Score two for state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) for getting the city Department of Transportation to take action on two problematic locations in Flushing and Little Neck.
The worst of the two is the area around the Flushing Commons construction project at the former municipal parking lot in Downtown Flushing. Avella and others, including the developer, have complained that lack of signage has backed up traffic on 37th and 39th avenues from Union to Main streets and on Union from Roosevelt Avenue to Northern Boulevard.
The new Mark Wahlberg film, “The Gambler,” is based on the 1974 movie of the same name that starred Sunnyside native James Caan, who was at the peak of his career coming off both “Brian’s Song” and “The Godfather.” In the film, Caan played Axel Freed, a literature professor at an unnamed New York college, who had a serious gambling addiction and found himself $44,000 in debt, which was very serious money during the Watergate era.
Fast forward 40 years and Wahlberg is Jim Bennett, an English prof at an unnamed Los Angeles university. Jim is a novelist manquÈ whose most recent book sold a paltry 17,000 copies, and it’s clear that its commercial failure has taken a toll on him, as he constantly berates his students. He does have a soft spot, however, for Amy Phillips (Brie Larson), a top student who is very attractive yet quite shy, and a star basketball player, Lamar Allen (Anthony Kelley), who has NBA aspirations and is a lot sharper than he lets on.
Financial assistance for Sandy-affected residents who must move into temporary housing while their homes are being repaired under the city’s Build it Back program is just one of multiple storm relief initiatives that are included in a federally funded $4.21 billion recovery plan, city officials announced last Friday.
“As we continue to build back a stronger and more resilient city after Sandy, it’s critical that we make every impacted family and small business whole again — and ensure they’re better protected next time they need to be,” Mayor de Blasio said in a written statement.
Gov. Cuomo last Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have delayed a plan to kill or remove every mute swan in the state. The Department of Environmental Conservation considers the birds an invasive species and wants all 2,200 of them that live in the state gone by 2025.
Following an uproar from faunitarians, or animal lovers, the DEC decided it would revise its plan. State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in the upper house and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) in the lower chamber authored a bill that would have put a two-year moratorium on any swan slaughter. It also would have forced the agency to hold at least two public hearings in areas where mute swans live, and to include a public comment period of at least 45 days after the second one, before adopting any swan management plan.
The homeowner of the house at 107-55 108 St. in Ozone Park has once again been penalized by the Department of Buildings. The agency noted illegal conversions and an extension in the house after it exploded on Thanksgiving Day.
A Thanksgiving Day explosion at a South Ozone Park house was caused by the misuse of a stove inside an illegal apartment, according to Fire Department officials.
“The location of the explosion was an illegally renovated setback apartment,” an FDNY spokesman said in an email. “The explosion was caused by misuse of a stove on the premises.”
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a federal lawsuit last Monday alleging that the owners of six Queens Papa John’s pizzerias violated state labor laws by significantly underpaying their employees.
“Like every other business in New York, fast food employers must follow the law,” Schneiderman said in a written statement announcing the lawsuit. “Employers must pay for all hours worked — without shaving hours and without rounding down.”
More than 80 families will not be in their homes on Christmas Day after a five-alarm fire ripped through their apartment building in Ozone Park last Thursday, rendering all of the units uninhabitable.
Close to a dozen of those families heard the devastating news during a town hall with city Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), Assemblyman Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven), city agencies and the Red Cross at PS 65 last Friday.
About 80 were displaced from their homes after a five-alarm fire ripped through the roof and upper floor of a four-story apartment building just off of Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park Thursday, city Fire Department officials said.
Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have delayed a plan to kill or remove every mute swan in the state. The Department of Environmental Conservation considers the birds an invasive species and wants all 2,200 of them in the state gone by 2025.
Councilman Donovan Richards presided last Saturday over the annual tree lighting in Brookville Park. The evening’s fare included live music and entertainment, holiday-themed activities and giveaways.
The tree at the center of the festivities was donated by Richards last year.
Ozone Park resident Eduardo Venegas has been waking up at 5:30 a.m. to the sound of idling school buses for the past two years, and he’s sick of it.
“I’m thinking that I might have to move out of here,” he said. “They honk, double-park and litter all around the street.”
