Ridgewood has lost one of its own.
Peter Cardella, the founder of the Peter Cardella Senior Center and various other area organizations, has died at the age of 96, Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano announced Wednesday.
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.
Borough President Melinda Katz and Mayor de Blasio made it very clear the dismissal of nearly half of the Queens Library Board of Trustees was entirely due to the scandal enveloping the library’s CEO Tom Galante, who allegedly misused capital funds.
Jacqueline Arrington, the 2013 board chairwoman, Joseph Ficalora, William Jefferson, Grace Lawrence, Terri Mangino and George Stamatiades received letters from Katz notifying them of their termination on July 23. Mayor de Blasio sacked two mayoral appointees, Patricia Flynn and Stephen Van Anden.
In what can only be described as a Wednesday afternoon massacre, Borough President Melinda Katz and Mayor de Blasio axed nearly half of the Queens Library Board of Directors.
Everyone knows Flushing Creek is dirty and needs to be cleaned up, but how best to accomplish that? A new group, Friends of Flushing Creek, is pushing the city to come up with a plan — the sooner the better.
Alex Rosa, a paid consultant to the nonprofit group, recently made a presentation to Community Board 7 and spoke at a Department of Environmental Protection meeting last week. While the DEP knows work must be carried out to clean up the creek, how to get that done remains problematic.
The first public meeting in which the city Department of Environmental Protection addressed the Long-Term Control Plan for the combined sewer overflow issues at Flushing Creek took place at PS 20 in Flushing on June 11, with nearly as many presenters, about a half dozen, as audience members in attendance.
Either the problems at the creek, which is located in the northern part of central Queens and discharges into Flushing Bay and ultimately into the East River, hold little interest to the general public or the meeting was not sufficiently publicized.
It was a mixed bag Monday night at Community Board 7’s last meeting until the fall sessions begin.
First on the agenda was Alex Rosa, representing a new group called Friends of Flushing Creek. Rosa served as chief of staff for Borough Presidents Claire Shulman and Helen Marshall.
The statue may be in Brooklyn, but it clearly still has some fans in Queens.
Eighteen months after it was moved from the perch outside Borough Hall it sat on since the LaGuardia administration, “Triumph of Civic Virtue” resurfaced as an issue at Tuesday night’s Community Board 9 meeting.
For years, voter turnout in the 38th Assembly District has been among the worst in the state.
But two men are looking to change that and will square off this fall in the race for Democratic district leader.
There was hardly a seat open at the long table in the second-floor conference room in Borough Hall last Thursday night.
Parents, retired educators and members of the borough’s community education councils sat around the table and discussed issues concerning public schools in the borough including overcrowding, co-locations, new school construction and Common Core.
Today we join Borough President Melinda Katz and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer in calling for Queens Library President and CEO Tom Galante to temporarily give up his position.
This was not an easy call to make, and we’re sure it wasn’t for Katz, who now controls half the library board, and Van Bramer, who chairs the Council committee that oversees the library, and worked there for years under Galante before being elected to office. But it’s a necessary one.
Borough President Melinda Katz’s rescinding of the giving of ashes on Ash Wednesday at Borough Hall for Catholic employees last week has sparked a constitutional debate among both clergy and educators over why she ended the practice.
Former Borough President Helen Marshall allowed the Rev. Michael Ross of the Corrections Department to distribute ashes in Borough Hall.
Borough President Melinda Katz, second from left, and Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie, right, honored four individuals on Feb. 25 as part of Katz’s inaugural African American Heritage Month event at Borough Hall
Honorees included John Crow Alexander, left, host and producer of “Caribbean Classroom”; former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, who held the position for 12 years before Katz was elected last year; and Andre McKenzie, vice president for academic support services at St. John’s University.
NYPD Chief Philip Banks III last week was named as the 13th recipient of the William Tucker Garvin Award, an honor given out every year by the office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
The award is presented during Black History Month to an individual of African-American heritage in recognition of outstanding public service.
A lawsuit will be filed tomorrow, Feb. 7, in an attempt to prevent the construction of a shopping mall in the Citi Field parking lot, which is technically part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Queens Chronicle has learned.
The suit will be brought by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Whitestone), City Club, NYC Park Advocates and a number of Corona businesses and residents, according to a source who has seen the papers that will be filed.
It is the Civic Virtue statue site no more.
Borough President Melinda Katz is in the process of organizing a meeting between Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and herself to discuss the renovation of the location, and the area has a new name, according to Katz spokesman Michael Scholl.
“You may see a number of challenges against incumbents this year,” the insider said, noting that those candidates could have the support of groups that backed de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito last year, which have long champed at the bit at taking on the Democratic Party leadership and are emboldened by the results of the 2013 elections.
Democrats hold every state legislative seat in Queens and few, if any, are competitive in general elections. That leaves the Democratic primary the real race in many districts. Republicans haven’t held an Assembly seat in Queens since 1996.
The setting for Melinda Katz’s inauguration as the 19th Queens borough president was Queens College’s LeFrak Concert Hall, an intimate setting that recalled her late parents David, who founded the Queens Symphony Orchestra, and Jeanne, who founded the Queens Council on the Arts.
Throw in a couple thousand of her closest friends and supporters, including a who’s who of elected officials such as Mayor de Blasio and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), and you had Queens celebrating the triumph of a native daughter with two decades of public service.
The site of the former “The Triumph of Civic Virtue” statue outside Borough Hall will have to wait a little longer for a makeover.
The pedestal is all that remains at the statue’s former site on Queens Boulevard, as the sculpture was relocated to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery in December 2012.
Borough President Helen Marshall said she had a lot of accomplishments that she is proud of in her 12-year-tenure.
Joseph Ferrara, chairman-emeritus of the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens’ board of directors, unveils a plaque to outgoing Borough President Helen Marshall with her name on it that will hang in the club’s new learning center.
In Western Queens, 2013 was the year of development and affordable housing. Willets Point, Hallets Point, Hunters Point and 5Pointz became names commonly thrown around by politicians, community boards and civic groups throughout the area. There wasn’t a month that didn’t go by when residents, electeds and developers went head to head on major development projects, illegal apartments, a massive soccer stadium plan or even the possible closing of their neighborhood movie theater.
In a city the size of New York, politics and crime are often the biggest newsmakers, as was the case in 2013.
There was no shortage of political headlines this past year, an election year at that. Queens elected a new borough president while Forest Hills and Rego Park opted to bring back Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) for another term. Area politicians made their collective voices heard throughout the year, filling the Chronicle’s pages for months.
Just four days before leaving office, outgoing Borough President Helen Marshall was honored by the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens with her name being attached to the organization’s new learning center.
The center, which is still under construction, was officially dedicated last Friday in a ceremony next door in the Boys & Girl’s Club facility at 110-04 Atlantic Ave. in Richmond Hill.
It’s been 12 years since Helen Marshall, a longtime legislator from East Elmhurst, defeated her City Council colleague Al Stabile to become the first African-American borough president of Queens. But last week, with only a few days left in her long political career, Marshall said she has few regrets and expressed pride in what she has accomplished.
She also deflected criticisms that she was not vocal or in the public eye as much as her colleagues in the other boroughs.