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Archive for the tag 'politics'

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Mark Treyger and Assemblyman Bill Colton:

Council Member Mark Treyger and Assembly Member Bill Colton are calling on the MTA to provide public notification within 24 hours of cases of confirmed bedbug sightings on any trains, buses or in stations. The proposal comes after a number of incidents involving bedbugs on several trains along the N line, in addition to trains on the Q and 6 lines. On Monday, an N train was taken out of service at DeKalb Avenue and a conductor received medical attention as a result of bedbugs. Currently, the MTA does not have a formal policy for informing the public about these incidents.

In response, Treyger and Colton are proposing state legislation, supported by a City Council resolution, requiring the MTA to take the same steps to inform its customers as it does for other emergencies or service delays, including social media outreach. In addition, the MTA would have to detail the steps it is taking to remedy these situations and protect the public’s health while using public transportation. This proposal has support from the Transport Workers Union (TWU), whose members have been impacted by the outbreaks. Council Member Treyger and Assembly Member Colton were joined at today’s press conference in front of the N train station on Kings Highway by District Leader-elect Nancy Tong and a number of residents who regularly use this line and are concerned about the lack of information from the MTA about the recent outbreaks. Council Member Treyger and Colton now plan to move forward with this legislation, putting a formal procedure in place to respond to outbreaks and notify the public.

“This is an important issue that the MTA has to take much more seriously on behalf of the millions of New Yorkers that ride its buses and trains, as well as its employees. The MTA has an obligation to inform the public of any bedbug sightings or outbreaks due to the health implications that are involved. However, the MTA must also consider the economic consequences of bedbug infestations in a home, especially for working New Yorkers who cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars in fumigation or cleaning bills. The MTA can easily inform the public in much the same manner it does for service delays, and we deserve to know exactly what steps it is taking to respond to bedbug infestations,” said Council Member Treyger.

”The public has a right to know if there is a confirmed detection of bedbugs on trains or buses. The families of riders and transit workers must be given the opportunity to take protective measures to minimize the chance of bedbug infestation being transported to their homes and places of work,” said Assembly Member Colton.

“Families are rightfully worried about the disruption and large economic costs that bedbugs can cause, if carried into their homes. Families have a right to be informed as to how to protect themselves from this risk,” said District Leader-elect Tong.

Source: istorija/Flickr

Councilman Mark Treyger kicks off a food drive today at his two district offices, as part of a citywide initiative honoring Mother Teresa’s 104th birthday.

Items can be dropped off between now and Friday at 2015 Stillwell Avenue or 445 Neptune Avenue during regular office hours. According to his office, the greatest need is for canned vegetables, tomato sauce, soups, canned and dried fruit, peanut butter, canned meat and stews, rice, pasta, cereal and baby food.

New York City is in the midst of a food crisis at pantries serving the homeless and needy, including at local pantries. Treyger is hoping to fill that gap locally by sending the donations to the Gravesend Houses Tenants’ Association in Coney Island – home of the city’s poorest census tract. Other Council members are organizing food drives to benefit organizations in their community.

For more information about donating, contact Inna Lukyanenko at (718) 373-9673.

Source: Wikimedia Common

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Mayor Bill de Blasio appears to be avoiding Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods that supported his electoral rival, Joe Lhota, including Sheepshead Bay and Bensonhurst, according to a report in the New York Observer.

The outlet reports that de Blasio has held press conferences in neighborhoods where he performed well in November’s elections, but has failed to appear at all in the more conservative enclaves of Southern Brooklyn.

Mr. de Blasio, a Brooklynite, held press conferences in Democratic strongholds like Williamsburg, Bushwick, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Bedford-Stuyvesant and East New York over the first seven and a half months of his administration. But along the southern swath of Brooklyn–in neighborhoods including Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Boro Park, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Mill Basin and Bergen Beach–Mr. de Blasio has not scheduled a public appearance since becoming mayor in January.

Mr. Lhota bested Mr. de Blasio in those southern Brooklyn neighborhoods, in some election districts winning as much as 80 percent of the vote. Citywide, Mr. Lhota was crushed, winning only 24 percent of the vote to Mr. de Blasio’s 73 percent.

Prior to the elections, de Blasio sightings were fairly common in areas like Manhattan Beach and Brighton Beach. After votes were cast overwhelmingly in favor of Lhota in those neighborhoods, he hasn’t been heard from. The Observer reports that some in the Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst neighborhoods are complaining of the same.

