24 THE QUEENS COURIER • YEAR IN REVIEW • DECEMBER 26, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
year in review
The top stories from July 2019
BY JENNA BAGCAL
QUEENS DA RECOUNT CONCLUDES
WITH CONVINCING LEAD
FOR MELINDA KATZ, BATTLE
TO CONTINUE IN COURT
Th e June 2019 Queens District Attorney primary
between DA-elect Melinda Katz and Tiff any Cabán
resulted in a lengthy vote recount process aft er Katz
fell short by nearly 1,100 votes. In July, the Board of
Elections tally showed that Katz bested Cabán by a margin
of 60 votes during the recount. Lawyers on Cabán’s
team planned to go to court over the votes due to 114
affi davits that had been disputed over a period of weeks.
Lawyer Jerry Goldfeder did not give a specifi c count of
votes being taken to court but estimated that the number
of disputed ballots would be greater than 60.
Cabán’s lawyers had planned to take the contested ballots
to court since before the absentee ballot count. But
with the absentee ballot count totaling 3,550, Katz was
able to close the 1,100 vote gap over Caban and take a
16-vote lead. Th at small margin of less than one percent
triggered an automatic recount. According to Goldfeder,
a victor is declared during a recount regardless of a slim
In addition to Katz and Cabán, the DA candidates in
the Democratic primary included retired judge Gregory
Lasak, Mina Malik and Jose Nieves. Councilman Rory
Lancman dropped out just days before the primary and
expressed his support for Katz.
APPEARANCE OF A WRAPPED
INNOUT BURGER THAT WAS
FOUND ON A JAMAICA STREET
On July 22, Lincoln Boehm found an immaculate
In-N-Out burger lying on Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica.
Th e self-proclaimed In-N-Out fanatic was out with his
wife, killing time before catching a train at the Jamaica
Long Island Railroad station. A wrapped double-double
sat on the ground in front of McDonald’s and prompted
Boehm to upload photos of the burger on social media.
Th e popular west coast burger joint has nearly 350 locations
in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas and
Aft er Boehm uploaded the image on Twitter, the site’s
users came up with theories about how the burger got
to Queens in the fi rst place. Some thought that Russian
spies sent the burger to monitor American activity, while
others surmised that it was the work of the famous artist,
Banksy. One Twitter user even created an offi cial Twitter
account for the double-double, which has not been active
Boehm’s brother compared the situation to “Cloudy
with a Chance of Meatballs” where food rains from the
clouds onto the residents below. He added that the event
is something he would probably remember for the rest
of his life.
DOUGLASTON’S GIARDINO ITALIAN
RESTAURANT CLOSES ITS DOORS
AFTER 27 YEARS IN BUSINESS
Aft er nearly 30 years, Giardino Italian restaurant in
Douglaston closed its doors at the end of June. Owner
Frank Russo Jr., executive chef Mike Competiello and
manager Joe Competiello posted a heartfelt message on
the restaurant’s Facebook page letting patrons know that
this was not goodbye forever. Th ey encouraged patrons to
dine at Russo’s other restaurant Vetros in Howard Beach,
where the Comepetiellos currently work.
Russo got his start in the food industry while working
with his father and uncle at Villa Russo and Il Palazzo
Catering Hall. Th e former Giardino owner recalled that
his father was a hard worker who always took care of
the customers and ensured the restaurant felt like home.
Russo added that his parents taught him how to respect
others and remember that “your work is your most
Th e restaurateur opened Russo’s on the Bay in 1987 and
Giardino, known for its fi ne Italian dining, in 1992. He
opened his restaurant Vetros in 2009 but had to close following
Hurricane Sandy. Th ough the establishment suffered
millions of dollars in damages, Russo successfully
reopened Vetros in 2013.
VIRAL VIDEO SHOWS FLASH
FLOOD AT COURT SQUARE
STATION IN LIC THAT NEARLY
SENT MAN ONTO TRACKS
A train rider in Long Island City was the victim of
a fl ood on the Court Square-23rd Street E train platform
back in July. A fellow straphanger caught the
incident on camera, which showed a rush of water
bursting through a construction wall and knocking
the man on the ground. Th e impact nearly washed him
onto the tracks where an incoming train was pulling
into the station.
Th e incident occurred following weather reports of
fl ash fl ood advisories and torrential downpours in the
metro area. Th e popular Twitter account posted the
video at 8 a.m. the next day and the video amassed
over 13,000 views in just a few hours. Th e video has
412,000 views to date.
But the MTA blamed the fl ooding on the contractor
who had been “working on a residential development
project.” Th e private developer was building a residential
tower adjacent to the subway station and a new station
entrance and elevator. Th e agency claimed that the
contractor allowed the site to “become inundated with
water” aft er they relocated the utilities and did not have a
pumping system to temporarily drain the site.
Th e storms then caused water to reach the plywood
that separated the work area from the station platform.
Photo: Mark Hallum/QNS
Cabán attorney Renee Paradis and Katz volunteer Tyquana Rivers
count the last ballot.
Photo courtesy of Lincoln Boehm
Photo via Google Maps
Screenshot of video via Twitter/@SubwayCreatures