Southern Queens Pushes for Transit Improvements

Transportation advocates are revving up their efforts to improve the southern part of the borough’s access to public transportation. Elected officials and community leaders called on Mayor Bill de Blasio last week to make ferry service to the Rockaway peninsula a permanent endeavor before it expires in October. Those same advocates also took to a state Assembly hearing last week to advocate for the revitalization of the Rockaway Beach Rail Line. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz joined with state Assemblyman … Continue reading

Officers force confession in Coney Island fire case: Lawyer

The lawyer for the Brooklyn 16-year-old charged with setting ablaze part of his Coney Island housing project, killing a city cop in the process, said his client was coerced into delivering his confession. Marcell Dockery may have submitted a written confession and a video testimony admitting he lit a mattress on fire in the 13th-floor hallway of the building, but attorney Jesse Young said he was forced into it at the hands of aggressive detectives. The April 6 fire killed … Continue reading

Queens Library trustees fight back

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has a fight on her hands. After Katz and Mayor Bill de Blasio chose to remove them from the board, six former trustees with the Queens Library filed court documents this week showing the system hired a former federal judge to investigate leaks that led to months of media scrutiny about CEO Thomas Galante’s lofty six-figure salary. Brooklyn Federal Judge Roslynn Mauskopf said Friday she was recusing herself from the trustees’ suit against Katz because … Continue reading

Woodhaven Ups Anti-Graffiti Game

Graffiti vandalism has been a significant problem in Woodhaven this year, civic leaders said. Light volunteer numbers and a harsh winter both made it hard for the neighborhood’s own Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association to paint over all the swirling tags on mailboxes. But that did not deter Martin Colberg, president of the WRBA, from going out with volunteers Sunday to clean up any tags that might be found on the more than 100 mailboxes in the community. “I think we’re … Continue reading

Weiner Readies Rockaway Restaurant

Anthony Weiner is dishing out something new for Rockaway residents. The former congressman and mayoral candidate announced plans to launch a nonprofit restaurant on the Rockaway peninsula and said he was looking to bring a unique brand of eating that residents currently do not see. For the past eight months, Weiner has been working behind the scenes to help launch the Rockaway Restoration Kitchen to serve healthy food options to hungry peninsula patrons while also providing employment options for those … Continue reading

CB 9 Looks for Progress at Ozone Park Pedestrian Plaza

Concerned residents in Ozone Park will be getting together next week to mull over potential plans to improve a controversial pedestrian plaza there after several complaints of it taking up valuable parking spaces nearby. Community Board 9 announced a special summer meeting for next Thursday, Aug. 21, where all stakeholders can get together and discuss various fixes to the plaza at Drew Street, 101st Avenue and Liberty Avenue, which the board voted in support of back at its October 2013 meeting. … Continue reading

Howard Beach Ball Players Fight for Borough Cup

The team grew up together and has since blossomed into one beastly baseball club. The Ozone Howard Rangers was born nearly five years ago, and most of the 12 boys have been playing ball together ever since. This summer, the team took on one of its greatest challenges to date when it signed up for the citywide Borough Cup tournament and made it all the way to the finals set for later this week. The Borough Cup – the first … Continue reading

Authorities search for missing Ozone Park man with autism

The state Division of Criminal Justice Services sent out a missing vulnerable adult alert for a missing autistic man from Ozone Park, authorities said. Saurav Banik, 20, went missing from Liberty Avenue and 121st Street in southern Queens over the weekend, authorities said, sparking a citywide search for the non-verbal autistic man. The city’s Office of Emergency Management described Banik as an Asian man standing 5-foot-7 with black hair and brown eyes, weighing 225 pounds, and may also be in … Continue reading

Stringer singles out city’s 911 reform program

Emergency response reforms are in the red, according to a report from city Comptroller Scott Stringer. A Stringer audit found the city’s own Emergency Communications Transformation Program to be riddled with flaws and shortcomings despite its best intentions of strengthening 911 response abilities. In a statement, the comptroller called the system poorly structured, overly reliant on consultants and ineffectively monitored – which resulted in years of delays and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars wasted. Stringer, along with other city … Continue reading

Pols Announce Plan to Protect Breezy Point

The federal government is pumping more than $1 million into Breezy Point with hopes of improving its flood protection system. New York Gov. Cuomo announced the first phase of funding, totaling $1.2 million in federal dollars, to help pay for technical and feasibility analyses in order to take more preventative steps in the flood-prone part of Queens. The federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program will help implement a double dune barrier system along with bayside flood and erosion protection plans in … Continue reading

Fresh Meadows man convicted in fatal Richmond Hill beating: DA

A 28-year-old from Fresh Meadows was found guilty of manslaughter in the March 2013 beating of a 24-year-old man at a Richmond Hill party spot, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Kristian P. Sorbera, 28, of Parsons Boulevard in Fresh Meadows, was convicted after a weeklong trial late last month of manslaughter in the killing of Richmond Hill native Deosarran Ramdula, Brown said. According to the criminal complaint, Ramdula was out parting with a friend when he got into an … Continue reading

Civilian Patrol Grows in Howard Beach

Howard Beach’s newest vigilante group is still working to establish roots in the community but has made serious headway in the five short weeks since starting. The Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol held its first public meeting last Wednesday night in Lindenwood and outlined its progress as the group continues its efforts of becoming a go-to source of safety in southern Queens. Group President Joseph Thompson emceed the meeting before introducing board members and providing updates on his correspondence with … Continue reading

Forest Hills man poses as faux Holocaust survivor

A Forest Hills man was accused of posing as his dead mother in order to reap her Holocaust survivor benefits, the Queens District Attorney said. Gary Jacoby, 61, of 108th Street, was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument for allegedly receiving benefits from the German government that should have stopped when his mother Laura Jacoby died in January 2008, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. He supposedly stole more than $56,000 in benefits from the time … Continue reading

Second suspect arrested in 14-year-old Jamaica girl’s slaying: DA

A second suspect was arrested in connection with the shooting death of a 14-year-old girl riding a city bus in Jamaica, the Queens District Attorney said. Shamel Capers, 16, of Brooklyn, surrendered to cops last Wednesday and charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly playing a part in the killing of D’aja Robinson, who was shot in the head while riding the bus on Sutphin Boulevard, District Attorney Richard Brown said. It was alleged that Capers, … Continue reading

Woodhaven historian to receive top honors

An active Woodhaven civic group named four of its top residents as honorees at the group’s annual fundraiser, slated for this October. Woodhaven historian Allan Smith and Schmidt’s Candy shop owner Margie Schmidt were named the respective Man and Woman of the Year by the Woodhaven Residents Block Association along with two other noteworthy awards to be doled out at the group’s 43rd annual fundraiser on Oct. 10. Other honorees the group announced for this year included Paul Casiliadis of … Continue reading