• March 6, 2015
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Queens Chronicle

Queenswide

Stories with boroughwide interest

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Dan Halloran gets 10 years in prison

Former City Councilman Dan Halloran on Wednesday was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on corruption charges.He also will have two years of supervised probation upon his release.

Climate change could put city underwater
Updated: March 05, 2015 - 12:54 pm

When Superstorm Sandy hit Queens on Oct. 29, 2012, it caused historic floods and damage from which many communities are still recovering.

But a recent report by the New York City Panel on Climate Change, published last month, predicts that the kind of extreme weather seen during Sandy could become more common across parts of the borough in the coming decades. The report takes into account recent climate trends and projects what will happen through the 2020s, 2050s, 2080s and for years beyond 2100. It found that heat waves are “very likely” to increase, as are the number of intense rainstorms and the amount of yearly precipitation. It also projected rising water levels in the region.

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Survey: Biz owners optimistic in 2015
Posted: March 05, 2015

A recent survey conducted by TD Bank found that a majority of city small businesses are cautiously optimistic about 2015 being better for business than last year was.

According to the survey, 77 percent of small businesses — defined as stores and restaurants that make less than $5 million in profits — expect to meet or exceed their business goals, up from 58 percent last year. For the borough, 75 percent of small businesses expect to exceed or meet their business goals.

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Park injury claims up 53 percent since ’05
Posted: March 05, 2015

Children did more than just scrape their elbows, skin their knees or stub their toes at Queens parks over the last decade, according to a report from city Comptroller Scott Stringer.

From fiscal year 2005 to fiscal year 2014, Stringer’s office found that personal injury claims stemming from incidents at Queens parks and playgrounds had jumped 53 percent, with 577 total claims being filed during the time period.

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Dear Mother Nature: That’s enough already!
Updated: March 05, 2015 - 12:51 pm

The city is ugly and the people are restless.

No, it’s not the growing rift between the mayor and the City Council. It’s not the embarrassment known as the Knicks. It’s not even the omnipresent threat of overdevelopment and neighborhood transformation that occupies so many civic minds in Queens.

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PA Roundtable choice pleases few in Queens
Updated: March 05, 2015 - 12:50 pm

After months of silence from the Port Authority (despite many more complaints of booming jet engines), Ed Knoesel, the agency’s manager of aviation environmental programs, issued a letter announcing the structure for the long-awaited NY Airports Roundtable.

The letter, addressed “Dear airport stakeholder,” read:

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City traffic proposal sure is taking its toll
Posted: March 05, 2015

The recently announced proposal to add tolls to four East River bridges is causing an awful lot of commotion for a measure that still does not yet have any official backing in the City Council or state Capitol.

The plan that last week pitted drivers against mass transit riders now appears to have pitted state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) against Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), as well as Weprin against his Assemblyman brother David (D-Fresh Meadows), who did not explain how he intends to get a city commuter tax through a state Senate headed by a suburban Long Island majority leader.

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Sirgiovanni runs for NY Kiwanis govenor
Posted: March 05, 2015

Stephen Sirgiovanni, a longtime member of the Howard Beach Kiwanis Club, is running for governor — but it won’t be Gov. Cuomo that he’s going up against.

He is running to oversee the 257 Kiwanis clubs across the state as governor of the intetnational organization’s New York division.

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Former Knicks baller Anthony Mason dies
Posted: March 05, 2015

Not many people can say the Beastie Boys rapped about them. But then again, not many people had the style to get their “hair cut correct” like Anthony Mason.

The Springfield Gardens native who was beloved in New York during his five-year tenure with the Knicks in the mid-1990s died last Saturday morning of congestive heart failure.

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Ideas on tap for Flushing Meadows
Posted: March 05, 2015

The first in a series of public forums on better ways to up Flushing Meadows Park to the surrounding communities was held on Sunday along the walkway that overlooks the Queens Museum’s Panorama of the City of New York, with an estimated 100 in attendance.

The project, spearheaded by the Design Trust for Public Space, in partnership with the city Parks Department and the Queens Museum, is looking into ways to enhance access points and improve circulation throughout the park.

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Queens Blvd. safety march set for Saturday
Posted: March 05, 2015

Change along Queens Boulevard cannot wait any longer.

That’s according to Transportation Alternatives, the pedestrian and bicyclist advocacy group, who are co-hosting a march down the “Boulevard of Death” alongside Families for Safe Streets on Saturday afternoon.

