Wednesday, April 7, 2010

St. Albans’ ‘bling bandit’ gets 5 years for Nassau bank robberies

The so-called “bling bandit,” the decorated former cop from St. Albans who robbed several banks in Queens and Long Island, was sentenced for his 2008 spree in Nassau Criminal Court Thursday. Comment.

Ariel Edwards’ fine fourth caps stellar season

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — Ariel Edwards was asked a simple question heading into the fourth quarter by Christ the King Coach Bob Mackey: Can you take her? Comment.

CK girls top Sachem East for ‘AA’ crown

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — Bria Smith watched the seconds tick away on a moment she had waited three years to experience. Comment.
Richmond Hill

Richmond Hill man admits faking air test results

A Richmond Hill asbestos investigator pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court Friday to falsifying hundreds of lead and asbestos reports and forms during inspections of city properties, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Comment.
Ridgewood

Trash trains may get tops

Middle Villagers and Glendale residents sick of the reek of garbage from the trains running through their neighborhoods may soon get a breath of fresh air. Comment.

VIDEO: Riders sound off on MTA’s subway service cuts

Without an infusion of funding to the MTA, the W and the V trains will cease to exist in June, according to transit officials. Instead, the M train will be diverted to the V’s line in Manhattan, and the Q will begin crossing into Queens and running along the W’s tracks. Straphangers along both the W and the V lines wondered what this will mean for them and their commutes. Comment.
Little Neck Ledger

Little Neck Pkwy. hole a hazard: Civic leaders

Two Bellerose civic leaders are warning that a gaping hole more than 5 feet deep in the divider separating Little Neck Parkway’s main road from the service road is an accident waiting to happen. Comment.
Little Neck Ledger

Bellerose mom defends son in club beating

The mother of a Bellerose teenager accused of attempted murder and assault stemming from a large fight that broke out near a Glen Oaks nightclub last week admitted that her son was involved in the brawl but said he acted in self-defense. Comments (1).
Crime

Man guilty of killing partygoer in Laurelton

KEW GARDENS — A Laurelton man was convicted Tuesday for killing a partygoer and wounding another following an argument at a summer 2007 party in Laurelton, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Crime

Woman hits husband with car, leaves scene: DA

JAMAICA — A Long Island woman was arrested last week after allegedly hitting her husband with a car and driving away from the scene on 225th Street in Jamaica, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Crime

Jamaica man wrecks car, steals items in it: DA

JAMAICA — A Jamaica man was arrested after allegedly attacking a car, breaking the mirrors and steering wheel, and taking off with about 20 compacts discs, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Crime

Woman threatens beating with bat: DA

FAR ROCKAWAY — A Far Rockaway woman was arrested after allegedly threatening to beat a woman with a bat and kill her baby last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Laurelton

JFK baggage handlers stole from traveler: DA

A pair of John F. Kennedy International Airport workers admitted last week to stealing personal items from a traveler’s luggage, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Mets to honor Cambria Heights Haitian group

Haitian Americans United for Progress, a Cambria Heights-based nonprofit whose profile was raised following the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked Haiti in January, is getting a boost from the New York Mets, who will be honoring the group next week during a game at Citi Field. Comment.

State could fine Con Ed in Floral Park gas explosion

The state commission that oversees Con Edison may be fining the utility up to $1 million for the April 2009 gas explosion that killed a Floral Park mother of three if the company fails to prove four gas safety regulations it violated did not cause or contribute to the woman’s death. Comment.

Comrie vows to keep fighting IS 59 changes

The city may have made its final decision on placing a new school within the walls of a Springfield Gardens middle school, but City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) said he and parents will continue to fight the agency’s plans. Comment.

Queens Village man charged in dad slay

A Queens Village man was charged with manslaughter last week in the death of his father, police said. Comment.

