News

Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010

Queens judge OK’s use of new scan for DNA in case of Jamaica killing

A Queens Supreme Court Judge approved last week the use of a new type of DNA scan in a case involving a Guyanese man accused of killing a Jamaica woman who was set to testify against him in court. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Church fleecers plead guilty

Two senior members of a Forest Hills church pleaded guilty last week to swindling more than $9.3 million from elderly parishioners, the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn said. Comment.

Civic fears St. Sarkis parking lot

The Doug-Bay Manor Civic Association met last Thursday evening to discuss a problem it thought had been set to rest years ago. Comment.

Bearak quits Civic Congress amid flier furor

Corey Bearak, the former campaign manager for state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows), said he resigned as president of the Queens Civic Congress last week in order to spend more time on his career and with his family, but Weprin’s former opponent contends community leaders irate over his decision to send out a campaign mailing with an image of a swastika prompted him to leave. Comment.

Avella plans to run for Padavan seat

Former City Councilman Tony Avella said he expects to officially announce his bid to challenge longtime state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) for his Albany seat this fall. Comment.

Turning the page to a new life

A Queens-based nonprofit that provides depressed or mentally ill people with skills for re-entering the workforce opened its first bookstore on Bell Boulevard earlier this month. Comment.

Addabbo trashes LIC rail link for city waste disposal

Putting a rail siding on the property of a waste transfer station in Long Island City is out, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) said at a meeting in Maspeth Town Hall last week. Comment.

Astoria Mardi Gras celebration helps out Jamaica group

Dozens of Queens artists, from comic book illustrators to fashion designers, donned beads and boas at a Mardi Gras celebration in Astoria Saturday night in an effort to raise money for a Jamaica nonprofit’s upcoming service project trips to New Orleans and Romania. Comment.

AEG dismisses foes as wrong for Queens

Aqueduct Entertainment Group, the entity selected for the contract to operate and install 4,500 video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Race Track, publicly released the details of its bid Tuesday, which slammed two other contenders and gave a breakdown of the stakes of its investors. Comment.

Forest Hills woman fights ethnic cleansing

Forest Hills resident Azra Smailkadic-Brkic was a teenager when her home country, now Bosnia and Herzegovina, became embroiled in a genocide and war that killed about 100,000 people, many of them Muslim. Comment.

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010

Astoria Times

Boro gears up for Fashion Week

This year’s hottest trends will be strutting down the Queens runway this weekend as the borough kicks off its annual Queens Fashion Week. Comment.

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010

Astoria Times

LIC condo regains parking

After several months of complaints from residents of a new condominium tower in Long Island City, the police have moved a restricted parking area that was in front of the building. Comment.
Crime

Jamaica man broke into home, stole safe: Brown

JAMAICA — A Jamaica man allegedly broke into a Jamaica house, stole a safe box containing $900 and, during a scuffle with a resident of the house, hit her in the face with the safe, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. Comment.
Crime

Boro man first sentenced in new sex trafficking law

KEW GARDENS — A St. Albans man became the first pimp to be sentenced under New York state’s new sex trafficking laws Tuesday, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Crime

Two men robbed 3 biz in Jamaica, Bklyn: DA

JAMAICA — Police have asked for the public’s assistance in finding and identifying two suspects in connection with three commercial robberies that took place last month in Jamaica and Brooklyn. Comment.

FDNY diversity lacking: Comrie

City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) joined Latino and black watchdog groups and other city leaders on the steps of City Hall last week to call on the mayor to stop fighting a court order that demands the FDNY improve its hiring practices for minorities. Comment.

Cause unknown for 3-alarm St. Albans fire

A three-alarm blaze that damaged three homes and engulfed a St. Albans block in smoke Friday may have started in a home that was occupied by squatters, according to eyewitnesses. Comment.

Jamaica senior home boss stole $1 at a time: DA

A dollar may not seem like much these days, but the owner of a Jamaica nursing home allegedly bilked his employees of that amount for so long that he collected hundreds of thousands of dollars for himself, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Two charged in wild St. Albans crime spree: Brown

Two Ozone Park men are facing serious charges after they allegedly led police on a wild chase last week that began with a car theft in St. Albans and ended with a shoot-out, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Feds probe nonprofit with Meeks ties: Post

Two top southeast Queens politicians’ involvement in a controversial charity group has put them in the spotlight of a federal investigation into the nonprofit, a published report said. Comment.

