News

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ridgewood

Maspeth triangle torn up again

The triangular concrete island designed to ward off trucks and help pedestrians cross Grand and Flushing avenues in Maspeth is currently getting a makeover — for the second time in a year. Comment.
Ridgewood

Howard Beach man, plus trio stole $8M in gambling ring: DA

One man from Maspeth, two from Howard Beach and another from Long Island were charged last week with running an illegal gambling ring that netted more than $8 million over a two-year period, said the Queens DA. Comment.
Whitestone Times

CB 7 approves rezoning plan for Whitestone bank construction

Community Board 7 voted Monday night to support a plan that would rezone a Whitestone site to allow a TD Bank to be built. Comment.
Ridgewood

Flushing Ave. tow biz grabs parking spots

City inspectors found nothing wrong when they visited a Maspeth tow truck company last week, but before and afterward residents complained that the garage used Flushing Avenue as its own private parking lot. Comment.

Bellerose fire damages bar, kills cat living above

The smell of smoke lingered Monday on the corner of Jericho Turnpike and 244th Street, three days after a two-alarm fire tore through a bar on the corner, displacing a tenant above the watering hole and killing his cat, residents said. Comment.
Crime

Woman hit, robbed of cell phone in Jamaica: DA

JAMAICA — A Jamaica man has been charged with second-degree robbery after allegedly attacking a woman in front of 129-10 Bedell St. at about 11 a.m. March 10, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Comment.
Crime

Planes touching at JFK under federal probe

JFK AIRPORT — The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a fender-bender that was caught on video at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Comment.
Crime

Grandson arrested in home homicide: Police

JAMAICA — A 26-year-old man was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly killing his grandmother and ditching her body under the stairwell of her Jamaica house, police said. Comment.
Crime

Firefighters almost die in 3-alarm blaze: Post

ROCKAWAYS — Two firefighters narrowly avoided death while fighting a three-alarm fire in a three-story Rockaways building, according to the New York Post. Comment.
Crime

Man tried to bribe cops at 102nd Precinct: Post

RICHMOND HILL — An 18-year-old man has been charged with bribery after allegedly offering $10,000 to police officers to release him after he was arrested on an unrelated offense, according to the New York Post. Comment.

Qns. Vill. woman gets prison for voodoo abuse

A Queens Village grandmother who admitted to failing to seek medical attention for her 6-year-old granddaughter, critically burned in 2009 during an alleged voodoo ritual at her home, was sentenced to one to three years in prison last week in Queens Supreme Court, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Laurelton

CB 12 leader injured in auto crash

Community leaders and elected officials are sending their support to Community Board 12’s district manager following a collision last week that left her hospitalized for days. Comment.

Queens Reformed Church offers family fun night event

The Queens Reformed Church, at 94-79 Springfield Blvd. in Queens Village, is providing an opportunity for families to spend recreational time together at its Family Fun Night. Comment.
Laurelton

JFK expansion would hurt bay: Ecowatchers

Environmentalists who have been fighting to keep Jamaica Bay alive are pushing the federal government not to go forward with plans to expand John F. Kennedy International Airport into the ecosystem. Comment.

Dentist helps Haiti victims

Jamaica dentist Dr. Kevin Grant returned to help the people of Haiti with their dental problems last month for the second time since the devastating January 2009 earthquake, and he said conditions in the impoverished country have not changed in the year since he first lent his assistance. Comment.

SE Queens landlords top de Blasio’s ‘worst’ list

The city public advocate is taking his fight against the city’s worst landlords, many of whom are in southeast Queens, to the World Wide Web in order to help tenants avoid the headaches of moving into poorly maintained apartments. Comment.

