Tag Archives: Flushing

Video captures gunman opening fire at Flushing bowling alley entrance


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD


Cops have released surveillance footage showing a gunman firing into the entrance of a Flushing bowling alley after the shooting left a man injured.

The incident happened just after 10 p.m. Saturday at Jib Lanes on Parsons Boulevard, police said.

The suspect, who started firing outside the bowling alley before running inside, unloaded about five shots, striking a 36-year-old man in the back and thigh, cops said. He then fled on foot.

The victim was taken to New York Hospital Queens, where he was listed in stable condition as of Monday evening.

Police describe the suspect as black, in his mid- to late-30s, about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall and with a medium build.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Queens Library announces free coding lessons through online tech portal


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Logo courtesy Queens Library


 

Why pay thousands of dollars for coding classes? Just go to the library.

The Queens Library recently announced its users will have access to Treehouse, a free online interactive education platform that teaches programming languages and how to build websites, so members can obtain more skills and qualify for higher paying jobs.

Through Treehouse, library members will be able to learn how to program a website, create an Android app, and get an introduction to Javascript, Rails, iOS and more.

Users need to have a Queens Library card and account, which are free and available to apply for at any library branch or online for anyone who works, owns property, or goes to school in New York.

The library will also host free Treehouse orientation sessions at the end of May and in June at its Flushing branch and at the Central Library in Jamaica. Dates and times are listed below.

Flushing Branch:  May 30 at 3 p.m.; June 6 at 10 a.m.; June 30 at 3 p.m.

Central Branch:  May 31 at 2 p.m.; June 12 at 10 a.m.

Click here to visit the Treehouse portal.

 

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Flushing’s P.S. 164 students run 30K miles, win 500 books


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Julianne DiDominico


 

If P.S. 164 students are tired from all the running they did, soon they’ll be able to sit back and indulge in hundreds of new books.

Students at the Flushing school ran almost 30,000 cumulative miles through the school year to win the grand prize of 500 books from the Miles for Books campaign of the New York Road Runners (NYRR), the organization recently announced. The school will hold a ceremony in June when it receives its prize.

The campaign worked through the NYRR’s Mighty Milers, an initiative to encourage children to run throughout the school year, and offered books based on the number of miles schools ran through March. Schools that averaged the most miles won 100 new books, but only one institution with the overall most miles could win the grand prize of an additional 400 books.

At P.S. 164 more than 600 students ran an average of nearly 50 miles per student for the year.

“Our Miles for Books month was a huge success. It was a running frenzy,” said P.S. 164 physical education teacher Julianne DiDominico, who organized the running. “It is very difficult finding something that will bring students in a K-8 school together for a common goal, and Miles for Books month has done just that.”

The school’s library has many worn and outdated books, DiDominico said, and was denied a grant for new ones. During the month, students in gym classes ran a certain amount of miles per day and were awarded incentives based on their accomplishments. They also incorporated fun drills, such as dribbling, and academic skills, including doing math to figure out personal goals.

“The teachers and administration were amazed with how [the running] had become a part of our school culture,” DiDominico said.

 

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Police searching for Flushing bank robber


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Cops are looking for a Flushing bank robber who took off with $500 Tuesday afternoon.

The robbery took place about 4:40 p.m. at a TD Bank, located at 56-50 Main St., police said.

After entering the bank, the suspect approached the teller, passed a demand note and fled westbound on Booth Memorial Avenue with the money, officials said.

Police describe the suspect as an Asian man, 17 to 25 years old, 5 feet 5 inches, with blond hair and a slim build. He was last seen wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and a black baseball cap.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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New 9,000-square-foot community-focused health center coming to Flushing


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Selfhelp Community Services

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The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (CBWCHC) announced Tuesday that it has signed a 10-year lease to build a 9,000-square-foot health center in Flushing.

The new two-floor facility will be erected in independent living nonprofit Selfhelp Community Services’ affordable housing complex at 45th Avenue, and is scheduled to open in 2015.

