Monthly Archives: December 2011

Looking Back 2011 – Year in Review

The passage of 2011 has brought us to the threshold of yet another year– our 35th year of publication. Looking ahead we wonder what changes will shape 2012. How will our community be affected by the political climate? Will our quality of life issues be successfully addressed by local legislators and law enforcement or will cuts continue to erode our services? Will our elected officials bring enough money to their districts to bring about improvements and change in addition to … Continue reading

Construction Begins in January, Senior Housing to be Finished by 2014

Seniors in Howard Beach are now closer to getting affordable housing, with project officials declaring Tuesday that they closed the $31 million deal to turn the former Bernard Fineson Center property into an affordable housing complex for seniors, with construction to start next month and finish in 2014. Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, the nonprofit that is overseeing the project, announced that they had closed on $31 million in financing to develop the 3.4 acre property on 155-55 Cross Bay … Continue reading

Howard Beach Native Laid to Rest

If you’ve ever worn a ladies fashion shoe, chances are you can thank Jacquelyn Boutureira for the fit. A “perfect size 6,” Boutureira was a foot model who traveled to China a half dozen times a year to test shoes for Jones Apparel Group. The foot model’s last trip to Asia was cut tragically short, when she collapsed of a hemorrhagic stroke at a hotel in China. She  passed away on  Friday Dec. 16 after she was airlifted New York … Continue reading

Thousands Mourn Fallen Officer

On Tuesday morning, more than 10,000 uniformed officers lined the streets outside St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Babylon. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg were among those who spoke of Figoski’s 20-year career as a department hero and of his loving devotion to his daughters, family and friends. In describing the unparalled commitment Pete Figoski had to his job, to the city of New York, and to his life, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in eulogizing, offered these words, … Continue reading

Former Councilman Monserrate Loses Appeal

Former NewYork State Senator Hiram Monser rate’s conviction for recklessly causing physical injury to his girlfriend during a domestic violence incident at his Jackson Heights apartment inDecember 2008 has been unanimously affirmed by the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court. “The Appellate Division’s affirmance of the trial court’s verdict and sentence conveys a clear message,’ said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Monserrate was convicted on October15, 2009, of third-degree assault following a bench trial presided over by Queens Supreme … Continue reading

Community Board 5 Talks Traffic

  The Department of Transportation intends to make going to school safer for Queens kids in2012. It’s a plan that’s needed in particular by two schools in Community Board 5’s jurisdiction that combined to have 375 accidents near the schools in six years. In a report given to CB5’s Transportation ServicesCommittee last month, DOT officials said the K-8th school St. Stanislaus Kostka in Maspeth had 100 accidents near the school between1998 and 2004. I.S. 77 in Ridgewood had 275 pedestrian … Continue reading

Lost Council Funds Set Blame Flying

Tempers flared last week because old funding from Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley was lost in a scramble of paperwork at the end of 2010. On Dec. 9, the Juniper Parks Civic Association (JPCA) received notification that $3,000 of funding that had been approved in 2010 wasn’t going to come through. Glendale Volunteer Ambulance Corp also lost out on $2,500 that Crowley’s office had awarded in fiscal year 2011. The disconnect came in the middle of a complicated process organizations go through … Continue reading

Speaker Quinn Hosts Small Business Roundtable

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn dropped into Howard Beach on Thursday where she held a small business roundtable at popular neighborhood eatery Lenny’s Clam Bar. Councilman Eric Ulrich opened the event telling the room filled with small business owners and civic leaders he and his city hall colleagues are very concerned with local economics.“When it comes to jobs and helping small businesses there is no Democrat or Republican way, there is just a right way,” Ulrich said. “And I believe … Continue reading

Drowning Under His Water Bill

George Russo says he would have noticed 59,000 cubic feet of water gushing into his building in Richmond Hill. The Department of Environmental Protection disagrees. Russo runs his law practice out of a building he owns on Lefferts Boulevard and rents it out to several other commercial tenants. Since the first quarter of 2010, he’s been trying to dispute a $4,022 water bill charging him for ten times hisnormal amount of water use. He’s had no luck yet. “When I … Continue reading

Two Stabbed in Maspeth Murder-Suicide

A woman died Tuesday after she and her adultson were brutally stabbed at their Maspeth homein the early morning by her boyfriend, who leapt to his death roughly two hours later in front of a nearby oncoming Long Island Rail Road train. Police from the 104th Precinct responded toa 911 request for an emergency at 60-79 56thStreet at 6:05 a.m. Tuesday, according to police officials, where responding officers found Maureen Biermann, 43, of Maspeth, bleeding profusely from a stab wound … Continue reading

Editorial: Justice is Broken

More than ten thousand uniformed police stood outside St. Joseph’s Church in Babylon,Long Island on Monday morning. The solemn assemblage was present to usher Police Officer Peter Figoski, a fallen NYPD hero,to his final resting place. Four daughters walked behind their father in the funeral procession, and as they cried for their monumental loss, we as witnesses of their agony wept along with them. A mother and father stood outside the church where the commanding officer of the 75th Precinct … Continue reading

With Funding Intact, Kew Gardens Hills Library to Begin Renovations Soon

Plans to renovate the Kew Gardens Hills Library appear to be going full swing in progress. Thanks to the city’s recent approval of funding, constructionon renovations at the library is set to begin early next year, library officials say. According to information provided by the Kew Gardens Hills Library, the plan is to expand the current 8,220 square foot building by up to 3,000 square feet—bringing the facility to approximately11,220 feet—to the property line on the Vleigh Place and72nd Road … Continue reading

CEC 27 to Vote on Middle School Choice in February

The controversial middle school choice proposal for parents around Community Education Council (CEC) District 27 could be drawing to a close soon. At Monday night’s CEC 27 meeting at PS114, CEC member John Larkin assured dozens of concerned district parents that his board had not voted on the proposal, and would not do so until at least their Feb. 27 meeting. Addressing previous stories that the board had already taken a vote, Larkin told residents that his board had not … Continue reading

Grant Gets Queens Two New Trains

Two of the diesel engines that run on tracks cutting through Middle Village, Ridgewood and Glendale will get a state-of-the-art,low-emissions upgrade by 2013. Thanks to a grant from Environmental Protection Agency’s National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program, New York will get $2 million to upgrade the engines operating out of the Fresh Pond Terminal railyard in Glendale. The EPA, New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York City Department of Sanitation, and New YorkCity Department of Small Business Services made … Continue reading

Graffiti Pictures on Jamaica Train Taken by WRBA Results in Two Arrests

 Thanks to photos taken by members of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association, two youths accused of vandalizing property around the Jamaica Avenue train station were busted. According to Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Block Residents Association, members of his group in October took photographs of graffiti on the elevated train on Jamaica Avenue. The graffiti, Wendell said, read ‘V.O.D.,’ which stands for Vandals of Destruction. After submitting the pictures to 311 later that month, the association received a … Continue reading