• January 25, 2015
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Queens Chronicle

Central/Mid Queens News

Stories from Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale, Ridgewood, Briarwood and Elmhurst

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Cinemart Cinemas to keep fighting

After high ticket sales last weekend and an outpouring of support from the community, owner Nicolas Nicolaou has decided to keep the Cinemart Cinemas in Forest Hills open.“We believe, and the community believes, that the theater has something special,” Nicolaou said. “This is what neighborhood cinemas should be about. To come in and see your neighbors and friends and to discuss the movie afterward.”

Cross Harbor plan tops CB5’s agenda
Posted: January 22, 2015

Community Board 5 didn’t support a rail tunnel underneath New York Harbor when it was first proposed a decade ago, and it sure isn’t going to support it now.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has proposed five waterborne and five rail alternatives to the current system of moving 90 percent of the New York City metropolitan area’s freight by truck, something officials say is no longer efficient.

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Katz covers the concerns of Queens
Updated: January 22, 2015 - 4:47 pm

Two days ahead of her first State of the Borough address, set for 10 a.m. today, Jan. 22, Borough President Melinda Katz took questions on some of the key issues facing Queens from community and ethnic news outlets Tuesday afternoon.

Reiterating messages she has been putting forth during her year in office, Katz touted tourism as key to Queens’ future, boasted of its ethnic diversity — she brands it “The World’s Borough” — and voiced her full support for two of Mayor de Blasio’s signature initiatives, universal pre-kindergarten and official identification cards for all residents, regardless of immigration status.

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Teacher pleads guilty in sexual abuse case
Posted: January 22, 2015

A former Ridgewood high school teacher has pleaded guilty to having sexual contact with two male students during 2013 and 2014 according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

The defendant, Joy Morsi, who is a married 40-year-old woman from Massapequa, LI, pleaded guilty to third-degree rape and criminal sexual act before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin-Brandt on Friday, Jan. 16.

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Addabbo says to leave rail line as is
Posted: January 22, 2015

For months, the debate has been whether to put parkland or a train on the old Rockaway Beach rail tracks.

But state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) has a different idea: Do nothing.

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Vision Zero coming to Queens Blvd. in 2015
Posted: January 22, 2015

The de Blasio administration last week was calling Vision Zero a success in its first year, calling 2014 the safest year for pedestrians in New York City history.

And the mayor and Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said Queens Boulevard will now come under study in the coming months for safety improvements of its own.

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Community Board 6 against term limit bill
Posted: January 22, 2015

An item that wasn’t on the official agenda seemed to receive the most attention from members of Community Board 6 at the group’s monthly meeting last Wednesday.

Of concern is a bill that would impose term limits on community board members for a maximum of six consecutive two-year terms, or a total of 12 years.

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Thursday 01/22/2015
Katz excited for the future in State of the Borough address
Updated: January 23, 2015 - 2:08 pm

On her 387th day in office, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz delivered her first tate of the Borough speech, listing  accomplishments that she spoke of with pride, and future goals that she addressed with a mixture of hope and determination.

“Our motto at Borough Hall is simply this,” Katz told a capacity crowd at the Colden Center at Queens College. “If it’s good for our families, it’s good for Queens.”

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MTA board approves 'limited' fare and toll hikes
Updated: January 22, 2015 - 3:42 pm

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board today approved increasing fares and tolls by 4% over the next two years, fulfilling a promise to keep fare and toll increases as low as possible. The new fares and tolls will take effect March 22, and will ensure the MTA can continue providing quality service even as ridership continues to climb. 

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NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver charged with fraud
Updated: January 22, 2015 - 5:15 pm

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) was arrested Thursday morning on a five-count federal indictment charging him with taking millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks disguised as outside income from a private law firm for the last 15 years at least.

Silver was charged with fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.

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Queens top boro for illegal immigrants
Posted: January 22, 2015

A new report by the Migration Policy Institute found that New York City is home to more than a half-million undocumented immigrants, with the largest concentration of that population living in Queens.

“I think that Queens, to many people, symbolizes opportunity,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Bayside), who was unsurprised to learn of the figure. She cited the large amount of small businesses in Queens, many of them immigrant-owned, as a potential reason.

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Workers march to demand fair wages
Posted: January 22, 2015

Following in the footsteps of the late Martin Luther King Jr., nearly a thousand attended a rally and march last Thursday to send a message to airlines, subcontracting companies and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to allow 12,000 subcontracted service workers to unionize, earn a living wage and have benefits.

The event was spearheaded by officials from Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, the nation’s largest property service union. Protestors, many of whom were shuttled from 32BJ’s Manhattan headquarters by bus, assembled on a lawn adjacent to the National Car Rental station on Ditmars Boulevard, not far from LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal.

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Cuomo announces LaGuardia AirTrain
Updated: January 22, 2015 - 11:35 am

A third-world facility, no more.

