Astoria Times

Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009

Jackson Heights

Dixon hopes ethics land him win in 21st CD race

A Queens native from the north of the 21st City Council District hopes his campaign ethics will carry him to victory in Tuesday’s special election to replace newly minted state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst). Comment.
Jackson Heights

Giraldo focuses on jobs in bid for 21st CD seat

Count on the businessman to tout economic development initiatives as the cure to Corona and East Elmhurst’s ills. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Corona man faces 25 years in nursing home sex abuse

A Corona man was convicted of sexually abusing a patient suffering from the late stages of Alzheimer’s at a Flushing nursing home while working as a porter in the building, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Mojave: Stylish hipster Tex Mex mashup in Astoria

Mojave, in Astoria, is the closest thing we’ve found to a hipster hangout in Queens. The clientele is young, attractive and, well, hip. We could have been dining in Williamsburg. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boy, 7, left on school bus in Rego Park: Cops

REGO PARK — Two Corona residents were arrested after police said they allegedly left a 7−year−old boy alone on a bus for 20 minutes in Rego Park. Comment.
Astoria Times

FDNY searches for cause of Ozone Park fire

OZONE PARK — A two−alarm fire damaged two homes but injured no one Monday morning, the FDNY said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man flees after crashing car on highway: Cops

EAST ELMHURST — Police arrested an Astoria man driving with a suspended license after he allegedly fled a crash on the Grand Central Parkway Feb. 13 that left his passenger injured, authorities said. Comment.
Astoria Times

DNA ties Brooklyn man to Ridgewood robbery: DA

RIDGEWOOD — Police caught up with a Brooklyn man accused of robbing a Ridgewood home after investigators matched his DNA to a juice carton he left in the house, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Police search for suspect in LIC bank robbery

LONG ISLAND CITY — The NYPD is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a man wanted in connection with the robbery of a Sovereign Bank in Long Island City. Comment.
Astoria Times

Police search for suspect in bank robbery

JACKSON HEIGHTS — A man donning a black wig and a hot pink jumpsuit robbed a TD Bank in Jackson Heights Jan. 13, police said. Comment.
Letters

Not all stores should sell wine

Gov. David Paterson’s proposed budget would give stores that sell beer the ability to sell wine. This may sound good to the consumer, but it will close the independent retailers and consumers will be left with less choice. But far worse is that passage of this budget will result in more alcohol−related auto fatalities. We state voters and taxpayers have to tell the governor and our state representatives that we do not want this change. Comment.
Letters

No matter what, always count every vote

I have been following the ballot counting, lawsuits and letters being published in various Queens publications surrounding the race for the 11th Senate District seat. Now that all the legitimate ballots have been counted, state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) is the winner. Comment.
Letters

Teachers who have experience must resist forced retirement

It is official. Canada geese have been implicated as the cause of the nearly disastrous plane landing on the Hudson River recently. The pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, saved more than 150 lives by pulling off a miracle made possible through the application of judgment developed over 40 years of professional experience. Comment.
Letters

MTA fare hikes and service cuts unfair to the city’s working class

I was upset to learn of the cuts in transit service and the possible fare increases the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is planning in the city. How did things get to this point? Comment.
Letters

Options exist to pay for transit

Last month, Keep NYC Free testified before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and declared, “No need exists to raise any fare on our buses and subways.” The resources exist to hold the line on the fare at current levels and ensure that the MTA maintains and improves existing service levels. Comment.
Letters

Electeds must review stimulus package before passing it

I believe it no more appropriate to become alarmed four weeks into President Barack Obama’s administration than it would be to become alarmed four weeks into a bad start of a Yankee or Met season. I voted for Obama, purposeful and sensible change, intelligence and honesty, innovation and new ideas, integrity and hope. Comment.
Letters

Change must come to the running of city’s public school system

At a recent press conference, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that people who want to change the school governance law are either irrational or putting their own interests ahead of students. On his radio show, he said that there would be riots in the streets if his control over schools is not continued. Comment.
Editorial

Time Is Running Out

The likely closing of St. John’s Queens and Mary Immaculate hospitals is a disaster that will affect the borough for years. The hospitals have already closed their emergency rooms and Elmhurst and Queens Hospitals felt the impact immediately. Comment.
Astoria Times

Swearing−in of Padavan yields large, colorful turnout

This week’s big event that was long overdue was the official swearing−in ceremony of state Sen. Frank Padavan of the 11th Senate District. The swearing−in was conducted at Holy Cross High School on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Flushing. Comment.
Astoria Times

