Tag Archives: Richmond Hill

Con Edison reduces power in south Queens, urges customers to conserve


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Flickr/Con Edison

Equipment problems and a power strain related to today’s hot weather forced Con Edison to cut back voltage by 8 percent in several southern Queens neighborhoods.

The reduction affects customers in the areas of Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Kew Gardens, Lindenwood, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park and Woodhaven. In all, 138,000 customers are affected in the area generally bounded by the Jackie Robinson Parkway, Queens Boulevard, Van Wyck Expressway, Jamaica Bay and the Brooklyn/Queens border.

Con Edison said the cutback aims “to protect equipment and maintain service as repairs are made.” Until further notice, residents in the reduction zone should not use heavy-duty appliances such as washers, dryers and air conditioners and should turn off any unnecessary lights or televisions.

Queens is in the midst of this summer’s first heat wave, with temperatures today forecast at 92 degrees. Combined with oppressive humidity, it’ll actually feel more like 102 degrees, according to accuweather.com. Thunderstorms are also forecast for this evening.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation also issued an air quality health advisory through 10 p.m. Monday for the New York City area, as the stifling, muggy air may also include heavy amounts of pollutants such as ozone. Children, seniors and those with respiratory disorders should limit their outdoor activity.

The city will have cooling centers around the five boroughs open on Monday, including at senior centers, NYCHA facilities and parks. Call 311 or click here to locate the nearest center.

Con Edison urges customers who experience power outages to report them immediately to 800-75-CONED and visit its website to check the status of service restoration efforts. When reporting an outage, customers should have their account number available and notify the operator if neighbors on their block also lost power.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Ulrich secures a record $5.6 million in funding for district


| amatua@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Southwest Queens will receive $5,685,000 in funding from the City Council, the most that has ever been awarded to the 32nd City Council District.

Councilman Eric Ulrich, who represents neighborhoods including the Rockaways, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven and South Richmond Hill, secured $685,000 in expense funding for local community groups, civic associations, senior centers, volunteer fire departments and other local groups.

New York Families for Autistic Children, Inc.Queens Chamber of CommerceHoward Beach- Lindenwood CivicRockaway Point Volunteer Emergency Services and Girl Scout Council of Greater New York were among the grant recipients.

“Above all, this year’s budget keeps New Yorkers and their families safe and protects the vital services we all rely upon,” Ulrich said. “It also provides funding for local groups that serve my constituents in every corner of the district. Since taking office, I have made sure that we receive our fair share of city services and resources in the budget. This year is no exception.”

Local schools in the district will receive funding for SAT programs and the $5 million allocated to capital projects will fund technology upgrades at 17 local schools and school library and auditorium renovations.

Forest Park will receive a number of enhancements and improved security measures. Residents who voted in the participatory budgeting process chose to refurbish the 9/11 Memorial and the Forest Park Dog Run and to install emergency call boxes throughout the park.

Libraries in Ozone Park and Richmond Hill have been awarded $200,000 for security upgrades and renovations.

The Richmond Hill library will look to install self-check-in and check-out machines, renovate the basement and purchase new computers and tablets, according to Rebecca Babirye-Alibatya, the library’s manager.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Seven Queens students accepted to the US service academies


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of Congresswoman Grace Meng's office

Seven recent high school graduates from Queens will be all they can be in their college years after being accepted into various U.S. military service academies with the assistance of Congresswoman Grace Meng.

The academies consist of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland; U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado; U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point; and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut.

Kate Gerodias from Middle Village graduated from Forest Hills High School and will be attending the Naval Academy; Zachary Kurre from Glendale graduated from Archbishop Molloy High School and will attend West Point this summer; Selah Cho of Fresh Meadows finished school at Marion Military Institute in Alabama and will attend West Point; Kevin Guo from Rego Park graduated from Hunter College High School and will be continuing his education at the Naval Academy; Julia Hsu from Flushing graduated from West Point Prep School and will go on to West Point this summer; John Makiling of Flushing graduated from Naval Academy Prep School and will continue on to the Naval Academy; and Daniel Zakrevski from Richmond Hill graduated from Bronx High School of Science and will be attending the Merchant Marine Academy.

“I am honored to congratulate these seven exceptional students,” Meng said. “All are outstanding individuals who will be future military leaders of our country. I have no doubt that they’ll make Queens and the nation proud.”

