Tag Archives: Kirsten Gillibrand

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Sunny to partly cloudy. High 72. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph. Monday night: Partly cloudy skies. Low 53. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Let’s “CUT” Cancer Out

Style Glam Salon in Fresh Meadows is hosting its first annual Benefit, Let’s “CUT” Cancer Out! We are raising money for St. Jude’s Cancer Research Hospital for Children and donating hair to “Locks of Love”, and organization that provides hair for disadvantaged children. There will be a special appearance by Tracy DiMarco Epstein from “Jerseylicious.” Face painting will be available, raffles, complimentary champagne, refreshments will be served. Proceeds will go to St, Jude’s Hospital. All are welcomed. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police ask for help in finding diabetic teen

The NYPD is asking for the public’s help in finding a Queens teenager with Type 1 diabetes who has been missing since Thursday. Read more: CBS New York

De Blasio touts housing initiative for NYC residents with HIV, AIDS

The fight against AIDS and HIV is now in its fourth decade, but many continue to work to ensure the cause doesn’t lose its urgency “because we know so many people still need our help,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday, speaking to about 300 people gathered in Central Park for the GHMC AIDS Walk. Read more: am New York

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand urges Congress to create insurance for paid maternity leave

Congress should pass legislation to create a paid maternity leave insurance program for new parents, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Sunday. Read more: New York Daily News

De Blasio expected to speak about improving web access

Mayor Bill de Blasio will have a tough act to follow when he talks tech on Monday. Read more: New York Post

“Selfie” among 149 words, phrases added to Merriam-Webster dictionary as food, digital life reign supreme

Prosecutor Steve Parks of Delta County, Michigan, says he’s pushed for more than a decade to have Merriam-Webster recognize the word Yooper, a longtime resident of the Lake Superior region. Read more: CBS News

 

 

 

Op-ed: It’s time for Congress to raise the minimum wage


| oped@queenscourier.com

U.S. SEN KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND

It’s been more than four years since Congress last raised the federal minimum wage. Hard-working families are doing all they can to make ends meet during the worst economy of our lifetime – but through no fault of their own – feel like they are just slipping further behind.

When adjusted for inflation – the federal minimum wage of $7.25 today is much lower than its peak in 1968. Too many working poor families are below the poverty line, which not only holds these families back, but also holds back our local economy from its full potential growth.

New York City is home to three of the nation’s top 10 areas with the highest cost of living, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research. Queens ranked seventh in the country. For Queens residents, it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet with the rising cost of groceries, rent, transportation, and basic necessities.

Last year, New York State passed legislation increasing the wage to $9 an hour by 2015. It’s no coincidence that of the 10 states with the lowest wage gaps, seven have set a minimum wage higher than the federal rate.

Now, it is time for Congress to follow New York’s lead and take action. It is simply unacceptable that a single parent working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year to support a family, earns just $290 a week. That’s $15,000 a year – without any time off. That salary is $3,000 below the poverty line for a family of three in New York.

We need an economy that rewards hard work. Raising the federal minimum wage would give working men, women and families the power to raise themselves into the middle class – and benefit the entire economy through stronger consumer confidence and more customers for local small businesses.

In fact, increasing wages to $10.10 an hour would boost incomes for millions of American workers, and generate billions in new economic growth, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

And let’s be clear, this is not just about teenagers working part-time summer jobs.

• Close to 90 percent of the lowest wage earners who would see their paychecks increase by raising the minimum wage are over the age of 20;

• 62 percent of minimum wage earners nationwide are women, who also happen to be a growing percentage of family breadwinners;

• Nearly one-third of all single parents in America would see an increase in pay by raising the minimum wage;

• Raising the minimum wage would help more than 15 million women in America.

Last year, I stood with State Senator Jose Peralta, Make the Road New York, and Queens businesses in Jackson Heights pushing for federal legislation to help millions of workers move from the working poor into the middle class with more money in their pockets being spent in our local economy.

This week, the U.S. Senate is expected to finally vote on legislation raising the wage to $10.10 an hour over the next 3 years and indexing it to inflation moving forward to allow the rate to keep up with rising costs of living.

