Tag Archives: 16th State Senate District

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 82. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the South in the afternoon. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 73. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: Fashion’s Night Out

Thursday is the fourth annual Fashion’s Night Out, where clothing, shoe and accessory stores throughout the city have special events and stay open late for shoppers. In Queens, six stores are participating. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police allege woman stabbed partner to death

A 38-year-old woman is in custody after police say she stabbed her partner to death in Queens. It happened on 145th Street in South Ozone Park around 6 a.m. Wednesday. Read more: NY1

Woodhaven house of horrors puts community on edge

A grimy Woodhaven building that hosted a fatal party last year continues to be a house of horrors, neighbors said. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens native Ogletree too much for Giants to handle

Queens native Kevin Ogletree had the night of his entire life Wednesday night in the Cowboys’ shocker of a 24-17 victory over the Giants at MetLife Stadium. Read more: New York Post

Asian-American vote could be key in battle for 16th State Senate District seat

The reconfigured 16th State Senate District now represents a population in Queens that is more than half Asian.Read more: New York Daily News

Blind man narrowly escapes death on subway tracks

A blind, New York jazz musician is lucky to be alive after taking a fall onto a train track and being unable to climb back out on Wednesday morning. Read more: CBS New York

Excluded from Democratic Convention list, Liu tours Asia

Two months ago, John C. Liu, New York City’s comptroller, said he was “heartbroken” that the state’s top Democrats, skittish about a federal investigation into his campaign fund-raising, had excluded him from their delegate list to the Democratic National Convention. Read more: New York Times

Bill Clinton fires up Dems before Obama’s speech

God is back in the Democratic platform and people rooting for President Barack Obama hope the dazzle is back in him. Read more: AP

 

Stavisky and Messer face off in 16th Senate District debate


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Terence Cullen

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and opponent John Messer agreed job creation was a priority in the 16th State Senate District as the two stated their platforms and fielded questions at a Wednesday, August 29 forum before hundreds of residents in the district.

Despite agreeing on general issues such as employment, energy and bilingual signage, the six-time incumbent and Senate hopeful found themselves on opposite sides on gay marriage and charter schools.

The forum, held at New York Hospital Queens and hosted by Queensboro Hill Neighborhood Association, was co-moderated by Queens Courier reporter Melissa Chan and a TimesLedger reporter Joe Anuta.

Plans for Willets Point would bring thousands of permanent jobs to the area, Stavisky noted, and economic activity to Queens. She went on to say that as chair of the Higher Education Committee, she’s pushed for private/public partnerships between colleges in the state and businesses — giving the example of the developing tech-campus on Roosevelt Island.

Messer, a small business owner himself, said the problem was that too many businesses were leaving the city, and state, because of fines and the inability to grow.

“We should be supporting our small businesses,” he said. “Most importantly we need a long-term strategy to keep our businesses here and stop sending them out of the state.”

At the same time, both said, albeit through different plans, that they would work on increasing minimum wage. Messer said he would propose a two-tiered approach: first increase minimum wage to $7.85; when the economy was better he would push to raise it to $8.50.

Stavisky said she is co-sponsoring a bill that would base minimum wage on consumer-price index.

“It seems to me that you can’t live on $15,000 a year,” Stavisky said.

Through the terse time each had to field questions from moderators, each faced boo’s and calls from the audience.

It especially became so when either answered a question that upset members of the increasingly rowdy crowd.

On gay marriage, Messer fielded first by saying that gay marriage was state law, but recognized that “many people in my district oppose…” The answer was met with boos, and the Senate hopeful sat down passing the microphone to Stavisky.

Stavisky, the first woman from Queens in the state Senate, said she supported gay marriage and was adamantly against discrimination.

“You can’t pick and choose who you’re against,” she said.

Charter schools, a recently debated issue in the city, were presented on both sides by the candidates. Stavisky, formerly a teacher, said she had seen research showing students at charter schools did not do any better than public school students.

“I am not a big fan of charter schools and I must be very honest, it is my opinion the mayor would like to see an end of public schools,” she said.

Messer, however, said charter schools had potential to ease the burden of overcrowding in schools and could create competition in the public system.

“Charter schools are an option where we can alleviate some of the overcrowding and also they make our public schools more competitive and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Messer said.

Democrat voters will decide on Thursday, September 13 if Stavisky or Messer will face off against Republican J.D. Kim. in the November 6 general election.