Tag Archives: Highschool

Community comes out for August Martin


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The Courier / Photos

In the past year, August Martin High School has been entered into the city’s restart program, lost a principal and twice been placed on the list of schools to close, which had many community leaders asking why their high school was being targeted.

“This is not about the progress of August Martin; this is political,” said Rona Freiser, a Queens United Federation of Teachers (UFT) representative and teacher at the school for 28 years, at a rally. “[Mayor Michael Bloomberg] is vengeful.”
August Martin is one of 26 high schools on the list for Turnaround. The Department of Education (DOE) held a public hearing at the school on Monday, April 16 to allow for community input on the proposed closure.

“The DOE does not listen. This [hearing] is just to make it legal,” said State Senator Shirley Huntley. “It is part of the process, the process to destroy our children.”
If the Jamaica school is turned around, it would close and reopen under a new name. The students at the school would be guaranteed a spot and half the teachers would possibly be replaced.

“Schools always need to be made better, but you need resources,” said Huntley. “When you close a school and reopen it, you spend more money than if you just give the schools the resources and let it function.”

The high school was entered into the restart program in September, which qualified it for School Improvement Grants (SIG), but because the UFT and DOE failed to come to an agreement on teacher evaluations, the money dried up and put August Martin in line for Turnaround.
The restart model is meant for schools to receive support to improve and not be closed.

Had the two sides reached an agreement, the school would have continued its course in the restart program, a DOE spokesperson said.
“There is no educational justification for closing down this school. And it’s not just that the school has a graduation rate better than the average in the city,” said Leo Casey, the UFT vice president for high schools.

The school’s graduation rate has improved from 49 percent in 2009 to 67 percent last year; the city-wide average was 65 percent. The school received a “D” on its most recent progress report.

“It takes a community to raise a child and one bad mayor to destroy that same child,” said Councilmember Ruben Wills.

Anthony Cromer, August Martin’s former principal, resigned on Thursday, April 5, though many involved in the school say he was forced out.
“[Cromer] should have had the chance to leave the school with dignity, instead he was led out,” said Assemblymember Vivian Cook, who said she was told by Cromer that he did not want to step down.

Gillian Smith was installed as the school’s principal and DOE Deputy Chancellor March Steinberg said she would be the proposed leader of the new school.
“How do you expect the school to grow when you do that to a principal and expect the kids to care anymore?” asked Cleavon Evans, president of the August Martin Alumni Association.

Many students broke down at the sight of their principal being led away, said the school’s parent-teacher-student association president, Jose Ferruzola.
“It was traumatic to see their principal taken out like a criminal.”

The final vote on the school’s future is scheduled for April 26.

 

Woman dragged into Hunters Point parking lot and raped by group of men


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Woman dragged into Hunters Point parking lot and raped by group of men

Cops are hunting for a group of men they say raped a woman on a dark Queens street early Sunday. The 20-year-old woman was walking near Vernon Boulevard and 10th Street in Hunters Point when two men grabbed her and dragged her into a parking lot at about 3:45 a.m., police said. As the two suspects held her down between two cars, a third man — who is in his late 20s and about 5-foot-10 with blond hair and blue eyes — raped her, cops said.  Read More: Daily News

Queens rape victim was falsely imprisoned for robberies; now she sues city cops for falling for her attacker’s story

A QUEENS rape victim who was locked up for robberies she didn’t commit is suing city and Long Island cops for falling for her attacker’s “preposterous hoax” of a revenge plot. In a federal lawsuit, Seemona Sumasar claims NYPD cops protected her attacker, Jerry Ramrattan, because he was secretly funneling them information about other crimes while working as an informant. Read More: Daily News

Parents and officials say Department of Education has turned back on Jamaica High School

Even though the Department of Education’s (DOE) decision to close Jamaica High School was finalized in February, current students are still hoping for a quality education. Currently in the process of being phased out, Jamaica High School no longer accepts new students and is expected to close its doors for good in 2014. Read More: Queens Courier

At Top Public Schools, the Arts Replace Recess

All of this concentrated learning — activities parents commonly think of as enrichment — was taking place not after school hours, but during recess, the once-unstructured midday break that for some elementary school students is slowly being squeezed out of the day. Jump rope, freeze tag and the jungle gym have some new competition. At some of the city’s highest-rated public elementary schools, recess is now being seen by parents and educators as a time to pack in extra learning. Read More: New York Times

