Holden explains why he vote “no” on the budget

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On Tuesday night, the New York City Council passed an $88 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

The budget process was particularly difficult this year given the billions of dollars the city is losing in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic lockdown.

Among the more contentious parts of the budget was the decision to cut nearly $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion operating budget.

For weeks, activists have marched and protested calling for defunding the NYPD by at least $1 billion. While the budget falls short of that, it reduces overtime pay for police officers, transfers school safety to the Department of Education and cancels two cadet classes.

In the late hours on Tuesday night, 37 members voted for the budget, while 12 rejected it. Councilman Bob Holden was among those who voted no. Here’s why.

“As one of the very few Council members who has lived through several crime waves in our great city, I am very concerned that the protest-driven moment to defund the NYPD will lead us toward another high-crime era,” he said.

“While the intention of diverting more funds toward education and services for those who need it most sounds noble, supporters of this movement seem to be unaware of the billions this city has already wasted with no tangible results.”

Ultimately, nine members of the City Council voted no because they believe the cuts don’t go far enough. Eight members said no because they opposed cuts to the NYPD.

Holden noted that the budget has soared $25 billion under de Blasio’s tenure.

“So will taking $1 billion from the NYPD accomplish anything other than appeasing this movement while damaging the morale of police officers?” Holden said. “As legislators, we cannot create policy based solely on what’s trending at the moment.

“We must maintain balance, order and logic while holding public safety as the highest priority,” he added.

Free mask giveaway in Ridgewood this afternoon

Councilman Bob Holden’s office is hosting a free mask giveaway this afternoon.

The event will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in front of Community Alliance Initiative, located at 60-35 Myrtle Avenue.

Holden’s office says participants should also bring an empty hand sanitizer bottle that can be refilled.

Participants should also wear a mask and practice social distancing during the giveaway.

Ridgewood incumbents leading primary races, except Miller

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After Tuesday’s Democratic primary, most incumbent legislators representing Ridgewood emerged in the lead.

With tens of thousands of absentee ballots to count, it’s hard to say who will win these primary contests. But after in-person votes were tallied, it appears most incumbents are on the verge of victory––with one exception.

Assemblyman Mike Miller, who has represented District 38, which includes portions of Glendale, Ridgewood, Ozone Park and Woodhaven, since 2009, is current losing to challenger Jenifer Rajkumar.

Rajkumar, an attorney, adjunct professor and former Cuomo administration official, received 2,624 votes, or 52 percent, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Miller only has 1,300 votes, roughly 28 percent of the vote. A third candidate, queer poet and educator Joey De Jesus, won 1,108 votes, good for 22 percent.

Though absentee ballots still have to be counted, Miller is 1,300 votes behind Rajkumar, which will be tough to overcome on absentees alone.

Ridgewood’s two congressional representatives, Grace Meng and Nydia Velazquez, emerged victorious from their primary battles.

Meng defeated two challengers with 15,181 votes, nearly 61 percent of the vote in her Queens district. Velazquez, whose district includes parts of Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn, won 32,965 votes, a whopping 80 percent of her district.

State Senator Michael Gianaris, who also reps parts of Ridgewood, easily dispatched challenger Iggy Terranova with 14,114 votes, making up about 74 percent of the vote.

Ridgewood’s other Assembly representative, Cathy Nolan, is out in front of two challengers, Mary Jobaida and Danielle Brecker, with 4,314 votes, or 52 percent.

In the race for Queens borough president, former Ridgewood Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley is currently in second place with 31,781 votes, or 28 percent.

She’s trailing Councilman Donovan Richards, who has 41,915 votes, good for 37 percent.

Ridgewood man sentenced up to 15 years in prison

A 30-year-old Ridgewood man has been sentenced to five to 15 years in prison after fatally stabbing his female roommate in the apartment their shared in September 2016.

Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter found Render Stetson-Shanahan, of Stanhope Street, guilty of manslaughter in the second degree in February. He was sentenced over Skype.

“The defendant in this case showed no mercy when he repeatedly plunged a knife into this young woman’s body,” District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “The victim’s heart was punctured along with her lung and a major artery.”

