Friday, Aug. 8, 2008

Bayside Little League: Defensive gems by Giannitsanos, Melita lead Team #5 to PeeWee win

On July 17, game two of the Bayside Pee Wee League had Team #5’s George Giannitsanos and Alfredo Melita pull out some sparkling plays that earned them each a game ball for their outstanding efforts. Alfredo played an inspired first base, snagging almost every ball that was thrown to him, then showed off his offensive skills with two big hits to left and center field. George, meanwhile, made the defensive play of the game by catching a tough fly ball at shortstop, then pounded a deep shot to left-center in the bottom half of the inning. Comment.

Units unrecognizable in blast’s aftermath

Nearly two weeks after a gas explosion tore through Fairmont Hall in Flushing, there is little evidence of the families that once called the apartments on the second floor home. Comment.

Let’s brunch

Nothing goes with lazy summer weekend afternoons quite like brunch. Comment.

City makes pact for minority, female and local labor at Willets Point

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall announced Wednesday that a deal has been struck that would guarantee a substantial portion of the workforce associated with the Willets Point redevelopment will be set aside for minority and women-owned businesses should the project be approved. Comment.

For the love of the game

VESTAL, N.Y. — The way Laura Burlacu plays soccer has changed drastically since she was a high-scoring dynamo at Newcomers HS. But that’s more out of necessity than anything else. Comment.

On the Marc: Her losses are others’ gains

Nicole Carroll felt alone in the world. Isolated. Like there was no one to talk with, no one to turn to. Like there wasn’t anyone going through the same thing she was. Comment.

Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008

Whitestone Times

Police seek two in bank robberies

FLUSHING — Police were seeking the public's help in arresting two men who robbed the same Flushing Exxon gas station in May and again earlier this month. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Flushing man pleads guilty to child porn

FLUSHING — A Flushing man pleaded guilty Monday to possessing and sending child pornography through his America Online account, Queens DA Richard Brown said. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Nursing home worker slams fence near Van Wyck

A city-installed black iron fence designed to protect pedestrians may actually be endangering motorists leaving the Bridgeview Nursing Home in Whitestone, according to the nursing home's maintenance director. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Liu hails order to makecity agencies translate

City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) praised Mayor Michael Bloomberg for "finally getting serious" about expanding mandated language access by signing an executive order requiring city agencies to provide translation services for the city's six most-used languages. Comment.
Editorial

An Office Worth Saving

Recently, the borough presidents' role has been attacked by editorial writers who believe it is an anachronism that wastes millions of city taxpayer dollars and accomplishes little. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Queens residents should live a more green lifestyle

With a house or an apartment in a nice neighborhood with trees and lawns near a school and a park, there are many things we can do to maintain our quality of life and health. Comment.

Springfield Gardens native leads Long Island to gold

VESTAL, N.Y. – The way Charles Jenkins figures it, he’s earned a matter of trust with his teammates on the Hofstra men’s basketball team. He’s almost sheepish when he speaks about it, but when the Pride tip off this season, the former Springfield Gardens HS star will be the team’s go-to guy – as a sophomore. Comment.

Men’s open takes home silver medal

VESTAL, N.Y. — The New York City men’s open soccer team won silver at the Empire State Games after falling to Central, 2-0, in the gold-medal match Sunday at SUNY Binghamton. The team featured Josh Alarcon of Maspeth, Howard Beach’s Edson DaSilva and Flushing’s Diego Martinez. Alarcon scored a goal in a 2-1 loss to Western on Friday. Comment.

Men’s open volleyball team settles for silver

CORTLAND, N.Y. — The New York City men’s open volleyball team cruised through pool play, winning every single set and earning a No. 1 seed in Saturday’s Empire State Games playoffs. But even before the squad arrived at SUNY Cortland last week, the players knew the talent-rich team had a chance to succeed. Comment.

Five alive! Women win gold again

CORTLAND, N.Y. — Joanne Persico-Smith was covered in sweat and completely exhausted as she lay on the trainer’s table. The celebration from winning a fifth straight gold medal with the New York City women’s open team at the Empire State Games was over and now ice was on the menu. Comment.

