THE FORUM NEWSGROUP | FEBRUARY 22, 2024

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WILD

VehiclesViolentlyCollide, ShuttingDownSectionof Boulevard

THE FORUM NE WSGROUP • VOL. 24 • Number 8 • FEBRUARY 22, 2024 | 1 VOL. 24 • NUMBER 8 • FEBRUARY 22, 2024
Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza
Story on Page 2
WOODHAVEN WRECK See
Cop covers the brutal scene at 2:30 a.m. on Monday at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue. As a result, the boulevard was closed to traffic in both directions from Jamaica Avenue to 89th Avenue.

Wild Woodhaven Crash Shuts down Section of Boulevard

Two motorists astonishingly survived an incredibly violent car accident early Monday morning at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven.

The wild wreck shut down vehicular traffic on the busy thoroughfare in both directions from Jamaica Avenue to 89th Avenue.

The Forum has reached out to the City Police Department for more information, but as of deadline it had not responded. The City Department of Transportation referred this reporter “to the NYPD for any preliminary crash information.”

Queens Boulevard once held the abject mantle of the Boulevard of Death. While safety has remarkably improved on that critical borough artery, it seems the ignominious title may shift to the Woodhaven motorway.

In recent years there have been an alarming amount of fatal accidents on the boulevard. Just last month a 51-year-old man was struck by two vehicles while attempting to traverse the thoroughfare. He was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. In October, a beloved school crossing guard was slammed by a dump truck at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard. Krystyna Naprawa, 63, was pronounced dead on the scene.

Following a fatal hit-and-run accident in 2019, concerned area residents held a demonstration. Led by the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society, the community members rallied on the boulevard at 91st Avenue, waiting until the traffic signal glared red before stepping out onto the asphalt so drivers could clearly see the signs they were toting: “Slow down on Woodhaven Blvd” and “Man killed here.”

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Photo by The Forum Newsgroup The brutal crash occurred on Monday morning at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue. Photo by The Forum Newsgroup All involved miraculously survived the wreck. Photo by The Forum Newsgroup Cops shut down the boulevard in both directions from Jamaica Avenue to 89th Avenue. File Photo Frustrated area residents for years have raised concerns about safety on Woodhaven Boulevard.

‘Borough Hall’ Heads to Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill

By Forum Staff Queens Borough President Donovan Richards on Tuesday announced that the fourth iteration of his “Borough Hall on Your Block” initiative will be held in Central Queens from Monday, Feb. 26 to Saturday, March 2.

The weeklong initiative will bring a wide range of public events to Community Districts 6 and 9 — covering Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Forest Hills, Rego Park, and Kew Gardens— including a town hall meeting, a job fair, an immigrant resource fair, capital funding announcements, a youth opportunities mixer and mobile office hours hosted by the Borough President’s Constituent Services department.

Richards said the goal of “Borough Hall on Your Block: Central Queens” is to directly connect area families with not only the government services they need, but the individualized attention they deserve from the BP and his staff.

The calendar of public events scheduled for “Borough Hall on Your Block: Central Queens,” subject to change, includes:

Monday, Feb. 26

• Richards visits Commonpoint Queens’ Central Queens Adult and Older Adult Center and announces $325,000 in funding for senior services across the borough.

• Time: 12 p.m.

• L ocation: Central Queens Adult and Older Adult Center, 67-09 108th St. in Forest Hills.

Tuesday, Feb. 27

• Press conference announcing Richards’ allocation of $1 million in capital funding for needed renovations at Queens Community House’s Forest Hills Community Center.

• Time: 10 a.m.

• L ocation: Forest Hills Community Center, 108-25 62nd Drive.

Wednesday, Feb. 28

• Central Queens Jobs Recruitment Fair, connecting area job seekers with a wide array of prospective employers.

• Time: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

• Location: Plaza College, student commons, 118-33 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills.

Thursday, Feb. 29

• Press conference announcing Richards’ allocation of $3 million in capi-

tal funding for the acquisition of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s first linear accelerator—a state-of-the-art cancer treatment machine—followed by a tour of the hospital’s standalone cancer center, which is slated for a spring 2024 opening.

• Time: 10 a.m.

• L ocation: Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 8900 Van Wyck Expwy. in Richmond Hill.

• Central Queens Town Hall, featuring various city agencies as part of a community conversation about local quality-of-life issues.

• Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

• L ocation: Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens.

Friday, March 1

• R ichards’ Constituent Services department hosts mobile office hours.

• Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• L ocation: Chhaya Community Development Corporation, 121-18 Liberty Ave., 2nd Floor, in Richmond Hill.

• Youth Opportunities Fair and Mixer, connecting Queens teens with summer youth employment resources, volunteering and internship opportunities and more.

• Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• L ocation: Richmond Hill High School, 89-30 114th Street.

• Press conference announcing Richards’ allocation of $3 million in capital funding for the reconstruction of the basketball and handball courts at Phil Rizzuto Park.

• Time: 12 p.m.

• L ocation: Phil Rizzuto Park, corner of 95th Avenue and 127th Street in South Richmond Hill.

Saturday, March 2

• Immigrant Resource Fair, connecting Central Queens’ immigrant communities with a wide array of critical services such as legal consultations, IDNYC appointments, health insurance, job training and more.

• Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• L ocation: River Fund, 89-11 Lefferts Blvd. in Richmond Hill.

