Tag Archives: vandalism

Crews wipe out hateful message found written in Flushing sidewalk

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of City Councilman Peter Koo

Whoever wrote an anti-Asian message into the sidewalk near a Flushing condominium won’t have the satisfaction of seeing it any longer.

Crews from the Department of Transportation (DOT) on Tuesday morning erased the slur from the sidewalk slab in front of the Cherry Manor Condos at 141-18 Cherry Ave. A photo of the vandalism, apparently written while the cement was drying after being recently poured, was posted on a Facebook group on Saturday and subsequently shared with City Councilman Peter Koo.

Koo’s office then contacted the DOT and the condo management, both of which resolved to take action as quickly as possible. The DOT’s Sidewalks and Inspection Management Division buffed away the markings.

“It is critical that the community take an immediate stand against this kind of hate speech wherever and whenever it surfaces,” Koo said. “We embrace our diversity here in Flushing as a strength that should be celebrated and nurtured, and we will stand vigilant against racism in all forms.”

No one knows who wrote the message on the sidewalk, but the 109th Precinct is investigating the crime.


104th Precinct sting finds delis, restaurants selling alcohol to minors

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com


Updated Saturday, May 17 11:12 a.m.

Two Queens businesses have been forced to close as they were caught selling alcohol to minors for a third time, police said.

Mount Everest Deli, 5609 Myrtle Avenue, and Apulum Bar, 18-19 Palmetto St., were shuttered by cops after allegedly selling alcohol to undercover auxiliary cops who were under 21.

Eight other establishments received summonses for alleges alcohol sales to minors: Optimo Convenience Store, 6693 Fresh Pond Road; Linden Convenience Store, 6661 Fresh Pond Rd; M&A Deli and Grocery, 6920 Fresh Pond Rd; Start Smart Deli, 6042 Myrtle Avenue; Three Family Deli, 801 Cypress Avenue; Eddy’s Grocery, 10-34 Wyckoff Avenue; Sabor and Rumba Bar, 666 Seneca Avenue; and Sabores Restaurant and Bar, 392 Woodward Avenue.

The operation was carried out by the 104th Precinct on April 12, according to Detective Thomas Bell, the precinct’s community affairs officer.

The precinct goes out periodically in their coverage neighborhoods of Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth to look for businesses that sell alcohol to minors, Bell said.

Robert Holden, a local and president of the Juniper Park civic association, said that he has witnessed the remains of underage drinking in Juniper Park Valley Park in Middle Village.

“We find dozens of bottles thrown all over the baseball field. They just get wild and crazy,” he said, noting that these findings have been on the rise lately. He worries that if more kids are drinking, they will be putting themselves and others danger.

Holden said he has been pushing the cops to come down on businesses that sell beer and alcohol to minors.

“We hope they expand the sweeps,” Holden said. “We think it’s a good deterrent. The community works with the precinct and we’ve made this a priority.”



Waging war on graffiti in Queens

| tcimino@queenscourier.com

Photos by Tony Ringston

Graffiti be gone.

Rollers in hand, enthusiastic community members, officers of the 102nd Precinct and some very civic-minded kids gathered on sunny Sunday, May 20 to help erase vandalism.

Members of the John Bowne High School Air Force Junior ROTC, 102nd Precinct Explorers, Richmond Hill Block Association and Community Emergency Response Team tackled various locations, covering up the tags and banishing the blight.

“This is a typical type of community event [for them],” explained Sergeant Nephtali Robles of the ROTC, noting that the members have logged over 3,000 hours of service so far this year.

“It makes the community better and makes you feel better,” said Liliana Garcia, 16.

With 50 gallons of paint from Borough Hall, Community Affairs Officers Joseph Martins and Jose Severino, along with Lieutenant Rob Seaman, Officer Richard Mann — whose 12-year-old son Zachary also pitched in to clean up — and various others waged the war on graffiti.

If you would like to help by donating time or supplies, or to learn more, contact the 102nd Precinct Community Affairs at 718-805-3215.

Recent hate crimes spur return to old ideals

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The document itself may be over 300 years old, but the message it conveys is timeless.