Action needs to be taken to improve mobility between northern and southern Queens along the Woodhaven Boulevard corridor, including to and from Midtown Manhattan.
A new study by Queens College, Community Impact Study of Proposed Uses of the Rockaway Beach Branch Right of Way, reports that the region’s transit users must endure a subway trip that is 42 percent longer than the New York City average. In some cases, such as from Far Rockaway to Midtown, the subway journey time is at least an hour. Travel to other parts of Queens can exceed two hours. In contrast, the Long Island Rail Road trains that crossed Jamaica Bay on the Rockaway Beach Line took as little as 43 minutes.
Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff said last Wednesday that the 106th Precinct has seen crime drop by 7 percent year-to-date, following a 5-percent decline in crime over the last month.
“The men and women of the 106th are doing are great job here, including transit officers,” Schiff, the commanding officer of the precinct, said at the monthly meeting of the 106th Precinct Community Council.
The city Department of Sanitation is now authorized to immediately seize illegitimate clothing donation bins placed throughout the city — a process that previously took more than a month — after the City Council approved new legislation last month and it went unaddressed by Mayor de Blasio.
“While we want to encourage New Yorkers to donate clothing and other materials to those in need, we also want to ensure that organizations collecting these items are doing so responsibly, and this bill will achieve both of those goals,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan, Bronx) said in a written statement.
The Captain Malcolm A. Rafferty Monument at Rafferty Triangle in Long Island City was recently restored thanks to a joint effort from the Newtown Historical Society and the city Parks Department.
Rafferty was a decorated hero who fought in the Spanish-American War and lived in Long Island City, working there at the Barber Asphalt Co.
Kew Gardens residents can now enjoy the finest tap water from sea to shining sea.
That’s according to Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), in response to the city’s completion of a $10.6 million overhaul of the neighborhood’s aging water main network, announced Friday by the Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Environmental Protection.
Margaret Finnerty described her job as School District 27’s family advocate as a juggling act.
“You have to cover parents’ meetings and attend community education council meetings once a month,” she said. “There’s a lot going on throughout the district.”
It’s likely a federal feasibility study to look into the National Park Service acquiring and operating the historic Bowne House and the Quaker Meeting House, both in Flushing, will be undertaken.
The measure, introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), was approved by the Senate Saturday as part of a larger appropriations bill. It previously had won House approval and now goes to President Obama for signing, though no date has been set.
The holiday season is certainly a joyous time but it can be stressful when it comes to finding a gift for the special people in your life. Here are some last-minute gift ideas that just might inspire. You may even want to treat yourself!
Columbia University dismissed Lions football head coach Peter Mangurian this past Friday. Ironically, the fact that the Lions are in the midst of a 21-game losing streak had little to do with the dismissal; rather it was reports that Mangurian was verbally abusive to players, and even worse, ignored their concerns about having incurred concussions, that spurred Columbia president Lee Bollinger to act.
Not to belittle the players’ concerns, but not firing this guy just based on his win-loss record reminds me of how the feds could only put Al Capone away for income tax evasion instead of for any of his hardcore gangster activities. But the important thing is that Columbia finally got rid of “the Vince Lombardi of losing.”
The accolades just keep coming for Margaret Finnerty.
The soon-to-be retiree was honored by members of the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic Association and elected officials at the civic’s holiday party on Tuesday.
The Department of Transportation on Monday began to fix fences near MS 202, the Robert H. Goddard School in Lindenwood, after Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) and parents said two weeks ago that schoolchildren were using gaps in them to cut across Conduit Avenue.
“I commend Queens DOT and Borough Commissioner Hall for recognizing this dangerous situation and quickly acting to make the required repairs,” Goldfeder said in a written statement announcing the start of the remediation of the fence. “These repairs will go a long way in keeping students out of harm’s way.”
Community Board 9 Transportation Chairman Kenichi Wilson said on Tuesday that eight parking spots have been restored along 101st Avenue in Ozone Park, following the partial removal of the controversial pedestrian plaza at the City Line.
“The entire curb line has parking spots,” he said to community board members.
Three city agencies are teaming up to provide schoolchildren with a safer commute to and from their schools.
The Safe Routes to School projects are ongoing in Maspeth, South Ozone Park, Jackson Heights and Ridgewood, according to city officials.