Jam. man gets 20 years for killing girlfriend

A Jamaica man was sentenced Monday to two decades in prison for killing his girlfriend and dumping her body in the Delaware River, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Editorial

The Fat-Fast Food Cop

It was hard not to come to the conclusion last week that City Councilman Leroy Comrie is himself at times a few french fries short of a Happy Meal. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Peralta distributes $50K for libraries

In the midst of a prominent campaign by the Queens Public Library for private donations so the institution can buy new books, representatives of the system recognized one of their largest donors Friday. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Moya sounds warning on illegal apts.

Getting a low-rent apartment in a basement or attic might seem like a bargain, but state Assemblyman Francisco Moya’s (D-Jackson Heights) office and the city Department of Buildings took to the streets last Thursday to try to teach people that their converted dwelling may not just be illegal, but dangerous. Comment.

Jamaica HS rallies against closing plan

Alumni, students and faculty came to Jamaica High School Sunday afternoon to protest the city Department of Education’s plan to close the school, which has served city students for more than a century. Comment.

Angels come to rescue for Douglaston kids

The buzz and hum of the festival atmosphere that filled a cavernous dining hall at the Immaculate Conception Center, at 72-00 Douglaston Pkwy. in Douglaston, last week was regularly enhanced by a series of slightly varied announcements. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Gov’t options to cutting costs lie in plain sight

Our state, federal and city governments are in debt but have a multitude of contracts to provide services and consultants which, if evaluated, revised and eliminated, could go a long way toward reducing our deficits. The state constitution and City Charter require a balanced budget every year. While our federal constitution does not require a balanced budget, it behooves our government leaders and all citizens to pressure for one or we may discover that the world markets may consider us bankrupt someday. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

JetBlue greens torn up park

Forest Hills and Rego Park lived up to their names Saturday afternoon by participating in droves in a massive greening event in MacDonald Park in Forest Hills. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Holocaust survivor to recount tale

History is always more vivid when told from first-hand accounts, and Queens residents will have the chance to hear the story of a woman who survived the Holocaust as a teenager with the help of some brave French villagers. Comment.

Women, minorities get over 50% of Aqueduct jobs

More than half of the construction workers who are building the casino project at Aqueduct Race Track are either minority or female employees, higher than the developer’s goal of 25 percent that it set in its bid for the contract, the company announced Monday. Comment.

Mama Pia! Howard Beach shattered by ‘Idol’ boot

Students of PS 207 and residents of Howard Beach were shocked after “American Idol” contestant and darling of the southern Queens neighborhood Pia Toscano was voted off the program last Thursday. Comment.

Selfhelp starts work on Flushing senior apt. building

Selfhelp Community Services broke ground on a new 14-story, 92-unit affordable apartment building for senior citizens in Flushing last week. Comment.
Flushing Times

S. Ozone Park pimp gets 8 yrs. in prison

A South Ozone Park pimp has been sentenced to up to eight years in prison for forcing a 19-year-old girl into working for him as a prostitute under the threat of murder, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Comments (1).

Principals swap ideas at East-West School

East met West at the East-West School of International Studies in Flushing Tuesday afternoon. Comment.
Flushing Times

Feds to investigate tour buses after incidents

Just weeks after a fatal bus crash in the Bronx and a deadly accident in New Hampshire involving a Flushing tour company, the National Transportation Safety Board has agreed to conduct an investigation into the practices and regulations governing the low-cost tour bus industry. Comment.

Family celebrates birthday of Flushing centenarian

A century after her birth, a Flushing woman celebrated her life with several dozen members of her extensive extended family Sunday afternoon. Comment.
Editorial

‘Just a Guy from Queens’

Mayor Michael Bloomberg all but admitted last week that hiring Cathie Black to run the city schools was a mistake. He called a press conference last week to announce he and Black agreed that her resignation was in the best interest of the children attending city public schools. Comment.

DEP’s scaled-back water rate increase wins few admirers

The city Department of Environmental Protection is touting its proposed water rate increase of 7.5 percent as relief to customers, but not everyone finds that an easy pill to swallow. Comment.

