News

Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010

Queens Village

Church irked at new status

In October, the city announced that it would be honoring the nearly century-old Grace Episcopal Church Memorial Hall in Jamaica with an official landmark status. But despite the accolades, the head of the church said he was unhappy with the decision, claiming it would hurt his declining congregation and the house of worship’s finances, so he would be fighting the decision. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Kinray CEO rescues Twitter AIDS drive

Stewart Rahr, the billionaire president and chief executive officer of Whitestone pharmaceutical giant Kinray Inc., has helped thousands through his philanthropic work and brought medication and health supplies to thousands more through his company. Comment.
Whitestone Times

PS 129 gets arts and science grant

The science and arts programs at PS 129 in College Point got a financial boost from Queens scientist James Cervino and his wife Kathryn Cervino, who presented a check for $4,000 to the school along with state Sen.-elect Tony Avella last week. Comment.
Ridgewood

Irish brothers cheat IRS out of nearly $1M

Two brothers who operated a cement and masonry contracting business out of Glendale recently pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit tax fraud in the Manhattan federal court, U.S. Attorney General Preet Bharara said. Comment.
Little Neck Ledger

PS 94 gets new sidewalks

A sidewalk replacement project expected to wrap up this week outside PS 94 in Little Neck could prove to be a big help when it comes to reducing pollution in Little Neck Bay, according to the founder of the Udalls Cove Preservation Association. Comment.

Shooting sparks calls for Bellerose bar shuttering

Bellerose residents are calling for a bar with a past of rowdy incidents to be shut down following a shooting that took place over Thanksgiving weekend. Comment.
Crime

Queens Village woman, 81, found dead at home

QUEENS VILLAGE — An elderly woman was found dead in Queens Village Monday. Comment.
Crime

Self-storage space in Jamaica robbed: Police

JAMAICA — Police were looking for four men who robbed a Jamaica storage facility after throwing the owner to the ground and binding his hands Nov. 15. Comment.

Wills begins his first days in City Council

City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) started his term as the new member of City Hall’s Queens delegation last week and he said he has been busy finding ways to solve his southeast Queens district’s biggest problems. Comment.

Cab driver shot in S. Ozone Park

Police were searching for a man who shot a livery cab driver four times in South Ozone Park Friday evening and have released a video tape of the suspect. Comment.

Nat’l Guardsman dies in Jamaica Armory accident

A U.S. Army National Guardsman who fought in Afghanistan accidentally fell to his death last Thursday while working at the Jamaica Armory, the Army announced. Comment.

Jamaica man convicted of murder for ‘08 stab

A Jamaica man was convicted last week in the 2008 stabbing of a man who died from his wounds two days after the attack, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.

Qns. Village college student collecting clothes for shelters

A Queens Village college student was so concerned about residents staying warm this winter that she decided to start her own clothing drive — and she is off to a good start. Comment.

New shops signal prosperity for downtown Jamaica: CB 12

Downtown Jamaica is seeing a surge in new businesses big and small ´╗┐and a community leader is imploring major corporations to set up shop in the heart of southeast Queens. Comment.
Editorial

Sex Trafficking in Queens

The Queens district attorney said a suspect was extradited from Virginia last week on charges that he held a 13-year-old girl as a sex slave in his Jamaica home. District Attorney Richard Brown claims that Anthony Vargas, 21, locked the 13-year-old in his apartment for weeks while he pimped her out. Comment.
Jackson Heights

City eyes school lot for park

City officials have raised much of the money to purchase a concrete yard next to a Jackson Heights private school for a park, but the school may decide it needs the money now and look elsewhere. Comment.
Jackson Heights

CB 3 OK’s building blasted by Dromm

Community Board 3 recently approved a six-story, mixed-use apartment complex in Jackson Heights on the site of a building that had been destroyed in a fire, but City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and civic members say the proposed building does not fit the character of the area. Comment.

PS 178 shares art with world

Nearly 400 Holliswood artists have exhibited their work all over the world this year — and some of them are only 6 years old. Comment.

Briarwood job fair brings hope for work

Months or years of unemployment may end for Queens residents who attended a job fair in Briarwood last week, at least according to a woman on the other side of the table. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Agro-businesses put people’s personal health at great risk

This past March, I attended the Going Green in Queens event at the Al Oerter Recreation Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I wrote about the movie “Dirt,” which told how dirt is created in nature and how the cutting down of forests, paving over of land and use of pesticides and fertilizers by giant agro-businesses is destroying the ability of our dirt to produce food. Comment.

Theater may become grocery

The historic Ridgewood Theatre, a movie house in the neighborhood which has been shuttered since 2008, has a buyer — one who is planning to use the space to open a supermarket. Yet activist Michael Perlman is still hoping the theater can keep some of its old charm. Comment.