“The health center will use the space to expand its primary care capability so we can better serve the growing Asian-American community and other underserved populations in Flushing and in Queens County,” said Jane Eng, CEO of CBWCHC.

The new facility, which will be the second CBWCHC location in Flushing, will provide clinical services such as internal medicine, women’s health, pediatrics, mental health services and support services, such as social work and health education.

Support staff will include Chinese and English bilingual speakers to help serve the community as well. In addition, the center will provide cancer and hepatitis B screenings, immunizations, smoking cessation programs and early entry into prenatal care.

“The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center is a perfect fit with Selfhelp’s philosophical approach to enabling New Yorkers to continue to live healthy with independence and dignity in their own homes,” said Stuart Kaplan, Selfhelp’s CEO. “The co-located community health center will offer stellar primary care and innovative wellness initiatives for the residents of Selfhelp’s six apartment buildings in the immediate vicinity and for members of the extended community as well.”

 

 

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Undercover operation busts eight Queens stores for selling alcohol to minors


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

LiquorBottlesHC0401_L_300_C_Y

An undercover investigation has caught eight Queens stores, mostly near high schools and colleges, for allegedly selling alcohol to minors.

The busted businesses, located in Astoria, Long Island City and Flushing, were part of an effort by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to fight underage drinking in the city, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who announced the results of the investigation Monday.

“The law is the law, and we will continue to do whatever it takes to crack down on underage drinking and hold accountable those who serve alcohol to minors,” Cuomo said. “Our message is simple: If you put children at risk by placing alcohol in their hands, you will face the consequences.”

From April 17 to May 1, the SLA used decoys to visit 74 liquor and grocery stores throughout the five boroughs, according to the governor.

The operation was conducted by the SLA’s newly formed part-time investigative unit, which was funded using a $147,000 grant from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the sting, uncover minors were allegedly able to buy alcohol at 32 of those businesses, including WooYong Corp., Astoria Vitality & Health Inc. and Green Leaf Deli & Mini Mart in Astoria; Cruz Mexican Products Inc. in Long Island City; and Parsons Convenience Store Inc., Parsons Wine & Liquor Inc., R & H Food Corp., Amy’s Deli, and P & M Convenience Store Inc., in Flushing.

Some of the stores are within walking distance of several high schools, as well as St. John’s University and Queens College.

Businesses can face civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation if charged for selling alcohol to minors as well as fines, starting at $2,500 to $3,000, for a first time offense. Repeat offenders can potentially have their licenses suspended or revoked.

 

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Van crashes into MTA bus in Flushing


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Updated Sunday, May 4, 11:55 a.m.

A collision between an airport shuttle and MTA bus in Flushing Friday left 10 people injured, officials said.

The Q12 bus was making a left turn onto Prince Street from Northern Boulevard about 10 p.m. when the van made an illegal right turn onto Prince and struck the bus, cops said.

The bus was not in service at the time of the crash, and was only occupied by the driver, police said.

Both drivers were taken to local hospitals in stable condition. Eight other people, who were reportedly passengers in the van, were also hurt in the crash and taken to area hospitals, according to officials, but the extent of their injuries was unclear.

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91-year-old WWII veteran fighting NYCHA for Flushing apartment


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

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Ninety-one-year-old Ralph Calinda has fought his fair share of battles over his lifetime.

He fought for the United States during World War II, he battles diabetes and high blood pressure every day, and now he’s facing a different conflict — keeping the apartment he has called home for more than 60 years.

Calinda lives alone in a three-bedroom apartment in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Pomonok Houses in Flushing. Through NYCHA’s downsizing policy, which moves residents who “overuse apartments” to smaller ones, the city agency wants to kick him out of his home.

They have sent letters to force him to take one-bedroom apartments, but in foreign neighborhoods such as the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City and the Ravenswood Houses in Astoria. Finally, they asked him to move to an apartment in the Pomonok Houses, but it lacked essential appliances and was unfurnished. Calinda, who retired nearly three decades ago, believes he wouldn’t even be able to make the move physically or financially, since he depends on social security payments.