Haitians raise funds in Hollis for homeland

More than 100 Christian Haitians congregated at IS 192 in Hollis Sunday for an evening of prayer, song and mourning for those who lost their lives in the earthquake that ravaged the island nation Jan 12. Comment.
Editorial

Something Stinks at Aqueduct

The state may finally be ready to move forward at Aqueduct Race Track. The plan is to introduce casino gambling at the track using video gambling machines. It is expected the casino will raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the state and company that wins the right to run the operation. Comment.
Jamaica Times

Titus tours Arverne Library

The chief executive officer of the Queens Public Library and state Assemblywoman Michelle Titus (D-Far Rockaway) last week toured the renovations being made to the Arverne Library, which is set to open with a new look this spring. Comment.
Opinion

South Queens Speaks: Howard Beach Jewish center plays host to Nostalgia King

The Rockwood Park Jewish Center in Howard Beach recently had a nostalgia night featuring the King of Nostalgia Joe Franklin, who has been a television and radio personality for more than 45 years. Local residents came out to ask Franklin to talk about old-time show business personalities and hear his jokes. Comment.
Crime

Flushing man destroyed father’s house: Brown

FLUSHING — A Flushing man is accused of severely damaging his father’s Flushing home following a dispute over water, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.
Crime

Man, 48, impersonated buildings inspector: DA

FLUSHING — A homeless man trespassed on a Flushing man’s property, then falsely told him he was a building inspector, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. Comment.
Editorial

Who Needs a Borough President?

This year could mark the beginning of the end for the city’s five borough presidents. A commission that will be created to review the City Charter may conclude the time has come to eliminate this office. In addition, the commission will probably look at the public advocate office, term limits and the powers of the City Council. In the end, voters will get the final say. Comment.

QCC to show Holocaust art

A Lithuanian painter who survived the Holocaust as a teenager will exhibit his substantial body of work, which depicts Nazi atrocities, this month at Queensborough Community College’s Kupferberg center in Bayside. Comment.

Obituary: Joseph DiGilio, 58

Joseph DiGilio, a Fresh Meadows resident and father of two daughters, died in his sleep the night of Feb. 1 after suffering a heart attack. He was 58. Comment.

Life after Flushing murder

Yongwei Guo, the husband of Qian Wu, who was gruesomely murdered two weeks ago in Flushing, attended a court appearance for Huang Chen, the suspect in her murder, last Thursday. Comment.

Court orders psych test for Flushing murder suspect

The man accused of brutally murdering Qian Wu in the hallway of her Flushing apartment building Jan. 26, was ordered to undergo a psychiatric examination and DNA swab in Queens Criminal Court last Thursday while the victim’s husband sat in the courtroom with his head bowed. Comment.

Iannece will stay on CB 11, run for re-election as chair

Jerry Iannece said he will run for another year as Community Board 11’s chairman at the board’s March 1 meeting and if elected will continue to push for more northeast Queens rezoning and the completion of a ravine project along Northern Boulevard. Comment.

Bayside High School students recall surviving quake

As children and teachers at Queens Village Day School were doing their part for Haiti by marching down the street in their tie-dyed finest, another worker at the school was thanking his lucky stars. Comment.

Queens reps seek school holiday on Lunar New Year

A group of New York state lawmakers has called for legislation to establish the Asian Lunar New Year as an official school holiday in New Year in recognition of what they called the largest Asian population in America. Comment.

HOSPITAL CRISIS: St. Vincent’s troubles led to two shutdowns

2000 — St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan merges with Catholic Medical Centers of Brooklyn and Queens, bringing together eight hospitals across the city. Comment.

Halloran, CB 11 chair spar over appointments

Tension is brewing between City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) and Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece over Halloran’s role in appointing members to the board, which covers Bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck. Comment.

Korean church gets OK after city audit

Bayside community activists said they were upset to find out the city has allowed a controversial project to develop a Korean church along 210th Street to move forward despite an outcry from neighbors of the property. Comment.

Finances threaten Belmont Stakes

The president of the New York Racing Association told a state Senate hearing on Long Island that the corporation would be forced to cancel the Belmont Stakes in June if it does not receive payments from the financially struggling New York City Off-Track Betting. Comment.

Padavan backs stronger abuse protection bill

State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) is introducing legislation this week aimed at strengthening protections for women who are victims of abusers. Comment.

Parents fret over Flushing High School’s uncertain future

Flushing High School’s listing on the state’s persistency lowest achieving school list two weeks ago has worried parents, students and teachers that the long-running campus would suffer the same fate as Jamaica High and other institutions that will be shut down in the fall. Comment.
Crime

Middle Village man shot at cop with BB gun: Police

RIDGEWOOD — Police shot and arrested a man who was wielding a firearm and charged him with criminal possession of a disguised gun and menacing a police officer after officers responded to a call in Ridgewood to find him armed with what they later determined to be a BB gun, police said. Comment.
Crime

Bronx man stole keys to Sears jewelry display: DA

REGO PARK — A Bronx man allegedly stole a set of keys off a jewelry display counter at a Sears department store in Rego Park, then returned two weeks later to attempt to access the jewelry inside, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. Comment.
Crime

