Astoria Times

Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009

Astoria Times

Ridgewood man used stolen credit card: DA

CORONA — A 43-year-old Ridgewood man was arrested after he allegedly used a stolen MasterCard to purchase items at a store on National Street in Corona, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cash register stolen from Ozone Park store

OZONE PARK — A 39-year-old Ozone Park man was arrested after he allegedly broke into a store on 109th Avenue and stole a cash register, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

B’klyn man stole wallet from Glendale home: DA

GLENDALE — A 30-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested after he allegedly opened the window of a Glendale home and removed a wallet, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Police arrest Ridgewood man, 27, after robbery

RIDGEWOOD — A 27-year-old Ridgewood man was arrested after he allegedly threatened another man and robbed him, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Corona man charged with drunk driving

ASTORIA — A 49-year-old Corona man was arrested after he allegedly drank and drove recklessly at an intersection in Astoria, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Letters

People must respect others’ faiths beyond the mainstream religions

The word “pagan” is usually misused. Webster’s Dictionary defines a pagan as someone who is not Christian, Jewish or Muslim. So anyone who believes in Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Roman or Greek gods or any other of the hundreds of other religions in this world is in fact a pagan. Comment.
Letters

Polish Americans subject to misunderstanding over the Holocaust

Your article on the Kupferberg Foundation in your Oct. 8 issue (“Kupferberg Center opens at Queensborough Community College,” Little Neck Ledger) contains historical errors which need to be corrected. Comment.
Letters

Don’t extend school yr. into summer

As a teacher for nearly 18 years, I take exception to President Barack Obama’s suggestion that the school year for our students be lengthened. Comment.
Letters

World’s Fair Pavilion unworthy of any historical designation

I am old enough to have attended both the 1939-40 and 1964-65 World’s Fairs in the city. The 1939 fair was remarkable with its Trylon and Perisphere and the General Motors, Ford, General Electric, Firestone Tire and Rubber, Petroleum Institute and other pavilions were interesting, informative and exciting. The 1964 fair, except for the Unisphere and Michelangelo’s “Pieta,” was dull and mundane as were the individual structures. Comment.
Letters

Treat health care as a basic right

Health care reform is not about being conservative or liberal. It is about providing a basic necessity for every American in the richest country in the world. Under the current system, we must accept the health plan chosen by our employer and pay an increasing portion of the cost. If we lose a job, we also lose our health insurance. Comment.
Editorial

‘A Terrible Accident’

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate and his attorney rolled the dice and won. Judge William Erlbaum ruled last Thursday afternoon that the Queens Democrat was not guilty of second-degree felony assault. He was accused of slashing the face of his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, with a broken glass. Comment.
Astoria Times

Berger’s Burg: Seniors are fighting uphill battles as they grow older

Two-thirds of all seniors, people 65 and older, who have lived in the history of this planet are alive today. Comment.
Astoria Times

Political Action: Queens Village GOP club holds meeting on health care rally

Political clubs are a necessary extension of political parties. They usually have monthly meetings and carry on the work of the parties by assisting in fund-raising, providing campaign workers come election time and providing a forum for guest speakers, as well as their party ideals and positions, on various issues. Comment.
Astoria Times

Jackson Hts.-born Sarandon known for her acting, activism

Known for her work as a political activist as well as an actress, Jackson Heights native Susan Sarandon has remained a celebrity who defies stereotypes. Whether she has played, in the words of one biographer, a “wide-eyed, ingénue or seductive older woman,” she has “demonstrated throughout her career considerable range and fearlessness, excelling equally as devoted mother and sultry screen siren.” She is one of the most prolific actresses of her generation. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dishing with Dee: Brutal attack on gay man in College Point sparks outrage

The end of the political season is upon us — in fact just two weeks away. It’s wall-to-wall scrambling for all parties concerned. Comment.
Astoria Times

