Tag Archives: Flushing

Pedestrian seriously injured after being hit by bus in Flushing


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD109Pct

A pedestrian suffered serious injuries in Flushing this morning after being struck by an MTA bus while crossing the street.

The man was in the crosswalk when a Q66 bus making a left turn from Prince Street onto Roosevelt Avenue hit him at 7:04 a.m. According to an MTA spokeswoman, he went under the bus and suffered serious injuries to both of his legs.

The victim was taken to the New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens following the incident, which is still under investigation.

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Time Warner Cable store to look for new hires at SkyView Center opening


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

File photo

You can find work just by walking into a cable provider’s newest store.

Time Warner Cable will be looking to scout new employees at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for an outpost in Flushing‘s The Shops at SkyView Center on Friday.

The telecommunications giant is partnering with Flushing-area organizations to hire Queens residents for the store and for other positions within the communications company. A recruiter will be on-site at the opening of the newest location to talk about jobs available in customer care, sales and technical operations.

Time Warner Cable executives and leaders of Korean Community Services and the Chinese-American Planning Council are also expected to attend the grand opening, which begins at 9 a.m. and will include customer appreciation activities. The store is located at level B of the Sky View Center at 40-24 College Point Blvd.

There is only one other Time Warner Cable store in the borough, located at Queens Center mall in Elmhurst. A third Time Warner Cable store in Queens will be opening in the coming months in Astoria.

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BP Katz secures $32 million for Queens parks


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz announced Tuesday that she allocated $32 million of her Fiscal Year 2016 discretionary capital funds for construction, renovations and upgrades across 37 public parks in Queens.

Queens has a total of 7,273 acres of parkland within its border, covering more land mass than any other borough at over 10 percent. According to Katz, the capital investment intends to help enhance parks to be better enjoyed year-round by millions of children, seniors and families.

“Parks are the jewels of our neighborhoods,” Katz said. “Part of what defines Queens’ trademark quality of life – especially for the 2.3 million residents throughout our diverse communities – is the ample access to beautiful public parks and open space.”

The funds will be used for a wide variety of upgrades for parks across the borough, such as constructing dog runs and picnic areas, renovating pre-existing structures and planting greenery.

The preservation of the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park received the most funding with a total of $3 million. Two additional projects were also funded in the same park, including a $2 million renovation of the asphalt field at the World’s Fair Playground and a $480,000 replacement of the aviary mesh and marsh bridge at the Queens Zoo.

Several other projects on the list will also receive more than 1 million dollars in funding, including $2 million to upgrade to existing benches and equipment in Jamaica’s Norelli Hargreaves Park, $1.5 million to upgrade the running track and athletic court at Baisley Pond Park in Jamaica, $1.5 million to renovate the baseball fields at Glen Oaks Playground and $1.3 million to construct a meditation garden and upgrade Rachel Carson Playground in Kissena Corridor Park of Flushing.

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State senators butt heads over Flushing pedestrian plaza plan


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

State Senator Tony Avella rallied with community activists Monday against a plan which would permanently close down a stretch of Flushing’s Roosevelt Avenue to create a pedestrian plaza.

The project has Avella at odds with a legislative colleague, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, who represents the district where the street is located and supports the plaza proposal. Avella’s Senate district is adjacent to Stavisky’s area.

“If she’s in favor of it, that’s asinine, absolutely asinine,” Avella said, adding that he did not think the street could be shut down without affecting traffic conditions in the whole area. “Toby Stavisky should be ashamed of herself for supporting something that’s going to add significant traffic congestion and make dangerous situations already worse.”

When contacted by The Courier for comment, Stavisky staffers fired back at Avella, taking offense at his involvement in a cause centered in within their district boundaries. Both Councilman Peter Koo — who represents the street in the City Council as part of District 20 — and Councilman Paul Vallone of neighboring District 19 have also supported of the plan.

“Tony Avella has made more crazy allegations than Donald Trump and now he’s at it again,” said Mike Favilla, Stavisky’s chief of staff. “Considering that Tony only received 52 percent of the vote in his last primary, perhaps he should spend more time in his own district, rather than looking for fights elsewhere.”