Woman robbed of her cell phone in Rockaways: DA

FAR ROCKAWAY — Arverne resident Amanda Trujillo was arraigned Feb. 3 and charged with two counts of second-degree robbery in connection with a Jan. 23 drive-up mugging at the intersection of Beach 105th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. Comment.
Letters

Haiti earthquake testament to human spirit

It is wonderful to see so many nations, including our own, having responded to the massive earthquake in Haiti. While there are many ideological differences across the globe, there is one important commonality that links all of us: We are human. Comment.
Letters

Supreme Court ruling gives businesses power to decide elections

Five-four: That Supreme Court proportion sends chills down one’s spine and should down the spine of our country. Back in 2000, that sole lifetime appointment position of one of the three branches of our federal government, the judicial, decided the presidential candidate with the popular vote of the American people would not occupy the Oval Office by halting the Florida recount vote, which might have given the candidate the electoral vote as well. Comment.
Letters

Move KSM trial out of Manhattan

For many reasons, New Yorkers dread the upcoming spectacle of the trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other terrorists in the federal courthouse in Manhattan’s Foley Square. A double ring of security will turn the area into a combination of an armed camp and the airport security lines on the day before Thanksgiving. Comment.
Editorial

Another Crooked Politician

After three decades in government, former state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio will spend the next six years of his life in federal prison. The once-powerful Richmond Hill politician left the courtroom dejected. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Queens Theater in the Park plays host to award ceremony

Were you all glad or sorry that the horrendous storm predicted for our area stopped and fizzled out when it hit New Jersey? For those of you who were sorry, be of good cheer as the weather forecasters are predicting another storm of the same ferocity this week. For those of you who were glad we missed the storm, you had better think about getting your snow shovels, mittens and scarves ready for this week’s storm. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: Two Elmhurst teens venture into the city

The recent reopening of the crown of the Statue of Liberty, a much-anticipated event, brought back memories of my first trip to that monument. Over the years, I have visited the Statue of Liberty several times, but only once did I go into the crown. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: In 19th century, Jax Hts. home to a college for circus training

During the 19th century, circuses played an important role in entertainment. Most of what we take for granted — be it movies, video games, television and radio — were far into the future. Entertainment opportunities were simple and homespun. More than 90 percent of the country lived on farms or small towns. Theaters or concerts, if they existed, were put on by local schools or churches. Comment.
Opinion

Berger’s Burg: Valentine’s Day tailor-made for kissing, the sport of lovers

There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved. — George Sand Comment.
Business

Bar brings Manhattan to boro

Bell Boulevard is known for its numerous restaurants and eateries, so when business owner Yoon Kim decided to open up a new cafe and bar in Queens, she said Bayside was the best place for her venue. Comment.
Business

How’s Business? Watch out for what you eat

Every time we turn on the news, it seems we have to be more careful about protecting our immune system as well becoming healthier in our lifestyles. This week, I met with Dr. Cori Stern-Torres of Health Point Nutrition, a chiropractor and advanced clinical nutritionist with an office at 122-15 25th Road in Flushing. Comment.

Bloomy rips guv’s plan to help MTA

Gov. David Paterson has come up with a new business tax plan to rescue the financially beleaguered MTA that Mayor Michael Bloomberg said was unfair to New York City “and contrary to every principle of good regional development.” Comment.

Artists flock to see Dutch Kills Gallery’s new exhibits

Dutch Kills Gallery, an art space that opened last year in a Long Island City industrial building in the shadow of the iconic red- and white-striped Ravenswood Power Plant smokestacks, drew about 200 artists and art lovers to a Saturday evening opening, a testament to the burgeoning art community in the utilitarian district. Comment.

Forest Hills school under fire for handcuffing girl

The New York Civil Liberties Union took the city to task for last week’s arrest, handcuffing and suspension of a 12-year-old female student at a Forest Hills junior high school after she was caught doodling her name in erasable marker on her desk, NYCLU officials said. Comment.

Loyal customers bid adieu to beloved Jax Heights eatery

Dozens of people packed the Cavalier Restaurant, an old-fashioned neighborhood eatery, Sunday evening to say goodbye to the Jackson Heights institution that was like a second home for many of its patrons. Comment.

Kaufman Astoria studio leads city in producing green energy

Kaufman Astoria Studios is going green after the movie and television complex recently switched its heating fuel source to an oil that is blended with biodiesel, making the western Queens complex the largest commercial user of the clean energy product in the five boroughs. Comment.

Schools, civics, electeds protest proposed Q74 cuts

Queens elected officials, civic leaders and area residents rallied against the MTA’s proposal to eliminate the Q74 bus last Thursday and said the plan would place undue hardships on the many students and seniors who rely on the line that runs from Kew Gardens to Flushing. Comment.

