News

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ridgewood

Reservoir due for makeover

Construction could begin soon on new fencing surrounding the Ridgewood Reservoir despite objections from members of the community and borough lawmakers. Comment.
Ridgewood

PS 153 student, 7, cuffed for tantrum

The family of a 7-year-old is suing the city after the boy was handcuffed by officers from the NYPD and led out of his special education classroom April 13. Comment.

Civic says city will not pick up trash near Bell Park

The president of a Queens Village civic association said a wooded area between the Grand Central Parkway and Stronghurst Avenue is being treated like a garbage dump — and the trash has sat there for five years. Comment.
Little Neck Ledger

CB 13 edict blames city for co-op value error

Community Board 13 unanimously approved a resolution Monday slamming the city Department of Finance, which said a computer glitch was to blame for Queens co-ops receiving property tax valuations that were much higher than they expected. Comment.
Crime

Cops investigate two sexual assaults in boro

SPRINGFIELD GARDENS — The NYPD was searching for a suspect wanted in connection with two attempted sexual assaults. Comment.
Laurelton

Wills to propose renaming a street for late Tom White

City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) has announced that he is working on a bill that would honor the life and work of his predecessor, Thomas White. Comment.

Homeless Dept. rejects housing recommendation

The city Department of Homeless Services is dismissing a report issued two weeks ago that suggested the city take a different approach to housing the growing population of displaced families. Comment.

Volunteers must help keep city’s parks clean: CB 12

With warmer weather hitting the borough, the city Parks Department wants residents to go the extra mile to keep Queens clean. Comment.

SE Qns. sewer upgrades done

After five years of work, the city has completed a multimillion-dollar project that will help alleviate the flooding problems in southeast Queens. Comment.
Laurelton

Jamaica resident gets 65 to life for shooting

A Jamaica man was sentenced last week to more than six decades behind bars for taking the life of a teenager when he opened fire at a crowd that was in a Hollis backyard, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

CB 13 OKs look of playground at Laurelton Pkwy.

Community Board 13 unanimously voted in favor of the design for the Laurelton Playground, which finally received funding after a 10-year request. Comment.

Blackburne Dem Club to honor 11 at Antun’s

A former TimesLedger Newspapers employee is one of 11 people slated to be honored Saturday during the Elmer H. Blackburne Regular Democratic Club’s 29th-annual awards luncheon at Antun’s in Queens Village. Comment.

LIRR to restore service to Belmont as races start

The Long Island Rail Road, with a financial boost from the New York Racing Association, is restoring service this Saturday to Belmont Park racetrack, including the 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes in June. Comment.
Editorial

A Ray of Hope at Jamaica HS

More than 50 years after they graduated from Jamaica HS, The Cleftones, one of the great doo-wop groups, returned to their alma mater to plead with the city not to close the school that means so much to them. Comment.
Jackson Heights

PCBs have to go now: Pols

Corona-area legislators and civic activists are urging the city Department of Education to shorten the time line from 10 years to two for removing light fixtures with toxic polychlorinated biphenyls in public schools, but the DOE said the decade-long plan is the best it can do given the complexity of the work. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Going Green in Queens full of conservation tips

On March 26, the Going Green in Queens event was held at the Al Oerter Recreation Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. It was sponsored by the Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces, the Queens Civic Congress and TimesLedger Newspapers, among other groups, and had tables with exhibits, workshops and environmental films. Next year, the event will be on March 24, 2012. Comment.

City plans more talks to buy St. Saviour site for park

Warehouse construction has slowed on the St. Saviour’s site in Maspeth as the city is planning yet another round of negotiations to acquire the property and build a park. But community activists say money is not the most pressing issue. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Oldest church in Rich Hill gets new roof

The oldest church in Richmond Hill is getting a new addition. Comment.

Maspeth tow company gets 86 tickets for storing cars

Smashed cars that were taken from accident scenes around the borough used to end up on the roads in Maspeth — until the NYPD stepped in. Comment.

