Tag Archive: press release

Oct 08 2012

Gutsy Opponent Hammers On Tony’s Tenure

Concannon blasted away in last night's press release.

If there ever was a case to replace Tony Avella as Senator for the 11th District in Queens, Republican Joe Concannon, a retired NYPD Captain and former security advisor to Mayor Giuliani, has put it altogether in a press release issued shortly after midnight.

There are two parts including quotes from the opening of his new campaign office located in Bay Terrace (near the Post office), and the second half (below) that is like an indictment of Tony’s political career. Highlights include calling attention to Tony’s record, accusations of ‘class warfare rhetoric’, and being ‘bored’ in City Council, plus other insults such as “Tony can’t play well with others,” and “Business leaders know Tony sees them only as a cash register.”

Concannon also promises to become the next Frank Padavan even adapting Padavan’s well-known campaign slogan to “Nobody cares like Joe. ” Also includes the word begrudge in the last paragraph.

Press Release:

  • “Rather than work with people – he bangs the drum and calls people names and resorts to histrionics. Like so many other small business owners these caring retailers have been on the wrong end of the stick with my opponent who is constantly looking for another community news story at someone else’s expense. Constantly, attacking another employer or property owner or coming up with another fee or tax or regulation to impose making it harder to make ends meet, survive or grow is not the answer.
  • That was his record in the Council and it has been his short record as a junior Senator. The short of it is making noise is not delivering for the community.  Another rally or protest that doesn’t address the issue, doesn’t improve our quality of life …. is not the answer. Another job-killing regulation or tax does not create a job or help our economy or even balance our budget. Civic leaders know they have been shortchanged by Tony’s promises and were better off with Frank. Business leaders know Tony sees them only as a cash register with Tony now echoing Obama’s anti-business class warfare rhetoric – but guess what Tony – our community’s small business owners and executives did build it!…. and they are doing their fair share! What’s more we are paying out more in our community than any other community in Queens and getting less in return because Tony can’t play well with others. Well that is just not good enough.
  • The long and the short of it is that if the good people of Northeast Queens elect me… Joe Concannon I will work steadfastly on their behalf and I will be a full time Senator, like Frank was, focused only on our community’s interest. Frank was known for his slogan “Nobody Cares Like Frank” – well we now know Frank had big shoes and that the slogan fit and that Tony can’t fill either the shoes or the slogan and that our community has suffered because of it.
  • You can bank on this – after one term our community will know that “Nobody Cares Like Joe.” I will work harder and I pledge to work with anyone I have to – to get the job done!
  • Here is one last thing I want to leave you with. Tony has been a long career in public service and good for him. Some would call him a career politician and perhaps it would have done him some good to work in the private sector for a while but no matter. He jumped from being a Dinkin’s staffer to being a Stavisky staffer to being a Council Member. Bored with his duties in the Council and unable to deliver for the community he made a quixotic run for Mayor. That did not work out so well and now having served less than a full term in the Senate and unable to work with his fellow Senators he has failed to deliver for our community again shortchanging our civics and our not-for-profits and our schools and senior centers and community institutions and now he is playing with running for Borough President…..? Perhaps he should do so.
  • However I make this final pledge. Not only will I be a full time Senator fighting for our community day and night I also pledge to serve out my term and not using it as a stepping stone for higher office.
  • I begrudge no one for seeking higher office and think it is a particularly good idea for Tony to do so since he has failed to accomplish anything of note in his short term in the Senate except voting for a scandal laden majority leader like Sampson after promising to be a reformer.”

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/10/concannon-pounds-on-tonys-tenure/

Aug 12 2012

Yen Chou to Ethel Chen: You Owe This Community An Apology!

Not in my neighborhood

Standing up for voters by calling out shameful politics.

Yen Chou, a candidate for Assembly District 40, held a press conference with community leaders to demand an apology from Assembly Candidate Ethel Chen who filed a lawsuit that Chou claims was tantamount to an act of ‘voter suppression and harassment’.

