Stories from Jamaica, Springfield Gardens, Hollis, Queens Village, St. Albans, Laurelton, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village, and South Ozone Park

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Borough President Donovan Richards announced earlier this week that today, Feb. 2, is the kickoff of a series of “Visioning Workshops” to engage the public in Queens Village and surrounding neighborhoods to share how they would want more than 50 acres of a proposed development site at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center to be utilized.

Empire State Development, the state’s development wing, is going to lead the community engagement in-person and virtual workshops, while Richard’s office works in conjunction with the agency, according to Christopher Barca, the borough president’s spokesman.

Six young people from Queens will participate in a production of “Princess Phooey,” an original musical production featured at the Tada! Youth Theater in Manhattan.

There will be presentations of the modern fairytale from Feb. 10 to Feb. 26 at the theater, which is located at 15 West 28 St. on the second floor, according to a spokesperson for the organization. Read more

The state Department of Transportation is advising drivers that the northbound Van Wyck Expressway has been reduced from three travel lanes to two between exits 1A at the Nassau Expressway and 1B at North Conduit Avenue in South Ozone Park.

The lane closure is expected to remain in place through about Sept. 30. Inclement weather could cause the closure and construction work to be rescheduled. Read more

Rep. George Santos (R-Nassau, Queens) is temporarily recusing himself from his two committee assignments, the infamous congressman announced Tuesday.

“With the ongoing attention surrounding both my personal and campaign financial investigations, I have submitted a request to Speaker McCarthy that I be temporarily recused from my committee assignments until I am cleared,” he said in a statement. “This was a decision that I take very seriously. The business of the 118th Congress must continue without media fanfare. Read more

It was a joyous, packed house last Thursday at Queens Palace in Woodside as congregants of the Binapani Sangho religious organization and some special guests marked the festival of Saraswati Puja.

Also known as Vasant Panchami, the Hindu festival marks the preparation for the arrival of spring, and is held about 40 days before the season’s start. Read more

A Jamaica man could face up to 25 years in prison for allegedly attempting to murder his wife by hitting her with his SUV — with their three children in the backseat — and then stabbing her with a knife, according to District Attorney Melinda Katz’s Office.

Stephen Giraldo, 36, of 144th Street, received a 12-count indictment for attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a weapon last Friday, according to prosecutors. Read more

The death of two teens and the injury of another on Sunday night at the Belt Parkway near 150th Street in Springfield Gardens was the result of high speed, according to a preliminary report by the NYPD Highway District Collision Investigation Squad.

Three teens were in a BMW 328 allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed on the right shoulder of the eastbound side of the parkway when the 19-year-old driver failed to properly navigate the roadway, resulting in the vehicle crashing into a median and overturning, according to the squad’s investigation. Read more

Thursday, February 02, 2023
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As he kicked off a two-day hearing Monday on community budget requests, Borough President Donovan Richards was trying to remain encouraging, even as he read off a list of a few city departments that have been targeted for cuts in Mayor Adams’ $102.7 billion preliminary spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

“The last fiscal year has presented a challenge to New Yorkers from all walks of life,” Richards said at Borough Hall. In addition, the national economy has not recovered from the pandemic. However ... I’m optimistic that we are on our way to an economic recovery here in Queens.” Read more

Thousands of people with overdue water bills will be able to get some relief from their debts in a partial amnesty program the city opened Jan. 30 and will run through April 30, the Mayor’s Office says.

Nearly 200,000 customers owe a combined $1.2 billion in water bills, the city said Monday, and the program will enable them to save up to $150 million when they pay some or all of what is overdue. Read more

Monday, January 30, 2023
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A Jamaica man could face up to 25 years in prison for allegedly attempting to murder his wife by hitting her with his SUV — with their three children in the backseat — and then stabbing her with a knife, according to District Attorney Melinda Katz’s Office.

Stephen Giraldo, 36, of 144th Street, received a 12-count indictment for attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a weapon last Friday, according to prosecutors. Read more

Friday, January 27, 2023
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Queens Borough Hall was among five buildings lit yellow Friday night in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, announced Mayor Adams. 

Along with Borough Hall, located at 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens, the Bronx Borough Hall, Staten Island Borough Hall, the David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building and City Hall will also participate in the lighting commemoration, the Mayor’s Office added.  Read more

Thursday, January 26, 2023
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As the political clash over Gov. Hochul’s nominee for chief justice of the Court of Appeals, Justice Hector LaSalle, reached a boiling point, Queens elected officials found themselves right in the middle.

State Sens. Jessica Ramos (D-East Elmhurst), Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) and John Liu (D-Flushing) were among the 10 Judiciary Committee members who voted not to advance LaSalle’s nomination to the full Senate last Wednesday, winning by a one-vote margin. Read more

The push to make Diwali a school holiday in New York City public schools continued in Albany on Tuesday as lawmakers and residents rallied in support of the proposed legislation.

“We have never seen such enthusiasm for this cause,” said Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (D-Woodhaven), the sponsor of the bill, on the Million Dollar Staircase of the New York State Capitol Building. Read more

State Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson (D-South Ozone Park) didn’t let a downpour prevent him from advocating for #6MinuteService for subways and buses last Thursday.

With a group of straphangers and members of the Riders Alliance, a public transit organization, Anderson caught the Q111 bus in Jamaica on Jan. 19 and spoke with riders about their difficulties traveling throughout the borough and the city. Read more

Following the culmination of a Fair Student Funding formula working group’s effort, Mayor Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks have selected two of the panel’s recommendations to propose.

They are recommending a weight be added to the funding formula for students in temporary housing and another for schools that have a higher concentration of students with needs including those with disabilities, English language learners and those living in poverty. Read more

A daylong effort to address the conditions under the Richmond Hill train tracks near Babbage Street commenced over the weekend, much to the surprise of Kevin O’Leary, a Kew Gardens resident and member of Community Board 9, who has long called for attention to the site and happened upon on the scene on his way to a diner.

On Saturday, MTA police and its Right of Way Task Force responded to a complaint of illegal dumping under the trestle of the former LIRR station, according to an MTA spokesperson. LIRR personnel were on-site with equipment including two dump trucks to remove the debris, soil, sand and concrete that had been illegally dumped under the trestle. Read more