Tag Archives: Eric Ulrich

Cops release third video of man sought in string of sexual assaults on kids


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo and video courtesy of NYPD

The hunt is still on for a suspect in South Ozone Park wanted for sexual assaults on young children as cops release a third video of the alleged perpetrator.

Police say the perv sexually assaulted two seven-year-old girls in separate incidents on Wednesday. The suspect approached the first girl around 3 p.m., police said, and groped her while she sat on the stoop of her home.

He approached the second girl around 6 p.m. while she was playing in her driveway. Police said he performed a sexual act on the girl before fleeing on foot.

Community response has been rapid and active in the wake of the assaults.

The NYPD has increased its presence in the area, giving the 106th Precinct more cops to search for the suspect.

The extra forces include officers from the sexual crimes and criminal response divisions along with eight police cars and 16 officers.

The Community Affairs arm of the NYPD is passing out fliers depicting the suspect and will speak to schools in the precinct on “stranger danger.”

Police have also increased the award to $12,000 for information on the suspect, who is described as a man in his 20s of dark complexion.

City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn visited South Ozone Park on Monday, May 6 to pass out flyers.

“We’re asking the public, if you recognize this man, call the anonymous tips line,” Quinn told reporters. “We need your help. If you or your child were victimized by him, call the police.”

Councilmember Eric Ulrich, who was also at the appearance, said the community was visibly shocked by the reported assaults.

“It happened in my district,” Ulrich said, “And I can tell you that since this heinous crime took place, the residents in South Ozone Park have been shaken to their core.”

He added that the community and NYPD have been working together to spread information about the suspect through flyers, social media and other means.

“People have been keeping an eye out for this creep,” he said. “People need to be vigilant so he can be apprehended as soon as possible.”

Some Indar, who comes to South Ozone Park to shop at the Home Depot on Rockaway Boulevard, said it was odd for something like this to happen in a community-oriented environment.

“People don’t expect these things around here,” he said.

Anyone with information in regards to either of the above crimes is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (5477).  The public can also submit their tips by visiting the Crime Stoppers website at or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

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Race to replace embattled Councilmember Dan Halloran underway


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photos

The first Republican candidate has thrown his hat in the ring to replace federally-indicted Councilmember Dan Halloran.

Dennis Saffran, 57, said he is running in the 19th Council District to restore “the tradition of integrity and honesty in government.”

The attorney from Douglaston ran for the seat in 2001 and narrowly lost to then-Councilmember Tony Avella.

“I’m the strongest Republican candidate,” Saffran said. “I have a record of citywide and community involvement.

I’ve been active in issues that turned New York City around.”

Saffran is the vice president of the Douglaston Civic Association and works for the Nassau County Attorney’s office.

Halloran faces conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud charges over allegations he helped State Senator Malcolm Smith try to buy his way to the Republican mayoral nomination. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged a number of other state and city officials in the case as well.

“He and I have never seen eye to eye on a lot of issues,” Saffran said of Halloran. “Given his arrest and indictment, he’s presumably not running, as far as I know. Nobody’s going to support him if he does. There’s essentially an open council seat.”

There are also reports a former election foe of Halloran will seek his council spot. All City Council seats along with the mayor’s office will be on the ballot in November. Halloran’s office could be up for special election before then, although Halloran has made no indication he will resign.

The Korea Daily reports Democrat Kevin Kim, who lost a 2009 bid for the district seat to Halloran, has been mulling a run.

Insiders say Republican Rudy S. Giuliani, second cousin to ex-mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and current chief of staff to Councilmember Eric Ulrich, might also be a candidate. Neither he nor Kim have made any official announcements about Halloran’s seat.

Democratic candidates who announced bids for Halloran’s seat prior to his arrest include ex-Assemblymember John Duane, attorney Paul Vallone, former governor’s aide Austin Shafran and urban planner Paul Graziano.

 

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Op-Ed: Putting Woodhaven Boulevard on the fast track


| oped@queenscourier.com

BY COUNCILMEMBER ERIC ULRICH

For the past decade, Woodhaven Boulevard has been a traffic nightmare. The daily commute during the morning and evening rush hours is sluggish at best. Whether you’re in a car or on a bus, the slow and painful crawl up and down Woodhaven Boulevard is sure to make your daily commute even more stressful and time consuming.

