Author Archives: TheForum

Advocates Push for Reauthorization of Zadroga Act

Legislators in the Senate and House of Representatives on Wednesday introduced bills calling for the reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The original law, passed in 2010, provided healthcare and compensation for first responders, workers and residents of the areas around the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack sites. Two main components of the act—the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund—are set to expire later this year and October 2016, respectively. … Continue reading

Grand Jury Investigating Gang Tied to Home Invasions: Report

A federal grand jury has been impaneled and is investigating a crew with ties to the mob that is allegedly responsible for the recent spate of home invasion robberies in south Queens communities, according to an exclusive online report. Sources have indicated to Gang Land News’ Jerry Capeci that prosecutors seeking an indictment have been presenting evidence and witnesses to a grand jury about “dozens” of violent robberies in which masked intruders beat victims, force them to strip naked and … Continue reading

Airports Roundtable Leaves No-Fly Zone

Last week, Port Authority’s Airports Roundtable finally got off the ground at a meeting at Flushing’s York College. After months of debate about the proposed structure of the roundtable, established to bring together concerned parties to address airport noise mitigation and other issues resulting from nearby airports, the group of approximately 100 attendees (three dozen of which were roundtable members representing various community boards, civic groups, and advocacy organizations) came together in earnest under the roof of one roundtable with … Continue reading

Addabbo Lauds Vet Program Funding in New Budget

While acknowledging that the final $142 billion budget “left a lot to be desired in some areas,” state Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) this week praised the package for funding several veterans programs, including initiatives to expand counseling and legal advocacy services; advance research into post traumatic stress disorder; retrofit housing for disabled former members of the military; and help to ensure indigent veterans are laid to rest in dignity. “It’s a good budget overall,” Addabbo said on Tuesday … Continue reading

CB 9 Members Ask Katz to Reconsider Evangelista Ouster

An overwhelming majority of Community Board 9 members Tuesday night voted in favor of sending a letter to Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, requesting that she revisit her decision to decline Dr. Vincent Evangelista’s reappointment to the board for the 2015-2017 term. Evangelista, an Ozone Park podiatrist, reapplied last month to his seat on the advisory body that represents the communities of Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, and Kew Gardens, and was officially denied by Katz. Some board members and … Continue reading

‘Serious Concerns’ About City Parking Proposal for Affordable Housing

Members of the Borough Board on Monday evening voiced their concerns about, and in some cases outright opposition to, a Department of City Planning proposal to eliminate or reduce parking requirements for affordable and senior housing. In its “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” presentation, DCP highlighted the need to modernize zoning across the city, one of the main tenets of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 10-year Housing New York plan. Working with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, nonprofit housing … Continue reading

Borough Leader Jack Friedman Dies at 55

Jack Friedman, executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce and long-time borough advocate and civic leader, died last Thursday. He was 55. According to published reports, the married father of two suffered from diabetes. “Having lived in Queens his entire life, Jack had an intimate knowledge and history, combined with his experience as a small business owner, which allowed him to help countless entrepreneurs. His love of Queens came out in everything that he did and was evident with … Continue reading

De Blasio Under Fire for Some Vets Board Picks

Mayor Bill de Blasio this week is still absorbing sharp criticism over some of his appointments to the Veterans Advisory Board. Established in 1987, the VAB and advises the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs on issues and acts as a liaison between the city and the local veterans’ community. The board is comprised of nine members—five appointed by the mayor and four by the City Council speaker. Last Thursday, de Blasio appointed six new members to serve on the board: Charles Greinsky, … Continue reading

Editorial: Fashionably Late Again?

Whether you love Hillary Clinton or…don’t, or admire Mayor Bill de Blasio or…don’t, it’s hard to understand why he hasn’t endorsed her candidacy for president (yet).  He says she’s been out of the public eye for eight years, and that we haven’t been shown yet her “vision” for presidency.  Aside from the obvious question of how someone who owes so much of his success to the Clintons could be so disloyal in choosing to refrain from endorsing her, are de … Continue reading

Asaro Sentenced in ‘Goodfellas’ Ozone Park Hit

A Mafia scion recently was sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison for his role in a mob hit carried out in Ozone Park by a brutal gangster who was immortalized in the seminal film “Goodfellas,” according to published reports. Jerome Asaro, 56, pleaded guilty last October to accessory after the fact, and appeared in court in late March to receive his term for digging up the remains of mob associate Paul Katz, which had been interred under … Continue reading

Financial Services Mobile Centers Coming to the Community

If you have any questions regarding complicated insurance policies or Superstorm Sandy claims, state Department of Financial Services Mobile Command Centers are on their way to south Queens. On Friday, April 17, the MCCs will be in the Waldbaums parking lot at Cross Bay Boulevard and 156th Avenue in Howard Beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; the following week, the trucks will set up in the municipal parking lot at Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 94th Street in Rockaway Beach, also … Continue reading

106th Cops of the Month Put Dent in Auto Crimes

The three 106th Precinct Cops of the Month for March earned the honors by doing their part to stem the tide of auto crimes in the area, according to their appreciative commanding officer, who pointed out that he had never bestowed the awards to more than two officers in one month. “Because we had such a problem, I had to give it to all three,” said Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff. “The whole team did a great job. It was the … Continue reading

Criminal Justice Initiative will ‘Modernize’ System: de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Hon. Jonathan Lippman, chief judge of the State of New York, on Tuesday announced immediate changes that they have indicated will modernize the criminal justice system and improve the quality of justice in the five boroughs. The plan is the first stage of Justice Reboot, a new initiative which de Blasio said solidifies a long-term commitment to reduce unnecessary incarceration safely and promote confidence in the fairness of the justice system. “Improving the quality … Continue reading

Crime Chat: Identity Theft

Among the fastest growing crimes in our digital world today is identity theft. Perhaps because much of our world is now digitally-based from computers to cell phones, the availability of what was once private and personal information is far more accessible to creative and motivated thieves. Constant vigilance concerning your personal financial information and status is therefore required. In 2013, over thirteen million Americans were victims of identity theft, with an estimate of one person being victimized every two seconds, … Continue reading

Upper Hand

So you want to learn how to play Holdem poker, or understand how the good ones get so good?  We may not be Phil Ivey, but we do have a few pointers for you. Poker began in the 1800’s, and at the turn of the next century, Texas Holdem (or Hold ‘em) was incarnated.  Whether you call it Texas Holdem or just plain Holdem, it’s the same game – whereby each player is dealt two hold cards face down, and … Continue reading