Tag Archives: Queens Courier

The sad and the ugly


| qceditorial@queenscourier.com

THE SAD . . .

We at The Queens Courier extend our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of William Bateman, a local homeless man found dead just steps from the Bayside LIRR station.

The loss of a loved one is undoubtedly very difficult, and losing someone who was so well-liked in the community is truly sad.

One Queens Courier reader wrote that he “saw Bill every day on the way to work. [He] seemed to be a man with pride who never asked for anything.”

But maybe he needed help. Perhaps the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) could have stepped in and offered resources.

After all, there are many factors that might lead to homelessness, and sometimes people are just too afraid to ask for help.

We agree with our reader, who eloquently pointed out, “[It’s] sad that that richest country in the world neglects those who are left behind, for whatever reason they are out there.”

In Bayside, there is another well-known homeless man, often seen along Bell Boulevard.

Perhaps he could use some help.

With the economy the way it is, it is incumbent on DHS to do as much as possible to help those in need.

THE UGLY

Four words: State Senator Shirley Huntley.

The politician, who is currently seeking re-election, turned herself in to the state attorney general’s regional office in Mineola, as she is being investigated for state funds sent to non-profit organizations.

What we find odd is the fact that Huntley is making a circus of her ignominy.

She hosted a press conference on Saturday, August 25, at which she announced that she would be taken into custody, and, upon her arrest, she said she was not worried about the charges and she would be cleared.

“I am not concerned,” she said. “Whatever will be, will be.”

What is truly ugly is abuse of power – politicians are meant to be bastions of justice for the little guy, the voice of the people.

When those people are struggling to make ends meet, allegations that funds were funneled are downright disheartening. We put our trust in these people, we elect them to be our leaders.

In this election year, we say they should start acting like it.

 

Queens Courier hosts senior expo


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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The sands are shifting in the extensive world of elder law, but industry experts say the key to security in the changing winds is to “plan, plan and plan.”

“With all this going on, you can’t afford not to plan. Make sure you secure your future,” said elder law attorney Ronald Fatoullah during a Courier-hosted senior expo held at North Shore Towers.

Fatoullah urged seniors on August 24 to think about the importance of long-term care planning and filing legal documents, saying elders — especially over 50 years old — should have a will, a living will, a living trust, powers of attorney and a health care proxy.

Other leaders in the field armed the crowd of close to 200 with tips on avoiding scams and reducing risks for dementia.

James Christopher, the assistant vice president and senior fraud investigator at New York Community Bancorp, said to invest in a shredder to prevent “bad guys” from sifting through garbage and opening up bank accounts with information they find. He also warned seniors not to give their account information to their health care workers and not to fall for the “infamous lotto scam,” in which seniors are mailed a check saying they won the lottery.

“We continuously get these problems,” he said. “You don’t get something for nothing.”

Another frequent problem amongst seniors and their caregivers, said president of Royal Health Care Services Phyllis Ettinger, is mistaking dementia for Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia, Ettinger said, is the “define all” term encompassing loss of brain function that could be cured by remedies, while Alzheimer’s is a specific disease and a form of dementia that gradually gets worse over time.

To lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, Ettinger said the most important thing to do is exercise the body and brain with taking brisk walks each day, reading, doing crossword puzzles and playing mentally stimulating board games. Not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, maintaining a healthy diet, being social and getting a good night’s sleep are also vital, she said.

Christine Feingold, funeral director at Sinai Chapels, also warned snowbird seniors to be aware of differing prearrangement and trust account laws in Florida and New York. Setting up an account in one state, she said, does not necessarily mean it transfers over to the next.

Before the lecture began, seniors had a chance to mingle with leading businesses in the industry, including vendors Fatoullah and Associates, Bankers Conseco Life Insurance Company, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, Margaret Tietz Center Light Health System, New York Community Bank/Queens County Savings Bank, Catholic Cemeteries, Ramps for Better Living, Senior Source of Self Help Community Services, Atria Senior Living, Samuel Field Y, Senior Bridge, Highland House, Bussani Mobility, The Regency, ProEquities, Family Care Connections, LifeWatch, Turnpike Comfort Shoes, Plan Plus Ltd, Integrity First Senior Care, Prudential and Elderplan.

Little Neck neighbors want problem tree removed


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Neighbors in Little Neck say a rotted tree rooted on a popular pathway is on its last leg and poses a danger to pedestrians passing beneath its falling limbs.

“I walk on the street. I’m so afraid of walking under this tree that I make a detour,” said Vicky Cosgrove, 61, pointing to a problematic maple at 48-03 Marathon Parkway. “It’s very dangerous.”

According to Cosgrove, the tree is hollow inside and has a number of dying or already dead branches, especially on one long arm that looms over her neighbor’s front yard, where a three year old often plays. The threatening timber, Cosgrove said, is also situated on a sidewalk where many J.H.S. 67 students venture to and from the school located less than half a mile away.

“I’d hate to see a branch come down and kill a kid,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”

Nahid Neysani, 56, who lives in the house in front of the tree, said it was once flanked by two other trees of the same poor condition. They were removed, she said, after a few branches came down on her fence and made noticeable dents.

Still, she said she was told by the city the last tree standing on her street was not a problem.

