News

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ridgewood

Maspeth leaders call for end to truck route

The city’s study on a truck bypass that would send commercial traffic around downtown Maspeth may be underway, but 18-wheelers still clog Grand and Flushing avenues, prompting elected and civic leaders to call on the city Department of Transportation to ban the vehicles immediately. Comment.
Crime

Man suffers bruise after ax handle beating: Brown

Kern Stewart, 25, of 143−24 184th St., allegedly started to punch the victim at around 12:22 p.m. March 3 in front of the Home Depot in Springfield Gardens at 132−20 Merrick Blvd., according to the criminal complaint. Comment.
Crime

Boro teen shot man with BB gun: Brown

Christian Markowitz, 17, of 101−64 95th St., allegedly pointed the BB gun at the victim and fired a shot in the man’s chin between 2:20 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 25 in front of 89−11 Arion Road in Ozone Park, according to the criminal complaint. Comment.
Crime

Man punched another at Home Depot: Brown

Kerwien Baptiste, 45, of 220−30 138th Ave. in Jamaica, allegedly punched the victim in the face and head at around 12:22 p.m. March 3 in front of the Home Depot at 132−20 Merrick Blvd., according to the criminal complaint. Comment.
Crime

Comrie forum addresses rise in SE Queens crime

Aleatra Kersh, a St. Albans resident, said the neighborhood suffers from quality−of−life problems. Comment.

Subprime crisis still grips boro, Comrie says

City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) told St. John’s University students last week that he still is fighting predatory lenders in the wake of a subprime mortgage crisis that has caused thousands of borough residents, especially in southeast Queens, to lose their homes. Comment.

Jamaica biz may yield clues to 1998 murder

A search in a Jamaica plumbing and heating supply store may provide the answer to a question that has haunted a Brooklyn woman for nearly 12 years: Who killed my sister? Comment.

Kalua owners charged in $2M fraud scheme: DA

The mother and son who owned the now shuttered strip club linked to the Sean Bell shooting were arraigned Tuesday along with two others on charges of taking part in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

FAA investigates JFK kid controllers

It might have been all fun and games for a pair of siblings who directed air traffic at John F. Kennedy International Airport last month, but federal officials are not laughing at the air traffic controllers who put them behind the radio. Comment.

Residents assured coyote sightings not a cause for concern

After months of searching and attempts to catch at least two elusive coyotes reportedly roaming around Rochdale Village, animal experts and City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) are warning residents not to worry about the wily predators. Comment.

Smith presents plan for group to look at jobs

State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) conceded the state will take some time to get out of its financial crisis, but he said plans are underway to bring together leaders at other venues to help New York’s unemployed. Comment.

SE Qns electeds help fund health clinic

Southeast Queens elected officials handed over a check for more than $400,000 last week to a Springfield Gardens health care clinic that was on the verge of closing earlier this year. Comment.
Opinion

Neighbor to Neighbor: Going Green in Queens 2010 brims with nature workshops

The date is March 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The place will be the big, beautiful Al Oerter Recreational Center at 121−40 Fowler Ave. in Flushing, right off College Point Boulevard. It is easily accessible by the No. 7 train Willets Point station, the Q8 at the corner of College Point Boulevard and Fowler Avenue or car with free parking near the center. Admission, workshops, giveaways, food and fun will be free. Please pre−register by e−mailing herr281761@aol.com or ggiq2010@yahoo.com. Comment.
Jamaica Times

DOT pulls plug on ferry to Rockaways

The city said it is shutting down the Rockaway ferry this month for what it concluded was a failing experiment, but community leaders are chastising the mayor and the city Department of Transportation for not giving the little commuter boat that could a chance to shine. Comment.
Jamaica Times

Water’s Edge nearly filled

In a down economy, the Waters Edge condominiums in Arverne are enticing potential customers with a free 42-inch television and free maintenance for seven months in hopes of snagging buyers. Comment.
Jamaica Times

Far Rock. drug bust at Hammels nets 45: DA

A dozen people have been indicted and 33 others have been criminally charged on drug-related charges stemming from an eight-month undercover investigation at a Far Rockaway housing project, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last Thursday. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Access to green tech easier with new law

The City Council last week passed legislation that will allow environmentally conscious city residents to more easily sell and access green technology, the bill’s sponsor, Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), said. Comment.
Crime

