$3.1 million revamp of C.C. Moore Park to start in spring

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By Tara Law

Originally published by the Jackson Heights Post on October 27, 2017

A $3.1 million renovation to a park in Elmhurst is likely to begin this spring, a spokeswoman from the Parks Dept. said Friday.

C.C. Moore Park, located between 45th Avenue, 82nd Street and Broadway, will be closed for a year once the work begins. The revamp will change the park’s layout, triple the size of the playground section and make the park entrances more welcoming.

Project bids for the park are due on Nov. 3. Construction will begin in 2018 if the bids are successful, said Parks Dept. spokeswoman Meghan Lalor.

The upgraded playground will have all new equipment, including equipment that is handicap accessible. A spray shower and pavement games such as hopscotch and four square will be added. The play areas for children ages 0 to 5 and 5 to 12 will be separated.

The sports courts on the lower level of the park will remain, but another volleyball court and two pingpong tables will be added to the area.

The new design will reduce the number of stairs and open up more space for pedestrians and seating, according to the Parks Dept. The additional open space is intended to give park users more space to practice tai chi or dancing, and to encourage farmer’s markets and concerts.

Although the plans will restructure the park, Lalor said that the designs are intended to preserve as many of the park’s mature trees as possible.

Funding for the renovations was allocated by Borough President Melinda Katz and Councilman Daniel Dromm.

The park has not been renovated since 1995, when the playground, perimeter fencing, and other amenities were installed.

Read more here.

Denuncian aumento de robo de salarios por subcontratistas

A pesar de las leyes aprobadas en el estado se siguen cometiendo estafas contra trabajadores informales

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Trabajadores Luis Gil, Mauricio Jimenez, Jose Francisco Lopez con Modesta Toribio. Robo de Salario. (Photo: El Diario)

Por Edwin Martinez

Publicado en El Diario el 17 de octubre 2017

“La otra semana le pago”. “Deje de molestar tanto”. “Qué quiere que haga si a mí no me han pagado”. “A mí no me importa que usted no tenga pa’ comer”. “Si me sigue llamando le echo a ‘La Migra’”. Esas son algunas de las frases que diariamente cientos de trabajadores informales escuchan por parte de subcontratistas que se “aparecen como ángeles” en momentos de vacas flacas, y luego de ponerlos a trabajar con salarios de solo $80 por el día entero, principalmente en labores de demolición, pintura, construcción y limpieza, se niegan a pagar y terminan borrándose del mapa.

Eso le pasó al ecuatoriano Mauricio Jiménez, quien en el 2014, tras la angustia de llevar tres semanas sin trabajo, fue contratado por un paisano suyo en obras de construcción, y no solo le “robaron” su pago sino que terminó siendo el malo de la película.

“El tipo empezó pagando bien, pero luego ya me daba poco, no me daba la semana completa, solo partes, y al final ya no me volvió a pagar y me quitó dos semanas. Lo llamaba y lo llamaba y lo buscaba en su casa, pero se molestó conmigo, se puso tenso y nunca me pagó”, comentó el inmigrante, quien decidió demandarlo, y aunque ganó el caso en la corte tras dos años de batalla, finalmente el dinero se perdió.

Se desapareció y nadie sabe nada de él. Seguramente sigue haciendo esto como un negocio, sigue contratando más trabajadores, los roba y desaparece, pues ese es el modus operandi de muchos subcontratistas que lucran a cuenta de los trabajadores y cambian de celular, de nombres de compañías o de lugares de trabajo”, agrega el inmigrante, quien en enero del año pasado volvió a caer en las garras de otro empleador deshonesto.

Me volvió a pasar con otro paisano ecuatoriano. Me quedó debiendo un mes, pero ahí, gracias a la ayuda de esta organización se llegó a un acuerdo y me pagó los $2,500 que me debía, porque los abogados lo llamaron y seguramente a él le dio miedo que se corriera la voz o que se metiera en problemas”, agregó Jiménez, al tiempo que contó sobre otras tácticas sucias que suelen aplicar.

“Muchos pagan cada quince días y se inventan una semana de ‘security’ que no se sabe por qué es, y siempre va a quedar ese dinero faltante porque esa semana se queda en el aire y al final, si son honestos, pagan el resto pero esa no la pagan”, dijo el trabajador, advirtiendo a quienes tienen historias similares que denuncien y luchen por sus pagos.

