Astoria Times

Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009

Astoria Times

Dining Out: El Coyote — Jamaica eatery offers authentic Mexican variety

Since we received a recommendation for El Coyote in Jamaica by a trusted friend, our favorite pipeline to great new finds, we rushed right over. We won’t deny being put off by our first glimpse of this establishment — an awning encrusted with pigeon droppings. Not the most appetizing introduction. Still, we soldiered on. Comment.
Astoria Times

Conn. man sentenced in Rosedale man’s death

KEW GARDENS — A 28-year-old Connecticut man was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison for the 2008 murder of a Rosedale man and the attempted murder and kidnapping of two other men, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man charged with impersonating officer

SUNNYSIDE — A man’s attempt at playing cops and robbers went awry when he allegedly approached an undercover police officer while posing as one himself, authorities said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Husband harassed wife while in police HQ: DA

GLENDALE — A 39-year-old man added an aggravated harassment charge to an already accumulated assault charge when he allegedly called his wife and threatened her while at central booking at Police Headquarters in Manhattan after being arrested for attacking her, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Letters

Regulate how the Council gives out grants

As a City Council candidate, former NYPD member, former prosecutor and practicing attorney, it is clear the federal investigation of corrupt Council members embezzling taxpayer funds in the “Council slush fund” that reaches as high as the speaker’s office must be expanded and everyone called to account. Comment.
Letters

Council bill will ruin affordable co-op and condo housing

If you live in a co-op or condominium and are an owner or renter, hold on to your wallets because the City Council has a bill poised to create financial havoc in the co-op and condo communities. Intro. 967, sponsored by Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) (“Gennaro pushes to make city green with jobs,” Fresh Meadows Times, July 16) will require significant spending in the tight budgets of co-ops and condos. Although Gennaro says he is working on the language to mitigate its effect on co-ops and condos, the only acceptable fix is to eliminate them from the legislation. Comment.
Letters

Why is Ann-Margaret Carrozza being targeted?

Why has Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza received such criticism in the press during the past weeks, with no less than two news stories, two letters, an editorial, and two pictures just in the last three issues of the TimesLedger, and I suspect more will come? What could she possibly have done to merit such extremely negative attention? Comment.
Letters

Economy needs help

Well, here it is, the end of July and the country is still in the midst of an ever-worsening unemployment and economic situation. Comment.
Letters

City community centers offer vital services

It has come to my attention that the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center, at 110-08 Jamaica Ave. in Richmond Hill, is in danger of permanently closing after serving the community for more than 30 years. Comment.
Letters

Senate needs heavy revamping

Sometime ago, the Brennan Center for Justice, a public interest law center at the New York University School of Law, rated the New York state Legislature the worst in the nation. Comment.
Letters

Weprin sticks to his principles

As a Democrat residing in the 23rd City Council District, I take issue with Bob Friedrich’s letter “Council hopeful shuns identity politics” in the July 2 Fresh Meadows Times. Comment.
Letters

Lynne Serpe represents change for Astorians

Are we not all sick and tired of politics as usuali King Bloomberg has usurped the spirit of democracy by pushing (buying) the City Council to extend his term limits. Councilman Peter Vallone has succumbed to Bloomberg’s pressure and acquiesced to his demand for term limit extensions. Vallone claims that in a time of economic distress, Bloomberg is the most qualified to see New Yorkers through the turmoil. Comment.
Editorial

If Not Here, Where?

We understand why communities in Queens might be less than thrilled with the thought of hosting a homeless shelter. While some residents are people who are down on their luck, more often than not the homeless in the city shelters are battling alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illness. They do not make good neighbors. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dishing with Dee: Reinstating mayoral control will benefit city schoolchildren

The first order of business this week is a correction of a statement in last week’s column. It was in reference to Mayor Michael Bloomberg acquiescing to a photo op with Dan Halloran. I had stated it happened at the GOP Gala at the Reception House April 1, but was mistaken. It happened at the GOP breakfast at the same Reception House in Flushing June 6th at 9:30 a.m. Sorry about that. Comment.
Astoria Times

