VOL. 21 • NUMBER 36 • SEPTEMBER 22, 2022
STATUE OF DISCRIMINATION Borough Man Charged with Destroying Gandhi Sculpture at Richmond Hill Temple
See story on page 2
Sukhpal Singh, 27, has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly smashing a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Tulsi Mandir Temple last month. Photo Courtesy of COPCP
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 36 • SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 | 1
Borough Man Charged with Hate Crime for Destroying Gandhi Statue in front of Richmond Hill Temple
The front of the Tulsi Mandir Temple
By Forum Staff Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Monday that Sukhpal Singh, 27, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime for allegedly smashing a statue in front of the Tulsi Mandir Temple last month. The incident took place around 3:00 AM on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. District Attorney Katz said, “As alleged, the defendant, along with several unapprehended others, committed a disgraceful act of violence against a Mahatma Gandhi
Photo Courtesy of Google
statue that has become a universal symbol of peace, unity and inclusivity. Hate and bias-motivated attacks have no place in our communities and my Office will hold such perpetrators accountable. The defendant has been apprehended and is charged appropriately.” Singh, of Little Neck Road, Queens, was arrested on Saturday and charged with one count of criminal mischief in the second degree as a hate crime, criminal mischief in the second degree and aggravated harassment in the first degree. Sunday, the defendant was arraigned on the
Photo Courtesy of Cityline Ozone Park Civilian Patrol
Further evidence of vandalism near the temple.
charges before Queens Criminal Court Judge Odessa Kennedy, who ordered the defendant to return to court on October 17, 2022. Singh faces up to fifteen years in prison if convicted. According to the complaint, on August 16, 2022, at 9:00 a.m., a priest at the Tulsi Mandir Temple located at 103-26 111th Street observed a statue depicting Mahatma Gandhi was broken into multiple pieces along with the words “Kutta Dog” spray painted on the pieces. Furthermore, officers observed video surveillance from August 16, 2022, which
depicted five individuals pushing down the Mahatma Gandhi statue, striking it several times with a sledgehammer and spray painting the statue and running towards Liberty Avenue and then some entering a Mercedes Benz C-Class vehicle bearing the license plate # KUG9664 and some entering a black Toyota Camry. Continuing, said DA Katz, after investigation by the NYPD it was determined that the registered owner of the Mercedes Benz vehicle observed on video surveillance is defendant Singh. “I commend our police department in apprehending and charging one of the criminals in his role with the destruction of the Tulsi Mandir Temple’s Gandhi statue. Attacks like this directed at a specific culture or religion cannot be tolerated and in my opinion are crimes against the entire community. I also thank the Queens DA’s office for treating this as a hate crime. Hopefully we can educate more people on the harm that these hate crimes cause and let criminals know that there are consequences for their actions. We will continue to stand together on the side of peace and love, the foundation for most every religion, to drive out hate,” State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) said in a statement.
Mayor Adams Lauds $35M Investment in Phase One of QueensWay By Michael V. Cusenza
of abandoned rail track has come down to QueensWay vs. QueensRail: park land vs. public transportation in the World’s Borough. Proponents of the QueensRail are devoted to the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach Rail Line either as part of the Long Island Rail Road or, more likely, the City subway system. The defunct spur was put into service in the late 19th Century under the control of the LIRR and connected Rockaway and southern Queens
with Rego Park, provided area residents with expedient access to other parts of the city, and 40-minute commutes to Midtown Manhattan from the Rockaway Peninsula. On Friday, Adams admitted he’s a fan of QueensWay. “New York is a five-borough city, and every borough deserves high-quality park space. That’s exactly what we are delivering with this $35 million investment in one of our vital neighborhoods in Queens,”
Mayor Eric Adams on Friday announced a $35 million investment for design and construction of the Metropolitan Hub in Queens—phase one of a new multiphase, long-discussed greenway and park project called QueensWay. According to Adams, this phase of the project will transform a vacant, city-owned corridor in Forest Hills into a five-acre park with 0.7 miles of greenway, providing residents with new open space, improved access to recreational amenities, outdoor education opportunities for students, and a safe transportation corridor connecting people to schools, businesses, and 10 bus lines. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) will manage the construction of the Met Hub in collaboration with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks). The funding includes $2.5 million from the New York City Council. The QueensWay project involves converting the long-abandoned Rockaway Beach Rail Line of the Long Island Rail Road—a 3.5-mile, 47-acre swath of the borough, from Rego Park to Ozone Park— into a $120 million public park, similar to the Highline in Chelsea, boasting trails and amenities. However, for the past several years, Photo Courtesy of Trust for Public Land and Friends of the QueensWay the debate over what to do with the span Conceptual rendering of the QueensWay Metropolitan Hub.
