Thursday, June 6, 2002

Black playwright’s masterpiece shines at Black Spectrum

August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1990, is part of his series of plays dealing with working class African-American life in the Hill district of Pittsburgh. This play, set in 1936 and now enjoying a spirited revival at the Black Spectrum Theater, concerns the dilemmas of a fractured multi-generational family, their haunted piano purchased at too dear a cost, the angry ghost of its former owner Mr. Sutton, and a cornucopia of other issues. Comment.

Editorial: Black belt mom

Kimberly Esparza is a profile in courage and so is her mom. Together their accomplishment stands as a testimony to the strength of the human spirit. Comment.

Berger’s Burg: Columnist points pinky to sky, takes to sea

Gloria and I just completed a long weekend of babysitting for our two grandchildren, 7 and 2, and we were bushed. “I sure can use a vacation,” I murmured to myself. The gods must have listened because when we returned home Gloria told me to sit down. I gulped hard because the last time she told me to sit down, she informed me that I was to become a father again. Comment.

Neighbor to Neighbor: Community meeting gives useful biz tips

In the comparatively short time James Sanders Jr., City Council member for the 31st District, has been one of our elected officials, he has done what he promised — work with us. As soon as violence raised its ugly head in our community again, he arranged with the New York Police Department to have the mobile unit in our area. He has attended community meetings and has sponsored others for us to attend. Comment.

The Civic Scene: Community boards welcome new members

In the past few months two Queens civic association presidents have been elected as community board chairpersons. Jerry Iannece, who has been president of the Bayside Hills Civic Association, has been elected chairman of Community Board 11 and Richard Hellenbrecht, who had been president of the Bellerose Commonwealth Civic Association, has been elected chairperson of Community Board 13. It is interesting that Diane Cohen, who has been active in the Bayside Hills Civic Association, has been district manager of Community Board 8 for several years. Comment.

To The Point: ‘United’ efforts made Memorial parade a hit

Welcome to the Point. The Point being College Point. I’m back and I want to thank everyone for their concern. Of course I couldn’t help but return after that wonderful Memorial Day Parade in College Point. “United We Stand” was our theme and commemorated the war dead as well as the World Trade Center dead. Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Grand Marshal Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn, Sen. Frank Padavan, Congressman Joseph Crowley, Sen. David Weprin and Borough President Helen Marshall all made this parade a special event. The Poppy Queen was Stephanie Santiago. Comment.

SJU athlete recalls how he was shot

The former St. John’s football star who was partially paralyzed in a 2001 shooting on the Jamaica campus closed the prosecution’s case Tuesday by claiming the face of his accused assailant, Christopher Prince, was etched in his memory. Comment.

The Eldorado: Authentic Tex-Mex in Bayside

196-50 Northern Blvd. Comment.

School District 28 students teach water conservation

Student council leaders from School District 28 are brimming with ideas on how to tackle the city’s drought through water conservation. Comment.

Congressman leads tour of birds in Jamaica Bay

Decked out in a floppy hat and khakis with binoculars strapped around his neck, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) visited some of his most vocal constituents Friday afternoon, participating in a tour of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Comment.

DEP shelves plan to tap additional Jamaica wells

A city plan to reactivate additional wells from the Jamaica Water System to ease the city’s drought has been temporarily suspended, said City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans). Comment.

Boro faces West Nile threat with calm, prevention

The virus that first roared into the borough’s consciousness four years ago inspiring both fear and controversy does not seem to be big news in 2002, with the city last week quietly announcing plans to combat the sometimes deadly West Nile virus. Comment.

Obituary: Francis J. Wolfe, 85

Francis J. Wolfe, a leading expert on drug enforcement and a retired deputy inspector with the New York Police Department who headed the Narcotics Bureau during the mid- to late 1960s, died May 13 at North Shore University Hospital, in Manhasset, L.I. He was 85. Comment.

Boro Prez Marshall praises York College grads

Citing their education in the most ethnically diverse county in the country, Borough President Helen Marshall praised the more than 800 graduates at York College’s Commencement Ceremony Friday morning. Comment.