The Korean American Association in Queens originally proposed the public plaza idea to the DOT last year. The proposal calls for the closure of Roosevelt Avenue between 155th Street and Northern Boulevard, adjacent to Leonard Square.

A public workshop held on April 16 solicited public feedback before two trial street closings, the latest of which occurred on Friday, Aug. 7, with a DOT information booth and children’s activities.

While the targeted street is slightly outside the boundaries of his constituency, Avella objected to not being notified of the plan by the Department of Transportation (DOT), and community groups attending the rally also complained of not having been sufficiently informed.

“I only found out about this on Thursday, and my first reaction was, what idiot came up with this,” Avella said on Monday. He cited concerns of traffic congestion around Northern Boulevard that could be worsened by the change.

Avella said that a side street on which cars would be re-routed from Roosevelt Avenue is too small for such a purpose, and would quickly become overrun by the additional vehicles and back up congestion onto Northern Boulevard.

At the trial street closing on Friday, residents were divided in their opinion of whether the street closure would be an asset to the neighborhood or a nuisance they would be forced to circumnavigate.

“I’m just totally against blocking the traffic here in front of the library,” said Chris Viv, a resident of the neighborhood for nearly four decades who believed that the move would complicate traffic in other areas. “Everyone’s been coming here for years driving up and down. It’s a good flow of motor vehicles, and I think it would definitely be a hazard to the area, especially with kids going around.”

Another resident, Michael Addea, said the street in question would actually be made safer if closed off to cars and that he would utilize the proposed plaza as a spot to eat lunch.

“A lot of times cars are double parked for the restaurants because people are coming out of the strip mall,” he said. “I think closing this off would be a good idea.”

The issue will be discussed again in an upcoming public workshop before being put to a vote by Community Board 7 in September.

 

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25th annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival makes a splash in Flushing Meadow Corona Park


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Marcin Zurawicz

BY KIRSTEN E. PAULSON

Sunny skies and warm weather made for perfect conditions this weekend during the 25th annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF-NY) at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

HKDBF-NY is the largest event of its kind in the U.S., and for 25 years it has drawn an audience of more than 50,000 people from across North America. This free, multicultural festival, held on Aug. 8 and 9, is a celebration of the age-old tradition of dragon boat racing, a sport that makes use of colorful, custom-made teak boats specially made by craftsmen in Hong Kong.

The boats, which have dragon heads and tails that adorn their front and back ends, are piloted by teams of 20 people: 18 paddlers, a drummer and a navigator.

Races and other activities began at 9 a.m. on Saturday; however, the festival was officially kicked off at noon with an opening ceremony, preceded by a parade in which dragon dancers and drummers led a procession of racing teams to the main stage, where they were greeted by a cheering crowd.

Henry Wan, chairman of the HKDBF-NY board, led the ceremony and accepted numerous proclamations from local politicians who were in attendance, including City Councilman Peter Koo, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Congresswoman Grace Meng, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Public Advocate Letitia James, and representatives for Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“It’s a privilege to serve the community and to see all these people coming out to enjoy the festival,” Wan said. The ceremony concluded with a ribbon-cutting, as well as a traditional ritual in which the eyes of the dragon that led the parade were dotted with red paint.

Races resumed after the opening ceremony. More than 200 teams and 2,500 participants from the U.S. and Canada participated in this year’s U.S. Dragon Boat Open Championship. Several major corporations fielded teams for the races, including Con Edison, HSBC Bank, Flushing Bank, the Sing Tao Daily, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. The Municipal Invitational race featured teams fielded by de Blasio, Katz, Meng, Assemblyman Ron Kim and various New York City agencies such as the NYPD, the FDNY, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Parks Department.

Festival-goers were also able to enjoy a variety of entertainment on the main stage, including dance and musical performances that incorporated both traditional and contemporary Chinese arts, comedy acts, and martial arts demonstrations by Shaolin monks. Japanese and Italian musical and dance groups also put on a show at the festival.

The festival’s menu included typical Chinese fare such as lo mein, spring rolls, and steamed buns and dumplings. Attendees also had the choice to chow down on shish kebobs, grilled meats, pretzels, churros, sno-cones and other diverse foods.

