Tag Archives: Twitter

106th Precinct to use Twitter to address noise complaints


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via @NYPD106Pct

Updated on June 17, 2 p.m.

 SALVATORE LICATA and PAULINA TAM

The 106th Precinct is taking to Twitter to stop noise from trending.

The precinct commander, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, said at Wednesday’s Precinct Community Council meeting that he is launching a special initiative this weekend where local residents can report noise complaints via Twitter to @NYPD106PCT.

“If you have a noise complaint, report it on Twitter, with the address, and we will hopefully be there within minutes,” Schiff said.

He said noise complaints in the area have been “extreme.”

Schiff used a similar tactic earlier this week when he asked residents to tweet a picture and location of a particular type of graffiti to add charges to the tagger he had in custody.

The noise complaint strategy went  from June 13 through June 15 and three residents can tweeted out their noise complaint issue, according to a spokesman for the 106th precinct.

“We are tired of telling people to lower their music and then once we leave it goes back up,” Schiff said.

They responded to 31 noise complaints and issued 20 summonses, a spokesman for the 106th precinct said.

The investigation was part of Operation Silent Night, an operation  by the 106th precinct that explored noise complaints tweeted by concerned citizens.

“We’re not killjoys but we’re out there doing what needs to be done,” the spokesman said.

 

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‘Gentrification in Progress’ banner appears on 5Pointz building


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER

Two artists are making sure their voices are heard as the demolition of the buildings that were once home to 5Pointz continues.

Artists gilf! and BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) collaborated to put a large yellow tape around the Jackson Avenue side of the Long Island City building with the words “Gentrification in Progress,” according to a Twitter post. The banner was reported on the site Sunday morning.

After a long fight to save 5Pointz, the LIC graffiti mecca, years of art was whitewashed overnight last year. The owners of the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, the Wolkoff family, ordered the action to be taken in November. Rallies were held throughout that same month to save the site, including a gathering just three days before the whitewashing, requesting the building with its art be landmarked.

Since the whitewashing, the demolition process has slowly begun with signs of asbestos removal crews at the location.

 

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Mets David Wright becomes ‘Face of MLB’


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy The New York Mets

Follow me @liamlaguerre 

 

Mets captain David Wright won the MLB’s “Face of MLB” contest.

The contest came down to a match up against Oakland’s Athletics’ infielder Eric Sogard and Wright.

“Captain America,” as Wright has come to be known, gained more retweets than Sogard by fans to win the contest.

 

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Trio of local female filmmakers hope to make mark in movie industry


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Courtesy of graphic designer Alison Chin and photographer Ben Jarosch

A trio of female filmmakers has come together to create a unique film, as they look to become leaders in an industry started by men.

The all-female filmmaking team, made up of director, writer and lead actress Victoria Negri, and producers Effie Fradelos and Katie Maguire, has begun working on a film called “Gold Star.”

The film, which was written by 26-year-old Negri, who lives in Manhattan, is based on the story of a girl growing up and building a relationship with a father 65 years older than her.

“Gold Star,” expected to begin filming in mid-April, will star Negri as the lead role and is based on the writer’s real life experiences with her father, who passed away in 2012.

“I always hoped people would want to work on my film while I was writing it, but I don’t think I ever really imagined I’d have people equally enthusiastic about my passion project as I am,” said Negri. “It’s especially important for me to involve other female filmmakers because I think it’s important to make movies about women that are created by women.”

This movie is the first time the filmmakers have come together to create a completely female team working on a female story bringing audiences real emotions and experiences they can feel a connection to.

“It is important for females to dispel all of the false, preconceived notions that women cannot work together,” said Maguire, 34, from Brooklyn. “As the popularity of independent film is growing so is the number of female directors and producers. It is important that women stick together and help bring to life stories from a female perspective.”

The filmmakers are aware they are working in an industry founded by men, but they remain strong and plan on working hard to turn the industry into one led by women. The film also plans to serve as a model to other women looking to enter the film industry.

“We represent the everyday woman filmmaker,” said Fradelos, 26, born in Astoria and now living in Bayside. “I think if you’re a young girl or a woman and you want to break into the industry, stop looking for others to give you their hand, and do it yourself, most people need that push and as filmmakers we should all push each other.”

