An inactive construction site that has been stalled for years is frustrating the residents of Briarwood. The lot located at 84-03 Lander St. was supposed to be developed into a six-story apartment house. But years later, the building remains unfinished, with metal columns that have since rusted over and a plywood fence that has become weather-worn and covered in graffiti.
About two dozen bicycle enthusiasts came together last Saturday at Maspeth High School for a community forum to kick into gear plans that could see a new bike infrastructure for the area and surrounding neighborhoods in place by as early as next year.
Among those in attendance was Frank Rosado, a Ridgewood resident who commutes by bicycle to Manhattan every day.
The Juniper Park Civic Association is not happy with the approach of Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) and the city to cleaning up the district and has decided to take one matter into its own hands.
At the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road, there is an abandoned newsstand that has been an eyesore for about 10 years. In 2009, Crowley held a press conference calling on the Metropolitan Transit Authority and Long Island Rail Road to allow the community to demolish the newsstand and create a temporary green space in its place.
The intersections surrounding St. Stanislaus Kostka School are about to get safer.
In an initiative to focus safety improvements at city schools with high accident rates, the Department of Transportation started the Safe Routes to Schools Program, a branch off of the statewide program that began around the same time.
The recent arrest of a man charged in connection with a string of burglaries in Forest Hills was announced by Captain Thomas Conforti, commander of the 112th Precinct, at the May 8 meeting of Community Board 6.
But a couple of attempted robberies targeting taxi drivers in the area marked a new cause for concern, Conforti indicated.
The organizers of this year’s Memorial Day Parade in Maspeth have selected a Korean War combat veteran and a Navy man who served for 26 years for special recognition during the annual post-parade ceremony. The event will be held at 2 p.m. May 26 in Veterans Square, at Grand Avenue and 69th Street, immediately following the parade, which starts at 1 p.m.
Donald Steinmaker was a rifleman in Korea and Joseph Romano joined the Navy in the final months of World War II.
Queens borough president candidate Melinda Katz’s campaign says that the recent allegations made against her and her partner, radio personality Curtis Sliwa, are an attempt to compromise Katz’s run.
“This is a sad, frivolous lawsuit,” George Arzt, a spokesman for Katz’s campaign, wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, it is an attempt to use a political campaign and false innuendo as leverage to publically rehash a long-ago settled divorce.”
MillionTreesNYC was established to greenify public spaces in the city, but private spaces, including backyards, apartment building courtyards and community gardens, are not included in the initiative.
In an effort to bring some of the greenery to Queens’ private areas, the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance and the New York Restoration Project will be giving away 200 trees on Sunday in MacDonald Park in Forest Hills at Queens Boulevard and 70th Avenue from 1 to 3 p.m.
Members of the 112th Precinct Police Explorers program and students from Forest Hills High School cleaned up the community last Saturday by painting over graffiti in several locations.
The spots hit by the volunteers, above, with police officers and 112th Precinct Community Council President Heidi Chain, fourth from right, were the Forest Hills Little League facility on Fleet Street; the nearby trestle for the abandoned Long Island Rail Road tracks to Rockaway; the LIRR trestles over 63rd Drive near Austin Street and over Woodhaven Boulevard at Eliot Avenue in Rego Park; and a few other locations on Alderton Avenue and 60th Road.
At the most recent Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol meeting, held last Thursday, there was mention that Woodhaven residents may join the group in the future.
“I have spoken with people from Woodhaven to possibly get them to join the group and include Woodhaven in the patrols,” Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) said at the meeting.
The We Love Ridgewood Theater campaign, a group of residents and community leaders who are hoping to turn the Ridgewood Theatre at 56-27 Myrtle Ave, now closed, into an arts venue, has launched their new website and is looking for endorsements.
The group is looking for a “homegrown celebrity from Ridgewood” to endorse the cause and garner support from more of the community.
Police are asking the public’s help in locating a Maspeth man who has been missing since noon on Sunday.
Brian McHugh, 79, was last seen leaving his home at 59-29 60 St. McHugh is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds and has white hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a brown shirt, blue jeans and eyeglasses.
The bill mandating that companies in the city with more than 15 employees eventually provide paid sick leave is awaiting a promised mayoral veto — and an expected override of that veto by the City Council.
The bill passed last Wednesday 45-3, more than enough to nullify the veto promised by Mayor Bloomberg, if members stick to their positions.
Ten people have been indicted on 82 counts in an alleged auto theft ring that targeted four well-known Queens auto dealerships, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.
The suspects are accused of stealing vehicles from the four dealerships in Queens and one more in Brooklyn over the course of three months and allegedly selling one of the cars to a defendant who planned to send it overseas on a container ship.
Among the items needed are:
shaving cream and men’s and women’s razors, feminine hygiene products and deodorant for men and women;
The NYPD is searching for the pictured suspected in connection with a robbery that occurred on May 4 at 12:16 p.m. at the Amalgamated Bank located at 69-73 Grand Ave. in Maspeth.
The suspect allegedly demanded and received an unknown amount of money and fled on foot northbound on 69th Lane. He is described as a middle-aged Hispanic male with scruffy facial hair who is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing 250 pounds.
