• February 21, 2019
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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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Howard Beach gym survives first test — barely

A king-sized, new gym that opened last month in the heart of Howard Beach without building permits or a gym license is swimming in hot water over its parking.Hat in hand, a lawyer for Planet Fitness last week came before Community Board 10 and acknowledged that the new club “rubbed the community the wrong way” last month when it skipped the customary legal approvals for new businesses to open.

Coalition to fight shelters is born
Updated: February 14, 2019 - 1:03 pm

If powerful political movements start off modestly, the so-called “5 Boro Coaliton” — formed last week at a hastily called meeting of civic groups citywide that oppose plans to house the homeless in their neighborhoods — had a better-than-average opening day.

With a show-of-hands vote, the new organization was formed at the end of a night of impassioned speeches and shouted encouragement — complete with an executive board and a time and place for the next meeting.

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Preparing for the next superstorm
Posted: February 14, 2019

Hurricane Sandy hit the city late in 2012 but it’s still on the minds of many.

After Sandy, the Department of City Planning issued two zoning text amendments that focused on the recovery process.

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Cops to DOT: Pull out Ozone Park medians
Posted: February 14, 2019

Police and fire officials are calling for pedestrian median strips on Rockaway Boulevard in Ozone Park to be removed as a hazard to emergency vehicles.

“They may have looked good in theory” to the city’s Department of Transportation, “but the theory is not working out so well,” Betty Braton, the longtime chairwoman of Community Board 10, said, after first responders in the neighborhood complained.

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Lewis being held in LI jail for safety sake
Posted: February 14, 2019

Chanel Lewis, the accused killer of Howard Beach jogger Karina Vetrano, has been quietly transferred to a jail in Suffolk County for security reasons, officials said this week.

Lewis, 22, had been held at Rikers Island since he was arrested in February 2017 after police said his DNA was found at the crime scene.

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Richmond Hill HS is ‘standing’ tall
Posted: February 14, 2019

For the first time in six years, Richmond Hill High School appeared this month on the state Education Department’s list of schools in good standing.

It was a big win for the school that had through much of the decade been ranked as one of the lowest performing in the city.

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Queens Orchestra’s working-guy leader
Posted: February 14, 2019

An unconventional choice, Kenichi Wilson, a longtime community activist and owner of an event production company, has been named the new president of the resurgent Queens Symphony Orchestra.

“Growing up the son of a musician, everyone thought I could play,” Wilson, 47, the first vice chairman of Community Board 9, told the Chronicle last week.

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Richmond Hill cops deep in mourning
Updated: February 14, 2019 - 1:02 pm

An NYPD detective who’d spent his entire career — 19 years in all — at the 102nd Precinct in Richmond Hill was killed by friendly fire Tuesday while responding to a report of a gunpoint robbery on Atlantic Avenue.

It was the first on-duty death of a police officer in Queens in nearly four years.

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Monday 02/18/2019
Second suspect in detective's shooting charged
Updated: February 18, 2019 - 3:42 pm

A second man has been arrested in the botched mobile-phone store robbery in Richmond Hill that led to the death of a veteran detective. 

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Friday 02/15/2019
Five things to do in Queens this weekend! Feb. 15-17
Updated: February 15, 2019 - 11:49 am

You can’t spend all weekend either celebrating or lamenting Amazon’s decision to drop its Long Island City plan, can you? Heck, no! There are too many other things to do in Queens, and here’s our weekly list of just five.

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Thursday 02/14/2019
Petition pushes to end overdevelopment
Posted: February 14, 2019

Assemblyman Brian Barnwell (D-Maspeth) and City Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) have been asked to stop overdevelopment in Woodside and Maspeth in a petition on change.org started by Nadia M.

The petition — signed by 139 people as of Tuesday night — laments building conversions, saying the trend of homes being renovated for commercial use “has been chipping away at our neighborhood’s charm and is only getting worse.”

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Bill tightening city’s budget belt — sort of
Updated: February 14, 2019 - 3:17 pm

Mayor de Blasio was uncharacteristically reserved on Feb. 7 when he released his preliminary executive budget for fiscal year 2020.

But even with dire warnings about uncertain economic times ahead and a call for departments to cut $750 million in spending, the mayor is proposing a $92 billion spending plan, a $3 billion hike over the present budget.

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Red Cross keeps up smoke detector push
Posted: February 14, 2019

The American Red Cross was not letting up last week in its effort to install free smoke detectors in a section of Queens that has been devastated by fatal fires since late December.

“We’ve been losing an average of one person a week,” said Gary Chin, who serves as disaster program manager for Queens under the Red Cross Greater New York Region.

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DOT shows CB 7 Northern Blvd. plan
Posted: February 14, 2019

City officials plan to give a dangerous stretch of Northern Boulevard in Flushing the Vision Zero treatment.