Casting for the film is underway and the team hopes to film the movie in Connecticut and New York.

To raise money for the preproduction of the film, the filmmakers will hold a fundraiser on Tuesday, January 28 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Esperanto N.Y.C., located at 145 Avenue C in Manhattan. There will be a $20 entry fee to the event which will feature drinks, a raffle and live music.

The film is expected to be completed by the fall of 2014. To learn more about “Gold Star” and the female filmmakers you can visit the official website, Facebook page or follow @GoldStarFilm on Twitter.

 

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NYPD issues social media rules for officers


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via Facebook

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is patrolling the streets of the World Wide Web.

According to the New York Daily News, the commissioner released a list of what the city’s 35,000 officers can and cannot put up on their personal social media sites.

A three-page NYPD memo, obtained by The News, states “Members of the service should be aware that activities on personal social media sites may be used against them to undermine their credibility as members of the department.”

The order also explicitly bans the creation of any online site by precincts or units, as well warning officers “not to disclose or allude to their status as members of the department.”

Police officers will also be prohibited from posting photos of themselves in uniform, unless at an official ceremony, the News reported.

The memo states that any officers caught violating the policy will face disciplinary action, including termination.

Those working in the NYPD have mixed reactions to the memo.

Edward Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, supports the order telling The News that, “[The NYPD] have to be held to a higher standard.”

Robert Gonzelez, a police training expert at John Jay College, told The News he disagreed with the memo, calling it an example of “unauthorized censorship,” and saying that, “members of the NYPD are proud public officials and should be authorized to express that right on social media sites without retribution.”

The NYPD is no stranger to controversy when it comes to social media. Seventeen cops were disciplined last year after they were caught posting offensive comments on a Facebook page entitled “No More West Indian Day Detail.” More than 150 comments were posted calling the participants of the annual parade “savages” and “animals.”

The memo comes off the heels of two FDNY employees, including Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano’s son, were caught posting racist tweets. The FDNY is in the process of reviewing its social media guidelines following the controversy.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then overcast with ice pellets. High of 36 with a windchill as low as 25F. Winds from the East at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 90% . Monday night: Overcast with ice pellets and snow, then rain after midnight. Low of 36 with a windchill as low as 28F. Breezy. Winds from the East at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 100% .

EVENT OF THE DAY: Paper Bag players

Starting at 10:30 a.m., the Paper Bag players will perform a set of short plays at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center, located at 222-05 56th Avenue in Bayside. In a show put on for kids, the story and musical numbers explore the Old West and The Life of a Bowling Pin and in the rousing finale set at a Country Fair two neighbors who can’t get along become the best of friends with the audiences help. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

School bus involved in accident on Grand Central Parkway

Authorities are investigating an accident involving a school bus and a car in Queens. Read more: NBC New York

Four off-duty NYPD busted amid St. Patrick’s Day weekend hijinks

Four off-duty NYPD employees have been arrested since Friday, including an officer accused of driving drunk and leaving the scene of an accident, officials said. Read more: New York Daily News

Teen charged with DUI in fatal accident on Grand Central Parkway

Authorities arrested a teen for DUI after he struck and killed a taxi driver on the Grand Central Parkway early Sunday morning, said police. Read more: The Queens Courier

Irish prime minister attends St. Patrick’s Day mass in Breezy Point

It’s a special day for Irish residents of Breezy Point, not just because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, or that they’re meeting the Taoiseach, or Prime Minister, of Ireland. Read more: NY1

Twitter co-founder eyes NYC mayor’s job

There may be another billionaire interested in New York City’s top job. Read more: Fox New York/AP

Top court to hear arguments over generic drugmaker liability

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday in a case that could decide whether generic drugmakers can be held liable for alleged flaws in the designs of their medications, even though federal law requires generic manufacturers to copy the brand drugmaker’s design. Read more: Reuters

 

Pope Francis sends first tweet


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via Twitter

The newly elected Pope Francis I, who held his first Sunday mass this morning, also sent his first tweet today from the @Pontifex account.

“Dear friends, I thank you from my heart and I ask you to continue to pray for me. Pope Francis,” said the message.

The same words were tweeted through the pope’s other eight accounts, each represented by a different language—Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Arabic and Latin.

His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI started tweeting from the @Pontifex account in December.

