Tag Archive: Peter Vallone

Oct 25 2013

Rising Star In Queens Council Race: Daniel Peterson

For more information or to make a contribution to Peterson 2013, kindly visit www.peterson2013.com.

For more information or to make a contribution to Peterson 2013, kindly visit www.peterson2013.com.

Noteworthy candidates are rising to the occasion and stepping up to the plate for a chance to bring fairness and independent thinking to the council chambers.

by: Raquel Okyay

 

As popular Queens’ Democrat councilman is term limited out of office, the Republican candidate, Daniel P. Peterson said he would add a much-needed pragmatic voice into a city government that needs constraint.

“Our city legislature needs common-sense conservatives who know how to balance a checkbook,” said Peterson, a real estate lease administrator who is the Republican Party candidate for New York City Council, District 22 which represents Astoria and parts of East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.

Democrat Peter F. Vallone Jr. has been the district’s councilman since 2002.  There are five individuals on the ballot in the general election.  Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The city legislature primarily votes on budget matters and requests for discretionary spending,
said Peterson.  “With nearly 95% of the council advocating liberal policies, the tax payers are being fleeced.”

Being a council representative is not just about “bringing home the bacon” for district improvements, he said. “We can encourage businesses and citizens to work together to invest in Astoria.”

“As councilman, I will work with all non-profit organizations with fundraising when there are no discretionary funds available; and I will propose legislation offering tax relief to small businesses that provide financial assistance to after-school programs, events and community improvements,” he said.

The New York City council currently has just 4 Republicans and 47 Democrats, he said. “Unfortunately, the Republican Party continues its failure to communicate in an effective way causing frustration with conservative voters.”

The New York State Republican Party flounders without presenting core values, said Peterson, who has been employed in the private sector for over 25 years.  “The GOP fails to have a cohesive message that brings in new voters.”

“I pre-registered to vote when I was 17 years-old so I would be able to vote for mayor in 1989,” he said. “I have consistently voted in 3 out of every 4 year election cycles since.”

It was his disapproval of Michael Bloomberg’s actions, as mayor that sparked his interest in local politics, he said.   “The mayor increased property taxes by 18.5% and he began rolling out his anti-liberty, nanny-state policies.”

However, the worst move Bloomberg could make was to refinance the city’s debt from the 1970s, he said.  “The city was scheduled to pay off its debt in 2008, yet instead of spending cuts and shrinking government, Bloomberg struck a deal to continue making debt payments into the 2030s.”

The ability to make tough decisions in order to balance the budget is what we expect from city government, said Peterson.   “The Democrats want to raise taxes to expand the size of government even more.  I would call for an audit of all city agencies to see which ones we can consolidate and which ones we can fold.”

“As city councilman, I would advocate we sell city-owned land we do not need so we can cut property taxes,” he said.  “I would move to pass legislation that provides tax relief to small businesses that invest in the communities they operate in.”

Astoria is seeing new development over the past few years that demands careful accounting, he said.  “Some of these developers have donated to my Democrat opponent’s campaign.”

If elected to the city council, the Queens native said he would keep a scornful eye on quid-pro-quodeals.  “Tax payer funded projects sometimes fuel special-interest groups who expect payback in return.”

Developers continue to build without regard to congestion and safety precautions, said Peterson. “We need responsible development that does not overpopulate our town or create hazards. Improving traffic patterns, expanding bus service and proposing ferry service along the waterfront are ways to help relieve congestion.”

Providing English classes to immigrants struggling to integrate into society is a task he is willing to take-on, he said.  “Adult education is an extremely important avenue for finding employment.”

“Astoria is an immigrant community with many different languages spoken in the home,” he said.   “I would look to open more English language centers, so our newest New Yorkers can communicate with their neighbors and assist their children with homework.”

Keeping the community involved is key to operating a city as diverse as New York, said the Queens Borough Community College graduate.  “I would hold town hall meetings throughout the district discussing topics from education to jobs to home ownership.”

Peterson said liberal policies have been hurting New Yorkers and that is something he would like to see change.  “I can provide new ideas and solutions to a struggling community.”

