Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mild Weather to Blame for Jump in Robberies

Weather might be the culprit in a spike in the number of robberies since Jan. 1 compared to last year, police said. There were 179 major crimes in the 104th Precinct over the 28-day period since the beginning of the year including 39 robberies, Captain Michael Cody, commanding officer of the precinct said Feb. 16 at a Committee of Organizations of Precincts meeting. That’s almost double the robberies over the same period in 2011. “We’re up 19 robberies from last … Continue reading

Group Asks for Open Space in Glendale

Glendale pedestrians might get more room to stretch their legs along 70th Street if a proposed pedestrian plaza comes to fruition. At the behest of the Local Ridgewood Development Corporation (LRDC), the Department of Transportation (DOT) is looking into closing the small portion of 70th Street between Cooper and Myrtle avenues to create the plaza. The idea has already won funding through the Plaza Program in which the DOT partners with local nonprofits to create open spaces in neighborhoods. Theodore … Continue reading

Store in Ridgewood had 7,200 Stun Guns

Police found 7,200 electronic stun guns this month in a Ridgewood store and arrested the manager who had displayed some of them for sale, the Queens district attorney said. Xiao Zhang, 43, manages the store Top Choice Trading Inc. at 47-38 Metropolitan Avenue and was arrested on Feb. 6. She is charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The district attorney’s criminal complaint alleges Zhang had boxes of the stun guns stashed above the store in Ridgewood. She also … Continue reading

Volunteers Still Going Strong After 84 Years

The West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Corps gathered with hundreds of guests last week at Russo’s on the Bay to celebrate their 84th Annual Installation, Dinner and Dance. Many years have passed since the dinners and celebrations began and much has changed but the one thing that remains constant is the flow of neighborhood residents who continue to sing the praises of those they say are their “local lifesavers.” The event has now become the hallmark of the … Continue reading

Forum Exclusive: Supermarket Speculation Abounds

  Speculation continues to swirl about the fate of two Howard Beach Waldbaum’s Supermarkets rumored to be on the verge of closure. Unofficial sources told The Forum that the Waldbaum’s property within the Lindenwood shopping center would be taken over and maintained by another supermarket chain, however no such commitment has been made with regard to the Cross Bay Boulevard store. Customers at the Cross Bay Boulevard store say they believe the rumors are true because of what they say … Continue reading

Inside the Park Home Run

There’s a new “game” in town—and according to many local parents and young ballplayers—one that was long overdue. And for the owners of Extra Innings Sports, the proof of that has come in many forms. Crowded sessions, parents waiting outside in their cars for the complex to open up in the morning, bookings from teams, leagues and schools, are just some of the indicators of how the local community feels about the new business venture. The facility opened its doors … Continue reading

Bloomberg Doesn’t Back Down on Turnaround

Despite a breakthrough from Albany in the deadlocked debate on teacher evaluations, 33 city schools—including eight in Queens—may still replace half their teachers as part of the contentious turnaround plan. In the early morning of Thursday, Feb. 16, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State United Teachers union reached an agreement to implement teacher evaluations for the state. They also hammered out an appeals process that could apply in New York City. If the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) … Continue reading

Slow Snow Removal Led to Grandmother’s Death, Alleges Suit

A lawsuit filed recently in Queens places the blame on the city for the death of an elderly Forest Park grandmother during the blizzard of 2010. Queens residents Faith Radvin and Robin Martucci, the daughters of late Forest Park resident Gail Radvin, 73, have named the city, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and the city’s Fire Department (FDNY) as defendants in a civil suit alleging they were responsible for the death of Gail Radvin through their failure to maintain roadways … Continue reading

Rego Park Teacher Accused of Sexual Abuse

A Rego Park teacher who was investigated in 2000 for inappropriately touching students was arrested Thursday, Feb. 16 for allegedly sexually abusing two boys in his classroom last school year. Wilbert Cortez, 49, is a computer teacher at P.S. 174. Between Sept. 7, 2010 and June 30, 2011, Cortez allegedly placed his hands over the pants of two boys and rubbed their genitals. The incidents happened separately, and one included multiple occasions when Cortez allegedly rubbed one boy’s crotch and … Continue reading

Casino Employees Fake Player Cards

Two employees at Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct Racetrack face up to seven years in prison after they were charged with generating and distributing between 70 and 200 fraudulent casino player cards, all of which were worth $100 in casino credit, over a seven week period. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown identified the two employees as Moises Jones, who lived in the Bronx and Rolanda Roberts, of Brooklyn. Jones and Roberts were charged, on Wednesday, Feb. 22, with one count … Continue reading

Comptroller Launches Anonymous No-Waste Hotline

City Comptroller John Liu announced Wednesday that his office was launching a hotline for the public, city employees and contractors to report possible wasteful spending by city agencies. The hotline, called 212-NO-WASTE, was unveiled as part of Liu’s ‘Campaign to Cut Waste’ during his State of the City Address last week. Staffed by trained professionals in the Comptroller’s Community Action Center, the new hotline is designed so that New Yorkers can make anonymous reports on city agencies wastefully spending money. … Continue reading

Thousands Attend Middle Village Bone Marrow Drive

After word got out that a young Middle Village boy needed a bone marrow transplant, thousands of local residents, and people from elsewhere in New York, came out and got their cheek swabbed in hopes of becoming a donor. About 1,900 people went into the registry at the bone marrow drive on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Our Lady of Hope Catholic School, an event aimed at helping Colin Flood, the 6-year-old Middle Village resident who has been battling acute lymphocytic … Continue reading

Editorial: Slipping Through Cracks

Once again the unthinkable happened—a teacher may have sexually molested his own young students. And what’s worse—it’s not the first time. Wilbert Cortez, a 49-year-old a computer teacher at a Rego Park school, was arrested on Feb. 16 for allegedly touching some of his students in an inappropriate manner. He had been accused of doing the same at a different school in Brooklyn in 2000, but that investigation ended with a disciplinary letter in his file and a probationary period. … Continue reading

Traffic Barrier Hurts Retail

With one traffic change already in the books, a local politician has shifted his attention to another transportation issue. State Senator Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) is asking the Department of Transportation (DOT) to remove the traffic barrier on Liberty Avenue that prevents people driving on Cross Bay Boulevard from turning onto that avenue. This comes after news came out last week that DOT changed parking regulations on the north side of Rockaway Boulevard between Cross Bay and Liberty avenues. It … Continue reading

Woman Struck By Car on Cross Bay Boulevard

A woman was hospitalized Monday after being struck by a car after grocery shopping on Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach. Emergency medical staff were at the scene around 4 p.m. on Feb. 20 to tend to a woman—whose name was not released—following a motor vehicle accident. Witnesses told The Forum that the woman was apparently grocery shopping, as she was seen carrying bags when she walked from the corner of 157th Avenue across Cross Bay Boulevard. As she was … Continue reading