Astoria Times

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jackson Heights

Recession strains food relief

As the number of hungry people in the borough increases, food experts and state Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D−Fresh Meadows) gathered at the Stop & Shop in Glendale Friday to discuss ways consumers can stretch their food budget. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Stavisky bill aims to help pet owners

If not pennies from heaven, consider it “kibbles from Albany.” Comment.
Jackson Heights

Flushing attacker gets 15 years for cop assault

A Flushing man who attacked a rookie cop with a baseball bat and stole his gun and handcuffs in Jackson Heights two years ago was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Convicted E. Elmhurst man might be set free

An East Elmhurst man convicted of playing a role in a botched robbery turned double murder may soon be freed after 13 years behind bars. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Former Met Burgos convicted of assault

A former Mets pitcher was convicted last week of assaulting his girlfriend in a hotel near Shea Stadium, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Officials try to clear up rape rumors

East Elmhurst residents, alarmed by conflicting reports of a rape in a park next to an elementary school last week, did not get complete answers at a community meeting Friday, but they did get a chance to discuss the implications the news had on their community. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens eateries get creative to lure cash−strapped diners

Irresistible dining deals are on the menu as Queens restaurants try to tempt recession−weary consumers’ palates and wallets. Comment.
Astoria Times

Sohna: Spicy Punjabi delights in Bellerose enclave

Craving curry? Hankering for something exotic and spicy? You can scratch that itch at Sohna Punjab Indian Restaurant on Union Turnpike in Bellerose. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens Village man led cops on 2 car chases:DA

WOODHAVEN — A Queens Village man was arraigned on reckless endangerment charges last week after he allegedly led police on a high−speed chase through the borough after officers attempted to stop his car for having tinted windows, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Far Rock man assaulted ex−girlfriend: Brown

FAR ROCKAWAY — A Far Rockaway man was charged with violating a restraining order after he allegedly assaulted his ex−girlfriend inside her apartment, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.
Letters

Bridges on East River must remain free

An open letter to state legislators. Comment.
Letters

State needs to supply city with more Medicaid funds

An open letter to Gov. David Paterson, state Senate Speaker Sheldon Silver and state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith. Comment.
Letters

Treatment of cleric unacceptable

An open letter to Chief Thomas V. Dale of Patrol Borough Queens South. Comment.
Letters

Bayside nonprofit needs funds from state to preserve history

The Bayside Historical Society, headquartered in Fort Totten, is experiencing financial hardship because the state funding it relies on to operate is frozen in Albany. Other nonprofits that serve the community are experiencing the same problem. Comment.
Letters

Letter on Bloomberg needs facts

I need to comment on Frederick R. Bedell Jr.’s March 5 letter “Bloomberg can help city recover economically.” Comment.
Letters

People must stand up to gov’t

How lucky are we as citizens that state Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D−Ridgewood) has informed us on the features and benefits of the new enhanced driver’s licenses (“New identification called for when crossing U.S. borders,” March 5)? Comment.
Letters

Do not put trust in Bloomberg to solve city’s financial problem

I take issue with Frederick R. Bedell Jr.’s March 5 letter “Bloomberg can help city recover economically,” which attempted to draw a parallel between former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four terms and Mayor Michael Bloomberg seeking a third term. Comment.
Editorial

In Harm’s Way

The people of College Point narrowly escaped a potential tragedy this week when pieces began to suddenly fall from the sky. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, American Airlines flight 309 to Chicago experienced an “uncontained engine failure” shortly after taking off from LaGuardia Airport. The failure caused pieces of metal to shoot out of the back of the engine and onto the ground below. Comment.
Editorial

If it Ain’t Broke …

The bureaucrats and attorneys at the city Department of Education have come up with a brainless proposal in a misguided effort to bring equality to girls’ high school soccer. If it does not come to its senses, this will be the last year girls’ soccer is played in the spring. Comment.
Astoria Times

Electeds come out to support ceremonial Ulrich swearing−in

Another interesting week has gone by. On Tuesday, Peter Koo, former Republican state Senate candidate, hosted an intimate cocktail party at the Sheraton LaGuardia East in Flushing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Berger wants to wipe ‘spring cleaning’ off the to−do list

The first day of spring was once the time for taking the young virgins into the fields, there in dalliance to set an example in fertility for Nature to follow. Now we just set the clock an hour ahead and change the oil in the crankcase. — E.B. White Comment.
Astoria Times