Hotzler to replace Kidd as interim head at York

Now that his successor has been named, Russell Hotzler, interim president at Queens College in Flushing, has accepted a new position as the temporary head of York College in Jamaica. Comment.

Funds raised for family of boy killed by car

Nothing could ease the pain of Sergio and Karla Lara, whose 4-year-old son Sergio Jr. was killed May 4 when a car involved in a collision at a Richmond Hill intersection jumped the curb and struck him as he sat in a stroller. Comment.

School Board 29 member Jones to relinquish post

After eight years of loyal service to School Board 29, Queens native Stephen Jones will step down. Jones, who lives in Springfield Gardens, is relocating to Augusta, Ga. to become a marshal and will finish his term June 30. Comment.

Schumer demands funds for rape victims’ exams

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is calling on the Department of Justice to ensure that rape victims receive free medical treatment and forensic examinations after they are attacked. Comment.

Long Island City teens dream up art for garden

One envisions a clay man with a flower growing from his head. Another has started assembling a person made entirely of spheres. Comment.

Weiner answers questions on social security coverage

Rego Park’s Constance Cowen, 70, takes medication for high blood pressure and osteoporosis and said the escalating cost of prescription drugs across the country is “a disgusting situation.” Comment.

St. John’s parking garage nixed by Community Bd. 8

A Community Board 8 committee unanimously voted Monday against St. John’s University’s plans to build a five-story 477-vehicle parking lot at the corner of the service road of the Grand Central Parkway and 168th Street. Comment.

Newtown comes up short in bid for ‘B’ softball title

Wayne Crawford can see the big picture. Sure the Newtown softball team left Fordham’s Bahoshy Field falling to top-seeded Bushwick, 8-2, in the inaugural PSAL ‘B’ softball championship game Sunday, but that doesn’t take away the Pioneers’ success this year. Comment.

Parishioners disturbed by volunteer’s arrest

Few wanted to talk about him, and many who did described a steadfast worshiper who sat in the front pew every Sunday while his wife sang in the church choir. Comment.

McLaughlin eyes new area as district lines are moved

Late last month state Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin (D-Flushing) met with a group of leaders from the Sikh Cultural Society at a Lefferts Boulevard Indian restaurant to discuss ways he could help them rebuild their 118th Street temple, which was destroyed by fire March 8. Comment.

Board of Ed tests PS 65 for trace levels of TCE

The Board of Education and city Department of Health continued to test the air at PS 65 in Ozone Park over the weekend in an effort to determine why parents say their children are suffering from an array of illnesses. Comment.

QCC students seize future at graduation in Bayside

Maureen Mitchell had both feet on the ground Friday morning, but before the Queens Village resident joined her 1,300 classmates for Queensborough Community College’s 41st graduation ceremonies, the former horse trainer said she was flying high. Comment.

3,100 students graduate from Queens College

Under a bright-blue sky, 3,100 students were awarded degrees at the Queens College commencement ceremony last Thursday. Comment.

Vegan pair indicted in starvation

A Queens Village couple accused of endangering the life of their infant by keeping her on a strict vegan diet has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of starving the 22-month-old girl, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced last Thursday. Comment.

Queens Women’s Center to honor Ground Zero heroes

The Queens Women’s Center is facing some difficult days ahead as the nonprofit moves out of its longtime Fort Totten headquarters and attempts to raise $475,000 to renovate a dilapidated building at the Bayside fort, but the bleak future has not kept the group from its work. Comment.

Kelly touts crime drop at LIC meet

When Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly faced an audience at Queensbridge Houses last week, he armed himself with statistics showing a dramatic drop in crime and an impressive cadre of programs to keep it that way. Comment.

Roads for Kerouac lead to Ozone Park

The smoky dives of Greenwich Village and the coffee houses of San Francisco may have been the natural habitat of the Beat Generation, but for the movement’s most renowned symbol, home was really Queens. Comment.