“I think it is shameful that any candidate would stoop this low to separate our community,” said Chou in a press release. “We need to move forward and work to unify our community toward the best we can be and not be an instrument of segregation .”

Were these voters unfairly targeted by the Chen campaign?

Chou’s claims were backed up by community Leader Chaudhry Anwar, “I cannot understand why I was approached by an Ethel Chen staffer asking me did I collect the signature of two Korean community members. I Feel that the question was insulting because my wife is Korean,” adding, “This is not the way anyone should approach our community.”

More on this to follow.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/08/yen-chou-to-ethel-chen-you-owe-this-community-an-apology/

Oct 07 2011

Gennaro Puts Government Regulators In The Hot Seat

Council Member Jim Gennaro (D-24: Briarwood, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Hillcrest Estates, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens Hills, Utopia Estates, & parts of Forest Hills, Flushing, Jamaica & Rego Park) is concerned about the environmental consequences of hydrofracking for all New Yorkers.

In an exclusive interview, QP speaks with Council Member James Gennaro, Chairman of the City Council Environmental Protection Committee on his mission to save our water,  thus proving that pollution does not abide by political boundaries.

Gennaro is not your ordinary Council Member, he’s also a trained geologist. What does a geologist do in the NYC Council? They offer a scientific approach to environmental public policy making. Gennaro is the Council’s point-man on environmental policy. Even though we’ve never met, I liked him immediately.

Gennaro received national acclaim in 2010 for his prominent role in Gas Land, a feature picture that examines the dangers of Hydrofracking, an issue with serious environmental consequences for the people of Queens.

Fracking, according to the Safe Water Movement is an energy and water intensive, highly toxic process whereby methane trapped in impermeable rock (shale and tight sands) is extracted from the ground by pumping chemicals into the Earth.

On September 28th, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released Hydro-Fracking regulations, which are the rules Big Energy corporations must abide by in order to operate. Gennaro said these regulations were based on a fatally flawed draft of an Environmental Impact Statement that was completed in just three weeks and escaped public scrutiny.

Oh my.

According to the press release,

“In a legitimate environmental regulatory process, the environmental impact statement (EIS) – which is supposed to inform the drafting of environmental regulations – is finalized before the drafting of regulations is commenced. During the finalization process  (Finalizing an EIS involves the submission of public comments to the DEC, written responses to the comments by the DEC, public hearings on the EIS by the DEC, etc.) In this case, these regulations are not only informed by a draft EIS, but an EIS that is, as stated above, a fatally-flawed document that does not come close to assessing properly the myriad of environmental issues and impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing.”

Gennaro’s Interview With QP:

Jim, I know you’re the EPC chair, but other than that, why is Hydrofracking a critical issue for you?

“[Hydrofracking] places the NYC water supply at risk,” said Gennaro who dedicated 21 years of his career to the protection of the NYC watershed and the water it produces for Queens residents.

What headway have you made so far?

“On Fracking — myself and Speaker Christie Quinn and the Bloomberg administration, I think the city has had some success in getting the state to recognize the precious nature of the water supply.” The Cuomo administration and the DEC under Cuomo placed bans on fracking in certain watersheds in Syracuse and other areas.  But the battle is far from over.

According to Gennaro,

“Primary aquifers have been placed off limits to fracking. If you really want to protect you need not only the 2000 square mile watershed but also an adequate buffer with regard to the city’s critical water supply tunnels.”

Policy aside, let’s talk geology. What’s so bad about hydrofracking?

“[Hydrofracking] is an inherently environmentally problematic endeavor.

How So? Tell me more.

“This is just an activity that creates abundant contamination to water supplies but also on the surface, through truck trips, erosion, and pipelines to form a network to transport this gas to the water.” But there’s more to the damage, there is subsurface damage, said Gennaro, and a lot of air quality issues.

