Astoria Times

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Jackson Heights

East Elmhurst teen charged with reporter’s murder: DA

A 16−year−old East Elmhurst teen has been charged with murdering ABC Radio broadcaster George Weber in his Brooklyn apartment, the Brooklyn district attorney said last week. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Forest Hills Hospital names new directors

Forest Hills Hospital recently named a new executive and medical director, a move expected to help the institution deal with the influx of patients due to the closure of St. John’s and Mary Immaculate hospitals in early March. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Bloomberg endorsed by boro Bukharians

The Forest Hills−based Bukharian Jewish Congress endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg Monday, with the group’s president Comment.
Astoria Times

SHI: Classy pan−Asian with knockout views in LIC

Prepare to be dazzled by the spectacular view of Manhattan from almost any table in SHI, the new pan−Asian spot on the Long Island City waterfront. If you’re looking for a dramatic setting for a romantic evening or a special occasion without breaking the bank, we can think of no better location. Their menu combines Chinese classics, a comprehensive selection of sushi and sashimi and a few Southeast Asian crowd−pleasers for good measure. Comment.
Letters

MTA unfair in raising fares

It is outrageous the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is going to raise all mass transit fares. How much more can we be asked to pay? Comment.
Letters

MTA must keep express bus service from boro to Bronx high school

Last month, it came to my attention that Bronx Science Bus Service Inc., one of two yellow bus companies that carry Queens students to the Bronx High School of Science, had reported on its Web site it was unable to continue providing service to Bronx Science students due to a fire that consumed 10 buses. Comment.
Letters

Spend carefully in rough economy

We are in a deep economic recession and see many Queens residents out of work, homes being foreclosed and local businesses closing. Those of us working have been forced to cut back and make difficult financial decisions. Comment.
Letters

Universal health care needed now

I have read the article about the health problems of Larry Hilsdorf (“Bayside family seeks aid during rough economic climate,” March 19). He is obviously in poor health. Comment.
Letters

Campaign finance report contained an error

The New York City Campaign Finance Board has a system in which candidates must file electronically regarding their campaign fund−raising and expenditures. The most recent filing deadline was Monday, March 11. I filed by that deadline to show that my campaign had raised $11,030 — 95 percent of which I raised in the last two months. Comment.
Letters

Council should have stood up to Monserrate

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) has been indicted. Of course, everyone, including the senator, deserves the presumption of innocence. That is what an indictment and trial are all about: determining innocence or guilt. Comment.
Letters

Oral Health Program necessary for the well−being of city youths

In November, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the elimination of the Oral Health Program. After April 30, under his current proposal, the city will no longer provide dental care to thousands of underserved children. Already, the city Health Department is auctioning off equipment that costs thousands of dollars for $250 each. Comment.
Editorial

Monserrate Must Step Down

A grand jury last week indicted state Sen. Hiram Monserrate on charges of slashing his girlfriend in the face with a broken glass. The former cop and city councilman from East Elmhurst has been charged with three counts of second−degree assault, a Class D felony. Comment.
Astoria Times

Politicians should pay interest on unreported income

April 15, a date that lives in infamy for many people, is rapidly 1040−ing toward us. If you have not already prepared your !@#$% 2008 income tax return, are not a member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet or are not U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D−Astoria) or U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, I suggest you take care of this matter post−haste. Comment.
Astoria Times

Avella’s passion for elected office fuels his run for mayor

As the mayoral race moves along, soon the various political parties and their county organizations will be designating candidates. Now that U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D−Forest Hills) has suspended active campaigning for mayor, only two active Democratic candidates remain: city Comptroller Bill Thompson and City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside). Comment.
Astoria Times

Blizzard of 1888 stalled train for two days before rescue

On March 13, the Blizzard of 1888 struck Queens with a fury. The Newtown Register vividly tells the story, below. Comment.
Astoria Times

Find a job after getting laid off

It is scary to lose your job. In these trying financial times, it is becoming more common to hear that someone got laid off. In speaking with numerous Queens professionals, I have put together a battle plan to make your situation better if you get downsized. Comment.
Astoria Times

Forest Hills eatery offers choice

Astoria resident George Philippakos had a great experience when he visited a Cheeburger Cheeburger restaurant in Long Island a few years back. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro has 2nd−fewest sex felons in projects

The number of registered sex offenders living illegally in New York City Public Housing complexes grew over the last year, but Queens has the second fewest of any borough, a study conducted by City Councilman Eric Gioia (D−Sunnyside) found. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bloomberg opens campaign headquarters in Forest Hills

It’s terrible having your wings clipped. In my case, it’s a pinched sciatic nerve. Thank goodness this hasn’t been a terribly busy week, so I really didn’t miss that much. Comment.
Astoria Times

‘Mad Hot Ballroom’ program faces budget crunch

A citywide ballroom dance program, which brought a first prize to Douglaston’s PS 98 and captured the attention of two major filmmakers, may not be able to expand to more schools because of city budget cuts, the founder said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dept. of Ed plans to buy Middle College building

After the owner of the building that has housed Long Island City’s Middle College High School for decades declined to renew the school’s lease, the city Department of Education is laying the groundwork to purchase the property. Comment.
Astoria Times

Willets Pt. cleans up despite city sweepers

City Sanitation Department workers spent most of last week cleaning up parts of Willets Point, but that did not keep property owners and workers from clearing more than eight tons of trash in their own organized cleanup of the hardscrabble business community. Comment.
Astoria Times