The Department of Transportation on Monday presented Community Board 7 with its proposal to redesign the commercial strip’s intersections with 146th and 147th streets.

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Boyfriend arrested in killing of woman
Posted: February 14, 2019

The boyfriend of Jennifer Irigoyen was arrested last Friday in the Feb. 3 killing of the pregnant 35-year-old in Ridgewood.

Anthony Hobson, 48, of Rego Park was charged with second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

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Life, no parole for Jackson
Updated: February 14, 2019 - 1:11 pm

The white supremacist who murdered Jamaica native Timothy Caughman in Manhattan in March 2017 has been sentenced to life in prison with no hope of parole.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said James Jackson of Baltimore is the first person in the state convicted of murder in furtherance of an act of terrorism.

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Seniors urged to be prepared for crisis
Updated: February 14, 2019 - 1:24 pm

Make a plan. Gather supplies. Get informed.

Those are the three basic steps recommended for being prepared for any emergency, the subject of a Queens Interagency Council on Aging program, held at Queens Borough Hall on Feb. 8.

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Residents rip Willets Pt. stadium proposal
Updated: February 15, 2019 - 11:05 am

Western Queens residents are organizing against Willets Point development plans that don’t match the needs of the community, they said at a forum Monday night.

Last month, the city’s Economic Development Corp. announced two scenarios proposed by the Willets Point Task Force, a group of area representatives and stakeholders chaired by Borough President Melinda Katz and City Councilman Francisco Moya (D-Corona). The first proposal is a mixed-use district including housing and public facilities. A soccer stadium anchors the second scenario, which would also include housing.

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AirTrain’s opponents talk strategy, options
Updated: February 15, 2019 - 7:40 pm

If supporters of an AirTrain between LaGuardia Airport and the No. 7 subway and Long Island Rail Road lines at Mets/Willets Point are expecting what tennis fans would call a walkover, they might want to check the attendance sheet from a meeting in East Elmhurst on Tuesday night.

About 90 residents braved a sleet storm to hear a panel of environmentalists, transportation experts, area civic leaders and homeowners discuss why and how residents who oppose the train can fight it.

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Handled with care: aiding Venezuela
Posted: February 14, 2019

When Belkis Morales visited the car dealership on a recent Saturday for a routine oil change, the mechanic offered to throw away the trash stuffed inside her red Toyota Camry: cardboard boxes filled with colorful baby T-shirts; used crayons and markers stuffed inside plastic grocery shopping bags; packets of ketchup and mayonnaise that she sheepishly took from every trip to a McDonald’s or Burger King.

Morales was getting ready to send these items — packed in boxes weighing about 70 pounds in total — to her native Venezuela, where her relatives, childhood friends and neighbors in Caracas were waiting. For them, these items were not trash. They were treasures.

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Pols to guv: We need more school funds
Posted: February 14, 2019

Even with Democrats winning complete control of the state government in the midterms, Albany education budget negotiations are combative as ever.

Cuomo and lawmakers have less than two months to make a deal. The state’s next fiscal year begins on April 1.

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Amazon backers tout benefits during rally
Updated: February 14, 2019 - 3:18 pm

Some Long Island City leaders voiced their continued support for Amazon’s proposed new headquarters in the neighborhood Monday.

Standing in front of the Queensbridge Houses, Bishop Mitchell Taylor, a community activist, said he is concerned by attempts to influence community residents against the tech giant.

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New leadership at NAACP in Jamaica
Updated: February 15, 2019 - 7:45 pm

Candace Prince-Modeste admitted to being excited, as well as a little nervous and tense, last Sunday as she was preparing to be sworn in as president of the Jamaica Branch of the NAACP.

“I’m still excited,” she told the Chronicle in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “I think the rest was mostly taken care of at the ceremony.”

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Feds indict Queens men in jail attack
Posted: February 14, 2019

Three alleged gang members, including two from Queens, have been indicted on federal charges for the alleged stabbing and beating of a fellow inmate at the Manhattan Detention Center on Oct. 22.

According to a statement issued last Friday by the office of Richard Donoghue, U.S.attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Luis Rivas of Jamaica, Javier Rodriguez of Flushing and Dennis Cabrera of the Bronx are members of the MS-13 gang who attacked their alleged victim because he was thought to be a member of the rival Latin Kings.

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Caban discusses vision for DA’s office
Posted: February 14, 2019

Progressive women won historic upsets in Democratic primaries across the city last year.

By running unapologetically left-wing campaigns driven by dedicated volunteers and small donations, first-time candidates trounced longtime politicians with deep campaign chests.

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Queens College head to be CUNY chancellor
Updated: February 14, 2019 - 1:06 pm

Queens College President Felix Matos Rodriguez has been named as the next chancellor of CUNY. He will be the first-ever Latino to hold the position, which he will take over on May 1.

The educator has led Queens College, the borough’s largest school in the city university system, since August 2014.

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