Members of the public interested in attending one or more of the events outlined above can register by visiting queensbp. org/rsvp.

THE FORUM NE WSGROUP • VOL. 24 • Number 8 • FEBRUARY 22, 2024 | 3 Your problems are our job. Let us begin helping you with a free consultation. JOSEPH FAULISI, ESQ., CPA Call today: e-mail: 101-42 99th Street Ozone Park, NY 11416 info@faulisilaw.com website: faulisilaw.com - Business Law OFFERS SERVICES IN: - Tax Problems - Accounting - Wills & Trusts - Divorces - DWI - Criminal Law Taking control of your situation starts with a no cost, no obligation call to the experienced professionals at Faulisi Law. Stop worrying. Start doing. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
Photo Courtesy of Google The Borough President’s Office on March 1 will host a Youth Opportunities Fair and Mixer at Richmond Hill High School.

Op-Ed

Taking Action against Fentanyl and Antiquated Drug Laws

Before you continue reading I need you to do something: look at President Lincoln’s face on a penny. Do you see his nose? Imagine if his little nose was covered in fentanyl

- that small amount is enough to kill you. That is terrifying! Fentanyl is a public health and public safety crisis and I am working to change our State’s outdated laws to address this problem.

As we know, fentanyl is now being mixed

in with other substances. According to the NYC Department of Health, 81 percent of drug deaths had detectable amounts of fentanyl. While drug addiction is a disease, like alcoholism, we must go after those who are selling drugs and correct the antiquated laws that hinder prosecutors from keeping us safe.

One of the ways the State can save lives is by amending the current drug laws and allowing synthetic versions of drugs to be included in the statute. Currently, the law states that in order to be arrested or prosecuted, drugs must be named in the law, also known as “the list.” Without that drug being exactly listed, prosecutors are forced to bring lesser charges forward. This outdated process stems from the Rockefeller Drug Laws from the 1970’s—and that is not acceptable. My bill, A.4582, seeks to change the law to include any type of synthetic fentanyl and allow prosecutors to go after the drug dealers. By adding all synthetic forms, we can amend an antiquated law and ensure that District Attorneys can go after the drug dealers and keep them off our streets.

In addition, I want district attorneys to be able to bring stronger charges against drug dealers, which is why I am the prime cosponsor of A.8384, also known as “Chelsey’s Law.” This would allow DA’s to charge any-

one who knows, or has reasonable grounds to know, that a drug could cause the death of another person. In the event that someone dies from an overdose, this bill will allow for drug dealers to be charged with manslaughter, or aggravated manslaughter, which could result in up to 25 years in prison. This bill would hold drug dealers accountable for the true cost of their activities—something I think we all agree on.

We need to have legislation that has teeth and truly allows the police and district attorneys to have the ability to go after the bad guys. We cannot allow the drug dealers to go unpunished. These bills will fill in the gaps of old and outdated laws, and will fight back against those who wish to harm our communities. We must meet the needs of today and amend the drug laws.

It is very easy for people to say that there is a fentanyl or drug problem in our State. It’s a whole other thing to work hand-in-hand with the Suffolk, Nassau and Queens County district attorneys, write a piece of legislation, and produce a way to fix the problem. This is the time for action, and I hope you will all work with me as I fight to amend these antiquated laws.

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Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato represents the 23rd Assembly District Photo Courtesy of DEA Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato said her bill would change the law to include any type of synthetic fentanyl and allow prosecutors to go after the drug dealers.

Pols Back City Medic Safety Bills

Several members of the City Council, including Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park), are ardently supporting two bills that would help City emergency medics protect themselves from physical assaults.

The first proposed law would “amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring provision of body armor to Fire Department e mployees providing emergency medical services.” According to the language of the bill, the City Fire commissioner “shall provide body armor to all employees of the department who provide emergency medical services. Such body armor shall be of the type that the commissioner determines would be most suitable for the protection of such employees and shall meet a ballistic resistance or stab resistance standard of the national institute of jus tice or any successor standards. No

employee of the department shall be permitted to retain or use the body armor… a fter leaving the employment of the department or moving to a position that doe s not involve the provision of emergency medical services.”

The tendered bill would take effect immediately.

The other proposed piece of legislation would provide de-escalation and selfdefense training to members of the FDNY Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. According to the bill, “Such training shall be designed to address the unique characteristics and operations of emergency medical services, with a particular focus on violent situations in the context of patient care. Such training shall include, but need not be limited to, recognition and understanding of mental illness and distress, effective communication skills, conflict de-escalation techniques, and self-defense techniques. The department shall offer such training no less frequently than once per calendar year.”

This proposed law also would take effect immediately.

The bills were first brought forward last year. In November, the president of the emergency medical technician and paramedic union testified before the council, noting that assaults on his constituents “are at an all-time high,” according to a New York Post report.

In 2017, EMT Yadira Arroyo was killed when a mentally-ill man stole her ambulance and ran over her. In 2022, EMS Capt. Alison Russo was stabbed to death in the line of duty in Astoria.

“I’m proud to co-prime sponsor these bills, which will go a long way toward keeping our EMS workers safe on the job,” said Ariola, chairwoman of the Committee on Fire and Emergency Management. “Our first responders should never have to worry about whether or not they will make it home after a tour.”

