Category Archives: Neighborhoods

Four-Alarm Woodhaven Blaze Claims Eight Homes, Two Dogs; Fire Marshals Nab Ousted Tenant who Allegedly Ignited Inferno

City fire marshals last week arrested a suspect in connection with a four-alarm fire in Woodhaven on Wednesday night that destroyed eight homes, injured five civilians and killed two dogs. Luis Lopez, 31, a tenant at 91-21 90th St., was arraigned last Friday evening and charged with second-degree attempted murder, second-degree arson, aggravated cruelty to animals and endangering the welfare of a child,according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Lopez remained in custody this week after bail was set at … Continue reading

Board Member Demands CB 9 Chairman Resign Immediately

In an explosive email sent last week to all members of Community Board 9 and obtained by The Forum, a longtime board member called on Chairman Ralph Gonzalez to resign immediately. Gonzalez is already scheduled to formally hand the reins to incoming Chairman Raj Rampershad in a matter of days. But Sam Esposito wants Gonzalez out—now. The subject of the email: “Demand Ralph Gonzalez RESIGN Immediately abuse of power.” “Ralph must step down now instead of waiting until the end … Continue reading

Two Men Plead Guilty to Robbery Charges in Antoniello Murder

Two of the men involved in the 2009 botched home invasion that resulted in the murder of a beloved Ozone Park native pleaded guilty this week to robbery charges in connection with the homicide that rocked a community, according to Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Both Antoine Burroughs and Leon Whitfield on Monday pleaded guilty to one count of robbery conspiracy and one count of attempted robbery. They are scheduled to be sentenced on … Continue reading

Re-upping in Ozone Park: Sonny’s Auto Collision makes major investment, commits to current location

It’s hard to pin down whether it’s the outstanding workmanship or the uncompromised service that has made Sonny’s the uncontested choice when it comes to auto body repair in the Ozone Park, Howard Beach, and Richmond Hill communities. In fact, the reach of Sonny’s extends far past those original boundaries the shop served when their doors opened nearly 70 years ago. And despite the many things that have changed throughout the surrounding neighborhoods, Sonny’s has remained a constant that customers … Continue reading

Ozone Park Teen Allegedly Lured Man into Murder Trap

An Ozone Park girl this week was remanded into custody after she was charged with first-degree manslaughter for her alleged role in the shooting death of a man on a Glendale street early Sunday morning, according to authorities and published reports. Jordan Paulino, 17, was additionally arraigned Monday night on one count of second-degree hindering prosecution and one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree. Paulino was allegedly sitting in the passenger seat of Jordan Santos’s Lexus SUV when a … Continue reading

Tattoo Festival Draws Thousands to Resorts World Casino

For years now, tattoo culture has been gaining in popularity in the city; and last weekend’s United Ink Tattoo Festival only served to underscore that trend as the show drew thousands to Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park. The festival, held from last Friday through Sunday, featured a bit of everything from the world of body art, including world-renowned tattoo artists, live tattooing and piercing, magicians, music, freak-show style entertainers and daily tattoo contests. “United Ink is one of … Continue reading

Civic Decries Vandalism at ‘Eyesore’ Construction Site

While it seems that borough vandals may have a found a favorite corner canvas on Jamaica Avenue, one Woodhaven civic group has vowed to make sure that their urban installations don’t last long. The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association last week highlighted the blight at 78-19 Jamaica Ave.—“an eyesore for almost two years”—where construction fencing has constantly been saturated with spray paint and markers for the past two years. Earlier this month, the organization even took matters into its own hands. … Continue reading

Ozone Park Student Athlete Passionate About Polo

Chris Jordan said he was maybe 2 or 3 years old at the time, in daycare in Forest Hills, still exploring the enormous world around him, still mesmerized by what the 17-year-old would probably consider mundane these days. It was at this age, he has been told time and again, that his blue eyes first locked on to the site of a horse—and never let go. Jordan said he would stare out of the windows of the daycare facility at … Continue reading

Jail Protesters Push Message at de Blasio Event

A small but spirited contingent of the South Ozone Park Civic Association West last Thursday afternoon set up a demonstration across the street from Richmond Hill High School, hoping to catch the eye of the Very Important Person who was visiting the 114th Street campus. That VIP? Mayor Bill de Blasio. As they waited on the brisk but clear afternoon for hizzoner to emerge from the building—he toured RHHS and touted its progress as a Renewal School—the community group held … Continue reading

De Blasio Tours Richmond Hill HS, Touts ‘Renewal’ Program

Mayor Bill de Blasio last Thursday paid a visit to Richmond Hill High School, touting its improvement over the past three months as one of nearly 100 Renewal Schools across the city. Last November, de Blasio unveiled the $150 million Renewal Schools program, dedicating new leadership and resources to 94 schools that, like Richmond Hill, have struggled for years. The effort is overseen by Aimee Horowitz, executive superintendent for Renewal Schools. “As a mom, as a teacher, as a principal, and as … Continue reading

Schumer Calls for Fed Funds to Bring Bus Rapid Transit to Area

If recent statements are any indication, the push to bring Bus Rapid Transit to the Cross Bay-Woodhaven Corridor seems to be gaining momentum. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Borough Board this week included the mass-transit project among its recommendations for adopted budget priorities that were submitted to the mayor and City Council. And last Thursday, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for up to $100 million in federal funding to help bring Bus Rapid Transit to Woodhaven Boulevard. … Continue reading

Kiwanis Club Honors Community Leaders at Dinner Dance

Nearly 200 people last Saturday night packed a Roma View hall to celebrate the civic minded as the Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach honored community leaders at its 53rd annual dinner dance. The Queens West Division chapter presented awards to Joe Mure, Jr., NYPD Det. Kenny Zorn, and Immediate Past President Daniel Golom. “You could not have picked three more deserving honorees tonight,” said City Councilman, Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), a Kiwanis member. For his efforts to raise funds for … Continue reading

Goldfeder to National Grid: Review Gas Line Work

Following the release last week of a preliminary report by federal regulators into a 2014 gas explosion in Harlem, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D – Howard Beach) called on National Grid to review its gas infrastructure in southern Queens and Rockaway to pinpoint any possible installation of a model of plastic gas pipes suspected of causing the deadly accident. On March 12, 2014, a gas explosion at a five-story residential building in Harlem left 8 people dead and more than 48 injured. Initial … Continue reading

Goldfeder Introduces Extension to Breezy Bill

More than two years after Sandy and with many families still struggling to rebuild their homes, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D – Rockaway Beach) has introduced legislation extending a waiver of city law requiring construction plans be approved by the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals. In 2013, Goldfeder introduced the bill creating a waiver of BSA approval requirements in response to the hundreds of Breezy Point families facing delays in rebuilding their homes after Superstorm Sandy. That July, local residents, … Continue reading

Flushing Man Convicted in 1980 Cold Case Murder

A Flushing man last week was found guilty of murder in the strangulation death of an elderly man in his home nearly 35 years ago, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Ernest Mattison, 52, was convicted last Thursday of second-degree murder after a two-week trial and three hours of jury deliberations. According to trial testimony, Mattison lived around the corner from the Schiff family. On Sept. 10, 1980, the victim’s wife returned home from the store and found her … Continue reading