After announcing his resignation, all of Pope Benedict’s tweets were erased from the feed and the account name was changed to “Sede Vacante,” a phrase in the Catholic Church that means the pope’s seat is vacant.

Shortly after the conclave selected Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope, the account name holder was changed to Pontifex and tweeted out “Habemus papam franciscum,” Latin for “We have a pope, Francis.”

 

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Pope publishes first tweet


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot fromTwitter

Using the Twitter handle @Pontifex, Pope Benedict XVI sent out his first tweet Wednesday, saying “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”

As of noon, the pope already had around 834,000 followers.

According to the Vatican, the pope used an iPad to send the message, and it was published after the blessing that concluded Wednesday’s general audience and displayed on a screen installed in the Paul VI Hall.

After sending his first tweet around 6 a.m. EST, he has posted several other messages, using the popular social media dashboard application TweetDeck.

In addition to the English @Pontifex account, he has seven other handles that each translate his tweets to another language—Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish and Arabic.

Including those accounts, the pope already has more than a million followers.

So far, his messages haven’t included hashtags or other Twitter handles.

He also won’t be following others, according to Greg Burke, a Vatican communications adviser.

Throughout the day, however, the pope will be responding to three questions from three different continents, said the Vatican.

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

 TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast. High of 45. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday Night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 36. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Jackson Heights Community Orchestra

The newly-formed Jackson Heights Community Orchestra, launched by conductor Patricia Glunt, has scheduled its first performance for Dec. 12 at the Jackson Heights Community Church. “Jackson Heights is ripe and it’s ready for an orchestra,” said Glunt, a 58-year-old musician who lives in the neighborhood. “The idea is really to explore and showcase the talent that we have in Queens, and use Jackson Heights as the center of that.” Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Vallone officially announces borough president bid

Councilmember Peter Vallone’s holiday surprise wasn’t all that surprising. Vallone announced his bid for Queens borough president at his father’s annual holiday party on Tuesday, December 11, surrounded by friends and family. Read more: Queens Courier

Queens lawmaker proposes local referendum on casino gaming

Local residents should get a chance to weigh in before the state rolls the dice on full-tilt casino gaming, a Queens lawmaker said on Tuesday. Read more: New York Daily News

JFK guards threaten strike, could snarl holiday travel plans

Just in time for Christmas, security guards at JFK Airport are threatening to walk off their jobs and create a holiday nightmare for travelers. Read more: New York Post

Sandy ineptitude catches up with LIPA at Moreland Commission hearing

Officials slammed the Long Island Power Authority Tuesday for its performance in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, during a hearing by a commission exploring how those utilities might be restructured. Read more: CBS New York

First section of WTC spire set to be hoisted

The first section of a spire that will rise atop the World Trade Center’s tallest building is set to be lifted into place on Wednesday. Read more: Fox New York

The Pope, now on Twitter, posts his first message

Pope Benedict XVI sent his first Twitter message on Wednesday, saying, “Dear Friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” Read more: New York Times

Gunman opens fire at Oregon mall; Suspect, 2 dead

The mall Santa was waiting for the next child’s Christmas wish when shots rang out, causing the shopping mall to erupt into chaos. Read more: AP

 

 

 

Anthony Weiner returns to Twitter for Sandy


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo Twitter/screenshot

Former Queens Congressmember Anthony Weiner has returned to Twitter for the first time since the sexual photo scandal that led to his resignation in June, 2011.

Though he never deleted his account, @RepWeiner, the last Tweet he sent was on June 1 of last year. But around 10 a.m. Wednesday Weiner was active again.

Despite the timing, the tweet was not related to yesterday’s election.

The wordless message contained only a link to a YouTube video, asking for help in the Sandy-damaged Rockaways.

 

This July, the New York Post reported that Weiner was considering a run in the 2013 New York City mayoral race, but he quickly denied the rumors.

In need of gas, drivers turn online to find fuel


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

gas sites

Desperate to find fuel following Sandy, drivers are turning to online sources, such as Twitter, Craigslist and other websites to get gas.

Driving around or travelling far distances aren’t an option as a car’s gas gauge moves closer to empty, so to better pinpoint where to go to fill up, people are crowdsourcing, Reuters reported.

