Author Archives: TheForum

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 50 years for Killing Friend

A Brooklyn man last week was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison for the 2010 shootings of two men. Miguel Molinar, 50, of Bushwick, was found guilty last month following a two-week jury trial of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. According to trial testimony, Molinar drove out to a construction site on the evening of Nov. 19, 2010, while victims Isidore Francis and Emmanuel Simington followed in a separate … Continue reading

Senior Center Showcases Talented Guys and Gals

Ralph Rega last Friday serenaded seniors and staff with a little Tony Bennett during the annual talent show at the Howard Beach Senior Center on Cross Bay Boulevard. Many residents entertained the appreciative audience with song, dance moves and some jokes.

Ulrich Honored by Helmets to Hardhats Group

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) received the Freedom Award from New York City Helmets to Hardhats this week at their second annual luncheon. The Freedom Award is the highest honor given by the organization and is awarded specifically to individuals who show exemplary service to city veterans. Helmets to Hardhats assists transitioning service members with job placement in the city’s construction industry. The organization works with 15 trade organizations citywide, representing approximately 100,000 working people. Since his appointment as Chair … Continue reading

Area Builder Using Revolutionary Eco-Friendly Materials

If you see a new home being built in Howard Beach or Ozone Park, chances are Gustavo Badolati and F1 Construction, Inc. are helming the project. And thanks to a new accord with Eco Building Products, Badolati and his crews are using environmentally friendly lumber that is shifting the way houses are framed, from the traditional to the revolutionary. “For a long time, since [Superstorm] Sandy, we’ve been looking for different ways to build and rebuild,” Badolati said last Friday … Continue reading

DOC Outlines Plan to Reduce Rikers Island Violence

With Rikers Island wracked by a slew of headline-grabbing scandals over the past year, the commissioner of the Department of Correction this week outlined a package of reforms aimed at reducing jail violence, and enhancing the safety of staff and inmates. Commissioner Joseph Ponte, speaking in front of the city Board of Correction on Tuesday, announced that the department’s reforms call for installing security cameras in every DOC facility on Rikers Island within the next 18 months. Cameras, Ponte noted, … Continue reading

Jamaica Basketball Coach Charged with Possession of Child Porn

A Jamaica basketball coach this week was awaiting arraignment on charges of possessing child pornography after a 15-year-old boy he coached told his parents about his alleged video chats with the man, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Robert Walker, 42, faces a criminal complaint charging him with use of a child in a sexual performance, first-degree disseminating indecent material to minors, possessing a sexual performance by a child and endangering the welfare of a child. According to the complaint, … Continue reading

Sautner Praises 102nd Precinct Cops of the Month

Dep. Inspector Henry Sautner, commanding officer of the 102nd Precinct, on Tuesday night heaped heavy praise on October’s Cops of the Month: Police Officer Jonathan Morales and Police Officer Darrell Glenn. Spotlighting the poise the officers displayed last month during a particularly frenzied incident involving a dog attack, Sautner, speaking at the monthly 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting, said “The control and restraint that [Morales and Glenn] showed was nothing short of remarkable.” On Oct. 28, Morales and Glenn arrived … Continue reading

Retired Cop Sentenced for Slaying Wife

A Briarwood man has been sentenced to 23 years to life in prison for shooting his wife to death in their home in December of 2011, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Clarence Cash, a 52-year-old retired city police officer, last month was convicted of second-degree murder after a three-week jury trial. According to trial testimony, Cash repeatedly shot his wife, Tracy Young, 42, an investigator with the state Department of Taxation and Finance, after an argument. Cash, who … Continue reading

2014 MTA Customer Satisfaction Results Released

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week released results of its annual customer satisfaction surveys, showing a continued gradual increase in travelers’ satisfaction with the city subway system – a trend underway since 2010, when the MTA began for the first time tracking satisfaction for all MTA services using the same rating scale. The surveys showed that overall satisfaction with New York City Buses, the Long Island Rail Road, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels remains essentially unchanged in comparison to recent … Continue reading

Mob Informant Sentenced to Time Served in Ozone Park hit

A mob informant last week was sentenced to time served—three days in federal prison—for his role in a 26-year-old hit in an Ozone Park social club that resulted in the death of his brother-in-law, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and published reports. Anthony Ruggiano, Jr., 61, last Thursday received his sentence, which also included five years of supervised release, from Judge Jack Weinstein, who according to the Daily News explained to the … Continue reading

De Blasio Boots ICE From Rikers

Mayor Bill de Blasio travelled to Astoria on Friday and before a large crowd, signed Introductions 486A and 487A, bills that will dramatically reduce the measures of cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement practices. Introduction 486A mandates that the NYC Department of Correction will no longer honor requests by ICE to detain an individual for up to 48 hours beyond a scheduled release unless 1) ICE provides a judicial warrant as to probable cause and 2) the … Continue reading

Howard Beach Woman Marks 104th Birthday

As the Bee Gees’ smash-hit “Stayin’ Alive” blared from the speakers, and revelers danced in the dining hall at Catholic Charities Howard Beach Senior Center on Tuesday afternoon, the guest of honor beamed with pride, nestled in her throne—tiara and all—along the near wall, surrounded by family and friends. This was Catherine Lumetta’s day. Her 104th birthday. “I feel very happy and very lucky to have wonderful friends and a beautiful family,” said Lumetta, a mother of five children, grandmother … Continue reading

Tolls, Subway Fares to Increase 4 percent Over Next Two Years

While it might be a modest escalation, get ready to pay more to travel in and out of the five boroughs. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week unveiled proposals to increase fares and tolls by 4 percent over the next two years. According to the MTA, despite rising operational costs, the agency’s budget discipline and increased ridership allow it to limit fare and toll increases to the equivalent of 2 percent a year. Two alternative subway and bus fare structures … Continue reading

Monsignor LoPinto Named CEO of Catholic Charities

The Rev. Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, Vicar for Human Services for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens and related agencies. The appointment comes as Robert Siebel, who served in that capacity for 11 years and with Catholic Charities for 41, retires. Monsignor LoPinto has been the pastor at St. Helen Roman Catholic Church in Howard Beach for six years and is stepping down to focus on his work with Catholic Charities. He … Continue reading

TSA Displays Cache of Weapons Caught at JFK Checkpoints

In one tiny room on the fourth floor of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, they ran the gamut—from silly (a bottle of cologne disguised as a hand-grenade; a plastic chainsaw covered in fake blood) to scary (a razor-sharp, shiny hatchet) and everything in between. What do they all have in common? These are items that the Transportation Security Administration has confiscated at JFK’s checkpoints. According to the TSA, five to seven guns per day are detected at … Continue reading