The bill has broad support from business leaders – including the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the Main Street Alliance, and employers like Costco – because they know that strong wages lead to a stronger workforce, higher productivity, and a growing business.

This commonsense measure is long overdue. Boosting wages would not only lift working poor families above the poverty line and onto stable ground, it can also drive economic activity, boost Queens businesses and strengthen local economies.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast. High near 50. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: A few clouds. Low 39. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Council on the Arts Presents Senses Transport

Queens Council on the Arts mixes up dance and food in the second Moveable Feast Artist Dinner Series which will raise money for a stop gap scholarship fund. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

De Blasio faces three new charter-school lawsuits

Mayor de Blasio is getting hit on Monday with three new lawsuits by charter-school supporters, his traditional enemies — just as his pals who despise the popular institutions are threatening him with legal action for offering a compromise. Read more: New York Post

Assembly Dems will seek to block Cuomo from taking MTA funds to pay debts

As state budget talks prepare to heat up, state Assembly Democrats say they will seek to block Gov. Cuomo’s proposed raid of $40 million from mass transit funds. Read more: New York Daily News

Cuomo to define opponent with $10M ad campaign

Gov. Cuomo is expected to unleash a $10 million package of TV attack ads designed to “define’’ his newly announced Republican challenger, Rob Astorino, as a “right-wing nut,” Democratic and Republican insiders say. Read more: New York Post

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand pushes for lower child care costs

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wants to lessen the financial load of child care, which she says is unaffordable. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Daylight saving time means more traffic accidents

Turning the clocks forward not only wreaks havoc with our internal body clocks, it causes a spike in traffic accidents. Read more: CBS New York

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Sunny to partly cloudy. High 19. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy this evening with more clouds for overnight. Low around 15. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Alex Blake Quartet

Blake is a modern bass virtuoso recognized for his mastery of the classical upright bass and the electric bass. From classical fingering and guitar-like strumming of intricate melodic patterns to resounding slapping and vibrant staccatos, he produces a full range of harmonies and rhythms. Starts at 8 p.m. at Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., www.flushingtownhall.org.

Stable real estate prices hide big changes in many city neighborhoods

It felt like 2013 was a crazy year for real estate, with the flood of all-cash buyers, Billionaire’s Row on 57th St., shrinking inventory and skyrocketing prices. Read more: New York Daily News

$24 General Admission Price Set for NY 9/11 Museum

Adults who visit the Sept. 11 museum at the World Trade Center will be charged $24. Read more: NBC New York

Computer glitch halts Metro-North trains for nearly 2 hours

A computer glitch suspended Metro-North service systemwide on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines Thursday night, leaving all trains stranded for nearly two hours. Read more: CBS New York

Gillibrand pushes for paid family and medical leave for nominal cost to workers

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced legislation that would provide paid family and medical leave. Read more: CBS New York/AP

NYC’s top cop Bill Bratton joins Twitter

Top NYPD cop Bill Bratton sent his first tweet Thursday from @CommissBratton embracing social media — something his predecessor Ray Kelly shied away from. Read more: New York Post

Howard Beach’s P.S. 207 receives nearly $2M in storm recovery funds


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Twelve feet of water rushed into the basement of P.S. 207 during Sandy, leaving the Howard Beach school with over $2 million worth of damages.

Senators Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder announced Monday roughly $1.82 million is on the way for repairs.

“It’s been over a year since Sandy tore apart our schools in southern Queens and while we have all made significant progress there is still work to be done,” Goldfeder said. “This new funding will enormously help P.S. 207 rebuild and ensure our children receive the quality education they deserve.”

The FEMA federal funds will go to the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) and will reimburse 90 percent of the cost of repairs throughout the building.

The bulk of the damage was in the flooded basement, where a fuel oil tank rolled and spilled about 3,000 gallons of oil. Two boilers, electrical panels, lights, ductwork and the fire alarm system were also damaged.

The damage left the school without electricity, heat and water, and closed in the months following the superstorm. Nearly 90,000 gallons of water and oil was removed from the building before it could reopen.

“This infusion of federal money is helping P.S. 207 put the damaging effects of Hurricane Sandy in the rear-view mirror and enabling the school to get back to educating New York City’s children without crushing back-bills,” Schumer said.

