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QUEENS TODAY

MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2018

Weather in Queens (NWS): Day: 69° Rainy, Night: 63° Rainy

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THE LEDE: Happy Monday! The Queens Pride parade and festival in Jackson Heights kicked off a month of events championing LGBTQ rights. A Jamaica Estates AC installer is in hot water after poisoning a family with mercury, the DOT is redesigning Queens Boulevard and Queens DA Richard Brown won’t go easy on fare evaders. It was a big week for Red Storm sports as alum Tim Parker debuted for the US National Soccer Team and hoops star Mustapha Heron transferred to St. John’s. A massive whale washed up at Breezy Point and an unassuming Flushing food court is earning rave reviews.

THE IMPRINT: Time magazine highlights ‘The Drone Age’ on its innovative cover this week

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THE QUEENS RUNDOWN

Queens Leaders Rally for LGBTQ Rights at Jackson Heights Pride Festival

Councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer and Daniel Dromm joined Borough President Melinda Katz and dozens of nonprofit organizations, activist groups and local leaders at the annual Queens Pride parade and festival in Jackson Heights yesterday. Participants waved rainbow flags and held signs championing LGBTQ rights as they marched along 37th Avenue. Katz and youth activist Elijah Betters served as grand marshals.

Queens DA says AC Installer Poisoned Family with Mercury

Queens DA Richard Brown has charged the owner of a Jamaica Estates air conditioning company for allegedly poisoning a family with toxic mercury. Yuriy Kruk, the owner of A+HVAC and Kitchen Corporation, laced their AC unit with mercury in retaliation for the family’s frequent complaints, Brown said. Each family member later tested positive for mercury poisoning. “Exposure to the element could prove fatal over time and did make the residents sick,” Brown said.

DOT Moves Ahead With Queens Boulevard Redesign in Forest Hills/Kew Gardens

The New York City Department of Transportation will proceed with a large-scale redesign project along Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills and Kew Gardens, despite objections from the community. The plan includes installing protected bike lanes, modifying intersections and eliminating about 200 parking spots. Local leaders have long complained about the proposal, but say they now lack the power to stop the traffic-calming measures. “This plan is going through whether our board is voting for it or not,” said Community Board 6 Chair Joe Hennessy. “So there’s no point in taking a vote.”

DA Brown Will Continue to Punish Turnstile-Jumpers

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown will continue to punish fare evaders, even as Manhattan prosecutors relax enforcement. “The current NYPD policy is sound, logical and fair,” Brown said. “We will monitor the new policy in Manhattan but we will continue to prosecute those cases that the NYPD brings us in Queens until we see a sound reason not to.” Activists and local lawmakers, like Councilman Rory Lancman, say the city should treat fare evasion as a civil offense to avoid limit the number of low-income New Yorkers entangled in the criminal justice system.

BQX Trolley Feasibility Study to Cost $7 Million

A study to determine the feasibility of a trolley line along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront is set to cost the city $7 million, the New York Post reports. Mayor de Blasio and trolley advocates say the proposed BQX would benefit low-income communities with limited subway access. “The BQX is a multibillion-dollar, transformational project that would improve transit needs, create jobs and introduce a brand new green transportation system to growing Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods,” said a spokesperson for the Economic Development Corp. But critics say the expensive project will inflate property values and hasten gentrification in the region.

St. John’s Soccer Star Debuts for US National Soccer Team

It has been a big spring for Queens soccer. On Saturday, former St. John’s star Tim Parker made his debut for the US National Soccer Team against Ireland. Parker, who played for the Red Storm from 2011 to 2014 and now plays for the New York Red Bulls, entered the game as a second half substitute. His debut comes less than week after Rosedale’s Timothy Weah scored a goal in his first national team start.

Star Guard Mustapha Heron Transfers to St. John’s

Red Storm basketball seems to be in the midst of a renaissance. On Thursday, Auburn hoops star Mustapha Heron announced that he will transfer to St. John’s this season. Heron, who grew up in Connecticut, said he will join the Johnnies in order to be closer to his mother. Last year, Heron averaged 16.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and helped Auburn capture the SEC championship. The addition of Heron alongside junior Shamorie Ponds means the Red Storm will have one of the nation’s top backcourts.

A Dead Humpback Whale Washed Ashore at Breezy Point

Breezy Point beachgoers made a stunning discovery Friday when a dead humpback whale washed ashore. The 25-foot-long decomposing whale lay on the sand, where the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society conducted a necropsy and began removing the massive mammal. According to the organization, the whale likely died after being struck by a boat. It is the fifth whale to wash up on a New York beach this year.

Savor Sichuan Flavor at Flushing’s Oldest Food Court

Flushing’s Golden Shopping Mall is an unlikely hub for unmatched Sichuan flavor. The unassuming food court sits behind a storefront along a busy block in Downtown Flushing. It’s easy to miss, but the authentic and delicious Sichuan cuisine has still managed to attract famous chefs, like TV star Anthony Bourdain and Mission Chinese founder Danny Bowien, along with critics from the New York Times. And now Queens food blog Chopsticks + Marrow is urging all borough residents to visit the traditional eatery.

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STAFF PICKS

LONG READ: Time magazine explores how drones are revolutionizing technology  — via Time

ANOTHER LONG READ: Cynthia Nixon on the leadership the subway system needs — via City Limits

VIRAL: WHAT WAS JR SMITH THINKING? Twitter blew up with takes and memes after Smith’s error cost Cavs Game 1 of the Finals

YUM: Fall in love with Flushing’s oldest Sichuan hawker stand — via Queens food blog Chopsticks and Marrow

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NATIONAL NEWS:  The US Economy added 223,000 jobs last month and unemployment dropped to 3.8% — via The New York Times . . . Transgender woman who fled MS-13 and sought asylum in US died in detention facility known as the ‘icebox’ — via Splinter

FOREIGN DISPATCHES: Spain ousted Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy with historic ‘no confidence’ vote — via BBC . . . US Tariffs Prompt Anger and Retaliation from Trade Allies — via The Wall Street Journal

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WHAT’S HAPPENING IN QUEENS MONDAY, JUNE 4    

10:00 AM to 1:00 PM: Motivational Interviewing Workshop in Flushing Details

5:30 PM to 7:00 PM: ‘What a Wonderul World’ Louis Armstrong Lecture at Astoria Library Details

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM: Robert F. Wagner School 6th Annual Fundraiser Gala Details

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM: Shooting for Socrates Film Screening at the New York Irish Center Details

8:00 PM to 9:30 PM: Causes and Conditions, Buddhist Philosophy at Rockaway Summer Details

8:00 PM to 11:30 PM: Comedy Takeover at Pulse Zero Details

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QUEENS SPORTS: Former St. John’s star Tim Parker earn US National Team call-up . . . Auburn Hoops Star Mustapha Transfers to St. John’s

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MILESTONES

Happy Birthday to Angelina Jolie, Russell Brand, Bar Rafaeli, Keith David, Bruce Dern, Evan Lysacek, TJ Miller, Mort Zuckerman, Lukas Podolski, Horatio Sanz

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