St. John’s men’s lacrosse handed first loss at home

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By Zach Gewelb

TimesLedger Newspapers

After a 6-2 start, the St. John’s men’s lacrosse team has dropped three consecutive games, including a closely contested 11-10 overtime loss at home to Marquette last Friday.

The Johhnies (6-5, 0-2 Big East) battled hard in overtime, but John Wagner found the back of the net with 32.9 seconds left in the extra session to clinch the victory for the Golden Eagles (5-4, 2-1 Big East) and hand the Red Storm their first home loss of the season. The goal was Wagner’s third of the game and also his third overtime goal this season.

The match marked the first overtime game at DaSilva Memorial Field since March 3, 2015, which St. John’s also lost, 11-10, to Yale.

Despite the defeat, the Red Storm received a balanced performance on both ends of the field.

Senior Jason DeBenedictis scored three goals — all in the second half — which marks the sixth time this season he has scored at least three in a game.

Senior Corey Haynes also found the net multiple times, scoring a pair of goals for his second multi-goal game of the season. He also tallied two assists in the loss.

Colin Duffy, whose nine-game point streak had just come to an end, responded with two goals and an assist. He scored the Johnnies’ first and last goal of the game, which marks the ninth time this season he has recorded at least two points.

Sophomore Joe Madsen found the back of the net twice on six shots on goal. Dating back to last season, he has now scored in 16 consecutive games.

Fellow sophomore Mike Madsen added one goal on a game-high nine shots. He also tallied an assist.

Despite turning the ball over three times as much as the Johnnies did (15 to 5), the Golden Eagles were able to outshoot St. John’s 40-35, only the second time this season the Red Storm conceeded 40 shots.

While the Johnnies put the ball on net more than Marquette with 26 shots on goal to 22, Marquette goalie Cole Blazer bested his St. John’s counterpart Matt Hanley in net with 16 saves on 26 shots. Hanley was still sharp between the pipes for St. John’s, recording 11 saves on 22 shots on goal. He has posted at least 10 saves in seven of 11 games this season. Blazer shined in overtime, however, making a key save down the stretch that led to Wagner’s game-winning score.

The Golden Eagles’ offense was led by Jack Zerrillo, who matched Wagner with three goals on the day.

Marquette opened the scoring when Connor McClelland tallied his 10th goal of the season at the 13:41 mark of the first period to give the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead. The Johnnies’ evened the score at the 10:09 mark and the teams traded goals later in the period, making the score 2-2 heading into the second.

The teams again traded goals early in the second stanza, but Marquette tallied three consecutive scores to take a 6-3 lead into the third period.

St. John’s rallied for five scores in the third, while limiting the Golden Eagles to just two goals in the period, which left the score tied heading into the fourth.

Each team scored twice in the final regulation period. St. John’s scored the first two goals of the stanza, but two clutch goals — one from Zerrillo and one from McClelland — allowed the Golden Eagles to tie the score. Both teams had opportunities to take the lead late in the period, but stellar goaltending from both sides sent the game into overtime, setting up Wagner’s heroics.

St. John’s will hit the road for the final time in the regular season Saturday with a visit to the Mile High City against Denver. The game is set to begin at 3 p.m. at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewelb@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4539.

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Source: Times Ledger

Mayor announces new NYCHA head

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By Naeisha Rose

TimesLedger Newspapers

Mayor Bill de Blasio toured the recently renovated Ocean Bay Bayside Houses Tuesday in Far Rockaway, which featured new kitchens and bathrooms, calling it a model for the rest of the NYCHA repairs that will happen around the city.

Following the tour he also announced the new interim chair of NYCHA, Stan Brezenoff, who will take over after Chairwoman Shola Olatoyez steps down from the position next month. Olatoyez, who the mayor strongly defended, was wrapped up in controversy in a lead paint scandal.

The city Department of Investigation reported that Olatoye falsely certified that NYCHA was in compliance with lead paint inspection requirements. DOI said that since 2012 the authority neglected doing the required annual inspections of apartments that may have lead contamination.

Olatoye said she is not resigning because of the controversy but because she felt she did all she could do during her tenure.

