Tag Archives: Carolyn Maloney

Op-Ed: Time is running out – October 3 deadline for sick 9/11 First Responders and survivors


| oped@queenscourier.com

CONGRESSMEMBER CAROLYN MALONEY

The horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11 affected all of us, but survivors and the brave First Responders , many of whom risked everything to provide emergency aid, have suffered incomparable health problems and financial loss in the years following this awful tragedy. Recognizing that many of the victims of 9/11 continued to suffer in the aftermath of the attacks, I, and a number of my colleagues in the New York congressional delegation, authored the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The Zadroga Act provides health care and economic compensation to first responders and survivors.

However, time is running out to apply for economic benefits under the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). If you are a 9/11 survivor or First Responder and discovered as of October 3, 2011 that you have an injury or became sick as a result of the 9/11 attacks, you MUST register for economic compensation by October 3, 2013.

If you lost a loved one, compensation may also available to the family members of First Responders and survivors. You can find out more information about the VCF and apply by visiting www.vcf.gov.

Research has shown that First Responders and survivors who were exposed to dangerous toxins that entered the air at Ground Zero have significantly higher cancer risks, respiratory problems and other medical concerns.

While the World Trade Center Health Program portion of the Zadroga Act provides health coverage for eligible first responders and survivors – and recently coverage was extended to additional types of cancer that have been linked to toxins from Ground Zero – there are likely many out there who are eligible for economic compensation as a result of lost productivity, pain and suffering, etc. That is where the VCF comes in.

My New York Congressional colleagues and I worked hard to pass the Zadroga Act and will continue to fight for strong funding. I encourage anyone who became sick or injured as a result of the 9/11 attacks and suffered economic losses to apply for compensation. Please don’t wait.

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney represents New York’s 12th District, which includes Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Death threats made against Rep. Carolyn Maloney over gun control support


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Several death threats were phoned into Congressmember Carolyn Maloney’s New York office on Tuesday after the media reported her support of a bill requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance, according to a statement from the politician.

Interns working in the office answered the calls and were “understandably shaken” by the threats, she said.

Law enforcement is investigating the threats.

Maloney has also supported legislation against gun trafficking and straw purchases, and said the calls won’t deter her.

But she is taking the threats seriously, particularly after the shooting of her friend and former Congressmember Gabby Giffords.

“I am proud of my work to help curb gun violence. I strongly support the comprehensive package of gun reforms proposed by the Obama Administration and I have authored two common sense pieces of legislation aimed at keeping our communities safer,” said Maloney.

“I take the threat of more gun violence very seriously, she added. “But it is not something that I will allow to stop me from doing my work.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Kaufman Astoria Studios extends lease by 99 years


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

File photo

Keep the reels rolling!

Senator Charles Schumer and Congressmember Carolyn Maloney announced the approval of Kaufman Astoria Studios’ 99 year lease term extension under the Historic Surplus Property Program by the National Park Service (NPS). Early this month, Schumer and Maloney requested that NPS approve this application, stating the extension would allow business expansion in the studio by providing long-term investments and make it easier to access the capital Kaufman needs to grow and expand.

“This lease term extension will give Kaufman Astoria Studios the security and predictability it needs to grow, create more jobs and expand its business in Queens,” said Schumer. “This studio is full of history and with New York City’s growing film industry, I am pleased that the National Park Service has said ‘lights, camera, action’ for this new extended lease.”

The legendary studio opened in 1920 and became the home to Paramount Pictures. Stars like Harrison Ford, Meryl Streep and Al Pacino have worked on productions at Kaufman Astoria Studios. Sesame Street is also filmed at the renowned studio. Kaufman Astoria Studios was designated as a National Historic District in 1978.

Its extended lease will end in 2099.

Courier hosts Power Breakfast on future of LIC’s tech boom


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

Seth Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), made clear that as business sectors based in the city move forward, technology will become more crucial.

“As we like to say at EDC: whereas in the past the technology industry was a sector; increasingly, today, the economy itself is the tech sector.”

