• February 11, 2016
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Queens Chronicle

Queenswide

Stories with boroughwide interest

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Time limits nixed for standardized tests

Imagine, taking all the time you could want to finish a project — as long as you’re working “productively.”Schoolchildren grades 3 to 8 will be able to enjoy that luxury as they will be able to take as long as they want to finish state standardized tests later this year, state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced last Wednesday.

Mayor’s park security plan called too little
Updated: February 04, 2016 - 3:39 pm

Park lovers and Queens civic leaders won’t say no to the 67 new Park Enforcement Patrol officers and 50 seasonals that Mayor de Blasio asked the City Council for in his recent preliminary budget address.

“But that won’t even put a dent in the problem,” according to Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Park Advocates.

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Uber drivers protest new fare cuts in NYC
Posted: February 04, 2016

About 300 drivers who work for Uber staged a protest outside the company’s Long Island City office on Monday afternoon, saying that price cuts announced by the app-based car-for-hire service will seriously cut into their incomes at the absolutely worst time of the year.

Uber last Friday announced that it was dropping its minimum fee from $8 to $7 per ride. Desai Bhairavi of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance said the amount already had been dropped from the initial $12 charge when Uber first came to New York City more than three years ago.

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Avella, MTA disagree on reason for No. 7 delays
Posted: February 04, 2016

Like a No. 7 train stuck on the tracks because of traffic ahead, agreement between the MTA and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) don’t seem to be coming any closer.

Three weeks after originally calling on the MTA to make statistics regarding the exact number of disruptions on each individual subway line at any given time available online, Avella penned a letter to New York City Transit President Veronique Hakim, asking how exactly the agency tracks the number of delays throughout the system.

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Zoning plans to go before Council panel
Updated: February 04, 2016 - 12:21 pm

Two key parts of Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York plan will be up for public scrutiny on Tuesday and Wednesday as the Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning will hear testimony on Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability.

The hearing on MIH, which would require permanently affordable units in new developments and enlargements of more than 10 units, will take place Feb. 9 at 9:30 a.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, and the hearing on ZQA — which would relax or eliminate parking requirements for senior housing in transit zones and allow for slightly higher buildings in areas zoned for multifamily dwellings — will take place on Feb. 10 at the same time and place.

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Was Kaye’s stature a factor?
Updated: February 04, 2016 - 12:30 pm

The appeal filed by developers seeking to build a mall in the Citi Field parking lot appears likely to remain unheard by the New York State Court of Appeals until fall, at the earliest.

But opponents of the development, called Willets West, question whether the late Judge Judith Kaye’s involvement as the lead attorney for the developers may have put them at a disadvantage.

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It’s a family affair at Maspeth Federal
Posted: February 04, 2016

Maspeth native Tom Rudzewick idolized his father, Kenneth, growing up, but that didn’t mean he wanted to follow in his footsteps as president and CEO of Maspeth Federal Savings.

During his four years roaming the halls at St. Francis Prep, he preferred absorbing nature’s beauty instead of studying the complexity of derivatives and interest rates.

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Maspeth Federal CEO talks Dodd-Frank, IDNYC
Posted: February 04, 2016

Maspeth Federal Savings President and CEO Tom Rudzewick isn’t just a community lender. His eyes are focused on the federal government’s handling of the financial sector.

In a phone interview with the Chronicle about his promotion to institution head last Friday, Rudzewick talked America’s recovery from the 2007-08 economic recession, controversial legislation and the IDNYC program introduced by Mayor de Blasio last year.

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Mayor Eric Ulrich? He might go for it
Updated: February 04, 2016 - 3:25 pm

For Phil Orenstein, head of the Queens Village Republican Club, anyone would make a better mayor than Bill de Blasio.

“He has his own agenda,” Orenstein said. “He’s a one-term mayor.”

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Mumford & Sons to play Forest Hills
Updated: February 05, 2016 - 2:24 pm

After “reopening” the venue with a sold-out 2013 performance, Grammy Award-winning folk rock band Mumford & Sons will return to the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in 2016.

The Thursday, June 16 concert is the first in a series of 2016 shows to be announced at the iconic venue, its third year serving anew as a touring stop for popular musical acts.

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Senior transportation advocates thinking long-term
Updated: February 04, 2016 - 1:31 pm

The annual transportation conference of the of the Queens Interagency Council on Aging took place on Jan. 13.

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What it’s like to be a reporter
Posted: February 04, 2016

One Queens Chronicle reporter was on the other side of an interview on Tuesday as students at St. Mary Gate of Heaven Catholic Academy asked questions during their annual career day.

Associate Editor Anthony O’Reilly, right, took questions from students on the steps he took to become a reporter, where he went to school, what his favorite part of the job is and more.

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Con Ed rate hike plan angers civics
Posted: February 04, 2016

The reaction by Queens civic leaders to the proposed gas and electric rate hikes announced by Con Edison last week came as no surprise: unanimous opposition.

The objection was echoed by City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), a member of the Environmental Protection Committee. “The rates seem to only go in one direction and that is up,” Lancman said. Why can’t Con Ed live within its means?”

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Monday 02/08/2016
2016 Valentine’s Day gift and travel guide
Updated: February 09, 2016 - 3:07 pm

Finding the right Valentine’s Day present for someone special is never an easy proposition. Here are some gift ideas that should add a touch of romance not just on Feb. 14 but anytime of the year.