Jewelry stolen from Oakland Gdns. home

The unknown burglar forced open a rear door to the home on the 216th Street block of 64th Avenue between 9 p.m. Feb. 14 and 5:15 p.m. Feb. 15, police said. Comment.
Crime

Bobcat vehicle stolen from construction site

The theft was reported March 3 and occurred sometime between 3 p.m. Feb. 11 and 11 p.m. Feb. 12 from the rear parking lot of a business on the 249th Street block of the Horace Harding Expressway in Douglaston, police said. Comment.
Crime

Account stolen after boro resident’s ID stolen

The unknown suspect used the personal information of a resident living on the 240th Street block of 69th Avenue to open up an HSBC credit card account and make charges, police said March 3. Comment.
Crime

Stolen ATM card used to take $1,400: Police

The Visa credit card belonged to a resident of the 64th Avenue block of Douglaston Parkway and was reported stolen March 3, police said. Comment.
Crime

Jade necklace stolen from Bayside home

A burglar forced open the rear window to the home on the 255th Street block of 58th Avenue between 6:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Feb. 28, police said. Comment.
Crime

Car owner’s mistake leads to stolen vehicle

The theft of the 2002 Nissan Maxima occurred between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday by Francis Lewis Boulevard and 34th Avenue in Bayside, police said. Comment.

Lancman slams health cuts

The Kissena Park Civic Association hosted a community forum last Thursday evening on the negative effects Gov. David Paterson’s proposed budget would have on the eroding Queens health care system. Comment.

Bayside Historical Society gets ready for St. Pat’s Day

The Bayside Historical Society will host its second annual Irish-themed event next week at Fort Totten that will include musical and dance performances to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Comment.

Manhattanite gets 3-9 years in Little Neck mortgage scam

A 35-year-old Manhattan man has been sentenced to prison for having used a forged power of attorney to unlawfully obtain a mortgage on his mother-in-law’s Little Neck condominium and steal more than $300,000, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Flushing couple accused of $16M con in one day

A Flushing man has been charged with suming a number of false roles including attorney, accountant and banker in order to con a dozen victims out of more than $16 million worth of real estate, luxury items, cars and cash in a single day, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s office said Friday. Comment.

Woman sues store over clown shoe fall

A 56-year-old Oakland Gardens resident who recently filed a lawsuit against a costume company and several other businesses was not clowning around when she was injured at a 2008 Halloween party while wearing clown shoes, the woman’s attorney said. Comment.

Sisters of Mercy to house seniors in Whitestone

The Sisters of Mercy are coming to Whitestone. Comment.

Imam pleads in terror case

Flushing imam Ahmad Wais Afzali pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn court last Thursday to lying to federal authorities who were investigating a terror plot involving a member of his Queens mosque. Comment.

Biz owners fear Flushing Commons parking situation

The limited number of parking spaces in downtown Flushing has long been a headache for drivers, but the loss of more spots could devastate local business owners once construction begins on the proposed $800 million mixed-use Flushing Commons project, merchants and community leaders warned. Comment.

College Pt. clan charged with credit card ruse

Five members of a College Point family, a Jamaica resident, a Laurelton resident, a Flushing resident and four other people have been indicted in connection with a fraudulent credit card scheme, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s office said last Thursday. Comment.

Flushing women cry foul over getting fired for unionizing

A pair of Flushing women who said they were fired after standing up for their labor rights rang in International Working Women’s Day Monday by protesting in front of the restaurant where they said they once waited tables 12 hours a day, six days a week for $400 a month. Comment.

House committee calls Armenian killings a genocide

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) and a Flushing home for elderly Armenians are calling on Congress to pass a resolution that would condemn a Turkish massacre of Armenians during the early 1900s as a genocide after a congressional committee approved the measure. Comment.
Crime

LIC man in custody swallows flash drive

Florin Necula of Long Island City was one of at least four men who allegedly hit ATMs at banks in Queens, Manhattan and New Jersey, scamming the institutions out of tens of thousands of dollars, the complaint said. Comment.
Crime

Forest Hills man sold stolen car: Brown

Anh Vu, 21, of 67−37 Selfridge St. in Forest Hills, posted a 2006 Nissan 350−Z on the Web site Craigslist that was sold for parts to the victim, who lives in Illinois, for $5,200 March 3, according to the criminal complaint. Comment.
Letters

