Tag Archives: republican

Council District 24 contender Alex Blishteyn is the ‘citizen candidate’


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Alex Blishteyn

A Fresh Meadows attorney wants to breathe life back into stunted small businesses in his district.

Alex Blishteyn, a Republican candidate for City Council, said he has seen too many shops close their shutters in the 23 years he has lived in District 24.

“I remember that area when small businesses were flourishing,” he said. “You could walk up Kissena Boulevard and people would be going in and out of stores.”

Now, Blishteyn said, local stores are being “overregulated and overburdened” with city taxes and regulations.

“They’re not being allowed to operate,” he said. “That’s why we’re seeing a lot of them shut down. They’re being nickel-and-dimed to death.”

The first-time candidate has raised about $16,000 so far in his bid to replace Councilmember James Gennaro, who is stepping down after reaching his term limit. District 24 stretches from Fresh Meadows to Jamaica.

“I think that the community is not well represented,” said Blishteyn, 35. “We need a voice for the people who actually live in that area, one who actually represents the residents of the area. I haven’t found that to be the case.”

Blishteyn, who calls himself the “citizen candidate,” said education is at the top of his agenda. He added that instituting a voucher program and tax credits for private school tuition would give parents more school choices for their children.

“I’ve never been a political activist,” Blishteyn said. “I’m the regular guy who really has had enough with what’s happening with our city.”

Blishteyn is supported by past and present GOP lawmakers including Councilmember Eric Ulrich and former Congressmember Bob Turner.

Other candidates in the District 24 race include former Assemblymember Rory Lancman, who leads in fundraising, Andrea Veras and Mujib Rahman.

 

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War chests, war of words increase as primary approaches


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

As primary campaigns for the 15th State Senate District came to a close, campaign funds and mudslinging came to a head.

Although Councilmember Eric Ulrich outraised opponent Juan Reyes by hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Reyes camp spent $9,000 more to sway voters before polls open, according to 11-day Pre Primary disclosure reports released by the Board of Elections.

At the opening of the period, which began on August 13, Ulrich’s war chest boasted $352,758 — well above the Reyes balance of $22,117. During this time, while raining $11,000, the Reyes camp spent more than $26,000; Ulrich for Senate, which raised $1,800, spent $17,218.

During the campaign, Ulrich received a plethora of endorsements, and with that, campaign donations. In the July periodic report filed by Ulrich for State Senate, the New York State Republican committee wired $250,000 into the campaign’s account.

The latest report showed a high number of Friends of Juan Reyes’ transactions went toward campaign mailing material.

A string of mailers sent by the campaign in the week leading up to the primary took potshots at the councilmember, sparking upset and allegations of insensitivity from Ulrich’s campaign.

One particular mailer included a photo of Ulrich’s head superimposed on the body of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev — who led the USSR for nearly 20 years — adorned with several medals.

“Comrades! The glorious party leadership has already chosen Comrade Ulrich as your new senator,” the mailer reads. “Do as you are told and obey them.”

Ulrich spokesperson Jessica Proud noted the mailer could be offensive to the Eastern European demographic that lives in the reshaped 15th Senate District.

“This senate district is home to many Eastern Europeans who fled Soviet oppression for freedom here in the United States,” she said. “For [Reyes] to use images of that horrible period is deplorable.”

But if anyone were to understand the mailer, it would be the Eastern European demographic that left the former Soviet Union, said Gerry O’Brien, who runs the Reyes campaign. “They’re the kind of people who understands this best — they get it,” he said.

The same mailer, directed at different opponents, had been sent out in the past, Proud noted. She referred to one mailer against former state senate candidate Stephen B. Kaufman in a 2004 GOP primary in the Bronx, a Democratic assemblymember who was backed by the state Republican party.

The photo is nearly the same, although with Kaufman’s head superimposed on Brezhnev’s body, and uses the exact same wording — with the exception of “Comrade Kaufman.”

Romney officially receives Republican nomination


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

With the end of 50 states’ roll call, Mitt Romney is now the official presidential nominee of the Republican Party.

Romney reached the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination shortly before 6 p.m. as each state took the podium announcing their delegate totals.

The Tampa convention, delayed due to Hurricane Isaac, livened up as the delegates took the stage rallying the GOP crowd behind their nominee.

With just over two months until the election, polls have Romney within percentage points of President Barack Obama.

The Democratic National Convention will take place in Charlotte during the week of September 3.