“They’re not rushing anything,” she said. “If we have crazy wind or storms, maybe the branches will break.”

Cosgrove said she filed multiple reports to 3-1-1 and even placed calls to higher ups in the Parks Department out of frustration, although her efforts were in vain. According to a recent 3-1-1 inspection report dated June 6 of this year, the Department of Parks and Recreation inspected the tree “but the condition was not found.” The service request was also listed “closed” with no planned further updates.

“I’m no arborist, but to say this tree was inspected and no conditions were found — I don’t believe them,” Cosgrove said. “Are they blind? I was livid. Nothing gets done with the city. They tell us, ‘If you see something, say something.’ When we do, we are treated with contempt.”

But the agency changed its tune soon after The Courier reached out for more information at the end of June.

A Parks Department spokesperson said after the city tree was inspected last week, it was determined to be “in poor health” and will be removed within the next 30 days. The tree will not be felled immediately though, the spokesperson said, because it is still alive and not split.

“I’m a tree hugger. I love trees, but you have to maintain them,” Cosgrove said. “Sure, you can’t help everything. If a tornado came tomorrow and a tree hit you on the head, some things can’t be helped. But this is an accident waiting to happen.”

City trees are inspected and pruned on a block-by-block basis in a portion of each community board every year, a Parks spokesperson said.

 

City refunds bilked homeowner for sidewalk repairs


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Melissa Chen

A Fresh Meadows homeowner who said he was bilked by the city in 2009 for over $2,000 was reimbursed more than half the cost and was refunded a piece of his pilfered American Dream.

“I feel good that I won. I got into a good fight and I loved it,” said John Biagi, 62.

Biagi said when the city billed him for what he called unnecessary sidewalk repairs, he felt his right as a homeowner was violated.

In 2004, the retired mechanic was warned by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to replace approximately 68-square-feet of sidewalk on his Utopia Parkway property. While he said the slabs were defective from two trees the city recently removed, he said he had every plan to cooperate with the agency, but first requested more information.

He did not hear back from them until 2009 when he said city workers came out of the woodwork, replacing nearly the entire sidewalk surrounding Biagi’s corner home — including close to 800-square-feet of pavement instead of the originally estimated 68.

Total cost the city billed Biagi: $2,240.69.

An infuriated Biagi called 3-1-1, filed three complaints and then contacted City Comptroller John Liu, the DOT, the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and Councilmember Dan Halloran. When he only received help from Halloran after four years of getting the runaround from city agencies, Biagi, out of frustration, reached out to The Courier in March and propped up a white handcrafted billboard sign that read “Another Homeowner Screwed by NYC” in bold, red-painted lettering.

Now, the homeowner has been given back $1,442.62 — a check from the city Biagi was happy to cash. He has also replaced his billboard with a smaller one that reads “Refunded $1,442.62. Thanks for your support.”

The former sign, which garnered much attention, still leans against the home Biagi has lived in for over 20 years, and he plans to let fellow frustrated neighbors borrow it.

“I think it was wrong that I should have been in the fight in the first place, but at least I got justice in the end,” Biagi said.

According to the DDC, the revised estimate was “based on additional sidewalk flags which were observed to be broken or were identified as trip hazards.” The agency said the total bill sent to Biagi only represented 30 percent of the total sidewalk replacement work. The other 70 percent of the construction, officials said, was done to “provide uniformity in grade” and were not charged to Biagi’s account.

But Biagi, who was content with paying the final $800, said the entire sidewalk did not need to be repaired and the unnecessary improvements were ultimately paid for by city taxpayers.

“Thanks to you paying your taxes, I got a new sidewalk that I didn’t need,” Biagi said. “They refunded my stolen money back to me and they think I should be grateful. It’s wrong how they screw everyone in New York City.”

A spokesperson for Liu said the comptroller was “happy to have resolved this matter in a way that is fair and equitable to both him and the city.”

Queens Courier to host Power Breakfast with Senator Chuck Schumer


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Chuck Schumer

Senator Charles Schumer will be the featured guest and keynote speaker at the next Queens Courier Power Networking Breakfast.

The breakfast will be on Friday, June 8 at the Water’s Edge Restaurant in Long Island City, just across the East River and overlooking the Manhattan skyline.

The long-time political leader will be available for a question-and-answer panel session from those in attendance about current issues before he addresses the crowd.

Schumer has served in public office for nearly four decades after initially winning a New York State Assembly seat following his graduation from Harvard Law School in 1974. He was elected to the State Senate in 1998 and has served since.

The Power Networking Breakfast is set to start at 8:30 a.m., when attendances can engage Schumer and network with other guests while enjoying breakfast.

The moderator will be Juliet Papa, an award-winning reporter for 1010 WINS Radio, and opening remarks will be given by Randy Estrada, Retail Market Manager, TD Bank.

Panelists include Caryn Schwab,Executive Director, Mount Sinai Queens Hospital; Joe Osterman, Director of the JFK Service Delivery Center, Bombardier; and Peter M. Meyer, New York City Market President, TD Bank.

The event is hosted by The Queens Courier and 1010 WINS, and sponsored by Water’s Edge Restaurant, Con Edison and TD Bank.

Tickets for an individual seat start at $40; $350 for a table of 10. For more information or to register, go to queenscourier.com/events or call 718-224-5863, ext 226.


