I love how folks tell me that St. Albans is one of the better neighborhoods. I have been there and there is a lot of crap over there, garbage, abandoned cars and a deteriorating St. Albans Little League Field which is nothing but high weeds (and not the good kind). And of course shootings and killings, which several have taken place there, including this one.
It seems some punk-ass thug, 32 year old Nakia Garnett got into a verbal argument with Phillip Harris, 32, and as typical with punk-ass thugs, pulled a gun and killed Harris. The argument took place a little before 6:00am, always not a good sign.
More young black lives that do no matter to other young black men.
A 32-year-old St. Albans man is awaiting arraignment on murder charges Thursday for fatally shooting a man during an argument on a neighborhood street earlier this year.
Following an investigation, police took Nakia Garnett of 190th Place into custody early on the morning of June 30 for allegedly killing Phillip Harris, 32, of 188th Street in St. Albans early on the morning of April 16.
Aorccording to authorities, Garnett and Harris allegedly became embroiled in a verbal dispute in the vicinity of Liberty and Brinckerhoff avenues just before 5:56 a.m. on April 16. The argument turned deadly when Garnett allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Harris multiple times in the torso, then fled the scene.
Officers from the 113th Precinct and EMS units were called to the scene and found Harris unconscious and unresponsive. He was transported to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Garnett was booked Thursday on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Check back later for additional details about his arrest.
Queens-based artist Antonia Perez crochets pieces from plastic bags.
QUEENS — Jamaica has been struggling with the problem of trash for years. Now, a series of upcoming events will give locals a reason to help clean up the neighborhood, turning garbage into art.
During three workshops called “Art Yo’ Trash” residents and a group of artists will build a sculpture made of litter.
The workshops will be held as part of Jameco Exchange, an art exhibit currently held in downtown Jamaica, which is organized by No Longer Empty, a nonprofit that transforms vacancies into art spaces.
The group teamed up with the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District to launch the interactive exhibit in a former women’s apparel store at the 165th Street Mall, a popular pedestrian plaza filled with shops offering clothing, footwear and jewelry.
Annalisa Iadicicco, a Long Island City-based artist who makes pieces from reclaimed materials, already built a base for the sculpture from discarded car bumpers that she found on the street. Residents will help finish the sculpture with things they found abandoned throughout the neighborhood.
The goal, Iadicicco said, is to show people that “we can transform things around us.”
“But it’s also a neighborhood issue,” she noted. “If we come together, we can make a change and create the community.”
The sculpture will be later transported to Local Project Art Space in Long Island City, where it will remain on display until July 30 as part of its “Paradise in the City” exhibit.
During the workshops artists will also talk about repurposing various materials and special guest Dalia Baassiri, a Lebanese visual artist and graphic designer, will discuss her artistic project responding to the trash crisis in her native country.
Other artists participating in Jameco Exchange also tackled the issues of garbage, recycling and reusing materials.
One of them, Queens-based artist Antonia Perez, crocheted her pieces from plastic bags. She also teaches visitors how to crochet functional objects from this unexpected material.
Margaret Rose Vendryes’ “African Diva Project” (DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska)
The exhibit borrows its name from the etymology of “Jamaica,” which came from the word “Jameco,” used by Native Americans who used to live in the area for beaver.
In total, 16 artists presents their works there, addressing a variety of issues related to the history and heritage of Jamaica, as well as its economy and identity.
Margaret Rose Vendryes‘ “African Diva Project” invites participants to go into changing rooms, where they can try on a gown and a mask, before getting on a small stage and singing one of the songs picked by the artist.
Ezra Wube‘s “Words of Wisdom” creates a portrait of the neighborhood by painting the streetscape of the mall where the exhibit is located and collecting inspiring quotes from local business owners.
A thrift store with nostalgic object and a café offering organic coffee sourced from Zapatista farms are also part of the exhibit.
“Some of the works kind of require the participation of the people to complete them,” said Rachel Gugelberger, the show’s curator, adding that education and social engagement are important components of the exhibit.
