News

Friday, June 5, 2009

Whitestone Times

City poised to seize land at Willets Point

The city will formally kick off plans to seize control of the remaining privately owned land at Willets Point this month, an announcement that left shocked property owners scrambling for legal help and prompted questions as well as criticism from borough elected officials. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Falcon chicks born on bridges

With the approach of summer, five Peregrine falcon chicks have been born in lofty aeries on some of the city’s highest bridge towers. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Street named for Whitestone priest

Although the Rev. Marcello Latona, the longtime pastor of Church of the Holy Trinity in Whitestone, died last year, he now has a permanent place near the congregation that remembers him so fondly. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Ackerman latest Dem to endorse Bloomberg

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D−Bayside) has crossed party lines to support Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s re−election bid, praising the mayor for his support of citywide counter−terrorism efforts and Israel. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Gillibrand takes softer immigration stance in boro

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D−N.Y.) pushed the importance of sweeping immigration reform in Flushing Friday afternoon, continuing to distance herself from more conservative policy positions she held on the controversial topic as a congresswoman. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Triple Crown hopeful gears up for Belmont

Jockey Calvin Borel has a shot at winning the Triple Crown at Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, but not his horse. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Kim runs for Avella’s seat

Bayside’s Kevin Kim said he plans to capitalize on President Barack Obama’s campaign strategies by enlisting northeast Queens youths in his campaign to replace City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) this fall. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Whitestone songstresses land radio, TV appearances

Melissa Goscinski and Tristen Buettel may not be household names just yet, but if they have anything to say about it, that will change very soon. Comment.
Editorial

Big Brother on Capitol Hill

Two Queens electeds have persuaded the U.S. House of Representatives to pass legislation that would block plans to build a waste transfer station in College Point. We are concerned with this legislation on a number of levels. Comment.
Richmond Hill

Woodhaven group works hard to service neighborhood

The Greater Woodhaven Development Corp. recently celebrated its 30th anniversary by holding its annual dinner−dance at Woodhaven Terrace Caterers in Woodhaven. Special guest Mayor Michael Bloomberg stopped by to wish the four honorees and the GWDC good luck. Comment.
Jackson Heights

LeFrak forum tackles NYPD officer tactics

Crime is lower, but residents of LeFrak City still shared complaints of police harassment and skepticism of the NYPD as Police Commissioner Ray Kelly joined elected officials at a forum in Corona Monday night. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights corner renamed

In Jackson Heights Saturday, a community that has experienced tremendous loss due to the war in Iraq unveiled a permanent tribute to one of its fallen soldiers in a tearful ceremony. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Bayside High teen among city students to meet Mandela

A Bayside 10th−grader and a Jackson Heights eighth−grader are among a group of 10 students from the five boroughs who traveled to South Africa this week to meet Nelson Mandela, the country’s former president, after winning a citywide essay contest. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Qns College grad to give Afghan peace plan to Obama

Queens College alumna Aniqa Islam, a Glen Oaks resident, is taking no backseat when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Padavan looks to renew ban on real estate calls

State Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) and northeast Queens civic leaders urged the state to keep an expiring non−solicitation list that homeowners can sign up for forbidding real estate companies from contacting them about selling or buying homes. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Bowne House money not cut

More than $600,000 in city funding allocated to the Bowne House has not been cut during the budget process and renovation to the historic home’s roof will continue as scheduled despite a series of mysterious e−mails to the contrary, according to the Historic House Trust. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Beware of identity thieves and parking at bus stops

Community Board 8 warned people to shred personal papers that might be used in identify theft. The city Consumer Affairs, Sanitation and Parks departments and Criminal Justice Office held the second annual Shred Fest in Queens, where machines shredded personal papers with Social Security numbers, credit card applications, pay stubs and bank statements. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Uncle petitions court for Malakov custody

The family of the slain Forest Hills dentist formally made its request to a Queens Family Court judge Tuesday to adopt Daniel Malakov’s surviving daughter. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Working Families Party endorses Schulman for Katz’s Council seat

Lynn Schulman, a Democratic candidate for City Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s (D−Forest Hills) seat, said her focus on affordable housing and green industry helped to land her the endorsement from the Working Families Party last week. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

City reviews Forest Park proposals

The city Parks Department is reviewing proposals submitted by potential bidders who hope to run the Forest Park carousel after the previous concessionaire decided not to renew its contract to operate the borough attraction, an agency spokeswoman said Monday. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Cohen pushes on with run

This year’s campaign trail has been a rocky one for Forest Hills resident Michael Cohen, a Democratic candidate for City Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s (D−Forest Hills) seat. Comment.
Astoria Times

