Tag Archives: Forest Hills

Car crashes into Forest Hills rooftop parking wall

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Robinson Velasco

A Forest Hills rooftop parking lot is now in need of repair after a driver crashed into one of the walls facing the street, according to authorities.

The FDNY responded to a call at 8:05 p.m. on Sunday of a crash at the parking lot located on the rooftop at the intersection at 70th Road and Austin Street.

According to published reports, the accident, which sent bricks onto the sidewalk below, occurred after the driver of the car accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brakes.

The driver of the vehicle refused medical assistance at the scene, authorities said.

Police had the sidewalk under the scene of the accident sealed off Monday morning.


Queens remembers victims of 9/11 attacks at upcoming ceremonies

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com


Fourteen years after the deadliest terrorist attacks in American history, residents across Queens will remember the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, at memorial vigils scheduled to take place over the next two weeks.

As in past years, family members of the 2,977 people who died either in or responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 will gather at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan on Friday morning, Sept. 11, for the city’s annual memorial service. A citywide moment of silence will be observed at 8:46 a.m., the time when the hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

In Queens, tributes to the attack victims will be held on Sept. 11 and in days preceding and following the anniversary. They include the following, listed in chronological order:


With the Manhattan skyline in the background, Maspeth Memorial Park again hosts the community’s annual 9/11 memorial ceremony on the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 9. The vigil will start at 11 a.m. in the park located at 69th Street and Grand Avenue, adjacent to the Maspeth Federal Savings bank. The program includes prayers, music and a wreath-laying at the park’s monument to the 9/11 victims.

Astoria Heights

Victims of the 9/11 attacks will be honored in a special way at the memorial service that the United Community Civic Association and the Port Authority will hold on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 10, at McManus Memorial Park in Astoria Heights. The annual tribute takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the park located on 81st Street at the Grand Central Parkway service road. Elected officials, religious leaders and members of the Port Authority and local law enforcement are expected to participate.


Members of three western Queens communities will honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks at a candlelight vigil on Sept. 11 at Doughboy Playground in Woodside. The event, organized jointly by the Hunters Point, United Forties and Woodside civic associations and Woodside on the Move, will occur from 6 to 9 p.m. at the park located on Woodside Avenue between 55th and 56th streets.

Bayside Hills

All are invited to join the Bayside Hills Civic Association in honoring the victims of 9/11 at its annual candlelight vigil on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. at the corner of Bell Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway.

Forest Hills

The Forest Hills Community and Civic Association will co-sponsor a candlelight vigil on Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Remsen Cemetery Park, located at the corner of Trotting Course Lane and Alderton Street, just north of Metropolitan Avenue. The annual vigil pays special tribute to three local residents who died on 9/11: firefighter Pete Nelson, Gregory Hoffman and Richard Allen Pearlman, a member of the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Middle Village

Juniper Valley Park will again play host to the annual Middle Village 9/11 Candlelight Vigil on Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the ballfields located near the park’s 9/11 memorial, off the intersection of 78th Street and Juniper Boulevard South. All attendees are asked to bring a lawn chair and a candle or a flashlight.

East Elmhurst

St. Michael’s Cemetery will again hold its annual “Remember Me Run” on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 12, to honor the first responders who died while responding to the World Trade Center attack. The 2-mile run through the cemetery, which raises funds to support the Christopher Santora Scholarship Fund, will begin promptly at 2 p.m. and conclude with a memorial service. Click here more information or to register for the run.


The 42 residents of Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Woodhaven who died in the World Trade Center attacks will be honored at the annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony in Glendale on Sunday, Sept. 13. The tribute takes place at 12:30 p.m. in the 9/11 Memorial Garden at Dry Harbor Playground, located at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and 80th Street. The ceremony will include prayers, music and a recitation of the 42 victims’ names.

Tribute in Light

Another tribute to the 9/11 victims will be visible to thousands of Queens residents at sunset on Sept. 11 when the Tribute In Light — twin beams of light representing the former Twin Towers’ place in the Manhattan skyline — will be illuminated at sundown from Lower Manhattan. The lights will remain on through the night before fading away at sunrise on Sept. 12.


