Queens Lawmakers on the Move July 6

Queens County City Council News

Addabbo and Other Electeds Join American Red Cross for Preparedness Webinar

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and The Rockaways) will be partnering with other local elected officials and the American Red Cross to bring a virtual emergency preparedness webinar to their constituents later this month. 

On Tuesday, July 21, Addabbo will join Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato (D- Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Ozone Park and the Rockaway Peninsula), Councilmember Robert Holden (D-Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Woodside) and the CEO of American Red Cross in Greater New York, Susan Rounds on a WebEx virtual meeting titled “Prepare, Respond, Recover: What to do When Disaster Strikes.”

“We tend to think that a disaster could never happen to us, but just think back to 2012 when Hurricane Sandy devastated a large portion of my district and changed the lives for many of my constituents forever,” Addabbo said. 

Representatives from the American Red Cross will provide citizens with important information on how to prepare for a disaster such as a hurricane, what steps to take if disaster strikes, and how to get back on your feet when things settle down. At the end of the seminar, there will be a Q&A session where the electeds and community can ask questions to the Red Cross.

To register for the event, visit this link. The event number is 157 335 9147 and the event password is BePrepared721.

Meng’s Legislation Requiring Covers on Trains Passed in House

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, and Rego Park). sponsored legislation in the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2) which passed in the House of Representatives last week. The Moving Forward Act is a transportation and infrastructure bill which would require covers on all rail cars that transport materials such as waste and construction debris through neighborhoods.

“Residents in these communities, which include several areas in my congressional district, have complained about the smell of garbage, and expressed concern about materials flying out of traveling rail cars and trash-filled trains sitting idle on the tracks,” Meng said. “Placing covers on train cars – so that waste is completely containerized – would provide affected constituents with the relief they need and deserve.”

Under Meng’s measure, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation would be directed to propose regulations that require materials transported by rail to be completely covered while in transit, including while being held, delayed or transferred.

DA Katz Charges Man Allegedly Involved in Deadly Hit-and-Run

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced last week that Ramon Pena, 37, has been charged with murder in the second degree and other crimes in connection with a deadly collision on Metropolitan Avenue at the Metro Mall exit in Middle Village on the afternoon of June 30 during which Hamlet Cruz-Gomez, 25, lost his life.

“This is a tragic incident that was caused by the alleged criminal actions of this defendant, who is accused of stealing a truck and causing extensive property damage to dozens of cars,” Katz said. “This depraved driving spree only came to an end after a horrible collision that killed a young man in his twenties.” 

Pena, who’s from the Bronx, was held without bail and faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

According to the criminal charges, Pena allegedly stole a box truck from 101st Avenue in Jamaica. A truck matching the stolen vehicle’s description was later seen hitting more than 20 parked and moving cars – some of them occupied and causing injuries – along Humboldt and Metropolitan avenues in Queens and Brooklyn.

The truck allegedly traveled up to 50 miles per hour, went through multiple red lights, and drove on the wrong side of the street. The defendant allegedly struck Cruz-Gomez’s car as he exited the Metro Mall parking lot on Rentar Plaza. Cruz-Gomez, also of the Bronx, was transported to Elmhurst General Hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest and died.

According to the charges, the defendant allegedly jumped out of the box truck after the crash and ran into the nearby subway station. Police followed Pena into the station and apprehended him. The defendant allegedly does not have a valid driver’s license and does not have a driving history at all within New York state.

Councilmember Vallone Announces Expansion of Bayside’s Outdoor Dining

City Council Member Paul Vallone

Councilmember Paul A. Vallone (D-Alley Pond Park, Bay Terrace, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck and Whitestone) and the Bayside Village BID announced that Bell Boulevard has been selected as one of the first business corridors to participate in the new citywide “Open Streets: Restaurants” program, which combines the Open Streets and Open Restaurants initiatives. The new program allows expanded seating options for restaurants on select corridors throughout the five boroughs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays by collaborating with a local partner, in this case the Bayside BID, to facilitate street closures. 

“I’m thrilled to share the news that Bayside’s Bell Boulevard was selected to participate in the Open Streets: Restaurants initiative, which gives restaurant owners the power to expand their operations on the weekends and offer more diners food service in the open air, giving New Yorkers a safe way to enjoy a meal out while supporting their favorite local eateries,” Vallone said. 

Bell Boulevard kicked off the program on July 4. Expanded seating will last until Labor Day. An emergency clear lane will be maintained down the middle of the street to make sure that these streets remain safe and passable for emergency vehicles. 

The Bayside Village BID will be managing two connected streets in Bayside as part of the program: Bell Boulevard, between 39th and 41st Avenues; and 41st Ave, between Bell Boulevard and 214th Place. These streets will be fully closed for restaurant use on Friday evenings, 5 to 11 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 10 pm. on Sundays.