Giants, Mets Trade: New York Trades Angel Pagan To San Francisco For Andres Torres, Ramon Ramirez

Walking across the hotel lobby, New York Mets manager Terry Collins smiled. “We rebuilt our bullpen in one day,” he said. In a rapid-fire series of moves at the winter meetings that took 1 1/2 days to put together and 1 1/2 hours to finalize, the Mets agreed to trade center fielder Angel Pagan to San Francisco for outfielder Andres Torres and pitcher Ramon Ramirez, and reached agreements with free-agent relievers Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch. Read More: Huffington Post

Ex-corrections officer acquitted of attempted murder charges in Queens

A former correction officer who was facing up to 25 years in prison for shooting two men outside of a Queens bowling alley was acquitted of double attempted murder and assault charges. “His defense was one of self-defense,” said Michael Lavecchio’s trial attorney, Stephen Worth, after a jury cleared his client of all charges on Monday night. Lavecchio, 55, was working as a security guard at the AMF bowling alley on 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights on February 6, 2010 when he asked Justin Donaghy and Gerard Hourigan to leave the building.  Read More: New York Post

MTA forgot about stranded blizzard train

The MTA’s subway boss admitted yesterday that transit officials got so overwhelmed during last year’s Christmas-time blizzard they “forgot” about an A train stuck on the tracks for nine agonizing hours with 500 passengers on board. Read More: New York Post

Two Queens men charged in Connecticut pharmacy thefts


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Two Queens men charged in Connecticut pharmacy thefts

Two New York men were charged by Westport police Monday night with stealing $5,000 in merchandise from pharmacies here and area communities. The men, accompanied by an underage girl, were taken into custody shortly after 8 p.m. Monday when workers at the CVS on Post Road East called police to report that a man had fled after shoplifting merchandise. One of the men, Jeffrey L. Vaughn, 26, of Jamaica, and the girl were found in a car nearby with goods from the CVS as well as other area pharmacies, police said. The merchandise included teeth whitener, hair regrowth treatment, razor blades and allergy medicines, police said. Read More: Westport News

Mitt Romney selects Queens councilmember to lead campaign here

Councilmember Eric A. Ulrich has been named the New York City chairman for Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. The New York GOP primary will be held on April 24, 2012. First elected in 2009 at age 24, Ulrich was the youngest serving member of the Council and serves as Minority Whip of the Republican delegation. He is a former president of the Our Neighbors Civic Association of Ozone Park, and was active with the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach, Jamaica Rotary and the 102nd Police Precinct Community Council.  Read More: Staten Island Live

Students rally against bullying at P.S. 11

The students of P.S. 11 are urging kids across the city to “give peace a chance.” Parents, faculty and all 1,300 children from the school, located at 54-25 Skillman Avenue in Woodside, united on November 22 for a peace march and anti-violence rally. The parade was in protest to the increase in bullying and violence that has become a perpetual problem plaguing schools. Students carried hand-made signs and photos and chanted cheers calling for peace. Read More: Queens Courier

Queens woman tries to stiff cabbie after ride to Poconos

A New York City woman is in jail after trying to bilk a car service out of a big bill. State police in Swiftwater said Riley Radha, 42, of Flushing, hired the Big Q Car Service in New York City to take her from Queens to Paradise Stream Resort in Marshalls Creek. The driver accepted $30 up front and Radha promised to pay the remainder of the bill upon her local arrival. However, police said Radha was unable to pay the remaining $320 when she got there around 7 a.m. Sunday, and was charged with theft of services. Unable to post bail, she was taken to Monroe County Correctional Facility. Read More: Pocono Record

Jackson Heights Straphangers Sickened By Droppings-Covered Subway Station

City Councilmember Daniel Dromm and Jackson Heights residents have raised a stink for a long time about the pigeon waste that falls down from the beams of the Roosevelt Avenue/Jackson Heights subway station, but Dromm says he has a tough time getting the MTA to regularly clean it. Read More: NY1