The Ocean Bay upgrades came from the Rental Assistance Demonstration program. That initiative preserves public housing while allowing for private investment in renovations and infrastructure. De Blasio praised Olatoyez’s hard work with the RAD program, which has already reached 14,000 families, and called it a model that works. He plans to apply it more broadly to the other 400,000 residents of NYCHA over the next 10 years.

All 1,400 apartments in the Ocean Bay complex are being renovated with brand new kitchens and bathrooms. De Blasio said the roofs, heating systems, elevators and windows at each of the 24 buildings are being fully replaced, and new rooftop solar arrays and a flood wall are under construction.

De Blasio said for decades, public housing did not get the investment it deserved from the federal and state governments. He said when he first took office, he and Olatoyez began investing in NYCHA.

“There was no law that required it,” he said.” There was no mandate. It was just the right thing to do.”

De Blasio added that the administration ended the practice of NYCHA having to pay the NYPD for police services and put that money into speeding up the repairs that residents needed. De Blasio said his administration added $2.1 billion to NYCHA for major capital initiatives and $1.6 billion for operating funds.

“We know that those investments made a difference,” he said. “That’s a massive investment. The city of New York has never ever made such an investment before in public housing.”

He said one of the main reasons so many investments were made was because of Olatoyez.

“We had a leader at NYCHA who had a plan and vision for how to move the agency forward,” he said. “From the beginning, Olatoye did not say this is an insurmountable problem, this is too tough a job, this is going to be difficult. She didn’t say it’s a dangerous mission — therefore I’m not willing to on it.”

Olatoye said her decision to step down was because she felt she did all she could and was ready to move forward.

“It’s been an honor to serve the one in 14 New Yorkers who call public housing home,” she said. “I leave this role secure in the knowledge that we created a path for a stronger and safer NYCHA in the years ahead as the de Blasio Administration moves forward.”

De Blasio called Olatoye’s replacement “one of the great public servants in the last generation in this City”

Brezenoff has served as first deputy mayor, the head of Port Authority and at Health and Hospitals.

“This is one of the toughest jobs in America,” he said. “Under Mayor de Blasio and Olatoye, NYCHA has faced down enormous challenges, launched an enormous turnaround effort and improved the lives of residents. I’m committed to working with residents, finding new solutions and making progress that people will see and feel in their communities.”

When asked about the lead paint controversy, De blasio said Olatoye and his administration did everything they could and blamed the previous Bloomberg administration.

“My regret is that people who had been a part of NYCHA for a long time did not share the information they should,” he said. “ If we had been given any indication that the inspections were not done the way they were supposed to have been done, that they had stopped during the previous administration we would have acted on it immediately.”

He said there is no question that had they known we would have acted.

“Shola immediately alerted HUD to the fact that the inspections had not been done and that they were now going to be done,” he said. “That’s exactly what she was supposed to do. There was an effort in every way to do the right thing, to be transparent, to be consistent, and in the end under very adverse circumstances I think what Shola did and everyone else of us was try to do the best we could with what we had been presented.”

Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmartinez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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Source: Times Ledger

LIRR president to step down following stretch of poor on-time performance

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By Mark Hallum

TimesLedger Newspapers

Long Island Rail Road President Patrick Nowakowski announced Thursday he will be stepping down on April 13, just weeks after a state report claimed commuter service was at its lowest performance rate in nearly two decades.

Nowakowski served as LIRR president for about four years.

But while he has decided to step aside to allow for new leadership, other MTA officials recognized his leadership during the “Summer of Hell” when rail infrastructure in Penn Station shut down 20 percent of the transit hub’s capacity.

“I took a few days off to think about things,” Nowakoski said April 12. “I’m pleased with the direction the railroad is headed under the Performance Improvement Plan, and I decided that now was a good time to step aside and allow new leadership to continue the progress we’ve begun to make on improving customer service.”

The MTA said engineer and former Chief Operating Officer for the state agency Phillip Eng will take over as LIRR president.

A report by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli claims the Long Island Rail Road had the worst on-time performance in nearly two decades in 2017.