Ex-city cop pleads guilty to child porn possession

Floral Park resident Brian Mathews, an ex-New York City police officer and former delegate to the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing child pornography last Thursday, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District. Comment.

LIC community gardeners fight for urban plot of land

Where a gate once stood there is now a sheet of chain-link, a thin yet remarkably resilient barrier blocking a group of gardeners from their plot of earth. Comment.

College Point community cleans up MacNeil Park

It was a cool, sunny Sunday afternoon and the 30 to 40 College Point residents who found themselves in MacNeil Park could have been running, fishing or simply hanging out. Comment.

Worker electrocuted fixing leak in Maspeth

A contractor from a Brooklyn company was electrocuted last Thursday as he worked beneath the surface of a Maspeth street to repair an underground water leak, police said. Comment.

Glen Oaks native prescribes drumming as therapy

Anxiety levels stemming from the Sept. 11 attack and terrorist threats, a sluggish economy and the normal fast pace of life in New York seem to be off the charts. Comment.

Rego Park resident prescribes drumming as therapy

Anxiety levels stemming from the Sept. 11 attack and terrorist threats, a sluggish economy and the normal fast pace of life in New York seem to be off the charts. Comment.

Federal prosecutors indict Howard Beach mob boss

Prosecutors leveled charges against 17 suspected members and associates of the Gambino crime family Tuesday, including two Howard Beach brothers of John Gotti, for their roles in an alleged shakedown of a longshoreman’s union and an attempt to extort money from a Hollywood film star. Comment.

Marshall leads politicians in boro Gay Pride Parade

Jackson Heights was transformed into a rainbow of diversity Sunday with everyone from politicians and drag queens to senior citizens and families turning out to either march or watch the borough’s 10th annual Gay Pride Parade. Comment.

Boro insider falls outside Dem party machine plans

After flirting with the possibility of entering the race for the state Senate or the state Assembly and bucking the Queens party bosses, longtime Democratic political insider Jeff Gottlieb has decided he will not run against the party choices for the seats. Comment.

Boro Indians, Pakistanis seek peace at home

Indian and Pakistani Americans living and working in Queens have expressed deep concern about the conflict between their two nations and are praying for peace in their homelands. Comment.

District 29 names school for its strongest advocate

It will never be easy to forget Cynthia Jenkins, a southeast Queens community and political activist who fought for her neighborhood with her own brand of outspoken feistiness and who died in October 2001 at age 77. Comment.

JetBlue launches flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Kew Gardens-based airline JetBlue has inaugurated service to Puerto Rico in a move that Gov. George Pataki said had further strengthened links between the people of New York and the Caribbean Commonwealth. Comment.

Baysiders seek street name change to honor 9/11 hero

Baysider Michael Mullan, 34, was the modern equivalent of a Renaissance man, according to his mom, Theresa. Comment.

Queens pols wait to start campaigns for Legislature

The start of the political season in Queens and the rest of the city was put on hold for two weeks Monday when the state Legislature failed to agree on a plan to lay out new congressional districts that affect the borough. Comment.

Chinatown 9/11 job loss hit Flushing hard: Study

Nearly one-quarter of the 14,000 workers in Chinatown who lost their jobs as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks live in Queens, a borough economic analysis group recently determined. Comment.

Slain deliveryman’s widow sobs during last sentencing

Two southeast Queens teenagers stood before the judge with their heads bowed and their hands cuffed behind their backs as the widow of their victim cried and yelled at them in Chinese, begging the judge to impose harsher jail sentences. Comment.

Budget cuts will not hurt boro mental health efforts

Queens non-profit organizations set up to assist people with permanent disabilities such as mental retardation, autism and Down’s syndrome probably will emerge from the state and city budget battle without any drastic cuts. Comment.

