Tag Archives: YouTube

De Blasio’s daughter admits to issues with substance abuse, depression


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via YouTube

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s daughter Chiara admitted in a video posted Tuesday to substance abuse and years of battling depression.

In the five-minute YouTube clip, the 19-year-old college student said she had clinical depression for her entire adolescence, and alcohol and drugs helped her deal with those issues.

“It made it easier, like the more I drank and did drugs, to share some common ground with people that I wouldn’t have,” she said.

“It didn’t start out as a like a huge thing for me, but then it became a really huge thing for me.”

She said she thought her problems would go away in college, but admitted to drinking and smoking weed while there.

A therapist helped her by referring to her an outpatient treatment center in New York City.

Now sober, Chiara said she wanted to share her personal story in the hopes of helping others.

“As parents, our instinct has been to protect our daughter and privately help her through a deeply personal struggle. But not only has Chiara committed to her own health, she is also committed to helping young people everywhere who face similar challenges,” the mayor-elect and his wife said in an emailed statement that linked to the video.

“Her courage to speak out demonstrates a wisdom and maturity far beyond her 19 years, and we are grateful every day for her commitment to lifting up those who need to know that they are not alone.”

 

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Flushing author’s work picked up as film project


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Joe Cognard

NIKKI DJOKOVICH

“I never in a million years thought I’d be an author. Maybe playing for the Cincinnati Reds, but I wasn’t that good,” said three-time published author Joe Cognard.

This Queens native and Flushing resident never aspired to be the self-published novelist he is today. He actually attended St. John’s University and majored in finance.

Cognard’s three novels have been greatly influenced by his background and family. With the help of his daughters, he was able to write his first two novels, “Three Twigs for the Campfire” and “Cemetery Girl.” Both of these Queens based stories were taken on as family projects, which Cognard greatly enjoyed writing.

His third and latest novel, “Written for You,” was influenced more by his own personal experience within the publishing business.

This comedic tome touches on a topic that has become a great issue countless publishers and other industries deal with. As social media increases within society, various industries are in search of ways to keep up with the technological advances.

“‘Written for You’ is a comedic play about an accountant who works at a publisher. He writes a book and in trying to get feedback on the book, all hell breaks loose,” explained Cognard.

“Written for You” has been picked up as a YouTube series film project with filming starting in November. Cognard believes that many will be able to find a connection to the story “because people will feel the pain and hardship of this person.”

The process of production has been an enjoyable one for Cognard. “They gave me the free reign to create a different ending so you couldn’t spoil it,” he said.

This is only one of the ways that the production company has allowed Cognard to have his own say within the film project, which should be available for free viewing by the start of 2014 on YouTube.

Becoming a published author has been a great journey for Cognard.

“I am very excited about all three books,” he said. “Writing across different genres is something I am very proud of. I aspire to be a great author. I hope to get as much notoriety of my work as possible.”

Cognard’s books can be purchased on amazon.com.

 

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NYPD to double gang unit


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

The NYPD is announcing an initiative today that will double the size of its Gang Unit and focus on social media to combat gangs.

Dubbed Operation Crew Cut, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly will discuss the program Tuesday in a speech to the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in San Diego.

In a pre-released copy of the speech obtained by The Courier, the number of detectives assigned to the “street crew” units will increase from 150 to 300 over time, he said.

Instead of concentrating on bigger gangs, such as Bloods and Crips, Operation Crew Cut will focus on ones where loyalty is tied to a small geographical area.

Police are also changing how they track gang activity by going online, where crew members are using sites such as Facebook and YouTube to brag about crimes and intimidate rivals.

This is the first time the NYPD has a “coordinated, consistent approach” to combating gangs, said Kelly

Though, as Kelly points out in his speech, gangs are “responsible for no less than to 30 percent of shootings in New York City,” shootings are down by about one percent compared to this time last year and murders have been reduced by 18 percent.

“We’re hoping that by focusing more resources in a coordinated thoughtful way on these crews we’ll reduce violent crime in New York City even further,” he said.

