• April 18, 2014
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Queens Chronicle

South Queens News

Stories from Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, City Line and JFK Airport

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A hero’s goodbye for Rockaway cop

Next to the sea of blue, another sea of blue gathered to say goodbye to one of their own.Thousands of cops from around the city, and even from other states, descended on the Rockaway Peninsula Monday for the funeral of Police Officer Dennis Guerra, who died April 9 from injuries he sustained in a fire in Coney Island that was allegedly started by a bored teenager.

Collapsed building may now come down
Posted: April 17, 2014

Woodhaven residents who have been demanding the city demolish a Jamaica Avenue building that partially collapsed a year ago may finally get their wish. The building could come down within a month.

The owner of the building failed to appear in court for a hearing on April 10 — almost a year to the day since the collapse — allowing the judge to give the city the authority to make the next move.

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Squatters evicted from home in Howard Beach
Posted: April 17, 2014

Several squatters have been living in an abandoned Howard Beach home for several weeks, according to police sources and residents who live near the house, and the city moved to have them evicted and seal up the building Tuesday.

The house, located at 162-38 90 St. on the corner of 90th Street and 163rd Avenue, is in foreclosure. It is owned by Isaak Khafizov, who was sentenced to nine years in prison last month for his role in a load fraud scheme stemming from a fraudulent mortgage modification company he co-founded.

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Community council remembers lost cop
Posted: April 17, 2014

The loss of Police Officer and now Detective First-grade Dennis Guerra was not far from the minds of the 102nd Precinct Community Council Tuesday night. When the council’s president, Latchman Budhai, opened the meeting with a moment of silence — as he regularly does for soldiers serving overseas — he also included Guerra and his seriously injured partner Police Officer Rosa Rodriguez.

Deputy Inspector Hank Sautner, the 102nd Precinct’s commanding officer, was solemn and at times choked up, as he spoke about Guerra and Rodriguez, who were overcome in a Brooklyn fire. Though he didn’t know Guerra, he said he did attend his wake, which took place at a funeral home in his command.

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New trees planted in Howard Beach
Posted: April 17, 2014

Spring means it’s time for trees and flowers to bloom.

And if you don’t have any trees in front of your home, it might mean it’s time for the city to plant one — apparently even if you don’t want one.

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Catsimatidis fined for mailer against Ulrich
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 12:26 pm

Former GOP mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis was fined more than $11,000 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board April 10 for a mailer against Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) during the latter’s re-election campaign last year.

The CFB fined him $1,473 for not including a “paid for by” notice on a mailer attacking Ulrich during Ulrich’s re-election campaign last year.

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Burglaries abate, but car thefts continue
Posted: April 17, 2014

Although the rash of burglaries that hit Howard Beach during the week of March 22 has now ended, Deputy Inspector Jeffery Schiff, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, said the additional police presence continues.

Schiff told the audience at the precinct council meeting on April 9 in Ozone Park that since March 26, when police flooded the community with more than 60 officers and a command post vehicle, there have been no reported burglaries in Howard Beach. Asked by a resident how many police officers are continuing to patrol the area, Schiff would not be pinned down to an exact number, saying only, “It’s a lot,” and includes detectives, community affairs, plainclothes, uniformed and auxiliary police officers.

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Spartans in South Queens
Posted: April 17, 2014

Last weekend’s annual Spartan Race at Citi Field went off without a hitch, with a little help from youngsters from Rhode Island who stayed, and dined, in South Queens.

The group came a day before Saturday’s race and help set up the physically challenging course.

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102nd Pct. Cop of the Month
Posted: April 17, 2014

Police Officer Diana Kaouris was awarded the Cop of the Month award at the 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting Tuesday night in Richmond Hill.

Kaouris, who with her partner Mary Carter, was assigned to patrol Forest Park in the wake of a series of assaults in and around the park, received the honor for combatting graffiti vandals in the precinct.

