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

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A memorial commemorating the Sept. 11 attacks was unveiled in Howard Beach on Saturday, a project that was many years in the making and created by local artists with help from community groups and volunteers joining together.

“We have survived many things, including Hurricane Sandy, a pandemic and now we are standing here honoring all those who lost their lives on 9/11 and those who continue to lose their lives because of the effects of going down to the 9/11 site,” said Joann Ariola, president of the Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic Association and City Council District 32 candidate.

The city Department for the Aging will be launching a pilot program that will allow elderly residents or those with disabilities from Queens to use an app to schedule trips to the doctor.

Those ages 60 and older or those with disabilities age 18 and older will be able to take rides within the five boroughs and Nassau and Westchester counties. It will include a random participant selection process to ensure fairness for a yearly cohort of 1,038 participants citywide. Read more

During the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor de Blasio and then-Schools Chancellor Carranza upended New York City’s middle and high school’s competitive admissions process. The reason given was that students admitted to screening schools, which used standards requiring good grades, attendance and test scores, would disenfranchise certain students and were not a fair and transparent process. This method would be replaced with a lottery-based system to choose candidates. That policy went into effect for the 2021-2022 school year.

This policy is nothing more than the furtherance of the mayor and City Council’s radical socialist agenda. Read more

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Police responded to a 911 call on Tuesday at 8:40 a.m. where an off-duty officer was in need of assistance in a domestic incident in South Ozone Park, which involved a male suspect later exchanging gunfire with officers.

Upon arrival, patrol officers knocked on the front door and initially engaged the man in conversation, according to Citizen App. However, the suspect later threatened to shoot the officers that led to the police backing away and requesting an Emergency Service Unit at the scene located at 133rd Avenue and 129th Street. Read more

The city’s Office of Emergency Management is offering resources for victims of Tropical Storm Ida in each of the five boroughs.

“By placing one service center in each borough, New Yorkers can seek aid at any location as well as on and by calling 311,” said an agency spokeswoman via email. “Recovering from an emergency has many layers depending on the event, and can add to the emotional stress of the incident.” Read more

The Queens Chronicle’s 13th annual Summer in the Borough Photo Contest is, like the 12th, a bit different from its predecessors.

We still want you to take your best shots of children playing, workers working, lovely landscapes, birds on the bay — whatever you think best says “summertime in Queens.” If you need some inspiration, check out last year’s winning photo, above, by Malgorzata Bartyzel of Woodhaven, and another fine 2020 entry, by Kathleen Lang of Elmhurst. Read more

Thursday, September 16, 2021
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New York City reopened school buildings Monday to all of its public school students for the first time since classes went remote at the outset of the pandemic.

While the landmark day revealed some logistical challenges and frustrations that school administrators will have to address in the coming weeks, many parents expressed a general sense of optimism, and data showed higher attendance than last year’s hybrid opening. Read more

A retired NYPD couple held a 9/11 vigil in Queens Village at their home on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The remembrance also included an encased glass shard from one of the towers they had kept.

Some of the guests in attendance of Elaine and Winston Bailey’s memorial were Pastor Doris Johnson of Holy Ghost Upper Room in South Jamaica and Bishop Melvin Artis of the Greater Universal Highway Deliverance Church in St. Albans. Read more

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, state Department of Transportation and city Department of Transportation are reminding the public that on Thursday, Sept. 23, the agencies will begin holding 13 public meetings on the state’s proposed congestion pricing program, formally known as Central Business District Tolling.

The agencies are proposing that a toll be set for every vehicle entering Midtown or Downtown Manhattan, a zone that could start as far south as 60th Street, to raise money for the MTA and reduce traffic congestion and pollution in Manhattan. Read more

Friday, September 10, 2021

New York City’s Department of Transportation has issued a series of traffic and lane closure alerts in Queens for the weekend of Sept. 10 through 12. Schedules are subject to change due to inclement weather, security alerts and other emergencies. 

