Tag Archives: Michael Bloomberg

$5.5M to help small businesses ‘get back up and running’


| mhayes@queenscourier.com


Mayor Michael Bloomberg has allocated $5.5 million for small businesses affected by Sandy.

“Getting small businesses back on their feet is key to helping our economy recover from Sandy,” said Bloomberg. “The capital provided through this program will help businesses purchase supplies, make repairs and get back up and running.”

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City has allotted $5 million to the Emergency Loan Fund from local banks through the New York Banker’s Association, and the Partnership for New York City is financing an additional $500,000 to be used for struggling businesses in Lower Manhattan.

“The impact of Sandy continues to take a toll on communities throughout New York,” said Rob Speyer, Mayor’s Fund Advisory Board chair. “Our small businesses are a vitally important part of our city’s lifeblood and economy.”

Grants will be administered by the New York Business Development Corporation, and are designed to provide assistance for these local businesses already seeking low-interest loans through the existing Emergency Loan Fund. Businesses currently can be granted up to $10,000, but the amount may increase based on evaluation of future need and donors interested in contributing. Those who have already begun to apply for a loan will be eligible to receive grants retroactively.

Impacted businesses should list everything that was damaged or lost, take photos, try to assess the value of each lost item, provide invoices or receipts if they are available, and discard perishable or dangerous items. If there is water damage, the mayor’s office suggests using a person to point at a water line, or equipment, to give an accurate representation of how high the water reached during the storm.

Those in need of assistance should contact NYC Business Solutions by filling out a “Contact an Account Manager” form at www.nyc.gov/nycbusiness, calling 3-1-1 and asking for “NYC Business Solutions” or going to a restoration center.

The Mayor’s Fund is also accepting financial donations for relief efforts. Those interested in participating can visit www.nyc.gov/fund or call 3-1-1.

Bloomberg offers tax break for homeowners affected by Sandy


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the mayor's office/Edward Reed

Owners of homes ravaged by Superstorm Sandy will be receiving a break on their property taxes, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday on the one month anniversary of the storm.

Bloomberg proposed a resolution to reimburse a portion of homeowners’ property tax bill so it falls more in line with the home’s post-Sandy values.  The average reimbursement would be $794 for the 900 homeowners that are eligible, according to the mayor’s office. The proposal requires approval from the state Legislature.

The mayor made the announcement at one of the city’s seven restoration centers on Staten Island. He was joined by Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Finance Commissioner David M. Frankel and several Staten Island politicians.

“We are working to help the thousands of New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Sandy, and those who suffered severe damage face a long period of uncertainty and considerable expense in making decisions about rebuilding and returning to their homes,” said Bloomberg. “We want to do all that we can to ease their heavy burdens, and working with the Speaker, City Council and State Legislature, we will secure two property tax measures that provide a small measure of relief to those who need it most.”

The mayor also announced that homeowners whose residences received a red tag will receive a interest-free three month extension on the next property tax bill, which averages $506, postponing the payment from January to April of next year.

The City Council must approve the proposal.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 58. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon. Friday night: A slight chance of showers between 9pm and midnight. Cloudy, then gradual clearing toward daybreak, with a low around 40.

EVENT of the DAY: Improvius Maximus

Some of the best improv teams, from all corners of the land, gather to compete for Emperor Nero’s pleasure and yours in acclaimed comedy group Face Off Unlimited’s newest show. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Couple offers Ohio home rent-free to Superstorm Sandy victims

A warm-hearted Midwestern couple is offering free rent on an empty four-bedroom house — the only catch is that the tenants must have lost just about everything in Superstorm Sandy. Lauri Weinfeld, 56, and her husband Irwin Weinfeld, 69, are donating their rental house, in Perry Township, Ohio, to storm victims for four months free. Tenants will be responsible for their own utilities. Read more: Daily News

