Thursday, April 3, 2003

Green card scam busted in Flushing

A Great Neck man has been charged with ripping off Chinese immigrants out of his Flushing office after promising to secure them green cards in exchange for thousands of dollars, authorities said last week. Comment.

St. Agnes student named Presidential Scholar

Christopher Pak of Oakland Gardens and Margaret Claire Hannigan of Flushing recounted last week their experiences in Washington, D.C., where they attended conferences on politics and journalism with other high school students from around the world. Comment.

Dist. 25 leaders question Bloomberg’s school plan

School leaders from Districts 25 and 26 in northeast Queens expressed frustration last week at the secrecy still surrounding the restructuring of the city's school system and questioned the role of principals under Mayor Bloomberg's new plan. Comment.

Tight budget slows down Linden Place renovation

Budget constraints have put on hold a city project to fix one of the only roads leading into the heart of College Point. Comment.

Whitestone towing firm draws fire

A new Whitestone towing company has stirred the anger of local residents, who called the resulting truck traffic an annoyance and a potential hazard in a neighborhood filled with private homes. Comment.

OLBS Lightning strikes Queens, takes home boro championship

After trailing 17-10 at halftime, the Lightning were able to knot the score at 17 all within the first two minutes of the third period. Comment.

Queens pols claim city shortchanged of services

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan) told a legislative breakfast in Little Neck Sunday the city is being short-changed by the federal and state governments in a "grotesquely unfair" relationship that requires the city to pay more in taxes than it gets back for essential social services. Comment.

Dist. 26 leader questions Bloomberg’s schools plan

School leaders from Districts 25 and 26 in northeast Queens expressed frustration last week at the secrecy still surrounding the restructuring of the city's school system and questioned the role of principals under Mayor Bloomberg's new plan. Comment.

Man sentenced in sex abuse of Bayside teen

A Massachusetts man arrested in Alley Pond Park last summer for luring a 15-year-old Bayside boy he met on the Internet into several sexual encounters was sentenced Monday to one to three years in prison. Comment.

Riders defend need to keep Q79 bus line in Little Neck

The Q79 bus may not be packing in riders like some of the borough's more popular lines, but that does not mean the Transit Authority should shut it down, say those who ride it often. Comment.

111th faces dire loss of cops: Civics

A steady decline in the number of officers at the 111th Police Precinct has left the area vulnerable to an increase in crime, civic leaders warned at a meeting last Thursday with police and local politicians. Comment.

Weiner discusses Iraq war at meeting in Forest Hills

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Kew Gardens) talked about the perceived U.S. role as the “policeman of the world” at a forum in Forest Hills last week and questioned what would happen with Iran and Syria after the war with Iraq was over. Comment.

City moderates fee hike plan for boro sidewalk cafes

In a compromise with restaurant owners in Queens and the rest of the city that operate sidewalk cafes, Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra has backed away from her original proposal to raise sidewalk consent fees by as much as 400 percent. Comment.

City purchases $18.1M plot to build Forest Hills schools

Three proposed new schools in Forest Hills are one step closer to being built after the city School Construction Authority purchased an eight-acre piece of land from the Forest City Ratner development company for $18.1 million on March 17. Comment.

Bloomberg reassures worshippers at Queens mosque

With the war raging in Iraq and Muslim-Americans fearful of hate crimes targeting their communities, Mayor Michael Bloomberg assured more than 100 members of the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center in Jamaica Friday that the city would protect them from persecution. Comment.

Rockaway political veteran to head city board

Frank J. Macchiarola, a Rockaway Point resident and former city Department of Education schools chancellor, has been appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to chair the city’s Charter Revision Commission. Comment.

Steinway St. cafes unclear on impacts of smoking ban

A blue paper sign hangs on the white tile wall of the Egyptian Coffee Shop in Astoria: “This is a smoke-free establishment.” Comment.

Jennings links love life, Chinese society in ads

City Councilman Allan Jennings (D-Jamaica) last week defended advertisements he placed in two Chinese-language newspapers detailing his love life, saying the personal anecdotes were included as examples of his relationship with the Chinese community. Comment.