The Pharmacist’s Corner

THE

In 2018, when the U.S. Congress passed legislation which effectively removed hemp from federal Controlled Substances Act, CBD that comes from hemp was instantly legalized.

If you’re still not on board after five years but you’re suffering from some type of pain, anxiety and stress—so basically everyone reading this.

We’d like to clear up some common questions and misconceptions about this wonder product, so that you can consider incorporating it into your life and start receiving its benefits.

While it’s true that hemp oil comes from the same species of plant that marijuana does, the primary difference is that hemp oil comes from the stem of the plant, and that which we commonly refer to as pot, comes from the flowering part of the plant.

The hemp oil and products that we offer for sale, contains less than 3% of THC, which is the psychoactive substance that causes the high associated with marijuana. HEMP OIL DOES NOT CAUSE A HIGH!

Out products are carefully selected and only products manufactured with the provision that they are carefully tested are purchased.

We have incorporated a line of prod-

ucts at our store that have proven to help with a myriad of medical conditions. CBD (cannabidiol), the non-psychoactive portions of the hemp plant, in hemp oil can be used by patients with epilepsy to experience as much as a 50% reduction in seizures. CBD has also been shown to significantly decrease activity in the limbic part of the brain, where our fight-or-flight response is located, thereby reducing anxiety. Although studies show that CBD containing THC are most effective in reducing inflammation and pain, topical hemp oil has been shown to be effective in pain reduction as well Studies conducted in 2014 have shown that CBD oil prevented the development of social recognition deficit, which is a common occurrence in Alzheimer’s disease. Much more research is needed in this area, but the promise of current findings has left medical community with great hopes for the future. . CBD is also a potent antioxidant, which means it protects your body from free radical damage, and is thought to exhibit antidepressant, anti-nausea, gut-protective, and immune-system-balancing effects. Please feel free to come in and ask any questions you may have. Let us help you decide if any from the wide selection of products that we have is right for you.

Until next week...

CEO Works Beautify Woodhaven

Members of the nonprofit Center for Employment Opportunities worked hard along Woodhaven Boulevard on Friday to remove junk and other discarded matter.

“Quality of life starts with clean streets and I’m proud to fund such a great organization that ensures District 32 residents can have the quality of life they deserve!” City Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park) said.

CEO provides employment services exclusively to people recently released from incarceration.

THE FORUM NE WSGROUP • VOL. 24 • Number 8 • FEBRUARY 22, 2024 | 5
HEMP OIL: IT MAY HELP YOU For your family’s prescription needs, please call CROSS BAY CHEMIST at 718-659-9500 or 718-880-1644 157-02 Cross Bay Blvd. in Howard Beach: Mon-Fri 9am-9pm. Sat-Sun 9am-7pm. or 96-05 101st Ave. in Ozone Park: Mon-Sat 9am-7pm. Sunday: Closed.
TRUTH ABOUT
Photo Courtesy of Councilwoman Ariola Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza The bills seeking to protect members of the FDNY Bureau of Emergency Medical Services will be re-introduced later this month. Photo Courtesy of Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media Unit Councilwoman Ariola said the proposed pieces of legislation “will go a long way toward keeping our EMS workers safe on the job.”

Adams Administration Takes Victory Lap on Vision Zero

As Gotham marks 10 years of Vision Zero, Mayor Eric Adams and the City Department of Transportation on Thursday touted the returns of the street safety program launched by Adams’ predecessor Bill de Blasio.

According to Adams and City Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, overall traffic deaths declined by more than 12 percent, with pedestrian deaths decreasing by 45 percent, when comparing data from 2023 and 2013, the year before Vision Zero’s launch. Since the program’s inception, the city has led 349 Vision Zero initiatives, 97 of which were spearheaded by NYC DOT. The agency has completed more than 1,200 safety projects and installed more than 200 miles of protected bike lanes. Reducing the citywide speed limit to 25 miles per hour and the implementation of 24-hour speed camera operations have dramatically reduced reckless driving.

According to the administration, eight of the 10 safest years on Big Apple streets have come during the Vision Zero era, during which NYC’s work has saved countless lives and reduced traffic fatalities to the city’s historic low. The City’s Vision Zero partners achieved this through robust coordination between agencies across the administration and by implementing a “safe system” approach to transportation planning in coordination with agencies across the administration. This approach acknowledges all road users are humans; humans make mistakes—and those mistakes in a truly safe system do not need to lead to consequences like serious injury or death. Some significant achievements under this approach include a dramatic redesign of Queens Boulevard where initial treatments have reduced total crashes by 13 percent and curbed pedestrian injuries by 42 percent.

Safety Data and Initiatives

Vision Zero agencies closely monitor where, when, and how traffic fatalities and injuries occur so as to best inform road safety efforts. NYC DOT’s data-driven approach to protect vulnerable street users has resulted in an overall decrease in pedestrian deaths as well as decreases in deaths in neighborhoods with a high percentage of non-white residents.

To achieve this, the city has worked to leverage technology to better inform data collection and analysis. For example, the NYPD began to electronically record collisions in 2016, which lead to broader capabilities for traffic data analysis.

In addition, New York City’s Health Department enhances traffic injury surveillance with public health data sources, incorporating health equity and person-based measures. These products include:

• Epidemiologic reports on characteristics (such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, and neighborhood poverty) of people injured in fatal traffic crashes.

• Environment and Health Data

Portal indicators that describe pedestrian and bicyclist injuries by neighborhood of residence.

