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Queens Chronicle

Western Queens News

Stories from Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside, Corona, Elmhurst and East Elmhurst

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Sunnyside Yard talk draws protest to LIC

What would a public meeting on a major project in western Queens be without a protest?A presentation on Monday night by the city’s Economic Development Corp. promoting the proposed overbuild of the Sunnyside Yard rail complex had its supporters and detractors among the more than 200 people who dropped by Aviation High School in Long Island City.

Constantinides enters borough president race
Posted: September 19, 2019

City Councilman Costa Constantinides announced his candidacy for Queens borough president Monday, setting out a platform in which environmental concerns and action to thwart climate change get top billing.

The chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection, Constantinides noted that he had crafted the city’s Green New Deal and gotten the Climate Mobilization Act, a policy calling for the largest emissions reduction ever mandated by any city, anywhere, through the City Council.

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Construction worker killed in Elmhurst
Posted: September 19, 2019

A 59-year-old construction worker fell to his death early last Thursday in Elmhurst after a truck hit the cherry picker he was working in, according to police.

Jose Polanco, who was employed by Welsbach Electric Corp., was working on a traffic light at the intersection of Goldsmith Street and Grand Avenue when he fell nearly 20 feet to the ground around 2:45 a.m.

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You get to spend $1M via direct democracy
Posted: September 19, 2019

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) officially kicked off his sixth round of participatory budgeting Monday with the announcement of five neighborhood planning assemblies to be held across the 26th District starting next week.

Van Bramer is again committing at least $1 million from the city budget to the projects that receive the most votes from residents. Last March, he allocated just over $2 million to the five projects with the highest vote count, plus a surprise bonus winner.

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Crooks only pretended it was police brutality
Posted: September 19, 2019

Luckily, the hospital was right there.

Two guys on bicycles beat and robbed a man in Elmhurst last July 17, and police on Thursday released video of the perpetrators — who told their victim they were cops — in an effort to find them.

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Class act: 13,000 new seats
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 1:02 pm

Teachers in Queens have been swapping horror stories for more than a decade about schools that made classrooms out of janitor’s closets and school-supply storage rooms.

Many of the borough’s 359 schools have been overcapacity for so long, it is hard to find a staff member who can recall a time when enrollment and the number of seats available matched up.

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MTA seeks $51.5B for modern transit
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 12:23 pm

Talk always has been cheaper than action when it comes to modernizing the city’s mass transit system.

On Monday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority challenged the state and city to put $51.5 billion where their mouths are.

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Few support MTA schedule removal
Posted: September 19, 2019

The reviews are coming in, and members of the riding public are generally less than enthused with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s decision to remove printed schedules from bus stops.

The removals officially began in July throughout Queens, with the MTA saying it would save $500,000 per year. In their place, the agency is posting information on where riders can find bus times, such as the MyMTA app or texting the MTA’s arrival number.

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Mayor doesn’t know ’18 traffic safety bill
Posted: September 19, 2019

Mayor de Blasio, the creator and undisputed champion of the city’s Vision Zero initiative, last Friday told a radio audience that he has not seen a bill that would put a lot more teeth into his administration’s traffic safety initiatives.

The legislation — Intro. 971 — was introduced by Councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) in June 2018.

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Patel jumps into 5-way NY-12 race
Posted: September 19, 2019

Suraj Patel is giving New York’s 12th Congressional District another go.

The East Village-based activist and attorney announced Wednesday that he’s running in the June 2020 Democratic primary contest for Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) seat, for which he ran last year. The district includes Manhattan’s East Side, Long Island City and parts of Astoria and Sunnyside in Queens, and Greenpoint in Brooklyn.

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Friday 09/20/2019
MTA planning six new accessible Queens subway stations
Updated: September 20, 2019 - 3:41 pm

Six Queens subway stations would be among 70 citywide outfitted with elevators under the new five-year capital budget request made public by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week.

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Five things to do in Queens this weekend! Sept. 20-22
Updated: September 20, 2019 - 3:29 pm

Summer lingers on until Monday, both scientifically and atmospherically — it’s supposed to be 82 and sunny the next three days! So enjoy this summer swan song, and if you want ideas on what to do, here’s our weekly list of five. One is all outdoors and another is partially so!

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Coke was it for allegedly dirty cop busted in Queens sting
Updated: September 20, 2019 - 3:53 pm

A city cop’s got the smuggler’s blues after allegedly moonlighting as a cocaine cowboy helping transport the drug around Queens in what turned out to be a sting operation.

NYPD Officer Ishmael Bailey, 36, of Staten Island was charged with first-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree conspiracy, second-degree bribe receiving and official misconduct, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday. If convicted he faces up to 15 years in prison.

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Thursday 09/19/2019
Rally blasts booze mega-store proposal
Posted: September 19, 2019

The proposed Total Wine & More mega-store in College Point isn’t going down smooth with the industry’s smaller merchants in Queens.

Around 40 merchants and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 2D members rallied against the plan with Metropolitan Package Store Association Executive Director Michael Correra and Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) on Monday evening at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Downtown Flushing.

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Sweeping changes on CB 6 exec board
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 12:22 pm

Members of Community Board 6 cleaned house last Thursday in an election that saw six of their seven officers come up on the short end of the votes.