Mom mourns teen son murdered in Elmhurst

Sharon Williams-Wright said her 19-year-old son Percel Wright had tried on the new suit she had bought him for his Dec. 1 court date before leaving her apartment in LeFrak City the day before. But Wright never came back to use it. Comment.

Hevesi lays out ambitious plan for third term

Forest Hills sent its state assemblyman back to Albany for another two years Nov. 3, and he has a lot of work to do. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

City sets hopes on replanting Forest Hills trees

Nearly three months after a microburst decimated McDonald Park in Forest Hills, the once-shady green space has remained nearly treeless, but the city has a plan. Comment.

Queens College alum talk about jobs in wide world of sports

Three distinguished figures who work in professional sports returned to their alma mater, Queens College, last week to give advice to around 50 students hoping to land jobs in the insular industry. Comment.

Seniors slam elimination of Q74

When the Q74 bus was axed by the MTA in June to help close a budget gap of about $800 million, many people were inconvenienced along the route, which ran from the Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike subway station to Queens College in Flushing. Comment.

Little Neck man will stay on CUNY trustees board

Little Neck resident Wellington Chen was reappointed to the City University of New York’s board of trustees last week, and the Queens architect said he expects a daunting upcoming budget season but is still looking forward to working in a system he praised for giving everyone from immigrants like himself to single mothers a college education. Comment.

Whitestone girl’s story inspires special mass

Randy and Debby Robertson finally started to accept that something was wrong with their daughter, Mary, in December 2004, when she was only 3 years old. Comment.

Opening party for new Sky View Applebee’s to benefit Flushing Y

Flushing’s food lovers will soon have another option to sate their hunger since Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar is coming to town. Comment.
Crime

Man tried to kidnap teen, 13, in Flushing: Police

FLUSHING — A 13-year-old girl narrowly escaped an abduction attempt in Flushing last week, police said. Comment.
Editorial

A Closer for K-Rod

New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez took a plea in Queens Criminal Court last week that should allow him to keep his freedom and salvage his baseball career. K-Rod pleaded guilty to attempted assault. The misdemeanor charge resulted from his beating the father of his girlfriend at Citi Field. Comment.

Jamaica HS targeted for closure again

Another court battle could be brewing between the city and supporters of four southern Queens public schools that were put on the Department of Education’s latest list of institutions to be closed. Comment.

City drops headstones for historic cemetery

The city has scaled back its plans to memorialize an estimated 1,000 African Americans, native Americans and others who were buried during the 19th century in a pauper’s burial ground in Flushing that has since been converted into a park. Comment.

Queens puppies get workout at Little Bay Park

Queens officials — and their pets — celebrated the opening of a permanent dog run in Little Bay Park, a proposal which was once so contentious that it led to a fist fight at a Community Board 7 meeting, speakers noted at last week’s event. Comment.

Gennaro praises passage of state hydrofracking bill

Queens and city legislators cheered a bill passed by the state Assembly last week that places a temporary moratorium on any new permits for companies that want to use a controversial drilling technique that injects water laced with chemicals into the ground near the city’s drinking water supply. Comment.

Teen track star gets huge support in fight against anemia

Nearly 300 people became potential bone marrow donors at a church in Jamaica Saturday in hopes of saving two young members of their community — along with a minority population in dire need. Comment.

Bayside filmmaker brings his spirituality to big screen

Lifelong Bayside resident Stephen Bono remembers it well, the moment the innocence of his childhood dimmed. Comment.

CB 11 OKs variance for car dealer

A resolution supporting the extension of a variance to allow BMW of Bayside to continue to use its site on Northern Boulevard to sell cars barely eked by Community Board 11 members this week. Comment.
Crime

Name of third suspect in Astoria death released

ASTORIA — Police have released the name of a man suspected of a homicide that occurred in Astoria this spring. Comment.
Letters

Padavan lost election on women’s issues

I just read the most recent Dishing with Dee column by Dee Richard (“Padavan lost due to UFT backing Avella for Senate,” Nov. 25) and must correct an error. I live in North Shore Towers and had the pleasure of welcoming state Sen.-elect Tony Avella to our community on several occasions and introducing him to many of our residents. Comment.
Letters

Expectant grandmother waiting for baby to trace family history

This past October, I had the pleasure of meeting my grandchild for the first time. From his or her first official photo, my grandchild was staring back at me. Of course, my grandchild was in utero and I was accompanying my daughter-in-law to her obstetrician. The blessed event is due sometime in early April. So our son and his wife will be first-time parents and we will be first-time grandparents! The thought is daunting, to say the least! Comment.
Letters

City teachers need a new contract

Well, here we are one year later and still the public school teachers in New York City do not have a new contract. Comment.
Letters

Despite place on state list, Francis Lewis still a top school

Francis Lewis High School is one of the best neighborhood schools in New York City. We pride ourselves on being a school of excellence for all students. We are one of the most diverse schools in the city with students from more than 66 different countries working harmoniously together. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Original fare for Queen-Midtown cost a quarter