HORSE RACE: AEG has history in Las Vegas, Queens

From a gaming company to developers and construction firms, eight entities make up Aqueduct Entertainment Group, which was selected to install and operate 4,500 video lottery terminals and redevelop Aqueduct Race Track in Ozone Park. Comment.

Ladder 128 in Long Island City toasts 100 years

There has been death, laughter and camaraderie to last a lifetime. Comment.

Richmond Hill readies for Census

The last time the Census was taken in 2000, Richmond Hill’s response rate was lower than 40 percent — well below the national and citywide averages. Comment.

HORSE RACE: Aqueduct decision two years in the making

February 2008 — Gov. Eliot Spitzer and legislative leaders select the New York Racing Association to continue its lease for Aqueduct Race Track, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course for another 25 years. Spitzer says negotiations are underway with interested parties for the video lottery terminal contract and the talks should be completed within a month. Comment.

Jax Heights worker falls to death

A construction worker from Jackson Heights fell to his death Friday while working on a building in Manhattan — the day before his birthday, police and family members said. Comment.

Couple charged with robbing boro driver

A New Jersey couple has been charged with stealing more than $11,000 from an 86-year-old driver they flagged down in Forest Hills and told her her car was dangerously in need of repair, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week. Comment.

Seminerio gets 6-year sentence for corruption

A Manhattan federal judge sentenced Anthony Seminerio, a former state assemblyman from Richmond Hill, to six years in prison last Thursday for abusing his power as a lawmaker and extorting money out of hospitals, nonprofits and other groups in exchange for lobbying state officials on their behalf. Comment.

John Haggerty focus of Manhattan DA probe: Post

A $750,000 personal campaign contribution from Mayor Michael Bloomberg that went through the state Independence Party and wound up in the hands of a firm headed by Queens Republican operative and Forest Hills resident John Haggerty is being investigated by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, the New York Post reported Tuesday. Comment.

Swimmers hit Rockaway Beach to fight cystic fibrosis

Rockaway Beach was a wintery mess Saturday afternoon, far south enough to have a few inches of slushy snow to go with 40 mph winds, 36-degree ocean water and 24-degree air. Comment.

Hevesi bill to make NY green

A bill sponsored by state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) and passed last week by lawmakers attempts to give legislators a platform on which to build a more comprehensive alternative energy policy for New York, the Queens official said. Comment.

Boro Chamber of Commerce to hold conference on green biz techniques

QUEENS COLLEGE — The Queens Chamber of Commerce will be holding a special conference next Friday that will explore the ways borough businesses can improve the economy by becoming more environmentally friendly. Comment.

Boro to fete Black History Month with music, poetry

Queens residents will have the choice to attend everything from an off-Broadway musical and poetry readings to house tours and a quilting workshop as a variety of borough institutions celebrate Black History Month. Comment.

HOSPITAL CRISIS: Marshall dismayed at hospital shortage

A decade after the health care merger that brought St. John’s and Mary Immaculate hospitals under the aegis of St. Vincent’s and five years after that organization filed for bankruptcy, Borough President Helen Marshall’s office is disappointed with the outcome. Comment.

Work complete on TimesLedger’s Bayside office

TimesLedger Newspapers has moved into new offices on the same floor at its longtime Bayside headquarters at 41-02 Bell Blvd. following a two-month renovation. Comment.

Guv’s veto of ethics bill upheld

Gov. David Paterson’s veto of the state Legislature’s home-grown ethics reform package was upheld Monday after the state Senate failed to gather enough votes to override it. Comment.

Titanic relics take anchor at Astoria history group

Were you ever curious about that home on 11th Street in Long Island City festooned with memorabilia from the doomed ocean liner Titanic? The opportunity to see it there has passed, but the collection of memorabilia, once curated by lifelong Long Island City resident Joe Colletti, is now in the hands of the Greater Astoria Historical Society. Comment.

Women’s center gets praise from CB 4

Ordinarily one might expect a community board to react with suspicion and disdain to news that a residence for recently released prisoners was about to open in its neighborhood. Comment.

HORSE RACE: St. Vincent’s troubles led to two shutdowns

2000 — St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan merges with Catholic Medical Centers of Brooklyn and Queens, bringing together eight hospitals across the city. Comment.

Dick McGuire, former SJU basketball player, dies at 84

In a basketball era long before three-point goals and shot clocks, Dick McGuire starred at St. John’s University, then spent more than a half century as a New York Knicks All-Star, then a coach, scout and consultant. Comment.

CB 4 fights city school plan

Corona desperately needs another school, residents and members of Community Board 4 agreed, but they balked last week at the city’s plan to put the facility on a street with no sidewalks, on a property where a local business would be forced out after 28 years and next to an active firehouse. Comment.

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