IN OUR OPINION: The Perfect Storm For The Migrant Violence

Migration to NYC is nothing new. In the 1800’s, early 1900’s and during the wars in Europe, people fled here for a multitude of reasons. We just handled it better. The immigrants came to New York then, just as they are now.

It’s been nearly two years since this new migrant crisis started. Just like it was in the early 1900’s and Ellis Island, new people are arriving daily, if not weekly.

Here’s the difference; we had a plan.

Similar to other times when migrants came here, many people are able to live with relatives. Although it creates a housing problem in many neighborhoods where people are living in spaces meant for far less people, there are still many migrants who are in our migrant housing programs for housing.

It’s living in shelters. It’s living on Randall’s Island, Floyd Bennett Field, at the Roosevelt Hotel and we know there are dozens of other shelters.

The perfect storm has arrived. In perfect storm situations Mother Nature takes over and an inertia is created that can’t really be stopped.

The perfect storm in the migrant crisis results in migrant-on-migrant violence, a lack of regard for police – leading an even more dangerous lack of respect for anyone.

They can’t work, they have little to do but hang out in public spaces, just watching, wondering and waiting. And since it’s been nearly two years it has reached a perfect storm where migrant gangs grow and a crime wave persists.

While, for the last year or so, we have been worrying about retail stores closing because criminals know they can’t be prosecuted, the migrant community has now realized that ‘thuggary’ might be the only way to survive at the moment.

We don’t entirely blame bail reform. We can’t entirely lame the mayor for calling migrants here. We remember when he exclaimed, “We’ll take em.”

We can’t entirely blame the legislature for hot figuring out a way they can get work visas. It’s everything … all at once.

POL POSITION: Drugged Driving Battle Heating Up

While we visited the State Capital Monday, we were greeted with unexpected Senate passion for a few legislative initiatives we see as important. First; The Drugged Driving Bill is picking up steam. Senator Mannion and Woodhaven’s native son Senator Joe Addabbo are fighting to get this bill into law. It would essentially make it illegal to drive impaired on marijuana.

What, you say?

It’s not illegal now?


The State’s definition of impairment is tied to alcohol, not drugs.

Crazy, right?

Well there is another side to this. There are those legislators who don’t trust law enforcement, and giving cops any more ability to stop and arrest someone is seen as violating the right to live free.

Hey, we’re all about being voluntarily impaired. But stay home!

Second, we were impressed to see Woodside’s freshman Assemblyman, Steven Raga speak about, and sign on to a bill that supports community media. QPTV, BRIC and Bronx Net happened to be up on Albany getting talking on what they see as a change that could put them out of business in 5-years. Cable companies have funded their existence since the mid 80’s. Their multiple cable TV channels are basically the only place for people to find out what is going on at their local library, the many cultural places in the boroughs and even community board meeting listings.

Readers can find them in our papers too, but community media like public access TV is essential to fund. ‘Cord Cutting’ has led to a lack of funding and while other states have had an excise tax (one which can not be passed along to the consumer) on streaming services we have none. Part of that tax goes to public access networks.

Public Access broadcast agencies operate programs that teach regular people to use professional video equipment to produce videos for a public need. Those videos are used on their channels. One producer, Dr. JJ Abularrage, is a doctor out of NY Presbyterian Queens. He spoke quite passionately about how his work as a producer with QPTV was essential for his passion on doctor/patient relationship. “I could not have set up these learning videos for the doctors at my hospital without QPTV,” he said. “I know it saved lives.”

“I love BRIC,” said Greenpoint Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher. “Community media is essential.”

Glad to see the support of a bunch of other Senators and Assembly members who spoke about their support at the press conference on the 4th floor of the Senate area.

Middle Village Bagels Named Best Bagel in Queens

Middle Village Bagels, located at 79-16 Eliot Ave, was named Queens’ Best Bagel by the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

The nomination process included over 55 of Queens’ top bagel shops in a public vote. Over 3,000 bagel connoisseurs across the borough cast their votes in what the Queens Chamber of Commerce called the “closest vote of all the competitions.”

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz awards Middle Village Bagels ownership with a certificate.

The owners of Middle Village Bagel and Chamber President Tom Grech were joined by Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz at the shop to award the top bagel business a plaque and certificate of their new title.

The Queens Chamber of Commerce has held similar vote competitions to name the best taco, best pizza, best empanadas and best barbecue in the borough. Voters ranked Utopia Bagels and Rockaway Bagels second and third respectively in the competition.

The winning bagels. Courtesy Queens Chamber of Commerce

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