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Queens Chronicle

North/Northeast Queens News

Stories from Bayside, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Bellerose, College Point, Whitestone, Auburndale and Glen Oaks

Top Story

Menorah destroyed on Hollis Hills site

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.

Flushing leaders slam DOT, developer
Posted: December 18, 2014

An example of state Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) concerns with the Flushing Commons construction site could be seen by all before his press conference began last Friday.

A large truck blocked a lane of traffic at the intersection of 39th Avenue and Union Street while a crane lifted materials off it.

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Flug retiring as Holocaust Center head
Posted: December 18, 2014

Arthur Flug loved all six of his careers, but has a special connection to his last one as director of the Kupferberg Holocaust Research Center and Archives.

After seven years at the helm, Flug, 75, of Jamaica Estates is retiring on Dec. 31. He will leave his post on the Queensborough Community College campus in Bayside to travel and spend more time with his wife and grandchildren, but will still work on a few projects at the Holocaust center.

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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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Meng’s measure approved
Posted: December 18, 2014

It’s likely a federal feasibility study to look into the National Park Service acquiring and operating the historic Bowne House and the Quaker Meeting House, both in Flushing, will be undertaken.

The measure, introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), was approved by the Senate Saturday as part of a larger appropriations bill. It previously had won House approval and now goes to President Obama for signing, though no date has been set.

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St. Mary’s kids find the holiday spirit
Posted: December 18, 2014

During the holiday season, youngsters at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside get inundated with new toys from individuals and groups, but this year they have decided to give back.

Patients are singing Christmas carols, which are being videotaped to be viewed by prekindergarten classes on Long Island.

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Whitestone holiday display dazzles again
Posted: December 18, 2014

Kevin Lynch of Whitestone has set up his award-winning display of Christmas lights once again this year.

Visitors have come from as far away as Japan and Australia in the past to marvel at the display, which has been featured on HGTV and other TV networks.

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Hello, Olive
Posted: December 18, 2014

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) and his wife, Alison, welcomed baby Olive, their first, on Friday.

Olive weighed in at 6.6 pounds and both the mother and baby are healthy and enjoying the late nights together in Flushing, according to the assemblyman.

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Ugliest sweater charity run readied
Posted: December 18, 2014

Citi Field is the location for the 4th annual Ugly Sweater Run on Saturday, at 11 a.m.

“The Ugliest 5k on the Planet” invites participants of all ages to walk or run a 3.1- mile course, wearing their ugliest holiday sweater.

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Winter Fest brings holiday cheer
Updated: December 19, 2014 - 4:25 pm

Citi Field was the location last Saturday for gingerbread, dancing elves and Santa Claus at the Winter Fest.

Mr. and Mrs. Met greeted visitors to Citi Field, where youngsters could meet Santa, make gingerbread crafts and eat holiday treats.

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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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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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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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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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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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Braunstein donates to drive
Posted: December 18, 2014

Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, here joins istaff members Amber Yoon, Meagan Chen and David Fischer in his Bayside office among the hundreds of toys they have collected for needy children.

Five large bagfuls of the toys were donated to the Queens Chronicle holiday toy drive for distribution at several Queens homeless shelters and a shelter for victims of domestic violence.

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Holiday tips to keep pets safe
Posted: December 18, 2014

Central Veterinary Associates has released several tips to keep your pets safe this holiday season. The veterinary practice, with offices in Bayside, Forest Hills and Far Rockaway, stresses the unintended hazards seemingly harmless decorations may pose for pets. Among the tips are these:

•Make sure that your Christmas tree is properly secured in its stand so it won’t fall on a pet and beware that the water in the stand may contain bacteria harmful to them.

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Celebrating the season
Updated: December 18, 2014 - 4:46 pm

Chanukah began Tuesday and will run for eight days. The Lerner family of Bayside had their decorations up just in time for the festival of lights.

Neal Lerner said he and wife, Karen, have been decorating the outside of their house for Chanukah since their children were young.

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