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Adams said. “QueensWay phase one will convert abandoned railroad tracks that have been used as a dumping ground into a linear park that will make this community safer, healthier, greener, and more prosperous. The community has been asking for this for decades, and I am proud to stand with them to show how we ‘Get Stuff Done’ for New Yorkers.” Once complete, the QueensWay will include a 47-acre park and seven miles of greenway from a converted unused railroad line. The project will cover the Queens neighborhoods of Rego Park, Forest Hills, Glendale, Forest Park, Woodhaven, and Ozone Park. The proposal was conceived by the Trust for Public Land and Friends of the QueensWay. The project concept is the result of an extensive community outreach that included public and stakeholder workshops, information tables at local community events and festivals, and more than 20 public tours. “We all saw how the High Line overnight became one of the hottest destinations in the entire city, for New Yorkers and tourists alike, who flock to all the surrounding businesses,” said Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (D-Woodhaven). “Now Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Glendale, Richmond Hill, Little Guyana, Rego Park, and Forest Hills will have their own linear park that will produce the same economic renaissance.”
Mayor Announces Vax Mandate Flexibility
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The City is encouraging private businesses to put in place their own vaccine policies after making the private sector vaccine mandate optional.
By Michael V. Cusenza As Mayor Eric Adams received his own COVID-19 bivalent booster shot on Tuesday, he and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan announced the launch of a citywide campaign to promote COVID-19 boosters this fall. In the next week, print, television, radio, and digital ads will go live across New York City promoting booster shots. With the recent rollout of bivalent booster shots by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the new campaign will encourage all eligible New Yorkers to get their booster shot for an added layer of protection for themselves and those around them. In addition to promotion of COVID-19 booster shots, the campaign being launched in the next week will promote other annual vaccinations. Mayor Adams and DOHMH Commissioner Vasan also, Tuesday, announced more flexibility for New York City’s businesses by encouraging private businesses to put in place their own vaccine policies after making the private sector vaccine mandate optional. And as New York City’s students head back to school, the city created more flexibility for parents and encouraged families to ensure their children have their primary and, if eligible, booster shots after making vaccines optional for students who participate in extracurricular activities, including, among other activities, New York City’s Public School Athletic League (PSAL). “We are launching a new campaign in the next week that encourages all eligible New Yorkers to get their booster shot for an added layer of protection
for themselves and those around them,” Adams added. “And with so many tools now more easily accessible to keep New Yorkers safe from COVID-19, the additional flexibility we are announcing for private employers, students, and parents puts the choice back into each of their hands. We urge all New Yorkers to make a plan to get vaccinated if they are eligible, and we are grateful to the millions of New Yorkers who have already stepped up to keep themselves and their community safe.” Several officials and groups praised Adams’s move. “After a constructive meeting with our caucus two weeks ago, we are very pleased Mayor Adams has decided to remove COVID vaccine mandates that have been hurting our businesses, hampering our city’s economic recovery and preventing our children from fully participating in sports and after-school activities,” City Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park) and the Common Sense Caucus wrote in a statement. “This is a significant step toward correcting the errors and inequitable policies of the previous administration. We will continue engaging with the mayor and his administration to also end the public employee COVID vaccine mandate and bring back City workers who were placed on leave or fired due to their vaccination status, especially now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have declared that this pandemic is over.” The Police Benevolent Association echoed the sentiment. “This announcement is more proof that the vaccine mandate for New York City police officers is arbitrary, capricious and fundamentally irrational,” said PBA President Patrick Lynch.
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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 36 • SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 | 3
Pols Urge City to to Consider Purchasing Homes at Risk of Flooding during Storms
Thousands of borough basements were flooded during Hurricane Ida.
By Forum Staff Following the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Ida devastating Queens, and local floods occurring again last week, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) on Tuesday led a letter to Mayor Eric Adams, urging him to consider implementing a voluntary buyout program for homes in the borough that are at risk of severe flooding during storms. The correspondence, signed by several other Queens elected officials, encourages the mayor to use the $187 million in federal Ida relief money that New York City received
from the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Funding (CDBGDR). The money was included in the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, a bill that Meng helped pass in Congress last year. The City is presently finalizing a plan for using the funds which can go toward purchasing local homes. “In Queens, lives were turned upside down by the unprecedented flooding that the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused last year, and constituents continue to pick up the pieces from the damage they sustained,” said Meng. “And many who were
4 | SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 • Number 36 • VOL. 21 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
In 2019, the collapse of an old pipe caused an extensive flood of raw sewage that damaged dozens of South Queens homes.
impacted by Ida were also affected by last week’s flooding, forcing them to endure additional setbacks. In order to address this issue in our borough, we must use every tool that is at our disposal, and implementing a voluntary buyout program, in conjunction with my call to upgrade our sewers and catch basins with money from the federal infrastructure bill, would go a long way toward helping to combat the problem, and improve the safety and wellbeing of our communities. We must act to help save lives and prevent future property damage.”