I SIt And Look Out: Queens County Farm Museum preserves boro’s green heritage

On a cool, almost misty Saturday afternoon early this past spring, I visited the Queens County Farm Museum in Little Neck. I had just come from an exciting conference on the environment at the Al Oerter center in Flushing and on my way home I made a detour. Comment.
Astoria Times

Pre-sentencing begins in case of Seminerio

A close associate of former state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio testified before a federal judge Tuesday that the corrupt Richmond Hill politician used her organization to bilk funds from other groups and ruined not only their friendship but her business when he did not get his way. Comment.
Astoria Times

Free AIDS testing in Jax Hts. gets big response

The trucks parked around the subway stations on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights and Corona usually offer commuters and workers a cheap meal, but last Thursday the white-painted vans set up every few blocks provided Latinos in the neighborhoods a chance to learn about HIV and AIDS. Comment.
Astoria Times

Judge rejects move to reopen Parkway Hospital

Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan federal court Tuesday denied Parkway Hospital officials’ motion for a preliminary injunction to reopen the hospital that closed in November, leaving open the possibility that the building in Forest Hills could be turned into a detention center. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens leaders march against anti-gay attack

Hundreds of borough residents and a crush of elected officials representing Queens and beyond marched down College Point Boulevard last weekend to speak out against hate crimes following the brutal beating of an openly gay College Point man earlier this month. Comment.
Astoria Times

Council seat rivals hit streets

The two candidates running to replace City Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills) are continuing their efforts to woo voters before the Nov. 3 general electionin a race that Karen Koslowitz and Lynn Schulman do not expect to be an easy win for either of them. Comment.
Astoria Times

In this popularity contest, nobody wins

Before the bell even rings to indicate the end of seventh period at 1 p.m. at Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows, students carrying bookbags overflowing with papers flood the hallway. Comment.
Astoria Times

10 Queens residents busted in mortgage fraud

Just one week after federal investigators busted an alleged mortgage fraud scheme that affected several Queens properties, federal prosecutors indicted 41 individuals last Thursday, including 10 Queens residents, for reportedly raking in $64 million in a similar scandal. Comment.
Astoria Times

Flushing panelists try to bring more public art to boro

A recent panel discussion at the Crossing Art gallery at the Queens Crossing shopping area in Flushing brought hope and inspiration to a crowd of artists and professionals interested in the craft of public art and its place in Queens. Comment.
Astoria Times

Railroad noise, trash exasperate Glendale

The trash trains may not sit for hours next to Christ the King High School anymore, but other Glendale residents are still angry with the way the New York and Atlantic Railway is handling its rolling stock. Comment.
Astoria Times

Gotti Jr. defense may call Mafia rat Sammy the Bull

John Gotti Jr.’s lawyer is considering making a star defense witness out of the mob rat whose testimony consigned Gambino crime family boss John Gotti Sr. to a life prison term, but this time he may be asked to save the Dapper Don’s son from a similar fate. Comment.
Astoria Times

Maspeth cell tower plan for 6 antennas draws ire of tenants

The subject of cellular phone transmitters was once again the source of conflict at Community Board 5 as a phone company unveiled its plans to install six new antennas on top of an apartment building in Maspeth. Comment.
Astoria Times

Israeli official attends Bayside Holocaust center opening

The consul general of Israel in New York was among the hundreds of people to crowd into Queensborough Community College’s Student Union Building last weekend for the official opening of the long-awaited Holocaust resource center. Comment.
Astoria Times

Council hopefuls talk change

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) squared off Monday against two challengers, Green Party candidate Lynne Serpe and Populist Jerry Kann, on senior citizen services, development, graffiti and education during the sole debate in the race for his Astoria Council seat. Comment.
Astoria Times

Pomonok fire kills mother of 2

A Kew Gardens Hills mother of two who had filed a $20 million sexual harassment suit against a construction company where she worked died Sunday after a fire ripped through her apartment, police and neighbors said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens pols question guv’s $5B budget plan