Do not cut funding in budget to state parks

The $6.3 million saved through proposed park closures would amount to a fraction of 1 percent of the state’s $8.2 billion budget gap. Comment.
Letters

Queens GOP leadership is clear and undisputed

The TimesLedger should perhaps require some minimum amount of fact−checking before going to print, e.g., by checking with me, checking with Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa, or with the state GOP. Comment.
Letters

Civic wants PS 130 to become a locally zoned school again

The kindergarten−through−third−grade school is at 200−01 42nd Ave., on the corner of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 42nd Avenue in Bayside. Geographically, this school is in District 26. Local students are currently bused to other elementary schools, so students who are bused to PS 130 from other neighborhoods throughout District 25 in Flushing have priority placement at the school. Comment.
Letters

Make Toyota pay for faulty vehicles

This is outrageous and unacceptable to the American people. A car should and must be 100 percent safe to drive. People should not have to worry about brake and accelerator problems with their vehicles. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Kew Gardens senator blew whistle on Creedmoor abuse in’ 43

District Attorney Charles F. Sullivan decided to present the attack and the circumstances surrounding it to a Queens grand jury. It would be the third time in eight years that a grand jury had looked into the affairs of Creedmoor. It was investigated in 1935 as the result of 15 violent deaths in 12 months and again in 1939 on reports that patients had been brutally beaten. Initial findings of the probe were that attendants at Creedmoor were making only $54 a month and that, out of the normal attendant staff of 500, there were 157 vacancies. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Gillibrand gives keynote speech at Dem group’s 51st luncheon

It would seem the general consensus is that there is a serious health hazard due to the presence of lead in earth samples taken from under the Throgs Neck Bridge. There were piles of rubble and debris along the shoreline also containing toxic materials. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: This St. Patrick’s Day partake of some authentic Irish cuisine

St. Patrick’s Day, with its shamrocks, leprechauns and the wearin’ of the green, river−dances in March 17. It is one of the oldest holidays observed in the United States. It began centuries ago in Ireland and was brought to this country by Irish immigrants in 1737. The fete is usually celebrated with a parade. The elaborate festivities in Dublin have become known as the “Irish Mardi Gras.” Comment.

Rev. Flake backs out of Aqueduct deal

The Rev. Floyd Flake, the influential southeast Queens minister and former congressman, has withdrawn from the consortium of companies that comprise Aqueduct Entertainment Group, the winning bidder to develop and operate video lottery terminals at the Ozone Park track. Comment.

Dolphin makes big splash in Newtown’s toxic waters

For the first time anyone can remember, a dolphin made waves in the polluted waters of Newtown Creek last week, creating a minor uproar as conservation groups attempted to prevent the animal from coming to further harm. Comment.

Sex harassment suit over CB 1 manager settled

The city has paid a $98,000 settlement to a former staff member at Astoria’s Community Board 1 who had filed a lawsuit that accused former district manager George Delis of sexually harassing her during her three-year stint at the board’s office, a spokeswoman for the city Law Department said. Comment.

LIRR releases figures on cost to run trains

The Long Island Rail Road has made public for the first time what a ride on the railroad actually costs and what portion is subsidized in a breakdown released in light of the MTA’s financial plight and plans for service cutbacks. Comment.

Run for ed council seats: Klein

Parents interested in running for a seat on a city education council have until March 12 to nominate themselves, city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said. Comment.

Kew Gdns. man wins condom design contest

After tallying more than 15,000 online ballots, the city Health Department revealed this week that Kew Gardens resident Luis Acosta’s design will appear on millions of free condoms throughout New York City. Comment.

Irish pride shines in Queens

The luck of the Irish extended to Sunnyside Sunday, where participants and spectators of the 11th-annual St. Pat’s for All Parade were treated to warm temperatures down the parade route. Comment.
Astoria Times

LIC car dealer stole $1.2M in sales tax: DA

A Long Island City car dealer has been arrested after allegedly bilking the state out of more than $1.2 million in sales tax, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.

Queens Library archives prepare to go digital

Some of the Queens Public Library’s historical pieces will be entering the 21st century soon as the nation’s largest library system launches an online collection of its oldest books, photos and periodicals this spring. Comment.

Monserrate seat race nears

Voters in Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights are awash in mailers this week as former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate battles state Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) in a special election set for Tuesday. Comment.