QueensLine: Ferraro was Astoria teacher before running for U.S. VP

On July 1, 1911, Long Island City and Greenpoint got a good look at the first airplane, piloted by Harry Atwood, to fly between Boston and New York. His flight the previous Friday from Boston to New London, Conn., a distance of 135 miles, was the longest continuous cross-country flight made in America at the time. Comment.
Astoria Times

I Sit And Look Out: Trees NY works with Queens schools

As the school year ended, Trees New York was busy bringing its greening message to Queens schools. Comment.
Astoria Times

Political Action: Baldeo’s run for Seminerio seat complicates special election

In the 38th State Assembly District in western Queens, where former Assemblyman Tony Seminerio served for 30 years until his recent resignation, a special election has been in progress that was scheduled to follow this year’s primary and fall general election schedule. Designating petitions for Republican, Democratic and Conservative candidates have been circulated and filed with the state Elections Board. Petition challenges have also been filed. Comment.
Astoria Times

Berger’s Burg: Bad luck seems to thrive in the sweltering month of August

Everyone and his brother think August is a month of vacations, outdoor concerts, swimming pools and beaches. Nothing happens in August and journalists view it as the “silly season,” the uneventful time of year when newspapers are especially desperate for copy. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bayside delicatessen serves only the freshest

Joe Vessia and John Arena own Bayside Salumeria, a deli at 41st Avenue and Corporal Kennedy Street in Bayside. They sell fresh cold cuts, prepare breakfast and lunch, make coffee and carry chips, cookies and necessary Italian ingredients. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA delays 2nd Ave. subway construction, again

What has become known as the most famous subway never built has again lost some of its momentum. Comment.
Astoria Times

Maragos runs for Council

In a field crowded with Democratic candidates, 24-year-old Long Island City resident Angelo Maragos is not willing to be a footnote. Comment.
Astoria Times

Schumer pens texting ban for drivers of buses, trains

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday he plans to introduce legislation this week to make it a federal crime to send text messages while operating trains or buses. Comment.
Astoria Times

ATCO may reclaim Atlas Pk

Rumors are spreading in Glendale that the Hemmerdinger family is preparing to buy back the struggling Shops at Atlas Park when it goes up for foreclosure sale next year, although company officials were mum on the subject. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIC residents still angry at LIRR

Two months after starting a petition drive to deal with the noise of idling Long Island Rail Road locomotives, residents of some of the newer residential buildings in Long Island City are not getting any relief. Comment.
Astoria Times

Kew Gardens man claims $82.7M lottery prize

Queens’ newest multi-millionaire, who kept his identity hidden for three weeks after he won a $133 million jackpot, was all smiles Tuesday when he accepted his winnings at a special event at Grand Central Terminal. Comment.
Astoria Times

Crane Street Studios won’t reopen: Owner

Even as friends and colleagues of the artist critically injured in the April staircase collapse at Crane Street Studios in Long Island City prepared a fund-raiser to help with her expenses, the tight-knit creative community that used the building for workspace is preparing to pack its bags. Comment.
Astoria Times

City set to pass plan to rezone Middle Village

The rezoning of Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale breezed through committee votes this week and was headed for likely City Council approval Wednesday, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s (D-Middle Village) office said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Candidates for Gioia seat debate housing

The race for City Councilman Eric Gioia’s (D-Sunnyside) seat heated up a bit last week as the five candidates sparred over issues of affordable housing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Davenport Court needs drain

Checking when high tides are going to hit are not at the top of most Queens residents’ to-do lists, but it is essential for Margarita Bravo. Comment.
Astoria Times

Paterson to call special election to fill Seminerio seat

Gov. David Paterson intends to call a special election to fill the seat vacated by former state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, according to an e-mail written by the lawyer for the city Board of Elections. Comment.
Astoria Times

Parking change befuddles drivers

New parking lines on 108th Street in Forest Hills has caused pandemonium for confused drivers, some of whom have forsaken parking in the commercial area because they say it is too frustrating and inconvenient, shop owners and residents said. Comment.
Astoria Times

City kills plans for Elmhurst homeless shelter

The city canceled its plan to send clients to a new, nonprofit homeless shelter on a residential street in Elmhurst out of privacy concerns, the city Human Resources Agency said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Koslowitz makes push for campaign donations

