• November 23, 2014
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Queens Chronicle

Eastern/Southeast Queens News

Stories from Jamaica, Springfield Gardens, Hollis, Queens Village, St. Albans, Laurelton, Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park

Top Story

State gets input on SE flood projects

Residents of Southeast Queens have spent two decades asking for input on ways to control the chronic flooding in the region.On Oct. 13, more than 40 people from Springfield Gardens, Brookville and Rosedale took that opportunity as the state prepares to spend $6 million in federal Hurricane Sandy relief money in the Idlewild Watershed region.

Laurelton flood relief project slated for ’16
Posted: November 20, 2014

City officials this week said a storm sewer project aimed at reducing flooding in northeastern Laurelton should be completed by summer 2016.

The Department of Environmental Protection’s two-year, $18 million project will see 142 catch basins installed in neighborhood streets, leading to nearly four miles of new storm sewer lines.

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Queens NAACP has eyes on Ferguson, Mo.
Posted: November 20, 2014

the country, are awaiting what they are being told is the imminent decision of a Missouri grand jury that is examining the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Brown was unarmed when he was shot and killed by Ferguson, Mo. Police Officer Darren Wilson. Wilson has claimed that Brown attacked him and that they struggled for the officer’s gun.

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Youth officer honored in 113th
Posted: November 20, 2014

NYPD Officer Angel Ramos, left, received a certificate of appreciation on Monday from The Arms of Love Community Outreach Program of Jamaica.

Ramos, the youth officer at the 113th Precinct, who also runs the local Police Explorers post, was honored at the monthly meeting of the 113th Precinct Community Council for his work on behalf of children in the community, particularly those connected with Arms of Love programs.

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Woman shot during hatchet attack to sue
Posted: November 20, 2014

The woman who was wounded by a stray police bullet during an attack on two NYPD officers last month has notified the city that she intends to sue because of her injuries.

Latoya James, 29, was shot in the back while walking along Jamaica Avenue on Oct. 23 seconds after Zale Thompson of Queens Village attacked rookie officers Kenneth Healey and Joseph Meeker of the 103rd Precinct with a hatchet.

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NYC Councilmen call for NYPD chokehold ban
Updated: November 20, 2014 - 1:16 pm

When Eric Garner died from an apparent chokehold by a police officer in July, city officials and activists were riled up.

Since a video of Garner’s arrest and eventual death hit the internet, people from the Citizens United for Police Reform to City Council called into question the NYPD’s policy for apprehending an individual who is resisting arrest, as Garner was.

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St. John named All-American
Posted: November 20, 2014

Omar St. John of York College, pictured in last spring’s NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament, has been named a fourth-team preseason Division III All-American.

The senior guard, who is from Jamaica and attended Martin Van Buren High school, was named to the All-Atlantic Region Team last season as the York Cardinals won their first City University of New York Athletic Conference title and earned their first postseason NCAA berth since 2007.

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Storm Warning
Updated: November 20, 2014 - 3:04 pm

Before last month’s annual St. John’s Tip Off pep rally to begin the basketball season, Red Storm forward Sir’Dominic Pointer said the Johnnies were primed for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

This summer, D’Angelo Harrison said the team’s guards were unguardable one-on-one, something he reaffirmed at Tip Off.

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Queens men convicted in party shooting death
Posted: November 20, 2014

Two Queens men have been found guilty of manslaughter for the February 2011 shooting death of a St. Albans woman after they had been ejected from a birthday party.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Oneil Mairs, 27, and his friend Nicholas Allen, 25, were convicted last week on charges of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree reckless endangerment following a three-week trial.

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Youth basketball coach charged with child porn
Posted: November 20, 2014

A youth basketball coach from Jamaica has been charged with possession of child pornography and other crimes after police learned about an alleged inappropriate video chat with a 15-year-old boy.

The office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Tuesday that Robert Walker, 42, of 164th Street coaches three Amateur Athletic Union basketball teams.

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Friday 11/21/2014
Queens DA charges two in teen sex trafficking
Updated: November 21, 2014 - 3:43 pm

A Queens grand jury had indicted a St. Albans man and a Brooklyn resident on kidnapping and sex-trafficking charges for allegedly forcing a 15-year-old girl to work as a prostitute.

In a statement issued by his office on Thursday, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Terron Morancis, 29, of 189th Street in St. Albans and Quindell Hill, 33, of Cleveland Street in Brooklyn, were charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree promoting prostitution, and other offenses. Morancis also has been charged with third-degree criminal sex act and failure to register as a sex offender.

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Thursday 11/20/2014
MTA releases fare hike options for ’15
Updated: November 20, 2014 - 12:25 pm

Drivers and mass transit riders all will be digging a little deeper into their pockets come March, when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected to enact one of two proposed fare-increase plans.

One proposal would increase the base cost of a MetroCard fare to $2.75, up from the present $2.50. Riders would get a bonus of 11 percent with a purchase of $5.50. The base fare under Proposal 2 would keep fares at $2.50, but would eliminate the bonus for the purchase of multiple rides.

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Cuomo signs veteran tax exemption bill
Updated: November 20, 2014 - 3:57 pm

After being introduced to the state Legislature 20 years ago, the bill to increase property tax relief for veterans was signed into law by Gov. Cuomo last week.

“It is incumbent upon all of us to take care of our veterans when they return home,” state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria), who sponsored the bill, said at a press conference on Nov. 13. “With this new law, we send a message to all those who serve that New York welcomes you back with open arms and will do everything we can to repay you for keeping our country safe.”

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25 mph for Queens Boulevard: Trottenberg
Posted: November 20, 2014

Queens drivers who have been using Queens Boulevard to get around the new citywide speed limit better enjoy it while they can.