“It’s all about exchange — exchange of ideas, exchange of stories through objects, through artworks, through interactive pieces that really require that people kind of hangout,” she said.
Jameco Exchange runs through July 17 (Thursday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.) at 89-62B 165th Street (between Jamaica and 89th avenues). To check the complete schedule of workshops and other programs go here.
Two Art Yo’ Trash workshops, scheduled for July 2 and 8 (from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.), will be held at the downtown Jamaica location. The final workshop will be held on July 19 (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at Local Project Art Space at 11-27 44th Road in Long Island City where the sculpture will be transferred and will remain on display until July 30 as part of “Paradise in the City” exhibit.
Ezra Wube and his “Words of Wisdom” (DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska)
I just don’t trust politicians, since there is always a string attached. Or are they really just being good public servants since there have been so many complaints regarding illegal commercial truck parking.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and state Sen. Leroy Comrie want the NYPD to purchase a heavy-duty tow truck to employ throughout Queens against illegally parked or abandoned tractor trailers. They have secured $450,000 to help out.
Two complaints that nearly every NYPD precinct commander in Queens hears all the time involve loud music from parties and tractor trailers parking overnight — or longer — on residential streets.
With summer in full swing, cops on noise detail already have their chronic offender lists and are checking them twice.
But help also may be on the way for neighborhoods burdened with the big rigs.
Borough President Melinda Katz and state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) have secured a total of $450,000 to help the NYPD purchase a heavy-duty tow truck specifically to target truck violation enforcement in the borough.
“Borough President Katz has allocated $350,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 dollars to cover the full cost of the purchase of one heavy-duty NYPD tow truck that will be dedicated to Queens and give the NYPD an enforcement tool they need to specifically address the particular problem of illegally parked tractor trailer trucks,” said a spokesperson for Katz told the Chronicle in an email on Thursday.
Comrie confirmed earlier in the day that the Legislature late Wednesday night passed a spending measure that included $100,000 he requested for a heavy wrecker as it ended this year’s session in Albany.
The trucks, usually longer, heavier and some with one more axle than a standard non-flatbed tow truck, are useful for removing 18-wheelers — when one is available.
The Traffic Safety Unit from the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica conducted a heavy tow operation on May 24 in the area of 202nd Street and 99th Avenue that resulted in two trucks being towed, while four others were booted, along with the issuance of 30 summonses
But precinct commanders often are forced to give residents bad news at meetings of their community councils — the few tow trucks they have are hard to schedule.
“We have so many complaints about tractor trailers in residential areas and there are only about two tow trucks in the entire city,” Comrie said Thursday in a telephone conversation from his district office.
“The community needs those trucks. It’s a quality-of-life issue,” Comrie added. “I know the NYPD has a budget — still we can try and help out.”
The Chronicle was not able to reach NYPD officials at 1 Police Plaza in Manhattan for comment on the procedure for accepting such funding, or if they would consider accepting a truck dedicated to one borough.
But some commanding officers from Queens said they would love to have a wrecker based within the borough if the details can be worked out.
“That is great news for the 105th Precinct Community as well as the rest of Queens,” Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, the 105th’s commanding officer, said in an email to the Chronicle. “We are already requesting to be to be the first precinct to utilize it!”
Schiff, whose command has its headquarters in Queens Village, may have some competition from Capt. Robert Ramos, his counterpart in the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills.
“It’s great,” Ramos said. “We definitely could use it. It’s definitely a problem. That probably is the number 1 traffic concern here. Coming in for the Memorial Day Parade, getting off at Jewel Avenue, it looked like a truck stop.”
Ramos is not insensitive to the needs of his fellow precinct commanders and the residents they serve.
“I would like it to just be assigned to the 112th Precinct for a month,” he said jokingly. “But I guess we’ll have to share.”
Associate Editor Christopher Barca contributed to this story.
