Tag Archive: Queens

Nov 25 2012

Flushing Savings Bank Protest Round 2

Be advised, the saga of the Flushing Protest continues returning for the tko on Monday. Read full coverage of their first protest on QueensCrap.

Press Advisory:

Contact: Mr. Bill Struhs

Tel. 718–846-7630

Email: QnsResAgainstFSB@gmail.com

Queens Residents to stage second
Demonstration Against Predatory Practices of Flushing Savings Bank

Forest Hills Queens:    The Queens Residents Against Flushing Savings Bank, now are again taking their battle against the Banking Behemoth to the streets.  The group has announced their campaign to expose the corrupt and predatory practices of Flushing Savings Bank to local consumers.  The Group will be in front of the Forest Hills branch leafleting and making the community aware of their bad corporate neighbor. 

At this event the Group also will announce their schedule and mobilization activities.   

Who:         Queens Residents Against FSB

What:       Protest Flushing Savings Bank predatory practices

Where:     Front of Flushing Savings Bank, Forest Hills Branch

                  107-11 Continental Avenue Forest Hills, NY 11375

When:      Monday, November 26, 2012

Time:        12 Noon

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/11/flushing-savings-bank-protest/

Jun 09 2012

Democratic clubs say Hell No to Shirley Huntley

We’re not gonna take it!

They defied County and threw their support behind James Sanders.

Did you ever wonder why County candidates almost never have an issue with ballot access?

If you’re a candidate running with County’s endorsement, the petition process is a cake walk unless a mutiny occurs like it did in South Queens.

The petitioning period for County candidates is relatively easy. Each candidate whether for assembly, committee people, or senate hopefuls are all on the same petition sheet and it makes reelection a cinch, usually.

The official petition is delivered to the loyal Democratic clubs which distribute the sheets to their respective members. Every club encourages members to come in where they are greeted by a representative from County.They hand out the petitions and instruct the members to return sometimes on the following day.

The sheer volume of petition collectors almost always ensures ballot access; it’s sort of like an army in waiting. A club that can pull in 5,000 signatures is worth it’s sand.

But this time, it didn’t go as planned.

Sanders supporters – the bulk of which are senior citizens and members of the local democratic clubs – outright refused to carry the petitions with Shirley Huntley’s name on them.

The snub essentially embarrassed all of the County candidates. The petitions were not taken home and they had to be returned to County! The Democratic clubs of South Queens are now carrying petitions for James Sanders.

According to accounts, Huntley hates the Rockaways. In the past she has made derogatory comments that have come back to haunt her. “In times past, she’s put the people down. But the people have not forgotten,” according to a democratic club member from the Rockaways.

Insiders believe the coup indicates Huntley doesn’t have strong support. During the redistricting, most of her old district was cut out. If elected, Huntley will represent less than half of her old district, a special present from Malcolm Smith.

She’s almost not an incumbent in an incumbent district.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/06/democratic-clubs-say-hell-no-to-shirley-huntley/

Dec 09 2011

The North Queens Cyber Soapbox

From Daysofourlives.comBreaking News: Silverstein takes on Governor from his toilet in Bay Terrace; pens complaint while taking a crap.

It’s the Thursday morning north Queens Cyber Soapbox, and like the times of ancient Rome when people would stand on their soapbox and preach to the crowd, now we do it on the internet.

This morning I received a dozen emails, voicemails, facebook messages etc. that pointed out different leads, different angles. But the real story is the cyber soapbox, where all the local leaders, friend and foe alike, share their presence on the internet.

I woke up to Steve Behar talking about the President.

A lengthy conversation took place in regards to Dan Halloran’s 6-page article in the Village Voice. There’s no right or wrong answer. It is what it is.

Bob Friedrich has regained his column in the Times Ledger between William Lewis (an Occupy basher) and Dee Richard to give a right leaning spin to every possible issue. A few folks were talking about that.

Elio Forcina had an urgent prayer request, “Please pray for the soul of a desperate mother whose children were starving in Texas-after being denied food stamps for the 5th time in months , she shot her 2 children, they are in the ICU and killed herself at the welfare office.”

Dan Halloran was posting pictures of the renovated Council Chambers.

