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With restaurants allowed to have outdoor dining as part of Phase 2 of the city’s reopening, Forest Hills is seeing residents toughing out the heat so they can eat at a favorite spot, even if indoor dining is not allowed yet.

“It’s helping a bit,” said John Xerakias, owner of Austin House at 72-04 Austin St., where there are five tables outside. “Not by much but every little bit helps.”

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Several politicians wrote to Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza Monday as they hope any change in the screening process for students driven by the coronavirus is temporary only for the 2021-22 school year.

“It has become clear to our offices, based on anecdotal data, conversations with concerned residents of the neighborhoods we have the privilege of representing and a recent Community Education Council 28 survey, that most of our constituents are in favor of keeping some sort of screening metric,” the letter read. Read more

Monday, July 06, 2020
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One man was shot and another robbed at gunpoint in separate incidents in the 107th Precinct during the holiday weekend where the city saw more than sixty people shot and at least 10 killed.

The NYPD said the first incident took place just before 8 a.m. on Friday, July 3, when a 50-year-old man was sitting in his vehicle on 164th Street in Hillcrest. Police said he was approached by two unidentified individuals brandishing firearms. Read more

Thursday, July 02, 2020
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The $88.19 billion budget passed by the City Council late Tuesday night left few people happy — not the mayor; not the police who feel the cuts are dangerous; not NYPD critics who feel they are not deep enough; and not fiscal watchdogs who believe the city is relying on sleight-of-hand and one-shot revenue sources.

“From reinvesting funds from the NYPD in youth programming and social services, to building new community centers, this budget prioritizes our communities most in need while keeping New Yorkers safe,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement issued by his office. “As we emerge from the epicenter of COVID-19, it’s now more important than ever to create a fairer city for all.” Read more

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A week into Phase 2 of New York City’s reopening, a trip around South Queens made it clear that not every business district is equally compatible with the new normal.

While some districts have the luxury of wide sidewalks and busy clusters of restaurants, others have noisy trains overhead and narrow streets. Read more

Traffic flow and safety improvements on the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge were completed in half the expected amount of time, the MTA announced June 25.

“This improvement for the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge is truly a gamechanger for those traveling to Queens and Long Island,” said acting MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Daniel DeCrescenzo. “The new lane design will provide a safer and more efficient ride for those taking the Cross Island or Whitestone Expressway.” Read more

An alleged bank robber was not ready for his closeup, or rather, what federal prosecutors assert are multiple video surveillance cameras chronicling his journey north along 107th Street in Ozone Park following an armed caper at Valley National Bank in Ozone Park on May 18.

According to the arrest warrant obtained by the FBI on June 24, Kevin Crawford, 27, who is homeless according to federal authorities, was captured by video surveillance cameras from the time he left the bank and headed up the street. Read more

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Nearly two months after the initial rollout of the city’s Open Streets plan, the results of Queens’ efforts to provide new outdoor recreation space vary widely by location.

While several large projects have brought neighborhoods together by expanding pedestrian space, in other parts of the borough, drivers ignore street-blocking barriers or neighbors take them down. In South Richmond Hill, residents even report that the police precincts in charge of setting up the barricades every day have given up. Read more

Residents of Southeast Queens thought 40 years of advocacy and hard work had come to fruition in July 2017 when Mayor de Blasio joined them along with NYPD brass and elected officials in Rosedale, next to the land that was finally going to become the NYPD’s new 116th Precinct.

But with a stroke of his pen, de Blasio transferred the $92 million in capital funding to other projects, including a community center in Roy Wilkins Park in St. Albans. Read more

A Long Island man has been charged with attempted kidnapping after allegedly dragging a 7-year-old girl from her bed and out the front door of her Flushing home, officials said.

Pete Haughton of American Boulevard in Brentwood, LI, is accused of entering the Lawrence Street multifamily home early June 22 morning while the family slept. According to the criminal complaint, the 32-year-old defendant ventured into the room of the girl, who woke to the sound of him telling her to get out of bed. Haughton then grabbed her and dragged her toward the front door in an abduction attempt. The victim screamed, prompting Haughton to allegedly push her down a short flight of stairs just outside the home’s entrance. Read more

Electric bikes and scooters with a top speed below 25 and 20 mph, respectively, will soon be legal in New York City under legislation lawmakers approved last Thursday and Mayor de Blasio says he will sign.

The state legalized the vehicles, especially popular with food delivery people, as part of the budget approved April 1, but the city has to remove its own restrictions to permit their operation here. Read more

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Wearing a mask does not cause oxygen deprivation, according to medical experts.

“First of all, wearing a mask all day every day is a nuisance. It’s uncomfortable, but people get the benefits. There is much more benefits than risk,” said Dr. Teresa Amato, director of Emergency Medicine at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills-Northwell Health. “As far as hypoxia goes, there’s little to no data that shows that’s true.” Read more