Saturday, April 25, 2009

Whitestone Times

City extends CEC voting deadline

Queens parents have an additional week to cast their ballots in the city’s first entirely online vote for local school councils, the city Department of Education announced Monday. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Borukhova, uncle draw life in jail

For Daniel Malakov’s father, Khaika, the long prison sentences imposed on his son’s killers Tuesday were not enough to give him a sense of fair justice. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Grants to help tackle youth obesity in boro

Four Queens schools and organizations will be tackling childhood obesity with grant money that the groups received last week from Youth Service America and UnitedHealthcare. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Avella protests plan for corporate park

City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) and dozens of College Point and Whitestone residents protested the city’s plans for the College Point Corporate Park Saturday, calling the area overrun with development and underserved by the mayor. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Padavan seeks used cell phones for recycling, donation program

State Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) said that his district office is collecting used cell phones that will either be recycled or donated to victims of domestic violence. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Man shoots E. Elmhurst ex−fiancÉe, self: Police

An East Elmhurst woman was shot dead by her ex−fiancÉ, who then turned the gun on himself Monday night, police said. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Katz begins comptroller run

City Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D−Forest Hills) formally launched her campaign for city comptroller Sunday afternoon, opting for the front lawn of her home for the occasion instead of the more typical steps of City Hall. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Iannece runs for Avella seat

For Jerry Iannece, getting elected as the new councilman for District 19 is a matter of unfinished business. Comment.
Whitestone Times

College Point academy stirs CB 7

The Police Department told Community Board 7 last week that it hopes to speed through the public approval process for a $1 billion new police academy in College Point and break ground by the end of the year — an approach that left community leaders none too pleased. Comment.
Whitestone Times

St. John’s joins forces with Nobel laureate

When Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus first began giving out micro loans to people in impoverished villages in Bangladesh in 1976, he collaborated with faculty at the university where he worked. Now more than 40 years later and half a globe away, Yunus is applying the same concept in Queens at St. John’s University. Comment.

Pitching-rich Adams armed for postseason run

Rafael Guerrero was unceremoniously introduced to the varsity level in his first start last season after spending a year on the John Adams junior varsity baseball team. Comment.

Lewis’ Robinson, Queens/LI prevail in Wheelchair final

It was a team featuring some of the best players on the East Coast. Stefanie Dolson has verbally committed to UConn. Christine Huber will play at Rutgers. Eugeneia McPherson is headed to St. John’s and Terry Green is bound for Seton Hall. Comment.

Vasquez becoming center of attention at Newtown

All it took was one fly ball in tryouts to reveal how good Christopher Vasquez is. Comment.

Wheelchair game hits home

Each year, as part of the Wheelchair Charities HS Basketball Classic, Hank Carter has every player visit the Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility on Roosevelt Island. During the visit, he brings them into a room to share their experiences. Players often discuss the effect of seeing teenagers just like them unable to walk again. Comment.

All Queens girls’ hoops

Queens might be the deepest borough in the city. There’s very little fall-off between the first team and the third team — you could almost pick the names out of a hat. Christ the King, Archbishop Molloy and Mary Louis are all in the tough CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens division and play good schedules. Comment.

Joseph Crowley gives $10K for Maspeth LEGO program

Children in seven schools in Maspeth and surrounding neighborhoods will be getting a head start on electronics programming and robotics by working with bricks. Comment.

Weiner, Addabbo hold town hall on federal stimulus cash

Constituents of U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D−Forest Hills) and state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D−Howard Beach) said they would like to see the B56 bus and the Jamaica Bay wastewater treatment plant receive federal stimulus money during a Town Hall meeting the legislators held at a Richmond Hill school last week. Comment.

Bayside man pushes for more art on Bell Blvd.

A Bayside businessman said he is planning to launch an initiative along Bell Boulevard that would place the work of northeast Queens artists on the walls of eateries, banks and other stores along the strip. Comment.

Fort Totten soldier sold government goods: U.S. attorney

An active−duty Army Reserve sergeant who was stationed at Bayside’s Fort Totten has been charged with stealing government property after he allegedly ordered more than $200,000 worth of electronics and supplies through a government purchasing program and then sold half of the items in eBay auctions, the U.S. attorney for New York’s Eastern District said. Comment.

Bellerose civic head helps stop burglaries

A Bellerose civic leader helped thwart an attempted burglary last week when he called 911 after seeing three suspicious men pull up to a house and then put on hoods and gloves. Comment.