World revolves around children at Voelker Orth Earth Day fete

The sun shined on the Voelker Orth Museum in Flushing last Thursday for its annual Earth Day celebration. Comment.

Koo fields questions both tough and touchy

Flushing residents got a rare opportunity to cut through the bureaucratic tape at a town-hall meeting hosted by City Councilman Peter Koo (R-Flushing) last Thursday and they held nothing back. Comment.

Police seeking serial Flushing sex attacker

Police were asking Tuesday for the public’s help in locating a man wanted in connection with a spree of violent sexual assaults in Flushing. Comment.
Editorial

Time for Term Limits Has Come

In a recent speech at North Shore Towers, state Sen. Tony Avella spoke about a bill he has sponsored that would limit state legislators in the state Assembly and Senate to eight terms, or 16 years. This restriction, he argued, would make lawmakers more accountable to the people who sent them to Albany. Comment.

Boro Y to hold talk on ancient Jewish writings

People are fascinated with junk. Comment.

Flushing burial ground to add wall of names

More than 170 years after the first people were laid to rest there, the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground is in the final stages of receiving the recognition community members believe it deserves. Comment.

City does not hear plea for Doug monument

Douglaston’s monument to memorialize its residents who died in World War I has been neglected for 20 years and no city agency has come forward to claim that it is the overseer of the historic marker, City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) and a civic leader said Friday. Comment.

CB 11 to decide fate of Douglaston green market

GrowNYC’s proposed farmers market in Douglaston is described by supporters as being green, but it has its detractors seeing red. Comment.

Dance school gives hope

The pieces of a ballet uniform are meant to instantly signify and enhance the dancer’s grace and mobility: ballet slippers, a unitard and — of course — a tutu. Comment.
Bayside Times

Bayside BID plans to beautify Bell

It started with an arts-and-crafts festival last year and then during the past winter, Bell Boulevard’s lampposts were strewn with holiday lights. Comment.
Crime

2 Brooklyn men attacked victim in Woodhaven: DA

WOODHAVEN — Two Brooklyn men were arraigned last week on charges that they attacked a man en route to a grocery store on Liberty Avenue last week, the Queens DA’s office said. Comment.
Crime

Louisianan, 29, caught hiding pistol in LIC: DA

LONG ISLAND CITY — Police discovered a concealed weapon in the car of a Louisiana man driving in the Queens-Midtown Tunnel last week. Comment.
Crime

Senior citizen attacked in subway station: Cops

JACKSON HEIGHTS — The NYPD has asked the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect wanted in connection with the assault of a 66-year-old man. Comment.
Crime

High school pupil, 17, stabbed two people: DA

ELMHURST — Kevin Torres, 17, was arraigned last week on charges that he stabbed two victims at Newtown High School in late March, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. Comments (3).
Crime

Cops search for robber of bank in Maspeth

MASPETH — The NYPD has asked the public to help in locating and identifying an individual wanted in a bank robbery that occurred within the confines of the 104th Precinct. Comment.
Crime

East Elmhurst man set fire to home: Brown

EAST ELMHURST — Alphonso Williams, of 24-20 98th St., was arraigned last week on charges of arson and reckless endangerment, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.
Letters

School still good after pupil handcuffing

I had to reply to the news reports about Joseph Anderson, the boy who was handcuffed and taken from PS 153 in Maspeth to the psychiatric ward of Elmhurst Hospital after he became uncontrollable in class. Comment.
Letters

Ombudsmen are needed to protect residents from shareholder boards

One would have to ask why anyone would mind having to answer to a government agency as opposed to a lengthy civil court legal battle. Comment.
Letters

Walcott must prove worth by not following footsteps of Bloomberg, Black

An open letter to city Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. Comments (1).
Editorial

‘A Culture of Corruption’

The mug shot of Alan Hevesi taken on his first day in prison was displayed last week on the front pages of the city’s tabloids. The man who as state comptroller was once one of the most powerful people in state government appeared pathetic and broken. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Queens did not welcome minority workers in 1923

April 1, 1923, was the most miserably cold Easter that Queens had experienced for many years. At 6 a.m., the temperature stood at 12 degrees. Comment.
Opinion

I Sit And Look Out: FDR showed unwavering care for the common man

What would you think of a presidential candidate who set forth the following bill of rights? Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: City agencies come out for Koo town hall at library

We hope everyone enjoyed their holidays this year. Both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox celebrated Easter, which was in the middle of Passover, the Jewish observance. Whatever your persuasion, we hope your holiday was memorable and enjoyable. Comment.