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NYPD pays tribute to Eddie Byrne’s legacy
Posted: March 05, 2015

Many cops assigned to the NYPD’s 103rd Precinct had not yet been born when Officer Edward Byrne was murdered by paid assassins on Feb. 26, 1988, five days after the rookie cop’s 22nd birthday.

But that did not stop scores of them from coming out at 3 a.m. last week to remember Byrne on the South Jamaica street corner where he died protecting a witness in a major drug case.

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Nobody’s gonna snow on their parade
Updated: March 05, 2015 - 12:13 pm

A few inches of snow weren’t enough to deter Queens residents from the 16th annual St. Pat’s for All parade on Sunday.

“A few flurries never stopped determined Irish people or determined New Yorkers from celebrating inclusiveness and hospitality,” Brendan Fay, founder and co-chair of the event, said before a bundled crowd on Skillman and 46th Street.

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Equine fatalities are decreasing at track
Posted: March 05, 2015

Aqueduct Racetrack has seen a sharp decrease in the number of horse deaths taking place there since officials implemented a series of measures aimed at stopping a near-two month spree in which 12 died during races.

According to state records, two horses have died at the South Ozone Park track since Jan. 18 — one on that day and another on Jan. 22.

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City and sergeants reach contract deal
Posted: March 05, 2015

The city and the union for police sergeants last week reached a tentative contract agreement that will see their pay increase 11 percent over the next three years, with the first 4 percent in raises kicking in immediately.

The proposed seven-year contract would be retroactive to Aug. 30, 2011 and would expire Aug. 29, 2018.

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Thursday 03/05/2015
Plane skids off runway at LaGuardia Airport; 24 passengers hurt
Updated: March 06, 2015 - 5:36 pm

A Delta plane skidded off the runway and hit a fence at LaGuardia Airport around 11 a.m.

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City schools to be closed for Muslim holidays
Updated: March 05, 2015 - 11:33 am

Mayor de Blasio and city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced on Wednesday that public schools will be closed for the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, starting in the 2015-16 school year.

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Brooklyn/Queens crown belongs to CTK Royals
Posted: March 05, 2015

Winning never gets old for Christ the King star Rawle Alkins.

“We already have one Brooklyn/Queens championship. It wouldn’t hurt to have two,” Alkins said. “Brooklyn/Queens, no one talks about it like that but it’s still a championship to me.”

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Storm Warning: St. John's seals NCAA Tournament berth
Updated: March 06, 2015 - 5:35 pm

St. John’s star D’Angelo Harrison said last week that he certainly would cry during the Senior Day festivities on Saturday, prior to the Red Storm’s regular season home finale at Madison Square Garden against Georgetown.

And as his teammates mobbed him, the crowd cheered him and head coach Steve Lavin presented him with a framed jersey of his, Harrison couldn’t help but get misty-eyed, knowing his illustrious St. John’s career is almost over.

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Aging Council to honor lawmakers at March 19 gala
Updated: March 06, 2015 - 10:13 am

The Queens Interagency Council on Aging, a boroughwide coalition of over 100 senior service organizations and individuals catering to senior adults, will celebrate its 44th anniversary year on March 19 with a gala buffet dinner and awards ceremony, honoring two elected officials and a rehabilitation institute.

According to QICA Executive Director Bruce Cunningham, the evening will be a “time to celebrate with the council’s network of colleagues, friends, professionals, seniors, and elected officials and help raise program funds.”

Councilmembers Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) and Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) will each be presented with the Rose Kryzak Legislative Award, named for the former QICA board member and lobbyist for rights of the elderly, in recognition of their leadership in championing the cause of older adults and sustaining essential services for seniors.

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Dylan tackles Sinatra; hear Hollywood’s faves
Posted: March 05, 2015

Bob Dylan “Shadows in the Night” (Columbia)

With the exception of the Beatles, it’s hard to think of any other composer in the rock era whose songs have been covered by so many other artists as Bob Dylan. While he has been very happy to get his sizable royalty checks, Dylan was fairly harsh in his autobiography, “Chronicles,” that published a few years ago, on many of those who have recorded his songs. Surprisingly, he said his favorite cover of all of his songs was Johnny Rivers’ recording of “Positively 4th Street” for his 1967 “Realization” album. Actually, that was a good choice.

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Give animals in Queens the shelter they deserve
Updated: March 05, 2015 - 1:59 pm

Each of New York City’s five boroughs is proudly unique, but given the strong bond between people and pets across the city, one thing they should share is a firm commitment to protecting the lives of homeless dogs and cats. Yet while Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island have their own vital full-service municipal shelters, Queens and the Bronx only have inadequate “animal receiving centers.”

