Author Archives: TheForum

Howard Beach Says Final Goodbye To Valentina; Town Wrapped in Red for Remarkable Toddler

Del Cielo. From heaven. It is at once both her mother’s maiden name and the little girl’s provenance. She is Valentina Marie Allen, the tenacious 2-year-old whose short time on earth was marred by long odds courtesy of a heart disease that never gave her a chance. So she fought for one. It was through this daily battle, chronicled closely and lovingly by her family, that Valentina captivated her Howard Beach community—and has yet to let go. To thank the … Continue reading

Sweeping Plan to Thwart Rise in ‘Zombie’ Properties

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Howard Beach) this week announced an agreement by major financial institutions to adopt new industry best practices to combat the rise of abandoned “zombie properties” affecting Superstorm Sandy-devastated communities across southern Queens and Rockaway. According to Goldfeder’s office, 11 banks, mortgage companies and credit unions have agreed to regular inspection of delinquent properties and compliance with a new Goldfeder-proposed abandoned properties registry to be developed by the Department of Financial Services. “Having this ramshackle house next-door reflects … Continue reading

From Near-Fatal Accident to 106th Pct. Cop of the Month

This Queens cop has authored quite the comeback. A year ago, 106th Precinct Police Officer Michael Sardone didn’t even know if he’d walk again, much less don the distinct blue uniform for the job he loved. He was in a hospital bed, encased in a full-body cast after suffering extensive injuries in a motorcycle accident. “It was touch-and-go for a time there,” recalled Capt. John Ganley, executive officer of the command, who along with Dep. Inspector Jeff Schiff, the precinct’s … Continue reading

Teen Boy Stabbed in Ozone Park Playground

A 16-year-old boy on Tuesday was stabbed twice in the abdomen during a gang altercation in an Ozone Park playground, according to police and witness accounts. The victim, whose name is being withheld due to his status as a minor, was attacked around noon inside London Planetree Playground on 89th Street near Atlantic Avenue. After he was wounded, the boy ran roughly three blocks to a Burger King restaurant on Atlantic and 92nd Street where he was treated by first … Continue reading

Historic Area Parishes to Merge as All Saints Lutheran Church

Three area churches with a combined history of more than 300 years will close this Sunday and reform as All Saints Lutheran Church. Christ Lutheran in Ozone Park; St. Luke’s Lutheran in Woodhaven; and St. Philip’s Lutheran in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, voted to merge their respective congregations in an effort to save money at a time when membership at each individual church has steadily declined, according to St. Luke’s Deacon Roberta Detmers. “It was decided over time that in order … Continue reading

Hip-Hop Artist Chinx Gunned Down on Queens Boulevard

Popular hip-hop artist and Ozone Park resident Chinx was shot to death early Sunday morning as he drove his luxury sedan on Queens Boulevard near 84th Drive in Briarwood, according to police, witnesses and published reports. After performing at a Brooklyn club, Chinx, born Lionel Pickens, was waiting at a red light with a friend in a late-model, silver Porsche Panamera around 4 a.m. when an assailant pulled up next to his car, opened fire and sped away, according to … Continue reading

102nd Precinct Cops of the Month Foil Teen Robbery Trio

Three’s a crowd—with lengthy rap sheets. That’s what 102nd Precinct Cops of the Month Nelly Goodman and Jeff Fernandez were able to learn last month after apprehending a troika of teens who had assaulted and robbed a victim in broad daylight in Richmond Hill. According to Capt. Danielle Raia, the command’s executive officer, on April 17 around 3:30 p.m., Goodman and Fernandez were patrolling the area of 124th Street and 101st Avenue when they witnessed the victim running up the … Continue reading

Wet Weather Doesn’t Dampen Rockaway Relay for Life

Inclement conditions last weekend did not deter members of the Broad Channel, Breezy Point and Rockaways communities from descending on the Broad Channel Athletic Club for the 2015 Relay for Life. The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life fundraising events involve teams that camp out overnight and take turns walking or running around a track or path at a local high school, park or fairground. Events are up to 24 hours long, and because cancer never sleeps, ACS noted, each … Continue reading

Editorial: In Memoriam

Memorial Day, despite its somber significance, has come to be a celebratory event.  The timing coincides with the unofficial start of the summer season, sales on hot dogs and bathing suits, and, here in New York City, Fleet Week.  Young men and women arrive at the dock in uniform and come bounding out en masse, celebrating their dual-sensed freedom and enjoying New York’s spectacular array of attractions.  It’s an opportunity for those among us who haven’t served to see firsthand … Continue reading

Fire, Police Unions Rip de Blasio Disability Bill

The largest city fire and police unions have blasted a bill proposed by the de Blasio administration that would increase the support that uniformed employees who are disabled on the job receive from the city. Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled the bill that proposes to change the way the disability benefit calculations are made in three ways:  it will use the greater of the final average salary or the basic maximum salary as the basis for calculating benefits; … Continue reading

Emergency Makeover Ordered for Salon Industry; After New York Times investigates, de Blasio, Cuomo call for overhaul

In response to a recent series in The New York Times exposing rampant exploitation of nail salon workers, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are cracking down on potential abuses at city and state salons, announcing in recent days immediate actions to evaluate and remedy the situation. The Times investigation showed that nail salon workers are exposed to harmful chemicals and generally make less than minimum wage.  In addition, a number of studies show that manicurists, hairdressers, and … Continue reading

Teacher Caught in Internet Sex Sting

A Bronx history teacher who lived and coached basketball in Queens has been charged with attempted rape and other offenses after being caught trying to meet with a 14-year-old girl he had been talking to online who was actually an undercover police officer, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Jonathan Blum, 27, of Whitestone was arraigned last Friday evening on charges of second-degree attempted rape, second-degree attempted criminal sexual act, first-degree attempted disseminating indecent material to minors, and attempted … Continue reading

Spring Home Special: Must Have Renovation Tips

HELPFUL TIPS FOR HOME FENCING So you want to try a new fence around your property, but you aren’t sure where to begin.  There are myriad styles and materials to consider — along with the height, placement, and, of course, your budget. The first thing to decide is what your real purpose is and to prioritize your needs:  defining borders, protecting your pets, or adding privacy are all likely reasons for installing a new fence.  In most cases, multiple purposes … Continue reading

Goldfeder Invites New DOT Queens Commissioner to Tour District

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Howard Beach) has invited the newly appointed city Department of Transportation Queens borough commissioner to tour the 23rd District, especially intersections that he has deemed dangerous and areas for potential DOT projects in southern Queens and Rockaway. Nicole Garcia, who has been with DOT since 2008, serving as deputy press secretary and deputy Queens borough commissioner, was named to the top DOT Queens post earlier this month. This week, Goldfeder indicated that he has sent a letter … Continue reading

Senator Calls on Feds to Transform Riis Bathhouse, Improve Jamaica Bay Pond

A week after he urged the Department of the Interior to make Gateway National Recreation Area more accessible to residents and tourists, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday again called on the federal agency to provide funding to improve the national park by renovating the Jacob Riis Bathhouse and restoring the Jamaica Bay West Pond. Schumer is asking DOI to refurbish the Bathhouse, which was severely damaged by Tropical Storm Irene and Superstorm Sandy, as “an adaptive, full-functioning facility … Continue reading