Gov. David Paterson last Thursday proposed $5 billion in cuts over the next two years to fill a growing state budget deficit, and the plan makes deep reductions in funding to education, health care and state agencies. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ulrich says his record is brief but long on results

Liam McCabe, manager of City Councilman Eric Ulrich’s (R-Rockaway Beach) re-election campaign, busily worked the phones last week in the campaign’s one-room Ozone Park headquarters. Comment.
Astoria Times

THE MONSERRATE VERDICT: Odd moments, crossed wires marked trial

The four-week trial of state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-East Elmhurst) may have ended with his acquittal on the felony charges against him, but it was not for lack of trying on the part of the prosecution. Comment.
Astoria Times

Sikhs donate materials to libraries in Astoria, Laurelton

Sikh activists are aiding the Queens Public Library in a campaign to educate the community on their culture and beliefs. Comment.
Astoria Times

They Might Be Giants lands help from Hall of Science director

What does a quirky songwriting duo raised in Massachusetts and tested in Brooklyn have to do with Queens? The answer, strange as it may seem, is science. Comment.
Astoria Times

Addabbo slams cuts to Social Security

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) has assailed the Social Security Administration’s decision to cut cost-of-living allowances as a hardship for seniors. Comment.
Astoria Times

THE MONSERRATE VERDICT: Should he stay or go? Constituents divided

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate’s (D-East Elmhurst) public image among his constituents was tarnished but not necessarily broken after his conviction last week on misdemeanor assault charges and elected officials’ calls for his ouster. Comment.
Astoria Times

St. John’s gets grant to fight domestic abuse

Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Muslim women who were trapped in abusive relationships often did not speak out about the violence because they feared they would be shunned by members of their community who could accuse them of further shining a negative light on Muslims, according to nonprofit workers in Queens. Comment.
Astoria Times

Gulluscio names commuter woes his top priority

“Nineteen days left,” Democratic City Council candidate Frank Gulluscio told a supporter who greeted him as he entered Sapienza Bagels and Deli in Howard Beach last Thursday for a buttered sesame bagel and coffee, referring to the scant time remaining before the Nov. 3 general election. Comment.
Astoria Times

Second College Pt. man charged with hate crime in brutal beating

A second man has been charged with a hate crime in last week’s brutal beating of a 49-year-old openly gay man from College Point after police caught up with him in Virginia, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Parents admit bringing kids along to break-ins

The parents of two children who brought their offspring along on a series of break-ins in Queens and another man pleaded guilty to burglary charges last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIC man killed in Astoria

A 31-year-old Long Island City man died Sunday night after being shot in Astoria and driving himself to the hospital, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Brooklyn realty firm buys St. John’s, Mary Immac

The properties that were once St. John’s and Mary Immaculate hospitals were purchased for $26.625 million by Brooklyn-based Guttman Realty at a bankruptcy auction in Manhattan last week, according to CB Richard Ellis. Comment.
Astoria Times

Brown says six JFK taxi dispatchers took bribes from drivers

Six airport taxi dispatchers at John F. Kennedy International Airport, three of them from Queens, have been charged with taking bribes from taxi drivers who wanted to go directly to airline terminals instead of waiting in long taxicab lines, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Unlocking Korea

Most museum exhibits are kept carefully under lock and key, but for the next several months at Flushing Town Hall, the standard array of deadbolts and latches will be protecting a collection of their own ornate ancestors. Comment.
Astoria Times

The Play’s The Thing: Casting should reflect boro’s ethnic, linguistic diversity

I like languages. I’ve studied French and Spanish, and I know a few phrases in a number of other foreign tongues. Not as many as my father, however, who in his youth was a merchant seaman, sailing the seven seas and learning lots of exotic and colorful curse words along the way. (A shout-out to Dad — his birthday anniversary is tomorrow, Oct. 23. He managed to make 84 of them.) Comment.
Astoria Times

