Tag Archives: Woodside

Pols call for Northern Boulevard to be included in mayor’s Vision Zero initiative


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Local politicians and residents are saying the time to act is now, before another innocent life is taken on Northern Blvd

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer gathered with other elected officials and traffic safety advocates Thursday to call for Northern Blvd. to be added as one of the 50 locations in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative

“We are all committed to Vision Zero, and it is our obligation to speak up and stand up every single time pedestrians are killed or injured as a result of reckless driving,” said Van Bramer, who has developed a list of locations with traffic fatalities. “We’re calling for the administration to include Northern Boulevard, and really all over Northern Boulevard, stretching into Jackson Heights and Corona, deserve this recognition.”

The group gathered at the intersection of Northern Blvd. and 48th St. in Woodside, where four pedestrians were stuck Saturday while they were waiting for the bus. One of the victims was a 7-year-old girl who suffered a skull fracture but survived. 

“Here we go again,” said Senator Michael Gianaris, who introduced a bill in the Senate, which would charge drivers who continue to drive without a valid license and are in an accident that causes serious injury or death with vehicular assault.

“Until we begin taking pedestrian safety seriously, we are going to keep standing at more and more press conferences talking about the same issue and we hope we don’t have to do it too many more times,”  he said.

Last month, de Blasio and his administration launched an interagency working group, together with the NYPD, Department of Transportation, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Taxi & Limousine Commission, to implement a Vision Zero initiative aiming to reduce traffic fatalities to zero within the next 10 years.

The announcement took place just less than a block from where third-grader Noshat Nahian, who was on his way to school, was fatally struck in December by a tractor trailer on Northern Blvd. and 61st St.

The working group will come together to implement the mayor’s plan by developing a report, due to the mayor by Feb. 15 and released publicly, that will serve as a blueprint for the mayor’s “Vision Zero” plan for safer streets through the city.

“Clearly Northern Blvd. deserves this recognition and we are asking the administration to include this series of intersections on Northern Boulevard so no child is ever killed trying to cross the street going to school,” said Van Bramer. “This is a street. For some, they may think it’s a highway, but the truth is there are people living, working and going to school all along Northern Blvd. and it has to be just as safe as any other street in the city of New York and until it is so, we will not rest.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Cops looking for suspect who punched 65-year-old during Woodside attempted burglary


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A woman coming home to her Woodside apartment Thursday night was attacked by a man who punched her in the head and tried to burglarize her, police said.

The suspect approached the 65-year-old victim about 6 p.m. on Jan. 30 as she was entering her home near 50th Street and 43rd Avenue, according to the NYPD. Once inside her apartment, the suspect threw her to the ground, punching her in her head. The suspect fled on fled on foot without taking any property, police said.

The victim sustained bruising and swelling to her lip.

Police describe the suspect as a white man with light colored hair, approximately 50 to 60 years old and 170 to 190 pounds. He was last seen wearing a baseball cap, dark clothing, and white sneakers.

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.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Police looking for suspect in Woodside church burglaries


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

A man broke into two Woodside churches this month, stealing electronics and other valuables, cops said.

The suspect first burglarized the 7th Day Adventist Community Church, at 41-26 58 St., just after midnight on Jan. 16, taking off with two desktop computers, a laptop computer and two dozen Visa gift cards, police said.

During the overnight hours of Jan. 24, the suspect forced open a rear door of Sure Foundation Lutheran Church, at 64-20 Roosevelt Ave., and stole an iPad, iPod, cash and checks, cops said.

Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic man in his 30s, with a medium build. The NYPD has release a photo from the first incident, where he was wearing a red baseball hat, a red waist-length jacket, blue jeans and sneakers.

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.

 

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Dmytro Fedkowskyj mulling a run against Assemblymember Marge Markey


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Dominick Totino Photography

There may be a showdown in the Democratic primary race for Assembly District 30 later this year.

Middle Village resident Dmytro Fedkowskyj, a former member of the city’s Panel for Education Policy (PEP), which serves to improve the welfare of schools and students in the city, is giving a lot of thought about running against incumbent Marge Markey.

“I had many people come up to me and ask me, ‘what are you going to do now? You’ve tackled and handled that job so well, why don’t you run for office,’” Fedkowskyj said, referring to his time on the PEP.

