last week I requested that they hold a similar public event in Sunnyside or Long Island City.  With the recent news of further delays of the installation of the new signal system on the 7 line, it is critical that the MTA come to our community to discuss the long and short-term plans for improved transit service in western Queens.

“A Town Hall public meeting in the Long Island City or Sunnyside area would be of great benefit to our community and I would urge the MTA to sponsor one,” the lawmaker concluded.

Koo Announces Free “Ready To Rent” Affordable Housing Workshops

City Council Member Peter Koo

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) on Friday announced three upcoming workshops in Flushing that will help New Yorkers apply for affordable housing through NYC Housing Connect – a HPD online application that allows users to search and apply for affordable housing.

In partnership with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica, and other community groups, the city council funded this housing initiative to empower New Yorkers seeking affordable housing with a focus on financial preparedness. In addition, the Flushing-based “Ready to Rent” workshops will offer financial counseling with in English, Chinese and Spanish.

“Three years ago, more than 40,000 people applied for 140 affordable apartments in Flushing, showing just how serious our affordable housing needs are  in Flushing. As we await the open application process for One Flushing our community’s next 100% affordable housing development, we want to make sure our community has the information they need to apply to this unit, and other affordable housing in Flushing and beyond,” said Koo.

Workshop dates and locations:

  1. From 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, May 10 at St. Georges Episcopal Church, 135-32 38th Avenure in Flushing
  1. From 2-4 p.m., Wednesday, May 16 at HSBC Bank USA, 3910 Main Street in Flushing.
  1. From 305 p.m., Thursday, May 24 at St. Geroges Episcopal Church, 135-32 38th Avenue in Flushing.

All workshops will have Chinese- and Spanish-language translation available. For more information call 718-291-7400.

Addabbo Bill Providing Vets With 120 Days To Remedy Violations Passes Senate

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways.) was recently joined his Senate colleagues in approving legislation (S.3072) he sponsored to help veterans’ organizations avoid hefty, unaffordable fines for minor building and other code violations.

Under the bill, these groups would be provided with 120 days to fix problems before fines are assessed.

“Veterans’ posts in our communities that serve the needs of former servicemen and women often have bars, kitchens and other facilities in their buildings which may fall under the jurisdiction of various municipal codes and agencies,” said Addabbo. “Sometimes, code violations are identified that the veterans’ organizations don’t know about, and certainly never intended, and they are slapped with heavy fines that could jeopardize the continued operation of the posts. Given the value of these organizations to our communities, and the exceptional work they do on behalf of veterans who have served our country, I believe they should be given a chance to make necessary changes before being fined.”

Addabbo crafted the legislation after a veterans’ organization in his district was assessed almost $5,000 in fines because it housed an ice machine and was therefore classified as a food establishment. The American Legion Post was also fined for failing to have a sink at an outdoor barbecue event.

“This warning period of 120 days would not apply to serious violations that cause an immediate threat to safety or health, or that violate the alcoholic beverage control law,” said Addabbo, who is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. “This legislation represents a good faith effort to aid veterans’ organizations that had no intention of violating the law and that just need a bit of time to correct the problems identified. I think it’s the least we can do for men and women who put their lives on the line for our country and on our behalf.”

The measure now moves to the assembly.

Now that the bill has passed the State Senate, it is under review by the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Avella & Friends of Brinckerhoff Colonial Cemetery Announce Contract To Buy Privately Owned Cemetery

Sen. Tony Avella

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Kissena Park, Briarwood) happily stood with Friends of Brinckerhoff Colonial Cemetery (Friends of Brinckerhoff) to announce a signed contract of sale between the private cemetery owner, Le Dan Cai, and Friends of Brinckerhoff, to acquire the landmarked property for $180,000.

The cemetery, located on 182nd Street and 73rd Avenue in Fresh Meadows, is home to prominent Dutch families such as the Brinckerhoffs, Adriances, Hooglands and Ryersons. It was used from 1730 to 1872, according to a 1919 survey that identified 77 gravestones and markers. The property received landmark status in 2012.

Within the next 90 days, Friends of Brinckerhoff, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, will seek to close on the purchase and take possession of the property.  It is the group’s intention to work with the city and the Department of Parks and Recreation for a long-range plan for the cemetery and its continued maintenance.

“I am happy that the cemetery will finally be a resource for the community and be restored it to its original state returning dignity to this sacred historic cemetery after years of neglect,” said Avella.  “It is a great credit to Friends of Brinckeroff and the community for their years of effort to landmark, and now acquire and preserve this important landmark for future generations.  They deserve all the accolades.  I also want to acknowledge the help of the owner, Le Dan Cai and her attorney, William X. Zou, Esq., for their assistance.”