Author Archives: TheForum

Flushing: Your Chinatown in Queens

Since the early 80’s, when the New York Times labeled Flushing “the new Chinatown,” the Korean population of Flushing has increased and a plethora of Asian markets and restaurants have flourished there. Asians are the majority in Flushing, with 44% of the population hailing from China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Korea, Japan, and other nations. The authenticity of Flushing’s restaurants, shops, and services makes it a draw for those outside these Asian communities – it’s an opportunity for non-Asians to … Continue reading

When Moore is Less

On the heels of the Oscar nominations and the various controversies that came out of those announcements, it wasn’t altogether surprising that a movie like American Sniper exited the fray a target of criticism. “Pro-war,” and “anti-Muslim,” or even nuanced critiques of Bradley Cooper’s “lack of range” in the lead role may well be justified comments on the film and its weaknesses, but to categorically call snipers “cowards” as Michael Moore did this week is ignorant at best; at worst … Continue reading

Brooklyn Man Charged in Brutal Bayside Push-in Robbery

A Brooklyn man last week was ordered held without bail on burglary, robbery and assault charges in an April 2014 home invasion that left an elderly Bayside couple seriously injured, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Vincente Barzola, 39, of East New York, was arraigned last Thursday on first- and second-degree burglary, first- and second-degree robbery and second-degree assault charges. According to the complaint, Barzola, along with previously apprehended co-defendant Christopher Ramirez, 24, rang the doorbell of John and … Continue reading

Cambria Heights Barber Convicted in Stab Slay

A Cambria Heights barber last week was found guilty in the stabbing death of a customer over headphones, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Cedric Simpson was convicted last Wednesday of first-degree manslaughter for the March, 2014, incident in which he slashed Carl Richardson, 19, with a pair of scissors in the neck and upper back, and stabbing him once in the chest outside Select Stylez Barbershop on Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton. According to Brown, Simpson bought a pair … Continue reading

Former Gym Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sexual Contact with Teen Boys

A former Ridgewood public high school teacher last week pleaded guilty to having sexual contact with two male students. Joy Morsi, 40, of Long Island, copped to third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sexual act last Friday. According to the charges, Morsi, a former gym teacher at Grover Cleveland High School, engaged in sexual acts with two students on school grounds. She had sex in the school basement and other areas on campus with the first victim, who was 16 when … Continue reading

Corona Man Re-arrested on Child Porn Charges

A grand jury has indicted a Corona man on charges of engaging a young Oklahoma girl over the Internet, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced on Wednesday. Jorel Fowler, 24, also known as Jorel Fower, according to Brown, was allegedly days away from traveling to see the 13-year-old in person for sex when he was arrested in March 2014 for luring other children to play “The Game,” a program allegedly created by the defendant which he used on the website … Continue reading

Bowling in Ozone Park for a Cause

Members of the Rotary Club of Southwest Queens on Sunday afternoon were joined by elected officials at Cozy Bowl in Ozone Park to knock down some pins and raise funds for veterans, including helping recently discharged post-Sept. 11 service members with transitioning back into civilian life. “For over 100 years, the Rotarians have led on important issues to truly make a difference around the world,” said City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). “Post 9/11 veterans deal with complex issues reintegrating back into … Continue reading

Queens College Students Head South to Follow the ‘Footsteps’ of a Pioneer

Eighteen Queens College students were set to return to the Kissena Boulevard campus on Thursday after a field trip none of them will soon forget. Rabbi Moshe Shur, an adjunct professor of Jewish studies at the Flushing school, led the diverse collective “In the Footsteps of Dr. King,” Shur’s pilot program that takes students to Atlanta, Ga. and Birmingham, Ala., in an effort to bridge a generational disconnect by deepening their understanding of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and … Continue reading

Magazine Hails Borough as Great Place to ‘Start’

It seems that Queens’ cache continues to rise. Hot on the heels of its most recent honor as a top travel destination, a report this month by Popular Mechanics magazine named the borough one of the best startup cities in America for aspiring entrepreneurs. The piece cited numerous factors, including cheaper rents compared to trendy Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as new support for entrepreneurs, such as the Coalition for Queens, a nonprofit that helps attract, grow and retain local … Continue reading

Top Aids Resign, New Trustees Appointed as Library Shakeup Continues

A new week has bequeathed but more new developments in the now year-long saga of the beleaguered Queens Borough Public Library. Four top aids to ousted former Chief Executive Officer and President Tom Galante resigned last week, according to a Daily News report. Each individual was a vice president in the Library system and earned nearly $200,000 a year in various positions. This marks five resignations in the past month for the Library. Jennifer Manley, director of government and community … Continue reading

Building Collapse, Slow Recovery Cause Volunteer Ambulance Corps to Shutter

The partial collapse of a building on Jamaica Avenue in 2013 has had a devastating domino effect on the Woodhaven community. It seems that the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, whose headquarters are located in the building next to the affected edifice, will have to close its doors for good. Queens Supreme Court Judge Diccia Pineda-Kirwan has granted a construction extension to the owner of the partially collapsed building that once housed a furniture shop. This is a troubling development, … Continue reading

Partners Chase Down 102nd Precinct Cop of the Month Awards

  Note to prospective perpetrators who might be thinking about doing business within the confines of the 102nd Precinct: Don’t bother running. Fleet of foot Police Officers AnnMarie Tyrie and Erik Contreras earned December Cop of the Month honors after chasing down a burglary suspect and retrieving the stolen property, all without injury to crook or cop. “This is certainly much appreciated in the 102,” said Dep. Inspector Henry Sautner, commanding officer of the precinct. Tyrie and Contreras’s heroics, Sautner … Continue reading

Single Bust Yields Four Arrests for 106th Precinct Cop of the Month

The 106th Precinct Cop of the Month for December is no stranger to the honor. Veteran Police Officer Jennifer Martinez earned the award twice before being recognized a third time last Wednesday at the precinct’s Community Council meeting. Martinez was presented with the latest plaque after her work in tracking down four perpetrators who had allegedly robbed an Ozone Park gas station at gunpoint. According to Lt. Frank DiPreta, the command’s Special Operations coordinator, on Dec. 4 around 10 p.m., … Continue reading

Housing, Immigrant Communities, Jobs Among State of Borough Topics

It’s the end of January: Time for all of the “State of the…” government progress reports. Borough President Melinda Katz is set to deliver her first address detailing the achievements of her inaugural year in office, and her vision for “The World’s Borough” over the next 12 months, this Thursday, Jan. 22, at Queens College in Flushing. In a roundtable question-and-answer media session on Tuesday at Borough Hall, Katz previewed her speech, discussing a wide range of issues affecting the … Continue reading

Crime Dips in 106th Precinct, but Schiff not Satisfied

Overall crime in the 106th Precinct appears to be trending downward, but this is no time to rest on laurels, its commanding officer said last week. Dep. Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, who has been overseeing the south central Queens command since September, 2013, indicated that compared to this review period last year—the final week of the previous year and the first week of the new one—the 106th is “down about a hundred crimes.” And according to Capt. Carlos Fernandez, commanding officer … Continue reading