According to the CDBG-DR, funds may be used for designing and implementing a buyout program in which the city could purchase properties in a target area with the intent to demolish the structures to create park amenities, open space, or flood storage/overflow areas. The letter is signed by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr.; Queens State Sens John Liu, Toby Stavisky and Leroy Comrie; Queens Assemblymembers Andrew Hevesi and Catalina Cruz; and Queens Councilmembers Linda Lee, Bob Holden, and Sandra Ung.
Recycling Event Returns Next Month
On Oct. 9, members from Lower East Side Ecology Center will be on hand at the Forest Park Bandshell Parking Lot in Woodhaven from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to collect unwanted electronic waste.
By Forum Staff This fall, State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) along with Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (D-Woodhaven) and Councilman Bob Holden (D-Maspeth) will be teaming up with the Richmond Hill-South Ozone Park Lions Club to bring an electronics recycling event to Forest Park next month. On Sunday, Oct. 9, members from Lower East Side Ecology Center will be on hand at the Forest Park Bandshell Parking Lot in Woodhaven from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to collect unwanted electronic waste. “Recycling your old or unwanted electronics may be confusing for some residents as the laws surrounding what can and cannot be left out on the curb seem to change every so often,” Addabbo said. “That is why we love holding these bi-annual e-waste recycling events where residents can come and know that their electronics are being disposed of properly and not sitting in our landfills and polluting the ground at a convenient location right in their own community.” Electronics that will be accepted during the event: • Computers (laptops & desktops, servers, mainframes);
• Monitors (CRT and flat screen); • Handheld devices (smart phones, tablets, MP3 players, e-readers, etc.); • Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.); • Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, cords, chargers, etc.); • Components (hard drives, CDROMs, circuit boards, power supplies, etc.); • Printers under 50 pounds, scanners, fax-machines, etc.; • TVs, VCRs, DVRs, DVD & Bluray Players; • Digital Converter Boxes, Cable/ Satellite Receivers; • Audio-visual equipment (cameras, microphones, etc.); • Video-game consoles and accessories; • Cell phones, pagers, PDAs. Items that will NOT be accepted: • Batteries of any kind; • Stereo equipment; • Landline phones/answering machines; • Extension cords; • Smoke detectors; • Any hazardous materials or paint; • Household appliances. “Recycling electronics is common sense. If we throw old electronics in the trash, they can leak dangerous toxins. If we recycle them, they can be worth $7.5 billion,” Rajkumar said. “We owe everyone a world that is clean, sustainable, and free of waste, including the 7 million tons of electronic waste we produce each year. That is why I am delighted to team up again with Senator Addabbo and our community partners to bring this popular event to the people of South Queens.” “I’m proud to co-sponsor these ewaste recycling events with my colleagues in government and the Lower East Side Ecology Center, because they offer a convenient, safe and environmentally friendly way for constituents to dispose of unwanted electronics,” Holden added. “They're very popular and it's also fun to see some of the older items being discarded.”
The e-waste recycling event has long been one of Senate District 15’s most popular events.
The Pharmacist’s Corner
Presented by Frank Pantina, R.Ph
MEDS FOR YOUR PET: Don't just hand them out... People always come into the pharmacy asking questions about giving animals over the counter (OTC) people meds. No one wants to see their beloved pet suffer, but we need know that giving them NSAIDs or acetaminophen (Tylenol and oth¬er brands, which are not NSAIDs) out of our medicine cabinets may not be safe for dogs or cats, and doses vary widely. Some OTC human pain relievers can be toxic–even deadly–in pets. Never give your animal something you take unless speaking with your vet first. Similarly, pet owners shouldn't assume that a medicine good for one animal is nec¬essarily safe for another. Rule number 1--Communicate with your vet. Before giving your animal an NSAID: --Make sure you know what the medica¬tion is being prescribed for, how much to give and how long to give it. --Discuss possible side effects and symp¬toms, especially those that require an imme¬diate call to the vet. --Tell your veterinarian if the pet has a history of gastrointestinal problems, such
as stomach ulcers, or surgery on the stomach or intestines. --Tell your veterinarian if your pet is on any other medications or supplements. If your pet is on medication, make sure you ask your vet these questions: -Why is my pet on this medication and how long do I need to give it? -How do I give the medication to my pet? Should it be given with food? -How often should the medication be giv¬en and how much should I give each time? If it is a liquid, should I shake it first? -How do I store the medication? -What should I do if my pet vomits or spits out the medication? -If I forget to give the medication, should I give it as soon as I remember? -What if I accidently give too much? -Should I finish all of the medication? -Could this medication interact with oth¬ers? -What reactions should I watch for? -When do we comeback? - Will you be calling me to check on my pet’s progress, or should I call you? If you follow these simple rules, you and you best friend should enjoy a long healthy life together.
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.