Cops bust $1.5M pot farm in Douglas Manor home

Brooklyn narcotics detectives raided a quiet house in Douglas Manor last week, shutting down a high-tech, high-potency marijuana farm and arresting two people for growing more than $1.5 million of pot in one of the city’s toniest neighborhoods, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Police curb drag racing along strip in Maspeth

Police staged a massive crackdown on drag racing along Page Place in a heavily industrial section of Maspeth Saturday night, issuing dozens of violations as part of their ongoing effort to defeat a longstanding quality-of-life issue. Comment.

Empire State Development to establish Flushing office

A state agency that works to encourage economic development will soon open an office in downtown Flushing designed to help orchestrate major projects in Queens. Comment.

Forest Hills civic leader seeks state senate seat

A longtime civic activist from Forest Hills has joined the race to represent the newly formed 16th Senate District in the fall election. Comment.

South Jamaica native vows to oust Cook in Sept. race

At 16, Rachel Gordon found herself homeless, living from pillow to pillow at friends’ houses so she could finish high school. Comment.

Far Rockaway man hopes to unseat US Rep. Meeks

Despite unsuccessful campaigns for city and state offices, Rey Clarke is aiming higher this election year, hoping to challenge U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans) in the Democratic primaries in September. Comment.

Borough Asian-Americans face racism at polls: Study

Asian-American voters in Queens faced hostile poll workers, discrimination and a lack of interpreters among other problems when they voted at the polls last fall, a non-profit group found. Comment.

New Flushing assembly seat attracts crowded field

The race for Flushing’s new assembly seat has grown crowded. Comment.

City holds off on several College Pt. auctions

Tracy Shannon recently breathed a sign of relief. Comment.

Brinkerhoff civic warned against predatory lending

Learning to be rude could be the best defense against predatory loans and pushy salespeople, a representative from the state attorney general’s office told the Brinkerhoff Action Association Monday. Comment.

School control delays city’s budget debate

Queens’ chairman of the City Council’s powerful Finance Committee said passage of the New York City budget has been stalled as the mayor waits to see whether the state Legislature will agree to his taking over the Board of Education. Comment.

Police Blotter: Two suspects arrested in connection with string of Queens burglaries

FLUSHING — Officers of the 109th Precinct arrested two men last Thursday on charges of robbing elderly women last month in four burglaries committed in three Queens precincts, police said. Comment.

Southeast and Western Queens Community Calendar

Housing work group helps those with disabilities apply for New York City Housing Authority. First Wed. of month, 11 a.m. Queens Independent Living Center, 140-40 Queens Blvd., Jamaica. 658-2524. Comment.

Federal prosecutors indict three Gottis

Prosecutors leveled charges against 17 suspected members and associates of the Gambino crime family Tuesday, including two Howard Beach brothers of John Gotti, for their roles in an alleged shakedown of a longshoreman’s union and an attempt to extort money from a Hollywood film star. Comment.

Northeast Queens Community Calendar Listings

Crime Victim Assistance Unit. Weekdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Pomonok Neighborhood Center, Inc., 67-09 Kissena Blvd., Flushing. Comment.

Arts and Entertainment Listings

Barbershop Harmony Society Queens chapter seeks men who enjoy singing. Rehearsals Wed., 8 p.m. 74-15 175th St. 468-8416. Comment.

Art Frenzy 2002

The most exciting artistic event of the season will take place Saturday and Sunday at Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area in Rockaway—ArtFrenzy. Comment.

Queens couple leads relay to run circles around cancer

With cancer ranked second among the leading causes of death in the United States, an increasing number of people are becoming more concerned about the disease’s magnitude and its impact on human lives. Comment.

And they’re off: 134th Belmont Stakes set for Saturday

With the 134th running of the Belmont Stakes set for this Saturday, expectations are high that War Emblem, winner of this year’s Preakness and Kentucky Derby, will be the first Triple Crown winner since Seattle Slew and Affirmed won it back-to-back years in 1977 and 1978. Comment.

100 years of Modernism in Queens architecture

The Queens Historical Society will open a new exhibition on Sunday in Kingsland Homestead, its Flushing headquarters, entitled “The Twentieth Century Borough: One Hundred Years of Modern Architecture in Queens.” It will open at 3:30 p.m. with a reception and tour of the exhibition by curator and architectural historian, John Kriskiewicz. Comment.

