A crowd of about 1,000 concerned area residents brought a stretch of the service road of Queens Boulevard to a standstill on Tuesday evening while staging a protest against the opening of a homeless shelter in the now-shuttered Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst.
The redesignation by the Department of Homeless Services on June 6 caught elected officials, community board members and the public at large off guard.
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.”
In 1997 in Elmhurst, two men approached Li Ping, an immigrant from China. They grabbed her and slit her throat.
While Ping was still alive, she faced the difficult choice of pursuing her attackers and risking the possibility of deportation or staying silent.
State Sen. Greg Ball (D-Patterson) slammed Mayor de Blasio’s municipal ID card legislation during a debate with Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) on “Up Close with Diana Williams” on Sunday morning.
The bill, which will be drafted by Dromm — a big advocate for immigration reform — was briefly discussed by the mayor during his State of the City Address two weeks ago.
Two major construction projects were the focal points of Monday night’s occasionally contentious Queens Borough Board meeting at Borough Hall.
Under discussion at the meeting — the second under Borough President Melinda Katz — was the Mattone Group Development Project, which involves the construction of three restaurants on land between the Queens Center Mall and the Long Island Expressway.
Some of those who were smoked out of enjoying a pack of Marlboro in bars and other public places 11 years ago may be the subject of a city ban once again.
The City Council voted 43-8 on Thursday to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in certain public venues, reinforcing the Smoke-Free Air Act passed in 2002, which banned cigarette smoking in bars and later in parks, among other public spaces.
Though the signs have been hung and decision finalized, the fight over co-naming the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge continues.
Outgoing Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) has introduced a bill that would remove former Mayor Ed Koch’s name from the historic bridge and place it on the Municipal Building in Manhattan.
A full audience of Jackson Heights residents raised their hands Monday night when Janet McEneany, the president of Queens Quiet Skies, asked if they were tired of planes flying over their houses every minute, one after another, like a brigade of B52 bombers.
McEneany and Bob Whitehair, founders of Queens Quiet Skies, an advocacy organization that fights for noise regulations, gave their 26th community education presentation as part of a town hall meeting on the issue organized by Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights). Representatives from the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration were also in attendance.
To the men who killed him, Julio Rivera was apparently just a gay man upon whom they could inflict their hate. But to the residents of Jackson Heights, Rivera was the catalyst who would propel them to enact positive changes within their community.
Early morning on July 2, 1990, Rivera was leaving Friends Tavern, a local gay bar, when he was violently beaten and stabbed to death in a playground by three men affiliated with the gang called Doc Martin Skinheads. According to testimony cited in The New York Times, Daniel Doyle, 21, Erik Brown, 21, and Esat Bici, 19 were hunting for a “drug dealer or a drug addict or a homo out cruising” to use their hammer and knife on.
While thousands of people lined up in schools, churches and synagogues to cast their votes for city offices and state proposals, another group stood huddled together in Jackson Heights to conduct an election of their own.
The New York Coalition to Expand Voting Rights conducted a mock election complete with mock voting booths, ballots, poll workers and ballot boxes in Diversity Plaza.
Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) is urging the United States Department of Homeland Security to end the practice of placing immigrant detainees in solitary confinement — an act he says does not coincide with the charges these people face in most cases.
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, immigration detention is supposed to be a civil, nonpunitive measure to ensure a detainee attends immigration court hearings and complies with court orders.
Citizens Union rescinded its planned endorsement of Craig Caruana’s campaign for City Council last Thursday, just days after telling the Republican candidate via email that he would be receiving the group’s support.
On Oct. 21, an email was sent from Citizens Union Director of Public Policy and Advocacy Alex Camarda to Caruana, saying, “I wanted to let you know before we make it public later this week that we will be endorsing your candidacy in the race. Congratulations!”
During its monthly meeting on Monday night, Community Board 7, in two separate overwhelming votes, approved proposals for the construction of a visitor center at Flushing’s historic Bowne House and the co-naming of a street to honor a local family.
Julie Nymann, deputy director of Architecture Capital Projects for the Parks Department, made a PowerPoint presentation detailing the proposed design for the new visitor center on the Bowne House property, which she said serves as a “reminder of the nation’s religious history.”
Election Day is just around the corner and candidates are seeking your vote.
In Western Queens, Council incumbents Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), Daniel Dromm (D- Jackson Heights) and Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) are running unopposed so all three are expected back in the Council chambers come January.
When voters go to the polls on Tuesday, those who aren’t political junkies may be surprised at some of the names on the ballot and propositions they’ll be making decisions on. Think the mayor’s race is between Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota? Sure it is, along with 13 other people. Ready to make a choice on a parcel of land in the Adirondack Mountains? You’ll be asked to. Here’s a comprehensive guide to what Queens voters will see on the ballot, according to the city Campaign Finance Board.
