“We want to help people stop becoming victims of [identity theft],” said Sergeant Raymond Morales, from the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau. “It’s important that [the documents] get destroyed properly. This is a first major step on helping prevent [identity theft].”
During the event, people were able to bring in documents with personal information, dump them into two large garbage bins and watch them be destroyed inside the Lion Cage Shredding truck.
“You have to be proactive in taking steps to protect yourself,” said Sergeant Morales.
Participants were also able to bring in their computer hard drives and watch them be destroyed, as a hole was punctured into the hard drive. People were also able to have their electronic devices registered with the NYPD Operations ID Program and sign up to receive a certificate from Lion Cage confirming the destruction of all personal information from Sunday’s event.
“I just think it’s great to do this for the community,” said Regina Pluchinotta, from Ozone Park, who brought in bags of documents to be shredded and watched as her hard drive was destroyed. “You try to be precautious and safe about it all.”
Elmhurst resident Fabian Alsultany brought in two folding shopping carts filled with documents dating back to 1999 which were taking up room in his house.
“This was a real godsend,” said Alsultany. “This just makes life a lot easier. It’s a great service for the city to offer.”
The NYPD and Lion Cage Shredding will be working together with private companies and property owners in the next 10 months to hold document shredding events throughout the five boroughs. The next stop will be in the Bronx, and later dates and locations are to be determined.
For more information on the document shredding events or any other NYPD events, visit the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau website or text “NYPD” to 22828. To find out more about Lion Cage Shredding, visit its official website or Facebook page.
Participants will also be able to bring their old hard drives to the event and have them destroyed. During the event you could also have your electronic devices registered with the NYPD Operation ID Program.
Red sales tags were everywhere on Thursday ahead of Black Friday.
After thousands of Queens residents stuffed their faces with turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, they went to grab doorbuster deals from retailers around the borough.
Black Friday, which has become one of the most successful shopping days for stores nationwide, now starts on Thanksgiving Day and customers had no problem with that.
“The stressful part is actually the waiting,” said Brian Astacio, a Ridgewood resident. Astacio waited three hours in line for the Best Buy in Queens Place mall to open at 6 p.m. to buy electronics and a big-screen TV.
“It’s good in a way because you get things you always wanted for cheap,” he added.
For the first time ever Macy’s, one of the country’s largest and oldest department chains, opened on Thanksgiving day at 8 p.m.
The line for the retailer stretched to more than 200 people about 20 minutes before it was about to open in Queens Center Mall, and that was just on the first floor entrance. Another line with hundreds of shoppers waited near the doors on the second floor.
“It’s become more of a culture thing,” said Maspeth resident Maryam Wasef, who was first in line at the Macy’s. “It’s interesting, because its the only time of the year you could get everything and everyone just saves for it.”
Wasef said she was on the hunt for perfume and a jacket, or anything else that may have a great discount.
Around the Rego Park Center mall consumers were exiting with large bags from stores such as Toys“R”Us and Kohl’s.
But there isn’t a little Black Friday without a little craziness.
Some customers complained about the pushing and shoving from fellow shoppers and about people who brought young children out for the evening.
“Just rudeness. It’s chaos,” said Forest Hills resident Farrah Krenek.
The shopping continues today, as many stores will still be serving their deals from last night, followed by more discounts for Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, the online shopping bonanza.
Visitors to Queens Center Mall this past weekend took a cultural trip to South America.
Queens Center, located on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, hosted the inaugural weekend of “CultureArte,” a two-day Hispanic Heritage Month celebration that brought together the unique culture, music, fashion and dances of various Hispanic communities.
“This is a great way to give back to this portion of the community,” said Kurt Ivey, vice president of marketing for Macerich, the company that owns the mall. “This event specifically is a celebration of all Latin culture.”
The event, which took place on Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13 and was free to the public, had a main stage on the second level of the mall and the food court.
During the two-day celebration, visitors got to see performances by groups like the Argentine Tango Academy, the Ecuadorian group called Ayazamana Cultural Center and Inti Andino, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, America Bolero Dance Company and other groups that danced bachata, merengue and reggeaton.
“To me New York is a perfect representation of all that exists in the world coming together,” said Michael Nadtochi, instructor and founder of the Argentine Tango Academy. “Hopefully people get inspired and want to learn the beauty of the Argentine tango.”
The weekend also featured live dance performances by “Dancing with the Stars” renowned dancers Yesenia Adame and Rodrigo Guzman who choreographed a combination of different Latin dances into one set. The duo also selected some audience members to come up and try some of the dance moves.
“I’m Latina and very proud of it,” said Adame, who is Mexican-American. “I’m very proud of my Latin culture because it’s such a beautiful culture.”
Along with the performances, visitors were also able to see a fashion show with trends they can find right in the mall, get their own front cover shot with Vanidades, the Spanish-language fashion magazine for women, and enter to win a trip for two to Las Vegas.
“It’s just wonderful coming to see my culture being honored and celebrated at an event like this,” said Catalina Dolores from Jackson Heights. “I just can’t stop wanting to get up and dance.”
Friday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers, then a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 81. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70% with rainfall amounts near 0.7 in. possible. Friday Night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers, then a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 72. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible.
