Ozone Park Biz Owners Decry Plaza Presence

Concerned Ozone Park entrepreneurs turned out last week at a Community Board 9 meeting to detail how they believe a pedestrian plaza has had a profoundly negative effect on their bottom lines. In addressing several CB 9 members, civic leaders, representatives from the city Department of Transportation and elected officials at Thursday’s Borough Hall confab, the business owners, all of whom run establishments near the dedicated open space on 101st Avenue at Drew Street and Liberty Avenue, returned consistently to two … Continue reading

Assembly Cmte. Vetting Forest Park Camera Request

While a sexual predator responsible for six attacks in Forest Park remains at large, the application to install security cameras on the grounds is still being reviewed by the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, with no firm date set for the completion of the process. “There was an initial delay by the city Police Department returning the preliminary application to the Ways and Means Committee,” said Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven), who formally requested the extra security measure. “After final review, … Continue reading

Goldfeder Grapples With Kids’ Graffiti Kit

A southern Queens lawmaker is calling out a national toy chain after spotting a kid-friendly graffiti starter kit on the shelves. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) chalked up “Kidfitti” as a potential slippery slope for city kids experimenting with graffiti stencils and fired off a letter to Toys “R” Us and other retails calling for the product’s removal. Toys “R” Us did not comment. “This product is using marketing ploys to encourage unsuspecting children to deface their communities,” Goldfeder … Continue reading

Bill de Blasio: A Ferry Bad Mayor

Two buses left Rockaway last week to shuttle concerned residents to the steps of City Hall in the name of saving the beloved Rockaway Ferry before service is suspended in October. It was a nearly two-hour ride, which many argued provided tangible proof that the peninsula was desperately in need of alternative means of transportation. The ferry, which began service after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, was first implemented as a temporary transit option between the Rockaways and Manhattan while subway … Continue reading

Work Begins on New Hamilton Beach Walkway

Superstorm Sandy left many things mangled in its wake. The Hamilton Beach walkway connecting the small southern Queens community to the Coleman Square train station was just one of them. But finally, nearly three years later, the city has put plans in motion that will bring back the abandoned boardwalk. “This pathway is just a straight run—everybody used it. It is a vital way in and out,” said Roger Gendron, president of the Hamilton Beach Civic Association. “Anybody who lives … Continue reading

Suspect wanted for fatal Corona stabbing

Cops were on the hunt for a man wanted for allegedly stabbing another man to death on a Corona street corner earlier this month, the Police Department said. Fabian Carreno of Woodside was seen fighting for his life against the unknown suspect on Northern Boulevard and 97th Street around 2 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3, the NYPD said. The fight erupted into an all-out brawl, causing the suspect to whip out his weapon and slash and stab Carreno in the … Continue reading

Far Rockaway Man Sentenced in Arson Attempt

A Far Rockaway man was sentenced last week to seven years in prison for attempting to set on fire the lover of the mother of his three children. Stephan Schlackman, 46, was convicted in July of attempted murder, attempted arson and reckless endangerment. Just before midnight on May 9, 2011, Schlackman placed a gasoline-filled container at the home of Brian Sherman-Brown on Beach 25th Street in Far Rockaway, according to trial testimony. He was caught in the act and confronted … Continue reading

Anti-Gun Initiative Expands to Far Rockaway

With shooting incidents on the uptick in the 101st and 114th precincts, elected officials last week announced a citywide initiative to reduce gun violence would be expanded to include parts of Far Rockaway and Astoria. In its initial iteration, which began in the summer of 2012, the Gun Violence Crisis Management System focused efforts on five of the city’s most troubled communities, including South Jamaica. The $12.7 million expansion, according to the de Blasio administration, brings the program to 14 total precincts, … Continue reading

Bat-wielding Thief Steals Cell Phone in Rego Park

The New York Police Department was reaching out for help with hopes of finding a suspect wanted in connection with a Rego Park robbery, authorities said. The suspect, shown in surveillance footage with a black beard, dark hoodie and dark hat, used a small bat to intimidate an unidentified victim into giving up their wallet and cell phone, cops said. The alleged crime occurred on Aug. 11 around 5:45 a.m. inside an apartment building on Saunders Street, police said. Anyone … Continue reading

Astoria Man Stole $5 Million as Phony Lawyer: DA

An Astoria businessman was convicted of pocketing millions posing as a lawyer for various real estate and capital investment groups between 2000 and 2005, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.   The businessman, Mohammed Rafikian, 54, posed as an attorney and a registered investment advisor in order to swindle seven different customers out of money through First Investors Capital Corporation at 34-13 Broadway Ave. between March 2000 and December 2005, Brown said. His victims included a cardiologist, a dentist, bar manager, a retired … Continue reading

Man Charged in LIRR Fraud

A Long Island man was charged last week for allegedly making thousands of dollars worth of fake Long Island Rail Road tickets and selling them to passengers. Michael Wright, 27, of Rockville Centre was arraigned on charges of third-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, identity theft in the first degree and second-degree trademark counterfeiting, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office. He is being held on $3,000 bail, with his next court appearance scheduled for Aug. … Continue reading

State Veterans Summit Produces Results

Elected officials from across the state came together back in March to discuss some of the toughest issues facing our veterans as they return home, and one piece of legislation was signed into law this week to achieve that goal. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the new law on Monday, which he said would expand and strengthen services for veterans, active service members and their families by easing the transition to a new school for children of military families that relocate … Continue reading

Richmond Hill Vet Relishes Top Honor

Robert Finnerty, husband of Richmond Hill South Civic President Margaret Finnerty, was elected national executive officer to represent New York with the National Disabled Veterans group. He will serve for a two-year term after already garnering experience as a past New York state commander as well as department commander. Robert also served as a commander for Chapter 118 of the DAV in Glendale. In addition to Finnerty, Nancy Rivera was also elected national executive officer to represent New York over … Continue reading

Law Battles Jamaica Bay Dumping

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature turned legislation looking to protect Jamaica Bay from toxic dumping into reality this week. State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) and state Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) teamed up to draft a bill that prohibits state agencies from giving green lights to any projects that might dump hazardous materials into Jamaica Bay’s borrow pits. “Communities surrounding Jamaica Bay can now breathe a little easier with the passing of this bill, both figuratively and literally. In the … Continue reading

Ulrich Unveils New Chief of Staff

City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) announced some changes in personnel out of his Ozone Park office this week. Salvatore Simonetti was named the councilman’s new chief of staff in place of Rudy Giuliani, who will be moving on as borough director at the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations and the Build it Back Program, Ulrich said. Simonetti has already an active member of Ulrich’s staff and will now oversee constituent services and district operations, the councilman said. “Sal … Continue reading