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Archive for the tag 'politics'

savino-1

State Senator Diane Savino fumed on Facebook about cyclists, telling her followers that she drives through her district shouting at the two-wheeled menaces to “find a fucking bike lane and get in it.”

The comment from the pol, who represents Brighton Beach, Gravesend, Coney Island and Bath Beach in addition to Staten Island’s north shore, was in response to a labor lobbyist’s post blasting cycling “apologists” following the Central Park collision that left a pedestrian dead. Another follower suggested requiring bike registration and licensing, to which the pol also said she was “intrigued.”

bikelane-savino

The Daily News reports:

Savino said her comments were meant as a joke but she continued to express frustration with bicyclists who don’t obey traffic laws.

“Unfortunately, those who don’t follow the rules of the road create problems as we saw with that terrible tragedy in Central Park,” Savino said.

“Minimally, there’s got to be greater enforcement,” she continued. “And bikers have to take responsibility for what’s happening. They’re moving sometimes at 40 miles an hour. We just went through the whole process of reducing the city speed limit to 25 miles an hour, unless it is otherwise posted. That should apply to bikes as well. We are all in this together.”

The pol also said she had no plans to introduce new bike safety legislation when she returns to Albany.

DNAinfo went to the author of the blog post that sparked the Facebook discussion:

Eben Weiss, who writes the blog, Bike Snob NYC, drew attention to Savino’s comments on Twitter and on his site on Thursday.

“A state senator bragging on Facebook about engaging in acts of road rage is inappropriate, alarming and representative of a disregard for public safety,” Weiss told DNAinfo New York.

“It’s an insult to her constituents. It’s also totally ironic because the conversational thread that inspired her comment is based on a total misreading of comments I made in which I excoriated reckless bicycling.”

savino-district

Savino’s district

It appears cyclists in her district are taking notice. Streetsblog notes that Brooklyn Spoke author Doug Gordon, a constituent of Savino’s, sent an open invitation for the elected official to ride with him and his two children and see what life is like from the saddle.

I ride my children to school almost every day and then head to work. We bike to swim lessons, gymnastics, birthday parties, parks, and to the grocery store. With or without my children, I have been harassed many times by drivers who think New York City’s streets belong solely to them. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing – riding in a bike lane or legally exiting a bike lane to make a turn or avoid an obstruction such as a parked car – there is truly nothing I can do to stop an angry driver who simply doesn’t like bicycles from getting upset with me.

I ask you to kindly join me and my children, along with any other families who would like to come, on a short bike ride. It might be helpful for you to experience what it feels like to bike on New York City streets.

Savino, who lives in Staten Island, is already well-known for her outspoken Facebook posts. In February, for Valentine’s Day, she reminder her colleagues to stop taking photos of their genitals because “no one wants to see your penis pop up in a text message.” She also railed against supporters of indicted Congressman Michael Grimm, who claimed he’s the victim of a conspiracy.

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

Democrat Domenic Recchia missed last night’s debate in Bay Ridge, giving Republican Congressman Michael Grimm, whose seat he’s seeking, an opportunity to bash him relentlessly.

The Staten Island Advance reports:

“He will be lockstep with Mayor de Blasio and the president,” Grimm said. “He voted with Mayor de Blasio 99 percent [of the time] when they were in the City Council together. OK, so if you believe the Brooklyn Bridge should have an $8 toll, that’s what he voted for.”

The congressman had the stage all to himself Tuesday and looked to connect himself to President Ronald Reagan, while slamming Recchia for voting in favor of extending term limits in the Council.

“He doesn’t care what you think and he proved that when he voted to extend term limits,” Grimm said of Recchia. ” … the people voted on term limits twice but my opponent said, ‘No, I’m going to have a third term.'”

In an interview with the press after the debate, Grimm said Recchia wasn’t there because he wasn’t prepared to debate the congressman and doesn’t know the issues.

The Recchia campaign said he was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.

Between the attacks, Recchia did find the time to address some issues:

He blamed Obama for a lack of a foreign policy, saying it had led to ISIS being emboldened to attack the United States. He said there needs to be a strong coalition to battle ISIS, which he called “the most funded, most brutal group we’ve ever faced.”

Grimm supports closing the Mexican border, and said the Affordable Care Act had “destroyed everything that was good” about the American health care system.

Grimm said he supports hydrofracking — “when done safely and responsibly, it’s the safe thing to do.”