 

Malcolm Smith denies Republican run for mayor


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Malcolm Smith #8

Conflicting reports have come out about a Democrat state senator considering a run for mayor next year as a Republican.

The New York Post reported on Wednesday, August 1, that State Senator Malcolm Smith, who was the majority leader when the party held the senate, was in talks with the state Republican party about running in 2013. The Post reported that Smith confirmed he was in talks with the party.

A spokesperson for the senator, however, said the six-term state lawmaker was focusing on his re-election campaign for the 14th District, which is made up of the Rockaways and areas of southeast Queens.

“Malcolm Smith is focused on running for re-election for New York State Senator for which he has proudly served the people of the 14th electorial district over 12 years,” the spokesperson said. “He is honored that party leaders are considering him for the office of the mayor of New York City but no decision has been made.”

At deadline, state GOP chair Ed Cox had not responded to a call for comment.

If Smith was to run as a Republican, he would need backing from party leaders in at least three boroughs.

Queens GOP chair Phil Ragusa said neither the party, nor Smith, had contacted Republicans in the borough about getting an endorsement. He went on to say that Smith — if he does decide to run for the GOP — would most likely not pass the party’s screening process.

“We ask a question if you’ve ever done anything that would embarrass yourself, or the Republican party, and I don’t think he could pass that test,” Ragusa said.

Republicans have won almost every mayoral election over the last 20 years. Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani won in 1993 and 1997; incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg won in 2001 and 2005. Bloomberg won his third term as an Independent in 2009, after changing party affiliation in 2007.

Other Democrats, who have discussed running as Democrats, include City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson.

A Giuliani connection in the 15th Senate District


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

There are four Rudolphs in the Giuliani family, two of whom went into politics.

Rudolph W. L. “Rudy” Giuliani served as mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001, and has been nicknamed “America’s Mayor.”

Rudolph S. Giuliani, a second cousin, is cutting out a life in politics for himself, currently serving as chief-of-staff for Councilmember Eric Ulrich.

Ulrich is set to face off on September 13 in a primary against Juan Reyes, to see who will run as the Republican candidate for the 15th State Senate district. The twist: Reyes is a former staffer for Rudy Giuliani.

Reyes served several positions in Mayor Giuliani’s second administration. He was a deputy general counsel for the Department of Youth Services, then a counsel in the Office of the Mayor and lastly, a general counsel at the Board of Standards and Appeals.

The younger Giuliani, who is working for Ulrich, said that neither he, nor his mother, who worked in the mayor’s office, had ever even heard of Reyes until he announced his candidacy.

He went on to say that Reyes’ highlighting his tenure in the administration made it seem as if he had the support of former Mayor Giuliani, who now works in the private sector. He added that few people he knew had heard of Reyes before announcing he was running.

“It gives this illusion that he might have Rudy’s support,” he said.

At the same time, Reyes said he was unaware that his former boss’ cousin was on Ulrich’s staff.

Reyes said he idolized his former boss, and worked for Mayor Giuliani because he believed in him.

“I’m very loyal to him,” he said, “and I’m proud that I worked for him.”

The former counselor to the mayor said that Giuliani had always been supportive of him and that he wanted to run with the inspiration he received from his boss.

“He was always very supportive,” Reyes said. “I’m just better for what he did.”

Former Mayor Giuliani has currently stayed out of endorsing either candidate, both sides have said.

The race has already received notoriety for being a rare Republican primary, and has included harsh words on each side. A Reyes mailer alleged that Ulrich had been a handpicked selection by Republican party bosses. A few weeks later, the Ulrich campaign said Reyes had not even voted for Giuliani for re-election in 1997.

Primary Guide: U.S. Senate


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Name: Wendy Long

Party: Republican

Current Position: Long is a member of Mitt Romney’s Justice Advisory Committee, teaches Roman Catholic catechism in New York City for the Narnia program, and is a member of the New York City Parks Mounted Auxiliary Unit.

Personal Info: Long lives in Manhattan with her husband, Arthur, their two children, Arthur and Mado.

Issues: From the candidate’s website:

• Outrageous levels of debt

• Corporate cronyism

• Lack of an American energy policy

Platforms: “Men and women of good faith in every party want to see a new way of doing business in Washington. That is what I intend to offer in this campaign, and that is what I will deliver as the next United States Senator from the State of New York. I want to work for the people of New York to make it shine brightly again as a jewel in our national crown. Already, many good people all across this great state have put their trust in me. I intend to make myself worthy of that trust,” Long said on her website.