District 30 is comprised of Maspeth, Woodside and parts of Long Island City, Middle Village, Astoria and Sunnyside.

Fedkowskyj, an accountant and father of three, was a member of the PEP for five years, since former Borough President Helen Marshall appointed him in 2008.

He advocated for Queens students and parents in the position, until he resigned on December 31, as Marshall left office.

Former colleagues say what makes Fedkowskyj special is his ability to draw people together.

A graduate of Grover Cleveland High School, Fedkowskyj is an alum of SUNY Empire State College. He started his community outreach with Community Education Council District 24 in 2004. He served as chair of the School Construction and Zoning Committee before he was appointed to the PEP. Fedkowskyj also served as a trustee for the city’s Board of Education Retirement System from 2008 to 2013.

Despite his experience, challenging Markey, who has held office since 1998, may be difficult. Markey has won at least 60 percent of votes in her last three elections against Republican opponents. But given that the area is mostly Democratic, Fedkowskyj criticized her wins.

“In an Assembly district that holds almost 2-1 Democrat over Republican voters, one has to question why she hasn’t won a general election by a larger margin,” Fedkowskyj said. “Maybe voters are just looking for change.”

Michael Armstrong, a spokesperson for Markey, said that she will run for re-election, but didn’t comment on Fedkowskyj.

Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Marge Markey

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Costa Constantinides sworn in as District 22′s new councilmember


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Costa Constantinides' Office

Councilmember Costa Constantinides is ready to work for his community.

The freshman legislator celebrated his inauguration Sunday at Long Island City High School as the new District 22 councilmember, representing Astoria, and parts of Long Island City, Woodside, East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.

Constantinides was sworn in by former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr., and Councilmember James Gennaro was the emcee of the ceremony. Constantinides previously served as deputy chief of staff for Gennaro.

“Today marks not just a transfer in power, but an inauguration of a new era in our city, an era that will be defined by a revitalized sense of civic participation and engagement,” said Constantinides. “We will ensure that the levers of city government are once again working to lift up our homeowners, tenants, small business owners, and everyone struggling to get by.”

During his inaugural address, Constantinides spoke about his goals for the district, including cleaner and safer streets, better health care, more transportation options. The councilmember also shared his stories on growing up in Astoria, from playing basketball with State Senator Michael Gianaris, back in the day, to meeting his wife on Steinway Street.

The inauguration ceremony also featured the LIC High School JROTC Color Guard, the high school’s marching band, dance class, chamber choir and refreshments by the culinary class and greek restaurant Zenon Taverna. The Greek-Cypriot Dance Pancyprian Association Youth Dance Division also performed.

“All that I have I owe to the combined efforts and the sterling example of our community, without which the course of my life would have been profoundly different,” said Constantinides. “I know that we can accomplish great things when we come together because I have lived it my entire life.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Avonte Oquendo remembered as smiling, courageous boy at funeral


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Cristabelle Tumola / Avonte Oquendo photo: handout

ANGY ALTAMIRANO AND CRISTABELLE TUMOLA 

After the search for autistic Rego Park teen Avonte Oquendo ended tragically, hundreds of mourners came out to say goodbye at his funeral Saturday, where he was remembered as a silent yet always smiling, courageous boy.

Family and friends gathered at a private ceremony held at the Greenwich Village Funeral Home in Manhattan, where a “beautiful silence” took over the room, said Leslie Burch, a close family friend. Also among those paying respects was actress Holly Robinson Peete, whose son has autism.

Avonte’s father is consoled before a service for his son at the Greenwich Village Funeral Home.

Mourners then made their way to St. Joseph’s Church, just a few blocks away, where a public mass was led by former Archbishop of New York Edward Michael Egan.

“He was a strong, courageous young man who handled the struggle with autism with tremendous greatness and true nobility,” said Egan, standing next to a large portrait of Avonte wearing a blue striped shirt, which was also handed out on prayer cards.

Egan also took the time to thank and recognize the efforts that went into the nearly four month search for the missing 14-year-old after he was last seen at the Center Boulevard School in Long Island City on Oct. 4.

Avonte’s mother waits to place a white rose on her son’s casket.