Pol Talks Safety ahead of Jewish Holidays
Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Howard Beach) recently met with 101st Precinct officials and local leadership to discuss heightened security for the Jewish community in regards to the upcoming high holidays. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the two most holy and sacred days in the Jewish faith, have always warranted a conspicuous police presence—and this year will be no different, Pheffer Amato noted. Over the past few years, anti-Semitic attacks have spiked. According to the Anti-Defamation League, there was a 34-percent increase in attacks in 2021, compared to the previous year.
It was also reported that this is the highest level of tracking and reports in more than 40 years. Recently in Far Rockaway, a Jewish man was attacked and had anti-Semitic words shouted at him, to which the NYPD responded swiftly and effectively. “This was a deplorable act of hate that will not be ignored. I am thankful for the NYPD and their immediate action, and also to the Queens District Attorney who will be prosecuting this man for a hate crime,” Pheffer Amato said. “Let me say it loudly so everyone hears it: Hate and intolerance is not accepted in this community and those that act this way will be held accountable to the highest level.” Photo Courtesy of Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 36 • SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 | 5
Rockaways Show Signs of Recovery after Pandemic Setback
Post-Hurricane Sandy investments and construction activities are still on-going on the peninsula, with regular community engagement around planning in an effort to improve the area’s resilience.
By Forum Staff Communities in the Rockaways were some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than two years after the pandemic first struck, an economic report released earlier this month by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli finds positive signs of business and employment growth that offer reason to believe the Rockaways is on the road to recovery. New York City’s iconic Rockaway Peninsula is an 11-mile-long barrier in Southwestern Queens. The communities along the peninsula are Far Rockaway, Bayswater, Edgemere, Arverne, Hammels, Seaside, Rockaway Park, Belle Harbor, Neponsit, Rockaway Beach and Breezy Point. The Rockaways saw steady business growth since 2000, with the number of businesses increasing by nearly 60% (459 firms) to reach a peak of 1,281 firms in 2021. This was substantially greater than the borough of Queens (43.8%) and citywide (28.5%) business growth. Almost 82% of the businesses on the peninsula were microbusinesses, defined as having fewer than 10 employees. As of 2021, retail trade accounted for the largest number of firms, followed by health care, leisure and hospitality and professional and business services. The Rockaways also experienced strong employment growth following a decline in 2013 caused by Superstorm Sandy, with the number of workers employed on the peninsula growing by almost 40% by 2019, just prior to the start of the pandemic. As with businesses, this expansion in jobs outpaced borough and citywide employment growth. With the onset of the pandemic in 2020, employment on the peninsula declined, although by a slower percentage than in Queens or citywide. Job losses were reversed by 2021, however, with employ6 | SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 • Number 36
ment growing in all sectors except transportation and warehousing. Population on the peninsula increased by 8% between 2010 and 2020. This was slightly higher than population growth in Queens (7.8%) and citywide (7.7%), and was accompanied by a shift in composition, as the share of residents who identified as either Hispanic or Asian increased significantly. Despite the Rockaways’ improving economic trajectory, the COVID-19 pandemic underscored and exacerbated longstanding inequities in the area, where rates of unemployment, food insecurity and poverty vary widely between communities. The 54.5% share of Rockaways residents aged 16 and over that were employed in the 2016-2020 period was higher than the share of those who were working in the 2006-2010 period, but still lower than the borough and citywide shares. However, employment growth rates over the decade varied drastically from community-to-community, ranging from 73.6% in Arverne to less than 2% in Edgemere and Rockaway Park, signaling uneven economic growth across the peninsula. The Rockaways also had the highest share of households living below the federal poverty threshold (18.3%) among the 14 Census-defined neighborhoods in Queens in 2016-2020. Household poverty rates were lowest in Belle Harbor (1.3%) and highest in Far Rockaway (22%) and Edgemere (28.6%). Housing affordability was a pressing issue for Rockaways residents during this period, as 51% of renters were considered rent burdened, with at least 30% of their income going towards rent, and 25% were considered severely rent burdened, with at least 50% of their income put towards rent. Notably, the rent burden level for the area was not as acute as it was for Queens (53%) or • VOL. 21 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
citywide (28%). Food insecurity has also been an issue for Rockaways residents, particularly in Edgemere and Hammels, where more than one-half and one-quarter of households, respectively, relied on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program between 2016 and 2020. Compounding economic challenges that existed prior to the pandemic, Rockaways residents were particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted the city’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity (TRIE) to designate an area comprised of four out of five ZIP code areas in the Rockaways as one of the city’s 33 hardest hit areas by the pandemic. This area also had some of the lowest vaccination rates across the city. As of July 11, 2022, one of these four ZIP code areas, 11691, which includes Far Rockaway, Edgemere, Bayswater and Hammels, had the highest number of COVID-19 deaths and cumulative death rates across the peninsula, as well as the second-highest death rate in Queens and the fifth-highest death rate of all 177 ZIP code areas in the city. In addition to being severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Rockaways, a barrier susceptible to storm surges and climate risks, was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and experienced extensive damage to essential infrastructure and private property. The TRIE designation and impacts of these public health and storm emergencies reflect the vulnerability of the area. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Community Resilience Estimates 2019 data showed that more than one-half of Arverne and Far Rockaway residents were at medium risk of experiencing disaster in an emergency event with more than two-fifths of Edgemere residents categorized as high risk. “Over the decade since Hurricane Sandy we have healed and come together to be-