Theatre Time gets frantic with Neil Simon’s ‘Rumors’

One isn’t surprised when one of the songs that make up the between-acts music in Theatre Time Production’s revival of Neil Simon’s “Rumors” is the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated.” Between the duplicity, drunkenness, whiplash, gunshots, bloody noses, busted eardrums, back spasms and overall nuttiness, who wouldn’t want to be sedated? Comment.
Astoria Times

‘Opa!’ mixes Hellenic hilarity and some Mediterranean heat

“This is just about the most perfect play to see on a fall afternoon,” the writer said to the gentleman sitting next to her in the little theater at Queens Theatre in the Park. He agreed, even if he was the husband of the musical’s keyboardist and musical director, Elise Morris. Comment.

Monday, Oct. 19, 2009

Astoria Times

Richmond Hill boy, 15, arrested in burglaries

RICHMOND HILL — A 15-year-old Queens boy with an extensive rap sheet was arrested in Richmond Hill Friday night in connection to an alleged burglary, according to a city Police Department spokesman. Comment.
Astoria Times

Police seek Rockaway murder suspect

ROCKAWAY — Police asked the public for help finding a man they contend killed another man near the victim’s home last month. Comment.
Letters

Serpe the best pick for Astoria

On the night of Oct. 1, Queens Holistic Moms sponsored a District 22 City Council candidate forum in Astoria. All three candidates attended, but the incumbent, Councilman Peter Vallone (D-Astoria), did not stay to hear people’s comments and the third candidate did not address my practical concerns. Comment.
Letters

Bloomy endorsement appalling

An open letter to the Bayside Times. Comment.
Letters

Liu thanks 7 train manager for job well done

An open letter to City Councilman John Liu. Comment.
Letters

Instant runoff voting will save money but not raise turnout

Two-round runoff elections are a waste of taxpayer time and money. Fortunately, there is an alternative to spending $15 million on an unnecessary and inconvenient second election: instant runoff voting. Comment.
Letters

Council should better support graffiti removal throughout city

It is great to see public officials are bringing the removal of graffiti to public eyes (“Gennaro gets hands on in war against graffiti,” Fresh Meadows Times, Oct. 1). Comment.
Letters

TimesLedger must offer readers unbiased and balanced reporting

I am appalled TimesLedger Newspapers endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg for mayor (“Mike Bloomberg for Re-election as Mayor of New York City,” Oct. 1) in light of the fact he ignored the twice-voted-on referendum for term limits that became city law for his own egotistical and self-serving reasons. Comment.
Letters

Willets Pt. raid unfair to businesses

It is not believable that a multi-city agency raid on Willets Point businesses was a coincidence (“Willets Point raids were attempt at coercion: Report,” Flushing Times Sept. 24). Comment.
Editorial

Get on the Bus, Gus

Gus Drakopoulos has threatened that if Community Board 2 does not stop its efforts to block a liquor license for a strip club he hopes to open in Long Island City, it could result in his opening a seedier joint. Comment.
Astoria Times

Our History: Reinstate Civil War memorial at Bayside’s Dermody Square

To read these words of the famed justice at a time when we recall the deeds of fallen heroes reminded me of a memorial that should be of interest to our community but seems to be forgotten. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dishing with Dee: Qns. Library Foundation holds gala reception in LIC

Paul Vallone finally got around to returning my phone calls, albeit a tad late. Like three or four days late. He said he did not call me Saturday as he had gotten home too late to call anyone and said he did not call me Sunday as he goes to church on Sunday. After Sunday he was busy putting up Halloween decorations and preparing for his son Charlie’s second birthday party. Comment.
Astoria Times