“Eso que hacen ellos es un asalto en el que uno sabe quién es la persona y cuanto le robo, y sabiendo esos datos uno puede denunciar y la justicia tarde o temprano llega y se les frena el negocio sucio que están montando”, dijo el ecuatoriano.

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Mauricio Jimenez. Robo de Salario. (Photo: El Diario)

El salvadoreño José Francisco López, padre de cinco hijos, también cayó en las redes de los empleadores avivatos, y le fue peor, porque hasta su vida estuvo en juego.

“Yo quería cobrar mi sueldo y me decían que ya me habían pagado, me enredaban y pasaron semanas que no me pagaron, pero eso no fue lo peor sino que una vez el patrón hasta me tiró una máquina encima para matarme porque recibí una llamada”, comentó el inmigrante, quien quedó deshabilitado y ahora depende de su hijo de 17 años, quien sostiene a la familia, trabajando en un lavadero de carros y en una pizzería. “Mi jefe me terminó robando como unas cinco semanas, no me dio compensación por un accidente que tuve y aunque llevo año y medio con el caso en la corte, aún no me han podido recuperar nada, pero sigo en la lucha porque eso va a salir bien”, agregó el trabajador, quien siente rabia de que los empleadores “jueguen con el hambre” de familias enteras.

Estafas en aumento

Los casos de Jiménez y López son solo una pequeña muestra de una realidad que cada vez es más común. Modesta Toribio, defensora de los derechos de los trabajadores de la organización Make the Road Nueva York, aseguró que las estafas de subcontratistas han ido en aumento, pero advirtió que con datos básicos se pueden recuperar los salarios. Esta organización recibe en sus oficinas un promedio de 300 denuncias al año.

“Esta práctica se ha vuelto muy común, especialmente en el área de la Roosevelt, en Queens, donde yo recibo semanalmente entre 5 y 7 casos de robo de salarios de inmigrantes a los llevan a trabajar duro y luego no les contestan el teléfono y no les pagan, pero es importante que ellos sepan que tienen derechos y que podemos ayudarlos a que les den su dinero”, aseguró la activista, al tiempo que agregó que el 80% de los casos que manejan tienen un final feliz para el trabajador.

Muchos trabajadores no tienen idea que pueden recuperar el dinero y dejan a los contratistas que se roben su plata, pero si no se hace nada contra ellos, no solo van a perder su derecho de obtener su salario sino que van a seguir haciéndole eso a otras personas”, comentó la dominicana, quien pidió que los trabajadores siempre tengan información precisa del contratista como la dirección donde vive, nombre completo, teléfono, placa del carro que usa y hasta fotos del empleado en el sitio de trabajo.

La activista afirmó además que en esta lucha para que se respete la dignidad de los trabajadores sería muy útil si hubiera leyes más fuertes que persigan más a los subcontratistas aprovechados, por lo que  mencionó que al Departamento de Labor del Estadole hace falta un seguimiento más feroz de los “mala paga” y más prontitud en el manejo de los casos.

El Estado debe hacer más

Daniel Dromm, concejal del distrito de Jackson Heights y miembro del Comité de Labor del Concejo Municipal, destacó que los asuntos laborales en Nueva York están delineados por el Estado y advirtió que aunque en 2011 se aprobó el Acta de Protección Salarial que protege a los trabajadores, necesita fortalecerse más a través de la organización y la educación.

“La ley está ahí, pero seguimos escuchando gente que trabaja y no le pagan, por lo que es importante seguir el trabajo que estamos haciendo desde el Concejo con fondos para advertirle a todos los neoyorquinos, tengan papeles o no, que las leyes los cubren y que todos los trabajadores tienen sus derechos y pueden reclamar si son víctimas de jefes que no les pagan”, advirtió el líder político de Queens, quien pidió que se incrementen los castigos a los subcontratistas “ladrones”.

Ellos son criminales y están haciendo algo terrible, por lo que es necesario verlos como delincuentes y darles mayores castigos incluso enviarlos a la cárcel, porque no podemos permitir que victimicen a personas vulnerables que están cayendo en sus manos”, agregó Dromm.

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Se Hace Camino coordinadora Modesta Toribio. Robo de Salario. (Photo: El Diario)

Rafael Espinal, presidente del Comité de Asuntos del Consumidor, lamentó especialmente que muchos subcontratistas pretendan legitimar el robo de salarios amenazando a los trabajadores con ‘La Migra’, y advirtió que ordenará una investigación más exhaustiva sobre esta problemática para ponerle freno a los empleadores abusivos.

