Wednesday, June 8, 2011

News From City Council Member Eric Ulrich

NYC Council Member Eric Ulrich Celebrates Opening of Rockaway Beach for Summer

Council Member Eric A. Ulrich (R-Queens) joined Parks Department officials, residents and colleagues in government on the boardwalk at Beach 97th Street in Rockaway on Friday to celebrate the annual opening of the city’s public beaches. After reminders from Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe to stay safe this summer, the officials and residents sampled some of the food available on the boardwalk this summer and tried their hand at beach tennis.

Ulrich said, “As we all know, Rockaway continues to be one of the city’s best kept secrets. It’s a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family, and to enjoy the beach. There are lots of new and exciting amenities this year, and I encourage everyone in Queens to visit this summer and discover the beauty Rockaway has to offer.”

In all, the City boasts 14 miles of beaches that attracted 19 million visitors last year. New this year will be food concessions run by Rockaway Beach Club, LLC, which will serve tacos, po’ boys, arepas, enchiladas, Italian ices and more at snack bars at Beach 86th, 97th and 106th streets. In addition, a mile of new boardwalk is open this year along stretches between Beach 23rd and Beach 81st streets.

NYC Council Member Eric Ulrich: Additional Police Presence Needed at Aqueduct

Council Member Eric A. Ulrich (R-Queens) is asking the NYPD to assign additional police officers to the 106th Precinct in advance of the planned September opening of video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Race Track in Ozone Park.

The new racino is expected to draw more than eight million visitors each year, and local residents and Community Board 10 have already expressed concerns about the current staffing levels at the local precinct.

Ulrich said, “In order to keep our streets safe, we are going to need more cops at the 106th Precinct. My constituents should not have to worry about any rise in crime that might emanate from Aqueduct. We need to do everything we can to guarantee a good quality of life for the neighborhoods surrounding the track. This request is more than reasonable.”

Ulrich had the opportunity to speak directly with Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly during a recent Public Safety Committee hearing and in a May 18 letter to the department. He requested that the new officers be assigned beginning in the new fiscal year so they will have time to acclimate themselves to the area before the racino opens.

In the letter to Commissioner Kelly, Ulrich wrote, “While the new racino is scheduled to open later this summer, many of my constituents are still concerned about the level of police protection the community will receive from the NYPD. Despite the fact that vehicular and foot traffic will increase, it still remains unclear if and when the local precinct will receive additional police personnel. Undoubtedly, more police officers will be needed to patrol the residential neighborhoods surrounding the facility… I believe this request is warranted given the size and scope of the new venue and the necessary planning that will go into maintaining a good quality of life for area residents.”

NYC Council Member Eric Ulrich Statement on Mayor's Plan to Close Engine 294 and Other Fire Companies

Council Member Eric A. Ulrich (R-Queens) released the following statement on the Mayor's plan to close 20 fire companies around the City, including Engine 294:

The Mayor’s plan to close Engine 294 and other fire companies around the city is downright dangerous. Response times will go up and lives will be put at risk. Woodhaven and Richmond Hill desperately need adequate fire protection and emergency services, especially since many of the homes there are attached, wood-frame structures. We simply cannot balance the budget by putting people in harm’s way. Mark my words - budget cuts like these can be deadly and I will do everything in my power to fight them.”

NYC Council Member Eric Ulrich Co-Sponsors Bill to Prevent Children from Being Exposed to Pornography in Public Libraries

Council Members Eric A. Ulrich (R-Queens) and David G. Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) announced bipartisan legislation on Sunday that will protect children at New York City’s public libraries from exposure to Internet pornography. The legislation would make it a misdemeanor criminal offense for any adult to view pornographic materials within 100 feet of a minor in a public library.

Ulrich said, “This is a common sense piece of legislation aimed at protecting our children while they spend time at the library. Kids shouldn’t be exposed to sexually explicit content, and taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for it either. This is a serious concern for many people who don’t want their children subjected to this form of public indecency.”

Greenfield said, “I am a strong supporter of our public libraries and the value and rich experiences that they provide to New Yorkers. Part of that experience, however, should not be traumatizing children by exposing them to sexual predators and debasing pornography. Our bipartisan legislation would send an unmistakable message to sexual predators: expose yourself to children and you will go to jail.”

The legislation would make viewing pornography within 100 feet of a child a misdemeanor carrying fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 and the possibility of jail time, as determined by a judge. Because the proposed legislation is narrowly tailored to protect children, it is expected to pass any constitutional challenges.

NYC Council Member Eric Ulrich Statement on Mayor’s Proposed Budget

Council Member Eric A. Ulrich (R-Queens) today released the following statement in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s FY 2012 Executive Budget:

Ulrich said, “This is a very difficult budget. Even though years of prudent fiscal planning helped the city weather the recession better than most, cuts still seem inevitable. I’m especially concerned about the impact potential teacher layoffs will have on class size in our schools, and I’m also worried about the proposed firehouse closings. As an alternative, I am encouraging my colleagues to seriously consider some of the recommendations that have already been made by the Independent Budget Office. Rest assured, before the City Council adopts the budget, I will do everything in my power to protect vital services and persuade the Mayor to find money elsewhere.”