Legislators, guv make deal to pass budget

Just under the gun, Gov. David Paterson and the state Legislature reached a tentative agreement on a record $131.8 billion state budget over the weekend, eliminating cuts to education, but imposing higher taxes on households earning more than $300,000 a year and adding a nickel deposit to bottled water. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens College promotes diversity with new center

The Center for Ethnic and Racial Understanding at Queens College is slated to open late this spring, thanks to $285,000 in federally appropriated funds from a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D−Bayside). Comment.
Astoria Times

Queensboro Bridge’s 100−year legacy remembered by historians

Whether it’s a “groovy pop” song, a breathless passage in a definitive 20th century novel or a somber moment in a World War II drama, the Queensboro Bridge has etched itself into the consciousness of New Yorkers. Now the iconic structure is celebrating its centennial. Comment.
Astoria Times

CNG opens Brooklyn HQ, TimesLedger stays in boro

TimesLedger Newspapers’ parent company cut the ribbon Friday on its downtown Brooklyn office, where the weekly’s classified and production staff are now operating. The chain’s editorial department and display sales remain in the Bayside office. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro archers shocked over Whitestone stray arrow

Queens archery experts were mystified about the origins of an arrow that struck the home of a Whitestone family last week and said it was a model sold online or in sporting goods stores. Comment.
Astoria Times

Monserrate pleads not guilty to slashing his girlfriend’s face

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) pleaded not guilty to slashing his girlfriend in the face Friday after a grand jury indicted him on charges, but he will still not be allowed to associate with girlfriend Karla Giraldo. Comment.
Astoria Times

32nd Ave., Linden Place get $19M from D.C.

Elected officials announced Monday that Community Board 7 received more than $19 million in federal stimulus money that will go to completing two long−awaited road projects and provide a boost to a Flushing medical center. Comment.
Astoria Times

Major renovation set for Queens Plaza

The congested, pothole−wracked streets along Queens Plaza will get a major upgrade over the next two years with the help of more than $37 million in federal stimulus funds, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bayside teen’s atypical models to hit catwalk at charity event

An 18−year−old senior from Bayside’s Benjamin N. Cardozo High School said she is currently overseeing 18 teenage girls who do not fit the typical description of a fashion model, but will walk the runway at a Manhattan charity event this summer. Comment.
Astoria Times

Going Green in Queens cultivates new volunteers

Borough green thumbs converged on Flushing’s Al Oerter Recreational Center last weekend for the Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Space’s Going Green in Queens 2009 conference, where borough environmental leaders called for an increase in volunteering from city residents. Comment.
Astoria Times

Tax credit gets thumbs up

Western Queens studio heads were pleased about Gov. David Paterson’s proposal to reinstate a tax credit for films and television shows shot in New York back into the state’s budget. But they said the governor’s plan falls short in keeping productions on their lots. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens shed 13,000 jobs during historic Feb. losses

Queens lost nearly 13,000 jobs in the month of February as the city suffered historic job losses, according to statistics from the state Labor Department. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA’s Shevell skips budget vote for a hard day’s night of dancing

“Hey Jude,” where was Nancy when the MTA Finance Committee approved all those terrible fare hikes and service cuts? Comment.
Astoria Times

Flushing movie swept up in pension fund scandal

A low−budget 2004 film set in Flushing is seeing a revival, of sorts, after the state attorney general’s office recently said the movie was entangled in an alleged scheme during which two aides to former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi are accused of taking millions in kickbacks and using their influence over the state’s billion−dollar pension fund for personal gain. Comment.
Astoria Times

Elder Flushing survivors recall Armenian Genocide

Two Armenian women who live in a Flushing home for the elderly recalled their experiences escaping the genocide that killed most of their family members and nearly 1 million other people in the Ottoman Empire just under 100 years ago during a remembrance of the massacre held by the Armenian House. Comment.
Astoria Times

Pols waffle on bailout plan after MTA OKs hikes, cuts

Millions of straphangers await a legislative rescue plan, without which MTA officials warn the city transit system could begin a slide toward an era of breakdowns and chaos, such as it experienced 30 years ago. Comment.
Astoria Times

State legislators ease penalties in Rockefeller drug laws

Albany leaders reached an agreement Friday to reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws that in part gives judges the option to send low−level, nonviolent drug offenders to treatment facilities instead of prison, state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D−St. Albans) said Friday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Federal funds go to boro projects

Queens is getting federal stimulus funds for nine infrastructure projects that range from extensive work on Queens Plaza to the rebuilding of the Rockaway Boardwalk as part of the $261 million designated for New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and federal elected officials said Monday. Comment.
Astoria Times

31st Street alley gets makeover with retail

A formerly grimy, deserted alleyway that acted as an unofficial garbage dump in Astoria has been transformed into a newly paved, white−washed row of kiosks following years as a community eyesore. Comment.
Astoria Times

Mt. Sinai Hospital gets $1M to handle new patients

After being hit with a flood of new patients since two other Queens hospitals closed in February, Long Island City’s Mt. Sinai Hospital is receiving $1 million from the state to bolster its staff. Comment.
Astoria Times

Havana Film Fest features Queens soccer doc, screenings

The Havana Film Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary in the five boroughs this year with screenings of 43 films of varying formats and styles, including a documentary about soccer players at Flushing Meadows Corona Park and a presentation of four short films at the Queens Theatre in the Park. Comment.
Astoria Times

Greek ambassadors

As the ancient Greeks gave us the classical underpinnings of stage drama in millenia past, perhaps it’s only appropriate that the Greek Cultural Center in Astoria has chosen to open its 35th anniversary celebration this year with new original work from a Greek playwright. Comment.

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