The owner of the abandoned building at 78-19 Jamaica Ave. that collapsed in April 2013 appears to have gotten a reprieve.
The two-story structure crumbled after a rainstorm 15 months ago, crushing a parked car, and was slated to be demolished starting last week. But the owner, George Kochabe, who owns the building through his company, 78-19 Jamaica Avenue LLC., sued the city for “arbitrary and capricious” conduct in demanding the demolition of the structure, alleging that it was not a public safety issue. The city and the owner settled with the agreement that he would fix the building by mid-October.
When state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and her husband rented a car and traveled through Israel to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary years ago, they decided to see the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip for themselves, she said.
“The minute we got to Gaza, we saw the rocks and the stones being thrown at our car,” Stavisky said. “Why? Because the car had an Israeli plate.”
Last Thursday was the type of the day that is the reason people live in Roxbury, the small hamlet on the western Rockaway Peninsula between Breezy Point and Riis Park. The warm summer sun illuminated the beige sand that scattered along the narrow walkway “streets” of the gated community.
A crowd of neighbors gathered in front of 402 Seabreeze Ave., where Lorraine and Doris Gresser anxiously waited to climb the steps to her front porch and walk into their home.
A pedestrian tunnel that connects both sides of Bellerose beneath the Cross Island Parkway at 88th Road has fallen into disrepair, and community leaders were out in force on July 17 to get the city to do something about it.
“It is clear that this tunnel is not being maintained,” said state Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside), who led a group of more than 30 residents and civic leaders at a rally by the tunnel’s eastern end.
One of the biggest fears many Elmhurst residents had regarding last month’s conversion of the Pan American Hotel into a homeless shelter was a potential increase in crime throughout the area.
In the seven weeks since homeless families began occupying the building, the 110th Precinct and area officials say that worry has gone unfounded.
Rebel state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), the vocal populist whose move into the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference angered the party establishment and prompted a primary challenge from former City Councilman and Comptroller John Liu, has now won the backing of a key congressman in his re-election campaign.
Avella was endorsed last Friday by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens), who only started to represent part of this borough in 2013, thanks to post-2010 Census redistricting, but is a veteran lawmaker and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
For weeks, community leaders opposed to a new homeless shelter in Elmhurst and plans for another in Glendale have been urging residents to call city Comptroller Scott Stringer to make their opinions known.
Well, it’s working.
While elected officials and residents are still reeling over the Department of Homeless Services’ unexpected conversion of the Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst into a homeless shelter last month, the agency is at it again.
This time, the Westway Motor Inn on Astoria Boulevard has been converted into a high-capacity homeless shelter without, some contend, proper notice to those most impacted by the move.
Looking to donate used clothing but don’t trust that those street-corner bins actually help the needy? There are alternatives and you don’t even have to leave your home.
Last week, Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) announced he wanted to enact legislation in Albany banning for-profit bins that would also allow the city to remove them immediately.
Many of the union workers and affordable housing activists who have rallied against the Astoria Cove development plan in recent weeks took to Borough Hall en mass as the controversial proposal came before Borough President Melinda Katz last Thursday.
One by one, those opposed to the plan in its present state called on Alma Realty to provide guarantees that the project will provide well-paying, safe construction jobs with benefits, in addition to demanding a higher number of affordable housing units than Alma laid out in its most recent proposal to Community Board 1 last month.
At a press conference Thursday in Remsen Hall at Queens College’s Flushing campus, Interim President Evangelos Gizis announced that state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) secured a $2 million allocation for a much-needed renovation to a research laboratory on the hall’s ground floor.
The facility was built in 1949 as a teaching lab for physical chemistry.
After months of tension, debate and a civil suit, the demolition of 5Pointz is slated to begin in the coming weeks.
The graffiti mecca, once adorned with aerosol paintings by street artists, was whitewashed in November and now resembles a disheveled and tired version of what it once was.