come a stronger community and over the last two years we battled through the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, I believe we are on a positive path towards economic growth and strength with the opening of new businesses and housing developments, however we still struggle with unemployment and transportation among other issues on the peninsula. The Comptroller’s Economic Snapshot provides valuable information on how far we have come and what is still left to be done,” said State Senator James Sanders Jr. "I am proud to have worked in partnership with Comptroller DiNapoli and his office to furnish an economic and demographic snapshot of the Rockaways. From data on healthcare and housing to infrastructure and food insecurity, this report will serve as a helpful tool for informing legislation, programs, and resources to improve quality of life for our Rockaway community. Whether rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy or recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, this report shines a bright light on both the adversity and resilience of the Rockaway peninsula. As a lawmaker, I look forward to referencing Comptroller DiNapoli's report as our community works collaboratively to close socioeconomic gaps and promote the economic health of the Rockaway community," said Assembly Member Khaleel M. Anderson “I am a lifelong Rockaway resident and have seen the strides we have made, especially in the past few years as indicated in the report by the NYS Comptroller’s Office. I thank Comptroller DiNapoli for presenting this vital information as it shows that our business and employment numbers have increased, our median household incomes have grown to new heights, and our post Hurricane Sandy resiliency efforts have been effective. While this community still faces many challenges, I am committed to bringing new resources from the State and rolling up my sleeves to fight for what we need in the Rockaway community,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato. Additional Economic Snapshot Findings • From 2010-2020, the Rockaways’ Asian population increased nearly 40% (by 1,004 residents) while the Hispanic population increased by nearly 19% percent (by 4,483 residents). • During the analysis period, the average commute time (49.7 minutes) for residents was the longest of all the city’s 55 Census-defined neighborhoods. • In the Rockaways, school enrollment increased slowly but steadily in the years prior to the pandemic, then fell by 2.8% in 2020-21 and 3.5% the following year; enrollment in charter schools has continued to rise despite the pandemic. • Post-Hurricane Sandy investments and construction activities are still on-going on the peninsula, with regular community engagement around planning in an effort to improve the area’s resilience. • Major crimes (seven major violent and property crimes) in the Rockaways declined in both years since the start of the pandemic in 2020, in contrast to citywide figures. This trend continued for violent crimes as of July 2022.
Jamaica Man Indicted in Slaying of Girlfriend and her Family By Forum Staff Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Tuesday that Travis Blake, 29, has been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on murder charges and other crimes for the June 2022 murders of his girlfriend, her adult son and niece inside her Jamaica home. The defendant fled to Maine and was returned to New York on Friday. District Attorney Katz said, “As alleged, this defendant carried out a horrific triple murder and then fled the state, leaving a devastated family and a mourning community in his wake. Such brutal disregard for human life will not go unanswered. Despite being on the run immediately following the murder, the defendant is now in custody and faces justice in our courts.” Blake, was arraigned Tuesday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ushir Pandit-Durant on a six-count indictment charging him with murder in the first degree, three-counts of murder in the second degree, and two-counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Pandit-Durant ordered the defendant to return to court on Oct. 18, 2022. If convicted, Blake faces up to life in prison.
The three victims were discovered in this 155th Street home in Jamaica.
According to the indictment, on June 24, 2022, at approximately 3:05 a.m., police responded to a 911 call at the defendant’s residence on 155th Street in Jamaica and discovered the three victims inside the home, 55-year-old Karlene Barnett, her 36-year-old son, Dervon Brightly, and her 22-year-old niece, Vashawnna Malcolm. All of them had been deceased for approximately two days. According to the charges, video sur-
Photo Courtesy of Google
veillance footage showing the entry points of the defendant’s 155th Street residence on June 22 depicted the defendant in the backyard at approximately 2:50 p.m. apparently bleeding from a hand injury and using a hammer to drive a nail into a beam of wood. The defendant then entered the house where victim Brightly had previously entered approximately thirty minutes earlier. Several hours later, at approximately 7:30 p.m., victim Barnett entered
the residence and never exited again. According to the charges, on June 24 a witness who also lives at the residence, noticed an odor from the bedroom of victim Malcolm and discovered her body after opening the door. The witness called 911 and police responded to the residence. Once on the scene, according to the indictment, detectives discovered Malcolm deceased in her second-floor bedroom, undressed from the waist down, and bound with duct tape with several apparent puncture wounds to her chest. Police gained entry to a locked basement door and followed a trail of blood to a bedroom where Barnett was discovered with apparent head trauma injuries and several puncture wounds to her body. Police also discovered Mr. Malcolm in the basement who had head trauma injuries and puncture wounds on his body. Police also recovered several bloodstained items including a hammer, screwdriver and a beam of wood with a nail embedded in it. Items including a bloodstained bucket, blood-stained bottles of household cleaner and a mop were also recovered. Police recovered the cell phone, passport and valuables of the defendant at the house. Police apprehended the defendant on June 30 in Bar Harbor, Maine.