Alexa Weitzman was elected new chairperson.

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Health Dept. shuts down York cafeteria (Update: City reinspects, clears violations)
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 5:08 pm

City health inspectors ordered the cafeteria at York College in Jamaica to close after an inspection on Sept. 10 discovered evidence of mice and other health violations.

In a seemingly unrelated matter, a visit to the campus this past Monday also confirmed that the school’s Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts Center has been closed because of possible mold conditions, forcing the school to relocate a number of classes to alternate sites.

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$3 million cut from Bayside HS budget
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 12:35 pm

“Unacceptable” was the word heard over and over again last week at a rally outside Bayside High School to protest a $3 million cut in funding to the school this year by the city’s Department of Education.

“We are being penalized by the Department of Education” for the school’s success over the last decade, Paul DiBenedetto, president of the school PTA, told a group of about 20 parents who gathered in the park across from the school..

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Cheating improved HS stats: report
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 12:25 pm

A 98 percent graduation rate. A 90 percent Regents pass rate. The awarding of the prestigious National Blue Ribbon last October.

Impressive feats to tout for Maspeth High School — until the New York Post reported last weekend that an unwritten “no-fail policy” is the cause of the grades.

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By candlelight, honor is paid
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 3:02 pm

The fire trucks of Engine Company 331 in Howard Beach were pulled out of the firehouse onto Cross Bay Boulevard last Wednesday to make room for a solemn candlelight ceremony at sundown for the victims and heroes of Sept. 11.

The annual commemoration continues to draw several hundred people from the neighborhood, including the combined children’s choir from Our Lady of Grace and St. Helen Roman Catholic Churches, state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Park).

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Making the grade in Howard Beach
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 12:31 pm

Location, location, location.

Turns out the neighborhoods where you eat out may be as important as what you eat when it comes to clean restaurants.

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Bayside Hills commemorates 9/11
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 12:54 pm

The Bayside Hills Civic Association held a moving Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony last Wednesday at Bell Boulevard and the Horace Harding Expressway, paying tribute to the victims of the attacks and the first responders who rushed into danger.

Above, Borough President Melinda Katz offers remarks at the event. In addition to praising the emergency personnel who responded to the attacks, she described the feeling of unity experienced by many New Yorkers in response to the tragedy.

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Middle Village pays tribute to the fallen
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 3:34 pm

“Through blurred eyes we find the strength and courage to soar beyond the moment. We look to the future knowing we can never forget the past. God Bless America.”

Those are the words at the 9/11 Memorial Garden at Juniper Valley Park.

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FHVAC remembers Richie Pearlman
Posted: September 19, 2019

As dusk began to descend last Wednesday, a small fleet of emergency vehicles parked at an angle with flashing lights, illuminating the front of the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps building, joined by a handful of motorcycles from the Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club New York Chapter.

Participants and spectators were gathered to memorialize the lives of those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001 in the attacks on the Twin Towers and specifically the life of one of the FHVAC’s members, emergency medical technician trainee Richard “Richie” Allen Pearlman. Pearlman had answered the call from officials through the media asking anyone with rescue and medical experience to come to their aid, and became the youngest first responder to die at Ground Zero that day.

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Whitestone remembers
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 12:40 pm

Whitestone residents honored the victims of and first responders to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks last Wednesday in Francis Lewis Park. The We Love Whitestone Civic Association and the Friends of Francis Lewis Park sponsored the ceremony.

The event honored a list of northeast Queens residents, most of them from Whitestone, who died in the horrific tragedy: Carl Asaro, Dominick Berardi, Brian Joseph Cachia, Steven Cafiero Jr., Vincent Cangelosi, Michael Carlo, Thomas Casoria, David DeFeo, Charles Lucania, Ronald Keith Milstein, Diana J. O’Connor and Jennifer Wong.

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Basketball royale
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 12:44 pm

On the same schoolyard basketball courts where he grew up, Royal Ivey — an all-city champion at Benjamin Cardozo High School, with a decade in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Oklahoma City Thunder among others, now an assistant coach with the New York Knicks — returned for his long-running basketball camp.

Ivey, far right in blue, has sponsored and directed the three-day camp for neighborhood kids in Hollis since his first year in the pro ranks.

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Vallone takes aim at car stereo blasters
Posted: September 19, 2019

Pimped out with huge sound systems, the automobiles blast music late into the night.

It’s been one of biggest quality-of-life issues for Whitestone and College Point residents in recent years. City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), who represents those neighborhoods, said his constituents have filed around 80 complaints to 311 about excessive noise from a motor vehicle so far this year.

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Glendale Chamber of Commerce returns
Posted: September 19, 2019

The Glendale Chamber of Commerce is back after several years on hiatus.

Dorothy Stepnowska is now in charge of the group that met at Ridgewood Savings Bank on Monday.

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Hurricane Dorian’s Queens relief efforts
Posted: September 19, 2019

South and Southeast Queens are rallying to the aid of the Bahamas, which remains devastated since being struck by Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 1.

The United Methodist Church at 126-22 150 St. in South Ozone Park has teamed with the Lions Club, the Bahamian American Cultural Society and the Bahamas Consulate to coordinate relief efforts.

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