Thursday, June 27, 2002

Berger’s Burg: Fireworks make ‘four’ a spectacular birthday

There is no shortage of material for my Fourth of July column. For instance, are you aware that July was named in honor of that jubilant Roman emperor, Julius Caesar? Oh, you are aware! Well then, did anyone ever tell you that 200 years ago, people, including George Washington, Buffalo Bill and my great great great grandfather Alexander Colonial Berger III, Comment.

Neighbor to Neighbor: Laurelton businesses bid farewell to friend

June seems to be racing out of control. Here it is nearing July, with half of 2002 already part of history, along with the many graduations and weddings taking place in this month that is traditional for those occasions. We congratulate all the happy celebrants and wish them “to live happily ever after.” Comment.

Point of View: Chinese New Year could become legal holiday

Is it likely that the Chinese New Year will become a holiday for the Asian-American community in Queens? It is possible and should be legalized. Comment.

Enchantment abounds in sing-song production

“Queens is alive with the sound of music!” How appropriate that the 2001-2002 Queens local theater season should close with a musical revue based on the songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein, “Some Enchanted Evening,” presented by Beari Productions in Middle Village. Comment.

The Civic Scene: CB 8 votes down plan for St. John’s parking

Residents from the Hillcrest Estates Civic Association have been writing and speaking for months about their unhappiness with the noise, trash, drinking and lewd behavior outside of Gate 7 on 170th Street on the west side of St. John’s campus. Comment.

To The Point: College Pt. welcomes beginning of summer

With graduations occurring and warm breezes blowing, we know that summer has arrived. I am sure all the children can’t wait to get to the beach, the ball game or the parks to exert all that extra energy. Always be a part of all their wonderful entertainment. Comment.

Sugar Hill Golden Ale makes debut in Queens

The brewing company may be based in Harlem, but Springfield Gardens resident Celeste Beatty is ready to bring her Sugar Hill Golden Ale to Queens, just in time for those Independence Day barbecues. Comment.

Recent Real Estate Transactions

Bayside, 209-33 46 Dr., Single Family Attached, $269,000, Bed 2, Bath 2, Construction-Brick, Basement-Full, Lot Size: 19 x 200, Taxes: $1,237 Comment.

Upcoming Borough Business Events

June 27- American Cancer Society & National Football League Golf Classic - Tam O'Shanter Golf Club Comment.

Charges of stolen funds rock Ozone Park parish

The new pastor at St. Elizabeth Church in Ozone Park led 100 parishioners in a prayer of healing Monday night, a week after allegations came to light that his predecessor stole funds from the parish school to lavish gifts on a 19-year-old male lover. Comment.

Cambria Heights sensei charged in sexual assaults

A Cambria Heights martial arts instructor has been charged with sexually attacking two of his tae kwon do students, the Queens district attorney said last Thursday. Comments (3).

Thomson recalls 4 years as Queens education rep

After more than four years in one of the city’s most unenviable public positions, Queens Board of Education Representative Terri Thomson used nothing but kind words this week to describe her tenure. Comments (1).

Jamaica train accident leaves 67 injured

An incoming westbound Long Island Rail Road train slammed into the back of another train Saturday as it pulled out of Jamaica Station, injuring 67 passengers, LIRR officials said. Comment.

State fines Bay Terrace co-op for Udalls Cove spill

A Bay Terrace co-op accused of causing a 2001 oil spill which spread nearly 1,000 gallons of heating fuel across Little Neck Bay and damaged parts of Udalls Cove Wetlands Preserve has been fined $60,000 by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Comment.

Riders say boro’s V-line is too slow to draw users

Transit activist demonstrators from Queens and other areas protested against the V subway line Tuesday, handing out leaflets that contended the new line from Queens to Manhattan attracts few riders because it is too slow. Comment.

Visiting priest abused boy from Woodside parish: DA

A missionary Catholic priest from Africa who had been visiting a Woodside church for only a few days was arrested Tuesday night for allegedly molesting a 12-year-old boy during a Father’s Day outing to the Rockaways, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Budget suspends recycling of glass, plastic for Queens

As part of the city budget agreement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council came to terms last week on the future of the city’s recycling program in Queens and the other boroughs. Comment.

