• December 20, 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

York ‘die-in’ protests Garner, Brown deaths

The already-heated rhetoric between local officials and the NYPD was ratcheted up a notch on Monday at a “die-in” organized by students at York College.The rally took place on Guy R. Brewer Boulevard outside the entrance to York’s campus.

CB 13 wants info on ACS youth home
Posted: December 18, 2014

Leaders of Community Board 13 said Monday that the city’s Administration for Children’s Services wants to place a home for nonviolent youthful offenders in Queens Village.

But board members also said they want ACS officials to attend a meeting and discuss exactly what they have in mind.

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Holidays on the Avenue in Jamaica
Updated: December 18, 2014 - 12:48 pm

The annual Holidays on the Avenue celebration brought the spirit of the season to Downtown Jamaica on Dec. 13.

The evening began with the traditional tree lighting at Rufus King Park, complete with familiar holiday music and carols.

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Do it for Danny: Boy’s strength still inspires
Updated: December 19, 2014 - 12:21 pm

The star of the St. John’s men’s basketball team is not the tattooed shooting guard with the sweet jump shot.

It’s not the lengthy center with the imposing presence on defense.

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Protesters march on Washington, DC
Posted: December 18, 2014

Thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Washington, DC last Saturday to call for legislative reform and show solidarity against what they called a flawed and racist judiciary system.

Saturday’s “Day of Resistance” was just the latest in a series of protests nationwide in the wake of a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the wrongful death of Eric Garner.

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Post Office to honor Cynthia Jenkins
Posted: December 18, 2014

The U.S. Post Office in Springfield Gardens soon will bear the name of a trailblazer in Queens politics.

The U.S. Senate in a recent vote passed a House of Representatives measure naming the building at 218-10 Merrick Blvd. for Cynthia Jenkins, who was the first African-American woman from Southeast Queens voted to the state Assembly when she took office in 1981.

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’Tis the season in Jamaica
Posted: December 18, 2014

Clients and staff at Lifespire, a nonprofit based in Jamaica that provides services for the developmentally disabled, last week transformed their floor in a Jamaica office building into a Manhattan holiday showcase.

At top, Lifespire staff member Nadira Cumberbatch, left, leads singers in Christmas carols and selections for Hanukkah.

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Two Queens men get 15 years for party shooting
Posted: December 18, 2014

Two Queens residents on Tuesday were sentenced to 15 years in prison for their roles in the February 2011 shooting at a party that killed a 26-year-old woman.

Oneil Mairs, 27, of 178th Place in Jamaica, and Nicholas Allen, 25, of 212th Street in Queens Village, were convicted back in November of manslaughter in the death of Avalisa Morris in the early morning hours of Feb. 2, 2011.

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Storm Warning
Posted: December 18, 2014

It’s been a long time since I and many other St. John’s alumni around my age have said we’re proud of our basketball team, since our college squad has energized its fan base like this.

It’s been a few years since Red Storm players have been asked what it’s like to be the best hoops team in the city, if not the best ball club in the five boroughs in any sport.

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Friday 12/19/2014
Tom Galante may sue Queens Library Board over his dismissal
Updated: December 19, 2014 - 6:26 pm

Will former Queens Library President and CEO Tom Galante sue the Board of Trustees for terminating him last Wednesday?

It depends on which of his attorneys you ask. Or maybe which newspaper you’re representing when you ask.

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Thursday 12/18/2014
Cuomo vetoes Avella bill to save the swans
Updated: December 18, 2014 - 5:11 pm

Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have delayed a plan to kill or remove every mute swan in the state. The Department of Environmental Conservation considers the birds an invasive species and wants all 2,200 of them in the state gone by 2025.

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False alarm: Jamaica High School 'intruders' were just students, officials say
Updated: December 19, 2014 - 6:19 pm

Three masked intruders have entered Jamaica High School and police emergency units have responded, the city announced around 2:25 p.m. Thursday on its NYC Alerts Twitter feed.

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Menorah destroyed on Hollis Hills site
Posted: December 18, 2014

Chanukah, the festival of lights, has been dimmed in Hollis Hills this year after vandals destroyed a community menorah.

For seven years, the community has been celebrating Chanukah by lighting a giant menorah at the traffic island on Union Turnpike at 220th Street during the eight-day Jewish holiday. But right before the first candle was to be lit on Tuesday night, residents discovered it had been overturned and the lighting mechanisms destroyed.

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Curbside pickups of ‘e-waste’ banned
Updated: December 18, 2014 - 12:25 pm

Beginning Jan. 1 the Department of Sanitation will no longer collect old electronics left at the curbside. That includes computers, televisions, DVD players, keyboards, MP3 players, video game consoles and a variety of other devices.

The change stems from a state law that will make it illegal to throw out such electronics in the regular trash. The goal of the 2010 Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act is to encourage the proper disposal of potentially harmful electronic waste. Residents who leave such items at their curbs may receive a summons and most will have to bring them to designated drop-off sites.

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DSNY authorized to remove illegal bins
Posted: December 18, 2014

The city Department of Sanitation is now authorized to immediately seize illegitimate clothing donation bins placed throughout the city — a process that previously took more than a month — after the City Council approved new legislation last month and it went unaddressed by Mayor de Blasio.

