Astoria Times

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009

Jackson Heights

Bellerose Sikh running for office to give South Asians a voice

Swaranjit Singh wants the city to hear the concerns of South Asians, and he is giving 102,000 reasons why it should. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Immigrant nonprofit establishes new Queens office in Elmhurst

A nonprofit that works with city immigrants said it will be able to further its reach after opening a new office Sunday in Elmhurst. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Attack on Richmond Hill Sikh man a hate crime: Avella

A week after a brutal attack in Jackson Heights left a young Sikh man sightless in one eye, the Sikh community and City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) called on the Police Department to pursue the case as a hate crime. Comment.
Astoria Times

Fino: Nibble and sip at new Bayside tapas and wine spot

Call it a wine bar, tapas bar (Spain), enoteca (Italy) or Izakaya (Japan) — cozy spots pairing glasses of wine with small plates have long been one of the pleasures of travel. Happily, this style of nibbling and imbibing has firmly taken root locally. Fino Wine & Tapas, a newcomer on Bell Boulevard in Bayside, is a pan−European exemplar of this trend. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man died after beating from another: Cops

ELMHURST — A Kew Gardens man was arrested on manslaughter and assault charges Tuesday for allegedly beating a man in front of an Elmhurst building Friday who died two days later, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Police search for woman cashing fake checks

KEW GARDENS – Police were asking the public for help in identifying woman, who is suspected of cashing fraudulent checks at a Maspeth bank and another bank in Nassau County. Comment.
Letters

MTA should review its operations before enacting ‘doomsday budget’

The latest Metropolitan Transportation Authority budget proposal is currently being aired in public hearings across the five boroughs. I recently expressed my reservations about it. Comment.
Letters

Obama’s swearing in unites people

I watched the inauguration of President Barack Obama on TV and was struck with awe and pride. I was impressed with the magnitude of the crowds in Washington. Comment.
Letters

Nations on road to espousing ideas in the Declaration of Independence

Last week, I was in our nation’s capitol for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States. Comment.
Letters

Declare Padavan the winner

A deep groundswell of discontent and disgust is rolling through our community because we in Queens Village and its environs are the pivots who are being inundated with queries as to why the Padavan−Gennaro contest is still going on. Comment.
Letters

City must step up overdevelopment crackdown

Overdevelopment has radically altered the traditional appearance and character of our neighborhoods. Illegal construction, non−compliance with zoning rules and poor construction quality is compounded with our failure to landmark historic buildings. Comment.
Letters

Boro must have gun buyback program to ensure safety of its youth

No matter how safe the city has become, there will never be a totally safe city as long as illegal guns are available on the streets, and they are abundantly. The senseless killings that continue to take the lives of our children are the painstaking evidence of this fact. Comment.
Letters

St. John’s Hospital must stay open

Queens faces a health care crisis as it is confronted with the potential closure of St. John’s Queens Hospital. St. John’s has provided quality health care for years to a large segment of the Queens population. The termination of these services would create an irreplaceable void that would adversely affect the health and well−being of people residing in the areas served by St. John’s. Comment.
Letters

Modify plan on new high school

An open letter to Community Education Council 24. Comment.
Editorial

Give Her a Chance

Despite the fact that her appointment was botched by a governor who appears bent on self−destruction, Kirsten Gillibrand, New York’s new junior senator, has hit the ground running. As part of her statewide “listening tour,” Gillibrand paid a visit last week to southeast Queens. She admitted she comes from a suburban background, but made it clear she is willing to listen. That is a good way to start. Comment.
Editorial

Saved by Heroes

Like most New Yorkers, we are moved — awestruck, really — by the courage of the firefighters who walked into a blaze last week to save five members of a Woodhaven family. They represent the best of what it means to be human. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens Marine supposedly lost in Bermuda Triangle

In December 1965, then−Gov. Nelson Rockefeller ended a month−long “people to people” state tour in Queens, where he engaged in “a flawless political performance.” During a whirlwind four−hour visit, Rockefeller toured the children’s unit at Creedmoor State Hospital and partook in a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Comment.
Astoria Times

Washington, Lincoln served as inspirations to generations

Did you ever stop and wonder at fate’s peculiar ways? For nearly all our famous men were born on holidays — Dick Stauzion Comment.
Astoria Times

2 Queens hospitals put spotlight on universal health care

We are having a heat wave. On Sunday, the temperature was over 45 degrees, the sun was shining, the birds were birding and the squirrels were squirreling. What a great day. Can spring be near? I hope so, as spring and fall are my favorite seasons. The winter is too cold and the summer too hot, but spring and fall are just right — at least from my perspective. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bloomberg re−election plans run into political obstacles

