News

Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010

Ridgewood

Plans in works to remove raccoons

Raccoons may look adorable, but for many in the Ridgewood area and around the city they are a nuisance — and sometimes carriers of diseases. Comment.
Ridgewood

Middle Village secretary stole from school: City

Some children complain when their relatives stop paying their cell phone bills, but when a student at Middle College High School at LaGuardia Community College found her minutes were up, she went to her principal and ratted out her grandmother, then a secretary at the school, for allegedly embezzling thousands from her job, according to the special commissioner of investigation for city schools. Comment.
Queens Village

Judges orders halt in Merrick firings

An Albany judge ordered a Jamaica charter school last week to halt its efforts to fire a quarter of its staff. Comment.
Crime

Unlicensed gun, ammo brought into JFK: DA

JAMAICA — A 42-year-old Florida man was arrested after he allegedly brought a gun to John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Crime

Veteran dies from carbon monoxide poisoning

ROSEDALE — An elderly man was found dead and another person was hospitalized following a carbon monoxide poisoning that affected their Rosedale home Monday morning, firefighters said. Comment.
Crime

Man drove stolen N.J. bus in Jamaica: Brown

JAMAICA — A Manhattan man was arrested after he allegedly stole a bus and was pulled over in Jamaica, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Laurelton

Peace activists rally from Jamaica to City Hall

A funeral procession that started in Jamaica and ended in City Hall last week was not meant to mourn the death of a resident — instead it was conducted to send a message to the community to end the senseless violence that has been occurring there over the last few years. Comment.
Laurelton

Rosedale rezone proposal passes Planning Dept.

Plans to rezone Rosedale and prevent out-of-character properties from going up in the residential neighborhood are one step closer to becoming a reality. Comment.

Richmond Hill lenders convicted of fraud

Owners of a South Richmond Hill lending group were convicted last Thursday in Manhattan federal court for their role in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme, the U.S. attorney said for the Southern District said. Comment.

QC students sleep in tents to draw attention to genocide

As Queens College students got back into the swing of academic life this week, they were greeted by something a little out of the ordinary. Comment.

LIRR trains back running following lengthy repairs

The Long Island Rail Road was back to normal service Monday morning, less than a week after a fire crippled the system and caused numerous delays for Queens and Long Island riders. Comment.

Sanders sponsors meeting on flooding in SE Queens

City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) will host a special meeting in two weeks to address the chronic flooding that has been affecting southeast Queens residents. Comment.
Editorial

The Future of St. Albans Hospital

We are surprised by the protest against plans to rebuild the St. Albans VA Hospital. We doubt anyone would argue that the rebuilding of the hospital is overdue. And we would have expected the community to trust the Rev. Edwin Reed, a former assistant to the Rev. Floyd Flake. Comment.

Health Plus program gets major boost

Standing in front of Elmhurst Hospital Center Friday, state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) announced the expansion of the Family Health Plus program through the recently passed state budget, which will enable small businesses to buy health insurance for their employees at an affordable rate. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Aubry draws on experience

As state Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Corona) meets with residents throughout East Elmhurst and Corona in preparation for the Sept. 14 Democratic primary, he is trying to educate the public on not only what he has done in his 18 years in office, but why. Comment.

North Shore finds another Manhattan partner

The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System reached an agreement to open a 24-hour urgent care center with a Manhattan-based organization after discussions to place the center at the former site of the St. Vincent’s Hospital emergency department fell through. Comment.

Floral Park street renamed after victim of gas explosion

The family of a Floral Park woman killed in a 2009 gas explosion wore T-shirts depicting a photo of the mother of three on her wedding day as state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) unveiled a street sign in her honor last weekend. Comment.

Teen talks about page life

An Ozone Park teen with a passion for politics who was selected for the prestigious U.S. House of Representatives Page Program said the experience opened his eyes to how the country’s government is run. Comment.

Huntley campaigning on record in re-election bid

State Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica) said she has done a lot during her nearly two terms as the elected official for the 10th Senate District and she promised to use her experience over the last four years to make the community better.´╗┐ Comment.

Hevesi stresses ethics, schools in campaign

State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) said despite the anti-incumbent sentiment that seems pervasive in areas across the country, he believes his platform focusing on education, quality-of-life issues and government reform should usher him to victory in the primary and general election. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

MacDonald spruced up for Mother Teresa

Legislators and community residents gave one of Forest Hills’ most popular parks a makeover last week in honor of Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday. Comment.

