Friday, Nov. 28, 2008

Whitestone Times

Ben’s Deli, Bay Terrace to part ways

The president of Bayside’s popular Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant said a deal to move the eatery to another spot in the Bay Terrace shopping center has collapsed following six months of acrimonious negotiations with Forest Hills−based landlord Cord Meyer. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Whitestone center shops reopen after massive fire

More than three weeks after a fire gutted a large portion of the Whitestone Shopping Center, there are some signs that life is getting back to normal. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Avella joins lawsuit to restore tax rebates

City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) said he was one of five Council members to sign on to a suit filed against the city Finance Department following Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent attempt to rescind $400 rebate checks for city property owners amid a national economic downturn. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Food celebrities’ book dedicated to Douglaston resident

For Douglaston’s Carol Brock, having a new book featuring 200 food celebrities dedicated to her is an honor 32 years in the making. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Tenants just want to be home for holidays

“A week prior to July 9, that’s when the nightmare began.” Comment.
Whitestone Times

Padavan maintains slight lead in state Senate race

The battle for the 11th Senate District is still raging, often for more than 12 hours a day, in a crowded room in the Queens Board of Elections office in Kew Gardens, and neither state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) nor City Councilman James Gennaro (D−Fresh Meadows) is going to be waving a white flag any time soon. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Abandoned Flushing Airport sees plan for recreation center

Two lifelong northern Queens residents are pushing a new vision for the long−abandoned Flushing Airport, and if they get their way, the future of the College Point site will be very green. Comment.

First varsity victory secondary to CK’s Arbitello

Joe Arbitello calls this the greatest week of his life, and it has nothing to do with his successful debut as Christ the King boys’ basketball coach Wednesday night: a 104-54 blitzing of Jamaica in Middle Village. Comment.
Ridgewood

Glendale park plan causes furor

A group of Glendale residents is up in arms over the plan for a new park on their street, but they can hardly rally around the historic cry, “Not in my backyard.” Rather their demand is “not on my Saturday and Sunday.” Comment.
Ridgewood

Police nab suspected Maspeth purse thief

An man suspected of stealing a dozen purses from parked cars in Ridgewood, Maspeth and Fresh Meadows was taken into custody after he was allegedly spotted in two different stolen cars and led police on a pursuit over half of Queens earlier this month, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Richmond Hill

CB 9 cannot weather cuts: Manager

The Community Board 9 district manager is not taking Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed budget cuts lying down. Comment.
Queens Village

Sanders out of hospital after car accident

City Councilman James Sanders (D−Laurelton) will be spending his Thanksgiving holiday at home recovering from injuries he sustained in a car accident upstate, his office said. Comment.
Queens Village

Port Authority reduces queues on runways at JFK Airport

The Port Authority has approved $60 million for studies on the modernization of LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal building and a project to reduce delays at Newark Liberty International Airport. The PA, meanwhile, opened a new welcome center this week at LaGuardia to greet arriving passengers. Comment.
Queens Village

Street named for ‘Mayor of Cambria Heights’

He left his mark on Cambria Heights and now two years after his death Jack Thompson’s name will be remembered for generations after the street where he lived was renamed for the man known as the mayor of the neighborhood. Comment.
Queens Village

SE Queens reps call for new precinct

Even though the 105th Precinct’s substation in Rosedale has helped to lower crime in southeast Queens over the last 16 months, leaders from all levels of government and residents are still pushing for the Police Department to give the community its own separate command station. Comment.

‘A sad day for India’

South Asians throughout Queens reacted with shock and horror to reports of terrorist attacks in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai Wednesday night that claimed at least 150 lives, according to published reports. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Police question Willets Point biz tenants’ leader

Willets Point tenant business leader Arturo Olaya said he was held by police for several hours last Thursday after painting over City Councilman Hiram Monserrate’s (D-East Elmhurst) name on a truck previously used for his political campaign. Comment.

