Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009

Whitestone Times

Flushing man committed hate crimes: Brown

FLUSHING — A Flushing man was arrested Nov. 20 and charged with hate crimes after he allegedly repeatedly harassed a woman, using racial slurs and other derogatory statements, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Volunteers were backbone of my campaign: Weprin

For Cardozo High School senior Patrick Jordan, volunteering for state Assemblyman Mark Weprin’s (D-Little Neck) City Council campaign was an intense crash course in the political life. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Leaders seek funds to restore Flushing Free Synagogue

The Free Synagogue of Flushing, a rare remnant of the neighborhood’s past, has fallen into disrepair, but its current caretakers are beginning in earnest to pursue its full restoration. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Gennaro drive to help those hit by recession

City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) kicked off his annual toy, coat and food drive Tuesday, saying this year’s collection is especially important for his constituents facing difficult financial times. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Douglaston chamber clears hurdle

The state has approved a chamber of commerce for Douglaston Village as a nonprofit, allowing the group to move forward with its plans to revitalize the small shopping strip on 235th Street along the Long Island Rail Road tracks. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Bayside mom named ‘fabulous’ 40-something by fashion mag

A 43-year-old Bayside mother of three was one of five women chosen among thousands nationwide by Harper’s Bazaar magazine as being the most chic for her age group. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Bayside boy tackles racism

A 16-year-old Bayside resident with extensive community service under his belt was chosen last month as one of 100 students from across the nation to travel to Washington, D.C., and take part in a program that examined bigotry. Comment.
Editorial

Free Speech Under Fire

An appearance by a speaker listed as “an unindicted co-conspirator” in the World Trade Center bombing at an event held by the Queens College Muslim Students Association has shaken the campus as much as any recent event. Comment.
Richmond Hill

South Queens Speaks: Woodhaven group honors four leaders in community

The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association recently celebrated 38 years at its annual dinner-dance at Villa Russo in Richmond Hill and honored four people. Comment.

Feds plan more charges against accused Flushing terror plotter

Federal prosecutors said Thursday they may file new charges in the case against Najibullah Zazi, the former Flushing man accused of planning an al-Qaida terror attack on New York City, and that the case may go to trial as early as fall 2010. Comment.

Monserrate escapes jail term

Embattled state Sen. Hiram Monserrate was sentenced to three years’ probation, a $1,000 fine, 52 weeks of counseling and 250 hours of community service in Queens Supreme Court Friday stemming from a misdemeanor reckless assault charge for an incident in which his girlfriend’s face was slashed. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: DOB must crack down harder on illegal housing in Queens

About two weeks after state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) complained about St. John’s University students living illegally in 11 houses in Jamaica Estates and Fresh Meadows, three men died when a fire trapped them in rooms in an illegally converted basement where they were living in a Woodside home. Padavan had complained to city Department of Buildings Commissioner Ira Gluckman that the houses in Jamaica Estates and Fresh Meadows had been illegally occupied for years by college students. Comment.
Astoria Times

Woman steals cell phone in Rockaways building: DA

ARVERNE — An Arverne woman was arrested Nov. 19 after she allegedly swiped a cell phone accidentally left by a man on a lobby bench, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man threatened with machete in Rich Hill: DA

RICHMOND HILL — A Richmond Hill man was arrested after allegedly threatening a man with a machete Nov. 19, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIC woman made false insurance claims: DA

LONG ISLAND CITY — A Long Island City woman was arrested Tuesday after she allegedly submitted more than 50 false insurance claims for health care treatments she did not receive, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Port Authority looks into blown-off AirTrain doors

HOWARD BEACH — The Port Authority has been investigating what caused the doors to be blown out of an AirTrain car that was in the shuttle’s maintenance yard early Friday morning. Comment.
Letters

Council bill would make it easier for businesses to post illegal ads

Illegal signs and posters on utility poles, public walls and trees have long been an eyesore in the city. Many civic organizations’ volunteers have spent countless unpaid hours removing these posters so their neighborhoods can remain neat and clean-looking. Comment.
Letters

Weprin shortchanges voters with plans for Albany offices

I am stunned to learn that City Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis), who recently lost the city comptroller’s race, is now vying for the state Assembly seat his brother, Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck), just gave up. Comment.
Letters

City needs liquor authority to better regulate alcoholic drink laws

You do not need to give the New York State Liquor Authority a Breathalyzer test to know its vision is impaired. Comment.
Letters

Authorities in state need a lot of reform

The Queens Civic Congress, an umbrella organization for more than 110 community and neighborhood-based groups representing tenants, co-op and condo owners and homeowners in Queens, welcomes the agreement in Albany on legislation that introduces needed oversight and sunlight into the administration of public authorities that operate in the state. Comment.
Editorial

Hard Times

On Black Friday, thousands of Queens shoppers stood in line to take advantage of holiday sales. Online, there were stories about people willing to pay $100 or more for the hottest item of the holiday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Political Action: Giuliani must become guv or senator to reach presidency

