News

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Whitestone Times

Behar pushes Albany reform

Bayside attorney Steve Behar said he would focus on reforms in Albany’s dysfunctional state Legislature if elected this fall to replace state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside). Comment.
Ridgewood

Man found with skull in Cypress Hills Cemetery

Police responded to a 911 call for an emotionally disturbed person near Cypress Hill cemetery last Thursday and found him carrying a skull in a bag, a spokesman for the NYPD. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Whitestone school strapped for cash

A school without a gym teacher or librarian and as many as 37 students in each of its classrooms might sound like it belongs in a poor part of the city — a place that one would be hard-pressed to find in northeast Queens. Comment.
Queens Village

St. Albans Park squatter a nuisance

A squatter who has been living in St. Albans Park for at least three years has been littering the streets and been a nuisance to the community, according to nearby residents, who want the city to help her and to clean up their neighborhood. Comment.
Ridgewood

Velazquez gets $230K grant for Glenridge

There was much cause for jubilation at the Glenridge Senior Center’s 37th anniversary party this week, when U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Ridgewood) announced she had landed a $230,000 grant that will help to ensure the center will not close. Comment.

Friedrich, Weprin spar for van credit

The recently shuttered Q79 bus line that ran from Little Neck to Floral Park is being considered for the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s group ride livery program and both City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and Weprin family archnemesis Bob Friedrich are taking credit for the development. Comment.

Halloran doles out member items

City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) said he handed out $57,000 more in member item funding from this fiscal year’s Council budget than community groups in his district received last year. Comment.
Little Neck Ledger

Missing WW II pilot identified

After 66 years of uncertainty, the remains of a World War II pilot from Floral Park, L.I., whose plane crashed in Burma have been identified and his family is set to hold his funeral this week, getting the closure they have sought for decades, his relatives and the U.S. Department of Defense said. Comment.
Crime

Boro man robs woman of car, injures her: Brown

ST. ALBANS — A St. Albans man was charged with robbery and criminal possession of a weapon last week after he allegedly forced a woman from her car at gunpoint, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Crime

Shoplifter hit store manager with pole: DA

SPRINGFIELD GARDENS — A Springfield Gardens woman was arrested earlier this month after she allegedly tried to pocket a Spider-Man toy and three pieces of chocolate at a Conway department store on Jamaica Avenue and proceeded to hit the shop manager in the head with a metal pole when he apprehended her, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Comment.
Laurelton

115th Rd. man kills wife in murder-suicide

An elderly St. Albans man turned a revolver on himself last week after shooting and killing his wife with whom he was getting a divorce, according to police and neighbors. Comment.

Nonprofit Safe Space returns to Jamaica

For nearly a century, the nonprofit Safe Space has been helping southeast Queens families by offering various services, but for the last two decades the group’s main offices were located in Manhattan. Comment.

Far Rockaway teen convicted of killing HS student

A Far Rockaway teenager was convicted last week of the 2008 murder of a Far Rockaway scholar-athlete who was a month away from attending college, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Immigration clinic on tap

City Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Sunnyside) announced a free legal clinic for victims of immigration fraud last week following action taken by the state attorney general to close down a fraudulent service operating in Queens. Comment.
Jackson Heights

East Elmhurst’s Cobbs mortuary opens after renovation

When Winston Cobbs opened his funeral home in 1963 in East Elmhurst, he probably had little idea his business would become a cornerstone of the community that has supported many a neighbor, from politicians to those who could pay close to nothing for a burial, during one of the hardest times in life. Comment.

Office worker by day, true inventor by night

Maria Luisa Ruvio, a Whitestone mother of two and executive assistant by day, is an innovator when she gets home, creating and trademarking a unique beverage and creating gadgets that earn recognition in national invention contests. Comment.

Queens students learn eco-friendly lessons at St. John’s

Bent over a pile of dirt in St. John’s University’s garden last week, Christian Garcia, a middle-school student from East Elmhurst, mopped the sweat from his brow and carefully planted a row of corn seeds under a sky that had not yet made good on its promise of rain. Comment.

Tietz art pieces get exhibit showcase

For the patients at the Margaret Tietz Adult Day Health Care Program, art has become a way to help them cope and improve their health. With dedicated teachers and staff, many of the seniors at the day care center work hard to create good artwork. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Liu given tour of center in Jamaica for disabled

City Comptroller John Liu toured the Queens Centers for Progress’ Children’s Center in Jamaica this week, getting a look at the workings of the 60-year-old institution that serves a couple thousand people of all ages with development disabilities. Comment.

