VOL. 19 • NUMBER 38 • SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
WATER WORKS Ulrich, DEP Announce $1.5M Project to Make Significant Drainage Improvements and Level ‘Sinking’ Blocks in Lindenwood
See Story on Page 3
Major sewer infrastructure upgrades are coming to Shore Front Parkway/157th Avenue and 79th Street, where for years the roadway at the northeast corner has been gradually caving in and patchwork has provided short-lived—or no—relief. Photo Courtesy of Councilman Ulrich’s Office
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 19• Number 38 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 | 1
MTA Releases Historic $51.5B Five-Year Capital Plan
Photo Courtesy of Marc Hermann/MTA New York City Transit
“These proposed investments in our subways and buses have delivered beyond my wildest expectations,” MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford said of the 2020-2024 Capital Plan.
By Michael V. Cusenza The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Monday released the 2020-2024 Capital Plan that proposes investing $51.5 billion into the region’s subways, buses and railroads over the next five years to, as the embattled transit agency characterized, “institutionalize and build on the progress of the Subway Action Plan and create a faster, more accessible, and more reliable public transportation system.” The proposed level of investment is the highest in the MTA’s history, increasing spending on infrastructure by 70 percent over current levels, which were already the highest ever. The program plans to invest more than $40 billion in New York City Transit’s subways and buses alone, as well as major investment in commuterrail systems (Long Island Railroad and Metro-North). 2020-2024 Capital Program highlights include: MTA New York City Subways ($37.3 billion): The proposed capital program will modernize the subways by adding capacity, increasing reliability, and accelerating accessibility. The program includes full funding for Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway from a mixture of federal and local sources. Systemwide priority initiatives funded by the plan include signal modernization, new subway cars, station accessibility, station improvements, and track replacement.
Signal Modernization ($7.1 billion): More frequent and reliable service would come to six subway lines, including the Lexington Avenue Line, serving more than 50 percent of riders. Subway Cars ($6.1 billion): 1,900 new subway cars would join the subway car fleet, modernizing the customer environment and improving mechanical reliability to mitigate up to 10 percent of delays. Station Accessibility ($5.2 billion): 70 stations would be made accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act so that customers will be no more than two stations away from an accessible station; stations serving over 60 percent of passengers would be accessible. Four of these stations would be accelerated into the current 20152019 Capital Plan. Station Improvements ($4.1 billion): The MTA would perform renewal work addressing components in need of critical repair at about 175 stations, including replacement of 78 elevators and 65 escalators. Track Upgrades ($2.6 billion): New York City Transit would replace 60 miles of track and install 20 miles of continuous welded rail, creating a quieter ride and leading to fewer broken rails. MTA New York City Buses ($3.5 billion): The proposed program calls for more than 2,400 new buses, depot improvements and customer experience up-
grades. It accelerates the transition to a fleet composed fully of zero-emissions electric buses. Replacement and Additional Buses ($2.5 billion): The MTA would replace more than 2,200 of the oldest buses, including with electric, hybrid and compressed natural gas buses, and expand the fleet size by more than 175 buses. The MTA proposes investing $1.1 billion to modify depots for electric bus operations, and to purchase 500 electric buses, including replacement buses and some additional buses. The program will enable the MTA to acquire only electric buses beginning in 2029. Customer Experience Improvements ($109 million): The MTA would accelerate the rollout of on-board digital information screens to provide realtime service information, add bus lane cameras that improve traffic enforcement, and add equipment for traffic signal priority, bringing for faster service to bus customers. LIRR ($5.7 billion): The proposed capital plan makes the investments necessary to enable a transformation of the LIRR by the planned December 2022 opening of East Side Access and Main Line Expansion. East Side Access will allow more than 160,000 daily customers to travel to Grand Central Terminal, saving commuters up to 40 minutes per day. Main Line Expansion will add a third track on 10 miles of the Main Line
2 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • Number 38 VOL. 19 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
corridor, used by 40 percent of LIRR customers. These projects, along with Jamaica Capacity Improvements, will enable a 60-percent increase in reverse commute and a 50-percent increase in peak service between Manhattan and Long Island, according to the MTA. “These proposed investments in our subways and buses have delivered beyond my wildest expectations,” said MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford. “The system has been stabilized and this capital plan offers us an extraordinary opportunity to now modernize it and provide world-class transit options to New Yorkers in an unprecedented time frame, and as we move forward we will rise to that challenge on behalf of our customers.” So how will the beleaguered agency pay for such an aggressive plan? According to the MTA, the single largest source of funds for the plan—$25 billion—comes from bonds backed by new revenue streams authorized in this year’s State budget, including $15 billion from congestion-pricing tolling that was passed by the Legislature and signed into law in April by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as part of the State’s FY 2020 budget. The MTA indicated that it anticipates receiving $10.68 billion from federal funding programs. Another $10 billion will come from bonds backed by newly established revenue sources dedicated to public transportation: a
progressive tax on high-end real estate sales and the elimination of the internet tax advantage. The State under Cuomo has pledged $3 billion, subject to approval by the Legislature; and the City under Mayor Bill de Blasio has been asked to pledge an equal amount. The remaining $9.8 billion will come from the MTA in the form of pay-as-you-go capital contributions and bonds backed by longstanding dedicated taxes, fares, and revenues from existing tolling. “The proposed capital program will be truly transformational—more trains, more buses, more service, more accessibility, and more reliability,” MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber gushed. “We now have the opportunity to quickly start building the system we need for the future, and through the use of the Design-Build approach it will enable us to deliver those projects faster, better, and cheaper.” MTA Chairman & CEO Patrick Foye called the proposed 2020-2024 Capital Program “the most ambitious capital plan in the agency’s history… This plan expands service, increases reliability, speeds up the system, and delivers the world’s largest-ever investment in accessibility, for both NYC Transit and the MTA’s commuter railroads, and at the end of this five-year period, New Yorkers will see a revitalized and modern system for the 21st Century and beyond.”