Help The Queens Courier play Santa

To kick off the season of giving, The Queens Courier will be collecting items to be donated to the South Queens Boys and Girls Club (SQBGC) for our annual holiday gift drive. Founded in 1957, SQBGC strives to help young people improve their lives by building self-esteem and developing values and skills during critical periods of growth. The group’s mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from at-risk and disadvantaged circumstances. Donations can be dropped off at The Courier’s office, located at 38-15 Bell Boulevard in Bayside. Read More: Queens Courier

Parts Of Far Rockaway Nursing Home Are Without Power For Nine Days And Counting

One day after a Bronx nursing home resident died due to a faulty cable, Lisa McDivitt reports how a nursing facility in Far Rockaway marked day nine of a power outage of their own. Read More: NY1

Local Airports Confiscate Dangerous Weapons Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Transportation Security Administration officials showed off some dangerous weapons confiscated at area airports over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Port Authority police arrested a man bound for the Dominican Republic on Saturday after screeners at John F. Kennedy International Airport found a combination brass knuckles and knife in his checked bag. They also nabbed a man who they say was headed to Germany from Newark Liberty International Airport with a set of brass knuckles in his carry-on bag. On Sunday, authorities took a man into custody after they say he tried to carry a butterfly knife on board a plane at LaGuardia Airport. Read More: NY1

 


Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/21/2011: NYC Man Arrested For Plotting To Kill U.S. Servicemen In Name Of Al-Qaeda


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

NYC Man Arrested For Plotting To Kill U.S. Servicemen In Name Of Al-Qaeda

A Dominican Republic native living in Washington Heights is under arrest for conspiring to build a bomb for terror purposes and possessing a weapon with the intent of waging a campaign of violence in the name of al-Qaeda, New York City authorities announced Sunday night. Jose Pimentel, 27, was arrested by New York City police on Saturday. Investigators say Pimentel had also planned to use a bomb to kill U.S. military personnel returning from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had also allegedly expressed a desire to bomb police patrol cars and postal facilities. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Driver Charged With DWI

A Queens driver is facing multiple charges including driving while intoxicated in connection with a Saturday crash on the Long Island Expressway. Police say 37-year-old John Gilette was driving a Jeep Wrangler onto the expressway Saturday morning near the 48th Street ramp in Maspeth when he swerved into a tractor trailer. Gilette’s car hit the right side cabin of the trailer before hitting a wall. Read More: NY1

Brawl chaos at Astoria club

A Queens nightclub was the scene of a bizarre string of violence that left four men injured early yesterday, authorities said. Several thugs first jumped a 23-year-old man at Amnesia on Steinway Street in Astoria, slashing his back, at about 4:15 a.m., cops said. As the thugs ran out of the hot spot, other clubgoers fled, too, authorities said. One of the alleged attackers, Orlando Santos, 18, was running when a car — not believed to be connected to the fight — struck him, dislocating his hip. Read More: New York Post

Former Mayor Giuliani Pushes For More Nuclear Energy Use In Astoria Forum

The Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum in Astoria Friday with experts and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the keynote speaker, to discuss possibilities for clean and sustainable energy use, as the Bloomberg administration estimates the city will have one million more people by 2030. Watch the Video: NY1

Parents rip NYC schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott over ‘chaos’ at Queens high school

 

A Queens high school where the daughter of city schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott teaches gym is so disorganized that many students don’t know where their classes are or when they start. Some kids at Metropolitan High School in Forest Hills have gotten 10 different class schedules in 11 weeks of instruction, angry parents say. But this is all news to Walcott, because he refuses to talk shop with his daughter. Read More: Daily News

Soccer star gets her kicks


| nkarimi@queenscourier.com

doc4e89b6f18b342100128774

Defender and midfielder Danielle Glazer plays for three different soccer teams, all while keeping up her grade point average as a junior at Bayside High School.

Glazer has been playing soccer for about six years now. She plays for the Massapequa Elite, the Olympic Development Team and the Bayside High School team.

“Ever since I first started playing, I’ve enjoyed soccer with my friends,” she said. “Then I just quickly picked up on it.”

Defense and midfield are basically the two positions Glazer is trained to play and has grown to love.

“My club team won the state cup,” said Glazer, recalling one of her favorite on-field moments. “Afterwards, we went into regionals against a team that was top in the country.”

When Glazer is on the field, she always plays to the best of her ability. She makes sure to work hard and not to give up on her team. Even if Glazer gets tired, she pushes her body through the game.

