Tag Archives: Obama

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: A mix of clouds and sun. High 33. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy skies early will give way to cloudy skies late. Low 26. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Carols and Car Races

Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist and composer Amanda Monaco brings her quartet Formula One, which plays original compositions inspired by car racing to Flushing Town Hall on Friday, December 13. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

LIRR, NJT ban booze ahead of Santacon

There’s another attempt to crackdown on debauchery and drunkenness by a group of Santa Claus wannabees. Read more: ABC New York

Bloomberg gun group calls for crackdown on online gun sales loophole

Thousands of guns could be sold illegally by unlicensed firearms dealers on just one classified ad website, according to an investigation commissioned by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Regulators to conduct safety review of Metro-North Railroad

The Federal Railroad Administration will launch an intensive two-month review of safety compliance and culture at Metro-North after a train derailed and killed four people earlier this month. Read more: CBS New York/AP

De Blasio to meet with Obama at White House Friday

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is set to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House Friday, along with several other newly elected mayors. Read more: NBC New York

Budget vote approved in the House

Battle-fatigued and suddenly bipartisan, the House voted Thursday night to ease across-the-board federal spending cuts and head off future government shutdowns, acting after Speaker John Boehner unleashed a stinging attack on tea party-aligned conservative groups campaigning for the measure’s defeat. Read more: AP

 

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Today’s Forecast

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 54. North wind 8 to 10 mph. Friday night: Clear, with a low around 42. North wind 6 to 8 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: LIC Bar: Benefit for Long Beach/Rockaways Hurricane Relief

Two longstanding sister restaurants, Austins Steak and Ale House in Kew Gardens and Bourbon Street in Bayside, will host a benefit with half the proceeds benefiting relief efforts for the Long Beach and Rockaways communities. A ticket will include an open bar with a complimentary buffet. There will be live music at both venues, as well as guest bartenders from the surrounding Queens areas. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Petraeus talks at last and says no classified info shared with ‘mistress’ Paula Broadwell

In his first public remarks since resigning as CIA director last Friday over an extramarital affair, retired General David Petraeus said he did not share any classified documents with his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell. Petraeus also told a reporter for the HLN television network that it was the affair, not any questions over the CIA’s role during the September 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that prompted him to step down. Read more: Daily News

Obama lands at JFK, tours areas hardest hit by Sandy

President Barack Obama landed at JFK International Airport just after 11:30 a.m., where he was greeted by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Read more: Queens Courier

Stranded: Scores of Brooklyn and Queens seniors still without power in cold, dark apartments

Scores of fragile seniors living in storm-ravaged Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods are still holed up in deplorable homes without power, heat, or working elevators. 18 days later, many elderly residents in Zone A, the flood-prone evacuation district along the city’s coastline, haven’t been outside since Oct. 29. Read more: Daily News

Ex-Comptroller Alan Hevesi to be released on parole in December

After nearly two years behind bars for a pay-to-play scandal, former city and state Comptroller Alan Hevesi was granted parole last night, the state’s Department of Corrections said. Hevesi was successful in his second appearance before a state parole board and is scheduled to be released by December 19. Read more: Queens Courier

Two Catholics schools shut down by Sandy share a crowded building

It’s been almost three weeks since students from St. Camillus School in Rockaway Beach and Ave Maria Academy in Howard Beach were in class. Both Catholic schools in Queens suffered serious damage in the storm. But on Thursday, the Howard Beach building was ready to reopen, so both schools moved in for classes. Read more: NY1

St. John’s fencers meet Obama


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of St. John’s University

They got to travel and compete in London, and now two St. John’s University fencers can add meeting the president to their stat sheet.

Seniors Daryl Homer and Dagmara Wozniak met President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden last week as part of the commander in chief’s meeting with USA’s Olympians a month after they crossed the pond to compete.

“I’m unbelievably grateful to have met President Obama,” Homer said in a release from St. John’s. “This is a memory I will always cherish.”

Homer took a year off from NCAA eligibility to train and practice for the summer games. During that time he trained twice a day, focusing on footwork, sparring and practicing drills, adding up to around 20 hours a week.

He finished sixth in men’s saber at the summer games — the best for an American in that class this year — after he beat Russian second-seeded Alexey Yakimenko in his first round.

Although Wozniak traveled to Beijing with team USA in 2008 as a substitute player, she did not walk with the other athletes or take part in the games. The Polish-born Wozniak finally made her Olympic appearance this year. She finished eighth in the women’s saber competition — reaching the quarterfinals — following her victory over the seventh seed in the round of 16.

Wozniak said meeting the president was something that would stick with her forever.

“It was an amazing day,” Wozniak said. “Meeting the president and being able to take a tour of the White House is something I’ll never forget.”