“Astoria is a unique place to live,” he said.  “We have street fairs and block parties every summer; these events bring business, non-profits and the community together.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/10/rising-star-in-queens-race-daniel-peterson/

Sep 06 2013

Final Thoughts: GOTV Weekend Edition

Once more unto the breach, dear friends… -Henry V

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Me and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

It’s certainly been an adventure so far in this electoral season to say the least. As the candidates gear up for one last push to consolidate their voting blocs, Queens-Politics continues to ponder the possibilities that Tuesday’s Primary results will present us with.

So without further adieu, here are my suggestions to help guide you through this process. 

Hailing from North Queens, I’ve kept a watchful eye on the developments in Council District 19 because it’s important to me, it’s home. The real race comes down between two candidates: community activist Paul Vallone, whom I fully support, and a trained operative and spin doctor named Austin Shafran. This weekend, Shafran will be making his final push to concentrate the Jewish voting bloc by emphasizing his Jewish heritage – sort of ironic for a man who graduated St. Francis Prep and was married in a Catholic church, but I digress. Did I mention Shafran received money from special interests yet held a press conference to denounce such contributions and outside spending?

He’s really worried Vallone is going to win this thing, and I can’t blame him. Despite the misleading blog headlines, Vallone ran a completely positive campaign. Sure, this statement will certainly raise eyebrows on the blogs (which have apparently aligned themselves against Vallone and for lobbyist Paul Graziano) but the whole Jobs For NY issue was NOT connected to his campaign, after all that’s illegal. The powers that be behind the real estate backed PAC independently sent mailers which offended the delicate sensibilities of candidates who obviously could not handle the heat in the kitchen to face the truth about themselves: you can’t have a seedy past and expect to come up smelling like roses. Ignoring these issues is a disservice to the electorate. In politics your record will be challenged and sometimes it’s just not pretty. I believe it’s all part of the vetting process and definitely not for the feint of heart. I’ve faced it myself despite not running for public office and I took it all in stride. If I can do it, so can they. But never in my life have I witnessed such two-faced bigotry from questionable candidates who have fallen to the wayside and become desperate for a headline.  And it got even worse on TV. On the NY1 debate, to which everyone of Vallone’s opponents united against him in attack mode, all I saw was a bunch of insecure politicians that ganged up on the frontrunner and showed the public one thing: Paul Vallone will be the very best candidate for the 19th City Council district. 

As for Queens Borough President, it’s well known that I’m supporting Peter Vallone Jr. and as of now – despite not having the County’s endorsement – it looks like he could win, that is, if enough votes are pulled out. Name recognition credit goes to Vallone, as well as his unwavering support of public safety issues. Queens will be a safer place with Peter Vallone as Borough President. Did we mention the NY POST just endorsed him as well as the PBA?

Comptroller? I’m going to go with Eliot Spitzer, and I’ll even go as far as to say he will win Queens just based on name recognition. After all, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has never come around to these parts. No one here has ever heard of him and that’s got to mean something.

Public Advocate? We’ve endorsed Cathy Guerriero. Cathy has also been endorsed by practically every law enforcement union in the city, and for good reason. The office of Public Advocate is not meant to be held by a career politician. The Public Advocate is the city’s chief ombudsman – and we need someone in there who’s outside the scope of politics and unafraid to call people out, cut the red tape and do the job well. Hailing from the outer boroughs, Cathy knows the issues important to Queens. That’s why I chose Cathy and I hope you do too.

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Borough President candidate Peter Vallone Jr. and Bill Thompson.

Now I’ve helped out on elections across NYC and I’ve become quite familiar with poll site politics. Poll workers are political hires. They have allegiance to their District Leaders, whom in turn have their allegiance to the County organization (not all but most). In recent elections, there were instances when newly registered voters were told by poll workers they “accidentally” showed up at the wrong poll site and were redirected (sometimes across town). Upon arriving at the new site, they were told yet again they’re in the wrong place and they simply gave up at that point. And who could blame them? Some of these voters were even mailed the wrong poll site location from the BOE. It certainly has the makings of a conspiracy theory.

In NY politics, voters are easily disenfranchised especially if your recognized as supporting another candidate running against a County candidate at the polls; they just don’t want your vote to count and it’s hard to prove. As voters, our only defense is to be armed with knowledge and insist on an Affidavit ballot to protect our vote and mitigate any political factors that may have come into play at the polling site.

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Me and Comptroller John Liu.