 

Name: George Maragos

Party: Republican

Current Position: Maragos is the elected Nassau County Comptroller. He was elected in 2009.

Personal Info: Maragos, a graduate of McGill University, has had over 35 years of senior management experience and accomplishments with leading organizations in banking, consulting and information systems, including founding and guiding a Wall Street financial technology services company. He is married to his wife, Angela, for 37 years. Together, they have two sons, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.

Issues: According to Maragos, government’s top priority should be to restore economic growth and enable the creation of good paying private sector jobs. He also believes Americans must make a national commitment to achieve energy dependence in 10 years and become a global leader in renewable energy technology.

Platforms: Maragos is running to reduce government deficit and entitlements, clear foreign policy, strengthen national security and improve education by abolishing the federal Department of Education and giving authority back to the states.

 

Name: Robert “Bob” Turner

Party: Republican

Current Position: Representative for the 9th Congressional District

Personal info: Turner has spent nearly his entire life within the 9th Congressional District. He grew up in Woodside – the oldest of three boys — and raised his own family in Richmond Hill. Turner has a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and served in the US Army. He ran against incumbent Congressmember Anthony Weiner in 2010 and lost. Turner beat State Assemblymember David Weprin in a 2011 Special Election after Weiner resigned – becoming the first Republican to hold the seat since 1922. Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani endorsed Turner’s bid for the Senate seat. Before running for Congress, he spent more than 40 years in the television industry.

Issues/Platforms:

• Cutting taxes

• Supports the construction of the Keystone Pipeline

• Well-prepared military

• Small government

• Following the Constitution

• Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

 

Check out the primary guide for all the races:

5th Congressional District

6th Congressional District

7th Congressional District

8th Congressional District

6th District candidates debate hot-button issues


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The six 6th District congressional candidates mildly duked it out for the first time during a forum in Flushing — addressing hot-button city, state and national issues, like plans to fix the flailing economy and stances on immigration reform.

The hopefuls — Green Party’s Evergreen Chou, Democratic primary runners Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, Assemblymember Rory Lancman, Assemblymember Grace Meng and Dr. Robert Mittman, and Republican contender Councilmember Dan Halloran — split the roughly two-hour meeting, held at Flushing Library on May 21, to introduce themselves and explain the platforms for which they are running.

Each lauded his or her experience, with the elected officials pointing to their plans on advocating for the middle class and improving education, Social Security and the job market, while the two citizen candidates — Chou and Mittman — respectively pushed for peace and change.

The forum was hosted by the MinKwon Center for Community Action. The congressional contenders remained civil, with minor disagreements stemming mostly from the differences between Republican and Democratic philosophies on the economy.

Halloran said the key to reviving the economy and creating jobs is making sure the government “stays out of the way of businesses.” Citing that 98 percent of small businesses in New York have disappeared between 1840 and 2011, he said government should decrease the number of agencies businesses are held accountable to, re-evaluate its tax roles to make sure businesses that are job creators aren’t overtaxed and give incentives to businesses to hire more employees.

Lancman respectfully disagreed, saying deregulating government led to the Wall Street meltdown. He said Wall Street first needs to be reformed — “making it an engine of economic growth, not a potential minefield that could blow up the economy once again” — and small businesses should be provided support and access to credit.

Meng took a different approach and said she believes improving mass transit, highways, roads and bridges would help increase jobs for Queens residents. She also said maintaining “better and closer” partnerships with universities and hospitals would help make Queens a “technology hub” and would stem job growth.

Chou said building more hospitals and engaging in government programs would revive the economy, while Crowley said pulling government spending on Afghanistan would give the country more money to use. Mittman backed Halloran, saying government should be limited and small business should not be overtaxed.

Questions on immigration reform and enforcement directly tied into talks about racial discrimination, when candidates addressed the efficiency of Secure Communities — a federal program that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens and repeat immigration violators — and the recent controversial stop and frisk policy.

Crowley — who said she believes in comprehensive immigration reform — said there is a fine line drawn if the illegal immigrant questioned is not a threat. She said she supported a local law passed in the City Council that prevented the Department of Corrections from imposing immigration detainers “on those that were not convicted of any crime and were not doing anything that was considered a serious crime.”

However, Halloran said “being in the country illegally is a crime” itself.

“You cannot reward someone who came here illegally with citizenship, but you can give them a path to permanent residency,” he said.

