Category Archives: Feature

Family and Friends Mourn the Ink King of Queens

  Pete was gone. It was the news to which Cubo, one of his closest friends and business partners, awoke last Thursday morning—the news that jabs, hard, like a cold tattoo needle on goose-bumped skin. “I love him,” said Cubo. “And I miss him.” Pete Giaquinto, the legendary Ozone Park tattoo artist who co-owned and operated Pete & Cubo’s Tattoos & Piercing, died on Sept. 11, 2014. He was 68 years old. “He was my best friend,” Billy Altstatt, Giaquinto’s … Continue reading

Heroin Hits HomeHeroin Hits Home

His name is John—that’s what he has asked us to call him—and he’s a heroin addict; has been for the last 18 months. Of this John is uniquely certain. Because this is familiar territory. Been here, done this. John’s dope saga, like those of so many in his native Queens, began with a pill. “I got a root canal,” the thirtysomething out-of-work laborer said, recounting an emergency visit to a dentist about five years ago. “Doc gave me Percocet for … Continue reading

Stricken First Responders Tout 9/11 Clinic, Zadroga Act

On Feb. 14, 2013, John Licato’s life flashed before his eyes; the eyes that this retired city police officer thought had witnessed it all—from the indescribable joy of the birth of his grandchildren, to the agony of human suffering at the hands of terrorists. And it was with those eyes that he watched his doctor inform him he had a malignant tumor in his neck. “My Valentine’s Day gift,” he said with a smile tinted with a hint of sarcasm. … Continue reading

“Nosy” Neighbors Sniff Out 311 Odor Complaints

The summer brings it haul of noise complaints each year and the precinct which covers Howard Beach and parts of Broad Channel report some of the highest numbers in the city for noise complaints submitted. But a peek at 311 complaints for another issue escalated in the summer shows something else that seems to be bothering residents in both those communities. The smell of them. A quick look on the 311 site provides the complainant an opportunity to enter concerns … Continue reading

Neighbors Fed Up With Foul Factory

Genesys Diaz won’t allow her 2-year-old daughter to play in their yard. Iris Gonzalez has her husband escort her to her car in the rear of her property early each morning. Robin Abdul-Wahhab won’t leave her home after 6 p.m. Frustrated neighbors of a long-defunct Ozone Park factory detailed this week how the property’s abhorrent conditions have taken a significant toll on their daily lives. Nearly a dozen exasperated homeowners attended Tuesday night’s Community Board 9 meeting to draw attention … Continue reading

Excited Community Welcomes Key Food

As a palpable buzz filled the thick late-summer air on Friday, eager shoppers, elected officials and community leaders packed the sun-splashed sidewalks of Cross Bay Boulevard to help welcome a new Key Food supermarket to Howard Beach. The store, located on the old Duane Reade pharmacy site between 163rd and 164th avenues, incurred tremendous damage from Superstorm Sandy, which ultimately delayed its grand opening. “This is very deeply overwhelming, I’ll be honest with you,” said owner Frank Almonte after helping … Continue reading

Labor Day Parade Brings Party to Broad Channel

The floats were colorful and loud and so were the people. Broad Channel residents went booming down Cross Bay Boulevard Monday afternoon in celebration of the community’s annual Mardi Gras Labor Day Parade, keeping the strong tradition alive. The parade, sponsored by the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department, breathed new life in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy when the Broad Channel Athletic Club joined with community residents to show the city that no storm could ever hold them back. It … Continue reading

De Blasio, Stringer Spar Over Pre-K Plans

City Comptroller Scott Stringer says his office has less than 30 percent of all city universal pre-kindergarten contracts just days before the first day of school.   Stringer said he only received 141 of more than 500 contracts for pre-K service providers, preventing an independent review and registration of more than 70 percent of contracts before the Sept. 4 start date. “My office will continue to work expeditiously to review and register contracts as we receive them, in accordance with … Continue reading

South Queens Seniors Cash In on State Funding

A total $15,000 in state funding will help senior centers in Howard Beach and Rockaway Park press on.   State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) allocated the funding in an effort to ensure senior citizens maintain the services they need through the centers, which he described as a vital resource that connects them with essential community programs. “The services offered by our local senior centers are not luxuries but an important necessity for our growing senior population trying to stay … Continue reading

Build It Back Cuts Over 500 Checks: Mayor

  The Build It Back program geared towards putting Superstorm Sandy victims back on their feet gave a green light to hundreds of construction projects and cut even more reimbursement checks after starting the year at zero, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.   The city approved the construction for 535 homes and also sent 543 reimbursement checks through the Build it Back program, far exceeding de Blasio’s goals set as part of the Sandy recovery overhaul earlier this year. The … Continue reading

South Queens Lawmaker Lauds Citywide Food Drive

City food pantries received a gigantic boost to the tune of $1.32 million, thanks to the City Council.   The legislative body announced a week-long emergency food drive this week to raise resources and awareness for food pantries and soup kitchens throughout the city desperately in need of replenishing. A total $1.32 million went into the Fiscal Year 2015 budget to bulk up supplies. In southern Queens, the Richmond Hill Holy Child Jesus Church partnered up with the drive, which runs from … Continue reading

City Moves on Woodhaven Traffic Woes

Changes are coming to Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards as the city prepares to put shovels to pavement this coming fall. The street improvement project will go into full effect next month as part of the city Transportation Department’s ongoing efforts to ease congestion along the busy commercial corridors running across southern Queens. Plans included upgrades to service road safety and revamped bus lanes throughout the region, which the city said should make for better driving conditions. “Woodhaven and Cross … Continue reading

New Vets’ Commish Should Focus on Jobs, Healthcare: Area Advocates

After Mayor de Blasio last week tapped Loree Sutton, MD, to head the city’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, area officials and advocates said the retired Army brigadier general should bolster efforts to help former service members with access to jobs and healthcare. Sutton, a psychiatrist and leading national mental health advocate, was lauded for more than 25 years of military and civilian service and her expertise in the treatment of brain injuries. “Loree’s revolutionary mental health work has helped countless … Continue reading

Steady Recovery for Ozone Park Hit-And-Run Victim

A brutal 52 stitches to the stomach and severely injured back have not stopped 29-year-old Sandeep Singh, who has been on the mend since the driver of a white truck called him “Osama” before running him over late last month. Brother Navindeep Singh said his family was shocked to see the beloved father fall victim to such a hateful act in modern day New York City. He stood with city leaders in Richmond Hill last Thursday to denounce Joseph Caleca, … Continue reading

106th Catches Lindenwood Car Thief: Schiff

A Lindenwood man was caught redhanded behind the wheel of a stolen car earlier this week, hopefully putting an end to a string of related crimes in southern Queens, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff said.   Richard Hobbs, 27, was arrested Monday after cops alleged he stole an unattended running vehicle early in the morning in Ozone Park. Plain-clothes officers spotted the suspect soon after his description hit police radio waves and arrested him to find out he was already a … Continue reading