City Council candidate Heidi Harrison Chain’s donations, including more than $20,000 she gave to herself, boosted her to top of the pack financially in the last filing period, but Karen Koslowitz raised more money than any of the other candidates vying for Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s (D-Forest Hills) seat in that time period. Comment.
Astoria Times

Gillibrand fat survey finds 57.6% in boro overweight

Queens residents are fatter than the citywide average, a new study issued by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) found, but that was only because Manhattan residents are so scrawny. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA plans cleaning cuts amid fiscal, ridership woes

A drop in subway riders, coupled with the MTA’s financial straits, have forced transit officials to begin drastically cutting back the number of people who clean the city’s subway cars and stations. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dump Klein, reform DOE: Thompson

City Comptroller William Thompson joined a group of Queens parents last week in condemning the way Mayor Michael Bloomberg is overseeing public schools and vowed to make major reforms to the city Department of Education if he is elected to replace the mayor. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cop recovering after Ridgewood shooting

A Queens police officer was recovering from a gunshot wound and his accused attacker was arraigned assault charges after a domestic violence call turned ugly in Ridgewood last weekend. Comment.
Astoria Times

Letters demand Maloney take stand on Senate race

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) has not yet officially announced her bid to challenge U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in the 2010 Democratic primary because she has been busy focusing on health care and immigration issues in the House, a spokesman for the congresswoman said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cohen hopes to bridge gap

When Albert Cohen knocks on fellow Bukharians’ doors to speak to them about his City Council race or to register them to vote, the first Bukharian to run for city office is frequently met with hesitation. Comment.
Astoria Times

Mayor, Senate reach deal on school control

The state Senate majority conference reached an agreement on school governance with Mayor Michael Bloomberg Friday, and lawmakers, including Senate President Pro-temp Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans), said the bill they are expected to vote on before school starts in September will give more of a voice to parents and strengthen the role of community superintendents. Comment.
Astoria Times

Jackson Heights charter searches for high school site

A well-regarded Jackson Heights charter school wants to establish a new 500-seat high school in the district, staff announced at a public meeting last Thursday, but the search for a proper location may be back on after the School Construction Authority expressed interest in Blessed Sacrament School, which closed at the end of the 2008-09 school year. Comment.
Astoria Times

Sears’ past informs present

In her bid to stay in office for a third term, City Councilwoman Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights) can draw upon lessons from several decades of public and private service in her neighborhood. Comment.
Astoria Times

Two Aqueduct bidders reveal video lottery plans

Two bidders vying for the right to install video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Race Track became the first companies to publicly unveil their proposals this month. Comment.
Astoria Times

The Reel Queens: Two film series show classic pictures from NYC, France

Moviegoers looking to escape the cacophony of this summer’s studio films can turn to southeast Queens nonprofit A Better Jamaica and Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image for some classic cinematic relief. Comment.
Astoria Times

The Play’s The Thing: Maggie’s Little Theater emerges as Queens’ newest group

I’ve lived in Queens all my life, but there are places in the borough almost as foreign to me as Staten Island. According to my father’s 8mm films and the Hellman family archives, I was present at both World’s Fairs at Flushing Meadows and the openings of LaGuardia Airport and JFK (then called Idlewild). Comment.
Astoria Times

JAMS 2009

On an average day, downtown Jamaica looks like your average commercial strip. Hundreds of shoppers walk up and down looking for deals, commuters make their way to the subway or the Long Island Railroad or head to a movie. Comment.
Astoria Times

Summer in Queens means fun for free

Okay, so you’re broke. You also happen to be living in one of the nation’s, if not the world’s, most expensive cities. But rather than have you spend the entire summer cooped up indoors, feasting on ice water and crackers, we’ve saved you the legwork of ferreting out those free (yes, free!) or ridiculously cheap summertime attractions in your beloved borough, so that you can enjoy all Queens has to offer without squandering every last penny of your savings. Comment.
Astoria Times

Latino Cultural Fest serves up international flavor

The Queens cultural scene is muy caliente this summer, thanks to a diverse array of programming provided by eminent and emerging Latino artists during the 2009 Latino Cultural Festival at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Comment.

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