Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015


City Planning to make proposals for Flushing riverfront in the fall

The Department of City Planning said it will release preliminary recommendations this fall for a project to revitalize the Flushing waterfront and bring affordable housing to the area. Comment.
Glen Oaks

Avella secures money for new running track in Glen Oaks Oval Park

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) presented $150,000 in state grant money to the city Department of Parks and Recreation last Friday for the construction of an asphalt running track around Glen Oaks Oval Park. Comment.

Sen. Schumer pushes feds for money to fix E. River tunnels

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has appealed to the federal government for $800 million to repair two East River tunnels used by the Long Island Rail Road which were heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Comment.
Long Island City

Suspect sought in reported larcency from construction company’s office

The suspect, described as a black man, pryed open the roll down gate to the building around 10 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3, seen in surveillance footage wearing a black t-shirt and black pants, according to the NYPD. Comment.

Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015


New York State Pavilion paint project is complete

Workers at the New York State Pavilion have completed a $3 million beautification project that painted the crown of the weather-worn structure in its original “American Cheese” yellow paint. The work began June 14 and took less than eight weeks. Comment.

The Elmezzi Foundation awards $100,000 grant to Mount Sinai Queens

The Elmezzi Foundation has provided a $100,000 grant to Mount Sinai Queens to support a population health management program, in which information technology is employed to consolidate the various aspects of patient care. Centered at its Family Health Associates Clinic in Astoria, the program will consist of four care management teams to engage nearly 500 people per year, with a goal of significantly impacting the medical, behavioral and social health outcomes of individuals in Astoria, Long Island City and throughout Queens. Comment.
Forest Hills

Participatory Budgeting back for District 29

Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) is once again gearing up for Participatory Budgeting in her district, composed of Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park and parts of Richmond Hill. Comment.

Police search for two suspects in Astoria Houses gunfire

ASTORIA - Police from the 114th Precinct are looking for two men after gunshots were heard outside the Astoria Houses Monday night. Officers responded to a 911 call of shots around 10 p.m. in the parking lot in front of 1-04 Astoria Blvd. Comment.

Friday, Aug. 28, 2015

Willets Point

Remaining Willets Point auto shops worry about their fate

Auto shop workers and owners in Willets Point have mixed feelings about the city’s treatment of them after the de Blasio administration chose not to appeal a ruling to halt the Willets West megamall project. Comment.
Hunters Point

City may place ferry landing near Gantry Plaza State Park

The city Economic Development Corp. is studying two locations for a new ferry landing in Long Island City; just north of Anable Basin off 44th Drive and the small plaza near the northeast corner of Gantry Plaza State Park. The EDC will send representatives to the Sept. 15 meeting of the Hunters Point Civic Association, where they will explain their proposal and take feedback on the concerns and opinions of the neighborhood. Comment.

AirTrain to be suspended for maintenance during weekend

The AirTrain JFK service will be suspended from 11 p.m. Saturday until 7 a.m. Sunday for scheduled maintenance, the Port Authority announced Friday. Comment.
Far Rockaway

NYPD will give info card after stops

A federal court Monday approved two proposed policing reforms on racial profiling and the much-debated stop-and-frisk policy for the NYPD after a landmark case, Floyd v. City of New York, against the police practice was won in 2013. Comments (1).

City starts roof replacement project at Queensbridge Houses

The Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City will be first in line for new rooftops as part of the city’s $300 million project to improve the quality of life at New York City Housing Authority developments over the next three years. Comment.
Far Rockaway

First affordable housing project comes to Rockaways

Mayor Bill de Blasio and borough elected officials broke ground last week on the first affordable housing project under the city’s new housing program at the Beach Channel Senior Apartments in Far Rockaway. Comment.
Howard Beach

Boro trees impacted by Sandy are dying

Last week 20 college students ended their nature study on the impact of Hurricane Sandy on trees across Queens. Comment.

Horse carriage debate rekindled by mayor’s radio interview

Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly pushed legislation in the City Council that would ban the horse carriage industry in the city as it exists today, but now has called on advocates to get the measure passed rather than fighting good fight himself. Comment.
Glen Oaks

Friedrich says strong voices fix issues

Bob Friedrich, a Democratic City Council candidate running for Mark Weprin’s former seat, won a major fight. Comments (9).

Parhar says eastern Queens needs a change in leadership

Satnam Singh Parhar, one of the Democratic candidates vying for Mark Weprin’s former City Council seat in eastern Queens, and his life story embodies at least for some immigrants the American dream. Comments (3).