 

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Cuomo, Gillibrand back Paul Vallone in District 19 race


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand endorsed Democratic City Council candidate Paul Vallone for District 19 Wednesday.

Cuomo said Vallone could carry the legacy of his family.

“I have known the Vallone family for decades and admire their contributions of public service to the City of New York,” the governor said in a statement. “In my mind, there is no question that Paul Vallone is the right man for the job.”

 

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200 homes in Bayside, Flushing file airplane noise complaints last month


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Almost all the noise complaints filed last month at three major airports came from Queens, according to data obtained by The Courier.

More than 700 calls about airplane noise flooded LaGuardia Airport this June, while 348 grievances came in about John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to statistics from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Out of 1,061 total complaints that poured in last month, only 18 complaints were made to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

The complaints came from almost 200 homes in Queens, mostly in Flushing and Bayside, according to Port Authority data collected June 1-30.

About 500 complaints to LaGuardia were from those neighborhoods, with a majority of calls coming from residents near Travis Triangle and Bowne Park.

Residents from across the Queens border in nearby Floral Park made most of the complaints to JFK, a total of 200.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a new flight pattern last December, much to the dismay of residents who say the procedure causes nonstop noise from low-flying planes.

The Port Authority and the FAA said they expect upcoming projects to reduce noise.

Representatives from both agencies addressed the Queens Borough President’s Aviation Advisory Council on July 22.

They said plans to soon rebuild and modernize the Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia would allow for larger planes on the runways. With more passengers per plane, that would mean fewer aircraft in the sky.

Officials also said by 2016, airports will be mandated to only use planes with engine sound-absorbing designs.

Planes going in and out of New York airports, with the exception of corporate aircraft, are currently “Stage 3” planes. The designation means engines are moved further into the interior of the plane to lessen noise.

Propellers are also shaped to deaden sound.

Barbara Brown, chair of the Eastern Queens Alliance, said larger planes would not be helpful.

“Even if flights are getting quieter, that won’t mean anything if there are more flights taking place in general,” she said.

Port Authority officials said they are also in the process of replacing 22 noise monitoring terminals and should be done by spring 2014.

They added that a public website will soon launch for people to monitor noise decibel readings and file noise complaints.

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and multiple congressmembers from the city and Long Island have called for more action. They recently sent a letter to Port Authority executive director Patrick Foye urging his agency to create an airport advisory committee.

“It is simple common sense to say that the largest metropolitan area in the country should have an airport advisory committee like the one we are proposing,” Schumer said, “a body that would help increase quality of life for locals.”

The New York state legislature passed a bill this year that would require the Port Authority to conduct a one-time study to determine the effects of aircraft noise on Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and Jersey residents.

It awaits Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature in New York and ultimately needs New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s approval as well.

Additional reporting by Johann Hamilton

 

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Feds approve city’s $1.77B Sandy recovery plan


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

The city’s $1.77 billion Sandy recovery plan was federally approved, officials announced Friday.

“This is an important day in the recovery process for families and small businesses who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “These critical federal funds will help families get back on their feet and help hard hit communities rebuild stronger and smarter.”

The majority of funds, $648 million, were allocated toward housing recovery programs. The rest of the budget will aid businesses with damages and lost sales and repair infrastructures.

“With the federal approval now in place, we’re going to see that this relief money starts flowing to home and business owners as soon as possible,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

A copy of the recovery action plan and information on the application process are available at www.nyc.gov.

 

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U.S. Senate gun control vote disappoints New York lawmakers


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo's Flickr

The build-up lasted a full four months.

From the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School to the State of the Union and rallies afterward, tougher laws on gun control were debated and pored over until U.S. Senators finally voted 54-46 in favor of an amendment to strengthen background checks at gun shows and online.

However, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 needed 60 “aye” votes to pass.

In New York, many state officials were deeply disappointed when the news came out of Washington on Wednesday, April 17.

“I was embarrassed,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris. “Our New York delegation did terrific work, but I was embarrassed by the U.S. Senate. They couldn’t even do the simplest reform which itself was a far cry from what we really needed.”

City Councilmember Donovan Richards echoed the sentiment.