The major thoroughfare — which has a posted speed limit of 30 mph — is expected to reduce to 25 miles per hour by the end of the year, according to the Department of Transportation.

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Use surplus cash on rail line: Goldfeder
Posted: November 20, 2014

His way is not the QueensWay.

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) on Monday called on Gov. Cuomo to allocate part of the state’s $5 billion surplus for the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach rail line.

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Stringer touts city’s ‘robust’ economy
Posted: November 20, 2014

City Comptroller Scott Stringer has had no shortage of projects or union contracts to review in his first 11 months in office.

And he likes it that way.

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Plastic bags back in City Council’s sights
Updated: November 20, 2014 - 12:30 pm

A proposal to charge consumers 10 cents for every single-use plastic bag they use at checkout is gaining traction again. City Hall held a discussion Wednesday to discuss a bill introduced by Councilmembers Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) and Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan) that’s designed to reduce disposable bag use in the city by implementing the 10 cent fee.

According to its sponsors, the goal of the bill isn’t to charge consumers the fee but to incentivize them to change their habits and become more environmentally conscious. Retailers would keep the money and the bill exempts transactions made using food aid programs.

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Our 20th toy-gift drive for homeless kids is now underway
Updated: November 20, 2014 - 1:15 pm

Hundreds of needy children and teens will receive toys and gifts this holiday season thanks to the generosity of you, our Queens Chronicle readers.

Our 20th annual holiday toy drive begins now and runs through Dec. 22. Additional dropoff locations have been added throughout the borough, but of course the main site at the Chronicle office, 62-33 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park will be open for deliveries Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The office is located about a quarter mile south of the Long Island Expressway, exit 19, on the east side of the street.

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NY probes care for mentally ill inmates
Posted: November 20, 2014

Commissioner Joseph Ponte of New York City’s Department of Correction said last week that Rikers Island is “ill-equipped and ill-designed” to be a mental health treatment center, which makes it a challenge for his team to adequately provide quality medical assistance.

Ponte, who took the helm of the DOC in April, told state lawmakers that one of his top priorities is to step up medical care for mentally ill inmates. The commissioner said he’s also exploring best practices and policies that are used by other correctional facilities across the country.

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Parks plan touted at Borough Board
Posted: November 20, 2014

An overhaul is on the way for a handful of Queens parks relatively neglected over the course of the last few decades.

Detailing a plan unveiled last month at Bowne Playground in Flushing by Mayor de Blasio, Queens Parks Department Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski outlined seven borough green spaces that will be revamped as part of the Community Parks Initiative at a meeting of the Borough Board at Borough Hall on Monday.

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Don’t railroad Queens with false train claims
Updated: November 20, 2014 - 3:02 pm

Queens College recently released the results of a student survey gauging community opinions on how to utilize the vacant land surrounding the 3.5-mile, long abandoned Rockaway Beach Rail Line. The Friends of the QueensWay commends these students for their hard work, and we were delighted to see the results provide additional support for the QueensWay.

The QueensWay is a community-developed plan to turn this blighted land into a 47-acre linear park that will provide safe, easy access to Forest Park; new recreation opportunities for the 322,000 people living within a mile; a boost to local businesses; and a high-profile showcase for the most culturally diverse borough of New York City.

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Now is the time to select a health insurance plan
Updated: November 20, 2014 - 3:15 pm

A three-month open enrollment period began on Nov. 15 for health plan coverage in the 2015 New York State of Health marketplace under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Previously known as the New York Health Benefit Exchange, the internet marketplace is designed to help people shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage. It is online at nystateofhealth.ny.gov.

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QUICK HITS
Posted: November 20, 2014

Obama will reveal immigration rule changes tonight

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Bill would honor Chinese railroad workers with stamp
Posted: November 20, 2014

Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) has introduced a resolution that would require the U.S. Postal Service to create a postage stamp in honor of the Chinese railroad workers who helped construct America’s first Transcontinental Railroad.

The lawmaker said about 12,000 Chinese immigrant laborers built railroads across the country between 1865 and 1869. They comprised more than 80 percent of the entire workforce and were stereotyped and paid lower wages than other workers. Meng said about 1,200 workers died during unworkable winters and life-threatening conditions.

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$10 million raised for DNC bid
Posted: November 20, 2014

The de Blasio administration has secured $10 million in commitments toward the city’s bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

The money was pledged by the 101 businesses, civic and labor leaders that make up the Host Committee, officials said.

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AG warns on ‘grandparent’ scam
Posted: November 20, 2014

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is enlisting the help of public colleges and universities here to help combat an increase in so-called “grandparent scams.”

Perpetrators in such schemes call up elderly people and pretend to be relatives, such as a grandchild who is in legal trouble or in physical danger and ask the person they have called to wire them money.

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LinkNYC will connect city with public WiFi
Posted: November 20, 2014

Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications announced Monday the selection of CityBridge to implement a citywide, municipal communications network called LinkNYC. The contract is awaiting approval by the city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee.

“This administration has been committed to expanding affordable access to broadband for all New Yorkers from the outset. It’s essential for everything we need to do to be a fair and just city, because we can’t continue to have a digital divide that holds back so many of our citizens,” the mayor said in a prepared statement.

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Correction
Posted: November 20, 2014

Due to misinformation given to the newspaper, the Nov. 13 article “Cuomo re-elected — will DREAM Act pass?” reported the wrong state Senate vote from 2013 and the wrong number of legislative sessions the DREAM Act was voted down. The final vote was 30-29 and the DREAM Act was brought before the state Senate over the past two years. In previous years, the bill was called the DREAM fund.

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