2000-05-17 / Political Page

On The Brief Side...

Vallone, McCaffrey At ‘Cop’ Hearings

Council Speaker Peter Vallone (D–Astoria) and Councilmember Walter McCaffrey (D–Woodside) attended another in a series of hearings on Police Performance and Community Relations on Monday night in southeast Queens. The Council’s special panel heard testimony from residents and from the Police Department’s Queens South Command. The committee is trying to open a dialogue between the police and local communities following several controversial police shootings.

Crowley Announces Transit, Education Grants

Congressmember Joseph Crowley (D–Queens/Bronx) last week announced a $10 million grant for the East Side Access Project and $800,000 grant for LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City.

The $10 million grant will be added to billions of federal dollars earmarked to build a connection for Long Island Rail Road trains into the eastside of Manhattan.

The LaGuardia CC grant over the next five years will train sign language interpreters who serve deaf and hearing-impaired students in the New York City metropolitan area.

Wiesenfeld To Leave Gov’t Job

Jeff Wiesenfeld, who was a major force in Forest Hills/Rego Park politics as leader of a conservative Democratic movement in the ‘90s, is ending a 20-year career in government to take a position with the Sanford C. Bernstein and Co. investment firm.

Wiesenfeld, a Democrat, helped to galvanize a conservative Democratic vote which twice helped to elect Republican Rudolph Giuliani as mayor. He held jobs with United States Senator Alfonse D’Amato and Governor George Pataki, both Republicans. His last job was as regional director of the Empire State Development Corporation. He will continue to serve on the City University of New York board and in other Pataki appointive posts. Formerly of Forest Hills, he and his wife and child now reside in Great Neck.

Mayor Sets New Anti-Litter Effort

A new citywide anti-litter initiative to help keep city parks clean was announced recently by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Co-sponsored by Home Depot and the New York Times newspaper, the drive will include a public awareness campaign, new anti-litter programming, and increased enforcement. Home Depot will provide 2,000 garbage cans and 1 million garbage bags and the Times will run free advertisements to publicize the new effort. After-school programs will also be a part of the campaign.

Assemblymember-For-Day Joins Weprin

Assemblymember Mark Weprin (D–Bayside) had a new colleague at his side in Albany recently, Assemblymember-for-a-Day Matthew Murphy, a seventh grader at Our Lady of the Snows School in Floral Park. Murphy won an essay contest to earn the honor. The young student attended legislative debates, was briefed on pending legislation and met with representatives of Mayor Giuliani’s lobbying office.

Weprin summed up the day: "The reason I have the contest is to get young persons thinking about and interested in their government. Matt is such a bright student that I have no doubt he will be successful in whatever profession he chooses."

Bill Adds Teeth To Illegal Apt. Ban

The owner of a property with one to three legal dwelling units who fails to pay his fine for creating an illegal dwelling space would have a tax lien filed against his property if the fine is not paid within 30 days, under a bill which passed the state senate last week.

The bill’s sponsor, state Senator Frank Padavan, said interest would be added to the fine as long as it was unpaid. He said while scofflaws ignore fines for illegal conversions, they face a threat of losing their property under his bill.

Vallone, Giuliani Add Animal Shelters

Full service animal shelters licensed by the Department of Health would be established in every borough under a bill sponsored by City Council Speaker Peter Vallone in cooperation with the Giuliani administration. The new mandated facilities will "clearly diminish" the number of unwanted animals roaming the streets, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said in signing the bill. The bill also mandates neutering dogs and cats adopted from animal shelters or purchased from pet shops.



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