Marshall touts ex-neighbor Holder for Obama’s AG

A Queens man could be headed for the White House and the borough’s biggest cheerleader, who happens to be his longtime neighbor, could not be prouder. Comment.
Laurelton

Teen gets 10 years in Spg. Gdns. shoot

The Long Island teen who shot an 11−year−old Springfield Gardens boy at his doorstep will be spending the next decade of his life incarcerated, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Rego Park woman stitches over hole in heart left by 911

Rego Park resident Doreen Lynn Saunders can be seen all over the city — from the subway to Shalimar Diner in Flushing — stitching the more than 3,000 stars that will one day create a memorial project to honor each person who died on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Seminerio taps election cash

Embattled state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio (D−Richmond Hill) recently made a $35,000 payment to his lawyer representing him in a federal fraud case by using funds from his re−election campaign account, state Board of Elections records showed. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Peralta warns buyers to watch what they ship

Holiday gift−givers sending packages overseas may be tempted to use discount shippers operating out of storefronts in Queens, but trusting them could be a mistake, state Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D−Jackson Heights) said last Thursday. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Hotel plans irk Bellerose ice cream fans

Bellerose residents braved freezing temperatures last weekend in an attempt to prevent the neighborhood’s Frozen Cup ice cream shop from being replaced by a planned three−story hotel along Jericho Turnpike. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

BSA should protect, not develop, Queens communities

The city Board of Standards and Appeals is a powerful agency. The BSA was created about 30 years ago, when the courts ruled that the old city Board of Estimate was unfair because the five borough presidents, who composed the board, were elected by different amounts of voters. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Construction in Forest Hills irks residents

A house tucked away on a tree−lined side street in Forest Hills has residents fearing for their safety and the state of their quiet neighborhood. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Forest Hills High helps create state bill

The idea for a piece of legislation state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D−Forest Hills) will introduce within a month to help residents read the abundance of small print on bills was born in a Forest Hills High School classroom several years ago. Comment.
Flushing Times

DA probing Flushing gas blast: Liu

The gas explosion that killed a Flushing man, severely injured his 2−year−old daughter and displaced several residents at Fairmont Hall on Sanford Avenue in July has been turned over to the Queens district attorney’s office as a criminal investigation, City Councilman John Liu (D−Flushing) said this week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Delhi Heights: Upscale entry in Little India

Our admittedly jaded palate experienced a momentary frisson of anticipation when we heard that a new, upscale Indian restaurant had opened its doors on 74th Street. The Indian restaurant scene there had become more than a touch stagnant in recent years, and we hoped that Dehli Heights would bring new heights to Jackson Heights. Comment.
Astoria Times

Origami serves as great way for people to bond with each other

Origami: the traditional art of folding objects and figures out of paper without cutting, pasting or decorating. — Webster’s Dictionary Comment.
Astoria Times

Two Queens families made history at Crocheron Park

The idea of tracing the history of Crocheron Park in Bayside occurred to me recently and turned out to be more challenging than one might imagine. It has, however, interesting connections to our city’s history. Research revealed the origin of its name, for it was constructed on land owned by the Crocheron family, whose history dates back to the 17th century. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro GOP, Democratic clubs review results of election

We hope our readers had a happy Thanksgiving, which is a reminder that Christmas is a month away. The retailers are predicting a lackluster holiday season due to the disastrous economy. Let’s all hope for a speedy recovery. Comment.
Astoria Times

Clinton should accept position of secretary of state

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D−N.Y.) is considering whether to become secretary of state in the Obama administration, assuming it is offered to her. She has represented us for the last eight years in the Senate, although at least for the first six months of this year, most of her time was geared toward running for the presidency. Comment.
Astoria Times

Saddle up at Forest Hills stable

From the time she was a little girl, Lynne Holzhauser knew she was destined to work with horses. Comments (3).
Astoria Times

Invest your money wisely

Can we afford to make mistakes in this financial environment? In attending many networking functions, I have spoken with Queens’ financial advisors and listened to their input and experience. Comment.
Astoria Times

Shelter closings worry advocates

In more than a dozen churches and synagogues throughout Queens, there is a conspicuous absence of 150 homeless men and women who once found shelter in the religious institutions during the cold winter months. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria man vandalized seat, window on N train: Brown

An 18−year−old Astoria man was arrested last week after a subway rider with a camera snapped a photo of him allegedly scratching the seat of an N train and defacing its window, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

WWII vet from LIC receives Purple Heart posthumously

More than 60 years after he was wounded and three years after his death, a Long Island City soldier finally received his due for his service during World War II. The family of Joseph Dipierno gathered at the Long Island City Library Monday to receive the Purple Heart he earned in 1945. Comment.
Astoria Times

Marshall touts ex−neighbor Holder for Obama’s AG

A Queens man could be headed for the White House and the borough’s biggest cheerleader, who happens to be his longtime neighbor, could not be prouder. Comment.
Astoria Times

Triborough renamed for former senator RFK

Hundreds of borough residents joined a Who’s Who of New York political figures and members of the Kennedy family last week for a ceremony at which Astoria’s Triborough Bridge was renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. Comment.
Astoria Times

Students, faculty reflect on 150 years of St. Francis Prep

Students and staff at the largest Catholic high school in the country, St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the institution they say has helped propel countless numbers of teenagers of all religions, ethnicities, races and financial backgrounds to success. Comment.
Astoria Times

Electeds, MTA pitch ideas on how to bring in money

In the quest for major money to save the city transit system, several officials have offered their ideas, ranging from higher vehicle registration fees to selling off the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s real estate. Comment.
Astoria Times

It seems like it’s all happening again: Sean Bell’s father

Tuesday was supposed to be the second anniversary of Nicole−Paultre Bell’s marriage to Sean Bell, but she celebrated the rainy day mourning the death of her high school sweetheart outside the Jamaica nightclub where he spent the last hours of his life. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens straphangers face fare hikes, lines

Without major bailout money for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Queens straphangers will not only pay more, but lose two subway and many bus lines and wait longer for their rides. Comment.
Astoria Times

Effort sends boro food stamp rolls soaring

Outreach efforts have prompted a spike in the number of Queens residents on food stamps after the city targeted the borough as the first stop in its campaign to enroll low−income residents who did not know they were eligible for the program. Comment.
Astoria Times

Sunnyside butcher lives American Dream

Looking for the kind of butcher shop where the proprietor knows everyone’s name? Look no further than Las Americas Meat Market, which has operated in Sunnyside for 30 years. But do not look for it on Greenpoint Avenue — the store just moved into a new location at 45−62 46th St. Comment.
Astoria Times

City fines LGA for failing luggage scales inspection

The city Consumer Affairs Department issued more than 100 stop−use orders for luggage scales at the borough’s two airports during the past month and issued a violation to an airline that continued to use improperly functioning scales after an inspection, the agency’s commissioner said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Mayor’s popularity plummets 9 points after term limits fight

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s popularity has plunged by nine points since his proposal to change term limits passed the City Council, according to a Marist poll released Friday. Comment.
Astoria Times

5−alarm fire decimates Astoria bldg.

Firefighters battled a massive five−alarm fire for several hours Saturday in an Astoria commercial building off 31st Street, where more than 10 people were removed and treated for minor injuries, a spokesman for the Fire Department said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Con Ed halts FedEx talks over Astoria property sale

Con Edison has suspended its talks with Federal Express about selling a portion of its 20th Avenue property in Astoria to the shipping giant for a distribution center, state Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D−Astoria) said. “[This] is a testament to what this community can accomplish when we work together and do not give up,” Gianaris said. “We will be spared from yet another burden to the quality of life in our neighborhood.” Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro students could face loss of financial aid

On the Queens College and St. John’s University campuses, many students are fretting that they will have to dig deeper into their wallets because financial aid experts say lenders and scholarship providers are beginning to give out less. Comment.
Astoria Times

Judge rejects racial profile in JFK security bias case

A Brooklyn federal judge has ruled that the federal government cannot detain suspects based on their race, a major victory for two men of Egyptian descent who were detained at Kennedy International Airport four years ago after air marshals on their flight decided their behavior was suspect, court records show. Comment.
Astoria Times

Union scoffs at Vantage appointment of new liaison

The corporate landlord of thousands of Queens tenants has announced a new community relations position to smooth its relationship with both renters and local groups, but the tenants union contends the official has been working with that same title for three months. Comment.
Astoria Times

Lancman, Padavan oppose health, education cuts

State Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D−Fresh Meadows) and state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) hail from different sides of the aisle, but they are pushing a similar message when it comes to the state budget: The state should not cut health and education services, a move Gov. David Paterson has said may be necessary to close a $12.5 billion budget gap next year. Comment.
Astoria Times

Modern perspective

As China’s profile continues to rise in global politics and finance, a new exhibit at Queens College explores the contemporary output of Chinese artists, with an eye toward the traditions that have shaped the expression of Chinese culture. Comment.
Astoria Times

JCAL gets collaborative with tri−boro art project

The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning is currently hosting “Metro Poles: Art in Action,” a new exhibit in participation with the Bronx River Art Center and the Asian−American Arts Center and the Maiden Lane Exhibition Space in Manhattan, in which 60 artists will collaboratively create works and successively hand them over to other artists each week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Jackson Heights art show helps immigrant aid group

The nonprofit Latin American Workers Project recently turned to a valuable resource to help raise awareness for its cause: local and talented artists. At a space in Jackson Heights, Raul Coto Batres, Samia Mohammed, Yousuf Mahmood, Mery Diaz, Jonathan Hedderman and Gerald Pardieu showcased their work Nov. 9 in the LAWP art exhibition and fund−raiser. Comment.