New York vs. the First Amendment: New ‘campaign finance’ legislation is an assault on political speech rights
Once again, the fix is in from Albany. On June 18 at 1:45 a.m., politicians introduced a bill to regulate your speech. It passed both houses of the Legislature by 5 a.m. There were no hearings and no input from the public. There was no recorded floor vote in the Senate or the Assembly.
When Albany politicians pass a bill in the dead of night, you know they’re up to no good. Especially when they explain their actions with phony rhetoric about ethics.
Albany’s latest “campaign finance” bill, which Gov. Cuomo touts as the “nation’s strongest protections to combat Citizens United,” is in fact a blatant attack on your rights. Its 62 pages are chock-full of complex provisions, obscure speech traps and legal complexities.
If this becomes law, which looks sure to happen, you’d be a fool to say anything about a politician — especially in a campaign season, when that speech is most pertinent — without first consulting a lawyer. That’s not the American way, but it’s happening in New York.
Lawmakers and the governor praise the package as combating potential corruption by big-money interests, who, the theory goes, are conspiring to rig the game.
The legislation creates expansive new definitions of what constitutes illegal coordination between independent groups and candidates, and forces unprecedented reporting to the state by advocacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association. It adds complex new lobbying rules, removes privacy protections for donors to charities if the group gives even trivial support to a lobbying affiliate, and makes political consultants register with the state.
And while it’s touted as an ethics reform, elected officials themselves won’t face any new reporting requirements.
Pity the person who starts an organization to publish report cards on votes cast in Albany. If they spend even a small amount, they must register and report their activities and key supporters to the government.
The bill would even apply to one person, acting alone, who spends practically nothing criticizing Albany pols. Let’s say some politician ticks you off and you make a homemade video criticizing him. Then you publish it on YouTube and promote it with some Facebook ads.
Uh-oh. Under the proposal, you just became an independent expenditure committee. You broke the law because you spent funds criticizing a politician without first registering with the government. For that violation, you could face a $5,000 fine. Even if you beat the rap, you’d likely spend way more than that on lawyers.
And in the name of supposedly preventing coordination between campaigns and independent spending, the bill would suffocate rights of free association.
Consider a student who worked on office chores for a lawyer to help pay for college. Eighteen months after quitting that job, she’s employed at an environmental group. Then the student’s former employer runs for the Legislature.
The environmental group pays for ads independently supporting the candidate. Under the bill, that’s illegal coordination. Why? Because the measure bars such activity when an organization has on staff someone who was “employed by . . . the candidate . . . within two years” of an election.
The bill is loaded with terms regulating speech rights that are impossible to understand, such as “strategic discussion” or “operational or managerial influence.”
Penalties for violations are enormous. Even as an employee, you could be personally responsible to pay them. The fines could easily be more than your annual salary.
There are even penalties for groups when they publish any “campaign-related material” from a candidate. On the face of it, this would appear to include even secret recordings of candidates. Remember the one that destroyed Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign? When he said 47% of voters were with President Obama because they were “dependent on government”? If an advocacy group published that type of info — which the public should see — that could soon be illegal in New York.
The message of all this? Don’t bother to criticize a politician. It’s too dangerous. It’s even too risky for many lawyers, who will struggle to understand the law. Even a good lawyer might wonder about speech rules that apply to “a legislative matter other than matters described in subparagraph (E) of the second undesignated paragraph of subdivision (c) of section one-c of the legislative law.” Yes, that’s a real quote from the bill.
Many effective groups, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving for example, start small, tap into public outrage and then grow. Rules like the ones proposed in this bill will strangle such groups in red tape or worse before they can become effective.
It’s possible Albany’s leaders didn’t write this bill with evil intent. They might simply be incompetent. Regardless, passing without public scrutiny such a major bill affecting a core American right — to speak freely about politics — was a huge mistake.
Keating is president of the Center for Competitive Politics.
