Stories from Bayside, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Little Neck, Bellerose, College Point, Whitestone, Auburndale and Glen Oaks

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For years, the fenced-off, 12 acres of land that runs along Linden Place in College Point has been home to phragmites, an invasive species of sea grass. But before that, it was the site of the former Flushing Airport, which closed in 1984 and is known to have left behind some harmful material in the soil and in the asphalt that has remained there.

College Point environmentalists James and Kathryn Cervino have been advocating that those issues be attended to for some time. And in recent weeks, the New York City Economic Development Corp. has begun work on wetland mitigation efforts at the site, and is cutting down the phragmites in the process so native grasses can be replanted.

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As he kicked off a two-day hearing Monday on community budget requests, Borough President Donovan Richards was trying to remain encouraging, even as he read off a list of a few city departments that have been targeted for cuts in Mayor Adams’ $102.7 billion preliminary spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

“The last fiscal year has presented a challenge to New Yorkers from all walks of life,” Richards said at Borough Hall. In addition, the national economy has not recovered from the pandemic. However ... I’m optimistic that we are on our way to an economic recovery here in Queens.” Read more

A Jamaica man could face up to 25 years in prison for allegedly attempting to murder his wife by hitting her with his SUV — with their three children in the backseat — and then stabbing her with a knife, according to District Attorney Melinda Katz’s Office.

Stephen Giraldo, 36, of 144th Street, received a 12-count indictment for attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a weapon last Friday, according to prosecutors. Read more

More than 200 Northeast Queens residents headed to PS 4 in Fresh Meadows on Sunday to drop off their old, soon-to-be recycled electronics with Assemblymember Nily Rozic, left, Councilmember Linda Lee and Christine Datz-Romero, executive director of the Lower East Side Ecology Center. State Sen. John Liu’s office also co-sponsored the event.

Among the items collected were old printers, boom boxes, corded phones and even a circa-1996 Motorola flip phone. Read more

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Thousands of people with overdue water bills will be able to get some relief from their debts in a partial amnesty program the city opened Jan. 30 and will run through April 30, the Mayor’s Office says.

Nearly 200,000 customers owe a combined $1.2 billion in water bills, the city said Monday, and the program will enable them to save up to $150 million when they pay some or all of what is overdue. Read more

Thursday, January 26, 2023

According to ancient Chinese legend, a vicious beast, Nian, would emerge from the earth at year’s end to hunt people and decimate livestock and crops. To drive the monster away, villagers would make loud noise and display red color through clothing and decoration.

Nian would not have stood a chance against the sounds of music, pounding of drums and roaring crowd that filled the air in Downtown Flushing on Saturday, when the area held its 27th annual Lunar New Year parade, a day before the holiday officially commenced. Read more

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As the political clash over Gov. Hochul’s nominee for chief justice of the Court of Appeals, Justice Hector LaSalle, reached a boiling point, Queens elected officials found themselves right in the middle.

State Sens. Jessica Ramos (D-East Elmhurst), Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) and John Liu (D-Flushing) were among the 10 Judiciary Committee members who voted not to advance LaSalle’s nomination to the full Senate last Wednesday, winning by a one-vote margin. Read more

When, just over two weeks ago, Nassau Republicans called on Rep. George Santos (R-Nassau, Queens) to resign in light of his fraudulent resume and dubious financial history, several said they would not work with the congressman and would refer constituents to other offices.

As allegations against Santos have continued this month, Queens elected officials have been left to navigate how they ought to work with the congressman. Read more

Following the culmination of a Fair Student Funding formula working group’s effort, Mayor Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks have selected two of the panel’s recommendations to propose.

They are recommending a weight be added to the funding formula for students in temporary housing and another for schools that have a higher concentration of students with needs including those with disabilities, English language learners and those living in poverty. Read more

The Northeast Queens community lost a giant this past weekend as Auburndale’s own Christine Haider died on Jan. 21. She was 75.

Haider was perhaps best known for her work on Community Board 11, of which she was a member for more than 30 years. During her time as the board chair, Haider headed the panel’s first all-female group of officers, according to her good friend and fellow CB 11 member Eileen Miller. Though Miller said Haider had been hospitalized for several weeks, her death was still very sudden. “It was really unexpected,” she said. “She was sick, but we thought that she would be OK.” Read more

The first stage of construction to place elevators at the Queensboro Plaza subway station in Long Island City will result in the suspension of No. 7 train subway service between the plaza and 34th Street-Hudson Yards in Manhattan the weekend beginning on Feb. 4.

The station, which also serves the N and W lines, serves an estimated 70,000 riders per day. The suspension will take place between 12:15 a.m. on Feb. 4, a Saturday, through 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, in time for weekday morning rush hour service. Free shuttle buses will service all missed stations during the closure. Read more

Hector Bueno regularly picks up prescriptions for his 88-year-old mother at the Walgreens on Kissena Boulevard near Elder Avenue in Flushing. But when he went by this week, he was surprised to learn that the store’s pharmacy would be closing on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

“I was in a state of shock,” he told the Chronicle. “This place has been here over 30 years.” Read more

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The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York recently moved to drop the case against Baimadjie Angwang, the former 111th Precinct community affairs officer who was accused in September 2020 of having acted as an agent for the People’s Republic of China.

In October 2020, Angwang was indicted on four counts: acting as an agent of a foreign government without notification of the attorney general, wire fraud, making false statements (as it pertained to his alleged contact with the Chinese government) and obstruction of an official proceeding. Read more

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Absent any measurable amount of snow by Sunday, Jan. 29, the New York City area will set the record for the latest-ever date in winter without the white stuff.

The simple answer according to experts consulted by the Chronicle was the same — it has just been too warm for snow to form and stick. But the underlying causes, they said, are myriad. Read more

After welcoming hundreds of Queens residents to his Mets’ Citi Field on Jan. 7, team owner Steve Cohen is set to host another visioning session this Sunday, Jan. 29, so community members may weigh in on the future of the 50 acres of land to the west and south of the ballpark.

Community members can sign up for 30-minute time slots between 12 and 3 p.m. Sunday, during which they can suggest ideas for future development and answer questions from Cohen’s team. Read more

A Republican congressman from the Hudson Valley and a Democrat from New Jersey have introduced a bill that would prevent the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority from accessing federal capital if their constituents don’t get bridge and tunnel tolls deducted from any congestion pricing fee for driving into Midtown or Downtown Manhattan.

But Gov. Hochul wasn’t exactly shaking in her shoes when asked for comment on the bill last week. Read more