8 THE QUEENS COURIER • JUNE 8, 2017 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM 6/29/17 6/29/17 6/29/17 6/29/17 SPRING INTO SAVINGS! Encore Premium VARILUX PROGRESSIVE LENSES $169 (No-Line Bifocals) w/metal frame.Select frames with clear plastic no-line lenses +/- 4 sph, 2 cyl. Not valid with any other offers, sales, vision plan packages. Must present prior to purchase. Offer valid at location only. Some restrictions apply see store for details. Offer ends 6/29/17 QC Three emerge in running for Ferreras’ seat BY ANGELA MATUA firstname.lastname@example.org @AngelaMatua Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras- Copeland won’t seek another term as representative of the 21st Council District in western Queens this November. F e r r e r a s - Copeland, who r e p r e s e n t s East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights, told Politico that she will not seek reelection because she wants to be close to her son and husband, who works in Maryland. “I have had the privilege of representing the 21st District in Queens for 8 years, where I’ve fought for the education of our children, the rights of women and families, and the protection of our immigrants,” Ferreras-Copeland said in a statement to Politico. Monserrate and Assemblyman Francisco Moya, who represents parts of Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, have offi cially announced a run for Ferreras-Copeland’s council seat. It’s Monserrate’s latest attempt at getting back into elected offi ce aft er being booted out in disgrace. He was expelled from the State Senate in February of 2010 aft er being convicted on a misdemeanor assault charge for slashing his girlfriend’s face with a glass bottle in 2009. Later, in 2012, Monserrate was sentenced to two years in jail for misusing about $100,000 in city funds to pay for his 2006 Senate campaign. In an interview with Th e Queens Courier, Moya slammed Monseratte, arguing that an offi cial who stole from his own constituents should not be elected. “We have to move from the past,” he said. “We can’t allow a convicted felon and slasher to come back and serve the very offi ce that he went to jail for from stealing money from his constituents. We have to stand up for having people that will serve with dignity and integrity and hold ourselves to a higher standard.” On June 6, community advocate Cristina Furlong also announced she would be running. “I was disheartened to hear that the City Council would be down to only seven women out of 51 seats,” she said in a statement. “As a mother and parent on an extremely working-class income, I want to be able to support families in similar circumstances.” Pols call for a ‘Grand Central’ solution to truck traffi c BY ANGELA MATUA email@example.com / @AngelaMatua A portion of the Grand Central Parkway that is off -limits to large commercial trucks has caused headaches for Astoria residents who must deal with trucks using side streets to bypass the area. Currently, large trucks must exit the Grand Central Parkway to enter the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge or the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE). Truck drivers end up using Astoria Boulevard to access the bridge and expressway, which increases traffi c and the emission of heavy fumes, local offi cials argue. Councilman Costa Constantinides, state Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Congressman Joe Crowley held a press conference on June 2 in front of the parkway to propose a solution to the problem. Th ey say allowing trucks to access that part of the parkway, instead of taking detours on Astoria Boulevard or other side streets, would improve the quality of life for Astoria residents. “All Astorians deserve access to streets without unbearable traffi c, loud noises and heavy fumes,” Constantinides said. “Taking this move would be a solid step towards Astoria Blvd feeling less like a highway for big trucks and more like the street that our seniors, families and residents need it to be every day.” On Twitter, Queens residents expressed their frustration at the constant congestion along the expressway. Twitter user @Joby_ Jacob suggested that the Grand Central Parkway be turned into an interstate. Th e Twitter account for the Black Car Assistance Corporation, an industry group, argued that this move would benefi t the black car and vehicle for hire industries. According to the DOT Truck Map, commercial vehicles and single unit trucks up to 12 feet, 6 inches in height, with no more than three axles and 10 tires, are allowed to use the Grand Central Parkway to access the RFK Bridge and BQE. Th e DOT has studied allowing larger commercial vehicles to use that section of the GCP but “roadway characteristics” have stopped them from permitting trucks to do so, a spokesperson said. An open house to build out the city’s Smart Truck Management plan is scheduled for June 6 at 6:30 p.m. at LaGuardia College, and residents are encouraged to attend and provide input. “We are always willing to partner with local communities and authorities to discuss ideas about alleviating traffi c, improving mobility and enhancing safety,” a spokesperson for the DOT said. Simotas said it is “illogical, thoughtless and cruel” to use a residential street as a truck route when the Grand Central Parkway is available. “Opening up this tiny section of the parkway — which is no longer the quiet scenic roadway envisioned originally — is a solution begging to be implemented,” she added. Photo via Facebook/ Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland Julissa Ferreras-Copeland will not run for another term on the City Council. Photo via Twitter/Costa Constantinides Astoria offi cials are proposing changes to a section of the Grand Central Parkway.
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