Jamaica man critically injured in shooting

A Jamaica man was shot and critically injured just hours before a Springfield Gardens man was killed in Far Rockaway in an unrelated incident Friday, police said. Comment.

Borough mom takes pride in son’s Navy tour in Gulf

Queens Village mother Anne Howe takes some comfort that her son, Airman Jesse Olson, has been stationed on a naval ship in the Persian Gulf since August, even though his homecoming has been postponed indefinitely. Comment.

Kew Gardens Hills rally shows support for troops

Tom Henderson, a U.S. Marine and Vietnam War veteran, came out to the Kew Gardens Hills Library Sunday to take part in a rally supporting American troops fighting in Iraq and, most importantly, his son-in-law, Pedro Quintana. Comment.

Queens Village vegan mom says baby girl was healthy

A Queens Village woman on trial for feeding her infant daughter a bare-bones vegetarian diet admitted Monday that the regimen was deficient in some nutrients, but she disputed prosecutors’ allegations that her 16-month-old child was unable to hold her head up, cry loudly or reach for toys. Comment.

Civics call for more cops in 111th police precinct

A steady decline in the number of officers at the 111th Police Precinct has left the area vulnerable to an increase in crime, civic leaders warned at a meeting last Thursday with police and local politicians. Comment.

Man sentenced for sodomy of 15-year-old Bayside boy

A Massachusetts man arrested in Alley Pond Park last summer for luring a 15-year-old Bayside boy he met on the Internet into several sexual encounters was sentenced Monday to one to three years in prison. Comment.

Boro ed leaders question Bloomberg’s schools plan

School leaders from Districts 25 and 26 in northeast Queens expressed frustration last week at the secrecy still surrounding the restructuring of the city’s school system and questioned the role of principals under Maypr Bloomberg’s new plan. Comment.

Two borough teens named Presidential Scholars

Christopher Pak of Oakland Gardens and Margaret Claire Hannigan of Flushing recounted last week their experiences in Washington, D.C., where they attended conferences on politics and journalism with other high school students from around the world. Comment.

Illegal demolition of home angers Bayside residents

The demolition without permits of a house in Bayside has raised the ire of neighbors and prompted the city Buildings Department to assess the property owner $15,000 in fines for various violations. Comment.

CB 11 veteran to return for third term on board

Mandingo Tshaka, an outspoken southern Bayside activist and former member of Community Board 11, said Friday he will rejoin the community board for his third term. Comment.

Dist. 26 president planning for activism in new regions

Sharon Maurer, president of Community School Board 26, isn’t about to put her feet up and relax once the district in which she has been president for 14 years is eliminated under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s restructuring of city schools. Comment.

Feds to grant NYC more $$ in terror fight

New York City will receive tens of millions of dollars of additional homeland security funds earmarked by the federal government Tuesday for cities and municipalities at the greatest risk for a potential terrorist attack. Comment.

Avella to give back $4,500 from paycheck to city fund

City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has pledged to feel his constituents’ fiscal pain this year by donating 5 percent of his salary to the city’s general fund. Comment.

AABR members gain from giving in College Point

Every week, dozens of mentally retarded men and women travel to nursing homes throughout the borough. Comment.

How’s Business?: Alternative Healing

During the last several weeks the medical arena has been focused on high-cost malpractice insurance and President George Bush’s proposal to cap punitive damages with the goal of keeping costs down for patients, insurance providers and the government. Comment.

Business Calender

April 10 - Installation of Officer’s Breakfast – LaGuardia Marriott Hotel – 8:30 a.m. Guest speaker Hon. Richard Brown, Queens County Attorney Comment.

Recent real estate transactions

Bayside, 18-55 Corporal, Coop Hi-Rise, $150,000, Bed 1, Bath 1 Comment.

Fund-raisers

Saturday, April 5 - Christ the King Alumni Association holds its Annual Hall of Fame Awards Dinner at 68-02 Metropolitan Ave., Middle Village, at 7 p.m. Call 718-366-7400 Ext. 272. Comment.

