2007-08-15 / Features

News Of The Neighborhoods


Lights Out In Flushing

A malfunction in overhead power lines left nearly 1,000 Con Edison customers in the dark for about 90 minutes on August 7.

Con Ed spokesperson Chris Olert said power went out at about 1:52 p.m. across a 1-squaremile residential area between 46th and Rose Avenues and 171st Place and Parsons Boulevard.

City Councilmember John Liu, who represents the area, said the Con Edison estimate of 1,000 customers represented about 5,000 people who sweated through the mini-blackout in 90- degree temperatures.

Olert said the agency is trying to determine what caused the power lines to malfunction.


Passengers on a Queens-bound Spirit Airlines flight thought they were seeing things on August 7 when a fist-sized marmoset monkey shot out from under his owner's hat and began playing with the man's ponytail.

The captain and crew of Spirit Airlines Flight 180 called ahead to the gate at LaGuardia Airport for federal and city animal care and control agents to meet the jetliner when it arrived in Queens.

When the flight touched down the monkey was scooted into a cage by agents from the New York City Center for Animal Care & Control. The tiny monkey will be held in quarantine for 31 days, a spokesperson for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Once determined to be disease-free, the monkey could find a new home in a zoo, the spokesperson said.

Agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who said they had never encountered a similar situation, whisked the man who flew the monkey from Peru to Florida to Queens away at the gate.

Federal agents said they were amazed- and concerned- that security screeners at the airline in Peru or in Florida had not spotted the monkey.

"Hopefully, they would have spotted [the man with the monkey] if he had been carrying a weapon," the agents said.

Passengers on board the flight to LaGuardia said the monkey was incredibly well behaved. "He was very quiet," said one shocked but sympathetic passenger. "He had to be hungry and thirsty. He could have been crying all through the flight, but he wasn't."

Spirit Airlines spokeswoman Alison Russell said the "spirited" monkey deserves a nickname suited to its personality.

"We'll call him 'Spirit,'" Russell said. "It just fits him."

New Civic Off And Running More than 200 Richmond Hill residents and business owners joined local elected officials last month for the first meeting of the new Intercommunity Civic Association.

Group president Taj Rajkumar told the audience the objective of the new association is to assess and address the needs of people of various ethnic backgrounds.

"Our seniors, our youth, our teachers, our attorneys, our physicians, our professionals, our homeowners, our tenants, they all need help from time to time," Rajkumar said.

Group organizers said they intend to establish a pro bono legal aid clinic for Queens residents in need of assistance. Organizers said they also plan to work closely with local police and high school officials to address youth issues such as graffiti and gun violence.

The new civic association is also planning to host a series of seminars and workshops featuring a wide variety of guest speakers on topics ranging from small business loans to community outreach programs.

"We want to be a hands-on civic association," Rajkumar said.

For information or to join the Intercommunity Civic Association, call Rajkumar at 718-641-3000.

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