With up to 9.2 million riders inconvenienced, the regional economy sustained about a $75 million loss in productivity throughout the year, with an on-time performance of 91.4 percent, which has not been seen since 1999, according to DiNapoli.

“I thank Pat for his service to LIRR customers and his steady and evenhanded leadership of the railroad at a time when external events caused challenges for the railroad, particularly Amtrak’s renewal of tracks and infrastructure at Penn Station that the entire LIRR depends on,” MTA Chair Joseph Lhota said.

Although 2017 was the saw the worst performance in 18 years, January 2018 was the worst month for the LIRR in 22 years. Blizzards and exceedingly cold temperatures shrunk the already suffering on-time performance down to 83.9 percent.

February was a better month for the LIRR with a performance rate of 93 percent, but that number was still below the agency’s goal of 94 percent.

The transit agency was well prepared for the “Summer of Hell” and the biggest setbacks came during the autumn and winter months when leaves on the tracks caused skidding and additional wear on train wheels which required service, according to LIRR board members at a January meeting.

Up to 210 train cars had to be removed from service in early December because wheels flattened out from leaf residue with cold, dewy conditions, causing the trains to skid as the brakes were applied. A secondary examination revealed that 157 additional cars needed repairs for flat wheels, Nowakowski said in January.

Trains were taken out of service so wheels be rounded out on a lathe.

“We suffered a tremendous number of train cancellations over a several-week period,” Nowakowski said at the January meeting. “We operated with a number of trains short of cars, which caused severe crowding on the trains that were able to run.”

DiNapoli’s report also reproached LIRR leadership for blaming customers for increased dwell time at stations with overcrowding due to special events and shorter platforms, meaning customers held the train while they walked through cars that met the platform.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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Source: Times Ledger

Crowley holds town hall on gun issues

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By Naeisha Rose

TimesLedger Newspapers

U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) held a town hall at East Elmhurst Community Library Saturday where community members raised their concerns about gun reform in Congress.

Following the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla, the national gun debate has been at the forefront. Seventeen people — 14 teenagers and three adults — were killed and 17 more were wounded during the shooting by a former student. Surviving students took to social media and challenged lawmakers on gun reform, eventually organizing the March 24 rally “March for our Lives” in support of stricter gun control in Washington, D.C., as well as sister rallies in major cities across the country.

About 50 attendees at the 95-06 Astoria Blvd. library event discussed mental health, annual inspections and access to guns, among other topics.

One attendee said she was frustrated with the focus on mental health, which she called a popular way to divert attention from the real issue of there being too many guns available.

“Mental health is so far from being understood,” she told Crowley. “If we deflect our interest from trying to stop the sale of dangerous assault weapons to this psychological issue, we’re going to just going to get boggled down.”

Crowley agreed, but said better understanding of mental health issues is necessary in general. He said that in the meantime, the only safe way to prevent people with mental health problems from getting their hands on guns is by making it harder for everyone to get one.

“When we look at these shootings we look at motive, what drives someone to do something, ” he said. “Is it criminal intent to rob someone as opposed to someone who walks in randomly to shoot everyone in front of them because of angst? We don’t know what is driving that. What I’m suggesting is putting that aside and reducing access to weapons to everyone, which reduces the ability of someone who has that cognitive problem to also not get a weapon to do what they want to do.”

Another attendee suggested that the gun control issue could be moved along if there were annual inspections.

Queens Theatre

“If you do have a gun nut who has some weird plan, he is not going to bring his gun to an annual inspection,” he said. “If you have to bring your car to an annual inspection, you should be able to bring your gun to be inspected, too.”

He also suggested a law that encourages whistleblowing without fear of retaliation.

“There is a problem where sometimes if people see something, people don’t say something, whether it’s because someone is afraid of getting fired or getting sued,” he said. “So I think we have to have reform on that so people aren’t afraid.”

Crowley said that he made some provocative but reasonable points.

“There needs to be a way in terms of the right of individuals,” Crowley said. “Whistleblower laws or Good Samaritan laws, there is a balance we have to find. There has to be appropriate chains that people can work through in place of employment where things will be kept confidential.”