Since taking office, I have been working with the Department of Transportation to alleviate traffic congestion along Woodhaven Boulevard and have suggested a number of measures which I believe would make a big difference. Here are just a few:

  • I am committed to bringing the deployment of Transit Signal Priority (TSP) to this corridor. TSP will improve travel time for all vehicles by optimizing overall traffic signal coordination, resulting in a 5%-10% decrease in overall travel time. This system can, for instance, hold the green light a little longer to allow buses and cars to proceed through an intersection before the traffic signal turns red. TSP is already operating in Staten Island, the Bronx, and Manhattan. I am fighting to bring it to Queens.
  • Implementing Select Bus Service (SBS) along the 3.2 mile route would also have a significant impact. This is a bold initiative that would establish a dedicated bus lane for express and local buses only. It would speed up the average commute time for bus riders by 15-20% and prevent the bottlenecking situation that occurs at almost every major intersection along the boulevard. SBS is more commonly referred to as Bus Rapid Transit and already exists on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island, First / Second Avenues in Manhattan and Fordham Road in the Bronx. Woodhaven Boulevard is ripe for this proposal and I am looking forward to the day it comes to Queens.
  • Site specific improvements at certain intersections are long overdue. There are turning lanes that need to be widened or extended and others that need to be eliminated altogether. This is a delicate process that will require the advice and consent of the local community. Nevertheless, it is one that must be part of our overall strategy to make Woodhaven Blvd. safer for drivers, mass transit users and pedestrians alike. When done correctly, modifications such as these can reduce traffic related injuries dramatically and help the overall flow of traffic.

The DOT has already made some progress by incorporating some of the above-mentioned ideas into the Citywide Congested Corridor study. In fact, data has been collected, traffic patterns and accident prone locations have been analyzed and several public meetings have been held to discuss possible solutions since the study first started in 2008. Some of these proposals are common sense and easy to implement while others are all but certain to raise controversy.

But the fact remains that people have been sitting in traffic for far too long and Queens is entitled to what every other borough already has. If we’re serious about addressing the traffic nightmare on Woodhaven Boulevard once and for all, we must take the necessary steps to put this plan into action.

Eric Ulrich was elected to the New York City Council in 2009, as the representative for District 32, serving Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill, and Woodhaven.

Council districts to get vote on city-funded community projects


| mchan@queenscourier.com

A million dollar decision is in the hands of some Queens residents.

Three City Council districts in the borough have a week, starting April 1, to vote on community projects they want the city to fund.

Part of an initiative called “Participatory Budgeting,” residents are allowed to develop ideas and then choose five physical infrastructure projects they want to see in their neighborhood. The total $10 million budget is composed of discretionary capital public money to be split between eight districts in the city.

“Participatory Budgeting gives the community an unprecedented opportunity to make decisions on how city dollars get spent in our community,” said Councilmember Mark Weprin.

Weprin and Councilmembers Dan Halloran and Eric Ulrich have each allocated $1 million to their respective districts.

Project items to be voted on include upgrading technology at schools and libraries, installing police and security cameras in high crime areas, and upgrading community facilities like the Poppenhusen Institute and Queens County Farm Museum.

Residents in Halloran’s district have proposed adding a dog run canopy and kayak launch at Little Bay Park and a bird watching platform at Parsons Beach.

“These projects are all worthwhile, especially because they came from the people,” Halloran said.

This is the second year of the city’s participatory budgeting.

The process was derailed by Sandy in the 32nd District, according to Councilmember Eric Ulrich’s office, since some ballot items involving the boardwalk and parks have become ineligible after the storm.

A vote was still scheduled for the first week of April as of press time.

Last year, residents in Ulrich’s district voted to build a bandstand space on Shore Front Parkway, install a library vending machine in Breezy Point and upgrade technology at local schools.

For ballots and voting locations in all three Queens districts, visit pbnyc.org.

 

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Sandy’s heroes celebrate 85 years of service


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

While the night marked 85 years of serving its community, the West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department dedicated its annual dinner/dance to all of those who pitched in during Sandy — particularly the men and women who were on duty that night.

Volunteers, friends, family and local leaders celebrated another year of community service on Thursday, January 31 at Russo’s on the Bay. State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Councilmember Eric Ulrich were special honorees, along with former Assemblymember Audrey Pfeffer and former State Senator Serphin Maltese. “Our own firehouse took more than five feet of water, destroying every piece of apparatus we own, and caused extensive damage to the building and equipment,” said treasurer and former chief Mitch Udewitch. “Even during our nightmare, we continued to serve our community, as the new Howard Beach Civic Association began using the department building as a food pantry, a soup kitchen [and a] clothing drop off for area residents. As the devastation became clear, members of the community began stepping forward and helping.”

