Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Youth help community while dancing

Activities for children and teenagers are sprouting up everywhere, including a dance fitness class at Queens Central Library on Merrick Boulevard in downtown Jamaica. Comment

Vallone, committee on aging call for reversal to underfunded services

The city Department for the Aging gave up $3 million of its operating budget, based on efficiency savings that the commissioner was asked to identify, but Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) said it is evident from the services being cut that Mayor Bill de Blasio is not responding to the growing needs of seniors in the city. Comment
Forest Hills

Forest Hills’ young chess champ

Forest Hills

Forest Hills’ young chess champ

Forest Hills chess champion Amelie Phung came home with a gold medal after a series of matches in Mexico against some of the toughest players in North America. And she isn’t even 8 years old yet. Comments (9)

Questioning bad land-use decisions

The New York City Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) has a final say on land use issues throughout the five boroughs. They wield a lot of power over our communities. Too much power in my opinion. The BSA needs to be accountable to the taxpayers. The City Council should have the power to review BSA decisions and overturn those that harm our neighborhoods. Conditions adopted into BSA decisions have to be monitored by the Department of Buildings. From what I have seen, the DOB is highly ineffective. Comments (8)
Dining Out

A taste of hipster Brooklyn in the heart of Ridgewood, Queens

If you’re too broke to live in Brooklyn, but still want to patronize joints that have B-borough attitude, Julia’s Wine & Beer Bar is your kind of place. Comments (1)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Massacre survivor’s family raises college funds

The family and friends of Christina Walker, the survivor of a murder-suicide in Rosedale, announced the creation of a college fund in her name June 6 at St. Clare Catholic Academy. Comment
Long Island City

Unique international outdoor film festival kicks off at Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculpture Park has announced the schedule for its Outdoor Cinema film festival. Now celebrating its 17th year, the popular festival features open-air cinema, music, dance and food, held in the 5-acre waterfront park in Long Island City. Comment

Senate bill would allow local input on special alcohol permits

The state Senate unanimously passed, minus one abstention, state Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) bill that would require the State Liquor Authority to notify community boards when local businesses submit special liquor license permit applications. Comment
Fresh Meadows

DEP announces upgrades to fight flooding in Utopia Parkway

The city Department of Environmental Protection has unveiled upgrades on Utopia Parkway and 65th Avenue in Fresh Meadows that were made to help mitigate long-standing flooding problems in the area. Comment
Jamaica Estates

St. John’s Chris Mullin ready to start recruiting

Chris Mullin has enjoyed a successful first two months as St. John’s men’s basketball coach, reloading a depleted roster. The real work begins soon as the former NBA All Star and executive hits the road for his first full summer of recruiting after getting a taste in April. Comment

Urban renewal has a long history in Queens

With infrastructure developments taking shape and residential neighborhoods coming on the market, June 1906 was a month of great progress and change for Queens. Comment
Ozone Park

Message to Albany: Make Mayoral Control Permanent 

In just a few short weeks, the legislative session in Albany will come to a close. While many issues important to New York City remain outstanding, the legislature should and must reauthorize mayoral control and give Mayor de Blasio the ability to improve our public school system. The 1.1 million students who attend public schools throughout the five boroughs are counting on the Assembly and state Senate to take action and make the right decision. Comment
Forest Hills

Art and music mingle with coffee at Red Pipe Cafe

What goes great with coffee and tea? Live music, beautiful artwork and a relaxing ambiance. Comment

Monday, June 15, 2015

No Holds Barred

Our ancestors all managed to learn English

Increasingly, studies indicate that the United States is very far from being the best educated country in the world. This blog will get to that, but perhaps a few “diversions” will help in the final comments. It’s a long haul, I’m afraid, but I hope you hang in there. Comments (6)

CB 7 protests bill calling for term limits for board members

Queens activists and lawmakers are divided over a bill from City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) that would institute term limits for community boards. Comments (5)