Editorial: Tie a yellow ribbon

At the TimesLedger our heart goes out to all the families in Queens who have loved ones hunkered down in the Iraqi desert, loading supplies at a staging area in Kuwait or standing on the dangerous deck of an aircraft carrier. We learned last week that the war to liberate Iraq was not going to be a cake walk, as so many Americans had hoped. Every American serviceman or servicewoman shipped to the Middle East to fight this war is standing in harms way. Comment.

Editorial: Not a war against Islam

In a visit Friday to a mosque in Jamaica, Mayor Bloomberg sought to assure the congregants that the NYPD was ready to protect Muslims who might become the victims of discrimination as a result of the war in Iraq. Comment.

Editorial: Second chances

For the ex-offender, a man or woman who has served time in a city jail or state prison, one of the biggest hurdles on the way to a productive life is getting a job. Even offenders who have job skills must deal with the inevitable question on every job application: “Have you ever been arrested or have you been convicted of committing a crime?” Comment.

Liu wants probe on MTA corruption claim

A Queens City Councilman has called for a “truly independent investigation” of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, accused by its security chief of hindering an investigation into alleged corruption in the state agency. Comment.

Berger’s Burg: Preparing income tax returns is no laughing matter

I am proud to be an American taxpayer. But to tell the truth, I could be just as proud for half the money. Comment.

Dishing with Dee: Americans should come together in times of war

It appears that the case of Frank Skala vs. the New York Police Department’s 111th Precinct has been settled. Frank was awarded a grand total of $7,500, a tad less than the $1.8 million he sued for. For all of you who have had the uncontrollable urge to strangle Frank at various community meetings, resist the temptation. Otherwise you might be responsible for getting him started on a whole new hobby. Comment.

Neighbor to Neighbor: Litterbugs should clean up their acts this spring

Something very nice has happened: Spring has arrived — finally. Comment.

Our History: Robert E. Lee probably tied to military fort history

Since the founding of the Bayside Historical Society by my father, Joseph H. Brown, 39 years ago, he and I often discussed his belief that Robert E. Lee, who became the famous Confederate general, was linked to the early history of Fort Totten. Comment.

The Civic Scene: Auto crime rates dropped drastically since ’90: DA

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s Spring 2002 Community Newsletter says that since 1990, when hebecame the county’s lead crime fighter, auto theft and auto insurance fraud have dramatically decreased. Comment.

To The Point: St. Fidelis Cub Scouts receive highest awards

Welcome to the Point. The Point being College Point. The snow is a memory and the birds are building their nests. There couldn’t be a nicer sight. Comment.

Police Blotter: One killed when car overturns, hits pole at Queens Plaza South

LONG ISLAND CITY -- A car overturned after hitting a pole while traveling eastbound on Queens Plaza South at Crescent Street, killing the passenger in a Mazda vehicle, police said. Comment.

Arts & Entertainment Listings

Acting Seniors Comment.

Armenian Holy Marytys in Bayside celebrates 45th

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Consecration of the Armenian Church of Holy Martyrs, located at 209-15 Horace Harding Expwy. Comment.

Queensborough celebrates Asian culture in annual show

“Our goal is to preserve our cultures for newer generations and promote Asian culture to our non-Asian community members,” said Florence Wu Tse, QCC director of Asian affairs. “This is open to both the college and community, which makes it so special.” Comment.

Boro schools near airports to get $30M soundproofing

Eleven Queens schools near John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports will receive nearly $30 million in soundproofing to be paid for by the federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Comment.

Bella Italia Mia shows beauty of Italian culture

Bella Italia Mia Inc., which means “My Beautiful Italy,” is a not-for-profit organization founded in January of 1998 by Diego A. Lodic. Comments (1).

Queensborough Chorus presents musical mosaic

Selections will demonstrate transcendent genres of music with a diverse program with works by J.S. Bach and Bobby McFerrin, along with traditional songs of Africa and selections from Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album. Joining the 100 singers of the Queensborough Chorus are soloists, orchestra, percussion trio, electric guitar, keyboard and electric bass. Comment.