Independence Party making name for itself in city, state

The United States is generally referred to as having a two−party political system. New York City and state, however, have experienced the growth of a multi−party system. Comment.
Astoria Times

Flushing native served as mayor during tumultuous time

On Feb. 18, 1791, Cornelius Van Wyck Lawrence was born in Flushing. When he was 21, he moved to Manhattan and started a career in business. After amassing a fortune, he drifted into politics and was elected to Congress in 1834. Comment.
Astoria Times

Weiner undecided on mayor run

Although U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D−Forest Hills) has raised millions for his mayoral campaign and has insisted for months that he is a contender in the 2009 race, the congressman sent a letter to supporters last week saying he would not decide whether to run until late this spring. Comment.
Astoria Times

Apartments go for $50 at Queens Panorama

The now complete Citi Field sitting at the northern end of Flushing Meadows Corona Park took 850 construction workers two years and $850 million to build. By comparison, the 6−inch model version just installed at the Queens Museum’s New York Panorama took three part−time interns four months and $40 to complete — a drop in the bucket. Comment.
Astoria Times

Environmental minds to converge at boro summit

More than 50 borough and city−based environmental groups will converge on Flushing’s Al Oerter Recreation Center next weekend for a conference on green initiatives hosted by the Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces, the coalition’s president said. Comment.
Astoria Times

City actors mourn Astoria’s Costacos

Manhattan’s Actors’ Equity held a tribute earlier this week to honor the memory of Astoria−based Broadway actor and singer George Best Costacos, who died last fall of brain cancer. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIC hospital funds to help Ravenswood residents

Long Island City’s Floating Hospital has received a federal grant that will enable the 140−year−old institution to expand it services to residents of western Queens’ public housing developments as well as create new jobs in the community, the center’s president said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens Chamber survey finds cost of living hits hard

Making ends meet has climbed to the top of the worries list for both businesses and consumers in Queens, an annual survey presented at the Queens Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook breakfast last week showed. Comment.
Astoria Times

‘Queens Beats’ helps visitors tap into borough’s diversity

The sights and sounds of Queens, from the Vernon−Jackson subway station to Flushing’s Main Street, can now be seen and heard in one room in the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst. Comment.
Astoria Times

No. 7 shutdown cost city commuters $25M: Gioia

New Yorkers lost more than $25 million because of service cuts to the No. 7 subway line during an eight−week period in January and February, according to the preliminary results of a study City Councilman Eric Gioia’s (D−Sunnyside) office conducted. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIC high school may be forced to move: PTA

A pioneering charter high school that has been a fixture in Long Island City for more than three decades may be forced to move at the end of the school year, angry parents and a nonprofit organization said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astorian races for grandpa

A 22−year−old office manager from Astoria will run in the grueling Boston Marathon next month to raise money for cancer research after her grandfather died from the disease last fall. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA officials clash with state over budget

The state Senate, led by Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D−St. Albans) presented a proposal it said would rescue the financially beleaguered MTA from imminent Draconian service cuts and fare hike. But the plan was immediately condemned by transit officials, elected officials and business leaders, some of whom found the Senate’s math faulty. Comment.
Astoria Times

Library plans weekend closures as $14M cut looms

Queens Library is facing a potential $14 million budget cut from the city next year, and the slash in funding could force the country’s busiest library system to close branches on weekends and reduce programming, library officials said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens nonprofit could face cuts in senior, youth services

More than 300 borough residents crowded into a Forest Hills school last Thursday evening to protest proposed state budget cuts they say could decimate programs that serve thousands of residents throughout Queens. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria man pleads guilty to driving drunk on sidewalk

A 36−year−old Astoria man has pleaded guilty to drunk driving after he drove his vehicle onto the sidewalk and in the courtyard at Astoria Houses in December, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Seniors want closer stop on Queens Blvd.