According to Halloran, illegal immigrants should fill out paperwork, pay the fees and be checked up on 10 years after they are granted permanent status to see that they are paying their taxes and not engaged in criminal activity. In regards to the stop and frisk policy and concerns of racial profiling, he said there is more of a correlation between economics and socio status than race.

While Lancman agreed people who commit serious crimes should not be welcomed in the country and said he is for comprehensive immigration reform, he said Secure Communities became “a mechanism for detaining and deporting” mostly law-abiding citizens and “created an atmosphere of fear and mistrust in immigrant communities.”

All six candidates opposed using local law enforcement to deal with immigration issues and said the role should lie in the federal government. They each also expressed support for pulling U.S. troops from overseas — however Halloran and Lancman raised serious concerns over whether or not doing so would gravely impact national security.

Crowley was recently endorsed by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3 and New York City Building and Construction Trades Council, while Meng picked up support from ATU Local No. 1056 and Lancman from the New York State Public Employees Federation.

Halloran is Republican Party pick for Ackerman’s seat


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Councilmember Dan Halloran has officially joined the race to vie for the newly-redrawn 6th Congressional District seat.

The Republican runner announced his intent to run on March 26 at Flushing’s Bowne Park.

“I am running for Congress because the president and the Democrats’ policies have failed, and New Yorkers need a new voice,” Halloran said. “Democrats in Washington, led by President Obama, have spent us into financial ruin. They have failed to grow our economy and have led us deep into a harrowing recession.”

Halloran — who was elected to the City Council in 2009 — said he would make reinforcing support for Israel and creating jobs and energy alternatives to reduce gas prices his top priorities.

“These three issues are at the heart of the problems that this country needs to solve,” he said. “I know we have a chance now to make a change. It’s time to send citizen politicians to Washington, not career ones. It’s time to talk about our values in our community. We need to start moving in the right direction on those issues.”

Halloran was nominated to run by the Queens Republican Party two days before his formal campaign kick-off. He was also nominated as the candidate of the Conservative Party.

He is expected to run unopposed in the June 26 primary, said officials at the Queens Republican Party. Without a current primary challenger, he will likely be pitted against one of the three Democratic primary runners, Assemblymember Rory Lancman, Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley and Assemblymember Grace Meng — who received the Queens Democratic Party bid.

All four candidates entered the race after the announcement that 15-term Congressmember Gary Ackerman would not seek re-election.

“The Sixth Congressional District deserves to have a fighter like Dan Halloran representing them in Washington,” said former Congressmember Rick Lazio, who endorsed the councilmember and publicly vowed to campaign door to door to ensure the win. “This is a gentleman that knows how to forge solutions. He has principles. He’s hard working. He’s got guts, and he’s doing this for the right reasons.”

Halloran already began receiving flak from Democratic opponents, not even 24 hours after the campaign launch.

Lancman lashed out saying the policies of former Republican leaders “brought our country to the brink of ruin.”

“We’re not going back to the failed Bush/Cheney policies which helped crash our economy, strain our military, threaten social security and put a woman’s health at the mercy of others,” he said.

However, Halloran said the race would “not be distracted by non-issues at any time.”

“We will stick to the message,” Halloran said. “We will stick to the things the people want addressed in Washington, and we will not lose focus.”

 

Has Obama learned to lead?


| letters@queenscourier.com

The problem in being the head of any organization is that regardless of the malfeasance of anyone, you bear the blame. With leadership comes the ups and downs. Enduring the ridicule of disappointed customers is one of the prices of being a leader, even in the absence of control.

President Barack Obama justifiably deserves the rancor of many voters. Upon his swearing in, his control of the organs of government was a unique opportunity given few presidents. Rather than exercise the power he held in his hands, he chose to indicate a direction for others to lead. By doing so, he corrupted his power, diminishing the esteem his supporters had for him.

Many prior supporters of the president hold him accountable for the dire condition of employment and are vehemently enraged by the financial aid that has returned the big banks to stability and profitability. Though the Great Recession would have become another Great Depression if the banks were allowed to fail, the average person who is underwater in their home and fearful of losing their jobs asks, “What about me?”

Current indicators point to an upturn for the economy and to improved employment. Yet the anger and fear that created the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street is not soon to disappear. The open hatred of the Republicans for Obama will only become more evident as we near November 2012.

Regardless of the eventual Republican nominee, Obama’s chances of re-election remain good. America has paid for this president’s education that finally has him standing out front of issues and fighting for what he deems right for the American people. Hopefully, if Obama is re-elected, the mistakes of the past have taught him how to lead a nation that has always stood with a leader.

