Astoria Times

Friday, Dec. 5, 2008

Jackson Heights

Rego Park travel agency refunds for bogus trips

A Rego Park−based bus tour agency has agreed to refund the $350,000 it owed to 1,000 customers whose trips the company canceled, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and city Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz said Monday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man broke order of protection on ex−wife: DA

JACKSON HEIGHTS — A Jackson Heights man was charged with criminal contempt for allegedly violating an order of protection that mandated he not come within 100 yards of his ex−wife’s home or workplace, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Monday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Homeless man admits to stabbing girlfriend: DA

LONG ISLAND CITY — A homeless man pleaded guilty in the January 2007 stabbing death of his girlfriend inside a city Housing Authority complex in Long Island City, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Tuesday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man attacked woman in front of daughter: Cops

Klever Tixi, 23, allegedly initiated an argument with the woman and proceeded to push a dresser into her, causing bruising and swelling over her left eye, police said. The man also threw her Christmas tree, causing it to break, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cops search for Maspeth bank robbery suspect

On Nov. 20 at about 1:20 p.m., an approximately 150−pound male in his 30s entered the Cross County Federal Savings Bank and passed the teller a note stating he had a firearm. The man, who was wearing a maroon hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses, jeans and gloves, fled westbound on 60th Road. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cops seek Forest Hills bank rob suspect

FOREST HILLS — Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who they said robbed an Austin Street bank last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man threatened another with baseball bat

JACKSON HEIGHTS — A Bronx man waving a baseball bat repeatedly yelled, “I’m going to kill you,” while chasing after a 49−year−old man a little after 4 a.m. Nov. 25, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man tried to rob teenage girl: Brown

ELMHURST — Woodside resident Djalma Rivera, 36, was charged with attempted robbery and endangering the welfare of a child after he allegedly snuck up behind and demanded money from a 15−year−old girl as she was entering her home on 76th Street near Woodside Avenue shortly before 4:30 p.m. Nov. 25, the DA said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cops arrest 3 Bklyn. men in attack and robbery

CORONA — Three Brooklyn men have been charged with robbery and assault after they punched and robbed a man right in front of police dressed in regular clothing, police said. Comment.
Letters

Flushing man commends cops for nabbing suspected criminals

I wish to commend the police officers of the 109th Precinct here in Flushing for the apprehension of three males, who were apparently involved in criminal activities on Nov. 24 at around 4 p.m. on 136th Street between 63rd Road and 64th Avenue. Comment.
Letters

Residence for the formerly homeless will not harm Astoria

I am sure that the opposition of City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D−Astoria) and state Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D−Astoria) to the proposed development of a 50−unit supportive housing residence in Astoria (“Pols oppose Astoria shelter,” Oct. 30) is based on well−meaning concern for their districts. Their claim that the residence would impede development in the neighborhood and present safety concerns, however, are wrong and based on stereotypes not borne out by the facts. Comment.
Letters

Extra work hampers teachers from doing their crucial jobs

As a city public school teacher starting his 10th year, it is disheartening to have additional paperwork given to us to complete. While it is important to have ongoing student assessments throughout the school year, there is only so much a teacher can do to assess students. Comment.
Letters

Stand up to MTA fare hikes by boycotting

I would like to applaud Louis Kenny of South Jamaica, who is reported to be organizing a grassroots boycott of all Metropolitan Transportation Authority trains and buses June 9, just when fares are expected to go up. Comment.
Astoria Times

Macy’s lights in Flushing kick off boro holiday season

This week was rather slow for several reasons — the most obvious one being the end of the election process. Although state Sen. Frank Padavan’s (R−Bellerose) and City Councilman James Gennaro’s (D−Fresh Meadows) teams are still counting the paper ballots, it’s going up and down. Comment.
Astoria Times

Older brother Larry becomes a source of admiration

A Jewish proverb states that “good men need no recommendation.” I beg to differ. My brother, Larry, 11 years my senior, deserves all the recommendation I can give. He is presently a patient in an assisted living home. My relationship with him deserves to be told. Comment.
Astoria Times

’08 presidential election instills pride in being American

The day after Harry Truman defeated Thomas Dewey for the presidency, I was standing on the Long Island Rail Road platform in Forest Hills, waiting for the train to take me to Freeport, L.I. I worked for the Post of Forest Hills and Kew Gardens and the Elmhurst−Rego Park Post, two newspapers owned by Henry Steiger, publisher of Argosy and other magazines. He also owned the printing plant I was going to. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens made early use of lighting up its highways

In November 1900, the eyes of the nation were on the Pan−American Exposition, lit up by electricity produced from nearby Niagara Falls. Queens was one of the first counties in the nation to electrify its highways and roads. On Nov. 30, the Star−Journal remarked that over 35 miles of Queens highways were lit by electric arc lights. Comment.
Astoria Times

New immigrants will find jobs scarce in current economy

During the presidential campaign, there was little if any discussion between the presidential and vice presidential candidates concerning the issue of immigration during the presidential and vice presidential debates. No questions were asked of the candidates regarding this matter. It seems that in terms of the presidential race, it was a non−issue. To many voters, it was disappointing that this issue was not addressed. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bright idea works for Heirloom

Business owner Matthew Santoro literally brightens the days of customers who visit his 32nd Avenue shop in Bayside. Comment.
Astoria Times

How you must buy a home

Now is the time to buy a home for first−time buyers. Many will say renting is the equivalent of throwing money out the window. But with anything you do, you must have a plan. Let’s talk about five steps to finding out if owning a home is right for you. Comment.
Astoria Times

Slump threatens center for boro’s LGBT youth

The director of western Queens’ most prominent gay and transgender center said the group was struggling to pay the rent on a month−to−month basis amid the current national economic downturn. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria group gets ownership of doorway to the past