Public officials united to breathe life back into the Flushing Remonstrance — a historic petition dated back to 1657 when Peter Stuyvesant and a group of citizens protested prohibitions against religious freedom — in light of recent anti-Semitic vandalisms that have rocked the borough.

On November 3, six swastikas were spray painted in four locations across East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, including the Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst branches of the Queens Library, the doors of the Congregation Tifereth Israel and St. Joan of Arc Church in Jackson Heights.

“Hate crimes — whether they be motivated by sexual orientation, gender, religion or ethnicity — will not be tolerated,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “When they do regrettably occur, they will be condemned in the strongest possible terms and those responsible will be brought to justice to answer for their actions.”

Franco Rodriguez, a 40-year-old Hispanic male, was arrested on November 11 and charged with four counts of criminal mischief as a hate crime in connection with the vandalisms, according to police.

“Acts like these cannot go unremarked and must be condemned,” said Councilmember Peter Koo. “Nobody should think they can get away with hateful actions like these. These venomous people succeed only when our communities stay silent.”

Dozens of elected officials and religious leaders gathered at Flushing Town Hall on November 23 to speak out and remind the borough’s diverse residents of the Remonstrance’s ideals of tolerance and acceptance.

Mirroring their early colonial predecessors, they each signed the renewed, modernized document, titled “A Pledge for Tolerance and Understanding,” vowed to stand together against those who threaten the ideals of acceptance, and hoped the multiethnic community would soon follow.

Queens Courier publisher Victoria Schneps-Yunis said that The Courier was instrumental in bringing the original Remonstrance home to Queens in the late 90s.

“I have so much confidence in the human spirit,” said Borough President Helen Marshall. “Yes, there are some bad eggs out there, but everybody’s not bad. We have a great borough. We have space in our hearts and minds to care for our brothers and sisters, no matter who they are.”

Among those in attendance were Assemblymembers Grace Meng, Ed Braunstein, Michael DenDekker, Michael Simanowitz and Rory Lancman, Senator Jose Peralta, Councilmembers Leroy Comrie and Peter Koo and Reverend Floyd Flake.


Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/04/2011: Queens Officials To Stand Against Swastika Graffiti

| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

Queens Officials To Stand Against Swastika Graffiti

Four swastikas showed up on the walls of the Jackson Heights branch of the Queens Library Thursday. At least one more was painted on the library branch in East Elmhurst, and another was etched on the door of a synagogue on 88th Street. Police believe the incidents in three separate locations are related. They are being investigated by the hate crimes taskforce. Local leaders plan to hold a news conference Friday to denounce this kind of hateful vandalism. Read More: NY1


‘Fresh Meadows Rules’ Facebook group unites former residents from around the world in Queens

More than 150 former Fresh Meadows residents reunited last week to celebrate the planned neighborhood many remember as a small utopia tucked away in Queens. The gathering, organized through a Facebook group called Fresh Meadows Rules, brought residents from all over the country and even overseas back to Queens to meet up with childhood pals and revisit local landmarks. Read More: Daily News


Melanie Webb, Long Island City woman, pleads guilty to shooting slay of her sister,Tara, on victim’s birthday

A Long Island City woman pleaded guilty Thursday to fatally shooting her sister on the victim’s 27th birthday.Melanie Webb, 25, also shot Tara Webb’s boyfriend, Terrell Carmichael, on March 26 in the Long Island City apartment they all shared, she admitted. A source close to the case said Webb shot her sister Tara in her bed and turned her gun on Carmichael, hitting him twice in the torso in the shower. Read More: Daily News


Queens high school students to help upstate NY rebuild after Hurricane Irene ravaged homes and businesses

Students at a Bellerose high school will soon get a lesson in what it means to build stronger communities — one nail at a time. The Habitat for Humanity club at the Queens High School of Teaching, Liberal Arts and the Sciences is raising money and supplies for a trip to upstate New York to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Irene. The group plans to partner with a yet to-be-determined Binghamton high school by the end of the year. It also plans to donate cleaning and school supplies. Read More: Daily News


FEMA extends deadline for Hurricane Irene victims

There’s a ray of hope for those affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in August. On Oct. 31, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced a deadline extension for individuals seeking disaster assistance. The new FEMA registration deadline is Dec. 15. Read More: Staten Island Live