Tag Archives: Senator Chuck Schumer

Graziano crosses lines, endorses Republican candidate Saffran in District 19 race


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

That’s the proverbial message a northeast Queens Democrat is sending by crossing party lines to endorse the Republican candidate over the one who beat him at the polls last month.

Paul Graziano, who came in third in the Democratic primary for District 19 to Paul Vallone, publicly endorsed Vallone’s general election opponent, Dennis Saffran, on Tuesday.

“Voting for the best person in the race is more important than voting for your party,” Graziano said.

The Flushing urban planner said the decision was not made lightly, but the move is not entirely surprising to spectators of the closely watched contest.

Graziano had slammed Vallone multiple times in forums for being a registered lobbyist. He was also one of three primary foes targeted in accusatory hit pieces paid for by a political action committee called Jobs for New York, which endorsed Vallone.

The fuming trio, who included Chrissy Voskerichian and Austin Shafran, took turns grilling Vallone during a televised debate and at a press conference they held to call on him to denounce the mailers.

“During the campaign, Paul Vallone refused to take responsibility for any of these acts,” Graziano said.

“We’ve had four years of not having an adult in the room,” Graziano added, referring to the sitting but scandal-scarred incumbent, Councilmember Dan Halloran. “To me, this is just a continuation, if not worse.”

Runner-up Shafran, who narrowly lost by less than 200 votes, said he would not support either candidate. Voskerichian said she would not endorse Vallone and was not endorsing Saffran at this time.

Vallone did get the backing of John Duane, however, who finished second to last. Duane was not attacked in the mailers but had a hand in calling Vallone out for them.

The endorsement was not public and Duane did not give a reason for it.

“Whatever differences Paul [Graziano] and I have is pale next to our differences with Paul Vallone,” Saffran said.

Vallone’s campaign fired back, saying Saffran “has been missing in action in this community for over a decade.”

“That probably explains why the leaders we know and trust have endorsed Paul Vallone, including Senator Chuck Schumer, the United Federation of Teachers and countless others,” said Vallone spokesperson Austin Finan.

Vallone and Saffran will face off on November 5.

 

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Legislation to reduce Sandy tax burden


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A tax package that would help those financially impacted by Superstorm Sandy will be introduced in Congress, announced Senators Charles Schumer and Robert Menendez.

The Hurricane Sandy and National Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2012 that the New York and New Jersey U.S. senators are introducing includes deductions for storm clean up expenses, additional exceptions for those that provided free housing to displaced Sandy victims, worker retention credits for business owners who continue to pay employees even though their businesses were inoperable, the waiving of penalties for those that withdrew from their retirement plan early and other tax benefits.

“When recovering from a hammer-blow like Sandy, every bit of support helps, and this legislation will make it easier for families and small businesses affected by the storm to marshal more of their resources for recovery,” said Schumer.  “These changes to existing tax law are a common sense and simple way to help disaster victims, and a quick way to get them aid to repair their homes, to recover losses and to support their businesses.”

The legislation also helps out taxpayers that made donations to Sandy relief.

Currently, contributions to qualified charitable organizations cannot exceed 50 percent of a person’s adjusted gross income, but the legislation would remove the limit.

Read a summary of the full tax package here.

Schumer endorses Addabbo for re-election


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

With only 19 days until the general election and just hours before back-to-back debates, Senator Charles Schumer endorsed State Senator Joseph Addabbo for his third term in Albany as he faces what’s been referred to as the most contested race in Queens.

“The same sweet smile that his father had, he has,” Schumer said at the endorsement, on Thursday, October 18 in front of the Queens Community Center in Forest Hills. “Because he really does care — it just comes from the heart.”

Schumer drew upon Addabbo’s record of working for his district on topics ranging from tough laws on criminals, gun control and education.

“Public safety has always been a hallmark of what Joe believes in,” Schumer said. “Joe has pushed hard for the schools in this district, and he, almost single-handedly, was able to push to get another $292 million to go to our city schools. So he’s in touch with the people here.”

New parts of Forest Hills will be incorporated into the reshaped District 15. Schumer was joined by some of Addabbo’s colleagues, including Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, who will lose parts of Forest Hills in her District 16 if she’s re-elected in her own race. Stavisky said her colleague would do an even better job than she at representing this neighborhood.

“Joe Addabbo understands, he gets it,” he said. “I gave up good chunks of my district to Joe Addabbo, and I am confident that he will do an even better job than I did.”

Others, however, spoke on opponent Councilmember Eric Ulrich’s campaign and alleged his platform was unproductive regarding safety and the middle class.

“He doesn’t think our gun laws need changing,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris. “On all these issues, he stands against the community while Joe stands with it.”

Ulrich has been trying to make ground in Forest Hills, which has a strong Bukharan Jewish presence. Ulrich began campaigning in the neighborhood over the summer as he ran in a rare Republican primary against Forest Hills resident Juan Reyes.

