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Operation Safe Child at
Local Libraries in November
Be Prepared with ID for Your Child
Come to a Library Near You for ID for Your Child
Monday, November 14
2:00–7:00pm — Woodside
54-22 Skillman Ave.,Woodside
Thursday, November 17
2:00–7:00pm — Maspeth
69-70 Grand Ave.,Maspeth
Saturday, November 19
10:00am–4:00pm — Astoria
40-20 Broadway, Long Island City
To help raise awareness about child safety, I am working with the NYPD and the
NY State Division of Criminal Justice Services to sponsor Operation Safe Child at
the Maspeth, Woodside, and Broadway libraries in November.
The safety of our children is a paramount concern these days and this program will
help parents be prepared if the unthinkable happens and they need useful, accurate
information and photographs to help authorities in the event of a disappearance.
Statistics show that one-third of parents are unsure about their child’s height, weight,
and eye color. Up-to-date and detailed information is extremely important to help local
law enforcement officials to respond to a missing child case and this program will
provide it. The voluntary program requires the written consent of a parent or guardian.
The Operation Safe Child program was created to use digital technology and high
resolution photography to protect children by creating a Safe Child ID card. The card,
which is made in less than two minutes, may be easily placed in a wallet or pocketbook.
It contains a child’s name, biographical information such as date of birth, height, weight,
hair color, and a fingerprint image of both index fingers.
The card allows law enforcement officials to respond quickly in the unfortunate event of
a missing child. The photograph of the child may also be digitally altered to show what
a missing child may look like after missing for several years.
Information from the card is available only to law enforcement officials in the event of
a disappearance and it can be used in conjunction with the New York State Amber
Alert and the Missing Child Alert programs. Signing up for Operation Safe Child allows
the transfer of the information statewide within minutes of a child being reported missing.
Information is removed from the database once a child turns 18 years old, or may be
removed earlier if a parent chooses to do so.
Get Free Flu Shots on October 27
I am pleased to partner with Elmhurst Hospital again this year to offer free flu shots
to residents of the 30th Assembly District.
The shots will be administered on Thursday, October 27 between 9:30 a.m. and
1:00 p.m. at my District Office, 55-19 69th Street, Maspeth. Please call my office
at 718-651-3185 to make an appointment.
Senior citizens and those who are most at risk for severe illness from the flu will
be given priority. Children between the ages of 4 and 18 years must be accompanied
by a parent or guardian or have a signed consent from the guardian.
Respect Neighborhood Lines in Redistricting
When public hearings were held last month about reapportionment of legislative districts
in Queens, I spoke out strongly about the importance of preserving the integrity of
neighborhoods in the redrawing of the new districts.
Reapportionment takes place every ten years following the U.S. Census and a joint
legislative task force has been holding hearings throughout the state as it makes
recommendations for new lines for Assembly, Senate, and Congressional districts.
Every community has its own distinct civic, institutional, and social structure and dividing
large communities into different legislative districts is unfair to residents because of
confusion over which representative to look to for help and assistance. Legislators, who
must deal with overlapping jurisdictions of such services as police, fire, health, education
and planning, are more effective for constituents when entire neighborhoods are included
in their districts.
Our work on behalf of constituents is already complicated by overlapping jurisdictions of
local government districts dealing with such services as police, fire, health, education,
and planning. The more “pieces” of communities we represent, the more difficult it is to
be effective on behalf of each of them.
I understand the state’s mandate to draw district lines that meet a specific population
target figure. However, I urged these task force members to do so by respecting the
integrity of recognized community boundaries in order to minimize the number of different
communities that are included.
Donate to My Holiday Food Drive
Please Give a Helping Hand to Those in Need This Holiday Season
At this fragile economic time for many families, I am asking neighbors to join in
supporting local food pantries in the 30th Assembly District.
Please donate non-perishable and canned items that we can share with local
community organizations that will distribute it to those in particular need at
Drop donations at my District Office:
55-19 69th Street on weekdays 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Donations accepted through November 16th.
Call 718-651-3185 for information.
Railroads to Move Switching Operations
Long-standing community complaints about noise and odor problems along the
railroad line that passes through Middle Village may be alleviated this fall thanks
to an agreement that local elected officials, including me, have worked out with
Long plagued by excessive noise from early-morning switching operations,
residents who live adjacent to the Fresh Pond Yards will be pleased to hear
that CSX and New York & Atlantic Railroad have agreed to relocate
required train-assembly operations to a new location near 69th Street which
is not immediately adjacent to residences.
The commitment by the transportation companies, expected to be implemented
before the end of the year, comes after several years of effort on the part of civic
organizations and public officials to convince the railroads to adjust their operations
to respond to community concerns as traffic on the line is increasing as a result of
new solid municipal waste cargo.
ABOVE: Maspeth Federal’s Kenneth Rudzwick and I admire the new addition to
the 9-11 memorial after anniversary ceremonies at Maspeth Memorial Park, which
is adjacent to the Squad 288/HazMat 1 firehouse.
LEFT: I was honored to participate in a memorial program at Rescue 4 in Woodside
where a portion of Queens Boulevard was renamed “Boulevard of Bravery.”
