Tag Archives: family

Line in the Sand: It’s neighbor VS neighbor in property war


| mchan@queenscourier.com

The Courier/Photo by Melissa Chan

A fence — erected above covered sinkholes and below scaffolding — marks the battle line between two neighbors in Flushing.

The neighborhood spat — between developers looking to build a seven-story condo community and a family living in a private home — has been brewing for over four years and has called into question where the property line between the two is drawn, according to both parties. The seven-member Joza family, who has been residing in their 33rd Avenue home for 23 years, said ongoing construction in the adjacent property has “killed” their quality of life.

“We can’t even open our windows. You have to wake up at 7 in the morning to these banging sounds, and it’s like that up until 5 or 6 o’clock in the evening,” said Linda Hernandez. “We can’t even come out and enjoy our backyard. We get no more sunlight back here because it’s actually blocking it completely — everything.”

The family said they filed more than 40 complaints with the city. Among their gripes about noise and pollution, they said the developer has built scaffolding directly above their garage. The construction, they said, has also caused cracks in the foundation of their garage and home, as well as sinkholes in the pavement due to excavation.

Developer Horizon 33 Management LLC heavily disputed the claims, saying the family is the real offender by encroaching onto their property.

Julie Chang, managing member of Horizon, said the Joza family’s fence was actually put up four-feet into their land. She said the issue has already been taken to court, where she said the judge ruled in favor of Horizon.

“As far as I know, everything follows the building code. The scaffolding is required by the Department of Buildings for safety reasons. If it wasn’t by DOB code, they would have already taken action,” Chang said.

But the Joza family’s lawyer, Howard Levine, said that statement is “totally incorrect.”

Levine confirmed that 10 inches along the east side of the Joza property, near their driveway, is in question, but he said the fence — which has been standing for over three decades — is not four feet on the developers’ land.

He said the “minimal dispute” over inches does not eradicate the fact that developers trespassed to erect the scaffolding, which he said hangs halfway across the family’s garage.

The DOB did not return repeated calls for comment in time for press.

Horizon was able to obtain a variance in order to build a multiple dwelling. Chang said the finished product will be a condo community, with a church on the first floor.

“This building contributes a lot to the community,” she said.

Chang also said the developers did not cause the alleged deteriorations on the family’s property, pointing to the fact that the house was “already very shaky and old” even before construction began.

Meanwhile, the family — who has been living in the Flushing area for 44 years — said they plan on packing up and leaving as soon as possible.

“We don’t enjoy this area anymore. We’re out of here,” said Hugo Joza.

Best of the Boro Voting is Live: Don’t delay, vote today!


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Cast your vote for the best in Queens’ Family, Education & Recreation.

Hundreds of nominations have poured in to the Best of the Boro’s fourth and final round and now residents can select who stands out above the competition.

With seemingly endless entertainment options, this category allows residents to choose the borough’s best places to relax and enjoy time with your family.
The eclectic category features dozens of subcategories in a wide range of topics including: best batting cage, best pool hall, best shopping center and best movie theater among a host of others.

Also, the scores of elementary, middle and high schools throughout the borough have the opportunity to show off their school spirit as they vie to be named the top school in Queens. Best teacher, public school, private school, high school spirit and university are among the categories to be won.

Voting for your favorites is easy. Simply visit www.queenscourier.com and click on the Best of the Boro logo. There you can choose the best in any or all of the categories.
Voting will remain open until May 18. Hundreds of votes have already been tabulated, so if you want your favorites to have a chance to win, make sure to vote early and often. Residents can vote for their favorites once per day.

The first three rounds have garnered more than 175,000 votes. Keep an eye out around Queens for the Best of the Boro stickers in stores and eateries window — indicating that the borough’s residents chose it as second to none.

To stay up-to-the-minute on the competition like the Best of the Boro page on Facebook and follow @BestOfTheBoro on Twitter.

CLICK HERE to Start Voting

The meaning of Easter brings families together


| editorial@queenscourier.com

BY MONSIGNOR JAMIE GIGANTIELLO

If you ask Christians what their favorite holiday is, many will quickly answer “Christmas.” People love the lights and trees, the presents and songs, the red poinsettias and gold bows. However, as much as I too love Christmas, Easter is my favorite. Easter Sunday and the week before, which we call Holy, reminds me every year why that baby was born on Christmas day. Jesus was born and lived for a reason, so that he may die and rise for all of us.

