Political Potpourri: Gentile Warns Against Library Budget Cuts
Don’t do it!
That was the warning Councilman Vincent Gentile gave to city budget cutters who are seeking to slash the Brooklyn Public Library’s budget.
At a recent City Council hearing, Gentile, who is chairman of the Select Committee on Libraries, talked about the importance of libraries and why it is important to maintain their funding.
Gentile also quoted recent statements by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in which the mayor discussed how libraries are a gateway to opportunity for young people.
“Now, I realize when the mayor puts together his budget, he is forced to make some very difficult choices. But why would he cut funding from the very institution he has lauded as the ‘gateway to opportunity?’ Some say that we cannot afford to fund libraries. I say we cannot afford to be without libraries!” Gentile said.
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U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer announced that legislation he sponsored requiring bus companies to disclose their safety ratings to passengers passed the U.S. Senate.
Schumer originally proposed the legislation last year in response to numerous fatal crashes involving the discount tour bus industry, including a crash in the Bronx that left 15 dead.
Schumer said his legislation would ensure that passengers have an accurate representation of a company’s safety record when selecting their carrier. The plan would require the Federal Motor Carriage Safety Administration (FMCSA) to create clear and understandable safety ratings to be posted on buses and at terminals, and require ticket sellers and bus companies to make their full safety record and history easily accessible at the point of sale
“For too long, bus passengers have been in the dark when it comes to bus safety, but now we’re closer than ever to bringing the same great letter grade system we have for New York City restaurants to the bus companies all across the country and providing passengers with the information they need to stay safe,” he said.
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U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm picked up an important endorsement in his bid for a second term in office.
Led by its chairman, Bay Ridge-ite Craig Eaton, the Kings County Republican Committee held its monthly meeting at its headquarters, at 7620 17th Ave. in Bensonhurst and unanimously endorsed Grimm.
“Tonight’s unanimous vote proves that Brooklyn is 100 percent behind Congressman Grimm,” Eaton said. “In his first term, Michael Grimm not only represented his constituency well in the halls of Congress, but as an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, he became a standard-bearer of the Republican Party nationally by leading the charge to repeal Obamacare and fighting to restore fiscal sanity in Washington.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Grimm on another successful campaign and send him back to Washington, D.C., so he can continue to serve the people back home here in Brooklyn,” the chairman said.
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It looks like Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Turner is going to be gerrymandered out of his district. If the new congressional district lines proposed by the state Legislature are adopted, the district Turner serves will be eliminated.
Undaunted by that, Turner has set his sights on running for U.S. Senate. He has announced that he plans to challenge Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
“I ran for the House six months ago as a private citizen, fed up with what is happening in Washington. I could not sit and watch career politicians sink my nation deeper into economic crisis. Brooklyn and Queens voters, of all political parties, graciously responded by sending me to Congress. It now appears that their district has been eliminated,” Turner said. “There is serious work to be done to get this economy back on track, and I will not walk away from that work now. I will run for the Senate, and I will run to win.”
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Councilwoman Sara González delivered a proclamation to the Brooklyn Chinese American Association’s Sixth Avenue Senior Center on the occasion of its seventh anniversary and was joined in the proclamation by Speaker Christine Quinn and Council members Chin, Gentile, Lander, Lappin, Koo and Recchia.
The affair took place at the New Spring Garden restaurant on 65th Street in the councilwoman’s district. The event was also attended by Comptroller John Liu and Assemblyman Peter Abbate and a number of other elected officials sent representatives.
Councilwoman González, who regularly attends the annual celebration, said, “I really have such great fun at these events. The seniors who enjoy the benefits they receive from the Sixth Avenue Senior Center have such a healthy outlook on life; I thoroughly enjoy my visits here. These seniors are a true treasure in our community. We are happy to recognize the Brooklyn Chinese American Association for creating and sustaining this vital facility for our area seniors.”
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