Monday, Nov. 24, 2008

Whitestone Times

Whitestone man to head toy drive for sick children

When Santa shows up at the Nassau Community Medical Center next month, he may look remarkably like Whitestone resident Anthony Cammarata. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Our hearts still heavy: Bloomberg

The 265 lives that were lost when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in Belle Harbor were honored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the victims’ families last week on the seventh anniversary of the disaster that evoked fears of another terrorist attack on the city. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Marina plans worry Baysiders

Community Board 11 members said they were concerned that new plans for the Bayside Marina could potentially include repairing boats along the docks and selling alcohol at the site, but a city Parks Department spokeswoman said any changes to the Little Neck Bay area are merely in the proposal stage. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Teen injured in Bayside car assault

A young man was seriously injured early Saturday morning in Bayside after a Flushing teen allegedly ran him down with his car following a dispute, sending him flying through the air and leaving him in a medically induced coma, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.
Whitestone Times

$50M Feinstein expansion debuts at North Shore LIJ

The North Shore−Long Island Jewish Health System unveiled a $50 million addition Tuesday to its Feinstein Institute for Medical Research that it said will boost its efforts to identify new drugs, technologies and cures for disease. Comment.
Whitestone Times

College Pt. gambling operation busted: DA

A Douglaston man and a man from Little Neck have been accused of being the ringleaders of a $30 million gambling ring in College Point, while five other men from the borough have been arrested on charges in the bust last week, the Nassau County district attorney said. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Avella calls for hearing on public school creches

City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) has invoked a little−known city rule in an attempt to schedule a hearing on his resolution that would require the city Department of Education to allow Nativity scenes or creches to be displayed in public schools during the holiday season. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Borough pharmacies to translate drug info

A pair of the largest pharmacy chains in the country reached an agreement to provide prescription instructions in the native language of their customers, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced last Thursday, marking a significant step in the battle between immigrant advocates in Queens and several borough pharmacies. Comment.
Whitestone Times

109th Pct. Council elects 6 new officers

The 109th Precinct Community Council underwent a changing of the guard last week as six of the seven officers who have served the group for the last eight years left their posts. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Padavan’s lead shrinks in state Senate contest

The slim margin that Republican state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) held over his Democratic challenger, City Councilman James Gennaro (D−Fresh Meadows) grew even narrower last week, leaving Gennaro campaign officials to maintain their candidate will be representing the residents of the 11th Senate District come January and Padavan to say he had “no idea” what the outcome of the ballot count would be. Comment.
Editorial

Bag This Idea

While we are on the subject of taxes that have good intentions and would have bad results, we would like to put the kibosh on the proposal to charge consumers a tax on plastic bags used at supermarkets. Comment.
Editorial

Bad Medicine

Faced with a $1.5 billion deficit, Gov. David Paterson is considering a number of steps he might take to balance the state budget. This is not easy. Like the mayor, the governor has a number of alternatives and none of them will be popular. Comment.

Questionable play call dooms Far Rockaway in OT

Walter Wilkerson didn’t second-guess his decision to put the ball in the air on Far Rockaway’s first offensive play of overtime. But his players certainly did. Comment.