“Los trabajadores deben recibir un pago por el trabajo que realizan y nunca ser intimidados por los empleadores que desean explotar su estado migratorio”, dijo el concejal de Brooklyn, donde se reportar muchos de estos robos de salarios. “Como presidente de la Comisión de Asuntos del Consumidor del Concejo, haré que el personal investigue y estudie estos abusos para asegurarnos de que estamos haciendo todo lo posible para lograr que los neoyorquinos reciban salarios que se han ganado con trabajo duro y que han sido robados por propietarios de negocios turbios”.

Cristóbal Gutiérrez, defensor laboral de Make the Road NY advirtió que los trabajadores que han sido víctima de lo que describió como un negocio endémico no deben permitir que violen sus derechos.

“La ley dice que cualquier día trabajado en este país, independientemente del estatus migratorio, debe ser pagado conforme a la ley del estado en el que se está trabajando, al menos el ingreso mínimo correspondiente”, dijo el chileno mencionando que organismos como el Departamento de Labor, las fiscalías y hasta las cortes de pequeños reclamos están prestas a ayudar. “Aunque cada caso es diferente hay que pedir ayuda, pero lo ideal es que si hay varias personas a las que les está pasando lo mismo se unan y van a ser más exitoso”.

Es un delito

El Departamento de Trabajo de Nueva York, que tiene una unidad de ayuda de salarios no pagados, advierte que los empleadores que no cumplen con sus obligaciones salariales están cometiendo un delito, considerado menor y hace un llamado a que las víctimas presenten sus reclamos.

“El Departamento de Trabajo ayuda a cobrar los salarios adeudados a los trabajadores que no han recibido el salario mínimo, una vez que nos presentan un reclamo. Las normas laborales investigan y se esfuerzan por recopilar estos reclamos para salarios pendientes de pago, salarios retenidos, deducciones ilegales y también hacemos cumplir las reglas que prohíben a los empleadores tomar sobornos ilegales de los salarios”, advierte ese organismo.

La Fiscalía General del Estado también ha lanzado una dura batalla para recuperar los salarios robados de los trabajadores y aseguran que en el último año lograron pagos pendientes de más de $2.7 millones que beneficiaron a más de 1,500 empleados en casos civiles y penales. Desde el 2011 el monto supera los $30 millones.

“Como Fiscal General, estoy comprometido a luchar en nombre de los trabajadores de Nueva York para asegurar que obtienen un pago justo por cada jornada de trabajo”, aseguró Eric Schneiderman. “Seguiremos luchando todos los días en favor de las familias trabajadoras de Nueva York”.

Dónde pedir ayuda

  • Si usted tiene una queja acerca de su empleador, no dude en llamar al 311 y solicitar la Oficina de Normas Laborales del Departamento de Asuntos del Consumidor
  • El Departamento de Labor del Estado ofrece ayuda en la línea 888-469-7365 o a través de la página https://www.labor.ny.gov/home/
  • Asimismo puede llamar a la línea del distrito de Nueva York al 212-775-3880
  • La organización Make the Road NY tienen una oficina especializada en ayuda a recuperar salarios. Para ayuda llame al 1877 466 97 57 o visite sus sedes en el 301 Grove St, en Brooklyn, 161 Port Richmond Ave, en Staten Island o 92-10 Roosevelt Ave, en Corona, Queens
  • En Make the Road de Queens puede llamar al 718 565 85 00 ext 4472 a Modesta Toribio
  • En la oficina de Make the Road en Brooklyn puede llamar al 718 418 76 90 a Nieves Padilla.

Leer más aquí.

Queens Exhibit Celebrates 25 Years of Borough’s Pride Roots

By Roger Clark
Originally published by New York 1 on Friday, June 9, 2017

Queens’ role in LGBT history is the focus of a new exhibit at the Queens Museum.

“The Lavender Line: Coming Out in Queens” looks at LGBT activism in the borough dating back to the early 90s.

Many pieces in the exhibit come from the personal archives of City Councilman Danny Dromm, who founded the Queens Pride Parade.

“It’s going to be across the board, the history of the last 25 years of the history of the LGBT movement in Queens. Which a lot of people don’t know about. There’s been activism here, and our own unique history here in the borough of Queens,” said City Councilman Daniel Dromm.

The exhibit coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Queens Pride Parade, which was celebrated in Jackson Heights last Sunday.

To see more, click here.

