Astoria Times

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Astoria Times

Dining Out

France and Thailand were not always bosom buddies, diplomatically speaking. One might even call them bitter enemies when they fought for dominance over Indochina. Still, their respective palates didn't hold a grudge, and have long had mutual appreciation for each other's cuisines. Bonne Saison on Bell Boulevard in Bayside is exemplar of this fortuitous state of affairs, serving Thai and French food companionably side by side. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ridgewood brothers stole cell phones: DA

GLENDALE — Three teenagers were arrested at the Atlas Park Mall after stealing cell phones and MP3 players from three other teens, the Queens district attorney's office said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Richmond Hill man was drunk, asleep at wheel of stopped car: DA

SOUTH RICHMOND HILL — Police in the 102nd Precinct arrested a Richmond Hill man on suspicion of drunk driving after they found him passed out at the wheel in the middle of the road, the Queens district attorney's office said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man breaks windows ‘to avoid killing’ woman: DA

LONG ISLAND CITY — Police in the 114th Precinct arrested a Long Island City man after he punched a woman in the face and smashed a number of windows, the Queens district attorney's office said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man bashes woman with bottle on boat: DA

CORONA — A Jamaica man was arrested after bashing a woman in the head with a glass bottle during a pleasure cruise near the World's Fair Marina, the Queens district attorney's office said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Crane worker critical after Astoria fall

ASTORIA — A construction worker was in critical condition Tuesday night after falling from a crane, police said. The victim, a man in his 40s, was in the bucket of the crane when a vehicle collided with it, knocking him out, police said. The man was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital in critical condition, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Corona stereo thief fell asleep in car: DA

CORONA — Police in the 110th Precinct arrested a Corona man after he fell asleep in the middle of stealing a radio from a parked car, the Queens district attorney's office said. Comment.
Letters

Paterson has ability to help city blacks’ living standards

An open letter to Gov. David Paterson. Comment.
Letters

Everyone should respect, not war

I would like to ponder the impossible: world peace. For hundreds of years, mankind has fought wars. My question is why? There are reasons, I suppose, like hatred for those who are different and economic and natural disasters that impel others to take what they want. There is also the need to force the will of the strong over the weak and destroy cultures that some have felt need to be eliminated off the face of the earth. Comment.
Editorial

It Shouldn’t Happen Here

The discovery of a swastika on a car near Electchester last week is disturbing but not surprising. Comment.
Astoria Times

Political Action

The race for the Democratic Party nomination in southeast Queens' 15th State Senate District is gearing up to be quite a primary contest. City Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) is the candidate who has been endorsed by the Queens Democratic Party Executive Committee. He is the son of late U.S. Rep. Joseph Addabbo Sr., who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 26 years. Comment.
Astoria Times

Our History

I realized how little I knew about Thaddeus Kosciuszko (1746-1817), an Revolutionary hero, when I wanted to find out about a monument I could not identify in a painting of West Point I inherited. After studying a number of sources, I found it was a memorial dedicated to this Polish hero. Comment.
Astoria Times

I Sit and Look Out

The latest series of disclosures about mismanagement and other scandalous activities in the city Department of Buildings is nothing new. Of course, malfeasance is not limited to government agencies. Religious organizations and nonprofits are hardly clean of problems. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dishing with Dee

The deadline was midnight July 10. The deadline we are referring to is the one the city Elections Board established as the last date and time designating petitions had to be received for those wishing to complete the first step in running for public office. Comment.
Astoria Times

Berger’s Burg

The town of White Hills, whose population is 90 percent white and 10 percent black, is electing a mayor. There are two candidates: one white, one black. The white candidate wins 90 percent of the vote, the black candidate 10 percent. The winner begins his victory speech by praising his white supporters, then deploring the blacks' clannishness. Comment.
Astoria Times

How’s Business?