The Long Island Expressway will continue to have single lanes both eastbound and westbound will be closed Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. to allow the state Department of Transportation to carry out wall restoration and maintenance at multiple locations between the Nassau County border and the Queens Midtown Tunnel.  The work will continue until the state’s Covid-19 emergency is lifted. Read more

Thursday, September 09, 2021
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“This is America where I’m standing right now,” President Biden said in the middle of an East Elmhurst alley Sept. 7. “These are the people, whether it’s in Scranton or Clamont or anywhere around the country, who built this country and it’s about time we step up. They’re always the first ones that are hurt and the last ones that are helped. But that’s not going to happen this time.”

Biden visited the western Queens neighborhood one week after Hurricane Ida swept through the city, flooding streets, damaging homes and taking the lives of at least eight in the borough. Read more

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For Sebastian Raspanti, an Astoria native and retired firefighter with FDNY Engine 233 and Ladder 176, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001 should always be a day to honor those who lost their lives.

“What 9/11 is about was the lives that were lost and the people that were missing,” said Raspanti, a father of three girls. “They don’t have the experience that I have where I get to take care of my kids and have life experience with them ... there are a lot of people who are not here who weren’t able to see their kids go to their first day of school. That is really the impact of what happened.” Read more

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Hurricane Ida’s unexpected flash floods that bombarded Queens houses and apartment buildings and killed more than a dozen people have amplified a debate over basement apartment regulation in the city.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, housing advocates and a group of councilmembers pointed to a stalled program aimed at converting basement apartments that are prohibited by New York City zoning and building codes as a potential tool for combating basement apartment fatalities. Read more

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A proposal to add parking spaces to a stretch of Woodhaven bordering Forest Park released by Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (D-Woodhaven) has sparked confusion and protests from a group of ecologically minded residents in her district.

In a press release from two weeks ago, Rajkumar publicized a walk-through with Department of Transportation Commissioner Nicole Garcia, in which she said she was proud to provide plans to convert “vacant park space at the corner of 98th Street and Park Lane South” into parking, among other ideas for increasing the number of spots as locations for diagonal parking next to the Forest Park Co-op and finding other spots along the roadway. Read more

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Gerard Buonincontri, treasurer and captain within the Lindenwood Volunteer Ambulance Corps, recently died, the service organization announced.

“Rest easy we have the watch from here…” wrote members of the ambulance corps in a Facebook post commemorating Buonincontri’s service. Read more

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Hurricane Ida may have been downgraded to a tropical depression when it hit several states with flash flooding in the Northeast on Sept. 1, but it was just as dangerous as when it decimated Louisiana on Aug. 28.

Eight people in Queens have died since the torrential downpour hit New York City with nearly 10 inches of rain and 35 mph of sustained wind on Sept. 1, according to the NYPD and Accuweather, a weather news outlet. Read more

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It may have been a regular coffee date with his work friends and a lunchtime meeting that kept Michael Mulvaney directly out of harm’s way during the World Trade Center attacks of 1993 and 2001.

Mulvaney was buying his morning coffee in the World Trade Center concourse on Sept. 11, 2001 when he heard a rumbling that was all too familiar to him. Read more

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Days after answering Gov. Hochul’s call to provide federal relief for New York and to support infrastructure initiatives after flash flooding from Tropical Storm Ida poured into the Big Apple’s subway system, President Biden made a visit to East Elmhurst on Sept. 7.

“This goes so far beyond what anybody is willing to speak up to until now,” said Biden. “We just finished surveying the damage here in Queens.” Read more

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President Biden declared New York City’s four outer boroughs and Westchester County the site of a major disaster Monday, greenlighting federal aid for people affected by Hurricane Ida’s torrential downpours.

Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will include funding for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and aid from other recovery programs to help fight the effects of the disaster. Read more

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Saturday, Sept. 11, marks the haunting 20th anniversary of the Twin Towers attacks. Communities across Queens will honor the thousands who were lost in the tragedy there and elsewhere, from office workers to first responders.

Some events will start in the days before the anniversary, many are planned for the day of and some for the days following. Read more