Popular hashtags to find gas on Twitter include #njgas, #nygas, #nycgas and #brooklyngas, and handles, such as @njgas  and @GasBuddy, according to Reuters.

In addition to being on Twitter, Gas Buddy, a website to find local gas prices, has a special Sandy fuel shortage tracker, where you can search for stations and help others by reporting station information. Gas Buddy also has a smartphone app.

Those that are even more desperate for gas can check out Craigslist.

Though people have been selling and trading items on the website for years, since the fuel shortage, some are hocking gas at up to $30 a gallon, according to the Huffington Post, and those prices could go up the longer the shortage continues.

How are you finding places to fill up your gas during the Sandy fuel shortage? 

Politics in the Social Media Age


| editorial@queenscourier.com

By Kevin J. Ryan
As the technology that connects us constantly evolves, the core skill of written communication is the one constant foundation on which good technological communications must be built. However, public relations professionals, especially those working for a public figure, need to be proficient at using all the latest means of delivering their message. Today’s communications toolbox includes web sites, press releases, blogging, email, Facebook, Twitter, web analytics, YouTube, Digg and search engine optimization.

Demand the Brand

The names of celebrities are brands, like Nike or Apple. They differ from corporations, however, because they are each a personal brand. Public figures must promote and protect that brand even more rigorously than a corporation, because their own name is much harder to rehabilitate once it is damaged. Rock stars, movie stars and athletes are all personal brands, but politicians are under greater scrutiny.

A cautionary tale for politicians using social media is that of former Congressmember Anthony Weiner. The Weinergate flap ended his career and handed the district back to the Republicans. A company can introduce new products or change executive leadership to recover from a controversy, but a politician has no such luxury. The speed and effectiveness of social media is a double-edged sword. What takes seconds to post can cling to a public figure forever.

The Social Media Advantage

Twitter and Facebook are essentially short-form messaging platforms. A brief (140 characters) text message or “microblog,” often accompanied by a link, is all that fits in a Tweet. Facebook allows one to show and see a bit more, which can be better or worse. Like any format of writing, it’s as effective as the writer makes it. The text needs to catch the reader’s attention so that he or she will want to click on the link or follow the poster. A politician or campaign can waste a lot of time on Facebook or Twitter with little reward, if they’re not careful. As with all media, judicious use is key.
Candidates and officials from both parties have embraced the Internet and its social media tools to stay in touch with their constituents and keep them informed. Councilmember Eric Ulrich’s recent State Senate campaign was announced with YouTube, rather than an old-fashioned press conference. The video was distributed via social networking, such as Ulrich’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Newspapers and bloggers immediately picked it up that morning.

One of the main uses of Twitter and Facebook is to push traffic (“hits”) to a blog/web site, where constituents should be able to see pictures, videos, full-length articles, press releases and biographical information on a candidate.

The traffic can be monitored with tools like Google Analytics, allowing staff to see which Tweets and Facebook posts are most popular. This is especially useful for a politician, because it enables him or her to gauge which issues are most important to voters.

Monitoring programs also allow users to see where the traffic is coming from and which links are being clicked, so a campaign can decide which news outlets or advertising opportunities are most effective. They can see referral traffic, where it’s coming from and where it’s being sent. Analytic programs are among the most useful, cost-effective weapons in the social media arsenal.

Google recently launched a new marketing campaign called Four Screens to Victory, as both a promotion for their technology and a tutorial on how to use it to reach voters via TV, computer, tablet and phone.

Another advantage to Internet-based communication is the timing. When voters look at Twitter, Facebook or a site like Google, they are receptive to messages and want to connect and gain information. More traditional media, like TV, radio and paper mailings often catch people when they’re either much less receptive or otherwise occupied. They can also bookmark, come back and look at a politician’s Tweet, blog or Facebook page at their convenience. That means the presence is long-term and cost-effective, especially for local politics.

Accept No Substitute

Twitter and Facebook are merely tools that will someday go the way of Betamax and MySpace. But the essential core communication skills necessary to make productive use of these tools will always be the same. Skill at writing, regardless of length, format or purpose is what drives a successful public relations campaign. The message needs to be clear, consistent and engaging.

All of these techno-tools can be learned fairly quickly, but there will never be a substitute for knowing how to write a good article, paragraph or line. Good writing is much harder to learn and far more valuable as it disappears from the world. Our Queens community leaders must balance both and continue to adapt to the ever-changing technological landscape.