You have put your Queens home up for sale, but just because you think you have priced it does not mean you cannot get what you want or need out of it. You have to accept what your property may actually be worth. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria gym fosters healthy lifestyle

Astoria native Yanna Darilis is very connected to her Greek heritage, especially when it comes to exercise. Comment.
Astoria Times

Woodside resident eyes Council seat

Grassroots campaigns start close to the ground, and one Woodside resident is taking that to heart. Comment.
Astoria Times

Woodside non-profit gets $15K for graffiti removal

A 30-year-old Woodside nonprofit group will soon be able to afford a few more hands to scrub spray paint off the community's walls, officials said Monday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Willets Pt. biz owners tell beep not to write ‘blank check’

With an understanding that she will probably approve the project, business owners from Willets Point pleaded with Borough President Helen Marshall last Thursday to include stipulations in her recommendation that would preclude the city from using eminent domain in its bid to redevelop the Iron Triangle. Comment.
Astoria Times

Sean Bell Little League games begin

Southeast Queens is full of shirts bearing the name of slain Rockaway resident Sean Bell, but now a few more have been added to the mix. Comment.
Astoria Times

Roy Wilkins camp gets pro-football workout

Get out, be active and work up a sweat was the message New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck and New York Jets wide receiver Brad Smith sent to Queens children last Thursday at their one-day sports camp at Jamaica's Roy Wilkins Park. Comment.
Astoria Times

Rockaway festival honors wounded warriors

As Paul Yarbrough climbed back on the dock from the sailboat, his grin could be seen from the shore. The 40-year-old resident of Nashville, Tenn., had managed to squeeze every activity into the four-day excursion to the Rockaways — kayaking, fishing, water-skiing, scuba and sailing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Reps want feds to fund Newtown Creek cleanup

U.S. Reps. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) and Nydia Velazquez (D-Ridgewood) are calling on the federal Environmental Protection Agency to designate polluted Newtown Creek as a Superfund site, which would make the waterway eligible for federal funding that could cover 90 percent of its cleanup. Comment.
Astoria Times

Redfern to get security cameras

Flanked by Redfern residents and family members of young murder victims who were killed at the Far Rockaway housing project, City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) announced Monday that he had secured $2 million to install security cameras throughout the development. Comment.
Astoria Times

Rangel relinquishes rent-stabilized office

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Astoria) said the congressman would give up a rent-stabilized Harlem apartment from which he operates his campaign office after The New York Times reported last week that he has been keeping four inexpensive apartments in the city for more than a decade. Comment.
Astoria Times

Raccoons invade from Forest Park

In his first public appearance since announcing his run for state Senate, City Councilman Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) held a joint town hall meeting Monday with City Comptroller William Thompson in Woodhaven. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens No. 2 in city for lead poisoning

Although childhood lead poisoning cases declined by 15 percent in 2007 to the lowest rate ever recorded in the city, Queens still ranks second among the boroughs for the number of children affected, the city Department of Health said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Port Authority chastises FAA over ‘near miss’ reports

The Port Authority Tuesday has accused the Federal Aviation Administration of ignoring the PA when it reported recent close-call incidents at New York City airports and also kept airport officials "in the dark" on changes in airport flight rules. Comment.
Astoria Times

Officers shoot, wound man armed with knife in Astoria

Police officers shot a man armed with a knife in Astoria last Thursday after he was repeatedly told to drop his weapon, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Off-duty officer returned to duty after St. Albans shooting

An off-duty police detective who tested above the legal limit for alcohol and was suspended from duty after shooting a man in the leg while breaking up an assault on a St. Albans street has been returned to duty, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Wednesday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Nonprofit plans bicycle lane for Queens Boulevard

Queens Boulevard may be getting a couple of new lanes for traffic — the kind on two wheels — if an idea to put a bike lane along the thoroughfare comes to pass. Comment.
Astoria Times

National Geographic launches project at Astoria street festival

The warm, bright weather Sunday brought thousands of faces out for the 30th Avenue Astoria Festival, which proved to be a boon to merchants and researchers alike. Comment.
Astoria Times

$200M East Side Access bill awaits U.S. Senate vote

A U.S. Senate committee has approved spending nearly $200 million for the East Side Access project to bring Long Island Rail Road trains into Grand Central Terminal. Comment.
Astoria Times

