What’s News in Queens: MONDAY, May 21, 2018

Crime Is Down in City Schools

Crime and police activity both decreased in city schools during the first quarter of 2018. According to the NYPD, overall arrests fell by 20 percent, robberies and rapes fell by 19 percent and police use of restraints fell by 13 percent. In addition there were just four Force, Abuse of Authority, Discourtesy or Offensive Language (FADO) complaints filed against School Safety agents in Queens in the first quarter of 2018, down from nine in the last quarter of 2017. Though school crime spiked in the last three months of 2017, the overall crime rate has plummeted in the past five years.

Grassroots Coalitions Are Driving Integration in NYC Schools

Multiracial groups around the city are taking a grassroots approach to integrating public schools, which remain deeply divided by race despite demographic diversity in districts throughout Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. “We’re sort of waking up to how bad it is,” InsideSchools editor Clara Hemphill told The New York Times. “There is a momentum.” In Queens, the organization Jackson Heights People for Public Schools encourages parents to enroll children in their zone’s schools and issued a 10-point plan for integrating local schools.

Senator Bets on Gaming to Fund Clean Water Projects

After a recent Supreme Court decision to lift federal restrictions on sports betting, State Senator Todd Kaminsky suggested New York could go all in on gambling as a way to rehabilitate the state’s aging water infrastructure. At a panel hosted by City & State, Kaminsky proposed using proceeds from sports betting to fund new sewers and clean-up projects statewide. The money could have a big impact on Queens water projects. Newtown Creek remains one the country’s most-polluted waterways, Flushing Bay is in the middle of a $34 million clean-up project and the city recently completed a $71 million storm sewer upgrade in Flushing.

Queens’ Innovative Treatment Court Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

In May 1998, Queens Supreme Court launched a groundbreaking court that would change how the borough’s justice system addressed substance abuse and addiction. Twenty years later, the Queens Treatment Court, a project developed by DA Richard Brown and Legal Aid, continues to play a pivotal role in the borough. From the beginning, the innovative court has issued alternatives to incarceration for first-time, nonviolent offenders charged with low-level drug offenses.

Clare Droesch, All-American at Christ the King, Dies

Clare Droesch, a former All-American basketball player at Christ the King, died last week after a six-year battle with breast cancer. Droesch was a star guard at the Middle Village hoops powerhouse before moving on to Boston College, which she led to a 2004 Big East title. After playing professionally in Portugal, Droesch returned to New York City to coach high school basketball, including a stint as an assistant at Christ the King. She is remembered for her courage, passion and grace and is survived by her parents, older brother, nieces and nephews.

WFP backs Nixon, Williams and DiNapoli

The Working Families Party officially endorsed Cynthia Nixon for governor, Brooklyn Councilmember Jumaane Williams for lieutenant governor and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, for another term at their convention Saturday. The WFP declined to back a candidate for attorney general. Pundits speculate the party did not want to choose between progressive candidates Zephyr Teachout and Letitia James after Gov. Andrew Cuomo allegedly threatened to withdraw support for James if she accepted the WFP nomination.

Justify Is Coming to Belmont with the Triple Crown in Sight

Two weeks after winning the Kentucky Derby, Justify outran the field on a muddy track in Baltimore to capture the Preakness Stakes Saturday. The victory brought the 3-year-old one step away from capturing the Triple Crown, which culminate with the Belmont Stakes on June 9. In 2015, American Pharoah became the first horse since 1978, and the 12th overall, to complete the Triple Crown.

Laughter at the Library Launches in LIC

Stand-up Mark Brier will perform for bookworms and comedy fans at the Long Island City branch of the Queens Public Library at 6 pm on Monday. The Laughter at the Library series will head to three other branches over the next month, including Glen Oaks on Saturday, June 2, Rosedale on Monday, June 4 and Lefferts on Monday, June 11.

Ulrich and Holden Host Pet Adoption Day in Forest Park

It was raining cats and dogs on Saturday, but the the downpour did not stop Queens councilmembers Eric Ulrich and Robert Holden from hosting a mobile pet adoption event in Forest Park. The day of adoption honored National Pet Month and was facilitated by the Animal Care Center of NYC.

Thai Restaurant Lamoon Shines Brightly in Elmhurst

The small Thai restaurant Lamoon received rave reviews from the New York Times last week thanks to its detailed cooking, authentic menu and delicious khao kan jin — rice with ground pork. The restaurant is located at the corner of Broadway and 82nd Street in Elmhurst and its menu was inspired by the meals chef Arada Moonroj enjoyed during her childhood in northern Thailand.

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