An extra 75 feet is not a long way for a regular adult to walk, but for some senior citizens that extra distance between the Q60 bus and the Sunnyside Senior Center has created a serious hardship. Comment.
Astoria Times

Two Coves Community Garden threatened by park plan

The green thumbs at a three−year−old community garden in Astoria said they were concerned they could lose their plots following recent plans to turn the site into a park. Comment.
Astoria Times

Animator showcase engages children with art at Noguchi

Parents of creative children with short attention spans take note. The Museum of the Moving Image and the Noguchi Museum will collaborate this weekend on an hour−long retrospective of the works of avant garde animator Robert Breer that will include screenings of his short films and art activities. Comment.
Astoria Times

Puppet people

When New Yorkers think of city avenues named after letters of the alphabet, Brooklyn or Manhattan’s Lower East Side usually come to mind. So when the acclaimed musical “Avenue Q” first hit Broadway in 2003, borough−centric Manhattan and Brooklyn residents could certainly be forgiven for thinking that the show was a paean to their beloved native soil (though neither borough actually has an Avenue Q). Comment.
Astoria Times

Mind−twisting wordplay on display in Theatre Time’s daring “All in the Timing”

“All in the Timing,” written by David Ives, is something completely different from Theatre Time Productions. The show is made up of six often Borgesian vignettes that play not just with time but with language itself. Even the crew gets into the act. In between acts they play with the props and dawdle — at one point a production assistant takes a nap on a sofa. It adds up to a work that’s as thought−provoking as it is funny. Comment.
Astoria Times

Beari’s ‘Magical, Musical Moments VIII’ spans Hollywood, Broadway and Top 40

Ah, this is what the reviewer’s been waiting for! Beari Productions’ latest musical revue, “Magical, Musical Moments VIII: The ‘Reel’ Deal and More,” is up and it’s as magical as all the revues that have come before. This time there are songs not just the stage but from movies and the Top 40, thrown in for extra spice. Comment.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jackson Heights

Con Ed must prevent eruptions: Monserrate

After two manhole explosions rattled Queens over the past two weeks, state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst), his elected Council successor Julissa Ferreras and Democratic District Leader Daniel Dromm gathered in Jackson Heights Friday to call on Consolidated Edison to step up its monitoring efforts. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Forest Hills Y to screen documentary of Holocaust victim

When Susan Beer would peer out of the cramped cell she shared with many other women and children in a Gestapo−run prison in Hungary during World War II, it was there, through the darkness, that she would make eye contact with Hannah Senesh, a resistance fighter who died in front of a firing squad a few days before her 23rd birthday. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Avella calls attention to scam

“Trabajos, trabajadores,” a man in a black beanie and jacket shouted in front of a nondescript door at 85−14 Roosevelt Ave. in Jackson Heights, beckoning to Latino men to come upstairs to find jobs. Comment.
Astoria Times

Katsuno: Undiscovered Japanese gem in Forest Hills

We don’t say this often, but — WOW! Katsuno, an unassuming eatery on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills is serving up some of the best Japanese food we’ve eaten since our visit to the land of the rising sun. But why should we be surprised? It is the latest clever endeavor of Chef Seo, of the acclaimed Midtown restaurant bearing his name. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man shot at entrance of Queens Midtown Tunnel

LONG ISLAND CITY — Police said a man who was shot several times in a car in Brooklyn died from his injuries at the mouth of the Queens Midtown Tunnel as his friends struggled to find a hospital. Comment.
Astoria Times

DOI claims former city worker stole checks

HOLLIS — A former city Health Department official was arrested for allegedly stealing checks from a Queens public school nurse, the city Department of Investigation said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man struck by car on Beach Channel Drive

FAR ROCKAWAY — Police said a 53−year−old man was in critical condition Saturday after he was struck by a car on Beach Channel Drive Saturday evening. Comment.
Astoria Times

Richmond Hill teacher admits to sending sex videos

KEW GARDENS — A Richmond Hill teacher pleaded guilty to sending sex videos to three of his female students in 2007, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man, 33, charged with assault on traffic agent

WHITESTONE — A 33−year−old man was arrested and charged with assault Friday after attacking a traffic agent who was writing him a parking ticket, authorities said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Creedmoor center escapee killed by train

GLEN OAKS — A patient who fled from Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Glen Oaks was hit by a train in Manhattan and killed Friday evening, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Illegal immigrants hired for massage parlor work

FLUSHING — A couple pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court last week to hiring illegal immigrants to work at a massage parlor they owned in upstate New York. Comment.
Astoria Times

Woman charged with cruelty for animal abuse

KEW GARDENS — A Maspeth woman was charged with animal cruelty for allegedly abusing her pet poodle and leaving it to die in a trash can near her home, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. Comment.
Astoria Times

‘Puro Tango’ at Thalia offers dazzling, sexy fun

“Did that chap mean to knock his head on the streetlamp like that?” this startled reviewer wondered during the opening dance of “Puro Tango.” Comment.
Letters

