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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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Guessing game for new bishop begins

Ending 16 years as the head of the Catholic Church in Queens and Brooklyn, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio last week submitted his resignation after reaching age 75, as required by church law.“I remember the words of Archbishop Thomas A. Boland who ordained me a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark when it came time for him to submit his resignation in the early 1970s,” DiMarzio said in an open letter published last week in The Tablet, the diocese’s official newspaper, explaining his imminent retirement.

Fire chief’s return
Updated: June 20, 2019 - 12:45 pm

Under an impossibly blue sky, a corner of Ozone Park was turned over last week to the memory of a kid who used to play there, FDNY Chief Ron Spadafora.

Family, friends and fellow firefighters came in the hundreds to see a triangle on Rockaway Boulevard and 90th Street named in honor of Spadafora, who was in charge of safety operations at Ground Zero after Sept. 11, 2001 and died last year of 9/11-related disease.

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With Addabbo from Day One, retiring
Posted: June 20, 2019

Pat McCabe, state Sen. Joe Addabbo’s (D-Howard Beach) longtime chief of staff and the calming voice on the other end of the phone when panicked constituents called his district office seeking help, is retiring at the end of the month.

McCabe stayed out of the spotlight during all her 18 years working for Addabbo, though she ran the lawmaker’s official business with an iron hand.

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Out with graffiti in Ozone Park
Posted: June 20, 2019

Tom Sawyer may have talked others into painting a fence for him, but volunteers from the Ozone Park Civic Association last week did the job themselves.

In Centreville, where street sewer construction has disrupted the neighborhood for several years, the civic association grew tired waiting for the city to act on its request to clean up the triangle at Albert Road and North Conduit Avenue.

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Plugging up new park
Posted: June 20, 2019

The Parks Department wants you!

“Hundreds of volunteers” will be needed next weekend to plant tens of thousands of salt-march grass plugs at a new park on Jamaica Bay in Broad Channel, officials said.

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All hail, top-rated Townsend Harris!
Posted: June 20, 2019

Townsend Harris, long called the best public high school in Queens, has leapt up in the national ranking this year and been named one of the top 20 high schools in the entire nation.

U.S. News & World Report, which publishes the best-known annual college and high-school ratings, ranks the Flushing high school No. 11 in the United States.

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Going green
Posted: June 20, 2019

The TD Bank branch in Howard Beach donated $1,040 to the St. Helen Catholic Academy last week as part of a nonprofit fundraising program.

The money will be used to expand the school’s Reflection Garden, which is maintained by students under the supervision of St. Helen’s green-thumbed pastor, the Rev. Francis Colamaria.

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What the new rent laws mean for you
Posted: June 20, 2019

They’re being called the most pro-tenant protections the state has ever passed.

Gov. Cuomo signed a sweeping rent regulatory overhaul last Friday, two days before the expiration date of the older rules that the new legislation strengthened and expanded. The agreement represents a political defeat for New York’s powerful real estate lobby.

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Home improvement loans
Posted: June 20, 2019

Volunteers from more than a dozen churches, synagogues, mosques, Buddhist temples and other houses of worship pitched in last weekend to help rebuild a house in South Richmond Hill for a single-mom homeowner from Brooklyn.

Habitat for Humanity New York, the organization that is sponsoring the two-day event, called it “Build for Unity.”

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Up, up and away at OLG
Posted: June 20, 2019

At Our Lady of Grace Church in Old Howard Beach, the ministry youth group marked two big events last week — the end of the school year and the departure of the Rev. Joseph Fonti, above, for a new assignment in Flushing.

Fonti, whose main job is running the Cathedral Prep and Seminary in Elmhurst, has been assisting at Mass at OLG for six years.

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Monday 06/24/2019
Ex-JFK Airport official pleads guilty to taking bribes from diplomats
Updated: June 24, 2019 - 4:13 pm

Authorities announced last Friday that former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official Marlene Mizzi, 55, pleaded guilty to taking bribes from diplomats in exchange for granting them exceptions to parking rules at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

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Friday 06/21/2019
Five things to do in Queens this weekend! June 21-23
Updated: June 21, 2019 - 4:48 pm

Today, June 21, is the longest day of the year — meaning the one with the longest amount of sunlight — but it’s kind of a dreary one. Fear not! The weekend should be sunnier, and there’s plenty to do here in Queens. Here’s our weekly list of five possibilities.

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Lancman quits Queens DA race, backs Katz
Updated: June 24, 2019 - 4:02 pm

Four days before the Democratic primary for Queens district attorney, Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) suddenly dropped out of the race Friday morning and threw his weight to Borough President Melinda Katz.

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PS 90 Students Join Young People’s Chorus
Posted: June 21, 2019

PS 90Q, The Horace Mann School in Richmond Hill, was fortunate to receive a grant for the past two years to have their students participate in the Young People’s Chorus of New York City.

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MS 202 Debate Team Triumphs
Posted: June 21, 2019

The debate team from MS 202 in Ozone Park came in first place at the MSQI Debate School Championship Tournament, which took place at Brooklyn Law School on Thursday, June 13. Roberto Quesada finished in first place for the advanced tier, while Sajid Ibrahim finished in first place for the novice tier and Diana Diaz finished in first place for the bilingual tier. Also, Faith Buchanan finished in ninth place for the intermediate tier.