Edward Horn

Astoria Man Charged With Killing Stepdaughter, Wounding Estranged Wife


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Astoria Man Charged With Killing Stepdaughter, Wounding Estranged Wife

A Queens man was charged with a Monday shooting in Astoria that left his stepdaughter dead and his estranged wife injured. Police say Guerino Annarumma, 52, is facing charges of murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon after shooting the mother and daughter in their home on 38th Street near 23rd Avenue just before 9 a.m. Read More: NY1

Postal Service Cuts To Lengthen Delivery Time

As financial problems continue to mount, the U.S. Postal Service announced Monday a series of unprecedented cuts. The estimated $3 billion in reductions will affect first-class mail and likely eliminate the possibility of next-day delivery for the first time in 40 years. Read More: NY1

Councilmember Eric Ulrich tapped for Romney campaign

Councilmember Eric Ulrich has been named chair of Republican and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in New York City. Born and raised in Ozone Park, Ulrich, 26, was first elected to the council when he was 24 and now represents Ozone Park and Howard Beach — serving as Minority Whip of the Republican delegation. Read More: Queens Courier

Blog-of-blood family murder

A seething husband who accused his immigrant wife and her daughter of a green-card scam shot them in Queens yesterday — killing the young woman and critically wounding her mom — hours before the couple’s divorce hearing, law-enforcement sources said.“You are going to pay for whatever you did. I dont [sic] play no games. Good Luck, Bye Bye Bye,” suspect Guerino Annarumma, an Italian émigré, ranted in an Aug. 12 post on his blog about his  tranged. wife Olga Annarumma, 57, and stepdaughter Valeria Kuzima Lowery, 25. Read More: New York Post

Apology from kin of bus ‘killer’

The family of the crazed ex-con accused of a deadly shooting spree aboard a Queens bus apologized yesterday to the loved ones of the victims. “We are truly and deeply sorry to the families,” said a relative of alleged gunman Damel Burton who asked not to be named outside Queens Criminal Court. Burton, 34, is accused of killing his girlfriend’s 18-year-old son, Keith Murrell, then boarding the Q111, where he shot passenger Marvin Gilkes dead and critically wounded another rider, Jojuan Lispey. Read More: New York Post
Queens family of seven evicted in dispute with landlord over ‘dozens’ of violations 

A Queens family of seven is scrambling to find a place to live after their landlord served them with an eviction notice the day before Thanksgiving. Laura and Thomas Cavanagh said began withholding rent on the Broad Channel home after their landlord refused to fix dozens of problems — ranging from black mold under the sink to a rodent infestation in the attic. Read More: Daily News

Councilmember Eric Ulrich tapped for Romney campaign


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Eric Ulrich

Councilmember Eric Ulrich has been named chair of Republican and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in New York City.

“I’m honored because I believe Governor Romney stands the best chance at defeating Barack Obama, and I know that he’ll make an excellent president during a very challenging time in our nation,” Ulrich told The Courier.

Born and raised in Ozone Park, Ulrich, 26, was first elected to the council when he was 24 and now represents Ozone Park and Howard Beach — serving as Minority Whip of the Republican delegation.

When Romney’s representatives reached out to him about three weeks ago to get on board the campaign, Ulrich said he happy to take on the leadership role.

“I’m not getting any financial compensation for this,” Ulrich said. “I’m doing this for the country because I believe he is prepared to take us in a better direction. The country needs Governor Romney’s leadership.”

Ulrich will be working with Guy Molinari, Romney’s New York state chairman and former Staten Island borough president.

“Since being elected in 2009, Eric Ulrich has emerged as one of the rising stars in the Republican Party,” said Molinari. “I am honored that he has agreed to work with me to ensure that Governor Romney assembles a formidable organization here in New York City for our party’s primary and we return New York to the Republican column next November.”

Currently, Ulrich is assisting the campaign by selecting delegates and alternate delegates from various districts throughout the city for next year’s Republican National Convention. He said he is also helping with fundraising and lining up additional support from civic and political leaders across the city.

