Author Archives: TheForum

Boro project battles human trafficking

Borough leaders lauded a new initiative this week that will help victims of human trafficking seek the help they need without the red tape. The Queens Human Trafficking Intervention Court teamed up with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office and the Sanctuary for Families to launch the Pro-Bono Project with the goal of giving foreign-born victims free legal representation on immigration law matters through U- and T-Visas or asylum. Under the new project, a total six pro-bono attorneys at the Queens … Continue reading

Landmarks Commission rejects Maspeth Fire House designation

The city Landmarks Preservation Commission ruled that the Maspeth firehouse does not meet the criteria to be a designated landmark, despite a great deal of community support on the matter, a letter from the commission said. It was the second time the commission rejected the application for historic designation. Brother and sister Maspeth natives Steve and Maxine Fisher have been leading the charge to preserve the fire house and urged the commission to make the fire house a historic landmark … Continue reading

Queens lawmakers rally ahead of transit hearing

A state Assembly hearing will test the transportation waters for the more immobile parts of Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island next month, borough lawmakers announced this week. In Queens, state Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) and state Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) teamed up with the legislative body’s committee on corporations, authorities and commissions to host a public oversight hearing on transit-starved communities, scheduled for Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. in Manhattan. Each of the lawmakers have been steadfast advocates … Continue reading

Sunset Cove to receive cut of $102 million funding

Sunset Cove and other projects in Jamaica Bay received a total of $10 million in federal funding to help them stay strong against future storms and build a natural habitat, the U.S Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced. The cove is among 54 sites along the Atlantic Coast slated to get a cut of $102.7 million in matching federal grants to fund science-based ideas to restore wetlands and other natural habitats. The intention of the money, Jewell said, is … Continue reading

Halloran convicted in federal corruption trial

Former City Councilman Dan Halloran’s eight-week trial came to a close Tuesday when a federal jury found him guilty of bribery and corruption charges on a five-count indictment. Halloran, who used to represent communities in northeast Queens, was convicted of helping to funnel taxpayer dollars from discretionary funding to pay for a drummed up scheme with two insiders who later revealed they were undercover FBI informants, prosecutors said. He was also found guilty of his participation in an elaborate scheme … Continue reading

Legos come to life at Atlas Park

A boy shouted out, “Holy Cow,” as the motor-powered Lego model he just helped build started to come alive with its gears moving suddenly. Bricks 4 Kidz group launched a free summer program inside the Shops at Atlas Park to build up children’s mechanical skills while they build moving Lego models. “As they have fun, every child walks away knowing they’ve accomplished something,” said Lamacca Holmes, a teacher at the summer program. “And then they can say, ‘Hey mom look … Continue reading

Meng delivers small business boost

Just over four months since bringing a congressional hearing to her home borough, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) followed through on her commitment to bringing more resources to Queens’ small businesses. A small business development center was announced as the borough’s newest resource for entrepreneurs looking for more dynamic assistance in arguably the most diverse borough of New York City. The program, housed at LaGuardia Community College, will plant an advisor in the Flushing branch of the Queens Library to … Continue reading

Robbery turns fatal in Richmond Hill

Two men from south Queens were arrested and charged with murder on July 16 in the fatal beating and robbery of a Richmond Hill man, ending a crime spree by the suspects that began in early June, the district attorney’s office said. Nestor Rodriguez, 20, of Woodhaven, and Carlos Genno, 22, of Ozone Park, allegedly attacked Nazmul Islam, 55, a leader of the U.S chapter of the Bangladeshi ruling party, in Richmond Hill on July 9, Queens District Attorney Richard … Continue reading

Howard Beach kids kick it with Cosmos

Summertime for these young Howard Beach athletes means face time with some of the state’s top soccer pros. More than 50 kids between ages six and 15 teamed up with members of the New York Cosmos soccer club last week as part of the Our Lady of Grace Soccer Association’s summer camp program. Members of the North American Soccer League team ran through drills and taught lessons in teamwork all week long at the Pals Oval in Ozone Park, looking … Continue reading

Avella money revamps Queens College lab

A Queens College science research and teaching laboratory will soon receive what many consider to be a much-needed facelift after state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) provided $2 million to the school. The classroom in need of renovations was originally built as a teaching laboratory for physical chemistry in 1949 and was changed into a student research laboratory in 2010. The switch only facilitated the building of new floors, leaving the original tabletops, gas, vacuum and water supply lines and wooden … Continue reading

Rockaway line made green in QueensWay symposium

The winning projects of the biennial Friends of the QueensWay symposium on July 19 all made use of old and unused objects that can be found along the defunct Rockaway Beach line, but transformed them into ways to help turn the 3.5 stretch of railway into a public greenway. Carrie Wilbert’s $5,000-winning project, The Queensway Steps, was brought to life in Paris, where she is studying. Ivan Mrakovcic of the Friends of the QueensWay group said members were extremely interested … Continue reading

Richmond Hill library closes for roof renovations

A Queens Library branch in Richmond Hill will be closed temporarily this week in order to make way for roof renovations, the branch announced. The library, at 103-34 Lefferts Blvd., was slated to close its doors at the end of business July 26 so crews can move in and install a new roof with an anticipated reopening date near the end of September, a spokesman said. Limited library services were also established at a mobile library to be used near … Continue reading

Stringer shows commitment to Lindenwood flood victims

The city Department of Environmental Protection has not finished a final report on the April 30 flood that severely damaged homes in Lindenwood, but city Comptroller Scott Stringer said his office would move forward with reimbursing those who suffered damage without the report. Though residents have become impatient with the city’s progress in helping them, the comptroller’s office said its inspectors have been out in the community, evaluating homes that were damaged and in need of repair. The comptroller’s bureau … Continue reading

West Nile spotted in boro

Mosquitoes around parts of northeast Queens were found to be carrying West Nile Virus, the city Health Department reported, but posed no threat to the residents living in the southern part of the borough. It was the first West Nile detection of the season, the city said, mostly emanating from Douglaston and College Point as well as part of Staten Island. No human cases of the virus were reported, the DOH said, and there was no cause for alarm just … Continue reading

Boro calls for bike share

Queens wants its fair share of city wheels. Lawmakers and transportation advocates rallied around legislation that would help accelerate the Citi Bike share program into Queens, where demand has already proven its presence. U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) spearheaded the Bike to Work Act of 2014, which would give pre-tax commuter benefits to workers. “Thousands of New Yorkers have already embraced the city’s bike share program as a viable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective form of public transportation,” Crowley said. … Continue reading