JFK workers accused of sneakers, electronics theft

Four airport employees were charged May 29 with grand larceny in two unrelated cases—one involving the theft of sneakers and the other electronics—Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced this week. Comment
Kew Gardens

Queens welcomes its newest poet laureate

Maria Lisella was sworn in as the new Poet Laureate of Queens Tuesday. A resident of Queens, she plans to use the title to promote a love for poetry and literacy. Comments (1)

Book stores offer more than words

Apparently the report of the printed word’s death was an exaggeration. Comment

Stanners’ bats quiet in loss to Farrell

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Archbishop Molloy. It nearly became a championship season before falling two wins shy of a return trip to the final. “We struggled to start the year,” Molloy Coach Brad Lyons said. “But any time you make it to the final four in this league you’ve had a good year.” Comment

Now, that’s what I call old New York!

To me, “old New York” is the city I moved to in 1981. Back then, the subway cars were so covered with graffiti, you couldn’t see out the windows. You always added a 20-minute cushion to your commute, just in case. And Times Square… Comments (1)

It’s always been Gov. vs. Mayor

“Hand-To-Hand” (Editorial, June 5) is nothing new. Democrats Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have a lot in common with the late Republicans Governor Nelson Rockefeller […] Comments (1)
South Jamaica

New lead on old case

JAMAICA—It took ten years and an extradition, but authorities in New York City have caught the suspect of a murder that took place a decade ago in Queens, according to authorities. Comment

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Long Island City

Pianos pop up in public places for people to play

Pianos are popping up in various locations around the borough, including the Kaufman Arts District in Astoria, LIC Landing by Coffeed in Hunters Point South Park, the Jackson Heights Post Office, Flushing Town Hall and the Unisphere at Flushing Meadow-Corona Park. The public is invited to twinkle the ivories in an effort to promote arts programming. Comment
Forest Hills

Karen Koslowitz elected to head Queens’ council delegation

The political landscape in Queens continues to shift after Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) announced he would be stepping down to join Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s staff. Council members in the borough unanimously elected Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) to replace Weprin as the chairman of the Queens delegation. Comment
Rockaway Park

Goldfeder wants to increase punishment for desperate train copper thieves

In the latest reaction to the copper thieves who crippled the A and C train lines last month—leaving thousands of commuters in the Rockaways and other areas scrambling for alternatives—Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Howard Beach) is trying to make meddling with the train a felony that carries considerable prison time. Comments (1)

York Foundation raised over $250K

CUNY York College announced June 4 that its annual Foundation Merit Scholarship Benefit Dinner raised more than $250,000 for York College student scholarships, Comment
Little Neck

Braunstein announces Mother’s Day writing contest winners

The winners of Assemblyman Edward Braunstein’s (D-Bayside) annual Mother’s Day Essay and Poetry Contest were announced last week, awarding second- through fifth-grade students with a certificate of merit from the state Assembly. Comments (4)

Calhoun set for fresh start at Ohio State

Former Christ the King star Sierra Calhoun has a new home. The freshman guard, who left the Duke women’s basketball program in January, announced last week that she has chosen to transfer to Ohio State over St. John’s. Calhoun declined comment on her reasons for leaving the Blue Devils, or about her time in Durham, but she is pleased to get a fresh start. Comment
The Civic Scene

Many events in Cunningham Park

One of the most popular events in Cunningham Park, which will take place on Tuesday, June 22 at 8 p.m., will be a New York Philharmonic concert. I don’t know why it is a little early this year but we have to be happy we have it, because the Opera does not perform in Cunningham Park any more due to fiscal reasons. We don’t know the program yet but there will be fireworks this year. People usually park for about 3 blocks around the park. Some bring picnics. Comment
The Play’s the Thing

Queens theater scene should take a page from D.C.

