You have just lost someone close to you, and it is a difficult time. You are grieving, but there is so much to do: make funeral arrangements, care for family and attend to new financial responsibilities. Comment.
My youngest daughter has recently become a bit of a football follower because her boyfriend is a New England Patriots fan. I took her to a New York Jets game recently and, although we had fun, I couldn’t help but experience a bittersweet feeling about watching grown men butting heads with each other at full speed — and consider the broader implications this has for our society. Comments (2).
Across Queens this week, residents with East Asian origins will be celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, also known as the autumn equinox, typically a full moon. Comments (2).
Bikers are getting everything for free. Nothing costs them 1 cent, whereas motorists must pay for a driver’s license, auto insurance, vehicle registration, gasoline taxes, etc., plus bridge and tunnel tolls and parking. Comments (9).
Mayor Bill de Blasio came to Queens last week on a whirlwind tour of the five boroughs to usher in his pre-K program for 51,500 children. He and his entourage visited the Home Sweet Home pre-K center in Fresh Meadows, which has been in need of programs for its growing population of 4-year-olds. Comments (2).
Since your newspaper has been serving Queens since 1919, I hope you will correct the factual errors in your recent article “Sex symbol Mae West spent her childhood in Woodhaven” by The Greater Astoria Historical Society. Comments (2).
Ben Haber’s recent writing is spot on. City Council members have sold their collective souls to the moguls who have already blighted Citi Field with its hideous signage and their real estate arms that will transform a thriving business community into a megalithic shopping mall. Comment.
In past years there have been various fights between factions in the Republican and Democrat parties in several counties throughout the city. Few of these battles have been as intense and as long as the contest between two factions in the Queens Republican Party. Comment.
As a new school year starts in New York City, the city Department of Education has several problems, some of which are endemic, but one should not dwell on negative things when we have so many positive things going on in our schools. But the media loves negative things so that is what we see. Comment.
A recent survey by New York education officials on city school performance revealed that more than 65 percent of students failed to score grade level on math and reading proficiency tests. In 25 percent of city schools, 90 percent of students failed those same exams. Comments (6).
In the 1970s, when I was a teen on the Upper West Side, I was mugged twice in broad daylight. The city felt more dangerous then, in the wake of the early ’70s fiscal crisis and the blackout of ’77, which led to widespread looting, and gritty movies like “Death Wish,” “Dog Day Afternoon” and “The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3.” Comment.
Sometime during the wonderful education I received in New York City schools, I became aware of Benjamin Franklin. In those days, you learned a great deal about the poor kid from Boston who made it big in Philadelphia and was one of the Founding Fathers. Comments (3).
Children are looking forward to the upcoming school year: new backpacks, school supplies and clothes. Teachers are hard at work decorating classrooms to create a positive experience for their students. Comment.
In a report released Aug. 14, city students made modest gains on state English and math examinations. The boost was touted by the de Blasio administration as a reflection of the city’s successful implementation of Common Core standards, now in its second year since its inception in New York state. Comments (8).
New Yorkers enjoyed a delightfully balmy summer with pleasant temperatures, but a major storm is brewing in New York, thanks to the apathy of the voters who allowed a radical minority of New Yorkers to determine the fate for all of us. Comments (10).
Star of stage and screen, one of the first Hollywood sex symbols, writer and singer, Mae West’s outsize curves and personality earned her recognition as one of the greatest female film stars of all time. Comment.
When my children were enrolled in a private pre-K program more than a decade ago, I used to jokingly — but nervously — wonder out loud why I had to pay more than $15,000 to have my kids learn finger painting. Comment.
The governor’s decision to sign a bill that gives the city the right to reduce the speed limit to 25 mph was welcomed in Queens, particularly the western part of the borough, where lead-footed drivers have piled up a staggering roster of pedestrian fatalities. Comments (1).
State Assemblyman Mike Miller’s (D-Woodhaven) recently discussed idea on how to use the former Long Island Rail Road Rockaway Beach line calls for a partial use of the tracks for rail service while using the remainder for a QueensWay-style park. Comments (1).
Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership, is calling on property owners, business owners and residents to vote on the proposed expansion of a business improvement district onto Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard. Comment.
Recently, Rob Astorino, the Republican and Conservative candidate for governor, spoke at the Frank Kenna Republican Club in Astoria. He seems to be conducting an intense grassroots campaign by speaking at Republican clubs, especially here in Queens. Comments (1).
In lieu of the present Kew Gardens interchange project on the Van Wyck Expressway in Briarwood and the present and future negative environmental impact of this widening construction, such as air and noise pollution, I propose that a landscape architecture design firm be consulted on the feasibility of a capping project for a parkland deck over the expressway from Hillside to Hoover avenues within the borders of Briarwood. Comments (1).
