Astoria Times

Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009

Astoria Times

Former psych patient accused of harassment

FAR ROCKAWAY — A Queens woman filed aggravated harassment charges after allegedly receiving a peculiar and disturbing package from a former patient at the psychiatric hospital where she works, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Traffic agent spat at, punched by driver: Cops

JACKSON HEIGHTS — A 35th Avenue resident was arrested after allegedly assaulting a city traffic agent last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Corona woman threw DVD player at man’s head: DA

CORONA — Police arrested a 43-year-old woman on assault charges for allegedly throwing a DVD player at a man’s head, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Far Rock man dies from gunshot to head: Police

FAR ROCKAWAY — Police said a 32-year-old man was killed Monday after being shot once in the head inside an apartment building. Comment.
Letters

Carrozza must choose to serve as a politician or practice law

The recent newspaper articles and editorials, all based on facts, speaks clearly and sharply. I know there are some people who still support state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside). Comment.
Letters

City school zoning creates problems

We live on a block where the houses are in city school District 26, but we are all zoned for District 29 schools. Yet all the children on the block attend District 26 schools. My son, who is in special ed, is being placed in a District 29 school. Comment.
Letters

Bloomberg must do more to make the MTA run more efficiently

Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a sweeping overhaul of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including common-sense practical programs for realistic renovations of older and underused resources that will improve ridership throughout the city. His programs to expand the CityTicket program to include Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad stations so Queens and Bronx riders pay reduced fares will benefit those borough residents shows he has an eye for moving the MTA toward a unified pay system. Comment.
Letters

Media must do better reporting on education

Instead, people get their information from misinformed reporters and outrageous commercials that have aired as part of the mayor’s re-election campaign. What is not seen by the public is the fact that test scores have increased yearly — not because of any innovations of the mayor or city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, but because the tests have been made easier. Comment.
Letters

Exercise always leads to weight loss

I want to bring a health point to the attention of readers of the Astoria Times and other major media. Recently, an article in the Aug. 10 issue of Time magazine claimed many things, including exercising produces hunger so uncontrollable it leads to weight gain, willpower cannot conquer hunger enough to make good food choices, leisure-time physical activity like just moving around more during the day is more effective for weight loss than dedicated exercise and exercise depletes energy resources so much it leads to overeating. Comment.
Letters

Bottle bill rules will hurt market

We are disappointed with the lifting of the injunction on the expanded bottle bill provisions. U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts’ decision to implement the terms of expansion as described in the governor’s budget will create nothing short of chaos in the marketplace. Comment.
Editorial

The Health Care Debate Comes to Queens

It is hard to imagine any place better than Queens to send up a trial balloon on President Barack Obama’s health-care reform. In this borough, registered Democrats far outnumber Republicans and voters here came out in large numbers for Obama last November. Comment.
Astoria Times

Berger’s Burg: Month of September important for life’s beginnings, endings

Gloria Ruth Cream and Alex Berger, after a whirlwind courtship, were married Sept. 1. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dishing with Dee: My recent moving experience epitomizes Murphy’s Law

Where has the summer gone? For all intents and purposes, it’s officially over. How was your summer and how did you spend it? Comment.
Astoria Times

QueensLine: Ryder family once owned most of Rockaway peninsula

On Aug. 9, 1895, Smith Ryder, 76, died at his home in Brooklyn. Ryder had the distinction of being the first white child born on Rockaway Beach. Comment.
Astoria Times

I Sit And Look Out: Program teaches youth about tree care

The Rockaways have been identified as one of six Trees for Public Health Neighborhoods in the greatest need of trees because the area has fewer than average street trees and higher than average rates of asthma among young people. Comment.
Astoria Times

Howard Beach shop reels in clients

When you look out over the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, chances are the people you see casting lines in search of a big catch got their lures and fishing rods from nearby Cross Bay Bait & Tackle. Comment.
Astoria Times

How’s Business? You can start a business online

Have you ever had this great idea about a product you wanted to sell online? It seems everyone is selling something online or somehow making money on the Internet. Comment.
Astoria Times