You cannot think of Valentine’s Day without thinking of flowers, and it’s hard to think of flowers without thinking of 1-800Flowers, the company founded and still run by Woodside native Jim McCann. While floral arrangements such as “Love Potion” and “Straight from the Heart” are still the company’s main source of income, it has expanded its lines to include food gift baskets and oversized teddy bears. Teleflora is a leading competitor but has chosen to stick to its core flower business.

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Patricide alleged in Auburndale
Updated: February 08, 2016 - 4:57 pm

An Auburndale man allegedly beat his father to death with a steering wheel lock Friday night.

Dimitrios Safetis, 19, has been charged with manslaughter, assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the killing of Ioannis Safetis, 57, police said. Both lived at 40-41 190 St.

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Friday 02/05/2016
Comptroller Scott Stringer registers Pan Am shelter deal
Updated: February 08, 2016 - 4:16 pm

Fourth time's the charm.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer has registered the 30-month, $23.8 million deal between the Department of Homeless Services and Samaritan Village to operate the Boulevard Family Residence at 79-00 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst as a permanent homeless shelter, according to multiple sources.

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City Council votes 40-7 to raise its pay
Updated: February 08, 2016 - 4:16 pm

The City Council passed legislation on Friday to raise the lawmakers' pay by 32 percent from $112,500 to $148,500.

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Babysitter 'tortured' scalded toddler: DA
Updated: February 08, 2016 - 4:17 pm

A Cambria Heights babysitter has been charged with scalding a 2-year-old child who was being uncooperative as she tried to clean his hands.

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Five things to do in Queens this weekend! Feb. 6-7
Updated: February 05, 2016 - 1:17 pm

Looking for some things to do in Queens this weekend? We’ve got you covered! Here are five to choose among, and there are always plenty more here

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Thursday 02/04/2016
Cop knocked to tracks at Parsons/Archer
Posted: February 04, 2016

The NYPD is searching for two men and two women in connection with an assault on a police officer from the 103rd Precinct in the Parsons Boulevard/Archer Avenue subway station this past Sunday.

Police said the two men and two women, all believed to be in their early to mid-20s, were inside the E train subway station at about 12:20 a.m. when they allegedly avoided paying their fares by entering through a service gate, as caught on video.

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U.S. government reopens SBA loans
Posted: February 04, 2016

Superstorm Sandy victims will get a second chance at disaster relief.

Rep. Nydia Vel·zquez (D-Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens) and Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration, on Jan. 21 announced the restart of the SBA disaster loan program for Sandy victims.

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Estefan biopic ‘On Your Feet!’ is gonna get you
Posted: February 04, 2016

Beloved Top 40 baby boomer and Generation X songs have been music to the ears of Broadway producers based on the success of such shows as “Jersey Boys,” “Beautiful,” “Mamma Mia” and “Rock of Ages.” Joining that list of jukebox musicals is “On Your Feet!” which tells the story of ’80s and early ’90s hit makers Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. The band was founded by her future husband, Emilio Estefan.

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Prevailing wages for those building affordable housing
Updated: February 04, 2016 - 1:29 pm

New York City is undeniably experiencing an affordable housing crisis. To combat this problem, each year, the city provides hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and low-interest loans to developers building affordable housing.

The city has committed to working with developers to spend nearly $25 billion on Housing New York, a plan that will bring affordable housing to all five boroughs.

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Queens Boulevard and Vision Zero: road to ruin
Updated: February 04, 2016 - 1:54 pm

Our elected and appointed officials were too busy patting each other on the back a couple weeks ago with the overflow of statistical data regarding the Version Zero programs to mention even one negative impact it has had on the communities and commuters it affected.

At best, they failed to realize its impact on the commuters (including bus riders) and the community. At worst, they knew of the problems and still plowed through with it while wasting millions of taxpayer’s dollars in the process.

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In the presence of greatness
Posted: February 04, 2016

The St. John’s University men’s basketball team has been struggling mightily on the court this season, so who better to turn them around than the nearly unbeatable defending NBA champions?

Two days after they thrashed the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Steph Curry, below, and his Golden State Warriors teammates spent Tuesday afternoon practicing at St. John’s in front of an awestruck Red Storm squad.

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Storm Warning
Posted: February 04, 2016

Nothing better to do on a Sunday than catch a basketball game at Madison Square Garden, right?

That apparently was the thought process of tennis legend and Douglaston native John McEnroe and New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, both of whom took in the St. John’s-Villanova game from their courtside perches.

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Correction
Posted: February 04, 2016

The Jan. 28 editorial “The slow snow cleanup” misstated Public Advocate Letitia James position on opening schools the Monday after the storm.

James called for a delayed opening.

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Tuesday 02/02/2016
Republicans want Ulrich for mayor: report
Updated: February 05, 2016 - 11:13 am

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) is being considered as a challenger for Mayor de Blasio's seat in next year's election, according to a report from the New York Post. 

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Monday 02/01/2016
Brothers sentenced in scary sex trafficking, prostitution case
Updated: February 04, 2016 - 12:09 pm

Two brothers, one of whom is a Queens resident, are staring down years-long prison terms after being sentenced for holding a woman against her will and forcing her to prostitute herself in Woodside.

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Uber drivers protest fare cuts in NYC
Updated: February 04, 2016 - 12:09 pm

About 300 drivers who work for Uber staged a protest outside the company’s Long Island City office on Monday afternoon, saying that price cuts announced by the app-based car-for-hire service will seriously cut into drivers’ incomes at the absolutely worst time of the year.

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Queens man guilty of killing both his parents
Updated: February 04, 2016 - 12:09 pm

A Bayside man has been found guilty of killing his elderly parents in two separate attacks 15 months apart and could go to prison for life, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Friday.

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