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106th Pct. cop of the month
Posted: April 17, 2014

Police Officer Kyle Riegel — a two-year police department veteran who has made at least 107 arrests in his career — was honored on April 9 as the 106th Precinct’s Cop of the Month for his arrest of two teens who police say assaulted an Ozone Park resident.

Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, said the 48-year-old victim was allegedly attacked as part of the “knockout game” in the vicinity of Rockaway Boulevard and 96th Street in Ozone Park.

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Kiwanis gives
Posted: April 17, 2014

The Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach gave $500 to the International Society of SS. Cosma & Damiano earlier this month.

Since 1990, the philanthropic organization has donated over $750,000 to St. Francis Hospital, St. Jude Research Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Make-a-Wish Foundation and numerous other charities.

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Burglar sentenced to 10 years
Posted: April 17, 2014

A Brooklyn man was sentenced to 10 years in prison last Thursday for eleven home burglaries across Queens since 2011.

Mario Girau, 28, was arrested on Sept. 19, 2013, after he was caught breaking into a home on Tahoe Street in Ozone Park.

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Thursday 04/17/2014
Cops say they found jerk who threatened teen girl
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 12:44 pm

A man accused of spitting on and menacing an teenage girl on a bus while making anti-Muslim statements has been picked up by police.

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More NYCHA security cameras are coming
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 3:36 pm

They were a long time in coming.

So when the New York City Housing Authority began installing security cameras at the crime-ridden Hammel Houses in Rockaway Beach on April 4, Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and his predecessor, state Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park), made sure to be on hand.

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QUICK HITS
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 6:43 pm

Heavily criticized NYPD antiterror unit is disbanded

In another break from the former administration’s approach to law and order and questions of constitutional rights, the NYPD has dissolved the police detachment that had been infiltrating the Muslim community in order to thwart any planned acts of terrorism.

 

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Easter fun on — and above — Jamaica Avenue
Posted: April 17, 2014

Spring is in full bloom on Woodhaven’s main commercial strip, Jamaica Avenue.

The Woodhaven Business Improvement District held its spring promotion over the weekend, featuring a performance by the Beatles cover band “Plastic Soul,” left, who stopped to chat with WBID staff and the Easter Bunny.

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Hollywoodhaven
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 4:05 pm

Woodhaven played host to the stars again last Friday.

Crews spread out along Jamaica Avenue to film part of an episode for the CBS show “Unforgettable.” One scene was shot outside New Pop’s Restaurant on 86th Street.

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DA keeps eye on tax season
Posted: April 17, 2014

April is also tax season at the office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Brown on Thursday announced the filing of tax-related complaints against two Queens businesses and their owners.

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MDs give economy first-aid too
Posted: April 17, 2014

New York State’s physicians generated more than 570,000 jobs — nearly 10 jobs apiece — in 2012, according to a new study released Wednesday. The report, announced by the American Medical Association, also showed that economic activity by New York’s physicians generated $5.6 billion in state and local taxes, and over $57 billion in wages and benefits for New Yorkers.

Nationwide, the study said, patient care physicians contributed $1.6 trillion in economic activity and supported 10 million jobs in 2012. The efforts of New York’s physicians generated nearly $100 billion in economic activity, with each doctor here supporting nearly $1.7 million in output.

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Soccer team finds a home
Posted: April 17, 2014

After plans for a Major League Soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park fell through last year, the New York City Football Club, the league’s new expansion team, was left homeless, until now.

Instead of playing their inaugural season in Queens, NYC F.C. will call Yankee Stadium home for three years, beginning in 2015.

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Fraxel DUAL Laser — your path to clear skin
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 2:38 pm

With summer just around the corner, we all want beautiful, blemish-free skin to enjoy. For some of us, that means a clear complexion without freckles or dark spots. For others, it means getting rid of those acne scars or wrinkles we’ve had forever. The good news is that there is a single laser device that can help with both: Fraxel DUAL.

