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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sunnyside

Jackson Heights Tibetan chef opens a second and larger restaurant in Sunnyside

The world-class chef behind a popular Jackson Heights Tibetan restaurant has opened a second, much larger eatery in Sunnyside. Comment.
Politics

City seeks to modernize zoning rules to bolster affordable housing

Community leaders are up in arms about the city’s plans to update existing zoning regulations to accommodate its affordable housing goals, which they say will undo more than a decade of progress in zoning. Comments (1).
Bay Terrace

Bay Terrace pet store celebrates its grand opening

After a low-key start during the slow winter retail season, retired police officer turned entrepreneur, Sean Jordan, switched gears to prepare for the grand opening of his new Bay Terrace store, Modern Pet this past week. Comment.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Kew Gardens

Seven Queens residents charged in alleged gang attacks: DA

Seven alleged members and associates of a notorious street gang in southeast Queens were indicted on conspiracy, weapons and other charges for the attempted murder, shooting and assault of two individuals believed to be associated with a rival gang the Queens District Attorney office and the NYPD announced Friday. Comments (1).
St. Albans

Girlfriend charged in St. Albans’ shooting: DA

ST. ALBANS — A South Ozone Park woman has been charged with setting up a robbery that ended in the fatal shooting of her boyfriend in St. Albans, police said. Comments (1).
Fresh Meadows

CB 8 asks City Council to mandate smoking ban in housing

Queens Community Board 8 approved a resolution calling on the City Council to pass legislation requiring all new multi-family housing to be smoke-free. Comments (1).
Richmond Hill

Mayor announced new funds for schools at Richmond Hill HS

Mayor Bill de Blasio met with students and faculty members at Richmond Hill High School as part of his Renewal Schools program tour across the city last week. Comments (1).
Jamaica

Proposal helps flood problem, nature, in Jamaica Bay

A project dedicated to providing resilient design proposals for hurricane protection and climate adaptation released plans for four vulnerable coasts across the North Atlantic region, which includes Jamaica Bay at an exhibit in Brooklyn. Comment.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Flushing

Queens man guilty of murder in 1980 cold case: DA

A Queens man was found guilty of murder for strangling a Holocaust survivor to death in his Flushing home more than three decades ago based on forensic evidence, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced. Comments (1).
Jamaica

Queens Library seeks public funding

Queens Library president pleaded for severely needed funding for library repairs across the city in a joint appeal with the New York and Brooklyn Public library presidents last week before the City Council’s Finance Committee. Comments (3).

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Astoria

City moves to make 21st Street safer for pedestrians

The city has begun introducing improvements, and is proposing many more, to make a two-mile stretch of 21st Street safer connecting Astoria with Long Island City. Comments (1).
Bayside Hills

Young Baysider wins spelling bee

Srinath Mahankali of Bayside Hills has won the top spot in his division at the New York Daily News Spelling Bee, outspelling about 70 of the best and brightest fifth through eight-graders in the city Comment.
Springfield Gardens

Cookie sales snag Queens Girl Scout top spot

Sales isn’t for the faint of heart. But for one Queens teenager, all of the qualities of a young saleswoman were apparent from her philanthropic Girl Scout Cookie transactions. Comments (1).
Woodside

Woodside babysitter found guilty in shaken baby case

WOODSIDE — A 43-year-old Woodside woman was found guilty Monday of manslaughter in the death of a 9-month-old baby, who was violently shaken by his babysitter on March 10, 2010. Yohani Moran, a resident of 64th Street, faces up to 15 years in prison following a four-week long trial. Comment.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Flushing

New plan for RKO Keith’s Theater approved by CB 7

The long-delayed plans for RKO Keith’s Theater in Flushing have been approved by Community Board 7 after years of the property passing through the hands of multiple developers. Comments (1).
Long Island City

Culture town hall focuses on real estate forcing out LIC artists

The first ever Long Island City Cultural Town Hall Meeting was expected to be a forum on the “Sunbather” sculpture, a controversial piece of publicly funded art that has roiled Community Board 2 in recent months. Instead, the eight-foot-long pink statue, and its impending installation on Jackson Avenue, were barely mentioned. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Legislation that cracks down on fake IDs market passes Senate

The illicit market for fake identification has made Roosevelt Avenue a destination for decades for underage youths looking for “proof” to enter bars and clubs as well as immigrants looking for a fake green card or Social Security card. Comments (3).
Broadway-Flushing

