News

Friday, May 8, 2009

Whitestone Times

Developer amasses deals for Sky View

Despite a nationwide slowdown in the real estate market Muss Development’s megaproject Sky View Parc soldiers ahead, recently landing a major lease with BJ’s Wholesale Club as it continues to fill out a planned retail center. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Auto accident kills Star dealer’s wife

The owner of a Bayside− and Queens Village−based auto dealership was heartbroken last weekend after a Long Island car crash claimed his wife, with whom he would have celebrated their 60th anniversary next month. Comment.
Whitestone Times

NYPD OKs $1B police training academy in College Point

The New York Police Department certified its plans to build a $1 billion training academy in College Point Monday, much to the chagrin of Community Board 7 leaders, who contend that an unpolished project is being dropped in the lap of an overburdened community. Comment.
Whitestone Times

E. Elmhurst man fights double−slay conviction

Lawyers for an East Elmhurst man they contend was wrongfully convicted of a double homicide 13 years ago locked horns with prosecutors Friday over whether a crucial police report containing potentially exonerating evidence was provided to his defense attorney during the initial trial. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Flushing tenants say city ruined street with repair job

For years, residents of the Mitchell−Linden co−ops in Flushing have complained of flooding problems, but now they say the city’s quick fix of the problem has only made things worse. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Halloran touts outsider cred

Queens may be the most multifarious county in the world, but Auburndale attorney Dan Halloran would like to diversify the borough’s City Council delegation by becoming its second Republican. Comment.
Whitestone Times

North Shore opens room for Orthodox Jewish patients

When Orthodox Jewish families used to visit sick relatives overnight at North Shore University Hospital, they had no choice but to sleep in the hospital’s halls if they visited during the sabbath. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Analyst at Queens College forum says U.S. won’t lose credit status

A trio of business experts at Queens College said last week the U.S. economy remains the model for the rest of the world, but cautioned that the economic crisis facing the nation should give fiscal leaders meaningful pause. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Weprin: Con Ed must reform after explosion

City Councilman David Weprin (D−Hollis) joined the husband and children of a Floral Park woman who was killed in April when her home exploded to call on Con Edison to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident. Comment.
Editorial

Con Ed on the Hot Seat Again

The explosion in Floral Park that obliterated a house and took the life of a mother of three children raises questions about the management at Con Edison and its preparedness to respond quickly to a potential disaster. Comment.
Richmond Hill

Kiwanis club holds fashion show at Russo’s on the Bay

Models strutted the latest fashions recently at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach at the third annual Fashion Show hosted by the Lefferts−Liberty Kiwanis Club. Eight models, including two children, struck a pose for a good cause and all proceeds from tickets and raffles will go to benefit the children of the south Queens community. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Mattones looking to revamp Atlas Park

Neighbors are noticing a shift in the winds as the new management at the Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale begins to change the way things are done at the struggling mall. Comment.
Jackson Heights

A mother’s tearful goodbye

The terminally ill Corona man who enjoyed a tearful hospital−bed reunion with his Peruvian mother last month died Sunday after fighting AIDS and bone cancer, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D−Bayside) said. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Family mourns Floral Park blast victim at funeral

Relatives and friends of Ghanwatti Boodram gave their final good−byes last week to the 40−year−old Guyanese immigrant, who was killed when her Floral Park home exploded Friday. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Jamaica Estates street named for Mother Mary Louis

More than 100 community members, students and elected officials gathered Friday for a ceremony to rename a Jamaica Estates street for Mother Mary Louis, a Queens resident who championed women’s rights in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Have your voice heard in vote on DOE, mayoral control

The state law which created the city Department of Education and mayoral control also included a June 30 sunset provision. The state Legislature must either let the current law expire and go back to the city Board of Education structure, change it or leave it the way it is. This is important because the quality of our schools determines the quality of our students, which determines the quality of the city workforce. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Harrison Chain launches City Council campaign

Heidi Harrison Chain formally kicked off her campaign Sunday for the seat being vacated by Councilwoman Melinda Katz, Sunday, citing her support for public safety, schools and seniors before a crowd of 50 people at her Forest Hills campaign office. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Boat trouble scuttles row for AIDS

All that remains of Forest Hills resident Victor Mooney’s attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean last month are calloused hands, a sunburn and an abandoned boat floating somewhere off the coast of Africa. Comment.
Letters