Ulrich, DEP Tout Major Sewer Infrastructure Upgrades in Lindenwood By Michael V. Cusenza The City has targeted Lindenwood for long-awaited, significant sewer infrastructure upgrades, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and Department of Environmental Protection officials announced Friday after examining a familiar eyesore at the northeast corner of the intersection of 157th Avenue and 79th Street, where the slowly sinking roadbed has been perilous for pedestrians and motorists alike for years. Joined by DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza, P.E., and Howard Beach community leaders, Ulrich announced that he has secured $1.5 million in capital funding for the agency for an exhaustive project that will make significant drainage improvements and level the “sinking” blocks. “Thank you to the Council Member for putting together the funding and the work that needed to be done for a comprehensive fix of this corner,” said Joann Ariola-Shanks, president of the Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic Association. “[This area] has been a safety concern for us—for people who want to cross here, for people who want to park here, [and]
Photo Courtesy of Councilman Ulrich’s Office
Councilman Ulrich and Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic Association President Joann Ariola-Shanks probe the plagued patch of Lindenwood.
for people who drive down this street when it is dark. We will find out exactly what’s wrong with this corner and why it sinks thanks to the funding that the councilman provided.” The civic first reported the good news in June. The group also lauded Sapienza for being “extremely helpful” in getting approval for the drainage improvement project from the
Office of Management and Budget and the City Department of Transportation. Both DEP and DOT have patched the area several times since 2014, but the road eventually continued to descend. Area residents have fretted about the swath of street depreciating into a massive sinkhole. “This is not an easy fix,” Com-
munity Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton said. “Patches have been done by DOT [and] DEP to fix the street and sidewalk, but a full restoration really needed to be done and thanks to the Council Member, [there is] now funding [for] it in FY 2020 capital plan to get that placed,” Sapienza added. “I just want to thank members
of my team who have put the plan in place and come up with the process; and again to Council Member Ulrich for his advocacy and partnership.” According to Ulrich, DEP will enter Phase 1 of the project as soon as next month, with work expected to be complete in as little as six weeks, pending any unforeseen circumstances. Phase 1 will entail a “ground-penetrating radar survey,” which will detect voids in the ground and—finally—provide residents with an answer as to why the block continues to sink. Once DEP detects those voids, they are filled during excavation. A portion of the funding will go toward “lifting” the sinking areas and bringing both the street and sidewalk close to grade. “This is one of the most notorious flooding locations in the district. This area has been sunken in for a very long time. DEP and DOT have done their best to patch over the area to mitigate some of flooding, but the blocks continued to sink,” Ulrich said. “I am very pleased to announce that I was able to secure $1.5 million in taxpayer funds to supporting this project, which will finally give residents a permanent solution.”
Former 106th Precinct Cop in Alleged Murder-for-Hire Plot Denied Bail By Michael V. Cusenza The former NYPD cop accused of scheming to employ a hitman to murder her estranged husband and the minor daughter of her current boyfriend has been denied bail, according to federal court records. In a six-page decision, Judge Sandra Feuerstein wrote that she finds that Valerie Cincinelli, 35, “poses a danger to the safety of the allegedly intended victims and the community, particularly in light of the serious risk that [Cincinelli] would attempt to obstruct justice, as evidenced by her alleged conduct in destroying and/or attempting to destroy evidence prior to her arrest and her disobedience of court directives while in custody. Upon consideration of the factors…particularly the nature and seriousness of the crimes charged; the lengthy term of incarceration the defendant faces if convicted; the strength of the government’s evidence; and the defendant’s personal characteristics and history, particularly her lack of impulse control and remorse and her defensiveness, the Court finds that there is no condition or combination of conditions of release that will reasonably assure the safety of the allegedly intended victims and the community.” Cincinelli, who worked out of the 106th Precinct, was arraigned back in May on an indictment charging her with two counts of murder for hire and one count of obstruction
Valerie Cincinelli’s (c.) trial is set to start on April 20, 2020.
