• April 18, 2014
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Queens Chronicle

Western Queens News

Stories from Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside, Corona, Elmhurst and East Elmhurst

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Municipal ID bill introduced in Council

Jackson Heights is one of the most diverse areas of Queens, where a significant number of those living and working are undocumented and, according to immigrant advocates, unable to achieve the American Dream.“I’ve been here five years and my children have been here their entire lives,” Rosa, a Jackson Heights resident and undocumented immigrant from Ecuador, said. “I would like to have better rights here and have opportunities. If not for myself, at least for my children.”

Law grad gets life with no shot at parole
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 12:13 pm

Jason Bohn, the 35-year-old law school graduate convicted of beating and strangling his girlfriend to death in their Astoria apartment, was sentenced to life without parole on Tuesday.

Bohn was found guilty in March of first-degree murder in the slaying of Danielle Thomas, a financial analyst for Weight Watchers, in June 2012.

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Jackson Heights polling sites reopen
Posted: April 17, 2014

Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan and residents celebrated the reopening of two polling sites in Jackson Heights on April 9, after they had been shuttered for about two years.

The BOE had changed polling sites for the 46th and 47th Election Districts in the 39th Assembly District from PS 69 on 37th Avenue to PS 222 on the same street about a half mile away. In addition, Renaissance Charter School on 81st Street had also been closed.

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Penny-farthing in LIC
Posted: April 17, 2014

If you were enjoying the warm weather by strolling down Jackson Avenue in Long Island City on Sunday afternoon, you may have noticed an unusual sight.

A flock of men wearing old-fashioned clothing were penny-farthing — riding big-wheeled antique bikes — around Hunters Point.

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DOT approves two plazas in Sunnyside
Posted: April 17, 2014

Sunnyside is about to shine a bit brighter after it was announced on April 11 that two new public plazas are set to come to the neighborhood through the Department of Transportation’s NYC Plaza Program.

Last year, the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District submitted an application to the plaza program with the support of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who was eager to bring more plazas to the area.

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Man kills daughter in Astoria home: NYPD
Posted: April 17, 2014

An 86-year-old man who refused to drop his 12-gauge shotgun was shot and killed by an officer on Saturday.

According to police, Jack Calvello allegedly shot his daughter in their Astoria home on 38th Street.

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Child porn on computer: cops
Posted: April 17, 2014

An East Elmhurst resident, who dropped his computer off at a Best Buy on Northern Boulevard in Long Island City to be repaired, was charged with 15 counts of possession of a sexual performance by a child after an employee found pornographic photos of young girls on his desktop.

According to the charges, on April 1, a technician at Best Buy began to repair a laptop computer that had allegedly been dropped off by Michael Murray, 61, on March 26.

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Remains found in Elmhurst
Posted: April 17, 2014

Body parts were discovered along train tracks in Elmhurst on Saturday, according to police.

A man walking along the Long Island Rail Road line near 43rd Avenue and Judge Street came across a plastic bag.

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Forum on restaurant grading
Posted: April 17, 2014

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), in conjunction with the 82nd Street Partnership, will host a forum for restaurateurs and small business owners to learn about proposed changes to the restaurant letter-grade and fine system as well as the new paid sick leave law.

“Small businesses have suffered during the economic meltdown and painfully slow recovery that has followed,” Peralta said in a written statement. “Bullying and relentlessly fining them was making a bad situation that much worse. There was a sigh of relief among small business owners when this mayor was elected. The proposed new restaurant regulations are an important step toward helping small businesses succeed.”

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No means no!
Posted: April 17, 2014

Long considered taboo throughout much of the city’s Asian population, acknowledgment of the existence of domestic violence and sexual assault is gradually becoming acceptable, as evidenced by the Korean American Family Service Center’s First Annual Rally Against Sexual Assault on the steps of Queens Borough Hall last Friday evening, with several dignitaries and hundreds of young people on hand.

The event, held to coincide with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, was spearheaded by the KAFSC’s Youth Community Project Team.

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Astoria residents stand up for fun
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 2:19 pm

It was a day nothing seemed to go according to plan. Trains weren’t running properly and large numbers of people weren’t allowed to gather in the park without a permit.

With various logistical problems springing up, Astoria Stand Up organizers cancelled plans for a mass march last Saturday to Bohemian Hall but would not cancel the show at the beer garden that celebrated the Astoria neighborhood.