Eleven votes separated them, but Republican candidate for the 3rd Congressional District Stephen Labate conceded Tuesday to the victor, Grant Lally.
The state Board of Elections certified the victory last Thursday, following a court battle over absentee ballots. At the time, Labate, a financial planner from Deer Park, LI, said he would seek a recount because of the small difference in votes.
Attention Forest Hills and Rego Park. There’s a new sheriff in town.
After two years under the watch of Capt. Thomas Conforti, command of the 112th Precinct has been handed over to Capt. Judith Harrison after Conforti took the same job at the 109th Precinct in Flushing.
The National Park Service released four proposed options last week on what to do with West Pond in the Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and is asking the public to comment on what they would like to see done.
The formerly freshwater pond just west of Cross Bay Boulevard was destroyed when Hurricane Sandy tore a breach at the south end of the basin that opened up a deep channel into Jamaica Bay. Saltwater filled in the pond and a large permanent canal was cut.
Commissioner Emily Lloyd of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection probably was anticipating the loud grumbling she elicited Monday night when she discussed water rate increases at a town hall meeting in St. Albans.
“Rates have gone up 181 percent in 12 years,” Lloyd acknowledged before a crowd of more than 150 in the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center.
Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) fought for years alongside others to get city officials to pay attention to flooding that has plagued some portions of Southeast Queens for decades.
But in recent months, he has been fighting instead to convince flood-weary residents that action finally has begun to replace words.
To coincide with the 30th anniversary of longtime Forest Hills resident Geraldine Ferraro’s historic vice presidential nomination, which made her the first U.S. woman to be nominated on a major party presidential ticket, her filmmaker daughter, Donna Zaccaro, has produced a documentary about the woman who became a trailblazer without forgetting where she came from.
On Monday night, St. John’s University hosted a screening of the film, “Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way,” which has been chosen as a selection at several film festivals and is now being broadcast on Showtime.
The Rockaway Ferry service is currently not financially sustainable and the city is looking for ways to continue it past October, according to a letter from the city’s Economic Development Corp. to a member of Community Board 14.
In the letter, sent last week to Danny Ruscillo, co-chairman of CB 14’s Transportation Committee, EDC President Kyle Kimball said that the ferry carries around 400 people per day between Rockaway and Manhattan, with a stop in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The fare is $3.50 per passenger, but EDC said the cost to subsidize the service is about $30 per passenger, more than six times the cost to the city per rider of the Staten Island Ferry, which is free for passengers, and more than twice the cost-per-rider of express bus service.
Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) has introduced a bill that he believes will improve the health of Queens residents and the Citi Bike sharing program.
The Bike to Work Act of 2014 would add bike sharing programs which already exist in numerous states and cities to the federal law that allows tax breaks for workers using mass transit to commute to and from work.
A Muslim-Jewish interfaith dialogue took place Monday at the Central Queens Y, a Jewish organization. The sold-out event of about 125 people was planned before the outbreak of hostilities in Gaza.
First, no pre-event interviews were granted. Then no media were allowed at the event.
Midsummer isn’t a quiet time for Woodhaven residents and civic leaders.
During a town hall meeting Saturday that drew a sizable audience to Emanuel United Church of Christ, the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association addressed more than half a dozen issues, most of them ongoing problems facing the area, including graffiti, illegally parked cars, and a collapsed Jamaica Avenue building that many worry is a safety risk.
Civil rights organizations, including some who prodded the city to reduce the searching of individuals police deem suspicious, are now demanding the NYPD abandon the broken windows theory of crimefighting, which they say unfairly targets minorities — the same argument they made against stop and frisk.
The criticism against broken-windows policing — which involves strict enforcement of minor crimes in order to deter, prevent or uncover bigger ones — follows the death last week of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died in police custody after resisting arrest. Garner was allegedly selling single cigarettes. Many, including Mayor de Blasio, said it appears as if one officer used an illegal chokehold on the overweight, asthmatic man, who told the police he couldn’t breathe before dying.