Women fast becoming new face of American politics

In recent years, we have seen the number of women achieving college degrees and college graduate degrees increasing. That is particularly true in law schools. This means more women are becoming candidates for high public office, as exemplified by Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand as New York’s newest U.S. senator and former Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska. Comment.
Astoria Times

Find dignity in growing old and losing a head of hair

Three stages in the life of hair: hairdo, hair did, hair done. Comment.
Astoria Times

Keep an eye on your nest egg

The other night I attended a networking function in Queens and a topic that kept coming up was how to protect nest eggs. One of our biggest fears is not having retirement monies left after working for many years. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cremona has a thing for strings

Gi Hyuk Park says business is not as good as he would like, but you would not know that looking around his store. Comment.
Astoria Times

Family mourns Corona man dragged 19 miles under van

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Corona to pay their respects to an Ecuadorian construction worker who was mowed down by an SUV in Corona last week and then caught underneath a van whose unsuspecting driver dragged him 19 miles through Brooklyn and Queens, police and family said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Faux mourners fear G train’s death by many cuts

To the plaintive bagpiping strains of “Danny Boy,” elected officials and transit activists held a mock funeral Tuesday for the G train, imploring the MTA to rescind the massive cuts on the line if heavy financial aid never comes. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bloomberg unveils grim environmental report findings

Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited a wastewater treatment plant in the Rockaways Tuesday to roll out a report from his office on climate change, which projected more days of temperatures 90 degrees and above, rising sea levels and more heat waves by the end of the century. Comment.
Astoria Times

Candidates for 21st Council seat promise local jobs

In a surprisingly civil two−hour session, the four remaining contenders for the 21st City Council District seat vacated by state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) debated the issues and touted their platforms at the Langston Hughes Library last Thursday. The special election takes place Tuesday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Monserrate fined by city for election overspending

He may have won the election, but state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) will have to pay the city $30,102 in penalties for overspending during his 2005 campaign for re−election to the City Council. Comment.
Astoria Times

Crowley, NY Democrats defend Citi Field naming

After two congressmen from Ohio and Texas joined calls for financial giant Citigroup to nullify its $400 million naming rights contract for the Mets’ new stadium, House representatives from Queens and the rest of the metropolitan area criticized the idea. Comment.
Astoria Times

Vallone’s bill would limit number of power plants

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D−Astoria) is calling on the state Legislature to amend state laws that would prevent communities from being burdened with an over−saturation of power plants following recent speculation that Astoria’s notorious Charles Poletti Power Project might remain open past January 2010, when it has been scheduled to shut down. Comment.
Astoria Times

$36M hole too deep for city, state help

If it had received $36 million from the state, the parent company of St. John’s and Mary Immaculate hospitals said it would have been able to continue operations at the financially troubled facilities. Comment.
Astoria Times

SE Queens fears void left by Mary Immac

Southeast Queens residents are facing wrenching decisions over where to seek medical treatment following the shutdown of Mary Immaculate Hospital’s emergency room and its pending closure Comment.
Astoria Times

City plans Willets Point business move to College Point

In a meeting with Community Board 7 members Tuesday night, the city Economic Development Corp. announced that it plans to move five Willets Point businesses to the College Point Corporate Park. Comment.
Astoria Times

Tuskegee Airman recounts experiences at Jamaica Library

When Cambria Heights resident Doris Bodine talks about her father, former Tuskegee Airman Roscoe C. Brown Jr., her eyes light up. Comment.
Astoria Times

TimesLedger honored for explosion coverage, Bell

TimesLedger Newspapers’ coverage of a gas explosion in Flushing and the Sean Bell case landed the company two awards in the 2008 Suburban Newspapers of America Editorial Contest. Comment.
Astoria Times

Hundreds flock to Woodside for taste of Filipino fast food

Never underestimate the power of good buzz. Comment.
Astoria Times

Staff, leaders rally to keep St. John’s open

As the final hours ticked away before the emergency rooms at St. John’s and Mary Immaculate hospitals closed, staff and civic leaders gathered in front of St. John’s Hospital in an unsuccessful bid to get Gov. David Paterson to intervene and the board of parent company Caritas to step down. Comment.
Astoria Times

Riders approve of announcements despite giving C− grade to R train

Straphangers accorded the R train the same C−minus as in 2007 in an MTA survey, but expressed a high overall satisfaction level, particularly on directional signs, announcements and comfort in subway cars. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens hospitals get ready to pull the plug