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Thursday 06/20/2019
Crossing all the Ts for Bartlett Dairy
Posted: June 20, 2019

Bartlett Dairy has gotten final approval to build a distribution center in Springfield Gardens that also will serve as the company’s new Queens corporate headquarters.

Bartlett and the New York City Economic Development Corp. announced on June 13 that the City Council granted “overwhelming approval” for the company’s application under the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

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Your primer for the Queens DA race
Updated: June 20, 2019 - 12:33 pm

The seven candidates have been campaigning all over the borough for months. And now, the Tuesday, June 25 Democratic primary for Queens district attorney is just five days away.

Voting sites are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Find out where yours is located at nyc.pollsitelocator.com.

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Oral Cancer Screenings at ProHEALTH Dental in Howard Beach
Updated: June 20, 2019 - 2:19 pm

ProHEALTH Dental and Senator Addabbo provided complimentary Oral Cancer Screenings at ProHEALTH Dental’s Howard Beach location on June 15th. Oral cancer is particularly dangerous, because the patient may not notice it in its early stages. It can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms. As a result, Oral Cancer often goes undetected until it has already metastasized to another location.

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Council members call out Carranza
Updated: June 20, 2019 - 12:35 pm

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and City Councilman Robert Holden (D-Middle Village) are both relative newcomers to the mixed-martial-arts world of city politics.

Carranza was hired only 16 months ago, when Holden had been in office barely four months.

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Coming through: lane on Fresh Pond
Updated: June 20, 2019 - 12:37 pm

The Department of Transportation, last Wednesday at Community Board 5, shared its plan for a bus lane on the southbound side of Fresh Pond Road between Metropolitan and Putnam avenues effective from 2 to 8 p.m.

A DOT spokesperson said in an effort to address concerns of businesses, parking will be permitted in the bus lane before 2 and after 8 p.m. and more parking is being installed to add more opportunities for customers shopping on the road to find spaces.

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Pair face charges for tax-free cigarettes
Updated: June 20, 2019 - 1:38 pm

Two East Elmhurst men are facing charges for allegedly selling thousands of untaxed cigarettes from businesses in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan announced last week.

The main defendant, 44-year-old Mohammed Khan of 78th Street, was arraigned on a complaint charging him with second- and fourth-degree grand larceny, first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, violation of tax law cigarette and tobacco products tax, endangering the welfare of a child and possession or transportation of untaxed cigarettes with intent to sell.

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Islands of calm on Northern Boulevard
Updated: June 20, 2019 - 12:39 pm

The city’s latest project to improve safety along Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights isn’t even finished — but people are already beginning to benefit.

The Department of Transportation is in the process of building ten pedestrian islands between 70th and 92nd streets in the middle of the busy thoroughfare that are flush with the street level but have built-up curbing protecting on both ends.

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$5 mil for Airbnb, city sues renters
Updated: June 20, 2019 - 1:18 pm

A group of building owners and renters in Astoria — some related by blood and marriage, others who played together on the same soccer club teams — were sued on Wednesday for operating a “network” that booked more than 60,000 guests since 2015.

Thirteen people named in the suit filed by the city’s Office of Special Enforcement regularly advertised 210 different units — from houses to rooms in apartments, mostly in Astoria — on services like Air BnB, the suit alleges.

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Hotels for sale spark shelter concerns
Posted: June 20, 2019

Not much more than a year after they opened, the two Marriotts on the Horace Harding Expressway by 183rd Street in Fresh Meadows are for sale by owner East West Realty Development Group. Cushman and Wakefield is marketing the property, according to Crain’s, which first reported the story.

And some area residents are concerned about the buildings possibly becoming homeless shelters.

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An unlikely race for a seat on the bench
Updated: June 20, 2019 - 12:40 pm

For decades, the Queens County Democratic Party would select a candidate for a civil court opening and that person would run unopposed in the primary. Not anymore.

The party selection this year is Wyatt Gibbons, a defense attorney with more than 30 years of experience in criminal and civil courts, including time as assistant district attorney. He has been with the Jefferson Democratic Club since 1992 and has helped collect signatures and make phone calls for the club. Five years ago, he let it be known that he had interest in becoming a judge.

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$92.8 billion budget approved for city
Posted: June 20, 2019

Mayor de Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), Council Finance Chairman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and members of the City Council announced an agreement last Friday for an approximately $92.8 billion budget.

“The Fiscal Year 2020 Adopted Budget creates greater fairness for all New Yorkers,” de Blasio said. “We’ve reached an agreement that promises to create a pathway to pay parity for our early childhood education providers to address recruitment and retention issues, expands services that prevent unnecessary detention and fights the widespread national attack on access to abortion care.”

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Koo on new role as Parks commitee head
Posted: June 20, 2019

City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) was just made chairman of the Committee on Parks and Recreation last week. But he already knows what his priorities are.

“Safety is the most important thing,” he told the Chronicle on Monday. “We must make sure all the parks are safe to use.”

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$65M allocated for capital projects
Posted: June 20, 2019

Borough President Melinda Katz has unveiled her $65 million in fiscal year 2020 discretionary fund allocations for 80 capital projects throughout the borough. Here is a list of the programs to be funded.

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