Tag Archives: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver

Free camp offered to Sandy victims

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

After a long season of hardship for young victims of  Sandy, one organization is working to give them a bright summer.

The American Camp Association of New York and New Jersey is offering summer camp scholarships to children of families greatly impacted by the storm through its Heal the Children program.

“Representing a community that was devastated by Sandy, I know firsthand the suffering New Yorkers endured, particularly our children,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who helped announce the free summer camp program.

“By providing free camp time, the association is giving children something wonderful to which they can look forward, and giving their parents the freedom to focus on recovering and rebuilding.”

The American Camp Association established its Heal the Children program to help young people affected by the 9/11 attacks. The organization concluded that children who endured Sandy could similarly benefit from the program.

“In the aftermath of Sandy, we once again saw children in our communities suffering great loss, and once again the summer camp community responded by giving these children a safe and wonderful summer at camp, allowing them to leave their troubles behind, even if just for a short time,” said Scott Ralls, American Camp Association president.

For more information, contact the American Camp Association of New York and New Jersey at 212-391-5208.



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Monday: Partly cloudy. High of 68. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the SSW in the afternoon. Monday night: Overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 54. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Holocaust Memorial Day Talk by Holocaust Survivor

At 1:30 p.m. at the Central Queens Y in Forest Hills, writer, artist and civil rights activist Marione Ingram will discuss her memoir on her experiences during the Holocaust. Following World War II, Ingram emigrated to the U.S. and set up a Freedom School in Mississippi during the 1960s. $6 suggested donation. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Gov. Cuomo considering ousting Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver over Albany scandals

Gov. Cuomo and his top aides are looking to use last week’s round of embarrassing scandals in Albany to oust Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — and they’re already eyeing an upstate lawmaker to replace him, The Post has learned. Read more: New York Post

Missing cab driver found in Jamaica Hospital bed days after cracked skull, memory loss

A seriously injured livery car driver lay in a Queens hospital for nearly a week before his family — who feared he was dead — finally was notified of his whereabouts, the Daily News has learned. Read more: New York Daily News

Queensboro Bridge open again following oxygen tank explosion

Traffic is back to normal on the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge after an oxygen tank explosion created a fireball and shut down the span Sunday evening. Read more: ABC New York

Activists petition against ‘abusive practices’ in the NYPD

Members of an activist group circulated a petition at posts around the city Sunday — with the goal of ending what the group called “abusive practices” in the New York City Police Department. Read more: CBS New York

Queens Community Board 9 looks to boot member for ‘non-attendance’

A Queens community board is looking to boot a member for playing hooky too often — a move that civic leaders said is quite rare for the volunteer panels. Read more: New York Daily News

Lhota lashes Quinn over pals’ $lush

Gop mayoral contender Joe Lhota yesterday blasted Democratic front-runner Christine Quinn for what he called her poor oversight of how City Council members spend discretionary taxpayer dollars known as member items. Read more: New York Post 

Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female PM, dead at 87

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died Monday following a stroke, her spokeswoman confirmed. Read more: CNN


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 on new and lower rates, they said, and the tax abatement — which reduces the difference in property taxes paid by Class 2 co-op and condo properties and one, two and three family homes in Class 1 — will be retroactive.

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said the J-51 program, which gives owners partial property tax exemptions for capital improvements, will also be extended to June 30, 2015.

These assurances come after widespread panic in co-op and condo communities at the end of June, when the Legislature adjourned session without extending the city’s J-51 program and the expired abatement. Fear mounted in November after elected officials said the Legislature would not reconvene to pass promised relief.

Assemblymember Ed Braunstein said the Legislature would likely pass his bill, which would increase abatements for middle class co-op owners from 17.5 percent to 25 percent this year and over 28 percent in three years, based on assessments.

Cuomo, Legislature reach deal on balanced, on-time state budget

| brennison@queenscourier.com


For the second straight year, state politicians have reached an agreement on an on-time balanced budget.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the $132.6 billion budget in a joint statement with Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Tuesday, March 27.

“For the second straight year, New York State has worked and created a balanced budget based on fiscal responsibility, job creation, government efficiency and the premise that we must invest in our communities,” Cuomo said.

This is the second consecutive year with an overall cut in spending, the first time this has happened in the last 30 year, the governor’s office said.

The Legislature is expected to pass the budget by Friday, two days before the state’s fiscal year begins on Sunday, April 1.

Skelos said that Albany has “turned the corner” and “puts [the Legislature] in a position to deliver another early budget that controls spending and taxes.”

Last year’s budget was the first on-time spending plan since 2006.

“This budget includes much needed increases in education spending, including an increase in base aid for community colleges for the first time in five years, and vital restorations to programs that protect our state’s neediest citizens,” said Silver.

The budget also established the New York Works Task Force which will “invest billions of dollars to rebuild the state’s roads, bridges, parks and other infrastructure and create tens of thousands of jobs.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg hailed the budget as the best for the city in a decade.

“Finally, an almost unprecedented accomplishment: it appears that the budget includes no new unfunded mandates for New York City. We are hopeful this commitment to fiscal responsibility continues throughout the rest of the legislative session,” the mayor said.

Bloomberg also praised Cuomo’s “bold leadership in “making Albany work for the people – and for the City of New York.”

Other budget highlights include:

– Maintaining a 2 percent growth in year to year state spending.

– An $805 million increase in education spending to approximately $20.4 billion.

– A 5 percent increase in June to the welfare grant followed by another 5 percent in October.

– An additional $31.3 million in support for community colleges.

– Providing $14.3 million for urban and rural community-based organizations that help create home ownership opportunities and assist with the development and management of affordable rental housing.

– Supplying $9 million for the continuation of mortgage foreclosure counseling services.