Public appearances are one measure of the mayor’s responsiveness to a community. Another could be the dispatching of high-ranking officials to those neighborhoods, and on that there appears to be mixed results. The Department of Transportation commissioner and Build it Back head have both engaged Southern Brooklyn communities and appeared responsive.

At the same time, the mayor’s office gave a last-minute denial to the Santa Rosalia Society’s request for a date change of the 18th Avenue Feast. The request was made to address community concerns about garbage pickup after the event, but the mayor’s office offered no explanation for the denial despite multiple requests.

The cast of "Despicable Me 2." Source: Fanpop

The cast of “Despicable Me 2.” Source: Fanpop

The following is a press release from the office of City Councilman Mark Treyger:

Council Member Mark Treyger is inviting all residents, especially families and children, to a free showing of the Hollywood hit movie Despicable Me 2 on a big screen at Kaiser Park this Sunday, August 24th. The movie will begin as soon as it gets dark, so residents should arrive at Kaiser Park at around 8 p.m. and are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair. The park is located at the intersection of Neptune Avenue and Bayview Avenue in Coney Island and the movie is open to all residents, so do not hesitate to invite your friends, family and neighbors to this great community event.

“There is nothing like joining your friends and neighbors to watch a great movie in a beautiful outdoor setting right in our neighborhood. I am pleased that I was able to work with the Parks Department to bring this great southern Brooklyn tradition of movies in the park to Coney Island before the end of summer. The entire community is invited to join me under the stars at Kaiser Park on Sunday evening, so be sure to round up your friends and neighbors for this free family-friendly evening,” said Council Member Treyger.

After co-hosting several movie events this summer the northern portion of the district with Council Member David Greenfield, Council Member Treyger worked with the Parks Department to bring this event to Coney Island in time for the end of summer. Council Member Treyger also plans to hold additional free moving screenings throughout Coney Island, Bensonhurst and Gravesend next summer. Please contact his district office at (718) 307-7151 for more information on Sunday’s showing of Despicable Me 2.

Sunny Skies

Source: Sunny Skies

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the preliminary recipients of $340 million in pre-kindergarten funding yesterday. While none are in the Bensonhurst area, there are two in Borough Park - Mothers Love and Sunny Skies DC Corp.

Provided state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli approves the awards, Mothers Love (1681 49th Street) will land $214,287 from the state and Sunny Skies DC (4228 10th Avenue) will receive $500,000 as part of a program that is awarding hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for 81 school districts and community-based organizations across the state.

The funding, which is included in the 2014-15 state budget, is the first installment in the governor’s commitment to invest $1.5 billion over the next five years to build a statewide universal full-day pre-kindergarten program.

The city Department of Education is slated to land nearly $300 million to build its universal pre-kindergarten program for all 4-year-olds in the city – which stems from Cuomo’s promise to pay for such a program in lieu of Mayor Bill de Blasio raising taxes to pay for it, as the mayor had originally aimed to do upon taking office.

The funds slated for private daycare operators are to fill the gap in the number of seats required to meet the need, which the Department of Education alone does not have the space for.

“Training and educating young minds is one of the smartest investments we can make as a state, as studies demonstrate that pre-kindergarten has a long lasting, positive influence on our children’s education and future success,” Cuomo said in his press release. “The state budget this year included a major investment in early education, putting New York state on the path to become just the fourth state in the nation to establish universal full day pre-K. The awards we are announcing today will enable tens of thousands of children to attend pre-K classes, and represent another step in the State’s work to prepare our students to compete in the 21st century economy.”

As part of state and city officials push for a full-day pre-kindergarten program, numerous lawmakers and educators, including Cuomo and de Blasio, stressed that studies have shown that children who participate in early education programs are more likely to read at grade level and graduate from high school than those who do not.

“We are proud to have Governor Cuomo as a strong partner in making pre-K for All a reality for the children of New York City,” de Blasio said in the same release. “This funding represents a powerful commitment by the State to build a new, stronger education foundation that will transform our schools. We are working tirelessly to make good on this opportunity to deliver new pre-K options, improve existing ones and build a high-quality system that lifts up every child.”

The full list of recipients of the $340 million is available here.

A clothing donation bin illegally placed on public property at Bay Parkway and 66th Street.

A clothing donation bin illegally placed on public property at Bay Parkway and 66th Street.

A bill to give the boot to clothing donation bins on illegally placed on public property continues to gain steam in the City Council, where it’s now set to have a public hearing on September 8.