Mixed emotions for new Francis Lewis principal

If it were a little over one month ago, Ali Shama’s experience at York College on Saturday afternoon would have been vastly different. Since 2005, Shama had been an assistant principal at John F. Kennedy HS in the Bronx and the school’s girls’ volleyball team was competing in the PSAL Class A championship. Comment.
Richmond Hill

Weiner pledges more funding to preserve Jamaica Bay

For years, environmentalists have become increasingly worried over several ecological dangers threatening the future of Jamaica Bay, but last week they received a helping hand from U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D−Forest Hills). Comment.
Richmond Hill

S. Oz. Park mom−to−be slain by boyfriend: DA

After more than three weeks of investigating, prosecutors charged a Jamaica man Tuesday in the murder of his pregnant girlfriend on the day she was set to give birth, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Richmond Hill

Dist. 27 to get 2 new schools

The city Department of Education is planning to create two new schools in District 27 within the next five years, an official with the DOE’s School Construction Authority told Community District Education Council 27 Monday. Comment.
Queens Village

Teen’s killer still sought by police

More than a week after Sabrina Matthews was found dead by her father inside her Cambria Heights home, authorities have yet to arrest the 14−year−old high school freshman’s killer, police said. Comment.

MTA proposes big cuts in Queens subway service

In a somber board meeting, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority confirmed Thursday the bad news reported piecemeal for days – Draconian cuts in subway and bus service and a 23 percent fare hike are in store unless the state government comes up with major money. Comment.

Job woes spur increase in CUNY enrollments

Residents squeezed by the financial woes strangling the country’s economy are flocking to Queens’ City University of New York schools, where officials say students can buff up their résumés and receive degrees needed to land careers for a lower price tag than private universities offer. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Manager at LIRR’s Hillside Facility in Hollis arrested in pension scandal

A Long Island Rail Road official who worked in Hollis has been arrested and charged in an investigation into whether some LIRR employees retired on questionable federal disability pensions. Comment.
Little Neck Ledger

245th St. in Douglaston renamed for late priest

Three years after his death, the stretch of road in front of a Douglaston church has been renamed for a pastor who one could say already had a claim to it. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Forest Hills gets 24−hour animal E.R.

Queens’ first referral−only veterinary hospital opened in Forest Hills Monday and the chief medical officer said hospital officials were looking forward to caring for the pets he expects to come from all over the borough. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Forest Hills lensman’s photo in exhibition

When Forest Hills resident Leo Theinert escapes to City Hall Park for his one−hour lunch break, he finds the subjects — “the derelicts, the protesters” — who inspire much of his award−winning photography. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Fort Totten red tape prevents move: Jawin

Though the Kew Gardens−based Center for the Women of New York was awarded both a house in Bayside and a $900,000 grant from City Councilman David Weprin (D−Hollis) to renovate the Fort Totten place it hopes to call home, center Director Ann Jawin said red tape has prevented the non−profit from moving into the building they say they need to effectively run their services. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

CB 8 backs expanding local library

Community Board 8 members unanimously threw their support during their meeting last week behind an expansion that would add 3,000 square feet, a room for teenagers and new technology to the library in Kew Gardens Hills. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Boro community groups worried over beep funding cuts

Borough President Helen Marshall pleaded at the city Department for the Aging commissioner’s annual public hearing to preserve the many programs she funds through discretionary money provided by the city. The borough presidents receive money they distribute to neighborhood−based community groups, which serve the needy. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

JPCA slams city on traffic triangle

Traffic is backing up in Maspeth and members of the Juniper Park Civic Association are up in arms, accusing the city of poor judgment in permanently closing off part of a traffic triangle before starting a plan to divert commercial trucks from the area. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Hevesi to push energy bills in Dem−controlled Albany

Life seems good for state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi. Comment.
Flushing Times

Meng pledges to fight for Flushing residents

Flushing will have a new face in the state Assembly come January, and she wasted no time paying tribute to her supporters. Comment.
Flushing Times

City begins cleanup of Flushing store fire

The cleanup of three buildings demolished after they were gutted by a two−alarm fire last month began last week as fire investigators worked to find the cause of the blaze. Comment.
Editorial

A ‘Bright Future’

One week before the vote, it was far from certain Mayor Michael Bloomberg had the votes in the City Council to move forward with plans to redevelop Willets Point. That only made it all the more amazing when the Council voted 42−2 with one abstention in favor of the plan. Comment.
Astoria Times

Qns. Int’l Film Fest offers 2 days of parties, awards

We thought things would slow down after the elections, but they have not. The schedules for current events are progressing rapidly. In fact, we have already received numerous invitations to upcoming holiday parties. Comment.
Astoria Times

Thanksgiving: Time to remember boys’ good deed

The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but also reveal to them their own. — Benjamin Disraeli Comment.
Astoria Times