I can’t honestly go on and accurately predict results because this season there’s too many factors and variables to take into consideration which change minute to minute. My only hope is that people like you will take my suggestions on candidates who have proven themselves to be strong advocates for Queens and cast your ballots accordingly. Now, it may be unscientific, but it’s what’s best for our borough (and yet still more scientific than some of the polls I’ve read), which is my guiding philosophy. Ultimately, neither official polls nor unofficial ones can truly say what will happen with certainty this year. However, the unpredictable nature of this primary election has not stopped a seemingly endless array of pundits, wonks, and psychics from bombarding the airwaves with their half-witted predictions. So who will be the predictive champion? Time will tell.

Yes, our posting schedule is quite random but Queens-Politics is here to stay. So check back often for the unfiltered commentary and if you have a tip email info@queens-politics.com. Again, no matter whom you choose, it’s time to get out the vote.

Polls are open from 6 AM – 9 PM.

To find your poll site click here: http://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/Search.aspx

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/09/final-thoughts-primary-election-edition/

Aug 20 2013

Peter Vallone Endorsed By PBA

Vallone has now secured endorsements from all of the major law enforcement unions. The Sergeants Benevolence Association, NYPD Lieutenants Benevolent Association, NYPD Captains Endowment Association, NYC Detectives’ Endowment Association, Correction Officers Benevolent Association and The Bridge and Tunnel Officers Benevolent Association have all supported Vallone already for Queens Borough President.

“Safe streets are the bedrock on which everything else in New York City is built. Our police officers are on the front lines of keeping our streets safe from crime. I have stood by them my entire career and I am proud to have them stand by me,” Vallone said. “I am honored to have earned the support of The Patrolmen’s Benevolence Association.”

“Safe streets are the bedrock on which everything else in New York City is built. Our police officers are on the front lines of keeping our streets safe from crime. I have stood by them my entire career and I am proud to have them stand by me,” Vallone said. “I am honored to have earned the support of The Patrolmen’s Benevolence Association.”

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/08/vallone-endorsed-by-pba/

Aug 14 2013

And Then There Were Two

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See you all when I run again.

Tony Avella drops bid for Borough Prez leaving Peter Vallone Jr. and Melinda Katz locked in a heated primary.

Late this afternoon Avella made the official announcement. ”After much thought and consideration, I have decided to withdraw from the Queens borough president race,” Avella said. “This was certainly not an easy decision and I am eternally grateful for the overwhelming amount of support I received from people throughout Queens.”

Avella cited his continued work against hydrofracking and preserving women’s rights as issues he intended to pursue in his current seat as State Senator.

Avella’s entry into the race was widely speculated to detract from Peter Vallone Jr.’s base of support which led to some heated rhetoric and barbs traded between the two outspoken candidates.

Certainly Avella’s exit from the race makes Peter Vallone winner of the week, and urban lobbyist Paul Graziano - who’s candidacy depended on Avella’s stumping for him as loser of the week. Also on the losing side, Steve Behar who was rumored to run for Avella’s Senate seat should he have won the primary.

Reached for comment, Vallone looked forward to mending fences and working with Tony Avella for a brighter future in all of Queens. ”Despite our disagreements, Tony is a hard worker and we see eye to eye on a lot of issues. I look forward to working with him and his constituents.”

The winner of the Primary will go head to head with GOP candidate Tony Arcabascio.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/08/and-then-there-were-two-vallone-katz/

Jul 30 2013

Peter Vallone Jr. Is The Best Choice For Borough Prez

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Peter Vallone Jr. is by far the best choice. As Councilman, many of his bills which have become law have had a positive effect on the lives of all Queens residents – all 2.25 million of us.

With the Primary election just a few weeks away, we’re asking all of our readers to cast their ballot for Peter Vallone for Queens Borough President. 

While many critics can argue against the need of a Borough President, it is the position of this blog that the office of Borough President will lead Queens into the future, if elected into the right hands. 

While every candidate has his or her detractors, Vallone has generally impressed during the 11 years he represented the 22nd District on the City Council. He’s been a constant advocate against cuts to law enforcement and first responders thus making sure that all of us are safe at home. And he’s been a vocal proponent making sure Queens receives it’s fair share of resources from Albany and Washington.