City Harvest salvages food from eateries to deliver to local storm victims

Members of the food rescue group City Harvest picked up meals donated from local restaurants and kitchens and delivered them throughout areas of Queens, Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan that were greatly affected by Hurricane Sandy ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday Wednesday. Read more: NY1

Driver killed after crash on Queens highway

A motorist was killed this morning after crashing on a Queens highway, police said. The 53-year-old victim was driving his 2011 Honda Accord eastbound on the Grand Central Parkway, near the Jackie Robinson Parkway interchange in Forest Hills, when he lost control and slammed into a median at around 3:20 a.m., police added. Read more: NY Post

Internal emails offer details on Osama Bin Laden’s burial

After his dramatic death at the hands of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six, Osama bin Laden’s last rites were kept so covert his corpse was referred to as “the package” and no sailors watched the burial at sea. Read more: Daily News

City outreach efforts abound this Thanksgiving

With so many New Yorkers still struggling to recover from Sandy, the city and other volunteer groups are trying to give them something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office said more than 26,000 Thanksgiving meals were expected to be handed out Thursday. Read more: NY1

Cops investigating whether Holy Cross HS coach had inappropriate contact with students he ‘watched shower’

The NYPD is investigating whether the hoops coach at Holy Cross HS in Queens had any inappropriate contact with the students he’s accused of watching take showers, law-enforcement sources told The Post yesterday. Read more: NY Post

Burglary is crime du jour post-Sandy, stats show

Some of the most cold-hearted locals saw a storm-torn Rockaway peninsula as the location for the perfect heist. Police are waging an offensive against brazen looters and dishonest tow-truck drivers in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, NYPD officials said. Read more: Daily News

Mother & son busted with illegal cigarettes & $132,000 in cash

A Queens mother and her son were arrested with 677 cartons of illegal Asian cigarettes and $132,000 in cash, authorities announced today. Ying-Jian Lin, 48, and Xiao Lin, 23, face up to four years in prison for peddling the shady smokes, which are untaxed and don’t carry the required surgeon general warnings, according to a Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Read more: NY Post

 

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

 

NYC Rapid Repairs program begins today


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Superstorm Sandy destroyed the homes of thousands of New Yorkers and left multitudes more temporarily displaced. With the goal of assuring all residents have a roof over their heads as quickly as possible, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Brad Gair, a former deputy commissioner for operations at the Office of Emergency Management, as director of housing recovery operations.

Gair worked at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) between 1999 and 2006, serving as the highest-ranking federal executive in aiding the city’s recovery post-9/11.

“His extensive, hands-on expertise, I think, makes him exactly the right person to tackle this job,” Bloomberg said.

Gair, who most recently served as president of a private emergency management firm, Good Harbor EM, will coordinate with city, state and federal agencies to relocate displaced New Yorkers into temporary and transitional housing. Bloomberg has estimated that approximately 10,000 residents will require housing as a result of the storm.

“Post-disaster housing is usually one of the most complex and challenging issues to be dealt with in any catastrophic disaster like this,” Gair said. “We know it will take a while, it will be difficult, there will be bumps along the road, but we believe we have the resources to get this done.”

In his more than a decade in the field, Gair said he’s learned lessons from recoveries done well and others done not so well.

The keys to finishing the job, he said, was using innovative methods, utilizing every resource available and being tenacious in getting New Yorkers back to their homes again.

One of the first steps Gair and Bloomberg took to returning residents to their homes was NYC Rapid Repairs.

The program, which is a partnership between FEMA and the city, allows for quicker and more efficient repairs, Bloomberg said. Whereas in the past homeowners were required to arrange for repair work, contractors will now be given responsibility for specific areas affected by the storm and will handle the repairs for any homeowner who enrolls in the program.

Homeowners can sign up for the program by going NYC.gov or by calling 3-1-1. Residents will need a FEMA ID number, which they can get by registering at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.

“The best temporary solution is always a permanent solution,” Gair said. “One way to limit the number of temporary housing needed is to get homeowners back in the places they already live.”

