Category Archives: Neighborhoods

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

Success for Forest Hills School’s First Speech Squad

It was another celebration of firsts for the new Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in Forest Hills. The school’s speech team competed its way to the state championships in Delhi, N.Y. over the weekend after a successful performance at the Brooklyn Queens Catholic Forensic League’s regional qualifier in February. Coach and 10th grade English teacher Adam King said the crew was thrilled to see five of its own high schoolers qualify for the statewide competition. “To compete on this level is … Continue reading

UPS rescinds 250 terminations in Maspeth

The mood shifted from rage to rejoicing exactly one week after a crowd stomped on the steps of City Hall and demanded the United Parcel Service undo the firing of 250 Maspeth workers. UPS agreed to take back the pink slips and instead slap the workers with a two-week suspension without pay, a spokeswoman for the company said. “UPS has chosen to settle the matter in order to return to normal operations at the site,” she said. The company argued … Continue reading

Two longtime CB 5 members will not return: Crowley

Long-serving, and now former, members of Queens’ Community Board 5 were let go this week – and some argued it was in the name of political revenge. Manuel “Manny” Caruana of Maspeth dedicated a decade to CB 5 as a volunteer board member and was notified last week that he would not be returning in a letter from City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), who ran and won against Caruana’s nephew, Craig Caruana, in November. While the letter did not … Continue reading

Crowley Helps Cops Put Graffiti Vandal in Cuffs

This graffiti enthusiast messed with the wrong group. City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) saw her district office vandalized back in January with graffiti scrawled along one of the walls. But both she and her office remained persistent in pursuing those responsible, and the 104th Precinct announced the arrest of 30-year-old Michael Mestric on Friday and charged him with 30 acts of vandalism. “We said we would get to the bottom of this recent vandalism in Middle Village, and we … Continue reading

De Blasio Boasts Pre-K Program in Ridgewood

Mayor Bill de Blasio picked a school in Ridgewood to push his universal pre-kindergarten program, for which parents have until the end of April to apply. “This is about reaching parents where they live,” de Blasio said to a room full of students and administrators at PS 239. “It’s going to take a mix of new media and old-fashioned community organizing to reach every family. From our Taxi and Limousine Commission to community groups in immigrant neighborhoods, we’re working with … Continue reading

Katz Appoints Kittredge to Community Education Council 28

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz appointed a Forest Hills parent to her hometown education council. Ann Kittredge, a parent of public school children who attend PS 101 Q and the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in Forest Hills, was given a position on the Community Education Council for District 28, which includes schools in Forest Hills, Jamaica, and Kew Gardens. Her appointment will fill the void left by Deborah Dillingham, who Katz tapped to be her representative on the citywide Panel … Continue reading

Pope John Paul II immortalized on Maspeth street

Just weeks before his name is added to a list of canonized saints, Pope John Paul II’s legacy was made permanent in Maspeth’s pavement. Community leaders and elected officials gathered outside the Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church on 56th Road Sunday afternoon to co-name the street Pope John Paul II Way. It was inside that same church where the saint-to-be formerly known as Cardinal Karol Wojtyła slept over for several nights in September 1969, church officials said, making that part … Continue reading

City Officials Threaten to Cut $43M Contract After UPS Fires 20 Employees

City and state officials fired back against the United Parcel Service’s firing of 20 Queens drivers this week by threatening to cut a public contract with the company worth millions of dollars, as well as severing other deals saving UPS serious cash. The delivery service notified 250 of its workers of their pending termination last month and passed out its first 20 pink slips last Monday, with potentially more to follow. City Public Advocate Letitia James helped lead a booming … Continue reading

Forest Hills School Celebrates Successful Crowd-Funded Musical

A man-eating plant never meant so much to these Forest Hills students. A cast of 58 8th, 9th and 10th graders capped off a successful weekend with the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School’s first-ever musical production, “Little Shop of Horrors,” its producer said. “This has been one of the highest levels of prolonged commitment we have seen from students in the after-school hours,” said Sarah Bever, a theater arts teacher at the school who helped produce the show. “Students learned a … Continue reading

Former Parkway Hospital May Head to Second Auction

Forest Hills’ former Parkway Hospital site on 113th Street might be heading to auction once again after its last winning bidder failed to close on the deal. The building at 70-35 113th St. was once home to a 251-bed hospital in the middle of Queens but has since deteriorated into a community eyesore after it shuttered in 2008 following a mandate by the state Commission on Healthcare Facilities. Residents have since reported it as a property riddled with boarded up … Continue reading

Kew Gardens Gets Short End of Longer MTA Bus Deal: CB 9

Both the buses and frustrations are growing in Kew Gardens. Members of Queens Community Board 9 have asked the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to put the brakes on a plan than would run longer articulated buses along the Q10 line between Kew Gardens and John F. Kennedy International Airport and stop on Kew Gardens Road for shift changes. The agency visited the group’s March meeting to discuss the change and was met with some criticism. “This would be a complete nightmare,” … Continue reading

Conference Set in Teacher’s Harassment Case Against Former Middle Village Principal

A settlement conference has been scheduled between a former Middle Village teacher and her boss accused of sexual harassment, court records showed. Special education teacher Lisa Calise first filed the lawsuit against former PS 49 principal Anthony Lombardi in December, alleging she was forced to resign after shooting down his sexual advances, according to court documents. Their attorneys met last week and pegged May 30 for the initial settlement conference to determine whether or not the case will go to … Continue reading

Investigation Shows Schools’ Missteps in Autistic Rego Park Teen’s Disappearance

Fourteen-year-old Avonte Oquendo’s mother made sure his teacher was aware that he might run away, but that information was not shared among other school administrators, according to a 12-page report on his October disappearance. City Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard J. Condon put out the report last week detailing his investigation into the autistic teen from Rego Park’s disappearance after he wandered away from PS 277, the Riverview School, in Long Island City. The boy remained at large until January, … Continue reading

Ridgewood double murder victim had rap sheet: NYPD

Police were still trying to piece together why a Ridgewood couple was found shot to death inside their new apartment last week, officials said. Cops identified the victims as 22-year-old Louis Oscar Padilla-Lopez and 21-year-old Natalie Mejia-Tavares, who died of gunshot wounds to their head and torso, respectively, around 6:45 p.m. inside their Summerfield Street apartment Thursday night, police said. No gun was recovered at the scene near Seneca Avenue and no arrests have been made so far, the NYPD … Continue reading