Tag Archives: De Blasio

Stats show universal pre-K’s limited reach in western, central Queens


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo by Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio

Only 30 percent of 4-year-olds in parts of western and central Queens got into the pre-K of their choice, the lowest percentage of matched applicants in all of New York City.

Parents in Queens District 24 — Corona, Glendale, Ridgewood, Elmhurst, Long Island City, Maspeth and Middle Village — must now search for an alternative to public schools.

According to the Department of Education, the majority of parents with 4-year-olds — 70 percent — in the district recently received letters informing them that the public pre-K of their choice was already full.

In comparison, in Manhattan’s District 1 only 10 percent of applicants were unmatched and, overall, 38 percent of applicants throughout New York City were unmatched.

“Every single school in this district is overcrowded,” said Nick Comaianni, president of School Board District 24. “In the past we’ve actually had to get rid of pre-K seats to make room for kindergarten to fifth grade.”

As the city changes gears for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s aim to make pre-K universal, the DOE is using community-based organizations like local YMCAs and mom-and-pop pre-K programs to scoop up the applicants that didn’t get into a public school pre-K.

But Comaianni, who has been president of the board for 11 years, believes that the mayor’s office and the DOE are moving too fast.

“Someone should’ve done their homework before pushing pre-K through so quickly,” he said, noting that since the schools in the district are already overcrowded, there is no extra space for more students. “You can’t have pre-K if you don’t even have second grade.”

The DOE is opening up 53,000 full-day seats through community-based organizations in time for the new school year in September. While this will still leave some toddlers behind, by next year there will be 73,250 seats, enough to put every 4-year-old in New York City in school, according to education officials.

Which is just fine, Comaianni said, but warned: “In our haste to open these seats let’s hope we have qualified people who can teach pre-K and it’s not just a baby-sitting center.

Queens by school district:

Source: Office of Student Enrollment

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Sunny. High near 50. Winds N at 15 to 25 mph. Wednesday night: Clear skies. Low 36. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Master Builder Lego Animation Workshops

In this 60-minute workshop, children work in production teams to plan and create a stop-motion animated movie using LEGOs. Ages 8+. $5 materials fee. 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily at the Museum of the Moving Image through April 22. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Man makes anti-Muslim statements, spits on teen girl aboard Queens bus: cops

A 15-year-old girl was harassed while riding a Queens bus last week when a man made anti-Muslim remarks toward her, spat at the teen and threatened her, police said. Read more: The Queens Courier

Police seek suspect in Forest Hills slashing of 18-year-old

A teen was attacked last week in Forest Hills when a man slashed him before fleeing, cops said. Read more: The Queens Courier

NYPD to end Muslim surveillance program

The New York Police Department said Tuesday it has disbanded a special unit whose efforts to try to detect terror threats in Muslim communities through secret surveillance sparked outrage. Read more: AP

De Blasio signs law protecting interns from discrimination, sexual harassment

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation Tuesday that ensures the city’s law against discrimination applies to interns, whether they’re paid or not. Read more: CBS New York/AP

NY claws back $3.9B in evaded taxes

New York officials report collecting $3.9 billion in evaded taxes over the past year, an increase of about $200 million or five percent over the prior year. Read more: New York Post 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Thursday: Sunshine early followed by cloudy skies this afternoon. High 42. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night Cloudy skies this evening will become partly cloudy after midnight. Low 36. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Live Music Thursdays at Rest-au-Rant

Join Matt Turk and Gary Schreiner to listen to live music and enjoy some delicious food at the same time at Rest-au-Rant on 35th Avenue. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Homeland Security to cut NYPD bomb detection funding after Obama says NYC nuclear blast bigger concern than Russia

The NYPD may be forced to make do as the Department of Homeland Security announces massive budget cuts to its bomb detection program. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Federal government proposes new safety standards for train doors

The government Tuesday proposed new safety standards for railroad train doors partly due to accidents in New York and New Jersey, one of them deadly. Read more: New York Daily News

Deal close on $142B state budget

Legislative leaders Wednesday were nearing a deal on the $142 billion state budget that would include funding for Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious expansion of pre-kindergarten classes in New York City. Read more: New York Post

