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

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Rochdale Village will receive a new playground and a facelift as part of a $9 million city aid package announced by Councilwoman Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica) on Tuesday.

John F. Kennedy was president of the United States when the co-op took in its first residents on the site of the old Jamaica Race Course in 1963. The funding announced by Adams includes $6 million for a new South Rochdale Village Playground, $2.8 million for facade repairs, $75,000 for senior programming and $45,000 for youth programs.

The Jamaica Arts and Music Summer Festival, a staple of summer for the last 23 years, was scheduled for July 31 and Aug. 1 before COVID-19 led to a ban on all large gatherings in the city other than political protests. This year it is going to be a virtual experience on those dates, according to the organizers at Cultural Collaborative Jamaica.

The event is a 10-block-long block party on Jamaica Avenue celebrating the music, food, fashion and culture of many of the communities that make up Queens.

Tyra Emerson of Cultural Collaborative Jamaica invited people to keep posted on what will be happening online at facebook.com/Go2CCJ and on Twitter and Instagram under @CulturalCollab. Read more

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Many residents in Queens are at risk of starving, but more than 30 boxes of emergency meals were left on the side of an underpass in Middle Village Monday.

The boxes were piled on top of each other along a wall near the Queens Midtown Expressway. A sticker on the boxes labeled GetFood NYC said the boxes were packed July 26 and were to be delivered by July 31. Read more

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The state Senate and Assembly unanimously passed legislation aimed at preventing domestic abusers from harassing their victims through remotely controlled technology.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblymember Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) and Sen.Jamaal Bailey (D-Bronx), aims to protect domestic violence survivors by allowing for restraining orders that prohibit an abuser or harasser from controlling “smart” devices in a domestic abuse survivor’s home, vehicle or other property. Many smart devices, such as security locks, thermostats, doorbells, speakers, sprinklers, cameras and lighting, can be controlled through an app on a smartphone via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and can be used by abusers as a tool for harassment. Read more

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is once again enlisting swimming pool owners in Queens and elsewhere to help in the fight to eradicate the Asian longhorned beetle from the state.

The invasive insects, first recorded in the United States in 1996, bore holes into hardwood trees such as maple, birch and willow. They are blamed for killing hundreds of thousands of trees in the country since their accidental introduction. Read more

Tuesday, August 04, 2020
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New York City released its plan for containing the spread of COVID-19 in public schools on Thursday, outlining its protocols for closing schools in response to cases of infection.

Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carranza explained in a Friday press event that they plan on taking a “pod-based” approach to thinking about virus transmission. Classrooms with an infected student or teacher will close for 14 days. Entire schools will only shutter if an investigation by the city’s Test and Trace program, which worked closely with the mayor on the plan, uncovers the potential for transmission between multiple classrooms. Read more

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The NYPD’s 105th Precinct is hosting a two-day blood drive to assist Malachi Capers on Aug. 6 and 7 at its Queens Village headquarters.

Capers, 20, was shot on July 27 outside a deli in Laurelton after allegedly being attacked by a man after the two of them bumped inside the store. Capers was shot once in the abdomen when the altercation went out to the sidewalk. Read more

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A new survey reinforces what has been known since Dutch settlers paid the native Lenape people for control of the island then called Mannahatta — real estate on that sliver of land between the East and Hudson rivers is pricier than it is on the far broader island to the east.

But some spots in Queens do make their mark in the study, which ranks the 100 priciest ZIP codes in New York City based on data from the first half of the year. Read more

Thursday, July 30, 2020
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Just over a week after a group of Howard Beach women cleaned up the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge, another group of residents assembled to take on the trash that has piled up on a beach a few hundred yards away.

Twelve Howard Beach residents gathered on last Saturday to pick up the litter that has recently accumulated in the mounds of dead grass along the beach surrounding Charles Memorial Park. Read more

Some residents at the Bland Houses in Flushing got their cooking gas restored after months of waiting, but some are still holding out five months later.

Two gas lines at the New York City Housing Authority complex were interrupted to address a broken gas cock in one building and a gas leak in another, affecting 20 total apartments. Both service interruptions affect cooking gas only and were unrelated to heat or hot water service. Read more

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After receiving the most votes in a nationwide poll, Flushing Town Hall won a $20,000 grant to maintain its virtual education programming for children.

CIT Group administered the Acts of Caring online poll, which called on users to vote for one of 10 nonprofits that could benefit from additional funding. Each organization featured in the poll received a $10,000 grant from the bank holding company, but the winning organization’s grant was doubled at the end of voting. Read more