After two previous rallies against the Pan American Hotel’s transformation into a homeless shelter turned vitriolic, the Department of Homeless Services shuttled dozens of families to a movie theater in an attempt to shield them from Tuesday’s protest outside the building.
While scores of children enjoyed seeing “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” around 550 people packed the sidewalk in front of the shelter at 79-00 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst to, once again, let their opposition to the residence be heard.
Dancers and drummers from the Brooklyn-based Ifetayo Youth Ensemble performed traditional African musical numbers before more than 300 children and their families at Rufus King Park in Jamaica.
The performance, some of which was interactive, was sponsored by City Parks Foundation’s Summer Stage for Kids program, presented in cooperation with Disney and Cultural Collaborative Jamaica.
The Glendale branch of the Queens Library is set to undergo a substantial facelift over the next three years.
nd weapons charges in Brooklyn after he allegedly carjacked two vehicles at gunpoint on Saturday and shot at the owner of a car that he struck.
Howard Beach residents of all ages attended a free health and wellness fair hosted by Borough President Melinda Katz this past Sunday at St. Helen’s Father Dooley Hall — the first in a series of such events she is planning across Queens.
Diehard Mets fans pitched tents and unrolled sleeping bags last Saturday to take part in the second annual sleepover at Citi Field.
It never was a bad little tree, but Woodhaven’s new Christmas tree, which replaced the community’s iconic 27-year-old evergreen that was taken down by Hurricane Sandy’s winds, needed more than just a little love.
All things metal at the northern end of Rufus King Park, from manhole covers to the park’s fence, have been cordoned off on the southern side of 89th Avenue in Jamaica between 150th and 153rd streets as Con Edison looks to address a leak of electricity.
The Queens Library’s Lefferts branch at 103-34 Lefferts Blvd. in South Richmond Hill will close temporarily at the end of business on Saturday for about two months for installation of a new roof.
Artists and residents from all over Queens marveled at the whimsical treasures of the Apollonia Gallery as they slurped down Blue Point and Little Neck clams and sipped on champagne during its opening party last Sunday.
One month after Community Board 5 voted 21-13 against the rezoning of a small, vacant plot of land at 1504-1506 Decatur Street in Ridgewood from manufacturing to residential, Borough President Melinda Katz heard both sides of the argument at last Thursday’s land use public hearing at Borough Hall.
The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens received a big donation from one of its neighbors last week as the organization prepares to welcome the public into its new expanded space.
As cats continue to disappear, people from around the world are demanding something be done.
A registered sex offender from Hollis has been sentenced to three and a half to 7 years in prison for sharing and promoting child pornography on the internet.
As you probably know, the Woodhaven Business Improvement District periodically distributes quarters for parking cars on Jamaica Avenue paying for the first 15 minutes. Also, we give out fliers from the WBID to thank those who shop our Jamaica Avenue. The WBID appreciates that you shop locally in our stores and businesses that care.
A group of students and staffers from the Phyllis L. Susser School in Fresh Meadows recently stopped by the Queens Chronicle offices for a brief education in the community newspaper business and a tour. Taking part were Pamela Smith, left, Marisol Alcantara, Isaac Garcia, David DeJong, Madyson Harris, Alejandro Suarez and A.J. Mejia.
The Queens Chronicle’s sixth annual Summer in the Borough Photo Contest is underway, and you’re invited to join in!
The NYPD has released a sketch of a man wanted for questioning in the June 21 attack in Woodside that killed a 56-year-old Jackson Heights man.
The NYPD is seeking the public’s help in identifying the man wanted for a July 21 robbery at Cookie’s Kids, a store at 166-21 Jamaica Ave.
Civic and elected leaders gathered Friday to welcome the new commanding officer of the 109th Precinct in Flushing.
Bocce is back at Juniper Valley Park.
Long Island City residents looking to visit Williamsburg will need to find an alternative route as the G train will be out of commission between Nassau Avenue and Court Square starting on July 28 for five weeks straight.