Red Cross honors boro Chinese paper publisher

The American Red Cross honored the publisher of a College Point-based Chinese newspaper and several of the organization’s volunteers for their community outreach in helping the city to heal from the World Trade Center attacks. Comment.

Rosedale teenager drowns in ocean off Long Beach

Lavell Patrick, a Rosedale teen who drowned in the ocean off Long Beach last week, just finished his first year in high school and was preparing to leave Friday to spend the summer working and living with his grandfather in Monticello, his sister said. Comment.

Hung jury forces mistrial in case of SJU shootings

The six-week trial of Christopher Prince, accused of shooting and paralyzing a St. John’s football player last year, ended in a hung jury Friday, forcing the Queens district attorney’s office to make plans to try the defendant again in the fall. Comment.

St. John’s communications stalwart dies

The Rev. Michael Mullen, a St. John’s University priest known best for his involvement in a humanitarian ham radio organization, died June 13 at the age of 87. Comment.

Overhaul of Steinway St. bridge set for July

A 42-month reconstruction of the Steinway Street Bridge over the Grand Central Parkway is slated to begin in July, although the project will not affect the general public until next spring, a city engineer told Astoria community leaders earlier this month. Comment.

Three Queens playgrounds declared unsafe in report

Three Queens playgrounds rank among the most unsafe in the city, according to a biannual Playground Safety Report issued last week by the New York Public Interest Research Group. Comment.

Bursting Richmond Hill schools gain relief

The School Construction Authority broke ground on a new elementary school building in Richmond Hill Friday that will provide more than 700 new seats in one of the city’s most overcrowded school districts when it opens in September 2004. Comment.

Bayside schoolchildren donate books to Schneider

When Ilana Lambert’s 26 fifth-graders began collecting books for Schneider Children’s Hospital last month, they planned each detail of the project: making posters advertising the effort around Bayside’s Public School 41, talking to other students, even offering an ice cream party to the class bringing in the most books. Comment.

Look out below! PS 94 scientists at work

The final days of the elementary school year typically are filled with fidgety students, tired teachers and dreams of summer freedom. Comment.

Queens contractors rescue jumper from East River

Mere hours before the official start of summer, a pair of Queens contractors took an unexpected dip into the East River Friday to save a man who had just jumped off the Queensboro Bridge. Comment.

Snows track stars shine at Astoria Park meet

The Our Lady of the Snows CYO boys’ track team edged St. Fidelis, 59-58, to capture the CYO Western Division outdoor track championship. Coach Mauricio Paz was very proud as his boys’ team raced to 26 points at the June 1 Day of Dashes held at Astoria Park to bring home the gold. Comment.

Queens Village girl stabs self in chest

A 12-year-old Queens Village girl who police said stabbed herself in the chest last week after an apparent argument with her mother was released from Long Island Jewish Medical Center Monday. Comment.

Management change at Flushing center draws anger

A threatened managerial change at a Flushing senior center has sparked the ire of its namesake, former Councilwoman Julia Harrison. Comment.

Astoria charter school prepares for Sept. start

Avoiding what would have been its second false start in as many years, a fledgling Astoria charter school has secured a facility and is expected to open in September with a student body nearly twice as large as originally expected. Comment.

Liu eyes sidewalk stands, trash on Flushing streets

Councilman John Liu’s second town hall meeting Tuesday was dominated by a discussion on means of keeping downtown Flushing clean. Comment.

Northeast civic leaders get zoning lesson

You may live in a quiet, peaceful residential neighborhood now, but your quality of life can change in a heartbeat, northeast Queens civic leaders warned more than 100 Little Neck residents last week. Comment.

Expansion planned for Queens Village school

Southeast Queens’ charter school has been recognized by the president of the United States. Now its leaders hope that recognition will bear its fruit. Comment.

Duchess helps LIJ raise money for cancer facility

SarahFerguson, the duchess of York, joined three generations of women Monday to help the Long Island Cancer Campaign raise money for a new ambulatory cancer facility, to treat patients from Queens, Nassau and Suffolk at the North Shore Hospital Campus. Comment.

Geraldine Ferraro leaves Forest Hills for Manhattan

After 36 years spent raising three children and working in public service, former Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro left her Forest Hills home earlier this month and headed across the river to midtown Manhattan with her husband. Comment.