Crowley said that he believes the broader gun issue is about easy access. He mentioned U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D), who represents the south side of Chicago. She has been vocal about the high rate of gun violence that affects mostly blacks and Latinos in her state and other urban areas. Crowley said one thing that frustrates him is that certain kinds of gun violence seem to be ignored, but he said it’s all part of the access issue, particularly in cases involving handguns.

Crowley said New York City has the same problem with gun violence, though not at the same rate as Chicago, and people need to understand mass shootings are not the only kind of gun violence that hurts Americans.

Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmartinez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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Source: Times Ledger

Crowley holds town hall on gun issues

See this story at TimesLedger.com.

By Naeisha Rose

TimesLedger Newspapers

U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) held a town hall at East Elmhurst Community Library Saturday where community members raised their concerns about gun reform in Congress.

Following the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla, the national gun debate has been at the forefront. Seventeen people — 14 teenagers and three adults — were killed and 17 more were wounded during the shooting by a former student. Surviving students took to social media and challenged lawmakers on gun reform, eventually organizing the March 24 rally “March for our Lives” in support of stricter gun control in Washington, D.C., as well as sister rallies in major cities across the country.

About 50 attendees at the 95-06 Astoria Blvd. library event discussed mental health, annual inspections and access to guns, among other topics.

One attendee said she was frustrated with the focus on mental health, which she called a popular way to divert attention from the real issue of there being too many guns available.

“Mental health is so far from being understood,” she told Crowley. “If we deflect our interest from trying to stop the sale of dangerous assault weapons to this psychological issue, we’re going to just going to get boggled down.”

Crowley agreed, but said better understanding of mental health issues is necessary in general. He said that in the meantime, the only safe way to prevent people with mental health problems from getting their hands on guns is by making it harder for everyone to get one.

“When we look at these shootings we look at motive, what drives someone to do something, ” he said. “Is it criminal intent to rob someone as opposed to someone who walks in randomly to shoot everyone in front of them because of angst? We don’t know what is driving that. What I’m suggesting is putting that aside and reducing access to weapons to everyone, which reduces the ability of someone who has that cognitive problem to also not get a weapon to do what they want to do.”

Another attendee suggested that the gun control issue could be moved along if there were annual inspections.

Vaughn College

“If you do have a gun nut who has some weird plan, he is not going to bring his gun to an annual inspection,” he said. “If you have to bring your car to an annual inspection, you should be able to bring your gun to be inspected, too.”

He also suggested a law that encourages whistleblowing without fear of retaliation.

“There is a problem where sometimes if people see something, people don’t say something, whether it’s because someone is afraid of getting fired or getting sued,” he said. “So I think we have to have reform on that so people aren’t afraid.”

Crowley said that he made some provocative but reasonable points.

“There needs to be a way in terms of the right of individuals,” Crowley said. “Whistleblower laws or Good Samaritan laws, there is a balance we have to find. There has to be appropriate chains that people can work through in place of employment where things will be kept confidential.”

Crowley said that he believes the broader gun issue is about easy access. He mentioned U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D), who represents the south side of Chicago. She has been vocal about the high rate of gun violence that affects mostly blacks and Latinos in her state and other urban areas. Crowley said one thing that frustrates him is that certain kinds of gun violence seem to be ignored, but he said it’s all part of the access issue, particularly in cases involving handguns.

Crowley said New York City has the same problem with gun violence, though not at the same rate as Chicago, and people need to understand mass shootings are not the only kind of gun violence that hurts Americans.

Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmartinez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

Comment on this story.

Source: Times Ledger

Queens residents vote on projects during Participatory Budgeting Week

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By Naeisha Rose

TimesLedger Newspapers

Residents throughout Queens, including those in District 27 who are represented by City Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), have until Sunday to make sure their voices are heard for their area’s Participatory Budgeting Week.

Participatory budgeting allows residents to vote on which infrastructure projects will be funded by their Council member’s budget allocation by up to $1 million.

Voting kicked off Saturday and residents in District 27, which covers Jamaica, St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Addisleigh Park and Springfield Gardens, have a chance to participate at different locations.

Ballots will be available in English, Bengali, Creole and Spanish, and if individuals want to show their support for the initiative WHAT INITIATIVE – EXPLAIN -on social media. they can use the hashtag #PB27 and #PBNYC.

