Author Archives: TheForum

Pre-K program lands in Woodhaven

Parents of young children in Woodhaven will not have to look high and low for open pre-kindergarten classes come September, because the Woodhaven Public Library will be rolling out its free program in the 2014-2015 school year. It is the first of its kind not only in the city, but also in the entire country. Southern Queens was seen as an area that greatly needed universal pre-K classes, due to competitiveness of the current programs, according to Joann King, director … Continue reading

No new cops coming to 106th Pct.

The 106th Precinct in Ozone Park, along with precincts across the rest of the borough, will not see any of the city’s 1,000 new cops hitting the streets this summer due to a more severe need for officers in city districts with higher crime. Under the terms of the city budget agreement reached in June, 200 civilian workers will be hired for desk jobs that are currently held by officers so they can return to patrol. Another 600 officers were … Continue reading

Group prepares rally for Civic Virtue’s return

Time has not put a damper on the fight to bring Civic Virtue back to Kew Gardens and advocates said they were planning a major rally for the cause. Richard Iritano, leader of the Civic Virtue Task Force, said he and his team were making hundreds of phone calls and emails to organize one a massive effort against the removal of the historic statue and call for its immediate return to the front of Borough Hall. After months of waiting … Continue reading

Bus clocks coming to Woodhaven

Commuting by bus in southern Queens will soon get a little bit easier. Numerous bus countdown clocks are expected to be installed in the Community Board 9 district over the next year. Each clock costs about $20,000 and use a GPS tracking system installed on the buses to estimate their arrival time, officials said. So far, only two countdown clocks have been installed in Staten Island, but the city Department of Transportation said it plans to install them across the … Continue reading

Workin’ at the Car Wash!

Armed with hoses, brushes, squeegees and towels, a small army of volunteers joined with Dr. Jerry Antonino to raise money for the Our Lady of Grace Soccer program on Sunday. The program this year celebrates its twentieth year as part of CYO Soccer and since its inception in 1993 has become a cherished institution in the Howard Beach community. Despite the threat of overcast skies throughout the morning, cars continued to roll through the team of bumper scrubbers, wheel washers … Continue reading

Political newcomers face uphill battle in boro

As many political experts have pointed out, the questions surrounding the long-standing dominance and subsequent effects of party politics have never been easy to answer – perhaps because they are as varied and complex as Queens itself. Some in the borough contended that dominant parties make it more difficult for political neophytes to enter the fray while others said that the traditional political machines have made strides to better represent Queens’ diverse and ever-growing population. “Newcomers to politics often find … Continue reading

Beltrani to chair Queens GOP

Queens GOP Executive Vice Chairman Robert Beltrani assumed the role of chairman in the wake of Phil Ragusa’s death as the party continues its efforts to get more Republicans into elected office. Beltrani, who works as a judge with the New York State Division of Parole, was automatically named chairman to fill the vacancy left last month when Ragusa died. He will serve as chairman for the remainder of Ragusa’s term, which runs through September 2015, according to GOP spokesman … Continue reading

Top cop honored at 106th Precinct

Good deeds do not go unrewarded at the 106th Precinct. Officer Matthew Peters was presented with the June cop of the month award during a crowded 106th Precinct community council meeting on July 9 for swiftly catching a robber and returning an elderly victim’s stolen bags to her. Peters, 34, was one of two officers sent out to look for an alleged perpetrator after they heard a 65-year-old woman had been robbed. While canvassing, Peters said he saw a man fitting … Continue reading

Flood mitigation plans press on in Broad Channel

The city moved forward with flood mitigation work in Broad Channel over the weekend in some of the most vulnerable areas, the Transportation Department said. Regular flooding along Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel received a bit of extra attention over recent weeks when the city set out to rebuild roads at higher elevations by bringing bulkheads to West 11th, 12th and 13th roads in Broad Channel. A spokesman for the DOT said most of the work along Cross Bay … Continue reading

Goldfeder fights offensive ads

Rockaway beach bums were slapped with a controversial sky advertisement over the weekend and one southern Queens lawmaker said he has seen enough. Reports of an airplane sporting a pro-swastika flag over the Rockaways sent Queens residents into confusion as to why the sensitive symbol was up in the sky. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) took that opportunity to call on the city Department of Consumer Affairs to up its efforts in combatting inappropriate signage. “I have two young … Continue reading

LIRR strike averted: Cuomo

All parties came aboard Thursday to reach a tentative deal between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Long Island Rail Road unions just days before a strike could have shut down the system. Gov. Andrew Cuomo invited representatives from both sides of the table to meet with him Thursday morning to settle the four-year-old contract dispute and hash out a deal before workers started the potential Sunday strike. By that afternoon, the parties agreed to a 17 percent wage increase without … Continue reading

Fighting floods in Lindenwood

Howard Beach resident Joseph Annicaro said he was frustrated by the state of his home after devastating floods left it in disrepair. Annicaro, 50, said he had to redo his entire basement after Hurricane Sandy as well as the torrential downpour on April 30 that dumped more than five inches of water, setting him back nearly $40,000. “I had to redo the while basement again. Get a new washer and dryer, a new stove, new boiler and refrigerator,” Annicaro said. … Continue reading

Key Food keeps quiet on Howard Beach site

Key Food is giving a new meaning to “coming soon.” It was 11 months ago when the former Duane Reade building at 163-20 Cross Bay Blvd. first sported a Key Food sign with the caption, “Coming Soon” in bold lettering. And with that 12th month quickly approaching, the popular supermarket chain has remained mum as to when “soon” will in fact arrive. A representative for Key Food hung up on two separate occasions when being asked for an anticipated opening date … Continue reading

Lawmakers talk traffic relief for Far Rockaway

Lawmakers’ pleas to ease traffic on Beach 9th Street were finally answered this week when the city agreed to install traffic signals over the next two months, officials said. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Far Rockaway) teamed up with City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) earlier this year with hopes of persuading the Transportation Department to put more traffic signals along Beach 9th Street and Roosevelt Court. The city got back to them this week with a commitment to fulfill those wishes by Sept. … Continue reading