Most recently he’s secured funding to help rebuild the shattered Rockaways. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We could post for days trying to cover his legislative accomplishments, but everyone in the political world knows anyone can be “electable” –if they are able to target and pull those out who will support that specific candidate. It’s a double-edged sword. Indeed, a less qualified candidate has a shot at winning using the formula: target, target, target & pull.

In closed primary elections, it’s the attentive elite which decide the outcome. A majority of the electorate will not return to the polls until 2016 (to vote for Hillary Clinton, or Governor Chris Christie for example) so in the meantime (in ballpark average) 10% of an ED will turn out, making your vote absolutely critical – much more so than any Presidential election (just ask some of the Council candidates that lost by one or two votes this year). We believe the importance here is for you, the voter, to make an informed and independent decision and encourage your neighbors to do the same.

Surely, we’re preaching to the choir but that’s the value of our endorsement: encouraging independent decisions. Our goal, when we’re not too much on our high horse, is to inform and influence your thinking, and encourage a course of action we believe is for the betterment of Queens. 

Long term, the city faces deep and serious financial problems which won’t bode well for us.
 To counter this our next Borough President must find avenues for growth. And from the perspective of city government, this involves reaching out and generating confidence in what Borough Hall does. Peter Vallone has this ability. The other candidates are short on skills, solutions or both. Tony Avella and Melinda Katz lack a clear vision for how they’d transform their ambitions for Queens into reality.

Now we choose the candidates we support with great care. After all, if we’re giving them our endorsement, we want to be very sure that we support candidates who have the strongest potential to be champions for Queens. With that being said, our choice is clear, it’s Peter Vallone; he’s sharp as a tack and loud as an air horn. He’s got the experience, skills, and ideas that best match the challenges ahead.

We’re asking all Democrats on September 10th to bring a friend, a neighbor, or family member and cast a ballot for our future, for our next Borough President, Peter Vallone.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/07/peter-vallone-jr-is-the-best-choice-for-queens-beep/

Jul 15 2013

Katz Latest Endorsement: A Bunch Of Hogwash

Are you a crooked politician? Hit up Melinda Katz for a check.

Bogus endorsement prompts response from Vallone campaign.

A union misled by Katz.

This afternoon Melinda Katz celebrated an endorsement by the Uniformed Firefighters Association, but what many people may not have realized was that in fact, her opponent, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. has been supporting first responders for longer than any of Melinda Katz’s exaggerated campaign rhetoric would lead you to believe.

In response, the Vallone campaign fired back issuing the following  statement to set the record straight.

“Council Member Vallone respects our Firefighters and is proud to have worked with them to stop firehouse closings, and he knows that their members will remember who stood with them for the last 12 years.  As a former Prosecutor and as Public Safety Chair, Council Member Vallone has spent a lifetime protecting the people of Queens.  While he is proud that he has many more public safety union endorsements than Melinda Katz, he doesn’t need to create the illusion of experience protecting Queens residents - his is real,” said Andrew Moesel, spokesperson for the Vallone campaign.

And there you have it folks, a union negligent of the facts.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/07/katz-latest-endorsement-bunch-of-hogwash/

Jun 12 2013

If You Like Tony, Vote For Peter

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Let’s keep two Italian-Americans in public office.

That’s the rally cry heard around town.

For those of you who love and adore QB presidential candidate State Sen. Tony Avella (can’t imagine there’s that many of you), the choice is clear: Vote for Peter Vallone Jr.

While Tony can still dropout or not survive the petition process, if you don’t vote for him, he’ll still be a State Senator – a position for which he is neither term limited nor ruled out a reelection campaign in 2014.

It’s likely that many of you reading this post are likely political insiders, so you’ll know the average person tends to vote for a candidate when they identify with said candidate’s race or religion. And to those regular voters we say, let’s keep two Italian-Americans in office.

Again, if you like Tony vote for Peter.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/06/if-you-like-tony-then-vote-for-peter/

Jun 12 2013

Vallone Campaign Attracts Best and Brightest

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 8.48.48 PMWith field offices opening across Queens, the Vallone campaign has certainly got a leg up when it comes to experienced campaigners leading to a serious brain-drain for his chief rival, Melinda Katz.

While Council campaigns gear up across the city, and only a finite number of people who actually know what they are doing, the Vallone campaign attracted and hired the best and most experienced field organizers, media moguls and political people this city has to offer.

