Katz Mourns Loss Of Brother, Borough Board Set To Hear Queens Bus Plan

    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

    Queens County Politics sends its condolences and prayers to Queens Borough President Melinda Katz following the sudden death her eldest brother, Michael Katz, 66, who dies Friday night.

    “Our family has lost our eldest brother who was full of life, energy and love. Words cannot express the deep grief of his unexpected passing. Thank you for respecting our family’s privacy during this difficult time. We also appreciate all who have sent their well wishes and prayers to our family,” said Katz in a statement.

    While Katz canceled all her appearances this weekend, the Queens Borough Board, which she chairs today is scheduled to hear a presentation from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) NYC Transit regarding its Queens Bus Network Redesign plan.

    As part of the MTA’s Fast Forward plan, NYC Transit and the City’s Department of Transportation recently announced plans to take a holistic, clean-slate look at Queens bus service, which has not substantially changed in decades despite rapid development in the borough. I

    n Queens, 107 routes move over 700,000 weekday riders, with buses in the borough averaging 8.9 miles per hour. As congestion has worsened, buses have slowed, making service more unreliable. By redesigning the bus network, the MTA hopes to deliver more frequent, reliable service.

    The goal of NYC Transit is to produce a draft redesign plan in November 2019 and a final plan in April 2020.

    The meeting is slated for 5:30 p.m., today, April 15 Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.


    Meeks Introduces Bills Seeking To Improve Consumer Products

    U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

    U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D- Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) last week introduced three consumer protection bills that seek to protect women and children by making sure consumers are protected from possibly harmful substances in products that may affect the health and wellbeing of their loved ones. The measures include:

    • The Menstrual Products Right to Know Act which would require companies to list ingredients – in descending order of concentration – in menstrual hygiene products, such as scented and unscented pads, cups, scented and unscented tampons, and therapeutic douche apparatuses.
    • The Infant Formula Protection Act which would prohibit the sale of expired baby formula. Failure to remove such products would subject sellers to fines. Federal law currently does not prohibit the sale of infant formula after its expiration has passed.
    • The Get Additives Out Act which would require the U.S. Government Accountability Office to conduct a study to assess the effects of food additives on children’s behavior and physical health under 18 years of age.

    Meng first introduced the Menstrual Products Right to Know Act during the last Congress. She also hosted the first ever Capitol Hill panel to discuss this legislation with menstrual hygiene policy experts. The Congresswoman has introduced the Infant Formula Protection Act each Congress since her first term in 2013.

    “Protecting women and children from harmful chemicals is a top priority of mine,” said Meng. “Americans are bombarded daily with advertisements to purchase consumer goods from infant formula to menstrual hygiene products. Yet, important safeguards are lacking which undermine consumer confidence that the products they purchase are safe for their loved ones. My bills are commonsense fixes that would greatly help American families. It’s time for Congress to step up and make these issues a priority.”


    Constantinides Environmental Protection Committee to Hear Testimony on Williams Pipeline

    City Council Member Costa Constantinides

    City Council Member Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria, Parts of Long Island City), chair of the council’s Committee on Environmental Protection, will hold a major hearing today on the Williams Pipeline.

    Environmental advocates are concerned this project would massively disrupt New York Harbor and the communities around it. The proposed route comes within four miles of the Rockaway Peninsula, home to about 114,000 New Yorkers, many of whom are still suffering from superstorm Sandy’s devastation almost seven years later.

    Multiple city and state elected officials have publicly opposed construction of this fracked gas pipeline.

    The public hearing is slated for 10 a.m., today, April 15 at City Hall in Lower Manhattan.


    Amato To Host Pop-Up Mobile Office

    Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato

    Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach) will host a pop-up mobile office in Rockaway Beach this week.

    Pheffer Amato and her team will set up a table to provide help dealing with government agencies and addressing quality-of-life concerns. Additionally, Pheffer Amato and her team will be giving out re-usable shopping bags to commemorate Earth Day and New York State’s recent ban on plastic bags.

    “Few parts of the country know how important taking care of the Earth is as well as we do and here in Rockaway it’s imperative. The widespread use of single-use plastic bags is wasteful, unnecessary and puts our marine life and our environment at risk. They also take decades to decompose,” said Pheffer Amato.

    “New York State has been a strong leader in fighting the very real and present threat of climate change, and tackling the usage of plastic bags is another step in protecting our environment. We need to start changing habits, and by encouraging individuals to use re-usable bags is a great start. I hope to see you all at our Earth Day-themed mobile office,” she added.

    The mobile office is slated for between 3-5 p.m., Thursday, April 18 outside of the Arverne Stop & Shop in Rockaway Beach.


    Ulrich Joins NYC Veterans Alliance to Rally Against Ban on Transgender Military Service

    City Council Member Eric Ulrich

    City Council Member Eric Ulrich (R-Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven) on Saturday joined the NYC Veterans Alliance, the Dept. of Veterans’ Services (DVS), the NYC Commission on Human Rights, and a number of advocacy groups for a “FIGHT THE BAN NYC” Rally.

    Ulrich and the advocates condemned reinstatement of the ban on transgender individuals serving in the U.S. Armed Forces taking place today. The ban overturns prior policy established by the U.S. Department of Defense permitting the open service of transgender individuals.

    An estimated 12,000 to 15,000 currently serving troops will now face discharge, bars to reenlistment or promotion, and other restrictions preventing career advancement and essential healthcare for those currently serving. The ban will also prevent accessions of otherwise fully qualified Americans wishing to serve our nation in uniform.

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