• A peer-reviewed manuscript on self-reported speeding by driver characteristics.

• Six Research on the Road symposia coordinated with sister Vision Zero agencies and DDC’s Town+Gown: NYC to advance traffic safety research.

better-organizing traffic, improving travel times, and creating shorter, safer pedestrian crossings, and safe routes for bicycle travel. Neighborhoods with high populations of non-white residents have received a higher share of street redesign miles than neighborhoods with the lowest populations of non-white residents, according to preliminary NYC DOT data.

NYC DOT has codified its commitment to equity through the development of a new equity formula to ensure all New Yorkers benefit from safe street redesigns. The formula identifies Priority Investment Areas (PIAs) based on demographics, density, and previous levels of NYC

And since the launch of the Vision Zero Safe Fleet Transition Plan in 2017, more than 85,000 safety improvements have been made by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to City fleet vehicles including adding Intelligent Speed Assistance technology to slow down City vehicles, the installation of truck side-guards to further protect pedestrians and bicyclists, and the installation of surround cameras to address visual obstructions. In 2014, DCAS instituted the first citywide system for tracking crashes and trends among City fleet vehicles – in the 10 years since, DCAS has recorded over 20 percent reductions in crashes and injuries through its efforts.

Equity in Vision Zero

Preliminary NYC DOT data shows in neighborhoods with the highest percentages of non-white residents, overall traffic fatalities declined by more than 10 percent, while pedestrian fatalities dropped by roughly 20 percent.

By addressing areas with the greatest safety and transportation needs, the city has equitably picked locations for Street Improvement Projects, which are safetyoriented engineering improvements that use multiple treatments like street redesigns, traffic signals, markings, or concrete on both corridors and intersections. These redesigns are generally aimed at

DOT investment. Since adopting this formula at the end of 2021, NYC DOT has implemented 137 Street Improvement Projects in the top PIAs and constructed a variety of safety treatments, including:

• 22.1 mi les of protected bike lanes, a lane protected by parking or some other physical barrier

• More than 900,000 square feet of new pedestrian space in the form of pedestrian plazas, curb and sidewalk extensions, pedestrian safety islands, and medians.

• 544 L eading Pedestrian Intervals were installed, providing a pedestrian crossing “head start” before vehicles receive the green light.

• 55 intersections upgraded with Raised Crosswalks, which feature a marked pedestrian crosswalk constructed at a higher elevation than the adjacent roadway.

• 101 intersections daylighted with visibility improvements.

Education and Outreach

As the past 10 years have shown, Vision Zero can create real culture change in communities by focusing engagement on changing how New Yorkers’ view traffic safety, Adams said:

• Since 2014, NYC DOT has made more than 5,700 visits to schools and held

more than 1,450 workshops at older adult centers.

• Vision Zero education sessions have been conducted with more than 158,330 licensed TLC drivers.

• TLC conducted more than 700 Vision Zero outreach visits to the city’s for-hire vehicle bases and taxi garages.

• More than 52,580 MTA bus operators have been trained on Vision Zero ideas.

• Through DCAS, 90,740 city drivers have taken defensive driving courses.

• A s part of the Vision Zero Task Force, BIC has also worked to promote education and training about safety through outreach to more than 1,000 trade waste company owners, fleet managers, and drivers.

• Since the start of Vision Zero, over 10,000 participants have engaged in NYC DOT’s large vehicle blind spot awareness programs, Truck's Eye View and the Truck Experience. NYC DOT continues to work with both private and public sector colleagues to innovate and expand this work.

• NYC DOT launched a Truck Smart awareness campaign in 2022, resulting in the distribution of over 40,000 safety information resources to truck operators, as well as billboard, social media, and radio safety messages targeted to truck operators.

Enforcement

Since the start of Vision Zero, the City has embraced automated enforcement as an efficient, effective, and equitable solution to some of the most dangerous traffic offenses, like speeding and red light running. Since Vision Zero began, NYC DOT has installed 2,217 speed cameras. After state legislation allowed for around-theclock speed camera operations in 2022, speeding dropped an average of 30 percent after one year of expanded operations. In addition to the reduction in speeding, injuries also declined along corridors across the city.

BIC worked to enforce safety rules for the commercial waste hauling industry, conducting more than 10,000 truck stops since 2016 and issuing more than 2,500 safety violations since 2021. BIC has achieved a 92 percent compliance rate to-date with the trade waste industry side guard law.

NYPD also implemented a number of tactics aimed at reducing traffic crashes and fatalities. One of these initiatives increased police visibility at collision prone corridors, resulting in a 10 percent drop in collisions on these corridors during 2023. Additionally, NYPD began enforcing Right of Way Law in 2014, which created civil and criminal penalties for motorists who injure or kill pedestrians or cyclists by failing to yield the right of way and has helped reduce pedestrian fatalities.

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File Photo It’s been 10 years since the City launched the Vision Zero initiative.

Bipartisan Bill Would Save Broadband Discount Service Program for Borough

Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) announced on Thursday that she has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to save the Affordable Connectivity Program.

The ACP is a crucial initiative that has provided thousands of borough residents with monthly discounts on their broadband service, and savings on internet devices, according to Meng.

The Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act, introduced by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn), would provide seven billion dollars in federal funding to support the program, which is set to run out of money as early as this coming April.