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Thursday 04/17/2014
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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Missing teen
Posted: April 17, 2014

The NYPD is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Nicholas Echavarria.

The 15-year-old was last seen at 5 p.m. on April 4 in Jackson Heights. He has two tattoos on his arm with the words “Loyalty” and “Valerie” and was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt and jeans.

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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
Four drown after birthday celebration
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:28 am

Darius Fletcher, Jada Monique Butts, Crystal Gravely, Andrew Gramm and Jaleel Furtado were on their way home after celebrating Gravely’s birthday.

Gramm was driving them along 19th Avenue, traveling west, when he hit the curb, careened through a 3-foot-high chain-link fence and rolled over into Luyster Creek, also known as Steinway Creek in Astoria. The car began filling with water and the 20-year-old driver broke out of the vehicle as his friends struggled.

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Putting together the last minutes of Avonte
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:28 am

Despite his remains having been found, there is still an air of mystery as to how Avonte Oquendo managed to escape from his class and leave the building unnoticed.

But footage obtained by the Chronicle shows that there were several instances that, had they taken place in a slightly different way, may have prevented the escape of the 14-year-old Avonte.

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CB gives Pulaski lane change a thumbs up
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:28 am

Cyclists and pedestrians will each get a lane of their own when the Department of Transportation implements its plan to make the Pulaski Bridge safer.

Nicole Garcia, the DOT Queens deputy borough commissioner, and Nick Carey from the DOT Bike program gave Community Board 2 an update on the plan during its April 3 meeting. The board voted to approve the DOT’s recommendations.

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South Asians call on Obama for help
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:28 am

Members of DRUM South Asian Organizing Center are calling on President Obama to end deportations and grant administrative relief.

On Saturday, more than 120 members of the center, immigrant organizations and the community rallied in Jackson Heights as part of a National Day of Action.

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Seniors: We can’t access Access-A-Ride
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:29 am

Members of Community Board 2 say they’ve been unimpressed by Access-A-Ride’s service. Many recount “horror stories” and condemn the “systemic problems” with the service for senior citizens.

In response, Kenny Stewart, a representative for Access-A-Ride, came to the board’s meeting to address their concerns on April 3.

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Community Board 4 debates block parties
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:29 am

Just two months ago, Community Board 5 battled over whether to allow an Italian-American street fair to occur.

On Tuesday, it was Community Board 4’s turn to debate a handful of proposed South Asian block parties.

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Tickets now on sale for Taste of Sunnyside
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:29 am

Tickets are now available to the 2014 Taste of Sunnyside — an outdoor spring food festival for residents and visitors alike.

The event, sponsored by Sunnyside Shines and Edible Queens, is the neighborhood’s first-ever outdoor event to be held under the elevated No. 7 line, the main vein of transportation for the Sunnyside and Long Island City communities.

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Constantinides brings Doe Fund to Astoria
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:29 am

Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) is living up to his promise to clean the streets of Astoria.

On April 4, Constantinides announced $40,000 of his discretionary funds have been allocated to The Doe Fund and that cleaners have begun working along 30th Avenue, Broadway and 31st Street in Astoria — three of the most congested corridors for both drivers and pedestrians in the neighborhood — on April 1.

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Rabbit rescue a reality in Queens
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:29 am

Vivian Barna of Forest Hills could not be more passionate about saving rabbits discarded by owners who no longer wish to care for them. The full-time real estate broker founded All About Rabbits Rescue and dedicates her personal time to caring for rescued rabbits, setting up adoptions, rabbit education and volunteering at pet shop adoption locations.

Barna grew up with dogs and once worked to rescue them until the day she came across a stray rabbit with upper respiratory problems in Queens, who became her first pet rabbit. After that, she was all about rabbits.

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Chronicle wins four newspaper awards
Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:29 am

by Peter C. Mastrosimone

Editor-in-Chief

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Councilman to start participatory budgeting
Updated: April 11, 2014 - 10:47 am

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer plans to introduce participatory budgeting for the 2015-16 fiscal year for his constituents in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

The process will allow the residents to have somewhat of a say on how $1 million in city funds will be spent in the district.

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Beefing up airport security
Posted: April 10, 2014

A Trinidad resident was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport last month. after officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection allegedly found bags of frozen beef in his luggage that contained more than three kilos of cocaine.

Federal Authorities said Yudishtir Maharaj was arrested on a charge of importation of a controlled substance and was turned over to the Investigations division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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