of justice. According to the indictment, an FBI investigation revealed that earlier this year, Cincinelli demanded that her boyfriend, Howard Beach resident John DiRubba, hire a hitman to murder Cincinelli’s estranged husband, Isaiah Carvalho, Jr., and DiRubba’s 14-year-old daughter, who resides in New Jersey. DiRubba, 54, turned to the feds for help. Between February 2019 and the present, ac-
cording to authorities, Cincinelli and DiRubba discussed the murder-for-hire plot both in person, as well as in communications over cell phones; some of said conversations were consensually recorded at the direction of FBI agents. During those conversations, Cincinelli allegedly made it known in no uncertain terms that she wanted Carvalho and the kid dead. DiRubba told Cincinelli that he knew someone who would kill both of them for
$7,000. According to prosecutors, on or about Feb. 18, Cincinelli made a cash withdrawal of $7,000 from a TD Bank branch in Wantagh, L.I., to pay “the hitman.” Bank records confirm the cash withdrawal. Then, Cincinelli gave $7,000 in cash DiRubba to give to the hitman in payment for the murders. According to federal officials, at the direction of FBI agents, Cincinelli was notified in person at her home that Carvalho had been murdered. DiRubba was with Cincinelli at the time of the notification, outfitted with a recording device at the direction of law enforcement. Almost immediately after the Suffolk County detective left Oceanside, Cincinelli began to discussed her alibi—specifically, what she would tell the police if she were to be questioned about Carvalho’s death. Then, around 35 minutes later, an FBI agent, posing as the hitman, sent a text message to DiRubba, which included a photograph of Carvalho appearing dead in his car, and a demand for an additional $3,000 to kill DiRubba’s daughter. In response, Cincinelli instructed her boyfriend to delete the text messages and photographs, citing her fear that law enforcement could subpoena the phone. “The audio and video recordings of [Cincinelli] discussing the murders are extremely strong evidence of her intent to have them killed,” federal prosecutors said in May.
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 19• Number 38 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 | 3
Eight Arrested for Pushing Pain Pills: Feds
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During the course of the investigation, the suspects allegedly distributed millions of Tramadol pills.
By Forum Staff Eight individuals, including five from Queens, have been arrested for their alleged roles in a sizable opioid-pill distribution scheme, federal prosecutors announced Thursday. Ezhil Sezhian Kamaldoss, 46; Gulab Gulab, 45; and Baljeet Singh, 29, of Richmond Hill; Parthiban Narayanasamy, 58, of Jamaica; and Mukul Chugh, 24, who lives in Long Island City, have been arraigned on a criminal complaint charging them with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance containing Tramadol, a synthetic opioid. Kamaldoss is also charged with money laundering. According to charging documents, since approximately January 2018, law enforcement agents across multiple federal agencies have been investigating the large-scale importation of misbranded controlled substances, including Tramadol, into the Unit-
ed States from India. As part of the alleged scheme, distributors in India shipped misbranded Tramadol and other drugs to individuals and entities in the United States through the U.S. mail and other commercial couriers. The suspects primarily operated out of a warehouse in Queens in which they repackaged the pills and mailed them to customers throughout the country. The crew allegedly maintained daily ledgers detailing the names, addresses, pill size and pill amounts ordered by customers. During the course of the investigation, the suspects allegedly distributed millions of Tramadol pills. “These individuals chose greed and profit at the cost of human lives,” said Homeland Security Investigations-Baltimore Special Agent-in-Charge John Eisert. If convicted, Kamaldoss faces up to 25 years’ imprisonment. The remaining defendants each face up to five years’ imprisonment.
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Liberty/101st Ave. Surveys are Vital: Addabbo
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Liberty Avenue and 101st Avenue between the Van Wyck Expressway and Woodhaven Boulevard have been selected by QEDC to be part of its Avenue NYC Commercial Revitalization grant program.
By Forum Staff In an effort to help the Queens Economic Development Corporation spread the word about its plans to revitalize and improve the commercial corridors along Liberty and 101st avenues in Ozone Park and Richmond Hill, State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) is urging area consumers to complete an important survey that will be part of the QEDC Commercial District Needs Assessment. Those who frequently shop along the two thoroughfares are encouraged to fill out a survey detailing their favorite establishments, how much time they spend in the commercial district, what they would like to see added to these shopping areas, and other questions that will help QEDC and the City Department of Small Business Services gather information about the commercial district and customers’ spending habits. Addabbo noted that SBS selected QEDC’s application for Liberty Avenue and 101st Avenue between the Van Wyck Expressway and Woodhaven Boulevard to be part of its Avenue NYC Commercial Revitalization grant program. These grants provide multi-year commitments aimed at building the capacity of partner organizations to better understand neighborhood needs, develop impactful programs, and sustain their work in the community for at least three years. “Small and local businesses are critical to our local economy and are the bedrock for successful communities,” Addabbo added. “If I can help in any way to make the Liberty Avenue/101st Avenue com-
mercial area even more vibrant and successful, I will do it because our business owners deserve it, our residents deserve it, and our communities deserve it. I encourage all those who shop on Liberty Avenue and 101st Avenue to fill out the consumer survey to give QEDC and Small Business Services the most accurate information so they can get a better sense of what the area needs.” QEDC staffers will also be going doorto-door along the commercial district to hand out their merchant surveys to acquire information from the businesses in order to better understand the challenges they face and how to properly address those concerns. “QEDC is happy to receive the support of SBS in working to strengthen the business environment in the South Richmond Hill and Ozone Park area,” said Ricardi Calixte, deputy director of QEDC. “Thriving local retail corridors embodies the vibrancy and economic fabric of a neighborhood. Through the Avenue NYC commercial revitalization program, QEDC will engage local partners and community stakeholders to conduct a comprehensive analysis of neighborhood strengths, needs, and opportunities; these findings along with community input will help shape planning and program development strategies to help area businesses and enhance the shopping experience for local residents.” If you shop along Liberty Avenue or 101st Avenue and want to participate in the anonymous consumer survey, copy and paste this link into your browser: https:// cutt.ly/RichmondHillConsumer.