In District 27 constituents can vote Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Miller’s office, which is located at 172-12 Linden Blvd. in St. Albans. Other locations will be open on different days.

Residents as young as 11 years old will be eligible to participate by visiting their local polling site, by completing an online ballot or using a LinkNYC kiosk.

“LinkNYC once again demonstrates that technology is a powerful tool for public good,” said Samir Saini, commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “We’re honored to work with the Council to put democracy at New Yorkers’ fingertips. This year, more than 1,500 Link kiosks present that many more opportunities for residents to vote for the neighborhood projects that matter the most to them. I look forward to introducing New Yorkers to even more ways the Link platform can be used to foster civic innovation within our great city.”

To learn more about the process Queens residents can visit www.council.nyc.gov/pb/.

Some of the other sites in District 27 include PS 360 in St. Albans (Tuesday), Cambria Heights Library (Wednesday), Alpha Phi Alpha Senior Center (Thursday), PS 176 in Cambria Heights (Friday) and Roy Wilkins Recreation Center (Saturday) in St. Albans.

“We are very excited to engage all facets of our community, and empower citizens in this manner, including those previously disenfranchised,” said Miller. “This is an opportunity to give all individuals, especially our young people, a chance to become stakeholders, and have a voice in the enhancement of our community’s capital investments. There is no greater vehicle galvanizing local communities today than participatory budgeting.”

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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Source: Times Ledger

Nas brings Sweet Chick home to Queens

See this story at TimesLedger.com.

By Tammy Scileppi

TimesLedger Newspapers

In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Long Island City’s golden age of hip-hop produced amazing talent like legendary rapper Nas.

With the grand opening in LIC of popular chicken and waffles hot spot Sweet Chick Monday, partners Nas and John Seymour have brought their restaurant chain home to Queens – Nas’ original stomping grounds.

Located at 46-42 Vernon Blvd., the eatery’s fourth NYC location (and its fifth, nationally) offers a tempting variety of their classic finger-lickin’ Southern comfort foods, cooked with a modern twist and created by Executive Chef Lawrence Duda.

Unique dinner and anytime dishes include crab cake or fried chicken sliders, crawfish hush puppies, crusted catfish, and short rib meatloaf. For brunch, you and your family can sample their ricotta pancakes, Eggs Benedict, mac and cheese, and other tasty fare, like shrimp and grits. Prices for main dishes range from $9 to $26.

And who can say no to donut ice cream sandwiches, chocolate latte cake, and bourbon apple cobbler?

The restaurant chain was founded in 2013 by John Seymour, who opened his first Sweet Chick in Williamsburg. It caught the attention of Nas, a successful entrepreneur who grew up in Queensbridge. He invested in and eventually became co-founder of the food empire, and is credited with spreading Sweet Chick to the West Coast.

“The opening of the Queens location is a big moment for Nas and I. To be able to open up a few blocks from where Nas grew up and spread the Sweet Chick love all the way from Brooklyn (our first location), touches home for both of us,” said Seymour. “We’re excited to be in LIC and continue to create a sense of community for everyone. For us it’s magic to see music, food and people coming together.”

On any given day, you’ll find Seymour behind the bar, not only serving his customers, but also talking and bonding with them.

And rumor has it, you can choose from over 10 guzzle-worthy cocktails with names like “Purple Drank,” “Christopher Wallace,” and “Cuffin Season” – all specially concocted by beverage director Wilmer Reyes.

With a new private back room inspired by the jazz clubs of Harlem, where chicken and waffles had its roots, the Queens location is a tribute to Nas’ jazz musician father, Olu Dara. And that much-requested backroom is a cool space for exclusive parties and events.

Already booming in Brooklyn, the Lower East Side, and Prospect Heights, Sweet Chick is also expanding its presence in Queens to Citi Field, with a new ‘Lil Sweet Chick’ menu, the first of this new concept to serve Sweet Chick favorites on the go.

Long Island City can certainly use more neighborhood spots and Sweet Chick is a welcome addition – there to provide not only great food but a place where customers can feel like family.