Cuomo: I will help de Blasio fix homeless problem

Gov. Cuomo vowed Wednesday to reach a deal with Mayor de Blasio that would let the city use state funds to move more homeless New Yorkers from shelters into apartments. Read more: New York Post

Giuliani slams de Blasio, says he has ‘real disagreements’ with mayor’s policy

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani slammed Mayor Bill de Blasio Wednesday, saying he has some “real disagreements” with the man now occupying his former desk at City Hall. Read more: CBS New York

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Plentiful sunshine. High 52. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph. Friday night: Clear skies this evening will become overcast overnight. Low around 35. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Requiem for a Dream

The Museum of the Moving Image is hosting Indie to Epic: The Films of Darren Aronofsky. Based on the eponymous novel by Hubert Selby Jr., Requiem for a Dream follows a young couple’s downward spiral into heroin abuse amid a search for the key to their dreams. Starts at 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Maspeth UPS cuts 250 workers, drivers to rally Friday

UPS employees and public officials are planning to host a demonstration in Maspeth Friday, hoping the company will rehire 250 drivers that were recently handed termination slips. Read more: The Queens Courier

Man who ‘butchered family,’ fled to Mexico indicted

The madman who tried to escape to his native Mexico after butchering his wife and young daughters in their Queens apartment in January was indicted on three counts of first-degree murder Thursday morning as his still-grieving in-laws faced him down in court. Read more: New York Post 

De Blasio to name new parks commissioner: AP

Mayor de Blasio is expected to announce the appointment of a longtime planning official as the city’s new parks commissioner. Read more: NBC New York

East River tolls, Midtown traffic charges proposed for $1.5 billion boost to roads, transit system

New York City’s deteriorating roads and transit system could get up to $1.5 billion per year for upgrades under a rummaging of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s push to toll East River bridges and charge for access to Midtown. Read more: New York Daily News

Lawmakers, constituents say it’s time for de Blasio to address surging water bills

Are water bills in New York City grossly inflated? Some say yes. Read more: CBS New York

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: A mix of clouds and sun. High 38. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday night: A few clouds. Low 18. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY:  Dinner, a Movie and a Side of Reconciliation

Join savvy film and food lovers at Armondo’s Italian Restaurant for dinner and then head two blocks to P.S. 69 (77-02 37th Ave.) to watch Sardines, a short film about a child who goes to unusual measures to get her family’s attention, and the French feature film Tu Seras Un Homme (You’ll Be a Man), about a family coming together with the help of an outsider. $50, call (718) 429-8552. 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

New York City education takes center stage in Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged his support to a massive pro-charter school rally Tuesday at the state Capitol as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged one more push in the state Legislature for his beleaguered pre-kindergarten funding plan -underscoring the political differences between the two powerful Democrats. Read more: AP

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton to ride night subways to survey problems

New York City’s top cop says he’ll ride late-night subways to get a first-hand look at the quality-of-life problems straphangers face. Read more: NBC New York

De Blasio backers sue to block more charters

Mayor de Blasio is now getting friendly fire from his lefty supporters regarding the charter school space controversy. Read more: New York Post

House OKs bill rolling back huge flood insurance premium hikes

The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases. Read more: CBS New York/AP

NYPD officers to be equipped with tablets in new pilot program

New York City police officers will soon be armed with a new crime-fighting tool: tablet computers. Read more: CBS New York

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Fog and drizzle early…then rain. High 51. Winds SSE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Friday night: Cloudy with light rain early…then becoming partly cloudy. Low 33. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Council on the Arts presents “A Night with Dancers”

Queens Council on the Arts’ 3rd Space is proud to present an evening with Queens-based dancers and choreographers Monica Hogan, Hazel Lever and Selma Treviño who will be performing works-in-progress. Artists and the culturally curious are invited to participate in an evening of movement and discussion, to help workshop works in progress and gain unique insight into the artistic process. Dancers are especially encouraged to join us for a unique networking and community building opportunity. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

De Blasio caravan seen speeding, running stop signs: report

A vehicle carrying Mayor Bill de Blasio was allegedly caught speeding and breaking other traffic laws just two days after he unveiled his plan to prevent reckless driving. Read more: The Queens Courier