Police nab homeless man in Forest Hills burglary spree

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Image via Google maps

A homeless man was interrupted while using a spoon to jam open the cash register of a Peruvian restaurant early Wednesday in his fourth Forest Hills burglary, cops said.

The suspect — whom police did not identify — was observed by the 112th Precinct’s Anti-Crime team breaking a window in the front door of Cuzco Peru Restaurant at 98-102 Queens Blvd. at 2:25 a.m. on Wednesday.

The 60-year-old perpetrator entered the establishment by opening the front door through the window and police followed him into the restaurant shortly after, authorities said. The man was interrupted while attempting to use a spoon to open the cash register, and he managed to escape through a back entrance in the building before being apprehended by officers.

The man was arraigned on a charge of burglary in the third degree and three counts of criminal mischief. He was held on bail or bond of $50,000.

Upon further investigation by the 112th Precinct Detective Squad, the suspected burglar was also arrested in connection with three other August burglaries in Forest Hills.

According to police, the three other commercial establishments the man is believed to have broken into are Hannah Medtrans Pharmacy in Forest Hills on Aug. 14, Trinity Tax and Financial Solutions at 116-16 Queens Blvd. on Aug. 17 and Health Professionals NYC at 116-20 Queens Blvd. on Aug. 18.

He is believed to have collectively stolen a television set and medical supplies including saline solution from the locations, but no cash. The investigation is ongoing.


All remaining Barnes & Noble locations closing in Queens

| amatua@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

It’s the final chapter for Barnes & Noble in Queens, as the bookstore is shuttering its remaining location in The Bay Terrace shopping center in Bayside.

A representative from Barnes & Noble declined to reveal the official closing date or who is expected to take over the property but did admit that the property owner declined to renew the company’s lease.

“With Bayside, when our lease came back up for renewal the property owner notified us that they chose a tenant who was willing to pay rents far in excess of what we were willing to pay,” said David Deason, vice president of Barnes & Noble development. “The Queens community is extremely important to us and as a result we are aggressively looking at new locations and expect to have a new store there in the future.”

According to a representative from the property owner Cord Meyer Development, a HomeGoods store will take over the Barnes & Noble. The representative said that the property owner made repeated attempts at securing a long term contract but that Barnes & Noble decided not to exercise the option to renew the lease.

“Cord Meyer has not closed the book on B&N, and would welcome the bookstore back asa tenant in Bay Terrace, once they develop a business plan that would work in our shopping center,” the representative said.

This news comes days after it was announced that a Target would take over the Forest Hills location of Barnes & Noble. Forest Hills residents tried desperately to keep it open, starting a petition to vocalize the importance of the community’s only bookstore.

A Barnes & Noble in Fresh Meadows, near St. John’s University, also closed at the beginning of this year after failing to negotiate a lease extension.

Queens residents can hop over to Manhattan or Brooklyn if they want their Barnes & Noble fix.


Forest Hills expresses frustration, sadness over Barnes & Noble closing

| amatua@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

Updated Monday, Aug. 31, 1:14 p.m.

They’re not ready to say goodbye.

After a long fight to try to keep the 20-year-old bookstore open in Forest Hills, residents and Barnes & Noble patrons are fuming over the thought of the property being turned into a Target.

Forest Hills resident Virginia, who was perusing the store and declined to give her last name, signed a petition started by local author and preservationist Michael Perlman to express her support.

“What a disaster,” Virginia said. “One of the great things about living around here is having access to a place like this. It’s a shame. It seems to be a thing in this neighborhood like other neighborhoods, if you walk along Austin Street a lot of the businesses that have been here for years have closed so I guess it’s the rents.”

The bookstore’s lease will expire in January 2016 when the Target will open in the space, joining Starbucks, Men’s Warehouse and T.G.I. Friday’s. Muss Development LLC and Barnes & Noble were not able to negotiate a lease renewal, which allowed Target to make an offer.

The Forest Hills Target store will be the company’s first flexible-format location in the city and is expected to open in July 2016. According to Target, the two-level, 21,000-square-foot space will be stocked “with a tailored assortment that caters to city dwellers, including home products perfect for single-family homes and condos.”

