Astoria Times

Friday, Jan. 2, 2009

Jackson Heights

Major crime declines in 110th, 115th precincts

Overall major crimes for the year were down from 2007 levels in the 110th and 115th precincts, but robberies were on the rise in the 115th and felony assaults were more plentiful in both precincts, police statistics through Dec. 21 showed. Comment.
Astoria Times

Il Poeta: Upscale addition to Forest Hills’ Little Italy

The density of Italian restaurants along the stretch of Metropolitan Avenue that falls within the boundaries of Forest Hills, 11375, probably surpasses some towns in Italy. Our informal count (including two pizzerias — one plain, one fancy) is eight. Pasta galore! Comment.
Astoria Times

Parks worker robbed in Juniper Valley Park

MIDDLE VILLAGE — Police in the 104th Precinct were searching for a man who robbed a city Parks Department employee early in the morning of Dec. 19 in Juniper Valley Park. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man in critical condition after being shot: Police

CORONA — A man was critically injured after he was shot early in the morning Christmas Eve in Corona, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Elmhurst robbery part of pattern: Police

ELMHURST — The November robbery of an Elmhurst auto parts store was labeled last week as part of a pattern of thefts in Brooklyn and Queens, police said. Comment.
Letters

Daniel Garvey made a name for himself as CB 11’s transit chairman

In the Dec. 18 Bayside Times article “Ex−CB 11 member Garvey, transportation chair, dies,” you noted the passing of Daniel Garvey, a noted professional and community activist. You mentioned some of the noteworthy accomplishments during his life, but failed to mention some of the more important issues and activities he was involved in and how he left his mark on this world. Comment.
Letters

Smith should ask Monserrate to step down from Senate seat

State Senate leader Malcolm Smith (D−St. Albans) must join with those calling for state Sen.−elect Hiram Monserrate (D−Jackson Heights) to resign in the wake of his arrest on assault charges. Reportedly, his girlfriend told police that Monserrate stabbed her in the face with a broken drinking glass Dec. 19. Up to 20 stitches were needed to close the gash on her face. Comment.
Letters

Taxes for state budget must treat rich, middle−class families fairly

Why is it acceptable to balance the state budget with a barrage of regressive user fees and sales taxes that will most affect middle−class New Yorkers and exempt the wealthiest taxpayers from paying their fair share? Comment.
Letters

Build new bus terminal in Flushing

Regarding the Dec. 18 article “Queens mass transit riders get vintage treat for holidays,” people were still left waiting at bus stops for a benefit unfulfilled. Comment.
Letters

Monserrate should not take seat in Senate

I found it disturbing that another politician is in trouble with the law. State Sen.−elect Hiram Monserrate (D−Jackson Heights) was arrested for allegedly assaulting and cutting his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, in the face with a broken glass. She suffered two lacerations over her left eye and needed 20 stitches. Comment.
Letters

MTA must not raise Access−A−Ride fares

Tucked into the budget that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board approved Dec. 17 are details that Queens residents should ponder in the weeks ahead, as New York City Transit prepares to put into effect the cuts ordered by its parent agency. Comment.
Editorial

Monserrate Must Go

The state Senate is facing a test of its character and the sincerity of its commitment against domestic violence. The question before the Senate is whether or not Councilman Hiram Monserrate should take the oath of office when it reconvenes in January. Comment.
Astoria Times

One’s view of the world takes shape during childhood

Without knowing it, I had my first realization of personal responsibility on an elevated subway ride in Queens. Comment.
Astoria Times

Elections Board must rein in voter registration fraud

The winner of the 11th Senate District race between incumbent state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) and challenger City Councilman James Gennaro (D−Fresh Meadows) in northeast Queens has still not been decided. It is now close to two months since the fall general election and the final official results have not been declared. The endless counting and recounting of paper ballots continues. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro holiday parties help to usher in the new year