NY regulators approve Con Edison rate freeze

New York utility regulators have approved freezes on electricity, natural gas and steam delivery rates for Con Edison customers. Read more: NBC New York

NY lawmaker: Parents should take parenting classes

New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz Jr. introduced a bill that would require parents of elementary school children to attend a minimum of four parent support classes. If parents don’t go, 6th graders won’t move onto 7th grade. Read more: Fox New York

After brief we warmup, winter to tighten grip with return of polar vortex

A brief warmup to the 50s over the next few days will be followed by another return of the polar vortex to the tri-state area and a chance of snow next week. Read more: NBC New York

CDC: More young people getting the flu than in any other age group

Flu season started early and strong this year, and on Thursday a new report revealed it’s hitting a different group of people especially hard. Read more: CBS New York

 

 

De Blasio caravan seen speeding, running stop signs: report


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo: Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasi

Updated Friday, Feb. 20, 2:55 p.m.

A vehicle carrying Mayor Bill de Blasio was allegedly caught speeding and breaking other traffic laws just two days after he unveiled his plan to prevent reckless driving.

The mayor was heading back from a press conference in Maspeth on fixing potholes Thursday afternoon when the traffic violations occurred, according to CBS New York, which captured the incident on video.

Its news crews allegedly saw de Blasio’s two-vehicle caravan violate numerous laws, including exceeding the speed limit, going through a stop sign at a Queens intersection and changing lanes without signaling.

According to CBS 2, his cars were observed going 40 to 45 mph in a 30 mph zone, and up to 60 mph in a 45 mph zone.

On Tuesday, de Blasio announced a set of initiatives as part of his Vision Zero plan, which aims to reduce traffic fatalities to zero within the next 10 years.

They included increasing enforcement against speeding, reducing the citywide “default” speed limit from 30 to 25 mph, and expanding the use of speed and red light enforcement cameras.

A de Blasio spokesperson told CBS New York that the mayor was “firmly committed to the traffic safety policies outlined this week,” but referred questions on the violations to the NYPD.

In a statement the NYPD, which provides security and transportation for the mayor, said its personnel assigned to his security detail receives special training in driving for security and safety reasons.

“At certain times, under certain conditions, this training may include the use of techniques such as maintaining speed with the general flow of traffic, and may sometimes include tactics to safely keep two or more police vehicles together in formation when crossing intersections,” the statement said. “The handling of police vehicles transporting any protectee is determined solely by police personnel based on their specialized training in executive protection and professional judgment.”

Some Maspeth residents agreed, citing that the NYPD has to protect the leader of the city.

“It’s not [de Blasio] telling the guy to blow the sign,” said Anthony Kosior.

But most residents that talked with The Courier expressed frustration with the hypocritical behavior.

“You can’t try to pass a law if you’re not going to abide by it yourself,” Lynn Sheridan said.

Ben Vessa, a Middle Village resident agreed, “Nobody knows that’s Mayor de Blasio with his black Suburban. If they see a guy break [a sign] they’ll do it too.”

Facing reporters outside of his Brooklyn home Friday morning, de Blaiso again referred the matter to the NYPD.

He said he will answer questions on the incident during a press conference later today.

Shortly after making that statement, the mayor was caught violating another street safety law, according to the New York Post, which witnessed him jaywalking across 11th Street on 6th Avenue in Park Slope. De Blasio’s transgression follows a recent NYPD crackdown on jaywalking that he supported.

 

 -With additional reporting by Liam La Guerre

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday:  Sunny to partly cloudy. High 44. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Cloudy. Low 37. Winds light and variable.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Wavemakers

The Museum of the Moving Image’s First Look series showcases inventive new cinema. The documentary Wavemakers delves into the history and legacy of the Ondes Martenot, an electronic instrument with a haunting, ethereal sound. Director Caroline Martel will attend and Jean Laurendeau will play the instrument after the screening. Friday, January 17 at 7 p.m.  The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria.