Enacted as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that Meng helped to pass, the ACP provides qualifying households with a monthly discount of up to $30 on internet bills, as well as a one-time discount of up to $100 on a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Since the ACP was launched, over 22.5 million households have signed up to receive the monthly discount. This includes more than 62,000 households in Meng’s congressional district in Queens, saving approximately $27.4 million a year. An estimated 36,000 in her district still qualify for the program but have not yet signed up. Those benefiting nationwide are millions of college students, veterans, seniors, and families with school-aged children.

“Reliable and affordable internet access is a necessity, not a luxury, especially for our students in Queens and across the nation,” Meng said. “As a mother of two school-aged boys, I have experienced firsthand how important internet access can be, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when school transitioned online. As funding for the Afford-

able Connectivity Program expires, I am proud to help lead the fight to keep it alive, and join Rep. Clarke’s bill so that students in our borough and across the country have access to the tools they need to succeed.”

In addition to cosponsoring the legislation, Meng last year signed several letters urging Congressional leadership and relevant committees to extend anywhere from $6 to $7 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program.

"From students and educators to older Americans and veterans, nearly 1.8 million New Yorkers rely on the Affordable Connectivity Program monthly – and Congress has a responsibility to ensure they maintain their access to lowcost, reliable, and high-speed broadband,” Clarke said. “The bipartisan, bicameral Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act provides the funding necessary to ensure this transformative program continues to help close the digital divide for communities of color, urban and rural families, and so many more underserved Americans. I’m thankful for Congresswoman Meng’s advocacy and efforts in this space, and I look forward to working at her side to preserve and extend this critical program."

The Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act is supported by more than 350 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); American Library Association; Asian Americans Advancing Justice –AAJC; Benton Institute for Broadband & Society; Central New York Digital Inclusion Coalition; Community Tech New York (CTNY); EducationSuperHighway; NAACP; National Association of Counties; National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA); National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA); National Digital Equity Center; National Digital Inclusion

Alliance; National League of Cities; NCTA - the Internet & Cable Association; Neighborhood Allies; NTCA – the Rural Broadband Association; the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; and

THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 24 • Number 8 • FEBRUARY 22, 2024 | 7
the New York Public Library. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia The Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act would provide seven billion dollars in federal funding to support the program.
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Housing Cost Burdens for New Yorkers among Nation’s Highest: Comptroller

Almost three million New York households are dealing with housing costs that consume more than 30 percent of their household income, with one in five households experiencing a severe cost burden of more than 50 percent of their income going to pay for housing, according to a recently released report by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

This is the third report in DiNapoli’s “New Yorkers in Need” series. Previous reports focused on poverty and food insecurity.

Housing insecurity is defined as the absence of, or limited or uncertain availability of, safe, adequate and affordable housing. DiNapoli’s report examines three categories of housing insecurity: high housing costs; physical inadequacy, including overcrowding and substandard conditions; and housing stress, including evictions and foreclosures, which may result in homelessness.

Major findings include:

• C ost burdens are the main cause of housing insecurity: In 2022, New York had 2.9 million households paying 30 percent or more of their income for housing. This constituted 38.9 percent of households, the third-highest rate of housing cost burden among states.

• N ew York consistently ranks as one of the states with the highest cost burden for both owners (3rd in 2022) and renters (13th in 2022). The share of New York’s renters who are cost burdened (52.4 percent) is far greater than the share of cost-burdened homeowners (28 percent).

• S everal factors affect cost burden, including the availability of housing at a variety of price points. Between 2012 and 2022, New York added 462,000 housing units, an increase of 5.7 percent. This was far below other states, with New York ranking 32nd in the nation. Owneroccupied housing grew by 8.3 percent compared to 6.4 percent for renteroccupied housing. Monthly household costs grew more rapidly for renters (39 percent) than for homeowners (28 percent) between 2012 and 2022.

• R ates of rental cost burden increased across all income groups

since 2012. Renters earning less than the median tend to be most burdened: 9 in 10 renter households with incomes below $35,000 experienced a cost burden, while 16 percent of households with income greater than $75,000 were burdened in 2022. Between 2012 and 2022 the greatest increases in rates of cost-burden were among renters with household income between $35,000 - $49,999 and between $50,000 - $74,999.

• P hysically inadequate housing appears less prevalent than cost burden. Only 5 percent lived in crowded housing and less than 1% had housing with inadequate plumbing or kitchen facilities.

2 homeless per 1,000 people in Jan. 2023. The number of homeless grew by more than 39 percent in the most recent year, due in part to the influx of asylum seekers in New York City.

For both owners and renters, housing cost burdens are highest in New York City (43 percent of households). More than one-third of households in the Mid-Hudson and Long Island regions are cost-burdened, higher than regions in the rest of New York, where aggregate burdens range from 24 percent in the North Country and Mohawk Valley to 27 percent in the Finger Lakes. At least 40 percent of rental households were burdened across all regions. The greatest share

• S ignificant racial disparities exist among households suffering from housing insecurity. In New York, 55 percent of households headed by a Hispanic person, 50 percent of households headed by a Black or African American person and 48 percent of households headed by an Asian person had at least one housing insecurity problem, compared with 31 percent of households headed by a white person. People experiencing homelessness were also disproportionately Black, Hispanic or Latino.