Hours are from 11 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday, and until 2 a.m. on Friday. Weekends: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m Saturday and midnight Sunday.

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Source: Times Ledger

Amazon television show ‘The Tick’ invades Bayside

See this story at TimesLedger.com.

By Mark Hallum

TimesLedger Newspapers

The Amazon Prime original series “The Tick” joined other hit TV shows by choosing Bell Boulevard as the scene for a filming destination.

With the show entering its second season, signs went up on the west side of the road in front of the LIRR station in Bayside reserving parking for the shoot, which took place on Tuesday morning.

“The Tick” stars Peter Serafinowicz (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) as the title character and Griffin Newman (“Search Party”) as Arthur, an accountant with mental health issues who is harboring the suspicion his city is owned by a super-villain, The Terror, who has long been thought dead and joins forces with The Tick to take on the threat.

“I am so excited that Amazon wants to continue this wildly fruitful collaboration and that this amazing cast gets to stay together, and that we get to build this mythos further, wider, deeper, and taller,” Ben Edlund, the series creator and executive producer, said. “We got a good ball of mud spinning with the right tilt of axis. I’m very happy we have this opportunity to keep peopling it.”

Edlund is famous for the creation of the cult-classic show, “Firefly,” about a cohort of space cowboys fighting the law in their travels through the galaxy in the distant future.

“The Tick” sticks to Edlund’s fantasy trend by creating a world in which superheroes are an everyday reality.

“Ben has created a resounding hit while Peter and Griffin have brought Tick and Arthur to indelible life,” said Sharon Yguado, head of Scripted Series at Amazon Studios. “We can’t wait to bring fans more of the Tick universe soon.”

Filmmaker Paul Schrader used Bayside for scenes in his film “First Reformed,” starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried about an ex-military chaplain suffering from guilt over the death of his son, whom he pressured into joining the armed services. Filmed in 2017, Hawke’s character then forms a relationship with a worshiper at the church, played by Seyfried, and her husband who engage in a nefarious activity shared by many of the parishioners at the church.

Schrader is also known for his work as a writer on “Raging Bull” and Taxi Driver” with Robert Di Niro.

Bayside has also become a favorite for producers of the FX original series, “The Americans,” starring Keri Russel and Matthew Rhys as Russian KGB spies in 1980s American suburbia.

The Emmy nominated show has filmed in various locations around Bayside, including the Milk Farm on Bell Boulevard and the Bayside LIRR station.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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Source: Times Ledger

A look back to April 1963 in Queens

See this story at TimesLedger.com.

By Greater Astoria Historical Society

TimesLedger Newspapers

In conjunction with the Greater Astoria Historical Society, TimesLedger Newspapers presents noteworthy events in the borough’s history.

This is the way it was in April 1963 in Queens.

On April 16, Borough President Mario Cariello reiterated his opposition to Con Edison’s proposed nuclear reactor in Ravenswood, charging that nowhere in the project had the possibility been ruled out of sabotage from within. The borough president insisted that “the accidental emission of nuclear waste might contaminate the thousands of nearby food manufacturing and processing plants and seriously injure people.”

Cariello asserted: “The East River might be further polluted by the millions of gallons of water required to be used and reused daily in this proposed plant.” Moreover, he continued, the psychological effect of the plant would sharply curb the growth of the borough.

“The mental fear will discourage people from becoming Queens residents and will retard the borough’s development,” he said. Although his remarks expressed concern about nearby industry and residential development, no mention was made about the safety of residents already living around the plant.

Elsewhere in that long ago April, an East Elmhurst group has charged in a letter to the mayor that three white youths in Astoria painted a black youth’s face white. Police arrested the three youths, two 13 years old, and one 15 years old, and they were held for action in Family Court. The 12-year-old assaulted youth was a student at JH 141 in Astoria, one of 130 students transferred form JHS 127 in East Elmhurst where he lived.

Mayor Robert Wagner and Dr. Calvin Gross, superintendent of schools, were notified of the bias incident by a committee headed by a teacher, Helen Marshall of East Elmhurst, who would eventually become borough president of Queens after serving in the City Council and the state Legislature. The committee also charged that the black students were being “chased out of the school area by gangs of white boys” and that in the previous week, a garbage can cover was thrown at one youth.

