• September 2, 2015
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Queens Chronicle

Western Queens News

Stories from Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside, Corona, Elmhurst and East Elmhurst

Top Story

New shelter opens in East Elmhurst

With news that the first new homeless shelter to open in the city this year is in East Elmhurst, some are stressing support for the families there over any angry reaction from community members.The city Department of Homeless Services confirmed Monday that families have started moving into a new shelter at the former Clarion Hotel in East Elmhurst — something the DHS denied to the Queens Chronicle it planned to do in June.

Major repairs start on NYCHA roofing
Updated: August 27, 2015 - 12:10 pm

For months, many public housing residents have stressed it’s not enough to have a roof over your head — it helps if it’s a dry one, too.

After damp and rundown conditions in New York City Housing Authority buildings have reportedly caused health problems such as toxic mold in the past year, Mayor de Blasio announced Monday that the roofs of 66 NYCHA buildings will be replaced.

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Immigrant behind Trump video speaks
Posted: August 27, 2015

When Republican presidential candidate and Jamaica Estates native Donald Trump recently made controversial comments about immigrants from Mexico, many responded with anger and disgust.

However, Ricardo Aca, an immigrant from Puebla, Mexico, who describes himself as not the kind of person to blow up and insult Trump on Twitter, had another idea.

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3 subway operators attacked
Posted: August 27, 2015

The NYPD is working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in connection with attacks on three train operators that took place last Saturday, including an incident at the Court Square Station in Long Island City, where someone spat in the face of G train motorman. NY1 reported that all took place within two hours.

The first occurred when a J train operator was punched in the face at the Essex Street stop. About an hour later a C train operator was struck in the head with a beer can at Euclid Avenue, followed by the incident at Court Square.

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Group pushes ‘Right to Know’ in Woodside
Updated: August 27, 2015 - 1:01 pm

Especially with the No. 7 train rattling overhead, a group of activists — many of South Asian descent — fought to be heard in Woodside Plaza, an area they said is less likely to understand their perspective.

The issue is police-community relations.

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Police seek man behind acid attack
Posted: August 27, 2015

After a 59-year-old woman suffered third-degree burns last Wednesday when a man tossed an acid-like liquid in her face in Sunnyside, police are searching for the suspect.

The attack took place at 5:20 p.m. outside 33-02 Skillman Ave., near the intersection of 34th Street and 43rd Avenue, police said.

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Mayor backs Rikers reforms
Posted: August 27, 2015

Following reports that last month was the bloodiest in Rikers Island’s jail complexes, Mayor de Blasio assured many he still has faith in his anti-violence agenda.

A recent report by the New York Daily News said there were 21 slashings and a stabbing in July, citing gang violence as a main instigator. The Daily News noted the number has tripled from July 2014.

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Wife-stabber gets 18 years
Posted: August 27, 2015

The Elmhurst man who fatally stabbed his wife, wrote a suicide note in her name and then went to work at a Whitestone restaurant with blood still on his shoes in December 2014 was sentenced to 18 years in prison, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Tuesday.

Luis Paguay, 43, lived in a basement apartment on 50th Avenue and in June pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for stabbing his wife, Maria Paguay, 39, multiple times in the neck and chest.

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Tuesday 09/01/2015
Pan Am contract denied for the third time
Updated: September 01, 2015 - 3:55 pm

The third time was not the charm for the Department of Homeless Services. 

Following rejections in May and July, city Comptroller Scott Stringer again rejected the proposed five-year, $42 million contract with human services agency Samaritan Village regarding the operation of the Boulevard Family Residence, formerly the Pan American Hotel at 79-00 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, as a permanent homeless shelter last Wednesday.

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Monday 08/31/2015
Homicide victim found aflame in Astoria
Updated: August 31, 2015 - 12:38 pm

Police officers found an unconscious male engulfed in flames behind an Astoria building early Saturday morning. The case has been deemed a homicide and two arrests have been made.

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LaGuardia TSA agent charged with sexual abuse
Updated: August 31, 2015 - 12:58 pm

A 40-year-old screener for the Transportation Security Administration at LaGuardia Airport has been charged with taking a female traveler to a bathroom and sexually abusing her, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Friday.

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Friday 08/28/2015
NYPD seek two for Astoria Houses shooting
Updated: August 31, 2015 - 12:35 pm

Police are seeking two individuals wanted for a shooting that took place on the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 25 outside of 2-10 27 Ave.

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Queens cop charged with insurance fraud
Updated: August 31, 2015 - 12:36 pm

A New York City police officer from the 108th Precinct in Western Queens has been charged with insurance fraud, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Friday.

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Thursday 08/27/2015
Throgs Neck lane closure alert
Posted: August 27, 2015

Up to two Bronx-bound lanes at the Throgs Neck Bridge will be closed this weekend to accommodate repaving work.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced that one lane will be closed from 10 p.m. on Friday night through 5 a.m. Monday.

From Friday through Monday a second lane will be closed during overnight hours. On Friday and Saturday nights the lane will close at 10 p.m. and reopen the next morning at 7 a.m.

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Maloney calls baloney on Iran deal
Updated: August 31, 2015 - 5:56 pm

And that brings us to four.