Human remains found in College Point with possible link to Avonte Oquendo

Several body parts were discovered along the shore in College Point Thursday night and cops are investigating their possible connection to missing autistic teen Avonte Oquendo, according to police. Read more: The Queens Courier

De Blasio’s new health commissioner oversaw anti-smoking, trans fats, calorie efforts

The deputy commissioner who helped orchestrate the most significant public health policies under Mayor Bloomberg has been chosen as Mayor de Blasio’s new head of the Health Department. Read more: NBC New York

De Blasio to announce expansion of paid sick days law

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to announce Friday a significant expansion of a law that requires employers to give workers paid sick days. Read more: CBS New York/AP

UFT boss: Schools officials apologize for treatment during Bloomberg era

Top school officials “have been apologizing” for how they treated the teachers union during the Bloomberg administration, union President Mike Mulgrew told his members in a private meeting. Read more: New York Post

Verizon outage takes NYPD data systems offline for hours

The entire NYPD except 1 Police Plaza lost access to its data systems Thursday due to a Verizon outage. Read more: CBS New York

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Cloudy with occasional showers this afternoon. High 38. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 50%. Friday night: Foggy with rain developing after midnight. Low 37F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: KAIJU Art Exhibition opening reception

RESOBOX, at 41-26 27th Street, in Long Island City, is having an opening reception at 7 p.m. for the KAIJU Art Exhibition. Kaiju” is a Japanese word meaning [monster]. A staple of Japanese sci-fi movies) like Godzilla, Gamera,and the Ultraman series, these monsters are huge and threatening; bigger than skyscrapers and  extraordinarily powerful. In this exhibition, artists come to NYC from all over the world with their own “Kaiju”art works, that source of inspiration from the huge shadow of “Kaiju”.

Queens job-seekers spend night in cold for chance at union job

Armed with space heaters, chairs wrapped in plastic and lots of layers, hundreds of job seekers in Queens didn’t let the frigid temperatures stop them from spending the night in the cold for the chance at a coveted union job. Read more: ABC New York

De Blasio calls Bridgegate lane closures ‘immoral’

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has called the apparently politically inspired lane closures on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge “immoral.” Read more: New York Post

Raising minimum wage could mean layoffs, business owners caution

While 13 states, including New York, raised their minimum wage above the federal level Jan. 1, many workers and the White House are pushing for even higher pay. Read more: CBS New York

Assembly Democrats call to end tax breaks for companies that hire teens

Assembly Democrats Thursday called for the repeal of a tax break for companies that hire teen workers. Read more: New York Daily News

 Jobs report could show things are looking up

December’s employment report, due out Friday, is expected to show about 200,000 new payroll jobs — a steady rate of growth and an encouraging sign that the labor market and economy may have finally started to turn after years of false starts. Read more: NBC News

 

 

Queens pol has high hopes for Sandy Funding Tracker


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the office of Councilmember Donovan Richards

Sandy recovery money is now under close inspection, and one Queens pol wants accountability for every dollar moving forward.

In November, Councilmember Donovan Richards introduced a bill that would track all funds related to superstorm recovery via an online database.

Before former Mayor Michael Bloomberg bid adieu to City Hall in late December, he signed the bill into law, along with 21 others. It will take effect in late March.

Richards said new Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration will carry out the bill as it was intended, making sure local jobs are created and devastated areas are rebuilt stronger than before.

“De Blasio spent a lot of time with us during the storm, helping and bringing out supplies,” Richards said. “It’s not like we have to convince him we have a need.”

The Workforce Center recently opened in the Far Rockaway Queens Library branch is also equipped to prepare local residents for the rebuilding job opportunities.

“These things all tie into what we want to do,” Richards said. “Twenty billion dollars is going to come through New York City over the next few years. We want to make sure it’s distributed [equally].”

The Sandy Funding Tracker provides a funding summary, which gives an overview of all recovery money by funding type and funding details, broken down by borough and individual.

“You can see where this money is and where it’s going,” Richards said.

In addition to tracking federal funding, all contractors doing work locally are required to disclose everything from the wages they pay workers to the area from which they hire these workers. This is meant to encourage contractors to fulfill local hiring mandates.

The tracker also provides detailed information about projects and programs in each major category of disaster relief funds, such as Build it Back, the city-sponsored recovery program.