In a move that would surely please Vice President Joe Biden, who compared LaGuardia Airport to a third-world country last year, a new AirTrain may be shuttling commuters back and forth between the airport and an area near Citi Field by the end of the decade.

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Parents get answers from Carmen Farina
Updated: January 23, 2015 - 2:10 pm

City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said last Thursday that her question-and-answer session with parents and educators in Little Neck was one of the most challenging Q&As she’s attended.

“You’ve given me the most complex questions and the most variety of questions,” she told those packed inside JHS 67’s auditorium.

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New racing regs after dozen deaths at track
Posted: January 22, 2015

The New York Racing Association last Friday announced further reforms to racing conducted at Aqueduct Race Track in light of a recent string of horse deaths at the South Ozone Park venue.

“The safety of our equine athletes and jockeys at Aqueduct Racetrack is a high priority,” Christopher Kay, CEO and president of NYRA, said in a statement on the association’s website. “In that spirit, the New York Racing Association continues to work together with the [New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association] leadership and the New York State Gaming Commission in these important endeavors.”

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Astoria school rally reveals no answers
Updated: January 22, 2015 - 12:01 pm

Nearly 500 people attended a meeting Wednesday evening at the Most Precious Blood School on 37th Avenue in Astoria.

The auditorium walls reflected the emotions, concerns and questions that have percolated in the small school community since last weekend’s news that the parochial school would close in June, with signs reading, “We are the future of the school,” “40 lost jobs 315 misplaced children,” and “How can we REVERSE your decision?”

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Meng warns of scams against immigrants
Posted: January 22, 2015

Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) wants to clear up some confusion about recent immigration reform and warn immigrants about potential scams.

Along with Neena Dutta, chairwoman of the New York chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Meng explained on Friday in her Flushing office what’s happening, what to watch out for and what steps immigrants should take.

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Ulrich bill seeks annual DEP report
Updated: January 22, 2015 - 2:31 pm

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) today, Jan. 22, will introduce a new bill that would require the Department of Environmental Protection commissioner to give an annual report on the city’s drainage infrastructure — a proposal inspired by the mass flooding in Lindenwood last year after a DEP facility malfunctioned during a downpour.

“Many residents paid a huge price last April when the city’s infrastructure failed to do its job,” Ulrich said in an email to the Queens Chronicle. “This bill will monitor critical water drainage systems in flood prone areas to help prevent against malfunctions and keep our communities safe in the event of severe rainfall.”

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Flushing-Jamaica bus battle brewing
Posted: January 22, 2015

The effort to connect Flushing and Jamaica via bus rapid transit is starting to draw criticism from elected officials who believe it would have a negative impact on their constituents.

But the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is saying those officials are by far in the minority on the matter, and supporters think a new bus route could cut commute times by 20 percent between Northern and southern Queens.

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GOP bigs say Smith offered them bribes
Posted: January 22, 2015

Two former New York City Republican county chairmen told a jury last week that former state Sen. Malcolm Smith freely offered to bribe them for their support in getting the party’s 2013 mayoral nomination.

The New York Post reported that former Bronx Chairman Joseph Savino, testifying as a condition of his guilty plea in the case, admitted taking $15,000 to provide career Democrat Smith with one of the three county Republican organizations he needed per state law to change parties.

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New cameras, new hopes at city houses
Posted: January 22, 2015

Residents in the Beach 41st Street Houses in the Rockaways have for years been told to be patient and wait for the installation of security cameras. Last Friday, the wait was over.

Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) said that while previous attempts to get the security cameras put in would be stalled for years, the Beach 41st system is an encouraging sign, coming as it does on the heels of recent installations in the Hammels and Ocean Bay developments.

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Holding off on Halloran
Posted: January 22, 2015

Former Councilman Dan Halloran’s sentencing on federal corruption charges has been pushed back again, according to a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Halloran, with previous dates of Jan. 12 and Jan. 22, was one of six people arrested in 2013 in an alleged plot by former state Sen. Malcolm Smith to bribe Republican city officials in order to get the GOP’s nomination for mayor.

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Firing power should go to principals: pol
Posted: January 22, 2015

State lawmakers will have to decide by June 30 whether to renew the law that gives the mayor control over public schools.

Prior to the law, first passed in 2002, schools throughout the city were run by an independent agency known as the Board of Education instead of the Department of Education.

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Locker theft
Posted: January 22, 2015

The NYPD is seeking a suspect in a grand larceny that occurred within the 104th Precinct in Glendale at the Retro Fitness Gym, located at 65-45 Otto Road.

Police said that on Jan. 14 the suspect broke into a locker in the locker room and removed a credit card. He then purchased $49.87 worth of goods with the card at Discount Deals in Brooklyn.

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Pet terminal to be built at JFK airport
Posted: January 22, 2015

Want to travel, but don’t want to leave your pets behind?

You won’t have to now that a real estate company has leased space at John F. Kennedy International Airport for the transportation of animals ranging from household dogs and cats, horses, livestock and birds.

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