Those who call the Greater Astoria Historical Society the doorway to western Queens history got one more literal justification Monday night as the society officially took ownership of a 233−year−old door with ties to the Revolutionary War. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ban city bottled water use to save money: Gioia bill

City officials may soon have to forego water bottles and revert to that seemingly long−forgotten water source — the faucet — when they want to quench their thirst should lawmakers pass a bill soon to be proposed by City Councilmen Eric Gioia (D−Sunnyside) and Simcha Felder (D−Brooklyn). Comment.
Astoria Times

Rabbi terror victim doing heroic work: Queens Chabads

Northeast Queens rabbis in the Chabad−Lubavitch movement said they were heartbroken after hearing news that a Brooklyn rabbi and his wife were killed in last week’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai and urged members of the movement to continue practicing good deeds. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro sees mixed turnout on Black Friday

Queens residents flocked to shopping centers throughout the borough Friday, some waking as early as 3 a.m. to take advantage of steep Black Friday sales despite a tanking national economy that has left many Americans tightening the grip on their wallets. Comment.
Astoria Times

Mumbai attacks stun ex−pats

Sorrow and condemnation filled the thoughts of South Asians throughout Queens in the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai that claimed more than 170 lives. Comment.
Astoria Times

Small biz loans scarce for boro entrepreneurs

The number of loans approved for small businesses in Queens has dropped drastically in the last fiscal year and fallen by more than in any other borough, according to recent report by a Manhattan think tank. Comment.
Astoria Times

Citi Field should be named for public after bailout: Pols

After financial giant Citigroup accepted a $351 billion bailout package from the federal government, two Staten Island city councilmen floated some ideas last week about how the New York Mets’ new ballpark in Queens should reflect the banking institution’s reversal of fortunes. Comment.
Astoria Times

Pakistani Americans urge unity with India

As leaders in both Pakistan and India go back and forth over who was to blame for the attacks in Mumbai last week, Pakistani−Americans in Queens are urging their leaders to be cooperative and prudent to avoid ruining the prospect for peace between the two nuclear power neighbors. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro dealers face drop in auto sales amid economic woes

Queens auto dealers said this week they have seen a steady decline in sales during the past couple of months amid a national economic downturn with business dropping by 30 percent to 50 percent from year−earlier levels. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro food pantries running dry as demand rises sharply

Lines are stretching out at the borough’s food pantries and portions are getting smaller as the growing number of hungry residents outpace the supply of donated food, hunger advocates said last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Parks plans broad changes at Flushing Mdws.

The changes coming to Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the next decade will be sweeping and may include tearing down the rusting observation towers at the New York State Pavilion, Borough President Helen Marshall’s office said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Liu applauds new legislation to clarify broken meter rule

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has signed into law a bill that supporters said would clarify a parking regulation known as the broken meter rule, which City Councilman John Liu (D−Flushing) said had long unjustly penalized drivers who are ticketed. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA texting commuters about transit problems

Is your subway, bus or commuter train late? Comment.
Astoria Times

Mourners flock to Flushing

Hundreds of people who gathered at Flushing’s BAPS Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Temple Sunday wiped away tears during a ceremony to honor the lives lost in last week’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai. With their faces in their hands, many silently rocked back and forth while listening to Queens lawmakers and Indian leaders call for American residents to rally behind India in the wake of the violence that rocked the country’s financial capital last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Gennaro bill to safeguard shoppers in wake of Wal−Mart death

City Councilman James Gennaro (D−Fresh Meadows) announced Sunday he plans to introduce a bill that would protect shoppers and store staff from “dangerous shopping frenzies,” such as the one that killed a Jamaica man who was trampled to death in a stampede of customers on Black Friday at Wal−Mart in the Green Acres Mall. Comment.
Astoria Times

Gioia demands Con Ed step up iron pipe replacement

A year after an explosion killed a Sunnyside woman the day before Thanksgiving, City Councilman Eric Gioia (D−Sunnyside) said Con Edison is not doing enough to fix the cause of the blast: thousands of miles of cast iron piping that lies beneath city streets. Comment.
Astoria Times

City eyes landmark for Schleicher’s Mansion

City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) said the Landmarks Preservation Commission has agreed to bring College Point’s Schleicher’s Mansion up for a vote in the coming months, but the residents of the house still remain out in the cold. Comment.
Astoria Times

Family of trampled Jamaica man sues Wal−Mart

The family of a Jamaica man, Jdimytai Damour, who was trampled to death at a Wal−Mart on Black Friday sued the chain store Wednesday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Truly Gifted

This holiday season, solidify your reputation as being truly gifted when it comes to choosing the perfect present for everyone on your list. From the celluloid−obsessed friend to the luxury−loving aunt, we’ve scoured Queens to bring you the best gifts at reasonable prices. You’ll be such a hit that you might find even more friends on your holiday shopping list next year. Don’t say we didn’t warn you if you experience a sudden surge in popularity. Comment.
Astoria Times

Recession−proof boro theater helps you forget hard times

The holiday season is upon us, but it’s not like the good old days, and things are looking grim. Jan. 20 can’t come soon enough, although it will take a major effort by the new administration in Washington, lots of time and a couple of miracles to get us out of the mess we’re in. The city and state are hurting too — cutbacks are everywhere, and money is scarce. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria’s Amoralists portray the good and bad in people

The Amoralists theater company was created one day about two years ago when Astoria residents Matt Pilieci, Derek Ahonen and James Kautz decided to leave Los Angeles in a little red Mustang and head to Las Vegas, where they were sure they would win at least 60 grand to start their company. They not only didn’t win 60 grand, they lost money. They started the company anyway. They put away a bit of money each week, and now their company is mostly self−financed. Comment.

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