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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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Queens electeds unite in support of Israel

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.”

Alleged Pan Am-related crime spike debunked
Posted: July 24, 2014

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.

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NYC comptroller slams Homeless Services
Updated: July 24, 2014 - 11:58 am

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.

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Residents rally at Pan Am a third time
Posted: July 24, 2014

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.

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Katz, de Blasio sack eight on Queens Library Board of Trustees
Updated: July 24, 2014 - 5:20 pm

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 Directors. 

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Muslim-Jewish talk is called a success
Updated: July 25, 2014 - 2:28 pm

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.

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Extensive renovations for Glendale library
Posted: July 24, 2014

The Glendale branch of the Queens Library is set to undergo a substantial facelift over the next three years.

Preliminary plans for the $2.8 million overhaul of the 79-year-old building at 78-60 73 Place were presented to Community Board 5 on July 9 by representatives from Matthew Baird Architects, with extensive renovations planned for nearly every section of the library.

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Surprise homeless shelter, part deux
Updated: July 24, 2014 - 2:01 pm

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.

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Filmmaker Zaccaro on mom, Ferraro
Posted: July 24, 2014

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.

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Katz hears Decatur St. rezoning pitches
Posted: July 24, 2014

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.

Moshe Friedman, the engineer representing the owners of the plot, 11-01 Irving Ave. LLC, who wish to build a six-family apartment structure at the site, said manufacturing at the site is not feasible and residential development is the only possible option.

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A lesson in the news biz
Posted: July 24, 2014

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.

They learned how the Chronicle focuses like a laser on hyperlocal news in its eight regional editions, and how advertising from local businesses supports all the paper does.

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Arrests made in attempted Ridgewood rape
Updated: July 24, 2014 - 12:41 pm

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

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Thursday 07/24/2014
Sandy recovery shows signs of real progress
Updated: July 24, 2014 - 11:46 am

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.

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Donating clothes is a phone call away
Posted: July 24, 2014

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.

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Water rate hikes were needed — DEP’s Lloyd
Posted: July 24, 2014

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.

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Crowley says bill can help Citi Bike, Queens
Updated: July 24, 2014 - 12:37 pm

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.

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Critics slam NYPD over ‘broken windows’ theory
Posted: July 24, 2014

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.

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Mets host a sleepover at Citi Field
Updated: July 24, 2014 - 12:45 pm

Diehard Mets fans pitched tents and unrolled sleeping bags last Saturday to take part in the second annual sleepover at Citi Field.

About 200 men, women and children enjoyed a meal, followed by watching the Mets play the Padres in an away game on the Jumbotron while on the field. The home team lost 6-0 to the Padres.

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QUICK HITS
Updated: July 24, 2014 - 11:42 pm

City task force to aid illegal alien children; 3,300 brought here

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Summer photo contest!
Posted: July 24, 2014

The Queens Chronicle’s sixth annual Summer in the Borough Photo Contest is underway, and you’re invited to join in!

Take your best shots of children playing, workers working, lovely landscapes — whatever you think best says “summertime in Queens.”

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Juniper Valley Park opens again for bocce
Posted: July 24, 2014

Bocce is back at Juniper Valley Park.

The ribbon was cut on the new $850,000 bocce courts in Middle Village on Wednesday.

Enthusiasts of the old world game have three new courts to play completely with new shade structures, seating areas and fencing.

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Buildings, CCRB heads named
Posted: July 24, 2014

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.

“From protecting New Yorkers inside our buildings to protecting their rights as they walk on our streets, the leaders joining our administration today have the skills and experience to deliver for the people of this city,” de Blasio said in a prepared statement. “These folks know the city and know how things operate, are committed to serving New Yorkers in every community, and will work to build a stronger, safer, and fairer New York.”

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Goldfeder again eyes limits on advertising
Posted: July 24, 2014

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.

The ad that raised Goldfeder’s ire is one that recently was flown over the beach in Rockaway and featured two swastikas. It was not an advertisement related to Nazism, however, but one from the International Raelian Movement, a group that believes the human race was started on Earth by aliens from outer space.

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James wants school bus AC rule enforced
Posted: July 24, 2014

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.

“He comes home ill,” she said. “He comes home late sometimes, flushed, turning all kinds of colors.”

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Dough for Doe
Posted: July 24, 2014

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.

The program, which offers jobs and training for people coming out of the legal system, will focus on sections of Myrtle and Grand avenues.

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Thursday 07/17/2014
NYC comptroller hammers Homeless Services on lack of transparency
Updated: July 22, 2014 - 10:31 am

For weeks, community leaders opposed to a new homeless shelter in Elmhurst and plans for another in Glendale have been urging residents to call or email City Comptroller Scott Stringer to make their opinions known.

Well, it's working.

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Two men wanted for attempted rape in Ridgewood
Updated: July 22, 2014 - 10:15 am

Police are searching for two suspects who allegedly attempted to rob and rape an 18-year-old woman in Ridgewood early Wednesday morning.

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LIRR contract accord reached; strike averted
Updated: July 24, 2014 - 11:16 am

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.

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R’wood tenants group forms
Posted: July 17, 2014

A handful of both longtime and relatively new Ridgewood tenants have banded together to form their own association.

At Community Board 5’s monthly meeting last Wednesday, July 9, Ridgewood resident Raquel Nomuche announced the formation of the Ridgewood Tenants Union.

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Remedy sought for illegal clothing bins
Updated: July 24, 2014 - 11:16 am

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.

At a press conference Friday outside the gates of the historic Lawrence Cemetery in Bayside, Braunstein pointed to a large pink metal bin that purports to collect clothes for the poor placed illegally on city property.

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