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

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After the annual Queens Pride Parade and Multicultural Festival went virtual last summer, organizers are hoping to be able to organize an in-person event this year, but not until August.

In the meantime organizers have several other LGBTQ events planned under a new concept dubbed the Summer of Pride instead of its normal march, which usually takes place in Jackson Heights in June. Read more

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A bill to shed light on the performance of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has passed the state Legislature and if signed, will direct the agency to release all of its data into a format for an open data portal.

The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), would open budget, finance, ridership, routes and service information to every citizen. Read more

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An immigrant protection bill passed the Legislature on June 3 and awaits the signature of Gov. Cuomo to become law, according to the bill’s lead sponsor, Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont).

Queens Assemblymembers Vivian Cook (D-Jamaica), David Weprin (D-Richmond Hill), Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills), Nily Rozic (D-Flushing), Alicia Hyndman (D-Springfield Gardens), Catalina Cruz (D-Corona), Jeffrion Aubry (D-Corona) and Clyde Vanel (D-Queens Village) co-sponsored the bill. Read more

Friday, June 11, 2021
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A Woodhaven man has been indicted on manslaughter and other charges for the 2019 death of his infant son, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Luis Sanchez, 30, was arraigned Wednesday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ushir Pandit-Durant on a two-count indictment charging him with manslaughter in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child. Read more

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A Queens grand jury has handed up an indictment for first-degree manslaughter in the April 29 beating that killed a homeless man in Ridgewood.

Piotr Wilk, 35, also with no known address, is accused of repeatedly beating Lukasz Ruszyck, 38, at the intersection of Putnam and Forest avenues according to a press release issued Friday afternoon by the office of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. Ruszyck would die five days later. Read more

Thursday, June 10, 2021
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Queens Borough President Donovan Richards sat down virtually with the Queens Chronicle on Monday to go over his first 160 days in office as he seeks re-election. Jobs, jobs and more jobs for residents of the World’s Borough are the cornerstone of his campaign.

Queens leading the state with one million vaccinations; securing $17.5 million of grants through the New York Mets for small businesses and street vendors; and digitizing community boards were just a few of the initiatives Richards managed to accomplish through his brief tenure in this tumultuous year. Read more

The Queens Borough Board on Monday signed off on a proposal by the city and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority aimed at speeding up the installation of subway station elevators.

But community board representatives and City Council members made it clear that they want the benefits to extend beyond Manhattan and select sections in Brooklyn should it be approved by City Hall. Read more

Elected officials throughout Queens were championing a $3 million maternity unit upgrade at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst last week at a press conference to combat maternal mortality, especially among women of color.

Representatives U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens, Bronx) and Grace Meng (D-Flushing) submitted a joint community funding request for the ward for fiscal year 2022 to the House appropriators. Read more

The Forest Hills Black Alliance and The Color of Justice will host a virtual town hall for candidates for Queens borough president from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 10.

Borough President Donovan Richards, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley have been invited. Topics will include education, housing, healthcare, business and criminal justice. Read more

Back in the 1970s, city officials looking to crack down the proliferation of illegal massage parlors came up with regulations that slapped “physical culture” establishments with lots of hoops and costly regulations.

“The city didn’t really have a lot of gyms and health facilities,” Dylan Sandler of the Department of City Planning told the Queens Borough Board on Monday. Read more

Monday, June 07, 2021
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Police and prosecutors may be drawing a circle around a suspected graffiti vandal who has been charged with incidents of vandalism similar to that discovered on June 2 at the Queens Vietnam Veteran Memorial.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz on Sunday announced that Kristoffer Bahamonde, 41, of Justice Avenue in Elmhurst, has been charged with three incidents dating back to May 30 and 31. Read more

Friday, June 04, 2021
Thursday, June 03, 2021
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Break out the cameras and the yearbooks because after last year’s experiment in virtual high school graduations, the ceremonies and celebrations are coming back in-person to Queens this year.

“I think the students are really appreciative and excited for an in-person ceremony,” said Jesse Pachter, assistant principal at Maspeth High School, adding that the students had overwhelmingly opted for a nonvirtual ceremony after last year. Read more

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A bill to repeal sections of Ranked Choice Voting, introduced by Councilman Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) and three others on May 27, has drawn the ire of some City Council candidates to such a degree that they held a rally the following day in LeFrak City.

Leading the May 28 rally were candidates Evie Hantzopoulos (District 22); Carolyn Tran (District 25); Ingrid Gomez and George Onuorah (District 21); and Julie Won and Brent O’Leary (District 26). Read more

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Four women were hospitalized in critical but stable condition after a fire broke out in an Ozone Park apartment at 101-10 101 Ave. early in the morning last Thursday, according to the FDNY.

The victims were a family — a single mom and her three daughters — who were asleep in the apartment when the fire broke out, according to Sofia Shah, who put together a GoFundMe for them. Read more

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Tom Ninos was turned away for a Covid-19 vaccine at a CVS on Memorial Day and was on the way to get coffee when he noticed two huge mobile vaccine buses covered with bright graphics on the corner of Broadway and 31st Street in Astoria.

“I just came to get some Starbucks and saw the bus, so I figured it was a good opportunity,” said Ninos, 31, who is originally from Astoria and is moving back after three years in Canada. “The vaccine rollout there has not been great,” said Ninos, who got his first shot in April in Canada. “The second appointment they put me in for wasn’t until September which would render the first one useless.” Read more

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Muslim communities in South Queens, which formerly had expressed support of Eric Adams’ mayoral bid, have reined it in over the past month based on his comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The political arm of the Yemeni American Merchants Association, an organization with wide roots in Queens and Brooklyn, which was on track to issue an endorsement of Adams, decided against it at the last moment. Read more

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Forest Hills, Glendale and Ridgewood commemorated Memorial Day in ceremonies this past weekend.

At top left, Navy sailors drop by the ceremony at Remsen Cemetery in Forest Hills hosted by Continental Post #144 of the American Legion. Above center, Bill Cook of American Legion Post 104 in Glendale affixes a flag on Cooper Avenue before heading to Veterans Memorial Plaza, where Shannon Jones sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Read more