• H ousing insecurity among seniors exceeds the national average. Forty-three percent of New York households with a person 75 and older and 37 percent of those with at least 1 person 62 to 74 faced housing insecurity, compared to 34 percent and 29 percent, respectively, nationally.

• N ew York’s rate of homelessness, at about 5 per 1,000 people, was the highest in the nation and more than double the national rate of about

was on Long Island (51.4 percent), which has the smallest share of renters (under 20 percent). While more than 30 percent of owners were costburdened in downstate regions, less than 18 percent were in upstate regions.

High-cost burdens are more prevalent in urban areas. More than onethird of households (owners and renters) were burdened in Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, Rochester and Yonkers. Approximately half of all renters were burdened.

As noted in the report, addressing this crisis will require action by all levels of government and must be geared toward increasing the supply and diversity of housing and providing increased assistance to renters to ease housing insecurity, including homelessness. The scale of the problem is beyond the capacity of state and local governments alone to solve and requires the federal government to take the lead in crafting solutions and providing resources to bolster a portion of the safety net that is let -

ting too many Americans fall through.

DiNapoli recommended:

• I ncrease federal assistance, including increasing the number of Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) and authorizing additional Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) and Private Activity Bonds (PABs). LIHTC is the nation’s largest source of affordable housing financing, and changes to LIHTCs should be considered to incentivize the development of more affordable housing units.

• I mprove transparency and effectiveness of current state and local resources and programs. The state should enhance reporting around resources allocated for housing, including capital spending, tax credits, operating spending and local assistance. In addition, the state must better administer current housing programs, as recommended by audits completed by the Office of the State Comptroller.

• S timulate community-appropriate development actions and enhance the diversity and supply of housing stock. This should build on the Executive’s recent actions to provide incentives to certified “pro-housing” communities. Community control and input into development is essential. Local governments should review zoning regulations, and the state should provide planning and logistical support to communities willing to take action and approve statutory changes requested by local governments with a home rule message.

• M itigate evictions and homelessness, including determining how much financial support should continue for the Emergency Rental Assistance and other programs and continuing funding for legal representation for low-income households.

“For too many New Yorkers, finding and keeping an adequate and affordable place to live has become more and more difficult,” DiNapoli said. “Rising costs are stretching household budgets and forcing tradeoffs with other essentials, like food and health care. The consequences of housing insecurity are wide-ranging and while low-income renters are the most cost-burdened, these financial pressures are increasingly felt by middle class households. Action is needed by all levels of government.”

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Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Trial of Borough Man Accused of Murdering Woman in Life Insurance Scheme Begins

The anticipated trial of a Rosedale pimp accused of fraudulently obtaining two life insurance policies in the name of a woman he allegedly would go on to murder, dismember, and attempt to claim benefits under the policies began this week in Brooklyn federal court.

Back in 2021, a superseding indictment was filed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Cory Martin, 36, with murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire. Martin was previously charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and fraudulent use of identification.

As alleged in the indictment and other court documents, in March 2017, a year prior to Brandy Odom’s murder, Martin and a co-conspirator fraudulently obtained two life insurance policies in the victim’s name. They arranged for premium payments to the life insurance companies to be made by Western Union money order and by using a debit card in Odom’s name.

Odom and the co-conspirator were sex workers and Martin was their pimp.

In April 2018, Martin allegedly strangled Odom inside his 148th Road residence, and, over the course of several days, dismembered her corpse. On April 6, 2018, Martin had searched

Home Depot’s website for an online listing for a “Dewalt 12-Amp Corded Reciprocating Saw,” described as featuring a “powerful 12 Amp motor designed for heavy-duty applications.” Later that evening, Martin searched YouTube using the search term “how to insert blade for reciprocating saw” and “using reciprocating saw,” which he subsequently deleted from his cell phone.

In the early morning of April 8 and April 9, 2018, Martin disposed of Odom’s body parts in Canarsie Park with the assistance of his co-conspirator. On April 10, 2018, Martin conducted dozens of Internet searches for

news articles, including “Search area expands after dismembered body found in Canarsie Park in Brooklyn.” Martin also accessed a Twitter post titled “Person walking dog discovers remains of woman in Brooklyn park.” The following day, Martin searched YouTube using the search term “exclusive interview of mother of girl found in park.” After Odom’s murder, at Martin’s direction, several unsuccessful attempts to claim benefits under Odom’s life insurance policies were made by his co-conspirator.

If convicted, Martin faces a mandatory penalty of life imprisonment, or possibly, the death penalty.

Fresh Meadows Father and Son Charged with Stockpiling Ghost Guns

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on Thursday that Hyung-Suk Woo and his father, Ji-In Woo, were arraigned on charges of criminal possession of a weapon after a search of their Fresh Meadows home uncovered ghost guns, including assault weapons, as well as silencers made with a 3-D printer and other weapons-related paraphernalia.

Hyung-Suk Woo, 26, and Ji-In Woo, 55, of 198th Street, were arraigned late last Wednesday night on a 130-count complaint charging them with 10 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree; 67 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree; 20 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree; five counts of criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree; 17 counts of manufacture, transport, disposition, and defacement of weapons; five counts of criminal possession of a firearm; two counts of unlawful purchase of body armor; and four counts of unlawful possession of ammunition.

According to the charges:

The District Attorney’s office conduct-

ed an investigation into Hyung-Suk Woo’s purchase of polymer-based firearm components that are easily assembled into operable guns.