Library Gallery highlights Russian-born artist

Born on his family’s estate in 1868, the young nobleman was trained in the classics, studied under Russia’s finest 19th-century painters at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, and carried out postgraduate studies at the Academie Julian in Paris. His life revolved around the vibrant artistic world of late-Romanov Russia. Comment.

Rockaway artists present tempting ‘Destination’

Yellow arrows on the floor of sTudio 6 of the Rockaway Artists Alliance guide you around their latest exhibit, “Destinations,” now up through April 27. Comment.

Gingerbread houses charming, fun ‘Godspell’

Two weeks ago Astoria Performing Art Center mounted the first production to bring in the spring, “Nunsense,” the raucous musical about a group of Catholic nuns, the Little Sisters of Hoboken. As I commented in my review, irreverence toward members of religious orders, if done in good taste, is quite acceptable — which actually sums up their delightful production. Comment.

Northeast Queens Community Calender Listings

Free Tax Counseling Comment.

Plastic Sole covers Beatles from Howard Beach

If you were to ask people to name the most popular bands of the ‘60s, I don’t doubt that most would include the Beatles almost every time. Though they were only around for eight years, their influence on the music world leaves a deeper impression, arguably, than any other band in history. Comment.

Learn tricks of Ukrainian egg-decorating art form

The workshop will be held Thursday, April 10, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Oak Ridge in Forest Park. Comment.

Queens Federation of Churches providing for borough since ‘31

The group’s Ecumenical Ministry in Queens was organized in 1931, and it has for years crossed lines of denomination and faith to embrace all religions as holy. Comment.

QTIP’s Rossi breaks hearts, mostly his own

The cabaret theater on the lower level of Queens Theatre in the Park is a nondescript joint with little tables and ugly chairs. Every table came with a basket of pretzels Friday night and a menu card for drinks. The clientele was mostly older folks who sipped their wine through straws from plastic cups. Comment.

Queens barroom smokers take last drag before ban

Across Queens smokers greeted the city’s smoking ban, which took effect Sunday, with complaints and an overall sense of resignation while non-smokers applauded the move. Comment.

USTA to host Jana Hunsaker wheelchair tennis tournament

A total of $5,000 in prize money will be awarded. Players must register by May 9 by contacting Aki Takayama at 718-760-6251 or Patrick Donaghey at 718-803-3782, ext. 271. Comment.

Another miracle for St. John’s as Hatten steals show in semis

Marcus Hatten has done everything on the basketball court for the St. John’s men’s basketball team. Well, almost everything. Comment.

Bosco’s Corner: Home court helps SJU in NIT run

I didn’t know how the game would turn out, but I went to Alumni Hall last Thursday knowing full well that it might be the last time I’d get to see the St. John’s University men’s basketball team in action this season and perhaps the last time I’d ever get to see Marcus Hatten up close. Comment.

Anthony Glover bids adieu to Alumni Hall

Anthony Glover had no business hitting the shot, and he knew it. The 6-foot-5 power forward out of the Bronx was trapped underneath the basket, but somehow he managed to toss up a prayer of a shot. Comment.

Cardozo sets sights on PSAL ‘A’ city crown

Every year, Cardozo baseball coach Pete Douglas says, the goal is to win the city championship. Comment.

Bayside hopes to keep softball title in Queens

For the first time in almost two decades the reigning PSAL ‘A’ softball champion isn’t from Staten Island since Francis Lewis defeated Tottenville in last year’s title game. Comment.

Forest Hills leading boro pack in race for ‘B’ title

They may not have a dominating pitcher like Matt Rigotti, but Forest Hills baseball coach Marty Finklestein believes his team this year may have more depth than the Rangers PSAL ‘B’ championship team two years ago. Comment.

Newtown in rebuilding mode after run at ‘B’ crown

Wayne Crawford isn’t making any excuses. Comment.

TimesLedger Athlete of the Week: Angela Wooley

School: Francis Lewis Comment.

