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When the clock strikes 4 a.m. you don’t have to go home at Systems Dance Club — and that has Community Board 1 concerned.
The nightspot at 32-10 37 Ave. in the northern section of Long Island City has varied hours, about 15 security guards, an occupancy of 540 and a playlist centering on dancey house music — nothing too out of the ordinary. But the sector of the business that is keeping Systems afloat is its after- hours parties, and that’s not a business model every club has its finger in.
A bill to allow mixed martial arts events to be held in New York may finally be headed for approval after years in limbo.
The full contact sport that includes elements of boxing, judo, jiu-jitsu and other martial arts is banned in New York, but is legal in nearly every other state in the country and has a growing fan base. The sport’s top promotion company, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, regularly holds sold-out events in arenas across the country and the world, including in Britain, Canada and Brazil.
A month from now Roosevelt Avenue from 82nd to 114th Street will be “brighter, safer, cleaner,” Commissioner Robert Walsh of the Department of Small Business Services said.
Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-Corona) announced a plan, called the New Deal, at a meeting on Tuesday morning to increase sanitation services, brighten the area with lights and paint, create a business improvement district, install more police cameras, update zoning, continue programming at Corona Plaza and create a task force for the bustling thoroughfare.
The United States Tennis Association’s proposed expansion within Flushing Meadows Corona Park began its public review hearings this week on the heels of a 32-page report blasting the nonprofit’s plan and history as a tenant in the park.
By Friday, six community boards will have voted on the proposal. But as of Tuesday evening, Community Boards 4 and 9 voted against the plan in contentious hearings, while Community Board 7 approved it with little fanfare by comparison.
A key question has arisen as the United State Tennis Association’s plan has come before six different community boards: How much is a fraction of an acre of parkland worth?
Two boards tried to answer the question last week, with one slapping a $15 million price tag on .68 acre of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, along with numerous other stipulations.
For residents of Corona and Jackson Heights, two neighborhoods afflicted with a surplus of noisy and sometimes dangerous bars, the question last week was whether to hold new bar owners accountable for the trespasses of past management.
Wilson Espin, of Richmond Hill, said he didn’t know before he bought the venue about the police citations, noise issues and drunken displays at the bar that years ago occupied 91-13 31 Ave. in Jackson Heights.
Mets Vice President of Business Operations Dave Howard, left, state Sen. Mike Gianaris, Mr. Met and Assemblyman Francisco Moya ahead of Citi Field’s first foray into hosting a soccer game in 2011.
The United States Tennis Association’s planned expansion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park has hit a speed bump, as elected officials said their support is contingent upon the nonprofit finding suitable replacement parkland. The nonprofit’s plans do not include finding a replacement for the just-over half acre needed to modify its facilities.
“Parkland is precious. Once it’s lost, it’s lost forever,” said Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) in a statement released by the Fairness Coalition of Queens, a collective of community groups opposing three major projects proposed for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, including the USTA Plan. “It is imperative that every inch of parkland that is taken away from public access by this USTA expansion must be replaced by comparable parkland nearby.”
The Queens Chronicle editorial in its Dec. 6 edition, “MLS stadium doesn’t belong in our park” opposing a private for-profit professional soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, is right on the mark. It should be mandatory reading for the plethora of Queens elected officials who for years have evidenced their ignorance concerning the importance of parks in an urban society and have consistently participated in dumping on FMCP with all sorts of illegitimate structures that do not belong in a park.
A case in point is Helen Marshall, our current Queens borough president, who thought it was a great idea to build a grand prix race track around Meadow Lake and a huge Jets football stadium smack in the middle of the park. Her anti-FMCP activities are so egregious as to qualify her as the [“wicked”] stepmother of the park.
Joining her are state Sen. Jose Peralta and state Assemblyman Francisco Moya, who think it fine to sell off public parkland to private business interests. They should be challenged as to whether they would support selling off land in Central, Prospect or Bronx parks for so-called economic purposes.
Term limits will rid us of Ms. Marshall but not of Messrs. Peralta and Moya, whose support for the Major League Soccer plan makes their rhetoric about caring for the poor, the middle class and small businesses empty, and bespeaks an affinity with a constituency of the rich and privileged.
Recognition that urban parks are a resource that cannot be replaced should be an important election issue. Anyone seeking public office who does not adhere to that should not be elected, and those already in office should be denied re-election.
The public should be alert to politicians who attempt to beguile them with justification for their nefarious actions by claiming FMCP is different from the other parks. This is snake oil because there is absolutely nothing in the City Charter that designates FMCP as “different.” This is a phony claim manufactured by Donald Manes, the discredited former Queens borough president, who wanted to turn this park into another Meadowlands.
It should also be noted that the MLS claim that Queens supports a stadium in the park is absurd. Its claim is based upon a poll with 650 respondents, 500 from around Queens and 150 from Corona and Flushing specifically. Sixty percent of the people said they had seen or read nothing of substance about the MLS plan. The 2010 Census determined the population of Queens County was 2,230,722, and in that context a purported poll of 650 people is worthless. Furthermore the poll was conducted by Global Strategy Group, commissioned and paid for by MLS, and Global is also a registered lobbyist for the MLS.