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Teen Accused Of Vandalizing Queens Playground

The teenager police believe was responsible for vandalizing a playground in Far Rockaway, Queens was arrested Thursday. Allan Swafford, 17, was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, criminal mischief and burglary. Much of the new equipment in the new Far Rockaway park was broken. The damage will cost the city tens of thousands of dollars and the June opening might now be delayed. Read More: NY1

 

Queens motels shut down, employees arrested in prostitution sting

Two Queens motels were shut down this week after five employees were busted by cops for their alleged involvement in a prostitution ring. Desk clerks Harripersa Ramjattan, Bhaskar Chanika, Wojuech D. Sady, Atm Raham and Masum Chowdhury at the Kew Motor Inn and Par Central Motor Inn, both located in Kew Gardens, were charged for promoting prostitution, falsifying business records, commercial bribe receiving and permitting prostitution. Read More: New York Post

 

Demonstrators Want Police Officer Arrested For Shooting Unarmed Bronx Teen

A rally was held by a Bronx police precinct Thursday night, as advocates demanded that the police officer who killed unarmed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham last month should be arrested and face criminal charges. Ramarley Graham, 18, was shot last month by Police Officer Richard Haste, who along with several narcotics agents chased the teen into his house on East 229th Street in Wakefield after an alleged drug deal. Read More: NY1

 

NYC stores ready to ditch synthetic pot in wake of state ban

Mohamed Alzokri, who runs A&M Candy on Amsterdam Ave. and 89th St., said the prohibition is the excuse he needed to pull the popular money-maker off his shelves “It’s not good for health. They should take it off the market,” he said, but added, “Everybody asks for it when they come in.” After a Daily News investigation on the fake weed often called K2 or Spice, the state health commissioner ordered a ban on its sale or distribution. Letters were sent to county health departments, which must put sellers on notice that they could face civil action if they don’t ditch the dangerous drug. Read More: Daily News

 

Deliberations To Begin In Handyman’s Murder Trial

Deliberations are set to begin Friday in the trial of a handyman accused of killing a Manhattan building cleaner and hiding her body in an air-conditioning duct. A lawyer for Joseph Pabon says officials rushed to judgement when they charged Pabon with smothering 46-year-old Eridania Rodriguez in 2009. But during his summation Thursday, the prosecutor in the case argued the evidence proves Pabon’s guilt. Read More: NY1

 

Mega Millions jackpot grows again, reaches $540M

The Mega Millions jackpot just got bigger — $40 million bigger to be exact. The record lottery jackpot climbed to a staggering $540 million this afternoon, officials said. Since Tuesday’s drawing, when no winning tickets were sold, the jackpot has grown twice — from $363 million to $500 million to $540 amount. The $500 million was already the largest in history for a multistate game. Read More: New York Post

New security plan in works for problem-plagued Village McD’s

The owner of the problem-plagued Greenwich Village McDonald’s met last night with police brass and political reps to hash out plans to improve safety and security, The Post has learned. Some of the ideas floated were the hiring of off-duty NYPD officers to act as guards, giving police remote Internet access to the eatery’s surveillance cameras, and cordoning off seating after a certain hour to prevent customers from lingering, Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo of the Sixth Precinct told concerned residents at a community meeting. Read More: New York Post

Teen survives five-story elevator fall at Bronx apartment

A teen miraculously survived a five-story plunge inside a broken elevator at a Bronx apartment building last night, authorities and witnesses said. Kenneth Lacen, 17, had boarded the elevator on the fifth floor of the building on Woodycrest Avenue near Yankee Stadium at around 9 p.m. when it suddenly went into a terrifying free fall and crashed in the basement, authorities and witnesses told The Post. Read More: New York Post

Spike Lee settles for retweeting wrong address

An elderly couple has reached a settlement with Spike Lee after the pair said they had to leave their Florida home after the director help spread a Twitter posting listing their address as that of the man who shot an unarmed teen. The couple’s attorney, Matt Morgan, announced the settlement Thursday. Morgan says Lee called them to apologize for retweeting their address. Specifics of the settlement weren’t disclosed. Read More: New York Post

This Morning’s Top Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens woman shot to death on her porch

