Crowley, Meng Urge Feds to Extend TPS for Nepalese Nationals

    U.S. Representative Joe Crowley

    U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

    U.S. Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Sunnyside, Astoria, College Point, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona, Woodside, parts of the Bronx) and Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth), along with Jared Polis (D-CO) announced yesterday a letter signed by dozens of House members urging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Nepalese nationals living in the United States following the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015.

    Following an earlier letter led by Crowley and Meng, the U.S. government first granted TPS to Nepalese nationals in the immediate weeks after the earthquake. Their status is now due to expire on June 24, 2018.

    “We believe that the lingering damage in Nepal and the challenges its government faces meet these criteria, and that extending the TPS designation would help the Nepalese government restore housing, safety, and stability to its people,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

    Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the U.S. can provide TPS when conditions in a country prevent its citizens from returning safely such as a natural disaster, civil war, other extraordinary and temporary conditions. This status may be extended when conditions in the country remain dangerous or unsettled.

    The Trump administration has announced the termination of TPS status for nationals from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador in the last year, despite calls for extensions by lawmakers. The Department of Homeland Security must announce either the termination or extension of TPS for a country 60 days prior to its expiration date.


    Katz, Borough Board To Review Proposed Rules Changes To City Planning’s Filing System

    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Queens Borough Board will hear a presentation from the Department of City Planning (DCP) on proposed rule changes to its filing system at the next Borough Board meeting on Monday.

    DCP proposes to amend its rules to implement a new Paperless Filing System, which will go into effect in June 2018. The Paperless Filing System is a web-based platform that will provide a convenient and efficient system for internal DCP communications and for communications between DCP, applicants, other public stakeholders (such as Community Boards) and the public regarding land use and environmental review applications.

    The meeting is slated for 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 16 at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.


    Addabbo Brings Problem Gambling Presentation To Ozone Park Senior Center

    Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

    State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Elmhurst, Woodside, Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale, Ridgewood, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach, Broad Channel, the Rockaways) next week will partner with the Queens Center for Excellence to provide an informative presentation on the dangers of problem gambling to the seniors at the Nativity Golden Age Senior Center in Ozone Park.

    Queens Center for Excellence Program Director Michael Suarez will educate those in attendance on what problem gambling is, how to spot problematic behaviors in yourself or a loved one, and what help is available for those suffering from this problem. Following the presentation there will be a short Q & A session so seniors can ask any questions they may have.

    “Since seniors can be an at-risk population for problematic gambling practices, especially those who are on a fixed income, I was happy to help bring the Queens Center for Excellence into one of our local senior centers,” Addabbo said. “With the proximity of the Resorts World casino and many senior centers traveling to the casino for day trips, I believe this presentation can help better inform our seniors.”

    The presentation is slated for between 12:30 and 1 p.m., Thursday April 19 at the Nativity Golden Age Senior Center, 101-19 91st Street, at the corner of 91st Street and Rockaway Boulevard in Ozone Park. There will also be a pizza party following the presentation for all seniors in attendance.


    Avella Calls On City To Address Water Concerns

    Sen. Tony Avella

    State Sen. Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Kissena Park, Briarwood) and neighbors from 2nd Avenue in Whitestone will stand together today to call on the city and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to address serious quality of life issues with their water access.

    For years, eight homeowners on 2nd Avenue have had to deal with flooding issues and poor water pressure, if they have water at all.

    The rally is slated for 11 a.m. today, April 13 at 147-06 2nd Avenue in Whitestone.

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