Tag Archives: Mayor Bloomberg

Queens’ Morning Roundup: 10/19/2011 – Robbers get tips from ‘The Town’


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up
Queens Robbers get tips from ‘The Town’

Police say a prolific burglary crew in New York City took cues from the bank heist drama “The Town.” Police say the burglars splashed bleach on ATMs and cash drawers to try to destroy DNA evidence. An NYPD spokesperson said Tuesday that the suspects told detectives they’d watched the bad guys in the Ben Affleck-directed film do the same thing. The real bandits are suspected in 62 burglaries at delis, discount stores and pizzerias in Brooklyn and Queens. Police say they made off with $217,000. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

 

Mayor Bloomberg targeted in trial’s closing arguments

An attorney for the Queens political operative accused of stealing $1.1 million from Mayor Michael Bloomberg called New York City’s billionaire chief executive arrogant and duplicitous during closing arguments Tuesday. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

 

China’s first lady visits Forest Hills Library

The first lady of the Republic of China, Madame Ma Chow Mei-Ching, visited the library, located at 108-19 71st Avenue, to present a donation of 10 children’s picture books. The books, which are written in Chinese, were contributed with the purpose of encouraging young Americans to learn more about the traditions of China. Read More: Queens Courier

 

 

Network with the ‘movers and shakers’ at Kings of Queens

Don’t delay. Get your tickets for the 4th Annual Kings of Queens Awards & Networking Event. The event – which recognizes Queens’ most influential men in business – will take place Thursday, November 3 at 8:30 a.m. at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. It will feature a morning of networking with top professionals and an expo with the area’s leading businesses. Read More: Queens Courier  Get Your Tickets: Kings of Queens

 

 

Police question possible suspect in Queens sexual assault

Police said on Tuesday they were talking to a possible suspect in connection with a number of attempted sexual assaults in Queens. Five women and a 12-year-old girl have been groped in Sunnyside and Woodside since mid-September by a man who rides up on a bicycle. The latest attack happened Sunday night in Laurelton. Read More: NY1

Residents Gather to Mark Tenth Anniversary of 9/11


| jlyons@queenscourier.com

911-Memorial-4

North Shore Towers residents were joined by local elected officials and members of law enforcement as they marked the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Board President Bob Ricken began by acknowledging Towers residents Tom Lyons and Todd Heiman. Lyons responded to Ground Zero following the attacks while Heiman worked at the Staten Island recovery site.

“All of the events of September 11 will forever live in our memories. We will never forget the images of planes flying into the World Trade Center, or the smoke rising from the Pentagon,” Ricken said. “We’ll always admire the courage and compassion of the heroes who also entered the burning building to save the lives of our countrymen.”

Ricken also said that the day of remembrance requires reflection, as it is determined how best to honor those who sacrificed their lives.

“The highest honor we can pay to those we lost is to do what our adversaries fear the most – to stay true to who we are as Americans, renew our sense of common purpose and not let the act of a small band of murderers threaten and divide us,” he said. “On this day and the days to come we should choose to honor the fallen, protect our families, our way of life, and support the first responders and servicemen throughout the world.”

Following Ricken’s opening remarks, Sergeant Polly Jill MacAlpine of the NY Army National Guard sang the National Anthem. Rabbi Randy Sheinberg then gave an invocation, during which she noted that people all over were “coming together as a community in tribute to those whose lives were lost tragically 10 years ago and waving flags of patriotism, of pride and of hope in the future.”

Located elected officials Senator Tony Avella, Assemblymember Ed Braunstein and Councilmember Mark Weprin were also on hand for the ceremony and gave remarks, talking about the importance of never forgetting and the way New Yorkers came together following the terrorist attack.
“New Yorkers are tough spirits and we love this city and we love this country,” Weprin said. “We are going to make a statement that you’re not going to scare us out and we’re going to stay united together.”

North Shore Towers General Manager Glen Kotowski, who worked at Ground Zero off and on following the attacks, also read a letter from Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent for the event. In addition to welcoming the 250 to 300 people in attendance, Bloomberg’s letter spoke of the opening of the World Trade Center Memorial and said that lower Manhattan is “more alive than ever.”