“While we want to encourage New Yorkers to donate clothing and other materials to those in need, we also want to ensure that organizations collecting these items are doing so responsibly, and this bill will achieve both of those goals,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan, Bronx) said in a written statement.

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City educators rank highly, report says
Posted: December 18, 2014

More than 90 percent of city teachers and principals were rated as effective or highly effective in the state’s Annual Professional Performance Review in the first year that the five boroughs were graded under the assessment system.

“For our schools to succeed, we need to hold ourselves accountable for the development of our educators,” city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fari–a said in a written statement after the report was released on Tuesday. “At the same time, a well-developed evaluation system — with four, much more nuanced ratings, instead of only two — helps us identify and provide specific support to struggling teachers, as well as identify those who do not belong in the classroom.”

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Toy drive ends soon; gifts still needed
Updated: December 18, 2014 - 12:29 pm

The clock is ticking and soon the 20th annual Queens Chronicle Toy Drive will be over. Won’t you please contribute before the deadline on Monday, Dec. 22?

This year, the Chronicle is collecting gifts for children in four Queens city homeless shelters and a safe house in Eastern Queens for victims of domestic violence.

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Reforms to assist mentally ill inmates
Posted: December 18, 2014

New York City will spend $130 million over the next four years, as part of a comprehensive plan to reduce crime, jail re-entry and the number of people with mental illnesses, who are often locked up for minor offenses.

The plan, proposed by Mayor de Blasio’s Task Force on Behavioral Health and the Criminal Justice System, came in response to a number of cases in which mentally ill inmates died under questionable conditions at Rikers Island, the country’s second-largest correction facility.

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Mayor signs shelter eligibility bill into law
Posted: December 18, 2014

Victims of domestic violence will now have an easier pathway into the city’s homeless shelter system.

At a Friday press conference at City Hall, Mayor de Blasio signed into law Intro 361-a, which grants a presumption of eligibility for applicants to the city shelter system who are exiting Human Resources Administration domestic violence shelters.

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HIV-prevention pill made available to young people
Updated: December 18, 2014 - 12:50 pm

An HIV diagnosis is no longer the death sentence it once was, as patients are now able to treat the condition with medication and live well into their 80s, but there are still 16,000 cases in Queens alone, according to health officials, and young gay and bisexual men are most adversely affected.

Now there is a way to proactively reduce the risk of infection, by taking a pill called Truvada every day. The method is called PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, and doctors say it’s 99 percent effective when it’s done right. Increasing access to PrEP is part of Gov. Cuomo’s three-point plan to decrease new HIV infections. Fewer than 2,000 people are taking Truvada nationwide.

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Crowley butts heads over FDNY women
Posted: December 18, 2014

State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) last week dismissed Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s (D-Glendale) assertion about gender discrimination in hiring at the Fire Department, instead arguing that most women are simply not interested to become firefighters or aren’t fit for the job.

Savino made those comments in a Facebook post, moments after a City Council Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice hearing, chaired by Crowley, grilled Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro about the lack of female representation in the department. The state senator dismissed Crowley’s claims that the FDNY is using “excessive testing” and rigorous exercises which cause women to drop out of the academy.

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BP Katz hears land use pleas and plans
Posted: December 18, 2014

Just in time for Hanukkah, Borough President Melinda Katz heard explanations from the representatives of an illegally operated synagogue in Kew Gardens Hills at last Thursday’s land use hearing at Borough Hall.

According to Sheldon Lobel, the attorney for Torah Haim Ohel Sara at 144-11 77 Ave., the synagogue’s owners are seeking an extension from the Board of Standards and Appeals in order to give themselves more time to obtain a certificate of occupancy.

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Q58 is Queens’ slowest bus, report
Posted: December 18, 2014

For the third consecutive time, the Q58 route between Ridgewood and Flushing Main Street, won the Pokey Awards for what it’s best at: being the slowest bus in the Borough of Queens.

According to an annual report on public transit released by the Straphangers Campaign last week, Q58 travels at 7 mph.

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QUICK HITS
Posted: December 18, 2014

State law: no more tattoos or piercings for Rover and Fluffy

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Oh, Christmas tree ...
Posted: December 18, 2014

Councilman Donovan Richards presided last Saturday over the annual tree lighting in Brookville Park. The evening’s fare included live music and entertainment, holiday-themed activities and giveaways.

The tree at the center of the festivities was donated by Richards last year.

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New lawyers in offing for Halloran, Tabone
Posted: December 18, 2014

Halloran, Tabone and outgoing state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) were among six people arrested in 2013 in connection with an alleged plot for Smith, a lifelong Democrat, to bribe his way onto the city’s 2013 Republican mayoral ballot.

Halloran was convicted in July of taking bribes to act as a go-between for Smith and GOP officials in the city, who would have had to approve the party switch.

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Wanted
Posted: December 18, 2014

The NYPD is seeking the public’s help in locating a man wanted for an attempted rape in the 113th Precinct.

Police said the man was talking with a 15-year-old girl at about 11 p.m. on July 12 near the corner of 109th Road and Farmers Boulevard in St. Albans when he began choking her until she passed out. He tried to rape her before fleeing.

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