While the first concern is finding a place for every displaced New Yorker, the long-term plan is securing permanent housing for those expelled by the storm, Gair said.

“We cannot call our recovery complete until every New Yorker has a place to call home again,” said Gair.

Ferry service from Rockaways to Manhattan to begin Monday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo via Tumblr/nyc.gov

Rockaway residents still without subway service into Manhattan will now be able to make it off the peninsula and onto the island via a temporary ferry service set to begin Monday.

The ferry, announced today by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Seastreak, will depart from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive and stop at Pier 11 with free transfers between Pier 11 and East 34th Street.

“The prayers of so many people in Rockaway, who since the storm hit have been left stranded on the peninsula, have finally been answered,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich. “Under this plan, fast reliable ferry transportation will be restored to the Rockaways.”

Fares for the ferry will be $2.  The first ferry will leave at 5:45 a.m. in the Rockaways with with four additional departures leaving until 9:20 a.m. Regular service will resume during the evening rush.

“Since the storm hit, we’ve been working to ensure that New York City is able to get back to business as soon as possible,” said NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky. “Until the reopening of subway service to the rest of the City is restored from the Rockaways, this temporary option will assist thousands of New Yorkers most impacted by this storm, allowing our City and our economy to take another step on the road to recovery.”

The EDC installed a temporary landing in the Rockaways for the ferry.  The trip to Manhattan will take about 50 minutes.

“I am very glad to see that the Far Rockaway ferry service is about to be restored and that some degree of normality is about to return to the lives of Rockaway residents,” said Councilmember James Sanders. “Come Monday, Rockaway residents who work in Manhattan will be able to reliably get to work again, and those who wish to get off the peninsula for the time being will have another route out.

 

Gas rationing begins today in NYC


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

More than a week into the gas shortage, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an emergency order rationing gas to begin Friday morning at 6.

Cars with license plates ending in odd numbers or a letter will be able to purchase gas on odd numbered days; vehicles with plates ending in even numbers can purchase on even numbered days.

Long Island and Westchester have also issued alternate day gas rations.

“This is designed to make sure everyone has a fair chance, that the lines aren’t too oppressive and that we can get through this,” the mayor said.

The announcement comes as Bloomberg said the shortage may continue until Thanksgiving.

Police officers will be at stations to enforce the order, Bloomberg said.  Violations are Class B misdemeanors, according to a release from the mayor’s office.

Driver’s frustrations have grown with the lines at gas stations.

“The gasoline shortages remain a real problem for drivers throughout our region,” Bloomberg said.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie installed a similar rationing plan in the state nearly two weeks ago that significantly cut down on gas lines.

Emergency vehicles, buses, para-transit vehicles, commercial vehicles, taxis and cars with medical license plates are exempt from the order.

As of now, the order will remain in effect for five days.

 

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Today’s Weather

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 54. Northwest wind 13 to 16 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 43. Northwest wind 7 to 10 mph.

Event of the Day: William Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale”

E Phoenix Idealis Theater, Inc. delivers this classic story for a modern audience. Directed by Rachel Alt and Ben Fabrizi, it opens November 9 for a limited run at the Poppenhusen Institute in College Point. Find our more or view more events

Gas rationing begins today in NYC

More than a week into the gas shortage, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an emergency order rationing gas to begin Friday morning at 6. Cars with license plates ending in odd numbers or a letter will be able to purchase gas on odd numbered days; vehicles with plates ending in even numbers can purchase on even numbered days. Read more: Queens Courier

Housing Authority scrambling to restore power to 11 developments in Queens and Brooklyn by this weekend

The Housing Authority is scrambling to restore power by this weekend to 11 developments in Queens and Brooklyn that went dark more than a week ago. It doesn’t look promising. NYCHA Chairman John Rhea on Wednesday said he hoped to accomplish this, but a day later Mayor Bloomberg was saying, “I’m not sure we can make it.” Read more: Daily News