Second Courier ‘Power Breakfast’ informs seniors


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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Seniors looking for another leg up in the extensive world of elder law got a second boost of knowledge during a recent Courier-hosted lecture.

During a “Power Breakfast” — the second one hosted by The Courier this year — held on May 4 at North Shore Towers in Floral Park, Ann-Margaret Carrozza, an elder law attorney, equipped seniors with crucial advice on updating their wills, while other leaders in the field armed them with tips on avoiding scams.

“When you hear horror stories that someone’s mother’s brother-in-law lost their assets because of a long-term care illness, it’s because they didn’t have a little mental game plan,” Carrozza said. “Sometimes that’s all that’s necessary.”

According to Carrozza, seniors should consider redoing their wills in the event that an unforeseeable crisis occurs in the family — specifically stating that all assets will be left in a lifetime trust. Doing so, she said, makes sure spouses will be able to benefit from assets without “somebody putting a claim on it for long-term care expenses.”

Jim Morin, a representative from Flushing Bank, also warned seniors to be cautious of an ongoing scam that targets the elderly. Scammers, Morin said, will often send letters in the mail or make phone calls telling unsuspecting victims they won a prize.

“If you get something in the mail like that, it’s dangerous,” he said, adding that recipients should not give the organization any money or personal information.

Guest speaker, Councilmember Leroy Comrie, also addressed the city budget’s recent cuts to senior centers and programs and urged residents to speak up and join the fight against them. Comrie said seniors in northeast Queens could contact Councilmember Mark Weprin at 718-468-0137 to voice their concerns, and those in southern Queens could call his own district office at 718-776-3700.

Before the lecture began, seniors had a chance to mingle with leading businesses in the industry, including vendors Sinai Chapels, Royal Health Care Services, FCE Group, RBC Wealth Management, The Bristal Assisted Living, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, Oyster Bay Manor and Harbor House Assisted Living, Flushing Bank, Sunrise Senior Living, Dignity Home Care, Riis Financial and Caring People Home Health Care Agency.

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Liu’s former campaign treasurer pleads not guilty to fraud

The lawyer for New York City Comptroller John Liu says his client may seek to be tried separately from her codefendant. Attorney Gerald Lefcourt notified a judge of the possibility Tuesday as his client, Jia ‘Jenny’ Hou , pleaded not guilty to fraud charges. Her name was added last week to an indictment returned against a New Jersey man. The man was arrested several months ago on charges he conspired to funnel illegal contributions donated by an undercover FBI agent posing as a businessman. He too pleaded not guilty Tuesday. Read More: New York Post

 

Knicks shattered over Amar’e injury

Steve Novak was crushed about Knicks teammate Amar’e Stoudemire’s lacerated left hand, explaining he thinks Stoudemire never realized the danger when he punched the glass case of a fire extinguisher after last night’s Game 2 loss to the Heat. “I feel awful for [Stoudemire] because he plays with emotion,” Novak told The Post. “And you’re walking in a hallway, and I don’t think he ever thought for a second that it was going to be glass, that it was going to shatter.” Novak said he “was right behind [Stoudemire],” though he cautioned, “but I didn’t actually see his hand. Read More: New York Post
Department of Education Outlines Social Media Policy For Teachers

The city has introduced its first guidelines for the use of social media by teachers. The Department of Education says teachers should refuse friend requests from students on their personal accounts on sites like Facebook and Twitter. They’re also being warned that their activity may be monitored and should have no expectation of privacy. Teachers will be given training sessions on the new guidelines. Education officials may also ask parents to sign consent forms before their children participate in social media activities or post their work online. Read More: NY1

 

 

Rent Guidelines Board Holds Preliminary Vote Tonight

Tenants and building owners will once again be squabbling over annual rent hikes for the city’s rent-regulated apartments as the Rent Guidelines Board holds a preliminary vote this evening at Cooper Union. Last year, the board hiked rents 3.75 percent on one-year leases and 7.25 percent on two-year leases. Tonight’s meeting is open to the public, but officials say any noisemakers that can be used to disrupt the proceedings are prohibited. Tenants rights groups and Occupy Wall Street demonstrators plan to hold a protest outside the meeting. The board’s final vote is on June 21. Read More: NY1

 

Cops probe death of baby girl on Staten Island

Police are investigating the death of baby girl on Staten Island, NYPD sources said Tuesday. Six-month-old Genesis Monge wasn’t breathing and had a 105-degree fever when her foster mother called 911 just past 10:15 p.m. Monday, sources said. Genesis was rushed from her home on Steuben St. to Staten Island University Hospital North, where doctors told police she had marks consistent with past trauma, sources said. Genesis died at 11:15 p.m. Read More: Daily News

 

Google knew Street View collected emails, passwords, personal information from millions worldwide

Google Street View had an eye on more than just city streets — it also once collected emails, passwords, Internet search histories, medical records and more from millions of people around the world, new documents show. An FCC report released Friday reveals Google spent over two years between 2008 and 2010 quietly capturing a mountain of personal information by tapping into unsecured wireless networks through its Street View cars, which drive around capturing snapshots to populate the search giant’s massive map database. Read More: Daily News