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, the night’s presiding officer, swore in new and returning members of the fire department, including Chief Jonah Cohen, who has served a number of terms in the position.

The Howard Beach Kiwanis Club gave a $1,000 contribution to the firehouse. Several donations have been made to the department in the months after the storm. A slew of fire companies from around the country gave equipment, fire trucks and ambulances to the West Hamilton Beach department after its entire arsenal was damaged by flood waters. In December, Duane Reade/Walgreens donated $25,000, which Cohen said would probably go toward a new ambulance.

 

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What City Council members wish for their constituents in 2013


| editorial@queenscourier.com

2013

The Queens Courier asked the City Council what they wish for their constituents in 2013. Here are some of the responses:

Speaker Christine Quinn: To help New Yorkers still reeling from Sandy recover fully and quickly, & rebuild New York City to protect New Yorkers from the impact of climate change.

Daniel Dromm: To see comprehensive immigration reform including the Uniting American Families Act (for families headed by same sex couples) and the Dream Act passed by Congress in 2013.

Mark Weprin: My New Year’s wish for my constituents is that a bipartisan spirit will appear in Washington, leading to fiscal sanity and sensible gun laws.

James Gennaro: They should have good health, the comfort and peace of a strong faith, abiding happiness, freedom from want and love and compassion for others.

Jimmy Van Bramer: I wish for my constituents a healthy and happy year full of joy and with far fewer tragedies. I want more understanding and appreciation of our uniqueness as people, a safer world at home and abroad.

Peter Vallone Jr.: I hope for the Queensboro Bridge back, and I hope other boroughs keep their hands off of our stuff.

Eric Ulrich: Health, happiness, and prosperity in the new year and a return to normalcy for those affected by Sandy.

Karen Koslowitz: I wish all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. I am hoping that the year 2013 brings new opportunities, friendships and successes for all.

Dan Halloran: I wish my constituents a New Year full of peace, prosperity and a renewed sense of pride in our neighborhoods, as we continue to preserve our community’s character.

Leroy Comrie: I hope that we have a healthy, happy, prosperous, and protective new year. Also that people stay charitable, that we can continue to look out for each other and be supportive of those in need.

 

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Ulrich announces concession morning after election


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

It’s over: State Senator Joseph Addabbo has won his third term in Albany.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich said on election night he would not concede to defeat just yet, despite a victory announcement from the incumbent Addabbo.

The next morning, however, Ulrich announced via Twitter that he had called Addabbo and congratulated him on the victory.

With all precincts in the massive district reporting, Addabbo led with 57 percent – roughly 38,011 ballots, according to news sources. This is nearly 10,000 more than Ulrich. Tentative numbers from the Board of Elections confirmed Addabbo had nearly that number.

An Ulrich spokesperson said in a text that the campaign’s internal numbers do not match the numbers used by news services and would not comment further as of 2 a.m.

Although their gatherings were separated by just blocks, the two gave contrasting views of the election’s turnout thus far.

“We are not conceding this race at this time because the difference between me and my opponent is just a few percentage points and there are literally thousands – I don’t have a concrete number – but thousands and thousands of paper ballots still out there,” Ulrich said.

Addabbo, however, was confident in his victory and thanked a packed room for their support.

“We believed in the fact that it wasn’t about the money, it’s not about the billboards, it’s not about the commercials, it’s not about the mailers,” he said. “It’s about a positive message and a lot of heart.”

Addabbo was referring mainly to the outpouring of money into the Ulrich for Senate war chest – floating around $1 million.

“We were outspent in 2008, we won. We were outspent in 2010, we won. And guess what, we were out spent in 2012 and we won this one,” Addabbo said.

There were thousands of paper ballots that still needed to be counted, and Ulrich said he’s curious how many of those were displaced Rockaway voters who still cast ballots within the district.

The brunt of confused results, Ulrich said, fell upon the Board of Elections (BOE), which he alleged had “run down the clock” on deciding where voters on the peninsula could vote.

“Widespread problems at the polls today,” he said. “The incompetence of the Board of Elections, we know that already. How inaccessible they made it for people in these areas where these people lost everything to vote.”