Residents File Class Action Suit Against MTA Over Lead Paint on 7 Train

By Matt McClure
Reported by NY1 on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 08:05 PM

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 11.06.10 PMA group of Jackson Heights residents has filed a class action lawsuit against the MTA. They say lead paint chips falling from the elevated 7 train line pose a public health hazard. NY1’s Matt McClure filed the following report.

Standing under the elevated 7 train along Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights you can’t help but notice it: Paint chipping and falling away.

“I have two small kids,” said Dudley Stewart, a Jackson Heights resident and one of the plaintiffs in the case. “

Every day we walk through Roosevelt Avenue and I get worried because you see the dust falling from the train. We know it’s filled with lead aint.”

A recent study by a painter’s union found lead levels in paint chips here were more than 40 times the legal threshold.

Now, four Jackson Heights residents have joined together in a federal class action lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), calling on the agency to fix the problem.

“This is something the MTA has known about for years,” Steward said. “We want them to fix it. They refuse to fix it. Now is the time to force them to do it.”

“When all other avenues have failed, we believe that this lawsuit will then force the MTA to cure this hazard, which has existed for too long,” said attorney Dan Woodard, who represents the plaintiffs.

Among other things, the lawsuit accuses the agency of intentionally causing dangerous conditions by painting the structure with lead paint, then not maintaining it. City Council Member Daniel Dromm says it’s a public health hazard. He also believes it’s been 35 years since the structure between Woodside and Corona has received a fresh coat of paint.

“They keep telling us it’s in the budget,” Dromm said. “We’ve not seen it painted.”

Tammy Rose, an area resident involved in the lawsuit says the structural conditions of the elevated 7 line are so bad, one day as she was driving down Roosevelt Avenue, a bolt fell and hit her car.

“If a bolt falls off, imagine the amount of paint chips that are falling that we don’t see,” Rose said.

“You can see the structure is in very bad shape,” Dromm added. “I’m surprised it hasn’t fallen down!”

The MTA does not comment on pending litigation, but a spokesperson says their previous tests showed lead levels within EPA standards. The spokesperson also denies that it has been 35 years since the bridge has been painted, although they didn’t say when it happened. There is money in the agency’s current Capital Plan for the painting, but there’s no word on when it might happen.

For the residents who filed this lawsuit, it can’t come soon enough.

See more here.

Dromm, Queens Center, Village People Cowboy Randy Jones Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Queens Pride

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PHOTO CAPTION: NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (back row, third from left), NQAPIA Executive Director Glenn Magpantay, API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG NYC Founder Clara Yoon, Caribbean Equality Project Executive Director Mohamed Q. Amin (left to right, holding awards) and other LGBT activists celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Queens LGBT Pride Parade and Festival at Queens Center Mall.

 

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PHOTO CAPTION: The Original Village Cowboy Randy Jones (foreground, right) performs the hit-song “YMCA” with NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (back row, third from right) and other attendees at Dromm’s Queens LGBT Pride Parade and Festival 25th Anniversary celebration at Queens Center Mall.

This week Council Member Dromm hosted a special celebration in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Queens LGBT Pride Parade and Festival at Queens Center Mall.  Sponsored by Queens Center, the event featured a reception and performances by Randy Jones, the original Village People cowboy, and International Dancer Zaman, a trained Kathak, Orissi, Bollywood, Bhangra and Chutney dancer.

At the event, Dromm recognized API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG NYC, Carribean Equality Project and NQAPIA (National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance), three organizations that have contributed greatly to the LGBT rights movement over the past several years.

“It was a pleasure celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Queens LGBT Pride Parade alongside a host of activists, performers and community supporters,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst), founder of the parade.  “For 25 years, this parade has opened the hearts and minds of Queens residents and has helped make the historic gains the LGBT community has seen possible.  I thank Queens Center, Randy Jones, International Dancer Zaman, our honorees and all those in attendance for their contributions to this event and our movement at large.”

“Queens Center was proud to be the venue for Council Member Dromm’s event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the first Queens Pride Parade and Festival,” said John Scaturro, Senior Manager for Queens Center.  “Hosting the celebration in one of the most public spaces in the borough was testament to the progress we have all made in our community and what makes us at Queens Center Mall so pleased to be part of the Queens fabric. Partnering with civic leaders like Council Member Dromm is part our corporate mission to actively participate in our local community.”

Background:

Dromm, who in 1992 courageously came out as an openly gay public school teacher is the paradeʼs founder and a former Co-chair of Queens Pride.  Originally conceived 25 years ago as a response to the homophobic attacks on the Queens lesbian and gay communities by then-School Board 24 President Mary Cummins, the parade has become a wonderful mixture of party and politics welcomed by the local community. The Queens celebration is the first in a series of very special events that kick off a month of Pride activities citywide.