Leave land review process alone

An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Comment.
Letters

Kelly Breslin touched many lives

There is a saying you will hear in a lot of Irish pubs: “You’re a stranger but once ….” It is a sign that should have been emblazoned on the heart of Kelly Breslin, who died April 21 at 44. Comment.
Letters

Proposed Water Board rate hike unfair to middle−class residents

As president of Glen Oaks Village, a co−op of 10,000 residents, we currently pay close to $2 million in water and sewer charges annually. Just four years ago, the cost burden on our residents was half that. Comment.
Letters

Close schools to protect students from coming down with swine flu

As the swine flu cases continue to increase, it might be a good idea to consider closing all public, non−public and private schools and colleges until the city Health Department can really get a good handle on this serious health situation. Comment.
Letters

Community should help family affected by explosion of house

It is with great sadness that I read about the gas explosion in Floral Park, which resulted in the fire that took the life of a mother of three, Ghanwattie Boodram. Comment.
Editorial

Is the Party Over?

Not long after a judge upheld the legality of the term limits extension that allowed Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for a third term as mayor, the Queens GOP announced its intention to endorse Bloomberg. Comment.
Astoria Times

Candidates prepare gubernatorial races for next year

The first test of how Americans view the actions of the Obama administration will be projected into the 2010 elections at the national level. Usually, the first national elections two years after a presidential election do not go well for the incumbent executive branch. That was true for former President Bill Clinton in 1994, when the Republicans scored impressive election gains, especially in the U.S. House of Representatives. Comment.
Astoria Times

Flag Day group has memorial dinner for founder Farrell

Another busy week has flown by. Where does the time go? I’m supposed to be completely out of my old house by May 15, having lost five weeks to sciatica. I don’t see how I can possibly do it. I hope I can negotiate a little more time with the new owner — otherwise, what do I do? Any suggestions? Comment.
Astoria Times

Boro residents share their opinions on mothers−in−law

Adam had no mother−in−law. That was why he knew he lived in paradise. Comment.
Astoria Times

Nonprofit helps preserve green spaces, improve boro schools

In my Feb. 26 column, I wrote about the wonderful green playground at my old junior high school, now IS 73, in Maspeth. The Trust for Public Land worked with students and local residents to make this a great destination for children and adults all year ’round. Comment.
Astoria Times

Sunnyside store supports area

It is perhaps doubly appropriate that the Sunnyside shop run by neighborhood residents Dan and Tara Glasser is called Stray Vintage. They named it after a song by one of their favorite bands, Calexico, but the idea of opening a vintage clothing and accessories store was a sort of stray idea reached while wandering around Sunnyside. Comment.
Astoria Times

Start online stock trading

Consumer confidence is shaky regarding trading stocks. Headlines with the word “fraud” on front pages have not made Queens residents feel better about trusting their money with stock brokers. A question I am hearing in my networking travels is, “How can I start online trading?” Comment.
Astoria Times

Dems’ appeal goes beyond Obama: Ackerman

The mood in Washington and abroad is hopeful after the first 100 days of the Obama administration, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D−Bayside) said in an extended interview with TimesLedger Newspapers. Comment.
Astoria Times

DA charges vault manager

A vault manager at a major Long Island City jewelry manufacturer was arrested on charges of pocketing as much as $12 million in gold over five years, District Attorney Richard Brown said last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Claxton: Stop−and−frisk policy needs reforming

Although the NYPD is taking measures to make its stop−and−frisk policies more transparent among New Yorkers, a Laurelton police critic said it is not enough to stop the unnecessary questioning of innocent minority civilians. Comment.
Astoria Times

Flushing Airport ban unfair: Willets Point biz owners

Property owners said this week that a city pledge to bar Willets Point businesses from future development at Flushing Airport is discriminatory, although the city Economic Development Corp. says it never planned to move businesses to the former airstrip in the first place. Comment.
Astoria Times

Gotbaum feuds with Ed Dept. over surge in graduation rate

The city Department of Education and the public advocate’s office are at odds over whether city graduation rates have been inflated during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure after Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum released a report last Thursday that calls into question why discharged students are not counted in graduation rate statistics. Comment.
Astoria Times

Police sting shuts down Queens car theft ring: Brown

The Queens district attorney said Friday that police broke up a major auto theft ring allegedly responsible for more than $400,000 in luxury car thefts from car dealerships in the borough. Comment.
Astoria Times