Kids enjoy Fort Totten pool as mercury hits summer high

Queens residents flocked to Fort Totten’s public pool Friday and got a reprieve from the unbearable heat wave, thanks to a decision by the city to keep it open when funds were restored in the 11th hour. Comment.

Briarwood opens up new senior housing

Elected officials and developers of an 80-unit senior housing complex cut the ribbon on the $16 million Briarwood facility Friday. Comment.

Rego Park fire injures 17 firefighters

Several residents remain displaced after a five-alarm fire emptied the Caroline Gardens apartment complex in Rego Park last week and injured 17 firefighters — sending four to the hospital. Comment.

Hiram Monserrate circulates Assembly petitions

He won his day in court, and now he is hoping to win his day at the polls. Comment.

City takes 69th Avenue house owner to court

Forest Hills residents who have been fighting for decades to get the city to do something about a house they said went from being one of the most beautiful homes in the neighborhood to a horror show that is filled with trash and poses serious safety risks to neighbors may finally get some results. Comment.

Suspected subway plotters busted in Europe

Three suspected members of the global terror network that allegedly plotted to bomb the New York City subway system were arrested last week in Norway and Germany in a critical link to several Flushing residents accused of planning to carry out the attack, The New York Times reported. Comment.
Flushing Times

Guv signs Meng bill giving counseling to hate offenders

Judges who convict any New Yorker of a hate crime will have the ability to order the offender to undergo an educational program as a result of a bill signed into law last week by Gov. David Paterson. Comment.
Flushing Times

Meng wants Key Food site to sell U.S. items

State Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) used part of her second-annual report on the state of her district Monday evening to discuss the fallout over the recent closing of the Key Food supermarket on Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing. Comment.

Flushing set for traffic change

Drivers beware: Starting Sunday, downtown Flushing will be a different place to drive when the city Department of Transportation’s traffic changes for the neighborhood go into effect. Comment.

Commons foes cite project’s problems

As the final City Council verdict looms on whether or not the controversial $850 million Flushing Commons project will be allowed to be built in downtown Flushing, opponents are scrambling to highlight what they call unresolved issues about the proposed development. Comment.

Bayside HS soccer player, 17, dies

The friends of a Bayside High School student from Nigeria who died while playing soccer last week recalled the 17-year-old as hardworking and friendly during his funeral Monday. Comment.
Crime

Fresh Meadows stabber tried to kill man: DA

FRESH MEADOWS — A Fresh Meadows man who allegedly repeatedly stabbed the man dating his ex-wife earlier this month has been charged with attempted murder, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Crime

L.I. man urinates at Citifield, resists arrest: DA

FLUSHING — A 19-year-old Long Island man was arrested earlier this month after he allegedly urinated in public at Citi Field and then refused to leave the ball game, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Editorial

Common Sense Is Winner at Ft. Totten Pool

During one of the hottest weeks on record, it was our pleasure to report last week that the city Parks Department had reconsidered its decision to close the Fort Totten pool. Much of the credit for this decision goes to City Councilman Dan Halloran, who fought to keep the city from shutting the only outdoor public pool in northeast Queens. Comment.

Pregnant mother, son killed in SE Queens fire

A young mother who was seven months pregnant and her 2-year-old son were killed Tuesday morning in a small fire in Springfield Gardens that investigators said was suspicious Comment.

Padavan, Baysiders ask DOT for crash site changes

State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) and a group of Bayside residents joined the Queens Department of Transportation commissioner Tuesday to plead with the agency for new traffic safety measures near PS 162 after a mother was fatally struck while dropping her son off at the school last month. Comment.

Police arrest roof worker in Bay Terrace fire

A building worker was arrested last week on reckless endangerment charges after he allegedly caused a massive five-alarm blaze on the roof of a Bay Terrace apartment complex while using a torch, a spokesman for the city Fire Department said. Comment.

Genting releases peek at Aqueduct plans

The sole contender being considered for the video lottery terminal contract at Aqueduct Race Track offered a sneak peak of its plans Tuesday as the state comptroller warned that the New York Racing Association, which runs Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Track, is on course to be bankrupt by 2011 because of the delay in selecting a winner for the VLTs. Comment.