The last section of the spire atop 1 World Trade Center — the building once officially known, and still often referred to, as the Freedom Tower — was installed last Friday, marking the building’s official height of 1,776 feet, which pays homage to the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. The top of the mast was placed just after 8 a.m. Friday morning.
The $3.8 billion skyscraper can be seen from nearly every neighborhood in Queens. It returns the title of the city’s tallest to Lower Manhattan for the first time since 9/11 and stands next to the former site of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, which were destroyed that day by terrorists, killing 2,606 people, including more than 200 from Queens.
The New York City Water Board voted on Friday, as expected, to increase water rates by 5.6 percent for the new fiscal year, which begins on July 1.
The average annual water bill for a single-family home will increase from $939 per year to $991. The average increase for a unit in a multifamily dwelling will go up from $610 to $644.
The New York Post is reporting that former State Senator Shirley Huntley has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison in federal court in Brooklyn on a corruption-related charge.
Huntley, 74, pleaded guilty in February to wire fraud in connection with the embezzlement of nearly $88,000 from a phony nonprofit organization.
The Ridgewood Theatre at 55-27 Myrtle Ave., one of the longest-lasting first-run movie theaters in the country, may soon be under new ownership.
According to Mercy Wong of Community Board 5 and Ted Renz of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District, an offer on the 97-year-old building has been made.
City Comptroller John Liu continues to run for mayor as if confident he can overcome the embarrassment of a campaign finance scandal that could send one of his top former aides and a contributor to prison for decades.
How much impact the case will have is an open question. But according to two political science experts in Queens, the Liu campaign faces multiple challenges arising from the convictions last week of Jia “Jenny” Hou, his former treasurer, and Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan, a fundraising “bundler,” who secured donations from other parties that then went to the campaign.
Jon Torodash has officially thrown his hat in the ring to be the next City Council member for the 29th District.
“I want the residents of the 29th District to know that they are not second-rate citizens,” Torodash said after his candidacy announcement on Sunday. “There’s a perception that Queens is some kind of consolation prize, which is not true at all.”
Drivers who chug along the Grand Central, just as it breaks away from the Jackie Robinson, can’t help but notice the massive construction project at the Kew Gardens Interchange, the series of ramps and roads at the confluence of the Grand Central Parkway, the Van Wyck Expressway, the Jackie Robinson Parkway, Queens Boulevard and Union Turnpike.
With the summer months approaching, the state Department of Transportation is confident traffic will lighten, making for an easier commute, but with the project going on for over a year now, there is some skepticism over the outcome this transportation hub makeover will have.
Two top members of the Maspeth business community who have been active with civic and service organizations of all kinds will be the grand marshals at this year’s Memorial Day Parade, set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 26.
The honorees are Joseph B. Papavero, the fourth-generation owner of Papavero Funeral Home, and MaryAnna Zero, owner of Home Hunters, the oldest real estate firm in Maspeth.
Sorry, park advocates, the Major League Soccer stadium planned for Flushing Meadows is a done deal. And, some of you same folks will lament the fact that the Ridgewood Theatre will never be a performance venue again. Lastly, you fans of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) will be disappointed to learn she will not be the next mayor of New York.
These were all revelations made to this writer on Tuesday. Do I have a crystal ball? No. (After all, I was liking Curtis Sliwa’s pick in the Kentucky Derby until the darn horse scratched at the last minute). No, what I had was a conversation with Queens’ own celebrity psychic, Jesse Bravo.
The responsibilities of a borough president have recently become the subject of debate. While some have said these borough-heads who cannot make any decisions on legislation are irrelevant, Queens borough president candidate Barry Grodenchik says the position is about more than rules and regulations.
“The job is about bringing people together,” Grodenchik said in a sit-down with the Queens Chronicle editors last Thursday. “We live in the most diverse place in the country and probably the world, and while it’s easy to scream and rant, the tougher job is to work with the people.”
Throughout the city, crime has generally continued to decline, but in Forest Hills, the burglary hits just keep on coming and residents have become concerned.
“I just feel like there is a little less of a police presence in the area,” one resident said at a public safety meeting hosted by the 112th Precinct Monday. “I know there’s undercover cops but I feel like when I was younger or even in 2000, 2005, there was more of a presence and with all of these burglaries, I think we should be seeing more police cars around the area.”
On 60th Place near the 62nd Avenue intersection in Maspeth, there is a cliff where nothing but a dead-end sign stands in the way of a 50-foot fall down the rocky slope to the railroad tracks.
“With the warmer weather coming and school ending soon there will be more kids out and one of them could fall off this cliff,” civic activist and parent Charlene Stubbs, who brought attention to the issue, said.
The performing arts are alive at PS 174 in Rego Park, which is one of just five schools in the city selected this year to do a Disney Musicals In Schools production of “The Jungle Book.”
The community is invited to see the children put on the show, an adaptation geared toward young performers, on three dates this month. The students will also do a closed performance at the Minskoff Theatre in Manhattan.
Frank Messano, chairman of the board of Italian Charities of America and a prominent figure in the Queens Republican Party and the Maspeth community, passed away Monday after a sudden illness at age 64.
“He was a presence at Republican conventions and had a great depth of knowledge of local and national politics,” former state Sen. Serphin Maltese said. “He was also my good friend.”
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