Dosamantes, City Council candidate, wants to reform education

Bellerose native Celia Dosamantes—at 24, the youngest of the seven candidates pursuing the City Council seat vacated by Mark Weprin—has ambitious goals for District 23. Comments (4).

Man wanted for stealing woman’s purse in Flushing: NYPD

FLUSHING — Police were looking for a man who robbed a woman in Flushing over the weekend. Comment.

Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015


Queens’ pre-K seats rise to 23,000 from 14,000

The city’s universal pre-K, or pre-Kindergarten, officially starts Wednesday, Sept. 9, and the mayor’s office said Wednesday it has officially met its goal of enrolling at least 70,000 families in full-day programs. Comments (5).

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Bay Terrace

Barnes & Noble to leave Queens, closing two stores

Barnes & Noble’s two remaining locations in Queens will both be closing. The Forest Hills’ Barnes & Noble, located at 70-00 Austin St, will be replaced by a Target superstore set to open sometime in 2016, while its location in Bay Terrace does not yet have a specified closure date. Comment.
Willets Point

Future of Willets Point Development Plan now uncertain

The $3 billion Willets Point project is in limbo after the city announced it would not appeal a recent appellate court ruling requiring state legislative approval before a proposed megamall could move forward. At issue is the absence of affordable housing in the first phase of the multi-use development. Comments (2).
East Elmhurst

City opens a new shelter for homeless families in East Elmhurst

Faced with a spike in the city’s homeless population this summer, the Department of Homeless Services declared the former Clarion Hotel in East Elmhurst an emergency shelter. More than 40 homeless families began moving into the city’s first new shelter to open in 2015, directly across the Grand Central Parkway at 94-00 Ditmars Ave. Comments (3).

Two lanes at Throgs Neck Bridge will be closed this weekend

Up to two Bronx-bound lanes at the Throgs Neck Bridge will be closed this weekend for asphalt and binder work on the bridge. Comment.

Boro churches heighten security after Charleston

In the wake of the fatal church shooting in Charleston, S.C., churches in southeast Queens have taken a look at their security measures. Comment.

Ambulance corps’ future in doubt

The Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Ambulance Corps is running out of options. Comment.

Rickshaw rider traveling the world arrives in Flushing

City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) welcomed Chen Guanming, who is known as “the Olympic Rickshaw Rider,” to the steps of Flushing Library last weekend. Comment.

South Jamaica Houses drown in sewage water

The New York City Housing Authority brought in a contractor Tuesday morning to sanitize the South Jamaica Houses community center and the apartment above after it was flooded Sunday evening with sewage water near 109th Avenue in south Jamaica. Comments (3).

Consensus elusive over proposed Woodhaven SBS

Woodhaven Boulevard is a dangerous and congested mess. That much, transit advocates, city politicians, transit officials, and local community members can all agree on—but not much else. From the very name of the proposed $200 million redesign to the proposal’s effect on pedestrians, businesses and traffic, consensus is hard to come by. Comments (13).

DOE to investigate subpar education in city yeshivas

Young Advocates for Fair Education, or Yaffed, a Brooklyn-based advocacy organization, has caused a stir in New York’s Orthodox Jewish community after releasing a letter saying the secular education in 39 yeshivas in Brooklyn and Queens was substandard, and in some cases, likely illegal. Comments (7).

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015

Jackson Heights

Crowley helps hand out back-to-school supplies

With the start of the school year less than three weeks away, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) took part in back-to-school events in Corona and Jackson Heights in the past week, helping to hand out supplies to more than 400 students. Comments (2).

Trans-Pecos bridges groups in a changing Ridgewood

As the line between Ridgewood and Bushwick continues to blur, the complexities of gentrification familiar to Brooklyites have arrived in central Queens. Comment.

Endorsements continue to roll in as City Council election approaches

New endorsements have been announced for three of the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Mark Weprin’s former City Council seat in eastern Queens: Bob Friedrich, Satnam Singh Parhar and Barry Grodenchik. Comments (13).

Whalen Playground renovation under way

Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) and Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) joined members of Community Board 9 and the Woodhaven Residents Block Association to officially kick off construction at the Mary Whalen Playground in Woodhaven. Comments (5).

Homegrown talent will be featured at the New World Queens Fest

The New World Queens Fest is set to rock Astoria Park on Saturday, Aug. 29, with live performances from more than 30 bands and 30 artists featuring bossa nova, reggae, hip-hop and R&B, funk, bluegrass and Afro-Cuban. The festival, presented by the non-profit Astoria Music & Arts, will also bring visual arts, dancers, performance artists and interactive children’s events to two stages and tents set up on the Great Lawn between the RFK and Hell Gate bridges. Comments (1).