Preparations are underway for the shuttering of Mary Immaculate and St. John’s Queens hospitals, where emergency and elective admissions patients have been turned away and employees are being let go on a daily basis, Borough President Helen Marshall’s office said this week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Other hospitals see growing wave of displaced patients

Emergency rooms around the borough are already experiencing “significant” spikes in incoming patients this week as Queens hospitals brace for the impacts of the impending closure of St. John’s Hospital Queens and Mary Immaculate Hospital. Comment.
Astoria Times

Study finds speeding at Northern, Junction blvds

Nearly 40 percent of city motorists violate speed limits, including those at a Queens intersection where drivers routinely roar past a school and a police precinct. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIRR gets commuters’ thumbs up

Riders have praised service on the Long Island Rail Road in a survey that included particularly high satisfaction ratings for employee courtesy and on−time performance. Comment.
Astoria Times

Developer sheds light on LIC studio plans

A Long Island City developer said he believes the new movie and television studio he helped create in the former space of a longtime motor products factory will eventually rival western Queens’ two major studios. Comment.
Astoria Times

Oscar no stranger to the cinematic streets of Queens

And the Oscar goes to ... Queens. Comment.
Astoria Times

American Quilt

“Ragtime,” the sprawling, flawed, brilliant, somewhat improbable musical based on the book by E.L. Doctorow, simply confirms the writer’s belief that some of the best stuff in the theater is being done in the parish halls of Queens. This revival is staged by the Astoria Performing Arts Center at the parish hall of the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, a place that seems too small to hold such a work as “Ragtime” but is, in fact, the perfect venue. Comment.
Astoria Times

Douglaston theater troupe tackles Mamet’s ‘Oleanna’

“Oleanna” might seem at first to be one of the tamer of David Mamet’s plays. There are only two characters, a college professor and his student. You would think a play set at a college would be more refined than a sleazy real estate agent’s office in “Glengarry Glen Ross,” or Hollywood in “Speed−the−Plow.” Yet, like the other plays, “Oleanna” deals with power. Comment.
Astoria Times

QSO’s ‘New Sounds’ fuses symphony with Greek jazz

Come be a part of music history in the making Feb. 21 when the Queens Symphony Orchestra performs a world premiere work by Greek jazz fusion guitarist Spiros Exaras, creating what the orchestra’s maestro says is an entirely genre of music, never before performed. Comment.

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009

Jackson Heights

Future of Atlas Park worries area residents

As time grows short until the Hemmerdinger family ends their involvement with the Shops at Atlas Park, residents and business owners continued to fret over what the future holds for the Glendale mall. Comment.
Jackson Heights

E. Elmhurst Council seat candidates to hold debate

At least three of the remaining five candidates vying for the City Council seat vacated by state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) will face off in a debate at the Langston Hughes Library this Thursday. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Eyewitness ID’s dentist slay suspect

Cheryl Springsteen was at the wrong place at the wrong time on the day a Forest Hills orthodontist was killed at a playground in 2007, but what she saw could be crucial in the case against the Uzbek immigrant’s accused killers. Comment.
Jackson Heights

MidVil teen hit−run victim mourned

Tears flowed for a Middle Village teen at an emotional funeral led by his broken−hearted uncle who recalled the life of the talented 16−year−old killed last week by a suspected drunk driver in a stolen car. 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 attacked by 3 from Richmond Hill: Brown

ELMHURST — Three Richmond Hill men were arrested on assault charges after they allegedly attacked a 27−year−old man at the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst earlier this month, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Electronics stolen from Ridgewood home: DA

RIDGEWOOD — A 30−year−old Brooklyn man was arrested after he allegedly broke into a Ridgewood home and stole a number of pieces of electronic equipment, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Manhattan man punched Queens resident: Boro DA

ASTORIA — A 42−year−old Manhattan man was arrested last month after he punched a 26−year−old Queens man in the face and broke his jaw, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

2 men burglarized 3 Queens homes: Brown

FLUSHING — A 29−year−old Brooklyn man was arrested after he and another man allegedly stole a refrigerator and a stove from a Flushing construction site, a microwave from a Jamaica home and a refrigerator and gas stove from a Ridgewood house, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Far Rockaway man stole hot water heater: DA

JAMAICA — A 48−year−old Far Rockaway man was arrested after he allegedly stole a hot water heater from a building on 122nd Avenue in Jamaica, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Letters