The debate was organized by the Bay Ridge Community Council. Read more at SILive.com.

Golden (l) and Kemmerer (r)

Golden (l) and Kemmerer (r)

Republican State Senator Marty Golden is facing a Democratic challenge on ballots this November, this time from Bay Ridge’s James Kemmerer.

The 12-year incumbent pol, who lost most of Bay Ridge but comfortably won the district as a whole with a 16-point margin, will debate his opponent tonight at the Bay Ridge Community Council’s “Great Debate.”

Kemmerer confirmed his candidacy to Bensonhurst Bean in May, backed by the Bay Ridge Democrats, a progressive Democratic club. He’s a small business owner who has lived in Bay Ridge for about a decade. So far, his campaign has depicted Golden as a target of the Moreland anti-corruption commission in the pocket of developers and big business. Kemmerer is running as the good government candidate, and is pushing public financing of elections.

It’s the first debate between the two. When challenged in 2012 by Andrew Gounardes, the debate turned feisty; with a lot of the same people backing Kemmerer, there’s a good shot tonight’s debate will be similarly informative and exciting.

The event takes place at Holy Angels Catholic Academy, 337 74th Street, at 7:30pm.

Correction (1:59pm): The original version of this article erroneously stated that James Kemmerer has “lived in this website for about a decade.” That was a mistake. James Kemmerer does not, and likely has never, lived in a website – this one, or any other. He lives in Bay Ridge. He previously lived in Pennsylvania, which is certainly less interesting than living in a website, but definitely more factual and infinitely more possible.

Source: Colton's office

Source: Colton’s office

The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman William Colton:

In a historic swearing-in ceremony, Mrs. Nancy Tong became the first Asian-American elected official in the borough of Brooklyn. On Sunday, September 21st, Nancy Tong was formally sworn-in by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as the Female District Leader/State Committeewoman for the 47th Assembly District at the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst (JCH).

Mrs. Nancy Tong ran unopposed as the new Female District Leader and State Committeewoman for the 47th Assembly District in September 9th Democratic Primary. Since she was running unopposed for this position, Nancy automatically became the Female District Leader and State Committeewoman for the 47th Assembly District when the polls closed on primary election night. The position was previously held by Jeannette Givant, who retired after serving for ten years.

However, Mrs. Tong is celebrated this very important milestone in Brooklyn and Chinese-American history with a formal swearing-in ceremony to commemorate this historic occasion. She now is the first Asian American elected official in Brooklyn, the largest borough in New York City. Many elected officials and community leaders from across New York City and State are attended this momentous swearing-in event, including Assembly Member William Colton, Council Member Mark Tregyer, District Leader Charles Ragusa, Council Member David Greenfield, Kings County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Seddio, District Leader Ari Kagan, President of the United Chinese Association Steve Chung, and Bay Democrats President Ben Akselrod.

After coming to Bensonhurst twelve years ago, Nancy continued a family tradition of volunteering in schools and in the community, eventually becoming a volunteer at Assemblyman William Colton’s 47th Assembly District Office. Due to her hard work and dedication, Assemblyman Colton hired her as a part time Community Liaison in his office. Every year, Nancy helps more than 2,000 men and women from different cultural backgrounds in a variety of issues that affect her constituents’ quality of life.

Nancy believes she will be able to help more people and bring people of different cultural backgrounds together to improve the quality of life for individuals living in the 47th Assembly district.

District Leader Nancy Tong affirmed, “I truly enjoy helping people. It gives me great joy when I am able to help someone and make their life a little better or easier. Of course, I have to thank my family, especially my husband and my son, for all their love and support. I also have to thank Assemblyman Colton and the United Progressive Democratic Club for supporting me in becoming the first Asian-American elected official in Brooklyn. This is a historic occasion for the Asian-American community and the people of Brooklyn. I am proud of my heritage and I look forward to continue serving the people of southwest Brooklyn with my new position.”

Assemblyman Bill Colton asserted, “Nancy has a long track record of serving people in our communities. When the position opened up, I knew Nancy was the right person to become our next Female District Leader. She helps thousands of people in my office every year. Her dedication to our community is unwavering. I know she will do great things as our new Female District Leader.”

Councilman Mark Treyger stated, “Our community is incredibly fortunate to have someone like Nancy Tong fighting for us and helping to improve the quality of life for thousands of residents each year. Not only is this great news for the people of southern Brooklyn, but it is a truly historic moment for the entire borough and residents of all backgrounds who value the importance of hard work and giving back to their community. I look forward to joining the community on Sunday as Nancy is sworn into office as the first Asian-American elected official ever in Brooklyn, and to continuing my great work with her in the coming months and years on behalf of all residents of Bensonhurst, Gravesend and beyond.”