Tired of threats to close libraries? Picture a future without petitions or rallies. Picture six-day service sealed into city law. Honorable Council members James G. Van Bramer and Vincent J. Gentile, DC 37 and the library local unions have proposed legislation designed to retire the library’s annual budget dance with City Hall.
Baseline Funding (Intro. 1050-2013) will siphon 2.5 percent from existing property taxes. Rest assured, the bill is not tied to any increase in property taxes. Public library systems in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Detroit, Columbus, and Pittsburgh all receive various forms of baseline funding. In our city, the American Museum of Natural History’s Planetarium and public schools benefit from baseline funding.
Honorable Council Members Charles Barron, Gale A. Brewer, Fernando Cabrera, Margaret S. Chin, Leroy G. Comrie, Inez E. Dickens, Daniel Dromm, Mathieu Eugene, Julissa Ferreras, Helen D. Foster, Sara M. Gonzalez, Robert Jackson, Letitia James, Andy King, Peter A. Koo, G. Oliver Koppell, Karen Koslowit
z, Brad S. Lander, Stephen Levin, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Darlene Mealy, Rosie Mendez, Annabel Palma, Donovan Richards, Ydanis Rodriguez, Deborah L. Rose, Mark S. Weprin, Jumaane D. Williams and Ruben Wills have pledged co-sponsorship. The public will not vote on this specific piece of legislation. If a majority of council members vote for the bill, it will be sent to the mayor to sign in to law or veto.
Remember the bill’s supporters at the polls on Sept. 10!
The writer, a senior librarian with the Queens Library, specified that her views are her own, not an official position of the library.
A former parking lot between the Queens Center mall and the Long Island Expressway has been empty for the past 12 years and now the developers who own it want to build three restaurants there.
The College Point-based Mattone Group presented its plan at an informational Newtown Civic Association meeting in Corona Tuesday night. The company would bring in an Olive Garden, a Longhorn Steakhouse and Joe’s Crab Shack, which will cover approximately 25,000 to 30,000 square feet, surrounded by free parking spaces. If the plan moves forward, they predict that the establishments will open in April or May 2014.
Term limits, and in one case a federal indictment, have made for some wide-open City Council races.
But money may make the difference in some of the more hotly contested races, and campaign finance reports, due this past Monday, are starting to draw a clearer picture of just who may have staying power through the Sept. 10 primaries.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is close to approving a new bus route that would offer more direct service to LaGuardia Airport while cutting the existing Q33 route short to focus more on neighborhood riders.
The proposed Q70 Limited line — “a new faster and more direct route to LaGuardia” — would run from transit hubs in Woodside and Jackson Heights along the 7 subway line on Roosevelt Avenue and provide a shorter link with the airport.
The reviews are in, and critics of Mayor Bloomberg’s final executive budget are saying they have seen this show before.
And, as per usual, there is likely to be a rousing closing dance number when City Council members restore funding for the same fire companies, after-school programs, senior centers and libraries that have been proposed for cuts by the mayor for years.
In a Queens Chronicle op-ed written two weeks ago, Acting Board Director Pauline Park criticized the City Council’s LGBT caucus for not funding “the only LGBT community center in the borough.”
According to Park, the lack of city funding is unwarranted. With the Jackson Heights-based center receiving funding from the State Department of Health and a number of grants through the years, she expressed her confusion over why a caucus dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered issues will not put funds toward the Queens Pride House.
The power of the local press was on full display in the tight 2009 City Council race between Democratic nominee Kevin Kim and Republican Dan Halloran.
Halloran did not allow Multi-Media’s role in the race to go unnoticed. In September 2009, the Tribune ran a story originally headlined “Democratic Victor vs. Pagan Lord” that detailed Halloran’s unconventional religious practices.
An article in the latest edition of Newtown Civic Association’s newsletter criticized the condition of an unused billboard in Elmhurst, calling upon the city to fix it.
“The sign company no longer uses the sign for advertising and has abandoned it,” the article read. “Yet this dangerous condition continues to the detriment of passersby.”
Officers have arrested the boyfriend of the man murdered in an Elmhurst motel on Feb. 9.
Lleuyel Garcia, 23, of the most northern Manhattan neighborhood of Inwood, was charged with murder, robbery, criminal possession of stolen property and tampering with physical evidence.
Political leaders across the borough are lining up against Mayor Bloomberg’s latest — and final — budget proposal, signaling the beginning of the annual “budget dance” between the City Hall and the City Council.
Legislators are protesting Bloomberg’s plan to cut funding for fire companies and the city’s Department of Education in his Fiscal Year 2014 budget, which he unveiled on Jan. 29.