Ulrich, who, along with Addabbo, suspended his campaign to focus on relief efforts in his district following Superstorm Sandy, said, should he wake up tomorrow morning and his opponent have a wide margin, he’d be the first person to call and congratulate him.

He said the campaign did not plan on that just yet, waiting “until we know how many ballots are still out there and outstanding, I think it’s premature that we throw in the towel.”

But, as of now, the race is still narrow, Ulrich said.

As the hours crept further into the night, the margin between the two narrowed with Addabbo still retaining a lead over his opponent.

There is still the possibility of a recount, something Ulrich said he’ll leave to his campaign people as he returns to helping those devastated by the disastrous storm.

Addabbo likewise told his supporters that the next step was returning to revamping and helping to rebuild the region – nearly all of which is a part of the new Senate District 15. The potential of a recount or a lawsuit against the results was something that Addabbo said wouldn’t break his focus on getting the district back together.

“No, I’m not worried,” he said. “You just want to make sure it’s official and we move on. I have a lot of work to do. We can be mired in a court proceeding, but the bottom line, we have work to do. Any talk about what the storm did to the election, I have a job tomorrow.”

The last week has been busy for Ulrich: Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways were struck by Sandy on Monday, October 29; his wife, Yadira, gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Lily, on Halloween; and he faced the election last night. He admitted upon voting earlier on Election Day that the preceding week had been chaotic, but had geared his focus least on the election.

- With Additionally Reporting by Billy Rennison

 

Addabbo, Ulrich suspend campaigns as they aid in Sandy recovery


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

ulrich addabbo

In a week expected to be packed with last-minute campaigning, the candidates for the Senate District 15 have put it to the wayside as their respective districts still recover from damages caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Incumbent State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Councilmember Eric Ulrich, locked in one of the tightest races in the borough, have both said campaign operations are taking a break as they aid in assessment and recovery efforts in their areas.

Addabbo said in a statement that he was focusing on recovery and relief efforts for the district.

“As of now my main priority and that of my campaign staff is to focus on assisting my district in the clean up and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, as many areas of my district were hit incredibly hard by the storm,” he said. “The safety and well-being of my constituents are the most important to me, and I will not focus my attention elsewhere until the recovery is well on its way.”

Ulrich for Senate spokesperson Jessica Proud said the councilmember had suspended his campaign to deal with the devastation from the hurricane.

The campaign’s headquarters on Cross Bay Boulevard appeared yesterday to have been flooded from water that poured on to the wide thoroughfare. Chairs and tables were knocked over with campaign literature scattered all over the floor.

The Rockaways were projected to be a decisive factor in the election. Ulrich has represented a bulk of the peninsula since 2009; Addabbo represented virtually the same area, in the City Council, from 2001 to 2008.

One night, two debates, many issues


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

In a matter of hours, at two separate debates, incumbent State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Councilmember Eric Ulrich argued over issues including stop-and-frisk and discretionary funds, while both agreed on more help for small businesses — albeit through varying means.

The first debate, at Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach on Thursday, October 18, saw Ulrich and Addabbo both announce their support of stop-and-frisk — recently discussed by the city council — but Ulrich alleged his opponent had flip-flopped on his support of the issue.

When asked his stance on the NYPD’s policy, Addabbo said he supported it, adding that he had not backed a bill in the senate that would water down the policy.

“I said I couldn’t support those bills, I am for stop-and-frisk,” he said. “It’s a good tool for our police to use. It has a direct correlation to a decrease in crime. We need to help our police officers out there, they put their lives on the line with reduced resources.”

Following Addabbo’s statement, Ulrich brought up a roll-call vote from more than two years ago in which his opponent voted for a policy that he said was against stop-and-frisk.

“I support [Police Commissioner] Ray Kelly, the members of the NYPD and stop-and-frisk,” Ulrich said. “I have a roll call of the votes from June 23, 2010 here, which a bill that weakened stop-and-frisk, prevented law enforcement from retaining information from the people who were stopped, questioned and frisked, and you’re listed as one of the 32 yes votes.”

Addabbo reasserted that he supported stop-and-frisk; the vote in which Ulrich referred to dealt with questioning, he said.

“It had to do with questioning, not stop-and-frisk,” Addabbo said. “Now let’s set the issue right. Stop-and-frisk: I am for it.”