There is no doubt Mayor Michael Bloomberg intends to run for a third term. As we look at the practical aspects of the campaign, however, the question arises as to which political party or parties are willing to designate him as their candidate. Comment.
Astoria Times

Create your own bailout

Where is our bailout? Your credit cards are near being maxed out. You are holding off on a new car. You vomit at the thought of reviewing your 401(k) and where your retirement stands. Comment.
Astoria Times

Close Poletti plant on time: Assemblyman

State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D−Astoria) said he is concerned that the state’s New York Power Authority is attempting to keep the notorious Charles Poletti Power Project past January 2010, when it has been scheduled to shut down. Comment.
Astoria Times

Borough Hall atrium plans moving ahead

Borough President Helen Marshall is moving ahead with plans to build a $21.3 million glass atrium in the rear courtyard of Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens. Comment.
Astoria Times

Recession increases enrollment at QCC

As economy continue to struggle, student enrollment at Bayside’s Queensborough Community College is up more than 12 percent this semester, the largest−ever increase in new students at the CUNY institution, the college’s president said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Monserrate pays PR firm to boost image

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) paid a Manhattan−based public relations firm $15,000 from his campaign funds shortly after his arrest on suspicion of allegedly slashing his girlfriend’s face with a broken glass last month, according to the state Elections Board. Comment.
Astoria Times

Mary Immaculate, St. John’s hosptials seek cash to stay alive

Warning that “time is running short,” the parent company of Mary Immaculate Hospital and St. John’s Queens Hospital said Monday it would need $6 million in interim funding from the state by Wednesday to keep the doors open or else it would be forced to shut down the two institutions in what could be “a precipitous closure.” Comment.
Astoria Times

Black History Month: E. Elmhurst man, 70, aids Queens through Freemasons

Longtime East Elmhurst resident Wilbert A. Spencer has spent most of his life giving back to the community as a member of the Prince Hall Freemasonry fraternity organization and his family wants to continue that tradition through their work in the order. Comment.
Astoria Times

Stimulus to help boro with ed, transit: Pols

An $819 billion economic stimulus package passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week would benefit Queens residents, especially in the areas of education, transportation and infrastructure, area lawmakers said. Comment.
Astoria Times

School honors Woodside firefighter

For Rosie McCullagh, sister of former Woodside resident John Downing, who died in 2001 fighting a fire in Astoria, a Friday night ceremony at St. Francis Prep was about honoring the man she remembers as nothing short of a hero. Comment.
Astoria Times

E train grade unchanged at D− on report card

Straphangers gave the E train the same D−plus grade they did in 2007 in the New York City Transit Authority Report Card survey, although they praised station elevators and escalators, signage and helpful MTA personnel. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA’s East Side tunnels will create jobs: Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D−Astoria) issued a report Tuesday that she said indicated that the city already has its own economic stimulus program, creating mega−billions of dollars, with much of it going on below the streets. Comment.
Astoria Times

Put Exxon profits into Newtown fix: Gioia

Record profits for an oil giant should lead to more rapid cleanup along Newtown Creek, which straddles the border between Queens and Brooklyn, City Councilman Eric Gioia (D−Sunnyside) said Tuesday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Avella horse carriage bill draws praise, ire at hearing

Animal rights activists and members of the city’s horse drawn carriage industry clashed at a standing room−only City Council hearing last week on a bill proposed by Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) that would ban the operation of the city’s carriages. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria businessman turns used veggie oil into profit

An Astoria business owner believes that consuming more vegetables is not only sage advice for borough residents, but also for their vehicles. Comment.
Astoria Times

Renewed calls to drop Citi from Field amid bailout

A month after two Staten Island elected officials called for the Mets’ new stadium to be renamed “Taxpayer Field,” a pair of congressmen from other states have joined the calls for Citigroup to relinquish its naming rights in an outcry that may prompt the banking giant to back out of the contract. Comment.
Astoria Times

Liu slams MTA over failure of GPS bus tracking project

Two transit officials have acknowledged before a City Council public hearing that in the nearly 20 years since the MTA began trying to establish a computerized system to keep track of buses, little has been accomplished. Comment.
Astoria Times

Thousands watch parade in Flushing

Thousands of city residents filled Flushing streets Saturday to brave the cold and watch the 14th annual Lunar New Year Parade, which brought more than 4,000 dragon dancers, performers, members of Asian organizations and politicians to the central Queens community. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens residents, leaders split over how mayor runs schools

