Friday, Dec. 25, 2009

Whitestone Times

Vehicle wedged on roadway divider

A car is stuck on a road divider Monday evening on Hillside Avenue near the intersection at Metropolitan Avenue in Kew Gardens. No one was injured, according to fire officials. Photo by Christina Santucci Comment.
Whitestone Times

Burglar stole $3K from Flushing restaurant

FLUSHING — Police said they were searching for a burglar who broke into a restaurant on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Flushing Dec. 19 and stole thousands of dollars. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Cops search for burglar who stole $1K bicycle

FLUSHING — Police said they were searching for the thief who broke into a garage in Flushing and stole an expensive bicycle. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Drunk driver from Florida crashed car: Brown

BAYSIDE — A 21-year-old Florida man was arrested after he allegedly drove drunk and crashed his car into a fence, mailbox and bushes in Bayside earlier this month, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Burglar in Douglaston stole electronic devices

DOUGLASTON — Police said they were searching for a burglar who broke into a Douglaston home and stole electronics Dec. 16. Comment.
Whitestone Times

NE Qns. teams win prizes in dance contest

Students from Douglaston’s PS 98 took a bronze award and Fresh Meadows’ PS 26 took a silver prize in a citywide ballroom dancing competition last week, but the schools were outstepped by Woodside’s PS 152, which will go on to the grand final contest in June. Comment.
Whitestone Times

109th Pct. Christmas party draws many merrymakers

Flushing’s 109th Precinct provided food, holiday gifts and a visit from Santa Claus for 130 children and their families from the community at PS 20 last weekend during its second-annual Christmas party. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Koo plans to tackle traffic, parking issues

Flushing’scouncilman-elect, Republican Peter Koo, is following through on his campaign pledge to focus his efforts on quality-of-life issues once he takes the seat Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) has held for the last eight years. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Students rally for free MetroCards

State Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) joined Queens students last weekend in Flushing to protest cuts in the MTA’s 2010 budget that will force schoolchildren who receive free MetroCards to start paying fares. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Schneider Children’s Hospital offers how-to on baby-sitting

The do’s and don’ts of baby-sitting took center stage at a Great Neck high school last week to promote a baby-sitting program conducted by Schneider Children’s Hospital. Comment.
Whitestone Times

City renames street after mother killed in Floral Park blast

The Boodram family lost everything when their Floral Park home was destroyed in an accidental explosion in April, but they said they found some solace Monday when the city voted to honor their slain mother. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Is Throgs Neck remake safe?

A College Point scientist has raised concerns about the environmental impact of work recently undertaken by the MTA to improve the Throgs Necks Bridge. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Auburndale rezone moves up

More than 400 square blocks in the Auburndale area are included in a rezoning application the Department of City Planning expects to certify by April, according to Paul Graziano, an independent urban planning consultant in Flushing, who attended a closed-door community meeting on the issue last week with department representatives. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Police academy vital for College Pt.: Mayor

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has deflected critics’ concerns that the $1 billion to $1.5 billion the city is spending on the new 3 million square-foot police academy in College Point is not the best use of funds in the depressed economy. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Pomonok gets $700,000 for security update

State Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn (D-Flushing) and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to install security cameras at Pomonok Houses in Flushing, a move that Pomonok Residents Association President Monica Corbett said will help to deter a rise in crime in the area. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Crystal jewelry exhibit brings art to Flushing

Now that snow crystals have dusted the city’s streets, the time is ripe to visit Flushing for its crystal jewelry and sculpture offerings. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Lancman, Stavisky want security for boro nonprofits

Queens and city nonprofits are one step closer to being able to access information and resources for security purposes after state Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) held a hearing last week to solicit testimony on the needs of institutions that face an increased risk of a terrorist attack. Comment.
Letters

Use eminent domain to build public works, not help developers

An adverse court ruling in the Willets Point matter should not deter efforts at seeking to preserve the livelihood and families of the hundreds of workers who will be displaced by this outrageous give-away of private property for the benefit of private real estate interests (“Willets Point owners lose suit,” Flushing Times, Dec. 3). Comment.
Editorial

How to Kill a High School Sport

Poor Alina Cedra. The 15-year-old student at Francis Lewis High School broke her ankle last May sliding into a base during practice with the high school softball team. It must have been a bad break because the surgeon needed six screws and a metal plate to put her ankle back together. Comment.

The TimesLedger’s All-Queens football honors

It was a banner year for Queens football across the board. Comment.

All-Queens girls’ volleyball honors

There’s no question that Queens is New York City’s volleyball haven. Comment.
Queens Village

Fire rips through Queens Village home

A firefighter examines the second floor of a home in Queens Village near the intersection of 220th Street and Davenport Avenue. No one was seriously injured in the all-hands blaze, which occurred at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, according to emergency personnel at the scene. Residents of the home credited Justin Malvacedo, 7, (inset) with alerting relatives to the fire. Photo by Christina Santucci Comment.