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Gillibrand Wants Geese Roundup In Wake Of Bird Strikes

In the wake of a pair of recent bird strikes involving planes in the New York area, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is looking to rein in the flying nuisance responsible. She’s proposing a new measure that would make it easier for the Department of Agriculture to round up and kill Canada geese on federal land at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge near Kennedy Airport. Wildlife advocates oppose the idea. The birds can shatter windshields, dent fuselages and ruin engines. Read More: NY1

 

 

Jackson Heights BID Delivers On Promise, Merchants Say

The Jackson Heights shopping strip is looking a lot prettier these days with news trees, benches and cleaner streets. It’s a far cry from what the 82nd Street business improvement district or BID used to look like. Now it’s got a new look, new leadership and a new name. It’s now called the 82nd Street partnership and business owners appear to like it. Retail businesses are members of the BID and many of the store owners had complained to local leaders that under the old Business Improvement District there wasn’t a lot of improvement. Read More: NY1

 

 

Power line from Quebec to Astoria draws mixed reviews

A proposal to create a $2.2 billion power transmission line to bring wind and hydroelectric power from Quebec to Astoria is pitting environmentalists and against each another and creating some unusual alliances. The Champlain Hudson Power Express project would bring up to 1,000 megawatts of Canadian power into the city through a roughly 333-mile underground, and at times underwater, cable. Read More: Daily News

 

Judge clears crane magnate James Lomma of manslaughter in deaths

Manhattan crane czar James Lomma was acquitted Thursday of the deaths of two hardhats who were killed when one of his giant machines collapsed on them. Lomma, who was charged with manslaughter in the deadly May 2008 accident at an E. 91st St. construction site, sat stoically as Judge Daniel Conviser handed down his verdict in Manhattan Supreme Court. Lomma faced up to 15 years in prison for the deaths of Donald Leo, 30, and Ramadan Kurtaj, 27. The two were killed when the crane cab plunged 200 feet down into the street. Read More: Daily News

 

Knicks’ Lin beats Lakers’ Bryant in NBA jersey sales

Jeremy Lin outsold Kobe Bryant in official jersey sales over the past year, the NBA revealed Thursday, despite the Knicks phenom only emerging to prominence in February. Fans rushed to get the former undrafted D-Leaguer’s name on their back at an unprecedented rate when “Linsanity” took hold little more than two months ago as his breakthrough performances captured global attention. The mass demand meant only Bulls guard Derrick Rose sold more jerseys than Lin last year. It is the first time the Chicago star, who was boosted by last season’s MVP title, has topped the annual list. Read More: New York Post

Camera catches prostitute accused of stealing $500K worth of diamonds

This is the savvy prostitute who allegedly swiped half a million dollars worth of uncut diamonds from a hapless gem trader — caught on surveillance video as she made her barefoot getaway from a Manhattan hotel, police say. Erika Cooper, 34 — a k a Bianca Williams — is now the target of an NYPD manhunt for allegedly pulling off the April 17 heist at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, where she waited until her john Kurt Kaiser fell asleep before she fled with his loot. Her big mistake was giving Kaiser her real phone number, which cops have used to identify her and dig up mug shots from an earlier prostitution bust, a police source said. Read More: New York Post

Best of the Boro Voting is Live: Don’t delay, vote today!


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Cast your vote for the best in Queens’ Family, Education & Recreation.

Hundreds of nominations have poured in to the Best of the Boro’s fourth and final round and now residents can select who stands out above the competition.

With seemingly endless entertainment options, this category allows residents to choose the borough’s best places to relax and enjoy time with your family.
The eclectic category features dozens of subcategories in a wide range of topics including: best batting cage, best pool hall, best shopping center and best movie theater among a host of others.

Also, the scores of elementary, middle and high schools throughout the borough have the opportunity to show off their school spirit as they vie to be named the top school in Queens. Best teacher, public school, private school, high school spirit and university are among the categories to be won.

Voting for your favorites is easy. Simply visit www.queenscourier.com and click on the Best of the Boro logo. There you can choose the best in any or all of the categories.
Voting will remain open until May 18. Hundreds of votes have already been tabulated, so if you want your favorites to have a chance to win, make sure to vote early and often. Residents can vote for their favorites once per day.

The first three rounds have garnered more than 175,000 votes. Keep an eye out around Queens for the Best of the Boro stickers in stores and eateries window — indicating that the borough’s residents chose it as second to none.

To stay up-to-the-minute on the competition like the Best of the Boro page on Facebook and follow @BestOfTheBoro on Twitter.