Moore Catholic shuts down Mary Louis, 8-0

After close to a week of sitting idle, The Mary Louis Academy varsity softball team simply couldn’t turn it on when needed, losing in the Catholic High School Athletic Association city championship game Monday evening at Moore Catholic on Staten Island, 8-0. Comment.

Prep girls win third straight Mayor’s Cup

The St. Francis Prep girls’ tennis team defeated Francis Lewis High School in the finals of the 2002 New York City Mayor’s Cup All-Scholastic Tennis Championship, 5-0, Sunday at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Comment.

Snows’ Rookies hand St. Gregory’s first defeat, 9-6

The Our Lady of the Snows CYO seventh-grade girls’ softball team dealt neighborhood rival St. Gregory’s their first loss of the season, as OLS rallied to a 9-6 win. Comment.

Gomez hoping to defend crown at annual Quantum Feet 5K

Panfilo Gomez expects to enter into the third annual Quantum Feet Road Runners Club 5K and defend his crown Sunday morning June 9 at 9 a.m. Comment.

St. Andrew’s sixth-graders top St. Stan’s in 14-5 victory

The Big Green of St. Andrew’s played a final match of their three-game series against St. Stan’s of Brooklyn on Saturday at Kissena Corridor One. Comment.

Francis Lewis ends Staten Island’s softball reign

Score one for Francis Lewis and Queens softball. Comment.

Pandemonium lets loose at two Queens theaters

The above headline is referring, of course, to theatrical pandemonium, all very planned and safe, to be sure. Comment.

DePhillips Athletic Club: Cascarino’s Mets best Yankees, Angels, Devil Rays

Cascarino’s Mets 11, McDonald’s Little Neck Yankees 9. Leading the way was Matt DiGirolomo with a two-run homer and Kenny Pinto with a home run. Sean Duane had two hits and two RBIs. Justin Black had two hits, while Rob Liquori, David Blauner and Issiah Rodriguez each had one hit and an RBI. Matt DiGirolomo closed out the game, going the last three innings, striking out five and giving up one run. Comment.

DG Baseball: Edward McKee Post No. 131 bests Ridgewood Savings, 7-2

In a game called by rain in the middle of the fifth inning, Edward McKee Post No. 131 beat Ridgewood Savings, 7-2. The McKee girls got a boost with a home run by Elena Brandes, scoring three runs in a five-run inning. All-around great play by Nicole Agnello, Tiffany Lawrence, Ariana Barongi, Nicole Naposki, Maria Rizo and Corinne Lippert contributed to the win. A fine job pitching was done by Christina Agnello. For Ridgewood, Christine McGrory did a great job on the mound and at the plate. Nicole Palermo and Christine Sanders also had two hits ea Comment.

DG Roller Hockey: Re/Max scores five victories in DG Minor Division action

Re/Max 10, Flowers by Peter 6. On the suggestion by Re/Max forward Christian Kenny, this game was dedicated to head coach David Legaz, who was not behind the bench because of his attendance at the Washington D.C. Police Memorial honoring his fallen partner. Officer Brian McDonnell - Emergency Service Truck No. 1. He was one of the many heroes that gave their life while rescuing thousands at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. This moving tribute energized Team Re/Max, with six players scoring goals. Evan Katz led with three goals, David Legaz and Mario G Comment.

Glen Oaks L.L.: Royals topple Brewers in rain-shortened affair

With the threat of lightning, thunder and heavy rains, the North Shore Towers Royals defeated the Met Food Brewers, 12-7, in a rain-shortened, but very exciting game. Both teams played outstanding baseball, both offensively and defensively, with the lead changing several times during the game. Comment.