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EDITORIAL The City’s Best Friend “The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his Heaven, not man’s.” We couldn’t agree more, Mr. Twain. Our loyal readers know that The Forum is staffed with unabashed champions of canine causes. In fact, Cocoa, a precocious ball of endless energy otherwise recognized as a chocolate Labrador; and Massimo, a Cane Corso that has been our steadfast sentinel for the past four years, are even vital cogs of our bustling newsroom. (Yes, Gov. Cuomo. They have the W2’s to prove it.) Our love for man’s eternal companion led us to the desire to shine a well-deserved light on a new City Administration for Children’s Services program featuring our favorite furry friends. According to ACS, more than a dozen teenagers involved in the City juvenile justice system are being taught how to train dogs to become certified therapy animals. The paid vocational program aims to promote positive behavioral changes among at-risk youth so that they can successfully transition back into their communities. The youth participating in the program currently reside in Close to Home residences operated by Rising Ground, a nonprofit human services organization that provides children, adults, and families in the greater New York City area with the resources and skills needed
to help them rise above adversity and positively direct their lives. Close to Home is a juvenile justice reform initiative that has allowed New York City youth who have been adjudicated juvenile delinquents to be placed in residential care with ACS near their home communities.
ACS partners with nonprofit agencies, like Rising Ground, to deliver strengths-based programs that support their treatment and help them transition back into their communities. According to ACS, the purpose of the dog training program is two-fold. First, the paid
work experience provides the youth with new skills that can be leveraged when leaving Close to Home and entering the workforce. Second, the program aims to promote positive behavioral changes that will help them transition into productive adults. Specifically, research suggests that the act of petting animals releases an automatic relaxation response and can lower anxiety, provide comfort, and reduce loneliness. “What is beautiful about training therapy dogs is that it has multiple benefits for our youth,” Lisa Crook, Rising Ground’s vice president of Justice for Youth and Families. “Not only do the juveniles learn to be responsible for another being and get a taste of what a career in dog-training might be like, they also get all the therapeutic benefits animals have to offer.” As part of the dog training program, approximately a dozen at-risk youth had the opportunity to work with a certified master dog trainer at Backcountry K-9 Training. The youth were taught how to train dogs to become certified therapy animals. The dogs included: Simon (yorkie), Murphy (vizsla; much like the vizsla pictured) and Jay Mo (pitbull mix). Best of luck to ACS and the youth involved in this incredible initiative. And a tip of the cap to Simon, Murphy, and Jay Mo. Thank you for the work you do and for being you.
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Gillibrand Urges Senate to Reauthorize National Flood Insurance Program Immediately By Michael V. Cusenza With the National Flood Insurance Program set to expire at the end of September, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Tuesday urged Senate leadership, via a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs, to extend the NFIP without delay and to ensure that any legislation includes her reforms to fix the current broken system and make flood insurance policies more affordable for New Yorkers. Gillibrand helped write the bipartisan National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2019, which would extend the NFIP for five years and fi x the problems plaguing the beleaguered program. The NFIP Re Act of 2019 was introduced in the Senate earlier this summer, but no vote has been taken on the measure. The NFIP Re Act of 2019 would: • Place protections against sudden rate shocks for policy holders and implement regulations for Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new rating methodology. • Provide vouchers for homeowners and renters if their flood insurance premium causes their housing costs to exceed 30 percent of the Adjusted Gross Income. • Freeze interest payments on the NFIP debt while reinvesting savings towards
The National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire at the end of this month.
mitigation efforts to restore the program to solvency and reduce future borrowing. • Provide robust funding levels for costeffective investments in mitigation, which have a large return on investment and are the most effective way to reduce flood risk, Gillibrand said. • Increase the maximum limit for Increased Cost of Compliance coverage and expand ICC coverage eligibility to encour-
age more proactive mitigation before natural disasters. • Authorize funding for Light Detection and Ranging technology, which would help create more accurate mapping of flood risk across the country, reducing confusion and generating better data. • Place limits on profits for private insurance companies; Write Your Own compensation policies would be capped at the
rate that FEMA pays to service its own policies. • Create new oversight measures for insurance companies and vendors and provide FEMA with greater authority to terminate contractors that have a track record of abuse. • Fundamentally reform the claims process to level the playing field for policyholders during appeal or litigation, ban aggressive legal tactics preventing homeowners from filing legitimate claims, hold FEMA to strict deadlines so that homeowners get quick and fair payments, and end FEMA’s reliance on outside legal counsel from expensive for-profit entities. • Provide for increased training and certification of agents and adjusters to reduce mistakes and improve the customer experience. “My constituents across the State of New York desperately need this bipartisan, common-sense bill, from families still struggling to rebuild from Superstorm Sandy on Long Island to low-income homeowners in Syracuse who are struggling to keep up with rising premiums they cannot afford,” Gillibrand wrote in her Tuesday missive to McConnell and Crapo. “I urge you to make reauthorizing and reforming the NFIP a priority for this Congress and seize the opportunity to achieve a real bipartisan legislative accomplishment that will profoundly help millions of Americans.”