Congressman Joseph Crowley and I were among those taking part in the Patriots’
Day 9-11 memorial program at Doughboy Park in Woodside. We are flanked by Ed
Bergendahl (right), President of the Woodside Civic Association, and Commander
Gerald F. Olt, St. Sebastian’s CWV Post.
Heroes on Anniversary
Ten 9-11 anniversary dates have come and gone since that fateful day in 2001. As
we gathered at locations throughout the city last month to note this latest anniversary,
we were reminded that 9-11 isn’t only a date on the calendar or a day to remember
once a year. 9-11 is something that is always with us—every day.
We now live in a world that is sensitized to a whole new way of life under the threat
of terrorism. 9-11 is also a constant in the lives of the families and surviving members
of police, fire and public safety workers; and it is a continuing presence in the lives of
survivors who face continuing health issues.
Memorial events like those pictured here provide an opportunity for us to stand together
in mutual support and draw strength from each other as we face the future. They also
represent our pledge to always remember and commemorate the bravery of fathers,
family members and neighbors who died that day doing their duty.
Talk About Quality of Life Concerns: I recently met
with 108th Precinct Commander Captain Donald Powers to discuss crime and quality
of life concerns in the Woodside-Sunnyside-LIC precinct. With me, from left,
are: Community Affairs Officer Maro Youssef, Captain Powers, and
Community Affairs Officer Louis Sorrentino.
Thank You from Broadway Library: I strongly support
the work of the Queens Public Library and was recently honored to be greeted at the
Broadway Library in Astoria which hosted a community reception to celebrate renewed
State and City funding for the library and its branches after budget cuts threatened
continued full service. With me, from left are: Senator Michael Gianaris, Library
Manager Logan Ragsdale, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, and George Stamatiades.
Sweet Syrup for Smile on Maspeth Day: I was pleased
to sponsor a visit of the “Maple Van” at this event in September. New York State is
second in the nation in the production of maple syrup and this traveling exhibit, staffed
by members of the Future Farmers of America, gave Maspeth residents an opportunity
to learn about how it is produced.
If You Need Assistance to Keep Warm This Winter, HEAP May
Be Able to Get You the Help You Need
In this tough economy, you or a neighbor might need assistance to
stay warm during the cold winter months to come and New York State
has assistance available for working families and seniors who may have
trouble paying their heating bills this winter.
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program
that issues heating benefits to eligible Queens residents to help them supplement
their household’s annual energy cost.
The regular HEAP benefit assists lower-income New Yorkers with the cost of heating
their homes or apartments. These benefits are based on income, the primary heating
source, and the presence of a household member who is under age 6, age 60 or older
or permanently disabled. Regular benefits for households that pay directly for heat
based on actual usage are paid to the vendor of the household’s primary source of heat.
You may be eligible for a regular benefit if: you and your household members are United
States citizens or qualified aliens; your household’s gross monthly income is at or below
the current income guidelines for your household size; you receive food stamps; you
receive temporary assistance; or you receive Code A Supplemental Security Income
(SSI living alone).
In addition to regular benefits, HEAP also provides emergency benefits to New Yorkers
who are facing a heat or heat-related energy emergency and do not have the resources
available to fix the crisis. This may include assistance if your electricity or gas is scheduled
to be shut off, or you are in danger of running out of fuel, or even heating equipment repair for
low-income homeowners to fix or replace furnaces, boilers, and other direct-heating equipment.
Emergency HEAP benefits are based on income, available resources, the number of household
members, and the primary fuel type. Benefit amounts are based on the actual cost incurred for
repair or replacement of the appliance, up to $6,000.
A warm home is critical during the long, cold winter months and household heating cost increases
have created a serious issue for many Queens residents. HEAP assistance provides added
protection for those who need it most and I am committed to supporting HEAP to ensure that
seniors on fixed incomes and working families struggling to make ends meet do not have to choose
between heating their homes and putting food on the table.
For further information about HEAP, please call the NYC Human Resources Administration
Department of Social Services toll-free number at 800-692-0557, or visit the HRA/DSS website
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions or concerns at 718-651-3185.
Drivers Should Not Have to Pay for PA Real Estate Ventures
When the Port Authority announced massive new increases in tolls on Port Authority bridges
and tunnels that went into effect this fall, I reached out to the Port Authority of New York and
New Jersey to strenuously object to their decision.
In a letter to the PA Executive Director, I said that forcing drivers and truckers to pay for the
Authority’s commercial real estate ventures seems wrong to me. It is an inappropriate
diversion from your agency’s mandate to create and enhance transportation and port facilities
in the New York metropolitan region. Bridges and tunnels under the Port Authority jurisdiction
should not be treated as “cash cows” for commercial development in Lower Manhattan.
Just as the agency has chosen to do by pledging PATH fare increases to the improvement
of PATH service and facilities, you should dedicate fare and toll revenue largely or totally to
the service or facility from which you derive it.
Income from regional transit, transportation, post and airport facilities should be ploughed
back into the cost of maintaining and improving those services for the benefit of commerce
and all the residents of the region, not diverted to real estate goals in Manhattan.
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