Assemblymember Michael DenDekker
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Assemblymember
Michael
DenDekker

Reports to the people
Winter 2010

ALBANY REPORT
Winter 2010

Dear Friend:

These past months have seen a number of important—and exciting—initiatives devised and implemented for the State. First, we continue to garner national and international attention for our efforts to establish a cigarette butt recycling program in the State of New York. Since I introduced this legislation in response to a constituent’s letter, I have worked closely with a number of news outlets—from The New York Times, to CNN, to National Public Radio—to increase public support for this initiative, as well as to educate the public on the benefits of establishing such an environmentally-friendly program in New York State. Discarded cigarette butts are more than just litter or garbage. They are, in fact, an untapped opportunity to create new jobs and new technologies in New York State while at the same time cleaning up our treasured environment. A number of you have contacted my office to express your support for this legislation—please keep it up, as your enthusiasm and ideas are always welcome.

I was joined by Councilmember Daniel Dromm at a press conference where we continued to publicly highlight the erroneous and even predatory parking enforcement practices employed by the New York City Police Department in our community. This isn’t just about making sure that motorists obey traffic and parking regulations—it’s about making sure that motorists are not unfairly targeted and given tickets for doing absolutely nothing wrong. As I indicated during the press conference, over 14% of all parking tickets issued in New York City during the last year were later adjudicated and dismissed. My goal for the new legislative session is to introduce legislation that will establish new safeguards for motorists and municipalities alike.

I’ve also had the opportunity to meet with many of you—both individually and as part of your communities—to discuss your quality of life concerns in the area, and to devise ways in which we can work together to address these and other issues. As always, my staff and I are available to assist you with problems and concerns relating to New York State government, the New York City community, and quality of life issues in the 34th Assembly District. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office—Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.—if you require additional information or assistance.

My staff and I extend to you our best wishes for a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Sincerely,
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Michael DenDekker

District Office: (Monday–Friday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.)
33-46 92nd Street, Suite 1W • Jackson Heights, NY 11372
718-457-0384 • Fax: 718-335-8254 • E-mail: dendekkerm@assembly.state.ny.us

TRUE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

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As the holidays approach, New Yorkers have historically reached out to help those less fortunate. Assemblymember DenDekker and Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. joined with other members of the American Brotherhood Motorcycle Club to distribute turkeys to local food pantries.

Marguerite’s Pantry of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Jackson Heights received 240 turkeys and Corpus Christi Church in Woodside received 120. All were distributed to those in need living in the community.

Special thanks to Joe Mano and Waldbaums supermarket in East Elmhurst for helping with the logistics and getting the needed turkeys at a reduced price.

The American Brotherhood Motorcycle Club was formed by John Cartier (president) after his brother, James, died on 9/11 and the Club has since devoted their time to helping others.

Lending a Helping Hand
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Assemblymember DenDekker and his Chief of Staff, Maureen Allen, collected food at the Kiwanis Club of Jackson Heights semi-annual food Drive for Marguerite’s Pantry. In these trying economic times, it is important that local community and service groups continue their altruistic work helping others.

Emergency Insurance Preparedness Fair
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Assemblymember DenDekker chaired a panel of experts during his Insurance Preparedness Fair on November 15, 2010, at the Lexington School for the Deaf. From left to right: Alfonso Quiroz (ConEd); Ira Tannenbaum (NYCOEM); former Assemblymember and current Deputy Superintendent of the New York State Insurance Department, Ivan Lafayette; Assemblymember DenDekker; and Sean Waters (FEMA).

The Assemblymember organized this event in order to better educate residents on how to choose the right insurance for disaster coverage, and to answer the question: “After a disaster, who pays for the damage?”

Annual Halloween Festivities
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Assemblymember DenDekker joins New York City Councilmember Daniel Dromm and Mr. Ed Wesley, President of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, in stuffing goody bags for the children who marched in the annual Jackson Heights Halloween Parade.


Assemblymember DenDekker speaks out against the removal of token booth clerks

Assemblymember DenDekker testified before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) as part of the public hearings conducted in response to the MTA’s proposal to remove token booth clerks from various stations systemwide. One site that was under consideration was the Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street subway station in Jackson Heights, Queens. Others in Queens included the Flushing-Main Street station, as well as Jamaica Center, more commonly known as the Parsons Boulevard/Archer Avenue station.

While no one ever likes cuts in services or budgets, this proposed move could prove potentially disastrous for the safety and prosperity not only of the 34th Assembly District, but for the entire City and State of New York.