Cuomo Signs Six Sept. 11-related Bills into Law By Michael V. Cusenza Last Wednesday, a group of borough elected officials marked the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States by joining Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Manhattan as he signed six bills—on Empire State first responders, that fateful Tuesday morning, and its harrowing aftermath—into law. “The 100,000 brave men and women who showed up to help on 9/11 deserve to be taken care of the way they took care of us, and we’re not going to leave them alone because they are American heroes,” the governor said at the 7th Annual 9/11 Motorcycle Ride and ceremony in Manhattan. The package of measures that are now officially on New York’s books include laws that: • Make it easier for volunteers at the World Trade Center site who now work for the State to file claims for sick leave by providing a process for public authorities and municipal corporations outside of the five boroughs to obtain reimbursement for line-of-duty sick leave granted to their employees and allowing certain municipalities and authorities to use sick leave for qualifying World Trade Center conditions. This bill also provides protection to employees while on leave and establishes greater re-
Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
The governor congratulates Sen. Addabbo, whose bill establishing a September 11th Remembrance Day Cuomo recently signed into law.
view and oversight of claims processing by State and local governments. • Increase the number of physicians authorized to evaluate members of the New York City Employee Retirement System applying for a disability pension. This allows NYCERS to acquire a pool of physicians with the necessary expertise to properly evaluate WTC-related disabilities,
helping prevent lengthy delays and denials of disability pensions for Sept. 11 first responders. • Extend the period to file an application for an accidental death benefit after the death of a loved one to five years. This allows the family of members of the State and Local Retirement System or the State and Local Police and Fire Retirement Sys-
tem sufficient time to apply for the benefit. • Expand WTC disability benefits to include Tier 3 and 4 public employees who are members of the Teachers’ Retirement System and the State and Local Employees Retirement System. This bill would provide a final average salary disability retirement benefit and three-quarters disability pension to certain participants in WTC rescue, recovery or cleanup operations. • Provide retirees of the City Fire Department that are diagnosed with certain cancers or melanoma a presumption that the cancer was incurred in the performance of duties. The bill establishes a five-year “lookback” window, making the retirees eligible to receive disability benefits. • Establish September 11th Remembrance Day, which allows for a brief moment of silence in public schools across the state at the beginning of the school day every Sept. 11. Cuomo signed this bill, which was sponsored by State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach), on Sept. 9. “Southern Queens and Rockaway faced an enormous loss of life following 9/11, and I believe that it is our responsibility to protect those that bravely and unselfishly protected us,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Howard Beach), “and these laws accomplish just that.”
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 19• Number 38 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 | 7
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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 19• Number 38 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 | 9
Cuomo Moves to Ban Flavored E-Cigs
Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
“E-cigarettes have been implicated as a key indicator in the upward trend of the use of tobacco products among youths in recent years,” DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said on Sunday. “These regulations will help curb this dangerous trend.”
By Michael V. Cusenza Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday announced an emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes in New York—the latest salvo in his war with vaping companies that, as Cuomo said, are marketing flavors that are intended to get children addicted to nicotine. In an emergency meeting on Tuesday, the State Public Health and Health Planning Council voted to approve the ban. Cuomo has directed State Police and the State Department of Health to immediately partner to ramp up enforcement efforts against retailers who sell to underage youth, with the possibility of criminal penalties. The governor also announced he will advance legislation in Albany’s next session to ban deceptive marketing of e-cigarettes to teens and children. According to the administration, the State Police and DOH will conduct undercover investigations across New York under The Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act, which enlists underage youth to attempt to buy tobacco and e-cigarette products. Retailers found selling tobacco and vaping products to underage individuals will now face criminal penalties in addition to civil penalties. When the legislation signed in July is effective on Nov. 13, these sweeps and compliance efforts will continue with a renewed focus on sales to those under age 21, Cuomo noted. According to the State, the “dramatic” increase in use of e-cigarettes by youth is driven in large part by flavored e-liquids, and flavors
are a principal reason that youth initiate and maintain e-cigarette use. According to DOH data, nearly 40 percent of 12th grade students and 27 percent of high school students in NY are now using e-cigarettes, and this increase is largely driven by flavored e-liquids. High school use in 2018 (27.4 percent) is 160 percent higher than it was in 2014 (10.5 percent). While New York’s high school student smoking rate dropped to a record low of 4.3 percent in 2016 from 27.1 percent in 2000, aggressive marketing promoting flavored e-cigarettes stands to turn that trend, State officials posited. Flavoring is a key youth marketing strategy of the vaping/aerosol industry just as it is in the cigarette, cigar and smokeless tobacco markets. E-cigarette marketing highlights flavors such as mint chocolate, bubblegum and cherry cola, which, State Health officials noted, creates a “deceptive belief” that they are not harmful to users. In a 2017 survey of 15- to 17-year-olds in NY currently using e-vapor products, 19 percent said that flavors were the reason that they first tried an e-cigarette and 27 percent said flavors were the reason for maintaining use. Studies also show nearly 78 percent of high school students and 75 percent of middle school students report being exposed to pro-tobacco marketing in 2016. “E-cigarettes have been implicated as a key indicator in the upward trend of the use of tobacco products among youths in recent years. These regulations will help curb this dangerous trend and will further safeguard the health of all New Yorkers, especially among underage youths,” said NY DOH Commissioner Howard Zucker, M.D.