In December 1937, Postmaster General James Farley suggested a fitting entry for a new stamp series honoring the World’s Fair was a portrait of Bertha Parsons, the last owner of Flushing’s historic Bowne House, sitting before the house’s ancient fireplace. Built in Flushing about 1661, it was the oldest house in the country still occupied by the same family. Parsons modestly suggested the stamp should only show the house exterior. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Most Conservative votes go to Schwartz in Stavisky seat race

The following is a perfect reason for scratching your head and saying to yourself, “What the …?” — referring of course to the latest tallies released by the county Board of Elections. I will give you the facts and you give me any logical explanation of the results. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Winter’s chill brings with it snow piled high like a hill

Winter is the king of showmen/Turning tree stumps into snow men/And houses into birthday cakes/And spreading sugar over lakes/Smooth and clean and frosty white/The world looks good enough to bite/That’s the season to be young/Catching snowflakes on your tongue. — Ogden Nash Comment.
Business

MidVill biz knows how to make kids smiles

When it comes to taking studio photos of children, Eric Hairabedian, who owns Violet’s Photography Studio in Middle Village, says his work is both professional and personal. Comment.

Straphangers name Q58 bus slowest in Queens

The Q58 bus may be the slowest in Queens, but it practically flies when compared to the winner of the Straphanger Campaign’s annual Pokey Award. Comment.

Hall of Science exhibit tracks history of Muslim ingenuity

Oh, the irony. Western countries currently lead the Middle East in scientific innovation, but just over a thousand years ago, the situation was exactly the opposite. Comment.

Rangel looks past censure

Despite getting the support of the Queens congressional delegation, the U.S. House voted 333 to 79 last Thursday to censure U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Astoria) for improperly soliciting donations, improperly using a rent-stabilized apartment and tax evasion. Comment.

Queens-bred artist’s work shown

When Gladys Thompson Roth, who grew up in Auburndale, stepped into the art gallery at Queensborough Community College last week, she was thrilled to see 35 years worth of her work standing before her. Comment.

Aquino pushes Paterson to reopen Parkway

Robert Aquino, the former chief executive officer of the now-defunct Parkway Hospital, sent a letter last week to the state health commissioner in an effort to pressure the state to reopen the Forest Hills medical center, which he said would strengthen health care in a borough hit hard by the closure of three major hospitals and add more than 1,000 jobs. Comment.

Boro OTB sites slated to close after Senate bill fails

Queens’ 19 Off-Track Betting Corp. locations are expected to close after the state Senate voted down a bill Tuesday that would have saved OTB sites from being shuttered, according to OTB’s chairman. Comment.

Jetliner to North Pole cheers Cohen kids

Not all of the busy travelers rushing through LaGuardia Airport Saturday noticed Flight 9925 on the departure board. But about 50 antsy children were waiting to get through security and make the flight. Comment.
Astoria Times

Astoria school honors Bette Midler

Although the Divine Miss M did not appear at the birthday party held in her honor at PS 84 in Astoria last Thursday, the student body still celebrated with singing, a cake and a gift both they and the environment could enjoy. Comment.

McLaughlin’s mom wants feds to pay up

Disgraced former Flushing Democratic state Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin’s 82-year-old mother filed a petition in October asking the federal government to return $145,000 she allegedly loaned him that was later forfeited to the government as part of his plea deal to racketeering, plus interest. Comment.

Boro newcomers get med training from LaGuardia

For many immigrants who worked in the medical field in their home countries, life in America means work not as a doctor, nurse or dentist, but as a taxi driver, janitor or baby-sitter. LaGuardia Community College hopes to change that trend with its new program, “The New York City Welcome Back Center.” Comment.

Counseling, $14K payment part of K-Rod’s plea bargain

The Mets all-star closer saved himself from trading his baseball jersey for prison garb Friday by admitting that he beat up his former girlfriend’s father in the summer. Comment.

Forest Hills bar fight death not ruled homicide

A man died after an assault inside a Forest Hills bar Nov. 27 — but the incident has not been ruled a homicide. Comment.

Mayor seeks election reform

City and borough officials zeroed in on elections this week, with Queens officials cheering Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s call for reforms to state voting laws and City Council members holding a public hearing about problems during November’s general election. Comment.

Elmhurst man hired 2 to falsely accuse ex: DA

An East Elmhurst man who allegedly framed his ex-girlfriend for robbery and impersonating a police officer was arrested last Thursday on counts of perjury, falsifying business records and other charges, the Nassau County district attorney’s office said. Comment.

SE Queens theater marks its 40th year

The Black Spectrum Theatre is celebrating its 40th anniversary this weekend with a gala show at its southeast Queens space that will honor not only the neighborhood’s best and brightest but also a pioneer in black cinema. Comment.

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