Category Archives: Feature

Council Reps Look to Refresh Jewish Caucus

Three Queens lawmakers were named to the City Council’s Jewish Caucus as its newest chair set out to revitalize its influence in government. Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) was elected chair of the caucus in March and laid out a roadmap to readiness focusing on issues of social service, education, and poverty throughout the city. Council members Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) were the three borough lawmakers tapped to help make up the … Continue reading

District 24 Seeks Answers to Corona’s Long Overcrowded Classrooms

Concerned parents in Queens will hear a potential fix to overcrowding in Corona schools at this month’s Community Education Council 24 meeting. It is an old issue for the volunteer members of the parent organization, which advises on schools in Corona, Glendale, Elmhurst, Maspeth, Middle  Village and Ridgewood. But the April 28 meeting at PS 19 on Roosevelt Avenue will be the first in which Education Department officials will pitch this particular fix, which will create a new zone for … Continue reading

Woodhaven Residents Rejoice Over City’s Plan to Tear Down Collapsed Building

After pleading with the city Department of Buildings for a year to do something about a building that partially collapsed last April, driving a major neighborhood organization from its home and sparking major concerns about residents’ safety, area leaders cheered a decision by the city to tear down the structure. The city DOB ordered the demolition of the property at 78-19 Jamaica Ave. last week, after the owner of the site, George Kochabe, did not show up to an April … Continue reading

From a Sea of Blue, Saluting a Hero: Thousands Attend Funeral for NYPD Officer Dennis Guerra

With the coming of the summer, NYPD Officer Dennis Guerra could not wait to continue perfecting his barbecuing skills – famous throughout his Far Rockaway neighborhood – while spending time with those who mattered most to him: his four children, wife, and the countless other family and friends who he was constantly making laugh. He was going to keep teaching his youngest son, Zachary, 7, how to ride a bicycle; he was going to continue working for a job he … Continue reading

CB 6 Zeroes in on ‘Boulevard of Death’

Community leaders in central Queens are hoping to breathe new life into the “Boulevard of Death.” Pedestrian safety continued its streak of being one of the borough’s hottest buzzwords this week as Community Board 6 grappled at its meeting last week with ways to make Queens Boulevard safer than its grim nickname suggests. Officials discussed a bunch of potential fixes, included protected bike lanes and wider medians in order to coincide with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” initiative to … Continue reading

CB 5 Green Lights Ridgewood Residential Development

Community Board 5 voted in favor of rezoning part of Ridgewood to make way for an upscale residential development, but not without a heated debate first. The 28-11 count did not come easily, with one member waiting until the last minute to cast their vote because of a drastic difference in opinion. One side argued rezoning would make for a more appropriate usage of the mostly vacant property, while others contended it would set a problematic precedent. “This development is … Continue reading

After Shooting, Security Strengthened at City Jewish Centers

The city Police Department beefed up its presence throughout the city’s synagogues after a tragic shooting outside Jewish facilities left three dead in Kansas City. Authorities identified the gunman as former Ku Klux Klan leader Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, of Aurora, Mo. and charged him with murder after he allegedly started shooting inside a Jewish Community Center in a suburb of Kansas City on Sunday. And with Passover approaching, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city had taken steps to … Continue reading

City Approves Controversial Woodside School Plan Slammed by Parents

The city Panel for Educational Policy voted in favor of temporarily relocating hundreds of Woodside students to a school on the other side of the district in Astoria, disappointing parents and lawmakers who had long issued scathing criticism for the plan they were hoping Mayor de Blasio’s administration would overturn. Elected officials from all levels of government came out against the plan, which will send about 250 kindergarteners from PS 11 in Woodside to PS 171 in Astoria as their … Continue reading

Queens Supermarket Donates 1,000 Pounds of Kosher Food

A supermarket on the border of Glendale and Forest Hills packaged more than 1,000 pounds of kosher food to make this year’s Passover a proud one. The Stop and Shop at 89-89 Union Tpke. collected the donations and redirected them to the most needy just in time for Passover, which started at sundown Monday. The Queens Jewish Community Council, a nonprofit based in Forest Hills, took on the task of distributing the 4,000 packages throughout the city, including some of … Continue reading

Special Meeting Scheduled to Study Glendale Shelter

Community leaders planned to set aside time for a special hearing in the coming weeks on a homeless shelter proposal in Glendale as opposition grows for the controversial facility. Gary Giordano, district manager for Community Board 5, said the board would announce the date of the meeting later this week after members agreed it would be a more appropriate means of organizing both sides of the issue instead of within the time frame of a monthly board meeting. The decision … Continue reading

Help on Way for Seniors Seeking Rent Relief: Pols

The number of rent-regulated seniors receiving tax relief throughout the state is expected to increase dramatically, elected officials announced this week in Forest Hills. State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) and City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) paid a visit to the Young Israel of Forest Hills Senior League Tuesday to celebrate the broadened Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption, which gives seniors over 62 years of age a tax credit. “This tax relief for seniors is long overdue,” Stavisky said. … Continue reading

Far Rockaway officer dies, Howard Beach mother Fighting for Life After Fire

A Far Rockaway officer died, and a Howard Beach officer is fighting to survive, after responding to a fire allegedly set by a teenager in his Coney Island apartment building Monday, officials said. Dennis Guerra, 38, a married father of four from Far Rockaway, was pronounced dead at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx at 6:50 a.m. Wednesday morning, the NYPD said. Rosa Rodriguez, 36, who lives with her family in Howard Beach, has been in critical condition at New York-Presbyterian … Continue reading

Along Jamaica Bay, Lessons in Cultural Understanding and Environment

Bundled up in coats protecting them from the still-cold spring, the volunteers – young and old, from Queens and throughout the city – spread out across the beach at Jamaica Bay Sunday afternoon, picking up items scattered across the sand that, to those who left them there as religious offerings, represented beauty and prosperity and renewal. Once lovingly handled by worshipers on the South Queens coastline, colorful statues of such Hindu gods and goddesses as Vishnu, Lakshmi, and Ganesha line … Continue reading

Where Gary Zammett Died in Howard Beach, a Plea for Change: Memorial Ride Remembers Bicyclists Killed Throughout City

Gary Zammett Sr. was an explorer. After bicycling from Brookdale Hospital, where he worked for nearly four decades, he would jump onto another bike and head into the world: the Verrazano Bridge, Belle Harbor, even Prospect Park. For years, the Canarsie resident had discovered pockets of New York he never knew existed during these rides after work and on weekends, meandering streets he soon came to love – especially in neighborhoods dotting the Rockaway coastline. On Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, … Continue reading

Airport Workers Urge Companies to Follow Through on Wage Increases

Angry workers added another 10 miles to their journey towards better wages and compensation packages as they trekked between the borough’s busy airports. The Friday morning rally had protestors plod on from John F. Kennedy International Airport to a LaGuardia Airport bridge, where 32 of them were arrested months ago in a Jan. 20 act of civil disobedience in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This time, a rally was launched on the 46th anniversary of King’s assassination in … Continue reading