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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.
Two Queens Library branches will close for a week to allow for some upgrades.
The branches at 98-30 57 Ave. in Lefrak City and 128-16 Rockaway Blvd. in South Ozone Park will close at the end of business on Friday.
Retiring Queens College president, Dr. James Muyskens was honored with his own “Dr. James Muyskens Day” by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall at a ceremony held on Dec. 18 at the college.
Marshall presented Muyskens with a proclamation on his accomplishments during his 11 years of service, which included recruitment of over 300 faculty members and overseeing the completion of the college’s first residence hall.
Noshat Nahian, a third-grader, was on his way to school with his 11-year-old sister on Friday, much like any other 8-year-old would be.
It was 7:57 a.m., just a few minutes before class would start, when the child was struck by a tractor trailer at the intersection of 61st Street and Northern Boulevard in Woodside.
Dmytro Fedkowskyj, who has represented Queens on the Department of Education’s policy-making body, the Panel for Educational Policy, is now serving on the subcommittee dealing with education on the transition team of Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio.
Fedkowskyj, who lives in Middle Village, was appointed by Borough President Helen Marshall to the PEP in 2011. He acknowledged that he had been chosen to serve on a subcommittee.
When Mayor Bloomberg leaves office at the end of this month, he will do so having a legacy of completely transforming the largest school system in the nation.
Whether that transformation has been positive or negative is a contentious argument that will continue to define the legacy of the city’s longest-serving mayor in nearly half a century.
A controversial housing project in St. Albans cleared a major hurdle this week, despite the misgivings of area residents.
Borough President Helen Marshall on Monday granted conditional approval to the residential and community services building being proposed by the Presbyterian Church of St. Albans.
The City Council gave its final stamp of approval to the rezoning of 530 blocks in South Queens Tuesday. The unanimous vote puts the plan into motion immediately,
There was little opposition to the plan, which aimed to protect the characteristics of residential homes in the neighborhood.
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall presided over the dedication of “The Forum at Borough Hall,” the $23 million, 11,000-square-foot expansion at Queens’ civic headquarters.
The multi-functional, indoor meeting space was built in the rear courtyard of Borough Hall. It is the first addition to the building since it opened more than 70 years ago and will serve as a location for government hearings, community meetings, cultural performances and other public events.
For several years now, Dmytro Fedkowskyj, Queens’ representative on the Panel for Educational Policy — the Department of Education’s policy-making body — has convened parents and community education council members at Borough Hall several times a year to discuss education issues and concerns with him and policy advisors to Borough President Helen Marshall.
On Tuesday, they met one last time. With Marshall — and likely Fedkowskyj, who serves at her pleasure — leaving office at the end of the month, the parents, officials, former teachers and CEC members gathered to put together a list of concerns and suggestions they hope Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz, her future PEP appointee and the de Blasio administration will tackle.
One of the victims of Sunday’s train derailment in the Bronx was a nurse living in Woodside who cared for children after immigrating to the United States from South Korea and was known as “an exceptional person.
Kisook Ahn, 35, was the youngest of the four people killed in the accident, which also injured more than 60 as a southbound Metro North train left the tracks near the Spuyten Duyvil station at about 7:20 a.m. The federal government says the train was going 82 miles an hour around a curved section of track where the limit is 30, reportedly because the engineer had dozed off.
One of the victims of Sunday's train derailment in the Bronx was a nurse from Woodside who reportedly had only come to the United States this year.
Kisook Ahn, 35, was the youngest of the four victims killed in the accident, which also injured dozens as a southbound Metro North train left the tracks near the Spuyten Duyvil station at about 7:20 a.m. The cause is under investigation.
Queens elected officials gathered for a peaceful political event on Saturday at Queens College to raise funds for the groups Big Buddy and Women and Work.
The cast featured borough city, state and federal legislators, including the lone Republican, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), former Borough President Clare Shulman, her successor Helen Marshall, Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz, and City Comptroller John Liu. The variety show featured singing, dancing, parodies of cinema, television and Broadway and costumes, including Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) in a rainbow wig. Tickets were $100 each.