Residents displaced by Sandy are staring at life in Staten Island ‘jail’

The state is eyeing the recently shuttered Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island as a temporary home for people displaced by the ravages of Sandy and this week’s nasty nor’easter, officials said yesterday. Closed last December, the medium-security prison could feed and sleep as many as 900 people with nowhere else to go. Read more: NY Post

Students in displaced schools can now attend nearest school they can get to

On Thursday, for the first time since Oct. 26, every New York City public school was open. But nearly 200,000 students were still out, like a Coney Island third grader whose school building was damaged and relocated miles away in Bensonhurst. His elderly grandmother couldn’t get him to the new site. Read more: NY1

Personal items battered by Sandy litter temp landfill in Jacob Riis Park

Baby toys, photo albums, broken china—these are just some precious items that can be found in fast rising heaps of waste at a temporary landfill in Jacob Riis Park. Debris from storm battered Far Rockaway has been piling up at the park’s parking lot –by thousands of tons a day—thanks to sanitation workers who have been clearing thrash and sand-clogged streets. Read more: NY Post

Iran fires at U.S. drone over Persian Gulf, but misses: Pentagon

Iranian attack aircraft fired multiple rounds at an unarmed U.S. drone in international airspace over the Persian Gulf last week, the Pentagon revealed Thursday. The rounds missed. But the incident — the first known attempt by Iranian warplanes to take out a U.S. drone — added intrigue to the extremely tense relationship between between America and Iran. Read more: Daily News

65 Queens schools to remain closed Monday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Mike DiBartolomeo

While a majority of city students will return to school after a week off due to Hurricane Sandy, some buildings sustained significant damage in the storm and are still not ready to hold classes.

Forty-six Queens schools will remain closed on Monday and will not reopen until Wednesday, November 7; 19 others will be relocated to a temporary location beginning Wednesday.

Robo-calls have already been going out to parents letting them know of the changes.  Principals and parent coordinators have also reached out to parents.

Some of the relocated schools will be split among several temporary sites.

Click here to see which schools remain closed or will be relocated.

The Department of Education is working on providing busing for students heading to the relocated schools.

Schools with power but without heat will open on Monday.

“Some of the buildings may not have heat, some of the school buildings, and they’ve been without heat for a while, so please dress your children with that in mind. If the schools were dangerously cold we obviously wouldn’t open them, but if they’re chilly, extra sweaters for the kids is something that should make some sense,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

 

 

NYC Marathon canceled


| brennison@queenscourier.com

marathonw

After several days of holding firm that the New York City marathon would run, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Friday evening that the race will be canceled.

The mayor’s office confirmed the cancellation minutes after NBC News broke the story.

In the days following Hurricane Sandy, the Brooklyn Nets-New York Knicks game at the Barclays Center was canceled and many believed the marathon should follow suit.

Bloomberg said the race, if run, would not defer resources from devastated areas to the marathon.

“While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

Bloomberg said he did not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants.

“We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event — even one as meaningful as this – to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track,” the statement read.

Detractors said that it was not appropriate for a race to be run through the five boroughs as searches continued for survivors of Hurricane Sandy and residents are still without power and homes.

An online petition gathered 28,000 signatures in support of postponing the race.

 

Sandy death toll continues to rise


| brennison@queenscourier.com

DSC_0255 (800x533)

With each report, the number of lives lost to Hurricane Sandy rises.  Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced shortly after 1 p.m. that 41 residents died in the storm.

As the search and rescue missions carry on, the number of fatalities may continue to rose, Bloomberg said.

More than 5,000 residents remain in  the evacuation centers throughout the city that were consolidated from the 76 open during the storm.

The Queens centers still open are Hillcrest High School, Queens College and York College.