At the state Assembly’s first hearing on mayoral control of city public schools last Thursday, Queens residents and lawmakers both assailed and praised the way city administrators have run the school system since 2002. Comment.
Astoria Times

Flushing conservatory closes after funding cut

Cuts in financial aid from the city and private donors forced the Brooklyn−Queens Conservatory of Music in Flushing to close its doors at the end of January after serving the community for 54 years, the school’s interim executive director said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Mayor brandishes budget ax

Major cuts may be ahead for city schools and cops as Mayor Michael Bloomberg rolled out his latest grim budget figures indicating the city added $2 billion to its budget gap since the last projections were released in November. Comment.
Astoria Times

Sen. Schumer wants stimulus upped for city’s mass transit

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D−N.Y.) said Monday the Obama economic stimulus package must provide more money for the city’s struggling transit system and he has already taken steps toward that end. Comment.
Astoria Times

Flushing student is finalist in Intel competition

Two of Queens’ young scientific stars keep burning brighter and brighter. Comment.
Astoria Times

Representing roots

Astoria Times

Turkish fusion bassist opens LPAC’s Jazz Jam Series

The Jazz Jam Series at LaGuardia Community College has been for many years an important calendar event for jazz lovers in Queens. In addition to the appreciation of jazz, it has been an important chance for established musicians to connect with aspiring jazz artists. Starting Feb. 6 at 8 p.m., the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center will kick off the latest season of the jazz series with headliners The Alper Yilmaz Project. Comment.

Monday, Feb. 2, 2009

Jackson Heights

Corona men plead guilty to shooting 11−year−old

Two Corona men have pleaded guilty to a drive−by shooting that left 11−year−old Genesis Regolado dead just north of Lefrak City two years ago , Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Cancer research vaults Forest Hills teen to Intel semis

At age 17, Forest Hills resident David Shuster is already changing the face of cancer research. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Willets Point owners ready to fight

Property owners at Willets Point said they are readying battle plans to fight the city−approved redevelopment of the area in both the court of law and public opinion. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cops chase man after he urinates near car

OZONE PARK — A man was arrested by police after allegedly leading officers on a chase through southwestern Queens that was started when he was caught urinating next to his car, authorities said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man shot another, then fled drug search: Cops

FLUSHING — An officer in the 109th Precinct shot a man in the elbow when he allegedly fled during a drug bust, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man shook fiancÉe’s son, 2: Brown

FAR ROCKAWAY — The Queens district attorney said a man has been charged with first−degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly shaking his fiancÉe’s 2−year−old son, who suffered life−threatening injuries, including brain damage. Comment.
Astoria Times

Four robbers in western Queens arrested: Police

ASTORIA — Police said two auxiliary police officers aided in making four arrests in an active robbery pattern in western Queens last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Girl, 16, shoots self in leg: Police

OZONE PARK — A teenage couple was arrested at a 106th Street apartment after police said one of them shot herself in the leg with a hand gun. Comment.
Letters

Miracle on the Hudson occurred because everyone worked together

The pilot of Flight 1549 is a hero. He executed an emergency landing in the Hudson River smoothly and with no loss of life. Comment.
Letters

MTA must keep weekend trains on LIRR Port Washington line

In order to close projected budget gaps, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has proposed a number of actions, including reducing weekday off−peak and weekend service on the Port Washington branch from half−hourly to hourly. Comment.
Letters

Count all ballots in Padavan−Gennaro race

No one is denying the fact that state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) has served his community faithfully for 36 years, but for the first time in those 36 years, Democrats are in the majority of the Senate. Comment.
Letters

Many birds could cause parrot fever

I felt I must respond to the letter “Parrots don’t belong on the street” (Jan. 15). Comment.
Letters

Train, bridge work hurt local shops

The interrupted No. 7 train service in Long Island City on the weekends in conjunction with the closure of the Borden Avenue Bridge is crippling the local business here in Hunters Point. Comment.
Letters

Boro senior center needs funds

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Comment.
Letters

Update system of funding measures for homeland security projects

Americans voted for change Nov. 4 — and no area of our federal government needs it more than our approach to funding Homeland Security needs. Comment.
Letters

City must issue biz stimulus plan

In your Jan. 15 editorial “Blame the Council,” TimesLedger Newspapers chastised the City Council for not having the courage to withhold the $400 tax rebate checks in light of the troubled economy and the city’s dire financial condition. Comment.
Letters

Pilot, first responders deserve praise for plane’s landing on the Hudson

US Airways Flight 1549’s 155 passengers survived what could have been a terrible disaster. Gov. David Paterson called it the Miracle on the Hudson. Comment.
Letters

