An often-forgotten park on the shores of Jamaica Bay that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy is getting a fix up, thanks in part to a big donation from Resorts World Casino New York City.
The gaming facility, located about a mile away from the park, announced it will donate $40,000 to reconstructing the Hamilton Beach Playground in Hamilton Park. The playground, located on federal land between the A train subway tracks and Hawtree Creek, across from Charles Park, was devastated in Sandy and has not been repaired since.
South and Central Queens are about to see the end of an era, when Mary Ann Carey retires as district manager of Community Board 9 on Oct. 1.
Carey is the longest-serving district manager in all of Queens. Hired 35 years ago during the Koch administration, she served under five mayors and four borough presidents. She began her tenure when Jimmy Carter was president, M*A*S*H was a hit show and the only Star Wars movie anyone had seen was “Star Wars.”
Sal Simonetti, an Ozone Park native, is Eric Ulrich’s new chief of staff.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) appointed a lifelong Ozone Park resident to be his new chief of staff last week.
Sal Simonetti, who has been president of the Our Neighbor’s Civic Association in Ozone Park for several years, was promoted to the post. He had previously served as deputy to Ulrich’s former chief of staff Rudy S. Giuliani, who resigned last week after he was appointed borough director at the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations and the Build it Back Program, a position in which he will report directly to Amy Peterson, the head of the city’s Hurricane Sandy recovery program.
Councilman Eric Ulrich, left, Carol Simon, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr., Borough President Melinda Katz and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder at the grand opening of the youth organization’s new building in Richmond Hill on Tuesday.
More than three years ago, dignitaries, civic leaders and even some South Queens residents gathered under a tarp in the lot next to what was then known as the South Queens Boys & Girls Club at 110-04 Atlantic Ave. in Richmond Hill to put shovels in the ground. On that chilly rainy April day, they promised to be back in several years to welcome the first children into a bigger, better club.
On Tuesday, three years, four months and a name change since the first brick was laid, and in noticeably different weather conditions, the job was done — for the most part.
As controversy swirled around her a little more than a year ago, Community Board 9 District Manager Mary Ann Carey said she wanted to step down from her position on her own terms.
Now she appears to be doing that.
Queens’ members of the City Council did not miss many days of work, according to attendance records taken between January and May of this year, and when they did, it was often because they couldn’t be in two places at once.
The notable exception is one member who is under indictment.
It was a nice summer day — and a great cause — for a bike ride.
On Saturday more than 200 riders participated in the first annual “Loop,” a 20-mile bike ride to benefit the New York Families for Autistic Children Foundation and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In total, the day’s events raised nearly $15,000 for both groups.
Midsummer isn’t a quiet time for Woodhaven residents and civic leaders.
During a town hall meeting Saturday that drew a sizable audience to Emanuel United Church of Christ, the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association addressed more than half a dozen issues, most of them ongoing problems facing the area, including graffiti, illegally parked cars, and a collapsed Jamaica Avenue building that many worry is a safety risk.
How would you spend a million dollars? Long Island City residents gathered July 9 to discuss just that.
In the second of two informational meetings held by City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), residents of the 26th Council District gathered in the Jacob Riis Settlement House to learn about participatory budgeting for the 2015-16 fiscal year, a democratic process where residents from 22 city districts have a voice in how $25 million in discretionary funds should be spent citywide.
Mayor de Blasio last Thursday signed into law the measure that will create municipal identification cards for New York City residents. Although available to anyone, the cards are especially designed for people who will not or cannot get other forms of ID, such as illegal immigrants.
The mayor noted at a hearing held the day before the bill signing that many New Yorkers don’t have driver’s licenses — though he did not address the nondriver’s ID the state offers them — and that undocumented residents are forced to “live in the shadows” because they lack proper identification.
Despite circulating petitions earlier this month with his name as a candidate for state Senate, ex-Councilman Tom Ognibene will not run, GOP sources say.
Ognibene, of Middle Village, was listed on Republican petitions as a candidate for the seat now occupied by state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach).
Diana Tarantola asked the tow truck driver where on the receipt she should sign. When he pointed to the line, she sighed.
“I should know how to do this by now,” she said.
