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.
It was in 2008 that Hiram Monserrate won the Senate seat for the 13th District in Western Queens unopposed. It was also the year that led to his downfall.
On Dec. 19, Monserrate’s then-girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, showed up at North Shore-LIJ Medical Center needing 40 stitches for cuts to her left eye. According to doctors, she claimed that Monserrate had slashed her face in anger, leading to his arrest. He pleaded not guilty to three counts of second-degree assault and three counts of third-degree assault.
The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York is upping the ante in his fight against political corruption in the state, telling the governor’s Moreland Commission that his office will start going after the pensions of public officials who are convicted of crimes.
And an unscientific survey of elected officials from Queens elicited that legal changes and legal challenges will be forthcoming.
Ralliers walking down 126th Street Monday night want relocation for the many auto body shops that call Willets Point home and affordable housing in the complex planned to replace them.
A contract signed between the city’s Economic Development Corporation and the Queens Development Group puts a proposed 1,920 units of affordable housing last on its to-do list.
Housing advocates, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods chanted “What do we want? Affordable housing!” across the street from Citi Field on Friday, decrying what they considered a lackluster push for it in Willets Point and calling for a new agreement between the city and the development group selected to rejuvenate the Iron Triangle.
“If they put a wrecking ball to 2,000 units of affordable housing to make room for a shopping mall, it would be front-page news and there would be no end to the outrage,” Peralta said. “That’s exactly what’s happening here. It’s just as outrageous. It’s just as unacceptable.”
It might be laughable if it weren’t so serious — Republican operative Vince Tabone of Bayside was “less skilled at conducting a patdown than he was at conducting a shakedown.” That’s how the FBI described the GOP apparatchik’s failed attempt to find the wire an undercover agent was wearing when he handed Tabone a wad of cash as part of an alleged bribery scheme.
But it is serious. Deadly serious. The case unveiled Tuesday against Tabone, Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith of Hollis, Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran of Whitestone and three other alleged conspirators does indeed, as U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “demonstrate, once again, that a show-me-the-money culture seems to pervade every level of New York government.”
It’s not an eviction notice … but it’s close.
Tenant businesses in the Phase 1 area of Willets Point’s redevelopment received cryptic letters from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development telling them to pack up and get ready to leave. But help promised in 2009 has not materialized and attempts to relocate the businesses as a cluster have been slow-moving.
The good news is the world didn’t end last week, as some of the more gullible among us thought it might. The bad news is that 2012 was not exactly a banner year for Queens, at least collectively speaking, in areas ranging from the economy to crime, from politics to the weather.
The weather. Never before in living memory have the words cast such a dark cloud over the minds of New Yorkers. You might have thought last year’s tornado and Hurricane Irene hard to top, but then came this year’s Hurricane Sandy and Nor’easter Athena. For many, they were far worse.
Failing schools, immigration, bizarre crimes and art filled the pages of the Western Queens edition of the Queens Chronicle this year.
Residents fought against developments they thought would be detrimental to the community, from a strip club in Long Island City to a proposed soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows Park, from the addition of affordable housing in Hunters Point to the lack of affordable housing in Willets Point, which will largely affect Jackson Heights and Corona.
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.
State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) is proud of her accomplishments and hopes voters will return her to Albany to continue those efforts.
Stavisky, 74, faces Democratic Primary challenger, John Messer, 41, of Oakland Gardens, on Sept. 13. Two years ago, she beat him in a three-way race, with Messer, an attorney, coming in third.
Our councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D- Astoria) isn’t afraid of voicing his opinion.
He’s hard on crime and can’t stand graffiti. He approves of stop and frisk, and boycotted Arizona Ice Tea over its “I Love Big Cans” ad campaign and the risque show “Good Christian B**ches.” Now he’s opining about an alleged car-full of Scientologists who have kept tabs on actress Katie Holmes’ whereabouts, while parked outside of her Chelsea abode, ever since the announcement of her divorce from husband Tom Cruise.
Hiram Monserrate, a former politician from western Queens, admitted last week to using more than $100,000 allocated for a nonprofit to help his state Senate campaign in 2006.
Hiram Monserrate, a former state senator and city councilman from western Queens, pleaded guilty on Friday to funneling more than $100,000 intended for a nonprofit to help fund his failed bid for the state Senate in 2006, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
Monserrate, 44, who was elected to the state Senate in 2008 and then ousted in early 2010 after being convicted of misdemeanor assault for dragging his bleeding girlfriend through his apartment building in Jackson Heights, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to charges of conspiracy and mail fraud. He faces two years in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 14, prosecutors said.
Hiram Monserrate pleaded guilty to fraud in Manhattan federal court on Friday.
Hiram Monserrate, a former state senator and councilman from western Queens, pleaded guilty on Friday to funneling more than $100,000 intended for a nonprofit to help fund his failed bid for the state Senate in 2006, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
Let the races begin.
Following Gov. Cuomo’s announcement last week that the special elections for one Queens Congressional seat and two Assembly spots will be held on Sept. 13, or Primary Day, the Queens Democratic and Republican parties jumped to narrow the field of candidates.
When a rogue cyclist ripped the driver’s side mirror off his car, after calling police, Assemblyman Mike DenDekker (D-Jackson Heights) wrote legislation.
At a press conference on Friday, DenDekker announced the introduction of a bill which would make damaging the property of an elected official a crime of criminal mischief in the third degree. If the bill passes, a judge could conceivably sentence a vandal targeting an elected official to up to four years in prison.
An idea put forth in 2007 to place a bust honoring black nationalist Malcolm X at his former East Elmhurst home was abandoned due to both lack of funding and support, according to one of the project’s leaders, Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, executive director of the Queens Council on the Arts.
Dusting off the stacks in the Chronicle archive as we prepare to embark upon another year of covering Queens, certain events and people stick out as memorable.
A man who once worked for Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) is claiming he was discriminated against for his disability and treated like a slave, according to court papers filed last Monday.
Former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate has been indicted on charges of conspiracy and mail fraud, the Manhattan U.S.Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
In a hard-fought primary race that took some rather ugly turns, Democratic incumbent Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Corona)held onto his seat in the 35th District of the Assembly, defeating challenger Anthony Miranda by a tentative vote of 2,289 to 1,355 on Tuesday, according to the New York City Board of Elections. Final tallies, which will include as yet uncounted paper votes, will not be available for another two weeks.
Tuesday’s primary results were a mixed bag, highlighted by overdue rebukes to Albany corruption in some communities, support of the status quo in others, including Queens, and the nomination of a truly frightening candidate for governor by radical Republicans.