10 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • Number 38 VOL. 19 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
The Pharmacist’s Corner Presented by Frank Pantina, R.Ph WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FLU PART ONE
The onset of the flu season can be extremely unpredictable, but there are certain warning signs that act as warnings of what is ahead. The flu season has already reared its ugly head in the Southern Hemisphere and clues about what comes into the Northern Hemisphere are revealed through that. In Australia, where winter has just ended, a very virulent flu strain, H#N2, was dominant. Additionally, a 4 year-old California boy with the flu has died. Although the child had underlying health issues, doctors warn that it should never be forgotten that the flu kills. Last year's flu season ran from Oct. 1, 2018, to May 4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that last year, there were 37 million to 43 million flu illnesses in the U.S and 36,400 to 61,200 flu-related deaths. If you’re questioning the proper time to get the flu shot, we recommend that you get it now but definitely before Thanksgiving. Healthy people who get the shot in September will normally be protected through the spring. Older adults may want to schedule their vaccination for sometime in October because their immune system may wane earlier. Generally speaking flu activity picks up in October and November and usually peaks in February, lasting sometimes into the spring months. THE CDC recommends everyone over 6 months of age getting the shot, especially expectant mothers. If you’re are skeptical about getting the flu
vaccine because some years it does not prove to be optimally effective (due to the severity of certain strains), evidence proves that if you do get sick, your symptoms can be much less severe. Flu shots are readily available at Cross Bay Chemist where we are also happy to discuss any of your concerns about getting vaccinated. A specific flu shot called Fluzone may be best for older adults due to evidence that a high dose vaccine provides greater protection. there is evidence that the high-dose vaccine will provide greater protection. Fluzone and the standard dose shots available this year include protection against several influenza strains, including H1N1 and H3N2. FluMist, the nasal spray favored by kids and anyone else averse to needles, is also back this year. While staving off the flu is at the top of the list of winter health priorities, it’s not the only culprit of the season. Common colds, coughs, congestion, allergies and other winter bugs can arrive at your proverbial doorstep and keep you under the weather for a long time. Your pharmacist can make many recommendations for preventative preparations as well as those to work on developing conditions. Next week we will talk about many things your pharmacy can provide to help make this a better winter. Enjoy this season to its fullest. Stop sickness in its tracks – act quickly and choose an effective response. Until next week…
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FAITH TALK The problem-prone, task-oriented, fastpaced lifestyle that most of us are forced to live leaves us emotionally and spiritually fatigued, while it crowds out the whispers of God’s voice in our hearts. We face endless “to-do” lists for family, work, and community organizations which add a weight to our souls. Often a good night’s sleep fails to truly refresh us. We sometimes feel that it is all we can do to keep up with the pace. Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass captures this predicament well by making the character of Red Queen say to Alice, “Now here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” Such frantic activity is a symptom of a deeper spiritual emptiness that drives us to search for meaning in something larger than ourselves. On the other hand, people with the op-
posite lifestyle, the sick, the poor, and the unemployed rarely claim to have found inner rest. The boredom etched on their faces and the lethargic pace with which they walk proves that release from labor does not guarantee rest. In fact, people with a lot of free time frequently long for release from a life of monotony and boredom. Our restlessness is a symptom of a dysfunctional relationship with God, and neither a faster nor a slower pace will remove it. The human soul can only find rest in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Saint Augustine said it well, “Thou hast made us for thyself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee.” To this restless, fatigued generation, wandering in a spiritual wilderness, the Savior calls, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Pastor Stephen Roser Howard Beach Assembly of God
Ozone Park Man Pleads Guilty in Gunpoint Rape By Forum Staff An Ozone Park man recently admitted to raping a woman at gunpoint in Jamaica last December, Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said. George Persaud, 24, has pleaded guilty to first-degree rape. Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter has indicated that he would sentence Persaud on Oct. 3 to 17 years in prison, followed by 15 years’ post-release supervision. According to the charges, on Dec. 29, 2018, around 11:45 p.m., Persaud approached the victim, 40, on the street and displayed what appeared to be a black firearm and said “Don’t do anything stupid or I’ll kill you.” He then George Persaud, 24, has pleaded guilty to first-degree rape. proceeded to sexually assault the victim.
According to court records, Persaud directed the victim to a nearby gas station where he forced her to perform a sex act. At one point, Persaud appeared to let the woman leave, but as she moved away from him he followed her to her vehicle, forced her into the back seat of the car, forced her again to perform a sex act and raped her. According to the court records, Persaud took the victim’s car keys and drove the two of them to an alleyway on 100th Street. When he exited the car to relieve himself, he took the keys with him locking her inside. At that time, the victim remembered she had a spare key in her handbag, retrieved it and drove away from the scene. Ryan noted that fingerprints retrieved from the interior rear driver’s side window of the victim’s car were matched to Persaud.