Mathew Silverstein hailed a blog post on the Courier website as a monumental achievement. Apparently he’s angry over a $700 tuition hike at CUNY Schools. He  did not mention how hard our parochial schools have been hit nor did he relish in the MTA Payroll tax that will save non-public schools 8 million dollars next year.

Warren Schreiber, President of the Bay Terrace Community alliance continues to be way too nosey.

Al Centola, President of the Malba Gardens Civic mentioned his online impersonator that wrote a few unkind words about the Welcome to Whitestone Civic President, Devon O’Connor on the Times Ledger web page. This is why we don’t allow anonymous comments on Queens-Politics.com.

Whitestone Village was disappointed that Ed Braunstein couldn’t make it to the fundraiser held Wednesday night at Verdi’s. Ed was held up in negotiation in Albany, but Cheers to the guys for their hard work.

Till next week,

-QP

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/12/north-queens-cyber-soapbox/

Dec 07 2011

Taxi! (Only works in Manhattan)

No street hails for Queens commuters.

The Brooklyn Politics: It looks like the bill the legislature passed earlier this year to allow livery cabs to accept street hails in the outer boroughs like Brooklyn [and Queens] is officially dead:

A measure that would have expanded livery cab coverage to the outer boroughs of New York City will not be revisted during the extraordinary session.

This is a relatively fascinating development, as this was one of those bills that was only “controversial” because one special interest (the yellow taxi cab industry) insisted it was. 

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/12/taxi/

Nov 10 2011

One-sided War delivers 12 Democratic Judges

Under the present system, Beltrani didn't stand a chance at becoming Justice of the Supreme Court of NY -he was on the wrong side of the aisle..

If you enter politics in NYC for the sole purpose of becoming a judge, stay away from the Republican party.

People go into politics for different reasons. Some want a job, some want the rush, while others want the justly nobler endeavor to serve the community.  Some are a combination.

The way to become a Supreme Court Justice in Queens is to kiss up the party, help other candidates, become district leader, or threaten to run for office. There’s multiple ways to do it. Different people wait for years, but it’s the Democratic clubs that choose Supreme Court judges. Whoever gets the nod for the coveted slot by the County organization is the candidate that becomes the Justice, in a way they are anointed.

There’s a two party system, but  we really have a one party system. Not enough people ever vote, and when they do its usually Democrat across the board especially during a primary or a judicial race.

Like the Soviet Union, party bosses hen peck judges for the Supreme Court of NY.

In the 11th judicial district in Queens, a total of 12 candidates, six Republicans and six Democrats, competed for six slots on the Supreme Court. The winners, according to a source, were Allan Weiss, Pam Jackman-Brown, Rudolph Greco, Janice Taylor, Timothy Dufficy, and Ira Margulis – all Democrats.

Would it be so terrible to have one Republican Justice?

It’s an uphill battle for Republicans. When you’re the county candidate for Supreme Court Justice, a few things happen that make your run a lot easier.

You get a small army of free petition carriers otherwise they wont come out unless you pay them. Some lackey will iron your robe and provide you with unlimited boilerplate expressions to throw around town while you’re introduced to the who’s who of party politics. Grassroots candidates, and GOP candidates are ill-matched against the establishment. They have to hire their own people at cost.

If you want to become a judge, you will need to become comfortable kissing ass.

It’s like getting a job, in a sense you too are hired by the county organization rather than elected. It happens in legislative elections but the ‘race’ for Supreme Court Justice is the most egregious example. The leadership has to like you. There is a vetting system judge candidates must pass, like being an attorney in good standing for 10 years, but you may never get to that point.

It’s not who has the best legal mind, it’s who handed out the most flyers.

You want to believe the system is good, but for the election of Supreme Court Justices that’s just the way it is.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/supreme-court/

Nov 07 2011

Just Another Crooked Queens Politician

From NBC

Queens Lawmaker Organizes Out-of-State Gambling Trips for Elderly

By Chris Glorioso

A Queens lawmaker has been organizing out-of-state gambling trips for hundreds of seniors citizens, which has raised eyebrows among good government groups because the trips are funded by corporate donations.

State Assemblyman William Scarborough (D-Jamaica) solicited about $4,000 in donations for his latest trip in August. The money came from Consolidated Edison, Regal Recycling, Health First, and the Amalgamated Transit Union.

The money paid for round-trip, chartered buses and lunch for the elderly Queens residents.