Local leaders, residents must fight to solve social, economic problems

As we resolve to meet the opportunities and challenges of a new year, we renew our resolution to learn from past failures and commit to the improvement of our neighborhoods, cities and state. Many of you have set goals for 2009 and we, as community advocates and leaders, will join you in ensuring that we succeed in getting what we have always fought for: a better quality of life and solutions to our community’s problems. Comment.
Letters

Area residents should support North Flushing Rezoning plan

The North Flushing Rezoning Initiative is expected to be certified this month by the Department of City Planning. The proposed contextual rezoning plan covers a wide area roughly bordered by Union Street on the west, 25th and 26th avenues on the north, the Clearview Expressway and Francis Lewis Boulevard on the east and Long Island Rail Road tracks on the south. It covers many neighborhoods in Flushing, including North Flushing, Broadway−Flushing and sections of North Auburndale and Northwest Bayside. Comment.
Letters

Obama deserves respect, not worship, from everyone

Even before its launch, the Obama administration is larger than life. There is no arguing its symbolism. The world’s nations, regardless of their histories or systems of government, have put their ancestral loathings on hold and are sharing the exhilaration. It is like the whole planet is high on endorphins. It is spectacular for Americans especially, as we have distanced ourselves just a step from the morally felonious exclusions of the past. Comment.
Editorial

Gangs Must Go

What happened at 6 p.m. near the No. 7 station in Jackson Heights is every parents’ nightmare. Nicholas Donaldi−Subero, the 19−year−old son of a Metropolitan Opera singer, was stabbed to death, allegedly by up to 10 Latin Kings members. Comment.
Editorial

America’s Miracle

On Jan. 20, Queens residents shared in a miracle of national and historic importance as they watched the inauguration of President Barack Obama. It has been said the dream of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has been realized in a way many thought they would never see in their lifetime. Comment.
Astoria Times

Life of Abraham Lincoln was anything but ordinary

On Feb. 12 of this year, we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln, of whom President Theodore Roosevelt once wrote, “If there is not the war, you don’t get a great general. If there is not a great occasion, you don’t get a great statesman. If Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name.” I find that a rather extreme position. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ulrich has chance of becoming youngest Council member

During the last seven years, the 32nd City Council District had been represented by Joseph Addabbo (D−Howard Beach), who now has been elevated to the state Senate as a result of defeating former Republican Sen. Serf Maltese in the fall election in the 15th Senate District. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called a special election for Feb. 24 to fill the vacancy now that Addabbo is in the Senate. Comment.
Astoria Times

Governmentt should set example in solving mortgage meltdown

Last month, I noticed “for sale” signs for two houses on a street in the Old Forest Hills section. One house for sale on any street in that area is unusual. Comment.
Astoria Times

Always keep a friend, even in a prejudiced environment

I loved my friend. He went away from me. There’s nothing more to say. — Langston Hughes Comment.
Astoria Times

Honesty leads to business

We have had our fill of hearing about how bad things are. We have also had a healthy dose of hearing about how investments and retirements have gone sour because of unethical behavior. The old−school values we were taught by our parents are coming back regarding budgeting our money and building our businesses. Comment.
Astoria Times

Armed robbery up but overall crime down in subways

Although armed robbery rose, crime in the city subway system declined by nearly 3 percent last year. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens lashes MTA board at fare hike hearing

For more than four hours last week Queens transit riders told the MTA what they thought of the its doomsday plan of fare hikes and service cuts during an often boisterous evening in Flushing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Port Authority, pols divided over geese

Borough legislators and Port Authority officials are at odds over whether the bi−state organization has an effective geese reduction program after a flock of the birds hit a US Airways plane , which may have caused both of the plane’s engines to lose power and forced it to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River Jan. 15. Comment.
Astoria Times

Community Impact Awards: John Liu bucks status quo as city’s first Asian official

Although he is now known as a sharp−tongued politician who rarely shies away from a tough question, City Councilman John Liu (D−Flushing) paused and took a deep breath before answering a question on how a man with a degree in mathematical physics ended up in politics. Comment.
Astoria Times

Senate panel on higher education now chaired by Stavisky

State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D−Whitestone) was formally appointed this week as the chairwoman of the Senate’s Committee on Higher Education, which she said will allow her to carry the torch of dedication her late husband gave to the issue. Comment.
Astoria Times

Woodside man admits raping Richmond Hill woman: DA

A former police officer from Woodside has pleaded guilty to raping a Richmond Hill woman 12 years ago, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Economic outlook grim for Queens in ’09