Flake returns to roots as head of Wilberforce

As a student at Wilberforce University in Ohio, the Rev. Floyd Flake put in 50- to 60-hour work weeks in the cafeteria to put himself through school. Comment.

JetBlue adds bonus plan for frequent fliers

The Kew Gardens-based airline JetBlue Airways has begun offering frequent flyer benefits, although in this case points rather than miles are the reward for brand loyalty. Comment.

INS nabs Queens couple in human smuggling ring

Officers arrested a Fresh Meadows couple last week and broke up a human smuggling ring operating out of Kennedy Airport that allowed illegal aliens to slip into the country through a door allegedly left open by an airport employee, the Justice Department said. Comment.

Democratic lobbyist vies for new assembly seat

As a lobbyist for crime victims’ services, John Albert learned his way around the state Legislature. Comment.

SE Queens little leaguers vie to be champions

For only the second time in more than 40 years the Cambria Heights Little League held its championship weekend Saturday as league teams battled for the right to be called champions. Comment.

7 boro residents charged in car insurance scheme

Six southeast Queens residents and a Queensboro Hill resident were among 21 people charged last week with auto insurance fraud after they allegedly filed false accident claims seeking settlements of up to $25,000, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Whitestone block marks Fourth with flag, bubbly

For many Queens residents, the Fourth of July means the American flag, patriotism and fireworks. Comment.

Queens angered at reversal of landmark schools ruling

Queens legislators and education advocates expressed outrage Tuesday afternoon after a state appellate court threw out a landmark 2001 education ruling requiring increased state funding of the city’s public schools. Comment.

New community board members take oath

Queens’ reputation as one the most diverse communities in the nation made itself evident last Thursday as 86 new community board members were sworn-in to office and 25 others were honored for serving more than 650 combined years of service. Comment.

Levy rejects School Board 24 choice for super

Schools Chancellor Harold Levy has rejected School Board 24’s choice for superintendent, a decision the candidate claims was fueled by his own outspoken criticism of the central administration. Comment.

Report: Homeland security needed at local level

U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) unveiled a report on the city’s homeland security requirements this week which calls on President Bush to award more funding at a local level to put protecting the city in the hands of local authorities. Comment.

Best elementary schools in Queens named in book

Parents shopping around for an elementary school for their children should look no further than their local bookstore for help and guidance. Comment.

Glendale man gets 9 years for Long Island sex assault

A federal judge imposed a nine-year sentence Thursday on a Glendale man who was convicted last year on charges of attempted aggravated sexual abuse for harassing a woman when both were cadets at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Long Island. Comment.

Bayside Senior Center opens doors after renovations

There were balloons and music, line dancing and card games last week as nearly 100 seniors from throughout northeast Queens enjoyed their first day back at the Bayside Senior Center, which has been shuttered for about a year. Comment.

Bayside Korean man shows enthusiasm for World Cup

Baysider Tai-Kyuk Han is a modern-day Renaissance man and world traveler who speaks four languages, works as a bank executive and has run his own small business making promotional products for 15 years. Comment.

Bloomberg clashes with SE Queens over shelter

Tempers flared Monday night at a Town Hall meeting at MS 210 in Ozone Park when residents questioned Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the city’s proposal to locate a homeless shelter at the Best Western Carlton House near Kennedy Airport. Comment.

Boro cultural institutions saved from budget crises

Although many directors of Queens’ leading cultural institutions held their breath bracing for a debilitating blow, they let out a restrained sigh as word spread that funding cuts in the city budget were more shallow than expected. Comment.

City budget lacks money for new borough schools

The city budget may be finished, and it seems that funding for Queens school construction is, too — at least until 2005. Comment.

Queens libraries spared a major budget slashing

The Queens library system and its network of cultural and educational programs maneuvered through the city’s budget negotiations without any major cuts to funding. Comment.

Budget cuts to borough eased in final agreement

The new city budget will not be as hard on Queens as first feared under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s original proposals, but the cuts that remain are likely to reverberate throughout the borough during the next few years. Comment.

Bus strike persists with no settlement in sight

As the private bus strike dragged into its second week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told an Ozone Park town meeting the city is considering putting the routes under control of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, which already runs the city buses. Comment.