Zazi’s uncle to turn on him

The uncle of terror plotter Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty more than a year ago to conspiring to obstruct justice in the days leading up to Zazi’s arrest and is cooperating with the federal government against his nephew, according to federal documents unsealed last week. Comment.

Dismay over likely Willets ramp approval

A representative of a coalition of Willets Point business and property owners opposed to the city’s plan to undertake a $3 billion redevelopment of the neglected area says he is dismayed at indications that the state may be green-lighting the project. Comment.

Trump’s LaGuardia slam seconded by PA

Billionaire business magnate, reality TV star and possible Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently called LaGuardia International Airport in East Elmhurst a “third world airport,” but state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) was not impressed. Comment.

FC New York opens at home on SJU field

A professional soccer team is gearing up for its inaugural home opener Saturday at St. John’s University’s Belson Stadium and the university said the club’s games will not disrupt the community. Comment.

Violent fight erupts at Rich Hill Sikh temple

Two warring factions of a Sikh temple literally came to blows Sunday during a melee involving swords, box cutters, sticks and cricket bats inside the Richmond Hill gurdwara, leading to the arrests of eight people, a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.

Airport congestion hurts city economy: Study

John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty and LaGuardia airports must be restored to world-class facilities or face the loss of untold billions of dollars in lost jobs and revenue in coming decades, conferees at a Regional Plan Association conference were told last week. Comment.

Mayor’s PlaNYC anticipates growth

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced updates to his sustainability plan that contains hundreds of initiatives to help the city brace for an increase of more than 1 million residents by 2030 while reducing greenhouse gases and implementing other green measures. Comment.

City settlement funds parks in LIC and Maspeth

Residents of Queens and Brooklyn applauded a list of seven potential environmental and recreational projects last week aimed at improving their communities as mitigation for missed deadlines in updating the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Comment.

Gay nups canvass boro pols

The rain outside the Metro Mall in Middle Village fluctuated between drizzle and downpour Saturday, but that did not stop advocates of same-sex marriage rights from canvassing what they considered to be a key battleground in a renewed push for reform in the state Legislature. Comment.

More plans for St. John’s hospital

A representative for a Brooklyn firm planning to renovate the boarded-up and graffiti-covered shell of what was once St. John’s Queens Hospital in Elmhurst presented a more detailed outline at a Community Board 4 Land Use and Zoning Committee meeting last week. Comment.

Hevesi graft an open secret

Long before disgraced former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi was charged in October for his role in a pay-to-play scandal involving the state pension fund under his watch, a little-known treasurer of Saratoga County, J. Christopher Callaghan, knew something was up — and it was in plain sight. Comment.

Plans to film Gotti biopic in Queens ruffles feathers

A new film detailing the lives of the Gotti family is set to be filmed in New York, but some people want the production company to take its business elsewhere. Comment.
Astoria Times

Gianaris pushes his clean-air bill

In celebration of Earth Day last week, state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) touted the pro-environment legislation he has recently introduced that would reduce emissions and crack down on polluters. Comment.

Queens College hosts reading of boro writers’ anthology

Queens College is hosting a reading Tuesday of the first and only anthology of literary works Tuesday all about the borough of Queens. Comment.

Teen wants MTA to revive X-bus to Manhattan

A Whitestone teen who attends school in Long Island City is circulating a petition asking the MTA to restore an express bus from Jackson Heights to Astoria and Long Island City to midtown Manhattan that had been cut last year. Comment.