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 36 • SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 | 7
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MTA Completes Track Replacement Work along Archer Av, J and Z Lines
The 121st Street J and Z station in Richmond Hill.
By Forum Staff The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Sunday announced that normal J and Z service was restored a 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 19, between the 121 St and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer stations in Queens following completion of approximately 2.4 miles of track replacement. This work on the J and Z lines replaced 12,500 feet of track and third rail, about double the length of track replaced for the E track
Photo Courtesy of Google
reconstruction work in 2020, also in Southeast Queens. The 40-year-old-track was replaced with a successfully proven updated design to increase durability and improve quality of service. With this final segment of a multi-phase project complete, the total amount of track replaced in this area of Queens is 18,800 feet, about 3.6 miles, the length of about 64 football fields. The first part, completed in December 2020, involved the reconstruction of the E track between Jamaica-Van
The Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer hub.
Wyck and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer and replaced 6,300 feet of track in 10 weeks. This track replacement project, which began earlier this year on July 1, required a full temporary suspension of service to accommodate the work due to the replacement of direct fixation track. Unlike conventional tracks, which are most common in the subway and easier to replace in shorter time periods during low ridership such as overnight hours, direct fixation track requires the concrete roadbed to be en-
Photo Courtesy of Google
tirely reconstructed. This project replaced 12,500 feet of direct fixation track, with the exception of 3,000 feet, which was replaced in kind. For information on upcoming service changes and trip planning, customers are encouraged to check Planned Service Changes on the MTA website or sign up for the MTA Weekender, a new newsletter intended to inform customers about major weekend service changes throughout the transit system.
MTA to Install Security Cameras in Every City Subway Car By Forum Staff
two per car. The total funding to complete the installations equals $5.5 million. When installation begins an additional 200 train cars per month will have cameras installed until the entire subway car fleet is cameraequipped, which is anticipated to occur sometime in 2025. In addition, when new R211 subway cars are delivered starting in early 2023 they will already be cameraequipped.
"I am proud that we will be installing cameras on all Subway cars - expanding our security capabilities, deterring crime, and providing our law enforcement with support. As we continue welcoming riders back to the transit system, we will continue doing everything in our power to keep riders safe." All Metro-North trains are equipped with cameras, and more than 90 percent of
Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday in Corona announced that Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit has received a $2 million award, through the Urban Area Security Initiative federal grant program, which will provide funding for the installation of cameras across the entire fleet of subway cars, enhancing security coverage, and, most importantly, increasing passenger confidence in mass transit safety. The Urban Area Security Initiative is a program under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Preparedness Grants. The funding will enable the purchase of 5,400 cameras to be installed on 2,700 New York City Transit subway cars, two per car. Additionally, the program will fund approximately 3,800 cameras expanding coverage in approximately 130 subway stations. The funding will further strengthen NYC Transit's existing security network of more than 10,000 cameras across all 472 subway stations. The new funding covers the cost of camera installation on 6,355 cars, allowing the MTA to fully outfit every subway car with cameras -- supplementing an existing camera pilot program that includes 200 cameras in 100 subway cars. Additionally, funding from the Subway Action Photo Courtesy of Kevin Coughlin/Office of the Governor Plan totaling $3.5 million will enable the A federal grant will provide funding for the installation of cameras across the entire fleet of city subway cars. purchase of 7,310 cameras on 3,655 cars,
Long Island Rail Road trains are equipped with security cameras. Last year, camera installation across every subway station was accelerated and completed ahead of schedule. Two thousand cameras were installed in 2021 alone. "The NYPD will never cede an inch in its ongoing work to ensure the safety and security of the millions of riders who, each day, depend on us throughout the nation's largest subway system. This is our most basic promise as we remain dedicated to preventing crime, terrorism, and disorder,” City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. “The NYPD already uses existing MTA cameras, with great success, to solve crimes. Now, with ridership increasing and overall serious crime in the transit system back below pre-pandemic levels - a consequence of the NYPD's increased, concentrated deployment in stations and on trains - the installation of additional MTA cameras covering the entire fleet of subway cars will further our investigatory capabilities and enhance our ability to provide effective, efficient public safety both below and above ground." New York City Transit President Richard Davey added, "It's been proven time and time again that cameras in the transit system help fight crime throughout the whole city, not just on the subway. Expanding the camera network will serve to deter those who are intent on committing a crime from entering the transit system."