Movie brings stuttering into focus at SJU

After viewing the multiple Oscar-winning film “The King’s Speech” at St. John’s University last week, members of the Queens chapter of the National Stuttering Association spoke about their own difficulties and dispelled myths that surround the speech disorder. Comment.

Monahan & Fitzgerald revamps and reopens

Monahan & Fitzgerald has been one of Bayside’s traditional Irish pubs for 25 years, and with the recent renovations now complete, owner Jim Fitzgerald said he hopes “to have a go at another 25-year run.” Comment.

Fighter from Bayside dojo wins Golden Gloves at the Garden

The windowed facade of the Tiger Schulmann’s training center on Bell Boulevard in Bayside has a new award to display after Julio Arce won his boxing match at Madison Square Garden Friday night to take the 141-pound novice class title in the Golden Gloves tournament. Comment.

Boy burned in blaze back at bat

Saturday was a celebration for the Forest Hills community as Jesse Iacovetta returned to the baseball diamond for Opening Day of the 2011 Forest Hills Little League season. Comment.

111th officers honored for carjacking arrest

The best cops use quick thinking and resourcefulness when they are called upon with a split-second’s notice to protect their communities, and that’s just how three officers in the 111th Precinct reacted when they got the word about a violent crime in progress. Comment.

Budget watchdog praises subway’s efficiency

The Citizens Budget Commission says the New York City subway system was among the nation’s most efficient, but MTA buses and commuter trains get lower marks. Comment.

Play Ball! Little League starts

Hundreds of baseball fans both young and old marched in the Bayside Little League’s annual Opening Day parade Saturday morning, an affair that rings in the start of spring. Comment.

Avella issues plan to change Albany

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said he is trying to reform Albany but is finding some resistance from his Republican colleagues during a visit last Thursday to North Shore Towers. Comment.
Crime

Officer assaulted by driver in Astoria: Brown

ASTORIA — An Astoria man was arrested on three charges after he allegedly hit and injured a police officer with his vehicle, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Comment.
Letters

Reform taxes for co-ops, condos

According to data from the Long Island Board of Realtors, many co-ops and condos in Queens are selling for the same amount or less than what they were selling for a few years ago. Despite this fact, the city Department of Finance, which falls under the purview of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, proposed assessed market valuations that have in many cases increased by high double-digit percentages and in some cases triple digits over last year. Comment.
Letters

Layoffs will hurt both teachers and students

I am writing in response and agreement with the letter “Pols must start supporting teachers” by John Amato in the March 24-30 issue of TimesLedger Newspapers. Comment.
Letters

Tax the rich to balance budget

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget refusal to support the millionaire tax surcharge on the grounds that such people would leave the state is as empty as the claim that by not fully taxing the rich, money would trickle down to the middle class and the poor. Comment.
Editorial

‘We Are Bryant’

One week before Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the beheading of city Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, students and alumni of Bryant High School in Astoria and elected officials gathered to fight for the future of the school. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Military man Colin Powell once called Hollis home

Colin Luther Powell was born April 5, 1937, in Harlem to Jamaican immigrant parents Maud Arial and Luther Theophilus Powell. When Powell was 6, the family moved to the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx, the setting for the movie “Fort Apache, the Bronx.” In his memoir “My American Journey,” Powell wrote that while Hunts Point was a tough neighborhood when he was a boy, the extreme social breakdown depicted in “Fort Apache” had not yet set in. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Queens papers head north for N.Y. Press awards convention

This weekend was one of my favorite annual treks. It was the New York Press Association’s spring convention at the Gideon Putnam Hotel Resort in upstate Saratoga Springs. Comment.

Weiner, beep warn of boro budget pain

A Forest Hills congressman took the Republican Party to task Tuesday for the millions of dollars in proposed budget cuts that would harm the working-class and senior citizens of Queens and the borough president bemoaned belt-tightening at the city level after $5 million of funding for the long-awaited Queens West library branch become embroiled in budget talks. Comment.