Walking on Archer to Jamaica Center Station (while filming a NY1 story on trucks parked illegally in the Jamaica LIRR Tunnels to air sometime next week) literally can kill you. As can be seen this waste truck on Archer Ave behind the Gertz Mall, not only is it blocking one lane of traffic, BUT blocks the sidewalk for pedestrians, forcing them to go out into the street with all the traffic. No area to walk, no barriers, not NYPD traffic patrol. A major safety hazard that probably happens every morning or at least a few times a week.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!
And talking about safety issues, look at the crumbling Merrick LIRR overpass Tunnel and along Archer Avenue. Amazing!
And of course an illegally parked tractor trailer cab parked inside the Merrick LIRR Tunnel right in front of a NO PARKING ANYTIME Sign, which is for that entire side. This truck cab has been sitting for several days. There are No Parking signs on the other side (except for Authorized Vehicles from NYPD Division of Parole), but there are several cars that are not authorized there. Again a disaster waiting to happen. There should be NO vehicles allowed inside tunnels.
You can see the truck in the background on the right.
And look at this garbage right in Downtown Jamaica at the old parking lot on Archer east of Guy Brewer. And Councilman Miller stated in an article how beautiful downtown Jamaica is. RIGHT.
Nice that National Grid and Utility Companies leave their discarded shit all over the community.
Unlicensed cars from HC Auto Collision taking up room on city streets and sidewalks.
And this regular site. Hard work being a homeless person.
Christ, it is like going thru the Jamaica Ghetto Gauntlet to head to work.
The bullshit that goes on in this community that should not, is so out of control. It is like no one gives a damn anymore. STEP PUT ELECTED OFFICIALS & Borough President. This area if a damn MESS.
I mean really, useless and corrupt Councilman Wills does not see this crap, when he walks out of his office to do some lame street naming ceremony.
Trash in the street, trash in our elected offices. That is the ghetto Jamaica way.
All of you elected officials are guilty of neglect. Public servants you are not, increasing you bank accounts, PRICELESS.
MAN UP WILLS, but what would you expect from a deadbeat dad.
From a reader and resident:
My morning bike commute to work finds this lovely mess located on the East corner of 94ave and Sutphin Blvd. This mess is located a hop,skip, and a jump from councilmen Ruben Wills office. Another ghetto politician from SE Qns who feels right at home with illegal dumping near his office.
There are about 10 hotels going up in downtown Jamaica, including two big chains. I mean do they really think that many people will be staying here.
Well, that could be a possibility if they clean the fucking area up, replace all the crap food places and retail with some nice decent places and remove the riff-raff, many which come from the many homeless shelters in the area. Or are all these hotels going to end up as homeless shelters.
I do know that they are completely changing that horrible Archer Ave with many big developments including apartment at 168 and Archer, right near the LIRR overpass tunnel, where tractor trailer waste trucks park illegally. I am sure the folks that eventually move into these places and pay a pretty penny for those apartments, will not be putting up with all of this shit. Guaranteed.
This new hotel is going in where a vacant building has sat for years.
So now onto the article by DNAInfo, a real estate publicity tool posing as “journalistic reporting”, as if.
The owner of a 6-story building at 92-32 Union Hall St., between Jamaica and Archer avenues, is planning to convert it into a 110-room hotel, according to documents filed with the Department of Buildings last Thursday.
The hotel, as first reported by the Real Deal, would include retail on the ground floor and 22 rooms per story on the remaining floors.
The conversion of the building which is currently used for office space, would cost about $918,075, according to the application.
The owner of the property, who according to city documents, bought the building in 2013 for $1.1 million, did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.
The hotel would be one of many lodgings planned for downtown Jamaica.
There are at least 10 hotels in the works now in downtown Jamaica, including well-known chains, like Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn, with a total of about 1,600 new rooms, in addition to 400 rooms already available in the neighborhood.
Jamaica has begun attracting hotel developers because of its proximity to JFK Airport and easy access to several major highways, express subway trains to Manhattan and the Long Island Rail Road.