Poisonous lead paint is raining down from the 7 train

By Danielle Furfaro

Originally published by the New York Post on April 23, 2017

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous lead-paint chips are raining down on several Queens neighborhoods from elevated subway tracks, threatening the health of passersby, especially children, officials told The Post.

The decrepit No. 7 train trestle — which runs through Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Woodside — hasn’t been repainted in more than three decades, said City Councilman Daniel Dromm, leaving the flaking lead-based paint exposed.

“I’m surprised it’s still standing, that’s how rusted and bad the chipping of the paint is and the lead dust particles are flying through the air,” said Dromm, who grew up in the area.

The amount of lead in the paint is 224,000 parts per million — or 44 times more than what is considered safe, according to the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, which tested the falling paint chips at the behest of residents, Dromm and others.

Dr. Morri Markowitz, director of the Lead Poisoning Treatment and Prevention Program at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center, was aghast to learn about the “extremely toxic” levels falling from the elevated tracks.

“I think the Department of Health or the city environmental agencies should get involved,” the concerned doctor said. “The lead paint could potentially be falling off of every elevated track throughout the city, not just on the 7 [line].”

Davon Lomax, director of the union, noted how heavily populated the area is.

“There are food carts, restaurants and schools under there, and the dust is getting everywhere, and it’s all breathable,’’ he said.

“This poses a threat to people who work and are passing underneath there every day.”

The dilapidated sections of the overhead tracks run from the 52nd street station to Junction Boulevard.

“It’s a poison, and kids shouldn’t be exposed to it,” said resident Samuel Rivera, 62, who lives in Jackson Heights. “The MTA should have repainted this by now, but they take their sweet time doing everything.”

Father-of-two Md Lokman Hossain said he is particularly worried about his 17-month-old son, noting that the tot could mistake a paint chip for food if it fell into his lap as they walked along Roosevelt Avenue.

“He could think it’s candy or something and swallow it, and it could lead to a big problem,’’ Hossain said.

Dromm said he has repeatedly pressed the MTA to take better care of the trestles, especially the area around the 74th Street/Broadway station.

“It has not been painted for at least 35 years that I can remember,” he said.

MTA officials said it has painted the trestles more recently than that, but they couldn’t say exactly when.

“No station on the 7 line, or the connecting infrastructure, has gone 35 years without being painted,” said agency spokeswoman Beth DeFalco. “We do annual joint inspections with NYCDEP of NYC Parks that are adjacent to our subway structures and quarterly inspections of other locations”

Markowitz called lead-based paints “indestructible, and recommended that those who live close to the tracks are at highest risk, and should seek out testing — as should MTA workers and commuters who spend time in the station.

Lead poisoning can cause developmental delays, learning disabilities, hearing loss and seizures in children, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Read more here.

Dromm Delivers Safer Pedestrian Crossing for 37th Avenue

David Sargent, Joseph Ricevuto, Jacqueline Sung, and NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm cross 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights.

David Sargent, Joseph Ricevuto, Jacqueline Sung, and NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm cross 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights.

Jackson Heights, NY – NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm was successful in securing a new traffic safety measure called Leading Pedestrian Intervals, which gives walkers a head start before cars get the light to make turns across the crosswalk, along 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights. Pedestrians will now have an additional seven seconds to cross the street without any vehicular movement.

In February, more than 150 concerned residents packed the Jackson Heights Jewish Center for a pedestrian safety town hall meeting in the wake of the death of 67-year-old Henry Boimel, a resident of 35th Avenue, who was struck and killed by an Uber driver while crossing 37th Avenue at 76th Street. The meeting was organized by Dromm and featured NYPD officers from the 115th Precinct, representatives from the Queens District Attorney, and officials from the city’s Department of Transportation.

Dromm listened to his constituents about the need for a safer 37th Avenue which is burdened by tremendous congestion and conflicts between vehicles turning and residents walking. Following the event, Dromm wrote the DOT to demand the implementation of the traffic safety measure called Leading Pedestrian Intervals. In response, the NYC Department of Transportation started implementing the measure in the past two weeks. Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI) typically gives pedestrians a 7 second head start when entering an intersection with a corresponding green signal in the same direction of travel. LPIs enhance the visibility of pedestrians in the intersection and reinforce their right-of-way over turning vehicles, especially in locations with a history of conflict.

