Tag Archives: Fordham University

Op-ed: Bloomberg was a boon to this city


| oped@queenscourier.com


ANDREW SANTIS

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is no more.

To New Yorkers who criticize and accuse Bloomberg for being ignorant and a tyrant, this is a relief. For others, like me, it is saddening to see the man responsible for today’s New York go.

Bloomberg entered City Hall at a very peculiar time, as it was only four months after the 9/11 attacks. In addition, he faced three consecutive years of budget gaps and an underperforming school system. And yet, he was still very optimistic about the city’s future. On his inauguration day, he said, “New York is safe, strong, open for business and ready to lead the world in the 21st century.”

He was right.

Under Bloomberg’s watch, New York City became the safest large city in the country. He and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly reduced crime by 35 percent.

Bloomberg also became a public opponent of guns, leading efforts to eliminate the sale and distribution of illegal guns in the city. Eight thousand guns are now off the streets of New York. Bloomberg has also devoted his efforts to making New York City’s counterterrorism programs the best in the world.

To stimulate the city’s economy, Bloomberg created the Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan, which focuses on creating jobs for New Yorkers, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city’s economy and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. As a result, areas in Coney Island were rezoned for housing and commercial use. In addition, the Lower East Side will generate more than 1 million square feet of housing, open space and shops, the West Side of Midtown Manhattan will see residential housing, office buildings and the extension of the 7 line (also a Bloomberg initiative) and Willets Point in Queens will add housing, retail, entertainment, public space and much more that will transform the area around Citi Field.

Among Bloomberg’s major accomplishments was making New York the healthiest city in the world. First he tackled smoking by signing the Smoke Free Air Act in 2003, making smoking in public places illegal; he raised taxes on cigarettes; started an anti-smoking campaign and recently succeeded at raising the cigarette buying age to 21. Youth smoking has decreased by 51 percent and adult smoking by one third.

Obesity followed. In 2006, trans fats were banned from restaurants. In 2008, calorie counts began appearing on menus and menu boards. In 2010, he unveiled a plan to reduce salt in packaged and restaurant food. Thanks to his efforts, the city now boasts an 80.6-year life expectancy.

Of course, Bloomberg has had his share of flops. One was appointing Cathie Black as Schools Chancellor, and another was being unprepared for the 2010 Christmas blizzard. And let’s not forget the flawed, over-priced, revamped 9-1-1 system.

However, this will not eclipse the good Bloomberg has done.

There are more parks, affordable health insurance for all New Yorkers, environmentally friendly hybrid taxis, a city-wide information and non-emergency service and an improved public school system.

One thing is for sure: Bloomberg is leaving behind an unparalleled legacy.

On his inauguration day, Bloomberg promised Rudy Giuliani he would not fail the people of New York.

He did not.

Mayor Bloomberg, thanks for all you have done. I will miss you.

Andrew Santis is a sophomore in the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University.

 

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News Briefs: Small Business Workshop in L.I.C.


| bdoda@queenscourier.com


LONG ISLAND CITY –

The Queens Economic Development Corporation will offer workshops and clinics for small business owners this fall. While the clinics are free, workshops will cost $25 in order to cover costs.

Topics covered will include networking, taxes, pricing and compliance with city regulations. The workshops and clinics will take place at the Entrepreneur Space at 36-46 37th Street in Long Island City from 6 to 8 p.m.

Speakers include Bianco Di Salvo, a professor in the marketing department at Fordham University, Gail Roseman, a partner at Sholom & Zuckerbrot Realty, LLC, and Susan Harkavy, an instructor on guerilla marketing at New York Designs.

For more information regarding scheduling, call 718-263-0546 or visit www.queensny.org.

Family Fright Night

FLUSHING –

The Flushing YMCA will hold their Family Fright Night on Friday, October 28 at 138-46 Northern Boulevard. Activities will include a haunted house, costume contest, face painting, dancing, spooky stories, carnival games and more. Call 718-961-6880 for more details.

Fall Festival

FLUSHING –

Councilmember Peter Koo and the Parks Department recently announced this year’s Fall Festival on Saturday, October 29 from 1 until 5 p.m. at the P.S. 20 playground (Union Street and Barclay Avenue). Activities will include free rides, games, pumpkin patch, live entertainment, karaoke and more. To sponsor this event, contact Judy Chen at 718-888-8747.

I.S. 178Q celebrates 16th Anniversary

FRESH MEADOWS –

Councilmember Mark Weprin addressed the students, parents, teachers, and fellow alumni who gathered at P.S./I.S. 178Q, the Holliswood School located at 189-10 Radnor Road in recognition of the school’s 60th anniversary.

“The Holliswood School has provided students with an outstanding education for six decades, and I know that it will continue to shine,” said Weprin.

Talent showcase at Cross Island Y

BELLEROSE –

Auditions are still open for this year’s “Y Kids Got Talent” live event to be held on Saturday, October 22 at 6 p.m. at the Cross Island YMCA, located at 238-10 Hillside Avenue. Anyone with acting, singing, dancing, acrobatics, marital arts or musical talent is encouraged to contact Jamé Cohn at 718-551-9314 or by email at jcohn@ymcanyc.org for audition scheduling information.

Chancellor speaks to ACA

ASTORIA –

New York City Public Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott was the featured speaker at the monthly Astoria Civic Association meeting.

Walcott answered a number of questions from teachers, students and parents from Astoria and other parts of Queens during the hour-long meeting, ranging from the Department’s no tolerance policy for bullying to exploring the possibility of implementing additional gifted and talented programs at Astoria’s middle schools.

The association meets on the first Tuesday of every month at Riccardo’s and features a new speaker and topic. The meeting time has changed to 7 p.m. For more information visit the Astoria Civic Association Facebook page, or call 718-545-5353.