Evangelist Billy Graham met Master Builder Robert Moses on April 17 at the World’s Fair groundbreaking for the Billy Graham Pavilion. Amid a chilly morning, temperature in the low 50s and wind-whipped dust, Graham met with Moses, president of the World’s Fair. “Did you ever think you’d get to meet Moses?” a reporter quipped to the minister. Graham broke into laughter. He compared Bob Moses with the first Moses and said: “He’s much like the biblical Moses. He has the same dynamic drive, moral convictions, and the ability to get things done.”

The site of the old Elmhurst Courthouse probably will become a sitting park after demolition of the building at Broadway and Justice. The onetime Elmhurst Town Hall, which last housed the Second District Municipal Court, was considered a fire hazard. Borough President Cariello, who had sat as a judge in that court for many years, sealed its doom when he said “to fireproof the building would be prohibitive.”

The future of Flushing Town Hall might be different, however. The building on Northern Boulevard and Linden Street was also a retired courthouse, but it had caught the eye of the Landmarks Commission, which plans to block any plans to tear it down. Officials mulled its future as a converted a teen center or a senior center.

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Source: Times Ledger

A look back to April 1963 in Queens

See this story at TimesLedger.com.

By Greater Astoria Historical Society

TimesLedger Newspapers

In conjunction with the Greater Astoria Historical Society, TimesLedger Newspapers presents noteworthy events in the borough’s history.

This is the way it was in April 1963 in Queens.

On April 16, Borough President Mario Cariello reiterated his opposition to Con Edison’s proposed nuclear reactor in Ravenswood, charging that nowhere in the project had the possibility been ruled out of sabotage from within. The borough president insisted that “the accidental emission of nuclear waste might contaminate the thousands of nearby food manufacturing and processing plants and seriously injure people.”

Cariello asserted: “The East River might be further polluted by the millions of gallons of water required to be used and reused daily in this proposed plant.” Moreover, he continued, the psychological effect of the plant would sharply curb the growth of the borough.

“The mental fear will discourage people from becoming Queens residents and will retard the borough’s development,” he said. Although his remarks expressed concern about nearby industry and residential development, no mention was made about the safety of residents already living around the plant.

Elsewhere in that long ago April, an East Elmhurst group has charged in a letter to the mayor that three white youths in Astoria painted a black youth’s face white. Police arrested the three youths, two 13 years old, and one 15 years old, and they were held for action in Family Court. The 12-year-old assaulted youth was a student at JH 141 in Astoria, one of 130 students transferred form JHS 127 in East Elmhurst where he lived.

Mayor Robert Wagner and Dr. Calvin Gross, superintendent of schools, were notified of the bias incident by a committee headed by a teacher, Helen Marshall of East Elmhurst, who would eventually become borough president of Queens after serving in the City Council and the state Legislature. The committee also charged that the black students were being “chased out of the school area by gangs of white boys” and that in the previous week, a garbage can cover was thrown at one youth.

Evangelist Billy Graham met Master Builder Robert Moses on April 17 at the World’s Fair groundbreaking for the Billy Graham Pavilion. Amid a chilly morning, temperature in the low 50s and wind-whipped dust, Graham met with Moses, president of the World’s Fair. “Did you ever think you’d get to meet Moses?” a reporter quipped to the minister. Graham broke into laughter. He compared Bob Moses with the first Moses and said: “He’s much like the biblical Moses. He has the same dynamic drive, moral convictions, and the ability to get things done.”

The site of the old Elmhurst Courthouse probably will become a sitting park after demolition of the building at Broadway and Justice. The onetime Elmhurst Town Hall, which last housed the Second District Municipal Court, was considered a fire hazard. Borough President Cariello, who had sat as a judge in that court for many years, sealed its doom when he said “to fireproof the building would be prohibitive.”

The future of Flushing Town Hall might be different, however. The building on Northern Boulevard and Linden Street was also a retired courthouse, but it had caught the eye of the Landmarks Commission, which plans to block any plans to tear it down. Officials mulled its future as a converted a teen center or a senior center.

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Source: Times Ledger