Tag Archives: War

Bayside Bid Battle Brewing


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

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A business battle is brewing in Bayside.

Store owners on Bell Boulevard attended a meeting on April 18 organized by Gregg Sullivan – the former director of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID) – to address concerns about the current state of the organization. During the meeting, the BID members in attendance voted to reappoint Sullivan, who was fired on December 19.

The merchants’ complaints included a lack of information and response from the BID’s board since Sullivan’s firing, a blurring of the line between the BID and Bayside Business Association and ambiguity regarding the allocation of funds, including a reported 30 percent increase in the organization’s original $80,000 budget. No board members attended the meeting, although Sullivan claims to have invited them all.

“Bayside got lost, and it’s been unattended to and neglected,” Sullivan said. “We need to change that now. We need to reclaim Bayside and put it in the right direction.”
Claims were also made that some owners were unaware a BID existed or that they could apply for the right to vote. According to Sullivan, there are roughly 150 businesses in the BID – which is on Bell Boulevard from 35th Avenue to Northern Boulevard – and only 29 are signed up to vote.

“We need to unify and get everyone together as merchants and real estate owners and bring this back to life. We need to have organization, structure and passion and set a one-year plan in place,” said William Degel, a BID member who organized the meeting along with Sullivan. “Nobody has done anything [since Sullivan was fired.] There is no information and no communication. It’s like everything died.”

Degel, who owns Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse on Bell Boulevard, said he expects Sullivan to be reinstated and hopes to hold a meeting with the current board to gauge their interest in making improvements and increasing transparency. In the event the board is unwilling to negotiate, replacing the members entirely was discussed during the meeting.

The motion to reinstate Sullivan was introduced by Margaret Papacostas – BID member and owner of Azure clothing store – and subsequently seconded and approved by the 16 BID voters in attendance. No one opposed the motion.

Sullivan believes he was fired after the board discovered he sent a letter to the commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) complaining about the status of the BID. Although he claims he enjoyed working for members of the board, including BID President James Riso, Sullivan feels there may be a need for the infusion of new energy.

Riso says he was never invited to the meeting, and while Sullivan was well liked by business owners and energetic to the public, he was insubordinate behind the scenes. He also feels that the attacks on the BID have taken away from the organization’s ability to focus fully on improving business in the area.

Riso, who will step down in June due to fatigue, claims the BID’s budget was still $81,368 up until December 31, 2011, and that the board did everything expected of them at that time. With the recent increase in budget, the board hopes to accomplish more, according to Riso.

“We are not hiding behind a curtain doing secret things trying to get over on people,” said Riso. “I own a business on Bell Boulevard. I pay more taxes that anyone. We welcome people to help. Instead of having these secret meetings, help out. The people making these accusations are inhibiting us from progressing.”

Despite Sullivan’s claim that he has been reinstated to his former position, the BID recently hired an executive director. Lyle Sclair, a former economic development associate with the Brooklyn Economic Development Council, was named the new executive director of the BID on April 23. “My number one objective is to meet everyone and learn the challenges they are facing. I’m not out there to recreate the wheel, but really just to help them grow their businesses,” Sclair said. “Bell Boulevard has a great mix of restaurants, nightlife and shopping. It offers everything, so if you are looking for something you will find it on Bell Boulevard.”

New video shows Bronx boy, 8, just before shooting


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

New video shows Bronx boy, 8, just before shooting

An 8-year-old boy was checking out a rack of potato chips inside a Bronx bodega just before taking a bullet in his shoulder, a shocking surveillance video shows. The stunned tyke in a gray track suit, who sources identified as Armando Bigo, can be seen gripping his left shoulder immediately after being shot inside Papa Yali’s Deli in Soundview. Sources said two other people inside the bodega may have been the intended targets of a bike-riding gunman who fired into the small Randall Avenue storefront around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. The boy was taken to Jacobi Medical Center with a non life-threatening gunshot wound. Read More: New York Post

Long Island woman one of two Western journalists killed in Syria shelling

Two Western journalists were killed Wednesday in the flashpoint city of Homs after Syrian security forces shelled the building where they were staying. UK foreign secretary William Hague confirmed that the journalists were Marie Colvin from Long Island, a veteran war correspondent for The (London) Sunday Times, and French freelance photographer Remi Ochlik. Read More: New York Post

 