CLICK HERE to Start Voting

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Search for Etan Patz ends with no remains or blood found in SoHo basement

The massive basement dig in search of missing SoHo boy Etan Patz ended with no human remains or blood found below a neighborhood building targeted by investigators, law enforcement sources said today. FBI agents, assisted by NYPD cops, had been blasting through cement below 127B Prince St. since Thursday morning, but indefinitely suspended their excavation last night with little to show. The walls had no trace of blood, according to field tests conducted at the site, law enforcement sources told The Post. And it appeared that no human bones were in the cement, sources said. Read More: New York Post

‘Poor’ Meeks parties rich

Gregory Meeks, one of the poorest members of Congress, continues to party like a 1 percenter. The Queens Democrat scored coveted Super Bowl tickets in February, weeks after living it up in Las Vegas. The good times were paid for by his campaign and political action committees, which footed the bill for plane fare, hotels, meals and tickets. He used campaign funds to snag $19,000 worth of Super Bowl ducats, buying them from television networks, ticket brokers and the NFL, according to his recently released campaign filing. Read More: New York Post

 

Surveillance video eyed for clues into Queens man’s death outside Midtown club

Investigators don’t believe there was any criminality in the mysterious death of a Queens welder outside a Midtown club early Saturday, law-enforcement sources said. Michael Lin, 27, fell down a flight of stairs at District 36, on West 36th Street near Fifth Avenue, police believe. Waitresses smoking outside on a 3 a.m. break noticed that he was bleeding profusely from the mouth. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Read More: New York Post

Sources: Former Gov. Paterson Joining MTA Board

The next stop for former New York Governor David Paterson’s long career is on the MTA board. Sources tell NY1 Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to name Paterson to the seat vacated by Nancy Shevell. Shevell resigned back in January shortly after marrying Paul McCartney. Since leaving the governor’s office at the end of 2010, Paterson has hosted a daily radio talk show on WOR. Read More: NY1

 

 

Supreme Court Will Not Hear NYC Rent Laws Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it will not hear an appeal aimed at tossing the city’s rent stabilization laws. The high court refused to hear an appeal from Manhattan couple James and Jeanne Harmon who lost earlier attempts to get the laws thrown out. The couple inherited a building on the Upper West Side but they say rent stabilization laws force them to rent some apartments at 59 percent below market price. They argue that the government has illegally taken their property by giving tenants lifetime tenure with succession rights. A federal judge and the second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have both thrown out their lawsuit. Read More: NY1

 

EAU de MO! Yankee legend Mariano Rivera to pitch team fragrance

THE YANKEES’ closer and a two-time All-Star are going to bat for the Bronx Bombers’ official fragrance — and the new partnership smells like a winner. All-time Major League saves leader Mariano Rivera and star center fielder Curtis Granderson have signed on as “brand ambassadors” for the Yanks’ fragrant elixir. The two Bombers will be making public appearances all season to promote “New York Yankees” for men and “New York Yankees for Her,” which went on sale this month. Read More: Daily News

New York City looking for actors to play homeless people in public service announcement

When the city Homeless Services Department went looking for people to play the homeless in a public service announcement, it put out a casting call — for actors. Bureaucrats prepping for the agency’s first such announcement in three years sounded like Broadway producers in a Casting.com ad, asking for “real people types.” Advocates for the homeless were quick to bash the idea of paying stand-ins for the real deal. Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Trayvon shooter Zimmerman walks out of jail on $150K bond

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood-watch volunteer who shot and killed unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, has been sprung from jail. Zimmerman, wearing a beige jacket and jeans and carrying a large brown bag, walked out of the John E. Polk Correctional Facility at midnight on $150,000 bond. He ignored shouted questions from the half- dozen reporters waiting outside, where he was met by five cars — a white BMW SUV and four green and white Town Cars belonging to the Sheriff’s Department. Read More: New York Post

 

Queens bridge shops sue city over crashes

Two Queens shops shuttered after out-of-control cars plowed into their storefronts not once but twice — and within just nine days of each other — have filed a $1 million lawsuit, blaming a 59th Street Bridge exit ramp. Espinal Caribbean Restaurant II had been open four years in Long Island City when the first crash happened in March 2011. “It was a major setback and years of work evaporated,’’ owner Tony Espinal said. “But then the second crash! “And then the third crash!” he said, referring to yet another in which a car sped toward the shops, only to be stopped by scaffolding erected after the earlier accidents. Read More: New York Post

 

Flood Watch In Effect As Spring Nor’easter Soaks City

New Yorkers are getting plenty of use out of their raincoats and umbrellas as a spring Nor’Easter continues to whip up some serious precipitation. A flood watch remains in effect through Monday morning for the entire city as up to three inches of rain could fall in some parts. Meteorologists say the worst of the storm will likely arrive early in the overnight hours and could bring wind gusts between 30 and 40 miles per hour. As of early Sunday evening, no major flooding had been reported. The city’s flash flood plan was activated on Thursday and crews began cleaning catch basins last week. Read More: NY1

 

 City Earth Day Events Take On Different Shades Of Green

New Yorkers gathered for events to “green” up the city all day Sunday as part of Earth Day 2012. In addition to the first annual Harlem Earth Day being held, there were also plantings and discussions on green development in Morningside Park, Marcus Garvey Park and Central Park. The first-ever Earth Day on the High Line featured a giant salad preparation and the chance to meet one-on-one with the elevated park’s gardeners. The performance art piece was the brain child of artist Alison Knowles, who first did the performance 50 years ago. Read More: NY1

 

 

Mystery grows in death of Michael Lin, 27-year-old clubgoer who died early Saturday

New details emerged Sunday about what happened to a 27-year-old Queens man who suffered fatal injuries while at a midtown club early Saturday. Michael Lin appeared to have had a broken jaw and bruises on his body when cops found him outside Koreatown hotspot District 36 about 3 a.m. Saturday, police said previously. He died at Bellevue Medical Center an hour later. Investigators now believe Lin had tried to leave the W. 36th St. party joint to smoke a cigarette, using a second-floor emergency exit, police sources said. Read More: Daily News

