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

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Out of a protracted court battle between three campaigns to get on the Democratic primary ballot in the race for the City Council’s 32nd District, a new feeling emerged from a group of ostensibly competing candidates: solidarity.

After Howard Beach Attorney Mike Scala’s campaign for City Council took an especially litigious approach to the primary in comparison with his competitors, five Democratic candidates and one independent have rallied together to voice their support for the two candidates who were knocked off.

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The fight for the top seat in the Big Apple is heating up as Queens heavyweights, Democratic Party Chairman and U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau) and Borough President Donovan Richards, split their endorsement in the World’s Borough.

Richards backed Eric Adams, the Brooklyn-born and Queens-raised former police officer, on Monday, less than three weeks after Meeks’ endorsement of Wall Street exec Ray McGuire at Queens Borough Hall. Read more

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About 16 percent of independent restaurants here have closed down since the beginning of the pandemic, but Queens leaders are hopeful a new economic initiative will prevent the remaining ones from shutting their doors.

Since Monday, restaurateurs have been able to apply for direct aid from the newly opened Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a $28.6 billion reserve established by the newly enacted American Rescue Plan Act. The money comes in the form of a grant, so struggling businesses don’t have to worry about paying the government back. Read more

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After years of scrutiny over the disproportionately small number of Black and Latino students who gained admission into New York City’s acclaimed specialized high schools, that number dropped even lower for the coming year.

This year, 23,528 eighth-graders took the Specialized High School Admissions Test, with a total of 4,262 receiving an offer to one of the eight schools based on their exam scores. Black and Latino students were only offered 9 percent of spots in specialized high schools for the 2021-22 school year despite making up about 70 percent of the school population. That admission figure is down from 11 percent the year before, and 10.5 percent in 2019, according to education department data released Thursday. Read more

Thursday, May 06, 2021
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The president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce is predicting a powerful breakout within the borough’s business community on the heels of Gov. Cuomo’s ending most restrictions by mid-month.

“It’s very definitely a step in the right direction,” Tom Grech said Tuesday in a phone interview. “Having the subways back 24/7 on May 17, two days before things open up, bides very well for Queens.” Read more

Eight mayoral candidates are slated to participate in an online debate hosted by the Southeast Queens Leadership Council from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 15.

The projected lineup includes Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams; Shaun Donovan, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama; former DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia; ex-Citigroup executive Ray McGuire; Dianne Morales, a former teacher and nonprofit director; City Comptroller Scott Stringer; Maya Wiley, the former chairwoman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board; and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Read more

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NYPD Officer Anastasios Tsakos was killed on the job by an alleged drunk driver last week, leaving behind his wife and two young children. In the midst of their reeling, they won’t have to worry about paying their mortgage bills, thanks to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

“Officer Tsakos was one of our city’s heroes who went to work to keep us and our city safe and he did not make it home to his wife and children. A family went to bed and woke up to the unimaginable news that they would never see their husband and father again,” CEO Frank Siller said in a statement after revealing the foundation would pay off the East Northport, LI home’s mortgage. Read more

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CEO Wil Shelton of Wil Power Integrated Marketing has made the business of grooming his life for nearly 30 years, first as a cosmetologist and barber for 27 years, then as a salon owner for 10. But his current role as a marketing consultant for more than 100,000 Black-owned barbershops and salons across the country means even more this year.

“At first this was a side hustle,” said Shelton. “Then I recognized how influential shop owners and stylists were.” Read more

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A 15-year-old boy minding his own business in Forest Hills became another victim of anti-Asian violence last Saturday.

Police said he was alone near 99th Street and 62nd Drive when three teenagers approached him and began calling him slurs. The harassment turned violent after the 14-, 15- and 18-year-old perpetrators began whaling on the boy, who sustained minor injuries and was sent to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. Read more

Monday, May 03, 2021
Friday, April 30, 2021
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It’s March 9, 1971. A senior at Jamaica High School in Queens, New York, skips school for the first and only time. He’s in Manhattan, waiting outside The New YorkerHotel. Waiting for someone he considers an idol. Someone who took left hook after left hook the night before as 300 million people watched.

That someone is Muhammad Ali. The fighter emerges from the hotel with a swollen face but with his charisma intact. He had just lost the “Fight of the Century” against rival and fellow heavyweight Joe Frazier. The high school kid approaches Ali, greets him, and gets his autograph. The teenager is ecstatic about the autograph and the experience. But he is unaware that he will not only befriend Ali and other famous athletes, but also go on to have what many would deem a dream career and life. Read more

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Eight mayoral candidates are slated to participate in an online debate hosted by the Southeast Queens Leadership Council from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 15.

The projected lineup includes Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams; Shaun Donovan, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama; former DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia; ex-Citigroup executive Ray McGuire; Dianne Morales, a former teacher and nonprofit director; City Comptroller Scott Stringer; Maya Wiley, the former chairwoman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board; and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Read more

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If you’ve been longing to get out of the house and put on your roller skates, or just think it would be fun, The Shops at Atlas park and United Skates of America have a deal for you.

The two have joined forces to open as of today, April 30, a temporary roller rink in the courtyard of the mall, located at 80-00 Cooper Ave. in Glendale. Read more

Thursday, April 29, 2021
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After a series of incidents involving no-knock warrants in Southeast Queens have come to light over the past several months, one of the affected families is taking the issue to federal court.

Lauren P. Raysor, a Mount Vernon-based attorney who specializes in police misconduct, announced last week that she is planning to file a federal suit against the NYPD on behalf of her client, Andre Brown, who she says was unlawfully arrested and detained during a no-knock raid on his aunt’s house. Read more

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New York City hit its single-day vaccine peak April 8, but the number of administered doses has been drastically declining each day since.

Vaccines are becoming more available, but distribution has slowed as the city seemingly hit a point of hesitancy — on April 27, only 31,700 people were inoculated, which was about 83,600 less than the April 8 peak. The last time so few jabs were administered was Feb. 22. Read more

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Brendah Lomelino’s path to winning four championship medals in the state USA Gymnastics competition in early April has not been without some bumps along the way.

In the Level 8 Senior B division of the New York state competition, the 19-year-old Howard Beach gymnast won first place in vault, bars, floor exercises and the all-around category. She also won second place in the beam category. Read more

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The Woodside Houses became the scene of horror last Thursday when twin babies only 46 days old were found dead in their apartment, their mother taken into custody and a knife recovered at the scene.

Dakota and Dallis Bentley lived their short lives in an apartment at 31-76 51 St. Police went there at about 3:15 p.m. after a concerned relative called 911, worried about the babies’ welfare, according to NYPD Chief of the Housing Bureau David Barrere. Read more

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In honor of Earth Day, the Woodhaven Business Improvement District held a beautification event at Forest Parkway Plaza in front of Chase Bank on April 22.

Even on a cold, windy spring day, the BID was able to bring out volunteers both young and old to help make the intersection of Jamaica Avenue and Forest Parkway more attractive, while cultivating plant life at the same time. Read more