Comrie marks Women’s Month by honoring 19 in Queens

The 19 women from southeast Queens honored at a Women’s History Month event last week are the unsung heroes who fight daily to better their community, whether it is by working with sickle cell patients or promoting economic efforts in the borough, City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) said. Comment.
Editorial

Jumpstart the Aqueduct Casino

There is no better example of the paralysis that has stopped state government than the ongoing mess at the Aqueduct Race Track. The state had good reason to question whether the Aqueduct Entertainment Group was qualified to operate a video lottery system at the track. And it may still turn out that high-level corruption reaching all the way to the office of the governor was involved in the awarding of this contract. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Vallone protests cuts at PS 2

At East Elmhurst’s PS 2 last Thursday around 5 p.m., the time working parents usually are picking up their children from an after-school program, a commotion was brewing out front. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Questions arise over Peralta seat vacancy

The week after state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) won the special election to replace Hiram Monserrate in the Senate, demonstrators gathered in Manhattan to pressure Gov. David Paterson into calling an election to fill Peralta’s now-vacant state Assembly seat as a legal deadline loomed. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Man nabbed in Corona admits to kid porn

The Bronx man who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography after being arrested for impersonating a law enforcement official outside a Corona karaoke bar will spend more than a year behind bars, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Friday. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Julissa Ferreras lays out her agenda for Jackson Heights

City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) fought back tears as she accepted the Juan Pablo Duarte Award from the Queens Dominican Culture & Heritage Month Organizing Committee March 24. Comment.
Jackson Heights

B’klyn man beat infant to death in Corona: DA

A Brooklyn man is behind bars after allegedly beating his girlfriend’s infant daughter to death in her Corona apartment, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.

Queens College sports panel tells students be serious about studies

Howie Rose, the radio voice of the New York Mets and New York Islanders, and Michael Weisman, NBC’s Emmy-winning sports producer, returned to their alma mater last week and encouraged Queens College students to do what they had not: take advantage of their college years. Comment.

Triangle fire victims honored at service

The memory of those lost nearly a century ago in a factory fire that changed the course of American industrialism was kindled once again in Middle Village last Thursday as the Triangle Fire Memorial and Historical Association held its annual ceremony. Comment.

Willets Point project will worsen traffic: Lobbyist

A group of Willets Point small business owners, with the assistance of powerhouse lobbyist Richard Lipsky, is taking its case against the $3 billion redevelopment plan the city has for the 62-acre neglected region to area residents. Comment.

Pols, civics lament Q74 elimination

Queens elected officials and civic leaders blasted the MTA’s decision to eliminate the Q74 bus and said it will present major hardships for the many students and seniors who rely on the line that runs from Kew Gardens to Flushing. Comment.

MinKwon Center debuts immigrant jobs program

The MinKwon Center has begun to implement a program to help Flushing-area immigrants gain employment skills, learn their rights as workers and more, using federal stimulus money it was awarded in January. Comment.

Census activists take to streets

More than 100 people took to the streets in Flushing Saturday, waving balloons and signs, to encourage city residents to mail in their 2010 census forms — something Queens residents have been doing in far fewer numbers than the rest of the country. Comment.
Crime

Man uses tambourine as weapon in assault: DA

BAYSIDE — A Flushing man certainly was not singing “Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man” after allegedly being smacked in the face with a musical instrument at a bar March 24. Comment.
Crime

Cops find marijuana on Flushing man: DA

FLUSHING — A Flushing man allegedly attacked an employee at a Flushing establishment after refusing to pay for food March 23, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Editorial

Hysteria Rules the Day

We are certain we are not alone in our frustration with the near hysteria surrounding the health-care legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama. We are hopeful it will improve access to health care, but that remains to be seen. Comment.

Carrozza bows out of Assembly run

In a surprise move, state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) said last week she would not seek re-election this fall and three northeast Queens Democrats have already been named as potential opponents for her seat. Comment.

Cops say powder at Weiner’s office found to be nontoxic

The white powder in a threatening letter sent to U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-Forest Hills) office was found to be harmless in tests conducted by the New York Police Department last week, officials said. Comment.

Former Christ the King hoops coach charged

Christ the King High School experienced lows and highs last week as the school’s legendary former boys’ basketball coach was indicted by a Massachusetts grand jury on child rape charges, but both its boys’ and girls’ basketball squads won state championships. Comment.

South Jamaica Marine dishes it in cooking competition

U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Atkinson, the first Marine to compete on the U.S. Army’s culinary arts team, said his cooking expertise did not develop from his years of traveling and working around the world, rather it all started in the kitchen in his home on the island of Jamaica. Comment.

Forest Hills Y to remember Holocaust by tracing survivors

The Central Queens YM & YWHA in Forest Hills will commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day with a talk by Deborah Dwork, a renowned historian and author who will speak about Jewish refugees before, during and after World War II. Comment.

EBHA wants probe into swastika flier

The East Bayside Homeowners Association is calling for further investigation into a controversial campaign flier sent out in February that attacked Republican candidate Bob Friedrich, but Community Board 11’s chairman said he would not take up the matter. Comment.