“In the days and weeks after the event, we vowed that we would never forget and that we would work together to create a brighter future,” Bloomberg wrote, adding that New York continues to keep that promise.
The event concluded with MacAlpine singing “God Bless America” as residents joined in.

Smokers at record lows in New York City


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Stop_Quit_Smoking

More New Yorkers than ever have put out their last cigarette.

The number of New York City smokers has reached all-time lows, officials recently announced. In the past decade nearly half a million New Yorkers have put out their cigarettes, with 100,000 smokers quitting between 2009 and 2010. Smoking is down 35 percent throughout the city over the past eight years.

“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable, premature death in New York City and the nation today and we’re proud that a record number of New Yorkers are saving their own lives by quitting,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Approximately 7,200 New Yorkers die from smoking-related illnesses each year – which equals more than 19 every day. The mayor estimated that the decrease in smokers will prevent 50,000 premature deaths. Smoking-related deaths fell 12 percent between 2004 and 2009.

“There is no question that addiction to cigarettes is a main source of poor health and premature death,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “It is promising to see so many are learning to conquer this bad habit so they can live longer and be more prosperous.”

The percentage of smokers remained stagnant – around 21 percent – between 1993 and 2002, when the city’s campaign to curb smoking began.

In 2002, a pack of cigarettes cost only $5.20. Prices rose as the tax on packs increased. New Yorkers pay $4.35 tax per pack, which is the highest in that nation and almost a dollar more than second place Rhode Island. A pack of cigarettes can now cost up to $15 in the city.

Higher taxes and the resulting higher prices has had a significant effect on underage smokers. Underage smoking rates have fallen 60 percent since 2002 – and are more than 12 percent points below national averages.

In the past decade the mayor has also strengthened the city’s Smoke Free Air Act spreading smoking bans to bars and restaurants, hospital grounds and most recently, public parks and beaches.

Though historic progress has been made, City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley still believes too many preventable deaths are plaguing the city.

“Smoking will kill about 7,000 New Yorkers this year. For me, as Health Commissioner, this is way too many deaths and they are preventable. We will continue to work to lower smoking rates even further,” Farley said.

It’s cabbie VS cabbie on hail bill


| brennison@queenscourier.com

yellow cab

Opposing factions of cab drivers are trying to make their case before the new street hail legislation reaches Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk.

The city plans on issuing 30,000 new street hail permits that will allow liveries to pick up passengers in upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs if the measure passes.

Members of the Livery Base Owners recently gathered on the steps of City Hall to announce the collection of 10,000 signatures urging the governor to sign the bill. Both the State Assembly and Senate have passed the legislation.

“Today’s announcement of the first 10,000 signatures collected by livery drivers and base owners stressed the importance of this historic legislation to their livelihoods and to our communities,” stated Pedro Heredia, president of Livery Base Owners, Inc.

Heredia said he hoped to reach 100,000 signatures.

“Every day we speak with our passengers about this new law that will allow us to legally do what we have been doing for over 40 years,” said Fernando Garcia, New York Association of Independent Taxi Drivers president. He called on passengers to show their support by calling the governor to encourage him to sign the bill.

While one side requests the governor to sign the bill, representatives from five taxi and livery organizations are trying to prevent the bill’s passage.

The groups, which encompass 70 percent of livery drivers and 95 percent of yellow taxis, said the bill would put many drivers out of business.

Medallions can cost upwards of $600,000 on the open market. Under the new plan the city would sell an additional 1,500 medallions.

“The permits Mayor Bloomberg is proposing would deprive working-class, mostly immigrant, drivers of the opportunity to own an asset with re-sale value,” said David Pollack, president of the Committee for Taxi Safety. “And without that valuable asset at stake, combined with a glutted market driving down drivers’ earnings, it’s easy to see how quality service standards would spiral.”

Pollack said the medallions could lose up to 25 percent of their value if the plan passes.

“We’re counting on Governor Cuomo to step in and make sure justice is done,” said taxi driver Virginia Cedeno.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that medallion owners’ investment would be protected, since yellow cabs will still have the exclusive rights in central Manhattan and the airports, which account for 97.5 percent of hails.