Her high school soccer team has played four games, winning three and playing to a tie in the other. Her club team is currently off, but they still train and go to tournaments together.

“In two weeks, we’re going to have the WAGS tournament,” she said, referring to the Washington Area Girls Soccer League, the premier all-girls soccer tournament in the country. “We will go to Washington, North Carolina, Florida and Las Vegas.”

While she’s still not sure whether she will stay home in Bayside for college or possibly go out of state, she definitely wants to play college soccer at a Division 1 school.

An active kid for as long as she can remember, Glazer always played and ran around in the park when she was younger. Her dad is really big on sports, which is one of the reasons why she became a soccer player.

In the classroom, math and science are Glazer’s strongest subjects.

“I actually want to do something in those fields when I get older – possibly physical therapy,” said Glazer.

With a GPA of nearly 86, it often becomes hard and time consuming for Glazer to balance school and soccer, particurlarly since she’s mostly taking advanced classes. But thinking ahead comes as a gift, and Glazer was smart to finish all her math and science requirements early on.

A typical busy day for Glazer would be to wake up and go to school, run home for some homework, quickly drive to practice – a 45-minute commute – stay at practice for about two hours, drive back home – another 45-minute drive – finish up the rest of her homework and then finally shower and go to bed.

While she knows that it’s important to try hard and juggle both school and sports at the same time, Glazer believes that grades come first.

“We need the grades for sports to get into a good college and if kids can’t maintain their grades, they should possibly take some time off and bring their grades up, then come back to sports,” advised Glazer.

Michael Jordan is Glazer’s favorite athlete. She mentioned that it’s inspirational how he is one of the best basketball players out there.

“I also think [Lionel] Messi is good. He’s actually a really great player,” said Glazer.

The people she looks up to and have become her inspirations are her friends that have been accepted to and play for Division 1 schools.

“Actually there was this freshman playing for Norte Dame and I started to think ‘wow that’s my friend’s sister. I know her and one day maybe it could be me playing,’” said Glazer.

Stabbing leaves L.I.C students feeling unsafe


| jlane@queenscourier.com

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Last week’s altercation on the fifth floor of Long Island City High School, which left one student in the hospital with a stab wound in his back, has frayed the nerves of many students and their parents.

“Towards the end of seventh period, a broadcast came over the system telling everyone to stay in their classrooms and not leave,” said Chris, a sophomore at L.I.C High School. “We all knew something was going on.”

According to the NYPD, four Queens teenagers – 19-year-old Louis Giron, 18-year-old Daniel Nicholas, 17-year-old Jerome Davis and a 15-year-old unknown Hispanic male – have been arrested and charged with gang assault and harassment for stabbing a 16-year-old schoolmate at approximately 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21.

EMS arrived at the school, located at 14-30 Broadway, and transported the victim to Elmhurst Hospital. He is in stable condition, and the wound is not considered life-threatning. The police have yet to recover a weapon in connection with the incident.

“The fact that someone got heated and stabbed somebody doesn’t surprise me,” Chris continued. “I’m aware that there are violent people in the school, and I’m aware that there is gang activity in the school. I’m surprised it took this long for something like this to happen.”

Other students are now gripped by debilitating fear each time they walk the halls of their high school.

“I don’t feel safe at all,” said Diriana, a senior who believes the school is grossly disorganized. “I’m scared because the kid could have stabbed me and others also. He was on the fifth floor and so was I. I definitely don’t feel safe, and I’m looking into transferring to another school.”

According to a survey conducted by the New York City Department of Education (DOE), 34 percent of responding students said they do not feel safe in the school, and 69 percent said gang activity occurs. Eighty-three percent also said students are threatened or bullied by schoolmates, and 93 percent said students get in physical fights at school.

When asked if students are “harassed or threatened based on race, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or disability,” 68 percent of students answered in the affirmative.

While the attack has been cause for concern for many, the school’s faculty is remaining calm due to the unprecedented nature of the occurrence.

“It’s an isolated incident,” said a current teacher at the high school, who says she feels safe at work. “It could happen anywhere in the nation. For the most part, security is good, and it is a safe environment.”

Despite the assurances of the administration, some parents are not convinced their children are being properly protected.