Easter is my favorite time of year because we know that the warmth of the spring and summer are approaching and the darkness and cold of winter are behind us. It is a time of change, rebirth, renewal and life. The warm pastel colors of the clothing people wear and flowers that are in bloom give me energy. These signs of life remind me that our God is a living God, who is always there to lift us out of the darkness.

Easter is my favorite also because it is a time for family to come together with no strings attached. There are no pressures to buy the perfect gift, or have the most lights on the house, or decorate the tree better than last year. Families get dressed up for Easter Mass and attend as a family. The Catholic Church offers believers a dramatic retelling of the Easter story through the liturgies, music and decorations of Holy Week. It is through the traditions of the Church that we too walk in the steps of Christ to His crucifixion so that we may likewise enjoy the rewards of His resurrection.

When families return home from Mass and come around the table for Easter dinner, they often recall those that are no longer with them. Maybe they remember the pies that grandma made, or the fruit that grandpa use to ask for. While most of us enjoy a particularly American Christmas and Thanksgiving, no matter what our ethnic heritage, the family traditions of Easter for many have retained their cultural identity. This is most obvious in the food that we eat. On Christmas we eat duck and on Thanksgiving we eat turkey, but for Easter every table is different. We may eat rabbit or lamb, pasta or ham, but the miracle of the day is that we are able to celebrate the same thing in different ways. This also allows us to recall our roots and the very basics which ground us as a family.

Easter is my favorite because every dish has a meaning and a story. Recipes are handed down which tie food and faith together as reminders of the important things that sustain a family physically and spiritually. Children eat the candy from their Easter baskets while Charlton Heston stars on our home television screens in “The Ten Commandments,” 56 years later.

Yes, Easter is my favorite holiday because it is my favorite holyday. It is the day which we commemorate just how much God loves us all and reminds that in turn we must love each other.

 

Grades spur parents’ revolt


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Grades spur parents’ revolt

Armed for the first time with data that rates the effectiveness of more than 12,000 math and reading teachers, parents yesterday said they’ll now take action to steer their kids clear of bad apples. At PS 89 in The Bronx — which had the highest number of teachers who were rated poorly in 2010 — several parents returning to school yesterday after last week’s mid-winter recess said they plan to pull their kids out. Forty-three percent of the Bronxdale school’s teachers were rated below average or worse, while just 7 percent were above average or better, according to the city’s numbers. Read More: New York Post

Thieves out ‘4’ iPhones

It wasn’t just techie nerds who were eagerly awaiting the iPhone 4’s release — sneaky cellphone subway thieves were just as anxious to snag the gadget, NYPD officials said yesterday. The June 2010 release of the iPhone sparked an underground cellphone-swiping frenzy that still hasn’t stopped, said NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Joseph Fox. Cellphone “thefts accelerated in July 2010 coinciding with the release of the pretty popular iPhone 4,” he said at the MTA’s transit committee meeting. In 2011, 47 percent of all property stolen underground involved electronics — up from 39 percent in 2010 and 35 percent in 2009. Read More: New York Post

Two confirmed dead, three injured in Ohio school shooting

An Ohio teen described as an “outcast” was due to appear in court Tuesday after allegedly killing two of his classmates and injuring three others in a fatal shooting at a suburban Cleveland high school. The first victim of the shooting at Chardon High School was Daniel Parmertor, 16, who died Monday at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. A second victim, named as 17-year-old Russell King, was pronounced brain dead at 12:42 a.m. at the same hospital, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuesday. Read More: New York Post

Family Fights To Prevent Deportation Of Jackson Heights Father

Mohammad Anwarul Islam’s family in Jackson Heights, Queens is fighting to keep the husband and father in the country, while he awaits deportation to Bangladesh in a New Jersey jail. His family says Islam immigrated legally but was not granted political asylum. Read More: NY1

Scam fam sent off to prison


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Scam fam sent off to prison

A seething Queens judge walloped three members of a crooked Richmond Hill family yesterday, sending them upstate to serve a combined 418 years for a brazen immigration and real-estate scam. The mom, dad and daughter — dubbed “The Ramsundar Gang” by Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder — paid a shocking price for defrauding 19 families of $1.8 million over six years. Holder said his harsh sentences are nothing compared to the street justice the Ramsundar family would have faced back in their native Trinidad. Read More: New York Post

Body of man found in garbage pile fire outside Furniture Zone store

A man’s charred body was discovered in a burning pile of garbage in Brooklyn Thursday morning, police said. Firefighters who were called to a blaze on Hendrickson Street in Marine Park shortly before 4 a.m. made the grisly discovery. The body, believed to be that of a white male, was lying on top of several boxes and had been burned beyond recognition, sources said. The fire erupted at the side of a Furniture Zone store in an area frequented by vagrants, according to a taxi stand manager who works in the area. Read More: Daily News

