Holden votes “no” on the city budget

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On Tuesday night, the New York City Council passed an $88 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

The budget process was particularly difficult this year given the billions of dollars the city is losing in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic lockdown.

Among the more contentious parts of the budget was the decision to cut nearly $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion operating budget.

For weeks, activists have marched and protested calling for defunding the NYPD by at least $1 billion. While the budget falls short of that, it reduces overtime pay for police officers, transfers school safety to the Department of Education and cancels two cadet classes.

In the late hours on Tuesday night, 37 members voted for the budget, while 12 rejected it. Councilman Bob Holden was among those who voted no. Here’s why.

“As one of the very few Council members who has lived through several crime waves in our great city, I am very concerned that the protest-driven moment to defund the NYPD will lead us toward another high-crime era,” he said.

“While the intention of diverting more funds toward education and services for those who need it most sounds noble, supporters of this movement seem to be unaware of the billions this city has already wasted with no tangible results.”

Ultimately, nine members of the City Council voted no because they believe the cuts don’t go far enough. Eight members said no because they opposed cuts to the NYPD.

Holden noted that the budget has soared $25 billion under de Blasio’s tenure.

“So will taking $1 billion from the NYPD accomplish anything other than appeasing this movement while damaging the morale of police officers?” Holden said. “As legislators, we cannot create policy based solely on what’s trending at the moment.

“We must maintain balance, order and logic while holding public safety as the highest priority,” he added.

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Rajkumar leads in Assembly race, Richards on top for Queens BP

Assembly candidate Jenifer Rajkumar is leading the Assembly race for District 38.

Assembly candidate Jenifer Rajkumar is leading the Assembly race for District 38.

Glendale Assemblyman Mike Miller is in the fight of his political career as he trails challenger Jenifer Rajkumar after last night’s primary.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Rajkumar has collected 2,624 votes, or 52 percent, while Miller has only 1,300 votes, or 26.8 percent.

Another challenger, queer poet and activist Joey De Jesus, received 1,108 votes, representing 22 percent of the vote.

Should Rajkumar, an attorney, adjunct professor and former state government official in the Cuomo administration, wins, she would be the first South Asian American elected to the Assembly.

A little more than 5,000 voters cast their ballot in person for this Assembly race, which indicates low voter turnout in a non-presidential cycle. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused even fewer voters to turn out than usual.

Like many other primary races, this contest will not be decided until all of the absentee ballots are counted, which could take more than a week.

Miller has represented the 38th Assembly District, which includes Glendale, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and Ridgewood, since a special election in 2009.

In the race for Queens borough president, Councilman Donovan Richards is leading all candidates with 41,915 votes, good for 37.2 percent, with 96 percent of precincts reporting. Richards and Rajkumar cross-endorsed each other in their respective races.

Trailing Donovan is former Glendale Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who has 31,781 votes, or 28 percent.

Other Democratic candidates include Councilman Costa Constantinides with 17,164 votes (15 percent), Anthony Miranda with 16,613 votes (14.7 percent) and Dao Yin with 5,028 votes (4.4 percent).

Though Richards is leading by a decent margin, we will wait until all ballots are counted to declare a winner.

The Democratic nominee will likely face Joann Ariola, the Republican’s pick, in the general election in November.

In the 6th Congressional District, which includes Glendale, Congresswoman Grace Meng defeated challenger Melquiades Gagarin and Sandra Choi.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Meng, who is seeking re-election to her fifth term in office, received 15,181 votes, nearly 61 percent of the district.

Gagarin, a progressive activist, won 5,261 votes, or 21 percent. Choi, another first-time candidate, received 4,318 votes, good for 17 percent.

 

Though the district leans heavily Democratic, Meng will still face Republican nominee Thomas Zmich in the general election in November.

State Senator Joe Addabbo, who represents Glendale, did not face a primary challenger.

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Catholic Charities programs continue to serve most vulnerable

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Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens is asking the Glendale community to support their programs that assist neighbors in need.

Since 1899, CCBQ has helped build communities and serve neighbors in need with mercy and compassion. The organization sponsors more than 160 programs and services for children, youth, adults and seniors.