“The recognition we’re getting from everybody is one of our major achievements,” Wan said. “We began 25 years ago with just 10 teams, and now we have over 200. Nobody knew what the dragon boat race was, and now it’s one of the biggest events in New York City. There’s been a huge outpouring of support from the community and corporations.”

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Health Department to spray parts of Queens against West Nile


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of NYC Health Department

The Health Department is once again treating a number of Queens neighborhoods, including many across the northeast and central parts of the borough, in an effort to reduce mosquito activity and reduce the risk of the West Nile virus.

The treatment, which will include spraying pesticide from trucks, will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 11, between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Wednesday, Aug. 12, during the same hours.

Though no human cases have been reported so far this season, the following neighborhoods will be treated due to “rising West Nile virus activity” and “high mosquito populations,” according to the Health Department.

The treatment will take place in the following areas:

  • Parts of Auburndale, Corona, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Kew Gardens Hills, Murray Hill, Pomonok, Queensboro Hill and Utopia (bordered by 43rd Avenue, Cherry Avenue, Kissena Boulevard, Elder Avenue, Main Street, Blossom Avenue, College Point Boulevard and Long Island Expressway to the north; Grand Central Parkway to the west; Jewel Avenue, Main Street, Long Island Expressway, 185th Street and 73rd Avenue to the south; and Francis Lewis Boulevard, Hollis Court Boulevard and Auburndale Lane to the east)
  • Parts of Bellaire, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Floral Park Center, Glen Oaks, Hollis Hill, Little Neck and Oakland Gardens (bordered by Hewlett Avenue, Hewlett Street, Long Island Expressway, Little Neck Parkway and Northern Boulevard to the north; 223rd Street, Cloverdale Boulevard, 73rd Avenue, Springfield Boulevard, Union Turnpike, and 229th Street to the west; Hillside Avenue, Commonwealth Boulevard, 87th Avenue and 261st Avenue to the south; and 86th Avenue, 263rd Street, Williston Avenue and Langdale Street to the east)

For these sprayings, the Health Department will use a very low concentration of the synthetic pesticide Anvil 10+10, which poses no significant risks to human health when properly used. The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

  • Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.
  •  Air conditioners may remain on; however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
  • Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using again.
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

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Grammy nominee and Disney movie for Flushing music and movie night


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilman Peter Koo's office

Flushing elected officials and merchants have booked a Grammy-nominated performer and critically acclaimed Disney movie for the annual outdoor Music and Movie Night.

The event will take place on Thursday, Aug. 20, at Kissena Corridor Park at Main Street and Elder Avenue, and Councilman Peter Koo joined with Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce to reveal the night’s programming.

Grammy-nominated Tony-O and His Band, a blues group with a mix of original songs and covers of past hits, will play live music at 6 p.m. The musical performance will be followed by a showing of Disney’s “Big Hero 6,” an animation in which a young boy with a gift for robotics assembles a superhero team to fight evil.

“This is a great opportunity for family and friends to enjoy in an evening that celebrates our vibrant community and all that it offers,” Assemblywoman Nily Rozic said.

Funding is being provided by Rozic and Koo, who allocated a total of $4,000 in funding for the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce and the Queensboro Hill Flushing Civic Association.

“This will be a great summertime activity for families to come out and enjoy some live entertainment with their neighbors,” Koo said.

“I am looking forward to a wonderful time at the annual Music and Movie Night in the great multicultural community of Flushing, Queens — my home and birthplace,” Tony-O said.

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Flushing civic group objects to permanent street closing for pedestrian plaza


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

Updated Wednesday Aug. 5

A proposal to close off street traffic for a pedestrian plaza off Flushing‘s Northern Boulevard was met with opposition from neighborhood groups concerned that the change will worsen existing congestion and traffic problems.

The Korean American Association in Queens (KAAQ) is working to place a pedestrian plaza adjacent to a small park known as Leonard Square. The proposal will close off traffic at all times on Roosevelt Avenue between 155th Street and Northern Boulevard.

The plan was submitted to the DOT in the winter of 2014, and a public workshop was held on April 16 to solicit public feedback. A trial street closure on April 18 was deemed a success by the KAAQ after they received no resident complaints.