Queens Residents Brace For 7 Train Disruptions

It’s going to be a long winter for the several thousand western Queens residents who rely on the 7 train to get around town on the weekends come January 23. That’s when an 11-week service shutdown begins, which means no trains on Saturdays and Sundays until the spring. “This is not a neighborhood that has five different places where you can use instead. We’re very isolated there,” said Queens resident Moitri Savard. The MTA says the work is essential to make critical infrastructure improvements and upgrade tracks and switches. It also needs to clean the tracks of muck it says have accumulated over the years. Read More: NY1

Elevators in building where Manhattan ad exec died had numerous problems

Elevator problems were an epidemic at the building where a Manhattan ad executive died in a horrific accident last month, newly revealed Buildings Department records show. City inspectors wrote 11 violations against 13 elevators at 285 Madison Avenue in the immediate aftermath of the December 14 tragedy that killed Suzanne Hart, 41, the public records show. Investigators are still trying to determine the exact cause of the malfunction that killed the Brooklyn resident. The elevator that killed Hart so far has only been cited for a paperwork problem — it was among several elevators in the building that lacked a “certificate of compliance” with Buildings rules, the records show. Read More: New York Post

Pedestrian hit on FDR

A taxi passenger was struck by a minivan on the FDR last night after he impatiently hopped out of the cab in heavy traffic and darted across the roadway, police sources said. The unidentified victim was headed northbound near East 105th Street at around 11:30 p.m. when his cab hit congestion, the sources said. He left the vehicle and was struck in a southbound lane by a Toyota minivan. The victim was rushed to Metropolitan Hospital in unknown condition. Read More: New York Post

New arrests at Zuccotti

A gang of Occupy Wall Street protesters skulked back to the park yesterday, racking up three arrests. The 2:20 a.m. arrests came about seven hours after cops took down barricades that were erected when the group was evicted from the park on November 15. All three were charged with trespassing, and two were also hit with resisting arrest. Read More: New York Post

St. John’s loses to Marquette

For all the freshman mistakes and youthful inconsistency, St. John’s has played hard this season, rarely had its effort called into question. But last night it wasn’t so much questioned as flat-out criticized, the Red Storm folding in the second half of an 83-64 beating at the hands of No. 24 Marquette. The bowed heads and slumped shoulders and palpable frustration told the tale. The Red Storm (8-8, 2-3 Big East) have lost all six of their games against ranked teams, and with a chance at a breakthrough, what it got was a breakdown. It let Marquette shoot 67.7 percent to turn a second-half lead into a blowout loss. Read More: New York Post

Dr. Conrad Murray gets 4 years in jail for Michael Jackson death


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Comedian Patrice O’Neal Dead at 41

Comedian Patrice O’Neal died Tuesday morning … as a result of a stroke he suffered back in October…This according to his friends at the “Opie and Anthony” radio show. O’Neal had been a staple in the comedy world for years — and performed at the “Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen” back in September. O’Neal was a regular guest on the “Opie and Anthony” radio show – and appeared on several TV shows such as “Chappelle Show,” “The Office,” and “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.” Opie just tweeted, “Yes it’s true that our pal Patrice O’Neal has passed away. The funniest and best thinker I’ve ever known PERIOD.” Read More: TMZ

American Airlines Has Normal Flights After Parent Company Files For Bankruptcy

American Airlines says its normal flight schedule will go on after filing for bankruptcy protection. AMR, the struggling carrier’s parent company, filed for Chapter 11 protection today. It also replaced American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey with the company’s president, Thomas Horton. The airline says the move will help cut debt caused by high-jet fuel prices and labor problems. Travelers should not be affected for now, but the reorganization could lead to a reduced flight schedule and job cuts. American is the the third largest airline in the country and is the first major airline to file for bankruptcy since Delta in 2005. Read More: NY1

City might close Cypress Hills Collegiate Prep

Less than six years after opening its doors, a small school opened by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration might be on its way to closure. Cypress Hills Collegiate Prep (CHCP), which shares space in the Franklin K. Lane building with three other schools on Jamaica Avenue in Brooklyn, received some bad news along with a “D” on its annual progress report – the city might move to close the school after only two graduating classes. Read More: Queens Courier

Iranian protesters storm British embassy

Dozens of hardline student protesters stormed the British Embassy and another British compound in Tehran Tuesday, destroying papers, reportedly setting the Union Jack flag afire and even carrying off a portrait of the Queen while staff fled to safety. Read More: New York Post