 

 

YouTube video sparks Autism fundraiser


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Sandra Constantino

Several Lindenwood residents are raising money for Autism awareness, sparked by one young girl’s YouTube video.

Sixteen-year-old Shyanna Constantino created an online video about her younger sister, five-year-old Kaylene Vazquez, who suffers from Autism. A friend’s mother saw the video, called “Happy Hope for Autistic Children,” on YouTube, and thought it would be a great way to raise money for the cause.

Shyanna, along with her mother Sandra Constantino, friend Lisa Tazeras and her mother Drena Muniz, who originally spotted the online video, sold chips, cupcakes and toys to attendees at P.S. 232 Park in Lindenwood on Saturday, April 14. Several families with Autistic children came to the event, happy to see the great work being done by the local philanthropists. Cookie Monster and the blue Care Bear came to the event as well, making children smile while posing for pictures.

Over 70 children also participated in a basketball tournament to raise money for Autism awareness, held at the same time. Organized by Constantino’s son, kids donated $5 each to participate in the afternoon’s athletic competition.

According to Constantino, 100 percent of the proceeds are going to help build New York Families for Autistic Children’s (NYFAC) new recreation center in Howard Beach. They were able to raise $1,200 during the fund raising event that took them less than a week to put together.

NYFAC is a non-profit organization that provides various services for children with Autism and other developmental disabilities throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Headquartered in Ozone Park, NYFAC’s most recent undertaking is the construction of a center in Howard Beach.

Posada Announces Retirement, Says He Will “Forever Be A Yankee”


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Posada Announces Retirement, Says He Will “Forever Be A Yankee”

New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada officially announced his retirement from the game today at Yankee Stadium. During an at-times tearful press conference, the 40-year-old catcher said he is leaving the game after 17 seasons, all with the team that drafted him. He said the decision was completely his, and that he made his choice shortly after last season. “I was able to live my dream, to play baseball for the best sports franchise in the world, the New York Yankees,” said Posada. Read More: NY1

 

Family of slain designer Sylvie Cachay wants ‘every penny’ Nick Brooks has

The family of slain swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay is going after “every penny” that may come the way of her accused killer – the son of creepy “You Light Up My Life” tunesmith Joseph Brooks. “We will take all steps to find any penny that he has, and every royalty that he has,” Susan Karten, a civil lawyer for the Cachay family, said after a brief appearance by Nicholas Brooks in Manhattan Criminal Court. The 25-year-old Manhattan man is charged with killing his stunning 33-year-old girlfriend inside a tub at the sleek Soho House in December 2010 – then going to a party. Read More: New York Post

 

Online video captures moment cops shoot, kill man outside Carl’s Jr. in California [Warning: Graphic Video Inside]

Graphic video posted online captured the shocking moment cops shot and killed a man outside a fast food joint in California Monday morning. Police were called to the Carl’s Jr. in Monterey Park around 9:30 a.m. after receiving a report that the unidentified man was breaking windows at the restaurant, according to KTLA 5 News. When he emerged from the fast food place, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release they ordered him to drop what they described as a three-foot metal bar. Read More & See the Video: Daily News

 

Bloomberg Calls For “Sensible” Pension Reforms At Albany Hearing

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in Albany today testifying on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget and Reform plan. In his prepared remarks before the State Senate Finance Committee and the State Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee, the mayor gave his support to several points of the plan, including pension and teacher evaluation reforms. The governor’s $132.5 billion budget calls for the creation of a new Tier VI pension, which would offer new hires a 401k-type, market-based retirement plan. However, they would also have the choice of taking a reduced benefit pension plan that raises the retirement age from 62 to 65. Read More: NY1

 

Veteran NYPD detective admits robbing cigarette smugglers

A crooked, second-generation cop pleaded guilty this morning to brazenly ripping off cigarette smugglers while wearing his NYPD “raid” jacket and armed with his service weapon. Shame-faced Kyron Collins, 39, then capped off his court appearance by running away from a photographer and leaving his lawyer in the dust. Collins, a 16-year police veteran who most recently was a detective in the 52nd Precinct, was busted last year in a 10-month string of robberies of bootleg cigarette dealers in Manhattan and The Bronx. Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD officer pleads guilty to false arrest