Officials confirmed Tuesday that remains found washed up along the East River in College Point last week were those of Avonte. The cause and manner of  death are pending on future tests, according to the medical examiner.

“Police officers and various agencies of our beloved city made it no less clear that they too knew how precious Avonte was,” said Egan.

Although Avonte’s family decided not to speak during the services Saturday, his mother, together with his brothers and other mourners, laid white roses on top of his white casket following the release of doves outside of the church.

Another family member that attended the service was Avonte’s cousin and best friend 20 –year-old Noah Javan Conti from Woodside who is mildly autistic.

Rocopra Conti, who raised Noah and also attended the funeral, remembers the last time he saw Avonte. That day the teen grabbed Rocopra’s face and gave him one last look.

Noah Javan Conti, Avonte’s cousin and best friend, and Rocopra Conti.

“That was the last moment we shared,” said Rocopra. “I knew how to love him, I knew what he was feeling. I just wish I could have done more.”

Family attorney David Perecman, who spoke at the funeral mass, said that even though the search was concluded, the story is not finished yet.

“I must ask all of you, I ask that this not be the last chapter in this very sad story. We must have at least one more,” said Perecman. “This loss that this family has of Avonte cannot be in vain, we must find out how to fix our schools, we must find out how to fix the system of security that failed this boy.”

There have been conflicting reports on how Avonte, who could not verbally communicate and was supposed to be supervised at all times, managed to leave his school the day he went missing.

Following the identification of her son, Vanessa Fontaine filed suit against the City of New York on Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, according to court records.

Fontaine filed the court action demanding the NYPD release records relating to the disappearance of Avonte, according to published reports.

Perecman also said he will be filing a $25 million negligence claim against the city, focused on the Department of Education, for wrongful death.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

De Blasio takes on traffic deaths with ‘Vision Zero’ initiative


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

With 11 people, including seven pedestrians, killed in traffic accidents in just the first two weeks of the New Year, Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling for a stop to what he calls an epidemic.

De Blasio and his administration is launching an interagency working group, together with the NYPD, Department of Transportation, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Taxi & Limousine Commission, to implement a “Vision Zero” plan and make sure another life is not lost.

The mayor’s “Vision Zero” initiative aims to reduce traffic fatalities to zero within the next 10 years.

“Our top responsibility is protecting the health and safety of our people,” said de Blasio. “From tougher enforcement to more safely-designed streets and stronger laws, we’ll confront this problem from every side – and it starts today.”

De Blasio gathered with local officials, family members of victims of traffic fatalities and representative from the city agencies Wednesday to announce the working group at P.S. 152 in Woodside, just less than a block from where third-grader Noshat Nahian was fatally struck by a tractor trailer in December.

The working group will come together to implement the mayor’s plan by developing a report,  due to the mayor by Feb. 15 and released publicly, that will serve as a blueprint for the mayor’s “Vision Zero” plan for safer streets through the city.

The report is expected to have “concrete plans” to dedicate sufficient number of NYPD resources and personnel to prevent dangerous actions such as speeding and failing to yield to pedestrians; annually improve close to 50 dangerous corridors and intersections to “discourage dangerous driving;” greatly expand the amount of slow zones across the city; and pursue a traffic safety legislative agenda in order for the city to position red light and speed enforcement cameras based on safety needs.

“This will be a top-to-bottom effort to take on dangerous streets and dangerous driving,” said de Blasio. “We aren’t going to wait and lose a son, a daughter, a parent or a grandparent in another senseless and painful tragedy.”

De Blasio also said that as of Thursday, Jan. 16, speed cameras which have been installed on city streets will begin issuing tickets to enforce speed limits.

The NYPD will also be implementing additional and more severe enforcement against traffic violations, according to de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.

Since taking office Bratton has increased Highway Division personnel by 10 percent and has a goal to increase the staff by 50 percent.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Man fatally struck by LIRR train at Woodside station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

Updated 3:45 p.m.

A man was hit and killed by an LIRR train Tuesday night in Woodside after the train’s engineer saw him jump in front of the locomotive, an MTA spokesperson said.