After week of turmoil, St. Elizabeth’s gets new pastor

With many jokes and little reference to his church’s recent troubles, the Rev. Steven Ferrari was officially installed as the new pastor of St. Elizabeth Church in Ozone Park Saturday. Comment.

112th Pct. Council prez gets 2 more years

Members of the 112th Police Precinct Community Council last week voted to re-elect Heidi Chain to serve as their president for two more years at the Forest Hills precinct. Comment.

Bellerose prosecutor takes a bite out of terrorism

No wonder they call him Captain America. Comment.

LIRR service may suffer under Amtrak shutdown

Although the threat of an Amtrak shutdown appears to have eased for the time being, such a drastic measure could result in a commuting nightmare for thousands of Queens Long Island Rail Road passengers. Comment.

Tenants at Anita co-op seek $40M

Residents of a deteriorating Rego Park apartment complex are waging a legal war against the company that converted it into a co-operative and its mortgage bank, claiming that years of financial mismanagement and fraud could cause their apartments to be condemned. Comment.

Arbitration Rock resettles in boro ceremony

Arbitration Rock, the solemn symbol of Ridgewood’s colonial history, was officially dedicated Sunday with a plaque in the backyard of the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House. Comment.

Police Blotter: Four arrested on charges of dealing in fireworks

COLLEGE POINT — Four men were arrested Saturday after police allegedly found them illegally loading cases of fireworks from a 30-foot truck to a van, authorities said. Comment.

Arts & Entertainment Listings

Auditions/Rehearsals Comment.

Richie Lesmes: The best kept secret in Queens

You may not know who Richie Lesmes is right now, but in four months everyone in New York City high school soccer will know exactly who he is. Comment.

Bayside Yanks end L.I. Cardinals’ streak with 3-2 win

A week of cruising and gleaming came to an abrupt end Monday, and the streaking Long Island Cardinals took that as a good sign. Comment.

Midville Dodgers deck Long Island Cardinals, 9-3

When the Midville Dodgers took on defending regional champions the Long Island Cardinals last Wednesday, they knew they would have their hands full. Dodgers’ ace Kevin Conlin was given the ball and turned in a masterful performance on the mound, holding the Cards to three hits and allowing only one earned run through seven innings. Comment.

Maddalone gears up for tough test in Atlantic City

It doesn’t look like Vinny Maddalone could get much bigger. Comment.

SJU’s DeForest wins Ulster County Men’s Amateur Championship

St. John’s University junior John Deforest, of Cottekill, N.Y., won the Ulster County Men’s Amateur Championship held in Kingston, N.Y. this past weekend. Deforest carded a seven-over par 291 to earn a three-shot victory. Comment.

Exhibit offers glimpse into boro architecture

For those of us who are discouraged by the soulless glass and metal boxes that are erupting like carbuncles all over Queens, it is refreshing to know that architecture in the borough wasn’t always ugly. Comment.

Howard Beach brothers named Eagle Scouts

The Green brothers have scouting in their blood. Like their father and uncle before them, Andrew, Michael, Matthew and Daniel Green were awarded the title of Eagle Scout, the highest rank for a Boy Scout, in a ceremony at St. Helen’s School in Howard Beach Friday. Comment.

Bayside boy takes 2nd place 

Bayside’s 7-year-old Kevin Reilly attended the U.S. Open Golf Tournament at Bethpage State Park two weeks ago. He got to see his favorite golf players up close. Kevin was able to get some autographs from David Duval, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, and a picture with V.J. Singh. The highlight of his day was when Tiger Woods came on to the golf course. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Tiger is his favorite player. Comment.

City Parks Foundation offering free golf lessons to city children

Could the next Tiger Woods or Annika Sorenstam be among the millions of New York youngsters who have never swung a driver? Beginning July 1, City Parks Foundation offers a fun way for children in New York to learn the basics of golf, right in their own neighborhood! Comment.

St. Robert’s defeats St. Francis to win Diocesan title

In an incredibly well-played game at Bush Field in Woodside, St. Robert Bellarmine (Bayside) defeated two-time defending champions St. Francis of Assisi (Astoria), 7-3, to win the CYO Bantam Division Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan Championship. Comment.