Rendering courtesy of Target

Rendering courtesy of Target

Nadereh Saiediaa and her daughter Orel had just finished school shopping at the bookstore and were upset to find out that in a few months, they will have to do their shopping elsewhere.

“We need it,” Saiediaa said. “Barnes & Noble is very useful. We just bought a book for school and we’re happy to have Barnes & Noble here.”

Perlman, in an email, said the loss of the beloved bookstore is a “travesty.”

“We are losing more than a bookstore, but a soulful part of our community which benefits many people’s daily lives,” he wrote. “Books grant a universal language and interacting with neighbors in an appealing and vibrant space while holding books and smelling the print cannot compare to reading a book behind closed doors that was retrieved on Amazon.”

Along with the closing of the Forest Hills site, Barnes & Noble will also be shuttering its store in Bayside, leaving no more locations in Queens for the bookstore chain.

Comments expressing residents’ disdain flooded The Courier’s Facebook page following the news of the Forest Hills store’s closing Wednesday, and many people were concerned with the lack of parking in the already congested street.

“Has anyone done a parking assessment or is everyone walking to Target and carrying their bulky purchases through the crowded streets of Forest Hills and hopping on equally crowded mass transit?” Dawn Rodriguez-Insanalli commented. “Strange location since there are many Targets already available with ample parking. Sad to see another bookstore disappear.”


Target to take over Forest Hills Barnes & Noble site

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

It’s a new chapter for the site of a beloved bookstore.

The Target Corporation has signed a 15-year, 20,795-square-foot lease at 70-00 Austin St. in Forest Hills to open its first flexible-format store location in New York City by mid-2016, according to Muss Development LLC.

The site is the current home of the Forest Hills Barnes & Noble, which community members have been fighting to save. The Target will occupy the bookstore’s space, after the lease expires at the end of January 2016.

The bookstore chose not to exercise its option to renew the lease for five more years because of an increase in rents.

Local author and preservationist Michael Perlman started a petition to save the bookstore on Change.org, which garnered 5,770 signatures, and the store even held a customer appreciation day to help gather more attention in its struggle to stay in Forest Hills. The fight began in May when word got that Barnes & Noble would shutter one of its two remaining locations in Queens if did not renew its lease.

“We are excited that Target chose Forest Hills for its first New York City location as part of its national flexible format store roll-out,” said Jason Muss, Muss Development principal. “Austin Street is a natural fit for this new retail concept. It is in the center of a high-traffic, residential area and Forest Hills is the quintessential Queens neighborhood. Target will be a great anchor store and tremendous addition to Austin Street, one of the most popular shopping corridors in Queens.”

The new Target is slated to take up the entire ground and second floors, and will join retailers such as Starbucks, Men’s Wearhouse and T.G.I. Friday’s.

Its flexible format is expected to make the store vary in size according to the location, compared to other local Targets, and look to adhere to the surrounding community that would shop at the location.

Muss said the developer of the site and Target signed the long-term agreement expecting the retailer to remain at the location even after the 15-year agreement comes to an end.

“Target is one of the most popular retailers in the country,” he said. “We are both in this for the long haul, and will constantly be looking toward the future to meet the needs of this ever-growing neighborhood.”


Pesticide spraying across many Queens neighborhoods set for Monday night

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Trucks will spray pesticide across nearly every corner in Queens this Monday night as part of the Health Department’s ongoing efforts to kill mosquitoes that may carry the West Nile virus.

Weather permitting, the spraying will begin at about 8:30 p.m. Monday and continue until 6 a.m. the next morning. In the event of inclement weather, the spraying will take place on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning at the same hours.