Best Buy retail outlet opens at Sky View Parc

Flushing residents looking to shop at a big-box electronics retailer no longer need to travel further than Sky View Parc after a brand-new Best Buy held its grand opening there Saturday. Comment.

Beach Channel HS will not be shuttered

Beach Channel High School, which was pegged for closure after the end of the school year by the city Department of Education, has been spared from facing its demise — at least for now. Comment.

Avella kicks off challenge to Padvan for Senate seat

Former City Councilman Tony Avella announced Sunday amid a sea of supporters that he will challenge state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) for his seat in this fall’s election. Comment.
Crime

Dead woman on tracks possibly from Astoria

BROOKLYN — The body of a young woman with a prosthetic leg reportedly from Astoria was discovered on the tracks of the N line last weekend, but police said they do not believe criminality was involved in her death. Comment.
Letters

Details of health reform hidden from public

On Wednesday evening I witnessed one of the most pathetic political spectacles I have ever seen. In a television interview, our own Congressman Anthony Weiner was asked a simple, straightforward question five times and refused to give a simple, straightforward answer five times. Comment.
Letters

Albany lawmakers skirt reforms

I just read in one of the local papers that state Assembly members David Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), Nettie Mayersohn (D-Flushing) and Grace Meng (D-Flushing) are pushing for a bill to ban smoking in cars with children. Comment.
Letters

Flushing Commons developer must consider community needs

Flushing Commons is a huge development project proposed for Municipal Parking Lot 1 in downtown Flushing. It will affect not only the immediate area around the project, but all of the nearby communities as well. Comment.
Letters

Sen. Padavan’s earmarks pale in comparison to Smith, Dems

As a former president of a civic association for more than 25 years and someone who has been active in civics for at least 35 years, I take umbrage in the headline “Smith, Padavan lead the pack in Albany pork” in the Mar. 25-31 editions of TimesLedger Newspapers. Comment.
Editorial

Saving the ‘Hometown’ Airline

Congratulations to everyone involved in keeping the headquarters of JetBlue Airways in Queens. At a time when it seemed there was nothing but bad news coming from Albany and City Hall, this was an amazing accomplishment. The decision by JetBlue executives to stay here rather than relocate to Florida will save more than 800 jobs. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Bill in Legislature will protect victims of domestic violence

Recently, a press conference was held at City Hall initiated by state Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) in order to advance Assembly Bill No. A2599 and Bill No. 515 in the state Senate. This bill, which has been introduced and reintroduced during the last three years, is geared toward protecting victims from domestic violence. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Inner Circle rehearsal delivers rollicking funny political satire

Happy birthday to me! What could be a more apropos day — April Fool’s Day? The only question is who was playing the joke on who? Several of you have asked me how old I am. Do you like the Jack Benny answer — 39 again, of course! Or do you prefer a variation of the military: Don’t ask me, as I won’t tell! Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: This April Fool’s Day, don’t just settle for any old prank

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Comment.
Business

Jamaica pan-Indian eatery big on freshness

Freshness is what drives Tikka Garden, a new establishment specializing in Bengali, Indian, Pakistani and Afghani cuisine in Jamaica. Comment.

Loss of W, V trains worries western Queens

Western Queens will soon bid farewell to the W and Vaya con Dios to the V as the MTA struggles to close an $800 million deficit. Comment.

Van Bramer touts library bill as first Council success

Freshman City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) has hit the ground running and does not intend to slow down any time soon. Comment.

Most Smith earmarks went outside borough

State Senate President Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) may represent Queens, but nearly 70 percent of the $5.7 million in funding he doled out to nonprofits last year was given to organizations not based in the borough, according to a New York good government group. Comment.

Payment delays on school jobs vex contractors

After 16 years in the construction business, Patrick Dempsey is at the end of his rope. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIC shootings leave one dead

Two people were charged with murder after a drug-related shooting last week in the Queensbridge Houses left one man dead and two others wounded, authorities said. Comment.

Con Ed money could be used to green Astoria

Millions of dollars slated for western Queens communities affected by the 2006 blackout could be used for expanded open spaces, including community gardens; tree planting; and other environmental initiatives, according to individuals at last week’s forum held by North Star Fund, a nonprofit that will administer the funds from Con Edison. Comment.