Nonprofits that monitor government ethics have criticized the concept, concluding it looks more like a self-promotional campaign event rather than a community service for seniors.

“To take a bunch of senior citizens out of state to a casino to show their appreciation — I would call that very questionable,” said Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union.

Scarborough has insisted that money for the trip was never funneled through his Assembly office.

Instead he says the four companies paid the bus company directly. Still, Deanna Bitetti, associate director of Common Cause, said the donations should have been declared as in-kind contributions on Scarborough’s campaign disclosure.

“Kind of reminiscent a little bit of the Tammany Hall political era, if you think about it, Bitetti said. “The idea of buying votes, using corporate money to pay for certain services that may or may not be beneficial to the community.”

Although Scarborough’s name was prominently spelled out on placards in each bus window, the Queens lawmaker insisted the trip was not self-promotional.

“You could say that anything you do for anybody if you’re an elected official could be construed as buying votes — I mean, it’s simply a way to say thank you,” Scarborough told NBC New York as the buses prepared to launch for Atlantic City.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/just-another-crooked-queens-politician/

Oct 18 2011

Meet Michael Serao, QP’s 2011 Man of the Year

Michael Serao is named Queens-Politics Man of the Year and for good reason.

Do you know Michael Serao? You should.

 

Michael Serao is the man you never heard about. He is a pillar of Queens society. Michael is not a politician, although he’s been encouraged to run on many occasions. Rather, Michael is a civic-minded citizen, a businessman, a Democrat, a friend that liberally shares his success with a profusion of charitable organizations – and yet – asks for nothing in return.

Michael was not born into wealth, he made his own. He’s the kind of guy that rose up from his bootstraps and unlike many others; Michael never forgot where he came from.

His best friend, Chrissie Candela who has known Michael for over 25 years said he’s one of the best guys you’ll ever meet in your life.

“My mom was sick and she couldn’t get to the bank and Michael came to my house and opened all the accounts.”

But its not about business says Michael “It’s about friendship.”

Candela told a story of a dire moment in her life. During the torrential Flushing floods of 2006 – when her house flooded with three feet of sewage – Michael came to the rescue.

“My basement was in ankle high in shit water and I freaked out no one was home so I called Michael and he came over with cleaning equipment and Clorox.”

Antoinette Rivera of Bayside believes it’s Michael’s sense of determination that compliments the deep content of his character.

“Michael is a unique person that never turns anyone down. The odd thing is that it began at a young age. He’s a positive guy. I love him and he’s good to be around. He goes for the gusto,” she said.

I’m also proud to be a friend of his. Michael and I grew up in the same neighborhood and share a number of close friends in common. The neighborhood wasn’t an easy place to grow up. Scratch the surface and underneath the veneer of a working class neighborhood you’ll find the enduring pitfalls of chaos: drugs, gangs, and violence. It’s the type of environment that cast an iron mold of successful men. Michael is one of them.

City Council Member Dan Halloran and my friend Michael Serao, VP Quontic Bank and Treasurer of the Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club at the Community Service Awards Night in the Adria Hotel.

Michael’s kindness is something I experienced first hand.   In 2011, he made it a point to check up on me when my mother was in the hospital. He was one of only people that for no other reason than being a true friend, showed the true colors of his munificence.

Michael was there for me, in my time of need. It was an act of kindness that I will never forget.

Serao is a rising star amongst political insiders, although he is adamant about never running for office.

“Running for office? Absolutely not, [but] I will support candidates I believe in and that’s it,” Michael said.

In lieu of a campaign for public office, Michael has turned to philanthropy by offering grants and community scholarships to local students.

The Serao-Bench Scholarship will be presented to the Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club. It is a venture Michael hopes will make a difference in the life of young students.

“In an economy that has suffered to severely, I am blessed that my partner and I are in a position where we can help and make a difference,” Michael said.

Present

Michael is very active in the LGBT community, in fact he is the LGBT community. Michael has served as President of the Western Queens LGBT Democratic club.  In addition to donating $50,000 of his personal finances last year, Michael has confident plans for the future. He began The Michael Serao and Jonathan Bench Foundation in which he plans to donate over $250,000 to various community groups.

Currently, Michael is the Vice-President of Quontic Bank and also a NYC Commissioner of Deeds. He transferred from JP Morgan Chase to work in a bank with strong ties to the community. Michael was fed up with corporate culture.

