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Queens Chronicle

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Stories with boroughwide interest

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Angry D26 parents drive out Carranza

“My daughter, last month, was a victim of sexual assault!” yelled a father from the crowd at the Jan. 16 Community District Education Council meeting at Bayside’s MS 74. His shouts at city Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza sparked a passionate outcry from surrounding parents that proved uncontrollable enough to shut the meeting down early and force Carranza to make a backstage exit.“Answer this man! His daughter was a victim of sexual assault!” another man bellowed at Carranza, incentivizing much of the audience to join in the shouting.

Cuomo’s budget is $6 billion short
Posted: January 23, 2020

Staring at a $6 billion budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year, Gov. Cuomo is proposing to push more of the rising cost of Medicaid — which provides health coverage for low-income people — onto New York City.

At least $2 billion of the projected deficit is money the state has been paying toward the city’s share of the state’s annual $75 billion Medicaid costs.

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Battle for nine-month boro presidency
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 1:36 pm

The seven candidates then looking to fill the nine-month interim role of Queens borough president gathered Wednesday, Jan. 12 for a community-led forum at the Israel Center for Conservative Judaism in Hillcrest.

The forum, organized by the mid-Queens community council, invited City Council Deputy Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, former Senior Executive Assistant District Attorney James Quinn, police reform advocate and former sergeant Anthony Miranda, Councilmember Donovan Richards, community activist and map maker Danniel Sun Maio, former Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley and Councilmember Costa Constantinides to prove why they would be the best choice for the position.

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Van Bramer drops out of BP election
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 12:33 pm

Citing “family circumstances,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) announced Wednesday that he is dropping out of the special election for borough president, which will be held on March 24.

“My family is the reason I love this borough and its residents; they are the ones who instilled Queens values in me and inspired me to be an advocate for working families,” he said. “But family circumstances have been weighing on me for some time, causing me to reconsider the timing and feasibility of this campaign.”

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Mayor touts $95.3B budget for 2020-21
Posted: January 23, 2020

Mayor de Blasio last Thursday released a $95.3 billion executive budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning on July 1.

The figure would represent a $2.5 billion increase over the budget approved by the mayor and City Council last June, or nearly 3 percent.

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Pols blast Con Edison gas, electric increase
Posted: January 23, 2020

Officials from Queens are less than enthusiastic about the rate hikes approved for Con Edison Jan. 16, but the utility and the state’s Public Service Commission say they will benefit clean energy initiatives that have been mandated by the state while increasing service reliability and safety.

The commission, by a 4-1 vote, allowed increases for electricity of 3.1, 3.8 and 3.3 percent starting this year; and increases of 6.7, 7.3 and 6.5 percent for gas.

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MTA: ATU included in bus redesign talks
Posted: January 23, 2020

Sources within the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have told the Chronicle that those working on the project to redesign the Queens bus system were taken aback by last week’s announcement that the union for the borough’s bus drivers disapprove of the most recent proposal.

The group “was surprised to see the remarks” that were contained in a statement from Mark Henry, president and business agent of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1056. And the agency, reached for comment, was not quite as diplomatic.

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Jamaica celebrates Martin Luther King
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 1:36 pm

Southeast Queens marked the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in both solemn and celebratory fashion Monday afternoon at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in Jamaica.

More than 300 people attended the annual ceremony sponsored by the office of Councilman Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans).

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Fitchett St. has had it with speed demons
Updated: January 25, 2020 - 6:26 pm

Some Rego Park residents were awakened last Tuesday at 1:15 a.m. when a car rolled over on Fitchett Street near 64th Road.

“It’s just a racing zone, day and night,” said resident John Grecco.

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Trump opposed to a Sandy sea wall
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 12:55 pm

President Trump has found a wall he doesn’t like.

In a characteristically cheeky tweet last weekend, the president announced his disapproval of a proposal to construct an elaborate sea wall from the Rockaways to New Jersey to prevent a repeat of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

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Bus redesign plan gets mostly good reviews
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 1:36 pm

A woman concerned with losing Q67 service and facing a 25-minute walk to Woodside to get the train to Times Square.

A senior who is looking at a walk of 10 blocks because of changes to the Q38.

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Bonds to pay for new Queens jail
Posted: January 23, 2020

The cost of building a new jail in Kew Gardens could zoom past initial estimates of $2 billion, it was revealed last week.