Pols remember Moynihan as tough fighter for boro

Borough President Helen Marshall expressed her sadness at the death of former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) and said the borough lost a fierce protector after the veteran legislator died March 26 at the age of 76. Comment.

Francis Lewis girls stay perfect, top Newtown

They need to communicate better, pass the ball better and spread out the field more. But after a 3-0 win over Newtown Monday, the Francis Lewis girls’ soccer team improved to 3-0 in Queens A and Angela Wooley isn’t complaining. Comment.

Maddalone to fight for 2nd time in a month

Bayside heavyweight Vinny Maddalone will step back in the ring for the second time in less than a month Friday, taking on journeyman Dennis McKinney in a six-round bout at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. Comment.

College Round-up: Ivey helps lead Texas Longhorns to NCAA Final Four

Long after the 30,169 fans filed out the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, and the nets were cut down and the press conferences were over, Royal Ivey sat at his locker Sunday when the reality hit him like a James Thomas screen. Comment.

Mateus: Portuguese picnic promises plenty for palate

Spring has sprung and it's just the right time for a barbecue picnic. The picnic offering is delightful. Heaped in an aluminum roasting pan is an array of barbecued meats - all with a touch of smoky flavor: thin pork chops, thin beef short rib slices, a thick piece of shell steak, two short Italian sausages, two slices of Portuguese sausage, a half chicken, cut up. All are nicely seasoned and so good hot, warm or cold. Comment.

Four sentenced to prison in Astoria gang assault

Four out of seven men convicted of a gang assault during a Bangladeshi holiday two years ago have been sentenced to prison terms by a judge who will rule next week on the fate of two others whose attorneys are disputing their convictions. Comment.

Bill proposed to keep film rolling in boro

The borough's vibrant film industry may get a boost under legislation introduced by state Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) that would offer a tax break to productions that film in the state. Comment.

Steinway St. cafes unsure of smoking ban procedure

A blue paper sign hangs on the white tile wall of the Egyptian Coffee Shop in Astoria: "This is a smoke-free establishment." Comment.

Forum for immigrants held by INS

At a Woodside Special Registration seminar for Bangladeshis, INS representatives acknowledged last week that individuals who had overstayed their visa might be summoned to appear before a judge but urged people not to be afraid to come forward. Comment.

City moderates fee hike for boro sidewalk cafes

In a compromise with restaurant owners in Queens and the rest of the city that operate sidewalk cafes, Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra has backed away from her original proposal to raise sidewalk consent fees by as much as 400 percent. Comment.

Red Storm baseball scores sweep over Pitt

On any other day, St. John’s baseball coach Ed Blankmeyer said, it would have been a simple fly ball to right center field. Comment.

Sunnyside organization grows despite budget fears

As Sunnyside Community Services embarks on its most ambitious expansion project since moving to its current home 15 years ago, administrators face withering city funds that could threaten some of the programs patronized by thousands. Comment.

INS officials hold forum for Bangladeshis

At a Woodside Special Registration seminar for Bangladeshis, INS representatives acknowledged last week that individuals who had overstayed their visa might be summoned to appear before a judge but urged people not to be afraid to come forward. Comment.

Pols broker delay in sale of Keyspan gas tank site

Keyspan Energy has agreed to delay the sale of the now-vacant property in Elmhurst where two towering gas tanks once stood, leaving time for public officials to find a way to buy the land so they can devote it to a community use. Comment.

Boro family mourns loss of corporal

A 21-year-old Marine from Maspeth who had served his country for the past four years has died in the war with Iraq. He is the borough's first known casualty in the conflict. Comment.

Middle Eastern smoke shops uneasy with ban

A blue paper sign hangs on the white tile wall of the Egyptian Coffee Shop in Astoria: "This is a smoke-free establishment." Comment.

Cops nab suspect in series of deli slay killings

An Ozone Park bakery owner who knew John Freddy, the only Queens victim of a serial murderer, was relieved this week to hear the Police Department had a suspect in custody in the killing spree that left four immigrants dead. Comment.