Certainly with stakes this high, no candidate would want their neighbor’s grandson spearheading their operation. But none of this may matter in the long run because it’s an excellent field operation and GOTV initiative that will win the office of Borough President.

As of now it looks like Vallone has the competitive advantage.

Full Disclosure: As you know, this blog has been an avid supporter of Peter Vallone Jr. so you can take this with a grain of salt or not.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/06/vallone-campaign-attracts-best-n-brightest/

May 10 2013

GOP Candidate For Queens Beep Ready For Homerun

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Tony Arcabascio played minor league ball on the Cardinals, and he went to high school with Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.

Former minor league baseball pitcher, Aurelio “Tony” Arcabascio is stepping up to the plate.

Just last year Arcabascio came out of left field launching a State Senate campaign against heavy hitting incumbent Sen. Mike Gianaris. Arcabascio may have struck out his first bid, but that didn’t put a wet towel on his political aspirations, this time around Tony is playing hardball.

“What’s gone at borough hall has been the best for politicians not for the people,” said Arcabascio.

In stark contrast to his Democratic opponents, the longtime businessman has never held elected office but he’s been waiting in the bullpen for quite some time to give back to the community.

His decision comes at the tale end of a media blitz covering every aspect of a wide-ranging (and ongoing) corruption scandal that rocked Albany, New York City, and everything in between. The results, he said, “has made the people cynical about government.”

“Everything is kind of just the status quo – things just go on. People see the newspapers, people see the results of corruption and the majority taken into custody are democratic politicians who hold public office looking to profit from our fellow New Yorkers.”

An Astoria native, Arcabascio is the son of working class immigrants from Italy. He recently switched parties from Independent to Republican, an advantage considering Arcabascio is viewed as a neutral in GOP party politics – both sides appear to like him. But liking him and securing votes are two separate issues, especially considering it’s been over fifty years since a Republican presided over Borough Hall when James Lundy was elected to just one term.

But based on his 2012 campaign, where he received the endorsement of the Queens GOP, Arcabascio remains optimistic about the Party’s support this year. In the meantime he’s focused on a new plan for the office of Borough President: concentrating the limited powers of the office to “bring in companies and fill the empty warehouses.”

“We need a cheerleader for Queens,” he proclaimed.

Citing his goal to harness diversity, Arcabascio wants to build bridges to connect hyperlocal issues with Borough Hall. Job creation and attracting new industries is the staple of the campaign. “Not every place is Astoria and not every place is Cambria Heights or Douglaston. You have to be nimble with outside public sector experience, most of the guys running they are all career politicians.”

Arcabascio feels his private sector experience will bring a renewed vigor into Borough Hall politics. His conservative philosophy is best exemplified by his stance regarding the recently passed Paid Sick Leave Bill by the City Council.

“Look, I had a business, and no businessman needed government to tell him or me that his employees needed time off. I don’t need a government to tell me to be a decent person,” he explained. “I know the troubles small businessman go through.”

Fundraising will undoubtedly be an issue, in comparison his democratic opponents have amassed multimillion dollar war chests but Arcabascio doesn’t think it will be a problem. “You have to want to help, it can’t be about the money.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/05/republican-candidate-for-queens-borough-presient-ready-to-hit-homerun/

May 01 2013

Queens GOP Endorses Peterson For Council

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Longtime GOP hopeful Daniel Peterson is rising to the occasion. Whether or not it’s a paper endorsement is up for debate.

Can the Republicans win Peter Vallone’s Seat?

Hold on to your hats, the Queens GOP endorsed Daniel Peterson for Peter Vallone’s soon to be vacated City Council seat.

Peterson, a Republican County Executive Committee member, previously served as their Director of New Media as well as former President of the New York Young Republican Club.

 

On the campaign trail, he has hopes to restore balance in the heavily Democratic district with strong Conservative principals.

But questions remain, like how much support can the fractured party really deliver in western Queens?

 

Aside from his political accolades, Peterson has an impressive private sector resume having worked in retail as well as the music industry. Since 2008, he has been employed at Time Equities, Inc. where he focuses on commercial lease administration.

Despite a slow start with fundraising, Peterson still thinks he has a shot at victory whether he faces Democratic community activist Tony Meloni or longtime Democratic insider Costa Constantinides in a general election. Either way, Peterson will be launching his campaign full steam ahead in the coming weeks.