Mayor, DA open domestic violence center in Queens

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Queens District Attorney Richard Brown unveiled a new center Tuesday for domestic violence victims next door to the Queens County Courthouse in Kew Gardens, where they vowed to aid all visitors regardless of their immigration status. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man arrested in stabbing at Jax. Heights Laundromat

A teenage boy is dead and young man under arrest after a stabbing in Jackson Heights early Friday evening, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Lafayette will not seek re-election

After 32 years in the state Assembly, Ivan Lafayette (D-Jackson Heights) announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election, causing a major shake-up in the Queens delegation. Comment.
Astoria Times

Katz, rivals unable to reserve runoff funds

In a blow to City Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills), the city Campaign Finance Board ruled last week that candidates running for city office cannot pre-emptively raise funds and keep them aside in a separate account for a presumptive runoff. Comment.
Astoria Times

Friends and family pay tribute to fallen Queens soldier

Guyanese-born Sgt. 1st Class Joseph McKay, 51, was among three guardsmen killed June 26 when their convoy hit improvised explosive devices, small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades days before his 52nd birthday on July 4. Family, friends and military colleagues packed the seats at the Calvary Tabernacle Church in Hempstead, L.I., and those who spoke remembered a man with a ready smile who loved riding his bike and served his adopted country with dignity and pride. Comment.
Astoria Times

Fresh Mdws. woman gets back dad’s stolen tags

In an extraordinary turn of events, a Queens woman's father's military dog tags that were lost when her purse was stolen last February found their way back to her last month, the New York Post reported. Comment.
Astoria Times

Former Rockaway resident held in Web porn bust

A former Rockaway resident was indicted last week for allegedly using the Internet to sexually exploit and, in one case, blackmail girls into exposing themselves to him, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Forest Hills temple plan triples its size

The Beth Gavriel Center for Bukharian Jews, one of 108th Street's temples, is growing to accommodate its expanding congregation and getting a new look. Comment.
Astoria Times

Far Rock teen bound for college murdered

A college-bound Far Rockaway teen who started on his high school football team was killed last week, allegedly by a rival whom he had fought with since elementary school, police and the New York Post said. Comment.
Astoria Times

FAA revises JFK runway procedure after near collisions

The Federal Aviation Administration instituted new rules for a pair of John F. Kennedy International Airport runways involved in two near-collisions less than a week apart, but a representative for the traffic controllers' union criticized the agency for waiting too late to take action. Comment.
Astoria Times

DA: Ridgewood man an unlicensed lawyer

A 63-year-old Ridgewood man faces has been charged with practicing law illegally for two years and taking $7,000 in fees from a client whose son was deported after the accused represented him, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Con Ed predicts 22% rate hikes

Con Edison customers' bills could be soaring like the temperatures this summer as prices for natural gas and oil surge. Comment.
Astoria Times

Comrie urges task force after string of sex attacks

City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) is pushing the city to reconsider an offer he made to the police to create a new sex crimes task force in light of the string of sexual assaults that took the southeast Queens community by storm last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro man charged in alleged cat stomp: DA

An Astoria man was arrested last week and accused of animal cruelty for allegedly repeatedly stepping on his Persian cat, according to the Queens district attorney's office. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro courts disabled voters

Disabled residents took priority in My Vote Counts, a new initiative the borough president introduced to help increase the participation of voters with disabilities. Comment.
Astoria Times

Biz owners blast LIC bike lane

Nearly 60 business owners on Vernon Boulevard have signed a petition which calls on the city to reinstate parking between the Queensboro and Triborough bridges along the western Queens strip. Comment.
Astoria Times

4 arrested in assault at Astoria gay youth shelter

Four teenagers from Astoria and Long Island City were arrested last week after they allegedly attacked the director of a gay and transgender center on Steinway Street, shocking community activists and elected officials, who said the neighborhood prides itself on diversity and tolerance. Comment.
Astoria Times

Army identifies missing Corona soldier’s remains

After more than a year of prayers and hope for good news, the mother of Corona soldier Sgt. Alex Jimenez said she received the worst news of her life last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Adoptive mom gets 10 yrs. for child abuse

