Stories from Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, City Line and JFK Airport

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Last Thursday morning, a 28-year-old man in possession of a loaded gun and wearing a bulletproof vest was arrested near Liberty Avenue.

Xavier Mcaulay, 28, of South Ozone Park, was arrested after he was observed by police near Liberty and 131st Street committing multiple vehicle infractions in a 2015 Nissan, according to police. Read more

It was a joyous, packed house last Thursday at Queens Palace in Woodside as congregants of the Binapani Sangho religious organization and some special guests marked the festival of Saraswati Puja.

Also known as Vasant Panchami, the Hindu festival marks the preparation for the arrival of spring, and is held about 40 days before the season’s start. Read more

The death of two teens and the injury of another on Sunday night at the Belt Parkway near 150th Street in Springfield Gardens was the result of high speed, according to a preliminary report by the NYPD Highway District Collision Investigation Squad.

Three teens were in a BMW 328 allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed on the right shoulder of the eastbound side of the parkway when the 19-year-old driver failed to properly navigate the roadway, resulting in the vehicle crashing into a median and overturning, according to the squad’s investigation. Read more

Thursday, February 02, 2023

The state Department of Transportation is advising drivers that the northbound Van Wyck Expressway has been reduced from three travel lanes to two between exits 1A at the Nassau Expressway and 1B at North Conduit Avenue in South Ozone Park.

The lane closure is expected to remain in place through about Sept. 30. Inclement weather could cause the closure and construction work to be rescheduled. Read more

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

Wednesday, February 01, 2023
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Aqueduct Race Track appears to have been marked for elimination in Gov. Hochul’s 2023-24 executive budget presentation on Wednesday.

Hochul’s proposal for the fiscal year beginning April 1 includes $455 million in capital spending for the redevelopment of Belmont Racetrack, located just the other side of the Cross Island Parkway in Nassau County. Read more

Friday, January 27, 2023
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The New York State Department of Transportation is advising drivers that the northbound Van Wyck Expressway will be reduced from three travel lanes to two between exits 1A at the Nassau Expressway and 1B at North Conduit Avenue beginning on or about Monday, Jan. 30.

The lane closure is expected to remain in place through about Sept 30. Inclement weather could cause the closure and construction work to be rescheduled. Read more

Thursday, January 26, 2023
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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

The push to make Diwali a school holiday in New York City public schools continued in Albany on Tuesday as lawmakers and residents rallied in support of the proposed legislation.

“We have never seen such enthusiasm for this cause,” said Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (D-Woodhaven), the sponsor of the bill, on the Million Dollar Staircase of the New York State Capitol Building. Read more

State Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson (D-South Ozone Park) didn’t let a downpour prevent him from advocating for #6MinuteService for subways and buses last Thursday.

With a group of straphangers and members of the Riders Alliance, a public transit organization, Anderson caught the Q111 bus in Jamaica on Jan. 19 and spoke with riders about their difficulties traveling throughout the borough and the city. 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

A daylong effort to address the conditions under the Richmond Hill train tracks near Babbage Street commenced over the weekend, much to the surprise of Kevin O’Leary, a Kew Gardens resident and member of Community Board 9, who has long called for attention to the site and happened upon on the scene on his way to a diner.

On Saturday, MTA police and its Right of Way Task Force responded to a complaint of illegal dumping under the trestle of the former LIRR station, according to an MTA spokesperson. LIRR personnel were on-site with equipment including two dump trucks to remove the debris, soil, sand and concrete that had been illegally dumped under the trestle. 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

Dozens of protesters, public health officials and city councilmembers were at the steps of City Hall last week to fight for a ban on menthol cigarettes.

Menthol, an organic peppermint compound, is often found in cigarettes targeted toward Black communities, according to Candace Prince-Modeste, a Springfield Gardens resident and manager of the Menthol Kills NYC campaign. Read more