“It’s a crying shame. I would urge these individuals who voted down the bill to come visit the parents of the countless lives that were lost. Blood is on their hands.”

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of the amendment.

Gianaris was one of the first state senators to push for tougher gun laws last year when he put forth legislation expanding background checks and banning assault rifles.

Background checks were eventually incorporated into the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act of 2013.

In January, the New York State Legislature passed the SAFE Act, which includes some of the toughest gun laws in the country. The bill initially limited magazine capacity to seven bullets, banned assault rifles and tightened background checks. Critics viewed it as a radical, knee-jerk reaction by Governor Andrew Cuomo to the Sandy Hook shooting while legislators were chastised for the rush to pass the bill.

Cuomo later backtracked on the magazine limit as a compromise to reach this year’s budget on time.

Federal background checks under the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 would have been lighter than checks outlined in New York’s SAFE Act.

The New York bill allows mental health professionals to alert the state if a patient has the potential to be violent. If the threat is deemed viable, the state can revoke the patient’s gun license.

While New York is traditionally viewed as a liberal state, Gianaris said the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) lobby here is as prominent as in Washington. However, he said New Yorkers generally supported the SAFE Act despite the NRA presence.

Assemblymember Nily Rozic, a co-sponsor of the SAFE Act, traveled to the nation’s capital last month as part of the Assembly’s Black, Latino and Asian caucus to lobby for the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act.

She and Assembly colleagues from across the state pushed for a wide package of gun control bills, which she described as the first step in better nationwide gun laws.

Rozic said she was disappointed the Senate could not get the amendment to pass, but is hopeful looking forward.

“We had some great conversations,” she said. “I’d be happy to go back to D.C. and continue the fight.”

Richards, a proponent of gun buyback programs, said the goal is to take away criminals’ opportunities to get their hands on weapons.

“If we’re not doing what we can to ensure that these individuals don’t have gun access,” he said, “we’re doing a disservice to our children, to our community.”

All New York legislators, however, have not been in favor of the SAFE Act and gun legislation.

State Senator Greg Ball, who represents parts of Duchess and Putnam Counties, has actively opposed the bill, citing the loss of rights to people who legally purchased assault rifles.

Addressing the senate debate on the bill in January, Ball said making assault rifles illegal did not compensate for the help mentally ill people in the state really need. To make his point, he described a constituent with a bipolar, schizophrenic son who Ball said did not get proper state care.

“She fears for her life and the lives of her neighbors every day,” he told his fellow Senators. “And the mental health system in the state of New York has failed her repeatedly. It’s a kangaroo system where that child will be treated like a number, and a ticking time bomb to go off. And that single mom doesn’t have the support of the state, or that system, to care for that child.”

Instead, the Republican alleged the SAFE Act was a ploy to help Cuomo one day become president, and that it and would make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding gun owners.

Ball was not available for comment by press time.

In Richards’ southeast Queens district, gun safety is of utmost concern. He mentioned several individuals among his constituency who lost their lives due to gun violence, including his friend Darnell Patterson. Patterson was murdered in South Jamaica.

“The list goes on and on,” he said. “As government officials, we’re supposed to [...] do as much as we can to protect everyday citizens.”

-BY TERENCE M. CULLEN & MAGGIE HAYES

 

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Queens congressmembers get mixed results on environment


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Some Queens congressmembers aced their green test last year. But some were average, and one was at the bottom of the class.

That is according to the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) latest national environmental scorecard.

Congressmembers Steve Israel and Carolyn Maloney were tops, with each scoring a 97, followed by Joseph Crowley with a 91. Both of the state’s U.S. Senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, scored 93 percent. Nydia Velázquez trailed slightly with an 86 percent and Gregory Meeks pulled a 77 percent.

Former representative Gary Ackerman scored a 74. But another retiring congressmember, Bob Turner, had an abysmal 3 percent, a low matched by Tea Party Republicans representing Big Oil districts in Texas.

The scores are based on 14 Senate votes and 35 House votes on public health, clean energy, land and wildlife conservation issues.

“In the face of unprecedented attacks on laws protecting water, air and land, environmental allies like Steve Israel, Caroline [sic] Maloney … stood up for our values and put New Yorkers first,” said NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn in a statement. “While Americans were seeing the historic impacts of extreme weather right outside their window, members like … Bob Turner continued to ignore the reality of climate change.”