Pinsky was a featured panelist for the “The Future of LIC: How the tech boom will affect you & your business!” — a power breakfast host by The Queens Courier in part with TD Bank — on Thursday, October 11, which gave a glimpse of what will become of the growing technology growth in Long Island City.

The breakfast played host to panelists: Carol Conslato, president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce and public affairs director for Con Edison; Andrew Kirby, president of Plaxall; Greg Pass, entrepreneurial officer for CornellNYC Tech; Jukay Hsu, founder of Coalition for Queens; Elias Roman, CEO and co-founder of Songza media; Elliot Park of Shine Electronics; and Gayle Baron, president of LIC Partnership. Featured elected officials who spoke included Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Michael Gianaris and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

Van Bramer kicked the morning off by noting that what was core to Long Island City were the arts and culture that had found a home in the region.

“Who in here believes that culture and the arts drives Long Island City,” Van Bramer asked the hundreds present and was answered with hundreds of applause.

Pinsky, head of the EDC since 2008, said it was important that the city take the lead in the ever-changing tech world. Some of the ways New York has begun to do that, he said, included the Cornell Tech Campus that will have a home on Roosevelt Island and incubators in Long Island City to boost start-ups and small businesses.

“First, the sector itself is a critical and growing sector,” Pinsky said. “We’re increasing employment, we’re seeing more economic activity, but I think that’s only half an answer. And that’s because the real reason why we’re so focused on the tech sector is that in the 21st century the tech sector will also be critical to the success of almost every other sector in our city’s economy. If our city doesn’t take a leadership in technology we’ll find it increasingly difficult to maintain our leadership position in anything else that we do.”

See photos from the event

As Cornell Tech, along with other satellite campuses across the city, begin to produce ambitious minded tech experts, they will most likely find a home in Long Island City because of its location and comparatively cheaper rent prices than Manhattan, several speakers said.

Plaxall over the last 20 years has fostered the art community that gradually grew in Long Island City, and now that community will be mixed with a technology community, said Kirby, who runs the real estate company with his cousin. The end result would be something Kirby said would be “amazing.”

“We already have the creative artists, now we can bring the creative technological people to Long Island City and to do that we need to do things that will make this an attractive area for them,” Kirby said. “I think Long Island City has the potential to be a location where we merge technology and art to create some amazing things.”

To attract the expected influx of techies, Plaxall is laying out plans for a community that could foster a merger between the arts and technology, Kirby said.

This community would be on 12 acres on the East River around what is known as the Anabel Basin. This community would include a mixed-use area of residential towers and buildings for technology companies, Kirby said. The vision for this area is to create “really a sustainable community where people can live, work and play that will attract the best and the brightest.”

Roman, the youngest speaker on the panel, said afterward that technology and culture had already become one in another and could open the doors for more and more potential.

“There’s an interesting intersection between technology and culture, where the technology becomes invisible and it’s all about the culture,” he said. “I think that’s a really exciting intersection to be at.”

Astoria Houses kids now have ‘Promise’


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

DSC_0042w

More than 1,600 underprivileged children have been “granted” the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

Local elected officials and community leaders gathered on January 13 to announce that a $500,000 Promise Neighborhood planning grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) had been procured for the children of the Astoria Houses.

The grant, which was secured by Zone 126, an organization aiming to increase the number of low-income children in Long Island City and Astoria who complete high school, will be used to create “cradle to career” educational support for the young residents of the housing development and the surrounding community. The funding – presented to only 20 organizations nationwide – is being combined with a $350,000 contribution by the Elmezzi Foundation, which created Zone 126, and $400,000 in private donations.

Zone 126 also plans to apply for a federal implementation grant from the U.S. DOE, which could acquire $4 to $6 million in further federal funding.

“This grant is an exciting milestone for all of us; our staff, our partners – the residents, schools, nonprofits, public officials and funders who invest in education in Astoria,” said Chris Cutter, executive director of Zone 126. “We have been working together on this initiative for the past four years and now have the backing we need to plan a cradle to career continuum of supports for children in our community.”

The Promise Neighborhoods program, which was launched by President Barack Obama in 2010, aims to address the difficulties faced by students in impoverished communities by providing a wide range of services, including improving an area’s health safety, and stability, expanding access to learning technology and Internet connectivity and boosting family engagement in student learning.