Flushing BID thanks Liu for work in area

In September 2003, less than two years after the voters of Flushing made him the first Asian-American City Councilman, John Liu (D-Flushing) was instrumental in the formation of the Downtown Flushing Transit Hub Business Improvement District, more commonly known as the Flushing BID. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: City’s new zoning proposals seek to stop front yard paving

The Department of City Planning is issuing new zoning proposals that will maintain the aesthetic look of our residential streets. The proposals use the terms “a meaningful landscaped streetscape.” The title of the proposals is called “Residential Streetscape Preservation.” Comment.
Crime

Bravest battle blaze in snow

Firefighters respond to an all-hands blaze at 108th Street and 97th Avenue in Ozone Park Saturday evening. Fire officials said one firefighter sustained a sprained ankle during the fire, which took about eight minutes to put out. Photo by Christina Santucci Comment.
Astoria Times

Bronx man accused of Forest Hills store theft

FOREST HILLS — A 33-year-old Bronx man was arrested after he allegedly broke into a Forest Hills business and stole an estimated $3,000 worth of merchandise and property, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man caught trying to break into gate: DA

ELMHURST — A 39-year-old Elmhurst man was arrested after he allegedly attempted to break into a gate in front of an Elmhurst delicatessen with a crowbar, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Forest Hills woman stole merchandise, cash: DA

REGO PARK — An 18-year-old Forest Hills woman was arrested after she and another person allegedly broke into a Rego Park apartment and stole a jacket and money, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Letters

Gennaro law will help city become more green

New York City took a leap forward last week in its efforts to combat climate change, for which we owe City Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) a debt of gratitude. Comment.
Letters

Civic leaders speak for themselves

In one of the local Queens newspapers a couple of weeks ago, Marc Haken of Holliswood wrote, “I will vote for David [Weprin] in the special election, and I know that all of those actively involved in civic and community activities will do so, also.” Comment.
Letters

Participate in the 2010 Census

As I travel around the borough, I see how much we have in common. Although we may observe different holiday traditions, we all look forward to spending time with loved ones, exchanging gifts and giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. Comment.
Editorial

Save the Free Ride for City Students

Faced with a deficit of close to $400 million, the board at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had to make tough decisions. The board has a fiscal responsibility to present a balanced budget and a reduction in state funding service cuts are inevitable. Comment.
Astoria Times

Political Action: Padavan has worked hard in state gov’t for 37 years

State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) will soon begin serving his 38th year in the Senate. For a brief period last year, before Eric Ulrich (R-Rockaway Beach) won a special election for the City Council in the 32nd Council District, Padavan was the only Republican elected official in Queens. Comment.
Astoria Times

Our History: Origin of ‘Jingle Bells’ cloudy until revelation in mid-1960s

Houses dressed in their holiday finery, trees bedecked with precious ornaments garnered from sources past and present and cherished yuletide traditions bespeak the ever-present yearning we have today for an old-fashioned Christmas. It is the music of the season, however, that makes this festive time deeper and warmer and enhances and emphasizes the joyous bond of this special time of the year. Comment.
Astoria Times

Shinnecocks mull boro gaming bid

The Shinnecock Indian Nation on Long Island is one step closer to federal recognition, which could pave the way for the tribe to open up a casino either at Aqueduct Race Track or Belmont Park. Comment.
Astoria Times

Little Closets fills big shoes in LIC

Little Closets, Long Island City’s new consignment store, focuses on small garments, but it is defined by the community’s big heart. Comment.
Astoria Times

How’s Business? Adapt to keep biz in recession

So you have been a Queens small business owner for many years, but you are worried about becoming a statistic. In speaking with many Queens business owners, a valid concern is how healthy their businesses are. Many are asking how much longer they can endure this economic downturn. Thousands of businesses go down the road of failure every year, but pitfalls can be avoided. Comment.
Astoria Times

Mary Immaculate now in hands of another developer

The ever-evolving fate of what was once Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica has changed course once again. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro teacher had child porn: DA

A 22-year-old Astoria man who works at a Manhattan day care center was arrested last week after he was alleged to have downloaded sexually explicit photographs of children between the ages of 4 and 16 through his AOL e-mail account, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

New Elmhurst medical center to help boro women

City Councilwoman Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights) and Elmhurst Hospital Center officials broke ground Tuesday on a women’s health center that will provide a wide array of services, including gynecology and prenatal care, to the institution’s increasing number of female patients. Comment.
Astoria Times

Lighting up Richmond Hill

In the eyes of the Richmond Hill Block Association, the neighborhood’s best Christmas lights display can be seen at 112-13 86th Ave. Comment.
Astoria Times

Tenant alerts city he is suing over fatal fire

One of the tenants of an illegally converted home in Woodside plans to sue the city after a fire there last month killed three of his neighbors. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA plans boro subway, bus service cuts

Transit officials have approved drastic subway and bus system cuts because of a nearly $400 million deficit, but the new MTA chairman as well as several MTA board members appeared to suggest the possibility of a way out or at least mitigating the worst of the dreaded plan. Comment.
Astoria Times

Council overrides veto on parking grace period

The five-minute grace period at parking meters will soon become a reality after the City Council overrode Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto of the bill that he said would bring chaos. Comment.
Astoria Times

Forest Hills HS principal, pupil inspire NY law

Elderly and visually impaired residents will now have a much easier time reading their bills, thanks to a suggestion from Forest Hills High School Principal Saul Gootnick and a student from the school. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA to ax Cross Bay rebate

The MTA is again threatening to do away with the Cross Bay Bridge toll rebate for Broad Channel and Rockaway residents to help alleviate its multimillion-dollar budget deficit, but the area’s elected officials said they will not go down without a fight. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ridgewood woman shot: Cops

A Ridgewood mother of two was found shot dead in her home Friday and police were still searching for her killer Tuesday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Living a nightmare after trying to rock in Willets Pt.