Asian−speaking parents kept in dark on Prep flu: Liu aide

The offices of Flushing politicians and School District 25 were inundated with calls from concerned parents following the outbreak of swine flu in Queens, largely because information was not initially available to non−English speaking parents, according to Councilman John Liu’s (D−Flushing) aide. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens College center to study changing boro

The Asian⁄American Center at Queens College will pilot a new minor this fall in order to further study the borough’s changing demographics and link students and staff with Queens communities, the center’s director and associate director said this week. Comment.
Astoria Times

St. Francis reopens after swine flu

Life returned to normal for the first bell at St. Francis Prep Monday and the Catholic school’s 2,700−student body could not have been happier. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIC gallery Art−O−Mat to close at end of May

Long Island City’s arts community is bracing for a loss as the collaborative artists’ gallery Art−O−Mat prepares to close its doors at the end of the month. Comment.
Astoria Times

City labels Cardozo toxic school

An investigation by the city School Construction Authority has discovered that Bayside’s Benjamin Cardozo High School is one of 19 public schools with toxin levels exceeding acceptable city limits, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Education said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens GOP endorses Bloomberg for re−election

The Queens GOP’s executive committee unanimously voted to endorse Mayor Michael Bloomberg for re−election on the Republican line after there was initial reluctance to back the Democrat−turned−Republican−turned−independent. Comment.
Astoria Times

Suspected burglar dies in Rikers

Investigators were trying to determine how a suspected Ozone Park burglar who was remanded to Rikers Island died while in custody Saturday night. Comment.
Astoria Times

New city budget would cut Queens Library staff

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest budget plan would eliminate $17 million in city funding for the Queens Library, which a library official said could force the country’s busiest library system to reduce its workforce by 31 percent and sustain major service cuts. Comment.
Astoria Times

Weeping Beech Park work to begin in January

The city Parks Department said it could begin work to revamp Flushing’s Weeping Beech Park as early as January 2010 after receiving approval from Community Board 7 last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Senate Dems muster enough votes to ensure passage of MTA bailout

With only weeks left before transit officials were scheduled to carry out 20 percent to 30 percent fare hikes and massive service cuts, the final two Democratic state Senate holdouts from Long Island have joined supporters of a legislative rescue plan offering hope at last for the financially distressed MTA. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ex−cop’s memoir calls NYPD racist

A former Queens police sergeant who served as the chief of staff for Hiram Monserrate when he was a councilman has added “author” to his rÉsumÉ. Comment.
Astoria Times

DiNapoli seeks tougher rules for Access−A−Ride inspections

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has asked the New York City Transit Authority to tighten its inspection process in order to ensure safe rides to riders of the Access−A−Ride service. Comment.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Whitestone Times

CUNY Law School exhibits art by ex−Rikers inmates

Twenty−two days out of jail, former Rikers inmate Kornan Bascombe has already become something of a star. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Keeping the family tradition

Paul Vallone may be no stranger to political campaigns, but his bid for City Councilman Tony Avella’s (D−Bayside) seat in this fall’s upcoming election could be the first to enable him to join in a long family tradition. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Guv’s wife gets show from boro ballerinas

With the state’s first lady sitting in the front row, a group of 30 physically disabled girls took to a Jamaica Estates stage Sunday afternoon to realize their dreams of becoming ballerinas during a recital organized by a Bayside nonprofit. Comment.
Editorial

Lone Star Lunacy

Message to Texas: Y’all got a lot of nerve suggesting people of Asian descent should change their names to “something easier for Americans to deal with.” Comment.
Ridgewood

Pathologist to help civic in fight over Maspeth H.S.

The Juniper Park Civic has enlisted the help of a marine biologist well−known among Queens environmentalist circles as the group continues to butt heads with the city School Construction Authority over ground contamination at the site of a planned high school in Maspeth. Comment.
Whitestone Times

JFK leads country in bird strikes: FAA report

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who successfully fought for release of information on bird strikes against the nation’s jetliners, has called for a federal program to reduce “a very serious problem endangering anyone who takes to the skies.” Comment.
Little Neck Ledger

Skala calls for protest of Korean church plans

More than 50 angry residents poured into Bayside’s All Saints Church last weekend to voice their opposition to a Korean church being constructed in a neighborhood consisting primarily of one−family homes. Comment.
Little Neck Ledger