National retailers flocking to Queens despite slowdown

Queens boasts the second-highest number of national retailers in the city, and stores like Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway have flocked to the borough, according to a new report by the Center for an Urban Future. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astorian halts bus after driver dies

Rachel Guzy is ambivalent about her newfound fame. Comment.
Astoria Times

Feds unveil plans to open%A0immigration office in LIC

The federal government will open its first immigration office outside Manhattan next spring in Long Island City to serve Queens, “one of the most diverse communities on earth,” according to one borough elected official. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens Zoo to replace fleet of golf carts with tricycles

The Queens Zoo is going green and it is doing it with human power instead of horsepower. Comment.
Astoria Times

Rosasco’s write-in bid undone by state law

David Rosasco’s write-in campaign may be over before it began. Comment.
Astoria Times

Vallone wants Ditmars fix

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) is calling on the MTA to inspect and repair the elevated train along the N line at Astoria’s Ditmars Boulevard after a piece of wood fell from the tracks onto the street last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Crowley, Addabbo decry deterioration under J/Z

The elevated subway tracks along Jamaica Avenue in Richmond Hill and Ozone Park have been an eyesore for years, according to longtime residents and officials. Comment.
Astoria Times

Economy causes spike in Queensboro pupils

Bayside’s Queensborough Community College is experiencing a 20 percent increase in new full-time students this fall due to an ailing economy and families sending their children to public institutions rather than private universities, the college’s president said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Glendale field grows produce, friendships

They spent years sowing the seeds of conflict, but now community groups and a yeshiva in Glendale are getting together to grow something else: produce. Comment.
Astoria Times

Jamaica convenience store sells yet another golden ticket

The ads for the Take 5 lottery game say it takes a “little bit of luck” to win the prize. Comment.
Astoria Times

National Geographic gives Astorians peek at ancestors

Astoria residents caught a glimpse of a new National Geographic documentary this week that traces their lineage back hundreds of thousands of years following their participation in a project last summer that studied their DNA. Comment.
Astoria Times

Giraldo dishes dirt%A0on Council seat rival

Renewing criticisms of his rival’s political ties, former Queens Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Eduardo Giraldo has launched his Democratic primary campaign against City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst). Comment.
Astoria Times

Willets Pt. biz group says city plan is invalid

A New York Superior Court judge heard arguments from a Willets Point business group Friday that the city’s proposed plans to develop the area were invalidly submitted as part of a multi-pronged attack property owners have launched to sink the city’s ambitious project. Comment.
Astoria Times

Addabbo visits group home in Forest Hills

With much gusto, Forest Hills resident Malik Moore, who is legally blind and has been diagnosed with mental retardation, announced to state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) what he enjoys about living in a home for adults with developmental disabilities. Comment.
Astoria Times

Thompson, Koslowitz go out to woo voters in Forest Hills

City Comptroller Bill Thompson, a candidate for mayor, and Council candidate Karen Koslowitz campaigned together in Forest Hills Tuesday afternoon to glean voters in the weeks before the Sept. 15 Democratic primary. Comment.
Astoria Times

Friends mourn Hollis Marine killed overseas

Those who knew Lance Cpl. Leopold F. Damas as “their boy Leo” say his love for being a U.S. Marine developed from a mixture of his personal patriotism and will to help people. Comment.
Astoria Times

Scarborough disagrees with guv’s racism claim

One Queens official was among the elected leaders who reacted with skepticism to the claims of racism embattled Gov. David Paterson angrily leveled against the media during a surprising public interview. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ozone Pk. man from Trinidad sentenced in green card scam

A Trinidadian native from Ozone Park who scammed his fellow immigrants from the Caribbean nation living in South Ozone Park and Richmond Hill out of almost $100,000 after he provided them with fake green cards was sentenced to up to four years in prison last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bloomberg defends Shulman in Willets Point flap

Mayor Michael Bloom-berg dismissed Monday accusations the city used public funds to form a group headed by former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman to lobby on its behalf during the administration’s battle to push through the massive Willets Point redevelopment project. Comment.
Astoria Times

Schumer, Gianaris advocate bill of rights for air travelers

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and state Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), acting after a jetliner was delayed for six hours on the Kennedy Airport tarmac, have called for support for a bill of rights to protect air travelers. Comment.
Astoria Times