Juniper Park dog run plan inches ahead in committee

Tempers flared again as supporters of a dog run in Juniper Valley Park met with the Juniper Park Civic Association and Community Board 5’s Parks Committee to discuss the controversial proposal. Comment.

Koo joins race for Council

The race to replace City Councilman John Liu (D−Flushing) just got a little more crowded. Comment.

Cops worry over street rename vote

A plan to change seven numbered streets in Douglaston back to their original names will finally be put to a vote at Community Board 11’s upcoming meeting as board members and community leaders question whether the proposal would make it difficult to reach locations in the community. Comment.

Maspeth meter hike hurts shops

A jump in meter rates and parking tickets is hurting the borough’s small businesses already struggling in the rough economy, Woodhaven shop owners and elected officials said last week. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Youths clean East Elmhurst graffiti

On a sunny spring morning in East Elmhurst, a small convoy of police vans converged on 98th Street and Astoria Boulevard next to a graffiti−covered dry cleaner shop. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Challengers for Sears seat slam incumbent

Challengers to City Councilwoman Helen Sears’ (D−Jackson Heights) seat wasted no time in tearing into the incumbent at a candidates’ forum last Thursday as she publicly indicated her interest in re−election. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Corona church operators scammed immigrants: DA

Two men who operate a storefront church in Corona were charged with defrauding at least 70 immigrants of more than $500,000 by promising to help them get them U.S. visas and permanent immigration status, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last Thursday. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Young Israel of Forest Hills commemorates Holocaust

They have seen evil. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

An accurate Census guarantees local funding, representation

The U.S. Commerce Department is sending representatives to community−based and social service organizations to involve them in the 2010 Census so as many people as possible are counted. At a recent Queens Civic Congress meeting, Census Partnership Specialist Elsy Guibert spoke to the gathering of civic association leaders. She explained the reasons why the census is important every decade. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

City rejects Rego Park’s plea

The city Department of Transportation’s recent decision to reject Rego Park residents’ requests to mitigate safety concerns on a stretch of roadway around a school has angered community members, including Mel Gagarin, a candidate for the 29th Council District seat. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bayside author was prolific chronicler of the Old West

Several years ago, the late Howard R. Driggs, who lived in Bayside, was a neighbor of the Wettingfeld family and gave autographed copies of “The Old West Speaks,” one of many books he had authored over a lifetime, to my father−in−law, me and my husband. I was perusing our copy the other day and thought it a worthy topic for this column. Comment.
Astoria Times

Conservative Party gains influence in city, state elections

The state Conservative Party came into existence in 1962, during the time the state Republican Party was dominated by former Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and the late U.S. Sen. Jacob Javits. The Conservative Party at first consisted mainly of former Republicans. As time went on, a wave of conservative Democrats also joined the party, in addition to new voters registering for the first time as Conservatives. Comment.
Astoria Times

Magic Kingdom cannot escape hardships of the real world

Once upon a time, my editor called me into her office. She had heard from an unimpeachable source that Snow White and the Prince Charming were alive and well and living peacefully in a senior citizen home — appropriately named “When You Wish Upon a Star” — in Florida. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro churches, city agencies make effort to feed the needy

On the second Sunday of every month, the Sunday school students at the First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills join the adults in the offertory. While the adults pass the plates for money and checks, the children walk up the aisles to collect bags of food donated by the congregation. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bloomberg proves to be front−runner in mayoral race

Don’t you just love this glorious spring weather? Don’t you just wish it would stay this way forever? I do, but then perhaps it’s not a good idea, as it might get boring with the same old, same old. I guess that’s part of the charm of New York City, the constant change. Besides, it’s a good excuse for the ladies to go shopping. Seasonal changes require seasonal wardrobes and no lady worth her salt will object to new additions to her collection. Comment.
Astoria Times

Lose weight successfully

In my networking travels through Queens, I have spoken with several fitness trainers and dietitians. They have shared some of their expertise with me on how to begin and succeed at a weight loss program. Comment.
Astoria Times

Pet Kingdom sells organic food

Pet owner Islam Ali said Queens does not have a good share of pet stores that serve organic foods and vitamins to animals. Comment.
Astoria Times

Jamaica resident honored for Guinness World Records

Jamaica resident Ashrita Furman lives an extraordinary life. Comment.
Astoria Times

5 Pointz owner hopes to keep building open

Two weeks after a stairway collapsed at a Long Island City artist studio and graffiti mecca critically injuring a woman, the building’s owner is working to persuade the city that the property is still safe to use. Comment.
Astoria Times