The spraying will occur in four clusters of Queens as follows:

  • Areas of Long Island City and Sunnyside generally bounded by 47th Avenue on the north; Dutch Kills on the west; Newtown Creek on south; and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and 43rd Street on the east.
  • Parts of Astoria and Woodside generally bounded by 20th Avenue and 30th Street on the north; 28th Avenue, 43rd Street and Newtown Road on the west; Broadway and Northern Boulevard on the south; and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, 30th Avenue, 78th Street, Astoria Boulevard and 75th Street on the east.
The northwest Queens spray zones. (Maps courtesy NYC Health Department)

The northwest Queens spray zones. (Maps courtesy NYC Health Department)

  • Areas of Fresh Meadows, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood and Oakland Gardens generally bounded by 73rd Avenue on the north; 188th Street on the west; Jamaica Avenue, 199th Street, Hillside Avenue, 212th Street and the Grand Central Parkway on the south; and Springfield Boulevard on the east.
  • Parts of Briarwood, Forest Hills, Glendale, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens, Middle Village, Richmond Hill and Woodhaven generally bounded by the Grand Central and Jackie Robinson parkways, Groton Street, Yellowstone and Woodhaven boulevards and Eliot Avenue on the north; Lutheran Avenue, 71st Street, Metropolitan Avenue, All Faiths Cemetery, 76th Street, Cypress Hills Cemetery and Cypress Hills Street on the west; Jamaica and 89th avenues on the south; and 169th Street on the east.
The central Queens spray zones (Maps courtesy NYC Health Department)

The central Queens spray zones (Maps courtesy NYC Health Department)

Though the pesticide used during these sprayings, Anvil 10+10, poses no significant health risks to humans, the Health Department advises residents in these areas — especially those with respiratory ailments — to stay indoors while spraying occurs. Windows should be kept closed; air conditioners may be used, but the vents should be closed to prevent possible indoor exposure to the pesticides.

Any toys, clothes and outdoor equipment should be moved inside prior to spraying; anything left outside while spraying occurs should be thoroughly washed before reuse. Produce grown in backyards should be washed before being consumed or cooked.

Persons exposed to the pesticide should thoroughly wash their skin with soap and water.

For more information, visit the Health Department’s website or call 311.


More weekend closures scheduled for Jackie Robinson Parkway

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Anthony Giudice

Get ready for another round of weekend shutdowns on the Jackie Robinson Parkway.

Portions of the eastbound section of the parkway between Pennsylvania Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway will be closed as needed beginning tonight at 11 p.m. and continuing until 8 a.m. Saturday morning. Road closures will also occur each weeknight between Aug. 17 to 20 from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. the following morning; and from 11 p.m. on Aug. 21 until 8 a.m. on Aug. 22.

According to the state Department of Transportation, the closure is required as work crews replace signs and guardrails and install mow strips on the roadbed.

The DOT is currently resurfacing the entire stretch of the 5-mile roadway between Kew Gardens and Brooklyn at a cost of $17 million. Work is being done in phases; crews will turn to the westbound lanes once resurfacing on the eastbound side is complete.

Drivers are advised to use the following designated eastbound detour routes through Cypress Hills, Woodhaven, Glendale, Forest Hills and Kew Gardens:

  • Jamaica Avenue from Pennsylvania Avenue to Forest Parkway;
  • Forest Parkway from Jamaica Avenue to Park Lane South;
  • Park Lane South from Forest Parkway to Metropolitan Avenue; and
  • Metropolitan Avenue from Park Lane South to the Jackie Robinson Parkway.

Visit the DOT’s website or call 511 for further details.


Ben Carson stumps for Republican presidential votes in Forest Hills

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Anthony Giudice

Dr. Ben Carson, one of the 17 hopeful candidates seeking the Republican Party nomination for president, spoke to a packed house on the issues facing the country at the American Legion Continental Post #1424 in Forest Hills on Wednesday night.

Carson gave his position on the economy, race relations, foreign policy and police/community relations, among other matters.

The relationship between the police force and communities across the country has been strained for some time, especially with recent high-profile police involved shootings. Carson told the audience that he believes the best way to mend this relationship is to dissipate the communities’ fear of the police and the police force’s fear of the communities by bringing them together.

“Why don’t we stop dealing with these situations and try to come up with solutions?” Carson said. “Why don’t we think about ways of introducing the police into those communities, and the same police, so that they get to know them, so that little Johnny’s first encounter with the police is with someone he knows…it’s relationships that solve those kinds of problems.”

“That’s what we need right now in this county, is we need solutions,” he added.

Carson made note of the country’s $18 trillion debt and the growing fiscal gap. He believes that unless something is done, the financial situation will only continue to get worse.