Weiner discusses US role as police of world

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Kew Gardens) talked about the perceived U.S. role as the "policeman of the world" at a forum in Forest Hills last week and questioned what would happen with Iran and Syria after the war with Iraq was over. Comment.

Rockaway political vet tapped to head charter board

Frank J. Macchiarola, a Rockaway Point resident and former city Department of Education schools chancellor, has been appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to chair the city's Charter Revision Commission. Comment.

Cheerleading for children ages 5 to 17 at the Cross Island Y

Children ages 5 to 10 will learn to cheer on Fridays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Participants 11 to 17 years old will cheer on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. All age groups will attend a tumbling skills class on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Comment.

Jennings ties Chinese society, love in ads

City Councilman Allan Jennings (D-Jamaica) last week defended advertisements he placed in two Chinese-language newspapers detailing his love life, saying the personal anecdotes were included as examples of his relationship with the Chinese community. Comment.

Entrance to Jamaica Bay gets $3.3M for renovation

The entrance to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Crossbay Boulevard south of Howard Beach will get a face-lift this spring, thanks to an infusion of $3.3 million in federal funds for a new visitors contact station in the national recreation area. Comment.

Jamaica Bay gets $3.3M for visitors’ center

The entrance to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Crossbay Boulevard south of Howard Beach will get a face-lift this spring, thanks to an infusion of $3.3 million in federal funds for a new visitors contact station in the national recreation area. Comment.

Iraqi Jews in boro watch war with eye on past

Like many Iraqi Jews who fled Iraq after the Ba'ath party came to power in 1968, Maurice Shohet, 54, remembers a comfortable life in Baghdad that turned sour when the government began banning Jews from jobs and universities, freezing Jewish bank accounts and arresting Jews for no reason. Comment.

Entrance to Jamaica Bay gets $3.3M for renovation

The entrance to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Crossbay Boulevard south of Howard Beach will get a face-lift this spring, thanks to an infusion of $3.3 million in federal funds for a new visitors contact station in the national recreation area. Comment.

Queens Village vegan mom says baby girl was healthy

A Queens Village woman on trial for feeding her infant daughter a bare-bones vegetarian diet admitted Monday that the regimen was deficient in some nutrients, but she disputed prosecutors' allegations that her 16-month-old child was unable to hold her head up, cry loudly or reach for toys. Comment.

Laptops secured by Jennings arrive at 4 schools

Students at four southeast Queens elementary schools in South Ozone Park and Jamaica received laptop computers, thanks to money secured by City Councilman Allan Jennings. Comment.

Queens Village naval officer makes mom proud

Queens Village mother Anne Howe takes some comfort that her son, Airman Jesse Olson, has been stationed on a naval ship in the Persian Gulf since August, even though his homecoming has been postponed indefinitely. Comment.

Whitehouse Restaurant cooks Graziano’s Ravioli, 26-19

In an exciting and close playoff game, Whitehouse Restaurant beat Graziano’s Ravioli and Deli, 26-19. With the score tied at the first quarter, and again at the half, Whitehouse began to pull away in the third quarter when Jessica Piccolino scored on a three-point play. Comment.

JFK, LaGuardia land swap draws fire from boro pols

Borough President Helen Marshall and several other Queens officials oppose a proposed land swap deal championed by Mayor Bloomberg that would give ownership of the land under LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports to the Port Authority. Comment.

Jennings sticks by ads tying love life to Chinese society

City Councilman Allan Jennings (D-Jamaica) last week defended advertisements he placed in two Chinese-language newspapers detailing his love life, saying the personal anecdotes were included as examples of his relationship with the Chinese community. Comment.

Slay suspect gives self up in murders

An Ozone Park bakery owner who knew John Freddy, the only Queens victim of a serial murderer, was relieved this week to hear the Police Department had a suspect in custody in the killing spree that left four immigrants dead. Comment.

Boro mother proud of son’s decision to serve

Queens Village mother Anne Howe takes some comfort that her son, Airman Jesse Olson, has been stationed on a naval ship in the Persian Gulf since August, even though his homecoming has been postponed indefinitely. Comment.