Wozniak finished her final year of NCAA eligibility this year, according to the release, but will continue at St. John’s to complete her degree.

Both fencers are planning on, and looking forward to, representing the U.S. again in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

— With additional reporting by Liam La Guerre

Queens politicians react to Affordable Care Act


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Just after 10 a.m. the Supreme Court handed down its ruling upholding President Barack Obama’s health care plan.

The court ruled 5-4 that the Affordable Care Act was constitutional.

Shortly after the decision, Queens politicians took to Twitter to comment on the ruling. Here’s a collection the pol’s reactions:

Congressmember Gregory Meeks: “ACA ensures children and young adults will stay on their parent insurance until age 26. ACA means that seniors are paying less for their prescription medication. With this decision, Americans will continue to benefit from the expanded access to quality, affordable health insurance.”

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney: “Today’s SCOTUS decision is one of the most historic in our lifetimes and a huge win for the American people. Proud to have helped pass ACA.”

Congressmember Joe Crowley: “Thrilled SCOTUS upheld health care law! Great victory for the American people!”

Congressmember Steve Israel: “By upholding the ACA, the Supreme Court has ensured that millions of Americans will benefit from critical consumer protections.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: “Very pleased SCOTUS upheld Obamacare. Middle class needs access to affordable care and deserve the important benefits this law provides.”

Congressmember BobTurner: “Today’s SCOTUS ruling is a shame for Americans, small businesses and all in need of care.”

Congressmember Nydia Velazquez: “SCOTUS’ health care ruling ends health discrimination against women and means children with preexisting conditions are not denied coverage.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo: “The Affordable Care Act will provide access to health care to millions of Americans nationwide ans more than 1 million New Yorkers.”

Council Speaker Christine Quinn: “The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is great news for our city, state and nation.”

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio: “Hear that? It’s 43 million Americans breathing a sigh of relief, Affordable Care Act upheld.”

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman: “SCOTUS decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is an historic victory for the 32 million Americans who will gain health care coverage.”

Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries, who is running for Congress in the 8th District which includes parts of Queens, issued a statement on the ruling.

“The Supreme Court has spoken and President Obama’s historic health care reform is now the law of the land. As I said during my campaign, I plan to go to Washington to work with the president, and one of my priorities is making sure that this new law is implemented fairly and effectively. I am also hopeful that Congressional Republicans will end their single-minded attempts to overturn or weaken this landmark law. With so many other challenges facing us, Congress needs to start its work on issues that will move our great nation forward.”

 

 

 

Obama says same-sex marriage should be legal


| jlane@queenscourier.com


President Obama said Wednesday that he believes same-sex marriage should be legal.

“At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told ABC’s Robin Roberts in an interview at the White House.

The president’s decision to address the issue directly came after Vice President Joe Biden said he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage during an interview with NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday.

[New York Post]

Suit over ‘cop-flub coverup’


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Suit over ‘cop-flub coverup’

A Queens man cleared in a gun-possession case is suing the city for $3 million, claiming prosecutors knew testimony from a key NYPD witness was flawed — and kept that fact secret from the defense. Deon Davis, 21, claims Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s office has known for four years that Officer Ronald Martiny gave “mistaken” testimony in Davis’ 2007 firearms arrest. The Brooklyn federal court suit, filed this week, says that, after a 2008 visit to the crime scene, Martiny changed his original story about Davis having escaped through a fence. Read More: New York Post

 

Vallone’s trash talk

Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. is telling illegal garbage dumpers where they can stick their trash. Vallone, who observed personal garbage in a public receptacle outside his office, is outraged that some citizens view the city as their private dumping ground. “I was walking into my office in the rain and I noticed one of the garbage cans outside was stuffed up with personal garbage. I passed it and got angry,” said Vallone. “This is something a lot of people are not aware of, but they see these overflowing garbage cans and a lot of times they assume it’s because they haven’t been emptied. But a lot of times it’s because pigs think they can dump their garbage in public property.” Read More: Queens Courier

 

Officials dispel rumors of crime spikes near Racino

While reported rumors surface about crime spikes near the Racino, officials hope to dispel the so-called fallacies. A recent New York Post article alleged petit larcenies and misdemeanor assaults have increased within the 106th Precinct — which covers the new Resorts World Casino — though they say it’s unclear whether the offenses can be tied to the South Ozone Park gambling operation. The published story started a flurry of worry, according to Captain Thomas Pascale, the 106th Precinct’s commanding officer. However, local officials said so far there’s no cause for concern. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Haggerty’s Queen. $idelight

