QUEENS DAILY EAGLE
Legal news and more from the world’s most diverse urban center
WEDNESDAY, JULY 25, 2018
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The School Speed Zone Camera Program Expires Today — Unless Senate Republicans Act
The school speed camera program is set to expire today, which means drivers can again fly through schools zone without consequences. Several Queens lawmakers have stepped up calls for the New York State Senate to reconvene and pass a bill introduced by State Sen. Jose Peralta that would more than double the number of cameras in school zones. “Allowing the speed camera program to expire is indefensible and needlessly endangers the lives of innocent children,” Council Member Francisco Moya said. “If a child is injured because this program was allowed to expire on Wednesday, it will not be an ‘accident.’ It will be the direct result of a negligent and malfeasant Republican-controlled Senate.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the Senate Republicans’ refusal to return to Albany for a special legislative session “a complete dereliction of that duty.” Cuomo specifically called out Brooklyn State Sen. Marty Golden, who has led the opposition to the speed cameras. “This is not an ideological issue — Senator Golden and his conference are playing politics with the lives of children, and it’s transparent.”
NYCHA Goes Smoke-Free in 5 Days
In six days, New York City Housing Authority tenants can breathe a little easier. Starting July 30, smoking will be banned inside all NYCHA developments, including the 21 complexes in Queens, from Long Island City’s Queensbridge Houses — the largest public housing development in North America — to a 20-tower complex in Woodside. Combined, those 21 developments contain 15,716 apartments and house tens of thousands of tenants. Overall, about 400,000 New Yorkers call NYCHA apartments home. The anti-smoking policy was first proposed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2015 and, in 2017, HUD mandated that all public housing that receives federal funding must ban smoking by July 30. “Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy home free from harmful secondhand cigarette smoke,” said former HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “HUD’s smoke-free rule is a reflection of our commitment to using housing as a platform to create healthy communities. By working collaboratively with public housing agencies, HUD’s rule will create healthier homes for all of our families and prevent devastating and costly smoking-related fires. Read more Eagle coverage here.
A New Contender Emerges for Queens’ Tallest Tower
Renderings have been released for a 74-story tower that would rise above 42-50 24th Street in Long Island City. The building would have a minimum height of 750 feet, New York YIMBY reports.The structure could become the tallest structure in Queens. A condo complex expected to rise 752 feet at 23-15 44th Drive will be located three blocks away. At 658 feet, One Court Square is the tallest building in the borough.
It’s Movie Night in Ridgewood and Jamaica
Two blockbusters hit the outdoors screens in Queens tonight. At 8 pm, the Shops at Atlas Park located at 80-00 Cooper Ave Ridgewood, will present Monster’s University. The prequel to the classic Pixar flick Monster’s Inc. tells the story of how Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) make it into the elite “Scare Program” after getting kicked out of school. At 8:15 pm, Baisley Pond Park, located on Baisley Boulevard and 154 Street in Jamaica, will air Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The modern reboot of the classic franchise stars Harrison Ford as Han Solo.
Queens’ Would-Be ISIS Fighters Pleads Guilty in Federal Court
A Jamaica resident turned prospective Islamic State fighter pleaded guilty on Tuesday for his role in attempting to support the terrorist organization. Ali Saleh, 25, pleaded guilty at a Brooklyn courthouse to two counts of attempting to provide material support to the group, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said in a statement. “Ali Saleh was persistent in his efforts to become a foreign fighter, but his persistence did not exceed the diligence of law enforcement,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in- Charge William Sweeney. “The defendant went to great lengths to attempt to travel to the Middle East, while funding other foreign fighters in the process. As the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force continuously strives to protect citizens from potential terrorist threats, today’s plea depicts one of the many efforts to achieve this goal.”
Queens DA Busts Trio of Maspeth Burglars
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced yesterday that three Maspeth residents were sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for a series of burglaries in which they scammed Queens senior citizens in order to get into their homes. “These despicable defendants targeted senior homeowners in the neighborhoods of Jackson Heights, Flushing and Maspeth during the summer months of 2016,” Brown said. “The defendants, in some instances, pretended to be a granddaughter or a former neighbor to gain entry and at times would be accompanied by a pre-teen girl to distract the homeowners and steal their money and valuables. The sentence imposed by the court today is more than warranted and punishes the defendants for their criminal acts.” Brown said that under the provisions of New York State’s Hate Crimes Act of 2000 enhanced charges can be filed when a defendant is alleged to have selected his or her victim because of their age which is defined as being 60 years of age or older.
‘My Whole Life Savings is Gone,’ Victim of Online Dating Scheme Reveals
A victim of an online dating scam said she was swindled out of her entire life savings in a story first reported by ABC7. The Queens resident, 30, said her “date” pretends to be a Chase bank employee and earn victims’ trust after long text exchanges. The woman declined to give her name but said she traveled to a Chase branch in Mount Vernon who used the name Angel. He told her he worked for Chase and modeled on the side, and he claimed he would earn a vacation if she filled out a survey. When the victim arrived, a woman in Chase shirt came out and asked her to fill out paperwork. The con artist used the info on the form to steal $10,000 from the woman’s account.