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Two City Correction Officers Plead Guilty to Accepting Bribes from Rikers Island Inmates
The two former City COs have pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for smuggling contraband into Rikers Island.
By Forum Staff On Tuesday, in Brooklyn federal court, former City Correction Officer Krystle Burrell pleaded guilty to bribery, admitting that she accepted nearly $10,000 in bribe payments in exchange for smuggling contraband into Rikers Island. On Aug. 16, former City CO Katrina
Patterson pleaded guilty to bribery, admitting that she accepted more than $34,000 in bribe payments in exchange for smuggling contraband into Rikers Island. Burrell and Patterson are employed by the City Department of Corrections (DOC). According to court documents and facts presented at the guilty plea proceedings, Patterson accepted at least $34,090 in bribes from co-conspirators on behalf of co-defendant Michael Ross in exchange for Patterson smuggling contraband into the Robert N. Davoren Center on Rikers Island for Ross. Ross, who was incarcerated on unrelated offenses, arranged for the bribes to be sent to Patterson. DOC personnel subsequently located narcotics and cell phones in Ross’s cell. Law enforcement also recovered Patterson’s text messages, including messages where a co-conspirator told Patterson that some of the contraband would be “4 black joints in 1 paper,” and Patterson responded, “it better be wrapped so many times I don’t want to smell it.” Burrell accepted bribes in exchange for smuggling contraband into the Anna M. Kross Center on the island for co-defendant Terrae Hinds, facilitating Hinds’ contraband smuggling business and permitting Hinds and others to violate DOC
regulations. Hinds, who was incarcerated on unrelated offenses, arranged for approximately $9,780 in bribe payments to be sent to Burrell. In exchange, Burrell smuggled at least two unauthorized cell phones to Hinds, and also facilitated Hinds’ sale of narcotics and other contraband items at the Anna M. Kross Center.
W hen sentenced, Burrell faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment and Patterson faces up to five years’ imprisonment. Ross, who is a Bloods gang member, has also pleaded guilty to a bribery offense and is awaiting sentencing. Charges against Hinds remain pending.
“When correction officers betray their oath to serve and protect, the public is put at risk and the entire law enforcement community is tarnished,” said City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell. “We have zero tolerance for such misconduct.”
Members of Violent ‘Bully Gang’ Charged in Superseding Indictment By Forum Staff A superseding indictment was unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn charging 26 defendants, including nine members and associates of the violent NYC-based street gang known as the “Bully Gang” with various offenses, including racketeering, murder, drug trafficking, money laundering, and firearms offenses. The superseding indictment includes new charges against the following members and associates of the Bully Gang for three murders and one attempted murder in Brooklyn and Queens committed in2018 and 2020: • Derrick Ayers, also known as “Dee” is charged with the March 3, 2018 murder of Jonathan Jackson in Brooklyn. • Franklin Gillespie, also known as “Spazz” and “Frankie Gino,” is charged with the April 11, 2020 murder of Paul Hoilett in Brooklyn. • Gillespie and Anthony Kennedy, also known as “Biggie,” are charged with the April 15, 2020 murder of Mike Hawley in Queens. • Demetrius Johnson, also known as “Q,” is charged with the July 18, 2020 attempted murder of a victim in Brooklyn. The superseding indictment also charged four new defendants, Tiri Brown, also known as “Tyhoe,” Courtney Foster, also known as “Biga,” Avery Goodluck,
also known as “Ave,” and Johnson, with narcotics trafficking charges for their role in a scheme to traffic narcotics between New York and Maine. Ayers, Gillespie, and Kennedy were previously in custody on the underlying indictment. Defendants Brown, Foster, Goodluck, and Johnson were arrested Tuesday.
Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Breon Peace
As set forth in the superseding indictment and other court filings, members and associates of the Bully Gang used force and violence to promote its power, terrorize communities in multiple states
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and enrich themselves and their members. Their members engaged acts of violence including murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, and arson. The superseding indictment adds charges stemming from the gang’s years-long use of violence and brutality to target its enemies. As alleged, on August 21, 2017, Bermon
Clarke, a leader in one of the charged narcotics conspiracies, set fire to a house in Blaine, Maine with at least two occupants inside. The March 3, 2018 murder of Jonathan Jackson alleged in the indictment was
the culmination of an exchange of gunfire that followed a “gender reveal” party in Brooklyn. As alleged, during a foot chase along Kings Highway, Ayers repeatedly fired on Jackson at close range. The murders of Hoilett and Hawley occurred just days apart in April. 2020. As alleged, Gillespie targeted Hoilett, approaching him from behind and firing at the back of Hoilett’s head at point-blank range. Four days later, Gillespie and Kennedy allegedly lured Hawley to a meeting place in Far Rockaway where he was shot and killed. As alleged, the Enterprise and its coconspirators also operated a years-long, sophisticated drug trafficking network responsible for trafficking large quantities of dangerous drugs like crack, heroin and fentanyl through New York to Maine, and elsewhere. The enterprise’s drug proceeds were collected on a regular basis and laundered through financial transactions and the purchase of high-value assets, including jewelry and cars. During the investigation, law enforcement seized more than $380,000 in cash, more than 15 firearms, 6 kilograms of cocaine, 600 grams of fentanyl, multiple luxury watches, and four vehicles with concealed “trap” compartments installed. To date, 53 defendants have been charged as part of the prosecution, with 27 pleading guilty.
