Board of Elections To Certify Council Election Results Wednesday: Sources say it’s Holden by a nose!

Sources at the Board of Elections counting room tell us that the certification of the 30th Council District ballots were being tallied for about 10-hours today. On election night, November 7th, the numbers showed that incumbent Elizabeth Crowley had totaled 10,088 votes while challenger Robert Holden had 10,221. Both candidates reportedly were confident they would prevail, waiting for the absentee ballots to be counted. With the results showing a 133 difference the 400 or so absentee votes could have changed the results.

Apparently the scene at the board of elections Wednesday included Queens Republican Party operative John Haggerty and Demcratic Party representative Michael Reich at the head of the large conference room table with about 15 others around the room throughout the day.

A source tells us that the results came out of the meeting and are to be announced and certified tomorrow morning, Wednesday, November 16th. It looks like the two more or less split the absentee ballots and Holden came out victorious by 137 votes.

Borough president now accepting applications to join community board

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Here’s your chance to get involved with your local community.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is now accepting applications from community-minded people to serve on their local community board. Middle Village is represented by Community Board 5.

Community boards play an advisory role, contributing to land use and zoning decisions, city budget priorities and public hearings on a variety of local neighborhood issues.

Each board meets a full meeting monthly, and members also participate in individual committees, which host regular meetings.

“Government works better when we have active and engaged members from whom to draw expansive knowledge and extensive life experiences,” Katz said. “Serving on a community board is a significant commitment, demanding in both time and energy.”

“Civic-minded residents interested in playing a larger role in the governance of the city, helping to ensure the delivery of municipal services and serving Queens families and neighborhoods are encouraged to apply.”

The community board membership application is available online at www.queensbp.org/community-boards.

The application deadline for new and current community board members is January 12, 2018.

The two-year term of service begins on April 1, 2018.

Juniper Valley Park’s hockey rink due for upgrades

Screen shot via Google Maps.

Screen shot via Google Maps.

Some good news for those clamoring for improvements at the Bohan Hockey Rink at Juniper Valley Park.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley announced that the site has been included in a multi-site contract to improve hockey rinks throughout the borough.

Construction is expected to start this spring, according to the Park Department.

Crowley funded $500,000 for the renovations, and the de Blasio administration put in another $500,000.

“Kids, parents, players and more have expressed a great need for these rinks to be fixed up. They are used everyday, throughout every season,” she said. “Securing this renovation means that countless people can continue to safely enjoy this space year-round.”

We also perused the Parks Department website, which lists the history of the rink. Here’s why it’s called the Bohan Hockey Rink:

“Firefighter James Bohan (1973-1998) is remembered for his bravery. He died fighting a fire on December 18, 1998, at the Vandalia Senior Housing Complex in Brooklyn. Bohan perished with fellow firefighters Joseph Cavalieri and Christopher Bopp as they tried to rescue a resident who had already escaped the blaze. The cause of the fire remains unknown, but it is likely that a resident’s cigarette was responsible, and the building’s sprinkler system, for unknown reasons, had been shut off. The tragic event is also remembered with a park named for firefighter Christopher Bopp, in Brooklyn, near his home.

James Bohan grew up in Middle Village, and he and his friends often to Juniper Valley Park to play. He had a ready love for children, and it was always in evidence. One Memorial Day, for instance, at the Irish Festival in East Durham, Bohan bought out a balloon stand’s entire supply and distributed the balloons to all the children at the fair with the help of his friends. On the day before his death, he and other firefighters walked the halls of Brookdale Hospital, and handed out toys to sick children. New York City remembers his kindness, heroism, and sacrifice.

This rink is located in Juniper Valley Park, 55 acres of open space that takes its name from the Juniper Valley Swamp, which once covered an area of about 100 acres from Caldwell Avenue south to Juniper Valley Road. A thick forest of juniper (Juniperus communis) and white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) trees blanketed the swamp and the surrounding area. Before the 1940s, when the site was improved for its current recreational purposes, it was used as a farm, a cemetery, a source for peat moss, and a garbage dump. Arnold Rothstein (1882-1928), the man accused of fixing the 1919 World Series, owned this land at one time. The city acquired the property from his estate in the 1930s as part of a settlement over back taxes.

The Bohan Memorial Hockey Rink features two grandstands and a drinking fountain. The community, particularly the Middle Village Hockey League, uses it extensively. It will be enjoyed by children for years to come, a fitting tribute to the memory of James Bohan.”

Looks Like Holden Wins Middle Village Council Seat

In what can only be called an epic turnaround, after getting only 36% of the votes in the September Democratic Primary Election in the 30th Council District, it appears long-time Middle Village civic activist Robert Holden has turned the tables on incumbent Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley as the board of elections has their count at 10,221 votes for Holden and 10,088 votes for Crowley by late Tuesday evening. A source close to the board of elections reported to us that there are 400 to 500 absentee ballots not yet counted, but he noted that it appears Holden was the one who focused on an absentee ballot program, not Crowley.

Known as the protecter of Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village, Holden obviously hit a nerve for voters while campaigning on a platform charging Crowley was corrupt, Maspeth kids need to have priority to get into Maspeth High School and stopping Mayor deBlasio from destroying the district. Holden was out front in the protest at the Maspeth Holiday Inn as it was being used as a homeless shelter, blaming Crowley for not doing enough to protect the neighborhood from the mayor’s homelesss plan. In the last week of the the campaign it was noted that Holden had a hefty social media campaign, geographically-targeted digital text messaging and hyper-targeted mailings to get his message across – and it worked, as every vote counted Tuesday night.

After that September democratic primary race, the Queens Republican Party took their ballot designee off the November ballot and replaced him with Holden, who got 8,457 votes on that line. Holden also received more than 1400 votes on the Conservative line and 140 votes on the ‘Dump deBlasio line.

If the numbers hold as they are now, Holden, a lifelong democrat, and president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, will be that rare breed of true civic activist – turned politician, a good sign for helping protect the character of the neighborhood in a city which is turning more centralized by the minute.

While down-zoning, getting more police in the 104th precinct and enforcing traffic laws are on the top of Holden’s to-do list his first real decision might be his political party affiliation.

Photos from last weekend’s Veterans Day Parade

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Despite the rain, over the weekend, residents lined up along Metropolitan Avenue to celebrate local veterans.

World War II vet Joe Martino was the parade’s grand marshal. Martino has a long history of volunteerism and giving back to the poor.

“I never considered myself a war hero,” he says. “I just did my job.”

Enjoy the following photos, just a snippet of what went on on the parade route!

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CB5 meeting set for November 8

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Community Board 5 is hosting its monthly meeting on Wednesday, November 8 at the cafeteria of Christ the King High School.

The agenda includes a review of applications for the sale of alcoholic beverages, a review of building demolition notices and committee reports.

If you’d like to register to speak during the public forum, call the board’s office at 718-366-1834.