Maspeth man, shop in betting ring: Feds

A postal worker from Queens and a Maspeth print shop were both involved in a massive numbers game run by postal and MTA employees, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

The Reel Queens: Making the ‘Mask’

For the past six years, Astoria’s Elias Plagianos has been in the family construction business, but a labor of love on which he worked during that same period of time has yielded multiple awards and put a new Queens filmmaker on the map. Comment.
Astoria Times

The Play’s The Thing: Companies use ticket deals to entice interest in theater

There ain’t no answer. There ain’t gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That’s the answer. — Gertrude Stein Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens’ mainstay of doo-wop Kenny Vance to play free show

Kenny Vance, the Belle Harbor native known as the Dylan of Doo-Wop, will bring his classic sound to Seaside Park in Coney Island for a free concert Sept. 1 at 7:15 p.m. Comment.

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009

Jackson Heights

Neighbors erupt over transition home in Corona

A pair of apartment buildings in Corona were again the focus of public ire as neighbors and tenants came together to denounce conditions in what has become a transitional housing complex despite previous community resistance to its use as a homeless shelter. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Atlas Park changes abound

No replacement has yet been found for the departed Amish Market at Glendale’s Shops at Atlas Park, a court-appointed receiver said, but the mall may soon get a new sandwich shop to entice hungry consumers. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Dromm gets Latino support

City Council candidate Daniel Dromm was joined by state Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) and several members of the Queens Latino community for a campaign rally outside the Jackson Heights post office Saturday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dining Out: Bizaare Ave. Café: Everything’s on sale at Astoria eatery

Bizaare Ave. Café has replaced the Cup Diner on the corner of 35th Avenue and 36th Street in Astoria, a rapidly burgeoning nexus of restaurant rows in the area surrounding the American Museum of the Moving Image and Kaufman Astoria Studios. This aptly named restaurant uses a play on the words bizarre and bazaar for its moniker. The “bazaar” comes from their shtick that all of the appointments are for sale, including the art on the walls, the sofa upon which you are seated and the tableware. The “bizarre”— well, you be the judge. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cyclist struck by Jetta, killed on Blvd. of Death

ELMHURST — A bicyclist was killed on the Queens Boulevard Friday night when a driver accidentally struck him, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Drunk driver had teens, child in car: Nassau cops

LONG ISLAND — A Ridgewood man was driving drunk this weekend in Merrick, L.I., with three teens and a child riding with him, Nassau County authorities said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Corona man fondled girl in public pool: Police

CORONA — A 20-year-old man was arrested and arraigned Friday after he allegedly sexually abused a girl at a public pool, according to the police. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man robbed at gunpoint at his apartment: Police

WOODSIDE — Police were searching for three men who burglarized a man at gunpoint last month. Comment.
Astoria Times

Quaff under the stars in Long Island City

Ah, summer. What better way to savor the season’s rapidly dwindling steamy nights than with a cold brew or a specialty drink at one of the borough’s most innovative outdoor watering holes? Comment.
Letters

Queens’ real image proves better than that seen in entertainment

It has been noted in the movie “Julie & Julia” that Queens is treated with Manhattanite disdain as a punch line and punching bag. Comment.
Letters

109th Pct. needs improvement

Recently, residents in the Clearview Civic Association and several outside it made calls to the 109th Precinct. The complaint was about a house near the corner of 26th Avenue and 207th Street blasting music. Comment.
Letters

Policarpio ran Ackerman seat race fairly

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio, who was one of my opponents in the 2008 election for U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman’s (D-Bayside) seat. Policarpio mentioned he felt hurt that the last article many voters saw involved the accusations from our election petitions dispute. Comment.
Editorial

Queens’ Fast Buses Slow to Arrive

Nine years ago, in the basement of Queens Library in Jamaica, Metropolitan Transportation Authority technicians introduced a revolutionary concept: fast buses. Comment.
Astoria Times

