Category Archives: Feature

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

Howard Beach Toddler Succumbs to Heart Disease

The 2-year-old Howard Beach girl who captured a community through her innate resolve to defeat the heart disease she had been stricken with since birth succumbed to the affliction this week, her mother said. Valentina Marie Allen died on Tuesday at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she had been receiving treatment since the beginning of April. She suffered from hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare congenital defect marked by a severely underdeveloped left ventricle. “She passed away very peacefully in … Continue reading

106th Precinct: HBCOP President ‘Misrepresented’ Officer’s Emails on Facebook

The commanding officer of the 106th Precinct on Wednesday night unequivocally refuted a claim and purported supporting evidence recently published on a popular social media platform by the president of the Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol, Inc., that attempted to discredit a statement the officer gave to this newspaper regarding the status of the group’s official Police Department COP certification. “To this date, we have not received a single application from the Civilian Observation Patrol,” said Deputy Inspector Jeff Schiff … Continue reading

Thousands Turn Out for Hero Cop’s Funeral

Brian Moore, a cop from a cop family who was shot to death last week in Queens Village, was laid to rest last Friday morning on Long Island. Thousands of family, friends, the 25-year-old’s NYPD brothers and sisters, and law enforcement officials from all parts of the country paid their respects at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford, the same sanctuary in which slain Police Officer Edward Byrne’s funeral was held 27 years ago. Moore, a five-year veteran assigned … Continue reading

Gateway Park Needs to be More Accessible: Schumer

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) this week asked the Department of the Interior to work with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and de Blasio administration to help make Gateway National Recreation Area better accessible by public transit. Schumer urged DOI to dedicate funds towards a comprehensive transportation plan to best connect Gateway—the 26,000-acre space that includes Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Frank Charles Memorial Park, Fort Tilden, Riis Park, Floyd Bennett Field, Canarsie Pier, Great Kills Park, Miller Field, and Fort Wadsworth—with … Continue reading

Federal Flood Assistance Review Plan on the Way: Goldfeder

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Howard Beach) this week announced a plan by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to open a review process to all victims looking to appeal their flood insurance assistance in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. In April, Goldfeder urged FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate to allow families to join a civil lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court over alleged fraudulent actions by flood insurance companies post-Sandy. According to information provided to Goldfeder by FEMA’s Region II office, which oversees … Continue reading

Civilian Patrol Leader Has Criminal Past

A week after The Forum was both lauded and lambasted online for an opinion piece (“Don’t Believe What you Read—Sometimes…”) on the Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol, Inc. and the dangers of misinformation that appeared in the April 30 print and web editions, the newspaper has obtained information regarding the organization’s president that has shocked some civic leaders and elected officials. Joseph Thompson, the founder and president of HBCOP, has a criminal background, according to court records. In April 2001, … Continue reading

Cops Close in, Nab Alleged Boulevard Burglar

That was quick. Hours after the latest edition of The Forum hit neighborhood lawns and stoops last Thursday, cops slapped the cuffs on Keith Kolm, the notorious Hamilton Beach resident whose wanted poster graced the cover of the newspaper. Detectives had been looking for Kolm, 25, for weeks for his alleged role in April burglaries on Cross Bay Boulevard. Investigators believe he’s responsible for stealing an automated teller machine out of a Key Food store, and sought to question Kolm … Continue reading

Borough Mourns Police Officer Brian Moore; 105th Precinct Cop Shot on Duty in Queens Village

A veteran 105th Precinct Anti-Crime Unit cop on Monday died from injuries suffered when he was shot in the line of duty on Saturday evening in Queens Village. The family of Police Officer Brian Moore, 25, decided on Monday morning to take him off life support as he lay in critical condition at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. “Today we mourn the loss of a hero. PO Brian Moore sacrificed his life to prevent crime & disorder & to keep communities … Continue reading

Special-Needs Students Left in Limbo as School Set to Close

Parents and teachers of special-needs students at a Rockwood Park school set to shutter in June told The Forum this week that they are concerned that the children will not find any open spots at similar area facilities for the summer session. The 84th Street school, which is privately owned and operated, will close its doors after 30 years on June 30. It has offered the Special Kids Intervention Program and the Toddler-Infant Program for Special Education. “It’s really a … Continue reading

FDNY: 150 Years of Saving the City

The city this year is celebrating 150 years of New York’s Bravest, and last weekend firehouses across the five boroughs opened their apparatus-floor doors to their respective communities for tours, food and fun for fire buffs of all ages. Firefighters and officers from firehouses such as the “Cross Bay Flukes” of Engine Co. 331/Ladder Co. 173 in Howard Beach and the “Blazing Saddles” at Engine Co. 285/Ladder Co. 142 in Ozone Park welcomed the public they protect into their second … Continue reading