Happy New Year, everyone! Have you all made your list of resolutions? I did. As old habits die hard, it is worth giving them a try, so let’s hope we manage to keep them throughout the New Year. Comment.
Astoria Times

Columnist finds no fun in that wintery white stuff

If you want the winter to pass swiftly, borrow money due in the spring. Comment.
Astoria Times

Work on your 401(k) in ’09

You cannot listen to the radio, switch on the TV or go online without getting miserable these days. You continually hear about how bad your 401(k) retirement account has been hit by the recession. I spoke with financial advisers in Queens about what can be done to stop the bleeding. Comment.
Astoria Times

School enhances mind, body, spirit

For nearly four decades, the Lee family has run their businesses in Whitestone and Astoria on the philosophies they teach: self−discipline, focus, confidence and strength. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA expects to charge bus riders 25 cents extra if they use coins

Cash−strapped transit officials have come up with more possibilities in the event there is no bailout of the MTA, including requiring bus patrons to pay more for using coins and a 26 percent fare hike on the Long Island Rail Road. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens PFLAG to honor three in February

The Queens chapter of PFLAG — or Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays — will recognize a group and two individuals who have worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people at its 2009 awards ceremony in February. Comment.
Astoria Times

Little Neck doc exonerated

A 70−year−old Little Neck psychiatrist said he was attempting to rebuild his reputation after a Queens jury acquitted him last month of illegally selling prescriptions to an undercover police officer. Comment.
Astoria Times

Fort Totten soldier killed on Christmas

A Fort Totten−based doctor on his second tour of duty in Iraq died Christmas Day from wounds he suffered after mortar rounds were fired into his camp, the U.S. Defense Department said Friday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Late Baysider Ron Carey changed workers’ lives: Daughter

Pamela Carey, daughter of late Teamsters Union President Ron Carey, said she believes her father will be remembered as a pivotal figure in the labor movement after several hundred former and present union members turned out for his Bayside funeral in mid−December. Comment.
Astoria Times

Baysider wins tickets to Obama inauguration

A 27−year−old attorney from Bayside and her father will attend President−elect Barack Obama’s inauguration this month after entering a lottery operated by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D−N.Y.) in which 150,000 people vied for a spot on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro psychiatrist convicted of sex abuse

A psychiatrist with offices in Rego Park faces up to one year behind bars after being convicted of inappropriately touching a 16−year−old female patient during therapy, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bargains abound in borough

After one of the worst holiday seasons in decades for retailers, Queens residents took to the stores in a post−Christmas rush Friday to cash in on the steep discounts offered to lure shoppers to business establishments throughout the borough. Comment.
Astoria Times

108th Pct. murder rate increased in ’08: NYPD

Major crimes in the 108th Precinct were down in 2008, but the murder rate climbed considerably, according to online police statistics through Dec. 21, 2008. Comment.
Astoria Times

46% of subway deaths linked to intoxication

Everyone has heard the slogan for motorists “Don’t drink and drive,” but Columbia University offers straphangers their own motto: “If you’re drunk, stay off the No. 7.” Comment.
Astoria Times

P.S. 1 founding director Heiss retires after 37 yrs. at museum

The coming of the new year brought to a close a major chapter in Long Island City’s premier art museum: P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center’s founding director Alanna Heiss retired Dec. 31 after 37 years with the organization. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cutting subway police unit will hurt Queens: Vallone

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D−Astoria) warned the NYPD Monday that if they remove police officers from Queens subways, it would seriously compromise the safety of straphangers. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIC residents want dog park

The boom of new housing and new residents in Long Island City is sparking calls to renovate yet more of the former industrial area. A group of condominium residents at the new 13−story building at 44−27 Purves St. has started to advocate for the transformation of a long−neglected lot across the street into a dog park. Comment.
Astoria Times