The overall contention against the project, however, comes from members of the Broadway Flushing Homeowners Association, which charged that it would worsen traffic congestion and cause safety concerns.

“We already have enough traffic and problems with too much congestion. [Closing] another street is only going to add to that and we need every artery,” said Janet McCreesh, a former president of the homeowners group.

McCreesh also asserted that there were more appropriate sites for community gathering spots nearby, such as Bowne Park, which is 0.4 mile away.

“How safe and clean will it be to encourage people to sit in between Northern Boulevard and one of the biggest and busiest parking lots in the neighborhood?” McCreesh asked.

Members of the association have voted to send another letter to Community Board 7, which may publicly discuss the issue as soon as Sept. 21.

Councilman Paul Vallone, a supporter who is working with the KAAQ on the project, recalled a similar plaza successfully established in Douglaston, and said that he expects the same benefits for the community around Leonard Square.

“Any group, such as the Korean-American Association of Queens, is able to apply to the city to maintain a pedestrian plaza with the goal of creating an open area for everyone to sit, rest, socialize and enjoy public space,” Vallone said. “I also believe this plaza will have a positive effect on safety and combat the clear history of traffic incidents at this very congested site.”

Paul Yoo, president of the KAAQ, believes the homeowners association objected to the proposal because they are misinformed on its potential effect on neighborhood parking and traffic. While around 8 to 10 spots of street parking would be lost if the street were blocked off, the KAAQ is working with the DOT to come up with alternative solutions to retain parking in the neighborhood.

 

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Yoo said that if the Broadway Flushing Homeowners Association had made an effort to reach out to the KAAQ, they could have collaborated to make compromises.

“They didn’t come to the workshop. They haven’t seen the work we’re doing,” said Yoo. “They didn’t contact us. They should come and talk to us.”

The next trial street closing of Roosevelt Avenue between 155th and Northern Boulevard is planned for Friday, Aug. 7, and will have festivities such as clowns, a bouncy castle, face-painting, balloons and stilt walkers to call attention to the initiative.

Editors note: An earlier version misidentified Janet McCreesh as the president of the Broadway Flushing Homeowners Association, and incorrectly listed the date of the Community Board 7 meeting in which this issue will be discussed. We apologize for any confusion.

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PHOTOS: Queens residents enjoy a fun ‘Night Out’ with New York’s Finest


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Promoting greater harmony between police and the people they serve, Tuesday’s National Night Out Against Crime brought thousands of Queens residents out to venues across the “World’s Borough” for family-friendly activities.

From Astoria to the Rockaway Peninsula, each Night Out event included free games and activities for children of all ages as well as refreshments, live music and other entertainment. Residents also had the opportunity to meet with the officers who serve their community and learn more about the NYPD’s various crime prevention programs.

Local elected officials, including Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, attended each gathering and presented proclamations to the precinct commanders. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who made the rounds at Night Out events across the city, stopped by the 113th Precinct’s Night Out in Springfield Gardens.

The National Night Out Against Crime, founded by the National Association of Town Watch, aims to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities. Millions of people across the U.S. and Canada were estimated to have participated in Night Out events Tuesday evening.

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The Catskills Comes to Queens celebrates the best in farm-to-table fare


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Foodies from across the borough were given the chance to sample farm-fresh epicurean delights during The Catskills Comes to Queens, a tasting event celebrating the farm-to-table movement, held at Flushing Town Hall on Saturday.

The culinary event was created by New York Epicurean Events co-founders Chef David Noeth and Joe DiStefano, famed food writer behind Chopsticks and Marrow, the wildly popular guide to adventurous eating in Queens.

“As someone who’s been writing about food in Queens for years, it’s always been a dream of mine to do a food festival,” DiStefano explained. “In early 2015, I met Ellen Kodadek, the executive and artistic director of Flushing Town Hall, and she told me that they wanted to do more culinary programming. For months beforehand, I’d been having all sorts of wonderful meals made with Catskills-sourced ingredients—grass-feed beef, farm-fresh eggs, free-range chicken, locally foraged mushrooms—at my business partner David Noeth’s house.”