Enact tougher food safety laws

The Peanut Corp. of America discovered salmonella in its peanuts 12 times over two years. The Texas State Health Services Department found dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers around the air system at the company’s Texas plant. Comment.
Letters

DSNY districts of northeast Qns. held their own against snowstorm

Good job, city Sanitation Department Districts 7 and 13. There were no problems for northeast Queens from the March 2 snowfall. Comment.
Letters

Fidelis Care offers health coverage for the uninsured of Queens

It seems everyone has been touched by the current economic crisis in some way. Its impact has been felt in thousands of Queens homes. Coupled with the emotional and financial turmoil of losing a job often comes the sudden loss of health coverage through one’s employer. Comment.
Letters

Padavan cares about constituents

An open letter to state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose). Comment.
Letters

City GOP must not back Bloomberg for mayor

I was encouraged to see the five borough Republican Party leaders, expressing their solidarity during last week’s powwow with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as they rebuffed this attempt to woo them into giving him the Republican line. Comment.
Letters

Oscar−winning movie can teach us a lot about understanding others

I was elated “Slumdog Millionaire” won eight Oscars at the Academy Awards. I had seen the movie and was saddened by the poverty that exists in Mumbai, India. Comment.
Letters

Fort Totten needs stimulus money

I cannot see why U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D−Bayside) wants to grant $475,000 from the federal stimulus package to spruce up the Italian American Museum in Manhattan during these tough economic times. Comment.
Editorial

The Challenge of Domestic Violence

Now that his girlfriend has decided not to press charges, state Sen. Hiram Monserrate has begun to aggressively defend his reputation. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro GOP chooses Halloran as candidate for Avella’ seat

Congratulations to Phil Ragusa, the Queens County Republican chairman, and his executive board. They have made their choice for Tony Avella’s seat and “Dan’s their man” — Dan Halloran, that is. Congratulations to Phil again, as it must have been a difficult task, as they had several good candidates vying for the job. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ulrich wins Council seat vacated by Sen. Addabbo

The special election in the 32nd City Council District to replace former Councilman and now state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D−Howard Beach), took place on Feb. 24 with four candidates participating — two Republicans and two Democrats. The winner was Republican Eric Ulrich by a decisive margin. Ulrich, 24, is now the youngest Council member. Comment.
Astoria Times

No person can escape the lure of St. Patrick’s Day

May those who love us, love us⁄And those that don’t love us,⁄May God turn their hearts;⁄And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,⁄May He turn their ankles,⁄so we’ll know them by their limping. — Irish invocation Comment.
Astoria Times

City should think twice before letting Wal−Mart into boro

The shoppers’ early morning stampede, which led to the death of a worker in a Wal−Mart store over the Queens border in Valley Stream. L.I., was a shock to us and the country at the beginning of the holiday shopping season. During that time, while almost every retail outlet and chain in the country suffered losses, Wal−Mart eked out a gain. Comment.
Astoria Times

New York St. Pat’s parade has roots in colonial times

We hear much about the “wearing of the green,” but it is really not green but blue that was associated with St. Patrick. Comment.
Astoria Times

New dentist comes to Bayside

A longtime Queens dentist moved his office from East Elmhurst to Bayside, but he is no stranger to the community. Comment.
Astoria Times

Weddings have hidden costs

It is that time of year, when brides, grooms and their families and friends are in bridal−planning mode. Queens residents know how expensive weddings can be. Costs can look worse when we factor in the recession. Comment.
Astoria Times

Liu drops public advocate bid, enters race for city comptroller

Undaunted by a challenge, City Councilman John Liu (D−Flushing) announced Sunday he will run for city comptroller, leaving behind a public advocate race in which early polls had him trailing to join another that is already crowded with Queens candidates. Comment.
Astoria Times

Willets Point workers slam LaGuardia Community College retraining plan

A handful of workers protested LaGuardia Community College’s city−commissioned workforce retraining program in Long Island City Friday afternoon, calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city Economic Development Corp. to divert $2.5 million set aside for the education project to cover relocation expenses for more than 200 tenant businesses at Willets Point. Comment.
Astoria Times

Woodside resident who served in World War II turns 100

A birthday 100 years in the making seems only fitting for a man who fought in World War II and played jazz with legendary vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. Comment.
Astoria Times

