Constantinides, Rosenthal to Introduce Renewable Rikers Act

    City Council Member Costa Constantinides

    City Council Members Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection and Helen Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), yesterday joined with environmental leaders and criminal justice reform advocates in western Queens to announce a three-bill legislative package to transform Rikers Island into a model for green infrastructure.

    The Renewable Rikers Act, which will be introduced at Thursday’s City Council meeting, would begin the process of creating renewable energy on Rikers Island as well as replacing wastewater treatment facilities that currently blight low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.

    “For generations, Rikers Island has been a place of despair for many New Yorkers caught up in a fractured criminal justice system,” said Constantinides, whose district includes Rikers Island. “These bills are a downpayment for a brighter future for this island — one that actually serves New York communities instead of tearing them apart. As we made the bold decision to close these jails, we must be as courageous in making this type of investment in a Renewable Rikers.”

    “As New York City prepares to shut down its facilities on Rikers Island and make the long overdue transition to a more humane criminal justice approach, we have an opportunity to advance environmental justice as well. Council Member Constantinides’ legislation will create significant solar energy capacity, and help pave the way for the closure of local fossil fuel-based power plants and wastewater treatment facilities – a victory for our communities and the battle against climate change. I am proud to co-sponsor these bills with Council Member Constantinides and thank him for his ongoing leadership,” said Rosenthal.


    Koo & OATH Announce “Neighborhood Pop-Up Court” Comes To Flushing

    City Council Member Peter Koo

    City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) and the NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) yesterday announced that OATH’s Neighborhood Pop-Up Court for City-issued summonses will come to the Council Member’s district on June 20.

    The Pop-Up Court allows people to fight certain summonses at a hearing with an OATH Hearing Officer without having to travel outside of their neighborhood.

    Types of summonses eligible to be fought at the Pop-Up Court are summonses issued by the Sanitation Department and Parks Department; summonses issued by the Health Department for alleged pest control and rodent violations; and those non-criminal, quality of life summonses issued by the NYPD such as allegedly having an open container of alcohol, public urination, being in the park after dark, littering, spitting and excessive noise.  

    As with all summonses, only summonses with upcoming hearing dates are eligible to have a hearing at either OATH or at one of OATH’s Pop-Up Courts. This means that the eligible summons must have either a hearing date of June 20, 2019 or a hearing date that is after that.  

    OATH is not the court that holds hearings on parking tickets, traffic or speeding tickets, red light camera tickets or MTA turnstile violation summonses so those summonses cannot be resolved at the Pop-Up Court on June 20.

    “OATH Pop-Up Courts are a quick and convenient way for the city to close out cases with New Yorkers who may have found themselves at the receiving end of a violation. Giving residents access to the OATH Courts right in their backyard can serve as a tremendous benefit to both the city as it looks to resolve backlogs of violations and to residents by expediting the court process. Many thanks to OATH for once again partnering with my office and bringing its Pop-Up Court to Flushing in order to ensure our residents have a fair chance at resolving their violations,” said Koo.

    The “Pop-Up Court” is slated to hold hearings from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2 at the Flushing Branch of the Queens Public Library, 41-17 Main Street in Flushing.


    Braunstein Announces Mother’s Day Essay Contest Winners

    Assembly Member Edward Braunstein

    Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) yesterday announced the winners of his annual Mother’s Day Essay Contest for students in grades two through five. The winners were:

    •        2nd Grade Grand Prize Award: Allison Kim, who attends PS 159 in Bayside.
    •        3rd Grade Grand Prize Award: Marilena Korahais, who attends PS 209 in Whitestone.
    •        4th Grade Grand Prize Award: Isabella Delvey, who attends PS 32 in Auburndale.
    •        5th Grade Grand Prize Award: Isabella Andrea Cortes, who attends PS 107 in Auburndale.

    “Congratulations to all of the winners. Nearly 200 students from schools throughout Queens participated in my office’s Mother’s Day Essay Contest and I was extremely impressed with their creative and heartfelt entries,” said Braunstein.

    All winners received a gift card and all participants received a New York State Assembly Certificate of Merit.


    Addabbo And Queens Public Library Celebrate One-Year Anniversary Of Glendale Temporary Branch At Atlas Park

    State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways), yesterday joined Queens Public Library officials and the community in celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Queens Public Library Glendale Branch’s temporary location at Atlas Park.

    In 2018, as the Glendale Branch on Myrtle Avenue was preparing to undergo much-needed renovations, Addabbo’s office played an integral part in bringing Queens Library into Atlas Park.

    “With the Glendale Branch about to be shut down for renovations, I didn’t want to leave the people of Glendale without the full services of a library for an extended period of time. Although the mobile library branch was planned to be stationed in Glendale while the branch was closed, I didn’t believe it would appropriately service Glendale,” Addabbo said. “I am so glad to see that the temporary space is being utilized by the public and I would like to thank Queens Public Library, Atlas Park, and everyone involved in making this happen.”

    According to Queens Public Library, between May 2018 an April 2019 the temporary location saw 69,411 people use the facility, and the space held 314 programs — including several storytime programs outside on Atlas Park’s lawn — which were attended by 2,186 children. On top of that, the location has been signing up many new customers, especially on Saturdays.

    “Since opening its doors a little over a year ago, our temporary Glendale space has thrived, becoming an indispensable resource for local residents and a popular destination among shoppers visiting the mall,” said Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “We are grateful to State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo and Atlas Park for making it possible for Queens Public Library to continue serving the community while the Glendale branch is undergoing renovations.”

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