A mother of two was gunned down in a hail of bullets outside her Queens home early yesterday after a vengeful woman she bumped into in a nearby nightclub called in a hit squad, law-enforcement sources said. Sandra Bajnath, 39, was with her husband, Anthony Tika, 38, and their friend Sean Seepaul, 26, at Food Hut Restaurant and Bar when Bajnath accidentally bumped into the unidentified woman at around 3:30 a.m., the sources said. Read More: New York Post

 

Shocking video reveals hero teen’s brave stand to stop pals’ attack

He’s a teenage hero in one of the city’s most horrific pranks-gone-bad. In chilling video obtained exclusively by The Post, 14-year-old Achilles Baskin of Harlem is seen frantically trying to stop two twisted pals from pushing a shopping cart off a third-floor parking garage onto Manhattan mom Marion Hedges below — an act of bravery that he says still haunts him today. Read More & Watch the Video: New York Post

 

Police hunting Occupy Wall Street cop-kill tweeter

The NYPD is investigating an apparent Occupy Wall Street protester who made threats on Twitter Saturday about killing cops. “We won’t make a difference if we don’t kill a cop or 2,” someone with the Twitter handle Smackema1 posted at about 11:40 p.m. to Ustream, which showed footage of the Zuccotti Park protests in Manhattan. Read More: New York Post

 

Lively Queens House Party Ends With Collapsed Floor

Neighbors yesterday said they weren’t shocked when the third floor of a Queens home suddenly gave way and turned into a giant slide — sending as many as 100 teens attending a 13-year-old’s birthday party tumbling down. Miraculously, no one died, and only one person was seriously hurt — the older sister of the birthday boy. She’s expected to be OK. Read More: New York Post

 

Rep. Bob Turner blames Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and President Obama for high gasoline prices

Rep. Bob Turner opened his primary fight for the New York Republican Senate nomination with a familiar target — President Obama. The Republican hopeful perched in front of a Manhattan gas station Sunday and blasted Obama for blocking the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and for the price of gas in the city, which now tops $4 a gallon. Read More: Daily News

 

Liu chooses & biz ‘abuses’

Comptroller John Liu has awarded $6 million in contracts to manage city pension funds to a firm under investigation by New York federal and state prosecutors over claims it ripped off millions from public-employee pension systems around the world, The Post has learned.Boston-based State Street Corp. has faced litigation from state governments in Washington and California, as well as the United Kingdom, dating back to 2009 — each alleging the company fraudulently overbilled their retirement funds during so-called “foreign exchange” trades. Read More: New York Post

 

Police Investigate Fatal Stabbing Of Engaged Staten Island Man

Authorities are investigating after a Staten Island man was stabbed to death on Saturday just hours after his engagement party. Antonio Lacertosa, 27, of Staten Island was stabbed in the torso early Saturday morning, outside the Espana Restaurant in Annadale. The engagement party was held at another location before the group headed to Espana. Read More: NY1

 

Teacher Jonathan Polayes has avoided being fired despite years of accusations of misconduct

He’s been repeatedly accused of groping girls and making lewd comments about their breasts, thighs and bottoms — but the city just can’t get rid of this Teflon teacher. Jonathan Polayes, 60, a 22-year veteran of city schools, was one of the eight staffers singled out Thursday following Chancellor Dennis Walcott’s review of all misconduct cases since 2000. Read More: Daily News

 

Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and NY Knicks seem to be buying into interim coach Mike Woodson’s plan

The Knicks already have won three straight convincing games since Mike Woodson was promoted to replace Mike D’Antoni after D’Antoni resigned last Wednesday. Now, it’s time to see if they can take advantage of a key five-game segment and really start making a move up the Eastern Conference ladder. Read More: Daily News

Prosecutors and defense disclose plea talks in Jose Pimentel bomb plot case


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Prosecutors and defense disclose plea talks in Jose Pimentel bomb plot case

Prosecutors and defense lawyers say they’re in plea negotiations in a rare state-level terror case against a New York City man. He’s charged with building a homemade bomb to try to attack soldiers, police and other government targets. The Manhattan district attorney’s office disclosed the plea talks during a court date Monday in Jose Pimentel’s case. Defense lawyer Lori Cohen says prosecutors haven’t made any firm offer yet. Pimentel didn’t have to appear for the brief session. He’s due back in court March 1. The 27-year-old is being held without bail on charges including weapons possession and conspiracy as terror crimes. Read More: New York Post