Councilman Rory Lancman and other politicians rallied with Calinda and his family against the NYCHA policy in a protest on Friday, to call on the agency to halt its downsizing of senior residents and to overhaul the initiative.

“They have lately stepped up in a very, very aggressive way,” Lancman said about NYCHA. “We are here today to demand that they stop and that they treat their long-time residents like valuable citizens of the communities that they’ve lived in, rather than as pieces of furniture they can move around from one place to the other.”

Calinda uses a cane to walk, and that’s only during the rare times he leaves his apartment. “Pop,” as he is known among family members, friends and neighbors, now enjoys painting, word puzzles and gardening.

But before he retired, Calinda used to build fighter jets for the Air Force. He even helped build the NASA space shuttles, and although Calinda wouldn’t say which one, he allegedly engraved the name of his late wife on the tail of one of the space rockets.

Calinda raised seven children from his apartment, which has six rooms, counting a living room, kitchen and a bathroom. He said he may have been willing to leave if NYCHA first came to him when his kids became adults and left 30 years ago, but not now.

“It’s been my home for so long, I just think it should be my home forever,” he said.

NYCHA has yet to return a request for comment.

 

 

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Man gets 25 years for fatal stabbing of fellow parks worker in Flushing Meadows


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A former city Parks Department worker was sentenced to 25 years in prison for stabbing another employee to death during a fight at a Flushing recreation center.

Robert Swann, 53, of Ozone Park, was found guilty earlier this month of first-degree manslaughter, District Attorney Richard Brown said. He received the maximum prison term with his sentence.

According to trial testimony, Swann stabbed the victim, Ezra Black, 31, in the front torso on the afternoon of September 4, 2012 during a fight at the Al Oerter Recreation Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.  Swann allegedly told police that after he stabbed Black, he left the scene, and got rid of the knife and the clothing he was wearing in a field near the park.

Both men were seasonal Parks Department workers, according to Brown.

 

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Man found dead in Flushing karaoke bar: police


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

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A 49-year-old man was discovered dead in a Flushing karaoke bar on Saturday, cops said.

Police responded to a 9-11- call at 11:20 p.m. and found Flushing resident Jimmy Yu unconscious and unresponsive inside Alibarbar on College Point Boulevard. Yu was pronounced dead at the scene.

The medical examiner’s office has yet to determine the cause of Yu’s death.

 

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Suspect sought in series of Flushing street thefts


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a suspect wanted in a string of street thefts across Flushing, dating back to last fall.

In several of the robberies, the suspect punches the victim in the face before running off with the property, cops said.

The first incident occurred on November 12, 2012, near 31st Drive and 140th Street. The suspect approached the 58-year-old victim about 10: 15 p.m. as he was walking down the street, slugged him and attempted to take his property, police said. The perpetrator then fled before taking anything.

The suspect committed two more attempted robberies and six more thefts between November 3, 2013 and March 17 of this year.

Cops have released a photo connected to a Feb. 13 robbery near Maple Avenue and Main Street, where the suspect snatched a purse from a 40-year-old woman.

The photo shows the suspect entering a CVS store at 157-05 Cross Bay Blvd., then using the victim’s credit card to purchase items, according to officials.

 

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Queens Taste returns April 29


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Dominick Totino Photography

The Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) wants more people to — literally — have a little taste of Queens.

The organization announced its Queens Taste 2014, the borough’s premier food and networking event, which will take place at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing on April 29.

As Queens is known for its vast cultures and diversity, foodies attending the event can expect dozens of vendors, serving everything from Mexican to Portuguese food, and a range that includes sweet, savory, crunchy and creamy. At $100 a ticket or $175 for two, people will have access to the food and the ability to network with hundreds of others.

“I look forward to Queens Taste all year,” said Seth Bornstein, QEDC executive director. “It is so fun on so many levels. The food. The drinks. The people. The venue. The celebration.”