Golden girls

VESTAL, N.Y. — Candice Clark takes a certain pride in donning the orange of New York City in the Empire State Games. The college sophomore soccer player from Belle Harbor has been playing in the Games — the largest amateur sporting event in the country — since she was in eighth grade. Comment.
Queens Village

105th Pct. rape stats spur women’s protest

A southeast Queens women's group protested outside the 105th Precinct station last week, claiming the precinct had not been forthright about the number of rapes reported in southeast Queens. Comment.
Queens Village

Smith helps youth find employment

Forget the beach and basketball courts. State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) said plenty of young adults in southeast Queens want to spend their summer getting a taste of the working world, and he gave them a helping hand last week. Comment.
Queens Village

SE Queens women fearful after ninth Jamaica attack

Southeast Queens is frustrated with the lack of progress the police have made in capturing two suspected serial rapists after a woman claimed she was accosted by a stranger early Monday morning in Jamaica. Comment.

Latest charges against Gotti Jr. include two Queens murders

John Gotti, Jr. was arrested at his Long Island home Tuesday after federal authorities in Florida unsealed an indictment linking him to three murders — including two committed in Queens in 1988 and 1991. Comment.

City’s largest Willets Point property deal on the rocks

The city’s largest property acquisition deal with a Willets Point business could be in jeopardy, according to the owner.    Comment.

National Night Out Against Crime in Queens

On Tuesday, Aug. 5, police precincts throughout Queens will be participating in the National Night Out Against Crime, an annual crime- and drug-prevention event that unites police officers with the communities they serve for an evening of family-friendly fun and community organizing. This year marks the event's 25th anniversary. Comment.

Smith to seek state, federal help to catch serial rapists in SE Queens

State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) said he will give the police one week to find and apprehend two suspected serial sexual predators who have been terrorizing women in southeast Queens before he attempts to bring in additional resources from the state and federal government to take action. Comment.

Corona mourns fallen soldier’s final return home

More than 50 family members and friends of Corona’s Sgt. Alex Jimenez followed a hearse carrying the fallen soldier’s body through the streets of his hometown Thursday, crying loudly as they passed his home on 37th Drive and marched to a neighborhood funeral home. Comment.

American Airlines luggage back in the air at JFK

American Airlines officials said they have resolved the technical problem that left hundreds of bags of luggage scattered and abandoned at the airline’s terminal at John International F. Kennedy Airport in a snafu that disrupted travelers Wednesday. Comment.

Marshall gives Willets Point plan the green light

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall announced her support of the city’s Willets Point redevelopment plan Wednesday afternoon, dealing another blow, albeit an anticipated one, to the business owners and workers who oppose the project. Comment.
Queens Village

2 killed in separate Jamaica shootings

Residents of Queens Village and Rosedale were in shock over the loss of two neighbors killed in a pair of unrelated shootings in Jamaica over the weekend. Comment.

On the Marc: NYC should change ways

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — The Empire State Games have been a major part of Joanne Persico-Smith’s life, dating back to her years playing volleyball at St. Francis Prep HS. The Empires — the largest amateur sporting event in the United States — have been around for 31 years and Persico-Smith, the 42-year-old St. John’s women’s volleyball coach, has competed in 26 of them. Comment.

Will the thrill

Success in the boxing ring came quickly and easily for Will Rosinsky. He started late — his first amateur fight was a day before his 18th birthday — but he was a natural. He’s won a U.S. national championship since then and is the only 178-pound fighter in history to win four consecutive Golden Gloves titles. Comment.

Retirement has not stopped 92-year-old Little Neck workhorse

Louise Corvino may have officially retired in 1980 from her secretarial position at a Manhattan-based real estate licensing office, but that has not stopped the 92-year-old Long Island resident from showing up for work five days a week in Little Neck for the past 28 years. Comment.

Little Neck’s Deepdale civic to hold August blood drive

The Deepdale Gardens Community Council will host its 18th annual blood drive at Little Neck's Samuel Field Y Aug. 10 as blood supplies reach extremely low levels this summer, a New York Hospital Queens spokeswoman said. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Subway report ranks 7 city’s second-best, W worst

The transit advocacy agency Straphangers Campaign has designated the L subway line as the city's finest — with the No. 7 runner-up and the W line as the worst. Comment.

Mattone seals deal for $103M L.I. shop center purchase

The Mattone Group, the Whitestone-based developer, announced this week it had purchased the Roosevelt Raceway Center in Westbury, L.I., for more than $103 million, a retail powerhouse Chief Financial Officer Michael Mattone hopes will be a guaranteed money-making investment for his firm. Comment.