“While no one ever likes cuts in services or budgets, this proposed move could prove potentially disastrous for the safety and prosperity not only of the 34th Assembly District, but for the entire City and State of New York,” Assemblymember DenDekker said.

There are many reasons why token booth clerks should be retained. First, the Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street station is the gateway to Queens. It is an important transportation hub that operates 24 hours a day. It connects the E, F, M, R, and 7 lines, as well as the Victor Moore Arcade, which is a major bus transportation hub connecting riders to numerous Citywide bus routes. In addition, and certainly not the least, the Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street station is one of the primary mass transit links to nearby La Guardia Airport. Each year, millions of tourists pass through La Guardia Airport—and the 74th Street Station via bus—on their way to the attractions that our state and city provide to the world. For many of these visitors, token booth clerks are an important and necessary informational resource. They provide directions within the subway and bus systems, address MetroCard issues, and need to be onsite in order to open access gates to allow passengers with strollers, bicycles, extra-large packages or luggage to pass through—all while adding that extra layer of security so desperately needed within the City’s mass transit system.

A Bronze Star Hero
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Assemblymember DenDekker joins Congressman Joseph Crowley and other dignitaries in honoring Major George Vujnovich upon his being awarded the Bronze Star for heroic service in World War II. Major Vujnovich was instrumental in orchestrating the largest air rescue of American Soldiers behind enemy lines in history.

It is courageous and dedicated service like that exhibited by Major Vujnovich which continues to serve as an inspiration to future generations of our veterans.

Local Business Celebrates 50 Years in the Woodside Community
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Assemblymember DenDekker is joined by Congressman Joseph Crowley, Assemblymember Marge Markey and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer in presenting a New York State citation to Ottomanelli & Sons on the occasion of their 50th anniversary.



Lottery Ticket Sales

In response to concerns about the New York State Lottery’s redemption and payment practices, Assemblymember DenDekker introduced Assembly Bill A.11687, and Senator José Peralta introduced S.8455 into the State Senate. This legislation was drafted and introduced in order to prevent lottery players in New York State from being separated from their winnings. The bills require that all winning tickets valued at $600 or less that are presented for payment within a one-year time period from the date of the drawing, or from the close of the game in which a prize was won, will be paid by the lottery sales agent presented with the ticket.

“Whoever sold you the ticket should give you the cash,” Assemblymember DenDekker said. “And not for a certain time period, but for the entire time that the ticket is valid.”

Under present law, if a winner fails to claim a ticket within 45 days, the lottery sales agent is not responsible for honoring that winning ticket. Instead, the lottery winner must travel to the state lottery office in Manhattan—or mail the ticket to a regional lottery office—in order to redeem the ticket.

Health Care for New Yorkers

Do you have a pre-existing medical condition and are without insurance? New York State and Group Health Incorporated (GHI) have a program for you. Designed for uninsured New Yorkers who have a pre-existing medical condition, the NY Bridge Plan is a temporary medical insurance plan that makes coverage available until January 2014. In order to be eligible, one must be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident; be a resident of New York State; have a pre-existing medical condition; and not have had health care coverage for the past six (6) months.

More information and an application form can be obtained by visiting the NY Bridge Plan web site at www.nybridgeplan.com, or by calling 1-866-693-9277.

USS Intrepid
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Assemblymember DenDekker presented a NYS Resolution to the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum and to NASA supporting the efforts to bring a retired space shuttle to New York for permanent display at the museum.

Assemblymember DenDekker and Susan Marinoff, Executive Director of the Museum are standing on the Flight Deck of the Intrepid at the presentation ceremony.



A New School Opens!
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Assemblymember DenDekker was proud to be part of the ribbon cutting ceremony of a new school in his District. P.S. 280 officially opened for Kindergarten students this past September at the former Blessed Sacrament School in Jackson Heights. Next year an additional building will open and higher grades will begin attending the school. This is a welcome relief for the very overcrowded, existing local schools.

Pictured with Assemblymember DenDekker are Senator José Peralta, Ms. Lenia Matia, Principal, P.S. 280, Dr. Phillip Composto, District Superintendent and Councilmember Daniel Dromm.



Frank Justich Sanitation Depot
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Assemblymember DenDekker presents an official New York State Assembly Resolution to New York City Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, at the renaming of Queens West 1 Sanitation Depot after 11-year veteran Sanitation Worker Frank Justich, who died in the line of duty this past winter when he was servicing a corner litter basket and was struck and pinned by a tractor trailer truck.




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