City Council candidate calls for better snow removal

Flushing LIRR Overpass Dec 21st

Sandra Ung, a candidate running for City Council, wants the city to do a better job clearing sidewalks and crosswalks of snow days after the snowstorm.

“This isn’t just inconvenient, it creates real dangers and obstacles, especially for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities,” she said. “These are real hazards.

“It’s not good enough to say that it will melt, or to blame the plows,” Ung added. “People are literally stuck at home unable to go out until the city clears crosswalks.”

She noted that part of the problem is enforcement. Property owners are responsible for cleaning their sidewalk, bus stops, pedestrian ramps and fire hydrants. But she also wants city agencies to clear sidewalks in areas without homes or businesses.

“This isn’t a problem of convenience, it’s a problem of accessibility,” Ung said. “We owe New Yorkers better.”

Stop & Shop expands pickup locations in Flushing, Bayside

Screen Shot 2020-12-23 at 12.18.39 AM

Stop & Shop opened several more pickup locations in Queens where shoppers can place an order ahead of time and an associate will load groceries right into their cars on site.

The stores at 213-15 26th Avenue in Bayside and 31-06 Farrington Street in Flushing are the most recent additions, joining pickup locations in Belle Harbor, Springfield Gardens, Arverne, Glendale and Maspeth.


Shoppers can place an order on the website or on the Stop & Shop mobile app. Click on “order online” and select “pickup” at the preferred location.

After choosing a pickup time, shoppers can park in a designated pickup spot and call to let the store know that they have arrived. The associate will then drop off the groceries.

Customers are asked to have their trunk or door open for associates to place directly into the car. Customers are also encouraged to wear masks and limit the number of people in the car where possible.

A $30 minimum is required on all pickup orders, and a $2.95 service fee will be applied at checkout.

The priciest Queens neighborhood in 2020 is Malba

Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

According to a new report from PropertyShark, Malba emerged as the priciest neighborhood in Queens this year.

The “Most Expensive NYC Neighborhoods Report” found that New York City’s residential market activity was down 32 percent year over year.

Median sale prices, however, rose to $660,000, representing a one percent increase from last year.

Hudson Yards was the most expensive neighborhood in the Big Apple with a median sale price of $4.5 million. TriBeCa was the second most expensive, followed by Little Italy.

Malba came in 12th with a median sale price of $1.35 million. Queens overall made up 19 percent of the city’s priciest neighborhoods, with a median sale price of $520,000 and an eight percent increase year-over-year.

Neponsit was the 23rd most expensive neighborhood in New York City with a median sale price of $1.25 million.

Linda Lee launches campaign for City Council in District 23

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Screen grab via Lee’s campaign launch video

Linda Lee, a second-generation Korean-American and leader of a nonprofit organization, has thrown her hat in the ring for City Council in District 23.

On Tuesday, she released a new campaign video announcing her bid for elected office.

Currently represented by Councilman Barry Grodenchik, the eastern Queens district includes the neighborhoods of Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Little Neck, Oakland Gardens and Queens Village.

Lee, an 11-year resident of Oakland Gardens, is president and  CEO of Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York (KCS). She is also a member of Community Board 11 and the School Leadership Team at her son’s school. She is also a former commissioner of the New York City Civic Engagement Commission.

If elected, Lee, the mother of two young children and daughter of immigrant small business owners, would be the first Korean-American elected to the City Council, and the first woman to represent the area.

“Eastern Queens has always been overlooked and too often ignored,” she said. “We deserve better.”

Under her leadership, KCS provided programs in the areas of education, senior care, mental health, health care access, economic and workforce development, and immigration services.

In 2014, KCS was named a “Champion of Change” by the White House for its work in the Korean community.

Earlier this year, Grodenchik announced he will not run for re-election. Already, 10 candidates are lining up to be his successor, including lawyer Steve Behar, DSA-endorsed activist Jaslin Kaur and CB2 district manager Debra Markell.

Menorah lighting in Flushing set for Friday evening

Free Synagogue of Flushing. Image courtesy of Google Maps.
Free Synagogue of Flushing. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

The Free Synagogue of Flushing is celebrating the first night of Hanukkah on December 11 with a Menorah lighting at 7:15 p.m.

The Festival of Lights is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev.

The synagogue is located at Kissena Boulevard and Sanford Avenue in Downtown Flushing.

