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Topics - toddg

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Community Groups, Activities & Events / Jackson Heights Community Resources
« on: November 14, 2007, 12:38:46 AM »
    Jackson Heights Community Groups and Resources

    Government Agencies & Public Officials

    Community Organizations around Jackson Heights and Queens

    Neighborhood Information

    Neighborhood Improvement


    Performing Arts Venues

    Arts Groups

    Local Venues

    Politics and Social Justice

    Community Services, Enrichment, and Empowerment

    Cultural Exchange

    Business and Economic Development


    Religious Organizations / Houses of Worship
    Suggestions of websites for congregations of any faith in or around Jackson Heights are welcome.

    Blogs and Websites Featuring Jackson Heights and Nearby Communities

    Photos of Jackson Heights

    Also see JHBG's list of  community links[/list]

    Restaurants & Food / JH Food Carts News & Discussion
    « on: November 13, 2007, 05:30:44 PM »
    The wonderfully diverse food carts of Jackson Heights have a growing following city-wide.  They get a significant amount of media coverage in both blogs and traditional news outlets, so there's a lot of information to be found on the web about what you can nosh, where, and when.

    Our most well known vendor is of course the beloved "Arepa Lady," featured in the New York Times and famously canonized by Jackson Heights' own Jim Leff, co-founder of Chowhound.  Jim has been working to raise awareness of other vendors as well: here is his Map of Obscure Street Food in Jackson Heights.

    Another famous JH food carts is Sammy's Halal, which won the Vendy Award in 2006.

    So, which are your favorite carts?  Any ordering tips?

    Neighborhood Chat / 2009 NYC Mayoral Election
    « on: November 07, 2007, 09:48:44 PM »
    Who is your choice for Mayor of NYC in 2009?

    Here's a Wikipedia entry that lists the currently-rumored field...,_2009

    Jackson Heights of Yesteryear / Jackson Heights History Thread
    « on: November 05, 2007, 10:29:16 AM »
    If you've got links, articles or old photos to share about the history Jackson Heights, here is the place to do it.

    We'll get this rolling with two fascinating pages from the "Forgotten New York" web page...

    Jackson Heights Neighborhood Profile:

    Jackson Mill Road / Trolley Tracks:

    Neighborhood Chat / School Application Tips from Time Out New York Kids
    « on: November 02, 2007, 10:54:42 AM »
    This is more relevant to Manhattan than our neighborhood, but the following article from Time Out NY Kids might be of interest ....

    There will be a free family folk concert as part of the "Eisteddfod NY - Traditional Music Festival" at 12:30 pm on Saturday, Nov. 17th at the Renaissance Charter School.  See this post for more details.

    Fans of folk music might be surprised to learn that our humble neighborhood plays host to an amazing annual gathering of scholars, performers, and enthusiasts of traditional music. 

    Eisteddfod NY is a three day festival of concerts and workshops on a wide range of topics, from specific instruments to musical traditions from Appalachia to the Balkans.  It is jointly sponsored by folk music organizations from Washington D.C., New York, and Boston.  The festival will be held on November 16-18 at the Renaissance Charter School (35-59 81st St, Jackson Heights).

    Best of all, it includes a FREE Family Concert at 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. on November 17th.  We went last year and had a lot of fun.

    For more information, please visit

    Neighborhood Chat / Local Fraudsters
    « on: October 30, 2007, 07:57:25 AM »
    Broker at center of mortgage scam probe affecting NYC homeowners
    By PAT MILTON | Associated Press Writer
        7:18 PM EDT, October 17, 2007

    NEW YORK -- A mortgage broker and part-time political donor is the focus of a widening probe into a scheme to defraud mortgage applicants -- including some who may have bought houses without knowing it.

    Investigators say that scores of homes may have been purchased under false pretenses and dozens of victims may have fallen prey.

    "This may very well be the tip of the iceberg," Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Wednesday. "We are examining hundreds of properties to see if they were fraudulently obtained."

    Jacob Milton, a business manager at Griffin Mortgage Co., has pleaded not guilty to charges of grand larceny, identity theft and falsifying business records. His attorney, Sally Butler, did not immediately return phone messages.

    Lorena Alvarez said she and her husband, Hector Sandoval, a $30,000-a-year pizza parlor worker, were stunned to discover that they owned two homes and were holding $1.3 million in mortgages for which they never applied.

    "We are sick over it," Alvarez told The Associated Press.

    The couple, who have a 1-year-old daughter, said they went to a Griffin Mortgage Co. office last April in the Jackson Heights section of Queens. They met with Milton, a Griffin director, and provided personal information he requested, including dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

    They received a mortgage and purchased a house in Jackson Heights.

    But last Oct. 9, when Sandoval and Alvarez received their credit report, they were taken aback.

    The report showed that in addition to couple's legitimate Jackson Heights house, they were holding mortgages on two additional properties: a house in Queens which sold for $625,000 and a house in Brooklyn which sold for $685,000, according to New York City Department of Finance records.

    They say they had no knowledge of the properties.

    "We are praying this doesn't ruin our credit," Alvarez said.

    She said they thought Milton was a nice guy. "He always mentioned God," said Alvarez. "We trusted him."

    Milton, 41, a Port Washington resident, is known for his involvement in the Bangladeshi community. He also hosts a local cable television show.

    The case has attracted attention in part because Milton donated $2,000 in 2005 to Sen. Hillary Rodham's re-election campaign, along with $500 to state Sen. Eric Adams. A call and e-mail to Clinton's office seeking comment were not immediately returned. Adams has said he would give back the money if Milton were convicted.

    The charges against him and his sister, Nira Niru, who was also arrested, allege a scheme involving four stolen identities used to buy houses or to make credit card purchases. Some victims found thousands of dollars in charges on their bills from Home Depot, Lord & Taylor and Victoria's Secret _ more than $15,700 worth of merchandise in all, the district attorney's office said.

    Milton, who was being held without bail, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

    Niru, 38, a secretary at Griffin, has pleaded not guilty to similar crimes and is free on $500,000 bail. She faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. Her attorney, James Stovall, did not immediately return a voicemail message.

    The case surfaced last July after a woman reported that she had received a $4,500 bill for a Home Depot card she didn't own, according to police Lt. Richard Rudolph, who is heading the investigation.

    A few days later, four others came into the Queens police precinct with similar complaints, said Rudolph. Detectives identified a common thread: All had applied for mortgages at Griffin, according to Rudolph.

    Since then, the investigation has snowballed and charges involving more victims are expected.

    "People have been coming in like crazy," said Rudolph. "The phones have not stopped ringing."

    Police seized three truckloads full of business records and equipment, including 10 computers, from Milton's office and his homes in Deer Park and Port Washington, said Rudolph.

    Detectives are combing through 2,000 properties transactions that Milton apparently conducted over the last couple of years.

    Besides the Jackson Heights office, which is now closed, Griffin has offices in Jamaica and Garden City.

    Copyright © 2007, The Associated Press

    Restaurants & Food / The Obligatory JH Starbucks Thread
    « on: October 29, 2007, 08:32:08 AM »
    By popular demand, we now have a thread dedicated to discussion of the Jackson Heights Starbucks...

    Best thing ever to happen to the neighborhood?
    A sign of the coming apocalypse?
    Never going to happen?

    Your opinions and rumors are welcome here!

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