“The school’s security should be more aware,” said Segundo, the parent of a freshman at L.I.C. “I’ve seen that sometimes they don’t really check kids when they go to school. They just let them in. I don’t think security is doing a good job. They need to get more serious. I told my son to be more aware, and not to get involved in anything, because there are gangs here. I’m definitely going to be more on top of things and make sure I’m around.”

L.I.C received an overall grade of C on its most recent progress report, placing it in the bottom third of city high schools. The school’s graduation rate is roughly 60 percent, falling below the citywide average. According to published reports, the city considered closing L.I.C last year, but chose instead to allocate $5 million in federal funds to a three-year plan aimed at saving the troubled school.

High School Football Roundup


| jlane@queenscourier.com

doc4e77ae97efe2b565297171

Holy Cross defeats St. Francis Prep

On Saturday night, September 10, the Holy Cross Knights played host to the Terriers of Saint Francis Preparatory School at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx. For the first time in a number of years, this marquee match-up was a non-league game as the Terriers moved from the Catholic High School Football League (CHSFL) AAA division last year to the CHSFL AA division this year. Holy Cross remains in the CHSFL AAA division as a top dog contender.

Holy Cross, ranked seventh in the CHSFL, came in to the game with size, strength, and confidence. The Knights are expected to have a superb season as they face a difficult schedule. In front of a standing room only crowd, on the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, both teams were revved up and ready to go. Sophomore running back Brandon Pelzer sprung into action scoring two touchdowns both on breakout runs thanks to the Knights’ exceptional offensive line. St. Francis drove down the field well on their second possession, but when they were forced to punt on fourth down, Malachi Hoskins blocked the punt and punched it in for a 30-yard touchdown.

Thomas Cani and the Terriers spread out their offense well after the first possession connecting to receivers down field and attempting to establish their running game with the duo of senior running back Casey Beaudoin and junior running back Kadir Wisdom. Wisdom caught the Terriers only touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

Although a difficult game to swallow for the Terriers, as they lost to the Knights 31-6 opening night, St. Francis has a lot to look forward to this season. In the CHSFL AA division, the Terriers will be competitive. The players are hopeful to have a winning season and they understand that they need to string together a few productive seasons before they can move back up to the AAA division.

- Neil A. Carousso

John Adams improves to 2-0

The John Adams Spartans returned to the field and defeated the Wagner Falcons 22-12, in a game where chemistry proved most important.

“I think it’s fantastic – our chemistry is growing a little bit day by day,” said Spartans senior quarterback Danny Perez. “We are coming together as a team and taking it one game at a time.”

The game remained scoreless until the second quarter, when the Spartans got on the board first – a factor that head coach Gerry Weitzen believed was of utmost importance to the outcome of the game.

“It was very important to score first since we had a terrible game [last week] at Brooklyn Tech. This time we thought we could play with Wagner,” said Weitzen. “We figured we were competitive with them and I thought we were the favorites.”

After going up 14-0, the Spartans gave up Wagner’s first score of the year on a 75-yard touchdown run. The Spartans defense would give up 302 offensive yards on the day, with 270 of those coming on the ground. Senior Benjamin Ezike had 243 yards rushing on 17 attempts for Wagner.

“We made glaring mistakes and we let them back in the ballgame but as I said, a win is a win,” said Weitzen

For the Spartans, Perez was the offensive star of the game completing seven out of 10 passes for 125 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Because of his performance, Weitzen called Perez the MVP of the game – an honor which surprised the young field general.

“I didn’t even think he would say that,” said Perez. “Well you know MVP is just a title, it was the whole team. [Devven] Baker ran for over 100 yards and Antoine [Arnold] ran for 100 yards. Everybody came together, it was a team effort but I do acknowledge the MVP.”

Senior wide receiver Shane Hubbard was Perez’s favorite receiver, receiving 70 of the 125 yards. On the ground, seniors Arnold and Baker had a 105 and 111 yards respectively with each scoring a touchdown.

With the win, the Spartans improve their record to 1-1 while the Falcons record drops to 0-2.

Next up on the schedule will be the Spartans toughest test yet, the Tottenville Pirates who are one of the best teams in the city. In order for the Spartans to win the game everything must click and work seamlessly.

“Tottenville is a tough team and you know championship winners we are going to have to work hard every day, “Perez added.

- Heather Zwillenberg