Give thanks to experiences, people who got you through life

A wise and dear friend of ours, a native of the Broadway−Flushing area, reminded me a few years ago about two things: First, we were fortunate our ancestors left Europe for the United States, and second, we were part of a lucky generation — perhaps the last lucky generation. Comment.
Astoria Times

Republican county leader foresees future GOP resurgence

Another election cycle has ended, with the Republicans losing two out of three of their remaining elective offices countywide. Comment.
Astoria Times

Present Democratic victories mirror those of long ago

In November 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson was elected president by a landslide. His margin of victory in Queens was 274,301 votes. The tidal wave of Democratic victories allowed Democrats to take control of the state Legislature for the first time in 29 years. Comment.
Astoria Times

Save money on oil this winter

The price of oil is dropping. The rules of the game are changing for Queens homeowners as to whether or not they should lock in their winter oil prices. Many heating companies are offering deals that will let you lock in the price of oil ahead of time so you do not get high heating bills this winter if the price of oil goes up. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bayside eatery receives an upgrade

Pasquale Fabiano, the new manager of Il Vesuvio on Bell Boulevard, isn’t a stranger to the Italian restaurant business. Comment.
Astoria Times

Don’t sweep us under rug: Willets tenants

More than 200 business owners sent a message to the city this week: Don’t forget the little guy. Comment.
Astoria Times

Suspected MS−13 members charged in Flushing slay

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said three suspected members of El Salvadorian gang MS−13 were charged last week with the 2006 murder of a 15−year−old Flushing boy that helped galvanize a community against gang violence. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bloomberg to reward cabbies for going green

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced new incentives last week that would reward city taxi drivers who use fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles in an effort to make the city’s yellow cabs greener. Comment.
Astoria Times

Commuter tax better than tolls: Weprin

City Councilman David Weprin (D−Hollis) is helping to lead a rallying cry to reinstate the commuter tax instead of charging tolls on the four East River bridges. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria Houses could lose community center

The community centers at two western Queens housing developments could close by the end of the year following proposed budget cuts by the New York City Housing Authority, City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D−Astoria) said. Comment.
Astoria Times

City Council gives the OK to redevelop Hunters Pt.

With minimal fanfare or argument, the city’s Hunters Point South redevelopment project in Long Island City cruised through the City Council last Thursday. Comment.
Astoria Times

City opens state−of−the−art center in Long Island City to fix traffic

Long Island City’s Queens Plaza is the new home of a state−of−the−art traffic management facility that the city and state law enforcement officials unveiled at a ribbon−cutting ceremony last Thursday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Nine charged in scam that robbed elderly Jamaica woman of her home

Nine people, including the chief deputy clerk in Brooklyn, were indicted Tuesday in Queens Criminal Court on charges of taking part in a series of home scams, one of which cost an elderly Jamaica widow her home, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

LaGuardia CC forum helps grow green ideas

The New York Designs Business Center at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City is promoting green design to reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and its occupants. Comment.
Astoria Times

Drunk driver kills Astoria woman: DA

A 24−year−old Long Island man was arrested early Sunday morning after he allegedly drove drunk, crashing his Range Rover into a livery cab at the intersection of 34th Street and 31st Avenue and killing a 30−year−old Cypriot immigrant from Astoria as well as the cab’s driver, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Feds delay Kosciuszko work to wait for tribal leaders’ OK

The construction of the replacement for the aging Kosciuszko Bridge across Newtown Creek may be delayed for months after the Federal Highway Authority determined two American Indian tribes that once used the land must sign off on the project. Comment.
Astoria Times

Deep service cuts feared in MTA’s budget deficit solution

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it would make public this Thursday the plan to deal with its financial crisis, which a published report said would end service on two subway lines and bring longer waits for straphangers on buses and subways. Comment.
Astoria Times

Jamaica Ave.’s Q56 named slowest boro bus: Survey

The Q56 bus has earned the distinction of being the slowest in Queens in the Straphangers Campaign’s seventh annual “Pokey” Awards at a rate outdone by fast−footed chickens. Comment.
Astoria Times

Religious detritus fouling Rockaway coast: Weiner

Religious festivities at the southern foot of the Joseph P. Addabbo Bridge have left the fishing area there littered with all sorts of trash as the National Parks Service and U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D−Forest Hills) try to figure out a way to stop the garbage problem. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ex−Peralta lawyer accused of grand larceny

