• June 25, 2019
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Queens Chronicle


Vote for DA and more Tuesday

The national news media are caught up in next year’s presidential election, which only makes sense as the most unconventional chief executive in decades works to defend his seat against any one of two dozen challengers. But here in Queens, we…

Go Townsend Harris!
Posted: June 20, 2019

Our congratulations go out to Townsend Harris High School in Flushing, long known as one of the best schools in the city and this year listed as No. 11 across the entire nation in the well-respected U.S. News & World Report rankings, the gold standard.

Townsend Harris came in as No. 1 citywide, beating even all of the “elite eight” high schools, including the venerable Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech, as well as all private schools. They’ve got nothing on Queens’ best educational institution.

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Carranza’s racial approach is wrong for schools
Updated: June 20, 2019 - 12:15 pm

The mission of the New York City schools chancellor is to provide the best education possible to the more than 1.1 million students the public school system serves. He or she is to do that without regard to race, religion, sex or sexual orientation. The chancellor should do the best he or she can to ensure that, regardless of where they come from and what they look like, all students have equal access to high-quality curricula, that they have an equal chance to be taught by the best teachers in the system, that they get the amount of physical education time mandated by the state, that they have the opportunity to apply for gifted and talented programs, that they be safe in school and that their parents have the opportunity to be involved in and oversee their education. No doubt there are more responsibilities than these that deserve listing, but we think these are the key points.

Yet current Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza does not. He believes his prime objective is to force a utopian ethnic equity in the schools — not by raising all students to a higher level, but by raising some at the expense of others, while peddling racial demagoguery, spreading falsehoods about the school system and harming people’s careers.

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Remembering D-Day
Updated: June 13, 2019 - 12:30 pm

D-Day. Seventy five years ago today, June 6, 1944. Called The Longest Day, with good reason. And just as with Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11, we must never forget what happened.

The action had long been underway with heavy bombing of the coastal area. The combat on D-Day itself began just after midnight when the first parachute troops started landing in Normandy, France, to begin the liberation of Europe from the Nazi hordes. The operation did not go smoothly from the start, with planes crashing, men being dropped all over the place instead of where they were supposed to be and units unable to find each other. But they hung in there and slowly came together.

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A zoning loophole to close
Updated: June 06, 2019 - 1:58 pm

The Queens Chronicle has always been supportive of business, whether it’s calling for easing up on petty summonses given to mom-and-pop shops, allowing Walmart to open somewhere in town or backing the failed Amazon deal in Long Island City. And we don’t mind that a Target store is being constructed in a new building going up in Elmhurst.

But the building of the Target has revealed a strange quirk in the zoning laws that we think should be changed. Zoning in the area where the store is going, 82nd Street just north of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, limits stores to 10,000 square feet. Yet the Target will be 23,000 square feet, because it will be partially located in the building’s cellar, where the space is exempt from the zoning limit.

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Thursday 05/30/2019
A bill to teach kids about 9/11
Updated: June 06, 2019 - 1:55 pm

“We Will Never Forget” read the massive banner hung from the World Financial Center, overlooking Ground Zero, after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. And we haven’t.

Those who lost loved ones will never forget. Those who were there and survived will never forget. And really all Americans who were old enough that day to know what happened will never forget, always remembering where they were and what they were doing as the horrific events unfolded at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon and at a field in Pennsylvania.

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City ads and local news
Posted: May 30, 2019

Letting people know what healthcare services are available to them at public hospitals. Telling building owners where they can go to learn all the rules they must comply with. Informing people of upcoming exams for civil service jobs. Getting the word out about universal pre-K and 3-K. Reminding parents their children need to be immunized.

The city provides these types of information and much more in large part through advertising. And last week, Mayor de Blasio ordered city agencies to spend at least half their budgets for advertising services in community and ethnic media outlets. The city had already increased its spending in such media from $850,000 in fiscal year 2013 to $2.74 million in fiscal 2018.

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Thursday 05/23/2019
De Blasio for president? Really?
Updated: May 30, 2019 - 12:17 pm

For a guy who doesn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor, Mayor de Blasio sure is drawing laughs.

Is there anyone in the country who thinks he’s going to be the next president? Except for him and his family that is, though maybe they’re just going through the motions themselves. It doesn’t make sense to audition for the toughest job in the world by treating the second-toughest like it’s some kind of part-time gig.