On Feb. 14, officers from the NYPD and the District Attorney’s Detective Bureau executed a court-authorized search warrant at the defendants’ residence and recovered:

• Two loaded and fully assembled AR-15 style ghost gun assault rifles

• Two loaded and fully assembled 9 mm semiautomatic ghost gun pistols with assault weapon characteristics

• One loaded and fully assembled 9

mm semiautomatic ghost gun pistol

• Fifty-eight high-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, 13 of which were personally manufactured

• One ballistic vest

• One ballistic helmet

• Fifteen additional unserialized lower receivers, including eight AR-15 style rifle lower receivers and seven semiautomatic pistol lower receivers

• Four firearm silencers, three of which were personally manufactured utilizing 3D printing;

• A dr ill press and other tools used to manufacture and/or assemble ghost guns

• A pproximately 1,000 rounds of ammunition

The seizure caps the fourth successful ghost gun investigation of the new year carried out by the Queens District Attorney’s office, which has led the city in ghost gun recoveries every year since 2021. In that time, the District Attorney’s efforts to rid the city of ghost guns has resulted in the recovery more than 350 illegal firearms. Thus far in 2024, Queens is leading the Big Apple with 63 percent of the 57 total ghost guns recovered citywide to date.

“Getting guns off our streets is my highest priority. That commitment has made my office a leader in the fight against ghost guns,” Katz said last week. “Last year, we recovered 31 percent of the 359 ghost guns seized citywide and we have led the city in ghost gun recoveries every year since 2021. We will keep fighting the gun plague with everything we have. Every gun seized is a tragedy averted.”

If convicted, father and son each face up to 15 years in prison.

THE FORUM NE WSGROUP • VOL. 24 • Number 8 • FEBRUARY 22, 2024 | 11
Photo Courtesy of Google The Rosedale house in which Brandy Odom met her demise. Photo Courtesy of NYC Parks Martin allegedly disposed of Odom’s body parts in Canarsie Park with the assistance of his co-conspirator. Photo Courtesy of DA Katz “We will keep fighting the gun plague with everything we have,” DA Katz said.
12 | FEBRUARY 22, 2024 • Number 8 • VOL. 24 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 24 • Number 8 • FEBRUARY 22, 2024 | 13 from Physicians Mutual Insurance Company Call to get your FREE Information Kit 1-855-225-1434 Dental50Plus.com/nypress Product not available in all states. Includes the Participating (in GA: Designated) Providers and Preventive Benefits Rider. Acceptance guaranteed for one insurance policy/certificate of this type. Contact us for complete details about this insurance solicitation. This specific offer is not available in CO, NY; call 1-800-969-4781 or respond for similar offer. Certificate C250A (ID: C250E; PA: C250Q); Insurance Policy P150 (GA: P150GA; NY: P150NY; OK: P150OK; TN: P150TN). Rider kinds: B438, B439 (GA: B439B). 6208-0721 DENTAL Insurance For the best service and prices for classified ads and legal notices Call The Forum 718-845-3221 HELP WANTED

Cassena Dietary Services LLC filed Arts. of Org. with the Sect’y of State of NY (SSNY) on 12/1/2023. Office: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served and shall mail process to: The LLC, 225 Crossways Park Dr, Woodbury, NY 11797. Purpose: any lawful act.

BEX IMPORTS LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 12/20/2023. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: MICHELLE BECKER, 558 OAK DRIVE, FAR ROCKAWAY, NY,11691-5411, USA. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

EASTRIDGE HOLDINGS LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 01/10/2024. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Jiashu Xu, 112-15 Northern Blvd, #2, Corona, NY 11368. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

JAB CONSULTING NYC LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 11/13/2023. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: The LLC, 2180 38TH ST APT A3, Astoria, NY 11105, USA. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

JOANNA BURY DESIGN STUDIO-

LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 01/04/2024. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: The LLC, 98 Walnut Street. Forest Hills , NY, 11375, USA. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

MAXIM SCHIDLOVSKY STUDIO

LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 01/15/2024. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: ZENBUSINESS INC. 41 STATE STREET, SUITE 112, ALBANY, NY, 12207, USA. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

PEACE LOVES COMPANY LLC

Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 01/12/2024. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: ZENBUSINESS INC. 41 STATE STREET, SUITE 112, ALBANY, NY, 12207, USA. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

THE INPOWERMENT COMPANY

LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 10/23/2023. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: DIKRAN KRIKORIAN, 208-15 42ND AVE, BAYSIDE, NY, 11361,USA. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

Legal Notices

Notice of Formation of LISTO MANAGEMENT CONSULTING, Arts. of Org. fi led with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/26/23. Office location: Queens County. Princ. office of LLC: 84-14 118th St., Kew Gardens, NY 11415. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to LISTO MANAGEMENT CONSULTING, LLC, 6838 140TH STREET, FLUSHING, NY, 11367, USA, Purpose: Any lawful activity.

LMO EVENTS LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 01/17/24. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to MICHAEL CHOI, 8451 BEVERLY RD. , 5E, KEW GARDENS, NY, 11415, USA. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.

Notice of Formation of M&J SUKENIK FAMILY LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 01/09/24. Office location: Queens County. Princ. office of LLC: 84-14 118th St., Kew Gardens, NY 11415. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to Julie Kessler LLP, 60 E. 42nd St., 46th Fl., NY, NY 10165. Purpose: Any lawful activity.