EVENT OF THE DAY: An Evening Ride on the Forest Park Carousel to End Alzheimer’s
New Yorkers of all ages can enjoy “An Evening Ride on the Forest Park Carousel to End Alzheimer’s” from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. The 2nd annual fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter will donate 100 percent of all proceeds from carousel rides to the Alzheimer’s NYC Chapter. Visitors can have unlimited carousel rides and face-painting for $10 or enjoy individual rides for $3. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own
Woman burned in Queens fire: FDNY
A woman suffered burns to over 40 percent of her upper body when a fire tore through her Queens home Thursday evening. Read more: NBC New York
NYPD sergeant who blew the whistle on fudged police reports slapped with departmental charges
An NYPD sergeant who blew the whistle on his fellow officers in a Queens precinct about routinely downgrading felonies to misdemeanors to make the crime rate look better has been slapped with departmental charges for speaking out about the misdeeds. Read more: New York Daily News
Subway shark mystery solved?
A family from Brooklyn is offering some insight into the bizarre discovery of a dead shark on the N train subway early Wednesday. Read more: Fox New York
Aqueduct Racetrack subway station A full-time stop, MTA says
Getting to the Aqueduct racino just got a little easier. Read more: NY1
Vacant lot near Queens Center Mall to get three chain restaurants
Let them eat crab. A vacant lot near Queens Center Mall that sparked a legal battle between the city and a developer will finally be occupied. Read more: New York Daily News
Man accused of killing wife, posting it on Facebook
A South Florida man who authorities say fatally shot his wife – and apparently then posted a photo of her body on Facebook – has turned himself in to police. Read more: AP
Giants star player Victor Cruz drew hundreds of football fans to Queens Center Mall, where some waited more than three hours to meet the wide receiver during his July 20 book signing and meet-and-greet.
“He’s the best player in the NFL right now,” said fan Jordan Nichols, 16, of Jamaica. “And he’s going to put New York back in the Super Bowl — again.”
The first 500 fans received a printed photo with the breakout rookie, as well as a free autographed copy of Cruz’s new memoir “Victor Cruz: Out of the Blue,” which details his personal story of overcoming numerous setbacks.
“It’s just been amazing,” Cruz said. “It feels good to know that [people] admire me and they admire my story.”
The 25-year-old pro athlete shattered the Giants record for receiving yards (1,536) and played a key role in leading Big Blue to its fourth Super Bowl championship last year.
“New York is just full of energy and full of life,” Cruz said. “People from New York demand a lot out of these sports teams and we look to deliver.”
The book signing is the second event hosted by Time Warner Cable as part of the company’s “Enjoy Queens Better” campaign. Last week, Cruz participated in an interactive discussion with audience members at Queens Theatre.
An armed bandit has been targeting food carts throughout Queens, according to police.
Over the past two weeks, the suspect is wanted in connection with nine robberies in Elmhurst, Rego Park and Ozone Park, police said.
All the robberies have occurred between midnight and 5 a.m. with the suspect approaching the victims with a gun and demanding money. Eight of the victims have been of food cart vendors with the ninth being a livery cab driver.
The first three robberies took place on Friday, March 2. The suspect struck twice more on Monday, March 5 and four times on Saturday, March 10, according to authorities.
Police described the suspect as a white or Hispanic male between 20-25 years old, 5-feet-10-inches tall, 150-170 pounds.
Anyone with information in regards to any of these robberies is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are confidential.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag…” rang out the voices of 30 children who had become citizens of the United States just moments before the patriotic ceremony held at the Queens Center Mall.
The young men and women were administered the Oath of Allegiance to the United States in the 11th Annual Citizenship Ceremony held by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It was an exciting day for the children who represented 16 countries, ranging from Haiti to Thailand.
As children anxiously fiddled with their American flags, Dawn Simon, senior marketing manager of Queens Center, described “one of the best events” at the mall, saying that it is “driven, strong, and purposeful… and encapsulates Queens’ ethnic diversity.”
Joseph Cardinale, field office director, was the master of ceremonies. While he led the children, who ranged in age from five to 15, in proudly waving their flags, he reminded them that this is “once in a lifetime, so make the most out of it, make the best out of it.”
Wenxu Chen, 14, realizes the importance of Cardinale’s message. “This day is very important,” he said, adding that he will never forget it. Originally from China, Chen has been in this country for six years. Although he was admittedly very nervous today, he still had fun, a sentiment that would probably resound with all of the other children who took part in the ceremony.
The patriotic event included a keynote address from Borough President Helen Marshall, herself the daughter of Guyanese immigrants. She repeated a common theme, telling the children to make sure that they go forth and serve the country that is now officially theirs.
“We want to encourage you to continue in the spirit of giving back to your community through service and volunteering, and to never, ever give up your dreams,” said Simon in her welcoming remarks.
The newly minted young citizens were even shown a congratulatory message from President Barack Obama, who urged them to “keep the beacon that is America burning bright for the world to see.”
“U.S. citizenship is the best gift that the Citizenship and Immigration Services can bestow upon someone, so we value having that authority,” said Shyconia Burden-Noten, Community Relations Officer of the USCIS. “Just the look on the faces of the citizens. It’s phenomenal. It makes you proud to be an American.”