Berger’s Burg: Columnist spends life in pursuit of a lofty $1,200

Like most Americans, I have had my share of hard knocks, but that is about to change. Yes, my ship has finally come in. I just returned from my annual, two-week trip to Aruba, went to the post office to pick up my undelivered mail and carried it home, opened the first letter and — wham! — was notified I was going to receive a $1,200 check from the government. Comment.
Astoria Times

Political Action: Boro GOP elects Ragusa to another term as chairman

An important county committee meeting was recently held within the ranks of the Queens Republican Party that has determined its county leadership structure for the next two years. Comment.
Astoria Times

Two Jackson Heights men arrested in housing scam: Feds

A major federal investigation has resulted in the arrest of a dozen people who allegedly raked in more than $9 million from fraudulent mortgages made on several New York properties, including six buildings in the foreclosure-plagued neighborhoods of southeast Queens. Comment.
Astoria Times

DEATH IN THE STREETS: Death haunts schools living with gangs

The gang violence that took the life of a Campus Magnet High School freshman two weeks ago has been the result of a ongoing problem that southeast Queens teenagers say is a part of their everyday life. Comment.
Astoria Times

Guv vetoes bill on closing of hospitals alert

Gov. David Paterson vetoed Friday a bill that would have required the state to notify communities about hospital closings and issue plans for filling the gap in health-care services in the affected areas, prompting criticism from the legislation’s sponsor, state Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows). Comment.
Astoria Times

DEATH IN THE STREETS: Smith’s anti-crime grant effort begins in wake of teen’s killing

Kevin Miller’s death could have been prevented with the help of education and a support system for troubled teens to work out their differences, state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) said last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Crowley pushes for hike in fines for idling vehicles

A bill that would seek to deter people from creating the circumstances that led to the death of a 16-year-old Middle Village teen took a major step forward last Thursday in the City Council. Comment.
Astoria Times

South Asian advocates honor ‘architects of change’

A Thursday evening celebration brought more than 100 people to the Jackson Diner, a landmark Indian restaurant seen by many in the South Asian immigrant population as a beacon for its sizable Queens community, to recognize the efforts of three “architects of change.” Comment.
Astoria Times

Crowley backs flier reform

After a trio of Maspeth benevolent organizations got hit with more than $7,000 in city Sanitation Department fines last year for posters advertising a street fair, City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) is pushing a bill that would change the way the city can penalize such violations. Comment.
Astoria Times

Transit Authority plans work for crowded, delayed F trains

As thousands of Queens riders know all too well, the “F” in “F train” is for “faltering.” Comment.
Astoria Times

City hears feedback on transit proposals

The City Council Transportation Committee heard testimony, some impassioned, on a variety of proposed laws ranging from requiring prior notice before parking meter rates go up to making it illegal to leave a parked vehicle’s engine idling. Comment.
Astoria Times

College Pt. hate attack galvanizes city leaders

Last week’s brutal beating of an openly gay College Point man has sent shockwaves through the community and led to the arrest of two men from the community who have been charged with hate crimes. Comment.
Astoria Times

Making Strides walk to fight breast cancer

Borough residents can help find the cure to breast cancer and all they have to do is take a hike on Queens Boulevard. Comment.
Astoria Times

CB 2, officials hold protest at strip club site

Community board members and elected officials vowed Friday to bring their fight against a Long Island City strip club to the state and city in response to the business owner’s recent statements that attempts to stop his liquor license application would result in a more risque establishment. Comment.
Astoria Times

Mom pleads guilty in infant death case

The young Elmhurst mother whose neglect and abuse of her infant son resulted in his brain death pleaded guilty to manslaughter last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Teen at Queens Village school saves life of allergic boy

Lunch was proceeding as usual in the gym of the Our Lady of Lourdes School in Queens Village on the rainy afternoon of Sept. 28. Children were eating, laughing and playing and the eighth-grade lunch monitors were watching over everyone. Comment.
Astoria Times

