for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com june 27, 2013 • The queens CourieR 31 oped IDENTIFY THIS PLACE To find out the answer to last week’s “Identify this place” please visit www.QueensCourier.com street talk How do you feel about the upcoming installation of additional security cameras around the city? It depends on what neighborhood they put the cameras in. If they put them in high crime neighborhoods then I think it’s okay. It all depends on the neighborhood. Ali English BY JOHANN HAMILTON I can see the pros and cans. It’s kind of a violation of privacy, but that’s a small price to pay for stopping violent crimes from occurring. I don’t have a problem with it. Elizabeth Cofrancesco It’s a little bit of an invasion of privacy, but it’s better overall because it’s safer. The positives outweigh the negatives. Devon Hamilton I think it’s good. I’m not against it since it’s for our safety. If somebody got robbed or killed then the police will be able to find the person more easily. MD Haque I think it’s a good thing, and I don’t think it’s an invasion of privacy because the cameras will be in public areas. I would feel safer because crimes will be easier to track. Mary Donoso For me it comes down to the Constitution and weighing your freedoms against your personal privacy. The direction this country is going in scares me. Jesse Becker I think it’s a good idea. I like that it would deter crimes before they happen and it would be beneficial in the long run. Michelle Hammer I’m pretty indifferent, but then again this is New York. I think it’s more for the police to know what we’re doing than for us to feel safe. PJ Meyers State grants go to boost Queens tourism BY ASEMBLYMEMBER MARGARET MARKEY With 52 million visitors to New York City last year, Queens is already the city’s second most important borough for the tourist and travel industry. This year, thanks to economic development funding from New York State, the Queens Chamber of Commerce and the Queens Tourism Council we are setting out to unlock even more of the tremendous potential of this economic sector for our borough. There are currently more than 43,000 tourism-related jobs in Queens, nearly 100 hotels and a host of museums, cultural organizations, restaurants and such major venues as Citi Field, the U.S. Tennis Association and Resorts World Casino. To help spread the word about this array of attractions and services in what must be the most diverse county in America, I am proud to have provided a grant of $70,000 to the Queens Tourism Council for the coming year. This funding from the NY State Department of Economic Development’s “I Love NY” program will enable the Council to conduct an aggressive multi-media marketing campaign to promote businesses and cultural attractions to residents of the Tri-State Area and to establish a presence at international travel and hospitality conferences. Another major tourism program that will debut this summer is the “This is Queens” smartphone app, developed with $100,000 in tourism funding from the New York State Department of Economic Development. Launching in time to capitalize on the many thousands of new visitors who will come to Queens for the U.S. Open and the Major League All-Star Game, the free service will tell visitors where they can stay and eat and will also suggest additional activities for them at locations throughout the borough. It will also provide photos and information on the borough’s cultural and entertainment attractions and provide directions by train, bus or walking. Unlocking the enormous economic potential of the tourism industry in Queens has long been an important goal for me. When I was a member of the senior staff of Borough President Claire Shulman in 1990s, I created the first tourism program for Queens by establishing the Queens Tourism Council. From that beginning with an emerging array of museums and cultural destinations and only a handful of hotels, the Council now has 50 entities and continues to grow. As we see the continuing enhancement of Queens cultural facilities and historic sites and the expansion of tourism and entertainment opportunities in locales as diverse as Long Island City and Flushing, we can expect the travel industry to continue to produce new jobs and economic vitality for our borough and I am delighted that the State of New York State is helping. Assemblymember Margaret Markey, who represents the 30th District of Queens, is Chair of the Assembly Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development.
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