 

Man killed in Bx. shooting previously injured in August shootout

A gun-toting thug fatally shot a man in the Bronx yesterday, police said. The victim, Ricky Rodriguez-Recio, 20, was believed to be the intended target of a shooting in August that left a 2-year-old critically injured, sources said. The victim was outside of his home on East 181st Street in Bronx Park South at 6:17 p.m. when an unknown gunman opened fire striking him in the chest and hitting another man in the hand, cops said. Rodriguez-Recio was previously shot in the lower back on August 29 when Luis More, 23, opened fire at him, striking two children playing outside. Read More: New York Post

 

Report: Aqueduct Racino Pulled In $90M During Year’s Final Stretch

The money is reportedly flowing at the new Aqueduct racetrack casino in Queens. The Daily News says the racino brought in close to $90 million in revenue in November and December — more than five other gambling operations in New York made all last year. Only locations in Yonkers, Saratoga, and the Finger Lakes took in more money in 2011, but those are open year-round. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver pinned Aqueduct’s success on the number of video slots, table games, and its proximity to the city. Read More: NY1

 

Trial on tap in Giants Stadium escalator accident

Opening arguments are under way in a trial brought by eight people who were injured when a Giants Stadium escalator malfunctioned four years. The trial started Monday in state Superior Court in Hackensack in a lawsuit brought against the company that maintained the escalator and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operated Giants Stadium. The escalator malfunctioned as fans were leaving a New York Giants game against the New England Patriots on Dec. 29, 2007. An attorney for the plaintiffs says one person lost a leg and another has had more than a dozen operations on his foot. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Blue Ivy Carter an instant Twitter sensation: Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby garners celebrity attention

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s baby was trending on Twitter at birth. The social media site was aflutter Sunday with celebrity pals and relatives of the hip-hop royal couple posting messages of 140 characters or less. “The most beautiful girl in the world,” Beyoncé’s sis, Solange Knowles, tweeted of her newborn niece, Blue Ivy Carter. Within hours of entering the world at Lenox Hill Hospital on the upper East Side Saturday night, the infant boasting the lineage of the R&B princess and the rap impresario caused a stir in the Twittersphere. Read More: Daily News

 

No Pants Subway Ride hits New York City for 11th year 

It’s like commuting, but without the pants. Straphangers throughout New York City nonchalantly stripped to their underwear from the waist down Sunday afternoon as part of a global practical joke coordinated by prankster outfit Improv Everywhere. To participate in the 11th annual No Pants Subway Ride, the only requirements were people had to be “willing to take pants off on subway” and “able to keep a straight face about it,” organizers said in a post on their website. Read More: Daily News

 

Trial begins in murder of Laura Garza, young Brooklyn woman who went missing from a Manhattan nightclub  

A murder trial is getting under way for a registered sex offender accused of murdering an aspiring dancer from Texas whose body was found in Pennsylvania more than a year after she went missing in New York. Jury selection is set to begin Monday in Orange County Court in the murder trial of Michael Mele of Wallkill. The victim, Laura Garza, met Mele at a Manhattan nightclub in December 2008 and disappeared afterward. Her body was found in April 2010 near Scranton, Pa. Garza had moved to Brooklyn from McAllen, Texas, five months before her disappearance. Read More: Daily News

 

Long Island police investigate swastika drawn on garage door in Sea Cliff

Long Island cops are hunting the vandals who drew a swastika on a garage door in Sea Cliff. Nassau County police say the 63-year-old resident of the home discovered the Nazi symbol over the weekend. Police say it was drawn in black marker sometime between between 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. The incident is being investigated as aggravated harassment. Police say a school, park and three homes were the targets of similar vandalism in Sea Cliff between Dec. 27 and Dec. 30. Read More: Daily News

 

Police Release Photo Of Suspected Bronx Subway Groper

Police in the Bronx are looking for a man they say groped a woman on the subway. The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. on the evening of December 14 at the East Kingsbridge Road and Grand Concourse station on the D line. Police say a 25-year-old woman was walking up the stairs when a man approached from behind, lifted her dress and touched her backside. Read More: NY1