Clients of Entrepreneur Space, a food and business incubator that the QEDC operates in Long Island City, will be on hand with artisan specialties, including gourmet cheesecake balls and designer meatballs. Long Island City’s SquareWine headlines a spirits group that includes Queens Brewery and Punzoné Vodka among others.

Besides the food, the QEDC and the Queens Historical Society will host a table dedicated to show memorabilia from the 1939-40 and 1964-65 World’s Fairs as the borough is celebrating the 75th and 50th anniversaries of the events.

 

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Man fatally struck by LIRR train at Flushing-Main Street station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Flushing LIRR

A man was killed after he apparently jumped in front of an LIRR train Wednesday night as it was pulling into the Flushing-Main Street station.

A Port Washington branch train heading to Penn Station struck the victim, identified as only an adult man, about 8:40 p.m., according to an MTA spokeswoman.

As the train slowed down and approached the stop, crew members saw the man about to jump onto the tracks, and applied the emergency brakes and blew the horn, the spokeswoman said. The train then hit the man, who did not survive.

The incident suspended service on the Port Washington branch until about 9:45 p.m., according to the MTA.

 

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Queens Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Sun and clouds mixed. High 68. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. Monday night: Cloudy skies early then becoming foggy with periods of light rain late. Low near 55F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 70%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: The LEGO Movie

Presented in Dolby Digital 3-D, this is an eye-popping, witty, fast-paced, and inventive stop-motion animated feature about Emmet, a rules-following, perfectly average LEGO mini-figure who is mistakenly identified as the “most special, most interesting, most extraordinary person” and the key to saving the world. Monday, April 14 – Friday, April 18, 1 p.m. daily at the Museum of the Moving Image. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Fallen NYPD Officer, killed in Brooklyn fire, to be mourned at funeral today

A police officer who died last week after rushing into a burning building will be mourned Monday at his funeral. Read more: NBC New York

Flight to Nashville makes emergency landing at LaGuardia Airport

An American Eagle flight from LaGuardia to Nashville had to make an emergency landing on Sunday evening shortly after takeoff. Read more: ABC New York

Schumer: Afghanistan, Iraq War veterans deserve NYC parade

Sen. Charles Schumer is proposing a New York City homecoming parade for troops returning from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Churchgoers nabbed two alleged thieves during Sunday services

Churchgoers nabbed two young men allegedly breaking the eighth commandment at Palm Sunday services in Flushing yesterday, witnesses said. Read more: New York Post

EXCLUSIVE: NYC will spend $10M to raise salaries for pre-K teachers at community-based organizations

The city will spend $10 million this year to boost the salaries of prekindergarten teachers working at community-based organizations to attract and retain qualified instructors. Read more: New York Daily News 

 

Queens middle school students vanquish the competition in Lego robot contest


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Peter Xanthus

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Four Queens middle school teams were victorious in the NYC FIRST Lego robot building competition on April 4-6.

The contest, which was held at the Jacob Javits Center, challenged students to construct robots from Lego blocks and navigate obstacle courses. More than 70 teams from the five boroughs competed this year.

The Hurricane Pandas of P.S. 94 in Little Neck won second place for the Champion’s Award, which is given for overall excellence and innovation. The Boogie Bots of Louis Pasteur Middle School in Little Neck won first for the Project Research Award for the research and problem solving category of the contest, while Bleeker All-Stars of Edward Bleeker Junior High School in Flushing won first for the Robot Design, Strategy and Innovation Award. And the M.S. 216 Ryan Lions of Fresh Meadows won first for the Robot Performance Award.

“I’m very, very proud,” said Peter Xanthus, a sixth-grade science teacher at M.S. 216 who advises the school’s team. “It’s been six years here and this is the first time we ever came in first place.”

As a part of the contest, children had to research and think of solutions together for when natural disasters strike, not only to introduce the students to engineering and robot building but also to teach the importance of teamwork.

“You could be the most brilliant person in the whole,” Xanthus said, “but if you don’t know how to get our thoughts across to other people, you won’t get anything done.”

 

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