Food and water will continue to be distributed in areas hardest hit by the storm between 1-5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Queens locations are:

  • Beach 51st Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard
  • Red Fern Avenue and Beach 12th Street
  • Beach 84th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard

Residents are asked to bring their own bags if possible and are allowed three meals and five bottles of water.  Residents of Breezy Point should drink only bottled water, tap water should not be consumed.

Con Ed is also distributing dry and wet ice at 121-10 Rockaway Boulevard.

Some other updates from the Bloomberg press conference:

  • The three-passenger restriction for driving into Manhattan will end at 5 p.m. today.
  • The Holland Tunnel is open on a limited basis for commercial vehicles and buses.
  • East River Ferry service resumed yesterday and the Staten Island Ferry will be running a full schedule tomorrow.
  • A majority of parks and playgrounds will open this weekend.
  • A disaster assistance service center has opened at MCU Park at 1904 Surf Avenue in Coney Island.

Bloomberg endorses Obama for president


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the mayor's office

On the heels of the worst storm in the city’s history, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his endorsement of Barack Obama for president citing his leadership in climate change and potential to bridge both parties.

Bloomberg said Hurricane Sandy “brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief,”  in an op-ed for Bloomberg View and re-published on his website.

“Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be – given this week’s devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action,” he wrote.

“One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.”

Bloomberg cited New York’s PlaNYC, which has cut the city’s carbon footprint by 16 percent in the last five years, and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group as examples of local governments making progress where the federal government has not.

The mayor said that as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney had “a history of tackling climate change,” but has since reversed course.

“I believe Mitt Romney is a good and decent man, and he would bring valuable business experience to the Oval Office. He understands that America was built on the promise of equal opportunity, not equal results. In the past he has also taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts,” said Bloomberg, a Democrat turned Republican turned Independent.

He said he has found the past four years disappointing and that if the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney ran, he would have received his vote.

Despite his disappointment, Bloomberg said Obama achieved several victories including, Race to the Top, his health care law and women’s rights.

“When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America,” Bloomberg said.

The mayor said that the Obama that ran in 2008  as a “pragmatic problem-solver and consensus-builder” devoted little time to developing and sustaining a coalition of centrists as president.

“Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both found success while their parties were out of power in Congress — and President Obama can, too,” said Bloomberg. “If he listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours.”

 

 

Off-duty cop shot in Bronx in stable condition, 1 suspect dead


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

An off-duty cop, shot in the chest while attempting to break up an armed robbery, fired and killed one of the suspects while two others fled.

The incident occurred at 6:30 p.m. in the Bronx when off-duty officer Ivan Marcano’s girlfriend witnessed a robbery in progress while the pair drove on Harrison Avenue.  Marcano exited the car, identified himself to the two suspects and was fired at immediately, said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

After returning to the car and on the way to the hospital, Marcano saw the suspects exit a white Mustang.  The officer got out of the car and using one hand to cover his wound while holding his gun in the other, fired at the suspects, fatally hitting one while two others fled.

Police are looking aggressively for the two other suspects, Kelly said.  A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to their arrest.

A .380 caliber semi-automatic gun was recovered at the scene.

An ambulance stationed near the scene of the shootout transferred the 27-year-old officer to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital where he is in stable condition.

“Another evening at a hospital,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who joined Kelly at Bronx-Lebanon.

“This is another case of guns in the wrong hands leading to violence.”

This was the 12th officer shot this year.

On Tuesday, Nassau County officer Arthur Lopez was killed on the border of Nassau and Queens.

Marcano joined the force in 2007 and is assigned to Transit District 12.

Islanders moving to Brooklyn beginning in 2015


| brennison@queenscourier.com

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Heather J. Chin

Amid rumors of the New York Islanders fleeing the area, the team announced their moving 20 miles west.

Islanders owner Charles Wang, along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Barclays Center majority owner Bruce Ratner and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz announced that the Islanders would be heading to Brooklyn beginning with the 2015-16 season. The lease is for 25 years and the team will remain the New York Islanders.