Addabbo pushes bill to halt watershed drilling

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo’s (D-Howard Beach) bill calling for a moratorium on natural gas drilling near the upstate water supply may come up for a vote in the Senate this week, and Queens and city politicians said the legislation’s passage is crucial for the health and safety of 9 million city and Westchester County residents. Comment.
Crime

Texan tried to bring gun, ammo onto flight: Brown

LAGUARDIA AIRPORT — A Texas man on vacation in New York was arrested earlier this month after he allegedly tried to bring a gun and ammunition onto a flight leaving from LaGuardia Airport, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Crime

Apartment manager stole $950: Brown

FOREST HILLS — The former managing agent of five apartment buildings in western and southern Queens has been charged with allegedly embezzling nearly $950,000 in tenant maintenance fees, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said this week. Comment.
Crime

Teen in Richmond Hill robbed and shot: Cops

RICHMOND HILL — Police were looking for a man they said robbed and shot a teen more than two weeks ago. Comment.
Letters

For-profit schools do disservice to city’s schoolchildren

The United States’ policy of providing citizens the traditional, long-cherished freedom of receiving a free, public school education is being threatened. The power brokers of our New York political structure have decided, arbitrarily, that our public schools, which have faithfully served their citizens, have become a relic of antiquity and serve little or no purpose in our contemporary, profit-making social order. Comment.
Letters

Charter schools must not win out over public institutions

An open letter to parents of students in New York City. Comment.
Letters

Oppose LNG project offshore L.I.

Americans have recently been heartbroken by images of countless species in peril and the Gulf of Mexico tourism industry hanging in the balance. At the same time, New Yorkers are considering approving a 60-acre, man-made natural gas operation called Safe Harbor Energy 13 1/2 miles off the shore of Long Island and 23 miles outside the entrance to New York Harbor. We must sharply analyze the costs and benefits a liquefied natural gas project would bring to our society and environment. Comment.
Letters

Gen. Slocum, Gulf spill have much in common

On June 15, 1904, the paddle steamer General Slocum caught fire and sank off North Brother Island in the East River. Of the estimated 1,400 passengers on board the vessel, 1,021 died in the disaster, which before 9/11 was New York’s worse loss of life in a single event. Comment.
Letters

CB 7 has done much disservice to the neighborhood of Flushing

The editorial page of a newspaper is where its publisher and editors express their opinions on a wide variety of subjects, as is their right. Letters to the editor are where a responsible company, like TimesLedger Newspapers, give readers an opportunity to express their views on articles, including editorials. Comment.
Letters

Teacher layoffs will spell city’s doom

The one area where there should not be any cuts is in the area of education. Our children are entitled to a good, solid education and cutting money from education would be devastating to our students, teachers, administrators and parents. Comment.
Editorial

A Little Common Sense in Monserrate Case

Although we supported the vote in the state Senate to expel former Sen. Hiram Monserrate, we questioned the court’s decision to issue an order of protection preventing him from having any contact with his victim, Karla Giraldo. Comment.
Opinion

Our History: 19th-century academic woman wrote lyrics to a patriotic song

Though countless women from the days of the American Revolution and earlier have affected the course of our history, it took many years for their contributions to be recognized. Today, fortunately, that is not the case and many women have reached their potential and have been equally recognized. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Sasson says he will bring trust back to Albany in Senate race

This year is bringing on some competitive races in Queens, with Democratic Party primaries against organization candidates including a challenge to state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) in the 16th Senate District, an area that includes parts of Bayside, Whitestone, Fresh Meadows and Rego Park. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Serving on medical board became a rewarding duty

Earlier this year, in my series about the chaos in the state Senate, I mentioned I had served on a mayoral commission studying the health care delivery system in New York City. I was working for a major corporation, but it was felt that my service on this commission was important to the welfare of the city in which we operated. I was permitted to take many hours out of my working schedule to devote time to the people’s business. There was no honorarium or perk related to this position. The company I worked for expected me to fulfill all my work obligations. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Duane’s run for Carrozza’s seat to focus on credit repair scams

Congratulations to John Messer, who celebrated his 40 birthday July 10 with a combination party and fund-raiser boat ride on the Cabana, a 100-foot-long yacht belonging to Marco Polo Cruises. What a great idea for a hot summer evening. The boat left the Worlds Yacht Marina from Pier 81 in New York City at 7:30 p.m. and returned around 10:30 p.m. The trip included a dinner buffet, two bars, a DJ and live music on two different levels. Everyone felt it was a pleasure to donate to your 16th Senate District race campaign. Way to go, John! Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Summer vacation no excuse for ending a child’s education

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. — George Santayana Comment.
Business

Grab a cool taste of Italy in Whitestone

As a native of Italy, one of John Del Greco’s favorite things to do back in his homeland is to get a taste of gelato. Comment.