For more information and to see the website’s progress thus far, click here. The website will continually be updated once the law goes into effect.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Abundant sunshine. High 13. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph. Tuesday night: A clear sky. Low 11. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Raze preview screening and discussion 

Come to the Museum of the Moving Image at 7 p.m. for a preview screening and discussion of Raze, part of the ongoing martial arts series, Fist and Sword. In her biggest role to date, Zoë Bell headlines a sly subversion of the women-in-prison genre. Zoë Bell will be there in person. Click here for more info

New York area warned about severe freezing temperatures

The New York City Office of Emergency Management and other area agencies are warning residents throughout the Tri-State about prolonged exposure to extreme cold weather. Read more: ABC New York

Brooklyn native Janet Yellen Confirmed As Fed Chair

The Senate has easily approved Brooklyn native Janet Yellen’s nomination to head the Federal Reserve. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Deal eyed in for suspect in cop beating

Several dozen uniformed cops packed a Queens courtroom on Monday to support one of their own who was brutally beaten almost to death by a muscular stranger while cellphone cameras recorded the bloody incident. Read more: New York Post

De Blasio’s pre-K push still lacks Cuomo support

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio surrounded himself with labor leaders Monday morning, the latest choreographed show of support for his signature campaign promise to fund universal pre-kindergarten programs with a tax increase on the wealthy. Read more: AP

Head of Metro-North stepping down: source

The head of the Metro-North Railroad is stepping down after a year marred by a fatal derailment in the Bronx, a train collision in Connecticut, a worker’s death and a 12-day power loss to one of the authority’s busiest lines, a source familiar with the situation told NBC 4 New York. Read more: NBC New York

 

Hercules: Aftermath of the storm


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Updated at 12:59 p.m.

Queens residents woke up to more than half a foot of snow Friday morning as they prepared to deal with the aftermath of the winter storm.

Snowfall in parts of the borough was reportedly as high as 11.5 inches.

Mayor Bill de Blasio updated the city at about 10:30 a.m. and urged residents to stay off the roadways and be aware of how “deceptively cold” the weather remains. Although the “snow has tapered,” wind conditions have stayed substantial.

There will be a high of 18 degrees on Friday, and a low of zero coming into Friday night, he said.

“This has been and remains a dangerous storm. It is going to be bitter cold today, and New Yorkers need to be extremely careful going outdoors,” de Blasio said. “The best things people can do are to stay off the roads so we can clear them as fast as possible, and to check in on elderly and vulnerable neighbors who might need help this morning.”

Nearly 2,500 plows are working through the 6,200 miles of roadways as of “early this morning,” de Blasio said. PlowNYC is activated for borough residents to track real-time progress of snow clearance. Residents are additionally asked not to shovel snow into the street, which could delay snow clearance.

Despite multiple accounts of drivers’ vehicles getting stuck in the snow, NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner John Doherty said the agency was “able to keep the city moving no matter the situation.”

As the snow fell throughout Thursday night and early Friday morning, sanitation department members plowed “primary streets,” highways, multiple times to continue to remove snow brought back onto the roads by wind, Doherty said. They then addressed local roads and side streets.

Garbage and recycling pick-up has been suspended until snow removal is complete. All city hospitals and emergency rooms remain open, and additional ambulances have been added.

Alternate side parking regulations are suspended through Saturday and MTA subways are running with service changes. The LIRR is operating on its weekend schedule. Buses are “delayed but still moving,” and the Rockaway Ferry is not running.

John F. Kennedy International Airport closed Thursday night but Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) officials are aiming to reopen at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning, although the FAA ultimately makes that decision, according to a Port Authority spokesperson.

Runways are continually being cleared of snow but the wind is working against them, pushing the wintery mix back to where it started.

At LaGuardia Airport, travelers formed long lines waiting to hear about their outgoing flights.

“This is just crazy. The only good thing is I rather be in here than out there in the cold,” said Jeff P., from Woodside who was traveling to Portland,Ore. for work. “I just hope I make my flight. I got here with four hours in advance.”

Catherine Hidalgo, 27, also made sure to leave her hotel a few hours in advance to make it back home to California.

“I just want to make it to my family safe,” said Hidalgo. “It is crazy waiting but I rather be safe than sorry.”

City schools are closed after newly-appointed Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña made the call Friday morning at about 4 a.m. After-school programs and PSAL are suspended and CUNY classes are canceled as well.