The seat has been held by Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. for the past 12 years.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/05/queens-gop-endorses-peterson-council/

Mar 29 2013

Blame Game For Contaminated Field Project

blame_game-300x239Factual inaccuracies abound when issues become overly politicized.

Why is Tony Avella so quiet on a project he approved? Because he has QueensCrap and Paul Graziano doing his dirty work spreading lies and political propaganda about the contaminated Waterpointe site in northeast Queens.

Let’s look at the facts. In the beginning, the community was enthusiastic about this multi-million dollar development project because the original plan as put forward by the Bayrock Group, a Manhattan developer, included an environmental remediation initiative plus construction of a water front park on what was widely considered an underutilized and historically contaminated barren manufacturing wasteland.

The 18-acre plot  at 151-45 Sixth Road in Whitestone served as a former industrial base, a trucking depot, as well as an asphalt plant. The land has a history of contamination and was designated a state Brown field cleanup site because of the presence of contamination, and everyone in the community wanted it cleaned up.

But before construction and environmental remediation could begin, the land needed to be rezoned. Constantinople and Vallone represented Bayrock to change the zoning of Waterpointe Landing from industrial M1-1 to R3-2 residential. The community was pleased with the rezoning, which easily passed everyone’s muster, and the project enjoyed the support of Community Board 7, and elected officials with particular support by then-Councilman Avella, now state Sen. Tony Avella.

By all accounts, Avella blessed and loved this project. But in 2008, Bayrock, like many other companies, went belly up and defaulted on their loans. Financially, the project was in the toilet and the bank took back the note and eventually sold the property to the Edgestone Group in 2012.

But Barone Management, which has been the primary tenant since 2005, remained to manage the Brownfield cleanup.

Herein is the issue: fast forward six years later before Edgestone acquired the property, and years after anyone associated with Bayrock changed the zoning, contaminated soil was dumped on Waterpointe from a former Superfund site – all while under the supervision of Barone Management and EBI Consulting, according to a lawsuit by Edgestone.

After a FOIL request, the contaminated soil was traced back to an address in Brooklyn. The Times Ledger provides the background:

“That is the same address where in 1997 a company called All Plating Corp. was abandoned and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency later cleaned up leaking hazardous materials under its Superfund program, according to the EPA. A Superfund site is a hazardous waste site that poses harm to surrounding communities and is cleaned up under the EPA.

“[EPA] … found an incompatible mix of heavy metals, acids, corrosives and other hazardous materials improperly stored in leaking drums and bags,” the agency said in a 1998 news release. “Several open vats and tanks containing a variety of chemicals and heavy metals are also inside the deteriorated building where fires and vandalism have occurred. Two trailers are parked outside the building that contain corrosives and acids in pails and drums.”

So let’s get the facts straight. After the much hailed rezoning was completed in 2007, Constantinople and Vallone no longer represented Bayrock’s interests in the site. But even years after the relationship was terminated, and after the land changed ownership, a few misdirected political operatives are still trying to link Paul Vallone to the dumping.

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A rendering of the proposed development.

Because of the change of ownership, Edgewater needed to apply for an extension of time for the Special Permit through the Community Board, which normally is an administrative approval, but because of the contaminated and illegal dumping, it became a bone of contention and everyone in the community wanted the place cleaned up first.

Meanwhile the heroes that hoped to transform the site from an industrial wasteland into a viable residential neighborhood project (which included a stipulation for environmental remediation) are being trashed with factual inaccuracies while a critical issue is being overly politicized and spearheaded by a recently formed syndicate of politically motivated operatives meant to misdirect the voters attention.

And now, while some blogs try to point the finger at certain candidates, the real crooks who actually did the dumping are getting away with what can only be described as a neighborhood atrocity.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/03/lets-play-blame-game-for-contaminated-field-project/

Feb 21 2013

Hispanic Support Dwindles For Jose Peralta

Remember you heard it here first, Peter Vallone is the new hope for hispanic democrats disenfranchised by Jose Peralta’s vehement support of the seizure of public parkland for private development at FMCP.

For those that may now know, Peter has Spanish roots – just check out the two press releases below.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. As election approaches, we’ll see more and more hispanic groups and civic leaders express their preference for Peter as the next Borough President.

Time will tell.