VNB FUNDING, LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 01/18/24. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, 26-45 213th Street, Bayside, NY 11360. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.

WEWALLET LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 01/15/24. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the ZENBUSINESS INC. 41 STATE STREET, SUITE 112, ALBANY, NY, 12207, USA. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.

ATELIER XIA DONG ARCHITECTURE PLLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 10/13/2023. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: THE LLC, 318 EAST 112TH STREET, 7A, NEW YORK, NY 10029,USA. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

Notice of formation of BARONGI CAPITAL LLC Arts of Org filed with Secy of State of NY (SSNY) on 01/09/24. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent upon whom process may be served and shall mail copy of process against LLC to: STEPHEN BARONGI, 1543 146 PLACE, WHITESTONE, NY, 11357. Purpose: any lawful act.

DREAM-AWAKEN LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 01/24/24. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to: DREAM-AWAKEN LLC, 58-12 QUEENS BLVD., SUITE 2 #1073, QUEENS, NY, 11377, USAthe LLC, 26-45 213th Street, Bayside, NY 11360. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.

Notice of formation of DREEM HOMES LLC Arts of Org filed with Secy of State of NY (SSNY) on 01/25/24. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent upon whom process may be served and shall mail copy of process against LLC to: DENY MINAYA, 93-09 212TH PLACE, QUEENS VILLAGE, NY, 11428, USA. Purpose: any lawful act.

J & P Depot Second LLC filed 10/23/23. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. for process & shall mail to: 73-03 244th St., Douglaston, NY 11362. Purp: any lawful.

Notice of formation of MELVILLE MONTESSORI LLC Arts of Org filed with Secy of State of NY (SSNY) on 01/29/24. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent upon whom process may be served and shall mail copy of process against LLC to: THE LLC, 8026 GRENFELL ST., KEW GARDENS, NY, 11415, USA. Purpose: any lawful act.

RamTec Services LLC filed 1/29/24. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. for process & shall mail to: 3616 Astoria Blvd., #4D, Astoria, NY 11103. Purp: any lawful.

Notice of Formation of FLUSHING MAIN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/05/24. Office location: Queens County. Princ. office of LLC: 41-60 Main St., #208B, Flushing, NY 11355. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to Wai Ying Lam at the princ. office of the LLC. Purpose: Property management.

ALEX AMATO CERTIFIED REGISTERED NURSE ANESTHETIST

PLLC, a Prof. LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 02/05/2024. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: The PLLC, 37-26 32nd St., #5J, Long Island City, NY 11101. Reg Agent: Alex Amato, 37-26 32nd St., #5J, Long Island City, NY 11101. Purpose: To Practice The Profession Of Registered Professional Nursing.

MANULINK LLC Arts of Org. fi led with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 2/08/2024. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to ZENBUSINESS INC., 41 STATE STREET, SUITE 112, ALBANY, NY, 12207, USA. General Purpose

Unretro Media LLC, Arts of Org. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 1/13/2024. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to Shane Mahase, 12621 Inwood St, Jamaica, NY 11436. General Purpose

MLS FAMILY HOMES LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 02/14/2024. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: The LLC, PO Box 610511, Bayside, NY 11361. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.

ATLANTIC SUN USA LLC Arts of Org. fi led with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 2/13/2024. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to LAKPA SHERPA, 2224 38TH ST., ASTORIA, NY, 11105, USA.

General Purpose

Notice of Formation of TWLG 2.0 HOLDING CO., LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/07/24. Office location: Queens County. Princ. office of LLC: 58-38 Page Pl., Maspeth, NY 11378. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to the LLC at the addr. of its princ. office. The regd. agent of the company upon whom and at which process against the company can be served is Corporation Service Co., 80 State St., Albany, NY 12207-2543. Purpose: Any lawful activity.

DRAFT DAY LLC, Arts of Org. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 1/21/2024. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to DRAFT DAY LLC, 84-70 98TH STREET. WOODHAVEN, NY 11421.

General Purpose

FAVKITS MEDIA LLC, Arts of Org. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 2/02/2024. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to ZENBUSINESS INC., 41 STATE STREET, SUITE 112, ALBANY, NY, 12207, USA.

General Purpose

14 | FEBRUARY 22, 2024 • Number 8 • VOL. 24 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP

LINDENWOOD/HOWARD BEACH THE ARDSLEY BUILDING CO-OP

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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 24 • Number 8 • FEBRUARY 22, 2024 | 15
ALLY DEFALCO VANESSA LOZANO Bilingual Executive Assistant OLD HOWARD BEACH
WITH 1-BEDROOM, AND 1-BATHROOM.
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ARE

Dinner is served at

Please join us on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 P.M. until 10 P.M.

Our culinary creations are centered around prime beef, wild seafood, and premium shellfish

We are serving house crafted cocktails, wines and spirits and desserts

16 | FEBRUARY 22, 2024 • Number 8 • VOL. 24 • THE FORUM NE WSGROUP
. .
Nanas At last .
164-26 Crossbay Blvd., Howard Beach, NY, 11414 e-mail:
Nana’s
not just dinner, it’s an experience View our menu at the website listed below
nanasbb164@gmail.com website: nanaseats.com phone 917.994.2454
It’s
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