Increase income tax for wealthy to shrink the city’s budget gap

As city comptroller, I recognize that times are tough for all New Yorkers. At a time when people are losing their jobs, homes or health care and they require more assistance from our great city, we face a shrinking budget and sharp cutbacks in state support. Comment.
Letters

Americans must help Obama

It was with great pride that I stood watching the inauguration of President Barack Obama Jan. 20. It was a historical event as I watched it unfold along with millions of other Americans. Comment.
Letters

We should all give to those in need

It has been reported that Mayor Mike Bloomberg is the ninth−highest giver in America. He truly walks the walk and talks the talk. And he has done it with his wallet and donated $235 million. Comment.
Letters

Change nation’s immigration laws

I hope U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D−N.Y.) will grow into her new position, learn the needs and wishes of her constituency and earn my vote in the 2010 election by changing her position on immigration. Comment.
Letters

Senate Dems working hard to change state government

The late financier J.P. Morgan once said, “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” In light of the fact that Democrats are in the majority in the state Senate for the first time in 43 years, and given the efforts we are undertaking to reform Senate operating rules, Senate Democrats are taking those first steps to get away from where we have been to create a transparent and an accountable state government. Comment.
Letters

Theater column gets applause

I write in praise of Ronald B. Hellman’s column “The Play’s the Thing.” Not only does he present relevant and interesting information about off−off−Broadway, but discusses critical issues affecting theatrical productions in Queens. Comment.
Letters

Mayoral control of city schools does harm to students, parents

Having been a teacher for over 33 years, I am concerned about the issue of school governance and, in particular, I take issue with the extent mayoral control of the city public school system has affected our children’s education over the past several years. Comment.
Letters

Ravitch commission proposes plan for MTA funding

At public hearings held across the city, I have heard strong objections from hundreds of Metropolitan Transportation Authority customers about the fare and toll increases and service cuts the MTA has been forced to propose. Comment.
Editorial

Hate Crime Confusion

Two crimes in January shocked Queens residents and caused us to question the efficacy of asking police to “focus” on “hate crimes.” Comment.
Astoria Times

Everyone should have a helping of love during their lives

You must remember this, a kiss is still … an oscillatory apposition of the orbicularis oris and levator labii muscles with posterior involvement of the sternocleidomastoids, commonly in a dexterous orientation. Comment.
Astoria Times

Iannece has support of many district leaders for Council seat

Jerry Iannece, a northeast Queens resident for over 20 years, is currently a leading Democratic candidate for City Council in the 19th Council District, which includes Bayside, College Point, Whitestone, Douglaston, Little Neck, Bay Terrace and parts of Flushing. Although he has run unsuccessfully twice before for the seat, in 1997 and 2001, this time he has stronger support, having been endorsed by various district civic leaders. Comment.
Astoria Times

Washington once made headquarters in Bayside

February is known to us for celebrating the birth of two of our most famous presidents: Washington and Lincoln. Did you know that George Washington actually for a time had used a local house for his headquarters and commanded for a time in “Bay Side”? That was the original spelling in early times. Comment.
Astoria Times

Economy can bounce back with restoration of fiscal order

In November, I attended a hearing of the state Board for Professional Medical Conduct, held in a large conference room at 90 Church St. in Manhattan. I am a public member of the board and have served on it since its inception in 1975. Comment.
Astoria Times

Padavan wins hotly contested race for state Senate

Just as everyone was becoming resigned to the fact that the Padavan−Gennaro debacle would never end, surprisingly it did. There is no point in rehashing all the details, as that has been done “ad infinitum” in every media outlet in Queens and beyond. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bakery makes its own Valentines

Gill Kumer toils around the clock to ensure that his Bayside bakery is always serving up the freshest bagels, muffins and cakes. Comment.
Astoria Times

Do whatever it takes to work

Are you worried about being laid off or has it already happened? Are you rattled because of how the future looks and unsure of how to take control of your situation? Let’s talk about surviving this tough economic time. Comment.
Astoria Times

Digital subway track maps keep L train riders behind yellow line

For more than a century, straphangers have been squinting down subway tunnels to determine if a train is coming, but now 21st century technology offers a safer alternative. Comment.
Astoria Times

Congress OKs June delay on digital TV changeover

Queens couch potatoes will now have extra time to make sure their TVs are ready for future broadcasts. Comment.
Astoria Times

Former Flushing arts head stole from group: City

Harvey Seifter, the former executive director of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, was arrested and charged with grand larceny last week for allegedly bilking nearly $5,000 from the cultural institution, according to the city Department of Investigation. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens leaders fear impact from closing of hospitals

As St. John’s Hospital in Elmhurst and Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica filed for bankruptcy protection last week and prepared to start the closing process, community leaders agreed the strain on nearby hospitals would be immense. Comment.
Astoria Times

Beep backs waterfront access rule amendment

The City Planning Commission pushed a text amendment to the Queens Borough Board Monday it said would vastly improve the aesthetic of public waterfront areas across the city without dramatically altering the current requirements on developers mandated by city law. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boxers pay tribute to long−gone Sunnyside Garden

The smell of blood, sweat and cigarette smoke on one corner in Sunnyside has long been replaced by fryer oil and car exhaust, but the boxers who once cut their teeth there still fondly recall the last major amateur boxing venue in Queens. Comment.
Astoria Times

Teachers will stay: Gianaris

Economic issues and proposed cuts to the state budget dominated an Astoria Town Hall meeting hosted last week by state Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D−Astoria), but residents also said they were concerned about the quality of services for seniors in the community and a proposed rate hike by Con Edison. Comment.
Astoria Times

Talk of Q26 bus cut worries St. Francis Prep

The possible elimination of the Q26 bus line would prove disastrous for many students at St. Francis Preparatory in Fresh Meadows, said Elaine Recker, a spokeswoman for the school. Comment.
Astoria Times

Islanders’ move to Queens floated

Could the New York Islanders be Queens−bound? Stranger things have happened, says Jack Friedman. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens bakery jobs saved by Schumer deal

Hundreds of Queens bakery workers can have their cakes and eat it, too, according to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D−N.Y.). Comment.
Astoria Times

You need more green to live in Queens

New York City’s notorious cost of living is driving out thousands of the middle class in an exodus fueled not only by the exorbitance of Manhattan but Queens, too. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens culture groups feel crunch

Queens’ cultural institutions, often among the most vulnerable in a recession, have trimmed payrolls and programs as funding declined, but the economic downturn could pose an even tougher challenge in the next fiscal year. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ridgewood murderer gets 25 to life for slay

The Ridgewood man convicted last month of murder in the 2006 shooting of two men outside a controversial Woodside nightclub was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Friday, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Kosciuszko Bridge upgrade nears approval: State

Although construction on a new and improved Kosciuszko Bridge will not begin until the next decade at the earliest, the state told Community Board 2 last Thursday that the bridge’s development has been moving quickly on the fast track. Comment.
Astoria Times

Silvercup, Kaufman sweat end of tax break

Western Queens studio heads said they hope to keep the cameras rolling after a tax credit that has brought movies and television productions back to New York City in droves recently ran out of money. Comment.
Astoria Times

Qns. Vill. GOP hosts Bloomy, toasts Abe

The city’s struggling economy and the birthday of one of the nation’s most revered presidents were the orders of the day as Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke to the Queens Village Republican Club last weekend during the group’s Lincoln Bicentennial Dinner. Comment.
Astoria Times

Tougher prosecution helped cut Queens crime: DA

Crime in Queens has dropped dramatically over the last decade thanks to tougher prosecutions and new laws, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told elected officials late last month. Comment.
Astoria Times

Drug raid snares 54 in Queensbridge

Police arrested 54 people on suspicion of dealing drugs at the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City last week, capping off a six−month undercover investigation in the massive 3,000−unit complex, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Break It Down

On a recent Saturday evening, a group of teens channeled the ’80s as they contorted their limber frames into gravity−defying postures and moves while the throbbing beat of the music escalated, as part of a breakdancing class at the Flushing YMCA. Comment.
Astoria Times

Pelham Bay resident, 74, hardly a Karate kid

Oss! Arthur Scarzello stepped onto the dojo floor. Oss! Scarzello greeted a tiny girl. Oss! Scarzello bowed and flexed. Comment.
Astoria Times

Tough to find right man (or woman) for director’s job

About three years ago The Outrageous Fortune Company produced a play called “The Director.” Written by Nancy Hasty, the central character was a director, a mastermind of manipulation, who abused and confused his actors. His purpose was to make an actor’s performance so natural and real that an audience would never realize that what they were seeing was all an illusion. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astorian doesn’t take pint−size ‘Shrek’ role lightly

If you want to know anything about gnomes, ask Greg Reuter, the Astoria resident currently playing one of the wee creatures on Broadway in “Shrek the Musical.” Reuter is all too happy to share tales of gnomes that have appeared in fairytale lore for hundreds of years. Comment.

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