The state’s average House score in the most recent review was 65 percent, falling drastically from 97 percent in 2010.

“The U.S. House of Representatives sided with Big Oil and corporate polluters time and time again in 2012, cementing its status as the most anti-environmental House in our nation’s history,” said Gene Karpinski, president of the country’s League of Conservation Voters.

“The best that can be said about this session of the 112th Congress is that it’s over,” Karpinski said.

 

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Bloomberg visits D.C. seeking federal aid


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Flickr/nycmayorsoffice Photo credit: Spencer T Tucker

Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited the nation’s capital yesterday meeting with lawmakers to request Sandy aid, while Governor Andrew Cuomo joined a neighboring governor in appealing for maximum federal support.

“Hurricane recovery is not a partisan issue – and in New York, we have a united front of Democrats and Republicans,” said Bloomberg, who was accompanied by Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. “Now, we have to bring together both sides in Washington – and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

The mayor also met with other Washington leaders, including, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee Congressmember Hal Rogers, Senators Sue Collins and Lamar Alexander and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

“I described the enormous job of recovery that is still ahead of us – a job that we’re undertaking in close proximity with Governor Cuomo, and members of both parties of New York State’s Congressional delegation,” Bloomberg said.

The city has already authorized $1.2 billion in emergency spending. Bloomberg said the New York City will need about $15 billion from the federal government for losses not covered by insurance.

“There’s every reason for Congress to provide us with the assistance we need, given New York City’s importance to the health of the entire nation,” Bloomberg said.

The mayor is also requesting 100 percent reimbursement from FEMA.

Cuomo released a joint statement with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie asserting they will work together to secure federal aid. The neighboring governors said their states are “inextricably linked” and therefore share a common goal in rebuilding.

“It is our shared commitment to the people of our states to work in partnership so that our needs are met and we receive as much federal support as possible,” the statement said.

Obama lands at JFK, tours areas hardest hit by Sandy


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

By Alexa Altman and Terence Cullen

“I’m very proud of you, New York,” said President Barack Obama. “You guys are tough. You bounce back, just as America always bounces back. The same is going to be true this time out.”

Alongside New York’s most prominent officials, Obama surveyed damage in the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.

“We are going to be here until the rebuilding is complete,” he said while touring Staten Island. “I’m going to be coming back in the future to make sure that we have followed through on that commitment.”

The president, accompanied by Senators Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, landed at JFK International Airport just after 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 15, where he was greeted by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan.

Obama immediately boarded helicopter Marine One, where he aerially toured some of the damage to the Rockaway peninsula, including Breezy Point, where 111 homes burned down during the storm.

During their trip toward Staten Island, the president was briefed on the city’s current situation by Cuomo, Bloomberg, Napolitano and Donovan.

While New York is currently in recovery mode, the president said there is still plenty to be accomplished on the way to getting the city back up and running.

“Now, more specifically, we are now still in the process of recovery,” Obama said. “As you can see, as you travel around parts of Staten Island, as we flew over parts of … other parts of the city and the region that had been impacted, there is still a lot of cleanup to do.”

Over the past few weeks, aid organizations such as FEMA and the American Red Cross have been criticized for their alleged slow response time and lack of presence in badly damaged regions like Broad Channel and Howard Beach. Obama said he and his team will be working closely with these organizations and local governments to ensure victims receive the assistance they need.

“People still need emergency help. They still need heat. They still need power. They still need food. They still need shelter,” said the president. “Kids are still trying to figure out where they’re going to school. So there’s a lot of short-term, immediate stuff that has to be dealt with. And we are going to make sure that we stay here as long as people need that immediate help. That’s FEMA’s primary task.”

While on the ground in Staten Island, Obama privately met with homeowners and those filing insurance claims with the Small Business Association (SBA).

“What is your situation?” he asked one woman in the SBA tent.

“These folks are here to help, OK,” he said to another.

“During difficult times like this,” said the president near the end of his trip to New York, “we’re reminded that we’re all bound together and that we have to look out for each other. And a lot of the things that seem important, the petty differences melt away, and we focus on what binds us together, and that we as Americans are going to stand with each other in our hour of need.”