The L.A. Guns jamming live in Willets Point may seem like a strange dream for most people familiar with the district better known for its chop shops and stray dogs. Comment.
Astoria Times

74th St-Roosevelt Ave hub is gold: Dromm

The same day last week that the MTA approved a doomsday budget that eliminated two subway lines in Queens, elected officials in Jackson Heights called the agency’s attention to a potential lost funding source: the 74th Street-Roosevelt Avenue transit hub. Comment.
Astoria Times

Feds seek info from Dromm, Schulman for probe into WFP

The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan subpoenaed documents for its probe into the Working Families Party from City Councilman-elect Danny Dromm and former Council candidate Lynn Schulman last week, a lawyer for Dromm and Schulman said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Met visits pantry with food to give

Long Island City’s Hour Children food pantry got a visit from an Angel last week — the Mets outfielder, that is — who brought with him a much-needed influx of food for the center, which serves the Queensbridge, Ravenswood and Astoria houses. Comment.
Astoria Times

‘Fat Nick’ hate appeal denied by court panel

Freedom will have to wait for Howard Beach resident Nicholas “Fat Nick” Minucci after his appeal of his hate crime convictions stemming from the summer 2005 beating of a black man was denied by an appellate court. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro reps push reform to legalize the undocumented

Queens members of Congress helped to lead the push for national immigration reform last week, co-sponsoring legislation to legalize millions of undocumented individuals that has drawn praise from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, foreign workers and immigrant rights activists in the borough. Comment.
Astoria Times

Crowley bashes MTA for its proposals to cut service

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) was among six Council members to criticize the MTA at its board meeting for the service cuts in its doomsday budget passed last week to close a $383 million deficit. Comment.
Astoria Times

Obituary: Thomas Campagna, 63

Thomas Campagna, who was a member of the Queens Borough Hall staff for about 10 years, died Dec. 18 of lung cancer. He was 63. Comment.
Astoria Times

Feds give air passengers a bill of rights on delays

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has ordered the nation’s airlines to let passengers off planes waiting for takeoff after three hours. Comment.
Astoria Times

Snowfall breaks record at JFK, blankets NE Queens

Last weekend’s storm dumped a massive snowfall at John F. Kennedy International Airport and left more than 10 inches of the white stuff in at least four Queens neighborhoods, a spokeswoman for the National Weather Service said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens Center Mall employees rally for better wages

More than 25 workers in varying jobs at Elmhurst’s Queens Center Mall joined advocacy group Make the Road New York and several borough elected officials Sunday to protest their low wages and lack of benefits. Comment.
Astoria Times

Peralta’s ties to old nonprofit questioned

State Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) has come under fire from a Corona activist who suspects the legislator of wrongdoing in his associations with a now-defunct nonprofit based out of a building co-owned by his mother. Comment.
Astoria Times

PS 152 stars in dance contest

Students from Woodside’s PS 152 showed poise and fancy footwork as they outstepped two other Queens schools and six others from the five boroughs in a citywide ballroom dancing competition. The school, which entered the contest this year for the first time, will go on to the grand final dance in June. Comment.
Astoria Times

Developer of 63rd Rd. home did not certify building: City

An individual involved in the construction of a Forest Hills home that has been fined nearly $200,000 for disregarding a number of stop-work orders has been accused of falsely certifying that he inspected a Brooklyn building where a city firefighter was injured after balconies collapsed, city officials said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bayside’s air cleaner but not great: City

A new air quality study conducted by the city Health Department has found that Sunnyside and Woodside were the most polluted borough neighborhoods in three out of four air contaminant categories, while the Rockaways ranked among the cleanest. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria developer charged in illegal building rap: DA

A 34-year-old professional engineer from Astoria has been accused of falsely certifying that he had inspected a Brooklyn building where a city firefighter was injured last year after two floors of balconies collapsed, the city Department of Investigation’s commissioner said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Keep W train: West Qns. pols

Astoria’s elected officials blasted the city’s decision to shut down its W train service last week, saying thousands of western Queens residents rely on the subway to commute to Manhattan. Comment.
Astoria Times

No. 7 train tunnel expansion completed on boro side

Two enormous boring machines have finished the first phase of the No. 7 subway extension to Manhattan’s far west side in what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the end of a half century of drought in New York City subway expansion. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dinner with friends

New Yorkers have always been known for their ingenuity. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bx8 Sunday service endangered

Bronx residents already angry over the proposed elimination of the Bx14 bus were furious to learn that the MTA also plans to eliminate Bx8 bus Sunday service. Comment.

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