Holy Family wins two straight over Queen of Peace, St. Joe’s

In an exciting and well-played game, Holy Family defeated Queen of Peace in CYO softball by the score of 8-7. Julianne Keyes pitched a complete game, including six strikeouts and a perfect 1-2-3 seventh inning. Holy Family scored five runs in the top of the third to take the lead, led by Anniela Vaccaro’s RBI double and Jackie Chang’s two run home run. Anniela homered in the fifth inning and Jackie also homered in the sixth inning to score the final and winning run. Jeanna Dalvano went 3-for-3, including an RBI-double. Stephanie R Comment.

Bayside’s Kevin Reilly sweeps golf skills competition in Pa.

Bayside resident, 7-year-old Kevin Reilly, traveled to the Water Gap Country Club in Pennsylvania on May 28, to compete in the 2002 Drive, Pitch and Putt Jr. Golf Skills Competition sponsored by the Golf Channel. Kevin finished in first place in his age division of 7- and 8-year-olds. Comment.

Lehman ousts Adams in PSAL baseball semis

Strong pitching and solid defense. They have been the staples of the John Adams baseball program for as long as head coach Glenn Beyer can remember. Comment.

Some success as Queens theater group revives fairy tale play

The rather naughty title, “Once Upon a Mattress,” is a clever play on words referring to the famed fairy-tale test of a ”genuine” princess. Can she feel a pea placed beneath a stack of 20 mattresses? More than just a fractured fairy tale, however, this delightful musical by Mary Rodgers, daughter of the famed Richard Rodgers, is filled with characters that display a range of human foibles: an overprotective mother and castrating wife, a put-upon husband, and an overripe son, Prince Dauntless, eager for a romp in the hay, to name a few. Comment.

Bayside L.L.: Mardene Construction tops Biordi Construction

Mardene Construction 5, Biordi Construction 4. In the battle of construction companies, Mardene prevailed over Biordi, 5-4, as Mardene’s Billy Demos drove in two runs in the top of the sixth inning for the win. Comment.

Bayside Running Stars finish AAU season with 33-7 record

The Bayside Running Stars Girls 13U AAU team comprised of Michelle Betos, Lauren Costello, EJ Dreyer, Emma Gorynski, Jessica Maurello, Angela Schumacher and Julie Serewko, led by the excellent coaching of head coach Pete Gornyski and assistant coach Dawn Gornyski, reached the finals of the AAU season and a finished with 33-7 overall record. Comment.

Midwood edges Judges in lacrosse title game

The Benjamin Cardozo Judges played last Wednesday in the inaugural Public School Athletic League lacrosse championship game, but they were hoping to make history of another kind. The Judges were looking to end the Midwood Hornets’ 13-year reign as city champions. Comment.

Cardozo girls fall in soccer semis

Losing one game all season, as the Benjamin N. Cardozo girls’ soccer team did this year, is a tremendous accomplishment. Comment.

Heartbreaking loss in semis sends St. Francis packing

St. Francis Prep junior pitcher Mark Foris isn’t one to hide his emotions on the field , pumping his fists and leaping off the mound when he records a big out. Comment.

College Round-up: Elder Villanueva bound for Queens College

No, not that Villanueva. Comment.

Bosco’s Corner: World Cup fever grips boro, kinda

Our esteemed associate sports editor, Dylan Butler, asked me to pass him the hat last week. The hat, a giant foam top-hat variety advertising Murphy’s Irish Amber, has been collecting dust in the newsroom of the TimesLedger offices since the last millennium. But it was desperately needed. Comment.

Editorial: Limits of free press

As a community newspaper, we are ardent defenders of freedom of the press. But along with freedom comes responsibility. We are alarmed by the very real possibility that the communist government of China may be using two newspapers published in New York City to harass members of a controversial Chinese religious movement living in Queens. Comment.

Editorial: Crime and punishment

Last week’s sentencing of the final two teenagers charged in the brutal slaying of a Chinese food deliveryman raises questions about the nature of justice and society’s often conflicting expectations of the legal system, Comment.

Sign up for daily news emails!

TimesLedger archive

CNG: Community Newspaper Group