Spain fans ring in World Cup win

Astoria streets swelled with Spanish pride Sunday when Spain won its first World Cup and fans decked out in red jerseys poured from Casa Galicia to celebrate the victory over the Netherlands with good-natured mayhem. People from throughout the globe waved Spanish flags, smoked victory cigars, broke down crying on the sidewalks and screamed over and over “¡Viva Espana!” Comment.

Ex-president Clinton officiates at Weiner’s wedding to Hil aide

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) tied the knot with Huma Abedin in a ceremony officiated by former President Bill Clinton in Huntington, L.I., Saturday. Comment.

Queens wants US Open jobs to help hard-pressed residents

Queens elected officials have announced an initiative to ensure that as many as possible of the 700 concession jobs the US Tennis Open will bring to Flushing Meadows Corona Park next month stay in Queens. Comment.

Jamaica Hills cabbie shot dead in botched robbery

A Jamaica Hills man was shot and killed in South Richmond Hill around 6:40 a.m. Sunday in what could have been a robbery gone wrong, police and neighbors said. Comment.

Thousands turn out for opening of Queens Center Mall’s Lego store

More than 3,000 people of all ages celebrated the opening of a Lego store in Queens Center Mall this weekend by creating an 8-foot-tall model of the beloved “Star Wars” robot R2-D2 and feted the toys that builders said help form a love for architecture and engineering. Comment.

Queens Museum of Art opens Haitian exhibit

As Haitians continue to seek life’s basics — shelter, food and clothing — six months after an earthquake devastated their island nation, little attention is being paid to the internationally known artwork and architecture that is slipping through the country’s hands. But Queens residents are hoping to highlight this loss with a new exhibit at the Queens Museum of Art. Comment.

Moving Image sees its expansion as huge step forward

Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image will become one of the world’s largest film museums when it reopens its doors Jan. 15 following a $67 million expansion that includes a redesigned first floor, an elevated movie theater, a three-story addition and a new gallery for exhibits. Comment.

Meeks says omission of $40K loan filing was ‘an oversight’

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) blamed an “oversight” for his failure to notify the House clerk’s office of a $40,000 personal loan he received in 2007 from a Richmond Hill real estate developer, which he corrected last month, and said he was not late in filing his 2009 disclosure statement because he received an extension. Comment.
Astoria Times

Maloney’s opponent goes on offensive in primary campaign

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s (D-Astoria) team has brushed off criticism from opponent Reshma Saujani, whom she will face in the Democratic primary this fall, that her campaign is funded by special interests. Comment.

Making of a Candidate: Shoe leather for signatures

Third in a series Comment.

LaGuardia students receive scholarships

Two students proved themselves worthy of a second chance when they were honored with a scholarship after earning GEDs from LaGuardia Community College and pushing ahead to acquire their associate degrees. Comment.

Elmhurst Hospital opens market to sell fruits, veggies

Elmhurst Hospital Center’s new project does not involve medicine or physical therapy, but EHC Executive Director Chris Constantino nevertheless sees it as consistent with its mission. Comment.
Astoria Times

Dutch Kills citizens gather to discuss future of their community

After years of fighting for rezonings to stop the proliferation of hotels being built in their community, Dutch Kills residents are making steps to take their community’s character into their own hands. Comment.

DOT tree removal angers western Queens residents

Maryann Smith-Jackson of East Elmhurst said for years the trees in the back of her house have acted as a buffer between her Ditmars Boulevard home and the adjacent Grand Central Parkway. Then one day in June, they were gone. Comment.

Health Dept. asks Cuomo to investigate Jamaica, Flushing hospitals

State Health Department officials said they have asked state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate MediSys Health Network, which runs Jamaica and Flushing hospitals, after the health network was linked to a scandal that involved corrupt Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio pushing the interests of Jamaica Hospital administrators at the state level in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Comment.
Astoria Times

Amtrak under fire for removing trees in Woodside

U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) visited Boulevard Gardens in Woodside Friday to see firsthand the results of a massive takedown of trees along the nearby Amtrak line that began in May. Comment.

Two Queens cops honored with promotions

City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly this month announced the promotion of two Queens-based officers honored for their efforts and achievements. Comment.

Yankees lose Queens-born ‘Voice of God’

Bob Sheppard, the legendary public address announcer for the New York Yankees for 56 years and a Ridgewood native who was nicknamed “The Voice of God,” died Sunday at age 99, the team said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Homeless pair charged with murder in park

A transient couple who had been sleeping in Astoria Park were charged last week in the robbery and murder of a 32-year-old Astoria man after they allegedly strangled him with a shoelace and kicked him, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

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