Bosco’s Corner: Learning to sympathize with parents

I have been threatening — in my mind at least — to dedicate this weekly space in the subtle art of lambasting those overzealous parents who seemingly populate the world of scholastic athletics, as well as Little League baseball, soccer, etc. Comment.

Borough’s best gear up for Empire Challenge

Bragging rights will be decided. Comment.

Higgins helps Knights to 2-1 overtime victory

Shaun Higgins’ weekend started with watching his first cousin, Chris Higgins, get selected in the first round of the National Hockey League Draft by the Montreal Canadians. Comment.

Jewish Community L.L. gives those who couldn’t a chance to play

The Queens-based Jewish Community Little League has been filling a need for more than half a century — offering baseball to members of the Jewish community whose strong religious beliefs prevent them from playing with other non-secular leagues. Comment.

Bayside L.L.: Biordi Construction takes first place in division

Biordi Construction’s 11- and 12-year-old Major Division Little League squad finished in first place after a full 21-game schedule with a record of 17-4. Runners-up to Biordi were the Brigandi Barristers with a record of 13-8. Tied for third were Mardene Construction and Printing Express, both 11-10. Comment.

BVD softball leagues looking for new teams for snowflake season

Teams are needed to several BVD snowflake softball leagues, which will be starting play the weekend after Labor Day. The leagues are: Women’s Modified Fast Pitch (Sunday doubleheaders), Co-Ed (Saturday doubleheaders), Men’s 6 to 12 arc (Sunday doubleheaders) and Men’s Lob Ball (Sunday doubleheaders), Men’s Lob Ball Under the Lights (Sunday through Saturday at Farmers Oval/Mafera Park). For more information please call Al or Billy at 894-5449. Comments (1).

DePhillips Athletic Club: Braves, Reds keep on truckin’ in DAC Pony League playoffs

Estates Animal Hospital Braves 11, Ashlar Mechanical Yankees 1. The Braves continued their unbeaten streak with a convincing win. Matt Larotunda and Nick Grosso were a solid battery, with relief from Max Eisenkraft and Chris Yoon. Eric Fox , Steve Airasian, Pete Barbazan and Brian O’Connell had key hits. Steve Fielder, Chris Guzman, John Mirabella and Aaron Rudin played well defensively, as did Ian Freed, Chris Homenick and Sam LeDilly. The Yankees got good pitching from Marco Diasparra and hits from Rico Otway, Tony Dilluvio and B.J. Schrettner. Jaso Comment.

NYJTL offering free tennis instruction for city children

The New York Junior Tennis League is offering free summer tennis instruction for New York City children ages 6 through 18 at schoolyards and tennis facilities in all five boroughs. The program begins July 1, and runs through Aug. 23. Children must register in person at each site, although there is no deadline to register. Comment.

Glen Oaks L.L.: Phillies top Dodgers, Mineola, fall to NHP 1

GAME 1 —  On June 13, the Glen Oaks Burger King Phillies defeated the Glen Oaks Dodgers in the first round of the Girls’ International Division playoffs, 7-4. Ellie Alexandrou pitched an outstanding game for the Phillies, striking out eight of the nine batters she faced in three scoreless innings. Younger sister Theo Alexandrou helped the Phillies cause with two hits and Courtney Gratzer got a key hit in the top of the sixth inning, as well as making several outstanding plays at second base during the game. Also making key d Comment.

Editorial: Bus drivers deserve better

Once again the drivers for private bus companies are on strike and once again they — along with the public they serve — appear to be the pawns in a battle over which they have little control. Comment.

Masterpieces from Picasso, Cezanne to highlight MoMA QNS exhibition

In myth, rainbows are said to have a pot of gold at their end. In reality, priceless riches do indeed sit at the end of one rainbow, which is to explode its way across the East River Saturday as MoMA QNS opens its doors to the public. Comment.

Editorial: Say no to reparations

On Father’s Day the Rochdale Village chapter of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America hosted an informational meeting designed to drum up support for a plan to force the U.S. government to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves. It is a proposal that is morally questionable and practically impossible to execute. Comment.

Editorial: Improve our lakes

There probably is not a park in all of Queens that gets better use than the Flushing Meadows Corona Park. At the center of the park is the Unisphere, a reminder of two World Fairs that turned the eyes of the world toward Queens. Comment.

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