“At some point the idea hit us: Why don’t we go into business together and help showcase all these wonderful products, help the farmers and expose the people of Queens to some great food?” DiStefano added.

Chef Nate Felder's pork belly

Chef Nate Felder’s Berkshire pork belly with red pepper marmalade.

The Catskills Comes to Queens featured a delectable array of mountain-fresh fare from some of the borough’s best chefs. Chef David Noeth’s beef heart tartare was accompanied by cheese from Vulto Creamery in Noeth’s native Walton, New York.

Chef Nate Felder of The Astor Room in Astoria topped tender maple syrup-cured Berkshire pork belly with a red pepper marmalade and served them over a bed of sour cream grits. Lamb and goat tacos dressed in homemade queso fresco, crisp corn salsa and an earthy corn crema were on the menu at New World Home Cooking Co. courtesy of The Food Network’s 2010 Chopped champion Chef Ric Orlando.

IMG_5786

The Food Network’s 2010 “Chopped” champion and New World Home Cooking Co. Chef Ric Orlando.

Smokehouse favorites were popular throughout the festival. Chef Alfonso Zhicay of Casa del Chef Bistro in Woodside featured succulent short ribs braised in an intoxicating blend of fruit chutney and Madeira wine served atop a briny bed of homemade pickled carrots and cabbage.

Chef Danny Brown's

Chef Danny Brown’s torchon of La Belle Farms foie gras and guinea fowl.

Chef Danny Brown, of Danny Brown’s Wine Bar and Kitchen in Forest Hills, crafted an exquisite torchon of La Belle Farms foie gras and guinea fowl accompanied by hazelnut oil and fresh microgreens. Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 7 runner-up and Sotto 13‘s Chef Ed Cotton offered a twist on traditional American fare with his mini rabbit and mortadella hot dogs served between toasted brioche buns topped with mustard and spicy kirby relish.

Bravo's "Top Chef" Season 7 runner up and Sotto 13 Chef Ed Cotton prepares his rabbit and mortadella hot dogs

Bravo’s “Top Chef” season 7 runner-up and Sotto 13 Chef Ed Cotton prepares his rabbit and mortadella hot dogs.

Smokey fare ruled the outdoor courtyard of Flushing Town Hall as well, where Chef Tyson Ho’s whole barbecued hog from Arrogant Swine took center stage, its head displayed on the table, presiding over the festivities. Guests were delighted by bite-sized treats, such as the lamb sliders from Chef Harry Hawk of Schnack and the Eagle Hollow Farms barbecue chicken sliders from Chef Lou Elrose of the soon-to-be-opened Charred smokehouse and bar in Middle Village.

Smoked beef tongue sliders from Harry & Ida's Meat and Supply Co.

Smoked beef tongue sliders from Harry & Ida’s Meat and Supply Co.

Adventurous eaters enjoyed the warm, earthy smoked beef tongue sliders topped with birch bark-infused mayo and pickled heirloom tomatoes from Chef Will Horowitz of Harry and Ida’s Meat and Supply Co., while M. Wells Steakhouse Chef Hugue Dufour’s lamb tagine provided a flavorful feast for the senses.

Chef Hugue Dufour unveiling his gigantic lamb tagine

Chef Hugue Dufour unveiling his gigantic lamb tagine.

Silk Cakes bakery’s Pandan cupcakes topped with coconut buttercream and white chocolate truffle nearly vanished in an instant. Delicate pastries by Rudolf Merlin at Creme French bakery and Leske’s Bakery’s peanut butter and Cotton Hill goat cheese donuts provided a sweet finish.

“We like to think that we’re bringing the best products in New York State to the New York’s best chefs at New York City’s best venue,” DiStefano added. “And what better place to do it than Flushing, which was once itself farmland.”


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Serial burglar wanted in Flushing


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Updated 11:39 a.m.

Police are searching for a burglar suspected in seven commercial break-ins around the busy Main Street area of Flushing, starting in late May.

The NYPD has released photos of the suspect — described as a Hispanic male last seen wearing a white long-sleeved shirt — from the latest incident on Sunday.

According to authorities, at about 5 a.m., the perpetrator entered an employment agency located at 135-23 40th Rd. through a rear window, but fled before taking any property.