Berger’s Burg: The New York football Giants will remain No. 1 forever

The 2009 New York Giants football season will kick off Sept. 13 in Giants Stadium against the Washington Redskins (ugh!). As anyone who reads my column knows, I am a football fanatic in general and a Giants fanatic in particular. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dishing with Dee: Always expect the unexpected during campaign season

In the midst of the lazy hazy days of summer, the dizzy busy days of the fall seem to be peeking over the horizon. In other words, things are starting to perk up a little and this fall shows all the promise of an interesting, if not a downright exciting season as it is an election year, which always generates lots of animated conversations. Comment.
Astoria Times

How’s Business? You can run your own biz

Queens professionals I speak with at networking events often say things like, “I’m tired of making someone else wealthy — I don’t mind putting in the hours if I worked for me.” If you are set on working for yourself, then buying a business may be best. Comment.
Astoria Times

Funday Day Care gets bilingual

Mimi and Friends Day Care may have new ownership and a new name, but new owner Khanh Phan said the only changes being made to the decade-old business are changes for the better. Comment.
Astoria Times

Mayoral underdog has bite

City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) says he recognizes he is the underdog in a mayoral race in which he is outspent by millions of dollars and, as a representative of northeast Queens, lacks the name recognition of his two prominent opponents, who have held citywide positions for nearly eight years. Comment.
Astoria Times

CUNY Law expands social justice network to India

For CUNY Law graduates who have wanted to go into social justice work — and there are many — life has not always been easy. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man with fake bomb unfit to stand trial: DA

A 32-year-old Manhattan man who caused thousands of travelers to be delayed after he allegedly brought a fake bomb to LaGuardia Airport earlier this month has been found unfit to stand trial and ordered placed in a state psychiatric facility, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA OKs subway worker pay raise

Only two weeks after MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger warned the agency was barely balancing its budget, labor arbitrators have ordered pay raises for subway workers that transit officials say could imperil the agency’s finances. Comment.
Astoria Times

Denim is cool for going back to school

Even if math isn’t your favorite subject, you can still follow this simple equation for acing back to school style. Comment.
Astoria Times

Non-English speakers are denied city benefits: Suit

Immigrant rights advocates and elected officials announced at City Hall last week a lawsuit accusing the Human Resources Administration of discrimination against people who have trouble communicating in English. Comment.
Astoria Times

Lancman protection law aims to help nonprofits

State Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) cheered Gov. David Paterson’s decision last week to sign legislation they sponsored to protect nonprofits from terrorism. Comment.
Astoria Times

Petrocelli moves past CEO’s plea with lights bid

A Long Island City-based electrical company submitted the low bid on four major city contracts for traffic signal maintenance just two weeks after the company’s former chairman and CEO pleaded guilty to bribery charges two weeks ago in one of the largest bid-rigging investigations in city history, the city Department of Transportation confirmed. Comment.
Astoria Times

NYPD forms committee to provide LGBT input

As a pair of attacks on transgender individuals in Queens linger in the minds of Queens activists, city officials have decided to establish a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advisory committee to the Police Department. Comment.
Astoria Times

Eviction averted, LIC school’s college program returns

For Astoria resident Christian Garcia, the city Department of Education’s decision to buy the building that houses Middle College High School was a huge relief. Comment.
Astoria Times

Rosasco to appeal primary ousting

Woodside translator David Rosasco is determined to fight his ejection from the Democratic primary ballot every step of the way, but prominent Queens Democrats say his campaign is finished. Comment.
Astoria Times

City union backs Thompson, to Bloomberg’s ire

The city’s largest municipal union last week threw its weight behind city Comptroller William Thompson in the mayoral race, prompting Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign to question what his opponent promised in exchange for the nod. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA shuts down rackety LIC tunnel fan

A noisy Metropolitan Transit Authority tunnel ventilation fan has finally been shut off after months of operation through the wee hours of the night in Long Island City, the agency said Monday. But the news did not arrive before City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Sunnyside) publicly complained the track work was disrupting neighbors’ sleep. Comment.
Astoria Times

Euripides in a double-wide

Don’t expect to see the same ol’ classic Greek rendering of Euripides’ tragedy “Medea” at the Nicu Spoon Theater in Manhattan. Comment.

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