Monthly Archives: April 2012

Ulrich Announces Senate Bid

In an unconventional announcement, City Councilman Eric Ulrich surprised most of the political scene when he posted a YouTube video at 10 a.m. on Tuesday saying he will run for State Senate. “Today I am excited to announce that I will be a candidate for State Senate in District 15,” Ulrich said in the video. “This was not an easy decision for me to make. I love the job that I already have, and I had every intention of running … Continue reading

Rodriguez Pleads Guilty in Death of George Gibbons

    Peter Rodriguez pleaded guilty on Friday to charges that he killed Maspeth bar owner George Gibbons in a drunken, wrong-way collision on a Long Island Expressway service road in October. He will be sentenced on May 7 to three-and-a-half to seven years in prison for negligent homicide and leaving the scene of a crime without reporting it. Rodriguez, a 37-year-old Brooklyn resident, has been held without bail since his capture on Nov. 15—a month after the crash. He was … Continue reading

Council Members Try to Exempt Nonprofits from Trash Fees

Legislators are pushing back against a proposed plan that would require nonprofit organizations to start paying the city for trash pickup. Last year, the Department of Sanitation announced it would start charging a fee to collect trash at buildings that have a tax-exempt status for nonprofit use. However, Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield and now Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Maspeth, Woodside) are objecting and have introduced legislation to counter the plan. The two say the policy would put an undue … Continue reading

Police Offer Theft Prevention Tips for iPhones

People who have had their iPhone stolen know it happens all too quickly. In less than a minute, they go from having their face buried in their phone, checking text messages or surfing the internet, to having it snatched out of their hands and never seeing it again. Police officers have been warning residents of a spike in robberies of Apple products, and trying to get the word out that there are things you can do to make sure the … Continue reading

Editorial: Hate Is Not Welcome in Howard Beach

The man who came to Howard Beach toting signs in 2007 accusing then Councilman Joe Addabbo of being a racist pig as well as stating that racism was not only alive in the Councilman but thriving throughout the community– could be the next Congressional representative for Howard Beach. In a strange twist of redistricting, the confusing landscape surrounding congressional district reapportionment has seen that which was the 10th congressional district — entirely comprised of Brooklyn—become the 8th congressional district. In … Continue reading

112th Precinct Talks Graffiti, Latest Crime Stats

Crime is a mixed bag in Forest Hills and Rego Park, with two crimes on the rise and two others seeing a decrease, according to the latest crime statistics from the 112th Precinct announced at April’s 112th Precinct Community Council meeting. Deputy Inspector Christopher Tamola, commanding officer of the 112th, first spoke about two anti-semitic graffiti incidents that happened over the past month. The most recent one occurred on Friday, April 13, when police found a spray-painted swastika and racial … Continue reading

Woman Missing from Forest Hills

Police are asking for the public’s help finding a woman who disappeared after leaving her home in Forest Hills one evening more than a week ago. Lina Rafailova, 32, was last seen leaving her residence at 77-34 Austin Street on Friday, April 13 at 8 p.m. Police described Rafailova as white, 140 pounds and 5 feet 3 inches tall. She has brown hair, brown eyes and was wearing a green sweat suit with black Nike sneakers and a black hat … Continue reading

Turnaround Plan Blasted One Last Time Before Vote

  Students, teachers and school leaders at John Adams High School in Ozone Park squeezed in some final words last week about the turnaround program before a vote scheduled for Thursday, April 26. Like the seven other Queens high schools on the list, John Adams took the cathartic moment to blast the plan that could replace half the teachers and rename the school to claim grant funding. The bottom level of John Adams auditorium was packed with hundreds of students … Continue reading

Hit-and-Run Driver Leaves Victim Critically Injured

A hit-and-run driver left 50-year-old Clifford Bishundat in critical condition Monday night after striking him near the intersection of Jamaica Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard around 7 p.m. Bishundat was crossing the street when Ian Glasgow, 59, plowed into him and took off from the accident scene. A good Samaritan was able to stop Glasgow about four blocks away from the scene. Police apprehended the driver and administered a breathalyzer check, which did not show blood alcohol levels above the legal … Continue reading

6th Congressional District Campaign Roundup

Members of the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities in Queens rallied behind Assemblywoman Grace Meng on Monday. They formed South Asians for Grace to bolster her campaign as she fights through a contentious Democratic primary against Assemblyman Rory Lancman and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley. “When elected officials attack immigrants, they are really attacking the American Dream,” said Sayu Bhojwani, former NYC Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs. “In Congress, Grace Meng will protect the values that make our country great by fighting for … Continue reading

Ulrich Tests Experimental Budget Process

Residents of several neighborhoods around the city got a small taste of what it’s like to be involved in the city budget process. Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) was among the four council members that were involved in a participatory budget, which allowed residents of their district to vote on what programs or local facilities get funding in their neighborhoods. Ulrich did this for people that live in the Rockaways and Broad Channel, which is part of his district. They … Continue reading

South Ozone Park Sex Trafficker Sentenced to 10 Years

A South Ozone Park man was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison last week for being a sex trafficker and forcing a female runaway under the age of 16 to prostitute herself around Queens. According to the Queens District Attorney, Michael Summerville, 33, of 135-50 128th St. in South Ozone Park, befriended the then 14-year-old victim in January 2010 after she ran away from home. Engaging in sexual activity with her, Summerville eventually pimped her out until she … Continue reading

Two Queens Men Charged with Sex Crimes

Two Queens men have been charged in separate cases involving sex crimes, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s office announced on Thursday, April 19. The two men charged are Christopher Whitfield, who lived on 113th Avenue in Queens Village and Fernando Del Rio, who lived on Smart Street in Flushing. According to the district attorney, Whitfield, who is 24 years old, faces seven charges, including first-degree kidnapping, sex trafficking, second-degree promoting prostitution and second-degree assault. Del Rio, 41, faces five charges, … Continue reading

Queens Schools Rally for Beacon Program

Chants of “save our beacon” “no more cuts” and “we won’t stop!” echoed loudly outside of Queens Borough Hall on Thursday, April 19, as several Queens schools rallied to protest the possible closure of their Beacon after-school programs. Eight schools across the five boroughs are slated to lose their Beacon programs at the end of the school year in June, which will be chosen from a list of sixteen schools. Half of those 16 schools on the list are in … Continue reading

Vandals Worry Woodhaven Residents

Residents at last week’s Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association meeting (WRBA), raised concerns about kids from Junior High School 210 causing trouble, including standing near moving cars in the street, after they get out of school. Two politicians in the running for a seat in congress also stopped by to speak with residents, who they would represent should they win that seat. Suzanne Catoggio and Sharisse Sexton, two school safety officers from the 102nd Precinct, spoke to residents regarding problems after … Continue reading