Vallone legislation would prohibit electronic cigarettes

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) introduced legislation earlier this month banning the sale of electronic cigarettes, a battery-powered device that allows users to simulate the act of smoking, to minors and prohibiting them from being smoked in places where regular cigarettes are not allowed. Comment.

Laborers march in Woodside

Supporters of workers’ rights took their message to Roosevelt Avenue Sunday, calling on all workers, and in particular non-unionized day laborers, to organize and stand up for their rights. Comment.

Dozen caught smuggling cigarettes into JFK: DA

The Queens district attorney’s office has put the light out on a dozen illegal cigarette smuggling operations that cost New Yorkers at least a quarter of a million dollars in lost tax revenue. Comment.
Astoria Times

Street renamed after LIC hero

He ran inside to help when anyone else would have run away. Comment.

Avella to donate campaign funds to offset Lipsky cash

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said Tuesday he has planned since shortly after Richard Lipsky turned himself in to authorities March 10 on corruption charges to donate to charity an amount equal to the $3,000 in campaign contributions the lobbyist made to his 2010 campaign. Avella said he has also cut off all contact with Lipsky and suggests others do the same. Comment.

Racino cafeteria set to serve global grub

From Cantonese cuisine to fare from Wolfgang Puck, the developer of the Aqueduct racino announced the numerous food options that will be available at the Ozone Park track. Comment.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ridgewood

DOE to decide school’s fate

After the state identified a Ridgewood High School as one of the city’s underperforming schools, teachers were hoping for the least-drastic solution to the problem, but the city might have other plans. Comment.
Queens Village

No bail for grandson in Jamaica kin’s slay

A Jamaica man has been ordered held in prison without bail for allegedly suffocating his grandmother to death in her home last week, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Bellerose sluggers open season

Even with fierce winds, a gray sky and an ever-present dampness in the air, more than 12,000 ballplayers and their proud parents came out for the parade and first pitch for the HBQVB Athletic Association’s opening season at Bellerose’s Padavan-Preller Fields Saturday. Comment.
Crime

Man chased 2 of his kin with a machete: Brown

SOUTH OZONE PARK — A 60-year-old man was arraigned last week on charges of assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly chasing after two of his female family members armed with a machete, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.
Crime

Boro teen disappeared in Brooklyn: Police

FAR ROCKAWAY — Police were looking for a 14-year-old Far Rockaway resident who disappeared near Atlantic and Ralph avenues in Brooklyn April 13, the NYPD said. Comment.
Crime

Three Jamaica men drove stolen car: Brown

HILLSIDE — Three Jamaica men were arraigned last week on charges of criminal possession of stolen property and attempted grand larceny after they were seen with an allegedly stolen car while driving in Hillside, the Queens district attorney’s office said. One of the men was also charged with assault and resisting arrest after he allegedly attacked an officer, the DA said. Comment.
Crime

Far Rock teenager, 17, missing for a week: Cops

FAR ROCKAWAY — The NYPD was searching for a 17-year-old boy from Far Rockaway who has been missing since last Thursday. Comment.
Crime

Cops look into death of man in Broad Channel

BROAD CHANNEL — A black man in his 30s was found dead along the shore line near 98th Street/Shad Creek Road near West 9th Road in Broad Channel last Thursday, the NYPD said. Comment.

City’s homeless rate soars

A new report has indicated that the city’s homeless population, which has been growing in southeast Queens, has reached an all-time high due to several policy actions by the mayor over the last few years. Comment.

Miss America visits Hollis to promote healthy habits

Miss America paid a special visit to Hollis Friday to learn a few new dance moves and help spread a message of healthy living to a new generation of girls. Comment.
Laurelton

Janitor guilty of fatally shooting his Rosedale boss: Bronx DA

A disgruntled worker from Co-Op City was convicted by a jury Monday in Bronx Criminal Court of murdering his Rosedale boss in retaliation for losing his job, the Bronx district attorney’s office said. Comment.
Laurelton

NTSB to investigate JFK bump incident

The federal government has started a probe to investigate what caused the largest airline plane in the world to collide with a much smaller jet at John F. Kennedy International Airport last week. Comment.
Editorial

Jamaica High on Life Support

There seems to be little hope that new city Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott will reverse the city Department of Education’s plan to close Jamaica HS. This closure is a key part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s education agenda and Walcott supported that agenda as a deputy mayor. Comment.