Protect Our Immigrant Population

By NYC Council Members Rory Lancman and Daniel Dromm

New York City is a city of immigrants — and Queens is one of the most diverse places in the world.

Our city is home to approximately 500,000 undocumented immigrants who face daily challenges, and with the recent insidious political rhetoric, many may feel forced to seek quick legal advice.

But some providers take advantage of immigrants by offering fraudulent services.

These providers, who aren’t lawyers, often try to capitalize on immigrants’ fear or language barriers and offer pricey services the providers may not be able to legally provide, and that don’t help immigrants on their path to citizens.

To stop these providers, the City Council bill Int. 746 was introduced last year to prevent the unauthorized practice of immigration law. The bill, which has support from 37 Council Members, would prevent providers from offering services that only attorneys should offer.

Providers would also have to list their limitations and include customers’ rights in their contracts, as well as post signs in multiple languages at their locations. In addition, the bill would require the Department of Consumer Affairs update the New York City Council on complaints made against providers.

There have been too many instances of people being overcharged and underserved while seeking legal advice, with some providers using hard-working people’s vulnerability against them. But this month, there was a joint Consumer Affairs and Immigration hearing on the bill — and immigrants are one step closer towards receiving the protections they deserve.

New York City’s diversity adds so much depth to our City, and it’s crucial to make sure that New Yorkers of all immigration statuses are protected.

Daniel Dromm is the Chairman of Committee on Education and the prime sponsor of Int. 746 and Council Member Rory I. Lancman is Chairman of the Courts and Legal Services Committee and a co-sponsor of Int. 746. 

Read more here.

Those ice cream truck jingles are keeping New Yorkers up at night

By Rich Calder and Natalie O’Neill

Originally published by the NY Post on June 27, 2016

Photo: Christopher Sadowski

Photo: Christopher Sadowski

The city isn’t sweet on late-night ice cream truck jingles.

Vendors shouldn’t be allowed to blast the dizzying ditties between 9 pm and 9 am, the Department of Environmental Protection said at a hearing Monday.

New Yorkers have lodged a brain-freezing 1,013 noise complaints about the trucks so far in 2016 — and summer has only just begun.

Despite hundreds of complaints, only one jingle-blasting jerk has been ticketed for playing music too loudly this year, city officials said.

“Something is not working when you have violations at such low of a level. C’mon only one? Give me a break!” said City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Queens), who introduced a bill to mute the tinkly tunes last year.

“Ice cream jingles are among the most annoying noises assaulting New Yorkers’ ears every day.”

Micheal Hearst — who composed “Songs for Ice Cream Trucks,” used by vendors across the Big Apple — begs to differ.

“I love the sound of an ice cream truck jingle— it’s nostalgic. I would vote for ban on Harley Davidson volume before ice cream truck jingles. It’s unfair to single-out jingles,” Hearst, 43, said when asked about the bill.

Right now, it’s hard for the city to issue summonses because inspectors have to catch vendors in the act. Officials are pushing to change that.

Dromm also also wants to amend the city’s noise code to give inspectors more leeway in issuing summonses. The law now allows jingles to be played at a low decibel level.

Residents— especially ones in the Bronx and Brooklyn — have griped for years that the music keeps them awake and jangles their nerves.

Hearst, a Brooklyn resident, even admitted, “It can be annoying hearing one song over and over.”

Read more here.

Dancing and Drag Performances Planned for Pride Prom at Queens Museum

By Katie Honan

Originally published by DNAinfo on May 19, 2016

Lady Quesadilla will host Pride Prom at the Queens Museum.

Lady Quesadilla will host Pride Prom at the Queens Museum.

CORONA — Eat, dance and enjoy being your fabulous self at next week’s Pride Prom, which offers a do-over for those who felt excluded from their own high school celebration.

The free event, which will be held Tuesday, May 24 at the Queens Museum, will feature prizes, music from DJ Yayo and performances by host Lady Quesadilla.

The idea is to offer a safe place for celebration, for people of all ages, according to organizers.

“A proper rite of passage for individuals of all ages, this celebration is for anyone who is currently being shut out of their prom, was excluded in the past or simply did not feel welcome to be themselves,” the event’s listing page says.

City Councilman Danny Dromm — who organized the borough’s first pride parade — is the special guest.

The prom is open to everyone, young and old, who wants to celebrate themselves and others.

The event sponsored by Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Hispanic Federation, with support from Make the Road New York, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, The Hetrick-Martin Institute and other groups.

You can register for the event here.

Read more here.