At the same time he was on trial for stealing more than $1 million from Mayor Bloomberg, political consultant John Haggerty was also using the mayor’s money to settle old political scores in Queens, according to campaign records. Filings at the state Board of Elections show Haggerty’s 28th Assembly District Republican Committee shelled out $16,636 over the last six months to back candidates for party positions against archrival Phil Ragusa, the Queens Republican leader. The Mayor’s Office declined comment. Read More: New York Post

 

Dolan Slams New Birth Control Policy At Fordham Event

The speech on religion and law came at an appropriate time. Archbishop Timothy Dolan is railing at a new Obama administration policy on health care and contraceptives. “You bet we got a disagreement,” said Dolan. The policy requires most health insurance plans to cover free contraceptives for women. The White House turned down Catholics’ request for exemptions for insurance provided to employees of Catholic hospitals, colleges and charities. It has given them another year to comply. Churches themselves are exempt, but that’s not good enough according to Dolan, who added that his opposition has supporters of different faiths. Read More: NY1

Queens’ Jacob Lew named Obama’s chief of staff


| smosco@queenscourier.com

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Hail to the chief and hail to his Queens-raised chief of staff.

Forest Hills native Jacob Lew, an orthodox Jew, was named President Barack Obama’s chief of staff in a ceremony at the White House on January 14. Lew had been serving as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and now replaces William Daley, who will concentrate his efforts on the president’s re-election campaign.

Lew, 56, grew up on Yellowstone Boulevard and graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1972, where he returned last year to give a commencement speech. And in that speech, Lew said that growing up in Queens set him on the path to the White House.

“In each generation, people come to our five boroughs in search of a better life. They study hard and go to public high schools like Forest Hills. And by never accepting limits and always believing that there’s nothing they can’t do, they find themselves at the top of our biggest companies, filling concert halls and theaters, and – yes – sitting in the Oval Office advising presidents.”

After high school, Lew graduated from Harvard in 1978 and Georgetown University Law Center in 1983. He has two grown children with his wife Ruth and owns a home in Riverdale, the Bronx.

He is a former deputy secretary of state under Secretary Hilary Clinton and had previously served as OMB director for President Bill Clinton, where he helped design Americorps, the national service program. Before moving to the executive branch he worked for former House Speaker Tip O’Neill and Senator Paul Wellstone.

In a statement issued by the White House, President Barack Obama said that Lew, who prefers to be called Jack, has figured prominently in the president’s decision-making process for a number of years.

“Before he served at OMB for me, Jack spent two years running the extremely complex and challenging budget and operations process for Secretary Clinton at the State Department, where his portfolio also included managing the civilian operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the president said. “And over the last year, he has weighed in on many of the major foreign policy decisions that we’ve made.”

Op Ed: Labor invests in ‘The American Dream’


| gfloyd@queenscourier.com

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President Barack Obama recently proposed the American Jobs Act as a remedy to end the most devastating unemployment our nation has experienced since the Great Depression.

I have an idea on how to help.

In consultation with our financial advisors, union pension funds are routinely invested in various projects and bonds that will protect those funds, and enable them to grow. Often, those projects involve other states and nations. But here’s my thought: Let’s invest in America.

Specifically, let’s invest in New York where the added value would be job creation for New York workers. And I know this works. We tried it before with great results, in New York City in the 1970s and, before that, President Dwight Eisenhower successfully used this idea in the 1950s for building interstate highways. It’s already being done in California, where its public employee retirement system (CalPERS) has just earmarked an additional $800 million for infrastructure investment…on top of the $60 million already invested.

Some will see this as merely a “PR” smoke screen to counter critics of unions who say pensions, especially public employee pensions, are the cause of our nation’s economic crisis. But they are not. What the union-bashers forget is that we’re Americans too. We pay taxes and are struggling to do more with less, just like everyone else. We didn’t cause this mess we’re in!

The recent Census shows that poverty in the nation is at an all time high of 15 percent. And in New York, poverty is even higher, at 16 percent — marking the worst it has been since 1998. Experts warn that we run the risk of creating a new “underclass.” Clearly, we’ve got to do something to help ourselves and we’ve got to do it now!

I want to work with the president of New York State’s AFL-CIO, Denis Hughes, and my other colleagues in labor to identify different investment projects that will safeguard the money of pensioners as well as create jobs for New Yorkers.

This initiative will bring the labor movement back to its roots. Labor unions helped to build our nation’s middle class. We helped to make the “American Dream” come true. Sadly, some people have forgotten this. They only see the economic nightmare we all share.

This pension investment plan would revive the “American Dream” for our children and rebuild the middle class through investments in America by Americans and for Americans.

By Gregory Floyd, President of City Employees Union Local 237 International Brotherhood of Teamsters