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015


Funding to come for Sandy-struck cemetery

Life is returning to the Evergreen Cemetery. Comment.

Bayside veteran recalls time spent in Japan after WW II ended

In the summer of 1945, Paul Stein was 19 years old, in the Navy and part of the first group of Americans to enter Japan after the bombs were dropped and the country had surrendered. Comments (3).
Long Island City

First-ever EcoBon Floating Lantern Festival comes to Long Island City

Hundreds of visitors to Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point South Park in Long Island City witnessed the first-ever EcoBon Floating Lantern Festival at sundown Sunday. Dozens of volunteers gathered at the shoreline of the East River to release more than 100 lanterns modeled after an ancient Japanese summer rite of remembrance. Comment.

Grodenchik says years in government prepare him for Council

Barry Grodenchik has been campaigning for one of the most competitive political races in the off-year elections slated for this fall. Comments (6).
Queens Village

Lynch see chance for small changes with big impact

In the 1990s, Rebecca Lynch, a Democratic City Council candidate for Mark Weprin’s former seat, sat around the family dinner table to discuss worries her parents and neighbors had about the state of the borough. Comments (13).

JFK workers allegedly steal $250K

JAMAICA — Six current and former cargo handlersat JFK International Airport, three from Queens and three from Brooklyn, were arrested and charged in federal court Wednesday with conspiracy to steal United States mail and money laundering, according to U.S. attorney in Brooklyn. Comment.

Monday, Aug. 24, 2015

Rego Park

Bus swerves into Rego Park building, at least six injured officials say

A Resorts World Casino shuttle swerved into a three-story building on the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard Monday as it tried to avoid another car in a crash that seriously injured the bus driver and left five others with injuries, witnesses and officials said. Comments (1).
East Elmhurst

City opens a new shelter for homeless families in East Elmhurst

The city began moving homeless families into a new emergency shelter in East Elmhurst, directly across the Grand Central Parkway at the former Clarion Hotel. Comments (2).

West Nile pesticide to be sprayed in NE Queens Monday

The city Health Department has scheduled pesticide spraying in northeast Queens beginning Monday, Aug. 24, from trucks on the ground as part of its efforts to reduce mosquito activity and prevent the risk of West Nile Virus from spreading. Comments (1).
Far Rockaway

Two die in fire at Far Rockaway home: NYPD

Two people were killed in a fast-moving fire in Far Rockaway Sunday afternoon, the FDNY said. Comment.

Longtime Sunnyside Irish pub closing down

Saturday will be the final Karaoke night at the Bliss Street Station, the popular Irish pub and restaurant in Sunnyside that is closing down Sunday after 26 years on the corner of Greenpoint Avenue and 47th Street. Owner Ambrose Gurhy had his restaurant on the market for several years and finally found a buyer who plans to open a South American eatery in its place. Comments (5).

Major construction begins on Kosciuszko Bridge

One of Maspeth’s busiest avenues has been closed as major construction on the Kosciuszko Bridge gets underway. Comment.

State Comptroller: MTA delays are getting worse

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has complained to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority about hundreds of thousands of delays in the New York City subway system, many of which the comptroller’s auditors said were preventable. Comment.

Several elected officials remind residents of the benefits of municipal ID cards

Three elected officials enrolled in the city’s municipal ID program last Friday, hoping it would encourage their constituents to take advantage of the benefits the IDNYC card offers. The free card provides identification for residents, including undocumented immigrants and others who have trouble getting government-issued identification such as the homeless and the formerly incarcerated, as well as providing a range of other benefits to cardholders. Comments (1).

Skala’s peers reflect on a life spent serving Bayside

Bayside leaders and the friends and family of Frank Skala reflected on his life this week following the death of the civic leader and community activist. Comment.
Long Island City

New rendering shows what tallest tower in borough will look like in 2019

A newly released rendering shows how the recently landmarked Clock Tower building in Long Island City will be dwarfed by a 77-story skyscraper to be called the Queens Plaza Park. Queens Plaza Development LLC, including Property Markets Group and the Hakim Organization, reached a $56 million deal for air rights with the MTA in late March that will allow them to build the largest tower outside Manhattan. Comment.

Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015

Ozone Park

Man bound in Ozone Park home invasion robbery: NYPD

Police were looking for suspects who bound an elderly man by his feet and stole items from his home in Ozone Park early Saturday morning. Comments (1).