An 11:35 p.m. train heading from Penn Station to Babylon struck the man, identified as Pawel Nierodzinski, 32, while the train was pulling into the LIRR Woodside stop, the MTA said.

The train’s engineer said that as the train entered the station, he saw a man crouch down and leap in front of the train before it hit him, according to the spokesperson.

Several eastbound and westbound LIRR trains experienced up to 10 to 30 minute delays due to the incident, the MTA said.

About 2:50 a.m. regular eastbound service in Queens was restored, and by 3 a.m. all trains were on or close to schedule.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Fans young and old come to gingerbread village giveaway at NYSCI


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

It was a bittersweet feeling for Chef Jon Lovitch as he removed the first candy covered house out of “GingerBread Lane.”

Lovitch, a Bronx resident, is the creator behind the 1.5 ton, 300-square-foot village known as “GingerBread Lane,” named the largest gingerbread village in the world by the 2014 Guinness World Records.

The village, consisting of 160 houses made completely of edible gingerbread, royal icing and candy, was on display at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park from November up until this past weekend.

Instead of throwing out the estimated 2, 350 pounds of icing, 400 pounds of candy, and 500 pounds of gingerbread dough, Lovitch decided the best thing to do would be to give away pieces of the village to fans of all ages.

“People are really attached to GingerBread Lane,” said Lovitch. “They can take a piece of it with them. It just seems like the best way to do this.”

Fans came to the Hall of Science on Sunday to wait in line for the chance to take home a piece of history. Along with the houses, the gingerbread village was made up of 65 candy trees, four gingerbread cable cars, five gingerbread train cars, an underground candy subway station, a skating rink, a carousel, trains and more.

CHECK OUT OUR PHOTO GALLERY FOR MORE FROM THE GIVEAWAY 

Before starting the giveaway, Lovitch made sure to let everyone know that although the houses are made out of edible materials, he does not recommend anyone consume the pieces because the different candy is months old, has been through a lot of touching and some have even fallen to the ground.

Cole, 7, was the first lucky fan to get his pick of the village and chose a gingerbread house with a roof covered in star shaped candy.

“This gingerbread village is so spectacular and my kids have fallen in love with it,” said Cole’s mother, Kam Wong, from Woodside, who also brought 7-year-old daughter Isabella to the event. “I love the holiday times and just to have a reminder of it during the year is fantastic.”

Isabella was not shy about choosing the horse-filled carousel.

Making sure each fan could enjoy having the gingerbread houses and other edible pieces for a long time, Lovitch also gave each participant instructions on proper preservation.

“If you do take that time to preserve it, it’ll last a long time,” said Lovitch.

Although last year’s “GingerBread Lane” has already been taken apart, Lovitch plans on starting to work on this year’s new village by the end of the month and hopes to go even bigger.

The 2014-2015 GingerBread Lane will be on display at the NY Hall of Science in the fall.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Expansion announced for overcrowded I.S. 125 in Woodside


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Overcrowding may soon be one less problem to solve at one Woodside school.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer gathered with other elected officials, School Construction Authority (SCA) representatives, the school administration, parents and students to announce the expansion of I.S. 125, located at 46-02 47th Ave.

The SCA plans to build an approximately $50 million, 600-seat annex at the middle school, which has dealt with overcrowding for many years, according to officials. The annex is expected to replace the trailers located in the school’s playground and a “temporary” mini-building, which was erected more than 20 years ago.

“I.S. 125 is finally, after years of advocacy and fighting, going to get the expansion and addition that it truly deserves,” said Van Bramer. “[Students] they deserve to learn in a modern, state-of-the-art facility that will make everyone proud, that will only enhance learning.”

Construction of the annex is expected to begin as early as this year, including the demolition of the current mini-building, said Van Bramer.

The new addition will feature a brand new cafeteria, gymnasium and state-of-the-art classrooms.

“I’m so happy to be able to replace those [trailers and the mini-building] with a brand new state-of-the-art addition for these children,” said Lorraine Grillo, SCA president. “They deserve it, they have deserved it.”

Seventh grader and vice president of the student government Alysia Quan, 13, said the students are really excited to have the outdoor classrooms removed because they are freezing making their way to classes.

Currently, more than 200 seventh grade students have to walk in and out of the school building, through rain and snow, in order to attend their classes inside the trailers. Around 240 students have classes in the mini-building.