Ferrigno House in Broadway-Flushing on the market

A couple of families have expressed serious interest in buying the landmarked Ferrigno House in the Broadway-Flushing Historic District. Comments (3).
Flushing

Volunteers prepare botanical garden for season

Bright blue skies and mild weather were the mark of spring’s turning point Sunday, when volunteer groups turned out to prepare the Queens Botanical Garden for the season. Comment.
Maspeth

DEP must commit to community negotations on Newtown Creek: Katz

The city Department of Environmental Protection presented its application for the construction of an aeration facility on the Maspeth side of the Newtown Creek during a public land use hearing before Queens Borough President Melinda Katz last week. Comment.
Maspeth

Environmental groups continue push back on Newtown Creek aeration

Environmental advocacy groups such as Riverkeeper and the Newtown Creek Alliance have long opposed the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s push to aerate the Newtown Creek. Comment.
Astoria

Q103 bus service now permanent in Astoria and Long Island City

Riders and elected officials in western Queens are applauding the long-awaited permanent expansion of the Q103 bus line, which connects Astoria and Long Island City along Vernon Boulevard. The MTA approved the plan that would make weekend and expanded weeknight service permanent, linking numerous cultural institutions and waterfront parks in the two waterfront communities. Comment.
Sunnyside

Residents to choose which projects get funded with $1 million

Residents in Sunnyside, Long Island City and Woodside will get to choose which community projects will be getting $1 million in public funding through the process of Participatory Budgeting. A Project Expo will be held on April 6 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Sunnyside Community Center, at 43-31 39th St., to give the community the opportunity to speak with project delegates, see project presentations and learn more about each proposal. Comment.
St. Albans

Duo pleads guilty in sex trafficking case: DA

ST. ALBANS — A couple pleaded guilty to sex trafficking Tuesday after admitting they forced a 15-year-old girl into prostitution last year the Queens DA said. Comment.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Long Island City

Landmark Preservation Commission calendars the Clock Tower

Preservationists in western Queens breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday when the Landmark Preservation Commission voted unanimously to give the Clock Tower in Long Island City its chance at landmark designation. Comment.
Richmond Hill

NYPD asks for case dismissal in Phaghwa Parade controversy

The city’s Legal Department has requested that the Hindu Parades & Festival Committee’s court petition against the NYPD be dismissed on the grounds the Queens Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over the reinstatement of the revoked parade permit. Comment.
Corona

BP attends second New York State Pavilion lighting test run

The borough president needed to see it for herself. Melinda Katz went to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to watch the second lighting test run for the New York State Pavilion, part of her overall effort to restore the “iconic architectural marvel” that had fallen into disrepair for decades since the 1964 World’s Fair. Comment.
Woodhaven

DOT unveils Select Bus route for Rockaways to Woodside

The city Department of Transportation unveiled the design concept for Select Bus Service to connect Rockaway with Woodside using designated lanes on Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards this week. Comments (9).
Government

State budget at stalemate over education policy

State Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows) said the Legislature is making headway on negotiations to pass a $143 billion budget before New York’s new fiscal year begins April 1. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Crossing guard struck by minivan in Jackson Heights

A 75-year-old crossing guard was released from Elmhurst Hospital Center and is now home recovering from head injuries she received when she was struck in a Jackson Heights intersection last week. Comments (1).
Richmond Hill

Mayor’s renewal school program heads to the war room

During Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tour of underperforming schools enrolled in the Renewal Schools program launched last year, he announced one of the methods to measure improvements would be Compstat, the NYPD crime-tracking tool, at Richmond Hill High School. Comments (1).
Woodhaven

Alleged Woodhaven arsonist displaces 60 people: DA

More than 60 residents were displaced by a fire that ravaged eight row houses in Woodhaven last week, leaving them to sort out their lives in the aftermath. Comments (2).
Flushing

Former Kum Gang San workers win $2.7M lawsuit

Kum Gang San, a Korean restaurant in Flushing, and its owner have to pay nearly $2.7 million in back wages to 11 former employees for committing wage theft, a federal magistrate judge ruled last week. Comments (2).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bayside

Hospital accepts gift during special celebrity visit

St. Mary’s Hospital for Children had a celebrity visit Monday to highlight Scholastic’s donation of 2,500 books to the hospital. Comments (1).
Politics

Queens landlords fear another rent freeze

Some landlords are concerned Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to pursue a rent freeze in the city again now that he has either appointed or reappointed all nine members of the Rent Guidelines Board. Comments (2).