The latest scam is an attempt by crooks who call you and attempt to get you to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak card and then have you call them back with the number on the back so they can access the money. Comment.
The Queens Republican Party is in disarray after the death of its chairman, Philip Ragusa, last month and the corruption indictment of its vice chairman, Vincent Tabone. The party has also been weakened by infighting as various factions vied for control in recent years. Comment.
The legalization of basement apartments is high on the agenda of Mayor Bill de Blasio. Civic organizations have spent the last decade working tirelessly to protect residential communities from overdevelopment through the process of rezoning. Comments (6).
It was another sad day for Queens this week when former City Councilman Dan Halloran became the latest figure to join the growing ranks of convicted felons who have been elected to public office in the borough. Comment.
The Democratic primary in the 11th state Senate district in northeast Queens seems to be attracting a lot of attention in New York City with former city Comptroller John Liu challenging incumbent Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside). Comments (2).
With so many students in high school who are constantly misbehaving, which severely disrupts the learning process and causes many teachers to leave the profession, perhaps it is time once again to consider reinstating corporal punishment in the high schools, both public and private. Comments (5).
After years of pressuring for the formation of community roundtables to discuss airplane noise over residential neighborhoods, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has authorized the formation of such groups. Meetings were recently held in a large hanger at the Vaughn College of Aeronautics adjacent to LaGuardia Airport. Comments (3).
As president of the Friends of the Lefrak City Library and a member of the community, I want to publicly thank state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) for resolving an important community concern by helping us secure a crossing guard for our school children at the busy and dangerous intersection of Horace Harding Expressway and Junction Boulevard adjacent to the Long Island Expressway. Comment.
Only a politically naive person would believe Mayor Bill de Blasio is vacationing in Italy when the major impetus for this trip is to meet with some of his leftist Italian comrades of the Democratic Party of the Left, the nom de guerre of the Italian Communist Party after its 1991 reorganization. Comment.
Iconic folk singer, radio host, author and political activist Woody Guthrie’s songs changed the landscape of American music and influenced generations of performers from Bob Dylan to Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen. Comment.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was a federal directive that, in 2012, allowed undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before age 16 to remain the in the United States for a period of two years and receive authorization to work. Comments (6).
It’s not time to start yelling “You gotta believe” through the streets of New York City just yet, but the New York Mets certainly have made themselves a must-watch for the second half of the regular season. Comment.
Those of us who are native New Yorkers like to think that the sun revolves around Times Square — or Queens Boulevard or Eastern Parkway or the Grand Concourse — depending on which borough you call home. Comments (2).
The recent death of highly respected Queens Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa has created a difficult situation for the party. Ragusa had led his county organization through one of its most difficult times in recent years. Comment.
Interestingly, on June 25, the City Council released a joint report — “Thousands of Homeowners Still Drowning in Underwater Mortgages” — which found that private-labeled securitized mortgages, like high-interest and subprime, that contributed to the bursting housing bubble and economic collapse of 2008 are disproportionately high in African-American and Latino neighborhoods of New York City. Comments (3).
A community facility desiring to legalize building violations and add another floor was just turned down by Community Board 8. The community facility is the Sephardic Congregation, on 72nd Avenue between Main and 141st streets, at 141-41 72nd Ave. Comments (1).
The shear dishonesty, let alone outright absence of patriotism, of even questioning the exchange of five uncharged terrorists for one American soldier is disgusting, and those shameless dissidents who are condemning President Barack Obama for doing so should hang their heads if they are not in fact devoid of shame. Comments (2).
New York City is experiencing an unparalleled growth of tourism, and it is unlikely a World’s Fair operating a few months for a year or two will make in the long run a significant change for the better. Comment.
In 1930, Queens got its first traffic lights. They are switched on along the el structure on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, heralding a line of traffic signals that will extend to Flushing. Comments (1).
In the past decade, southeast Queens and the term “flooding” have become synonymous. Residents from Rosedale to St. Albans experience ponds, streams and rivers reminiscent of biblical plagues whenever it rains. Comment.
Kum Gang San, a Korean restaurant with locations in Flushing and Manhattan’s Koreatown, has egregiously violated employment law for several years, a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court by the Asian American Legal Defense Fund and LatinoJustice PRLDEF alleges. Comments (1).
The city has delivered a slap in the face to Rockaway residents, who have relied on the ferry as an alternative to the longest public transit commute in the country on the A train and buses immobilized on clogged highways. Comments (17).
Clergy United for Community Empowerment sent a terrible message by organizing a homecoming party for former state Sen. Shirley Huntley (“SE Queens holds party to greet Huntley on return from prison,” June 6-12). Comments (1).
We have seen an open primary in Virginia where voters do not have to vote according to political party affiliation. They can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary for the candidate of their choice. Comment.
The City Council has veered so far left that for most common sense/centrist voters, it is hard to fathom. No Council member epitomizes this off-center lurch better than Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights). Comments (4).
An outraged and clearly frustrated Melinda Katz used the powers of the borough presidency last week to halt an end run by several rogue trustees on the board of the beleaguered Queens Library system. Comment.
One of the main advocates of a new World’s Fair is John Catsimatidis, a longtime, successful, New York City businessman. He has a radio talk show on 970 AM every Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. involving politics and current events. Comment.
TimesLedger Newspapers’ recent Queens Tomorrow magazine includes the article “Willets shops look for home” and contains a rendering of what purports to be the 1.4-million-square-foot shopping mall slated for the current parking lot adjacent to Citi Field. Comment.
Well, the first semester of the de Blasio administration will come to a close June 30, and it is time to hand out the first report card. The mayor has been hardworking and busy implementing his campaign agenda, despite a bit of tardiness at public events and news conferences. Overall, he gets high grades. Comments (2).
The Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the Queens Zoo, has led the global campaign to save African elephants from slaughter and played a major role in New York state’s pending moratorium on ivory sales. Comments (1).
On June 9, Community Board 7 passed a resolution that originated in the CB 7 Health Committee that encouraged owners and landlords of new, multi-family housing to create smoke-free housing units and to establish a smoke-free environment in the developments wherever possible. Comments (4).
What was U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) thinking? Residents of Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston and Auburndale have for two years been living under the terrible noise of the new take-off route out of LaGuardia Airport called the tnnis climb. Comments (15).
In a recent issue, letters probed the Community Board 7 and Willets Point giveaway to big business. Of course, CB 7 heads are getting something out of the Willets Point deal, as they got from the Fort Totten gift to the FDNY, and as the Bay Terrace Mall permits on size. Comment.
The May 30-June 5 editorial “Ferry Good Idea” is the wave of the future. Our waterways are an underused natural asset which can offer significant transportation alternatives for thousands of New Yorkers. Comment.
The recent announcement by the de Blasio administration about a task force on behavioral health and the criminal justice system may appear to be an innocuous endeavor to evaluate the mental health needs of arrestees. Comments (1).
A pillar of the mayor’s affordable housing plan is the legalization of some basement apartments. As Queens residents, we need to face reality and recognize that not only is the renting of basements widespread, it is necessary for many people to remain in their homes in the current economy. Comments (18).
Faith in our public school frontline educators has not only survived the lies, schemes and indecencies of a bygone Gracie Mansion absentee resident, sundry media rogues and other accomplices in full retreat, but has strengthened ever since a pro-education mayor, not prone to insulting the intelligence of New Yorkers, took office after a dozen years of mindless antagonism. Comments (3).
In recent years, there have been few major interparty battles within the Queens Democratic Party. This year, the situation may be different with Queens Democratic Chairman U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) indicating that the Democratic county organization will not endorse state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) for re-election in the 11th Senate District in northeast Queens. Comments (2).
Once again, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has exhibited his highly superior political negotiating skills in securing the Working Families Party endorsement after a fascinating kabuki dance with the left-leaning — and important — group. Comments (2).
I do not remember having speech classes until I got to City College. Then I had to take four sessions, one credit each, over the years I was there. Sometimes that meant getting up to the campus at night for just that one hour each week. Comments (3).
Last month, reports surfaced that a Phoenix-based U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health-care facility maintained two separate lists of patients, one of which doomed nearly 1,600 sick veterans to suffer serious illness without treatment and led to the preventable death of 40 others. Comments (2).
Benjamin Haber should realize he is “Wrong on the World’s Fair” (TimesLedger Newspapers, May 16-22). Haber’s pathetic misunderstanding of the fact that the 1939 fair was not conceived as a “little people’s park for the less privileged” to kick a soccer ball around the greens. Comments (1).
I don’t know much about science except what I read. I took general science at JHS 73 in Maspeth. Somehow I got through Newtown High School without taking any science courses, but since I have an academic diploma and a Regents diploma and was elected to Arista, I guess I wasn’t cheating. Comments (9).
Mayor Bill de Blasio plans on creating 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years in the city. We need more affordable housing in our city, but some of the steps he and other officials will be taking to accomplish this goal are disturbing. Comments (2).
Sometimes old traditions die hard in Queens’ immigrant communities. Despite the best efforts of educators, as well as spiritual and community leaders, some young women face difficulties in asserting themselves, building their identities and receiving equal and fair treatment within their families. Comments (2).
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan of 200,000 apartments, 120,000 of which are slated to be in presently illegal city basements, is reminiscent of the 1950 housing program for Moscow of Nikita Khrushchev, the late Soviet premier. Comments (3).
The new contract between the city and the United Federation of Teachers is a monumental achievement for all New Yorkers because it is a milestone of reconciliation between management and labor. Comments (2).
The Queens Civic Congress, an umbrella organization of more than 100 civic associations in Queens, had its ninth biennial luncheon at Antun’s Caterers in Queens Village. Civic, co-op and tenant association leaders are the unpaid volunteers who work to maintain the quality of life in Queens communities. Comment.
It looks as though there will be some drama this year in at least three Queens races for Albany seats. Shaking off the often soporific mood of the election season, several challengers have stepped into the ring to oppose boldfaced names in the state Legislature. Comments (3).
I am old enough to join the military, old enough to buy a car, old enough to own a house, but I am not old enough to purchase alcohol. As I move up in the social rankings, I should not be held back socially among my peers. Comments (2).
It seems we have been talking about improving education in this country for most of my adult life, yet we continue to lag behind too many countries in too many fields. It does not seem to be getting better. Comments (11).
I am writing to urge residents affected by jet noise from new flight patterns at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports to seek property-tax exemptions from New York City to compensate for reduced property values. Comments (13).
I read with interest your April 25-May 1 article on City Councilwoman Liz Crowley’s (D-Middle Village) call to re-visit the existing funding formula that allocates city budget dollars to each of New York City’s district attorney offices. Comment.
The number of Hallmark cards sent last year for Mother’s Day was 133 million. Of course, like all holidays, this observance was not always a purely commercial one but rather has roots dating as far back as ancient Greece. Comment.
Greater transparency may be coming to Queens community boards, which are the lowest rung of government and serve an important role in giving ordinary citizens a voice in neighborhood rezonings, school locations and liquor licenses. Comments (1).
In a 1964 speech at the Singer Bowl at the New York World’s Fair site, President Lyndon Johnson called on all Americans to “open wide the door of equality” for 20 million of their fellow black citizens who had been “on the outside looking in” for 200 years. Comment.
On April 18, volunteers from the LGBT community and their allies collaborated with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis to set up a mobile HIV testing unit outside the Lefferts branch of the Queens Library, at Lefferts Boulevard and Liberty Avenue. Comment.
As painful as it may be to the chronically misinformed, but President Barack Hussein Obama II has not only not overused his executive orders, but he has through his second term used it less than any president from Dwight Eisenhower on. Comments (1).
The U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as some refer to it, has not lived up to the promise made by elected officials to millions of middle-class workers and families. Comments (3).
Most people do not realize that every convenience, every trustworthy service we use, every reliable product we buy is the result of millions of people participating in the free market and making choices from a plethora of possibilities. In every service we use, every product we buy, the free market separates the excellent from the mediocre. Comments (2).
Early in March, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced he was running for governor. The Republican easily won his second term as executive by a wide margin in a heavily Democratic county, due in large part to voter outrage about the overreach of the federal government regarding the county’s 2009 affordable housing settlement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Comments (1).
It is not easy to unite the editorial boards of The New York Times, New York Post and Daily News, labor unions and public — 64 percent want to keep the carriage horses — but Mayor Bill de Blasio has done it. Comments (2).
On April 11, a neighbor of mine collapsed on Burden Crescent, a short distance from Jamaica Hospital, and 911 was called by an eyewitness of the fall at 4:45 p.m. I witnessed a Wyckoff Hospital ambulance arriving at the scene at 4:55 p.m., 10 minutes later. Comments (2).
Brian and Amy are your typical middle-class New Yorkers. They have worked hard to build a comfortable life for their three children in Hicksville, L.I., and hoped to remain there to be near family. Comment.
A month after the results of the Specialized High School Admission Test, the momentum to reform the examination continues to build. As only marginal numbers of African Americans and Hispanics gain admission to the city’s most selective high schools, a lawsuit headed by the NAACP, as well as comments from elected officials, have cast a spotlight on the test and test prep centers, many of which serve Queens neighborhoods. Comments (2).
In response to the editorial published in the April 4-10 edition of the Bayside Times, we feel it is imperative to rebut some of the points made regarding horse-drawn carriages in New York City. Comments (2).
In response to your April 4-10 editorial “Horse Sense,” back in the 19th century, the horse carriages were not competing with cars, buses and taxis on city streets. The horses were confined to Central Park. Comment.
The Queens Civic Congress is an umbrella organization of approximately 100 civic and co-op associations in Queens. The goal of the QCC is to maintain the quality of life for Queens residents. While it supports the general idea of providing more affordable housing, it opposes the proposals which would legalize the currently illegal basement/cellar apartments which some people build. Comment.
In reply to the April 4-10 editorial, with all the media hype showing the carriage trade as something it is not, the reasons why so many people want this trade shut down have been overlooked. It is inhumane and dangerous. Comment.
It is with pleasure that I read of the accomplishments of Queens Quiet Skies and other entities in convincing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to advocate for mitigation of the noise and pollution problems of aircraft flying over our communities. Comment.
This past February, a perfect storm of New York City’s failed policies on mental illness, homelessness, veterans services, criminal justice and corrections killed Jerome Murdough, a mentally ill, homeless former U.S. marine who was arrested and sent to Rikers Island for trespassing when he sought shelter from the winter cold in a city housing project stairwell. Comments (2).
Thank you for covering the airplane noise issue in our area. I live in Jackson Heights and have been enduring the loud airplane noise that blasts over our house on certain days and nights since we moved to our block a year ago. Sometimes it is truly unbearable. Comment.
It is April 1946. A few weeks before, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave an address at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., where he sounded the warning that an “iron curtain” of Soviet domination had descended across Eastern Europe. Comment.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the right of large donors to pour even more money into political campaigns. The opinion by the highest court equated the right to donate with the right to free speech. Comment.
Leave it to the always-sensible and intelligent state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) to dismiss the most recent Quinnipiac University poll showing support for keeping the carriage horses on Manhattan’s dangerous streets (“Poll shows New Yorkers support horse carriages,” March 21-27). Comments (2).
There is a tendency among too many public officials these days to ignore or denigrate the good work their predecessors may have done. I fear our new mayor is an example of that. That does not make for effective governing. Comments (2).
Queens’ political nature has changed dramatically from a decade ago. A year after a round of redistricting has been completed, immigrant communities in the borough continue to flourish and old City Council districts have grown or shifted with new residents. Comments (4).
The Queens Civic Congress is an umbrella organization of approximately 100 civic associations, co-ops and other groups. The aim of QCC is to protect the quality of life for Queens residents. When necessary, it works with other groups in other counties in New York City and state. Richard Hellenbrecht is the its president. Comment.
As the battle rages over whether the Central Park horse-drawn carriages should be banned, the politics involved confound the debate. Add to the mix a recent poll which shows that nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers want the horses to keep their jobs ferrying tourists around midtown Manhattan. Comments (2).
It has been more than four years since Congress last raised the federal minimum wage. Hardworking families are doing all they can to make ends meet during the worst economy of our lifetime — through no fault of their own — and feel like they are slipping further behind. Comment.
On March 16, a new radio show began featuring John Catsimatidis as the moderator. Catsimatidis ran for mayor last year in the Republican primary. The program is on station WNYM 970 AM at 9 a.m. and runs for one hour. Comment.
The Bloomberg administration ignored small businesses and the needs of the little people, pursuing instead a long romance with real estate moguls. It also did not take the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure seriously nor the public trust doctrine, which requires approval of the state Legislature before any parkland is given over to non-park use. Comments (1).
It was called the Great Depression, a time that undoubtedly was the worst financial crisis in our country’s history. Nearly a third of the workforce was unemployed. A decade wiped off the map, nearly a generation would pass before the country reached the same level of economic activity as the 1920s. Comments (1).
We have a message for our governor: Andrew, remember your Queens roots and keep your hands off the MTA’s $40 million public transit funds that could make travel for city straphangers a whole lot easier. Comments (2).
It is often said that good politics involves the “art of the compromise.” To get things done and make progress, which should be the goal of every elected leader, there needs to be give and take. Comment.
I think most of us are aware of our elected officials and the jobs they do on behalf of our communities, but we should also recognize the contribution our community boards and civic associations make in affecting conditions in our neighborhoods. Comments (6).
Hookah, an Arabian water pipe used to smoke tobacco, is a time-honored tradition and social activity spanning the Middle East and South Asia. Even limited use of this water pipe to smoke the tobacco, known as sheesha, produces a pleasant, light-headed sensation. Comments (5).
Let me first introduce myself as a former constituent within Queens Community Board 9 from Richmond Hill, with relatives who had resided in Ozone Park and Howard Beach over the years within your district constituency. Comment.
A few weeks ago, Administrative Law Judge Michelle Manzione, after a city Environmental Control Board hearing, found the tenant of Klein Farm guilty of having several trees cut down and the 100-year-old circular driveway paved over. Comments (4).
As New Yorkers celebrated their Irish heritage during the Fifth Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade, senators in Albany ignored their immigrant roots and defeated a bill to give tuition assistance to undocumented college students. Comments (3).
New York state’s 3rd Congressional District, which runs along the north shore of Long Island, is in three counties: Nassau, Suffolk and Queens. It contains, within its Queens part, Douglaston, Little Neck and parts of Whitestone and Bayside. Comments (1).
I am proud of the work we have begun to do in order to establish a fair and equitable education system for our city’s children. The recent decision to withdraw nine space-sharing, co-located charter schools is a step in the right direction. Comments (2).
May the luck of the Irish be with you — particularly this coming March 17, when the world will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, more commonly known to the Irish as St. Paddy’s Day. (Not “St. Patty’s Day,” as it is often mistakenly called in the United States). Comment.
I had to chuckle upon reading a letter in which the writer cautions the ever self-congratulating Ed Konecnik to be careful not to dislocate his shoulder while constantly patting himself on the back. Comments (1).
Born March 1, 1927, at the Lying-in Hospital in Harlem, Harold George Bellafanti Jr. is a singer, actor and political and civil rights activist whose unforgettable presence on the American stage has spanned seven decades. Comment.
As I watched the Sochi Olympics last month, it occurred to me that instead of trying to promote New York City as a site for the Summer Games, as we did 10 years ago, we should go after the Winter Games. We certainly had more snow than Sochi over the last few weeks, and we have the venues: ice hockey in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, cross-country skiing in Forest Park and luge along the Jackie Robinson Parkway. Comment.
As my readers know, I have been active in environmental and educational matters for many years. I have served on boards of nonprofits in those areas, including some in Queens. I have waved the flag for them and hope to continue to do so for a long time. Comments (3).
One group of auto repair shop owners who took the city’s offer to move out of Willets Point finally got a break. After weeks of uncertainty and tense negotiations, more than 40 businesses that belong to the Sunrise Co-op signed a deal to relocate as a group to a building in the South Bronx. Comments (2).
This letter is in regard to my investigations with the Office of Special Investigations in the city Department of Education and my still pending investigation and charges from a school-based investigation. Comments (5).
Recent disputes between the management of the Burger King, at 120th Street and Liberty Avenue, and the senior citizens who occupy the limited seating space at the restaurant has led to the enforcement of a 20-minute seating policy. Comments (7).
In response to a Jan. 31-Feb. 6 Bayside Times letter by Bob Friedrich (“Don’t give political parties labels”), about the “bad” Republicans and the “good” Democrats, the Democrats want to extend unemployment, the Republicans do not. They want to pay for it. Comment.
People buy a house or a co-op or rent in a neighborhood for several reasons, one of which is the quality of the education system. District 26 has a fine gifted and talented program, which attracts many middle-class families and makes it the top district in the city. To enter the program, young children at age 4 have to pass a test and be evaluated. Comments (6).
A few weeks after Hurricane Sandy pulverized the Rockaways, one of the superstorm’s survivors planted himself in the road next to Jamaica Bay in the eastern part of the peninsula. The large and elegant creature stopped a passing car and demanded attention. He was hungry and wanted a ride, even if that meant hopping into the vehicle with another species. Comments (2).
The statewide race for governor this year seems to be taking shape. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who threw his hat into the ring Wednesday on the Republican side, seems to be gaining support. Comment.
This Tuesday and Wednesday welcome a double holiday celebration. Shrove Tuesday is commonly known as the day prior to the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. It is also widely known as the festive celebration of Mardi Gras. Comment.
I am writing to you as a citizen, a lifelong resident of the Rockaway Peninsula and president of the Queens Public Transit Committee, whose goal is to improve transportation options throughout the borough. Comments (3).
I am old enough to remember visiting the 1964-65 New York City World’s Fair and was of the opinion architect Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion was one of the least interesting structures and not up to his usual high standards. Comments (5).
It has become clear what Mayor Bill de Blasio had in mind with his Tale of Two Cities parable. He presented it as an allegory of the haves and have-nots, but neglected to tell us who they are. Comments (6).
Our new mayor has had a bumpy ride in his first few weeks on the job. Even though Bill de Blasio has been a public figure in his roles as a city councilman and city public advocate, the rules of the road change when you’re the top dog in City Hall. Comment.
If reader Ed Konecnik is not careful, he will dislocate his shoulder due to his non-stop personal backslapping. Somehow his description of what to him is freedom is more akin to “greedom.” It is particularly ugly in our advanced, socially civilized country to approach life with a Neanderthal, every man for himself mentality. Lady Liberty’s green face would turn red with embarrassment. Comments (2).
As New York City’s economy recovers from the recession, thousands of working families in Queens and the other boroughs face a grim reality: Although one of their members might have a full-time job, the weekly wages they earn are not nearly enough to make ends meet. Comment.
A few weeks ago, the Community Board 8 Parks Committee held a meeting to evaluate a proposal to have a farmers market in Cunningham Park. The proposal grew from a meeting of the Holliswood Civic Association, where a Jon Klar, recycling outreach coordinator associated with GrowNYC, spoke about farmers markets. The civic, on the south border of Cunningham Park, brought the idea to the committee. Comment.
Anyone facing layoffs or job closings would be concerned for their future livelihood, but the situation with the carriage trade is different. The drivers are not only concerned but they want it their way or no way at all. Comments (10).
In 1885, the Presidents Day holiday was established in honor of the birthday of America’s first president, George Washington. The observance is still officially called Washington’s Birthday by the federal government and only became popularly known as Presidents Day in 1971 after it fell under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which was an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. Comments (2).
Our grief over Avonte Oquendo’s death is compounded by the knowledge that it might have been prevented. The danger of kids running out of school cannot be eliminated but must be minimized. Comments (1).
The recent escape of a convicted killer from the state-run Creedmoor Psychiatric Facility in Bellerose is a serious concern to the civic leaders of this community and other nearby community organizations. Comments (1).
The political climate has changed dramatically since Bill de Blasio was swept into office as a progressive mayor on the strength of his Tale of Two Cities campaign, which struck a deep chord in Queens and other outerboroughs. Comment.
You have to give credit to new Mayor Bill de Blasio. He has presented a clear progressive vision during the campaign and in his first 40 days in office he has hit the ground running, doggedly pursuing his bold agenda. Comment.
TimesLedger Newspapers reader Ed Konecnik finds it perturbing that some folks do not believe in his philosophical world. Since he refers to the U.S. Constitution all the time, he is either a constitutional lawyer or one of those laughable right-wingers who carry around a pocket Constitution and flash it at every progressive they see as if it was a cross to vanquish a vampire. Comments (2).
Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials are floating the idea of legalizing illegal basement apartments and other units as a way of dealing with the need for more affordable housing in our city. The outgoing chairwoman of the City Planning Commission, Amanda Burden, has said we must accept an increase in density and height in our neighborhoods if we are to accommodate all those needing housing. She admitted this would be a hard sell in most areas of the city. Comments (9).
Radio ads and billboards will proclaim just about any message that has been paid for. The placement, whether in a public square or on the airwaves, is like a rented body from an escort service. Industrial psychologists are hired by the ad’s bank rollers and function like wardrobe provocateurs. They calculate how to appeal to fantasy and what will work. Comment.
I commend state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) for his continued common sense support for New York City to join other congested cities, such as London and Paris, in ending the antiquated horse-drawn carriage industry (“Borough carriage drivers fear for jobs,” Jan 31-Feb. 6). Comments (4).
Known to the world as John Barrymore, stage and screen star John Sidney Blyth was born in Philadelphia Feb. 15, 1882. His English father, Herbert Arthur Chamberlayne Blyth, was a dashing leading man on the late 19th century stage, and his mother, Georgie Drew, was also an accomplished actress. Comment.
LaGuardia is taking a lot of heat for being the worst airport in America, and now the governor has joined the chorus of critics who trash the Queens gateway as dingy, obsolete and low tech. Comments (2).
Again it has happened. I come down the sidewalk along the Clearview Expressway service road on my motorized scooter and vehicles from Star Nissan block my way because they are parked on the sidewalk. I, as a handicapped person in my 80s, have to risk my life and go out into the service road, where vehicles are speeding off the expressway trying to make the light at Northern Boulevard. Comments (4).
On behalf of the Queens Village Republican Club, I would like to thank the media outlets which covered our “Cuomo Outrage” press conference at Queens Borough Hall Jan. 21. Thanks for helping to make our voices heard in protest of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s intolerant remarks directed against a large swath of New Yorkers with politically different opinions than himself, that they should leave New York state. Comments (2).
As a member of the City Council, James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) tarnished his reputation as an environmentalist by supporting a 1.4-million-square-foot shopping mall on the Citi Field parking lot, which is part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, without requiring permission to alienate parkland and replace that which will be taken. Comment.
The city Department of Education must be held accountable for the death of Avonte Oquendo, who vanished from a special ed program at a Long Island City school without a trace in October until his remains washed up on College Point shores last week. Comments (7).
In the Jan. 17-23 edition, the Flushing Times printed an editorial expressing concern about the missing cats in the Astoria area as well as pointing out that the spaying and/or neutering of both outdoor stray cats as well as indoor cats that are allowed outside would go a long way toward solving the feral cat problem. Comment.
A dearth of affordable housing, as well as a proliferation of converted — and “unapproved” — basement apartments, has led a coalition of Queens community groups and professionals to pursue changes to the way city government defines a legal rental unit. Comments (10).
On Jan. 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated more than 7,000 prisoners from the most notorious of the Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Poland. It is estimated that around 1.3 million people were deported to this camp between 1940 and 1945 and at least 1.1 million perished at the hands of Nazi guards. Comment.
Last week a letter writer used five paragraphs to defend his defense of inequality by saying he defends his defense of inequality (“Some people blind to truth about the poor,” Jan. 17-23). Comments (4).
Francis Xavier Bushman was a film and television actor whose career flourished during the silent film era. Born in Baltimore in 1883, he was perhaps best known for the role of Romeo in the 1916 Metro Pictures production of “Romeo and Juliet” as well as that of Messala in the 1925 silent epic “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.” Comment.
The Freedom of Information Law is an instrument of democracy and sometimes, therefore, a pain, and that is the way it should be. Whether or not it is exercised in a particular situation depends on who may be gored by public disclosure. Comment.
So many letter writers continually want to bring up the Benghazi “scandal” instead of admitting that the puff of smoke they see in front of their eyes is actually New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s chances of ever living in the White House going up in smoke. Comments (5).
Many thanks to TimesLedger Newspapers for issuing a correction to Tom Allon’s Jan. 3-9 column and clarifying that books are central to the design and programming of the New York Public Library’s new branch on 53rd Street in Manhattan. Comment.
Charter schools cannot have it both ways. They should either stop their false claim that they are public schools or stop their false claim that as private entities they are beyond judicial reach. They should step up to the plate and stop dodging state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s financial audit of charters. Comments (1).
Four years ago, a developer bought a lot on Union Turnpike near the old St. Joseph’s Hospital with a zoning of R3-2, which permits houses or low-rise attached houses. Wanting to make more money by building higher, the builder proposed a zoning change so a four-floor building as tall as 40 feet with apartments above and stores below could be built. Civic association leaders, always wary of zoning changes, higher buildings and increased traffic and congestion, opposed this proposal. Comment.
When 1888 dawned, most locals were out for good, innocent, holiday fun. A local paper wrote, “Carriages commenced to flit hither and thither shortly after noon and towards evening the houses commenced to light up and the sounds of merry music and joyous songs reached far out into the starry night and told of the happiness and enjoyment within.” Comments (2).
The Ozone Park-based Indo-Caribbean Alliance kicked off the new year as a beneficiary of a charity ball hosted by two area business owners. The group has worked on initiatives, such as youth mentoring and voter registration plans, to continue its advocacy work though providing spaces for the community to come together, voter registration and serving in an advisory role for local youth. Comments (2).
City Councilman Paul Vallone’s (D-Whitestone) response (“Inform people of school hearing,” Dec. 27-Jan. 2) to my Dec. 6-12 letter “Community deserved say in planned school” was that he has been opposed to the approved primary school on the Keil Bros. property in my section of Bayside all along. I had heard differently. Comments (1).
Which is the biggest number: the total count of stars in the solar system, the sum of grains of sand on all Atlantic Ocean beaches, the dollar deficit of the U.S. economy or the tally of useless re-organizations of the city’s school system since the mayor seized it a dozen years ago? Comments (3).
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) will be introducing legislation in the Senate that would allow neighborhood and other civic organizations, as well as individual homeowners, to register restrictive covenants and other types of deed restrictions with the city Department of Buildings. Comment.
As the new year begins, I like to create a civic-themed “wish list” in the hope that lawmakers may have an epiphany and aspire to fulfill these wishes. I have kept the list brief this year, hoping to improve my chances of success. Comment.
With the 2014 New York state legislative session about to begin, the issue of moving the state political party primary from September to June will be one of the important matters considered by our state Legislature. Comment.
Between the Port Authority killing birds to avoid collisions with planes, the hunting of bears in New Jersey and the decision to kill up to 3,000 deer on eastern Long Island due to an overpopulation, it seems wildlife is being targeted unjustly and inhumanely. Comments (1).
I am upset that the city Department of Transportation, Community Board 7 and City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) approved removing the rush hour/no standing signs from the eastbound lanes of Northern Boulevard in Flushing from Prince Street to Utopia Parkway. Comment.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s current citywide visit is ostensibly to emphasize leaving office with a favorable legacy. While there may be some aspects of Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor that may warrant a laudable legacy, including his private philanthropic activities, his cabal with 21 term-limited City Council members to overturn twice public-supported term limits, will not be among them. Comment.
Larry Mattola, owner of LP & Co. Hair Design in Fresh Meadows, has been opening his salon on a Sunday prior to the holiday season to provide beauty treatments to developmentally disabled children and young adults for 30 years. Now, additional establishments such as Concept E Salon, LULU’S Bakery, Salon Visentin and Chazzam Entertainment are involved in doing something nice for others during the holidays. Comment.
So-called reformers and certain daily tabloid editorial boards should admit it. They would trust the “wolf of Wall Street” to be the new city schools chancellor rather than accept anyone who has the blessing of the “tainted” teachers union. Comment.