“I worked for corporate banks and I got tired of the nonsense, so I moved to a truly community bank,” said Michael.

Michael shares the love. He is involved in so many organizations and his compassion is recognized by so many; I had to put them in a list. Most recently he was unanimously voted onto the Board of Directors for QSAC where he received the QSAC 2011 Community Service Award:

Michael is engaged to his partner Jonathan Bench. They will be married in September at Leonards of Great Neck. Over 250 guests are expected to attend.

 Awards include:

Michael’s business acumen has been recognized throughout Queens. He is the recipient of the The Business Leadership Award from Queens Borough  President Helen Marshall  The HX Magazine Business Man of The Year, The Powahattan Democratic Club Business Leadership Award, and  2007 Man of the Year Long Island City Knights of Columbus.

Affiliations include:

  • Board Director Astoria LIC Kiwanis.
  • President of the Ditmars Merchants Association.
  • Board Member Sharing and Caring.
  • Advisory Board Member to Immaculate Conception school.
  • Chairman of the Astoria Park Relay for Life.
  • Charter member Bayside-Whitestone Lions International, Treasurer.
  • Treasurer Clinton Democratic Club.
  • Board Director for the Variety Boys and Girls Club.
  • Member of Community Board 1.
  • Vice-President of the Astoria Civic Association.
  • Former Vice-President of OUT Astoria.

For his selfless commitment to the neighborhood and community activism and working harder than most elected officials, Michael Serao is named Queens-Politics Man of the Year.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/michael-serao-man-of-the-year/

Oct 14 2011

In Light Of Dubious Allegations John Liu Is Still The American Dream

Here I am watching a Poll site in Flushing, a few hours before John Liu would become Comptroller of the City of New York. I stand by my guy.

An article in the New York Times  raised some scathing questions about the source  of contributions listed on Comptroller Liu’s disclosure reports with the city’s Campaign Finance Board. What do I think? I say this is a waste of time. I’ll let Liu speak for himself:

Liu responds in Michael Howard Sauls article in The Wall Street Journal,

“If there is anything that is not fully above board, I don’t want those contributions, and I don’t need those contributions,” Mr. Liu said in an interview. “What we do is try to dot every I and cross every T.”

Let me tell you a thing or two about John Liu. He is the American dream incarnate. Liu is an effective legislator. During his tenure as Council Member, he would travel everywhere.

I live in Auburndale which is part of greater Flushing and outside his old Council District, but that did not stop him from being everywhere and helping everyone. His staff is fast and responsive and they tend to stick around.  He is a Queens man at heart, he went to Bronx High School of Science and graduated Suny Binghampton with a B.A in Mathematical Physics, whatever that is.

He’s not blue blood. I used to see him on the 7 train headed to City Hall.  I’m sure deep down inside that he feels most comfortable here. It would be nice to have a guy like this as Mayor. Really, it’s true.

Take a look at my new street light. Take a look at my new stop signs by my house. It’s all thanks to John Liu.

As Comptroller, Liu’s audits have recovered millions of dollars while saving 700,000 individual pension benefits. He’s also an advocate of LGBT rights. Many of his accomplishments tend to go under the radar, that’s because the nature of his position as Chief Financial officer. He’s a number cruncher that works on behalf of tax payers – to make sure we get the most out of our buck.

Liu has the responsibility for auditing city agencies, city contracts, and advising the mayor and city council about the city’s financial situation.

For a full list of his legislative accomplishments click here. 

I live across the street from a car lot. Sometimes they get neglected. Sometimes they become a dump. With one phone call, John Liu tracked down the owner and had the entire place cleaned up.

When John Liu ran his campaign – I volunteered on it – he tapped immigrant communities yearning for a voice in government. They helped him win the election.

I feel a little bit of xenophobia going around especially  when I mentally picture NYTimes journalists in downtown Flushing on Farrington or Prince Street at dusk for an ‘investigation.’  

If you don’t know the neighborhood, then you don’t know the neighborhood.  I think it will blow over soon and we’ll be calling him Mayor, especially if I have anything to do with it.

John C. Liu is the 43rd Comptroller of the City of New York, the first asian-american to hold a city-wide office, independently elected and sworn into office on January 1st 2010.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/johnliu/

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