Addabbo said he’s been proud to put people first and wanted to keep the campaign and voters positive in the next two weeks.

“It’s about a focus of the people,” he said. “We made sure this campaign stayed positive. The focus of my campaign has always been about people. The focus of my campaign, and the focus for my professional life, has always put people first; people before politics. It’s something that I was taught many years ago and it’s something that I follow through today.”

This was the second major endorsement for Addabbo in less than two weeks. Governor Andrew Cuomo endorsed him at the outset of the Columbus Day Parade in Manhattan, which resulted in a major reaction from the media — citing a turn from what some alleged was the governor’s friendliness with the Republican-led Senate.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 70. Breezy. Winds from the West at 15 to 20 mph. Monday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then overcast. Low of 59. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: On the Waterfront

Come to the Greater Astoria Historical Society for the exhibit and lecture On the Waterfront, where you’ll learn about the history and future of Long Island City’s and Astoria’s waterfront. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Plans for new Queens stadiums spark fears parkland will be lost

Plans for two new tennis stadiums and a new soccer stadium in the largest park in Queens have sparked fears the projects could lead to a loss of coveted green space in the borough. Read more: New York Daily News

Car drives onto sidewalk killing pedestrian

A 60-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed after a car drove onto the sidewalk in Queens. Read more: Fox New York

In southeast Queens, epicenter of housing bust, holding onto homes still elusive

Juanita Kinloch, 52, bought a modest three-bedroom home in Jamaica, Queens, more than a decade ago. Read more: WNYC

City public advocate calls for immediate passage of paid sick leave measure

The New York City Public Advocate has called for the immediate passage of a measure that would provide all employees with sick leave. Read more: CBS New York 

Sen. Schumer: Milk prices could double if Congress doesn’t pass new farm bill

Sen. Charles Schumer warned Sunday that the price of milk could double if Congress doesn’t pass a new farm bill. Read more: New York Daily News

Another big Supreme Court term starts Monday

he Supreme Court is starting a new term that is shaping up to be as important as the last one, with the prospect of major rulings about affirmative action, gay marriage and voting rights. Read more: AP

 

Apple thefts increase 40 percent, says NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Apple

As New Yorkers hit the streets with their new iPhone 5s, the NYPD is warning about the increase in Apple thefts.

Data shows that between January 1 and September 23 of this year, incidents involving stolen Apple products increased 40 percent over the period from last year, exceeding the overall increase in crime. In total, there were 11,447 incidents.

Along with reminding the public to be more cautious and aware of their surroundings when carrying electronic devices, the NYPD is now registering them free of charge.

On Friday, September 21, the day the iPhone 5 went on sale, the NYPD registered and engraved the new phones at 21 stores where they were being sold, free of charge. Anyone can also bring their devices to a local police station and have them engraved with a unique serial number.

Though engraving enables the NYPD to trace and indentify stolen property more easily, a better solution may be to give cell phones International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers, so when a device is stolen, cell phone stores can permanently disable them, rendering them worthless.

This April, Senator Chuck Schumer and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly announced that major U.S. cell phone carriers and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) agreed to set up an integrated database of IMEI numbers.

But, according to the NYPD, iPhones and iPads are not part of this agreement.

 

A public service announcement reminding people to be aware of their surroundings when carrying electronic devices on the subway. (Video courtesy of the NYPD)

Schumer asks MTA to create “Nerd Bus” route connecting Queens to Cornell Tech campus


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Today Senator Chuck Schumer sent a letter to the MTA asking them to create a “Nerd Bus” route that connects the future Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island with tech hubs in Queens and Brooklyn.

Last month the transit agency proposed two Brooklyn Tech Triangle routes that connects DUMBO with Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard, and services the Williamsburg waterfront. Schumer wants the MTA to extend the Tech Triangle to L.I.C. and the Cornell campus.

“New York is seeing a major tech boom, with Brooklyn and Long Island City leading the way, and now the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island is going to be a game changer that further cements New York’s position as a leader in tech,” said Schumer. “You don’t need a PhD to know that connecting these neighborhoods through a ‘Nerd Bus’ is a no-brainer. The only thing separating these neighborhoods in New York City is a lack of transit connections. We need a high-speed rapid transit connection between Roosevelt Island and the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, with stops at new hubs like Long Island City and the Navy Yard, and residential areas in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.”

But the F train, which stops in Roosevelt Island Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City, has already been named the tech route of New York City. Earlier this week, a Crain’s New York Business article dubbed the line the “Silicon Subway,” and in speeches Cornell University President David Skorton often calls the line “the F-train tech corridor.” It stops

As of late Wednesday afternoon, the MTA had not received Schumer’s letter, said an MTA spokesperson. “We appreciate his interest. We constantly study ridership and growth to better serve our customers, as evidenced by the $29.5 million in service investments we announced last month.”

