Editoral: Public Notices: NOT Antiquated

At The Forum, we’ve been trying to move (perhaps somewhat belatedly) into this century by updating our computers, internet speed, and website. Spoiler alert: we’re also hoping to soon unveil a new way of delivering news, classifieds, and event listings to our readers using modern technology in an easily accessible form. These plans aside, though, we are very aware that a lot of our readership does not have computer access, or the interest or wherewithal to use the internet. Therefore, … Continue reading

Borough President Calls on CB 9 to Postpone DM Search; ‘Potential Issues’ with Candidate and Selection Process: Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz this week advised the chairman of Community Board 9 to postpone the district manager selection process until after April 1. The second round of interviews was scheduled to take place on March 3 at Borough Hall, where the three remaining candidates vying for the position—James McClelland, Scott Wolff and Lisa Gomes—were to be vetted by the board However, in a letter obtained by The Forum, Katz told Chairman Ralph Gonzalez, “While I applaud the efforts … Continue reading

Communities Present Priorities to Borough Board at Budget Hearing

Community board officials, agencies, advocates and civic groups on Monday morning brought their budget needs and wants for Fiscal Year 2016—more cops at certain precincts, better sewer maintenance, find funds to bring hospitals back—before Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Borough Board. The purpose of the hearing, according to Katz’s office, is to obtain the views and recommendations of stakeholders and residents on the proposals contained in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s FY 2016 Preliminary Budget. The input will be … Continue reading

Bill Seeks to Provide Tax Relief for Sandy-Scarred Homeowners

For many south Queens residents, property taxes have taken on an even more significant role over the past two years. Since Superstorm Sandy pillaged parts of the Rockaways and Howard Beach, affected homeowners have seen their property taxes plummet, along with the assessed value of their buildings, due to the extensive damage left in the wake of Mother Nature’s wrath. However, property taxes subsequently skyrocketed as a direct result of post-Sandy home improvements and repairs. Seeking to protect homeowners, Assemblyman … Continue reading

Goldfeder Asks DOT for More Lights at Rockaway Blvd. Underpass

Citing dangerous conditions for pedestrians, an area elected official this week called on the city Department of Transportation to install additional street lights to a Rockaway Boulevard A-Train underpass. After receiving “numerous  complaints” from constituents regarding the poorly lit pathway on the boulevard between 99th and 100th streets, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) sent a letter to Acting Queens DOT Commissioner Jeff Lynch, urging the agency to act quickly, as the street lights on either side of the tracks were … Continue reading

Man Nabbed for Kew Gardens Bomb Threat Hoax

A Flushing man on Tuesday was arrested after threatening to detonate a bomb inside a Kew Gardens building in which the Queens District Attorney, New York State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation have offices, according to a spokesman for DA Richard Brown. Scott Sasonkin, 49, was expected to be arraigned on Wednesday night on a criminal complaint charging him with first-degree reckless endangerment, first-, second- and third-degree falsely reporting an incident, first-degree placing a false bomb and making a terroristic … Continue reading

Schumer, Gillibrand Introduce Sandy Recoupment Fairness Bill

United States Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced last week legislation which would prevent the Federal Emergency Management Administration from recouping disaster relief grants paid out after Superstorm Sandy. FEMA is legally obligated to conduct audits of individual assistance payments to identify improper payments made to disaster victims.  When the agency believes it has uncovered improper payment, it will attempt to recoup the entire grant.  In recent months, FEMA began demanding that Sandy victims pay back thousands of long-spent … Continue reading

Early AM Home Invasion in Ozone Park, Phone Track Leads to Arrest

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, Feb. 25, police in the 106th precinct responded to a burglary taking place at 107th Avenue and 80th Street in Ozone Park.  A woman asleep in her bed had awoken to a noise to find two men in her home, one of them armed. The men were described as dressed in black from head to toe.  They made away with jewels, electronics, and possibly cash, fleeing on foot onto 80th Street. Police were … Continue reading

Judge Grants Madoff Secretary’s Request to Drive to Fla. Prison

A Manhattan federal court judge last week granted Bernie Madoff’s former secretary—who is also a borough native—the opportunity to drive to the Florida prison in which she will serve her six-year sentence, according to published reports. Judge Loretta Taylor Swain last Friday gave the green light to Annette Bongiorno’s request to have her husband escort her by car to Federal Correctional Institution Coleman after she filed court documents detailing her intense fear of flying, according to the New York Daily … Continue reading

Historic Woodhaven Pub Hosts Guided Tour Down Memory Lane

Dozens of history buffs on Tuesday night descended on Neir’s Tavern—itself a link to Woodhaven’s past—to join city historian Kevin Walsh as he narrated a brief trip down Memory Lane via his 48-image “Forgotten Queens” slideshow. “Queens Boulevard—it’s traffic-choked now, it was traffic-choked back then,” Walsh chuckled as seemingly every head in the room delivered a knowing nod simultaneously. The picture on the screen was of the massive thoroughfare well before it earned its nefarious “Boulevard of Death” moniker. An … Continue reading

Sheldon Silver Pleads Not Guilty to Indictment Charges

Minutes after former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to federal extortion, mail- and wire-fraud charges, his attorneys filed an exhaustive motion to dismiss the indictment against the erstwhile Albany powerbroker. The request to toss the indictment is based on, according to Silver’s lawyers, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s “improper extrajudicial statements.” Silver was arrested late last month following a federal fraud and corruption probe charging one of Albany’s “Three Men in a Room” with allegedly using … Continue reading

Queens Library President Reports Capital Funding Needs

Bridget Quinn-Carey, Interim President and CEO of Queens Library, testified this week before the New York City Council Finance Committee jointly with the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations and Subcommittee on Libraries on the library’s capital funding needs. “Right now, our libraries are not able to give New Yorkers the full benefit of what we have to offer. The lack of reliable capital budget support has limited our ability to provide the level of services we … Continue reading

‘Busy Morning’ at JFK Airport Yields Two Guns

Calling it “an unusually busy morning” on Thursday at the security checkpoints at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Transportation Security Administration announced that TSA officers detected two guns in the handbags of two women in unrelated incidents—both before 7:15 a.m. A woman from upstate Chatham, NY, was stopped by authorities after the TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun in the woman’s handbag. According to the TSA, the woman claimed that … Continue reading

Tech Trade Report Reveals Continued Growth in City, Borough

A new report by an information technology industry trade association ranked New York State third in the nation for tech jobs held, totaling 346,500 in 2014. The report, released earlier this month by the Computing Technology Industry Association, said that the state’s tech industry added 5,700 jobs between 2013 and 2014, ranking New York as having the third most tech workers in the nation. The report examined tech employment, wages, and other key economic factors by state. “As the third … Continue reading

Mold: Identifying and Removing the Contamination

Last week, we used this space to define mold and how it can possibly affect your health and the well-being of the more vulnerable among us. Now that we understand it and how it can impact our daily lives, the next step is to learn how to remove mold and contain the contamination.  ***  Mold will grow in your house after any storm or accident that involves flooding. And if not treated properly and removed, it can make you sick. … Continue reading