Jobs and small business, a concern in elections at many levels this year, have particularly been a worry throughout the district. The two acknowledged that businesses, particularly on Cross Bay Boulevard, had been faltering and suggested different means to save, expand or begin businesses.

Ulrich said that if elected senator, he would support a corporate franchise tax cut that would lower taxes on business owners from 6.5 percent to 5.2 percent. He also suggested looking at current banking regulations in the city for business owners looking for loans to either stay balanced or move forward.

“One of the other things we’ve talked about is the difficulty many small businesses have in accessing loans and capital, either to keep themselves afloat or to expand their businesses,” Ulrich said. He went on to say Albany should look at, and fix, some of the problems blocking business owners from getting loans “so they can keep themselves open for business and obviously keep their employees on the payroll.”

Addabbo said there was currently money in the state budget to help new businesses get started and lower costs, and that he has worked to try and relieve some of the utility costs on small business owners. This included working with National Grid and Con Edison to see what energy prices could be reduced to save money.

“I shop on Cross Bay Boulevard,” he said. “We need these stores on Cross Bay Boulevard; they are the life blood of our community.”

— With additional reporting by Melissa Chan

Schumer endorses Addabbo for re-election


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

With only 19 days until the general election and just hours before back-to-back debates, Senator Charles Schumer endorsed State Senator Joseph Addabbo for his third term in Albany as he faces what’s been referred to as the most contested race in Queens.

“The same sweet smile that his father had, he has,” Schumer said at the endorsement, on Thursday, October 18 in front of the Queens Community Center in Forest Hills. “Because he really does care — it just comes from the heart.”

Schumer drew upon Addabbo’s record of working for his district on topics ranging from tough laws on criminals, gun control and education.

“Public safety has always been a hallmark of what Joe believes in,” Schumer said. “Joe has pushed hard for the schools in this district, and he, almost single-handedly, was able to push to get another $292 million to go to our city schools. So he’s in touch with the people here.”

New parts of Forest Hills will be incorporated into the reshaped District 15. Schumer was joined by some of Addabbo’s colleagues, including Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, who will lose parts of Forest Hills in her District 16 if she’s re-elected in her own race. Stavisky said her colleague would do an even better job than she at representing this neighborhood.

“Joe Addabbo understands, he gets it,” he said. “I gave up good chunks of my district to Joe Addabbo, and I am confident that he will do an even better job than I did.”

Others, however, spoke on opponent Councilmember Eric Ulrich’s campaign and alleged his platform was unproductive regarding safety and the middle class.

“He doesn’t think our gun laws need changing,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris. “On all these issues, he stands against the community while Joe stands with it.”

Ulrich has been trying to make ground in Forest Hills, which has a strong Bukharan Jewish presence. Ulrich began campaigning in the neighborhood over the summer as he ran in a rare Republican primary against Forest Hills resident Juan Reyes.

Addabbo said he’s been proud to put people first and wanted to keep the campaign and voters positive in the next two weeks.

“It’s about a focus of the people,” he said. “We made sure this campaign stayed positive. The focus of my campaign has always been about people. The focus of my campaign, and the focus for my professional life, has always put people first; people before politics. It’s something that I was taught many years ago and it’s something that I follow through today.”

This was the second major endorsement for Addabbo in less than two weeks. Governor Andrew Cuomo endorsed him at the outset of the Columbus Day Parade in Manhattan, which resulted in a major reaction from the media — citing a turn from what some alleged was the governor’s friendliness with the Republican-led Senate.

Mailers muddle 15th Senate District election


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Twitter/@AlexBlenkinsopp

Both Senate District 15 candidates are condemning a string of outside mailers negatively attacking the other.

Online news site Capital New York reported earlier this month that a mailer alleged State Senator Joseph Addabbo was a puppet of billionaire George Soros, a supporter of progressive and liberal causes. The mailer was put out by the Common Sense Common Principles, an Alexandria, Virginia-based political action committee that supports Republican candidates, and had not been endorsed by his opponent, Councilmember Eric Ulrich.

Similarly, an anti-Ulrich mailer of uncertain origin stated that

his “extremist agenda” would affect women’s rights. The mailer had not been endorsed by Addabbo.

Jessica Proud, Ulrich for Senate spokesperson, said the campaign does not support any negative or derogatory attacks on a candidate. Rather, campaign officials believe mailers focused on how the Addabbo and Ulrich differ should be enough to inform voters, she said.