Fugitive Captured in Nassau County, Charged with August South Ozone Park Murder By Forum Staff A South Ozone Park man wanted in connection with the death of a man shot once in the chest last month has been apprehended in neighboring Nassau County and is now facing both murder and weapons charges, Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said. Tevin Jackson, 38, has been arraigned on a criminal complaint charging him with one count of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Jackson was remanded and ordered to Photo Courtesy of Google return to court on Oct. 9. Tyrell Rice was shot once in the chest as he walked along Rockaway According to the charges, around 10:30 p.m. on Aug. Boulevard near 135th Street.
30, Jackson approached the victim, Tyrell Rice, as he walked along Rockaway Boulevard near 135th Street. Rice, who is commonly known by the nickname “Shots Fired” was shot once in the chest and died as a result of the injury. “This was a directed hit on a young man who was just 29 years old. After allegedly shooting the victim once in the chest, the defendant fled the scene and the county in an attempt to escape justice,” Ryan said. “But, he is back in our jurisdiction thanks to the great work of the Regional Fugitive Task Force and he will now be held accountable for this alleged act of senseless gun violence in our community.” If convicted, Jackson faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
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We serve the construction, ﬁnancial, entertainment, restaurant, medical, Not-for Proﬁt Industries THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 19• Number 38 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 | 11
Can Mobile Betting Boost Arena Attendance?
Your problems are our job. Let us begin helping you with a free consultation.
Photo Courtesy of NYCGO
Mets home game attendance at Citi Field dipped to 2,224,995 in 2018 from 2,460,622 in 2017.
By Michael V. Cusenza Can a legal mobile sports wagering program in the Empire State bring casual baseball fans back to Citi Field and Yankee Stadium? At least one area elected official says Yes. Citing published 2019 data culled from Major League Baseball stadium turnstiles that indicates that for the fourth-consecutive season, attendance has decreased significantly, State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) on Monday said he believes that implementing mobile sports betting could help drive more fans to the games, at least in Flushing and the Bronx. The chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering posited that instead of looking for reasons why fans haven’t been showing up, we should be searching for solutions to attract individuals to arenas. In June, Addabbo’s bill that would implement sports betting in NY via smartphones and
tablets breezed through the Upper Chamber by a 57-5 vote. However, just days later, the measure seemed to stall in the Assembly. “I believe that if fans have another reason to go to a stadium to watch a game—because they have a bet placed on which team will win or an in-game situation—it has the potential to bring in more fans,” Addabbo said. Still, the senator remains optimistic about the mobile sports wagering bill’s prospects in Albany. And he pointed to NY’s next-door neighbor as proof that the worthwhile reward won’t simply line the pockets of the bettors that took the risk. “With the MLB playoffs starting soon, football season starting, and the hockey and basketball seasons right around the corner, money that could be going into our State’s educational fund is going to New Jersey,” Addabbo noted. “I hope we can seriously address mobile sports betting in New York when session begins again in January 2020.”
Vets Honored in Ozone Park
Photo Courtesy of Assemblyman Miller’s Office
The Franklin K. Lane High School ROTC program presented the Stars and Stripes at the annual Veterans Breakfast.
By Forum Staff The Glendale Kiwanis and Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) recently recognized borough residents who have served the country in the Armed Forces and their communities at home at the annual Veterans Breakfast at Deshi Senior Center in Ozone Park. Each year Miller and the Glendale Kiwanis
spotlight vets from the 38th Assembly District. All honorees received a plaque and a citation from the Glendale Kiwanis and South Queens elected officials. This year’s honorees included: Master Sgt. Eddie Carr and Lt. Col. Ralph Gracia from the Franklin K. Lane High School Reserve Officers Training Corps program; U.S. Marine Corps veteran and State Sen. James Sanders, Jr. (D-South Ozone Park); Michael Daughtry from Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32; Joseph Richard Smith from American Legion Woodhaven Post 118; Wilbur Cook from Glendale Post 104; and Russell Goeller from Brewery Keenan Heiser Post 1815. Mary Murray, wife of Cpl. John Murray from Woodhaven Post 118, also was presented with a plaque and citation honoring her late husband. Additionally, the Governor’s Queens Regional Rep. Jordan Beberman presented a certificate of recognition to the Lane ROTC program. “Our veterans have given us our freedom and have secured our way of life,” Miller said. “They have sacrificed their time with their families; have been abroad on tours during the holidays and served thousands of miles away from our country. They defended us from our enemies and kept us out of harm’s way abroad and on our soil.”