— With pool reports

 

Queens’ Morning roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast with a chance of rain, then rain in the afternoon. High of 43. Windy. Winds from the NNE at 30 to 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph. Chance of rain 90% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible. Wednesday Night: Overcast with snow and rain, then rain after midnight. Low of 34 with a windchill as low as 25F. Windy. Winds from the North at 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 55 mph shifting to the South after midnight. Chance of precipitation 90% .

QUEENS COURIER ELECTION COVERAGE

Democrats expand Senate grip but fail to win House

Democrats strengthened their hold on the Senate but failed Tuesday to recapture the majority in the House of Representatives they lost two years ago. President Barack Obama, in his freshly authorized second term, will face the same divided Congress in 2013 that has bedeviled efforts to enact his major legislation. Read more: AP

Nor’easter bearing down on New York City; Mayor Bloomberg orders city parks and beaches shut

A gust of rare good news arrived Tuesday for New Yorkers still picking up the pieces from Hurricane Sandy: A second storm bearing down on the Big Apple will be weaker than expected. Read more: New York Daily News

Bloomberg: New York voting machine system is a ‘nightmare’ When voting was still in progress Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted the voting machine system, calling it a “nightmare” and saying the old machines worked fine. Read more: CBS New York

Displaced by hurricane, but returning home, briefly, to vote

Just after daybreak, under a pink-hued sky, the first voters began to pick their way through the sand and muck that had been the streets of Bay Head, N.J. Sidestepping the occasional dead fish with its one-eyed stare, they steadily found their way to the firehouse, where a huge generator powered one of the few sources of heat in the tiny seaside borough. Read more: New York Times 

Former St. John’s dean Cecilia Chang dead of apparent suicide

Cecilia Chang, the former dean of St. John’s University, who is on trial for stealing $1 million from the school, was found dead in her Jamaica home Tuesday morning of an apparent suicide, according to multiple reports. Read more: Queens Courier

Gillibrand wins full term in Senate


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand won re-election in a landslide victory over Republican challenger Wendy Long earning the Democrat her first full term in the Senate.

With nearly 96 percent of precincts reporting, Gillibrand secured 72 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

“So while from the bottom of my heart I thank you for the honor and privilege of continuing to serve this state and to fight for New York families in the United States Senate, rather than focusing on politics tonight, I really want to focus on the New York I see while visiting the families recovering from Hurricane Sandy,” the junior Senator said during her victory speech.

The relatively unknown Long, a Manhattan lawyer, faced an uphill battle against the well-funded Gillibrand, polling well behind her in the Democratic stronghold.

Gillibrand outraised Long by more than 20 to 1 — $15 million to $700,000 — and is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Long, who collected 27 percent of the vote according to unofficial results, bested Congressmember Bob Turner and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos in the June 26 Republican Primary.

The race between the two Dartmouth graduates also marked the first time in New York that two woman faced off in a Senate election.

Gillibrand was first appointed to the Senate by the Governor David Patterson in 2009 to fill the vacant seat left when Hillary Clinton was chosen by Barack Obama as Secretary of State. She maintained the seat during the 2010 special election.

“I can’t thank you enough for your vote, for your confidence and for your willingness to allow me to serve this great state for a six-year term,” she sad.

 

US Senate candidates Gillibrand, Long to debate tonight


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

New Picture (17)

U.S. Senate candidates Kirsten Gillibrand and Wendy Long will take part in their one and only debate tonight at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.

The debate between Democrat and incumbent Gillibrand and her Republican challenger Long will be broadcast live on NY1 and YNN, and co-moderated by NY1’s political anchor Errol Louis and YNN’s Capital Tonight host Liz Benjamin.

Gillibrand is expected to be reelected.

In a September Quinnipiac University poll, 64 percent of likely voters said they would vote for  Gillibrand.

The New York State Senator was appointed in 2009 to fill the empty seat left by Hillary Clinton when she became Secretary of State. In 2010, Gillibrand ran in a special election and won with around 60 percent of the vote.

If she wins this November, it will be the first time she is elected to a full six-year U.S. Senate term.