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Thursday 04/10/2014
Frustration grows over Lindenwood flooding
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:28 am

Lindenwood resident James Noto lives four blocks east of Spring Creek, but whenever it rains, the basement of his home on the corner of 81st Street and 153rd Avenue essentially becomes part of it.

For years now, during heavy rainstorms, sewer backup has flooded his basement, causing mold and mildew to develop and forcing Noto to spend a fortune in repairs.

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Wills, city roll out anti-trash initiatives
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:28 am

Litter and trash in South and Southeast Queens has been compared to the weather — many complain but nobody does anything about it.

But government and civic officials are calling a program introduced on Monday a way to manage the problem on a borough-wide basis rather that just as an issue in isolated, individual neighborhoods.

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Fight goes on to save Richmond Hill annex
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:28 am

With time running out, the Richmond Hill High School community called out the big guns to help fight plans to close its annex this year and move more than 400 students back to the notoriously overcrowded school.

During a town hall meeting Tuesday night hosted by state Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park), elected officials and school leaders demanded the city Department of Education rescind the closure of the school’s 402-seat annex at the former St. Benedict Joseph Labre school building several blocks away at 94-25 117 St.

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Sex offenders taken out of Skyway shelter
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:28 am

The city has removed 39 Level 2 and 3 sex offenders from the Skyway homeless shelter in South Ozone Park, Councilman Ruben Wills (D-South Jamaica) announced at Community Board 10 last Thursday.

“We have been going back and forth with the Department of Homeless Services for weeks about the issue and they have removed every sex offender from the shelter as of today” the Councilman announced to applause.

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CB 9 mulls basement apartment legalization
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:28 am

Community Board 9 gaveled into session under new leadership Tuesday night and engaged in a heated debate over a proposal, favored by Mayor de Blasio, to legalize some basement apartments.

The meeting was the first under new Chairman Ralph Gonzalez, who was elected by the board last month.

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In Broad Channel, a story of perseverance
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:28 am

Unless you’re looking for it, the Iroquois Yacht Club is not really that easy to find. It’s not even easy to find even if you are looking for it. It doesn’t sit on land, but rather on an offshore wooden platform several dozen yards off Broad Channel similar to a resort in the South Pacific you might ogle on the cover of a travel magazine. To get to the Iroquois Yacht Club, one must walk out over Jamaica Bay on a wooden boardwalk — given the name East 12th Road by the city — and turn left at the end of the “block,” past a number of summer homes. Under your feet are the shallow marshy waters of this part of the bay. Ahead of you are marshlands and distant buildings rising in Far Rockaway. The A train cuts across in the foreground.

It should come as no surprise that this wooden island that is home to the Iroquois Yacht Club was wrecked when Hurricane Sandy slammed into the coast on Oct. 29, 2012.

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Participatory budgeting results are in for CD 32
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:28 am

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) announced the results of participatory budgeting in the Community Board 9 and 14 sections of the district on Tuesday.

Five projects won enough votes in CB 9 to reach $1 million and six in CB 14. Ulrich’s office says nearly 1,000 people in both sections of the district voted.

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Residents, police say the kids are not alright
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:29 am

Salvatore Congemi has lived in Woodhaven for more than 10 years. Rowdy kids from nearby JHS 210 are not a new problem around his corner home at 89th Avenue and 92nd Street, but lately, things have gotten way out of hand.

“We’ve always had fights and stuff,” he said. “But never anything like this.”

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Cyclist remembered in Howard Beach
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:29 am

Under the bright sunny sky on one of the first warm days of spring, a caravan of bicyclists rode up 160th Avenue in Howard Beach on Sunday, stopped at the corner of 84th Street and leaned their bikes up against the fence surrounding the Con Edison substation that occupies what would otherwise be coveted corner property.

They gathered around a white bicycle chained to a stop sign and placed flowers in the rungs of the wheels and the chains. This bicycle was not left there by anyone in particular, but was placed by a group in memory of Gary Zammett Jr., the Brooklyn man who was killed riding his bicycle at the intersection last summer.

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