 [Press Release] VALLONE HONORED BY LOCAL ECUADORIAN GROUP

On February 16th, Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr. attended the Ayazamana Cultural Center’s “Night of Thanks” celebration at St. Patrick’s Church in Long Island City.

Vallone was greeted by Judge Carmen Velazquez, District Leader Martha Flores Vazquez and College Point Civic Association President Andrew Rocco, along with numerous other members of the Queens Ecuadorian community.

During the event, the Council Member addressed the crowd in Spanish and outlined his vision for Queens, after which he was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Ayazamana Cultural Center for his outstanding work and support during his 11 years in the City Council.

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[Press Release] VALLONE CONNECTS WITH SPANISH ROOTS AT CASA GALICIA

            On February 16th, Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr. attended a St. Valentine’s Celebration at Casa Galicia.

Casa Galicia, which has roughly 600 members, is a community center for people of Spanish descent. Vallone was greeted by Casa Galicia Interim President Benjamin Liza and Past Presidents Rita Cadio and Eduardo Pan.

The Council Member – whose great-grandmother was born in Castile, Spain – greeted the gathering and mingled with guests.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/02/hispanic-support-base-dwindles-for-jose-peralta/

Feb 12 2013

Team Vallone Moves Toward Victory With New Hires

Peter ValloneHis opponents turned pale upon hearing the news.

This morning Peter Vallone announced that Austin Finan and Hank Sheinkopf will join his bid for Borough President.

“The people of Queens deserve a leader who is as hardworking, independent and tough as they are and that is exactly what they will get with Peter at the helm,” said Austin Finan of Mercury Public Affairs.

Finan has emerged as a behind the scenes contender in NYC politics. He cut his teeth working on Jerry Iannece’s run for City Council in 2009, and last year he was instrumental in Grace Meng’s successful run for Congress serving as spokesman and communications director.

Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran operative (we’ve been on opposite sides of the fence before, but we’ll admit he’s good at what he does), will bring Team Vallone a step closer to victory.

“More than just an advocate for public safety, education and the environment, along with many other policy issues, Peter and his family have been defenders of diversity and tolerance, which has fostered Queens becoming one of the most inclusive places on earth. That is the spirit we need representing this borough, bringing all people together and making it one united Queens,” said Scheinkopf.

Martha Ayon, who previously worked as a Community Coordinator for the New York City Comptroller’s Office and as the Queens Organizer for Bill Thompson’s mayoral campaign, will serve as Vallone’s campaign manager.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/02/vallone-moves-toward-victory/

Feb 05 2013

Meng and Vallone Teamup To Fight For FEMA Relief

Peter ValloneTwo of the most powerful Dems in Queens politics have teamed up to fight for FEMA Aid for houses of worship that played a vital role in sheltering residents before and after Superstorm Sandy.

This week Councilman Peter Vallone plans to introduce legislation calling on the federal government to pass Congress Member Grace Meng’s bill and allow houses of worship damaged by Superstorm Sandy to receive aid from FEMA.

“Our houses of worship were here helping Queens when the government wasn’t, and now they need our help,” said Council Member Vallone. “Turning our backs on them now would be adding insult to injury – first the storm devastates them, and then, despite the charity they have displayed for centuries, we abandon them.”

Both during and after the storm, houses of worship were on the front lines taking care of the refugees and evacuees. But despite holding their doors open (and sustaining significant storm damage in the interim), all houses of worship are currently excluded from qualifying for federal aid to cover the cost of repairs.

Grace Meng, Queens Politics“Three months since Hurricane Sandy battered our region, houses of worship continue to be denied the same treatment that is afforded to other non-profit entities,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens). “This is unfair, wrong and must change as churches, synagogues, mosques and temples still struggle to secure the money they need in order to repair or rebuild their facilities. I will continue to keep up the fight in Congress, and I thank Councilman Vallone, Speaker Quinn and Councilman Recchia for their leadership on this issue, and for highlighting my effort in the New York City Council.”

The City Council’s Committee on Finance will be holding a hearing for the bill on February 7th, which is co-sponsored by Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Domenic Recchia.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/02/meng-and-vallone-teamup-to-fight-for-fema-relief/

Video

Activist Calls Out Elects on MLS ‘Land Grab’ Proposals [video]

Alfredo Centola is an activist and conservationist.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/01/fmcp-parkland-theft-video-fmcp-al-centola/

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