Tag Archives: White House

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

 

Rockaway woman honored at White House as ‘Champion of Change’


| mhayes@queenscourier.com


Sandy brought forth countless “Champions of Change,” one of whom the White House recognized in an event honoring Americans striving to improve their communities through technology and civic participation.

Jessica Klein, a Rockaway resident, civic hacker and designer, received the Champion of Change award for her work through the website www.rockawayhelp.org.

Klein co-founded the site with other locals in the wake of Sandy to empower the community to find solutions, provide emergency response information and much more geared towards helping Rockaway rebuild.

She was one of 14 recipients from all over the country honored for doing “extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world,” according to the White House website.

The Civic Hacking and Open Government section in which Klein was recognized was for those who have made a “tremendous, positive impact” by building high-tech tools to help health workers and disaster-response crews better serve communities as well as “piloting programs to involve traditionally disengaged communities.”

President Barack Obama said the champs for change have “a belief in working at the grassroots level and getting people engaged” and an understanding that “change happens from the bottom up.”

Additionally, Klein led workshops and “hackathons” for designers, engineers and Rockway residents to identify problems and discover ways to get the rebuilding show on the road.

Klein also created the Hackasaurus project, Web X-Ray Goggles and Thimble tools to help teens learn how to code through hacking. She has worked at learning institutions such as the Museum of Art and Design, the Rubin Museum of Art and the Institute of Play. She also founded OceanLab NYC, a project engaging parents, teachers and youth with their urban coastal environment.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens Library leader recognized by White House


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Public Library

A Queens Library leader won a national honor last week for being a “Champion of Change” for cultural institutions in her community.

Jennifer Manley, the vice president of government and community affairs for the Queens Public Library, was one of 12 people in the nation this year to be recognized as an advocate for museums and libraries.

“Manley believes in the power of information and education to improve lives, one at a time, neighborhood by neighborhood,” the White House said in a statement.

The 62 branches of the Queens Public Library circulate more than 13 million items and see more than 13 million visitors a year. It has become a leader in providing services to immigrants, who make up half of the borough’s population, library and White House officials said.

“Jennifer’s work embodies what this program is all about — recognizing leaders who make a difference in their communities,” said Congressmember Steve Israel. “Queens Borough Public Library is fortunate to have leaders like

Jennifer who contribute so much to the excellence of the institution.”
Congressmember Joseph Crowley called Manley a “staunch advocate” for libraries. He said she “works hard to preserve this invaluable resource for the people who need it most.”

The Champions program gives accolades to individuals and groups who do “extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities,” the White House said.

“Jennifer has been a tremendous asset to the Queens Borough Public Library,” said Congressmember Grace Meng, “and this award exemplifies the outstanding work she’s done to make a difference throughout the many communities of Queens.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

WATCH: Obama publicly takes oath for second term


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

Though President Obama was officially sworn into office yesterday, because Inauguration Day, January 20, fell on a Sunday, the public ceremony took place today.

Again, Chief Justice John Roberts administrated the oath, but Obama used different bibles than he did the day before.

Yesterday, he used a bible that belonged to first lady Michelle Obama’s family. Monday,  he used a bible from President Lincoln and another from Martin Luther King Jr., on the holiday that marks the civil rights leader’s birthday.

Vice President Joe Biden was also  publicly sworn in for his second term. The oath, administered by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, was preceded by a performance from the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

Other musical performances included the chorus from P.S. 22 in Staten Island, the Lee University Festival Choir, of Cleveland, Tennessee, James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson and Beyoncé, who sang the national anthem.

In addition to the president, others who spoke at the event were Senator Charles Schumer, who gave the call to order and welcoming remarks, poet Richard Blanco and Reverend Luis Leon of St. John’s Church in Washington D.C.

In case you missed President Obama’s inaugural address, here is a video of him giving the speech as well as the written version, as prepared for delivery:




Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

For more than two hundred years, we have.

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.

Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.

This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.

We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.

They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope.

You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.

Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

WATCH: President Obama sworn in for second term


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos Twitter/@whitehouse

Ahead of tomorrow’s public  inauguration festivities, President Obama was sworn in for his second term during an official ceremony at the White House Sunday.

The president, who was joined by his family, used a bible belonging to first lady Michelle Obama’s grandparents to take the oath.

Unlike the time Chief Justice John Roberts swore Obama in for his first term as president, he did not flub the words.

Vice President Joe Biden was also sworn in for his second term today.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy. High of 46. Winds from the West at 5 to 10 mph. Monday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 36. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT of the DAY: Selections from “The Nutcracker” with the Ohman School of Ballet

Come to the Queens Library in Flushing for excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Christmas ballet “The Nutcracker,” performed in full costume by the Ohman School of Ballet. Dances that will be performed include “Marzipan,” “The Sugarplum Fairy,” “Waltz of the Flowers,” “Mechanical Soldier” and more. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Lowlife pigs robbed kids’ banks in Breezy Point

Sandy spared their children’s piggy banks. But some heartless crook did not. A Breezy Point, Queens, family still reeling from the superstorm returned home after Thanksgiving to find their ravaged bungalow ransacked. Read more: New York Daily News

Bronx man charged in Queens woman’s death

Police have charged a Bronx man with murder in connection to the death of a 22-year-old Queens woman who was unconscious in a parked car. Read more: Wall Street Journal

Damaged vacation homes not eligible for FEMA grants

Superstorm Sandy delivered the injury. Now comes the insult. Summer home owners, common in beach communities like the Rockaways, may be financially wiped out if they didn’t spring for pricey flood insurance because FEMA provides grants only for primary residences. Read more: New York Daily News

Cyber Monday likely to be busiest online sales day

Bye-bye Black Friday. So long Small Business Saturday. Now, it’s Cyber Monday’s turn. Read more: ABC New York

FEMA approves aver $664 million for Sandy recovery in New York state

The Federal Emergency Management Agency as of Sunday had approved more than $664 million to help New York state residents recover from Superstorm Sandy. Read more: CBS New York

LIRR, PATH and ferry service added

It’s getting a little easier to get to work in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Read more: Fox New York

Consumers to spend less if middle-class taxes rise: White House

A White House report says that if that Congress allows taxes to go up on middle-class families, consumers will spend $200 billion less in 2013. Read more: Reuters

New York voters favor Cuomo as governor, not as president


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

The majority of voters in New York state said that Governor Andrew Cuomo is doing a good job in his current position, but aren’t as enthusiastic about him running for president in 2016, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Cuomo’s approval rating was 73 percent, and was viewed favorably among Democrats and Republicans. He fared slightly better in New York City than in the rest of the state (69 versus 75 percent).

Only 36 percent of state voters thought that Cuomo should run for president in 2016. But 40 percent said he would do a good job as commander in chief. In New York City, voters were only slightly more in favor of Cuomo becoming president.

Though she no longer represents New York, voters prefer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the White House. When asked who would make a better president, 54 percent of voters said Clinton and 30 percent said Cuomo. Sixty percent of voters in the city favored the former first lady.