Witness says martinis led to Gotti knifing

A self-styled construction coordinator testified Tuesday on how he once won a martini-drinking contest with John Gotti Jr. and got knifed in the shoulder for his trouble. Comment.
Astoria Times

Aqueduct deal could be close: Sen. Addabbo

An end to the long-delayed process of selecting of a vendor to rejuvenate Aqueduct Race Track in Ozone Park with 2,500 or more video lottery terminals and other new development may be in sight. Comment.
Astoria Times

2nd Ave. Subway project delayed by lack of funds

The Second Avenue subway is renowned as the most famous subway never built, but now the project could once again face a threat, this time from the MTA’s maxed-out credit card and a financially beleaguered governor. Comment.
Astoria Times

Forest Hills Y author tells why Madoff stole

Who is Bernard Madoff and how could he have betrayed almost everyone who ever loved him? Comment.
Astoria Times

Liu wants education, development reform

City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) said he plans to implement reforms to the city comptroller’s office within his first six months in office should he defeat Republican Joseph Mendola in the Nov. 3 election. Comment.
Astoria Times

Followers honor Sri Chinmoy with boro park race

A Briarwood guru who died two years ago got a fitting tribute Saturday in Flushing Meadows Corona Park as about 350 runners gathered for the first annual Sri Chinmoy-Heart Garden run. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cops search for murderer in Jackson Heights

Police in the 115th Precinct were searching for the suspect in the murder of a Jackson Heights man in his apartment last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens College plans homecoming event for its alumni

Queens College is ramping up its efforts to reach out to alumni and for the first time the school is hosting a two-day homecoming celebration instead of the one-day affair it has held in previous years, the manager of alumni relations said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Lawmaker in Astoria calls for ‘fish pedicure’ ban

A state senator representing the Bronx wants to ban a procedure secretly practiced at city salons during which customers receive pedicures using fish to nibble on their toes and cited one Astoria establishment that has offered the treatment. Comment.
Astoria Times

NYPD sting charges Astoria man, 3 others in gun ring

An Astoria man and three others were indicted last week on charges of illegally selling firearms, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Monserrate trial winds up

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate’s (D-East Elmhurst) fate will likely be decided Thursday afternoon after both sides finished closing arguments in Queens Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens team takes 2nd place in city bocce tourney

A Queens team took second place overall in the citywide bocce tournament in the Bronx Sunday, but the bragging rights and grudges were established in a court of shallow sand in Middle Village Saturday as 16 teams from throughout the borough gathered at Juniper Valley Park’s bocce courts for a day of friendly but occasionally intense competition. Comment.
Astoria Times

DEATH IN THE STREETS: Miller’s murder a rallying cry for mourners at boy’s funeral

Friday was a day the friends and family of Kevin Miller said they never thought would happen. Comment.
Astoria Times

Harding admits $800K kickback

Raymond Harding, the former chairman of the state Liberal Party, admitted he received more than $800,000 in exchange for doing political favors, including opening up a Queens state Assembly seat for former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi’s son, Andrew, the state attorney general said last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

The Reel Queens: Queens’ film engine isn’t faltering despite slowdown

The film and television industry may be concerned about luring productions to the city amid dwindling tax incentives and the economic downturn, but the list of films shot in Queens alone this year indicates that feature films are still using the borough as a backdrop. Comment.
Astoria Times

Tugging at his harpstrings

Whitestone musician and composer Edmar Castaneda’s newly released album “Entre Cuerdas” infuses jazz with the haunting sounds of his harp. The album’s title translates to “Between the Strings,” a sentiment that reflects Castaneda’s hope his music will touch people’s hearts. Comment.
Astoria Times

From the Footlights: Panoply of performers to play city’s stages this season

Queens’ wealth of talented and culturally diverse artists offers its residents an extremely inviting menu of theater, music and a great deal more. If, however, you’re in the mood for a trip outside the borough, there is perhaps no more colorful a cultural kaleidoscope in the world than Manhattan. Comment.

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