The same suspect is also wanted in the following burglaries, where he sometimes targeted businesses in the same building:

  • On Sunday, May 24, around 5 p.m., the suspect entered a commercial establishment located at 39-02 Main St. through a fourth-floor window. He then removed a Panasonic projector, wall screen and a speaker system before fleeing.
  • On June 3, at about 8 p.m., the alleged burglar broke into Boss Dental at 37-08 Main St. by forcing open the front door. He then removed an undetermined amount of cash and fled.
  • On June 13, just after 6 a.m., the suspect entered King Spa located at 135-28 40th Rd. by using an unknown object then forcing the door open. The suspect then removed an undetermined amount of cash before fleeing.
  • On July 7, at about 5:30 p.m., the perpetrator entered HT Insurance located at 37-08 Main St. by forcing and breaking the front door open. The suspect then removed an undetermined amount of cash before fleeing.
  • On July 7, around 6:30 p.m., the suspect entered Travel Inc. located at 37-08 Main St. by forcing and breaking the front door lock. He then removed documents and an undetermined amount of cash before fleeing.
  • On July 7, at about 7:50 p.m., the suspect entered NM Travel located at 37-08 Main St. by forcing the door open and removed an iPad before fleeing.

According to the 109th Precinct, there is a $2,000 reward for the suspect’s name.

Anyone who can identify the suspect or has any other information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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Residents focus on affordable housing during Flushing West rezoning meeting


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

Community stakeholders attended an open house Wednesday night focused on the ongoing Department of City Planning rezoning study of the Flushing West area.

This was the second open house event held by the Department of City Planning for the Flushing West planning study. For most of the participating community members, the hottest topic of the night was affordable housing and how much of it would be available with an increase of residential development.

Hyun-Jung Kim — an engagement coordinator at the MinKwon Action Center, a Korean-American community-based organization — said the center’s biggest priority is to fight for the affordability of housing for the most vulnerable populations. This includes senior citizens struggling to remain in their homes, low-income families being priced out of the neighborhood and community members with limited English skills.

“I think the communities here in Queens are sometimes forgotten in conversations about the need for affordable housing. There are a lot of very vulnerable populations here,” Kim said. “We’re concerned when those folks might get swept under the carpet when Queens is just seen as a hot market, the next Brooklyn.”

John Choe, executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, said that he believes changes in Flushing West are long overdue. According to Choe, many issues in the area — from transportation upgrades to affordable housing — have not been adequately addressed over the past two decades.

“Affordable housing, for example, that could have been addressed in many different ways much earlier by the city,” he said. “To me, the demand far outweighs the investment that the city has put in over the past 20 years of affordable housing, and that’s just one area.”

Ken Cohen, president of the NAACP’s Northeast Queens division, added that although the Flushing West planning study has shown that 71 percent of the target area is of Asian descent, there are still issues which concern his organization.

“Flushing is a diverse place where people of all colors and ethnic backgrounds live,” Cohen said. “Affordable residential housing is much needed, jobs are much needed, so there is a call for a number of things that we would like to see as the NAACP.”

While affordable housing is a priority for many of the forum’s attendees, there are also environmental factors involved in the Flushing West Planning Study.

Alexandra Rosa, consultant for Friends of Flushing Creek, was there to talk to representatives of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) about increasing efforts to clean up Flushing Creek. According to Rosa, one billion gallons of raw sewage and stormwater runoff is dumped into the creek each year — and the group takes issue with a DEP plan that would continue the practice of releasing sewer overflows into the creek.

“Friends of Flushing Creek is committed to help publicize the need for and to get projects that will actually make Flushing Creek a recreation destination, and to clean up the pollutants,” Rosa said.

Information on the study’s progress can be found on the Department of City Planning website. The next open forum on the Flushing West study will reveal the results of public feedback received by Department of City Planning from previous open house events, and is planned for Aug. 20.

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Knife-wielding suspect, accomplice rob Flushing deli


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police have released video footage of two robbers after a Flushing deli worker caught them shoplifting earlier this week and was slashed with a knife.

The incident occurred just before 3 a.m. on Tuesday at the Queen Bee deli, located at 43-82 162nd St., authorities said.

