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Queens Chronicle

North/Northeast Queens News

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

Top Story

Flushing revitalization plan approved

Tensions were high at the Feb. 10 Community Board 7 meeting, as protesters and supporters of the Special Flushing Waterfront District each attempted to persuade members to vote in their respective favor. After four and a half hours of presentations, public speaking and deliberation, as well as multiple derailments due to intense arguments, the board ultimately voted to approve the text amendment to establish the Special Flushing Waterfront District, 30-8.

Stores and shoppers prepare for bag ban
Updated: February 13, 2020 - 1:48 pm

New York State’s ban on virtually all single-use plastic shopping and grocery bags goes into effect on Sunday, March 1.

In the city, that means grocery stores, bodegas, hardware stores and just about any other retailer where one had carried out merchandise can now charge 5 cents for paper bags unless customers bring their own, or they can give them away.

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Queens coronavirus case still pending
Updated: February 13, 2020 - 2:11 pm

Only one possible coronavirus case remains pending in New York State, and it happens to be in Queens.

Gov. Cuomo announced on Monday, Feb. 10, that there continue to be no confirmed cases in the state after results from another Queens case came back negative. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tested 23 samples since the outbreak, 22 of which have come back negative.

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Healthy tree’s lean worries community
Posted: February 13, 2020

Holy Family Catholic Academy faculty and community members have been calling for the removal of a healthy tree on the sidewalk outside its property for nearly two years, a request the Parks Department has continually denied.

“I really hate to see a healthy tree taken down ... but the tree’s lean poses a danger. This tree, I feel, needs to be removed,” said John Amato, a concerned parishioner and horticulturist. “The head forester determined that there is nothing wrong with the tree. It’s mature; I’m not disputing that, I’m disputing the tilt of the tree.”

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Dangerous drivers are put on notice
Posted: February 13, 2020

The City Council voted on Tuesday to require certain drivers defined as reckless to take a safe vehicle operation course or risk having their cars impounded by the city Sheriff’s Office.

The bill, Intro, 971, passed by a vote of 42-5. Three Queens Councilmen — Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens), Eric Ulrich (R-Ozzone Park) and Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), voted against the measure, while Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) abstained.

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Bloomberg Bayside base grand opening
Posted: February 13, 2020

Assemblymember Clyde Vanel (D-Queens Village) and City Councilmember Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) became the first New York City elected officials to endorse former Mayor and presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg, voicing their support at the official opening of the candidate’s Bayside campaign headquarters Feb. 6.

“Are we fired up?” Vanel chanted as the crowd cheered on. “This is a very important time in this country, this is a very serious time in this country as we see what’s going on in Washington. The stakes are very high and this is one of the most important elections of our lifetime ... he is a proven leader that gets things done. We need an America that we’re proud of and Mike is that person.”

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Douglaston Library prepping for change
Posted: February 13, 2020

In preparation for replacing its old facility with a new one, the Douglaston Library will be closed from Saturday, Feb. 22 until Monday, March 16 for a soil assessment.

“The library will close to conduct a soil assessment ahead of our plan to replace the current building with a new structure,” Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, deputy communications director of the Queens Public Library said in an emailed response to a Chronicle question. “It involves soil sampling and testing and aims to determine what is the load capacity of the soil at the site and what structure can be built there.”

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TV victor sets up shop in Whitestone
Posted: February 13, 2020

“I’m from Queens; we don’t get scared,” Gerardo Natale said at the beginning of his episode of the Food Network’s “Cooks vs. Cons,” from which he ultimately emerged victorious despite being a conartist pitted against two chefs. Almost four years later, Natale decided to ditch his con-artist status and embrace his culinary gift, opening Bagel Parlor at 14-37 150th St. in Whitestone.

The self-proclaimed “pizza man turned bagel baker” grew up learning from his father, who owned Denado’s, a pizza parlor in Bellerose, and previously a bakery in Maryland. Natale spent his days studying the trade, but strayed from the art as he grew older, eventually selling the store at age 24 and becoming an electrician at Con Edison.

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Closing loopholes in pet-cruelty law
Posted: February 13, 2020

State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) is co-sponsoring a bill that would make it a felony to harm a pet during the commission of a crime.

Kirby and Quigley’s Law, named after two dogs who were shot and killed by burglars during a 2016 break-in in upstate New York, would add two years to the sentence of anyone convicted of animal cruelty as part of another felony.

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Monday 02/17/2020
Cooper Avenue shelter opens after years in the works
Updated: February 17, 2020 - 4:27 pm

It’s open.

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Covid19-concerned cabbies deny Asian-American riders
Updated: February 17, 2020 - 4:27 pm

“This is OUTRAGEOUS. Let me be perfectly clear: there WILL be consequences for anyone caught taking part in this kind of cruel racial profiling. To our Asian American community: your city has your back and this discrimination will NOT be tolerated.”

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In Flushing, waterfront tensions still high
Updated: February 17, 2020 - 4:15 pm

The high tensions and ill feelings between Community Board 7 and MinKwon Center for Community Action remain after the board’s Feb. 10 meeting, with board Chairperson Eugene Kelty calling for the termination of the advocacy group’s staff member Charlie Cheon, citing racist and disrespectful remarks.

