More than three dozen community leaders and members of various organizations and civil rights groups gathered last Friday at the First Baptist Church of East Elmhurst to pray for those they said have been “betrayed by our criminal justice system.”
The move came in response to a Staten Island grand jury’s decision last week not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold death of Eric Garner. The man’s death triggered hundreds of protests nationwide, conversations about race relations and police use of excessive force.
When a gunman shot Anastasia Massey just feet from her apartment, the four Massey children didn’t just lose a mother; they lost a baby sister as well.
The tragic deaths of the 27-year-old and, hours later, her newborn daughter — who, according to friends, would have been called Tru Melody — happened early on Thanksgiving eve.
The Queens chapter of the National Action Network, the organization headed by the Rev. Al Sharpton, announced shortly after 3 p.m. today that it will march “Plaza to Plaza” starting at 5 p.m. to protest alleged police mistreatment of the people, especially minorities.
Meanwhile other groups are planning what is expected to be a large protest that will start 30 minutes after the NAN rally just a couple blocks away in Foley Plaza. A number of activist groups with Queens members, including Communities United for Police Reform, were involved in planning that protest.
The epic battle between animal rights groups and Central Park horse carriage drivers has come to a head as Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) announced a bill that would ban the centuries-old practice from the city’s most iconic park.
“The morality of a nation can be judged by the way society treats its animals,” Dromm said in a prepared statement. “Horses don’t belong on New York City’s congested streets amid cars and pollutions. There have been too many crashes and too many horse deaths and injuries to justify the continuation of this industry.”
Last Wednesday morning, Brandee Anastasia Massey was on her way back home from dropping her three children off at PS 206. As she walked down the 15th-floor hallway to her apartment in LeFrak City an unknown gunman snuck up on her and shot her twice, leaving her screaming on the floor. She was six months pregnant.
Massey was found by her husband, who was asleep inside their home when he heard her cries.
A 28-week pregnant woman was shot and killed in the hallway houtside of her LeFrak City apartment police say, just one day before Thanksgiving.
When asked in recent days if New York should legalize marijuana for recreational use, a move that is supported by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan, Bronx), six of Queens’ 15 Council members gave varied responses.
All 15, including Councilman Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn), whose Brooklyn district also includes much of Ridgewood, were asked the same questions via email to their main spokespersons: Would you support the legalization of marijuana in New York? Why or why not? And how would how would it benefit or affect New York?
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) on Monday announced a citywide initiative to collect food items for homeless veterans.
“It’s a heartbreaking reality that veterans around the city struggle each day to get a hot meal,” Ulrich said on at a press conference.
As the homeless population continues to escalate, the Department of Homeless Services has had to rely on the use of emergency shelters.
The procedure, which allows DHS to move residents into a newly converted shelter — usually an old hotel — within seven days of notifying the local elected officials, has grown increasingly unpopular among councilmembers whose districts have been affected.
Public Advocate Letitia James and 32 members of the City Council have sent a letter calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reject a series of ads that they say are anti-Muslim and could provoke violence.
The ads were purchased by the group American Freedom Defense Initiative, which claims they tell the truth about the dangers of radical Islam.
Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) brought his fight for faster bus service along the Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevard corridor to the steps of City Hall on Tuesday morning.
Backed by members and leadership of the Riders Alliance, Richards brought more than 5,000 petitions from bus riders along the corridor, all asking the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the city’s Department of Transportation to dedicate the money and manpower to establish a Bus Rapid Transit route.
When it comes to the controversy surrounding Rachel Noerdlinger, chief of staff to Mayor de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, the vast majority of city lawmakers from Queens have nothing to say.
Asked on Monday whether they support Noerdlinger’s continued employment as McCray’s top aide, only three of the 14 City Council members from Queens would answer the question.
According to his family, the NYPD and city government, Police Officer Robert Ehmer personified every trait that makes someone a hero.
His sister, Annette Ehmer, in between bursts of tears, said her brother was humble and courageous.
When paperwork showing the Queens Development Group hired two lobbyist groups to work with Queens leaders, including Borough President Melinda Katz and Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst), was discovered by activists, rumors swirled as to what it all means.
But according to the developers and several sources close to the issue, the paperwork filed with the City Clerk’s Office is routine.
They may call him “Your Honor,” but that doesn’t mean the trait has any value in Bill de Blasio’s City Hall.
At least it’s not a requirement for landing a $170,000-a-year position whose very necessity is questionable itself. Connections and favoritism matter. Honor, honesty, integrity — not required.
The pedestrian plaza at the intersection of 71st and Myrtle avenues in Ridgewood is under new management, in a way.
The Horticultural Society of New York and the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District, in conjunction with the Department of Transportation, announced at a press conference last Friday that the Ridgewood plaza has become the seventh space in Queens to be selected for the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership, a Horticultural Society project aimed at helping preserve and sustain pedestrian spaces throughout the city.
There were a lot of things the public and even city lawmakers wanted to hear from Police Commissioner Bill Bratton when he sat before the City Council on Monday.
What is going to happen to the officer who allegedly killed Eric Garner? Is the NYPD racist? How will cops be trained to handle escalated situations without excessive force? What are you going to do?
Queens Neighborhoods United, a community activist group, is rejoicing at the news of Executive Director of the 82nd Street Partnership Seth Taylor’s recently announced resignation.
“The resignation of Seth Taylor is a victory for the neighbors of Roosevelt Avenue,” Christian Gui–anzaca, an organizer with the group said in a written statement. “Seth Taylor has always looked down on the immigrant communities of Queens. This just goes to show that you don’t mess with the people and come back unscratched.”
Even the occasional roar of the passing 7 train couldn’t dampen the vivacious energy at August’s Oye Corona celebration.
On Saturday, the multicultural festival filled Corona Plaza with a steady, diverse stream of music with roots in Mexico, Bangladesh, Puerto Rico and the United States. The event attracted a crowd with eclectic cultural performances, an exercise class, arts and crafts stations and a positive message of unity across communities.
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.
The 110th Precinct pulled out all the stops for the Corona community during its Night Out Against Crime event in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Despite promises of reduced crime and a friendlier atmosphere, many Jackson Heights business owners and residents simply do not want the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District in their neighborhood.
In a town hall intended to create a line of communication between BID supporters and business owners, many people were not shy when it came to airing their issues last Thursday in Corona.
Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) last week were singing the praises of an agreement on an approximately $75 billion budget.
Now the rest of the city, including Comptroller Scott Stringer, is waiting for the Council to vote on final adoption to see just how the city intends to spend the money, and where it will come from.
Once again, developers find themselves bumping heads with community members on one of the biggest concerns middle- and lower-income residents have, affordable housing
Alma Realty and Studio V Architecture proposed a new development that would re-zone the area known as Astoria Cove and provide greater access to the waterfront.
The executive budget presented by Mayor de Blasio on May 8 was the first one in 20 years that was almost universally embraced by a heavily Democratic City Council upon receipt.
But it also wipes out a $2 billion surplus; increases projected deficits by $5 billion through 2018; and was the first one in memory to have to undergo a radical adjustment in less than a week after the city Comptroller’s Office raised serious questions about de Blasio’s intentions to spread retroactive pay raises for retiring school teachers over four years, an apparent violation of state-mandated Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures, or GAAP.