Jam. Estates gatehouse turns 100 in retro style

The students of Immaculate Conception School went beyond book learning in studying the community and history of Jamaica Estates and turned up some new information in the process. Comment.

Avella miffed at poll ignoring his ‘09 run

City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said he will introduce a bill that would allow candidates for city offices to qualify for full public funding of their campaigns and blasted a recent Quinnipiac University mayoral poll that omitted his name from the roster of potential candidates. Comment.

Skyview’s 2nd tower sells out quickly: Muss

Emboldened by robust sales in its initial offering, Muss Development announced this week that it has started to sell units in the second tower of its $1 billion Skyview Parc development. Comment.

Luxury Flushing apts. get $7M to finish work

A development firm has received a $7-million-dollar loan to complete the construction of five luxury apartment buildings in downtown Flushing, part of a package that sold for more than $50 million earlier this year. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dining Out

With oil prices and the economy being what they are, the timing is certainly right for a cheap dinner-date spot. Casa de Elián, the new homestyle Mexican eatery on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills, is right on the mark. It's a no-frills kind of place with prices to match. Comment.
Astoria Times

St. Louis man critical after falling from Shea escalator

FLUSHING — A St. Louis medical student was in critical condition after he fell from a Shea Stadium escalator Saturday, the New York Post reported. Comment.
Astoria Times

Police seek man missing from Roosevelt Island

ROOSEVELT ISLAND—Police are searching for man who they say has been reporting missing since July 21. Comment.
Letters

Hold MTA chief accountable for unfair hikes

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has proposed a fare increase of 13 percent and a toll increase. This is highway robbery. Comment.
Letters

Fare increase would be another costly burden

It is disgraceful that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority wants to raise fares. The people of this city are already overburdened with the high prices of gas, food and rent and high property taxes and mortgages. Comment.
Letters

Expert’s views on Falun Gong distorted group’s mission

I am writing regarding the July 10 article "Flushing Falun Gong rallies a ploy: Prof" in which your reporter interviewed a Professor Yan Sun from Queens College. Comment.
Letters

Everyone should feel for gas attendants

My heart goes out to those gas station attendants who went out in all kinds of weather, sometimes twice a day, to change the prices of gas upward, reflecting the rising cost of a barrel of oil. Comment.
Letters

Democrats must stop courting opposition

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and U.S. Sen. Barrack Obama (D-Ill.) should scrub their donor lists or at least update them more carefully. Comment.
Letters

Campaign contributions article misleads readers

As a former TimesLedger columnist, I have higher expectations of their reporters than last week's article "Friedrich 2nd in Money Race for Weprin's Seat." Comment.
Letters

Ban on unsolicited ads effective next month

Property owners know the feeling. They come home after work or back from vacation to find piles of unsolicited advertising material on their lawns. This unwelcome material, which homeowners have no choice but to pick up, can be more than an annoyance and a waste of paper. Comment.
Editorial

You Pay, but You’re Not Invited

In a speech last week to the Independence Party in Minnesota, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent since last June, noted that 700,000 New Yorkers were left out in the cold on primary day because they are neither Democrats nor Republicans. Comment.
Astoria Times

Putting trip to England on hold prompts reminiscing

The English woman is so refined. She has no bosom and no behind. (Florence Smith). Comment.
Astoria Times

Petition challenges heat up race for Ackerman’s seat

The contest to decide the Republican U.S. House of Representatives candidate for the 5th Congressional District in northeast Queens and northwest Nassau County this year is taking a new turn with multiple petition challenges and two primary elections. Comment.
Astoria Times

Crowley fund-raiser attended by many Queens officials

The big event this week was a fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) at Astoria's beautiful Cavo restaurant. For those who have never been there, it has a magnificent outdoor garden. It is one of the loveliest places to eat or drink on a warm summer day. The place was filled to capacity. Comment.
Astoria Times

American society should integrate illegal workers

Immigration will be a hot topic in this year's political campaign. In a series of columns, which this one concludes, I have attempted to set out the problems and possible solutions to the question of some 12 million illegal immigrants in this country. Comment.
Astoria Times

Sunnyside health store offers more

When Sunnyside resident Claire Carsen opened Nourish NYC last fall, she wanted it to be more than the average health food store. Comment.
Astoria Times

How’s Business?

