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Queens Chronicle

South Queens News

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

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Bonds to pay for new Queens jail

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.

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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Angry D26 parents drive out Carranza
Updated: January 23, 2020 - 2:14 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.

“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.

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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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Scholars principal heads to Woodmere
Posted: January 23, 2020

Brian O’Connell, the founder and longtime principal of The Scholars’ Academy, the highly respected public high school in Rockaway Park, surprised a lot of parents last month when he announced he was leaving to head Lawrence Woodmere Academy, a private school just over the Nassau-Queens border in Woodmere.

O’Connell is the only principal The Scholars’ Academy has ever had. A selective school for grades 6 to 12, it is recognized as one of the city’s elite secondary schools and regularly shows up in the top echelon of rankings in the city and state.

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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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Grab-and-run casino thief
Posted: January 23, 2020

A brazen thief snatched $500 from the hand of a woman at Resorts World Casino last Monday, then dashed out before he could be stopped, police said.

Surveillance video at the casino showed a man carrying a shopping bag lurking behind players at slot machines on Jan. 13 at about 10:30 p.m. He then walks up behind an unsuspecting player, grabs something from her hand and sprints off.

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Monday 01/27/2020
Ringing in the Lunar New Year
Updated: January 27, 2020 - 4:14 pm

A month after most of the world celebrated the New Year, traditional Asian culture is celebrating the Lunar New Year, which officially began on Jan. 25.

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Wrong-way collision leaves three dead
Updated: January 27, 2020 - 3:18 pm

Three individuals died and one remains in critical condition after a car drove against the flow of traffic on the Grand Central Parkway on Saturday, Jan. 25.

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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 27, 2020 - 3:30 pm

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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