Guv to pick Aqueduct vendor

By Howard Koplowitz

“Obviously, the governor had other things to deal with,” Larry Love, a staffer for state Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Rockaway Beach), told Community Board 10 last week.He was referring to the prostitution scandal that engulfed Spitzer and led to the governor's subsequent resignation.All the staff people who Pheffer's office were dealing with on the Aqueduct issue left along with Spitzer, Love said, “so we're basically starting from scratch.”After the state passes a budget, Love said finding a vendor to run the VLTs at Aqueduct will “almost be the next issue” that new Gov. David Paterson will be dealing with.Also at the CB 10 meeting, CB 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton said the board will have to absorb a 3 percent cut to its budget.Sean McCabe, chairman of CB 10's Budget Committee, said the board office would reduce its spending on office supplies. He had advice on how the board office could deal with the budget cuts.”I'd say use smaller font and use the front and back of each page,” McCabe said.The board also voted to sign a letter being circulated by CB 6 District Manager Frank Gulluscio to the mayor and Aging Department Commissioner Edwin Mendez-Santiago about the city's plan to consolidate senior centers so there would be only one city-funded center within the boundaries of each community board.Gulluscio said the city proposed keeping the senior centers that serve the largest number of meals, which he said was not an accurate way to determine which centers are the most attended.Braton said there are only three senior centers within CB 10's boundaries funded by the city: the Rockwood Park Jewish Center in Howard Beach, the BFFY Wakefield Senior Center in South Ozone Park and the United Hindu Center in South Ozone Park.She said it “would take two buses” to get to any of the senior centers should two of them close.”That doesn't make sense [to consolidate senior centers] in an area where there's no transportation,” Braton said, also noting that the United Hindu Center was founded to accommodate the dietary needs of Hindus. “Our senior centers are unique to the areas they serve and they serve more than just meals.”Gulluscio said the city is hoping to cut down on the number of Meals on Wheels deliveries made to seniors to once a week.Braton said there are 15,000 seniors living within CB 10 and that more than 3,000 of them live alone. She said for seniors who live alone, the Meals on Wheels delivery person is the only human contact they receive for the week.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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