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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 36 • SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 | 13
Legal Notices MARQUIS JS LLC Filed 3/14/2022. Office: Queens Co. SSNY designated as agent for process & shall mail to: 128 COLES WAY, LAKEWOOD, NJ 08701. Purpose: General.
SELF CARE SERIES, LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 08/14/2022. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: SELF CARE SERIES, LLC, 22-44 JACKSON AVE APT 2106, LONG ISLAND CITY, NY 11101, USA. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.
AMITY 64, LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 04/25/2022. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: AMITY 64, LLC, 28-06 21ST STREET, 2FB, LIC, NY, 11102, USA. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.
98-12 SPRINGFIELD BLVD LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on08/15/22. 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, 44 Bregman Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11040. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.
Notice of Formation of CARMEN RUBIO PHTOGRAPHY NYC LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 7/28/22. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: THE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, 92-35 242ND STREET, BELLROSE, NY,11426, USA. Purpose: any lawful activity.
Notice of Formation of Courtlandt Manor Views LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 8/2/22. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: c/o Infinite Horizons, LLC, 142-05 Rockaway Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11436. Purpose: any lawful activity.
Notice of Formation of WILLOUGHBY NY LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 8/10/22. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: JOSEPH DEMATO, 36-46 11TH STREET, LONG ISLAND CITY, NY, 11106, USA. Purpose: any lawful activity.
Notice of formation of LAUNDRYBEE WP LLC. Arts of Org filed with Secy of State of NY (SSNY) on 8/12/22. Officelocation: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent upon whom process may be served and shallmail copy of process against LLC to: 73-16 Bell Blvd., Oakland Gardens, NY 11364. Purpose: any lawful act.
FOOK AN JING RESOURCES LLC filed Arts. of Org. with the Sect&#39;y of State of NY (SSNY) on 7/18/2022. Office: QueensCounty. SSNY has beendesignated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served and shall mail process to: The LLC, 3522 Prince St., Flushing, NY, 11354. Purpose: any lawful act Bayview MJ LLC, Arts of Org filed with SSNY on 08/12/22. 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, 133-12 84th St, Ozone Park, NY 11417. Purpose: to engage in any lawful act.
ELEVENTH AUTOS LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 06/20/2022. 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, 17805 Edgerton Rd, Jamaica, NY 11432. Reg Agent: Yonatan Gazal, 17805 Edgerton Rd, Jamaica, NY 11432. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose. M & V Restaurant LLC filed w/ SSNY on 8/25/22. Office: Queens Co. SSNY designated as agent for process & shall mail to: 143-23 Barclay Ave., #5A, Flushing, NY 11355. Purpose: any lawful. “Notice is hereby given that a license number 1350140 for a liquor, beer, wine and cider license has been applied for by FERJE’S PIZZERIA CORP T to sell liquor, beer, wine and cider at retail in a bar/tavern under the Alcoholic Beverage Control law at 87-82/84 Parsons Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11432 for on premises consumption.”
ABUNDANT ROYALTIES, LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 07/20/22. 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, 121-32 Lucas Street, Springfield Gardens, NY 11413. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. LOMBEIDA SALIM REALTY LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 07/05/22. 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, 26-11 96th Street, East Elmhurst, NY 11369. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. The Crew LLC Arts. Of Org. filed with the SSNY on 9/1/22. 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, 235 B. 135th St. Belle Harbor, NY 11694. Purpose: Any legal purpose..
SAJ8 LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 07/21/2022. 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, 14112 ELBERTSON ST. 3B, ELLMHURST, NY,11373. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.Arts of Org. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 09/09/2022. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to NICHOLAS NISSIRIOS, 200-20 44TH AVENUE, BAYSIDE, NY 11361. General Purpose.
KONDOR MANAGEMENT LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 08/26/2022. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: KONDOR MANAGEMENT LLC, 142-10B ROOSEVELT AVENUE, UNIT P24, FLUSHING, NY, 11354, USA.Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.
ORASIS LASER LLC, Arts of Org. filed with Sec. of State of NY (SSNY) 09/09/2022. Cty: Queens. SSNY desig. as agent upon whom process against may be served & shall mail process to NICHOLAS NISSIRIOS, 200-20 44TH AVENUE, BAYSIDE, NY 11361. General Purpose.
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For the best service and prices for classified ads and legal notices Call The Forum 718-845-3221
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