Whitney had drug cocktail

Whitney Houston had a deadly mixture of Valium, Xanax and alcohol in her system when her life was cut short at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the eve of the Grammys, according to a report yesterday. Although the coroner is awaiting final toxicology results to determine which one of the three played the largest role in her death, the preliminary results almost certainly rule out that Houston drowned, although she was found partially submerged in a bathtub. Read More: New York Post

 

Man, 81, pushed to tracks in iPhone theft

An 81-year-old man was shoved onto the tracks at a Brooklyn elevated subway station after he chased a teen who stole his iPhone, authorities said yesterday. The victim was waiting for a J train at the Lorimer Street station in Williamsburg at about 11:45 a.m. Friday when a young punk grabbed his smartphone and took off, cops said. When the man started running after him, his accomplice shoved him onto the tracks, cops said. The victim was pulled from the roadbed and was in stable condition at Woodhull Hospital. Read More: New York Post

Providing Yankees peace of mind is part of Rivera’s legend

If this were just about replacing a closer — even a legendary closer — then the Yankees would have a difficult, yet plausible, job ahead. But if this really is Mariano Rivera’s last season, then the Yankees are on the clock toward something much more difficult: Replacing a feeling. It is not that Rivera avoided all failure. Heck, he blew Game 7 of the World Series. But, even when that ended the 2001 season, no one with the Yankees fretted for one second how that would impact 2002. Rivera would not be cowed and the internal clubhouse confidence in him would not waver. Ever. Read More: New York Post
 

Cardinal Dolan Makes Ash Wednesday Rounds

Cardinal Timothy Dolan hit the ground running this morning, for the start of the Lenten season. Just back from Rome, Dolan arrived at St. Francis of Assisi Church this morning where he handed out food to the homeless. A crowd of well-wishers was on hand to greet him as he started his busy day and to congratulate him on his elevation to the College of Cardinals. Dolan thanked everyone for their support and also addressed the importance of today. Read More: NY1

 

Police: Bicyclist Fired Shot That Hit Boy Inside Bronx Deli

An eight-year-old boy is recovering after being shot in the arm at a Bronx deli on Tuesday. Police say the child was inside Papa Yala’s Deli on Randall Avenue in Soundview when shots were fired from a man riding on a bicycle just before 8 p.m. Investigators say a bullet grazed the boy on his left shoulder. He was taken to Jacobi Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition. Residents said they were concerned for their children. Read More: NY1

 

Bronx Substitute Teacher Charged With Forcibly Touching Student

A city school employee was under arrest Tuesday, as one of the Chukwuma Duru, 27, a substitute teacher at Bronx Career and College Prep High School in Morrisania, was charged with forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. The Department of Education says the incident happened at the school on February 9 and involved a student there. Education officials also say the alleged incident does not appear sexual, but Duru has been removed from the school. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Rape Suspect Caught On Surveillance Video

Police are on the hunt for a man who they say tried to rape a woman in Queens this past weekend. Officials say the man, who was seen on surveillance video, grabbed a 25-year-old woman from behind Sunday night around 10:30 p.m. in Ridgewood. They say he then pushed her to the ground and tried to rape her, but snatched her purse and ran off when the woman began screaming for help. Read More: NY1

War in Iraq officially over


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

War in Iraq officially over

After nearly nine years, 4,500 American dead, 32,000 wounded and more than $800 billion, U.S. officials formally shut down the war in Iraq — a conflict that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said was worth the price in blood and money, as it set Iraq on a path to democracy. Panetta stepped off his military plane in Baghdad Thursday as the leader of America’s war in Iraq, but will leave as one of many top U.S. and global officials who hope to work with the struggling nation as it tries to find its new place in the Middle East and the broader world. Read More: Daily News

Figoski helped Brooklyn teen turn life around

Slain cop Peter Figoski had four daughters of his own and could not stand to see a young woman about their age take the wrong path. That woman, now 21, credits him with turning her life around. Velina Chaunce met Figoski when her mother, in desperation, called the 75th Precinct in gritty East New York to report her then-teenage daughter was acting out. Read More: New York Post

Scandals taking poll toll on Liu

Embattled city Comptroller John Liu is turning into a real Liu-ser with voters. A poll out today shows that Liu’s popularity has plummeted — following a torrent of negative publicity centering on a federal probe of his fund-raising operations and other shenanigans. Only 38 percent of voters now approve of the job Liu is doing, with 35 percent disapproving, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. His approval rating is down drastically from a Quinnipiac poll in May, when 57 percent approved of his job performance and 14 percent disapproved. Read More: New York Post

