Tag Archives: vallone

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 77. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 15 mph shifting to the SSW in the afternoon. Friday Night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain, then rain showers after midnight. Fog overnight. Low of 59. Winds from the South at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Dreamgirls

From Friday, May 10 – Sunday, May 12 , the York College Performing Arts Center presents Dreamgirls, a musical about a young female singing trio from Chicago that gets their big break at an amateur competition. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Arrest in Long Island City carjacking spree

Police arrested a man suspected in several carjackings and gunpoint robberies in Long Island City Thursday morning. Read more: The Queens Courier 

Astoria candidates try to become first non-Vallone in City Council seat in decades

It’s the end of an era in western Queens: The last name Vallone will not longer be attached to an Astoria City Council seat starting next year. Read more: New York Daily News

Some MTA inspections are badly lacking, report finds

Elevated track and bridges connect key parts of the 240 mile subway system, but inspection of these critical components is haphazard according to this new report. Read more: ABC New York

8 charged with stealing millions in connection with global ATM cyber attacks

Alleged members of a local cyber crime cell stole nearly $3 million from thousands of ATMs across New York City in a matter of hours, federal prosecutors announced Thursday. Read more: CBS  New York

Study: Texting and driving kills more teens annually than drinking and driving

Texting while driving has now surpassed drinking and driving as the leading cause of death among teens, according to a new study. Read more: CBS  New York

Prosecutor to seek murder charges against accused Ohio kidnapper

An Ohio prosecutor vowed on Thursday to seek murder charges that could carry the death penalty against a former Cleveland school bus driver accused of kidnapping and raping three young women who endured a decade as captives in his house. Read more: Reuters 

Potentials eye Vallone’s seat in 2013

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com


With Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr.’s eyes on a larger prize, two Astoria natives have their sights set on his seat.

Democrat Tony Meloni, the founder and executive director of the New York Anti-Crime Agency, has already announced his intent to run for office in the 22nd Council District in 2013, while Costa Constantinides, who is serving as the deputy chief of staff for Councilmember James Gennaro, is “strongly considering” entering the race – now that Vallone is term-limited and cannot seek re-election.

Vallone says he is seriously mulling over a run for borough president, and that he has already begun raising money and discussing the possibility with officials throughout Queens. The councilmember went on to say he has yet to endorse a candidate to replace him, and will make that decision at a later time.

“I’ve worked with Tony for many years on Astoria issues, especially as they relate to public safety,” Vallone said. “He’s been working in the Astoria neighborhood for decades. I think he’s going to make a very formidable candidate. Costa has not announced, but I’ve been to a few of his fundraisers and said good things about him.”

Meloni plans to run on a platform focused on aiding small businesses, improving air quality and increasing public safety – particularly preventing another rash of gropings and sexual assaults, which have recently plagued Astoria. “Between the New York Anti-Crime Agency, the Immigration Advocacy Services, Community Board 1 and a large number of community organizations, I’ve been involved in the community for 27 years,” said the 56-year-old Meloni. “I wouldn’t be in this if I didn’t think I could win. I think I have a very strong base in our community and neighborhoods. I’ve been fighting for the community for many years, and this position could help me make a bigger difference. I feel I have the pulse of the community, and I know what we need to do in our area to keep it the vibrant and safe community that it is.”

Constantinides, who would also run as a Democrat if he opts to throw his hat in the ring, was previously president of the Queens County Young Democrats and legislative director for Councilmember Darlene Mealy. He is also currently the Democratic leader for 36th Assembly District.

“I’ve been meeting with civic and community leaders, elected officials and union leaders to gauge my support for City Council, and right now I’m getting overwhelming support,” said Constantinides, who claims he has already raised $33,000 through an exploratory campaign committee. “I’m a lifelong Astoria resident, and I love this community. I know what it takes to get things done. I’ve worked in the City Council for almost the last six years. I’ve been Democratic district leader for over three years, and in that time I’ve worked on things like saving the post office on 30th Avenue and making traffic safer for pedestrians on 21st Avenue.”

If he elects to run, Constantinides hopes to improve health care in the area, decrease overcrowding in neighborhood schools and make air quality cleaner.

The 37-year-old believes he could be very successful in the election, but spoke highly of his potential opponent, calling Meloni a “wonderful guy” who he has the “upmost respect for.”

Queens man kills wife in front of daughter

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens man kills wife in front of daughter

A Queens man fatally slit his estranged wife’s throat in front of her terrified young daughter — and was nabbed after cops tracked his bloody trail for three blocks, law-enforcement sources said today. “My stepfather stabbed my mom,” the stricken 9-year-old daughter of victim Diane Sharma told cops at their home on 117th Street in Jamaica. Sources said Sharma, a 32-year-old mother of three whose two younger children also were at home at the time, had had an order of protection against her Ukrainian husband. The man, who was not immediately identified, had been arrested Sept. 2 for allegedly assaulting and choking his wife, who then took out the restraint against him. Read More: New York Post

Perv pol lands Queens lobbyist gig

Disgraced ex-Councilman Dennis Gallagher now works with a Queens consultant who’s under attack for trying to strong-arm GOP candidates into hiring him, The Post has learned. Gallagher, who stepped down in 2008 after pleading guilty to sexual-abuse charges stemming from accusations that he raped a woman in his Middle Village office, is listed on a city government database as an “additional lobbyist” with GSP Consulting, a Sunnyside-based firm run by Jay Golub, a dentist. Gallagher, a Republican, confirmed that he does consulting work with Golub and that he’s done consulting for Councilman Peter Koo (R-Queens) but said he hasn’t done any work for Republicans in Queens “on a paid basis.” Read More: New York Post

Gas kills 2 in Queens

A man and his father were found dead from an apparent carbon monoxide poisoning at their Queens home yesterday. Aaron Chen, 29, and Kuo-Kuang Chen, 66, were found at their home on 101st Avenue in Ozone Park after the father didn’t show up to babysit his 12-year-old granddaughter. “He doted on her,” said his daughter, Marien Chen. Fearing the worst, she went to their house to check on them. “I crawled through the window. I was thinking, ‘please let them be OK.’ “My father was in his bed and my brother was lying on the floor. It looked like he was trying to get out,” Chen, 33, said. Read More: New York Post

Vallone Helps Astoria Clean Up Its Own “Flatiron Building”

A Queens lawmaker is behind an effort to spruce up the borough’s mini version of the Flatiron Building. Sitting at the intersection of Astoria Boulevard, 21st Street and 27th Avenue, historians say the triangle-shaped building was once the commercial center of Astoria. In recent years, the century-old neighborhood landmark had fallen into disrepair and been covered with graffiti. Last summer, Queens Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. started working with the NYPD and the New Hampshire owners of the building to wipe away the graffiti and repaint the property. Read More: NY1

Dead Body Discovered On Queens Beach

Police are investigating after a body was found on a Queens beach. Officers were called to the shoreline near Beach 17th Street in Far Rockaway just before 8 a.m. Saturday. When the officers arrived, they found a woman unconscious and unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials say it appears the woman was in her 40s. Read More: NY1

TSA Collected Nearly $47,000 In Loose Change At JFK In 2011

The Transportation Security Administration is raking in some pretty pennies. TSA officials say agents collected more than $409,000 in loose change left by airline passengers last year. John F. Kennedy International Airport netted the most amount of money with nearly $47,000 left behind. TSA officials say says most of the money comes from people rushing through security or foreign travelers who don’t want to take it home with them. Read More: NY1

Cruise ship disaster death toll hits 6; Captain blamed for ‘judgment errors’ in Costa Concordia tragedy

The captain of the capsized Costa Concordia “seems to have made judgment errors with grave consequences,” the owners of the boat said Sunday — and prosecutors say he may purposely have sailed close to shore to greet a friend with a blast of the ship’s horn. Captain Francesco Schettino drove the 10-story ship into the rocky Tuscan island of Giglio, ripping a catastrophic 160-foot gash in its hull that sent the boat tumbling onto its side. At least six people were killed. “There was someone in particular that wanted to be signalled from the ship,” said prosecutor Franco Verusio. “We are looking into the possible responsibility of other people in this hazardous maneuver,” he told Italian TV. Read More: Daily News

City heroin ring smashed by arrests after yearlong probe, authorities say

Well-to-do suburbanites turned the Long Island Expressway into “Heroin Highway,” copping highs at bargain prices from pushers in Brooklyn and Queens, prosecutors said Friday. A yearlong investigation led to the arrest over the past week of eight alleged members of a drug ring who arranged for the sale of high-quality South American heroin at hotels, diners and electronic stores in Brooklyn and Queens, authorities said. More than 120 other suspects — most from eastern Long Island — have been nabbed over the past year traveling into the city to buy up heroin at a discount. All the buyers used the drug themselves, and some also resold the smack to pals, authorities said. Read More: Daily News