CB 13 asks Con Ed for inspections after deadly blast

After 40−year−old Ghanwattie Boodram was killed in a gas explosion that leveled her home, Community Board 13 urged Con Edison to inspect utility systems under the board’s jurisdiction and to develop an evacuation plan in consultation with the community and elected officials. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Corona lawyer Taveras gets prison in $130K scam

A former Corona lawyer, activist and author of a Family Court guidebook was sentenced to three to nine years in prison this week for stealing more than $100,000 from clients, including a botched deal on a Bayside co−op apartment, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Gallagher attorney to rep Monserrate in assault trial

Facing an impending criminal trial for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) has swapped out his legal representation in favor of the man who defended former City Councilman Dennis Gallagher against rape charges last year. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Parents brought along kids on west Qns. break−ins: DA

A Queens couple brought their two young children along with them while allegedly breaking into homes in Maspeth and Woodside, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

QC professor earns fellowship for book

Queens College associate professor Heather Hendershot was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship earlier this month, which will allow the media studies teacher to finish her book, “What’s Fair on the Air? Cold War Right Wing Broadcasting and the Public Interest.” Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Sri Chinmoy marathon hosts runners at boro park

As Jamaica Estates resident Dipali Cunningham, one of the world’s best distance runners, recently walked around the colorful tents that now dot Flushing Meadows Corona Park, she constantly waved to champion racers passing by her. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Family sues suspected DWI driver who killed son

Nearly three months after the death of their teenage son at the hands of a suspected drunk driver in a stolen car, the parents of Robert Ogle are suing the alleged driver, the car’s owner and the parents of the teenager whose birthday party Robert was attending. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Forest Hills girls’ baseball league shines under lights

When the 13 softball players on the Forest Hills Little League girl’s travel team took to their home field Friday night, they were making history. Comment.
Flushing Times

CB 7, city compromise on Flushing Airport site

Community Board 7 struck an 11th hour deal with the city Monday that sets aside a portion of the abandoned Flushing Airport site, paving the way to move five Willets Point businesses to the College Point Corporate Park. CB 7 voted to approve the plan unanimously. Comment.
Flushing Times

Falun gong members protest Chinese policies in Flushing

Several hundred Falung Gong followers and supporters shut down a stretch of a Flushing street Saturday as they protested what they contend is China’s unjust killing, torture and imprisonment of the group’s members in the last decade. Comment.
Flushing Times

City to test Flushing traffic

The long−awaited, one−way traffic plan for downtown Flushing could begin a pilot phase as early as this fall, city Department of Transportation officials told the Flushing Business Improvement District last Thursday. Comment.
Flushing Times

Station Road Civic protests road alteration

Members of the Station Road Civic Association held a symbolic candlelight vigil Friday night to protest the opening of what they consider the suspicious and dangerous roadway alteration in front of a car dealership. Comment.
Astoria Times

DWI suspect crashed car into truck: NYPD

JAMAICA — A Queens man was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated Monday after he allegedly crashed the car he was riding in into a parked truck on Jamaica Avenue, injuring his passenger, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bayside burglars entered home through basement

BAYSIDE — Jewelry and watches were taken from a Bayside home during a burglary Friday night, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Burglars stole jewelry, coins from home: Cops

OAKLAND GARDENS — Jewelry and collector’s coins were stolen from an Oakland Gardens home during a burglary Saturday, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man from St. Albans dies in car crash

ST. ALBANS — A St. Albans man was killed in a car accident after his 2008 Chevy flipped over and hit two parked cars Sunday, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cops seek assistance in catching Astoria robber

ASTORIA — Authorities were asking for the public’s help in finding a suspect responsible for two Astoria robberies, police said. Comment.
Letters

Support education with stimulus

With all the budget cuts being talked about, how could the city Department of Education consider cutting teaching positions? The possibility of losing 2,000 jobs if the stimulus money is not as large as it should be is disturbing. Comment.
Letters

Residents want fair treatment from Housing Department

An open letter to City Councilman Tony Avella. Comment.
Letters

School will not benefit Maspeth

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D−Middle Village) was incorrect when she stated that the city School Construction Authority cleans up all contamination on its sites before building schools. If she had read and examined the environmental impact statement for the proposed Maspeth high school, she would understand that on−site toxins would remain, with their vapors posing a potential danger to students who attend the school. Comment.
Letters