A former Laurelton resident convicted of abusing and mistreating her 11 adopted children was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison Friday, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan said Tuesday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Addabbo challenges Maltese

City Councilman Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) kicked off his state Senate campaign with a multi-stop bus tour of his district Saturday, making stops in Ridgewood, Glendale, Howard Beach and Ozone Park. Comment.
Astoria Times

The Reel Queens

Bill Sorice may play a self-absorbed thespian in the independent comedy "Brutal Massacre," screening this month at Manhattan's Pioneer Theater, but the Queens-born actor and writer is used to playing against type. Comment.
Astoria Times

Shapes of silence

With a pair of unlikely subjects — ostriches and irises — Japanese painter Kotaro Fukui probes the mystical relationships between light and dark in "Ostriches and Silent Flowers," currently on view at the Crossing Art Gallery at Queens Crossing in downtown Flushing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Warm Up kicks off to rave reviews despite rain

P.S.1's 10th annual Warm Up dance series kicked off July 5 with Nubla Orchestra under the shade of WORKac's Public Farm One installation. Comment.
Astoria Times

The Play’s The Thing

Now into my second year of writing this column, number 29 if you're counting — the only column about local theater in all of Queens, perhaps even in the entire City of New York — this may be a good time to ask who is reading it and what has it covered. Since there's not much competition, I expect that circulation of the TimesLedger has risen dramatically and that lots of devoted theater fans are checking it out. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astorian has eyes on the prize in Broadway singers’ challenge

Athens-born and Astoria-raised singer George Costacos seems to have been in just about everything except "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." In 2004 he was part of the opening ceremonies for the Athens Olympics. He's been featured in PBS' "The Greek Americans" and starred in his own musical play, "Greek Gifts." He's performed all over the world. "The list is very long," he says in a voice that still has a hint of a Greek accent. Now, he will be a contestant in the first annual MetroStar Talent Challenge, which he says is "American Idol for Broadway and cabaret people." Comment.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Astoria Times

Teacher sexually abused 15-year-old student: DA

KEW GARDENS — A teacher at an upstate school for special needs children was charged with sexually abusing and raping one of her 15-year-old students in Queens, District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Maspeth fire victims escape serious injury

Firefighters treat a woman for smoke inhalation at the scene of a fire at about 8 p.m. Tuesday. Witnesses said the smoke came out of the second floor of the building at 60th and Fresh Pond Roads. Emergency personnel on the scene said no one was seriously injured. Photo by Christina Santucci Comment.
Astoria Times

Man, 22, clings to life after Jax Heights attack

JACKSON HEIGHTS — A 22-year-old man was attacked by at least six male assailants in Jackson Heights during the early morning hours of July 4, police said. Around 4 a.m. Friday, police responded to calls of an assault happening near the intersection of 34 Road and Junction Boulevard. When officers arrived on the scene, the assailants alledgedly fled and no arrests were made, according to police. The victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital and listed in critical condition. The investigation was ongoing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cops seize four vehicles taking curb recyclables

QUEENS — Sanitation police officers seized four vehicles in Queens last month that were used to illegally remove recyclables placed curbside, officials said.The operators of the vehicles were cited as well and could face fines from $100 to $2,000 for a first time offender and $5,000 for repeat offenders within a 12-month period, according to a statement from the Department of Sanitation. The department also impounded vehicles from other boroughs in the city, including 12 in Brooklyn, seven in Manhattan, five in the Bronx. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cops allege man stole from Rite Aid in Astoria

ASTORIA — Cops arrested a 34-year-old man Monday after he was caught stealing merchandise from a Rite Aid on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, police said. Comment.
Letters

Queens resident seeks help on West Nile

After reading your article on the West Nile Virus, I thought you could help me. Comment.
Letters

People should pray for 3 dead soldiers

It was sad to read about three more brave Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Comment.
Letters

Padavan should be honored while alive

I agree with reader Frederick R. Bedell Jr. in that the Glen Oaks Campus school should be named after state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) ("Padavan deserves campus in his name," TimesLedger, July 3, 2008). He worked hard for it. I am grateful to him. We should honor people while they are still alive. Comment.
Letters

