The year 2012 promises to be filled with lots of political drama and before the political season arrives, let me first wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope that you all enjoyed the mild weather and beautiful holiday season. I am sorry if I missed you at the holiday festivities throughout the season however my husband, Ed and I, finally got that family vacation taken with brothers and sister.
Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address last week outlined quite an ambitious year ahead and hopes to continue his term by working together in a bipartisan manner in Albany. He has introduced some very exciting goals. His announcement for the creation of the largest Convention Center in the Nation allowing NY to be competitive, is not only good news for the State but for the 23 AD in particular. In a public-private partnership, the Aqueduct Race Track venue presents an opportunity to create not only a world class Convention Center but promises to build a demand for new tourism venues which can only impact all the surrounding areas. Governor Cuomo recognizes, “We are surrounded by gaming and for us, this is not about chips and cards. This is about the jobs that the casino industry generates.”, and so I am glad that he is also in favor of amending the state’s Constitution to allow for full fledged resort-style casinos.
With all eyes on the development of the Convention Center and amending the State Constitution to allow gaming, it is unlikely that quality of life issues would develop without being addressed expeditiously. Due to the close proximity to JFK airport, this Convention Center will spur the need for additional tourist venues to occur, and demand the upgrade of transportation to not only NYC but to the Rockaway Beaches which would be a hugh boost for the Rockaway economy. Who knows, maybe Congressman Bob Turner can help make the case to finally improve the neglected Gateway National Park to help improve t his tourist venue. Even Mayor Bloomberg agrees that the Convention Center and the redevelopment of the Jacob Javits Center would be beneficial and is in keeping with a solid economic plan that would benefit NYC. I was very glad to see that Congressman Bob Turner has sent a letter to the Governor to make sure that Community Board 10 is included in any plans for this development as it should be.
I wish newly elected Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder much success in the Assembly and look forward to seeing him champion the removal of the toll on the Cross Bay Bridge, as promised. I will expect that he will be introducing a bill forthwith to do so, as was previously done annually by his predecessor, Audrey Pheffer, although I hope that he will meet with success. As of January 10, 2012, his web site does not report that has happened as of yet. I would hope that he will keep us informed as to the movement or lack of movement of this bill and how we might help to make sure that the elimination of this toll becomes a reality at long last. I will assume that Assemblyman Goldfeder now favors the expansion of Aqueduct Racino to full gaming as well as the idea of a Convention Center as long as it does not present quality of life issues to his constituents. I am sorry that I missed the Assemblyman’s town hall meetings last month where he addressed many local issues such as the crumbling Jamaica Bay Wall, Beach 116 Street business concerns, transportation and traffic flow problems that exist within the district, the need for continued funding for our seniors throughout the dis- trict, however my husband and I were finally vacationing with family.
Recognizing that Rockaway has been neglected far too long is a fresh and welcomed outlook that all our elected official embrace. I am sure that Congressman Bob Turner welcomes his support and influence with Senator Chuch Schumer, in issues of beach replenishment dollars and Bay Wall repairs or replacement. I am sure that Councilman Eric Ulrich also enjoys working with him on replacing the Bay Wall which has been the deterrent in achieving the completion of the National Grid cleanup and of course any help in achieving improved transportation for his constituents. Much can be done by the three levels of government working together.
The Iowa Caucus is history and Mitt Romney came in first with Rick Santorum a very close second. This past Tuesday, ( deadline for this article) New Hampshire held its primary and although Romney is the frontrunner, this primary is only a precursor of the busy season in front of us all politically. Regardless of these outcomes, our Councilman Eric Ulrich has been chosen to be the 2012 NYC Chairman for Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and he will be looking for lots of help going forward. Congratulations Eric.
On another note, Congressman Bob Turner has opened his new office located at 82-02AEliot Avenue, Middle Village, Queens, NY 11379, 718 426-5000 and it is being staffed by Margaret Wagner. Please feel free to stop in or to call with any concerns or comments. Bob’s Washington office is located at 2104 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC, 202 225-6616. I know that Bob has been very busy in Washington however he was watching Governor Cuomo’s State of the State, Congressman Turner’s Statement on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address | Representative Robert Turner and called for the Governor to create incentives for businesses, build on the tourist industry and provide mandate relief to help New Yorkers. Keep in touch with Bob at www.bobturner.house. gov Please fell free to contact his office if you are planning a trip to Washington, DC.
I would like to extend my deep condolences to past Republican District Leader Theresa Ariola on the passing of her husband, Paul Ariola, who has been itll for some time. Their daughter, Joanne Ariola is VP of the Ronald Reagan Republican Club of Howard Beach.
Having lost my father at Christmas time, I understand while it is never an easy time to go through, I remember it is what we have learned from those who go before us, and the traditions that they imparted on us, that we remember and honor them, by continuing those traditions with our families.
Again, I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!