Bottle law will mean more revenue

The American Littoral Society applauds the state Legislature’s passage of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill as part of the 2009−10 budget. Comment.
Letters

Clinic bill suppresses free speech

I would like to applaud City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) for speaking out against Intro. 826, aka the Clinic Access Bill. This bill was passed on April 2, but opposed by several council members. This bill allows police to arrest protesters if they are considered too close to an abortion clinic. Avella has called it what it is: a freedom of speech issue. Comment.
Letters

MTA needs bipartisan solution

An open letter to Gov. David Paterson. Comment.
Letters

Nature group has been good for northeast Queens parks

In your April 9 article “Padavan’s eco−watchdog a patronage tool: Stavisky,” state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D−Whitestone) said state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) uses the state Northeast Queens Nature and Historical Preservation Commission to give “political patronage jobs.” Comment.
Letters

GOP voters should not back mayor

A lifelong Democrat before seeking elective office, Mayor Michael Bloomberg switched his registration in 2001 and ran for mayor as a Republican, winning the election that year and a second term in 2005. He was frequently mentioned as a possible independent candidate for the 2008 presidential election and fueled that speculation when he left the Republican Party in June 2007 to become an independent. Comment.
Letters

Paper must show sensitivity to minorities

Your April 9 editorial “The Showdown at JHS 8” is wrong. If you had done your homework, you would have found that Principal John Murphy should never have been assigned to IS 8Q, which happens to be the school’s correct title. Comment.
Letters

Vantage cares for its tenants

In 2005, my partners at AREA Property Partners and I set out to create a business with a new approach to affordable housing. The concept was simple: Bring professional management, a sense of duty to customers and a significant capital investment to restore long−neglected buildings. We believed we could be successful by providing working New Yorkers with housing they can be proud of and afford. We also knew that the challenges would be tremendous as we sought to reverse years of disinvestment by prior landlords in both their buildings and customers. Comment.
Editorial

McNuts

Last week, Councilman Eric Gioia introduced legislation that gives new meaning to the term Big Brother. He unveiled a proposal that would require fast food restaurants to keep their distance from schools. Comment.
Astoria Times

Third parties play major role in electing candidates

The United States is considered to have a two−party political system, but the growth of third parties nationally and locally has been a traditional part of our political landscape. Comment.
Astoria Times

Political season starts up with candidates night, fund−raiser

As predicted, now that the holidays are over, the political games have begun in earnest. I live and work in the 19th Council, 26th Assembly and 11th Senate districts and in just this one, small sector, things have started to take off. Comment.
Astoria Times

Everyone’s experiences with their teachers last a lifetime

The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursuing his education. — John W. Gardner Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens Botanical Garden a wonder of green technology

It is too often true that people take the obvious for granted. The Queens Botanical Garden is a case in point. Comment.
Astoria Times

Store donations help animals

Times may be tough all around, but volunteers at one Bayside thrift shop said it has not put a damper on people’s giving spirit — to the benefit of four−legged critters citywide. Comment.
Astoria Times

Buy a short sale home

Lately, we have heard the term “short sale” come up in Queens. A short sale occurs when a bank is willing to take less than what it is owed. For example, a buyer purchases a home for $500,000 and can no longer pay the mortgage. The homeowner tries but fails to work out the late payments with the bank. A short sale becomes the only realistic option to get the buyer out of the home without having to go through foreclose proceedings. The home is put on the market at a reduced price. Comment.
Astoria Times

Floral Park house blew up one hour after call to Con Ed

April 24 Comment.
Astoria Times

SWINE FLU OUTBREAK: Boro hospitals busy as scare grips Queens

Queens hospitals said they are on guard for the worst should swine flu continue to spread throughout the region, but stressed that the outbreak was small in scale and advised would−be patients to take a calm approach to seeking treatment if they fall ill. Comment.
Astoria Times

Swine flu outbreak strikes St. Francis

St. Francis Preparatory in Fresh Meadows shut down this week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 44 students and staff at the nation’s largest Catholic high school had swine flu, prompting classmates to raise concerns about the potentially deadly virus that has killed more than 150 people and sickened over 1,600 in Mexico.* Comment.
Astoria Times

Sunnyside crime lab tech slain in bed: Police

A 24−year−old technician with the NYPD’s crime lab was found bound and stabbed to death in her Sunnyside apartment Monday morning, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Lions Club of Corona plans Bayside chapter

