Stories with boroughwide interest

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With the in-person opening of public schools last week and its accompanying flurry of excitement and pedagogy, emerged a problem that has become intensified from years past: drop-off traffic.

While transporting their kids to class, parents reported that car traffic around schools was more severe than normal, likely because more parents were still wary of the bus system and were choosing to shuttle their children in their personal vehicles in greater numbers. Read more

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Two St. Patrick’s Days passed without a parade in Bayside, but the neighborhood couldn’t let two full years go by without one. So, residents celebrated “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” Sept. 18 instead.

The festivities, hosted by the Bayside St. Patrick’s Day Parade group, started off with a Mass honoring St. Patrick at Sacred Heart Church. Then, the celebrants flocked to Bell Boulevard to watch the march, which started at 36th Avenue and went down to Northern Boulevard. Read more

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A “Better Buses” busway pilot will continue on schedule in Downtown Jamaica despite backlash from a previous initiative on Merrick Boulevard that was implemented last year and led to a recent modification of bus enforcement times as a result of a petition and complaints from community leaders and elected officials.

“I saw [the announcement],” said Candace Prince-Modeste, the Southeast Queens activist who created a Change.org petition for a modified enforcement period of the bus lane on Merrick Boulevard. “It feels like they’ve moved onto the next project without fully bringing the Merrick one to a resolution. And I don’t believe that enough residents are aware of these proposed changes to the Downtown area.” Read more

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New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, the Super Law Group, NY/NY Baykeeper and Jamaica residents Crystal Ervin and Carroll Forbes filed a complaint Monday for declaratory and injunctive relief and civil penalties against three waste recycling stations because they believe the companies are allegedly responsible for the poor air quality in the area.

“I’ve been complaining for as long as I can remember,” said Forbes at a press conference across the street from one of the stations at Detective Keith Williams Park on 173rd Street. The longtime resident lives on 105th Avenue. “My home sticks out, so it receives more of the [smell of the] putrid waste than my neighbors’.” Read more

Back in May, organizers of the Queens World Film Festival selected National Nurses Week to bring out the red carpet for the staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst for some long overdue recognition for those who fought Covid-19 in a neighborhood that was the costliest battlefield in Queens.

On Monday, the festival folks were back in Elmhurst for a very fitting sequel. Read more

Gabrielle Petito’s photos quickly popped up on national media soon after the Suffolk County woman was reported missing by her parents. She had been on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend, Brain Laundrie.

Until her body was identified Tuesday, her photos and profile were among 103 files on the FBI’s list of missing person cases for which the bureau is seeking information. Read more

City Councilman and avowed Mets fan Jimmy Van Bramer greeted Joan Ford, widow of Astoria native and New York Yankees Hall of Famer Whitey Ford, on Sept. 18 as the city co-named the corner of 43rd Street and 34th Avenue for the legendary lefty hurler.

Ford’s family was in attendance, as were Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and state Sen. Mike Gianaris, above. Read more

Friday, September 24, 2021
Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Department of City Planning has a new interactive website that it wants New Yorkers to use so that the agency can get ideas and feedback so that it can better approach urban design with community input.

“An inclusive approach to urban design is essential to making our neighborhoods the best they can be,” said DCP Executive Director Anita Laremont in a prepared statement on Sept. 16. “As we continue to build a public realm that’s healthier, more welcoming and more equitable for everyone to use and enjoy, we want more New Yorkers to get involved. To that end, we’re going to the experts, New Yorkers themselves! Please visit our new website to share your ideas on good urban design and help us create a vision for a more vibrant city for decades to come.” Read more

The union that represents about 5,000 flight attendants at JetBlue Airways has filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that it is violating New York City and New York State paid sick leave laws.

In a statement issued after the suit was filed Tuesday, John Samuelsen, president of the Transit Workers Union International, said fight attendants who call in sick for one or two shifts are being required to provide doctor’s notes when they should not be. Read more

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Nassau, Suffolk, Queens) announced Sept. 21 that the Local Journalism Sustainability Act is included in the House Ways and Means Committee’s budget reconciliation mark up.