Flushing Hospital touts synthetic skin

Flushing Hospital’s latest treatment for non−healing wounds sounds like something out of science fiction, but doctors at the medical facility said lab−grown skin is working wonders for their patients. Comment.
Astoria Times

Spreading music in Flushing

Earlier this year the closure of the half−century old Brooklyn−Queens Conservatory in Flushing became a signal of how deeply the financial crisis was affecting cultural institutions in the borough. Comment.
Astoria Times

Pension probe snares ex−Liberal boss

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed charges last week against the former head of the state Liberal Party, claiming he received illegal fees tied to state pension fund investments in exchange for political favors, including opening up a Queens state Assembly seat for former state Comptroller and Forest Hills resident Alan Hevesi’s son, Andrew Hevesi. Comment.
Astoria Times

New MTA cards let riders renew online

There will be no more lines at subway station booths and MetroCard machines if you use a monthly unlimited−ride MetroCard. Comment.
Astoria Times

FAA weighs cutting 100 weather experts

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D−N.Y.) said the Federal Aviation Administration is considering transferring out of New York more than 100 weather specialists, a move he said could worsen air traffic congestion and compromise safety. Comment.
Astoria Times

Gioia to sponsor bill that will ban fast food restaurants near schools

After a study showed obesity and diabetes are on the rise among children in the city, City Councilman Eric Gioia (D−Sunnyside) announced he would introduce a bill in the Council to ban fast food establishments within one−tenth of a mile from city schools. Comment.
Astoria Times

Crime victim services bill passes in Senate, Assembly: Stavisky

State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D−Whitestone) announced Monday that the state had passed legislation she authored requiring authorities to inform crime victims of services available to them. Comment.
Astoria Times

NYers back Paterson’s gay nuptials plan: Poll

A majority of New Yorkers support Gov. David Paterson’s controversial proposal to legalize gay marriage in the state, a Siena College poll found Monday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Guv pushes for better veteran care

A nonprofit organization fighting drug addiction in New York City since 1967 got a visit from Gov. David Paterson last week as it unveiled its new headquarters in Astoria. Comment.
Astoria Times

City briefs Borough Board on zoning text amendment

Representatives from the City Planning and city Housing departments presented plans for a zoning text amendment that gives developers incentive to build affordable housing Monday during a meeting of the Borough Board. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria woman distraught after city puts her dog to sleep

A 94−year−old Astoria woman was distraught after the city put her 13−year−old collie to sleep within hours after her arrival at a city shelter rather than holding the dog for the required 72 hours, the woman’s daughter said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Home sales prices in boro drop 6.6%

Home sales prices declined in Queens during the first few months of this year due to the recession and the nation’s credit problems, a new report released last Thursday revealed. Comment.
Astoria Times

Con Ed owl doesn’t give a hoot about wild parrots

Parrots 2, Con Ed 0. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens poet laureate performs reading for St. John’s students

Queens Poet Laureate Julio Marzan and three award−winning poets from St. John’s University read their works about everything from being a Puerto Rican in the borough to Queensbridge Houses at an event celebrating National Poetry Month last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria fan sues Yanks for seventh inning arrest

The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the Police Department on behalf of a 30−year−old Astoria man who was forcibly ejected from Yankee Stadium last summer after he attempted to walk into the men’s room during the playing of “God Bless America.” Comment.
Astoria Times

Bid made to save landmark

The deteriorating New York Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park is once again in the running to make a worldwide list of endangered monuments, a preservationist said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Sunnyside Arch gets face−lift

Sunnyside’s signature piece of architecture is shining once more after the neighborhood’s business improvement district refurbished it. Comment.
Astoria Times

Transplant brings couple closer after 35 years of marriage

Russell Allen got his wife’s kidney as a gift for his 35th wedding anniversary, but he said he was the one who was doing his wife a favor. Comment.
Astoria Times

Senate Dems want vote on MTA plan

State Senate Democrats have called for a vote next week on a new MTA financial rescue plan that includes a surcharge on taxi fares and vehicle registrations as well as a 12−county payroll tax, but no bridge tolls. Comment.
Astoria Times

CB 12 OKs Sean Bell street renaming

The family of Sean Bell said they scored a victory in his name last week, when Community Board 12 approved a motion to rename in his honor the Jamaica block where the 23−year−old bridegroom was killed by police. Comment.

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