12 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • Number 38 VOL. 19 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 19• Number 38 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 | 13
Legal Notices 267 CARLETON LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 08/05/2019. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Athena Venetis, 23959 65th Avenue, Douglaston, NY 11362. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose. Notice of Formation of A & A DREAM VENTURES LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 5/29/19. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: A & A DREAM VENTURES LLC, 9151 88TH STREET WOODHAVEN, NY 11421. Purpose: any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of IMPERFECTIONSBYLLA LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 6/20/19. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: IMPERFECTIONSBYLLA LLC, 218-12 141st Road, Laurelton, NY 11413. Purpose: any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of THE SOURCE CONSULTING GROUP, LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 7/23/19. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: TUNISHA W. WALKER-MILLER, 116-05 196TH STREET, SAINT ALBANS, NY 11412. Purpose: any lawful activity. COMMUNITY GROWTH VENTURES LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 7/29/2019. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Andrew Machles, 41-17 Crescent Street, Apt 5F, Long Island City, NY 11101Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose. Notice of Formation of IMPERFECTIONSBYLLA LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 6/20/19. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: IMPERFECTIONSBYLLA LLC, 218-12 141st Road, Laurelton, NY 11413. Purpose: any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of Respect Auto Queens II LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 07/01/19. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Telos Legal Corp, 99 Washington Ave., Ste. 805A, Albany, NY 12210. Purpose: any lawful activities. TC ASTORIA REALTY, LLC Articles of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 08/21/19. Off. loc.: Queens Co. SSNY des. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: THE LLC, 31-31 41st STREET, ASTORIA, NY 11103. Purpose: General. PARNASSUS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, LLC Articles of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 08/05/19. Off. loc.: Queens Co. SSNY des. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: PARNASSUS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, LLC. 148-25 89th AVENUE, #1-0, JAMAICA, NY 11435. Purpose: General. MISSED OUT GOODS LLC Articles of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 08/15/19. Off. loc.: Queens Co. SSNY des. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: GREGORY ESTEVEE, 21567 SPENCER AVE, 1st FLOOR, QUEENS VILLAGE, NY 11427. Purpose: General.
CLUB KINGS LLC, Arts of Org filed with SSNY on 08/12/19. Off. Loc.: Queens County, SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to: The LLC, 64-02 68th Ave Ridgewood, NY 11385. Purpose: to engage in any lawful act. 119 117 ST LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 7/03/19. Office in Queens Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to The LLC 254-10 Northern Blvd Little Neck, NY 11362. Purpose: Any lawful activity. SUCCESS FINTECH LLC, Arts of Org filed with SSNY on 08/01/2019. Office Location: Queens County, SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to: The LLC, 135-15 40th Rd #601 Flushing, NY 11354. Purpose: to engage in any lawful act. DAS OPERATIONS LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 5/10/19. Office in Queens Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to: SHOWON DAS, 37-10 95th STREET APT 3J, JACKSON HEGHTS, NY 11372. Purpose: Any lawful activity.
FRF-NY LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 5/22/2019. Office in Queens Co. SSNY desig. agent of LLC whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: FRFNY LLC, 31-32 38TH STREET, ASTORIA, NY 11103. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. Notice of Formation of 1 ARNOLD DRIVE INDUSTRIAL LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 09/06/19. Office location: Queens County. Princ. office of LLC: 28-18 Steinway St., Astoria, NY 10003. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to Shibber Khan at the princ. office of the LLC. Purpose: Real estate. GOLDSTAR PREMIER, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 7/29/2019. Office in Queens Co. SSNY desig. agent of LLC whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: DIANN TRAMEL, 139-21 225TH STREET, Laurelton, NY 11413. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.
Notice is hereby given that an Order entered by the Civil Court, Queens County, on the 8 th day of AUGUST, 2019, bearing Index No. 000549-19/QU, a copy of which may be examined at the Office of the Clerk, located at 89-17 Sutphin Blvd., Jamaica, New York, 11435, grants me the right to assume the name of (first) LEAH(middle) NICOLE (last) RIZZO. My present name is LEAH NICOLE LASROSA (infant). My city and state of my present address is SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY. The month and year of my birth are MARCH 2014. The place of my birth is QUEENS, NY. 3 HUB ARCHITECTURE PLLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 7/11/19. Office in Queens Co. SSNY design. Agent of PLLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to The LLC 134-42 Blossom Ave Ste 1A Flushing, NY 11355. Purpose: Any lawful activity.
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Notice of Formation of AKRGRAPHICS LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 5/08/19. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon CLOVER MILL ASSOCIATES, INC. whom process against it may be served. SSNY 337 Merrick Road Lynbrook NY 11563 • 516-568-1800 shall mail process to: AKRGRAPHICS, 19-19 24th AVENUE #L505 NY 11102. CLIENT : ASTORIA, ABLE HEALTH CARE Purpose: any lawful activity. Ad for: NY Classified Ad Network (NYNT)
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CAR CARE, LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. Use this during week of Monday, September 16, 2
of State of NY (SSNY) on 8/27/19. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as Size: column agent of LLC upon 2 whom process against it may x 4” (3.125” wide x 4” high) be served. SSNY shall mail process to: DAVID FILE: WALLEN, 201-17NYNT091619_nyc.cdr 100TH AVE, HOLLIS, NY Revision 11423. Purpose: any lawful0 activity. Set: August 22, 2019 Program: CorelDraw 14.0 Notice of Formation of BILMK 36, LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 7/12/19. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: The LLC, 34-40 28th St, Astoria, NY 11106. Purpose: any lawful activity. Ramniklal Ventures LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 8/2/2019. Office in Queens Co. SSNY desig. agent of LLC whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to 10-02 44th Dr., Long Island City, NY 11101. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. DELCO LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 7/24/2019. Office in Queens Co. SSNY desig. agent of LLC whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to Geuka Delva, 13846 78th Avenue, Apt. 1c, Flushing, NY 11367. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.
14 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • Number 38 VOL. 19 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
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16 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • Number 38 VOL. 19 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP