Tag Archives: joe addabbo

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.

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

Obama and Romney, in First Debate, Spar Over Fixing the Economy

Mitt Romney on Wednesday accused President Obama of failing to lead the country out of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, using the first presidential debate to invigorate his candidacy by presenting himself as an equal who can solve problems Mr. Obama has been unable to. Read more: NY Times

Endorsements, cash flow in 15th District Senate race

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. Read more: Queens Courier

Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey’s fight during ‘American Idol’ auditions got ‘intense,’ says host Ryan Seacrest

Tuesday night’s shrieking smackdown between “American Idol” judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey will be great for the aging show, says host Ryan Seacrest. Minaj, a wig-wearing wacko rap superstar and Carey, a notoriously difficult diva, blew their stacks at each other when they disagreed about a contestant during “Idol” audtions in Charlotte, N.C. Read more: Daily News

Gotti at GOP fundraiser whips up interest in Queens state senate race

Aurelio “Tony” Arcabascio may not be a “connected guy,” but his association with a member of the Gambino crime family is leading to unexpected attention in his long-shot bid to unseat incumbent Democratic Queens Senator Michael Gianaris. “From a purely selfish perspective, I thank you and all the press for all the attention you’re finally giving me. But I have been at this since March,” said Arcabascio. Read more: NY1

Bogus ‘no parking’ signs along 31st St. in Astoria linked to film production, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. charges

Bogus no parking signs popped up along a busy stretch of 31st St. in Astoria on Tuesday, the same day a TV comedy show was slated to begin filming there, prompting a local elected official to question who put up the signs. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the signs belong to them,” said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), whose office is on the affected street. “We have never seen these signs in the area and one day before filming this happens?” Read more: Daily News

Feds bust spy ring who smuggled ‘cutting-edge’ US technology to Russian military since 2008

A large-scale ring that for years allegedly illegally exported cutting-edge microelectronics through JFK Airport to Russian military and intelligence agencies has been busted up by federal authorities, officials announced today. The 11 defendants charged in an indictment unsealed today “spun an elaborate web of lies to evade the laws that protect our national security,” said Brooklyn US Attorney Loretta Lynch, whose office is prosecuting the case. Read more: NY Post

Ulrich wins primary, set to face Addabbo in November


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Terence Cullen

In a primary that saw attacks on matters outside of the issues, both candidates in the general election for State Senate District 15 have vowed the race to November 6 will be a clean fight.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich defeated Forest Hills lawyer Juan Reyes in a September 13 Republican primary — a rarity in the district. Leading up to the primary, the Reyes campaign sent out a number of mailers that criticized Ulrich’s record and made mentions of hiring gay staffers and dining with a gay colleague.

“It pays to take the high road, because when they take the low road and you take the high road, you’re always going to win,” Ulrich said upon his victory. “We are so proud of the fact that we ran a clean campaign based on the issues and got our message out to the voters in the district.”

Ulrich now faces incumbent State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who has represented District 15 since 2009. Ulrich also sits in the council seat held by Addabbo before his run for Albany.

Both Addabbo and Ulrich have promised that this race will be on the issues and who can best represent the vast, newly redrawn district — which spans from Maspeth to the Rockaways.

“This election is about the people,” said Addabbo. “It is about our economy, about keeping our streets safe, and about good schools for our kids. It is about our seniors, our veterans, and taking care of our community. I look forward to a meaningful discussion on all of these issues in the coming weeks.”

Likewise, Ulrich told reporters at his victory party this race would be on who could do the best job and tackle problems in the state and the district.

“The campaign from this point on will be about issues, and ideas, and the difference between me and him,” he said.

Friends of Juan Reyes had launched an attack of mudslinging on the councilmember with a slew of mailers criticizing his record and his associations. One mailer depicted Ulrich as a Soviet leader; another showed popular movie villains endorsing Ulrich, along with Ulrich friend John Haggerty — a former Bloomberg advisor convicted of embezzling nearly a $1 million from the mayor’s 2009 re-election campaing; and a third attacked the councilmember for voting in favor of gay marriage and associating with Democratic colleagues.

The campaign literature, Ulrich said, was also offensive to a number of the varying demographics that make up the redrawn District 15.

“To use outright bigotry to try to scare voters and outright intimidate voters I think is an absolute disgrace,” Ulrich said. “The people that I’ve talked to say this is the lowest they’ve ever seen, particularly in a Republican primary. I don’t use labels to describe other people; they shouldn’t use labels to describe me.”

Gerry O’Brien, head of the Reyes campaign, said these mailers were intended to criticize Ulrich for his record in the council and his support from the State Republican party.

During election night, volunteers on the Reyes campaign asked journalists to leave the campaign’s gathering, sources said.

The Reyes campaign website issued a third-person apology from Reyes regarding the mailer alleging that Ulrich was “gay friendly.”

“Juan Reyes personally apologizes for the hurt some of our friends, neighbors and fellow citizens felt — regardless of whether they are gay or straight,” the statement reads.

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani endorsed Ulrich in the wake of the mailer debacle.

“[After] what his [Reyes’] campaign has done, which is disgusting,” the former mayor said, “Juan doesn’t belong in politics.”

Aqueduct still on track to be a destination


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Less than three months after Governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledged talks had broken down with a developer for what would have been the nation’s largest convention center, the question remains: what will become of the land adjacent to Aqueduct Racetrack and Resorts World Casino New York City.

State and Resorts World officials say they are working to get the area developed and have promised the community that something will come in the area, bringing with it a number of jobs and economic activity. In order to do this, the Legislature and voters must approve gaming laws that would allow table games in select locations throughout the state.

Economic development, a use for the land at Aqueduct and better transportation are the three things Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder said he has been pushing for to spark further growth in south Queens.

Better transportation, he said, meant upgraded service on the “A” train and consideration for a Rockaway LIRR line — something that Goldfeder has pushed for since being elected. Goldfeder recently sent a request to MTA Chair Joseph Lhotta asking for improvements to the “A” train stops at Aqueduct. Since Resorts World opened last October, Aqueduct “A” train service has increased by 100 percent, Goldfeder said. Resorts World, approaching its first birthday in Ozone Park, has promoted its accomplishments in the short amount of time, breaking several state gambling records, both for revenue and attendance. In July, the Racino saw more than a million visitors come through its doors, despite a robbery in late June.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who has long supported development in the area and jobs with it, said there will be something developed in the area, should it be an entertainment venue, hotel or other amenity. Community need as well should also be taken into consideration when planning what will go into the area, he said. This included not only mass transit, but traffic on local streets and neighborhood effects.

“We also have to keep in mind that it’s very closely adjacent to residential homes,” Addabbo said. “So whatever they build there, we must take into account the quality of life of those who live right adjacent to the casino.”

The three-term senator went on to say that Resorts World has listened to the community in the past, and expects they will continue to moving forward.

“I’m optimistic that as in the past Resorts World will be very cognizant of the fact that residents are impacted daily on what goes on there,” he said.

The Racino’s parent company, Genting, is waiting to see if voters approve gaming laws in November 2013 before laying concrete plans for the area, spokesperson Stefan Friedman said.

“I think the idea of seeing where things come down on the [state] constitutional amendment on gaming will help determine a great deal of what we’re going to do in the future for the entire site,” Friedman said.

Resorts World officials still see the area potentially becoming a destination location, he said, in regards to hotels or restaurants in the area.

Electeds rally around Miller for re-election


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

A month before the polls open for the state primaries, local politicians stood alongside Assemblymember Mike Miller to lend their support for his re-election campaign.

Nearly half of the Queens assembly delegation and other area elected officials joined Miller, who is set to face off with Etienne David Adorno in the Democratic primary, outside his campaign office at 64-01 Myrtle Avenue in Glendale.

“Somebody who truly cares about the community, knows what the community needs, speaks for the community and works hard is not easy to find up in Albany, we have one in Mike Miller, he has to get re-elected,” said State Senator Joe Addabbo whose district overlaps with Miller’s.

The 38th Assembly District includes parts of Ridgewood, Glendale, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill and Ozone Park.

Community leaders and residents were also among the dozens of supporters that turned out for the Monday, August 13 rally.

“We had a lot of support tonight, because we work hard,” said Miller, whose campaign posters include his phone number, which he said will be answered 24 hours a day.

“We have residents here who we’ve helped at 2 or 3 in the morning.”

Adorno, 27, a resident member of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association and Community Board 9, joined the race in July, forcing the primary, which is set for September 13.

Returning soldiers seek employment at veteran job fair


| RubenMuniz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Ruben Muniz

Veterans recently suited up, got their game face on and sprung into action.

A job fair for military veterans was held at The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale on Friday, June 8. Over 90 companies and organizations were in attendance as well as State Senator Joe Addabbo and Assemblymember Mike Miller.

“Veterans have a lot of hurdles to jump over once they return,” Addabbo said.

The job fair comes at a time where many veterans are struggling to find employment. The unemployment rate for all veterans is 7.8 percent, below the national average of 8.2 percent, but nearly 13 percent of returning soldiers find themselves without a job,

“The transition from military to civilian life is challenging,” said Chris Bliss, a U.S. Army veteran who served overseas in Bosnia and Iraq.

Bliss was recruiting at the fair for NYC Business Solutions, a city government initiative offering free services for new small business owners.

“Life goes on after the service. You have to find a job,” said Bliss.

Ellis Gomez, a U.S. Navy veteran originally from Puerto Rico who has several years experience in the Navy as an electrical technician as well as degree in electrical engineering, said it has not been easy to land a job in this economy.

“[The job market] has a lot of ups and downs,” Gomez said, who was one of more than 100 vets at the fair.

U.S. Army vet and Queens resident Louis Goagioa felt that the discipline and humility of veterans gives them an edge in the job market.

“Veterans are much more coachable. They are ready to learn at all times,” said Goagioa. “It’s been more than difficult for veterans [to find a job]. It’s disheartening.” Addabbo stressed the importance of taking initiative to help veterans.

“We do a lot for our veterans, but we can still do more.”

Finally! Forest Park Carousel reopens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Forest Park Carousel

After nearly four years, children — and adults — were able to rush the Forest Park Carousel, choose their favorite horse and take a spin on the historic ride.

The Forest Park Carousel, shuttered since 2008, held its grand reopening on Saturday, May 26, with hundreds of visitors turning out for the sun-filled event.

More than a dozen were able to take the maiden voyage on the century-old merry-go-round.

Jeff Watkins of Woodhaven brought his son, Joshua, who was among the carousel’s first riders.

“It’s a lot of fun and a great reason to get out of the house,” Watkins said. “The park is beautiful.”

“I really liked the ride a lot,” added Joshua, 8. “It went fast.”

The carousel will be open each weekend from 11 a.m. until sunset through late June. After that, it will be open every day until Labor Day. Each Saturday the carousel will also feature clown shows.

Senator Joe Addabbo, who had a chance to hop on the carousel at a press event on May 24, said he was excited to bring his daughters, Alexis and Arianna, to the same ride he once visited with his father as a child.

“It brought back memories from when my father brought me,” he said. “It’s family memories, it’s community memories and just to see my kids smile and laugh, it beats shuttered doors and a closed carousel.”

NY Carousel, the ride’s operator, said it expects to add chairs and tables and open the food stand in the coming weeks.

Ed Wendell, who has advocated for reopening the carousel for years, twice visited the ride on its opening weekend.

“Just in that initial first couple of days, seeing a new generation coming in and having their first ride and having their first experience was wonderful,” said Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, of the more than 100-year-old ride.

“We’re just traveling through; the carousel will hopefully be here for a very long time.”

One school, two candidates; Nativity alums to face off in Senate race


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Nativity Church

Before their days of politicking around Queens, Councilmember Eric Ulrich and Senator Joseph Addabbo both took classes and played in the schoolyard at Nativity Blessed Virgin Mary School, though they weren’t in the same class.

Addabbo attended first through eighth grade at Nativity, now known as Divine Mercy Catholic Academy. He recalled the “strict, tough nuns” who ran classes, treasuring the insight they provided for his educational foundation. Addabbo gravitated towards mathematics and science, but saved room in his schedule for the arts. He enjoyed drawing, and in sixth grade, Addabbo submitted a hand-drawn, patriotic poster to a school-wide contest. The poster depicted a map of the United States and the busts of three American presidents – Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy – and the sentence “They did a lot for America. Now what can you do?” The poster won the contest and was sent on to compete at a national level.

Addabbo graduated in 1978 and went on to attend Archbishop Molloy, where he graduated from in 1982. He said many of his grade school friends joined him in high school, some even went to the same college. He keeps in touch with many of them still through phone calls and e-mail.

Politics did not become a major part of Addabbo’s life until he was in college. He claimed that while in grammar school, he understood what his father, Congressmember Joseph Addabbo, Sr., did for a living. His dad told him that his focus should always be about helping people, a mantra he believes he has never lost sight of.

Ulrich attended fifth through eighth grade at Nativity. An active member of the school’s bowling team, Ulrich also played in the Ozone Howard Little League, catching pop flies in left field on his baseball team. Ulrich enjoyed classes in American History, especially those focusing on the Civil War.

One of his favorite grade school memories surrounds the school’s morning line-up. Every day before classes would commence, students and parents gathered in the schoolyard. Father Angelo, Nativity’s priest, greeted everyone, asking them about their days.

“Everyone was running around,” said Ulrich. “It was something to look forward to.”

Ulrich graduated from Nativity in 1999.

Father Paul Palmiotto, a pastor for the past three years, said he sees both Ulrich and Addabbo at Sunday church services and occasionally gets the chance to chat with the two after Mass.

“Both of them are very good people,” said Palmiotto. “Their Catholic upbringing comes forth [in their personalities.]”