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

Council Member Mark Treyger and NYC Parks Department are hosting the final free movie in the park event of the year on Saturday with a showing of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 on the big screen at Kaiser Park in Coney Island. The movie will begin once it gets dark, so residents are urged to bring a chair or blanket and arrive at around 7:30 p.m. The park is located at the intersection of Neptune Avenue and Bayview Avenue in Coney Island and the event is free and open to all residents. In addition, the Parks Department will have a barbeque grill available so that children can make their own s’mores.

“This is a great chance for the community to enjoy one last movie in the park event before the outdoor weather comes to an end for the year. Come on out to Kaiser Park this Saturday for this great free event, and be sure to bring your family, friends and neighbors. My thanks to the Parks Department for their help putting together one more event as we conclude a wonderful summer of movies in the park in southern Brooklyn,” said Council Member Treyger.

This marks the second movie night that Council Member Treyger has hosted at Kaiser Park this year, in addition to two other screenings that he held in the northern portion of the district with Council Member David Greenfield. Based on the popularity of these events and the feedback from residents, Council Member Treyger plans on working with NYC Parks to host more of these free movie nights throughout the district next summer. Please contact his office at (718) 307-7151 for more information about Saturday’s showing of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

Source: Gentile's office

Source: Gentile’s office

Hey everybody, we’re all gonna get lai– okay, it’s probably not that kind of a party.

Councilman Vincent Gentile is inviting everybody to check out his new digs and enjoy some free treats from local restaurants this Saturday.

The local pol is celebrating the grand opening of his new district office at 8018 5th Avenue, and he wants neighbors from every part of the district to join him.

The party begins at 11am and lasts until 3pm. There will be free food and drinks from local businesses, according to the announcement.

Gentile’s office moved out of 8703 3rd Avenue in late June and into the new location, and they’ve spent the time in between putting on the finishing touches.

You can call the new office at (718) 748-5200 with any questions.

Source: Ibagli via Wikimedia Commons

Source: Ibagli via Wikimedia Commons

Councilman Vincent Gentile requested this week that the MTA drop the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge’s $15 toll on the 50th anniversary of the span’s dedication.

The pol asked the agency to give drivers a free pass on November 21, or least give a significant reduction, to honor the occasion.

According to the New York Post:

“Or at the very least, roll the toll back to 50 cents,” which was the price when the 2½-mile bridge opened in 1964, Gentile told The Post.

“It would be the right thing for the MTA to do, considering all the money motorists have put into the bridge in tolls for decades,” Gentile said. “And it would really be the greatest way to celebrate the 50th anniversary.”

The agency’s response? Thanks for the idea. Now bugger off.

The MTA’s spokesperson said the authority is “legally prevented from” reducing or suspending the toll from a day, saying that a state-bond requirement mandates that the toll is collected in full.

It’s the agency’s latest bridge-related snuff of Gentile, who earlier this month blasted the MTA for planning a spectacularly one-sided celebration of the 50th anniverary. While several events are scheduled to honor the semicentennial, all but one are on Staten Island. The exception is at a museum in downtown Brooklyn; no observances were planned at the bridge’s Brooklyn base in Bay Ridge or Dyker Heights.

grimm2

Embattled Congressman Michael Grimm is holding a lead, though just barely, against Democratic challenger Domenic Recchia, according to a new poll from NY1 / Capital New York/ Siena.

Grimm, who faces an embarrassing 20-count indictment on tax evasion and perjury charges, hold a four-point lead on Recchia among likely voters, with a 44-40 split. The poll’s margin of error is 4 percent, according to Capital New York.

The outlet reports:

“To see an incumbent six points below 50, that’s not a good sign,” said Steve Greenberg, a pollster for Siena College.

Grimm has the support of 73 percent of Republicans, and 27 percent of Democrats, and leads among independents, 47-33.

But 54 percent of voters said Grimm’s indictment makes them less likely to vote for the second-term congressman, including 39 percent of Republicans and 21 percent of voters who said they’re currently supporting Grimm.

“He cannot afford to lose a fifth of his voters right now,” said Greenberg.