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/14/2011: Livery Cab Driver Shot Dead In Far Rockaway


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man Killed In Richmond Hill Car Crash

Police said a man was killed when his car slammed into a tree in front of a Queens hospital and burst into flames early Sunday morning. According to police, the unidentified man was speeding southbound down the Van Wyck Expressway about 2:15 a.m. when he tried to exit at Atlantic Avenue and lost control of his BMW. Read More: Fox News

Police Continue Search For Hit-And-Run Suspect

The family of hit-and-run victim George Gibbons joined Council Member Eliazbeth Crowley (D-Queens) to assist the NYPD in the efforts to apprehend suspect Peter Rodriguez. The 37-year-old Gibbons was a passenger of a livery cab when he was killed after the Lincoln Town Car he was in was slammed by a Chrysler Sebring that was driving in the wrong direction. Read More: Fox News

Livery Cab Driver Shot Dead In Far Rockaway; Reward Offered For Capture of Killer

Sunday of a livery cab driver found slumped over the wheel of his car with a bullet in his head and clutching a wad of cash. Relatives of Patrick Hall, a 30-year-old father of three, called the shooting “senseless,” and cops said the killer walked away from the 7:30 a.m. bloodshed in Far Rockaway without a cent. Read More: Daily News

“Occupy” Protester Interrupts Congressman Turner’s Local Swearing-In Ceremony

Occupy Wall Street protestors made an unexpected appearance at Congressman Bob Turner’s ceremonial swearing-in on Sunday in his district Queens. Months after he took office, the Republican took an oath before a large crowd at Queens Metropolitan High School in Forest Hills. Read More: NY1

Woodhaven Man Charged With Killing Neighbor

A Queens man was arraigned on murder and weapons charges in connection with the death of his neighbor in Woodhaven. Police say Mustafa Omran, 53, lived upstairs from Yasmen Rabban on 91st Avenue. Authorities were called to Rabban’s apartment last month after she had not been heard from in a while. When they got to the apartment, they found Rabban dead, with puncture wounds to her neck. Read More: NY1

Queens Swastika Graffiti Suspect Arraigned On Four Counts Of Criminal Mischief

A 40-year-old man was arraigned on hate crime charges in Queens Saturday. Franco Rodriguez is being held on $5,000 bail for allegedly painting swastikas on several buildings. He did not enter a plea during his court appearance. Rodriguez has been charged with four counts of malicious mischief, all as hate crimes. Police sources say he was identified on video surveillance. Read More: NY1

State Ban On Smoking At Outdoor Commuter Rail Platforms Takes Effect

A new state law that bans smoking on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s outdoor commuter rail platforms, including Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road stations, took effect Sunday. Smokers now face a $50 fine for breaking the rule. MTA police officers will give out warnings before they start writing tickets. The agency said the ban promotes a healthier, cleaner environment and reduces the chance of a track fire. Read More: NY1

Plans pitched to turn landmark New York State Pavilion into multi-million-dollar air museum   
Author Jeannette Remak wants to re-fashion the New York State Pavilion — built for the 1964 World’s Fair but left vacant for decades — into a tourist hotspot where vintage airplanes hang from the ceiling. Remak has support from the Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in East Elmhurst, which has offered interns to help run the museum. Read More: Daily News

Astoria street renamed for leader, activist Ann Buehler


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

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The honors bestowed upon Ann Buehler throughout her life grew in number on October 8, when the long-time community leader was memorialized with the unveiling of a new street sign bearing her name.

Buehler, who passed away last year at the age of 94, was a civic leader and the first female executive director of the Variety Boys and Girls Club. She was also a Republican state committee member in northeast Queens for many years.

The renamed street corner, dubbed Ann Buehler Way, is located at the intersection of 21st Street and 30th Road in Astoria, the site of the neighborhood’s Variety Boys and Girls Club.

Members of the Club and the Buehler family were joined at the unveiling by Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas.

Mary Demakos, a dear friend of Buehler’s, presided over the ceremony, and Tena Vallone, a Boys and Girls Club volunteer and the mother of the councilmember, offered a tribute.

“Ann helped and inspired thousands of kids at the Boys and Girls Club,” said the councilmember. “Her name and memory will live on – right on the corner where so many youngsters walk by to use the Club each day so that they can connect with friends, share meals and engage in fun and productive activities.”

Buehler was an active board member of the Club beyond her 90th birthday, and she was a volunteer at “Variety-The Children’s Charity Annual Telethon and Radiothon” for well over a decade. She was also instrumental in the allowance of girls to become members, at a time when the organization was known only as the Boys Club.

Among the many distinctions Buehler earned during her life were numerous citations and proclamations from various Queens legislators and a citation from President Harry Truman in reward for her volunteer work during World War II.