These centers do not provide shelter, medical or adoption services for homeless animals. Instead, dogs and cats brought to these centers are transported to already overtaxed shelters in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Besides putting available animals out of reach for prospective Queens and Bronx adopters, this also dramatically reduces the likelihood that owners of lost pets will ever reconnect with them.

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Bus drivers’ union slams new Vision Zero arrests
Posted: March 05, 2015

City officials may be rethinking one of the applications of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative after the arrest of a handful of MTA bus drivers for striking pedestrians.

Vision Zero’s aim is to eliminate pedestrian fatalities in motor vehicle accidents, and one of the new laws mandates the arrest of drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians who are crossing in a crosswalk with a green signal.

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Stolen Picasso found in LI City warehouse
Posted: March 05, 2015

Federal authorities announced last week that they have recovered a stolen Pablo Picasso painting in a Long Island City warehouse.

“La Coiffeuse,” a cubist oil painting created in 1911, is the property of the French government, and was reported stolen from a Paris museum in 2001.

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Saturday 02/28/2015
St. John's wins on Senior Day, all but seals NCAA Tournament berth
Updated: March 05, 2015 - 11:44 am

After four frustrating years, it may be time for St. John’s to dust off its dancing shoes.

On a Saturday afternoon when the five Red Storm seniors were honored for their contributions to the program, they all but punched their ticket to the first NCAA Tournament of their careers, and the school’s first since 2011, with a 81-70 victory over Georgetown on senior day. 

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Champs again: Christ the King takes Brooklyn/Queens crown
Updated: March 04, 2015 - 6:22 pm

Winning never gets old for Christ the King star Rawle Alkins.

“We already have one Brooklyn/Queens championship. It wouldn’t hurt to have two,” Alkins said. “Brooklyn/Queens, no one talks about it like that but it’s still a championship to me.”

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Friday 02/27/2015
NYC reaches contract accord with NYPD sergeants
Updated: March 04, 2015 - 6:25 pm

The City of New York and the union for police sergeants have reached a tentative contract agreement that will see their pay increase 11 percent over the next three years, with the first 4 percent in raises kicking in immediately.

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Former Rego Park teacher guilty of student sex abuse
Updated: March 04, 2015 - 6:23 pm

A former Rego Park teacher will not go to prison despite pleading guilty to sexually abusing four male students over the course of three school years.

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Thursday 02/26/2015
U.S. Reps cry foul on GOP’s DHS budget
Updated: March 05, 2015 - 11:46 am

Washington, DC politics took center stage in Queens on Tuesday.

Four Democrats from Congress, in a press conference at LaGuardia Airport’s Marine Air Terminal called on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R- Ken.) to allow votes to approve the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, which:

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Drug bust leads to arrest of two: police
Updated: March 05, 2015 - 11:45 am

A Woodhaven man was arraigned last Thursday night on drug possession, drug sale and child endangerment charges, along with another defendant, after police found out he was selling drugs out of his cellar apartment below a daycare center, the NYPD and Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

“These arrests should serve as a warning to other drug dealers that the law enforcement community will continue to aggressively track down those individuals who traffic in drugs and seek to put them in prison,” Brown said in a release announcing the arraignment.

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Trash cap group courts Community Board 12
Updated: March 05, 2015 - 11:45 am

Proponents of a bill that would cap the allowable trash-processing levels in Southeast Queens and two other communities received a generally warm reception on Feb. 18 at Community Board 12.

Justin Wood, a community organizer with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, said CB 12’s area is one of four community districts in the city — the others being in the South Bronx and Northern Brooklyn — that process about 75 percent of the roughly 35,000 tons of garbage produced daily in the city.

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Schwartz says new toll plan good for Queens
Updated: March 05, 2015 - 11:46 am

Traffic is increasing, state and federal funding for mass transit is uncertain at best and the five-year capital program for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a current deficit of $15 billion.

Sam Schwartz believes that he and a coalition called Move NY have the answer.

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John Adams High to get a health clinic
Updated: March 05, 2015 - 11:46 am

Students at John Adams High School in Ozone Park will soon find it easier to get free healthcare.

The school is planning on opening a health clinic in the basement of the building, located at 101-01 Rockaway Blvd., which will be sponsored by the Cohen Children’s Medical Center and the North Shore-Long Island Jewish health system.

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