A NYPD officer admitted today that he falsified charges to arrest a black Staten Island man after the two exchanged angry words during a street encounter while he was on plainclothes patrol. Michael Daragjati, an eight-year veteran, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to misusing his authority as a police officer to intentionally violate the man’s civil rights. As part of a plea agreement with Brooklyn federal prosecutors, the 32-year-old officer will resign from the NYPD after his sentencing and never seek another job in law enforcement, his attorney told Judge William Kuntz II. Read More: New York Post

Shock cop suicide


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Shock cop suicide

An NYPD cop fatally shot himself last night while on-duty and interviewing the victim of a Queens car break-in, sources told The Post. The officer, whose name was withheld pending family notification, got into a heated argument on his cellphone with his girlfriend and fired one bullet into his face after the conversation ended at around 11 p.m., the sources said. The cop, a five-year veteran assigned to the 111th Precinct, went with his partner to a house on 211th Street near 85th Avenue in Hollis Hills to talk to a man whose car had been broken into Wednesday. Read More: New York Post

 

Bus teen shot on ‘slay’ line

A 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg yesterday while riding a bus on the Queens line that saw a fatal shooting last month, authorities said. The shooting took place at 3:20 p.m. on the southbound Q111 bus near Seagirt Avenue and Beach 20th Street in Far Rockaway, said an MTA spokesman. Police said the teen has been uncooperative and no arrests have been made. He was treated at Long Island Jewish Hospital After he was shot, the teen approached the driver to report that he had been shot in the leg, according to the MTA spokesman. On Dec 2, Damel Burton, 34, allegedly killed one innocent passenger and wounded another on a crowded Q111 bus in Jamaica. Read More: New York Post

 

Police Shoot Suspect In Attempted Carjacking

Police on Thursday shot a man accused of trying to carjack an elderly driver in Queens. Investigators say the suspect approached his 89-year-old victim while he was parked on Christie Avenue in Corona. The suspect allegedly struck the victim with a gun and then fled the scene. Police gave chase and the suspect later ran into a driveway on 46th Avenue. An officer fired one round at the suspect when he turned to police holding a gun. The weapon turned out to be a BB gun. Read More: NY1

 

Super outlook for Manning

This is when you separate the Mann from the boys. Win one game. Win this game. The hope and dreams of a storied franchise, of a city thirsting for another championship, heaped on one Mann’s shoulders. The Right Mann. The Only Mann Giants fans want for the job. Everyone can see the focus in his eyes, now and forever. He sees 49ers directly in front of him, and that Lombardi Trophy he craves to hoist again in the not-so-distant future. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Qaeda’ subway plotter No. 4

Federal prosecutors have revealed that there was a fourth man in the United States connected to a 2009 al Qaeda-sanctioned plot to blow up subway lines in New York City. Officials last week quietly revised the indictment against one of the conspirators, Adis Medunjanin, alleging that he — along with former high school classmates Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay — tried to recruit someone identified only as “John Doe” to travel to Pakistan “to wage violent jihad.” It’s the first time prosecutors indicated there was a fourth person in the United States linked to what may have been the most legitimate terror plot since 9/11. Now Medunjanin’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, wants Brooklyn federal prosecutors to unveil the identity of the mystery man before he turns up as a possible witness at a trial set for March. Read More: New York Post

 

Parody video ‘S—t New Yorkers Say’ by blogger Eliot Glazer goes viral — and he doesn’t go to Queens

 

Out of left field

Pieces of Citi Field history — all three years of it — are on sale to the highest bidder. In a decidedly odd online auction, the cash-strapped Mets are hawking seven separate chunks of the padded barrier, that’s been guarded by such “old-time” Amazin’s legends as Daniel Murphy and Jason Bay. Flushing faithful with a few thousand bucks in their pockets can get their hands on markers celebrating their favorite corporate sponsors and championship teams. Mets VP Jay Horwitz insisted the sale isn’t a cash grab, just a routine auction prompted by the team’s left-field redesign. Read More: New York Post