Students looking to attend the service academies are required to be nominated by their Congress member. The institutions then evaluate the nominations from across the nation and decide which nominees to accept.

The students nominated by Meng compete against students from across the country and must meet the highly competitive educational, physical and extracurricular standards set by the institutions. Meng’s Academy Review Board, which is a panel of local community leaders, assists Meng in the nomination process for students looking to attend the academies.

This year, a total of 33 students applied to be nominated by Meng. Of those 33 students, 20 were nominated by the Congresswoman.

To congratulate the students for being accepted to the service academies, Meng hosted a reception for them and their families at her office in Flushing. She also presented each student with a certificate of Congressional recognition.

Meng plans to continue her “U.S. Service Academy Information Night” for Queens students who are interested in applying to the U.S. Service Academies. The day and location will be announced in the near future.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Tour of Richmond Hill highlights the Indo-Caribbean community’s needs


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Ridgewood Times/Photos by Anthony Giudice

The Indo-Caribbean population and culture in Richmond Hill is booming, and as a result the residents are in need of programs and institutions that bring them together as a community.

Richard David, co-founder of the Indo-Caribbean Alliance (ICA), led a 2-hour walking tour on June 25 of Richmond Hill’s important Indo-Caribbean cultural hubs, including Little Guyana Bake Shop and the Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, informing the participants of the support system that local organizations, like the ICA, provides to their community.

“The Indo-Caribbean community in Richmond Hill has exploded in the past 10 years, growing an estimated 23 percent from 2000 to 2010 and having the third highest foreign-born population in NYC,” said Joo Han, program and communications manager for the Asian American Federation (AAF). “However, the community has received little government funding due to its lack of visibility, despite its being the largest Indo-Caribbean community in NYC.”

One stop on the tour was Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, one of the oldest Hindu temples in the city.

Not only does the Mandir provide residents with a place to worship, but organizers are looking to create senior and youth programs to be held in the Mandir, in order to educate the community on the importance of joining together and helping others.

“There is no community center in the neighborhood,” said Varuna Sahabir, organizing secretary at the Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir. “Since there is no official place for the community to gather, it is a struggle to get people to come out to vote. The community needs to come together. That is why we are trying to reach out and help the people of the community.”

The tour concluded at the ICA office, located at 131-12 Liberty Ave., to discuss some of the community’s needs and how ICA provides support for youth and residents.

“We’re a community that can do a lot with a little support, but we have a lot of service needs,” David said. “Our youth are dropping out at unprecedented rates; we’re now faced with a generation of young people who have actually achieved less education than their parents. We need to address those needs.”

The ICA has several programs dedicated to youth, including a middle school initiative, a college bound program and a mentoring program.

“We do a leadership skill-building program, it’s a natural complement to some of our civic advocacy work because the students in our leadership program are also the ones registering people to vote, organizing debates, setting up different cleaning events for Liberty Avenue…it’s a really good way to get our programs to build greater cohesion,” David said.

According to the AAF Census Information Center the demographic profile of Richmond Hill shows that 74 percent of Indians and 72 percent of Asians were immigrants. This high level of immigration in the Indo-Caribbean community in Richmond Hill has led the ICA to create a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

DACA is a special, non-permanent immigration program that provides work permits and temporary relief from deportation to eligible residents. ICA offers help to interested residents to find free lawyers and see if they are eligible and may even be able to cover application fees.

For more information about ICA and all the services they offer please visit their website.


RECOMMENDED STORIES

National Grid to install natural gas lines along Lefferts Boulevard


| amatua@queenscourier.com

File photo

National Grid’s efforts to modernize its gas system in Queens will affect drivers and residents on Lefferts Boulevard in the weeks ahead.

National Grid and its contractor, Network Infrastructure, have now begun work to install a new gas main along 84th Avenue between 115th Street and Lefferts Boulevard. Due to this construction, 84th Avenue between 115th and 116th streets will be closed to through traffic and on-street parking will be unavailable from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

It is part of the Queens Gas Reliability Project, a $100 million effort by National Grid scheduled to be completed in spring 2016. The construction will take between five and six weeks to complete.