Already unpopular in the neighborhoods surrounding the proposed site, the 19-story jail is to be funded by municipal bonds whose interest costs were not figured into the projected $2 billion price, civic leaders said after emerging for their first meeting with city officials since the plan was approved by the City Council last November.

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Protesters hit CB 7 project presentation
Posted: January 23, 2020

Special Flushing Waterfront District protesters returned brandishing “Housing justice for all” and “The massive waterfront giveaway” signs for the developers’ presentation at Community Board 7’s Land, Buildings and Zoning Committee hearing Tuesday, Jan. 21.

“You have your signs and that’s great, it’s no problem. March around with your signs, but please kindly control the tone,” District Manager Marilyn McAndrews said at the start of the meeting, begging the protesters not to repeat their chants of the Jan. 13 public hearing meeting that disrupted the nursing home the meeting took place in.

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Ramos, Rozic hail Cuomo e-bike talk
Posted: January 23, 2020

A pair of Queens legislators are claiming victory in their quest to allow legalized electric bikes and scooters in New York State, with Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday saying he will include language doing so in his forthcoming budget proposal.

Cuomo did not go into detail, but Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meaadows) and state Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-East Elmhurst), whose bill to allow municipal governance of the vehicles was vetoed by Cuomo in December, were hailing the decision this week.

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Falling debris kills woman in Flushing
Posted: January 23, 2020

A 67-year-old woman was struck and killed by falling debris in Downtown Flushing at approximately 9:45 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16.

Xiang Ji, a grandmother from Westbury, LI, was walking eastbound in the area of Main Street and 41st Road when she was struck by a sheet of aluminum-covered plywood that had been blown off the 41-28 Main Street Tian Jin Dumpling House building because of heavy winds.

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Queens loses jazz great Jimmy Heath
Posted: January 23, 2020

Text Jimmy Heath, the saxophonist, composer and arranger who launched the jazz studies program at Queens College in the early 1990s and then went on to form the unique Queens Jazz Orchestra, died Sunday at age 93.

Heath, who was named a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master in 2003, was among a handful of jazz musicians who came up in the early years of bebop and was still performing in his nineties.

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Friday 01/24/2020
Five things to do in Queens this weekend! Jan. 24-26
Updated: January 24, 2020 - 5:32 pm

Another warm January weekend, another list of five things to do in Queens before Monday rolls back around!

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Thursday 01/23/2020
Queens Council members criticize bus redesign
Updated: January 24, 2020 - 9:53 am

After receiving feedback from borough residents, the Queens Delegation of the New York City Council is calling for significant changes to the MTA’s Queens bus network redesign proposal.

The MTA unveiled its draft proposal to redraw bus routes throughout Queens with the agency looking to spread out stops and have fewer turns in order to increase speed and cut down on bus bunching.

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Library icon ‘Miss Susan’ dies at 62
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 1:28 pm

Longtime children’s librarian of Queens Library at Whitestone Susan Scatena passed away suddenly on Jan. 10 at 62 years of age.

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Housing? Runways? No plan for Rikers yet: city
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 12:32 pm

Community Board 1 on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve making Rikers Island a “public place” after the jails there are shut down in 2026. The advisory panel, though, asked city officials to keep its members apprised of any future developments there — including demolition of the prison complex and any proposed uses that might go there in later years.

“We’re looking ahead and we’re asking them to join us in looking ahead,” said Elizabeth Erion, CB 1’s Land Use Committee co-chairwoman.

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Labor apprentices sought
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 12:04 pm

The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for Construction and General Building Laborers Local Union #79 will conduct a limited recruitment from Feb. 14 through 28 for 200 skilled construction craft laborer apprentices, the state Department of Labor announced Tuesday.

The recruitment will be offered online from 9 to 11 a.m., Monday through Friday during the recruitment period. Only 2,000 applications will be distributed, on a first-come, first-served basis, and the recruitment will be offered for those 10 business days or until the 2,000 applications have been issued, whichever comes first.

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Close but no cigar the story for St. John’s
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 12:59 pm

Mike Anderson was hired as head basketball coach at St. John’s in April, making him a veteran on the Queens sports scene given Carlos Beltran and the Mets mutually parted ways 77 days after his hire because of Beltran’s involvement in the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 season.

Anderson, who has taken three schools to the NCAA Tournament, has used a deeper rotation than most teams use because of the high-energy up-tempo of the Red Storm.