Uniting to help Woodside fire victims

The Woodside community has united to extinguish the needs of the 24 people whose lives were recently devastated by a fatal fire. Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer joined Pastor Daniel Gilland, representatives from the American Red Cross and members of the families displaced by the two-alarm blaze — which spawned in and destroyed the two-story house located at 40-38 61st Street before spreading and causing severe damage to two neighboring homes — to announce a benefit drive organized in support of the victims. Read More: Queens Courier

On Queens Block, Losing a Link to Louis Armstrong

Selma Heraldo lived the entirety of her 88 years in a white, two-story house on 107th Street in Corona, Queens, and her life may have been very different had she not gained new next-door neighbors in 1943 — Louis Armstrong and his wife, Lucille. Heraldo quickly became known as Louis Armstrong’s next-door neighbor, a good friend to the jazz great. After Armstrong died in 1971 and Lucille Armstrong died in 1983, and their house was transformed into the Louis Armstrong House Museum, Heraldo became the main local living link to the couple. But now that link is gone. Heraldo died on December 2 in her house, where she had lived alone for many years. Read More: New York Times

New York Community Trust grant helps find jobs for Far Rockaway residents

At least 60 Far Rockaway residents will land jobs throughout the city in 2012 thanks to a new grant aimed at giving a boost to the isolated neighborhood in southeast Queens. The New York Community Trust awarded a $40,000 grant this month to Ocean Bay Community Development Corp., a local group that partners with public housing residents in Far Rockaway with job initiatives. Read More: Daily News

Jet ‘drug’ rage

The cowardly thug busted for sucker-punching Jet fan James Mohr outside MetLife Stadium Sunday is a drug-dealing ex-con with a lengthy rap sheet, public records show. Merle Lee, 35, of Newton, NJ, was charged with aggravated assault for the attack outside the New Jersey Meadowlands stadium after the Jets’ 37-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday. The brute allegedly sucker-punched Mohr, 23, after the Queens schoolteacher objected to a woman screaming, “F–k New York!” and, “You all deserved what happened on 9/11!” Read More: New York Post

Malcolm X’s daughter locked up after she fails to pay Queens woman she swindled 

Malcolm X’s youngest daughter has been jailed for failing to make good on a promise to pay back the $55,000 she swindled from an elderly Queens woman. A Queens judge ordered Malikah Shabazz held Tuesday night after probation officials said she’d failed to make any of the monthly $1,229 restitution payments she agreed to as part of a plea deal. Shabazz ignored a judge’s order requiring her to live in New York while she serves out a five-year probation, court officials say. They say she’s apparently been living in St. Albans, Vt., above a bar that she’s looking to buy. She had $800 in her pocket when she was busted for the probation violation, a court official said. Read More: Daily News

Celebrate Veterans Day


| jlane@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Queens Courier Photographers

The staff of the Queens Courier would like to send our thanks to all of our country’s Veterans of war for their contributions and service to our nation.

 

Veterans Day is the one day a year set aside to honor military veterans, past and present.

 

Join us in remembering our country’s heroes by posting your Veteran’s Day pictures to our photo gallery, or spreading the word about your Veterans Day related by posting to our calendar.

 

St John’s University is having a Veterans Day memorial service today at Noon, click here to view the event details.

Saluting those who served


| jlane@queenscourier.com

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After serving their country, the veterans of Post 298 of the American Legion came home to serve their community.

To honor them, Councilmember Daniel Dromm visited the post, located at 30-61 87th Street in Jackson Heights, on September 19 and presented eight veterans with City Council Citations for their outstanding work towards the betterment of the neighborhood.

The councilmember, who sits on the City Council’s Committee on Veterans, praised the honorees and expressed gratitude for their contributions.

“It is important to remember the extraordinary sacrifices you have made,” Dromm told the veterans. “Now, it is our duty to ensure that we continue to provide the care and benefits that you deserve for serving our country.”

The American Legion is the nation’s largest veterans’ service organization, founded to benefit those who served during a wartime period.

The members of Post 298 were proud to host the councilmember and apreciative of the recognition he bestowed upon them.

“I think it was fantastic to have the councilmember here,” said John Polidoro, a Vietnam veteran and the commander of the American Legion Post 298. “He is constantly fighting for the city to recognize its veterans and to improve their benefits. I feel like he is attuned with what veterans have done. He was very gracious, and we were honored to have him. He was the absolute perfect person to come and meet with us.”