The Islanders have played at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum since their inception in 1972.

“Not long ago I think its fair to say the idea of a big league sports team coming to Brooklyn was considered little more than a pipe dream. Now, not only does Brooklyn have an NBA team, it also is now about to get an NHL team,” said Bloomberg.

The announcement comes just days after the Nets played their first basketball game in the arena.

Wang said his goal was to remain in Nassau, but “unfortunately we were unable to achieve that dream.”

The Town of Hempstead and the Islanders failed last year to reach an agreement on the Lighthouse Project, which would renovate Nassau Coliseum and develop the area around it. Wang told reporters the team would explore looking for a new home when the lease at Nassau expired in 2015.

“We’ve said this for many years, there comes a point where you need to make a decision because there’s not enough time to build a new arena,” Wang said.

The Islanders consecutively captured four Stanley Cups at the Coliseum from the 1979-1980 to 1982-1983 seasons; but fans and NHL critics in the last few years have called for a new home, or updated one.

“Our goal from the outset was to have the Islanders to play in a local world class facility that possessed the amenities our fans deserve,” said Wang.

The Barclays can currently fit about 14,500 fans for a hockey game though officials said they expect another 1,000 to be added to that number before the Islanders move in. The Nassau Coliseum can hold 16,200 fans.

The 2015 season will serve as a reunion for the Nets and Islanders. When the Islanders broke into the NHL in 1972, they shared Nassau Coliseum for a five year period with the Nets before they left for New Jersey.

Willets Point was rumored in 2010 to be a new destination for the team, and the Wilpon family, owners of the New York Mets, were said to be considering buying the team from Wang, who became a part-owner in 2000. Newsday reported amid the rumors that the potential Wilpon purchase was endorsed by Major League.

Wang was also said around 2009 to entertain the idea of moving the team to Kansas City, which hasn’t had a professional hockey team since 1976.

The move comes in the midst of the second player lockout in less than a decade. The NHL Players Association (NHLPA) and the league failed to come to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by September 15, and pre- and regular-season games were subsequently canceled.

NHLPA officials appealed for talks with league execs today, but Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league would only meet if to work on its proposed 50/50 revenue sharing agreement.

Quinn leads crowded field for 2013 mayoral nod; More than a third of voters still undecided


| brennison@queenscourier.com

mayor-budgetw

Council Speaker Christine Quinn remained at the head of the field in the 2013 mayoral race, though her once wide margin has shrunk.

NY1-Marist Poll released a poll surveying registered city voters on next year’s race for mayor with Quinn coming out on top with the support of 23 percent of Democrats. She was followed by former Comptroller Bill Thompson with 15 percent, Comptroller John Liu at 9 percent and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio with 8 percent.

With any primary at least eight months away, 37 percent of Democratic voters remain undecided.

“There’s still a long way to go before Democrats go to the polls,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

The amount of undecided voters actually increased from the last poll in April, when under 30 percent of voters were unsure. Quinn’s lead also shrunk over the past six months. In April, she held a 20 point lead over Thompson.

Manhattan Media CEO Tom Allon received 2 percent in the poll, double his support from the first poll, though he no longer is a registered Democrat. The poll was conducted before Allon switched parties to run in a less-crowded Republican field.

Forty-six percent of voters in the city do not want another possible Republican candidate — Police Commissioner Ray Kelly — to run.

Despite rumors of former Congressmember Anthony Weiner considering a 2013 run, 58 percent of voters said they do not want him to enter the race. Weiner fared better than actor Alec Baldwin, who two-thirds of New Yorkers do not want to see run.

Whoever takes over the office will be following a mayor 12 percent of voters will believe will be remembered one of the city’s best mayors. Forty-three percent of voters believe Mayor Michael Bloomberg will leave a positive legacy and 8 percent think he’ll be considered one of the city’s worst mayors.