We reported earlier this month that the bill, introduced by Councilman Vincent Gentile, had racked up the support of 20 sponsors in the Council as well as the backing of Mayor Bill de Blasio. The New York Post reported yesterday that a public hearing on the bill has been added to the Council schedule.

The bill will authorize the Department of Sanitation to immediately remove clothing donation bins illegally placed on public property, including sidewalks, city-owned lots and streets. It also gives the agency the power to issue a $250 fine to first-time violators and $500 fines for repeat offenders, in addition to hauling off the offending bin.

According to the Post, complaints about the bins have been skyrocketing and the mischievous bin operators have taken advantage of the city’s leniency thus far.

The illegal containers are multiplying exponentially. In July alone, city inspectors tagged 670 bins — 11 times more than the 59 illegal bins they tagged in all of 2009. The city has marked more than 2,000 bins for removal so far this year.

… The illegal bins are installed in the dead of night, officials say. And even when sanitation inspectors quickly tag them, the bins’ owners take advantage of regulations giving them 30 days to haul them away.

They remove them on the 29th day and usually set them up around the corner.

The legislation would also create a registry of legal bins, where operators would be required to quantify the collected donations by weight.

Source: dtanist/Flickr

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Mark Treyger:

Council Member Mark Treyger and Zamperla, which owns Coney Island’s Parachute Jump ride, will light the iconic structure gold next month to raise awareness for childhood cancer as part of The Gold World Project. The announcement comes after the Empire State Building rejected a request by New Hampshire resident and project founder Tony Stoddard to have the Midtown Manhattan building lit gold as part of an international lighting of landmarks across the nation and world to highlight the need for greater funding and research.

After hearing that Mr. Stoddard’s Empire State Building request was denied, Council Member Treyger contacted Valerio Ferrari of Central Amusements International, which is the Zamperla subsidiary that operates its Coney Island attractions, and Frankie’s Mission, a Brooklyn-based organization that has been asking the Empire State Building officials to reconsider their decision. Zamperla immediately agreed to participate in the awareness event and will light the parachute jump gold for one week starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 5th. As a result, New York City will join other major cities and landmarks in participating in The Gold World Project, which Mr. Stoddard launched in memory of his five-year-old son Cole, who passed away after a battle with Neuroblastoma.

“I really was surprised and disappointed by the Empire State Building’s denial of this important request on behalf of all families fighting childhood cancer. In the end, I am proud that we were able to turn this into a positive and find a way to bring awareness to this critical issue. We all know that Brooklyn, and not Midtown, is now the center of New York City, so it is great that Coney Island and its famous Parachute Jump will be part of The Gold World Project. My thanks to Mr. Stoddard and Frankie’s Mission for their incredible efforts and to Zamperla for accommodating this request so quickly. We don’t need the Manhattan skyline to validate how important this cause is, and on September 5th the iconic Coney Island waterfront will be the place to look to,” said Council Member Treyger.

“Thank you Councilman Treyger for helping to get the Parachute Jump at Coney Island to light gold in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! Lighting gold is the first step towards greater childhood cancer awareness, awareness that will lead to increased funding and research, research that will hopefully lead to a cure for all types of childhood cancer someday. Beyond that ultimate goal there is another reason to light gold – it helps to heal the hearts of parents such as myself who have lost children to cancer, the number one killer by disease of kids in our nation. It lets us know our children did not die in vain, it shows us our kids are not forgotten,” said Mr. Stoddard.

“We at Frankie’s Mission are thrilled to have the world famous Coney Island Parachute Jump sending their care and love to the childhood cancer community by lighting gold for a week in September. I know my son Frankie is smiling down as we all valiantly work together in our quest to reach true cures. We also appreciate the efforts of Zamperla and Councilman Treyger for taking real action in raising awareness for this cause,” said Camille Loccisano, founder of Frankie’s Mission and mother of Francesco Loccisano, who passed away from childhood cancer just two weeks after his 17th birthday.

“Even though the Empire State Building turned down and treated our kids without the respect they deserve, we’re excited that many have taken up the cause in response simply because it is the right thing to do. My daughter Sally is a sixth generation Brooklyn resident, so it is great that our home borough has her back and supports all of the children fighting cancer. Sally was named after her great-grandmother who was born and raised in Coney Island, so it is very fitting to have Coney go gold for this cause,” said Brooklyn resident Matt Kabel, whose 21-month-old daughter Sally is currently fighting a rare form of infant leukemia.