Bus, train users fume at MTA

Hundreds of testy Queens straphangers vented their anger at MTA officials for nearly six hours in Flushing last week, using words like “outrage,” “shame” and “disaster” in denouncing a plan to severely cut service on subways and buses. Comment.
Astoria Times

P.S.1 entrance plan draws CB 2 anger

It appears the wall between Long Island City’s P.S. 1 and Community Board 2 will not be crumbling any time soon. Comment.

Descendant recalls LIC biz’s history

Nestled among the volumes of Long Island City’s industrial history is the story of one immigrant who made good on his dreams and built a family-owned pasta empire that lasted for nearly 70 years and of one descendant eager to keep the legacy alive in Queens. Comment.

Boro mentally ill need more housing: Judge

A Brooklyn federal court judge has ruled that the state Health Department must provide 4,500 units of individual housing for the mentally ill living in group homes in Queens and other boroughs over the next three years. Comment.

From banjo to easel, Woodside artist goes with the flow

His illustrations may have appeared on the editorial pages of several major newspapers and he may have briefly played his banjo with the rock band Weezer, but Woodside resident Johnny Coughlan never knows what he will take on next. Comment.

Jobs bill could boost boro economy: Maloney

The economy may be weak, but there are still employment and business opportunities, according to a town hall forum on jobs and the economy hosted Saturday by U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria). Comment.

Fund-raising begins for Hevesi, Zulunova

State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) and the Democrat running against him in the primary, Lilianna Zulunova, have thrown themselves head first into their campaigns, with each holding fund-raisers last week and pounding the pavement to win support from district residents. Comment.

Lines wrap around block as stores open in new mall

Queens residents packed into the Rego Center shopping complex last week, forming lines that snaked around the Kohl’s and Century 21 stores shoppers praised for bringing hundreds of jobs to the borough. Comment.

Weiner touts jobs bill on Austin Street

For Michael Jaye, a manager at Forest Hills’ New York Diamond Boutique, a $15 billion jobs bill passed by Congress has prompted him to hire two new people for his shop on Austin Street — a feat in an economy that has struck some locally owned Queens shops hard. Comment.

Richmond Hill bursts into color with Phagwah fete

Hundreds of revelers descended on Smokey Oval Park Sunday, dousing each other with colorful powders, liquids and dyes in celebration of Phagwah, the Hindu rites of spring. Comment.

Make the Road decries guv’s proposed ed cuts

A nonprofit that provides services to immigrants and has offices in Queens would lose more than a quarter of their English language classes if Gov. David Paterson’s budget cuts are enacted, parents, students and activists said at a rally in Elmhurst last week. Comment.

Ozone Park dad beat baby girl: DA Brown

An Ozone Park father was charged Saturday with brutally assaulting his infant daughter, who sustained 17 fractured ribs, a lacerated liver and a bite mark on her leg, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.

Borough on alert to fight sex traffickers

Now that Queens has become a gateway for sex and human trafficking in part because of its two international airports, law enforcement, nonprofits and the media need to work in concert to combat the exploitation that happens just under borough residents’ noses, according to panelists at Queens Borough Hall last week. Comment.

Price-fix scheme fleeced Con Ed customers: Feds

A federal government investigation has found that a former owner of Astoria’s Ravenswood generators was involved in a price-fixing scheme that resulted in Con Edison customers being overcharged during a period of two years, a spokeswoman for the state Public Service Commission said. Comment.

SE Queens should back guv: Pols

As embattled Gov. David Paterson faced new allegations of impropriety this week, two southeast Queens elected officials said the black community should stand by Paterson. Comment.

Queens College professor a Pakistani rock star

When Salman Ahmad stepped onto the stage at Queens College last week, he was promoting the same message that has long defined his career and vaulted him into stardom as one of Pakistan’s best-known rock stars who has sold more than 30 million albums — unity. Comment.

Queens GOP heavies battle over leadership

The rift between two warring factions of the Queens Republican Party just got deeper. Comment.

Burglary spree hits Maspeth

Residents in northern Maspeth are dealing with a spate of burglaries near 73rd Street, civic leaders and police said last week. Comment.

Queens Museum of Art to hold Earth Day event

More than 150 Queens residents, government representatives and United Nations officials will gather March 20 at the Queens Museum of Art to celebrate International Earth Day with interfaith prayers, song and dance. Comment.

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