the Campaign Trail

In the months leading up to the citywide primary and general elections, the Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times will feature in this column press releases and statements sent by the campaigns of the candidates on the ballot.

The statements in this column do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times or its staff. Mud-slinging statements which include personal attacks on candidates are omitted.

Mayoral Race

Religious Leaders Honor Salgado

Erick Salgado, a candidate in the Democratic Primary for mayor has announced that he will share his vision for the future of New York City with a gathering of Bronx Bishops, Pastors, community leaders and residents, at El Maestro Conlico, 1703 Bronxdale Ave. in the Bronx, this Saturday, Apr. 27, at 9 a.m.

Salgado was honored by this same group, numbering over 700, on Apr. 13. Included among those who praised and honored him were State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., who has endorsed his candidacy for Mayor, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and Assemblymen Marcos A. Crespo and Luis R. Sepulveda.

Also honoring Salgado for his over two decades of service to the residents of New York City’s diverse communities and his desire to represent those people as Mayor, were Dr. Hector A. Chiesa, president of Radio Vision Cristiana, which has stations in 11 states and reaches New York City’s 2.4 million Hispanic residents, and Bishop Hector Luis Bonano, head of Conlico, which includes New York City’s 18 Spanish Evangelical Councils as members.

“The support I received in the room last Saturday afternoon reaffirms my belief that New Yorkers want change and that I am the candidate who has the experience and drive to make that change happen in City Hall. I thank each religious leader, elected official and community leader for their kind words and pledge to work 24/7 to improve the quality of life for every resident of New York City, including those who have been either unrepresented or underrepresented for too long,” Salgado stated.

Salgado, a conservative Democrat, is the only Latino in the Democratic Primary.

de Blasio, Transport Union Blast MTA

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Transport Workers Union (TWU), Local 100 slammed the MTA for slashing shuttle bus service in the Rockaways, even as it markets a new “Dream Ride” service to vacationers en route to the Hamptons. The shuttle bus replaced the A train after Superstorm Sandy and is a lifeline for thousands of residents in neighborhoods like Arverne, Edgemere and Far Rockaway.

At a press conference in Far Rockaway, de Blasio and TWU workers were joined by Assembly Member Phil Goldfeder and Council Member Donovan Richards. They demanded the MTA rescind its plans to reduce shuttle bus service until repairs to the A train have been completed. De Blasio launched an online petition and released a video calling for the service to be preserved at www.SaveOurShuttle.com.

“Talk about a Tale of Two Cities! These aren’t just cuts-they are cuts to the transit lifeline for thousands of low-income people still suffering from Sandy,” de Blasio said. “The MTA can’t throw the Rockaways under the bus. If it can expand service for Manhattanites weekending in the Hamptons, then it can afford to do right by hard-hit families in the Rockaways.”

“It is outrageous that our Queens residents currently face the longest commute averages in the city because of the severe lack of reliable transportation,” said Goldfeder. “Our communities are still struggling to rebuild from the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, and the last thing they need is to be nickeled and dimed for service that is crucial to helping them recover. I strongly urge the MTA to restore this viable service to the Rockaways that would not only improve our transportation infrastructure, but allow our neighborhoods to get back on their feet after Sandy.”

“The idea of cutting down on transportation in an area that is so in need is outrageous,” Richards said. “At a time where we should be exploring more options for public transportation in the Rockaways, this is the last thing we need. This shuttle service provides an essential lifeline with the rest of New York City for our residents in one of the areas hit hardest by Sandy. If anything, what we really need is more buses during peak morning and evening hours. I will fight against this service cut until it is resolved in a way that will not hurt people in the Rockaways.”

On Monday, Apr. 22, the MTA cut weekday shuttle bus service by 20 percent, from a total of 94 runs to 75. Weekend service will be cut 40 percent. The A train shuttle serves a replacement for the 10-car A train, which hasn’t operated to the Rockaways since Hurricane Sandy. Because each shuttle bus can only carry half the passengers of a single subway car, reductions in service will worsen overcrowding, increase waittimes, and prevent riders from boarding buses when they arrive.

As it prepared to slash shuttle bus service, the MTA announced a new “Cannonball” train to speed New Yorkers to getaways in the Hamptons, describing the service as a “dream ride” complete with beverage and snack service. Meanwhile, average household income for riders in the Rockaways losing service is $18,370-among the lowest in the city.

In a letter to the MTA, de Blasio and TWU demanded the continuation of shuttle bus service at the current rate until A train repairs were complete.

“No one is suggesting we shouldn’t have strong transit options for Long Island. However, the idea that we would make it more difficult for low-income Rockaway residents in the eastern Queens to access the New York City Subway System, while making it easier for Manhattanites to get to the Hamptons during summer weekends, truly underscores how New York City is becoming a Tale of Two Cities on critical issues like income equality,” the letter stated. “Restoration of train service is only a couple of months away. The people of the Rockaways have certainly suffered enough. Please, do not add to their burden with this unnecessary service reduction.”

City Council Dist. 30 Craig Caruana Announces Bid

On Monday, Apr. 22, Republican Craig Caruana officially announced his intention to run for the 30th City Council District.

Caruana stated in honoring his grandfather and role model, “My grandfather’s generation bred leadership and we need someone in our community who will take responsibilityhellip;”

Caruana followed by pointing to some of the areas of focus for his campaign: the need to reduce property taxes, water rate increases and the burdensome regulations on small businesses.

Standing beside Caruana was City Council Member Eric Ulrich, former Rep. Bob Turner and community activist Angelica Harris.

Ulrich said, “I know Craig-he’s an honest person with integrity who fights for what he believes in. He is going to be a strong advocate and one that’s needed in times like this.”

Turner stated, “Craig shows an excellent grasp on the issues and the ability to take on hard work. He’s a winner.”

Harris, who runs the Excalibur Reading Program in Glendale, said, “Craig shares my concerns for the community, especially when it comes to children. We need to make sure they’re safe and have quality places to learn.”

For more information on voting or to obtain a voting registration application, contact the New York City Board of Elections at 1- 212-VOTE-NYC or visit www.vote.nyc.ny.us.

Press representatives of candidates may send their information to this paper by fax to 1-718-456- 0120 or e-mail to info@times newsweekly.com. All releases are subject to editing.