“We are putting that on the backs of the next generations — not just the next generation, [but] the next generations,” Carson said. “We have the ability to stop this…we have got to get the economic engines functioning once again.”

The way to bring the economic engines back to life, according to Carson, is to get rid of many of the government regulations which cost money and, in turn, increase the prices of goods and services. These price increases, he charged, affect the poor people who may not be able to afford them.

As for foreign policy, Carson feels that extremist jihadists are a major area of concern.

“The other thing that threatens to destroy us is divisiveness, fiscal irresponsibility and the radical jihadists who want to destroy us,” Carson said. “They are an existential threat to our nation.”

When it comes to dealing with the jihadists, “we have two choices,” according to Carson.

“We can stick our heads in the sand, drop a few bombs in the desert and think we are doing something — or we can use every resource known to us, economic resources, military resources, and we can destroy them before they destroy us,” he continued.

Carson fielded questions from the audience before leaving the American Legion post to a chorus of cheers and applause.

The event was hosted by Bob Turner, chairman of the Queens County Republican Party and Tom Long, chairman of the Queens County Conservative Party. Organizers cautioned that the event did not imply an endorsement of any kind by either party or party chairman.


Neighbor’s new garage sparks feud in Forest Hills

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Anthony Giudice

One structure is causing several problems for a Forest Hills resident who claims that her neighbors did not have the necessary permits to erect a 12-by-20-foot garage in their backyard.

Sandi Stevens has been living at her 69th Road home for 10 years, but in the last month she said that the neighbor that borders her backyard has erected an illegal garage, causing damage to her yard. Because her neighbor’s property sits at a higher grade than her home, she claims this structure has compromised her retaining wall and brick work — and caused water runoff to erode the soil on her side.

“His property is higher than mine so when it rains, the rain water seeps through to my side and causes mudslides,” Stevens said. “It is an unbelievable situation. The building went up in four days. They had men come and build it throughout the night.”

Stevens has made numerous complaints to 311 and visited the Department of Buildings (DOB) to file complaints about the offending structure.

As of Aug. 5, there were four open DOB violations on the Olcott Street property, two for working without a permit and two for front yard violations.

Kwok Tse, owner of the Olcott Street property where the structure was erected, defended his decision to build a garage.

“I have a very large piece of property, around 65,000 square feet, I should be entitled to have a garage. Why shouldn’t I have a garage,” Tse told the Ridgewood Times in a phone interview. “[Stevens] has a garage on her property, why shouldn’t I have one?”

Tse claims that the structure in his yard is legal and he expects the DOB to approve the building.

“The architect I hired is currently in the middle of filing paperwork with the Department of Buildings,” Tse said. “I fully expect the Department of Buildings to approve my garage. The fire department even came and looked at the garage and said that nothing is wrong with it.”

According to the DOB website, there is an Environmental Control Board (ECB) meeting set for Sept. 1 on the open violations at Tse’s property.


Students to collect data on Queens trees

| amatua@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Students from local environmental high schools will spread out across Queens to collect data on the health of New York City trees, especially in neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy.

As part of The Nature Conservancy’s Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program in conjunction with the NYC Trees Count! initiative, 12 interns will count street trees and inspect flooded and non-flooded trees in the northern and southern borders of Queens. Many of the interns, who are also surveying trees in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx for this internship, are from Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in Forest Hills.

Students will also collect data for a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and NYC Parks study of trees directly impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The NYC Parks Department estimates that Hurricane Sandy flooded 47,900 street trees in the city. As a result of the storm, almost 20,000 public trees in New York city were completely destroyed. The data collected by LEAF interns will help environmental groups better understand the long-term impacts of hurricanes and other interruptions on urban forests and coastal areas.

The program will take place throughout Queens on Aug. 21 and students will visit Astoria on Aug. 12 for data collection.

“The main goal of the LEAF program is to expose urban youth to nature and conservation careers at a young age to nurture a passion for the environment which will stick with them both personally and professionally for the rest of their lives,” said Brigitte Griswold, director of youth programs for The Nature Conservancy.  “Providing students with the opportunity to participate in actual conservation projects is a great complement to their environmental classroom learning and gives them hands-on experience they may not otherwise get during the school year.”