The prospect of former Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani running for the U.S. Senate next year against present incumbent U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has emerged as a real possibility. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dishing with Dee: Scandal casts a shadow over the Queens Film Festival

Is the Queens International Film Festival a phony, fraudulent scam created by two highly skilled grifters? I remember seeing a movie a number of years ago called “The Grifters.” As entertainment, it was great fun, but not so amusing when it happens to you or a friend of yours. Comment.
Astoria Times

I Sit And Look Out: Remnants of Long Island Motor Pkwy. exist in boro

This was the original plan in 1902: You and your party got off the ferry in Long Island City. In your chauffeured car you could barrel along the new motor parkway without worrying about policemen or pedestrians getting in the way. For a fee, the private road would take you to Riverhead, L.I., and along the way you could stop for refreshments and fuel your car at specially designed buildings. Comment.
Astoria Times

Berger’s Burg: Bond with your fellow man by sharing the joy of origami

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

QueensLine: New Calvary Cemetery originally bought for $18K

On Nov. 12, 1882, Calvary Cemetery announced new changes it claimed would not only enlarge the burial grounds, but also beautify them. The site originally consisted of 100 acres on elevated ground almost surrounded by a marsh and swamps. It was purchased in 1845 on the advice of Bishop Hughes for $18,000. Comment.
Astoria Times

How’s Business? Short sales affect credit

I go weeks hearing the term “short sale.” People ask, “Can a short sale hurt my credit rating?” or “What are the ramifications of my entering into a short sale?” Comment.
Astoria Times

Exercise fun at Fresh Mdws. biz

Exercising and staying fit may not be the most popular activity for kids compared to watching TV or playing video games, according to Maria L. Borrero-Rice, but the mother of two said that with the right program fitness can be fun. Comment.
Astoria Times

Black Friday sales drive boro residents to shop

Queens shopping strips were busy but not overwhelmed on Black Friday as some borough shoppers said the struggling economy prevented them from spending much on the official opening of the holiday sales season, while others said they were spurred on by deep markdowns to purchase more. Comment.
Astoria Times

No deadline to pick an Aqueduct VLT firm

With the state in a budget crunch and losing $1 million in education money for every day the video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Race Track are not up and running, a spokesman for Gov. David Paterson said there is no deadline for selecting a firm to run the machines at the Ozone Park track. Comment.
Astoria Times

Artists discuss health care at World AIDS Day in boro

Those living with HIV/AIDS often lack access to reliable health care that could make the disease manageable and instead are relegated to society’s fringes, left to live out too much of their remaining time without needed care, artists said at the Queens Media Arts Development’s launch of the group’s World AIDS Day event Sunday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Far Rock man stole thousands after selling fake lottery tix: DA

A Far Rockaway man pleaded guilty last week to defrauding several people out of tens of thousands of dollars by working a scheme involving fake lottery scratch-off tickets, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Judge dismisses lawsuit filed by Willets Point owners

A coalition of property owners intent on protecting their Willets Point land from the $3 billion development plans of the Bloomberg administration was dealt a crushing blow last week when a judge threw out its lawsuit against the city. Comment.
Astoria Times

New medical training center to benefit Elmhurst Hospital

Elmhurst Hospital Center is one of the city’s public hospitals that will benefit from a brand new medical simulation training facility now under construction in the Bronx, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday at the Queens hospital. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bloomy spent $102 million to be mayor for third round

How much does it cost to win a third mayoral term in New York City? Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens DOB official arrested in bribery case

The city Department of Investigation has arrested the city Department of Buildings’ chief plan examiner for Queens on suspicion of accepting bribes from a Flushing architect, authorities said Monday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bayside pastor held without bail in rape case

A Connecticut man who has long acted as a pastor for a Bayside church on 206th Street has been arrested on rape charges and held without bail, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney said this week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Monserrate sentencing could bring jail time

Friday is a day of reckoning for state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-East Elmhurst), who faces up to a year in jail when he is sentenced for misdemeanor assault. But jail time is just one possibility for Monserrate, a first-time offender, former Marine and ex-NYPD officer. Comment.
Astoria Times

Grand Central Pkwy. to get more trees

Hundreds of trees and shrubs will be planted along the Grand Central Parkway in Jamaica Estates in an effort to decrease pollution and noise, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) and city Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe announced Monday. Comment.
Astoria Times

McLaughlin briber gets 3 months in jail

The owner of a Long Island City electrical company who bribed former state Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin was sentenced in Manhattan Monday to three months in jail, the city Department of Investigation said. Comment.
Astoria Times

3 educators pitch for top spot at Woodhaven school

Three aspiring principals presented their plans to Community District Education Council 27 as to how they would run a new Woodhaven elementary school set to open in September. Comment.
Astoria Times