Police name victim in Flushing hit−and−run

FLUSHING — Police said they have identified a man who was struck and killed by a car in front of Flushing Hospital last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Hogue leaves Creedmoor, brought back by police

QUEENS VILLAGE — Larry Hogue, a man who terrorized the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the 1990s, was picked up on his old stomping grounds by police last week after he walked away from the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, authorities said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Florida man drove drunk on holiday: DA

QUEENS VILLAGE — A 20−year−old man was arrested on drunk driving charges last week after he allegedly celebrated Memorial Day more than he should have, authorities said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Drunk driving leads to woman’s arrest: Brown

SOUTH JAMAICA — A Queens Village woman was arrested on drunk driving charges last week after she allegedly swerved and struck a parked vehicle with her car while arguing with her husband, authorities said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Car accident in Maspeth claims lives of three men

MASPETH — Three people were killed last Thursday when the driver of a car lost control of the vehicle and smashed into a concrete barrier, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Trucker victim of robbery at gas station: Police

ASTORIA — Police were asking for the public’s assistance in locating two suspects wanted in connection with a robbery at a gas station Friday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Jewelry, over $200K stolen from boro home

DOUGLASTON — Police were investigating who stole more than $200,000 in cash from a Marathon Parkway resident Saturday night. Comment.
Astoria Times

Two teens accused of $5 mugging in Fresh Mdws.

FRESH MEADOWS — Two teenagers were arrested last week after allegedly mugging another young man on a handball court for $5, police said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man attacked, robbed on playground: Police

BAY TERRACE — Police were trying to find two men who attacked another man on a park playground to steal $20 last week. Comment.
Letters

Holocaust survivor’s story an inspiration to everyone

As a member of the Queens Jewish Community Council and someone who grew up hearing stories about my uncle surviving the Holocaust by hiding in the Polish woods, sleeping in barns and subsisting on grubs and rain water, I had the good fortune of making the acquaintance of German−Jewish refugee, World War II veteran and Flushing resident Werner Kleeman. Comment.
Letters

Ireland must become unified nation

In an interview in May 26’s Belfast Telegraph, the Democratic Unionist Party candidate for the European Parliament, Diana Dodds, claimed “the DUP is preventing [Provisional] Sinn Fein from delivering on its manifesto by constantly frustrating and blocking the republican agenda.” Comment.
Letters

Auburndale civic works to sustain that neighborhood’s quality of life

The Auburndale Improvement Association is a civic association in its 104th year that works to make the neighborhoods of Auburndale and Western Bayside great places to live for its residents. I am proud to be its first vice president and zoning and housing chairman. Comment.
Letters

Bloomberg does not deserve third term

I received in the mail, as I am sure many of you readers have, a brochure from Mayor Michael Bloomberg in which he claims he knows “helping small businesses is key to helping the middle class stay and thrive in New York City.” Comment.
Letters

Close schools so flu does not spread

As a teacher in the city Department of Education, I think the school system should be shut down for a few days and disinfected. What is the matter with city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg? Comment.
Editorial

Rethinking Willets Point

The city says it is making progress at Willets Point, but the area’s redevelopment is moving slowly. It appears the recession has put the city Economic Development Corp.’s grand vision for the area out of reach. Even if the city can succeed in persuading the remaining businesses to move out, it will not be easy to find companies that want to invest in shopping centers and hotels. Comment.
Astoria Times

New park will benefit Elmhurst residents’ quality of life

It was going to be called “Gas Tank Park.” Not the most beautiful name, but thanks to community objections, it will be “Elmhurst Park.” Comment.
Astoria Times

Petition drives to mark start of this year’s election season

The 2009 election will soon be in full swing as political parties announce their endorsements and the first stage of the New York electoral process begins with petition signature gatherings. Most of June and early July will be devoted to circulating petitions so candidates can qualify for ballot positions. Comment.
Astoria Times

Memorial Day parades color boro red, white and blue

Queens, without a doubt, has to be the most patriotic borough. I don’t think the others can begin to compare with the total number of parades held over Memorial Day weekend in Queens. There were parades all over the place and you didn’t have to travel far from home to view one. Comment.
Astoria Times

Jamaica has had long history as cultural, gov’t hub

In May 2006, two months after the 350th anniversary of European settlement, Borough President Helen Marshall gave her “conditional” approval to a controversial plan to rezone 368 blocks of Greater Jamaica with the goal, she said, of making Jamaica “a far more beautiful place than it is now.” Comment.
Astoria Times

For a career in sales, you need that one, certain knack

A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory. — Arthur Miller Comment.
Astoria Times