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.


Hit the street for free jazz concerts this August in Forest Hills

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce


The Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its free Jazz Thursdays concerts on Aug. 13 and 20 from 7 to 9:30 p.m., located on 70th Road between Queens Boulevard and Austin Street.

What makes Jazz Thursdays unique is that the concerts are not held in a park. Instead, Forest Hills residents and visitors will have the chance to enjoy the music right in the heart of the business district, along Forest Hills’ restaurant row. Seating is available.

The performance on Aug. 13 will showcase Bruce “Big Daddy” Wayne and the Soul Messengers, whose performance will include jazz, soul and a tribute to B.B. King. A native of Washington, D.C., Bruce began singing on Harlem street corners at the age of 5 and has since gone on to receive many awards, including the Best Artist Award by Cabaret Clubs of New York.

On Aug. 20, Jazz Thursdays will feature Richard Boulger’s After Hours Band. Boulger has worked with numerous other prominent jazz artists and has toured with Gregg Allman. He also runs two Brooklyn music programs, Music and Arts and Music and Arts Summer Camp, which give inner city kids the chance to work with musicians and develop their own talents.





MTA train operator arrested in hit-and-run death of celebrity jeweler in Forest Hills

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Instagram/@rafaello_eric

Updated 4:29 p.m.

An MTA train operator has been arrested for striking and killing a well-known jeweler in Forest Hills with his car, authorities said.

Charles Jordan, 46, of Long Island, is currently awaiting arraignment on charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting a death and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, the district attorney’s office said.

Aron Aranbayev, 40, had just gotten dropped off steps from his home on 71st Avenue near 110th Street at about 11:15 p.m. on July 19 when Jordan drove up and got into a heated argument with him. According to prosecutors, Jordan then allegedly put his Dodge Magnum in reverse, backed up, put it into drive, accelerated and then intentionally hit Aranbayev with his vehicle before speeding away.

Aranbayev was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries the following day, authorities said.

Jordan’s arrest follows the release of video footage a week ago of his car from the night of the incident.

According to the New York Post, there was a $50,000 reward fund to help locate the driver who hit Aranbayev.

Aranbayev, a married father of four who was also known as “Eric,” was a jeweler at his family-owned store Rafaello & Co. in Manhattan’s Diamond District, reports said. His celebrity clients included Floyd Mayweather, Sean Combs, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Brown.

Mayweather had donated $10,000 to the reward fund, with the additional $25,000 coming from Aranbayev’s family and $15,000 from an anonymous donor.

Jordan, who faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted, has been suspended without pay from the MTA following the arrest, a spokesman for the agency said. Jordan has worked for the MTA since 2000, when he was hired as a conductor. In 2006, he was promoted to a train operator.


ACS adopts model used by Forest Hills foster care agency

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Forestdale, Inc.


The New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) will be rolling out the Strong Families NYC Initiative, components of which are modeled after a Forest Hills-based child welfare organization.

Forestdale Inc. uses the Attachment and BioBehavioral Catchup (ABC) model, conceived of by Dr. Mary Dozier, whose research addressed the key role of cortisol, the stress hormone that regulates a person’s internal clock. Children who have faced adversity often have trouble regulating their cortisol levels. The ABC model, which has been used at Forestdale since 2011, has been highly effective in promoting attachment and bonding between caregivers and infants and toddlers up to 3 years old.

“Infants and toddlers often exhibit a variety of behavioral, emotional and physiological problems that can push caregivers away. ABC helps these caregivers and children form healthy attachments and develop the ability to regulate their response to stress, helping to enhance positive parent-child interactions. We were so thrilled to learn that ACS had incorporated this model into their initiative and are excited to continue our good work,” Forestdale Executive Director Anstiss Agnew said.

“Through Strong Families NYC, we will work with our partners to raise the bar and improve outcomes. This initiative will bring targeted and intensive trauma therapy and other practices built on the science of what works to many more New York City children and families,” ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrion said.

The ABC model will begin in a few high-need neighborhoods in 2015 and will expand to all five boroughs over the next three years.