Make Newtown Pippin city’s official Big Apple: Gennaro

City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) has urged the Council to name the Newtown Pippin, which colonists were eating centuries ago in what is now Elmhurst, as New York City’s official Big Apple. Comment.
Astoria Times

Sunnyside teacher among top in city

A Queens teacher recently became one of the first seven city recipients of an award for her dedication and creativity in enriching the science program at Townsend Harris High School in Flushing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Target gives $5K to boro soup kitchen

A Sunnyside soup kitchen got a big boost from a big box retailer this week as Target Stores donated $5,000 for food — a sum that would cover 25,000 meals, the kitchen’s organizers said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Council OKs bill to ban city store security gates

City store owners will need to begin to replace roll-down metal gates in front of their shops within two years after the City Council voted this week to approve a bill advocated by City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) to ban the security structures. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cuts may hurt boro hospitals

Cuts that New York lawmakers were expected to make to the state budget this week in an effort to fill a $3.2 billion deficit may delay funds promised to several Queens hospitals, state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) and state Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Civic sows trees to replace defaced ones in Juniper Park

After Juniper Park Civic Association President Robert Holden heaved dirt onto the base of a cherry tree Saturday morning, he put his shovel down, took a look around at the 20 or so people doing the same thing as him and smiled. Comment.
Astoria Times

Vallone pushes subway anti-harassment measures

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) is urging the city to undertake new initiatives to prevent sexual harassment or assault on city subways in light of the police’s arrest of more than 400 individuals who tormented women on trains within the past year. Comment.
Astoria Times

One-way street eyed in LIC

A narrow street in Long Island City could soon be converted for one-way traffic when Community Board 2 votes on a city proposal this week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Council votes to landmark Ridgewood historic district

By a 45-0 margin, the City Council approved the landmarking of the Ridgewood North Historic District Monday, adding additional protections to a group of rowhouses nearly a century old. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens gets taste of tacos and more on Roosevelt Ave.

Food lovers from throughout Queens descended upon about 30 street carts on Roosevelt Avenue Sunday, munching on everything from pumpkin quesadillas to an Ecuadorian shrimp dish during a 2-mile walk planned by Woodside resident Jeff Orlick meant to peak people’s awareness of the tasty eats in Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona. Comment.
Astoria Times

City fines John Liu $544K for illegal campaign signs

The city has fined City Councilman John Liu’s (D-Flushing) successful campaign for city comptroller more than $500,000 for illegally posting signs, according to the city Sanitation Department. Comment.
Astoria Times

New state law mandates more foreclosure notice

In the wake of news that foreclosures have declined across the state over the last year, the governor announced the passage of a new bill that will protect helpless homeowners who are facing the loss of their homes. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dick Van Patten memoir recalls life in borough

It was on the tree-lined streets of Kew Gardens that Dick Van Patten got his start as a child star who would go on to appear in hundreds of radio shows, two dozen films and seven television series, including the 1970s sitcom “Eight is Enough.” Comment.
Astoria Times

Jax Heights man admits anti-Russian hate attack

A Jackson Heights man has pleaded guilty to assault as a hate crime in a 2007 attack on another man he suspected of being Russian, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Right to Life group backs Far Rock mom

A Far Rockaway woman whose Ozone Park daughter and her unborn grandson were murdered went to Albany last week where she picked up the support of the state Right to Life Committeefor a bill that would treat killing a pregnant woman as two separate murders. Comment.
Astoria Times

Serious ambition

Leander “Bunny” Nolan is a very determined fellow. One of the leading characters in S.N. Behrman’s 1932 comedy “Biography,” Nolan is single-minded in his desire to be elected senator from Tennessee. That includes trying to block the publication of an autobiography written by a former lover and celebrated artist, which could undermine his political aspirations. Comment.
Astoria Times

The Play’s The Thing: Broadway ‘Brighton’ closing shows it’s time for a change

What can local theater companies learn from the sudden and shocking Nov. 1 closing of the Broadway revival of “Brighton Beach Memoirs” by Neil Simon? Yes, Neil Simon, the favorite playwright on the community theater circuit, the author of lots of hits on stage and in film, and the 2006 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, is no longer a name that can guarantee ticket sales. Comment.
Astoria Times

Quirky ‘Cell Phone’ offers take on human connections

“Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” the absurdist comedy by Sarah Ruhl (whose “Vibrator Play” is now on Broadway) at Queens Theatre in the Park starts by asking the question, “What would you do if the guy sitting next to you at a cafe dropped dead, and his cell phone kept ringing?” Comment.

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009

Judge calls for mistrial in Gotti case

After 11 days of deliberations, a federal court jury in Manhattan declared itself hopelessly deadlocked today and a judge declared yet another mistrial for John Gotti Jr. Comment.

Mugger of elderly women gets 75 years

Queens Supreme Court Judge Gregory Lasak called the man who beat and robbed two elderly Queens women “disgusting” and said he will grow “lonely and old” in state prison, where the judge sentenced him to 75 years Wednesday. Comment.

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