After the two suspects walked into the store, they took beer and candy from the shelves and started to leave, according to police. The deli worker then attempted to stop the pair when one of the suspects tried to stab him and both fled.

The clerk received a laceration to his hand but refused medical attention at the scene.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


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Flushing street to be co-named after 3-year-old crash victim


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of His-Pei Liao and Amy Tam-Liao

The memory of a young Flushing girl tragically killed on a local street two years ago will live on with the co-naming of a neighborhood street.

The northeast corner of Main Street and Cherry Avenue in Flushing will be known as Allison Hope Liao Way after Allison Liao, a 3-year-old girl who was fatally hit by a car on Oct. 13, 2013, while crossing the street with her grandmother.

“Allison Liao was a bright and boisterous young girl with limitless potential who had her whole life ahead of her,” said Councilman Peter Koo, who sponsored the co-naming request. “While her senseless death was devastating to our community, it has also spurred impassioned awareness campaigns on driver safety across the city.”

After her death, Liao’s parents helped to form “Families for Safe Streets,” an advocacy group of people affected by traffic violence. The Liao family was instrumental in lowering the NYC default speed limit, and the tragedy of their daughter’s death was one of the catalysts for the foundation of the Vision Zero set of traffic and street safety initiatives.

“We are deeply grateful for Councilman Koo’s assistance in the street co-naming, and more importantly, for his continued support of Vision Zero and other street safety initiatives,” the Liao family said in a statement.

Koo said that he hoped drivers who may be distracted or impatient behind the wheel will realize the potential consequences of their carelessness.

“As drivers pass Allison Hope Liao Way, it is our hope that they recall her parents’ poignant question, ‘Is it worth it?’” Koo said.

The bill also creates Ptl. Phillip Cardillo Way on 28th Avenue between College Point Boulevard and Ulmer Street in College Point. The street is outside a new NYPD academy that opened in January.

“Soon, generations of new officers will be able to look to the sign and know his story and legacy to the department,” said bill sponsor Councilman Paul Vallone of District 19.

Cardillo had been on the force for five years when he and his partner received a false call about an officer in distress at the Nation of Islam mosque on 116th Street on April 14, 1974. The two responding officers were attacked upon their arrival, and Cardillo, 31, was fatally shot. He has been honored with an NYPD patrol boat named after him, and a book published in 2007 by author Randy Jurgenson tells the story of his death and the case against his killer.

“May this sign forever remind us of the sacrifices that the men and women of the NYPD are too often asked to selflessly make, as well as serve as a symbol that these sacrifices are never forgotten,” Vallone said. “This recognition has been long overdue and I couldn’t be more proud to right the wrongs from 43 years ago.”

The bill also names the northeast corner of Northern Boulevard and Marathon Parkway in Little Neck as Matinecock Way.

The Matinecock Native Americans once lived in communities spanning the area of northeast Queens, but the last of the tribe was driven out of Douglaston and Little Neck in 1656 in the battle of Madnan’s Neck. Matinecock graves were discovered in the 1930s at Northern Boulevard and were re-buried in the cemetery of the Zion Episcopal Church. The Bayside Historical Society and the Udalls Cove Preservation Committee were the first to bring the issue up to the Community Board.

“I am proud to finally pay the long overdue recognition to the Matinecock descendants and their ancestors who hold an important place in our neighborhood’s history,” Vallone said.

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Falling debris causes disruptions on the 7 line in Flushing


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD109Pct

Watch out below!

Service on the 7 line was disrupted Saturday afternoon due to a construction accident when a crane hoisting construction materials to stores’ rooftops broke and spilled its cargo onto the tracks at Roosevelt Avenue and College Point Boulevard in Flushing.

The incident took place at about 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, when the falling debris caused smoke and a small fire to spark on the tracks, according to reports.

Service was suspended between Roosevelt Avenue and Mets-Willets Point for several hours during the afternoon as crews worked to remove the debris from the tracks and are conducting an investigation for any damage.

Though train service was running normally by 7 p.m., with a Mets game scheduled at Citi Field, the team advised fans on Twitter hours before the game to allow additional travel time and use alternate means.

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