Man shot in Arverne: NYPD

A man was shot in the torso in Arverne Sunday morning, police said. Comment.

Police Athletic League’s Queens Borough Day held at Harvey Park

Queens Borough Celebration Day brought about 200 children from the Police Athletic League’s Summer Play Streets program to Harvey Park in Whitestone last week for a day of games and other activities. Comments (7).

New restaurants open at One Fulton Square in Flushing

Residents and developers of the One Fulton Square mixed-use development in Flushing say the recent addition of several new restaurants, bars and retail spaces are adding to the complex’s diverse shopping experience. Comment.

Maloney wants release of hundreds of millions in U.S. remittances to Greece

When Greece’s economy cratered in July, its large expatriate community in Astoria, which has the largest Greek population outside of Athens, held its collective breath. Now nearly two months later as the country awaits its international bailout, the Greek government has begun to relax restrictions on banking transactions. Comment.

NE Queens senior centers to receive $20,000

State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) allocated $20,000 in funding to senior centers throughout her district a few days before National Senior Citizens Day. Comment.

Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015


Lieutenant governor visits Bell Boulevard

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) took a tour of Bell Boulevard businesses Tuesday, guided by the leaders of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District. Comment.
Queens Village

Close to home closed: Comrie

The proposed plan for a juvenile group home at a Queens Village site has been revoked, residents and elected officials announced this week at the Queens Baptist Church in Queens Village. Comments (4).

Smoking now banned near after-school programs

State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) praised a new law that bans smoking near after-school programs and educational institutions. Comments (1).

Ridgewood group fund raises for graffiti removal

The Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation has started its semi-annual fund-raising campaign. Comment.
Long Island City

Silent Disco returns to Hunters Point South Park in Long Island City

Silent Disco is coming back to the Long Island City waterfront Thursday, Sept. 3. Lincoln Center, which presented the program for the first time away from its Manhattan campus, organized the night of dancing under the stars at Hunters Point South Park last September. Comment.
Cambria Heights

Cambria Heights teen charged for collision: DA

CAMBRIA HEIGHTS—A Cambria Heights teenager has been charged with reckless driving, endangerment and other charges of speedily weaving in and out of traffic on the Cross Island Parkway and striking two vehicles including an NYPD vehicle, according to the Queens district attorney. Comments (1).

Friday, Aug. 21, 2015


Queens students outperform city on state tests

The state Education Department released results of spring standardized tests for grades three through eight last week, revealing that Queens students had achieved some of the highest performance levels in both the city and state. Comments (1).

One homicide in eight months at the 103rd Precinct

The 103rd Precinct had its first homicide since December after the arrival of pilot programs based on the NYPD’s new neighborhood policing plan. Comment.

National retailer comes to downtown Jamaica

Burlington Coat Factory is coming to downtown Jamaica. Comments (2).

Medallion owners organize to fight Uber

When David Bechor, a Queens Village resident, invested in a yellow-taxi medallion many years ago, it was a major investment in a secure future for him and his family. Comments (3).

Kissena Lake now safe after fish die-off

The city Parks Department said Kissena Lake in Flushing is safe for fish again after at least 150 fish died last week due to an algae bloom following flash flooding. Comment.

Boro lawmakers concerned about potential LaGuardia changes

Several state legislators from Queens signed and sent letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Aug. 12, expressing opposition to the possible elimination of the perimeter rule at LaGuardia Airport in the belief it may lead to increased aircraft noise in the borough. Comment.
Howard Beach

Pols push to keep JFK employees from parking on Howard Beach streets

Two Queens legislators have appealed to John F. Kennedy International Airport officials and airlines to help local residents regain the ability to park in front of their own homes, which has been limited due to employees from JFK who have overrun residential parking spaces. Comments (4).

Transporation advocates call for Q44 reforms

Transportation advocates gathered this weekend at the Q44 bus stop in Kew Gardens Hills to announce that they had collected more than 2,000 signatures from bus riders across Queens calling for better service along the Q44 route and throughout the borough. Comment.

Avella, civic leaders renew call to change school site selection process

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) rallied alongside civic leaders and community leaders outside the Bayside Jewish Center last week in a renewed call on the state Legislature to pass his legislation requiring community input prior to the selection of sites for future schools. Comments (3).

Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015

Willets Point

City decides not to appeal ruling on Willets Point mega-mall

The city said a recent appellate court ruling requiring state legislative approval before a proposed mega-mall could move forward gave it an impetus to push for more housing in the $3 billion Willets Point Development Plan. Comment.