Their programs have helped those who are mentally ill, isolated or have developmental disabilities. CCBQ is also one of the largest faith-based providers of affordable housing in the country.

CCBQ is affiliated with organizations such as Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Catholic Migration Services and Saints Joachim & Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, all of which provide a range of services to the most vulnerable in our communities.

The impact of CCBQ’s programs can be felt across the boroughs, from behavioral health center clinics to immigration integration programs and senior housing.

Lately, some of the most important work has been providing food assistance through food pantries at parishes, home-delivered meals and even pop-up events. From Corona and Elmhurst to Bensonhurst, CCBQ has provided thousands of meals to people suffering at home from the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Now, CCBQ is asking the Glendale community to support the work they do through donations. Thanks to the donation of a benefactor, Catholic Charities is matching gifts up to $400,000.

Donations of $50 will become $100, and $100 donations will become $200, and so on.

According to CCBQ, 91 cents of every dollar will go straight into programs that “reduce poverty, bring food and comfort to those less fortunate, uplift our youth and assist our elderly neighbors.”

To donate to CCBQ, visit their donation page here: www.ccbq.org/give-donate/.

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Holden calls for closing Cooper shelter permanently

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Following a report of another assault at the Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center in Glendale, Councilman Bob Holden is calling for the homeless shelter to be shuttered for good.

Holden issued a statement last week that his office was informed of an another assault at the site.

 

DHS has informed the Glendale pol that they plan to remove all 120 men from the shelter and relocate them to hotel rooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While he called the temporary move “welcome news” for the men who live at the shelter, Holden wants the location closed permanently. 

The Glendale representative also asked Comptroller Scott Stringer to not approve the contract and “put an end to the fraud, waste and abuse” of the homeless shelter system.

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Borough president announces appointments to community board

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Acting Borough President Sharon Lee appointed 339 people to serve in Queens’s 14 community boards on Tuesday.

Of the 399 appointees, 76 are first-time members who have never served on the board, but have shown a commitment and understanding to the community’s needs.

The two-year term for these appointees run from May 31, 2020 to March 31, 2022.

The office received 595 applications, including 252 from applicants who had never served on a community board. More than 340 were from those who were reapplying at the end of their 2020 term.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee announced in late March that community board members whose terms end on March 31 would continue for an additional 60 days.

Here are Borough President Lee’s appointments for the 2020-2022 term for Community Board 5, which serves Glendale:

  • Bhubaneshor Adhikari
  • Antonetta Binanti
  • Eric Butkiewicz
  • Robert Cermeli
  • Patricia Crowley
  • Dmytro Fedkowskyj
  • Shawn Fisch
  • Sukh Gurung
  • Frederick Heller
  • Frederick Hoefferle
  • Richard Huber
  • Kinga Kurzyna
  • John Maier
  • Edgar Mantel
  • Eileen Moloney
  • Margaret O’Kane
  • Michael O’Kane
  • Michael Porcelli
  • Kelvin Rodriguez
  • Luis Rodriguez
  • Dennis Stephan
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Infit Nutrition celebrates grand opening

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Glendale’s newest health and nutrition-focused store celebrated its official grand opening over the weekend.

Infit Nutrition, located at 69-44 Cooper Avenue, offers a variety of products to help customers live a healthy lifestyle, whether their goal is to lose weight, gain weight or boost their energy.

Among the options on the menu are low-calorie, low-sugar and high-protein smoothies, teas, bowls and other specialty drinks and snacks.

Owner Jonathan Acosta, who opened Infit Nutrition in January, said the smoothies taste like ice cream and their teas taste like juice, but are all healthy. He said they put aloe in many of their products because it helps clean out the digestive system and burn fat.

“We want people to have healthier options,” he said.

Read more about Infit Nutrition’s grand opening on the Glendale Register here.

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Local medical center implements new breast cancer identifying technology

EMU_Logo_HealthEMU Health in Glendale, Queens is now using the SAVI SCOUT® surgical guidance system; innovative technology that allows their Radiologists to more accurately pinpoint lesions prior to surgery.