Washington, D.C. has a population of about 650,000 in 61 square miles; Queens has an official count of 2.3 million, nearly four times as many, in 109 square miles. Which one do you think has more real theaters? Comments (1)

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Most Queens residents get top pre-K choices

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that every one of the nearly 70,000 applicants in the first round of the city’s full-day pre-kindergarten application period would receive an offer letter for a fall seat by the end of the week, and most in Queens would get into one of the schools of their choice. Comment

Astoria holds town hall meeting to discuss new ferry landing

Several hundred enthusiastic supporters of ferry service packed the 180-year-old First Reformed Church of Astoria Thursdayto hear a team from the City Economic Development Corp. unveil their plans for a new ferry dock. The 3,000-square-foot floating pier will be located along the Astoria Houses esplanade on upper Hallets Cove in time for the implementation of citywide ferry service in 2017, which Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during his State of the City Address on Feb. 3. Comment

New concert series kicks off in Sunnyside

A new concert series kicks off in Sunnyside Thursday with a live performance by the Street Beat Brass Band, under the No. 7 subway station at 46th Street on Bliss Plaza from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The performance series, “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza” brings free concerts to the new public space on the third Thursday each month through October. Comment
Long Island City

Hunters Point South Park to be completed

The award-winning team of designers who designed the first phase of Hunters Point South Park, is coming back to finish the job. Thomas Balsley presented the plans for the final phase of Hunters Point South Park, which will stretch from 54th Avenue to Newtown Creek., designed by Thomas Balsley Associates, WEISS/MANFREDI with ARUP. Comment
Ozone Park

City to take residents’ land for Ozone Park sewer project

The government wants their living rooms. Comment

McClancy season ends with defeat by Farrell

Monsignor McClancy’s miraculous playoff run won’t have a storybook ending. Comment
Mayoral Spin Cycle

With Hillary as front-runner, Mike needs to step in

Sure, Hillary Clinton is great. But Mike Bloomberg needs to be the Democrat’s “Plan-B,” says our columnist. Comments (2)

Civil War treasure in danger

Recently, I revisited Fort Totten and to my dismay I noticed that most of its buildings and structures remain unused and are in serious disrepair. I was extremely surprised, considering Fort Totten is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, what I find to be more upsetting is that Fort Totten is home to the Bayside Historical Society. Comments (2)

Arrest made for illegal shellfishing in Little Neck Bay: DEC

DOUGLASTON—Officers of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation were deployed to Little Neck Bay on the evening of May 30. Their investigation led to one arrest for harvesting shellfish in uncertified waters. Comments (1)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Jackson Heights

Bronx man’s suicide felt by Queens Councilman

The suicide of a young man from the Bronx devastated one City Councilman from Queens. Kalief Browder, arrested as a 16-year-old for allegedly stealing a backpack and held on Rikers Island for three years without a trial or conviction, hung himself last weekend. Comments (2)
Jackson Heights

Queens Pride Parade celebrates 23 years in borough

Around 50,000 Queens residents, politicians and community and advocacy groups throughout the city marched in the 23rd annual Queens Pride Parade in Jackson Heights Sunday. Comment

New security cameras installed at Pomonok Houses

Some buildings in the Pomonok Houses complex in Pomonok now have new security cameras. Comment

Elmhurst man does what he can for the families sheltered in former Pan American hotel

Last Friday marked the one-year anniversary of the Boulevard Family Residence, a shelter for homeless families that the Department of Homeless Services established, under emergency decree, at the former Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst. Just a week after the shelter opened, nearly a thousand residents of Elmhurst and several other neighborhoods protested outside the hotel, at 79-00 Queens Blvd., and protests continued through the following months Comments (12)
East Elmhurst

E. Elmhurst residents bracing for possible second homeless shelter

The Department of Homeless Services is denying that they are preparing to house homeless families in a second motel in East Elmhurst, less than a year after they converted the Westaway Motel into a shelter. Residents have been alarmed since the 172-room Clarion Hotel closed last week, directly across the Grand Central Parkway from LaGuardia Airport at 94-00 Ditmars Blvd. Comments (6)
A longtime animal hospital in Middle Village officially unveiled its new 8,000-square-foot facility in a grand opening ceremony last weekend. Comment
Bayside Hills