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On this Memorial Day
Posted: May 23, 2019

The purpose of Memorial Day is not to set up a three-day weekend and unofficial kickoff to summer. But you, the patriotic resident of Queens, NY, USA that you are, already knew that. You know that Memorial Day is about remembering those American servicemen and women who have fallen in the nation’s wars, from the Revolution to today’s conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere.

This borough holds just about a dozen Memorial Day parades and other ceremonies every year, and our people turn out for them by the thousands. Both new Americans and the native-born. We’re sure this year will be no different. We’ll attend the parades, we’ll hang the flags on our homes, and we’ll remember: that this is a solemn holiday, that warfare is the deadliest business, that those who are called to serve do so regardless of whether they agree with the cause. There will still be plenty of time for barbecuing.

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Thursday 05/16/2019
Keep the senior centers open
Updated: May 23, 2019 - 1:13 pm

We’re all for finding something to cut in the rapidly growing city budget, which under Mayor de Blasio has consistently gone up each year far above the rate of inflation.

But his idea of saving a mere $800,000 by closing down 12 senior centers and clubs, including four in Queens, doesn’t make much sense. First off the savings would be so miniscule they’re laughable: a little under nine 10 thousandths of a percent of de Blasio’s proposed $92.5 billion spending plan. In digits, that’s 0.00086 percent of $92,500,000,000.

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Illegal dumping ignored
Posted: May 16, 2019

Ever try to report illegal dumping to the city via 311? If your goal is to get the garbage cleaned up and not stick it to a neighbor, you may find it’s not worth the effort.

A member of the Chronicle team reported a pile of construction debris, along with a truck tire for good measure, to 311 last Friday. It was left on the side of 63rd Avenue at Apex Place in Forest Hills, up against a chain-link fence that surrounds a privately owned “pocket park” where a nearby preschool takes the children to play. The edges of the green space see illegal dumping all the time.

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Thursday 05/09/2019
All rise for the late DA Brown
Updated: May 16, 2019 - 2:14 pm

District Attorney Richard Brown may have been diminutive in stature, but he stood head and shoulders above many of the officials Queens voters have put into office in modern times. His death last Friday at 86, though not unexpected, is truly a great loss for everyone here — not least his harshest critics.

A steady hand at the tiller. A legal eagle with experience in courts of all kinds, on both sides of the bench. An innovator. The DA known to many as Judge Brown, whose 28 years in office is unmatched in Queens, was all of these things. He was a prosecutor’s prosecutor. He was a hands-on leader, racing to crime scenes himself, almost always getting there before the assistant district attorneys who would actually go before judges to put the bad guys away, according to Acting District Attorney John Ryan.

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Vaccinate all children
Posted: May 09, 2019

Religious freedom does not include the right to endanger people by spreading around a highly contagious disease, but that’s exactly what’s going on in the city right now. And legislation meant to stop it, stalled in committee in both the state Senate and Assembly, must get moving.

The bills are necessary largely because some members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community are not getting their children immunized against diseases such as the measles. Experts say there is nothing in the Jewish teachings they adhere to so closely to prompt this, but that instead, some believe in the disproven theory that vaccines cause autism, some distrust the government and are resistant to anything it orders them to do and some simply have such large families and so many obligations that they just don’t get to the doctor.

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Thursday 05/02/2019
No Lewis protest in HB
Updated: May 09, 2019 - 3:09 pm

Howard Beach can breathe a sigh of relief now that supporters of Chanel Lewis, who don’t believe the young black man killed Karina Vetrano, have decided against marching through the neighborhood in protest.

Activists who contend Lewis was falsely convicted — despite his confession, the DNA evidence and that trip he took to the hospital the day after Vetrano’s killing for damage to his hand that a doctor called “a classic boxer’s injury” — met Tuesday night to decide on a “plan of action.”

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Don’t ban fur; just don’t buy it
Posted: May 02, 2019

The fur industry is in serious decline and that’s just fine with us. What’s not fine is the heavy hand of government coming down to crush it.

A City Council bill would ban the sale of fur in the five boroughs, while one in the Assembly would do so statewide. The Council bill has nine sponsors including, in Queens, the odd couple of Danny Dromm and Bob Holden, as well as Antonio Reynoso, whose mostly Brooklyn district stretches into Ridgewood. The Assembly bill has but one sponsor, Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan, and there is no companion yet in the state Senate.

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