Major highways including the Long Island Expressway reopened at 8 a.m. but city officials continue to urge New Yorkers to stay out of the driver’s seat and off the roads.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Cloudy. Light snow likely this afternoon. Temps nearly steady around 30. Winds NE at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 40%. Thursday night: Periods of snow. Low 16. Winds NNE at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 90%. 5 to 8 inches of snow expected.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Pop Americano!

From the creators of “Comedy Outliers” comes “Pop Americano!” a fun, interactive show where a panel of comedians breakdown current pop culture and political news. Propelled by it’s use of news clips, sound bites and a quick round of pop culture trivia, “Pop Americano” is a show you can’t miss! 10 p.m. at The Creek and the Cave in Long Island City. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Storm bringing near-blizzard conditions to NYC

The year is starting out with a shot of nasty weather that is predicted to bring near-blizzard conditions to the city. Read more: The Queens Courier

NYPD: Queens shooting is city’s first murder of 2014

A man shot to death in Jamaica Wednesday is the first homicide of the year, police said. Read more: The Queens Courier

De Blasio sworn in as 109th mayor of New York City

New York City’s 109th mayor, Bill de Blasio, was sworn in during a ceremony at his Park Slope, Brooklyn home just after midnight Wednesday, followed by a formal inauguration on the steps of City Hall later that day. Read more: The Queens Courier

Freed ailing ex-terror trial lawyer arrives in NYC

A dying former civil rights lawyer convicted in a terrorism case but released early from prison has arrived in New York City. Read more: AP

Three Rangers named to U.S. Olympic squad

The New York Rangers will be well-represented at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, at least as far the U.S. Men’s Hockey team is concerned. Read more: ABC New York

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Sun and clouds mixed. High 37. WSW winds at 5 to 10 mph, increasing to 15 to 25 mph. Tuesday night: Clear skies. Low 26. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Z Hotel’s New Year’s Eve special

Open bar and buffet until midnight, festive party favors, champagne toast at midnight, DJs Rob TV and Lil Roy. $125 ($39.95 dinner only/$75 open bar only). Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

De Blasio vows to end horse-drawn carriages in Central Park

The days of the horse-drawn carriage in New York City are galloping to a close. Read more: NBC New York

City sues FedEx for $52M over ‘illegal’ cigarette deliveries

New York City has sued FedEx, accusing the package-delivery company of illegally delivering millions of contraband cigarettes to people’s homes in violation of a 2006 settlement. Read more: New York Post

Speaker Silver calls for faster increase in state minimum wage

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said Monday that he wants to accelerate the state’s scheduled minimum wage increase to $9 by 2015 and tie it to the inflation rate. Read more: CBS New York

Woman protests Bloomberg’s policies by lighting cigarette inside City Hall

As Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a bill banning e-cigarette use indoors as one of the last pieces of legislation he approved, an opponent protested Bloomberg’s policies by lighting up a real cigarette right inside City Hall. Read more: CBS New York

Dead frog found in salad from chain sandwich shop

A sandwich restaurant chain says it’s looking into how a dead frog got into a customer’s salad in Manhattan Monday. Read more: NBC New York

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Thursday: A mix of clouds and sun. High 41. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Cloudy. Low 36. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: New Sounds of East and West

Set in a quaint, Gothic style church, Project Hansori’s concert will present new original music centered on Asian-infused jazz. Free, donation suggested. Starts at 7 p.m at All Saints Church in Sunnyside. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Melissa Mark-Viverito says she has support to become next City Council speaker

Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito is claiming she will have enough votes in the City Council to become its next speaker. Read more: The Queens Courier 

Immigrant population highest in a century

The percentage of immigrants in New York City’s population is the highest it’s been in a century. Read more: New York Post

Bloomberg’s meddling ways on unions don’t sit well with de Blasio

Michael Bloomberg has offered an unprecedented challenge to his successor to slash union benefits — for the good of the city — even if it means he doesn’t get re-elected. Read more: CBS New York 

DeBlasio picks ‘true progressive’ for budget director

Describing him as a “true progressive,” Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio appointed a former top fiscal aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as the city’s next budget director. Read more: New York Post

Millions of Target customers’ credit, debit card accounts may be hit by data breach

Approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts used by Target customers may have been impacted by a major data breach, the retailer said Thursday. Read more: NBC News