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Long Island City

Goldman Sachs giifts $2 million to LaGuardia Community College

LaGuardia Community College Foundation will receive the largest donation in the school’s history with a $2 million dollar gift from Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs. The global investment banking firm, with revenue in excess of $40 billion, will direct the funds to help students stay in college and graduate. Comments (1).
Rosedale

Brookville Park to get $1.6M for face-lift

Brookville Park in southeast Queens will be receiving a total of $1.6 million for extensive renovations over the next three years, according to elected officials. Comments (1).
Environment

Friends of Animals opposes DEC’s plan

A New York nonprofit animal advocacy organization released a statement last week calling on state Gov. Andrew Cuomo to save mute swan populations. Comment.
Jamaica

Govt secrets panel comes to York

A panel of senior journalists and experts on the digital age of media in a post-Snowden world gave insight to students on their rights as journalists and as citizens in a surveillance state at CUNY’s York College last week. Comment.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Astoria

Constantinides introduces bill that would help those vulnerable to poor air-quality

A recent study by NYU Langone Medical Center revealed that breathing New York City air can block arteries to the brain triggering strokes. The condition, known as carotid artery stenosis, is especially troubling for people with health problems. Comments (1).
Sunnyside

Rego Park woman pleads guilty in subway shoving death

A Rego Park woman was allowed to plead guilty Friday to first-degree manslaughter for shoving a man to his death in front of a No. 7 subway train in December because she thought he was a Muslim, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Oakland Gardens

Congressman Israel’s new novel shows the inane side of politics in the war on terror

While serving on the House Armed Services Committee in 2006, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Oakland Gardens) was at a hearing listening to testimony from a senior general in the Pentagon. The general had come to apologize for something that had happened accidentally. Comment.
Bayside

Do your own research on charter co-locations

The teachers union and the charter school industry fight hard and often, especially about “co-location.” That’s the widespread practice of muscling private charters into crowded public school buildings and awarding these for-profit business entrepreneurs the lion’s share of resources and preferred space at no cost to them. Comment.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

College Point

NYPD to announce new social media program at Police Academy

The NYPD will be formally launching a new social media program this April at the Police Academy in College Point, where the 109th Precinct will be the first precinct to take part in the pilot program. Comments (7).
East Elmhurst

Mayor announces new plan to change culture of violence on Rikers Island

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a 14-point plan to aggressively combat violence and promote a culture of safety on Rikers Island, including five main initiatives to target inmate-on-inmate violence. The plan, made public last week at the prison, represents the administration’s continued commitment to reform Rikers Island after decades of neglect. Comment.
Education

State legislature won’t include education policy in budget negotiations

Budget negotiations are cooling down as the state budget deadline approaches and compromise is being made. But several legislators, parents, educational advocacy groups and city leaders are still heated over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed education reforms. Comment.
Oakland Gardens

PS 213 students celebrate culture, diversity

For the 11th year, PS 213 in Bayside brought together parents, teachers and students last week for a celebration in diversity and global culture. Comments (3).
Ozone Park

Ozone Park veteran receives honor 40 years later

After 40 years of battling with the U.S. Army, Ozone Park resident John D. Chichester, 69, is finally being recognized for his heroism in the Vietnam War with the help of City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). Comment.
Bayside

Bayside mugging suspect linked to Jamaica attack

BAYSIDE — Police say they’ve linked a Bayside mugging suspect with an attack in Jamaica. Comment.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bayside

Bayside Live TV builds community forum

Growth of social media is no less apparent in Bayside than it is throughout the rest of the country. One native son content producer is taking advantage of growing interconnectivity to create a forum promoting business and community in northeast Queens. Comment.
Education

City hopes to enroll 70,000 students in pre-K by fall

Monday was opening day for pre-kindergarten applications, which drew more than triple the number of applications received from the first day last year. Comments (2).
Astoria

Building that was home to Uncle George’s to be demolished

The building that used to serve as the location of Uncle George’s Greek Taverna, once one of the most popular restaurants in Astoria, will be demolished to make way for a four-story residential building, according to plans filed with the Department of Business. The existing building, at 33-19 Broadway, is three stories with ground floor retail. Comment.
Ridgewood

Ridgewood travel agent charged in immigration scam: DA

A Ridgewood travel agent was charged with stealing thousands of dollars from an undocumented U.S. alien in a deceitful exchange for promising to procure legal immigration status for the victim, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced last week. Comments (1).
Jamaica

Sean Bell’s mother pushes for special prosecution for police in Albany

Valerie Bell, whose unarmed son Sean Bell was killed the night before his wedding in a hail of 50 police bullets nearly nine years ago outside a Jamaica nightclub , has called for having independent prosecutors handle cases involving police fatalities. Comments (3).
Bayside

It’s time to clean up Nature’s winter mess

Now that we are leaving winter and the snows are melting, what is revealed is not only the earth waiting to burst forth with the promise of spring, but a whole lot of litter. As I walk through the neighborhood, I am astonished to see so much rotting paper, plastic bottles, cigarette butts, discarded wrappers and other debris that had been hidden by the snow and ice. The landscape looks sad and devalues our homes. Comments (1).
Bayside

Nothing taken from Bayside home in breaking and entering

BAYSIDE — A breaking and entering was reported at a single-family residence on March 9, but nothing had been taken, police sources said. Comments (2).

Friday, March 20, 2015

Transit

Queens transit riders brace for fare hikes

Despite an increase in delays and decrease in customer satisfaction, New York City commuters will have to brace themselves for another round of MTA fare hikes this Sunday. Comment.
Woodhaven

Man charged with attempted murder, arson in Woodhaven fire

A 30-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder and arson in the fast-moving blaze that engulfed eight row houses in Woodhaven Wednesday night and injured eight people, including two children, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comments (6).
Jackson Heights

Crossing guard struck by minivan in Jackson Heights

A 75-year-old crossing guard was in stable condition at Elmhurst Hospital Center Friday recovering from head injuries she received when she was struck in a Jackson Heights intersection Thursday morning. Comment.
Long Island City

Clock Tower in danger as owner plans huge tower next door

Preservationists fear that time is running out on the Clock Tower. The future of the iconic building, which sits at the northeast corner of Queens Plaza in Long Island City, is in question now that its owner, Property Markets Group, has submitted plans to build a tower on the adjacent lot at 29-37 41st Ave. Comments (3).
Flushing

Queens man guilty of murder in 1980 cold case: DA

A Queens man was found guilty of murder for strangling a Holocaust survivor to death in his Flushing home more than three decades ago based on forensic evidence, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced. Comment.
Middle Village

Christ the King’s Alkins embracing spotlight after humbling start   

Rawle Alkins emerges from the Christ the King locker room following a playoff win with a throng of reporters behind him and a pack of young fans awaiting him at the top of the steps inside Fordham University’s Rose Hill gymnasium. The Christ the King junior boys’ basketball star takes photos with the kids as they continually ask him where he will attend college. Before starting his interview, Alkins sporting glasses like Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbook, laughs and smiles brightly from ear to ear as he politely shrugs off their repeated attempts for an answer. Comment.
College Point

Long-delayed College Pt. project to be complete by April: DEP

The city Department of Environmental Protection is working on reopening 131st Street and 11th Avenue in College Point temporarily to alleviate traffic conditions brought on by the building of a sewer in Whitestone. Comments (3).
Flushing

Flushing memorial park to commemorate 9/11 heroes

Queens Community Board 7 unanimously passed a motion at its monthly board meeting last week approving the renaming of 154th Street and 26th Avenue in Flushing “Heroes Memorial Way” to honor victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and civil servants who perished in the line of duty. Comment.
Long Island City

Queens H.S. heads to national robotics competition

The RoboTigers, the robotics team from Queens Vocational and Technical High School in Long Island City, won the regional games in the Annual First Robotics Competition at Jacob Javits Center Sunday and will continue into the championships in St. Louis. Comment.
Long Island City

Coalition for Queens announces new funding to teach tech skills

Coalition for Queens is getting some major funding from leading technology, philanthropic and public supporters. The non-profit, based in Long Island City’s Falchi Building, fosters the Queens Tech ecosystem to increase economic opportunity and transform the borough into a leading hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Comment.
Crime

Bronx man admits to shining lasers at La Guardia pilots

Elehecer Balaguer, 54, surrendered to the FBI Monday and admitted to a Bronx Supreme Court judge to directing a powerful laser at planes around La Guardia Airport March 9, according to the U.S. attorney for the Southern District, which covers the Bronx. Comments (1).
Breezy Point

FEMA flood damage review long overdue: Pols

Although the Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced that it in the process of reviewing flood damage claims filed by homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy, lawmakers representing hard-hit areas in Queens say the agency should have acted sooner. Comment.
Jamaica

Independent city agency starts NYPD focus groups in Jamaica

The Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD announced that it will begin conducting discussions groups in southeast Queens over the next few weeks on the tense community-police relations across the city. Comment.
Government

Assembly and Senate pass different spending plans; negotiations underway

The state Senate and the Assembly each passed one-house budget resolutions last week, but the governor said he won’t sign a spending plan just yet. Comment.
Bayside

Van theft reported in Bayside

BAYSIDE — A van was stolen last week with no sign of forced entry, according to police. Comments (2).

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Richmond Hill

Hindu Parade leaders take their permit issue to court against NYPD

The Hindu Parades & Festival Committee said it has decided to pursue a civil case against the NYPD for suddenly canceling the annual Phagwah Parade days before the event, a 27-year tradition in Richmond Hill, after their parade permit was approved by the Police Department. Comments (2).
Maspeth

Shooting in Maspeth rocks 104th Precinct commander’s final day

The commanding officer’s final day at the 104th Precinct in Maspeth didn’t go as planned due to a burglary suspect who allegedly opened fire at his officers Monday morning. Jeremy Clark, 27, of Rochester, New Hampshire was arrested after allegedly firing one shot at police officers near the intersection on 56th Avenue and 60th Street, according to the NYPD. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Queens Neighborhoods United rallies against Jax Hgts BID expansion

Nearly three dozen members of Queens Neighborhoods United rallied across the street from the 82nd Street Partnership Monday, protesting the plan to expand the business improvement district from Jackson Heights into Corona. Comment.
Politics

State Assembly passes trafficking bill

The state Assembly passed the anti-human trafficking bill Monday, the first bill the chamber has supported in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 10-point women’s equality agenda. Comments (5).
Politics

Former congressman Bob Turner named Queens GOP chairman

Newly appointed Chairman Bob Turner said the Queens Republican Party has a lot of work to undertake to reunify the party after decades of discord stemming from the stalemate over the chairmanship position. Comment.
Jamaica

GJDC gets a new president after 40 years

The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation announced Hope Knight, former CEO of Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, will succeed Carlisle Towery, who served as president for the not-for-profit for the last 40 years. Comment.
Government

Queens city officials rank high in environment votes

The New York League of Conservation Voters released its 2014 environmental scorecard for elected officials in the city which highlights the performance of lawmakers on the past year’s key environmental votes. Comment.
Woodside

Miss Universe honored in Woodside

Several hundred people packed La Boom New York in Woodside last Friday for a chance to meet Miss Universe, Paulina Vega, who was being honored for her work with organizations fighting HIV/AIDS. Vega was part of state Sen. Jose Peralta’s celebration of Women’s History Month. Comment.
Long Island City

Riders pen complaints about subway service

A transit advocacy group has begun a novel campaign it hopes will convince Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators to fund the MTA’s proposed $32 billion capital plan to improve to city’s aging subway system. Comments (1).
Military

Former Queens resident among Marines dead in Florida crash

A former Queens resident was among the seven Marines who died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash off Florida, the U.S. Marine Corp. announced last Friday. Comment.
Flushing

Serial pickpocket is targeting women: NYPD

FLUSHING — The NYPD is searching for a Hispanic man in his 40s who allegedly pickpocketed nine women between the end of January and mid-March, according to the police. Comments (5).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Emergencies

Man jumps in front of LIRR train at Great Neck

Commuters faced Long Island Rail Road delays on both eastbound and westbound service on Wednesday morning, following an incident at the Great Neck station, the MTA said. Comments (1).
Astoria

Queensbridge man arrested following investigation by two precincts

A one-man crime spree in Long Island City and Astoria apparently has come to an end after a dual investigation by detectives from the 114th and 108th Precincts. Comment.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sunnyside

Rego Park woman pleads guilty in subway shoving death

A Rego Park woman pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree manslaughter for shoving a man to his death in front of a No. 7 subway train in December because she thought he was a Muslim, according to the Queens District Attorney. Comment.
Jamaica Estates

HEADLINE: Red Storm dances way into NCAA tournament minus Obekpa  

It has been four long years of ups and downs for this St. John’s senior class and head coach Steve Lavin. No one on the roster has experienced the madness of the NCAA Tournament, but Sunday the seniors of St. John’s got the validation they have worked for. The Red Storm are back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011. Comment.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Politics

Former congressman Turner named new Queens GOP Party chairman

The state Republican Committee formally introduced former Congressman Bob Turner as the new chairman of the Queens Republican Party at a rally that attracted roughly 80 people in Forest Hills Thursday night. Comments (1).

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