Bayside Hills Civic Association unveils its clock

The Bayside Hills Civic Association is preparing to unveil the newly refinished Bayside Hills Clock this Sunday at 5 p.m., and is inviting everyone in the community to participate. Comment
The Grand Central Parkway School, PS196Q, in Forest Hills is trying to get its name changed to “The School With a Heart.” Judging by the amount of money the public elementary school raised for St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital this past spring, the name change is a suitable fit. Comment

Take a cinematic trip to Europe


Take a cinematic trip to Europe

There are still a few days to experience Panorama Europe, a unique showcase of contemporary features that are being co-presented by Museum of the Moving Image and the European Union National Institutes for Culture. Panorama Europe gives New York audiences what may be their only chance to see acclaimed films from the festival circuit on the big screen. Comment
Block Shots

Reaction to Belmont is as memorable as race

Block Shots

Reaction to Belmont is as memorable as race

It was bedlam at Belmont. Comment
Glen Oaks

Honor Old Glory on Flag Day

The American flag was originally adopted by a resolution by the Continental Congress on June 14th, 1777. Flag Day wasn’t officially recognized until proposed by Congress and signed into law by President […] Comments (2)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Long Island City

City schools to get door alarms

Long Island City

City schools to get door alarms

The city’s Department of Education is currently installing alarms on about 50 school doors a week with the goal of having 21,000 armed in more than 1,200 of its buildings by the end of the calendar year. Comments (2)

Queens Boulevard redesign gets the go-ahead from CB2

The so-called Boulevard of Death will be redesigned beginning this summer, after the Department of Transportation’s plans got the green light from Community Board 2 last Thursday. The design for a 1.5-mile section of Queens Boulevard, from Roosevelt Avenue to 73rd Street, calls for protected bike lanes and an expanded pedestrian path as well as a change in traffic flow to make the corridor safer. Comment
Patrick Lynch got four more years as leader of New York City’s largest police union. The combative leader of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association was re-elected to a record fifth term by a landslide margin of 70 percent in what officials are calling an “incredible show” of union solidarity. Comments (2)
South Ozone Park

Soccer might come to Aqueduct

In an interview with Community News Group editors, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz said that the New York City Football Club home in the Bronx was not viable for the borough and the soccer team will continue their search for an new stadium home. That search will include looking at a Queens site as an option again. Comments (10)

LaGuardia Community holds commencement

Nearly 1600 graduates, in addition to faculty, friends and family, filled the Theater at Madison Square Garden June 4 for the LaGuardia Community College commencement. The President of the college, Gail Mellow said she apologized for the lack of seats, but she was not sorry that there were 400 more graduates this year. Everyone cheered. Comment

Tiny critter creates excitement at the Queens Zoo

There’s a new star attraction creating quite a buzz at the Queens Zoo. A southern pudu fawn, the world’s smallest deer species, was born at the zoo May 12, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the zoo, located at 53-51 111th Street in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Comments (1)
Bobby Bocchimozzo was sure he’d see a Triple Crown winner after close to four decades of coming to the Belmont Stakes. Comment

First Global Family Reunion held at Hall of Science

The first-ever Global Family Reunion, operating under the notion that all individuals are cousins, explored the science and history of human families at the site of the 1964 New York World’s Fair in Corona last weekend. Comment

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Rout of Molloy has McClancy win from CHSAA baseball final

Monsignor McClancy is a win away from playing for a CHSAA baseball title. Comment

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Samuel Field Y held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday to announce more than $850,000 in renovations and upgrades to the Deepdale Pool Club, which under the care of the Y was renamed the Tanenbaum Family Pool. Comments (4)

Devlin sentenced to 21 years for killing his Bayside mother

The Queens man accused of using a metal baseball bat to beat his Bayside mother to death in February 2011 was sentenced to 21 years in prison Thursday. Comments (6)
Jamaica Estates

Star guard Rysheed Jordan leaves St. John’s to pursue pro career

Rysheed Jordan’s career at St. John’s is over. Comment



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