“We are working closely with the local community to minimize the disruption and we thank them for their patience and cooperation during this complex construction project,” said Mike Ruiz, director of community and customer management at National Grid. “The Queens Gas Reliability Project is important to strengthening the network for our Queens customers and it’s a good example of our Connect 21 vision to modernize our energy delivery system and to help customers take more control of their energy use.”

New gas mains have already been installed in South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill and Kew Gardens.

National Grid will install more than 6 miles of gas mains through central and south Queens and once the installation is complete, crews will work in neighborhoods along the route, spanning from Rockaway Boulevard to Long Island Expressway, to upgrade the natural gas service in the local communities.

The Queens Gas Reliability Project is part of National Grid’s $1.3 billion investment focused on replacing aging gas mains; installing new mains and other facilities to accommodate customers requesting natural gas service; and ensuring that natural gas supplies can meet increasing customer demand.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens rallies to restore funding


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angela Matua

Chants of “show us the money” reverberated throughout the gymnasium of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens on Wednesday, as parents, children and staff called for more funding for after-school programs.

The Richmond Hill-based nonprofit organization, which offers free after-school tutoring, homework assistance and athletic and arts programs, serves children from 6 to 18. But the elementary school programs, which serve 200 students, have lost their funding.

The City Council cut $420,000 from after-school programs for the next fiscal year and if it is not restored, club Associate Executive Director David Kupecky said, parents will have to choose between putting food on the table and providing their children with a safe space to attend after school.

“The mayor’s initiative this year is ‘after school for all,'” Kupecky said. “He’s talking about middle school, he’s talking about pre-K and I think that right now, elementary school is being forgotten.”

A City Council representative said no cuts have been made but the club lost an RFP proposal through the Comprehensive After School System of New York City (COMPASS). The representative also said that they are looking to provide funding for the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens and other programs that have been affected by budget shortfalls.

The Boys and Girls Club will have to charge parents $300 per month for the 36-week after-school program and $800 for the seven-week summer program if the funding is not restored in the final budget.

Marcus Gonzalez, a 20-year-old Jamaica resident who works at the Boys and Girls Club and has been attending the programs since he was 5, said that the mentors he met helped him when he struggled through high school and eventually pushed him to strive for more. He will be graduating from LaGuardia Community College in 2016 with an associate degree in early childhood education.

THE COURIER/Photos by Angela Matua

“If it wasn’t for the free-of-charge summer and after-school programs here where I grew up, who knows where I would be,” Gonzalez said.

Chrissy Mercado, a Richmond Hill resident whose three children attend the Boys and Girls Club after school, said she is worried about the impact these cuts will have on working families.

“These cuts will hurt parents who do not have family in the area to assist with child care,” Mercado said. “If this funding for our programs are cut this will force parents to make potentially dangerous decisions of leaving their children with after-school providers who may not be licensed, a terrifying thought.”

Shawna Richardson, who was a Richmond Hill and Far Rockaway resident but now lives in Brooklyn said she commutes to Queens every day so that her 12-year-old daughter can experience the same services that her 21-year-old son did when they lived in Queens.

“There are so many initiatives that the city is trying to embark on to improve the academic and social well-being of our children, our community, of our city as a whole,” Richardson said. “My children, our children are examples of the success and benefits that this club has already provided. So my theory is, why fix something that’s not broken?”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

 

Pet adoption fair to take place in Forest Park


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Paul Bankert

BY ANGELA MATUA

Queens residents hoping to add another member to their family can attend the eighth-annual Pet Adoption Fair in Forest Park on Saturday, June 13.

The Richmond Hill Block Association and the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center host the fair, which has successfully provided homes to more than 70 cats and dogs.

From noon to 4 p.m., families can visit the Buddy Monument at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South in Forest Park, where the ASPCA, Animal Care & Control of NYC and Heavenly Angels Rescue will provide a furry friend.

According to Paul Bankert, president of the Richmond Hill Block Association, rabbits will also be available for adoption this year. A nonprofit organization in Queens called All About Rabbits Rescue will be on site to provide families with a rabbit of their own.

Bankert said he helped conceive this fair because “it helps the community and helps animals.”

Each person who adopts a pet will be provided with pet supplies including water and food bowls, collars, leashes and litter boxes.

The ASPCA Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic will be on site to provide discounted or free procedures to the first 25 participants who arrive before 7:30 a.m.