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Friday 02/14/2020
Five things to do in Queens this weekend! Feb. 14-16
Updated: February 14, 2020 - 4:27 pm

Even if you’re making it a Valentine’s weekend of romance, you might be looking to fit some regular old fun events into your schedule the next couple of days. Here are just five ideas, and of course there’s nothing that says some of them wouldn’t make for fine dates anyway!

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Cooper Avenue shelter opens after years in the works
Updated: February 17, 2020 - 4:27 pm

It’s open.

The homeless shelter for 200 single men at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale is open, the Department of Homeless Services said in an email Friday.

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CB 5 undecided on Fresh Pond festival
Updated: February 17, 2020 - 4:28 pm

There are two annual traditions regarding the Italian Fresh Pond Road street fair: The fair itself and a back-and-forth between organizers and Community Board 5.

Last Wednesday the board tabled the application to hold the fair after its executive committee recommended against it, citing the event’s lasting multiple days, paperwork issues and traffic.

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‘NYC Chinatowns are open for business!’
Updated: February 17, 2020 - 2:00 pm

The novel coronavirus has not yet affected the health of Queens residents, but the disease has greatly impacted Chinese-run businesses, especially in Flushing.

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War hero, Mets usher Gasparre dead at 95
Updated: February 17, 2020 - 3:07 pm

Luke Gasparre, a World War II hero and lifelong Astoria resident, died last Thursday at 95.

Gasparre was a private first class in the army during World War II. As a soldier in the 87th Infantry division serving in Europe, helped liberate the French city of Metz from Nazi control and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

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Thursday 02/13/2020
Does New York City need to be saved?
Updated: February 13, 2020 - 1:50 pm

Mayor de Blasio’s statement that the city needs saving during last week’s State of the City address brought out different reactions from those listening.

“We need to further develop and improve ourselves as every city does but I don’t think we necessarily need any major redemption or saving,” said Kevin Forrestal, president of the Queens Civic Congress, as the Chronicle canvassed some borough leaders for their take on the mayor’s assertion.

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Parents’ protest gets city to budge
Updated: February 13, 2020 - 1:56 pm

Serious pushback from parents has sent the city Department of Education back to the drawing board to revamp its strategy for bringing greater racial diversity to middle schools in central and Southeast Queens.

Two angry, confrontational meetings between DOE officials and parents were apparently enough to force the city to rethink its timetable for changing the student admissions policy in School District 28, an alligator-shaped area that stretches from Queens Boulevard to the Belt Parkway.

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Crowley talks Dems, transit and schools
Updated: February 13, 2020 - 2:04 pm

Former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley doesn’t mind that the Queens County Democratic Party didn’t support her in her bid for borough president. In fact, she said she wasn’t interested in the party’s backing months before its endorsement of Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) in the race was made.

Crowley pointed to leaked emails showing favoritism toward Hillary Clinton over U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT.) in the 2016 presidential primary as evidence of party support gone wrong.

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Harkless becomes latest Johnnie turned Knick
Posted: February 13, 2020

Moe Harkless was a standout at Forest Hills High School and was named the 2011-12 Big East Rookie of the Year for an impressive freshman season at St. John’s.

Now Harkless returns to the city, after the Knicks acquired him in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers.

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Judge throws out shelter lawsuit
Posted: February 13, 2020

A judge last Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by residents who said the city skipped a required environmental review for a proposed homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead found that the plaintiffs incorrectly interpreted the review process rules.

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Ridgewood stabber convicted for ’16 slay
Posted: February 13, 2020

Ridgewood resident Render Stetson-Shanahan, 29, has been convicted of manslaughter in the 2016 stabbing death of his roommate Carolyn Bush, Queens DA Melinda Katz announced last Friday.

Shortly before midnight on Sept. 28, 2016, police responded to a 911 call about a man wearing only underwear and roaming the neighborhood with a knife, the DA said, according to trial testimony.

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KGH assault
Posted: February 13, 2020

On Wednesday, Jan. 8 at around 9 p.m., an unidentified individual entered the 99 Cents store at 71-55 Kissena Blvd. in Kew Gardens Hills, approached a 43-year-old worker and struck him with an ice scraper before fleeing in an unknown direction. The victim suffered facial lacerations and was taken to New York-Presbysterian/Queens hospital.

Nothing was taken from the store during the attack.

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1,000 expected for Carranza town hall
Updated: February 13, 2020 - 2:07 pm

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza’s first appearance in Queens since a bitter showdown with parents in Bayside ended with him walking out is likely to be moved to a bigger location.

School officials are looking into changing the site of the March 2 town hall to either Christ the King High School in Middle Village or Queens Metropolitan High School in Forest Hills because their auditoriums can hold as many as 1,000 people, officials said. It was originally slated for IS 5 in Elmhurst

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Crime stat critiques enter boro prez race
Posted: February 13, 2020

A letter co-authored by Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) has brought him some heat from an opponent in the race for Queens borough president.

Richards, chairman of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, and Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), chairman of the committee on Criminal Justice, on Feb. 6 sent a letter to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea questioning the commissioner’s take on the city’s January crime statistics [see related story in some editions or at qchron.com].

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Lancman talks reform at 103rd Pct. Council
Posted: February 13, 2020

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) got and gave an earful Tuesday night at the monthly meeting of the 103rd Precinct Community Council.

Lancman, chairman of the Committee on the Justice System, discussed the impact of bail and discovery reform on the city’s crime statistics for January.

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