Astoria Times

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jackson Heights

Vendors serve Sears with protest

City Councilwoman Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights) got an earful from a group of vendors after calling for a ban on food carts in the center of Jackson Heights. Comment.
Jackson Heights

McLaughlin aided case: Feds

Federal prosecutors have finally publicly acknowledged former state Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin’s cooperation in the case against former Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio. Comment.
Astoria Times

Police make arrests in interboro crime spree

ASTORIA — Three Queens men and another from Brooklyn were arrested last Thursday in Astoria for allegedly robbing 15 convenience stores and bodegas in Queens and Brooklyn from June 14 to July 12, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man threatens neighbor with knife: Brown

BROAD CHANNEL — A Broad Channel man was arrested July 8 after he allegedly brandished a kitchen knife at the tenant of a neighboring apartment because the tenant was making noise while he and his mother were trying to sleep, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.
Letters

Building new crossings for borough motorists

With the recent closure of the Throgs Neck Bridge, it has become apparent there is a need for other crossings between Queens and the Bronx. I have submitted my suggestions to Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials. These new crossings will not only alleviate traffic nightmares of the future, but provide current employment for so many laid-off workers. Comment.
Letters

Candidates should not take public money

As reported, I have declined to take taxpayer public matching funds for my City Council campaign for Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s (D-Forest Hills) seat. Taxpayer dollars should not go toward political campaigns during these times of economic crisis, so I opted out of the program. I believe taxpayer dollars should go toward senior centers, police officers and other services that benefit our community. Comment.
Letters

City needs to invest in West Maspeth

Two issues of concern are the focus of this letter. The first is the former site of St. Saviour’s Church in West Maspeth. The city Parks Department has identified this area as one that is underserved by parks. Community Board 5 has for the past few years listed a community center as a priority for Maspeth and has mentioned that site as an ideal location for one. Comment.
Editorial

Our Wonderful Diversity

Only in New York and, more precisely, Queens. Last week, Flushing residents witnessed the Hindu pageantry of India. With conch shells, drums and an elephant bedecked in flowers, borough Hindus gathered to mark the end of a five-day religious festival. Comment.
Editorial

Looking for a Profile in Courage

Is there a Democrat in the state Senate who will say Sen. Hiram Monserrate should not be rewarded for the treachery that brought the state government to its knees? Comment.
Astoria Times

Dishing with Dee: Bloomberg visits Whitestone to make Vallone endorsement

The big Queens political news this week was the visit of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, complete with his entourage, to Francis Louis Boulevard and 25th Avenue in Whitestone. The reason for the mayor’s Friday visit was to stop by Paul Vallone’s campaign headquarters. Comment.
Astoria Times

Our History: United States’ current flag took shape in the late 1770s

Flag Day, which we commemorated June 14 and though not a legal holiday, is significant because it is the anniversary of the adoption of the American flag. At one time or another in our early history, various flags were unfurled, but it was not until June 14, 1777, that Congress, in Philadelphia, adopted a resolution declaring that “the flag of the United States be of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Comment.
Astoria Times

Political Action: Halloran runs on platform of small gov’t, development curbs

For City Councilman Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) seat, the Democrats are involved in a fierce primary election to determine their candidate. This will be decided in the Sept. 15th primary election. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bayside barista opens Breadbasket

Korean immigrant Gi Lee, a self-proclaimed coffee nut, said too many cafes and coffeehouses in Queens are too similar. Comment.
Astoria Times

How’s Business? Update your kitchen for less

Most real estate professionals will say the kitchen is one of the most important focal points in a home. The kitchen decor has a life span, with changing styles coupled with the general wear and tear the average kitchen takes on a daily basis. Comment.
Astoria Times

Comptroller calls for DOB reform

The city Department of Buildings is not doing enough to enforce the spate of illegal conversions that has plagued Queens since the 1990s, city Comptroller William Thompson said last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Lounge 47 license raises ire at CB 2

Complaints about loud patrons at Lounge 47 on Vernon Boulevard were met with a customer’s story of being hosed down by a neighbor as Community Board 2 grappled with a spate of liquor license applications on the Long Island City thoroughfare. Comment.
Astoria Times

Hero cab driver pleads guilty to attempted rape

The Elmhurst livery cab driver who last year was praised for delivering an abandoned baby girl to a Corona firehouse has pleaded guilty to attempted rape, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

City studies possibility of ferry service for JFK Airport

The city said it is hard at work at bringing a viable ferry service to coastline commuters in Queens, but borough leaders and residents say more needs to be done to create the perfect waterway system to fit all their needs. Comment.
Astoria Times

SE Queens home sales prices slip 15%: Report

The majority of Queens neighborhoods have seen drastic drops in the sales prices of homes, a new report released last week indicated. Comment.
Astoria Times

Party friends cleared in Astoria student slay

Two men who attended a party with the 23-year-old Fashion Institute of Technology student found strangled in her Astoria apartment earlier this month have been cleared after being questioned by investigators, a police source said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Gillibrand’s bill gives tax breaks to employers who offer English

More money may be coming to help boost Queens’ immigrant population in its efforts to learn English. Comment.
Astoria Times

City, state leaders discuss future transit proposals

For his part, former city Parks Commissioner Henry Stern wanted it known he did not like tolls on bridges and tunnels and thought there was too much car bashing. Comment.
Astoria Times

St. John’s prep program gives boost to minorities

Since St. John’s University professor Leonard Baynes launched the summer law school prep program four years ago in response to a decline in enrollment of black and Latino students at U.S. law schools, the program has continued to usher more minorities into prestigious law schools and officials are hoping this year will top last year’s achievements. Comment.
Astoria Times

Crash on 30th Ave. kills 30-year-old motorcyclist

A motorcyclist was killed at an Astoria intersection after he got into an accident early Saturday morning with a motorist who was driving with a suspended license, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Western Queens chides Con Ed on blackout anniversary

Three years ago on July 17 most of western Queens was engulfed in a blackout that paralyzed the community for more than a week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens athletes take swing at being US Open ballpersons

As the US Open tennis tournament nears, the U.S. Tennis Association is whittling down the ballperson field for the high-profile event. The first round of tryouts was held last month and callback tryouts were completed last Thursday afternoon. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA to allow Bronx-bound trucks on Throgs Neck

Transit officials said Tuesday the Throgs Neck Bridge will be reopened to most trucks Saturday following a fire that damaged the structure and traffic is scheduled to return nearly to normal Aug. 10. Comment.
Astoria Times

No. 7 subway named best in New York City

The Straphangers Campaign has proclaimed the No. 7 as the best subway line in the city, the fifth time the line that runs through northern Queens has gotten top billing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Economy is key for Vallone

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) said he will focus on crime prevention and economic measures during his bid this fall to retain his seat for a third term. Comment.
Astoria Times

Maloney under fire for racial slur prior to making Senate run

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) came under fire this week for using a racial slur while relaying a story to a city publication amid plans to challenge U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in the 2010 Democratic primary. Comment.
Astoria Times

McLaughlin enters prison

Disgraced former state Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin was admitted to federal prison in Butner, N.C., Tuesday to begin serving a 10-year sentence with notorious financier Bernard Madoff after a last-minute bid to delay his surrender was turned down by a federal judge. Comment.
Astoria Times

Take a bow

Jamaica natives Tourie and Damien Escobar, the brothers who make up the classical/hip-hop fusion duo Nuttin’ But Stringz, are bringing their talent back home with their highly anticipated concert for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign at the York College auditorium July 24. Comment.

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