Cross Bay Chemist in Howard Beach held a grand opening celebration at its new, larger location at 157-02 Cross Bay Blvd. on Saturday, July 5.
Councilman Eric Ulrich, left, cut the ribbon along with owner Frank Pantina, his wife, Kasia, and their twin sons, Pryce and Preston. There was food and entertainment including Elmo, face painting, music and giveaways at the event.
Queens Republicans have a new chairman.
After the death of Phil Ragusa last month, the county party’s executive vice chairman, Robert Beltrani of Jackson Heights, was automatically elevated to chairman.
At least nine bus stops in South Queens will be fitted with countdown clocks that will tell passengers how long until the next bus arrives.
The clocks, which each costs about $20,000, use GPS to track buses and estimate their time of arrival. The city Department of Transportation is spearheading the program to install them at major bus stops across the city. Currently only two have been erected, both in Staten Island.
We missed our copy of last week’s Queens Chronicle here on 90th Street in Howard Beach. No one on our block had the weekly papers delivered last Thursday. I was finally able to find your editorial, “Library gets what it paid for,” through the internet. I appreciate your comments and am so glad that reform is finally coming to the Queens borough libraries.
I had once sent in a letter about “Galante’s greed,” which was unpublished. In that issue, you ran an editorial along the same lines as my letter. I felt that the library CEO was flaunting his position at our expense — installing a smoking roof at taxpayers’ expense while the truncated hours at our branch are a hardship for many working people and for retirees, as well as for schoolchildren who depend on Saturday hours. The automated machines also seem to me an extravagance.
I also wanted to read your report on the recent civic meeting at St. Helen’s. It was well-attended and very informative. I had a chance to talk to some of the speakers. I missed our councilman, Eric Ulrich. I wanted to thank him for his vital help. We are very pleased with all of our conscient
ious politicians. They come to our meetings and are available to assist us when we need them. Bravo!
Borough President Melinda Katz, at podium, with Councilman Eric Ulrich, left, Councilman Donovan Richards, Rockaway civic leader Danny Ruscillo and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer at a City Hall rally in support of the Rockaway ferry last month.
Legislation introduced in the City Council this week would give the city Department of Investigation oversight over Sandy aid money.
The bill, introduced by Councilmembers Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn), would require the DOI commissioner to investigate instances of waste, fraud and abuse dealing with storm aid. The DOI would also advise the relevant agencies on practices and policies to improve the overall effectiveness of disaster recovery-related programs.
Supporters of the police tactic stop, question and frisk are getting ready to say “I told you so,” now that new statistics show a spike in shooting incidents.
According to the NYPD, shootings jumped 11 percent compared to the same time last year and this past weekend, there were 21 shootings alone, causing some to second-guess Mayor de Blasio’s decision to drop the city’s appeal against amendments added to stop and frisk.
Most parts of Queens have been fairly lucky this year when it comes to gun violence. While the city overall has seen an 11.2 percent rise in shootings so far this year compared to last, going by the latest available police statistics, and some areas have been subject to much worse, Queens has not.
In the southern part of the borough, as defined by the Police Deparment, the number of shooting incidents has gone up only 3.8 percent, from 52 to 54, as of June 22. And in the northern part, they’ve actually fallen 29.4 percent, from 17 to 12. Compare that to the Bronx, where they have jumped 25.4 percent, from 118 to 148. And none of these stats include the mayhem of last weekend, when there were 21 shootings across the city, including a fatal one in Cambria Heights.
Ex-City Councilman Tom Ognibene, a Republican, is circulating petitions to run for the state Senate against incumbent Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), a source tells the Queens Chronicle.
Ognibene, a Middle Village attorney, served as a city councilman representing Middle Village, Maspeth, Ridgewood and Glendale from 1992 through 2001. He attempted to take back his Council seat in 2009, but lost to Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village). He later ran for lieutenant governor as the running mate of Carl Paladino, but in a fluke lost the GOP primary to Greg Edwards, county executive of Chautauqua County in Western New York, the preferred running mate of unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio.
The Howard Beach Kiwanis Builders’ Club at St. Helen School ended a successful year filled with various community projects.
The club, with 24 members from grades one through eight advised by St. Helen teacher Amy Baumgarten, held a bake sale and donated proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.