Stavisky stands by her record during forums

The Democratic candidates in the race for state Sen. Toby Stavisky’s (D-Whitestone) seat appeared together twice in Flushing last week to air their views, answer questions and take jabs at one another as the Sept. 14 primary draws near. Comment.

Civic hosts Key Food meet

The effort to ensure that the new Asian owners of the Roosevelt Avenue Key Food supermarket in Flushing cater to the tastes of American customers intensified last week at a meeting of the Queensboro Hill Civic Association. Comment.

Flushing HS makes it off bad schools list

Things are looking up for Flushing High School. Comment.

Activist wants Flushing cemetery’s look restored

Martins Field may soon look less like the average city park and more like the spot now called The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground where an estimated 1,000 people were laid to rest. Comment.

Woman robs 5 stores with toy gun: Brown

A Kew Gardens Hills woman ´╗┐with no prior record was arraigned last week on charges she allegedly donned a wig and sunglasses and used a toy gun to rob five businesses in the borough, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

107th Pct’s top cop wants more community involvement

Capt. Michael Coyle has had a whirlwind of a month since taking charge of the 107th Precinct. Comment.
Crime

Boro man had cocaine, unregistered guns: DA

FLUSHING — A 30-year-old Flushing man was arrested after he was allegedly spotted outside his residence with a shotgun and was discovered to be in possession of cocaine, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Crime

Drunk driver hit car at stoplight: Brown

BAYSIDE — A 40-year-old man from Long Island has been arrested after he is alleged to have driven drunk in Bayside, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Crime

Man makes inappropriate gesture in station: Brown

AUBURNDALE — A 33-year-old Ridgewood man was arrested after he allegedly made a lewd gesture in front of a woman inside the Auburndale Long Island Rail Road station, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Editorial

Bayside’s Grinches Go to Court

It takes a special kind of group to go to court to stop a hospital from expanding to provide better service to children. As reported last week, a Bayside civic organization is suing St. Mary’s Hospital for Children on the grounds that construction currently underway would subject neighbors of the hospital to noise, truck traffic and dust. Comment.

Weprin wants city to upgrade 210 St. park sprinkler systems

Standing in front of the sprinkler at the 210th Street Playground, City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) called on the city Parks Department to install timing mechanisms on the 665 sprinklers at city playgrounds so they will automatically shut off when nobody is using them. Comment.

Valentino’s to open next week

The long-awaited Valentino’s on the Green is scheduled to finally open its doors Wednesday for a grand opening dinner and will begin serving lunch later in the month, one of the Bayside banquet hall and restaurant’s owners said. Comment.

Queens Village man murdered in drive-by shooting

For the fourth time this summer an out-of-control party in a southeast Queens neighborhood was the site of a violent shooting early Sunday morning that took the life of a reveler and frightened nearby residents, police said. Comment.

New sponsors step in to replace Queens film fest

A Jackson Heights couple and an Astoria man who were allegedly stiffed by the Queens International Film Festival’s founder are putting together a slate of films for spring 2011 to ensure that the borough remains a hot spot for cinema. Comment.

Friedrich wants to be new blood in Albany

Glen Oaks resident Bob Friedrich said he is banking on an anti-incumbent wave and a platform of reforming Albany in his Democratic primary election battle with state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck). Comment.

Forcina claims flier lies about Duane military service

John Duane, a candidate for the seat now held by Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza, has come under fire from one of his fellow opponents as well as a Bayside community activist for a mailer sent out by his campaign on Vietnam veterans. But Duane insisted the flier’s message was being distorted. Comment.

DiNapoli searches for fraud in MTA overtime

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently audited the MTA and found what he said was “a culture of acceptance” of overtime pay. Comment.

Avella lauds additions to College Point Fields

Former City Councilman Tony Avella announced last week the completion of the second phase of construction of a sports facility at the College Point Fields. Comment.

Cops investigate corpse found at Little Neck shops

Police said they have not yet determined whether a man who was discovered dead this week in a Little Neck shopping center’s underground parking lot had been murdered or died from a medical condition, but nearby store owners described a bizarre scenario. Comment.