… A near-majority of likely voters—49 percent—said they view Grimm unfavorably, compared to 39 percent who said they had a favorable opinion of him. Those opinions were split along party lines, with 60 percent of Republicans holding a favorable opinion of Grimm, and 30 percent unfavorable—numbers that were reversed among Democrats.

Predictably, Grimm is performing better in Staten Island, where the majority of the district’s voters live, while Recchia is outperforming the incumbent in Brooklyn, which the Democrat represented in the City Council.

Notably, nearly half of the district’s voters said they know little or nothing about Recchia.

To see the full results of the poll, look here, and also check out Capital’s analysis.

Grimm faces criminal charges for tax evasion, fraud, conspiracy and illegal hiring practice, all in connection to an Upper East Side restaurant he once owned. The pol has denied wrongdoing.

Long before those charges, the congressman was dogged by probes of his fundraising for the 2010 campaign. While no charges were filed against the pol, two associates including an ex-girlfriend face charges.

His trial is scheduled for after the November elections.

Borough President Adams was joined by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and other legislative colleagues in making the announcement.

Borough President Adams was joined by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and other legislative colleagues in making the announcement. (Source: Adams’ office)

Several local schools are receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars each for repairs, upgrades and improvements as part of a $3.1 million allocation by Borough President Eric Adams to education institutions across the borough.

The beep today unveiled 16 school-related capital projects that will benefit from the allocation, which was packed into the city’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

“If you look around Downtown Brooklyn, something new is rising up every day and this is an exciting time for the borough and this area, as education and schools represent the vibrant energies of what’s coming up at this time,” said Borough President Adams. “This budget spans the far reaches of the borough; from Metrotech to Midwood and from Bed-Stuy to Bath Beach, we are leaving no school behind. Our goal is education, education, and education.”

The allocations are largely for technology upgrades, although some schools are receiving it for more general improvements.

Schools in our area are slated to receive the following:

  • $350,000 to James Madison High School for upgrades to the school’s library and media centers;
  • $225,000 for improvements to the library at Sheepshead Bay High School;
  • $200,000 for classroom technology purchases at Joseph B. Cavallaro I.S. 281;
  • $100,000 for classroom technology purchases at P.S. 169;

Local elected officials joined Adams during the announcement this morning to celebrate the funding.

“School libraries and media centers are essential to the success of today’s high school students,” said Assemblymember Helene Weinstein. “I thank Brooklyn Borough President Adams for this funding, which will enhance these services at Sheepshead and James Madison High Schools, and allow students to reach even greater heights.”

“Investing in education is the best investment we can make for the future of our state and country,” said Assemblymember William Colton. “These capital improvements will help bring much-needed technological advancements to our local Brooklyn schools that will better our children. This $200,000 capital grant for I.S. 281 will allow for the school to make technology improvements, including by purchasing smartboards and computer laptops, that will benefit our students by enhancing their learning experience, and provide valuable resources for our educators.”

munimeters

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

In response to reported incidents involving suspected identity theft at Muni Meters in Brooklyn earlier this year and to better protect the public moving forward, Council Member Mark Treyger introduced legislation today requiring the Department of Transportation to notify cardholders in writing following incidents of security breaches. Under the proposal, the DOT must provide written notification to all affected individuals within ten days after a Muni Meter machine has been compromised and credit or debit card information has been stolen from the system. In addition, the DOT would also be required to post information about the breach on its website.

“Having your identity or personal banking information stolen can lead to costly unauthorized charges, headaches and serious financial issues for victims, and it is clear this problem is on the rise in New York City. I have long been concerned with the lack of urgency on behalf of agencies like the DOT and MTA, and with their failure to take proactive steps to protect the public and inform customers when an incident does occur. The public has a right to know when a machine has been compromised, and the DOT has an obligation to better inform residents that their information might have been stolen,” said Council Member Treyger.

Council Member Treyger has been pushing for greater public notification of breaches and other security concerns by the DOT and other agencies including the MTA since before taking office in January. He publicly called on the MTA and DOT in April to take greater precautions to protect the public and better secure its vending machines after reported instances of card skimming devices and hidden cameras found at stations including 59th Street Columbus Circle. In addition, the NYPD reported in June that Muni Meters along Kings Highway in Brooklyn were targeted by criminals. At that time, the 61st Precinct investigated at least three incidents of people reporting that their credit cards were compromised after using local Muni Meters.

The legislation was introduced at today’s City Council Stated meeting and referred to the Committee on Transportation for review and hearings.

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