Tag Archives: new york daily news

Immigration hotline offers free, confidential information

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of New York Daily News

Thousands of people will be able to receive free, confidential citizenship and immigration information this week thanks to the New York Daily News and City University of New York’s 12th Annual Citizenship NOW! hotline.

Running from Monday,April 28, through Friday, May 2, between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., the hotline has more than 400 trained volunteers who can answer questions in English and Spanish as well as many other languages, such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Russian, Bengali, Haitian Creole, French, Italian, Polish, Yiddish and Arabic.

In partnership with Univision and WABC-TV, the weeklong event includes on-air promotional announcements, live coverage and special news segments.

The largest program of its kind in the country, Citizenship NOW! was launched in April 2004 to address the lack of access to information about immigration.

Since its inception, nearly 124,000 callers have sought information from the call-in.

The Citizenship NOW! hotline is led by attorney Allan Wernick, who is also a professor of Law at Baruch College and writes the twice-weekly “Immigration” column for the Daily News. Additionally, Wernick writes the nationally syndicated column, “Immigration and Citizenship” and is the director of the CUNY Citizenship Now! project.

“With immigration reform stalled in Congress, the Daily News/CUNY Citizenship NOW! call-in is of special importance this year,” Wernick said. “Volunteers will provide callers with information on how immigrants can qualify for legal status and U.S. citizenship under existing laws. Immigrants can’t wait for Congress, they need help now.”

To reach the hotline, call 646- 746-9636 for English,646-746-9634 for Spanish and 212-221-2419 for the TTY number.



Thousands helped by immigration hotline

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of New York Daily News

Thousands of people received free information about immigration thanks to the New York Daily News and City University of New York’s 11th Annual Citizenship NOW! Call-in.

With over 400 trained volunteers, this year’s weeklong event answered questions in languages including English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Russian, Bengali, Haitian Creole, French, Italian, Polish, Yiddish and Arabic.

In partnership with Univision and WABC-TV, the weeklong event included on-air promotional announcements, live coverage and special news segments.

Citizenship NOW! was launched in April 2004 to address the lack of access to information about immigration. It is confidential and free to individuals who need the help the most.

Since its inception, close to 110,000 callers have sought information from the call-in.




Newspaper legend, former Queens Courier editor-in-chief passes away

| tcimino@queenscourier.com


Lou Parajos, a legend in the newspaper industry for more than 40 years, passed away on Monday, February 18. He was 64 years old.

A former editor-in-chief of The Queens Courier, Parajos spent 35 years at The Daily News, working his way up from the basement to the managing editor’s chair.

He held the title on September 11, 2001, and, according to the stories he told, “decided to suspend all advertising in the paper until baseball returned.”

Parajos, a third generation newsman, told cub reporters of how, in the days following 9/11, when he parked his car for work, it would be covered in a layer of dust.

“He was an excellent newspaperman and journalist who cared passionately about the paper, his colleagues and his subordinates,” said ex-wife Joan Nassivera.

Of his team, Nassivera said Parajos “had high expectations.”

“I learned an amazing amount from him,” Nassivera said. “I always loved him, admired him and respected him.”

He left The News in 2005 and brought his talent and knowledge to us.

In his years at The Courier, he nurtured and groomed many reporters, including this one.

Beneath a gruff exterior, there was a deeply caring man, “Sweet Lou” to his friends, who had a knack for bringing out talent in his reporters.

I learned much from him. He was a mentor, a coach, and above all, a friend. We shared countless laughs and innumerable storylines. He was always there for me, offering advice, teaching, helping.

To our pages he brought the ideas of enterprise journalism, investigative reporting and article series.

Under his tutelage, our paper won numerous New York Press Association awards, including second place for the Past Presidents’ Award for General Excellence.

“He was a passionate and talented journalist who really cared for his craft and brought years of experience to our company,” said Courier co-publisher Joshua Schneps.

His best friend, Victor Mimoni, with whom Parajos grew up, wrote a tribute on his Facebook page:

“Lou Parajos died yesterday. He was my bestest, oldest friend and my brother. Lou was one of the last of the old-time newspapermen. I miss you Lou.”

He is survived by his daughter, Amy Nassivera Parajos, her fiancé, Anthony Thanasides, and wife Carol.

“The two happiest days of his life,” said Nassivera, “were May 23, 1985, the day our daughter was born, and May 21, 1978, our wedding anniversary.

“He was an outstanding father and Amy was the absolute light of his life. The day she was born he said to me, ‘My life is complete.’”

“He was the most amazing father anyone could ask for,” said Amy.

A wake for Parajos will be held at Van Emburgh Funeral Home in Ridgewood, New Jersey from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, February 22.

According to his wishes he will be cremated.