The bipartisan legislation would help bolster local media outlets with temporary tax credits for publishers employing and hiring local journalists. Read more

Monday, September 20, 2021
Thursday, September 16, 2021
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A Fresh Meadows traffic circle was outfitted with new signals, lights and delineators to increase pedestrian safety this summer, changes that area residents say have caused an insufferable increase in vehicular congestion.

“It’s a complete nightmare,” Elaine Young, president of the West Cunningham Park Civic Association, said of the 188th Street and 64th Avenue circle, which lies parallel to the Long Island Expressway and in front of the Fresh Meadows Place shopping plaza. Read more

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A memorial commemorating the Sept. 11 attacks was unveiled in Howard Beach on Saturday, a project that was many years in the making and created by local artists with help from community groups and volunteers joining together.

“We have survived many things, including Hurricane Sandy, a pandemic and now we are standing here honoring all those who lost their lives on 9/11 and those who continue to lose their lives because of the effects of going down to the 9/11 site,” said Joann Ariola, president of the Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic Association and City Council District 32 candidate. Read more

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New York City reopened school buildings Monday to all of its public school students for the first time since classes went remote at the outset of the pandemic.

While the landmark day revealed some logistical challenges and frustrations that school administrators will have to address in the coming weeks, many parents expressed a general sense of optimism, and data showed higher attendance than last year’s hybrid opening. Read more

Community leaders and residents of Maspeth have been trying for eight years to get the city to landmark the FDNY firehouse on 68th Street, which saw 19 of its members killed in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

It was the largest loss from any single firehouse in the city that day. The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has balked since 2013, citing a lack of historic architectural value in the 1914 building; and that the 9/11 attacks still do not meet its criteria of being at least 30 years in the past. Read more

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The 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was commemorated in Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village much the same way it was two decades ago, when about 6,000 people were drawn to an impromptu gathering.

Twenty years later, the 9/11 Candlelight Vigil Committee of Queens still was welcoming those who came to the park on a lovely summer day. Many brought lawn chairs, American flags and their own candles for the vigil that would take place after nightfall. They listened to music and poetry and brief talks from community groups and elected officials. Read more

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Police responded to a 911 call on Tuesday at 8:40 a.m. where an off-duty officer was in need of assistance in a domestic incident in South Ozone Park, which involved a male suspect later exchanging gunfire with officers.

Upon arrival, patrol officers knocked on the front door and initially engaged the man in conversation, according to Citizen App. However, the suspect later threatened to shoot the officers that led to the police backing away and requesting an Emergency Service Unit at the scene located at 133rd Avenue and 129th Street. Read more

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The 9/11 Run for Richie motorcycle ride proceeded Saturday afternoon from the Aqueduct Racetrack to One World Trade Center, escorted by the NYPD and FDNY.

The ride, organized by the Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, honors the memory of Richard Pearlman, a Howard Beach resident and ambulance corps volunteer who had been delivering papers at One Police Plaza for the law firm where he worked as a clerk, when the terrorist attack occurred. Read more

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Last Friday, people came out as they do every year to Maspeth Memorial Park to remember the 19 FDNY firefighters from the 68th Street firehouse who were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, the highest loss of life from any firehouse that day.

Above, wreaths were placed for Squad 288 and HazMat 1; flags also were placed for each of the Maspeth 19. At top center, generations of firefighters came to pay tribute, while above Vincent Tomeo recited his poem “Never Let Them Win” as U.S. Rep. Grace Meng and Councilman Bob Holden look on. Read more

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In the wake of the flooding caused by Hurricane Ida, city Department of Environmental Protection officials recognized that the limited capacity of the city’s beleaguered sewer system caused much of the damage from the storm.

During a City Council oversight hearing on the city’s response to Hurricane Ida Tuesday, DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said that, as it is, the system is designed to handle about half of the 3.5 inches of rainfall the city saw per hour during Ida, but it’s not possible to replace it wholesale with more resilient infrastructure. Read more