Bayside leaders reflect on the life of Frank Skala

Retired teacher, community activist and civic leader Frank Skala, who died of a stroke at Long Island’s St. Francis Hospital in the early hours of Monday morning, left a lasting imprint on the Bayside Community. He was 78. Comments (6).
South Jamaica

Some 5Pointz murals at August Martin painted over

The 5Pointz artists are worried that history is repeating itself. Less than two years after developer Jerry Wolkoff ordered the “whitewashing” of their graffiti mecca in Long Island City to make way for two luxury residential towers, the artists have learned that some of the murals they created at August Martin High School in South Jamaica this spring have been painted over. Comments (1).
Long Island City

State labels LIC elementary school persistently dangerous for second year

PS 111 in Long Island City, where a group of teenagers tried turning a tutoring session into a fight club for first-graders in March, was the only Queens school placed on the state Education Department’s 2015-16 list of persistently dangerous schools. Comments (1).
College Point

New sewer line to cut back waste in NE Queens bays

The city Department of Environmental Protection announced that a new interceptor line that will reduce combined sewer overflows into Flushing Bay, Powell’s Cove and Little Bay has been activated. Comment.

Bayside Supercuts under new management

Supercuts’ Bayside salon, at 41-04 Bell Blvd., is now under new management. Comment.

Police offer reward for tips on rapper Chinx’s murder

Days before the recent release of both an album from slain rapper Chinx and a documentary about him, the NYPD offered a $2,500 reward for information about the murder of the upcoming Rockaway-raised performer, who was gunned down in May near Queens Boulevard. Comments (1).

Flushing sidewalk vandalized with anti-Asian hate speech

City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) condemned anti-Asian hate speech vandalism carved into the sidewalk in front of the Cherry Manor Condos in Flushing. Comments (15).

Leo Frank, killed 100 years ago, remembered

A century ago Leo Frank, a Jewish industrialist and native son of New York, was strung up from a tree in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta and lynched by “a cruel hand, a heavy hand,” as Abraham Cahan, the editor for the Jewish Daily Forward wrote just days after the event. This past week Queens and city officials as well as Jewish civic leaders from across the borough, gathered near Frank’s resting place at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Glendale to remember that painful centennial. Comments (1).

TV show sets up shop in Bayside

Queens, the home of superheroes? Comment.

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015


Bayside’s own Frank Skala dies

Well known Bayside civic leader and community activist Frank Skala died of a stroke at Long Island’s St. Francis Hospital in the early hours of Monday morning after a few months of deteriorating health. He was 78 years old. Comments (3).
Queens Village

City drops plan for juvenile home in Queens Village

The plans for a juvenile group home proposed for a Jamaica Avenue site in Queens Village have been dropped by the city Administration Children’s Services after community members protested for months, elected officials announced Tuesday. Comments (5).

Sen. Avella endorses Parhar’s City Council campaign

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has publicly announced his endorsement of Satnam Singh Parhar, who is one of six candidates vying for the competitive Democratic nomination in the Sept. 10 primary election for Mark Weprin’s former City Council seat. Comment.

Monday, Aug. 17, 2015

East Elmhurst

E. Elmhurst man charged in kidnapping of ex-girlfriend: NYPD

An East Elmhurst man was arrested in the violent abduction of his 18-year-old former girlfriend Saturday, according to the NYPD. When officers from the 115th Precinct responded to a 911 call of a dispute in front of 32-65 81st St. they were informed by witnesses that a young woman was approached by Jonathan Coronel, a 21-year-old Hispanic man, and forced into a light colored vehicle at knife point, investigators say. Comments (3).

Train delays expected for E, F, M and R lines

Subway passengers who used the E, F, M and R trains along the Queens Boulevard line will likely face substantial delays over the next two weeks, especially during rush hour times. Comments (2).

First homicide reported since December in 103rd Precinct

The 103rd Precinct had its first homicide since December when a Laurelton man was shot dead around 5 a.m. Sunday near the corner of Camden Avenue and Liberty Avenue in St. Albans, according to police. Comments (13).

Friday, Aug. 14, 2015

Glen Oaks

One dead in Glen Oaks ‘Collyers’ Mansion’ house fire

A 58-year-old man died in a fire at a Glen Oaks home early Thursday morning where he was discovered by fire personnel in the basement, according to the NYPD. Comment.

CFB doles out matching funds to Council candidates

Five of the candidates running for the City Council seat vacated by Mark Weprin earlier this year have been awarded $95,000 from the city Campaign Finance Board’s matching funds program. Comments (2).

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