The former Bayside and Jackson Heights attorney who was disbarred after allegedly squandering clients’ money on gambling stints in Atlantic City has been indicted on related charges, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Riders give No. 7 subway line a C− rating

Riders of the No. 7 subway line have given their trains the same overall rating as they did last year — a C−minus — although there was a monumental slump in the numbers who voted. Comment.
Astoria Times

Third victim IDs suspect in muggings of elderly

A 53−year−old Jamaica woman who was allegedly beaten and robbed by the same man accused of assaulting two elderly women took the stand Tuesday afternoon in Queens Supreme Court and identified Jack Rhodes, 44, as the person who broke into her home, punched and kicked her and stole cash, a credit card and her driver’s license. Comment.
Astoria Times

Judge rules Transit Workers Union can resume collecting dues following illegal 2005 strike

A judge has restored the Transport Workers Union’s right to checkoff, a union dues collection system another judge revoked as a penalty for the strike that halted the city’s mass transit system at Christmastime in 2005. Comment.
Astoria Times

State lawmakers fail to act on budget cuts

State leaders failed to come to an agreement Tuesday on a second round of post−budget cuts to close a $1.5 billion deficit facing the state this fiscal year. Comment.
Astoria Times

Jamaica job center offers retraining

The souring economy has seen many Queens residents lose their longtime jobs and prospective employees afraid and nervous to enter the working world, according to Rachel Gordon, executive director of the nonprofit Business Leaders of Tomorrow. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens Council members pledge to fight rebate cut

City Council members from Queens said they would fight Mayor Michael Bloomberg if he continues his attempt to shelve the $400 rebate checks for city property owners following a four−hour budget hearing this week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Lopsided approval take shape in boro

The City Council’s nearly unanimous vote last Thursday to approve the redevelopment of Willets Point has paved the way for a massive mixed−use neighborhood featuring more than 1,900 units of affordable housing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Selling Willets Pt. no easy task

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration spent hours in recent weeks convincing members of the City Council that the redevelopment of Willets Point would an essential part of the city’s economic future. With the Council approval now in the rearview mirror, the city now faces a far more daunting task: Turning its elaborate sales pitch into a reality. Comment.
Astoria Times

Police seek boro sex attacker

Police said they were searching for a man who sexually assaulted two women during separate incidents in Astoria and Corona last month and stalked another Queens victim near her apartment. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bell’s widow back to school as feds weigh civil rights case

As Sean Bell’s family waits to see if the police officers responsible for his death will be tried on federal charges, his fiancÉe has returned to school to make a difference in light of her loss. Comment.
Astoria Times

Solar power fills man’s home, wallet

When Suen Lau decided to install solar panels on the roof of his home, he could not find a local contractor to bid for the job. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bayside filmmaker follows his horror−movie dreams

Bayside’s Marc Fratto is building a mini Queens empire forged in blood — fake blood, that is. Comment.
Astoria Times

Travel Agents

Until recently, I was a travel editor at a major guidebook publisher. The job required heavy text−editing, and contrary to what the title suggests, no travel. What made the job unbearable was that it took something I loved — travel — and made me hate it. I’d edit hundreds of pages of the same boilerplate prose: a well−appointed hotel room here, a vibrant market there, with “jaw−dropping” and “mind−blowing” profundities all over the place. Only the locales would change. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens Shakespeare stages delightful ‘Twelfth Night’

“Twelfth Night” is based on what may be the dumbest premise in all Shakespeare. We’re supposed to believe that male and female twins, who we must assume have achieved puberty, are indistinguishable from each other when the girl dresses up like a boy. Comment.
Astoria Times

Parkside Players persevere by shaking up the formula

The Parkside Players are not just another community theater company. Not only are they one of the longest−running groups in Queens at 28 years and counting, but their play selection is far from ordinary. Get over to their home in the outskirts of Forest Hills at the Grace Lutheran Church (off Union Turnpike and Metropolitan Avenue) and you’ll see displayed the covers of the programs of their great variety of shows. Comment.
Astoria Times

Hwang’s ‘Yellow Face’ at QTIP has fun with slippery racial identities

David Henry Hwang’s “Yellow Face,” presented by The Outrageous Fortune Company and now at Queens Theatre in the Park, examines — tackles would be too strong a word for this funny, humane play — the dilemma faced by Asian actors who, even in the recent past, had to watch as one white actor after another took over Asian roles. Comment.

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