Hammer-armed rapist arrested: cops

A Queens teenager has been arrested for attacking two women in Brooklyn in which he used a hammer to threaten them, police said Friday. Anthony Moore, 19, of Queens Village, allegedly raped an 18-year-old after threatening her with a hammer and forcing her to a desolate spot in Brownsville about 12:40 a.m. on April 9, cops said. Later that day, around 11 a.m., Moore approached a 22-year-old woman near Stone Ave. and tried to threaten her with a hammer, but she fought him off, cops said. Read More: Daily News

St. John’s journalism panel hosts media professionals


| intern@queenscourier.com

By Timothy Petropoulos

The state of journalism in today’s economy has been an often discussed issue of late, especially for young journalism students looking to enter the industry.

On April 12, the St. John’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists hosted a panel in front of roughly 30 journalism students to discuss what it takes to break into the field. The panel consisted of four professionals — two Daily News journalists, staff reporter Irving DeJohn and staff writer Sarah Armaghan; Queens Courier co-publisher Joshua Schneps; and former New York Post writer turned Communications Director for Councilmember Peter Vallone, Tatiana Deligiannakis.

Some of the topics that the panel discussed included the importance of internships, overcoming the obstacles of entering the journalism field, what employers are looking for when interviewing, and the necessity of being well-versed in all aspects of journalism, including photography and multimedia.

“Journalism is not dead, it’s evolving” said Armaghan, the 2009 St. John’s Journalism Graduate of the Year award winner.

Throughout the roughly two-hour session, the panel fielded questions from moderator Ramiro Funez, president of the St. John’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. They also took time at the end to answer questions from the attendees and met with students one-on-one after it concluded.

“I think the panel was great,” said sophomore and journalism major Anne Marie Turton. “Getting a job after graduation is always on our minds and I think [this panel] gave us a leg up over our competitors.”

The key attribute that the panel mentioned throughout the event was persistence, stressing the importance of working hard and putting in the time necessary to break into and stay in the field in order the achieve the position desired.

“We can present them with all the information in the universe, what they choose to do with it and how they apply it will really be the test for them,” said DeJohn.

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Maniac went for cop-killer bullets: police

The crazed gunman who wounded four Brooklyn cops was reaching for another rifle loaded with more powerful, armor-piercing bullets to inflict deadly injuries just before he was stopped, officials said yesterday. “If he would have been able to grab that gun, this would have been a lot more tragic. It would have been in God’s hands,” said a police official familiar with the case. “It’s apparent [the suspect] wanted to shoot it out with cops and go out in a blaze of glory.’’ Read More: New York Post

Cuomo at all-time high in latest poll; Bam and Gillibrand strong

Gov. Cuomo’s job approval has hit an all-time high while President Obama and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are cruising toward re-election in deep blue New York this year, according to a new poll out today. The Siena College survey found New York voters divided over Obamacare and the potential legalization of casino gambling but strongly supportive of expanding the state’s DNA databank and rolling back pension benefits for new public employees. Read More: New York Post

Liu’s legal bills outweigh donations

Embattled city Comptroller John Liu’s campaign treasury “is turning into a legal-defense fund.”

Liu’s campaign has spent more than $100,000 on lawyers and legal fees so far this year — more than he raised in campaign contributions. Liu only raised $82,305 from Jan. 1 through March 25. And the new report shows that Liu spent more than twice what he raised during the period — $162,354.92. The anemic fund-raising and ballooning legal bills come as Liu and his campaign operation face a federal criminal probe of their fund-raising activities. Read More: New York Post

Smoking banned in New York State Parks in New York City

In announcing the ban Monday, state officials said it was done to make state parks consistent with their city-run counterparts, where smoking was outlawed last year. Smoking will also be banned near pools and playgrounds at all other state parks outside of the city, as officials look to create “fresh-air” zones for parkgoers. Read More: Daily News


 

Park Officials Plan To Fix Up Vandalized Far Rockaway Playground By Summer

With the damages totalling more than $100,000, many Far Rockaway residents feared the city would halt construction on the Beach 29th playground, but the Parks Department says it will soon be back on schedule. “The contractor has been there a few times the manufacturer, we located the parts that we need, they’re now on order,” said Queens Park Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “We hope to be back in line and open the playground sometime during the summer.” Read More: NY1

 

 

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly fights the good fight in New York City’s long war against guns

This time it was 3301 Nostrand Ave. in the first moments of Easter Sunday, four Emergency Service Unit cops, cops as good as any Ray Kelly has, coming through the door of Apartment 6-K, all being shot by a “very bad dude” — Kelly’s words — named Nakwon Foxworth. Another bad dude in the City of New York with guns, one gun at least from the shoot-happy South. Read More: Daily News

 


 

Ire at home ‘free’ tenant

Queens landlord Debra Samuels says her only tenant hasn’t paid the $1,590 rent in more than a year — putting her two-family home in jeopardy. “We haven’t received a penny since February 2011 and she’s upstairs chilling, living free.” Samuels said. “I don’t see any resolution to this thing.” The cash crunch has put Samuels and her husband, who run a restaurant together, behind on their mortgage for the two-family Far Rockaway home.  Read More: New York Post

 

Catholic Charities boardmember quits over Cardinal Dolan’s stance on gay rights

Angered by Cardinal Dolan’s stance on gay rights, a member of the junior board of the city’s Catholic Charities revealed Saturday he has resigned. Joseph Amodeo quit after Dolan took umbrage at a letter from a group that works with homeless lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender youths. Read More: Daily News

Get your tickets now! ‘Top Women in Queens Business Networking and Awards’


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Queens Courier’s 10th annual ‘Top Women in Queens Business Networking and Awards’

The ultimate in networking

On Wednesday, April 25,

The Queens Courier will honor more than 40 women who have made positive impacts in the business and non-profit worlds and who also are active in giving back to their respective communities.

