Katz Says Let Pre-K School On Parkland Move Forward

    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz/via Facebook

    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz stated last week she was glad to see the proper channels followed in the city’s plan to build a pre-K school at the New York Hall of Science, which was approved by the state legislature in June 2017 and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo last night:

    “The city received the necessary legal approval from the state legislature to utilize the public parkland in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which currently houses the New York Hall of Science due to a similar alienation granted decades ago. Proceeding otherwise would have set a dangerous precedent. The use of public parkland must go through the proper channels – even by the City of New York,” said Katz.

    “The action effectively creates hundreds of new pre-K seats with STEM curriculum, and it was critical to follow the proper procedures of the public trust doctrine in the interest of protecting public parkland from unfettered development. Thanks to the leadership of our state legislators, this is now a prime example of how the process can work. Queens looks forward to the groundbreaking of a brand new, state-of-the-art pre-K school at the Hall of Science,” she added.

    In April, Katz urged the city to seek the necessary approval from the state legislature pursuant to the Public Trust Doctrine, which establishes that parks and other natural resources should be preserved for public enjoyment and that alienation of parkland must be authorized by the New York State legislature.

    City Top Open New Health Insurance Enrtollment Center In LIC

    Mayor BIll de Blasio

    The Mayor Bill de Blasio Administration will open a new health insurance enrollment center today in Long Island City.

    As part of the event, de Blasio’s Public Engagement Unit GetCoveredNYC  Outreach Specialists will be present to provide free, personalized health insurance enrollment assistance to community members.

    The new enrollment location, the third GetCoveredNYC site in Queens and one of more than 40 across the City, will be open MondayFriday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the duration of the Open Enrollment period, which continues through January 31, 2018.

    Launched in 2016, GetCoveredNYC is a citywide initiative that helps New Yorkers enroll in healthcare insurance and access primary and preventive care. GetCoveredNYC specialists proactively engage uninsured New Yorkers, providing free support to help people understand their eligibility and assist them throughout the enrollment process. New Yorkers can enroll in low- or no-cost, quality insurance through the New York State of Health marketplace.

    For more information, New Yorkers can call 311 to be connected to in-person assistance, text CoveredNYC to 877877, or visitwww.NYC.gov/ACA.

    The opening is slated for 12 noon, today Dec. 6 at the GetCoveredNYC Enrollment Office, 25-05 Queens Plaza North in Long Island City.

    Meeks Leads Request for GAO Investigation into Fraudulent Identities Submitted to FCC

    U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

    U.S. Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, Far Rockaway, JFK Airport) and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) led six other Democrats in sending a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting that it investigate and issue a report that uncovers the extent that outside groups were using false identities during the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent net neutrality rulemaking process.

    The letter also requests that GAO examine whether this shady practice extends to other agency rulemaking processes. Other Democrats who signed on to the letter include Reps. Eliot L. Engel (NY-16), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Nydia Velasquez (NY-07), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Elizabeth Etsy (CT-05), and Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08).

    “We understand that the FCC’s rulemaking process requires it to address all comments it receives, regardless of who submits them,” the Members wrote. “However, we do not believe any outside parties should be permitted to generate any comments to any federal governmental entity using information it knows to be false, such as the identities of those submitting the comments.”

    Crowley Denounces Trump Reduction Of National Monuments

    U.S. Representative Joe Crowley/via Facebook

    U.S. Rep. and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-Sunnyside, Astoria, College Point, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona, Woodside, Bronx) yesterday denounced President Trump’s announced plans to reduce the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments by a combined two million acres.

    “Americans have a right to access our nation’s public lands — pristine areas that inspire awe and, in the case of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, hold significant meaning for Native Americans,” said Crowley.

    “This reckless decision by President Trump is an assault on our national monuments and sacred sites on behalf of big oil and gas corporations. It trades the rights of future generations in order to satisfy Republican donors. This is unacceptable.”

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