Community leaders of different faiths are set to attend the event, including:

  • Rabbi Jeffrey Gale, from the Free Synagogue of Flushing
  • Alan Brava, from the Free Synagogue of Flushing
  • Sousavat Soukhaseum, from the Free Synagogue of Flushing
  • Runita Sutton, from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens
  • John Choe, from the Flushing Interfaith Council

City Council candidate organizes PPE giveaway in Fresh Meadows

Sandra Ung_ WAW 2

Last week, State Committeewoman and City Council candidate Sandra Ung worked with local companies to give away PPE to a nonprofit organization in Fresh Meadows.

Ung partnered with BTZ Medsolution and Kong Ye Medical Supplies to deliver 5,000 masks for Women for Afghan Women, which will distribute to their clients across the city.

WAW promotes the rights of disenfranchised women with a variety of services, including supporting victims of domestic violence, legal assistance, immigration help and job placement.

“Women for Afghan Women is an important organization for thousands of clients in the Fresh Meadows and Flushing community,” Ung said. “The pandemic has hit our community hard, and domestic violence rates are up across the city.

Ung is running for term-limited Councilman Peter Koo’s seat in District 20, which includes Flushing and other parts of northeast Queens. Other candidates include John Choe, Neng Wang and Hailing Chen.

USPS adds Sunday hours to pick up deliveries

Flushing Post Office. Image courtesy of Google Maps.
Flushing Post Office. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

As the holiday season starts, the U.S. Postal Service added hours to make sure customers get their online packages in time.

In Queens, 15 post offices have added additional Sunday package pickup hours for customers who have missed a delivery.

Through December 20, these post offices, including the Flushing location, will add an extra four hours – totaling 300 extra hours for customers.

Customers can come to the Flushing post office on Sundays to pick up packages between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Customers also don’t need to leave their home to ship their packages. Visit to schedule a pickup.

College Point man sentenced to jail for recording on women at LGA Airport

Elder Attorney Shaking Hand With Client

Samuel Rodriguez, 39, was sentenced to 39 months in jail after pleading guilty to using his cell phone to secretly record “pretty girls” at a public restrooms at LaGuardia Airport, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.

Rodriguez, of College Point, worked at the airport then. He pleaded guilty to unlawful surveillance in the second degrees. Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Gia Morris sentenced him to six months in jail, followed by 10 years’ post-release supervision.

He will be required to register as a sex offender.

According to charges, on December 9, 2018, a woman entered a one-stall unisex restroom after Rodriguez had stepped out. Moments later, she heard a beeping sound.

She walked toward the sound and found a cell phone actively recording inside the paper towel dispenser. The victim played back a previous clip, which captured a video of Rodriguez setting up the phone and angling the phone to capture anyone using the stall.

“He turned an airport restroom into his own personal peep show,” Katz said. “This is unconscionable and as a result of his actions, the defendant is going to jail.”

When Rodriguez was approached by law enforcement, he reportedly said, “I know what this is about and I’m sorry.” He later said, “I was trying to video pretty girls. I was going to masturbate to it at home.”

More library branches have reopened with to-go services

Mitchell-Linden Library. Image courtesy of Google Maps.
Mitchell-Linden Library. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

Since November 30, 12 more library branches have reopened with limited “to-go” service six days a week, Queens Public Library announced.

Those branches include East Flushing, Glen Oaks and Mitchell-Linden.

Throughout the borough, 35 branches are now open to the public for pickups in a designated area of the building.

Each branch will also accept returns at their exterior return machines.

Materials can be requested online, through the QPL app or by phone. All staff and visitors are required to wear masks and practice social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be available as well.

There are still no on-site public programs, browsing, meeting room availability, seating, public computers or in-person reference service due to the pandemic.

These are the hours at each reopened branch:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with one-hour closure from 1 to 2 p.m. for cleaning
  • Tuesday: 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: Noon to 7 p.m., with one-hour closure from 3 to 4 p.m. for cleaning.

NYPD targets illegal parking near Harvey Park

Photo courtesy of Councilman Vallone
Photo credit: 109th Precinct

The 109th Precinct and Councilman Paul Vallone teamed up to address the issue of illegal parking of commercial trucks, tractor-trailers and waste removal vehicles at Harvey Park in College Point.

According to the councilman, the trucks are parked around the park day and night, becoming a chronic issue for local park goers.

The Dwarf Giraffe Athletic League brought the problem to the attention of Vallone, who met with the precinct in November.

Since then, local officers have issued 15 truck/trailer parking summonses in the area.

“We did touch base with Sanitation as they were assisting, as well as focusing on the waste trucks in the area,” said Commanding Officer Captain John L. O’Connell. “We will continue to address this issue and make sure any illegally parked trucks/trailers will be issued summonses.”