TimesLedger wins 4 awards in NYPA editorial contest

TimesLedger Newspapers took home awards for its editorial page and stories ranging from the arrest of former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate to overcrowding at a borough high school last weekend at the New York Press Association’s annual convention in Saratoga Springs. Comment.

Queens’ murder rate up 28 percent: Cops

Murder in Queens has increased significantly over the last year and now the borough’s leaders say the only way to combat it would be for more resources to be given to the police and residents who are suffering the most in the recession. Comment.

MTA OKs deep service cuts

Without an unforeseen cash infusion, the end of June will bring a New York City transit system seriously diminished from the service commuting multitudes have long taken for granted. Comment.

Ex-Mike’s Diner owner dies

Alex Eliassof, one of the original founding members of Astoria’s popular Mike’s Diner on 31st Street, died earlier this year at age 89 on his birthday, his son said. Comment.

Mayor implores lawyers to help foreclosure cases

With southeast Queens homeowners leading the state in the number of foreclosures, the amount of help sought for affordable legal help is about to increase, the mayor said Monday. Comment.

Bayside couple wins $1K a week from Lotto

A special education teacher from Bayside and an electrician from Astoria were among five New York residents to win $1 million through the New York Lottery last week. Comment.

Long Island City jazz fest highlights boro talent

The first jazz festival at The Secret Theater in Long Island City this week attracted hundreds of borough residents to the 11-hour event that featured nearly all Queens-based musicians who hoped to highlight the talent that exists in a borough once home to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Comment.

Judge nixes school closings

Jamaica High School and two other southeast Queens institutions were saved from closing by a court ruling, and now the mayor and school supporters are back to having a war of words as the city Department of Education figures out how to place hundreds teens for their freshman year. Comment.

Boro does its part for environment

From composting waste and leftover food to purchasing goods made from discarded water bottles, there are plenty of ways borough residents can live more sustainably, environmentalists said at the Going Green in Queens 2010 conference last week. Comment.

Granny shot by fellow elder in elevator: DA

An 81-year-old Forest Hills woman allegedly pulled a revolver from her fanny pack and shot her neighbor, the wife of a Grammy-winning jazz pianist, in the elevator of their Forest Hills apartment building last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queensbridge murderer gets 25 to life in prison

The Long Island City man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death inside her Queensbridge Houses residence in 2006 was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.

Dromm immigration ACS bill passes Council

City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) passed his first bill as primary sponsor in the Council last week as the body approved a measure requiring the city Administration for Children’s Services to protect immigrant children in the foster care system. Comment.

Rockaway leader slams Cross Bay rebate slash

The so-called doomsday budget to be enacted by the MTA includes changes to the rebate received by Broad Channel and Rockaway residents for the toll on the Cross Bay Bridge, which opponents of the plan said will have a devastating effect on the peninsula. Comment.

Gianaris decries state’s OK of Con Ed rate hike

Western Queens elected officials lambasted the state Public Service Commission’s decision last week to approve a $420 million rate increase over a period of three years. Comment.

Astoria dojo, cellist prepare unusual combo

An acclaimed musician from Astoria and a neighborhood karate school are teaming up to present a unique performance at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center in early April that will combine martial arts with classical music. Comment.

Smith, others subpoenaed in Aqueduct case

State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) was among three senators served with a subpoena by the state inspector general’s office relating to the office’s investigation of how the video lottery terminal contract at Aqueduct Race Track was awarded. Comment.
Arts

Anxiety of an outsider

After enduring a childhood that left her traumatized, Woodside resident Kymia Nawabi has used her experience to create art intended to express her struggles with social anxiety disorder. As she further developed as an artist and grappled with her anxiety, her artwork began to make a more generalized statement about the relationship between emotion and the human body. Comment.
Arts

Two Rockaway Artists shows focus on bodies, idols

There are few things more lonesome than Fort Tilden on a cold and rainy afternoon — even the flocks of geese and starlings look downtrodden. Fortunately, “To Our Idols” and “Bodies of Work,” the two exhibits now on view at the fort’s Rockaway Artists Alliance, brought a much appreciated physical and emotional warmth. Both sTudios 6 and 7 were well attended despite the weather. Wine and sushi platter, cookies and little cakes were served. Comment.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Developer in talks to help fill Sky View space: Source

Joshua Muss, CEO of Muss Development, admitted in May 2008 that high construction prices and the volatility of the city’s real estate market meant he was taking a calculated risk by pursuing his plan to build Sky View Parc, a $1 billion mixed-use project at the west end of downtown Flushing. Comment.

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