The entire community is invited to join Council Member Treyger, Zamperla, Frankie’s Foundation and other advocacy groups and families impacted by childhood cancer for the official Parachute Jump lighting at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 5 at the base of the structure. The Parachute Jump is located between Surf Avenue, the Riegelmann Boardwalk, W. 16th Street and W. 19th Street. Please contact Council Member Treyger’s district office at (718) 307-7151 for more information.

Source: storem/Flickr

A 10-year-old girl was digging through the sand on Coney Island Monday afternoon when she uncovered a loaded handgun.

The girl and her mother were at the water’s edge near West 19th Street at approximately 2:15 p.m. on Monday when they found the .9mm pistol loaded with one bullet, according to the Daily News.

They brought it to a lifeguard who called police. The cops came, recovered the weapon and then destroyed it at the stationhouse.

The incident has local Councilman Mark Treyger reiterating his call for more Parks Enforcement Patrol officers on area beaches.

“Hearing that a child came across a loaded handgun while simply playing in the sand was shocking and concerning to say the least. I am very relieved that nobody was injured or killed as a result, and I am not willing to keep taking chances when it comes to the public’s safety in Coney Island. This must serve as a wakeup call to City Hall and the Parks Department regarding the need to provide additional Parks Enforcement Patrol officers to our community, especially given the increasing number of New Yorkers and tourists visiting Coney Island,” said Treyger, via press release.

Treyger also called for more PEP officers earlier this summer after 10-year-old Takara McDuffy drowned in Coney Island. The girl fell into the water after the beach was closed, and their were no lifeguards on duty. Treyger said PEP officers should be hired to patrol the beaches when they’re closed to ensure no one goes near the water.

The pol says that having more PEP officers on the beach would ease the burden on the 60th Precinct.

flier-rewardA $1,000 reward is now on the table for information leading to the arrest of those who distributed anti-Muslim fliers in at least one of the Shore Haven apartment buildings near Cropsey Avenue and 21st Avenue in Bath Beach.

The fliers were found throughout the building two weeks ago, showing a hateful message calling Muslims “the second holocaust” and claims “USA hates you”.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Unit is investigating, but it appears unlikely that they will identify a suspect.

But the cops have new allies in Tony and Renee Giordano, a Sunset Park couple known in the area’s business community and neighborhood preservationists. The couple is offering the reward, hoping it will make someone with information more likely to come forward.

Brooklyn Eagle reports:

Giordano recalled that he turned to his wife after reading a newspaper article about the incident and said, “It isn’t enough that we tell people this offends us, we have to do more. Would it be all right with you if we offer a $1,000 reward?” His wife immediately agreed, he said.

Renee Giordano made a series of phone calls to get the proper wording for the reward flyer from the Police Department’s Crime Stopper division.

Tony Giordano created an online reward flier and posted it to his 2,100 friends on Facebook. The reward poster instructs anyone with information to call the Crime Stopper hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

If the reward is not claimed the couple said they will donate the money to a pro-tolerance campaign in the Sunset Park community, according to the Eagle.

golden

The following is a press release from Cablevision:

With a focus on promoting reading and literacy, Cablevision’s Optimum and Madison Square Garden today brought the 8th Annual Knicks Summer Reading Program to P.S. 112 for young campers (ages 6-10) attending the Neighborhood Improvement Association (NIA) Summer Day Camp. Participating in the event was New York State Senator Martin Golden, along with former NBA superstar and Knicks Alumni Relations and Fan Development Advisor John Starks.

After welcoming remarks, Senator Golden and John Starks spoke about the importance of literacy. They also read aloud from the popular children’s book, Allie’s Basketball Dream by Barbara E. Barber. Following the reading, the children took part in a fun, interactive quiz about the book and participated in a raffle and autograph session. The children were also given a copy of the book discussed.

“Reading not only teaches it stimulates the imagination, strengthens self-confidence and fosters creativity, providing lifelong rewards,” said Senator Golden. “I congratulate Optimum and Madison Square Garden for this innovative program that engages young minds in such a positive way and helps instill a love of literature in students from an early age.”

“For eight years, Cablevision, in conjunction with Madison Square Garden has promoted reading programs in the communities we serve through its Summer Reading initiative,” said Jennifer Ostrager, Cablevision Vice President of Public Affairs. “Programs such as this serve as a catalyst for instilling a lifelong love of reading.”

Targeted to children ages 6-12, the Knicks Summer Reading initiative consists of a series of reading events at libraries, camps and community centers throughout the New York/New Jersey metro area. The program encourages reading through the use of incentives and is highlighted by book giveaways, ticket raffles, free t-shirts and read-aloud events with Knicks alumni and elected officials at select locations.

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