The Richmond Hill Block Association is also asking those who cannot adopt to donate new or laundered blankets for the dogs and cats still in shelters. Monetary donations will also be accepted by each rescue group.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

First weekend closure of Jackie Robinson Parkway starts Friday


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Anthony Giudice

The first of six weekend shutdowns affecting segments of the Jackie Robinson Parkway will take place this Friday, according to the state Department of Transportation (DOT).

The parkway’s eastbound lanes between Jamaica Avenue in Brooklyn and the Metropolitan Avenue/Queens Boulevard exit (Exit 6) will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday until 5:30 a.m. the following Monday, June 8.

Westbound lanes, as well as the eastbound section between Exits 6 and 8 (Grand Central Parkway) will remain open.

The closure is required as the state DOT continues its $17 million resurfacing of the five-mile-long roadway between Brooklyn and Kew Gardens. All of the work is being done in phases, with the eastbound side occurring first.

Five additional closures of portions of the parkway will occur later this year, according to the DOT. Parkway segments will also be closed on weeknights from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. the following morning.

Drivers will be advised to use the following designated eastbound detour routes through Cypress Hills, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Forest Hills and Kew Gardens:

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

For more details, visit the state DOT information website or call 511.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Jackie Robinson Parkway shutdowns begin tonight


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Jim Henderson

Portions of the Jackie Robinson Parkway will be closed beginning Monday night as the state Department of Transportation (DOT) begins resurfacing the five-mile-long and winding road between Kew Gardens and Brooklyn.

The work will begin tonight on the eastbound side from the parkway’s Brooklyn terminus at the corner of Jamaica and Pennsylvania avenues to the Cypress Hills Street exit. As reported in the Ridgewood Times, the project will be performed in segments, with the eastbound side completed first.

The $17 million project is expected to be finished in mid-August, barring any weather-related delays. Much of the work will be done during weeknight hours from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. the next morning, but portions of the parkway will be shut down entirely on six weekends, from 11 p.m. Friday to 5:30 a.m. the following Monday.

The first two weekend closures will occur on June 5 through 8 and June 12 through 15. Drivers will be diverted through marked detour routes passing through neighboring Brooklyn, Ridgewood, Glendale, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Forest Hills and Kew Gardens.

During the project, crews from Tully Construction Company of Flushing — working on behalf of the state DOT — will remove the existing asphalt pavement and repair the concrete roadbed, then apply new asphalt and re-stripe the roadway with new lane markings. Various traffic safety devices, from reflectors to new signage, will also be installed.

“The Jackie Robinson Parkway is a critical connector between Brooklyn and Queens, carrying thousands of commuters each day and supporting the local economy,” state Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said in a statement. “[This] project will give more than 82,000 motorists who use the parkway each day a smoother, safer ride.”

“Motorists who use the Jackie Robinson Parkway can look forward to a better road experience thanks to this paving project and infrastructure enhancement,” added Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, who thanked the DOT and Governor Andrew Cuomo “for making the improvement of the parkway a priority.”

Drivers are reminded to travel safely and slowly through work zones; by law, speeding fines are doubled in work zones, and convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone may result in a driver’s license suspension.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Richmond Hill firehouse celebrates 100th anniversary


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of FDNY

BY ANGELA MATUA

Fire Department brass gathered at the headquarters of Engine Company 294 and Ladder Company 143 in Richmond Hill Wednesday to celebrate the firehouse’s 100th anniversary.

The firehouse opened in 1915 when the FDNY decided to expand to all five boroughs.

“The people who live in this community care for our department deeply and their admiration drives us all to be better every single day,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

Past and present firefighters stationed at this house, which primarily serves Richmond Hill, have been recognized at the site for individual acts of valor. Mark Janesky from Engine 249 and Arthur Shaw from Ladder 143 received the house’s first medals in 1922 when they rescued people trapped in a fire on Atlantic Avenue.

At the ceremony, two firefighters from Engine 249 who died in the line of duty were honored with a plaque. Members discovered that Firefighter Arnold Hafner, who died in 1955, and Robert Denney, who died in 1960, did not have their own plaques in the firehouse, but now their names will join three lieutenants who sacrificed their lives to help others.