“We disavow a negative tone of the campaign, and we have chosen from day one to run an above the board campaign,” she said. “Anything coming out of our campaign has been focused on the [issues]. And we believe that is enough for voters to make an informed choice to make a decision about each candidate.”

Proud added that the campaign cannot control any independent mailers that have been sent out. She noted that some mailers touting Addabbo’s record did not have any information about its sender, or who approved it.

Likewise, Addabbo’s rep Jennifer Galvin said any mailers sent out by the campaign have been focused on the issues, such as gun control and small businesses. Galvin said Addabbo does not support negative campaigning, in any form, and has been focused on the concerns of the district.

“The senator is really against negative campaigning,” she said.

Most of the negative content, on both sides, have been sent out by political action committees that are outside either campaign’s control.

A recently released Siena College poll shows that Addabbo holds a slight lead over Ulrich with less than a month until the general election.

The mailers might not have that much of an effect on potential voters, as some just find them to muddle the electoral process.

Alexander Blenkinsopp, a district resident and active community member, said he’s gotten a number of these mailers attacking both sides. Blenkinsopp, much like both candidates, said these sorts of attacks were unnecessary and tarnished the reputation of both Addabbo and Ulrich.

“These mailers create an unnecessarily negative tone in the state senate race,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate because we have two fine public servants running against each other. There is absolutely no need for mud-slinging. Many people have a negative impression of politics, and when their mailboxes are getting stuffed with this junk, it’s not hard to see why. It’s really too bad.”

Blenkinsopp said these mailers divert from the issues concerning the district in the tightly-contested race.

“A lot of these mailings are just silly,” he said. “They don’t focus on issues that are actually important to our community. And some of them include graphics and themes recycled from two years ago. It feels like outside groups are trying to take this election out of the hands of the voters in this district.”

Cuomo endorses Addabbo in 15th Senate District race


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of State Senator Joe Addabbo

During the primary race for Senate District 15 this summer, now-Republican nominee and Councilmember Eric Ulrich picked up a major endorsement from former Governor George Pataki.

This fall, State Senator Joseph Addabbo, running for his third term, has seen Ulrich’s bet and raised him an incumbent.

Governor Andrew Cuomo endorsed Addabbo on Monday, October 8 at the outset of the Columbus Day Parade in Manhattan.

In his endorsement, Cuomo noted that Addabbo, and the legislature, had been productive in voting on tough issues, and in the end, he said, made the correct decision when voting.

“Now, a number of elected officials are in difficult elections, I believe, in part, because of votes they took,” Cuomo said.

The first-term governor added that Addabbo had “political courage” to stand up for issues and the people he represented.

“And I want his constituents to know today that he is a man of conscience, he is a man of integrity, he is a man of courage, and that’s what you want in an elected official — especially in Albany,” he said.

Addabbo said of the endorsement that he looked forward to continuing to work with Cuomo in Albany for another two years and work toward the number of problems facing the state.

“I look forward to continue working with Governor Cuomo to improve educational opportunities, create jobs, fight for stronger gun control, and once again be proud of our state government,” Addabbo said.

The candidates are set for several debates with less than a month until voters — from Maspeth all the way to Rockaway — cast their ballot on November 6 to see if Addabbo goes back to Albany in December, or if Ulrich will be taking the Taconic to work.

Addabbo holds slight lead over Ulrich in 15th Senate District race


| brennison@queenscourier.com

ulrich addabbo

Four weeks before voters head to the polls, the race for the hotly-contested 15th Senate District in Queens is a virtual tie.

Incumbent State Senator Joe Addabbo is leading challenger Councilmember Eric Ulrich 45-43, according to a new Siena College poll. Twelve percent of voters remain undecided.

The difference between the candidates is well within the poll’s margin of error, 4.7 percentage points.

Addabbo sustains a five point lead in his current district, but in the district’s new areas, Ulrich has jumped out to a five point advantage. The district was redrawn during this year’s round of redistricting.

Despite a large Democratic advantage in voters — 54 percent to 21 percent — the district leans moderate. President Barack Obama holds just a three point lead over Mitt Romney in the district.

“There’s no question that the Democrats are going to have their hands full in trying to hold on to this seat,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg.

Between September 6-18, Senate Republicans gave Ulrich nearly $330,000 in an effort to protect its Senate majority in the state.