“We had a hope at 125, we had a hope that we would be able to have classrooms that weren’t in the cafeteria, we had a hope that there wouldn’t be classrooms in the library so that children could visit the library whenever they wanted to, we had a hope that in the auditorium we could have shows, we wouldn’t have to have classrooms,” said I.S. 125 Principal Judy Mittler. “In this world, the fact that a hope becomes a reality, and becomes a reality so quickly, is mind boggling. Thank you isn’t enough.”

The expansion of I.S. 125 is part of six new schools Van Bramer has helped bring into western Queens and which will all be fully operational by 2016.

“What’s more important in life than your children?” said Mittler. “And [the students], they’re my children too.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

DOE proposes rezoning plan to ease overcrowding at Jackson Heights school


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Map Courtesy of the Department of Education

One middle school in Jackson Heights may soon be less crowded.

The Department of Education (DOE) announced proposed rezoning changes to move the boundaries for I.S. 145, at 33-34 80th St., and I.S. 230, at 73-10 34th Ave. in Jackson Heights. The changes would take effect for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Under the rezoning, the boundaries for I.S. 230 would expand to serve a new annex located at 74-03 34th Ave., slated to open in September. The new building is expected to accommodate 420 middle school students.

After the rezoning, about 120 incoming sixth graders from I.S. 145 would be zoned to I.S. 230 in the 2015-2016 school year. No current students will be affected.

According to the DOE, the plan was developed through working with Community Education Council 30 in addressing the needs of the community.

“This rezoning plan reflects a year-long collaboration between the Department and the CEC to create a proposal that best addresses the needs of the entire community,” said  DOE spokesperson Harry Hartfield. “Any final approval of the plan will be decided by the CEC for District 30.”

Isaac Carmignani, co-president and chair of the zoning committee of CEC 30, said the rezoning would bring some relief to the overcrowding of I.S. 145, which together with I.S. 230, is part of School District 30 which suffers from a chronic overcrowding problem.

Currently I.S. 145’s sixth grade is 948 seats and after the rezoning, the number would drop to between 815 and 835. I.S. 230’s size would increase from 350 seats to between 460 to 480.

“It doesn’t change the fact that they are going to still be tightly packed schools,” said Carmignani. “We all are looking at the bigger picture.”

Other schools that might be affected by the rezoning include P.S. 69, P.S. 149, P.S. 212 and P.S. 222 in Jackson Heights, P.S. 228 and P.S. 148 in East Elmhurst, and P.S. 152 in Woodside.

A public meeting to discuss the proposed rezoning changes and learn more information on how it will affect students will be held on Monday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. at I.S. 145.

“What we are trying to do is have as much community engagement as possible,” said Carmignani. “We’re looking forward to continue working on this issue as the months and years go by.”

For more information, contact CEC 30 at 718-391-8380 or email cec30@schools.nyc.gov.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates arranges $2.2 million sale of 9,700 square-foot Woodside property


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates, Inc. has arranged for the $2.15 million sale of a 9,700 square-foot property in Woodside, announced Kalmon Dolgin and Neil Dolgin, co-presidents of Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates.

Vincent Lopez of Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates was the broker for both the buyer, Video Concepts, and the seller, IL Nuraghe.

For the last two decades, Video Concepts, has been a leader in production and staging, creative services, interactive media, and event planning solutions, according to Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates.

The company is relocating and expanding from a self-owned, 4,400 square-foot space in Astoria to the Woodside property at 34-39 56th Street.

The property consists of a two-story warehouse and features 24-foot ceilings, two drive-in doors, a 1,200-square-foot mezzanine level and eight parking spaces.

The building underwent a state-of-the-art renovation by the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association before the seller purchased the building for wholesale wine storage, according to Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates. IL Nuraghe then sold the wine business and rented the property to Eurocraft Stone, a marble manufacturer, until listing it for sale with Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates.

Located between 37th Avenue and Broadway, the building is near the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, Northern Boulevard, Queens Boulevard and the Grand Central Parkway, and is also accessible to the Woodside Long Island Rail Road station and the 7, M, and R subway lines.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

 

Parents welcome city’s first New Year’s baby at Elmhurst Hospital


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation

New York City‘s first New Year cry was heard through Elmhurst Hospital as Tenzin Choetso was welcomed into the world.