Mayor de Blasio last week named Rick Chandler as the Department of Buildings commissioner, Richard Emery as chairman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board and Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick and Barry Cozier as chairwoman and vice chairman of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary, respectively.
The Holliswood Center for Rehabilitation and Health Care on July 17 hosted a carnival for its residents, staff and family members.
A Roosevelt elk calf born at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo has joined the rest of the herd in its woodland habitat.
Long Island City residents gathered in Queensbridge Park on Saturday to celebrate Family Day.
State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) is urging the city Department of Consumer Affairs to more closely “monitor” advertisements that could be offensive to families and young children.
A New Jersey anesthesiologist who had a weekend practice in Flushing was convicted Friday in State Supreme Court on two counts of second-degree manslaughter and 200 other charges including reckless endangerment and criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance.
The NYPD is seeking the public’s help in identifying a man wanted for an attempted robbery in Jamaica on July 14.
Last summer, Belinda Barnett-Andrea began noticing a problem with her son Frankie when he came home on a school bus from his District 75 program at a school in Bayside.
Young members of the Hindu Temple Society of North America were among several ethnic groups that performed Sunday in Kissena Corridor Park in Flushing.
Enjoy biking? Well, this Saturday you can pedal for a good cause.
George McDonald of the Doe Fund and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, top, on Friday announced an agreement that will allow workers in the Fund’s Ready, Willing and Able program to clean and beautify streets and sidewalks in Glendale, Maspeth and Ridgewood beginning this month.
In what can only be described as a Wednesday afternoon massacre, Borough President Melinda Katz and Mayor de Blasio axed nearly half of the Queens Library Board of Trustees.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer has begun making offers to victims of the April 30 flood in Lindenwood that the city blamed on failure of a key piece of flood-control infrastructure.
Up to 200 units of mixed-income, affordable housing could be in the offing for Municipal Parking Lot 3 in Downtown Flushing.
Two men are facing lengthy prison terms after being nabbed Friday for allegedly attempting to rape an 18-year-old woman in Ridgewood last week.
Rebel state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), the vocal populist whose move into the Senate's Independent Democratic Conference angered the party establishment and prompted a primary challenge from former City Councilman and Comptroller John Liu, has now won the backing of a key congressman in his re-election campaign.
Aspiring scientists at Queens College just got a big boost.
Police are searching for two suspects who allegedly attempted to rob and rape an 18-year-old woman in Ridgewood early Wednesday morning.
The long-neglected crumbling seawall at MacNeil Park in College Point is slated for restoration beginning next summer.
The MTA and Long Island Rail Road employee unions have reached a contract agreement, averting a strike that had been set to begin at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, Gov. Cuomo, agency Chairman Thomas Prendergast and labor leaders announced today.
A Flushing woman who illegally injected two customers with a foreign substance during “buttocks enhancement” procedures that she was not licensed to perform has been sentenced to two to three years in prison.
Police Officer Matthew Peters was honored on July 9 as the 106th Precinct’s Cop of the Month for his arrest of an alleged robber.
A handful of both longtime and relatively new Ridgewood tenants have banded together to form their own association.
How would you spend a million dollars? Long Island City residents gathered July 9 to discuss just that.
One Jewish Democratic official called it “touching the third rail of Queens politics.”
Calling the use of illegal clothing bins for profit “a disgusting practice,” Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) said Friday he is introducing legislation in Albany that should put a halt to the operation.
Normally, anger at Community Board 5 meetings comes from residents who attend.
Lyft, the rideshare company that connects drivers and riders through mobile apps, has agreed not to start its service in Brooklyn until it meets all requirements of the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
Bocce is back at Juniper Valley Park. The ribbon was cut on the new $850,000 bocce courts i…
Diehard Mets fans pitched tents and unrolled sleeping bags last Saturday to take part in the…
The Police Department’s new class of cadets was sworn in by Mayor de Blasio July 9 at Queens…