If you are a small business owner or own a business and do a lot of volume in Queens, then you know the country is in a recession. As a Queens business owner, you ask yourself how much to charge for goods and services. With that, you face one question: Do you raise rates for goods and services on existing and future customers? Comment.
Astoria Times

Weiner buys e-mail list from Ferrer for $1,000

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) has gotten a boost in his 2009 campaign for mayor, buying the voter list of his former rival, Fernando Ferrer, federal records show. Comment.
Astoria Times

Weekend drownings leave mark on Queens

A 10-year-old Queens girl who attended an Oakland Gardens elementary school was still missing Tuesday after she was swept up in the waves off Coney Island over the weekend, according to published reports. Comment.
Astoria Times

Three vie for Katz’s seat as she eyes comptroller spot

City Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills) led the field of contenders in the city comptroller race as of the most recent filing deadline July 15, raking in $2,111,835, much of it from the developers with whom she has done business since 2001. Comment.
Astoria Times

Three-cushion billiards showcased in Flushing

The obscure game of three-cushion billiards took center stage at a Flushing pool hall Saturday, as three borough players joined 17 others from around the world for the finals of a tournament held in honor of a Korean immigrant from Queens who had a dream of seeing the sport join the mainstream. Comment.

Subway report ranks L city’s best, W worst

The transit advocacy agency Straphangers Campaign has designated the L subway line as the city's finest — with the No. 7 runner-up and the W line as the worst. Comment.

St. John’s gives homeless learners a second chance

Sky Rodriguez, 12, looks forward to summer school every day, but unlike many of her peers, she is there with her mother to get a leg up and learn the skills and subjects she needs to get a good job and a home of her own. Comment.
Astoria Times

State agency approves new home for St. Savior’s

The historic St. Savior's Church got one step closer to its new home after the state Cemeteries Division approved its relocation to All Faiths Lutheran Cemetery in June. Comment.
Astoria Times

Riis lifeguard warns swimmers not to panic if caught in riptide

A Riis Park lifeguard offered tips Monday for swimmers caught in riptides, minutes after the body believed to be that of a man who was swept away from the park's waters was recovered. Comment.

Ridgewood doctor sold illegal prescriptions: DA

A Ridgewood doctor whose license was revoked nearly six years ago has been arrested on suspicion of selling prescriptions for drugs like Vicodin, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Friday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Quinn seeks more awareness of boro food stamp eligibility

A recent city study found that nearly 200,000 Queens families enrolled for Medicaid are also eligible for food stamps but do not receive the government subsidies, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) said. Comment.

Queens College, SJU diversity among highest in the country

Queens College distinguished itself in two categories that despite funny names like "Scotch and soda, hold the Scotch" mean its students are not a big party bunch, in the 2009 Princeton Review guide The Best 368 Colleges, which was published this week. Comment.

Queens Blvd. bike lane eyed

The family of a Jamaica bicyclist killed earlier this year on Queens Boulevard joined City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) Sunday to urge Mayor Michael Bloomberg to construct a bike lane down the thoroughfare infamously dubbed the "Boulevard of Death." Comment.
Astoria Times

Port Authority OKs runway, taxiway upgrades at Kennedy

A plan to spend $68 million in order to save $116 million each year just might fly within the friendly skies. Comment.
Astoria Times

Paterson sees transit fare hike as last resort

Gov. David Paterson, who has spoken out against a fare hike by the cash-strapped MTA, went on television Tuesday to call the legislature into emergency session to deal with what he called "harsh" financial times. Comment.

Maspeth site added to remediation list

Another Maspeth industrial site was added to the superfund registry last month, officials at the state Department of Environmental Conservation said. Comment.

Marshall lauds Hunters Point at public hearing

The debate over what constitutes "affordable" at the proposed 5,000-unit Hunters Point South residential development in Long Island City picked up momentum last week at a public hearing at Borough Hall. Comment.

LIC factory owes $5M back wages: Labor Dept.