Tenzin was born to parents Metok Dolma and Choegyal Dorjee one second after midnight on Jan. 1 at Elmhurst Hospital Center. The couple, both from Tibet and now living in Woodside, reportedly also has another daughter.

The baby girl, weighing 6 pounds, 11 ounces, received a name given by the Dalai Lama, according to a hospital spokesperson. The parents put in a request to the Dalai Lama for the baby’s naming while Dolma was pregnant, and the Tibetan spiritual leader responded by giving the name Tenzin, meaning “to conquer the wisdom of Buddha,” the spokesperson said.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was given the name Tenzin Gyatso.

“We are thrilled and excited that one of the first babies of 2014 was born at Elmhurst,” said Chris Constantino, Elmhurst Hospital Center’s executive director. “Our staff is overjoyed.”

Tenzin Choetso is not Elmhurst Hospital’s first “New Year’s baby.” In 2013, at exactly midnight, another baby was born at the hospital.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Pols call for law change after driver with suspended license fatally strikes Woodside boy


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ANGY ALTAMIRANO

Local elected officials are calling for a change in the law to prevent another child, like 8-year-old Noshat Nahian, from losing their life.

Noshat was crossing the street with his 11-year-old sister on the way to school at P.S. 152 in Woodside around 8 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 20 when a tractor trailer traveling southbound on 61st Street made a left turn onto Northern Boulevard, striking him with its rear tires, police said. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The driver, Mauricio Osorio-Palominos, 51, of Newark, N.J., who remained on the scene of the accident, has been charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of motor vehicle and operating vehicle in violation of safety rules, police said.

Osorio-Palominos was driving with a suspended license with multiple violations on his record during the accident, according to State Senator Michael Gianaris.

In response, Gianaris gathered with local officials, residents and advocacy groups at the site of the accident Monday to introduce legislation that would make it a felony if drivers with suspended licenses either seriously injure or kill someone with their vehicle. Under current law, a driver like Osorio-Palominos could be charged with a misdemeanor.

“The law needs to get tougher,” said Gianaris. “Those who have suspended licenses are twice as likely to kill somebody or injure somebody, or twice as likely to have major accidents, the law has to catch up with the data, we just need to get these people off the streets.”

Gianaris has also proposed the immediate impoundment of a vehicle’s license plate if it were being operated by someone with a suspended license.

The new bill will be co-sponsored by Senators Toby Ann Stavisky and Jose Peralta and also supported by Assemblymember Michael Den Dekker, Congressmember Joseph Crowley and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

“I have an 8-year-old son and it could have been my child, it could have been my son that was hit that Friday morning,” said Peralta. “And we need to send a loud message not only to the city but to anyone who does this, who rides without a license, that this is not going to be acceptable.”

Advocate groups like Transportation Alternatives, Make Queens Safer and Woodside on the Move, are also looking to implement other safety measures like crossing guards, stalled green lights and much more.

“None of this should of happen, all of this could have been prevented,” said Van Bramer. “This school has been asking for a crossing guard at this location for months. [It’s] absolutely disgraceful that the administration did not provide the crossing guard when it was requested, when it was clearly needed. Anybody who has been on this street for more than five minutes knows that this requires a crossing guard.”

Advocacy group Make Queens Safer organized a traffic safety memorial and vigil at 61st Street and Northern Boulevard Sunday where Noshat’s family and hundreds of residents gathered to remember the 8-year-old and other victims of traffic fatalities.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Elderly woman, motorcyclist dead in Queens Boulevard crash


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Updated Monday, December 23 2:23 p.m.

An elderly woman and motorcyclist are dead following a collision on Queens Boulevard in Woodside on Saturday, cops said.

Police responded to the accident just after 4:30 p.m. in which the driver of the Suzuki motorcycle, Darien Baker, 31, collided with 78-year-old Marion Kurshuk at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and 58th Street as the pedestrian was crossing the street.

Baker and Kurshuk were taken to Elmhurst General Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival, police said.

An investigation into the accident is ongoing.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES