News

Friday, Jan. 2, 2009

Whitestone Times

Men impersonating cops stole computer: NYPD

HOLLIS HILLS — Two men posing as detectives broke into a Hollis Hills apartment Friday and took a computer they claimed had to be confiscated for evidence, police said. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Pick−up truck stolen off street in Bayside: Cops

BAYSIDE — A robber took off with a pick−up truck Saturday in Bayside, police said. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Boro health advocates to Obama: Don’t forget us

Queens residents, doctors and legislators have a message for President−elect Barack Obama: In the midst of an economic collapse and two ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, do not forget about healthcare. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Lawmakers mum about Monserrate

State Democrats and Republicans have remained notably quiet following the arrest of state Sen.−elect Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) on assault charges last month, but friends and supporters of the embattled politician have rallied behind him. Comment.
Whitestone Times

City to fix road flooding

City Councilman John Liu (D−Flushing) is hoping that an emergency sewer fix will stem the constant flooding in neighborhoods along the Whitestone Expressway, where plans for a broader storm drain project have been thwarted by a lack of funding. Comment.
Editorial

A Better New Year for All

2008 was a tough year. Hundreds of families lost their homes, thousands of people lost their jobs and thousands saw their retirement savings slashed by the Wall Street collapse. Comment.
Editorial

A Victory for Common Sense

Every once in a while, the little guy wins. Comment.
Ridgewood

Crime down but rape, larceny up in 104th Pct

Crime was down in the 104th Precinct compared with last year, though the precinct that covers Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood did see a substantial increase in rapes and grand larcenies. Comment.
Richmond Hill

Murders up 700 percent in 102nd Precinct

Murders in the 102nd Precinct, which covers Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Ozone Park and Kew Gardens, skyrocketed 700 percent from 2007 to the end of last year, by far the largest increase in Queens, crime statistics showed. Comment.
Richmond Hill

Achievers of America celebrate the holidays with party

Holiday cheer came in the form of an Elvis impersonator named StingRay and a secret Santa Claus bearing gifts for The Achievers of America baseball team, a nonprofit program for handicapped and mentally challenged individuals, at the team’s 11th annual Christmas party at the Palace Diner in Flushing. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Whitestone home robbed on Christmas Eve: Brown

Two Brooklyn men were arraigned on burglary charges in Queens last week for allegedly turning Christmas Eve into a holiday horror for a Whitestone family, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Willets Point tenant leader says no biz moves until ’11

A Willets Point tenant business leader said he does not anticipate the city will  move out any of the businesses in the industrial business community until at least 2011. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Meeks worried about rough economy in 2009

Although U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) has a bleak outlook for the new year, he said New Yorkers will be able to get back on their feet with the help of well-crafted government policies. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Maspeth rail tunnel plans resume: Port Authority

After a three-year hiatus, the process that may bring an underground rail line into Maspeth has resumed under the guidance of a different government entity. Comment.
Little Neck Ledger

Murders in 105th Pct. decline by 20% in ‘08

The 105th Precinct reported reductions in six of the seven major crime categories 2008 from the previous year’s levels, with murders recording the largest drop, according to crime statistics compiled by the Police Department. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Major crime declines in 110th, 115th precincts

Overall major crimes for the year were down from 2007 levels in the 110th and 115th precincts, but robberies were on the rise in the 115th and felony assaults were more plentiful in both precincts, police statistics through Dec. 21 showed. Comment.
Jamaica Times

Murders double in 106th Precinct

Murders more than doubled in the 106th Precinct between 2007 and 2008, marking a more than 100 percent increase, according to crime statistics compiled by the Police Department. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Housing Authority reverses plans for Latimer center

State Assemblywoman−elect Grace Meng (D−Flushing) and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D−Whitestone) rallied with Latimer Gardens residents Saturday, fearing the city would be closing the Flushing housing development’s community center. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Mark Weprin planning run for brother’s Council seat

State Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D−Little Neck) said he plans to run for the 23rd City Council District seat currently held by his brother, David Weprin (D−Hollis), who is making a bid for city comptroller. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

City votes to invalidate 1,700 ballots in Gennaro race

The city Board of Elections voted Tuesday to support its previous decision that declared invalid 1,700 paper ballots in the race between state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) and City Councilman James Gennaro (D−Fresh Meadows). Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Everybody must work together to improve city public schools

The new buzzword is “accountability.” The city Department of Education will spend about $350 million for accountability in the form of tests, in addition to the state and federal tests already being given. Many parents and teachers are unhappy with testing and teaching to the test at the expense of teaching children creativity and culture. Comment.
Bayside Times

Carrozza’s toy drives bring joy to boro kids

State Assemblywoman Ann−Margaret Carrozza (D−Bayside) said drives led by her office during the past two months have provided toys for as many as 1,000 borough children and clothing for 600 veterans. Comment.
Astoria Times

Parks worker robbed in Juniper Valley Park

MIDDLE VILLAGE — Police in the 104th Precinct were searching for a man who robbed a city Parks Department employee early in the morning of Dec. 19 in Juniper Valley Park. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man in critical condition after being shot: Police

CORONA — A man was critically injured after he was shot early in the morning Christmas Eve in Corona, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Elmhurst robbery part of pattern: Police

ELMHURST — The November robbery of an Elmhurst auto parts store was labeled last week as part of a pattern of thefts in Brooklyn and Queens, police said. Comment.
Letters

Daniel Garvey made a name for himself as CB 11’s transit chairman

In the Dec. 18 Bayside Times article “Ex−CB 11 member Garvey, transportation chair, dies,” you noted the passing of Daniel Garvey, a noted professional and community activist. You mentioned some of the noteworthy accomplishments during his life, but failed to mention some of the more important issues and activities he was involved in and how he left his mark on this world. Comment.
Letters

Smith should ask Monserrate to step down from Senate seat

State Senate leader Malcolm Smith (D−St. Albans) must join with those calling for state Sen.−elect Hiram Monserrate (D−Jackson Heights) to resign in the wake of his arrest on assault charges. Reportedly, his girlfriend told police that Monserrate stabbed her in the face with a broken drinking glass Dec. 19. Up to 20 stitches were needed to close the gash on her face. Comment.
Letters

Taxes for state budget must treat rich, middle−class families fairly

Why is it acceptable to balance the state budget with a barrage of regressive user fees and sales taxes that will most affect middle−class New Yorkers and exempt the wealthiest taxpayers from paying their fair share? Comment.
Letters

Build new bus terminal in Flushing

Regarding the Dec. 18 article “Queens mass transit riders get vintage treat for holidays,” people were still left waiting at bus stops for a benefit unfulfilled. Comment.
Letters

Monserrate should not take seat in Senate

I found it disturbing that another politician is in trouble with the law. State Sen.−elect Hiram Monserrate (D−Jackson Heights) was arrested for allegedly assaulting and cutting his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, in the face with a broken glass. She suffered two lacerations over her left eye and needed 20 stitches. Comment.
Letters

MTA must not raise Access−A−Ride fares

Tucked into the budget that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board approved Dec. 17 are details that Queens residents should ponder in the weeks ahead, as New York City Transit prepares to put into effect the cuts ordered by its parent agency. Comment.
Editorial

Monserrate Must Go

The state Senate is facing a test of its character and the sincerity of its commitment against domestic violence. The question before the Senate is whether or not Councilman Hiram Monserrate should take the oath of office when it reconvenes in January. Comment.
Astoria Times

One’s view of the world takes shape during childhood

Without knowing it, I had my first realization of personal responsibility on an elevated subway ride in Queens. Comment.
Astoria Times

Elections Board must rein in voter registration fraud

The winner of the 11th Senate District race between incumbent state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) and challenger City Councilman James Gennaro (D−Fresh Meadows) in northeast Queens has still not been decided. It is now close to two months since the fall general election and the final official results have not been declared. The endless counting and recounting of paper ballots continues. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro holiday parties help to usher in the new year

Happy New Year, everyone! Have you all made your list of resolutions? I did. As old habits die hard, it is worth giving them a try, so let’s hope we manage to keep them throughout the New Year. Comment.
Astoria Times

Columnist finds no fun in that wintery white stuff

If you want the winter to pass swiftly, borrow money due in the spring. Comment.
Astoria Times

Work on your 401(k) in ’09

You cannot listen to the radio, switch on the TV or go online without getting miserable these days. You continually hear about how bad your 401(k) retirement account has been hit by the recession. I spoke with financial advisers in Queens about what can be done to stop the bleeding. Comment.
Astoria Times

School enhances mind, body, spirit

For nearly four decades, the Lee family has run their businesses in Whitestone and Astoria on the philosophies they teach: self−discipline, focus, confidence and strength. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA expects to charge bus riders 25 cents extra if they use coins

Cash−strapped transit officials have come up with more possibilities in the event there is no bailout of the MTA, including requiring bus patrons to pay more for using coins and a 26 percent fare hike on the Long Island Rail Road. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens PFLAG to honor three in February

The Queens chapter of PFLAG — or Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays — will recognize a group and two individuals who have worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people at its 2009 awards ceremony in February. Comment.
Astoria Times

Little Neck doc exonerated

A 70−year−old Little Neck psychiatrist said he was attempting to rebuild his reputation after a Queens jury acquitted him last month of illegally selling prescriptions to an undercover police officer. Comment.
Astoria Times

Fort Totten soldier killed on Christmas

A Fort Totten−based doctor on his second tour of duty in Iraq died Christmas Day from wounds he suffered after mortar rounds were fired into his camp, the U.S. Defense Department said Friday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Late Baysider Ron Carey changed workers’ lives: Daughter

Pamela Carey, daughter of late Teamsters Union President Ron Carey, said she believes her father will be remembered as a pivotal figure in the labor movement after several hundred former and present union members turned out for his Bayside funeral in mid−December. Comment.
Astoria Times

Baysider wins tickets to Obama inauguration

A 27−year−old attorney from Bayside and her father will attend President−elect Barack Obama’s inauguration this month after entering a lottery operated by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D−N.Y.) in which 150,000 people vied for a spot on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro psychiatrist convicted of sex abuse

A psychiatrist with offices in Rego Park faces up to one year behind bars after being convicted of inappropriately touching a 16−year−old female patient during therapy, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bargains abound in borough

After one of the worst holiday seasons in decades for retailers, Queens residents took to the stores in a post−Christmas rush Friday to cash in on the steep discounts offered to lure shoppers to business establishments throughout the borough. Comment.
Astoria Times

108th Pct. murder rate increased in ’08: NYPD

Major crimes in the 108th Precinct were down in 2008, but the murder rate climbed considerably, according to online police statistics through Dec. 21, 2008. Comment.
Astoria Times

46% of subway deaths linked to intoxication

Everyone has heard the slogan for motorists “Don’t drink and drive,” but Columbia University offers straphangers their own motto: “If you’re drunk, stay off the No. 7.” Comment.
Astoria Times

P.S. 1 founding director Heiss retires after 37 yrs. at museum

The coming of the new year brought to a close a major chapter in Long Island City’s premier art museum: P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center’s founding director Alanna Heiss retired Dec. 31 after 37 years with the organization. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cutting subway police unit will hurt Queens: Vallone

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D−Astoria) warned the NYPD Monday that if they remove police officers from Queens subways, it would seriously compromise the safety of straphangers. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIC residents want dog park

The boom of new housing and new residents in Long Island City is sparking calls to renovate yet more of the former industrial area. A group of condominium residents at the new 13−story building at 44−27 Purves St. has started to advocate for the transformation of a long−neglected lot across the street into a dog park. Comment.
Astoria Times

Donations down at Goodwill

Astoria’s Goodwill headquarters has faced declines in donations of between 12 percent and 25 percent during the past few months amid the current economic downturn, but sales of clothing and household goods at the nonprofit giant’s stores in the city are on the rise, a Goodwill spokesman said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ghost Bike honors Queens Blvd. death site

On a chilly, late fall evening in Elmhurst, a group of bicyclists in neon−green vests walked their bikes to the corner of Queens Boulevard and 55th Road. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIC immigrant blinded in attack stars in documentary

A blind Long Island City woman from Afghanistan who runs in the New York City Marathon every year is the subject of a new documentary film that will open at Manhattan’s Anthology Film Archives this weekend. Comment.
Astoria Times

Schumer says Obama’s stimulus could boost state

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D−N.Y.) said a massive Obama economic stimulus plan could not only provide a lift for financially beleaguered New York state but restore stalled transit projects in the city, creating thousands of jobs. Comment.
Astoria Times

Whitestone’s monk parrots need state protection: Avella

City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) said last week he plans on pushing the state Legislature to have a group of South American Quaker parrots, which have found a comfortable home atop Queens’ trees, protected by the state. Comment.
Astoria Times

Schleicher residents take step toward home

More than a dozen College Point residents who have been homeless for nearly seven months took a big step toward returning home on Christmas Eve, but tensions were running high at Queens Civil Court in Jamaica. Comment.
Astoria Times

Stop questioning race on ballots: Gianaris

State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D−Astoria) is calling on the federal government to stop asking overseas voters to give their race on application forms for absentee ballots. Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro crime drops 3% in 2008, but NYPD cuts loom

Even though overall crime in Queens dropped 3.2 percent in 2008, City Councilman Peter Vallone (D−Astoria) cautioned that budget cuts to the NYPD could set the stage for a rise in felonies in 2009. Comment.

Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009

Whitestone Times

Men who attempted burglary scared off

DOUGLASTON — Police said a Douglaston Parkway resident warded off two would−be burglars who broke into his house early Friday morning. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Items over $2K stolen outside mall: Police

DOUGLASTON — More than $2,000 worth of items were stolen from a car parked outside Douglaston Mall Sunday evening, authorities said. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Cops search for man in knife−point robbery

AUBURNDALE — Police said a man held up a woman at knife−point and robbed her of her handbag late Saturday night. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Parents air school complaints

Principals and parents complained of cramped, poorly ventilated conditions at northeastern Queens schools last week during Community District Education Council 26’s monthly meeting. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Ackerman doesn’t regret Kennedy−J. Lo remark

Outspoken U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D−Bayside) said U.S. Senate hopeful Caroline Kennedy is being “Sarah Palinized” by her handlers and the daughter of late President John F. Kennedy will need more than her name to be successful if appointed to the post. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Whitestone man sentenced for throwing Molotov: DA

A Whitestone man was sentenced to eight years in prison last Thursday for tossing a Molotov cocktail on the steps of JHS 194 earlier this year, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Willets Point biz owners eye legal options after vote

Property owners are attempting to regroup following the City Council vote to approve the redevelopment of Willets Point last month, but while the fight goes on, legal options for opposition to the project are becoming few and far between. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Weiner visits troops in Iraq for support

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D−Forest Hills) joined Gov. David Paterson and U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D−Hauppauge) for a surprise visit to Iraq and Afghanistan this week, which the Queens congressman said made him feel more optimistic than ever before about the situation in the Arab nation but concerned about the escalating violence in Afghanistan. Comment.
Editorial

The Bully

We are baffled and disappointed by Councilman Tony Avella’s ongoing war against InSpa World in College Point. In his latest attack, he is asking that the spa be closed down because of minor FDNY violations. These violations need to be addressed, but there is no suggestion that InSpa is a firetrap. Comment.
Richmond Hill

Rich. Hill’s PS 66 up for landmark

A Richmond Hill elementary school may be the first in Queens to gain landmark status after the city Landmarks Preservation Commission considered the school’s case last week. Comments (1).
Little Neck Ledger

Marshall backs plans for Fairway in Douglaston

Borough President Helen Marshall favors the creation of a proposed high−end Manhattan grocery store at the Douglaston Plaza Shopping Center and is expected to approve its construction, Deputy Borough President Karen Koslowitz told developers of the supermarket last week. Comment.
Laurelton

Spg. Gardens asks borough to stop motel construction

Springfield Gardens community leaders pleaded with the Borough Board’s Land Use Committee during a hearing last week not to allow construction to continue on a controversial motel on North Conduit Avenue, contending the site could pose potential dangers for students at nearby Springfield Gardens High School. Comment.
Jackson Heights

5 vie for Monserrate seat

As questions arose as to whether state Sen.−elect Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) would be able to take office after he was charged with assault, his chief of staff joined a host of others vying for his City Council seat in a special election tentatively set for February. Comment.
Jackson Heights

City approves cell phone tower construction on Maspeth roof

Despite much protest from the community, the city Board of Standards and Appeals approved a communications company’s variance request last Thursday to build a cell phone tower on a residential roof in Maspeth, setting what many fear is a precedent for the antennas in residential zones. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights corner to be renamed for soldier

A Jackson Heights soldier killed last year in Iraq will be remembered by more than just his family after the City Council approved a street renaming in his honor last week. Comment.
Jamaica Times

Bayswater man charged with postage forgery: DA

A Rockaway businessman faces up to 15 years in prison after he was charged with allegedly forging hundreds of postage labels to ship hundreds of items at no cost, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Boro subway hero held in drug bust

A Flushing man once heralded for heroically saving another man who fell in the path of a subway train was arrested on drug charges late Friday night after a passenger leapt out of the front seat of his car and died, police said. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Funding restored to boards

District managers from Community Boards 6 and 8 breathed sighs of relief after City Council members negotiated last Thursday to restore $20 million in funding to groups throughout the city, a move that means community boards will not have to slash 7 percent from their budgets. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Boro high schools excel in academics, community service

Examining test scores and the grading system of schools shows an improvement of our lower grades and high schools. Last June, reading and math scores improved from the third− through eight−grades. Some grades made a double−digit jump in scores. Scores were up in every type of community. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Ferraro endorses Katz for comptroller

Geraldine Ferraro, the first female vice presidential candidate from a major party and a former Forest Hills resident, has thrown her support behind City Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s (D−Forest Hills) bid for city comptroller. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Seminerio pleads not guilty to charge in corruption rap

Embattled state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio (D−Richmond Hill) pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court last week to charges stemming from allegations that he took $1 million in payments from those seeking his influence in Albany, court records showed. Comment.
Flushing Times

Flushing BID to hold emergency preparedness seminar

After a fast−moving fire destroyed more than a half dozen businesses in downtown Flushing in October, the Flushing Business Improvement District is taking steps to make sure it does not happen again. Comment.

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