Stories from Jamaica, Springfield Gardens, Hollis, Queens Village, St. Albans, Laurelton, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village, and South Ozone Park

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Three police officers from the 105th Precinct were arraigned May 11 for allegedly abusing their positions within the NYPD. They allegedly took advantage of auto accident victims for cash bribes, and one officer was alleged to have used his influence after retirement to help drug traffickers move illegal narcotics, according to the United States Attorney Eastern District’s Office.

The alleged ringleader of the schemes was retired NYPD Officer Robert Smith, according to the USAE. Read more

Data from a Kaiser Family Foundation report issued last week found that fewer than one-third of parents are likely to get their children vaccinated if eligible.

The report comes days before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer Covid-19 vaccinations for preteens and younger teens age 12 to 15 on May 10. Read more

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In the universe of bike retail, there have been two constants over the past year: resounding interest and stifled inventory.

Following national trends, short bike supply has thrown a wrench into the potential boom for shops around the borough even as New Yorkers have flocked to cycling under the pandemic for recreation and commuting. Read more

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On Tuesday, 66,516 fifth-grade students began receiving middle school admission offers for the year ahead after the city tested out a process that Mayor de Blasio altered back in December.

Though the total number of applicants dropped from nearly 71,000 last year, reflecting a more general decline in enrollment across the school system, the results also helped the city reach a larger number of economically disadvantaged students from years past. Read more

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As part of its annual Streets Week! agenda, a set of transit, traffic safety and open space policy announcements, the de Blasio administration committed to reducing the speed limit along 45 miles of streets in 11 locations in the outer boroughs Monday.

Department of Transportation officials said that they targeted roadways with the highest rates of crashes in the city. Read more

Thursday, May 13, 2021

If the fight against Covid-19 has been a battlefield, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst made up the trenches where the fight was fought room by room, patient by patient and hour by hour.

On Monday, organizers of the Queens International Film Festival, which kicks of its 11-day event next month, chose National Nurses Week to stop by the hospital and pay tribute to the infantry that held the line in Queens during those first dire months. Read more

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Last week, Gov. Cuomo signed legislation that would extend the eviction moratorium until Aug. 31, but city landlord lobbyists are trying to halt the measure.

The Rent Stabilization Association and the Community Housing Improvement Program, which collectively represent about 30,000 landlords throughout the city, joined other property owners in filing the federal lawsuit May 6, just two days after Cuomo extended the moratorium three months from the original May 1 expiration. Read more

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Advocates for the borough’s food service industry are advising businesses not to wait to fill out grant applications under the now-open Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

And last Friday they said it in six languages outside the Queensboro Restaurant on Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights at a press conference organized by Queens Together, an organization that represents restaurants and related businesses. Read more

The proposed Kew Gardens parking garage could be the first in New York City to be certified for its sustainability.

Project architects revealed the goal of achieving Parksmart-certified status to the Queens Borough Board at its May 10 meeting. Parksmart is the world’s only certification program that defines, measures and recognizes high-performing, sustainable garages. Only two buildings in the state have been awarded the certification, both of which are in Ithaca. Read more

The state Senate took a major step in halting the New York puppy mill pipeline last week.

The chamber passed legislation May 5 that would prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail pet stores. It would also authorize collaboration with entities to provide space to showcase cats or dogs owned by certain entities for the purpose of adoption. Read more

Gov. Cuomo announced Monday that State University of New York and City University of New York campuses will require proof of vaccination for students attending in-person classes starting in the fall semester.

“Let’s make a global statement that you cannot go back to school in-person in September unless you have a vaccine. That will be a major motivation to get the vaccine. And if you have to get a vaccine, why would you wait until September, why wouldn’t you get it now?” Cuomo said during a press conference. Read more

The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for Ironworkers, Local Union #40 & #361, is conducting a recruitment period through May 19 for 100 outside ironworker apprentices in the Long Island and New York City regions.

Applications must be obtained and submitted online at nycironworkers.org, no later than 3 p.m. on May 19, 2021. Applicants who do not have access to a computer should visit their local library. Read more

The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for Operating Engineers, Local Union #15, will conduct a recruitment from May 31 through June 11, for five operating engineer, or heavy equipment, apprentices for the New York City and Long Island regions.

A form will be available online at local15recruitment.org, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to enter a lottery drawing to receive an application. Only one form can be submitted per person. Applicants who do not have access to a computer should visit a library. Read more

Monday, May 10, 2021
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There was blood Mother’s Day this weekend for one family in Bellerose Manor. 

Immediately after allegedly killing his mother, Saroj Sharma, 65, Pushkar Sharma grabbed his keys and wallet, and then walked to the 105th  Precinct to confess to the murder on Saturday, May 8, according to a criminal complaint from the Queens District Attorney’s Office. Read more

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Firefighters immediately rushed to Rochdale Village on Sunday, May 9, after an apartment in one of its 20 buildings was reported to have a fire, according to the FDNY. 

The fire occurred at 10:11 a.m. at 134-29 166 Pl. on 137th Ave. on the eighth floor of Building 17, which is 14-stories high, according to Citizen App. Read more

Thursday, May 06, 2021
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The president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce is predicting a powerful breakout within the borough’s business community on the heels of Gov. Cuomo’s ending most restrictions by mid-month.

“It’s very definitely a step in the right direction,” Tom Grech said Tuesday in a phone interview. “Having the subways back 24/7 on May 17, two days before things open up, bides very well for Queens.” Read more

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NYPD Officer Anastasios Tsakos was killed on the job by an alleged drunk driver last week, leaving behind his wife and two young children. In the midst of their reeling, they won’t have to worry about paying their mortgage bills, thanks to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

“Officer Tsakos was one of our city’s heroes who went to work to keep us and our city safe and he did not make it home to his wife and children. A family went to bed and woke up to the unimaginable news that they would never see their husband and father again,” CEO Frank Siller said in a statement after revealing the foundation would pay off the East Northport, LI home’s mortgage. Read more

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Activists with New York Communities for Change, an economic, social and political justice group, were outside state Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar’s (D-Woodhaven) office Tuesday to advocate for the People’s Campaign for Parole Justice platform.

The platform includes the Elder Parole and the Fair & Timely Parole bills, which support reform that would allow the state Board of Parole to provide an evaluation for parole release to incarcerated people 55 and older with the former, and provide meaningful parole review for incarcerated people who are up for parole through the latter. Read more

Eight mayoral candidates are slated to participate in an online debate hosted by the Southeast Queens Leadership Council from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 15.

The projected lineup includes Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams; Shaun Donovan, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama; former DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia; ex-Citigroup executive Ray McGuire; Dianne Morales, a former teacher and nonprofit director; City Comptroller Scott Stringer; Maya Wiley, the former chairwoman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board; and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Read more

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About 16 percent of independent restaurants here have closed down since the beginning of the pandemic, but Queens leaders are hopeful a new economic initiative will prevent the remaining ones from shutting their doors.

Since Monday, restaurateurs have been able to apply for direct aid from the newly opened Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a $28.6 billion reserve established by the newly enacted American Rescue Plan Act. The money comes in the form of a grant, so struggling businesses don’t have to worry about paying the government back. Read more

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CEO Wil Shelton of Wil Power Integrated Marketing has made the business of grooming his life for nearly 30 years, first as a cosmetologist and barber for 27 years, then as a salon owner for 10. But his current role as a marketing consultant for more than 100,000 Black-owned barbershops and salons across the country means even more this year.

“At first this was a side hustle,” said Shelton. “Then I recognized how influential shop owners and stylists were.” Read more