Who’s in charge of hydrofracking regulations? Who will save us?

“There is no federal regulation of this activity. This is an industry that can go state to state.”  Energy companies seek a lax regulatory paradigm, he said.

“Although New York will be stricter in the other states to have this process. This is clearly the type of activity that cries out for federal regulation.”

Why aren’t the feds doing anything about this dangerous process?

“The federal EPA is now currently legally prohibited from regulating hydro fracking as per the 2005 energy policy act which does not allow for regulation of this activity and which is currently being studied by the EPA. They are exempt from the clean water act.”

Gennaro expressed his grief with the politics on the federal level and encourages a state solution:

“It’s an abomination. I don’t see any movement in congress to move this around, they have become more and more conservative. I don’t see any movement on the national level to regulate hydrofracking”

“Any such regs would have to pass through a pro-energy and pro-fossil fuel Republican House and they are never going to vote for this it must be fought at the state level and that’s what they’re doing.” 

See State Senator Avella’s bill to ban hydrofracking.

Gennaro thinks that the governor has said some very good things about the science but,

“there is a big disconnect between what the Governor says and what the DEC says and is doing.”

Which City Council Members from Queens are supportive of anti-fracking initiatives?

Peter Vallone issued a statement and I think, the members of the council are very united…all the other boroughs are united.  Some Council Members play a more prominent role, said Gennaro.

“There are those like myself that try to play a prominent role, [and] there are others that are generally supportive of all the time and effort the Council used to push this forward. The speaker has allocated abundant resources to press the case… [although]

“We have no control over what the state ultimately does.”

What role are you playing?

“We are playing the role of advocate. Vallone sits on the EPC he’s been active on the issue.  I don’t know any members that have not been supportive of my efforts. Lord knows there’s been a lot of brain power for the council as an institution dedicated to this issue.”

Is our drinking water really, seriously threatened or is this a game of politics?

“The regulations proposed by the state would allow fracking, immediately adjacent underneath our water supply tunnels which could lead to the direct contamination to the water transported by these tunnels by fracking fluids.” That is the threat, said Gennaro.

“This is what the scientists believe. Also as a geologist, the city’s DEP put forward  – almost two years ago – a large body of science that there should be at least a seven mile ban buffer zone with in any kind of infrastructure like a tunnel. The state DEC is offering rather than a mile buffer, but a 1000-foot buffer. Forty times less than what the city asked for. The state’s buffer is not a true buffer. The Battleground is the buffer to make sure the city can protect the water supply. There are areas upstate technically outside the watershed near our critical water supply tunnels, and that area is not protected.”

What message would you like to send to Big Energy Government Regulators?

Gennaro said the message is not meant for Energy corporations. Corporations by design are motivated by maximizing profit and therefore responsibility for the environment falls on regulators to ensure these companies are operating in a safe capacity.

“Many folks in the fracking debate have all kinds of things to say to the big energy companies, I have a lot more to say to the government regulators who set the rules to which Big energy has to play, there are many people that are involved in the anti fracking movement that have a lot of animus toward Big Energy. It is not big energy’s job to protect the groundwater. Government Regs are charged with responsibility to be good stewards of our natural resources and not putting forth regulation that would cause big problems.

I save my punches for Gov regulators, Gennaro quipped.

“If anyone thinks that big energy is going to be more environmentally protective to our natural resources than the government allows them to be, that’s just not the reality.

The health and safety of people is not at the feet of Big Energy its at the feet of Gov regulators who are blinded by short term tax revenues that comes with liquidating natural resources.

I think it’s a fool’s argument. At the end of the day it’s the people we elect to protect us.”

Council Member Jim Gennaro is doing just that. Bravo Jim.

Rally at Minisink, NY Town Hall. More than 100 protestors attended to Stop The Compressor Station.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/council-member-jaems-gennaro-puts-government-regulators-in-the-hot-seat/


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