Howard Beach Patrol Gets New Wheels

Howard Beach’s newest civilian observation patrol rolled out a new ride as volunteers took to the streets to provide an extra set of eyes and ears to the 106th Precinct. Joseph Thompson, president of the HBCOP, said his aunt stepped up to donate her own car to the volunteer group as it started hitting the pavement last week. Thompson helped start the group earlier this summer and has spent the ensuing weeks growing his organization while working alongside the 106th … Continue reading

New Vets’ Commish Should Focus on Jobs, Healthcare: Area Advocates

After Mayor de Blasio last week tapped Loree Sutton, MD, to head the city’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, area officials and advocates said the retired Army brigadier general should bolster efforts to help former service members with access to jobs and healthcare. Sutton, a psychiatrist and leading national mental health advocate, was lauded for more than 25 years of military and civilian service and her expertise in the treatment of brain injuries. “Loree’s revolutionary mental health work has helped countless … Continue reading

Howard Beach Lets Loose at ‘Fun Day’

The community came out in big numbers last Thursday for one last hurrah at PS/MS 146 as the Reach for the Stars daycare program partied on at 98th Street and 159th Avenue in Howard Beach. Community Fun Day, hosted by the STARS Youth Center in Howard Beach, featured inflatable fun along with a rock-climbing wall, balloon animals, face painting and much more for the entire family to enjoy. Residents from all over the community came out to celebrate and the … Continue reading

De Blasio Touts After-School Initiative in Richmond Hill

Bill de Blasio’s successful mayoral campaign was built around his “Tale of Two Cities,” which highlighted what he saw as unprecedented socioeconomic inequality facing the Big Apple. One of the ways in which he sought to bridge that pervasive gap was through education, particularly after-school programs, and last week he visited Richmond Hill to applaud the efforts of educators and raise awareness of enrollment applications for these enhanced after-school activities. De Blasio and city Department of Youth and Community Development … Continue reading

Steady Recovery for Ozone Park Hit-And-Run Victim

A brutal 52 stitches to the stomach and severely injured back have not stopped 29-year-old Sandeep Singh, who has been on the mend since the driver of a white truck called him “Osama” before running him over late last month. Brother Navindeep Singh said his family was shocked to see the beloved father fall victim to such a hateful act in modern day New York City. He stood with city leaders in Richmond Hill last Thursday to denounce Joseph Caleca, … Continue reading

Southern Queens Pre-K Clear to Launch

The city kept busy this summer making sure its universal pre-kindergarten sites were ready to launch on Sept. 4, but announced some sites were still categorized as public health hazards. Nonetheless, southern Queens was ready to go. The city Health Department along with the Department of Education said this week that 12 of the more than 1,100 sites where pre-K classes were being offered still showed violations and were in need of immediate action if they wanted to open on … Continue reading

Rikers Island Injury Claims on the Rise: Audit

With corruption and violence at alarming levels, and the bad old days back on the horizon, perhaps it is unsurprising to learn that personal injury claims at some facilities on Rikers Island have increased significantly over the last five years, according to an audit report published last week by city Comptroller Scott Stringer. Claims are filed by inmates or employees of city correction institutions or facilities who were allegedly injured by the actions of city employees or inmates. For example, … Continue reading

106th Catches Lindenwood Car Thief: Schiff

A Lindenwood man was caught redhanded behind the wheel of a stolen car earlier this week, hopefully putting an end to a string of related crimes in southern Queens, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff said.   Richard Hobbs, 27, was arrested Monday after cops alleged he stole an unattended running vehicle early in the morning in Ozone Park. Plain-clothes officers spotted the suspect soon after his description hit police radio waves and arrested him to find out he was already a … Continue reading

Car Slams Into Ozone Park Pizzeria

An out-of-control car slammed into an Ozone Park pizzeria earlier this week without injuring a single soul. The driver behind the wheel of a car making its way through the Crossbay Car Wash and Oil Change in Ozone Park slammed into a fence in front of the neighboring Romeo’s Pizzeria Monday, but luckily escape with only a small scratch. Police said the unidentified driver, who worked at the car wash, lost control of the 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee around 3 … Continue reading

Saint Thomas Parents Push to Save Basketball Program

Saint Thomas the Apostle’s precious CYO basketball program was put on the chopping block this summer and parents of the young athletes came out in big numbers to plead for its renewal before the buzzer runs out. Jimmy Cooke, an athletic director at Saint Thomas, led the charge with a Facebook post shedding light on the more than 50-year-old program housed in what he said was one of the nicest gyms in the area. The post elicited heartfelt pleas for … Continue reading

Ozone Park Biz Owners Decry Plaza Presence

Concerned Ozone Park entrepreneurs turned out last week at a Community Board 9 meeting to detail how they believe a pedestrian plaza has had a profoundly negative effect on their bottom lines. In addressing several CB 9 members, civic leaders, representatives from the city Department of Transportation and elected officials at Thursday’s Borough Hall confab, the business owners, all of whom run establishments near the dedicated open space on 101st Avenue at Drew Street and Liberty Avenue, returned consistently to two … Continue reading

Assembly Cmte. Vetting Forest Park Camera Request

While a sexual predator responsible for six attacks in Forest Park remains at large, the application to install security cameras on the grounds is still being reviewed by the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, with no firm date set for the completion of the process. “There was an initial delay by the city Police Department returning the preliminary application to the Ways and Means Committee,” said Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven), who formally requested the extra security measure. “After final review, … Continue reading

Goldfeder Grapples With Kids’ Graffiti Kit

A southern Queens lawmaker is calling out a national toy chain after spotting a kid-friendly graffiti starter kit on the shelves. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) chalked up “Kidfitti” as a potential slippery slope for city kids experimenting with graffiti stencils and fired off a letter to Toys “R” Us and other retails calling for the product’s removal. Toys “R” Us did not comment. “This product is using marketing ploys to encourage unsuspecting children to deface their communities,” Goldfeder … Continue reading

Bill de Blasio: A Ferry Bad Mayor

Two buses left Rockaway last week to shuttle concerned residents to the steps of City Hall in the name of saving the beloved Rockaway Ferry before service is suspended in October. It was a nearly two-hour ride, which many argued provided tangible proof that the peninsula was desperately in need of alternative means of transportation. The ferry, which began service after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, was first implemented as a temporary transit option between the Rockaways and Manhattan while subway … Continue reading

Work Begins on New Hamilton Beach Walkway

Superstorm Sandy left many things mangled in its wake. The Hamilton Beach walkway connecting the small southern Queens community to the Coleman Square train station was just one of them. But finally, nearly three years later, the city has put plans in motion that will bring back the abandoned boardwalk. “This pathway is just a straight run—everybody used it. It is a vital way in and out,” said Roger Gendron, president of the Hamilton Beach Civic Association. “Anybody who lives … Continue reading