Queens is reeling. Rising unemployment rates, falling home sales, a skyrocketing number of foreclosures and sagging retail sales paint a grim picture of how the borough is being affected by the national recession, according to a sobering parade of statistics from both the public and private sectors. Comment.
Astoria Times

City blood center gets most in ’08 from St. John’s University

With more and more businesses distracted by the economic crisis, corporations are less likely to be holding blood drives — leaving the New York City Blood Center to rely more heavily on donations from area colleges and universities, including St. John’s University. Comment.
Astoria Times

Community Impact Awards: Seasoned educator ushers in change at York College

Since Marcia Keizs became the sixth president of York College nearly four years ago, the Jamaica institution has undergone a large−scale transformation that has changed the way the community, professors and students perceive the school. Comment.
Astoria Times

Rash of stabbings spurs outcry

After a spate of stabbings, including an attack on a Sikh man in Jackson Heights that leaders are calling a hate crime and a suspected gang−related slaying in Elmhurst, elected officials gathered in front of Elmhurst Hospital last week to decry the violence. Comment.
Astoria Times

State help for hospitals not likely: Caritas

Teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, Caritas Health Care Inc. sent a letter to the more than 2,500 employees of St. John’s Hospital and St. Mary Immaculate Hospital this week informing them that they could be permanently out of work as early as Feb. 14. Comment.
Astoria Times

Support for Paterson dips in 2 polls

Two polls released this week indicate that Gov. David Paterson’s popularity among state residents has dropped slightly and that his huge lead over state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in a possible 2010 gubernatorial race has all but disappeared. Comment.
Astoria Times

Atlas Park founder out as lenders take over

Neighbors of the struggling Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale reacted with mixed feelings to developer Damon Hemmerdinger’s announcement last week that he was out of the project, leaving his company’s creditors to run the mall. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria man who aided 911 workers dies at 86

An Astoria man who ensured that Ground Zero workers and emergency responders were fed for up to seven months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks died earlier this month at age 86, his son said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Community Impact Awards: Tireless activist carries flag for Queens civic groups

Much like a circus act, Corey Bearak does a lot of juggling. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro home sales drop 39% in fourth quarter last year

The nation’s recession and weak credit market took a toll on real estate in Queens, where home sales plummeted by 39 percent in the fourth quarter last year from the same period in 2007, Prudential Douglas Elliman reported last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Gillibrand drops in on Queens

She may not have been a household name just days ago, but newly minted U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D−N.Y.) wasted no time in making sure southeast Queens’ political leadership knew her by the end of last weekend. Comment.
Astoria Times

Repair work hurts Long Island City businesses

A double whammy of transportation setbacks is putting the pinch on businesses in Long Island City’s Hunters Point, leaving many angry with the city for not consulting them. Comment.
Astoria Times

Community Impact Awards: An urban planner brings lasting change to Jamaica

For decades, Carlisle Towery used to view Jamaica as a diamond in the rough in terms of urban growth, but it has now become a striking example of how a downtown on the brink can be rescued and rehabilitated. Comment.
Astoria Times

Community Impact Awards: Helen Marshall beats the odds to live American dream

At age 16, Helen Marshall became the caretaker for her younger sister and was nearly forced to choose between an education and going to work. In 2001, she became the first black borough president in Queens and the caretaker of more than 2 million people. Comment.
Astoria Times

Moya raises $50K in City Council bid

After a history of civic involvement that took him to Washington and Albany, Corona native Francisco Moya is once again chasing elected office close to home. Comment.
Astoria Times

A lifetime of fighting crime

Long Island City, 1980: Industry is taking its last sooty breath on the banks of the East River. The city is struggling amid a recession and high crime. Comment.
Astoria Times

Switch to digital TV pushed to June

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday to delay the nationwide switch of television signals from analog to digital to June 12. Comment.
Astoria Times

Businesses learn how to go green at Queens College summit

“If green is the new gold, local is the new green.” Comment.
Astoria Times

Prolific Floral Park horrormeister looks to classic B flicks

Floral Park’s Jim Haggerty has directed more movies this year than most filmmakers produce in a decade. Comment.
Astoria Times

Freedom takes flight

The Queens Library will mark Black History Month in mid−February with two events, including a film screening, at which members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen will speak at library branches in Jamaica and Flushing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens Theatre in the Park reigns as boro’s best venue

Things change. The New York Times now prints ads on its front page, my collar size has not been 15 1⁄2 for many years and the Brooklyn Dodgers are long gone. I don’t want to claim that the good old days were all that good, just because I’ve been around a while, but it sure seems that many things were a lot better way back when. Comment.

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