17545510164_759d70078d_o

“We remember their names always on the walls of this house,” Chief of Department James Leonard said. “It’s important to remember them today especially because their memory inspires us.”

Captains James Raymond of Engine Company 294 and William McCarthy of Ladder Company 143 congratulated the current members for their service and their efforts to celebrate the history of the firehouse.

“Our traditions must be carried on to all those that come after us,” McCarthy said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Knife-wielding robbers target J line riders: cops


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated Tuesday, May 19, 10:02 a.m.

Detectives are asking the public’s help in finding four people wanted in connection with a series of knife point robberies on the J line in Richmond Hill and Brooklyn this month.

The first caper occurred in Richmond Hill at 2:40 p.m. on May 8, when a 25-year-old woman was robbed by a knife-wielding male crook while riding a Jamaica Center-bound J train as it approached the 121st Street station.

Authorities said the suspect displayed a knife and forcibly removed the victim’s cash and MetroCard; he then exited the train at the 121st Street stop and was last seen fleeing toward the station’s mezzanine.

Two days later, four suspects robbed and assaulted an 18-year-old man on a Jamaica Center-bound J train as it approached the 111th Street station in Richmond Hill at about 1:50 a.m. on May 10, police said.

The crooks — three men and one woman — reportedly displayed a knife, then punched the victim about the left side of the face, causing swelling. Law enforcement sources said the bandits took the victim’s iPhone 6 and a shopping bag containing a jacket, a Gucci belt and Air Jordan sneakers.

The third incident occurred four minutes later at 1:54 a.m. on May 10 in Cypress Hills, when a male suspect assaulted and robbed a 47-year-old man of his iPhone on a Jamaica Center-bound J train approaching the Cleveland Street station.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Editor’s note: A previous version identified five suspects wanted in connection with the pattern. The NYPD has since revised its information indicating that just four individuals are sought.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Former monk’s ‘Ahhaa’ moment sparks inspirational app


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Diane Bacchus-Quddus

BY ANGELA MATUA

A Richmond Hill woman and a former monk have created a “help engine” to guide high school and college students in using social media to inspire each other.

Ashwin Srisailam, the creator of the Ahhaa app, became a monk at 13 in India and for the next 17 years, guided people on how to find “inner freedom and clarity.”

After his service, he moved to Los Angeles and had his “Ahhaa” moment during a leisurely walk in 2012.

“I was asking myself, ‘Is this how I see my future unfolding?’” Srisailam said. “Every person on this planet might not have access to a seminar or an expert in order to know better. That is when I used Google search to see what comes up and [Google] would do a key word search and show me about listings that are exactly based on that key word.”

Srisailam did not find the Google searches to be very helpful and dreamed up a version of a search engine that he thought could comfort people during their state of confusion.

He met Diane Bacchus-Quddus in 2013 and told her about his idea for the platform. Bacchus-Quddus was determined to make his dream a reality despite their lack of knowledge in coding and building applications.

“We both come from a background where everything is possible and that’s where we got a really great team of developers and told them the idea we had,” Bacchus-Quddus said.

The app, which was released for Android in February and for iOS in early April, resembles Pinterest in look. Users can add posts from different users to their vision boards by clicking in a light bulb on the right hand side of the post.

They can also browse through other users posts and boards, which are separated by a handful of different categories including animals, art and music, DIY, economy, education and environment.

Users have shared inspirational quotes, school projects and community service projects on the app.

Bacchus-Quddus recently showcased the app at the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens, where children gathered to clean up Queens in celebration of Earth Day.

The founders also plan to partner with 19,000 schools across the country, including John Adams High School in Jamaica, to show students how to successfully use the app. During Ahhaa’s visit to the high school, scheduled for April 30, students will also participate in a campaign to share positive messages to the people of Nepal in light of the recent earthquake that has claimed more than 4,000 lives.

Ahhaa has partnered with Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a school-wide discipline program “that includes proactive strategies for defining, teaching and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments,” according to pbis.org.

Bacchus-Quddus said Ahhaa can be used by students not only to lift each other up but also to showcase the community service and other good deeds they are participating in.

She hopes this app can be a platform that can lead students to jobs and college interviews when future employees see the positive work highlighted through the app.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Participatory budget proposals announced for District 32


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

BY ANGELA MATUA

Councilman Eric Ulrich announced on Monday the results of participatory budgeting in District 32 for the areas of Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and Ozone Park.