Many ways to make a difference

TimesLedger Newspapers honored five Queens leaders Tuesday as part of its Queens Community Service Awards, which annually acknowledges individuals who make a difference in the borough’s diverse communities. Comment.
Astoria Times

Slain dentist’s family rejoices at guilty verdict

Ever since Dr. Daniel Malakov was gunned down in cold blood right in front of his daughter more than a year ago, the Uzbek immigrant’s family had no doubt in their mind that his estranged wife was behind the murder. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ridership at 2 Queens train stations spiked: Study

Two Queens subway stations were among those with top ridership in a new report that shows how the number of straphangers is increasing in the outer boroughs. Comment.
Astoria Times

Jackson Avenue to be renovated

One of Long Island City’s busiest intersections is set for a major face−lift this spring after Community Board 2 approved a plan to add pedestrian crosswalks and concrete islands to the Queens side of the Pulaski Bridge. Comment.
Astoria Times

SE Queens electeds push for Rockefeller reform

State legislators’ efforts to overturn harsh drug laws that have given judges no choice but to send low−level offenders to lengthy prison terms are receiving praise from southeast Queens elected officials, who said the guidelines have affected many area residents. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro rec center named for Astorian Olympian

Queens Olympian Al Oerter made a name for himself decades ago, earning the respect of past generations tossing discs through the sky. Now that name sits atop a project that will help future generations both on the ground and below it. Comment.
Astoria Times

Steinway factory gets new eco−friendly roof

For more than 150 years, Steinway & Sons has been one of the nation’s top piano manufacturers, but now the Astoria−based company plans to lead the pack in alternative energy technology. Comment.
Astoria Times

Forest Hills man plans Africa−to−NY rowing trip

Forest Hills resident Victor Mooney set off for the trip of a lifetime Tuesday afternoon. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man arrested in assault on grandmother

A Flushing man who allegedly attacked 86−year−old Springfield Gardens resident Vivian Squires in January has been arrested and now the Queens grandmother said she can sleep soundly in the belief that her assailant has been found. Comment.
Astoria Times

Family seeks max penalty for driver in Astoria DWI

The family of a 30−year−old immigrant from Astoria who was killed in November by a suspected drunk driver traveled from Cyprus to Queens last week to accept a posthumous doctorate degree in her name and to plead with the Queens district attorney to seek the maximum penalty for the defendant. Comment.
Astoria Times

Taxi driver busted in rape attempt

The Elmhurst cab driver who was hailed as a hero a year ago for his role in dropping off a 6−month−old girl at a Corona firehouse turned himself in to police Friday after being accused of trying to rape a woman he picked up as a passenger in Astoria. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA bailout debate drags on in Albany

As the clock ticks ever closer to the spectre of a more costly and diminished city transit system, Albany lawmakers talk on in an effort to keep that from happening. Comment.
Astoria Times

Straphangers give G train D−plus for poor wait times

Riders of the G train have given the line an overall grade of D−plus for the second consecutive year and proclaimed that their most important goal is to experience reasonable waiting times for trains. Comment.
Astoria Times

As income drops, Queens turns to pawnshops

There is the husband who has not told his wife he has fallen behind on mortgage payments, the girl who drove from Boston to New York for a job interview and did not have money to get home, the teacher who just cannot pay the ever−increasing bills. Comment.
Astoria Times

Audit may slow reopening of CaffÉ on the Green hall

The concessionaire that will replace Bayside’s CaffÉ on the Green could face an audit that would slow down the opening of a new catering hall and restaurant along the Cross Island Parkway, a spokesman for the city comptroller said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Good times, hard times

For Amy Winter, co−curator of “Working Through the Great Depression,” the recently opened exhibit at Queens College is about more than the now all−too familiar tale of being down and out in New York City. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens Theatre gets real with gritty ‘Our Lady of 121st Street’

Our Lady of 121st Street, put on by The Outrageous Fortune Company and directed by Foster Davis, is a bit of a departure for the Queens Theatre in the Park. It’s grittier than what audiences who attend plays in the studio theater are used to; the language is rough and some of the characters are flat−out unlikeable. But the play, written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, never fails to be absorbing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Manhattan theatrical tour is one man’s stimulus plan

The economy is in shambles and the news is not good. What better time to take in a show or two and concentrate on the finer things of life? I hear that the movie business is better than ever, but if you really want a memorable experience, try the theater. Comment.

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