Carolyn Bush, 26, was found in the apartment bleeding profusely from numerous stab wounds, the DA said, after being stabbed multiple times in her neck and torso.

She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Ridgewood microblading salon owner harassed after putting up “Black Lives Matter” poster


Though New York City has exploded with protests over the last two weeks after the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, not everyone is thrilled with the support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Earlier today, Meghan, the owner of “The Beauty Doc Studio,” at 60-73 Fresh Pond Road, posted on Instagram that a man harassed her and her staff for putting up a “Black Lives Matter” poster in their beauty salon.

According to the business owner, the man came back with a “MAGA” hat and spat all over the storefront glass.

As you can see in the video, Meghan, who is pregnant, confronts the unidentified man and lets him know that she has a right to put up whatever she wants on her property – just as he has a right to wear the MAGA hat.

“Whatever I put on my business, that I work hard for, you cannot come and spit in front of,” she says.

Thousands of people commented on the post, mostly commending the business owner for standing up for herself and telling off the harasser.

If you want to support The Beauty Doc Studio, which offers services including ombre brows, Yumi lash lifts and teeth whitening, visit their website here.

Police seeking suspect for Ridgewood robbery

Police are looking for unidentified woman for a local robbery.

On Sunday around 6:15 p.m., the suspect walked out of Fresh Pond Farm Market, located at 66-38 Fresh Pond Road, with groceries.

When confronted by a 31-year-old employee, the suspect punched her in the head while getting the groceries. The woman then fled on foot.

Any information can be submitted to the Crimestoppers website or by calling 1-800-577-TIPS.

Pol says she’s working to get mail service back

Congresswoman Grace Meng

Congresswoman Grace Meng announced on Tuesday that she is working with the U.S. Postal Service to get mail delivery service restarted in central Queens, including Ridgwood.

For nearly a week, residents have not received their mail because an employee at the Ridgewood Post Office tested positive for novel coronavirus.

“Officials are working on a solution,” Meng says. “As mail service resumes, they will prioritize the delivery of important pieces of mail that constituents need, and for which they have been patiently waiting.

‘Women of Distinction’ honored by Miller

On Monday, Assemblyman Michael Miller honored six notable women leaders in honor of Women’s History Month.

“There are women who make an impact every day through volunteerism, engage with our youth, crating foundations and serving our community,” he said.

The following people were recipients of the New York State Assembly Women of Distinction Awards:

  • Arvelyn Batista, co-founder of AAMUS
  • Deokie Jagdeo, vice president of Beacon of Peace
  • Amelia Joseph, parent coordinator for PS 97 The Forest Park School
  • Natilia Sasha Khan, director of public relations for Beacon of Peace
  • Janine Mahon, chief operating officer of education for Greater Ridgewood Youth Council and president-elect of Kiwanis Club of Ridgewood
  • Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan

Stewardship event for Ridgewood Reservoir on March 8

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NYC H2O and the Parks Department are hosting yet another stewardship event for the Ridgewood Reservoir.

The event will take place on Sunday, March 8 at 10 a.m. They will meet at 58-2 Vermont Place in Glendale, which is the parking lot across the street from the reservoir.

Volunteers will remove invasive plants from the path around the reservoir. The invasive plants include bittersweet and mugwort.

This action will open up the sitelines and make them more inviting and safer, NYC H2O says.

To RSVP for the volunteer event, click here.

Wyckoff Heights Medical Center to speak at CB5

Community Board 5 is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Christ the King High School’s cafeteria.

The meeting will begin with a public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2021 preliminary budget for the city.

That will be followed by a presentation from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center’s pediatrics and adolescent health department.

As usual, there will be a public forum, where anyone who signs up can speak before the board. Public forum speakers must pre-register by calling the office at 718-366-1834 or email qn05@cb.nyc.gov.

You’ll also hear from the chairperson, Vincent Arcuri Jr., as well as the district manager, Gary Giordano, when they present their monthly reports.

To conclude, the following CB5 committees will also report back: Parks Services, Public Safety Services, Transportation and Public Transit Services, and the Executive Committee on street festivals.