“I’m absolutely thrilled because of the possibility of giving so much aid and support to 1,600 of our young people here in western Queens,” said Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, who strongly campaigned for the grant. “It will help bring the American Dream to so many young people. [This program] is very comprehensive. It is about screening their eyes and hearing; giving them the tools they need, whether it be computers or learning aids to help them compete; providing support from their families and their community in after school program and tutoring; helping them plan and finance their college education; and helping them move forward to become leaders in our great country.”

During the next year, Zone 126 will determine what services are most needed in the community, after which the organization will develop a detailed plan to address them.

According to Claudia Coger, the president of the Astoria Houses Residents Association, the grant is essential for the children of the housing development, who she believes have been prevented from fully reaching their potential.

“This is so important to us, because in this district, our children are rating very low, and they are unable to compete when they get to middle school and high school,” said Coger. “This grant will plant the seeds in this community that our children will be competitive from Kindergarten through the rest of their lives. This will empower the lives of so many children, that they will have a jump start from the crib.”

Parents of Astoria Houses were also enthusiastic about the grant, which has increased their aspirations for their children.

“This grant will be important for my kids,” said Kevin Harris, a resident of Astoria Houses who has a 14-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter. “This is about having the right kinds of programs for our kids. Hopefully the after school programs will help my son advance in science and math. If they can help him build his self esteem it will be great for him going forward to college. Maybe it can help him be a doctor.”

Taminent Club celebrates 80 years


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Mike DiBartolomeo

Members of the Taminent Democratic Club, a political organization that supports local government, gathered at Riccardo’s by the Bridge in Astoria on November 5 for their 80thannual dinner dance. Several members of the Taminent Democratic Club received awards, including Linda Perno for “Woman of the Year” and Jeffery Sandhaus M.D. for “Man of the Year.” Dolores DeCrescenzo and Patrick Dolan won the Gloria D’Amico and the Ralph DeMarco Awards, respectively.

Perno is a member of the Astoria Kiwanis and serves on the Board of Directors for the Astoria Civic Association. Sandhaus is the Chief of Urology at Mount Sinai Queens. DeCrescenzo last served as the Deputy City Clerk of Bronx County, and Dolan is the President of the Steamfitters Local Union 638.

Also in attendance were local government officials such as District Attorney Richard A. Brown, City Comptroller John Liu and State Senator Michael Gianaris.

Taminent District Leader and former State Senator George Onorato spoke briefly. Afterwards, a surprise cake was revealed in honor of his birthday.

Investigate clean up of Newtown Creek


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Congressmember Carolyn Maloney

Indifference to filth and pollution for over a century has mutated Newtown Creek into more of a beast than a beauty.

Beginning in the mid-1800s, contaminants were spewed into Newtown Creek by more than 50 refineries that called the waterway home, including sawmills, lumber and coal yards, fertilizer and glue factories, petrochemical plants and oil refineries. The creek was also used by commercial vessels to transport oil, chemicals, fuel and other raw materials. During World War II, the channel was one of the busiest ports in the nation, and factories continue to operate on its banks to this day.

Congressmembers Carolyn Maloney and Nydia Velázquez, Borough President Helen Marshall and Assemblymember Catherine Nolan joined EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck on a boat tour of the Newtown Creek cleanup project on October 11. During the tour, the Queens leaders were taken to the key areas of pollution in the creek.

“For far too long, Newtown Creek has been a disgrace: a toxic dumping ground since the mid-1800s, a blight on our waterways, and the scene of perhaps the largest oil spill of all time – three times the size of the Exxon Valdez,” said Maloney, referencing the Greenpoint oil spill.

In addition to the damage done by industrial pollution, the city began dumping raw sewage into the water in 1856.

As a result of its history, which includes multiple spills, Newtown Creek is among the most polluted waterways in America.

In the early 1990s, New York State declared that the channel was not meeting water quality standards under the Clean Water Act, and since that time, several government-sponsored cleanups have occurred.

Newtown Creek, whose waters wash the shores of both Queens and Brooklyn, was designated a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in September of last year.