Springfield Gardens HS holds health summit

Students at Springfield Gardens High School raised concerns about getting respect from school security guards and a decent public education at a health outreach summit last week. Comment.

Two SE Queens men shot in separate Friday attacks

A Jamaica man was shot and critically injured just hours before a Springfield Gardens man was killed in Far Rockaway in an unrelated incident Friday, police said. Comment.

Land swap at airports draws fire

Borough President Helen Marshall and several other Queens officials oppose a proposed land swap deal championed by Mayor Bloomberg that would give ownership of the land under LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports to the Port Authority. Comment.

Flushing Y swim team wins 17th state crown

The Flyers won the B and under girls and boys, 9-10 girls, 11-12 girls and boys, 13-14 girls and boys and the 15-18 boys age groups. The 9-10 boys finished second, and the 15-18 girls finished third. This is the first time in 17 years that all 10 age groups finished among the top three. Comment.

Queens pol promises bite in law to safeguard bark

Advertisers who staple or nail posters to city trees will face stiff penalties ranging up to $500, thanks to a new ordnance introduced by Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis) and passed by the Council March 26. Comment.

Queens Villager cheated workers comp fund: DA

Four borough men have been charged with cheating the state's workers compensation fund out of almost $70,000 during a three-year period after they were caught faking injuries and simultaneously working at paying jobs, the Queens district attorney announced. Comment.

Jennings links love life, Chinese community in ads

City Councilman Allan Jennings (D-Jamaica) last week defended advertisements he placed in two Chinese-language newspapers detailing his love life, saying the personal anecdotes were included as examples of his relationship with the Chinese community. Comment.

Community council leader to give up reins of 105th

After nine years as president of the 105th Precinct community council and six more as a member of its board, Sheila Pecoraro - a fixture of civic and community affairs in southeast Queens - announced her resignation this month, citing personal reasons. Comment.

Vegan mom says toddler was healthy

A Queens Village woman on trial for feeding her infant daughter a bare-bones vegetarian diet admitted Monday that the regimen was deficient in some nutrients, but she disputed prosecutors' allegations that her 16-month-old child was unable to hold her head up, cry loudly or reach for toys. Comment.

Boro Iraqi Jews eye war with hope of return home

Like many Iraqi Jews who fled Iraq after the Ba'ath party came to power in 1968, Maurice Shohet, 54, remembers a comfortable life in Baghdad that turned sour when the government began banning Jews from jobs and universities, freezing Jewish bank accounts and arresting Jews for no reason. Comment.

City pays more in taxes than it gets back: Pols

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan) told a legislative breakfast in Little Neck Sunday the city is being short-changed by the federal and state governments in a "grotesquely unfair" relationship that requires the city to pay more in taxes than it gets back for essential social services. Comment.

Dist. 26 leader questions Bloomberg’s school plan

School leaders from Districts 25 and 26 in northeast Queens expressed frustration last week at the secrecy still surrounding the restructuring of the city's school system and questioned the role of principals under Mayor Bloomberg's new plan. Comment.

Glen Oaks Little League to hold opening day ceremonies

This year the Glen Oaks Little League is celebrating its 52nd year of Little League Baseball. Comment.

Riders defend need to keep Q79 bus line open

The Q79 bus may not be packing in riders like some of the borough's more popular lines, but that does not mean the Transit Authority should shut it down, say those who ride it often. Comment.

Queens pol says bill to protect bark has more bite

Advertisers who staple or nail posters to city trees will face stiff penalties ranging up to $500, thanks to a new ordnance introduced by Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis) and passed by the Council March 26. Comment.

Seniors find hope in battle with depression

Bernard Rosen struggled with depression for more than 50 years, but it was a unique program at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks that finally helped him to get his illness under control. Comment.

$780K stolen in Bellerose from armored car at 7-11

An unattended armored car was stolen from the parking lot of a Bellerose 7-Eleven Sunday night by a thief or thieves who later jettisoned the vehicle and made off with $780,000, police said. Comment.