Queens kids gone fishin’ at annual Bayside Marina event

The Bayside Anglers reeled in as many as 100 children from across the borough to take part in the group’s 10th-annual snapper derby last weekend along the Bayside Marina. Comment.

Queens auxiliary cops honored by NYPD at Cunningham Park

The city Police Department honored volunteer officers from Queens who were chosen as the most exemplary by the borough’s 15 precincts at an awards ceremony in Fresh Meadows’ Cunningham Park last weekend. Comment.

111th cops catch burglars: DA

Two men police believe may be responsible for a rash of burglaries in northeast Queens were arrested by the Anti-Crime Squad in the 111th Precinct Friday, authorities said. Comments (1).
Crime

Boro man breaks eatery window with bat: Brown

RIDGEWOOD — A 26-year-old Ridgewood man was arrested after he allegedly broke a restaurant window with a baseball bat, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Crime

Queens man shot home’s window with rifle: Brown

RIDGEWOOD — A 37-year-old Ridgewood man was arrested after he allegedly shot an air rifle through a home’s window, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Crime

Forged ID found on woman at LGA: Brown

EAST ELMHURST — A 39-year-old Bronx woman was arrested after she is alleged to have used a forged identification card at Immigration and Customs in LaGuardia Airport, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Crime

Baked goods stolen from Dunkin’ Donuts: Brown

REGO PARK — A 29-year-old Rego Park man was arrested after he allegedly stole donuts and muffins from the shelves of a Dunkin’ Donuts store on Queens Boulevard, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Letters

To keep city safe, don’t build WTC mosque

Nine years after the attack on the World Trade Center, which resulted in the deaths of almost 3,000 people, we are faced with a new Sept. 11-related controversy: whether a huge mosque and cultural center should be built close to the WTC site. Comment.
Letters

Preservation group praises pols for supporting tennis stadium

An open letter to U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, state Sen. Toby Stavisky, City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz and state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi. Comment.
Letters

Queens straphangers should shun the use of commuter vans

So-called commuter vans — unreliable, often unsafe and many more times than not operating illegally — fail to offer straphangers a true alternative to bus service cuts by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The best solution remains the restoration of service cuts. The MTA needs but $8,014,000 to restore its Queens lines. Comment.
Letters

Obama right to back WTC mosque

The Jamaica Muslim Center is proud of the positive leadership shown by President Barack Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Obama vigorously defended Muslim Americans at a Ramadan dinner at the White House and supported the proposed mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. Comment.
Letters

Support your local boro library

One of the most critical back-to-school needs is absolutely free: a Queens Library card. Comment.
Letters

Flushing BID should open position to anyone regardless of background

The Downtown Flushing Transit Hub Business Improvement District has run advertising for a new executive director that lists preferred skills for applicants, including knowledge of English and Mandarin Chinese — not Korean. Is this BID defined by geography or ethnicity? Whom does it intend to serve? Is it actually the Chinese Flushing BID? Does this mean no Koreans need apply? Comment.
Letters

People should learn responsibility when they deal with mortgages

More political, vote-getting nonsense. Comment.
Letters

Teachers need a contract, pay raise

As a new school year approaches, there is still no agreement between the United Federation of Teachers and the city Department of Education. This is very disconcerting. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has deferred layoffs of nearly 4,000 teachers, but he still is not budging on the important issue of a salary increase, albeit a minimal one. Comment.
Editorial

Monumentally Stupid

Everyone in his or her life makes a dumb decision on the spur of the moment. That is understandable, but standing by a dumb decision in the face of overwhelming criticism is not. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Primaries, petition challenges dominate politics in Queens

This year has turned Queens into a political battleground during the last several weeks, with petition challenges, court confrontations and primary races taking center stage. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Paladino makes appearance at meditation garden lunch

This was another busy, fun week. I can’t believe Labor Day is just a week away and summer will be over. Then again, we still have the beautiful Indian summer days to look forward to. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Work proves more relaxing than a lot of people think

Work banishes those three great evils: boredom, vice and poverty. — Voltaire Comment.
Business

Doctor opens cardiology practice in Astoria

Astoria’s Marios Gagos has opened a new business along Crescent Street to help members of the western Queens community deal with matters of the heart. Comment.