 

This year’s event will feature Master of Ceremony, Cheryl Casone, Fox Business Network Anchor;

Roscoe Brown, Tuskegee Airmen & Former President Bronx Community College, Man of the Year Award recipient.

 

Honorees include Claire Shulman, Lifetime Achievement Award; Grace Meng, Claire Shulman Community Service Award; Mary Ann Mattone, Philanthropist of the Year;

Fatma Abboud, CEO & Executive Director, EIHAB Human Services; Charity Abdi, Compliance Officer, Joseph Addabbo Family Health Center; Jackie De Leon, Nurse Practitioner,

Clinical Site Director & Special Projects Director, Joseph Addabbo Family Health Center; Dr. Mary Andrea, DPM, Hyperbaric, Wound Care & Podiatry Center; Connie Jeanne Attanasio, President & CEO, Attanasio & Associates; Nora Bassett, Independent Consultant, Adjunct Professor for CUNY School of Professional Studies; Dr. Esther Benenson, Executive Director, William O. Benenson Rehabilitation Pavilion; Tara Buonocore-Rut, Associate VP Business Development, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation; Susan Cohen, Marketing Director, Brandywine Senior Living; Alina Camacho-Gingerich, Ph.D., Director Latin American & Caribean Studies, St. John’s University; Karen Dorsey, Project Manager, Skanska USA Civil Northeast Operations; Anne M. Dunne, Director of Health Care Consulting, Grassi & Co.; Lisa Gneo, Director of Sales, Z NYC Hotel; Rudean Harvey, President & CEO, Ametis Industries, Inc.; Jamie Johnson, Regional Director of Golf Events and Fundraising, American Golf Corporation; Marta Kazandjian, Director, Division of Speech Pathology and Swallowing, New York Hospital Queens;  Maura McCarthy, Queens Borough Commissioner, NYC Dept of transportation; Peri Millman, M.D. , Director, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, New York Hospital Queens; Michele E. Keller, Shift Manager, Resorts World Casino NYC; Rita Mercieca, Executive Director, Forest Hills Hospital; Eileen Minogue, Executive Director, Patient Airlift Services ; Rosa Murciano, Senior Vice President, New York Community Bank; Elsie N. Vaca, First Senior Vice President, New York Community Bank; Herlema Owens, President & Founder, Association of Women Construction Workers of America; Honorable Audrey Pheffer, County Clerk, Queens County ; Jaci Miller Osdoby, Director, PwC; Kathryn Soman, Director of Communications & External Affairs, Health Plus.

 

Selected past honorees will also be inducted into the newly-created “Women in Business Hall of Fame.”

Inductees are Jacqueline Arrington, President of the Board, Queens Library; Eileen Auld, Regional Director, Citibank; Charlotte Biblow , Partner, Farrell Fritz; Dr. Diane B. Call, Interim President, Queensborough Community College; Linda DeSabato, President, Vallo Transportation; Maria Grasso, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer , Flushing Bank; Pouran Eshghi, President, Pouran Salon & Spa; Sue Henderson, Chief Operating Officer/Vice President for Institutional Advancement., Queens College; Melissa Ioanna, Store Manager, JC Penney; Philippa Lee Karteron, Executive Director, Council for Airport Opportunity;  Margaret McGowan, Vice President, TD Bank; Pilar C. Valenzuela , Vice President, First Central Savings Bank; Georgiana Reese-Benatti, Community Relations Director, New York Community Bank; Maria Thomson, Executive Director, Greater Woodhaven Development Corp.; Sylvia Williams RN, MA VP for Patient Care Services, Parker Jewish Institute For Health Care & Rehabilitation; Con Edison Team

There will be a networking business expo, followed by a dinner and awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 25 beginning at 6 p.m. at Terrace on the Park.

Tickets are $85. Raffle proceeds will benefit the Queens Chapter of the American Heart Association.

This year’s sponsors include the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, Flushing Bank, New York Hospital Queens, TD Bank, Con Edison, Queens County Savings Bank, Citibank, Skanska, Health Plus, the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation, Bombardier, Big City Graphics, Delta Air Lines, First Central Savings Bank, the Daily News, Council for Airport Opportunity, Queens Library, Dr. William O. Benenson Rehabilitation Pavilion and NY1 News.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 718-224-5863 Ext. 226 or visit www.queenscourier.com/events.