Unless the public rises up and demands the end to the desecration of this park, Manes’ dream may well become a reality and goodbye to a park so vital to the poor and the middle class in our community.
The Queens Chronicle is right to point out there are other nonpark lands where a stadium could be built. Of course, the wealthy soccer club owners would rather have free public parkland than have to pay for nonpark land on the open market.
Hiram Monserrate, a former state senator and city councilman from Western Queens, was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday for directing $100,000 of City Council money into a fund used for his failed bid for the state Senate in 2006, according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Major League Soccer on Tuesday evening held a town hall discussion in Queens Theatre in the Park aimed at reaching out to the community and airing thoughts surrounding its proposed 25,000-seat stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
A town hall meeting that featured Argentinian soccer broadcaster Fernando Fiore riling up the crowd and leading chants of “Futbol en Queens.”
For the tiny community of Hamilton Beach, nestled in the southeast corner of Howard Beach, the effects of Hurricane Sandy were unprecedentedly devastating.
The storm surge flooded the entire neighborhood, destroying homes and cars, while sending boats and docks from Hawtree Creek onto the neighborhood’s narrow streets.
Dozens of children in soccer uniforms scampered across the turf in the Saturday sun. Their coaches and parents gathered on the sidelines, barking out instructions and chatting during breaks in play.
“She has soccer in her veins,” Estela Rinc—n said in Spanish, referring to her 10-year-old daughter, Daniela.
The pastors and parishioners of two storefront churches in Corona are outraged that a liquor store opened directly in between them this month.
Bao Liquors set up shop about two weeks ago on Northern Boulevard and 97th Street, and is flanked by Iglesia Biblica Cristiana on one side and Iglesia Cristiana Levantando Hombres de Valor on the other. The churches are upset that state authorities allowed Bao to open despite a law that prevents liquor stores from operating within 200 feet of a church.
A two-against-three knife fight turned fatal early Sunday morning.
Police responded to the alleged gang confrontation outside ofManila Bar and Restaurant at104-21 Roosevelt Ave. in Corona at about 4:30 a.m. The first victim, 20, who had two stab wounds to the chest, died at Elmhurst Hospital. The second victim, 23, was stabbed in the chest and the back. He is listed in stable condition.
An anti-fake ID bill would put the creators of illegal documents in jail for double the time.
State Sen. Jose Peralta’s (D-East Elmhurst) bill, which passed in the Senate last Thursday, upgrades the penalty for manufacturing phony government documents from a Class D to a Class C felony. Current laws allow kids caught using a fake ID to buy alcohol to face the same punishment as someone churning out forged Social Security cards and passports. This bill would change that.
“Close after-school” followed by a resounding “No” could be heard for several blocks of 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights as about 50 children and program leaders from 82nd Street Academics marched up to the Jackson Heights Post Office on Thursday afternoon. There they were met with politicians and parents, all protesting Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed 50 percent budget cut, or $70 million, to after-school programs.
“Some parents have said they might have to give up their jobs because they have no one to watch their kids after school,” Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) said. “We cannot continue policies that place a larger burden on the working families of Queens.”
Community Board 3, representing Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and Corona, is saying enough is enough to bad custodians of liquor licenses.
Last month, State Liquor Authority Chairman Dennis Rosen said at a town hall meeting that the board should give the SLA more recommendations whether to approve licenses or not. So board members did just that on May 17.
Despite the rainy weather Tuesday, the mood was jubilant as members of Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ rallied on the steps of City Hall, to show their support for the Good Jobs Act, minutes before a scheduled City Council vote on the legislation.
The Council voted 44-4 to override Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s April 25 veto of the measure, referred to as the Prevailing Wage Bill. He said the city’s economy would suffer by forcing specified employers to pay certain workers higher wages, to the detriment of the taxpayers.
The New York State Assembly on April 30 passed the DREAM Fund, a bill that would create a privately funded scholarship pool for undocumented students, in short. But these things are never short.
In depth, what the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Fund bill hopes to do, if passed through the Republican-dominated state Senate, is to set up a commission. The 12-member commission — which would include men and women of several racial, ethnic and language backgrounds — would raise private funds for kids wanting to go to college.
On Monday the New York State Assembly passed the DREAM fund, a bill that would create a privately funded scholarship pool for undocumented students, in short. But these things are never short.
Residents asked the State Liquor Authority and the 115th Precinct about the amount of liquor vendors, liquor license violations and drunken behavior in Jackson Heights, Corona and East Elmhurst at Monday night’s Community Board 3-sponsored town hall.
About 70 community members and restaurant owners attended
The amount of liquor vendors, violations and drunken behavior in Jackson Heights, Corona and East Elmhurst has spurred politicians to act and has residents wondering what can be done.
Yesterday Assemblywoman Grace Meng skirted the issue of financially supporting a political consulting firm whose close affiliate both profits from and promotes the world's oldest profession.