A Corona−based Lions Club is planning to launch a chapter of the community service organization in Bayside following the dismantling of the neighborhood’s longtime Kiwanis Club last month. Comment.
Astoria Times

10 boro housing projects get $50M stimulus boost

Nearly $50 million in federal stimulus money was approved to renovate 10 public housing projects in Queens, the New York City Housing Authority said last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

SWINE FLU OUTBREAK: Student body rattled as focus turns to Prep

Students at St. Francis Prep and their parents have been coping with mixed emotions as the school confronts its swine flu outbreak. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA observes LIRR’s 175th b−day at AirTrain station

State leaders, transit officials and historians celebrated the Long Island Rail Road’s 175th anniversary Friday by thanking its employees with a big party. Comment.
Astoria Times

Guyanese−born mother devoted to helping others

At age 19, Ghanwattie Boodram left Guyana, where she worked as a schoolteacher, for Queens to get a degree in another profession that required her to devote her time to others: nursing. That was 21 years ago. Comment.
Astoria Times

Qns. electeds get backing in comptroller campaign

Endorsements have been flying fast and furious in the race for city comptroller as a trio of Queens legislators ramp up their campaigns in a bid for the seat that will be vacated by William Thompson. Comment.
Astoria Times

SWINE FLU OUTBREAK: City, CDC have drug stockpiles ready

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is releasing a national stockpile of anti−flu drugs, gowns and masks to help hospitals treat suspected cases of swine flu as the number of infected people climbed Tuesday. Comment.
Astoria Times

SWINE FLU OUTBREAK: Avoid infection with clean hands, common sense: Health officials

The best ways for borough residents to protect themselves against the swine flu that has infected students from Fresh Meadows’ St. Francis Preparatory School are common−sense measures, such as keeping their hands clean and avoiding people who appear to be ill, the director of Flushing Hospital’s Pediatric Infectious Diseases unit said. Comment.
Astoria Times

SWINE FLU OUTBREAK: Bloomberg urges calm response, downplays threat

Mayor Michael Bloomberg maintained a measured, calm tone as he told New Yorkers this week not to overestimate the threat the swine flu outbreak at St. Francis Preparatory School posed to the rest of the city after several students traveled to Mexico on Easter break. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dial 311 for mayoral threats

An 82−year−old Romanian immigrant from Astoria received a surprise visit from police last week after she called the city’s 311 help line and threatened to turn up on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s doorstep to complain about repairs she wanted to her apartment. Comment.
Astoria Times

Vantage residents fight loss of supers

The tenants of a major residential landlord in Queens joined with City Councilman Eric Gioia (D−Sunnyside) to denounce what they said is the company’s strategy of eliminating building superintendents through a city loophole. Comment.
Astoria Times

Con Ed finds gas leak before fatal Floral Park blast

Shortly before 4:50 p.m., the two−story home on 260th Street near 80th Avenue blew up, sending a huge column of smoke billowing into the sky, Fire Department officials said. Comment.
Astoria Times

MTA sinks deeper in debt as fare hikes loom

The news from the MTA keeps getting worse. Comment.
Astoria Times

A third MTA worker may have seen ’05 rape

The attorney for a Brooklyn woman who was raped four years ago on a Long Island City subway platform said they received a letter from an MTA dispatcher, which suggests that a third employee from the agency may have been present during the attack, but did not respond. Comment.
Astoria Times

Experts push immigrant biz

Immigrants play a vital role in the city’s workforce, but foreign−born individuals often face daunting barriers when trying to enter into careers, education and immigration officials said at a forum at LaGuardia Community College last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Sean Bell forum at York hopes to enlighten

On the first anniversary of the Sean Bell verdict, the slain bridegroom’s fiancÉe and her family, the Rev. Al Sharpton and elected officials got together with southeast Queens residents Saturday to work on improving the community’s relationship with the police. Comment.
Astoria Times

Borukhova hires Dershowitz to appeal verdict

The Forest Hills mother who arranged a plot to have her estranged husband killed in front of their daughter has hired one of O.J. Simpson’s lawyers to appeal her conviction, according to one of the attorneys involved in the criminal trial. Comment.
Astoria Times

City czar says rat academy ready to root out rodents

The MTA is gearing up once more for yet another offensive in the seemingly eternal struggle against city subway rats. Comment.

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