One day after protesters eager to show support for the United States' nuclear deal with Iran assembled Wednesday outside the Forest Hills office of Rep. Grace Meng — the first in the borough to publicly oppose the deal — Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) came out against the controversial pact.

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Staten Island man killed in Jackson Heights taxi crash
Updated: August 27, 2015 - 1:20 pm

The identity of the pedestrian fatally hit by a yellow cab in Jackson Heights in the early hours of Aug. 19 was revealed this week. The victim was Amit Roy, a Staten Island resident, the NYPD said Thursday.

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Willets Point plan is now in jeopardy
Updated: August 27, 2015 - 12:02 pm

The decision by Mayor de Blasio not to join the legal appeal by the developers who want to erect a mall in the Citi Field parking lot could spell the beginning of the end for the shopping center and even the entire 47-acre Willets Point project.

That’s the opinion of several people familiar with the ins and outs of the star-crossed $3 billion redevelopment plan originally pushed by Mayor Bloomberg and awarded to the Queens Development Group, consisting of The Related Companies and Sterling Equities, which is headed by Fred Wilpon, owner of the Mets.

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Woodhaven Blvd. bus crash leaves eight hurt
Updated: August 27, 2015 - 12:12 pm

Several people were injured around 2:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon when a Resorts World bus traveling on Woodhaven Boulevard in Rego Park slammed into a building after swerving to avoid another vehicle.

Officials from both the NYPD and FDNY said six of the bus’ occupants, including the driver, 39-year-old Jamaica resident James Honodrat, were taken to area hospitals while two others were treated at the scene, and no one suffered life-threatening injuries.

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SC church shooting hits home in Queens
Updated: August 27, 2015 - 12:04 pm

Like most Americans, state Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park) felt horror, revulsion and countless other emotions on June 17 when he heard that nine people had been murdered in a historic black church in Charleston, SC, allegedly by a 21-year-old white gunman who reportedly had plotted it as a statement of racial hatred.

“I was a Marine; as a young man I studied for the ministry,” Sanders said. “... We’re taught that in church, when a stranger comes in who makes you uncomfortable, you reach out and hug them more.”

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Council calls banks out on foreclosure tactics
Updated: August 27, 2015 - 1:49 pm

Experts have said repeatedly that Queens was ground zero when the national mortgage crisis struck New York City; and that the Jamaica region was ground zero in Queens.

But last Thursday, three members of the City Council were in Queens accusing mortgage lenders of using delay tactics and outright violation of state and federal law in an effort to foreclose on houses rather than agree to settlements.

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Target replacing Austin Street Barnes & Noble
Posted: August 27, 2015

The Barnes & Noble location at 70-00 Austin St. will be replaced by a 21,000-square-foot Target in 2016, according to press releases issued on Wednesday by the superstore and Muss Development, which owns the location.

“We’re excited to announce our newest flexible format store opening in Forest Hills, Queens in July 2016,” Target announced on its website. “It’ll be a quick stop for locals to find pharmacy, fresh grocery with grab-and-go food options, basic apparel, health and beauty necessities, tech accessories, tablets, phones and more.”

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DA Brown, city at an impasse over old jail
Updated: August 27, 2015 - 1:05 pm

It’s a hung jury in the case of the Queens Detention Complex’s future.

District Attorney Richard Brown pitched his idea of converting part of the mostly vacant 126-01 82 Ave. facility in Kew Gardens into much needed office space to city officials on Aug. 17, but according to Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), who was in attendance, the city wasn’t interested at all.

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Kinkajou is caught in Broad Channel
Posted: August 27, 2015

The kinkajou that had been spotted in a tree in Broad Channel near the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Center was caught last Wednesday and is under the care of Animal Care & Control of NYC, according to a National Parks Service spokeswoman.

An email forwarded to the Queens Chronicle from a member of Northeastbirding.com states that the tropical critter had wandered away from the tree it called home for close to a week and was found just south of the visitors center. It was originally found northeast of the center.

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Two sides talk SBS plan while on the bus
Updated: August 27, 2015 - 1:03 pm

A bus full of elected, Department of Transportation and MTA officials drove up and down Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards on Tuesday as parties from all sides sought to make improvements to the Select Bus Service plan for the corridor.

“The residents that I represent, both drivers and people who take the bus, agree that we need to increase the speed of buses,” Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven), one of the passengers, said. “But at the same time we don’t want to compromise the number of lanes we have for the drivers. You can’t take a lane of traffic away.”

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Group protests Meng’s denial of Iran nuke deal
Posted: August 27, 2015

A group of about a dozen supporters of the United States’ proposed nuclear accord with Iran and other world powers gathered on the sidewalk outside the Forest Hills office of Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) on Wednesday in an effort to encourage her to reverse her opposition to the controversial deal.

Organized by MoveOn.org, an independent advocacy group founded in 1998, the event was hosted by Rochelle Santos, a Rego Park resident who called the deal the “greatest prevention to war so far.”

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Cops crack down on Rego speeders
Posted: August 27, 2015

Police launched a crackdown on speeding on Woodhaven Boulevard one day after a tour bus hit a building on the thoroughfare where it runs through Rego Park.

Two officers from the 112th Precinct were posted at the corner of Woodhaven and 62nd Drive —one block north of the crash scene and one block south of this newspaper’s offices —for hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, nabbing one driver after another.

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