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Collections for Puerto Rico
Posted: January 23, 2020

Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) is launching an emergency supply drive to help the people of Puerto Rico recover from the recent earthquakes that have struck the island.

Meng’s office is collecting necessities such as water, first-aid kits, flashlights, nonperishable foods, batteries, baby formula, diapers and feminine hygiene products, which will be sent to Puerto Rico.

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Win star cleats
Posted: January 23, 2020

Queensboro FC, the new pro soccer team that will begin playing in Queens in 2021, is holding a sweepstakes for a pair of cleats signed by soccer legend and QBFC founding partner David Villa.

The cleats — or boots, in soccer jargon — are unused. Fans can go to queensborofc.com/VillaBoots to enter for their chance to win by Feb. 3.

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Nurse rob
Posted: January 23, 2020

Police this week released this photo of man wanted in a Sunday morning robbery inside a home-nursing agency at 98-27 Jamaica Ave. in Richmond Hill.

A 34-year-old woman who works at the school, Fordham Institute, told cops a man grabbed her purse from her desk and told her he had a gun, before removing two credit cards and running out.

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Tuesday 01/21/2020
Van Bramer drops out of Queens borough president race
Updated: January 21, 2020 - 10:57 am

Citing “family circumstances,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) announced Wednesday that he is dropping out of the special election for borough president, which will be held on March 24.

“My family is the reason I love this borough and its residents; they are the ones who instilled Queens values in me and inspired me to be an advocate for working families,” he said. “But family circumstances have been weighing on me for some time, causing me to reconsider the timing and feasibility of this campaign.”

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Monday 01/20/2020
Queens jazz legend Jimmy Heath dead at 93
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 4:44 pm

Jimmy Heath, the saxophonist, composer and arranger who launched the jazz studies program at Queens College in the early 1990s and then went on to form the unique Queens Jazz Orchestra, died Sunday at age 93.

Heath, who was named a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master in 2003, was among a handful of jazz musicians who came up in the early years of Be-Bop and was still performing in his nineties.

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Angry D26 parents drive out Carranza
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 4:46 pm

“My daughter, last month, was a victim of sexual assault!” yelled a father from the crowd at the Jan. 16 Community District Education Council meeting at Bayside’s MS 74. His shouts at city Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza sparked a passionate outcry from surrounding parents that proved uncontrollable enough to shut the meeting down early and force Carranza to make a backstage exit.

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Friday 01/17/2020
Bus drivers union has redesign concerns
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 4:48 pm

The draft plan to completely redesign the entire system of public buses in Queens is drawing fire by the head of the union that represents bus operators.

In a statement issued Friday, Mark Henry, president and business agent for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1056 said the 434-page proposal from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority doesn’t appear to take “transportation deserts” into account and is more economically motivated than service-oriented.

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Five things to do in Queens this weekend! Jan. 17-20
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 4:49 pm

Winter’s back! But you’re not going to let the chill get in the way of your weekend plans, now are ya? If the answer’s no, but you’re still formulating those plans, here’s our weekly installment of “Five things to do in Queens this weekend!” to give you some possible ideas. And don’t forget you can always find plenty more here and here.

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Battle for nine-month boro presidency
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 4:46 pm

The seven candidates looking to fill the nine-month interim role of Queens borough President gathered Jan. 15, for a community-led forum at the Israel Center for Conservative Judaism in Hillcrest.

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With video: Reward in Astoria attacks
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 4:49 pm

NYPD Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a man who went on a 45-minute assault spree on a two-bock stretch of Steinway Street in Astoria the night of Jan. 11.

Police in the NYPD’s 114th Precinct said the first attack took place at about 5:15 p.m. outside the Bath & Body Works store at 31-21 Steinway St. when a woman was attacked while walking with her 9-year-old daughter. The man came up and punched the woman in the face, causing bleeding and swelling.

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Thursday 01/16/2020
Mayor touts $95.3 billion budget for 2020-21
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 4:50 pm

Mayor de Blasio on Thursday released a $95.3 billion executive budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning on July 1.

The figure would represent a $2.5 billion increase over the budget approved by the mayor and City Council last June, or nearly 3 percent.

The increase comes even as de Blasio, in an accompanying statement, warned that the state, facing massive deficits, may be looking to pass off costs to municipalities and counties, particularly for Medicaid.

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Falling debris kills woman in Flushing
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 4:49 pm

A 67-year old woman was struck and killed by falling debris in Downtown Flushing at approximately 9:45 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16.

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