The Superfund Program was established by Congress to locate, investigate and cleanup the most hazardous sites across the country. It also provides the EPA with the authority to coerce responsible parties to account for the damage they have done, either by cleaning up the site themselves or by reimbursing the government for all costs associated with the restoration.

This past July, following a year-long examination, the EPA entered into a consent order with six potentially responsible parties to conduct a remedial investigation and feasibility study of the creek’s cleanup. Field work for the investigation, which will determine the nature of the pollutants, evaluate any risks to human life or the environment and assess prospective cleanup methods, is scheduled to begin within the next month.

“Restoring the health of both sides of Newtown Creek will give residents of Queens and Brooklyn improved access to the waterfront and make our neighborhoods healthier places to live,” said Maloney.

The EPA will be holding a public information session at LaGuardia Community College, located at 31-10 Thomson Avenue in Long Island City, on Thursday, October 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. to discuss the project.

The investigation could take as long seven years to complete, and the removal of contaminants from Newtown Creek could last an additional 10 years. A preliminary estimate by the EPA approximates the cleanup costs between $300 and $400 million.

The EPA has reported that potentially responsible parties include premier oil companies BP America, Exxon Mobil and Texaco, as well as the City of New York. These, as well as other responsible parties, will be paying for the remedial investigation and feasibility study for the near future.

During initial tests performed by the EPA, harmful contaminants such as pesticides, metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which easily evaporate into the air, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been detected in Newtown Creek.

“The more we find out about this polluted waterway, which affects two boroughs, the more we see the need to move the feasibility study along and remediation, in the form of a massive cleanup, to begin,” said Marshall.

Honoring the fallen at St. Michael’s


| bdoda@queenscourier.com

doc4e8338efa0df8190314505

Equally as striking as the monument listing the names of the 343 firefighters that sacrificed their lives on September 11, 2001 are the bricks at its base with the names of the first responders from all emergency services that died as a result of working on “the pile.” As of now, the number of first responder deaths remains at 95, but there are plenty of bricks that will undoubtedly add to that number.

The memorial service and dedication at St. Michael’s Cemetery honoring fallen firefighters, police and Port Authority officers brought together elected leaders, FDNY and NYPD officials, as well as families of those lost for an afternoon of grieving and a celebration of their lives. The event, on Saturday, September 24, began with an invocation by Father Christopher Keenan who read the Gettysburg Address followed by a statement by Congressmember Joe Crowley who commented on the two dozen young firefighters dressed in bunker gear who stood during the ceremony.

“They’re taking up a job that has a legacy,” said Crowley. “Many believed that the fire department could never recover after the attack, but nothing could be more false . . . They have never forgotten those that have fallen.”

Crowley also included an anecdote about his cousin John Moran, a Battalion Chief on Randall’s Island who died at the World Trade Center.

“I’m sure each and every one of you can take out a moment about a son or daughter that you lost that day and look back and smile,” said Crowley.

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, one of the sponsors of the Zadroga Act – named for police officer James Zadroga who died of a respiratory disease attributed to toxins at Ground Zero – spoke to the long road the legislation took until enacted in January 2011. The act expands death benefits and monitored care for those who worked at the World Trade Center site.

“Who would have thought it would have taken us seven years to pass the Zadroga Act?” asked Maloney. “This bill will save lives. We will not stop until we make sure that it continues to take care of the men and women who took care of us.”

She continued to mention the beauty of the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site and urged those in attendance to take a trip downtown to see it.

Also in attendance was Comptroller John Liu who helped fund the St. Michael’s 9/11 memorial, Former Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr., FDNY Chief Kevin Butler, PAPD Inspector Brian Sullivan, NYPD Chief Dianna Pizzutti as well as the PAPD Pipes and Drums, among other special guests.

Former FDNY Chief Alexander Santora and his wife, Maureen who – along with Ed Horn of St. Michaels – were instrumental in erecting the memorial, spoke about the importance of remembering those, like their son, Christopher, who died on 9/11. After encouraging those in attendance to come back to see the additions to the bricks at the base of the memorial, the former chief summed up the feeling of many on hand:

“They have one hell of a fire department up in heaven.”