FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM DECEMBER 14, 2017 • THE QUEENS COURIER 3
Tortoise thief admits to
stealing rare reptile
An East Elmhurst man faces six months in jail
aft er admitting on Dec. 7 to stealing a 17-year-old
tortoise from the Alley Pond Environmental Center
(APEC) in Douglaston earlier this year.
Shawn Waters, 37, of 103rd Street pleaded guilty
on Dec. 7 to a fi ft h-degree criminal possession of
stolen property charge, Queens District Attorney
Richard A. Brown announced.
Th e tortoise trouble began on July 16, when
Waters removed Millenium, an African spurred
tortoise, from the environmental center located on
Th e day aft er Millenium’s disappearance, prosecutors
said, Waters responded to a Craigslist ad
posted by a Stamford, CT, man who advertised
a musk turtle for sale. In a phone conversation,
Waters off ered to trade an African spurred tortoise
for the turtle.
On July 23, law enforcement sources said, Waters
traveled up to Fairfi eld, CT, and provided the man
with the tortoise in exchange for the musk turtle
and $300 in cash.
Th e Connecticut man, upon seeing news reports
about Millenium’s disappearance, contacted the
111th Precinct Detective Squad, believing it might
be the stolen reptile. A detective recovered the tortoise
and an APEC employee later identifi ed it as
Winning Take 5 ticket
sold in Astoria
Who has the winning ticket?
Th e New York Lottery announced on Dec. 12
that the winning Take 5 ticket from the Dec. 11
drawing was sold in Astoria.
Th e ticket, which is a Quick Pick worth $63,060.50,
was purchased at the Broadway Corner Store, located
at 38-02 Broadway. Th e winning numbers for
the Dec. 11 drawing were 05 – 08 – 32 – 38 – 39.
Take 5 winning numbers are drawn from a fi eld
of one to 39. Th e drawings are televised every evening
at 11:21 p.m. Winning Take 5 tickets at all
prize levels may be cashed up to one year from the
date of the drawing.
Forest Hills school
project adds 26
Work has offi cially started on the long-awaited
expansion of a Forest Hills public school.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz joined
education offi cials and architects last week at P.S.
144 for a ground-breaking ceremony launching
the $52.4 million project that will create a four-story
addition with 26 new classrooms and a new
entrance lobby, among other amenities.
Located at 93-02 69th Ave., P.S. 144 serves 894
students from pre-kindergarten through fi ft h grade.
“Th e new building will accommodate 590 students
and address functional defi ciencies of the
existing school,” said architect Martin D. Stein,
Urbahn Principal and Designer.
While the new building’s exterior architecture
will replicate the building’s original look, the entire
addition is designed in accordance with the NYC
Green Schools Guide and Rating System, which
specifi es energy effi ciency and healthy environment
requirements for New York City public schools.
Queens Courier staff
Photo courtesy of Senator Michael Gianaris
Long Island City offi cials and residents are asking that the NYPD shut down an all-nude nightclub called Show Palace.
Community wants Long Island City adult
nightclub closed after prostitution bust
BY ANGELA MATUA
email@example.com / @angelamatua
Aft er fi ve women were arrested for
prostitution at a Queens nightclub on
Dec. 8, elected offi cials and community
members held a press conference
to ask that the city shut the establishment
Show Palace, located at 42-50 21st
St. in Long Island City, has a long history
of breaking the law, according to
state Senator Michael Gianaris. Th e
all-nude nightclub had its application
for a liquor license denied by the
State Liquor Authority (SLA) three
times, most recently in January 2016.
According to Gianaris, the club’s
owner turned the nightclub into an
all-nude establishment because the
SLA never approved its application
though it’s been operating for about
fi ve years. Customers at Show Palace
will sometimes drink outside near the
sidewalk since the club is technically
not allowed to sell liquor, Gianaris
“Th is is not the fi rst time we have
been standing in this same location
talking about the bad business that is
behind us,” Gianaris said at the press
conference. “It’s bad not because it’s
the type of business we don’t need in
this community, but it’s bad because
it’s breaking laws right behind us on
a regular basis.”
According to the Daily News,
the NYPD Vice Squad arrested fi ve
women between the ages of 20 to 35
on Dec. 1 during a raid that began as
an investigation into liquor law violations.
Th e nightclub has made headlines
for violating liquor laws, selling
drugs, weapons charges and a shooting.
Owner Gus Drakopoulos also
ran Sin City in the Bronx, a nightclub
that was shut down aft er the
Daily News spoke to former employees
who described the poor working
conditions, harassment experienced
by women there and the consistent
Gianaris, Councilman Jimmy Van
Bramer and members of Community
Board 2 are asking that the NYPD
and Queens District Attorney also
shut down Show Palace under nuisance
Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, the executive
director of Urban Upbound, a
nonprofi t that serves Queensbridge
Houses residents, argued that the
3,000 children living in the public
housing development should not
have to walk past the establishment.
“Th is is more than a travesty,” he
said. “In the early morning hours
if you make your way to this business
you’ll see young ladies leaving
the business scantily dressed having
worked all night from the early
evening. Th ere have been numerous
reports of fi ghts, shootings, drug distribution.
Th is has become the hot
bed of criminal activity and I don’t
think that we can just stand on the
sidelines and allow businesses like
this to be active in our community.”
According to Gianaris, Queens
District Attorney Richard A. Brown’s
offi ce is currently prosecuting the
prostitution charges. Councilman
Jimmy Van Bramer argued that the
establishment’s owners “want to
consistently stick their fi ngers in the
eyes of the people who live and work
in this community, who have made it
a great community.”
The owners of Show Palace
installed large signs outside of the
club before the press conference,
with statements such as “any show
worth censoring is a show worth
seeing” and “censorship is to art as
lynching is to justice.”
Pat O’Brien, a member of
Community Board 2, said asking for
the club to be shut down has nothing
to do with censorship.
“Let’s be real clear here: this has
nothing to do with censorship,” he
said. “Th is has to do with a blight
on this community that has been so
consistent from day one that it has
brought together everyone who has
examined the club to say this is a