Category Archives: Feature

Howard Beach Homeowner Offers Reward for Stolen Statue

A distraught New Howard Beach homeowner this week reached out to The Forum for some assistance in tracking down a decorative statue that was snatched from his property about a month ago. Rocco, who asked that his last name not be published for the safety and security of his family, said that he is offering a $100 reward for the return of the statue, which he indicated is now impossible to replace because the Long Island manufacturer no longer produces … Continue reading

Stringer Vows to ‘Intervene’ on Behalf of Civic in Sanitation Ticket Tussle

The city comptroller last Saturday briefly addressed the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association meeting, vowing to support the civic organization in its quest to have the city Sanitation Department review its overnight ticketing policy, which has directly affected the WRBA on many occasions. “We are going to intervene on behalf of the Residents’ Association,” Comptroller Scott Stringer said, adding that his office will collaborate with area elected officials on the matter. “We will contact the Sanitation Department and we will take … Continue reading

Build It Back ‘Starting to Change the Lives’ of Sandy Victims: Mayor

  Set against the backdrop of a cerulean sky fighting through blankets of cotton-ball clouds, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday talked about one of the city’s darkest Mondays two years ago, the day Broad Channel nearly drowned. He talked about the Galimi family—John, Jayme and their five children—and their struggle to survive Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath. “After the water subsided, they realized their home was gone,” de Blasio said of the family’s Cross Bay Boulevard abode. “You can … Continue reading

New Casino Exhibit Spotlights ‘Wonders of Jamaica Bay’

The latest exhibit at Resorts World Casino New York City brings a bit of Jamaica Bay to South Ozone Park. Unveiled Tuesday morning in the Times Square Atrium, “Hidden in Plain Sight: The Wonders of Jamaica Bay” highlights the city’s largest open space through the photography and cinematography of Dan Hendrick, François Portmann and Don Riepe. “I fell in love with Jamaica Bay about 15 years ago,” said Hendrick, author of “Jamaica Bay” and an environmental advocate who works with … Continue reading

Centreville Sewer Project Moving Forward After Decades of Delays

To Centreville residents, or those who live close to Albert Road in Ozone Park, the mere mention of the now 30-years-overdue sewer and infrastructure project for the area will likely be met with more than a bit of skepticism. “For me, who has been involved with this project for some 35 years, back when it first was proposed…There have been so many false start dates that I have my concerns and doubts about any new dates the city comes up … Continue reading

QueensWay Draws Raves, but Some Still Oppose Park Plan

Friends of the QueensWay and the Trust for Public Land this week released the much-anticipated QueensWay Plan, a study which both groups jointly characterized as “a blueprint for the QueensWay—New York City’s next great park.” The project involves converting the long-abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch line of the Long Island Rail Road—a 3.5-mile swath of the borough, from Rego Park to Ozone Park—into a $120 million public park boasting trails and many amenities. According to the study, the QueensWay will “provide … Continue reading

Mayor Touts $130 Million Community Parks Initiative

With already a few ambitious projects set to define his mayoralty, Mayor Bill de Blasio this week launched another large-scale initiative, this time aimed at a more equitable city park system. Speaking at Bowne Playground in Flushing on Tuesday morning, de Blasio announced the Community Park Initiative, a multi-faceted program to invest $130 million in under-resourced public parks located in the city’s densely populated and growing neighborhoods with higher-than-average concentrations of poverty. “From children and parents to athletes and students, … Continue reading

Woodhaven Civic Calls Sanitation Fines Unfair

  The city Sanitation Department this week promised to investigate an area civic organization’s claim that the agency is engaging in an “unfair practice of issuing tickets to property owners in the middle of the night for garbage dumped outside their properties.” According to the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, in a statement issued on Monday, it is a common nighttime occurrence for people to dump trash outside Jamaica Avenue storefronts. Then, DSNY agents write summonses in the middle of the … Continue reading

Build It Backwards?

It seems that even two years later, Superstorm Sandy is still taking an enormous toll on the residents of southern Queens and the Rockaway peninsula. Leo Marinconz, who has lived with his ailing wife on 160th Avenue in Howard Beach for the past 33 years, saw his basement, which contained precious family mementos and even unopened gifts from his youngest daughter’s wedding, flood from floor to ceiling, and his first floor take on a foot of water; all courtesy of … Continue reading

Audit FEMA Boardwalk Funds: Ulrich

Much ado about the money. An area city councilman this week called on the comptroller to conduct a comprehensive audit of all Federal Emergency Management Agency allocations to the city Department of Parks and Recreation toward the rebuilding of the Rockaway Boardwalk and related park amenities in Rockaway Beach. Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Rockaway Park) is urging Comptroller Scott Stringer to investigate how the city intends to spend $480 million in FEMA reimbursement funds it is expected to receive for the … Continue reading

Squatters Kicked to the Curb as Cops Padlock House of Horrors

“And don’t come back!” Two well-known area vagrants were treated to that chorus by more than one neighbor last Thursday night as they ambled off the block after authorities forced them out of the Howard Beach house that area residents said has been a haven for prostitution, drug dealing, violence and other crimes for the past two years. Vice cops from the 106th Precinct and Queens District Attorney’s Office investigators, performing a nuisance abatement around 9 p.m., booted Amanda Miller, … Continue reading

Marred Mailboxes Are Community Eyesores

At least two blue US Postal Service mailboxes have become sources of disdain in the communities of Ozone Park and Howard Beach, and the agency pledged to the Forum this week to make them right again. The mailbox located on the corner of 97th Street and 133rd Avenue in Ozone Park is covered in bird feces, nearly from top to bottom, and a bird carcass was left this week right next to it. The condition of the mailbox and the … Continue reading

S.I. Ferry Fee Would Fund Rockaway Boat: Goldfeder

An area elected official this week called on the mayor to implement a fee for the Staten Island Ferry, saying the additional revenue would help fund the same service for the Rockaways. But at least one city agency has indicated that the proposal is not feasible. Though ferry service for the Rockaways was not included in this fiscal year’s final city budget, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Beach) recently sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking him to institute … Continue reading

DOT Pledges to Beautify Lindenwood Walkway

After months of pleading with officials, Howard Beach and Lindenwood community leaders can claim victory this week as the city Department of Transportation has promised to beautify the Lindenwood pedestrian walkway from 80th to 84th Street between 157th Avenue and Shore Parkway. The popular strip has become a neighborhood eyesore, replete with rundown, graffiti-covered walls, garbage strewn all over and broken overpass lights, which has made the area a safety concern for pedestrians. The DOT has agreed to clean the … Continue reading

Borough Rental Prices on the Rise

Despite rental prices in Queens decreasing in August, long-term projections say that prices will increase steadily, according to data from the Queens Rental Market Report, which compares changes in the borough’s rental data on a monthly basis. The report compared data for the neighborhoods of Long Island City, Astoria, Ridgewood, Flushing, Rego Park, Forest Hills and Jackson Heights. And, while prices vary depending on factors such as number of bedrooms and other amenities, the report showed pricing trends that were … Continue reading