This new, sophisticated technology helps surgeons with tumor localization, surgical planning, surgical guidance, and confirmation of the tissue to be removed.

 

“The Savi Scout surgical guidance system allows surgeons to pinpoint a lesion with more accuracy prior to surgery, while also alleviating the need for a patient to visit radiology on the morning of surgery,” said Efrat Yaish, Chief Medical Officer of EMU Health in Glendale.

The SAVI SCOUT® uses radar technology and guides the surgeon to precisely target the breast tissue during a lumpectomy or excisional biopsy procedure, plan the incision and direct surgery. The end result is a smoother, simpler and more efficient day of surgery.

Top doctors in NYC practice at EMU Health Center; a modern healthcare facility offering  various multi-specialty health services, such as Radiology, Women’s Health / OBGYN, Orthopedics,

You can contact EMU Health to learn more or schedule an appointment by calling 718.849.8700 or by emailing info@emuhealth.com.

Savy Scout For Breast Surgery

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CB5 chair pens letter blasting DOB on Glendale shelter

The proposed homeless shelter in Glendae on Cooper Avenue

The proposed homeless shelter in Glendale on Cooper Avenue.

Community Board 5 is still not getting the answers it needs from city agencies about the planned homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Avenue in Glendale.

On Tuesday, CB5 Chair Vincent Arcuri Jr. penned a letter to Derek Lee, the Queens borough commissioner for the Department of Buildings, blasting his agency for not helping the board obtain amended documents.

“Once again, I must express my displeasure with how your Department is handling the review and filings for the above referenced job,” Arcuri wrote.

According to Arcuri, drawings of the site indicate that the dormitory-style residence will have 210 beds in 22 rooms on two floors.

The CB5 chair asked Lee what has been approved for occupancy at the location, since the project appears to be creating a residence facility that doesn’t comply with the city’s Multiple Dwelling laws.

Arcuri also brought up questions about how the former manufacturing warehouse complies with the city’s zoning code, particularly as transient hotels are not permitted within M1 districts.

“We are completely confused with what has been filed for the above-referenced job,” he wrote, “and dismayed by the fact that the current approved documents are not available for us to review.”

The topic is sure to come up at CB5’s monthly meeting, which is set for Wednesday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Christ the King High School. in Middle Village.

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Community board application deadline extended to March 13

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If you haven’t sent in your community board application yet, don’t fret!

Acting Borough President Sharon Lee has extended the deadline for qualified and civic-minded applicants to Friday, March 13.

That means you’ll have six additional weeks from the original January 31 deadline to submit completed, signed and notarized applications to the BP’s office.

“The extension is to ensure that the pool of applicants is as robust as possible,” Lee said.

The community board application can be found online here.

There are 14 community boards in Queens. The boards hold hearings and issue recommendations on the city budget, municipal service delivery, land use and other matters that impact the community.

The borough president appoints all of the members, but the local City Council representative nominates half of the appointments.

Each member serves a two-year term.

For this upcoming round of appointments, the two-year term begins on April 1, 2020.

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Crowley picks up key union endorsements in BP bid

Former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, a candidate for Queens borough president, has earned the endorsements of two major unions in New York City.

Last week, Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 endorsed Crowley, with their president Tony Utano saying they’re confident she “has the best plan to protect and create thousands of transportation jobs.”

In response, Crowley said she will prioritize new rail projects like the QNS Rail, for which she’s been a strong advocate, and oppose the “scaling back” of bus lines in Queens.

This week, Crowley announced the backing of another union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 3, representing some 30,000 workers.

Crowley has also been leading the pack in fundraising. According to the latest Campaign Finance Board summary, the former councilwoman and Glendale resident has more than $219,000 on hand – far outpacing other leading candidates like Councilman Costa Constantinides and Councilman Donovan Richards.

The candidate closest to Crowley in terms of fundraising was Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who has dropped out of the race.

On Tuesday, Crowley released her latest campaign video, which you can see below:

We’ll keep you posted on her campaign for Queens borough president as we get closer to the special election on March 24.

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