 

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

New crane horror: Worker dies in W. Side collapse at subway pit

A construction worker was killed and three of his colleagues were injured last night when a crane collapsed at the No. 7 train subway-extension construction site on the West Side, authorities said. The accident occurred at around 7:20 p.m. at West 34th Street and 11th Avenue when two pieces of the crane — 80- and 40-foot sections — became dislodged and fell into the below-ground site and onto the workers, officials said. Read More: New York Post

French Academic Found Dead In His Midtown Hotel Room

Police were investigating late Tuesday the death of prominent French academic found inside a Midtown hotel room. Richard Descoings, 54, was discovered in his bed at the Michelangelo Hotel on Tuesday afternoon. Investigators say hotel security went to his room after he did not check out. Sources say Descoings was found naked and his computer and phone were thrown from the seventh floor window. They also say police are looking for people who may have come into his room during the overnight hours. Read More: NY1

 

Off-Duty School Safety Agent Awaits Arraignment On Rape, Weapons Charges

An off-duty school safety agent was awaiting arraignment Monday after being arrested on rape charges in Queens. The New York City Police Department says Tommy Johnson, 28, is also charged with criminal weapons possession, menacing and assault. Sources say Johnson raped his ex-girlfriend in Brooklyn over the weekendJohnson currently lives in Ridgewood, Queens, where neighbors say he resides with his mother. Read More: NY1

 

Woman Dies Following Cooking Accident In Jackson Heights Home

A woman died Monday following an apparent cooking accident in her apartment in Jackson Heights, Queens. The New York City Fire Department says they responded to a 911 call Monday morning for a woman in cardiac arrest. Fire officials believe the woman was severely burned when her sleeve caught on fire while cooking. They say she then went into the hallway, where she went into cardiac arrest. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Read More: NY1

 

Key approval is won for Willets Point project

The city has won a key approval for its massive Willets Point redevelopment, dealing a blow to local property owners who hoped to delay or even halt the project. The Federal Highway Administration ruled that ramps proposed for the Van Wyck Expressway would have “no significant impact” on the surrounding area, according to a letter sent to the state Department of Transportation late last month and released Monday by city officials. Read More: Crain’s New York Business

 

NYPD investigating image on Al Qaeda forums as possible threat to New York City

A graphic featuring the New York skyline and posted on terrorism websites blares a chilling message in bold letters: “Al Qaeda coming soon again in New York.” The NYPD and the FBI are scrambling to locate the source of the message and trying to figure out whether it’s a credible threat or a sick taunt. The 3-D images spotted on Al Qaeda Internet forums Monday show the letters scrawled across a city street, as a father and son stroll by in amazement. Read More: Daily News

 

Authorities still looking for motive in Oakland shooting rampage at small Christian college that left seven dead

One wounded woman cowered in the bushes after the gunman opened fire on the campus of a small Christian university. One student hid in a locked classroom as the shooter banged on the door. Another heard the shots and ran to safety. All within an hour Monday, police said, a 43-year-old former student named One L. Goh walked into Oikos University, and began a rampage that left seven people dead and three people wounded, trapped some in the building and forced others to flee for their lives. Read More: Daily News

 

 

‘Rape’ victim dad’s anguish

Don’t let your daughters move to New York City. That’s the heart-wrenching advice of the father of a city schoolteacher who is still devastated after being sexually assaulted at gunpoint by an off-duty cop last summer. “It’s a dangerous city,” said the dad, whose name and location are being withheld to protect the identity of his 25-year-old daughter. “When things like this happen, it just makes you think twice,” the dad told The Post from his small, out-of-state farm. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Handyman Convicted Of Murder Of Manhattan Building Cleaner

A handyman accused of killing a Manhattan building cleaner and hiding her body in an air-conditioning duct was convicted of second-degree murder Monday. After deliberating for two days, jurors also found Joseph Pabon, 27, guilty of first-degree kidnapping. Prosecutors say Pabon smothered 46-year-old Eridania Rodriguez with industrial tape in July 2009. Read More: NY1

 

Boy, 10, shot in Williamsburg

A 10-year-old boy was hit by a stray bullet in Williamsburg late last night, police said. The child was with his father below the elevated subway tracks on Broadway near the Hewes Street station at around 10:55 p.m., when teens down the block began arguing, cops and witnesses said. “Ten or 15 people [were] fighting. I called 911 when I heard the gunshots, two or three shots,” said Baruch Bing, 23, who lives near the shooting scene. Read More: New York Post

Koch endorses Queens House pol

Ed Koch’s legendary clout with Jewish voters is about to be tested again. Hoping to repeat his kingmaker role from a closely watched congressional race six months ago, the outspoken ex-mayor yesterday threw his support behind Assemblyman Rory Lancman in a three-way race for the Democratic Party nomination in Queens’ 6th Congressional District. He called Assemblywoman Grace Meng and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley “first rate” but said he preferred Lancman’s position on Israel. Read More: New York Post

Prosecutors want ‘Millionaire Madam’ lawyers to zip it 

A Manhattan judge is weighing prosecutors’ demand to bar lawyers for accused “Millionaire Madam” Anna Gristina from publicly discussing some of the most sensational evidence in the case. Gristina, a 44-year-old soccer mom who is being held on $2 million bail, was not in court Monday as officials asked for a “protective order” to keep their evidence secret. Read More: Daily News