Walcott deeply rooted in boro school system

The streets of southeast Queens are buzzing with excitement after one of their own was chosen to lead the city’s school system and its 1.1 million children. Comment.
Astoria Times

Correction Dept. tells Astoria civic of Rikers upgrade

Astoria residents have long been concerned about the situation at Rikers Island, the prison only accessible by road through the neighborhood, so city Department of Corrections Commissioner Dora Schriro visited the United Community Civic Association last Thursday to update residents on the prison’s renovation. Comment.
Astoria Times

CB 2 OKs rezoning of two communities

Eateries on Queens Boulevard can pull out their chairs and their tables. Comment.

St. John’s hospital site in for major makeover

A Brooklyn architecture firm has filed a certificate of occupancy with the city Department of Buildings to build what appears to be a mixed-use property with apartments, offices, retail and a clinic at the site of St. John’s Queens Hospital, which closed in 2009. Comment.

Gianaris fights to prevent summer power rate hike

TransCanada has filed papers with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission demanding that its controversial planned 12 percent rate hike for power generators go into effect before June 28, but state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) has introduced legislation to make sure city customers do not have to bear the burden. Comment.

Electeds urge DOT to step up

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), state Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Ridgewood) and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) demanded action from the city Department of Transportation Friday in light of the eerily similar road accidents that occurred in the last month on a Queensboro Bridge off-ramp. Comment.

Major expansion begins at Queens Museum

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Borough President Helen Marshall and some members of the borough’s City Council delegation helped break ground Tuesday on the Queens Museum of Art’s $65 million expansion project that will double the size of the cultural institution in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Comment.

TimesLedger wins 13 journalism awards at NYPA

TimesLedger Newspapers was honored by the New York Press Association with 13 journalism awards, which recognized individual reporters, editors and the collective newsroom for excellence in their coverage of Queens. Comment.

Hiram trades politics for pies

Where he once handed out fliers and plotted campaign strategy, controversial former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate now serves up pizza, fruit juice and flan. Comment.

Queens wants screen time in new MiB movie

Fans of the decaying 1964 World’s Fair buildings in Flushing Meadows Corona Park are pleased that a blockbuster Hollywood franchise is returning to the borough for a third film. Comment.

Mets disappoint with loss to Nationals in chilly home opener

New York Mets fans held out hope for a promising season as they flocked to Citi Field for their team’s home opener Friday, but for one day the Amazin’s let them down in a 6-2 loss to the Washington Nationals. Comment.

Little hope for Jamaica HS closure reversal

Although parents, leaders and others cheered over the announcement that Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott would replace outgoing city Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, supporters of the southeast Queens schools slated for phase-out this fall were still bracing for the worst. Comment.

City says glitch distorted values of boro condos

The city Department of Finance acknowledged Monday that a computer glitch was partly responsible for grossly inaccurate property tax valuations for co-ops and condos and vowed to correct the errors, but co-op and condo advocates said they will only be satisfied when co-ops and condos receive notice of the blunder. Comment.

Comrie targets Happy Meal toys with new legislation

City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) acknowledged that his recent crusade against childhood obesity would result in some shots at his own weight problems, but he is determined to make a difference and give his constituents healthier choices. Comment.

Pols cheer Black’s ouster

State Education Department Commissioner David Steiner announced that a state DOE screening panel was expected to meet this week to discuss whether or not to grant a waiver to allow city Schools Chancellor designee Dennis Walcott to be appointed to that post. Comment.

Boro Civil War historian marks 150-yr milestone

The Greater Astoria Historical Society kicked off a series of events Tuesday that will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War over the next five years with a presentation by actor and performing historian Patrick Falci. Comment.
Astoria Times

Pols, activists fight against asphalt plant

On a pothole-ridden, almost hidden road near the Queens-Brooklyn border in Long Island City, elected officials and activists protested last Thursday a planned asphalt plant that they said would bring trucks into an overburdened area and had received permits without the community’s input. Comment.

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