The process, which allows community members to decide how a portion of the public budget is spent, began in November with local brainstorming sessions. Residents in these neighborhoods then met with city agency representatives to review the proposals.

The ballot included eight capital proposals submitted by local residents. A total of 692 constituents who cast ballots whittled down the proposals to five.

“Participatory budgeting empowers local communities and strengthens relationships between elected officials and the people they serve,” Ulrich said. “I am deeply grateful to everyone that contributed and I look forward to bringing PB back next year to allow my constituents a real say in how their tax dollars are being spent.”

The winning proposal with the most votes included technology upgrades at P.S. 90, P.S. 97, P.S. 66 and P.S. 306. The project received 465 votes with a total of $300,000 being allocated to the four schools.

Residents cast 326 votes to bring $200,000 worth of security upgrades to Ozone Park Library and renovations to Richmond Hill Library.

Rebecca Babirye-Alibatya, the manager at Richmond Hill Library, was excited to learn that the community voted to allow for much-needed renovations to the 100-year-old building, she said.

“We need major renovations. We are one of the only libraries without self-check-in and checkout machines,” Babirye-Alibatya said. “Our basement is in need of renovations. The electrical wiring is as old as the building [and] there are so many things we can use the money for.”

Babirye-Alibatya said the library would also look to buy new computers and tablets and try to expand the basement to add more rooms to host activities for children and the community.

Residents also voted for emergency call boxes to be installed throughout Forest Park to improve safety with 312 votes from the community. The installation will cost $140,000.

Another school to receive funding in the district is P.S. 64 in Ozone Park, which received 237 votes for a $300,000 auditorium upgrade.

The 9/11 Memorial in Forest Park was the last proposal to be funded and received 239 votes and $250,000 for a total refurbishing.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Navy SEAL from Queens dies in training accident


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Naval Special Warfare Group TWO

Updated 2:39 p.m.

A 32-year-old man from Queens was one of two Navy SEALs who died in a training accident in a swimming pool at a Virginia base.

Special Warfare Operator First Class Seth Cody Lewis died shortly after the April 24 incident at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Virginia, according to Naval Special Warfare Group TWO.

Lewis was found that day along with Brett Allen Marihugh, 34, of Livonia, Michigan, unresponsive at the bottom of a pool at the base’s Combat Swimming Training Facility, media reports said. Marihugh, who was also special warfare operator 1st class, died from his injuries on Sunday.

“This tragic loss is very unfortunate and our thoughts and our prayers are with the families, friends and teammates during this difficult time,” Capt. Pete Vasely, commander, Naval Special Warfare Group TWO, said in a statement. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.”

Lewis enlisted in the Navy in December 2006 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2001 to 2005. He was deployed several times to Afghanistan and Iraq, and had earned numerous medals, including the the Bronze Star with Combat Valor, Purple Heart, U.S. Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Valor and the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Valor.

According to the Daily News, Lewis grew up in Richmond Hill with his mother who raised him alone after his father passed away when he was 4.

“He was an excellent Marine and even more excellent Navy SEAL. A 9-to-5 job was not his thing,” his 58-year-old mother, Betty Rose Lewis, told the Daily News.

“He’s a beautiful son, just a great human being. Everyone loved being around him. People were so attracted to him. They just wanted to be his friend, know him in some capacity,” she continued.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Richmond Hill man charged in fatal shooting of Queens grandmother


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD113Pct

Updated Monday, April 27, 5:11 p.m.

Detectives slapped the cuffs on a Richmond Hill man Friday night for fatally shooting a 71-year-old grandmother at her Jamaica home last month, authorities said.

Julian Douglas, 22, was arraigned Saturday on second-degree murder and weapons possession charges for the March 31 killing of Leta Webb at her 119th Avenue home.

According to the district attorney’s office, Webb answered a knock at her front door just before 2 a.m. that morning and, after opening it, was shot in the head and left arm.

Officers from the 113th Precinct and EMS units responded to the scene. Webb was pronounced dead later that morning at Jamaica Hospital.

Police reportedly believe that Webb was not the intended target of the shooting and that the incident may have been gang-related.

Douglas, who was remanded into custody, faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

RECOMMENDED STORIES