Queens Today

By Evan Rosen

State Lawmakers Give $750,000 to Queens College

Assembly Member Nily Rozic joined other state lawmakers last week to present Queens College with $750,000 to help renovate an outdoor running track and other facilities at the Flushing campus. Two-thirds of the funding will go toward renovations on the track, which is open to neighborhood residents and students at local high school. “The partnership between Townsend Harris High School and Queens College is an example of the blending of rigorous academic excellence, diverse, talented, motivated students and faculty, and community service,” said State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky. The rest of the funding will go towards upgrading the school’s heating and air-conditioning systems, science laboratories, and gymnasium, QNS.com reported.

Queens Residents Surprised to Appear on the Ballot

Several Queens residents were in for a surprise when they received a phone call from reporter Andy Newman from The New York TImes. Unbeknownst to them, their names appeared on the ballot for Queens Democratic County Committee seats. Newman received a tip from a friend whose sister-in-law was running for the committee and said she noticed that one of her opponents running for the party-machine was a woman she knew. When she called her opponent, the woman said she no idea she was running. The mystery inspired Newman to call multiple candidates listed on the ballot, with a particular focus on older adults. “I don’t know how they got my name to be a runner,” one candidate told Newman. “I’m not a candidate. I’m an 82-year-old woman.”

Two Suspects in Violent Corona Robbery Remain At Large

Police continue searching for two suspects who attacked and robbed a man in Corona earlier this month. On Aug. 14, at around 5:40 p.m., the victim, 30, was exiting his car after parking near 109th Street and Northern Boulevard, when his backpack apparently knocked against the side of another car, QNS.com repored. The backpack bump prompted two men and a woman who were in the car to get out, chase the victim and strike him with a metal pipe and a bat before stealing his wallet and cellphone from the backpack. The victim sustained serious head trauma as a result. Police were able to identify and one of the alleged assailnts, but two others suspects — Jonattan Suero and Marialys Almonte — remain on the loose.

Judge Stokinger Touts Tech in Family Court

In an interview with the Eagle last week, Queens Family Court Supervising Judge Carol Stokinger described how technological advancements have made for more efficient and equitable courtrooms.  “Family court has gone digital and we were the first one to do it in 2012,” Stokinger said. “It’s an amazing thing not to see files and papers flying around the courtroom.”

She said that she and many judges have embraced the changes, including video conferencing, which allows incarcerated family members to appear in court and enables the court system to better serve non-English speakers. “In Queens, we have an extraordinary need for interpreters and if someone comes into the courtroom we may not have interpreter on staff,” she said. “But our staff good at finding interpreters and using technology to deal with people if we didn’t have notice they’d be coming in . . . technology has improved things.”

Katz and Ford Champion Public Health Response to Gun Violence

In an op-ed for the Eagle, Borough President Melinda Katz and anti-violence activist Erica Ford, the founder of LIFE Camp, championed to need for a public health approach to preventing gun violence. “Although stronger gun laws, better mental health care and more thoughts and prayers all have value—and they do—we still find ourselves no closer to truly addressing the gun violence pandemic that results in thousands of deaths every year,” they wrote. “The Parkland shooting, and the incredibly courageous students who are intent on disrupting the predictable cycle of inaction, has forced a longer dialogue than we have grown accustomed to and created an opportunity to truly do something different: Rethink gun violence not simply as a criminal justice issue, but as a public health issue that needs a public health response. Here in Queens and at select sites across New York, we’ve been doing exactly that, treating gun violence not simply as a crime to be prevented, but more realistically as a disease to be cured. And the outcome data are clear—this approach is the solution that works.

Police Arrest St. Albans Resident in Jewish Center Break-In

On Tuesday, police on Long Island arrested a Queens resident for allegedly breaking into and damaging the Elmont Jewish Center earlier this month, according to News12 Long Island. Cops say Annsito Valeus and an accomplice who is not in custody, broke into the Jewish Center on Aug. 4. Surveillance video shows two men damaging security cameras and an air conditioning unit. Valeus, 23, was charged with burglary and criminal mischief.

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