Celebrity scandals shouldn’t hog spotlight

With all the problems in the world today and over 4,000 soldiers dead in Iraq, who cares about the shenanigans of Alex Rodriguez and Madonna? Comment.
Editorial

First Step at CB 7

Both sides are claiming victory in last week's Willets Point redevelopment vote at Community Board 7. That is peculiar because the meeting showed this issue's divisiveness. Comment.
Astoria Times

Political Action

The 5th Congressional District of northeast Queens and northwest Nassau County has been represented by U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) since 1993. He has been endorsed by the Working Families and Independence parties. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dishing With Dee

We hope everyone had a safe and happy July Fourth. It was nice to have a long weekend off. Considering all the rain we have had lately, the weather was not that bad — just a few showers, but not enough to dampen everyone's holiday spirit. Comment.
Astoria Times

Berger’s Burg

I had a childhood friend, Lou, whom we neighborhood kids called "Kreplach," or "Krep" for short, because of his fondness for kreplach, the stuffed matzoh-ball delicacy. I had not seen him since his family moved from the neighborhood years ago. My story begins one recent, quiet, summer night when Gloria answered the telephone. Comment.
Astoria Times

How’s Business?

You can find good real estate deals in Queens. There are many surfacing and they will get better during the next year. We are closing in on the bottom of the housing market, but are not there yet. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bayside eatery turns luck around

Nancy Poltorzycki had not wanted her husband to open a pizzeria, but his health had not been good and his idea was to leave something for their three children. Comment.
Astoria Times

Union set to vote over Con Ed contract

The union representing Con Edison's workers will vote on whether to accept a tentative four-year contract with the utility by the end of the month following last week's down-to-the-wire talks after a midnight strike deadline had expired, a union spokesman said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens raises funds for soccer star’s dad

A month after his daughter Alyssa scored the game-winning goal to lead the Queens HS of Teaching girls' soccer team to the Public Schools Athletic League Class B championship, Joe Faller is continuing his own fight. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens drivers find high gas prices taxing

Although Emil Garcia bought his Nissan Pathfinder in 2006 as a gift to himself, he is now unable to drive it because he cannot afford the gasoline needed to keep it running. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens charter schools outscore best public schools’

Queens charter school students once again bested their public school counterparts in state standardized testing and even held their own against charter students from other boroughs. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens bus ridership outstrips service in past decade

The Straphangers Campaign has issued a report showing the number of bus riders in Queens has outpaced available bus service over the past decade following the introduction of free transfers between buses and subways. Comment.
Astoria Times

Fresh produce carts head to southeast Queens

The streets of southeast Queens should see some green — and perhaps some red, orange and yellow — by the end of this year as the first vendors arrive in the area to sell fruit and vegetables to areas where supermarkets are scarce. Comment.
Astoria Times

Comrie blasts bank tactics

City leaders and the NAACP gathered on City Hall's steps last week to speak out against the nation's largest banking and financial institutions for using discriminatory tactics to issue subprime loans to inner-city homeowners. Comment.
Astoria Times

Candidates seek signatures

Potential candidates for the high-profile state Assembly and Senate races in Queens made their final push to get the required 500 signatures to be placed on the ballot this week as the summer election season moved into full swing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro sees 67% surge in stop-work orders

The city Department of Buildings has been busy in 2008 and nowhere more than in Queens, which had a 67.2 percent spike in the number of stop-work orders issued at job sites to lead the five boroughs. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro leaders decry intolerance admist string of hate crimes

Queens religious leaders and elected officials denounced intolerance at a news conference Monday, four days after a swastika was found scrawled on a car near Electchester. Comment.
Astoria Times

The Reel Queens

Film blogs have been rife with ominous posts on the gradual demise of film criticism following a recent series of buyouts and layoffs that have left a handful of well-established critics searching for new venues. Comment.
Astoria Times

Whoa, mama!

Jackson Heights resident Christen Clifford's one-woman show "Baby Love" is to motherhood what "Sex and the City" is to single women in their 30s and 40s: validating libidos that are conventionally sorted into the unsexy bin. Comment.

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