A Long Island City clothing manufacturer has been accused of swindling its employees out of more than $5 million in minimum and overtime wages by the state Labor Department, which alleged that the garment distributor forced its employees to memorize cheat sheets of information to dupe investigators. Comment.
Astoria Times

Huang breaks zoning: DOB

A controversial Maspeth apartment house looks a lot different after the city Department of Buildings forced notorious developer Tommy Huang to make major changes. Comment.

Forest Hills biz bags mix fashion with practicality

Laytner's, the Manhattan home goods purveyor with a , introduced its "Little Black Bag" last week. Comment.

Faithful say good-bye to Astoria church

The clicking sounds of disposable cameras given to members of the First Presbyterian Church of Astoria rang out Sunday as parishioners prayed and captured memories during the final service at the nearly 90-year-old church, which will be demolished to make way for senior housing. Comment.

Douglaston beach has big bacteria problem: City

Douglas Manor has been closed more than any other borough beach this year due to high bacteria counts in the water, but a new study ranked the Rockaways highly among the city's beaches, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dilapidated elevators removed from World’s Fair towers

What once went up has now come down at one of the relics of the 1964 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The city Parks Department last week started removing the Sky Streak elevators to the observation towers at the New York State Pavilion. Comment.

Corona rape suspect faces drug charge: DA

A Corona man charged with abducting a woman from in front of a Manhattan nightclub, then raping and robbing her was briefly released Monday before being arrested in the courtroom on pre-existing drug charges, the Mahattan district attorney's office said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Consumers need a utility bill of rights: Gianaris

State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) is calling on the state to create an energy consumers' bill of rights to combat misleading tactics used by energy companies to get customers to switch to their services. Comment.
Astoria Times

Burned out tenants seek Red Cross help

City fire officials combed through the remains of a gutted Flushing apartment building this week, trying to determine what caused an apparent gas explosion that injured 17 and left dozens homeless Friday afternoon. Comment.

Borukhova sister cleared in witness tamper case

The sister of the woman accused of killing Forest Hills orthodontist Daniel Malakov was exonerated Friday of charges that she threatened to kill the slain Uzbek immigrant's brother. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro-based supermarket group gives pupils $85K

The National Supermarket Association awarded $85,000 in scholarships last Thursday to more than 80 inner-city students from the five boroughs and New Jersey during its annual banquet at Flushing's Terrace on the Park. Comment.

Authors of new Broad Channel book get warm reception

Broad Channel residents stood in line at a local watering hole Sunday to pick up a copy of a book penned by a local couple about the neighborhood's history. Comment.
Astoria Times

Anger, suspicion follow explosion

Mired in anguish and anger, several residents of the 37 apartments damaged by Friday's gas explosion on Sanford Avenue said they have been left in the dark by the city and the property manager, who have taken control of their gutted building. Comment.
Astoria Times

Abuse claim hits HS hoops coach

The coach of Christ the King's powerhouse high school basketball team is battling allegations that he sexually abused a teenager more than 30 years ago. Comment.
Astoria Times

‘Daily Show’’s Mandvi finds food, love in boro for new film

The opening of a new Indian restaurant in Jackson Heights may not raise eyebrows — that is, unless it does not actually serve food and its owner is "Daily Show" correspondent and actor Aasif Mandvi. Comment.
Astoria Times

New Latin beat

Queens Theatre in the Park's annual Latino Cultural Festival, running for its 12th consecutive year, focuses on international icons and new voices, bringing rarely heard and U.S.-debut talent to the stage. While the festival's events encompass a broad range of musical styles, from salsa to flamenco, there is a heavy bent this year on the African influence in Latin American music. Comment.
Astoria Times

World tour comes to Queens for Passport Fridays at QMA

Passport Fridays have begun at the Queens Museum of Art and are taking us on a trip across the globe to magical, wondrous places like China, Ecuador, India and Mexico. Comment.
Astoria Times

St. Gregory’s likes it hot for summertime shows

Summertime, the living is easy, and most local theater companies are taking a break. Although plans are being made for the new season and some audition dates have been set, almost no shows will reach the stage until the autumnal equinox. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astorian enjoys chance at cabaret talent showdown

Athens-born and Astoria-raised singer George Costacos seems to have been in just about everything except "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." In 2004 he was part of the opening ceremonies for the Athens Olympics. He's been featured in PBS' "The Greek Americans" and starred in his own musical play, "Greek Gifts." He's performed all over the world. Comment.

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