House-squatter thugs held in kidnapping, rape of Long Island teen

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

House-squatter thugs held in kidnapping, rape of Long Island teen

A gang of sick squatters kidnapped, raped and pimped out a terrified 15-year-old Long Island runaway in a Queens house where they were illegally living, law-enforcement officials said yesterday. And in a bizarre twist, after the owner complained that people were living there illegally, cops went to the Ozone Park house the day before the girl was taken there against her will. Read More: New York Post

Multiple Armed Robberies Connected To “Snub-Nose” Bandit

The New York City Police Department and FBI are stepping up their search for an armed robber who has become increasingly violent. Investigators say the suspect, dubbed the “Snub-Nose Bandit” for his weapon of choice, is connected to at least six incidents in Brooklyn and Queens dating back to September. He mostly targets banks, but in his first robbery he held up a Dunkin Donuts in Greenpoint, firing one round into a tray of donuts as he demanded cash from the register. Read More: NY1


DA putting the screws to ‘brothel boss’ Anna Gristina

They pressed her over and over, pushed a list of 10 Big Apple power players at her — and demanded she spill the beans on the roster of real-estate moguls and investment bankers. “Some I knew, some I didn’t,” accused Upper East Side brothel boss Anna Gristina told The Post yesterday about an hours-long grilling she received from Manhattan prosecutors. But they kept pressing, bringing in more and more investigators to intimidate her. Read More: New York Post

FDNY minority  retort – Hit with a $128M ‘bias’ bill

The city could get socked with a bill of up to $128 million to compensate minority applicants who were rejected because of discriminatory hiring practices, a federal judge said yesterday. Judge Nicholas Garaufis first set the compensation pool at $65 million three weeks ago but revised the figure to factor in the “total gross amount of lost wages” for applicants who took the FDNY exam in 1999 or 2002 but were not hired. Read More: New York Post

Liu “Stunned” By Fraud Charges Against His Campaign Treasurer

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Arrest Made In Connection With Queens Synagogue Burglary

Police say tips from the public led them to an arrest in the burglary of a Queens synagogue. Efram Sanders, 28, was arrested Tuesday and was facing burglary, grand larceny and stolen-property charges in connection with the break-in at Congregation Degel Israel in Kew Gardens Hills. More than a dozen items were taken, including silver torah crowns and breastplates, worth thousands of dollars in all. Police say they were able to recover all stolen items except for two silver pointers. Read More: NY1


NYPD cop impersonators may have used high-quality masks to pull off check-cashing heist

Three cop impersonators wanted for stealing $200,000 from a Queens check-cashing business may have worn masks that were Hollywood quality, the Daily News has learned. Investigators began to suspect the trio that pulled off the Valentine’s Day caper had worn masks that were far from the average costume-shop props after they got a tip, the sources said. One of the false faces even looked like pro wrestler Bill Goldberg. Read More: Daily News

Liu “Stunned” By Fraud Charges Against His Campaign Treasurer

In a serious blow to City Comptroller John Liu’s 2013 campaign effort, authorities on Tuesday announced the arrest of one of his top campaign aides on fraud charges, and the comptroller said he was shocked by the allegations. The U.S. Attorney’s office says Jenny Hou, 25, seen above right, was taken into custody in connection to what authorities call a scheme to use straw donors to get over the limit campaign contributions to Liu. Read More: NY1


Mayor Stands By Released Teacher Rankings As Charter School Data Is Published

Mayor Michael Bloomberg again defended the release of teacher data reports Tuesday as the Department of Education released the same information for charter schools and District 75. Charter school teachers make up a majority of the 334 reports. Their participation was optional but District 75, which serves children with special needs, had to take part for two of the three school years represented. A DOE spokesperson says the reports for the charter and District 75 schools are not comparable to those for city schools. Read More: NY1


Hero cop: ‘I don’t know how he didn’t hit me from that range’

The partner of the NYPD cop saved by his gun belt said the stunning sequence was like the scene in “Pulp Fiction” where a gunman opens fire on the main characters at point-blank range and misses with every shot. “We were only a couple feet away. I don’t know how he didn’t hit me from that range,” Thomas Dunne told The Post of alleged shooter Luis Martinez. Dunne’s partner, Thomas Richards, 36, was saved when a round hit the extra clip in his pocket. Read More: New York Post

Elevator guy still on job

The lift mechanic whose botched job resulted in a young ad executive getting crushed to death was still allowed to tinker with the city’s elevators yesterday. Michael Hill arrived at his home in Glen Gardner, NJ, after a long day on the job — wearing a navy blue New York Elevator Operators uniform and covered in grease. Hill was working on the city’s elevators just one day after investigators on Monday released a scathing report, accusing him of overriding the critical elevator safety system that led to Y&R ad exec Suzanne Hart’s gruesome death on Dec. 14. Read More: New York Post