Senator Chuck Schumer headlines Courier’s ‘Power Breakfast’


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Picture 512

It was all about jobs this past Friday when Senator Charles Schumer headlined The Queens Courier’s third “Power Breakfast.”

In front of a packed house at Long Island City’s Water’s Edge Restaurant, Schumer gave a keynote speech about job growth in Queens, and answered questions from a panel of industry leaders.

The event was hosted by The Queens Courier and 1010 WINS Radio, and drew business owners and Queens residents for a morning of networking and information.

Moderator and 1010 WINS reporter Juliet Papa said that Schumer is a “doer” and a “worker” and has been in public service his entire life.

“In 1998 he was elected to the U.S. Senate and I was excited to be assigned to cover the election because I thought he would win,” Papa said.

Schumer told the attendees how he cares about jobs, loves Queens and how he rides his bicycle all over the borough getting to know all the neighborhoods. He said that New York City has recently gained 20,000 jobs, but unemployment is still over nine percent and that is unacceptable.

“We need to create more jobs in Queens and all throughout New York City, so I have recently proposed a new bill that will be coming up on the floor within the next two weeks called the Small Business Jobs Act,” Schumer explained. “It involves a two-fold incentive for business owners. It will allow businesses to deduct the full cost of equipment or expansion during the first year on their taxes and if the business expands payroll they will get a 10 percent credit.”

He also added that a recently-passed FAA bill will get hundreds of millions of dollars to improve the runaways and security around JFK and LaGuardia airports.

Schumer also answered questions from the panelists.

Robert Wychulis, chief executive with AmeriGroup/Health Plus asked, “What about the health care bill and what can health care partners do?”

Caryn A. Schwab, executive director Mount Sinai of Queens, wanted to know if the Supreme Court will rule on mandatory health coverage, to which the senator responded, “In general health care is better in New York City, but the Senate will continue to work on answers.”

Other panelists included Joe Osterman, director of the JFK Service Delivery Center-Bombardier, and Richard Dzwlewicz, regional vice president from TD Bank.

The Inn at New Hyde Park and St. Paul’s School of Nursing were among the many expo tables at the “Power Breakfast.”

“St. Paul’s School of Nursing is a new nursing school in Queens,” Nancy Klein, director of career services said. “So we want to get the word out.”

Jean Thomas, director of public affairs at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, said she also wanted to network and get the word out that the Infirmary recently launched a hearing loss awareness campaign.

Queens business owners, such as Anthony Lolli, founder/CEO of Rapid Realty, wanted to hear a word from the senator and were interested in networking with other businesses, and were glad to have been in attendance.

 

Have breakfast with Senator Chuck Schumer at the Queens Courier Power Breakfast


| editorial@queenscourier.com

State Senator Charles Schumer will be the featured guest and keynote speaker at the next Queens Courier Power Networking Breakfast.

The breakfast will be on Friday, June 8 at the Water’s Edge Restaurant in Long Island City, just across the East River and overlooking the Manhattan skyline.

The long-time political leader will be available for a question-and-answer panel session from those in attendance about current issues before he addresses the crowd.

Schumer has served in public office for nearly four decades after initially winning a New York State Assembly seat following his graduation from Harvard Law School in 1974. He was elected to the State Senate in 1998 and has served since.

The Power Networking Breakfast is set to start at 8:30 a.m., when attendances can engage Schumer and network with other guests while enjoying breakfast.

The moderator will be Juliet Papa, an award-winning reporter for 1010 WINS Radio, and opening remarks will be given by Randy Estrada, Retail Market Manager, TD Bank.

Panelists include Caryn Schwab,Executive Director, Mount Sinai Queens Hospital; Joe Osterman, Director of the JFK Service Delivery Center, Bombardier; Robert Wychulis, Chief Executive of AmeriGroup/Health Plus; and Peter M. Meyer, New York City Market President, TD Bank. The event is hosted by The Queens Courier and 1010 WINS, and sponsored by Water’s Edge Restaurant, Con Edison and TD Bank.

Tickets for an individual seat start at $40; $350 for a table of 10. For more information or to register, go to queenscourier.com/events or call 718-224-5863, ext 226.

Maspeth street renamed for former NYPD detective


| brennison@queenscourier.com

DSC_0137w

A Maspeth street was renamed for a former police officer who passed away last year from the after effects of working at Ground Zero.

Kevin Czartoryski, who died in 2010 at 46, was honored on Sunday, April 29 with the renaming of the street he lived on when he passed.  He suffered from pulmonary fibrosis.

Fifty ninth road off 60th Street in Maspeth will now be known as Detective Kevin Czartoryski Place.

Hundreds of friends, family, co-workers and elected officials attended the ceremony and spoke lovingly of the former police officer.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Senator Chuck Schumer, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Assemblymembers Cathy Nolan and Grace Meng, State Senator Joe Addabbo and Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley, Daniel Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer attended the renaming.