Ulrich’s campaign said the poll was proof the incumbent’s campaign was a “fast-sinking ship.”

“For a career politician to perform so poorly proves that the more voters find out about his dismal record of failing small businesses and raising taxes over 100 times, the less likely it is he will be re-elected this November,” said Jessica Proud, a spokesperson for the campaign.

Addabbo, meanwhile, is confidant momentum is on his side.

“Over the next four weeks Senator Addabbo’s record of results and leadership will come into clear focus for all the voters in Senate District 15, and we will win this campaign,” said Jennifer Galvin, spokesperson for the Addabbo campaign.

Galvin added that she was not surprised by the poll numbers. “Senator Addabbo’s district was, after all, gerrymandered by the Senate Republicans, who have since spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on amateurish, misleading negative mailers against Senator Addabbo.”

The number one issue in the district according to voters is job creation; that is followed by education, health care and property taxes. Among likely voters, Addabbo leads Ulrich on job creation, education and health care; Ulrich leads Addabbo on property taxes.

“While Addabbo is more known than Ulrich to voters, Ulrich has the better favorability rating… In other words, this figures to be a barn burner straight through to Election Day,” said Steven Greenberg.

Ulrich’s favorability rating was 42 percent with Addabbo at 40 percent.

The district includes parts of the Rockaways, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Forest Hills, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth.

Four hundred twenty eight likely voters were included in the poll conducted between October 1-4.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.

 

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Thursday: Areas of drizzle before 10 a.m., then a chance of showers between 10 a.m. and noon, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Areas of fog before 10 a.m. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 81. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. Thursday night: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 64. Northwest wind around 8 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Play By Ear

Mime Rob List combines anti-conceptual movement, dance and song to connect to his audience in a direct, modest and intimate way. Play By Ear strives to create a magical event without trickery and to let the work and the moment speak for themselves. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Endorsements, cash flow in 15th District Senate race


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

ulrich addabbo

Things are heating up in one of the most contentious state races in Queens this fall.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich topped the list of those required to file a 10 Day Post Primary Campaign Disclosure Report with a war chest that boasted six-figures.

The first time state senate candidate, running in District 15, took in nearly $400,000 during September, according to the report.

The New York State Senate Republican Campaign Committee wired in $329,200 between September 6 and September 18 to Ulrich’s campaign against incumbent State Senator Joseph Addabbo. Individual contributions to his campaign, however, were a stark contrast: $25,970.

Ulrich for Senate, during the filing period, shelled out $421,023 that mostly went to wages, advertising and campaign literature.

In total, Ulrich for Senate has raised — through individual, corporate and other donations — $871,054 since the beginning of 2012, according to Board of Elections (BOE) data.

Ulrich for Senate spokesperson Jessica Proud said the campaign was excited about the amount of money it has brought in. Proud said the range of donors gave the campaign optimism with just weeks to go until the election.

“We’re thrilled with how the fundraising’s been going. It’s a broad range from individuals that are very excited about Eric’s candidacy,” she said. “This show’s his strength going into the election.”

Juan Reyes, who lost to Ulrich in the district’s Republican primary, does not have a report filed on the BOE’s website.

Addabbo, whose campaign will soon file the 32-day pre-primary report, said that while his campaign is raising money and getting support, he is more focused on the issues at hand and reaching out to constituents.

“When the time comes when I have to get out there and talk to people, that’s what I do,” he said. “We’re going to raise enough money to run a successful, positive campaign. [Voters] want to know your vision, what you can do for them and how you can address their concerns.”

The Uniformed Fire Officers Association (UFA) on Tuesday, October 2 endorsed Urlich, who picked up a slew of endorsements during primary season.

President Stephen Cassidy said the UFA was proud to endorse Ulrich, and said the first-term councilmember would fight for the middle class and firefighters.

“His record of fighting for the middle class and working to make sure our firefighters have the resources to keep New York City safe is exactly what we need in the senate,” Cassidy said.

The day before, the Tenants Political Action Campaign (Tenants PAC) endorsed Addabbo based on his past actions to fight for tenants’ rights and affordable housing.

Michael Mckee, treasurer of the Tenants PAC, noted Tenants PAC endorsed Addabbo in 2008 and 2010, and said Addabbo’s re-election meant he would continue fighting for tenants and their rights.

A week earlier, the United Federation of Teachers endorsed the three-term incumbent based on his record of securing and allotting funds to education.