Richmond Hill family convicted of defrauding innocent victims

Three members of a Richmond Hill family have been convicted of defrauding 19 individuals, mostly members of the borough’s West Indies community, out of more than $1.8 million over a nearly six-year period by promising to assist them in obtaining “federally seized” properties in Florida and Queens at cheap prices or to assist them in gaining legal status in this country. Read More: Queens Courier

Dr. Conrad Murray gets 4 years in jail for Michael Jackson death
The disgraced doctor whose “medicine madness” killed Michael Jackson was sentenced to the maximum term of four years behind bars and a tongue-lashing Tuesday. Dr. Conrad Murray, 58, was branded a callous, reckless liar who violated his Hippocratic oath and left the King of Pop to die alone in his own bed by the judge. Read More: Daily News

Queens home sales & property values keep sliding at faster rate than rest of city
Queens homeowners are feeling the pain of the housing slump. The volume of home sales in the borough fell by 9% in the third quarter, compared with the same period last year, according to a report from NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. The decline exceeded the drop in home sales citywide, which measured 4%. Queens also stood out when it came to declining property values. Prices in the borough have depreciated 30% from their peak levels, which were reached in the fourth quarter of 2006. Read More: Daily News

War of words between Flushing Councilman and Police Department

Antoinette Carona buried her only son on what would have been his 22nd birthday earlier this month. Carona has lived in a self-described “hell” as she waits for the killer of her son, Alex Botero, to be caught. Botero was shot execution style in an elevator of the James A. Bland Houses in Flushing on Halloween night. More than 40 residents of the Bland Houses and nearby Latimer Gardens attended a community meeting on Nov. 15 to express their concerns over safety in the area. But there was one very important element missing: The police. Not a single representative from the 109th Precinct attended, City Councilman Peter Koo said, sparking a war of words between the lawmaker and NYPD. Read More: Daily News

Civic group starts new push to get historic Forest Park Carousel landmark status 

Concerned about the fate of the Forest Park Carousel, which has been shuttered since 2008, civic leaders have launched a new effort to win the historic amusement landmark status. The city has been unable to find an operator for the hand-carved wooden carousel, crafted by Daniel Carl Muller more than 100 years ago. Read More: Daily News

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 10/24/2011: 2-month old baby abandoned on Queens street


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

2-month old baby abandoned on Queens street

Police say a 21-year-old mother is facing charges after authorities found her 2-month-old baby in a stroller on a Queens street. Authorities got a call about an infant crying shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday. They responded to 111th Avenue and found the boy, wrapped in a coat and blanket. He was taken to the hospital, where he was in stable condition. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Queens Sex Assault Suspect Caught On Surveillance Video

The NYPD released surveillance video of a suspect linked to five sexual assaults in Queens. The up-close image may provide the best shot at catching him. Queens South officers were out in force Saturday night, handing out flyers and warning residents of a sexual predator on the loose in Springfield Gardens, Laurelton, and Queens Village. Read More: CBS News

 

Family of slain groom Sean Bell attend first trial proceedings

Sean Bell’s family is expected at Police Headquarters Monday for the latest chapter in the explosive case: the first departmental trial for the cops involved in shooting him dead outside a strip club on his wedding day. Bell was killed on Nov. 25, 2006, in a barrage of 50 bullets that five cops fired into the car he was driving outside Club Kalua in Queens. The officers were under the mistaken impression that Bell, or one of his two passengers, had a gun. They began firing just after Bell struck one of the cops with his car. Read More: Daily News

 

Toy Gun Muggers Attack Real-Gun Officer

Four men tried to rob an off-duty police detective with a toy gun in New York City on Saturday, then scattered when he pulled a real weapon and started shooting. The detective was walking his dog in Queens at about 6:20pm Saturday evening when the four muggers walked up to him, held out the realistic-looking gun and tried to rob the cop, even after he identified himself, police said. The detective fired an unknown number of times, hitting one of the would-be robbers in the arm and chin and another in the foot. Read More: Fox News

 

Long Island City artist blending art and photography

Far away from the static realm of everyday photography lies the work of Rafael Octavio Gonzalez. The Long Island City-bred artist puts a luminescent spin on the lens – surrounding the viewer and bringing the past and present together in one intimate, yet all-encompassing, image. His images are currently being presented in an ongoing exhibition at Z Hotel in L.I.C. – steps away from where the artist grew up and developed his photographer’s sensibility. Read More: Queens Courier