John Messer kicks off campaign against state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo by Lev Radin

An Oakland Gardens attorney officially launched his second try at defeating a nearly 13-year State Senate incumbent, hoping a newly-redrawn majority Asian district and a one-on-one primary will give him a leg up this time around. John Messer, 42, pointed out that since the new 16th District, which is now 53 percent Asian, no longer […]

Read More ...

John Messer ‘seriously considering’ another State Senate run


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

John Messer is mulling over another State Senate run. It would be the Oakland Gardens attorney’s third try at defeating incumbent State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, who has held the seat for nearly 15 years.

Read More ...

Korean seniors and Flushing McDonald’s owner reach peace


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A group of Korean seniors and the owner of an embattled Flushing McDonald’s have come to a truce after a cultural clash reached headlines last week, Assemblymember Ron Kim announced Monday.

Read More ...

Residents unhappy over tax hikes on northeast Queens co-ops, condos


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Elijah Stewart

ELIJAH STEWART Bayside-area residents say they are getting fed up with what they believe to be unfair tax increases on co-ops and condos throughout northeast Queens. “They look at it as they might as well buy a house, which is a larger down payment, than come here and pay enormous amounts in taxes,” said John […]

Read More ...

Call to reinstate free parking at Pomonok Community Center


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Visitor parking spots that were once free will now cost a Pomonok community center roughly $2,700, officials said. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), since partnering up in March with Greystone Parking Services, has come under fire for spiking some annual parking rates at 43 citywide developments. Now it is facing more heat for […]

Read More ...

Better idea


| letters@queenscourier.com

In reference to New York State Assemblymember David Weprin and State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky’s support of “Election Equality Long Overdue” (Op-Ed, July 18): supporting the NYC Board of Elections putting Bengali, Punjabi and Hindi on ballots and election material is disappointing.  Weprin’s grandparents or great-grand parents emigrated to America just like mine.  They quickly learned […]

Read More ...

Op-Ed: Election equality long overdue


| oped@queenscourier.com

STATE SENATOR TOBY ANN STAVISKY AND ASSEMBLYMEMBER DAVID WEPRIN Last Friday, we joined many leaders of the South Asian community from across Queens to commend the Board of Elections for its plan to provide voter assistance in Bengali for the upcoming elections. While we were heartened by the plan put forth by the Board of […]

Read More ...

60 Queens polling sites to have Bengali translations


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Ballots at 60 Queens polling sites this year will have Bengali translations, officials said, but advocates for South Asian voters are skeptical the move will crystallize. “Our concern is that we were told in the past that Bengali ballots would be available, particularly for the November general election, and that did not happen,” said attorney […]

Read More ...

Pols: Lunar New Year should be school holiday


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of State Senator Daniel Squadron's Office

Flushing and Chinatown lawmakers are still pushing to get the city to recognize Lunar New Year as an official school holiday. “It’s time we show the proper respect to the Asian-American community,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “Lunar New Year is a time when families, from near and far, come together to celebrate.” Absence […]

Read More ...

City plans to put new schools inside Flushing, Newtown high schools


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Students in two overcrowded Queens schools could soon learn a lesson in sharing. The city plans to place two new schools inside a scaled-down Flushing High School and an international school in Newtown High School, education officials said. The existing Flushing High School building would house a small district high school and another Chinese bilingual […]

Read More ...

Co-op tax relief bill passed by Legislature


| mchan@queenscourier.com

The State Legislature has passed a long-awaited tax relief bill for city co-op and condo owners, despite a cluster of lawmakers who voted against it. The bill, approved by the State Senate and Assembly, includes raising a partial tax abatement from 17.5 percent to 25 percent and extending the J-51 program to June 30, 2015. […]

Read More ...

Legislators come thru for co-op, condo owners


| mchan@queenscourier.com

State leaders will end up keeping their pledge to co-op and condo shareholders in the city. According to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the Legislature has reached an agreement on tax relief legislation and will sign it into law when officials return to Albany. The city will also issue tax bills based […]

Read More ...