Even though New York State is supposed to be giving lottery money towards schools and education, a deal made seven years ago has actually made sure that over $200 million was given to the New York Racing Association (NYRA) instead.
The NYRA, which is probably most famous for the Belmont Stakes, owns the Belmont Racetrack, the Saratoga Springs Racetrack and the Aqueduct Racetrack. They filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2008 and after an overwhelming negotiation between the state and the NYRA, the NYRA prevailed.
“As this deal was being made, New York state was in the process of dramatically cutting education, leading to 30,000 job losses — roughly 22,000 in teachers,” Carl Korn, a representative for the union of NYS teachers, told Buzzfeed. “And what is most outrageous is the poorest districts were hit with a disproportionate amount of these cuts.”
Just in time for Labor Day barbecues, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder pushed the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to include areas of south Queens in their mosquito spraying to combat breeding and the potential spread of West Nile Virus.
Spraying occurred on September 1 between 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following morning.
“For too long, families in southern Queens have been forced to endure growing mosquito populations each time summer rolls around,” said Goldfeder in a release. “This plague threatens our quality of life and increases the risk of deadly West Nile virus, especially for families still struggling from Sandy.”
Since Hurricane Sandy, the area has been plagued by frequent flooding and abandoned properties, creating standing water areas that are attractive to mosquitos. Spraying will cover Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach and Lindenwood.
This announcement comes after significant lobbying from Goldfeder, who wrote two letters to the department, citing a frequent nuisance from mosquitoes in the neighborhoods surrounding Jamaica Bay.
City officials and developer Arker Companies broke ground on Beach Channel Senior Apartments, a 154 affordable homes for low-income seniors in Far Rockaway last week. The seven-story, mixed-use development is slated to be complete in 2017.
“Two years from this very day, the lives of 150 senior citizens will change and it will change for the better,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, minutes before putting a ceremonial shovel in the ground.
The project is part of the de Blasio administration’s commitment to 10,000 units of affordable senior housing over the next 10 years. The plan – known as the Senior Affordable Rental Apartments Program – is a result of a $350 million investment to serve seniors of little to no income. In this case, the units are reserved for seniors that make less than $36,300 annually, including 46 formerly homeless seniors.
“Our seniors helped build our neighborhoods through thick and thin and we are fighting to make sure they can stay in the communities they love,” de Blasio said. “Beach Channel is the first of many projects we’re undertaking to build and protect affordable homes for our seniors and make sure this remains a city for everyone.”
A northbound bus carrying Resorts World Casino customers smashed through the side of a Rego Park building located at 62-87 Woodhaven Blvd on Monday afternoon.
According to a FDNY representative, the incident, which took place around 2:30 p.m., occurred after the bus swerved in order to avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle making a sharp turn. Six people were taken to Jamaica Hospital following the accident, according to authorities from the 112th Precinct. Impact from the accident at the back of the building caused most of the bricks and structure in the first and second floors to crumble down. The Department of Buildings came onto the scene to check the building’s structural stability.
Community activist groups rallied in Rockaway on Sunday to protest Port Ambrose, a proposed marine port for importing liquified natural gas (LNG) located 19 miles off the coast of New York City. Protestors drew a symbolic line in the sand, asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to veto the proposed port.
“Whether we look at the proposed LNG as an environmentally dangerous project, a safety and security risk, or a project with no benefit to my constituents or true need for a liquid natural gas offshore facility at this time, this project should be stopped in its tracks and not be approved,” State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who attended the rally, said.
Assemblyman Paul Goldfeder and 52 other state legislators sent a letter to Cuomo urging him to kill the project.
“The proposed Port Ambrose LNG project is simply not worth the risk to our families and to the beaches and waterways vital to our economic growth,” Goldfeder said. “Bringing unstable LNG to Rockaway’s shores would jeopardize the safety of thousands of families, pollute our fragile marine environment, and threaten nearby JFK Airport.”
Last week, Resorts World Casino revealed 60 electronic blackjack machines to its casino.
While the casino already offers electronic table games like roulette and craps, it’s the first time that a New York racetrack casino has been allowed to offer games of skill such as blackjack and poker. In an effort to boost that state’s revenue, and especially assist in state education aid, casinos such as the ones in Yonkers, Saratoga Springs and Monticello have all been given the green light to use the electronic games by Governor Cuomo.
To play, an attractive female dealer on the screen will lead the game. Those playing will choose whether to hit or stand using a touchscreen.
In addition to the 60 current tables, the casino will add 300 more blackjack machines by the fall.
Tomorrow night, polar-opposite musical acts Dean Scala and Lumidee will be performing at Resorts World Casino.
From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., listen to Dean Scala’s brilliant guitar riffs in his return to Queens. Lumidee will follow Dean Scala at 11 p.m. The artist is most known for her hit “Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh).”
Resorts World Casino is locate at 110-00 Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park.
On Friday, July 31, the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance was presented with a $5,000 check from the Aviation Development Council (ADC) that will go towards their new partnership program, Aqua 101 Youth Program. The education and leadership development program for Rockaway’s youth came about through dialogue with airline board members of ADC and the community affairs office of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Throughout the program, students from local middle schools and high schools will learn how they can protect the local environment with visits from renowned environmental scientists and educators. Students will also tackle environmental conservation work by conducting shoreline clean-ups on Jamaica Bay as well as restoring a natural dune barrier.
“Rockaway Waterfront Alliance is grateful to Aviation Development Council for supporting our summer youth program this year,”said Executive Director Jeanne DuPont. “Their support allows us to serve local youth who have not had previous experience connecting to the natural environment to discover the valuable waterfront resources and the environment of the Rockaway Peninsula, while enjoying opportunities to take part in swimming, surfing and kayaking directly off the Rockaway shoreline.”
Residents in South Ozone Park are planning yet another protest in response to the ACS’ juvenile detention center in the area.
The state’s Close to Home program moves 18 juveniles in upstate facilities back down to the city in order to have them closer to their families.
A group of residents, named the Committee to Stop the Prison in South Ozone Park, is hosting the protest. They will rally on Saturday at the parking lot of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, located on 133-25 128 Street.
“When our government infringes into our way of life, our freedom and our prosperity, we need to stand together and honorably fight for our rights,” a flier for the protest states.
Recently, the center was audited by city comptroller Scott Stringer. The contract was rejected last month but ACS resent the contract to Stringer’s office on July 13.