How’s Business?: Save money on renovations

Do you have a pale green bathroom? How about a basement that could be a family room or an updated or modern kitchen? We all want to renovate something in our homes, but let’s not forget we are still in one of the worst economic crises of our era. In speaking with several Queens general contractors and other real estate professionals in the area, I have tips that may help us make the decision we are ready to move forward. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria bar defined by variety

Wine aficionados with a taste for the exotic and a low−key atmosphere will feel right at home in 24, Astoria’s new bar which features wine and beer from around the world as well as a variety of tapas, coffee and tea. Comment.
Astoria Times

Sander slams pols for heaping blame on MTA

Former MTA Executive Director Elliot Sander has warned that if politicians keep “running against the MTA,” it could decline into “the state of dysfunction they denounce.” Comment.
Astoria Times

Crumbling platforms cause danger in subway stations

The MTA inspector general has discovered deterioration on subway platform edges, potentially endangering riders, but the MTA said it was working to correct the problem. Comment.
Astoria Times

Diocese says child molestation bill could close boro parishes

Controversy is swirling around a bill put forward by state Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D−Maspeth) after news reports said the bishop in charge of the Brooklyn−Queens Diocese threatened to close churches in legislators’ districts if it passed. Comment.
Astoria Times

Bayside car dealer closes as GM goes bankrupt

As a prelude to General Motors Corp.’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors Monday, a Bayside division of the automaker had shuttered its doors in May. Comment.
Astoria Times

Monserrate wants charge tossed over cop conflict

A police officer from the same precinct that arrested state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) on suspicion of slashing his girlfriend’s face during a fight in December was part of the grand jury that indicted the embattled politician, according to court papers filed by Monserrate’s attorney last week. Comment.
Astoria Times

Stand up for civil rights: U.S. Rep. Lewis

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D−Ga.), a man who forever changed race in America, told graduates at Queens College last Thursday to brush aside the status quo and never stop fighting for a humanity that deserves something more than hatred and bigotry. Comment.
Astoria Times

More than 800 toss caps at York College

In the crowd of more than 800 York College graduates Friday, many wiped away tears and broke into raucous rounds of applause as they watched their valedictorian, grandmother Gloria Cecilia Velasco, describe the journey that so many York students have taken: that of overcoming adversity and achieving dreams. Comment.
Astoria Times

Company to expand LIC transfer station

Residents of Long Island City and Maspeth may soon be getting a double dose of truck traffic as a major garbage company plans a major expansion to a waste transfer station in the area. Comment.
Astoria Times

Avella gets aggressive as Weiner exits race

With U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D−Forest Hills) exit from the mayoral race, one Queens candidate for the city’s highest seat remains — and he is on the attack. Comment.
Astoria Times

Group opposes waste station

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D−Bayside) has mounted a vocal effort to halt city plans for a waste transfer station in College Point during the last two years, but an even more aggressive, privately led campaign against the project has unfolded over the course of the last several months. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens schools see sizable bump in math scores

Queens students made significant strides on state math tests this year, surpassing the average number of students in both the state and city who pass the exams, according to data released by the state Department of Education Monday. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queensboro Bridge 100th bash a joyous celebration, apparently

The Queensboro Bridge marked its 100th birthday with the Manhattan and Queens borough presidents leading parades that met mid−span on the bridge Sunday morning, or that’s how the story was told. Comment.
Astoria Times

Queens Pride has new purpose amid gay marriage debate

One could say Queens Pride runs right through Jackson Heights and means both the spirit of the borough and the popular gay parade. The sentiment is even truer this year as the gay, lesbian and transgender community is abuzz about the possibility of New York legalizing same−sex marriage. Comment.
Astoria Times

Hospitals overloaded: Study

City Comptroller William Thompson and Borough President Helen Marshall pleaded with the state and city Monday to provide Queens’ overcrowded hospitals with more resources in order to combat serious health threats, such as swine flu. Comment.
Astoria Times

Protesters call on Onorato to change gay marriage views

With just weeks remaining in the state legislative session, hundreds of people packed Athens Park in Astoria Sunday to urge state Sen. George Onorato (D−Astoria) to reverse his stance opposing gay marriage rights. Comment.
Astoria Times

Web site lets parents see grades: Klein

For years, city parents have had to wait for parent−teacher conferences or appointments with their children’s teacher to get updates on how they were doing in school. Comment.
Astoria Times

Race for Gioia seat intensifies

The race for City Councilman Eric Gioia’s (D−Sunnyside) seat got a little more heated last week as the Queens County Democratic Party named its candidate, followed closely by the Queens Republicans and the influential Working Families Party. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria comic fights his flight response to air travel

An Astoria comedian is combatting his fear of flying by spending an entire month aboard a commercial airplane, taking hundreds of flights across the United States and sleeping on the empty craft at night. Comment.

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