Community mourns Councilman Tom White

The city’s top leaders, southeast Queens activists and hundreds of residents who were impacted by Councilman Thomas White’s years of work gathered at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral Thursday for a final goodbye. Comment.

Weiner wants tennis event in Forest Hills

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) has asked the United States Tennis Association to again use Forest Hills’ West Side Tennis Stadium to rejuvenate interest in the historic structure that once hosted the US Open and which tennis club members are considering selling. Comment.

Volunteers rescue Ravenswood cats from crawl spaces

Setting traps and sporting Hazmat suits, volunteers from the Bellerose-based SaveKitty Foundation have been rescuing cats trapped in the crawl spaces at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City. The cats had been caught underneath the buildings by accident because the New York City Housing Authority sealed up the crawl spaces, SaveKitty President Debi Romano said. Comment.

Stavisky raises more funds than Democratic rivals

Incumbent state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) has solidified a strong fund-raising lead over her two Democratic primary challengers, but her lone Conservative opponent has not filed the most recent required financial disclosure form with the state Board of Elections. Comment.

Comaianni pushes reform in race for Assembly seat

State Assembly candidate Nick Comaianni is running on a platform of reforming education, boosting small businesses, cutting wasteful spending and taxes and addressing quality-of-life issues in his primary election battle against Assemblyman Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven). Comment.

Astorians celebrate 100th birthday of the late Mother Teresa

Hundreds of Astoria residents turned out to pay homage to Mother Teresa last week following the Empire State Building’s refusal to commemorate the humanitarian’s 100th birthday by lighting up its spire. Comment.

Astoria mosque opens its doors to diversity

In the same month in which controversy has raged over whether a Muslim cultural center should be built two blocks from Ground Zero, in the same week a cab driver had his throat slashed after he told his passenger he was Muslim and on the same evening a man desecrated a mosque on Steinway Street, another mosque mere blocks away shared a night of peace with its neighbors. Comment.

Miller focuses on service after Seminerio scandal

In the year since he replaced former state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio in a special election, Assemblyman Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven) said he has restored the trust people have in the office following his predecessor’s guilty plea on corruption charges. Comment.
Astoria Times

Ferraro post office dedicated

Astoria community leaders turned out last week to dedicate a Long Island City post office to Geraldine Ferraro, who became the first woman to be nominated for vice president of the United States in 1984. Comment.

LaGuardia CC program boon to small business

When LaGuardia Community College began offering affordable office spaces and other resources to design companies several years ago, school officials knew it would be a boost to small businesses. But only recently have they realized just what a lifesaver it was for the operations that probably would have closed their doors had it not been for help from the Long Island City school. Comment.

New schools arrive in boro

More than 2,000 new classroom seats will be available in Queens this fall, when the city Department of Education opens four new facilities and three renovated buildings in a borough notorious for its overcrowded schools. Comment.

Army Corps should brace boro for effects of hurricane: Weiner

The Category 4 Hurricane Earl that was churning its way through the Caribbean this week could endanger Queens homes and the Belt Parkway if it passes by New York over Labor Day weekend as forecast early this week, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) said. Comment.

Legislators lead drive for Pakistani flood relief

City Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) urged residents to donate money and food for those suffering from the floods in Pakistan at a news conference at Pakistani restaurant Kabab King Diner in Jackson Heights last Thursday. Comment.

Boro Jewish group holds Rosh Hashanah food drive

The Queens Jewish Community Council handed out hundreds of bags of food to the hungry last weekend in advance of Rosh Hashanah next week. Comment.

‘Cat Woman’ may be in custody

An Astoria woman who fronts a death metal band based in the Bronx was arraigned last Thursday on charges of robbery and attempted robbery of two boutiques in SoHo, the Manhattan district attorney said. Police sources said the suspect may be the “Cat Woman” involved in two other heists in Queens. Comment.

Jamaica cabbie attacked during hate crime: DA

While the courts push to prosecute a 21-year-old filmmaker who allegedly stabbed a Muslim cab driver from Jamaica last week in Manhattan, the governor, mayor and activist groups are calling for an end to racially antagonizing rhetoric. Comment.

New law requires landlords to reveal bedbug info

Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite — especially new residents. Comment.

DA says man urinated on mosque in Astoria

A 30-year-old man was arrested last week after he allegedly urinated outside an Astoria mosque during a prayer session, city Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. Comment.

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