Donations down at Goodwill

Astoria’s Goodwill headquarters has faced declines in donations of between 12 percent and 25 percent during the past few months amid the current economic downturn, but sales of clothing and household goods at the nonprofit giant’s stores in the city are on the rise, a Goodwill spokesman said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ghost Bike honors Queens Blvd. death site

On a chilly, late fall evening in Elmhurst, a group of bicyclists in neon−green vests walked their bikes to the corner of Queens Boulevard and 55th Road. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIC immigrant blinded in attack stars in documentary

A blind Long Island City woman from Afghanistan who runs in the New York City Marathon every year is the subject of a new documentary film that will open at Manhattan’s Anthology Film Archives this weekend. Comment.
Astoria Times

Schumer says Obama’s stimulus could boost state

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D−N.Y.) said a massive Obama economic stimulus plan could not only provide a lift for financially beleaguered New York state but restore stalled transit projects in the city, creating thousands of jobs. Comment.
Astoria Times

Whitestone’s monk parrots need state protection: Avella

City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) said last week he plans on pushing the state Legislature to have a group of South American Quaker parrots, which have found a comfortable home atop Queens’ trees, protected by the state. Comment.
Astoria Times

Schleicher residents take step toward home

More than a dozen College Point residents who have been homeless for nearly seven months took a big step toward returning home on Christmas Eve, but tensions were running high at Queens Civil Court in Jamaica. Comment.
Astoria Times

Stop questioning race on ballots: Gianaris

State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D−Astoria) is calling on the federal government to stop asking overseas voters to give their race on application forms for absentee ballots. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro crime drops 3% in 2008, but NYPD cuts loom

Even though overall crime in Queens dropped 3.2 percent in 2008, City Councilman Peter Vallone (D−Astoria) cautioned that budget cuts to the NYPD could set the stage for a rise in felonies in 2009. Comment.
Astoria Times

Israeli, Chinese cultures collide in film’s Flushing debut

Two worlds converged last week at Flushing Town Hall for the New York City debut of “Noodle,” a 2007 independent film in which Israeli and Chinese culture make for an unlikely combination and set the scene for yet another in a long line of films about spunky children and the troubled adult charged with their caretaking. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens ain’t never fakin’ it

Curtis “Bugzy−Nite” Taylor and Wesley “GSlim” Brockenberry are the musicians behind Queens Connex, an urban duo with a collaborative hip−hop sound that touches on genres of music ranging from jazz to rock. Beneath the layers of melody and beats, however, lie some powerful messages about social consciousness and the progressive optimism that fuels the duo’s musical ambitions. Comment.
Astoria Times

By the labor of their hands

This past January, Astoria resident Sam Riviello quit her full−time job as an office manager to pursue her passion of jewelry making. Comment.
Astoria Times

A long overdue thank you received - Local receives medals for military service

Brooklyn resident Nunzio Agati finally received his WWII Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and five other medals and awards for his military service to our country, courtesy of Congressman Vito Fossella. Comment.
Astoria Times

For the uninitiated, theater in NYC a great discovery

Lucky us! We live in New York City, America’s cultural center, and there’s a lot to see and do. One of the great attractions is our theater — from the biggest Broadway hit to the smallest community production — all in great abundance. People come here from all over the country and the world to be part of the excitement. Comment.

Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009

Jackson Heights

5 vie for Monserrate seat

As questions arose as to whether state Sen.−elect Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) would be able to take office after he was charged with assault, his chief of staff joined a host of others vying for his City Council seat in a special election tentatively set for February. Comment.
Jackson Heights

City approves cell phone tower construction on Maspeth roof

Despite much protest from the community, the city Board of Standards and Appeals approved a communications company’s variance request last Thursday to build a cell phone tower on a residential roof in Maspeth, setting what many fear is a precedent for the antennas in residential zones. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights corner to be renamed for soldier

A Jackson Heights soldier killed last year in Iraq will be remembered by more than just his family after the City Council approved a street renaming in his honor last week. Comment.

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