Pecoraro announces retirement

After nine years as president of the 105th Precinct community council and six more as a member of its board, Sheila Pecoraro - a fixture of civic and community affairs in southeast Queens - announced her resignation this month, citing personal reasons. Comment.

L.I. man charged in scam of immigrants in Flushing

A Great Neck man has been charged with ripping off Chinese immigrants out of his Flushing office after promising to secure them green cards in exchange for thousands of dollars, authorities said last week. Comment.

Avella to donate pay to city general fund

City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has pledged to feel his constituents' fiscal pain this year by donating 5 percent of his salary to the city's general fund. Comment.

Hillside Hospital gives seniors hope battling depression

Bernard Rosen struggled with depression for more than 50 years, but it was a unique program at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks that finally helped him to get his illness under control. Comment.

Dist. 26 leader questions mayor’s school plan

School leaders from Districts 25 and 26 in northeast Queens expressed frustration last week at the secrecy still surrounding the restructuring of the city's school system and questioned the role of principals under Mayor Bloomberg's new plan. Comment.

Cross Island YMCA to host 10-week Junior Soccer League

You must register to participate in this tournament. The registration fee is $80 for Cross Island YMCA members and $100 for non-members. Comment.

Weiner challenged on support for Iraq war

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Kew Gardens) faced a barrage of questions about his decision to support the conflict in Iraq during a town hall meeting in Fresh Meadows Sunday where he was introduced himself to new constituents in his district. Comment.

Gennaro bill proposes city fix up Briarwood walkway

City Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) recently introduced legislation to mandate that the city Department of Sanitation take responsibility for maintaining a 575-foot-long strip of sidewalk along Main Street in Briarwood that has been notoriously overgrown with weeds and covered with snow and ice in the past. Comment.

Boro’s Iraqi Jews watch war eagerly

Like many Iraqi Jews who fled Iraq after the Ba'ath party came to power in 1968, Maurice Shohet, 54, remembers a comfortable life in Baghdad that turned sour when the government began banning Jews from jobs and universities, freezing Jewish bank accounts and arresting Jews for no reason. Comment.

Whitestone residents hope to close new towing depot

A new Whitestone towing company has stirred the anger of local residents, who called the resulting truck traffic an annoyance and a potential hazard in a neighborhood filled with private homes. Comment.

Flushing student chosen as Presidential Scholar

Christopher Pak of Oakland Gardens and Margaret Claire Hannigan of Flushing recounted last week their experiences in Washington, D.C., where they attended conferences on politics and journalism with other high school students from around the world. Comment.

Pomonok Senior Center gets new Medicare program

Borough President Helen Marshall and Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) joined senior citizens at the Flushing Pomonok Senior Center Tuesday to celebrate the launching of a health care program that gives Medicare beneficiaries the option of paying a little more to go to doctors outside their provider network. Comment.

Harrison may run against Liu for council

Feeling the call of higher office, longtime Flushing politician Julia Harrison is considering doing battle with Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) to reclaim her old seat. Comment.

Doe Fund workers target posters on Flushing poles

Homeless workers hired by business leaders to clean up downtown Flushing have begun to target signs posted on lampposts as part of a spring campaign, officials announced Monday. Comment.

OLBS fourth-grade hoop team captures CYO Diocesan crown

OLBS stuck with its NYC style of basketball, keeping the tempo high on both ends of the floor. OLBS’ smothering full-court press and half-court man-zone defense did not allow many easy shots for St. Thomas More, a very good outside shooting team. Comment.

York College hosts first air travel conference

Aviation industry professionals and academics discussed the fragile nature of the air travel business and ways to strengthen it at the first conference held by the CUNY Aviation Institute at York College Monday. Comment.

City, MTA negotiate transfer of boro private bus lines

The future of the borough’s private bus lines is being decided behind closed doors as city officials negotiate the transfer of the heavily subsidized service to the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Comment.

Boro students request moves to top schools

Queens students requesting transfers from under-performing to well-performing schools may soon get their wish since city Department of Education statistics show more than 16,000 students are requesting to move from one school to another. Comment.

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