Ferreras decries baby shaking

Teaming up with child-care professionals, City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) warned a crowd of about 30 people at IS 149 last Thursday of the dangers of shaking a baby. Comment.

NYPD cracks down on trucks in Maspeth

Drivers who weave oversized trucks through the residential streets of Maspeth got an unwelcome surprise two weeks in a row when police handed out a slew of traffic tickets, much to the delight of residents. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Corona man guilty of attempted murder

A 67-year-old Corona man who tried to cut his 45-year-old wife’s throat with a hunting knife while she slept was found guilty of attempted murder and other charges by a jury last week, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Jamaica Estates home gets OK for expansion

Community Board 8 gave its approval for the owner of a Jamaica Estates single-family home to enlarge the dwelling’s second floor and attic and also voted in favor of extending a special permit for a Fresh Meadows women’s gym during its monthly meeting last week. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

City DOE places limit on temporary student move 9th grade class waiting for completion of Maspeth HS will spend only one year at Metropolitan Campus

Lawmakers and Forest Hills parents got a piece of good news this week after the city released a statement officially placing a one-year limit on a highly unpopular temporary relocation of a high school class at the Metropolitan Campus. Comment.

Church asks Vatican to handle priest case

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is appealing to a higher authority in the case of a Forest Hills priest who was stripped of his post last year. Comments (1).

New mixed-use Flushing complex to include hotel

A major new mixed-use development broke ground last week in downtown Flushing. Comment.

Ackerman gets visa for mom to see killer sentenced

The mother of a young woman sexually assaulted and brutally killed in a downtown Flushing alleyway in May will get to see her murderer sentenced next week. Comment.

Flushing sign debate rages on

The contentious debate over what to do about downtown Flushing businesses that do not have signs in English flared up again last week. Comment.
Crime

Man hit another with bat in Murray Hill: DA

MURRAY HILL — A Connecticut man was arraigned on charges of assault, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment last week after he allegedly hit a man in the head with a bat in Murray Hill Feb. 18, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.
Editorial

A Worthy Investment

At first blush, the city’s plan to invest $65 million on the expansion of the Queens Museum of Art may appear hard to justify. The groundbreaking for the cultural museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park took place at the same time the city is talking about laying off teachers. Comment.
Bayside Times

St. Mary’s Hospital kids use recycling to recuperate

Excited youngsters at St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital in Bayside got the opportunity Friday to express their creative side through an arts-and-crafts activity that was therapeutic for both the patients and the environment. Comment.

Pantries kick into high gear

Passover is one of the most celebrated Jewish traditions, but the days surrounding the holiday highlight unique challenges for kosher food banks in Forest Hills and around the borough. Comment.

Top U.S. atty owed $4K tax in E. Elmhurst

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his brother were recently found to have neglected to pay more than $4,000 plus interest in property taxes on their childhood home in East Elmhurst, but the Department of Justice said Holder’s brother settled the debt last week. Comment.

CB 12 chairwoman loses her post

Community Board 12’s former chairwoman said she was shocked that she was removed from the board unexpectedly but will not let her firing diminish her drive to improve the quality of life for the community. Comment.

Flushing library fetes Fair Housing Act’s 43 years

City Human Rights Commissioner Patricia Gatling commemorated the 43rd anniversary of the federal Fair Housing Act Monday afternoon at the Flushing branch of the Queens Library. Comment.

Tax protesters take aim at Bell Blvd. Citibank

With federal budget talks on their minds, protesters gathered outside the Citibank branch at the corner of Bell Boulevard and 39th Avenue in Bayside Monday to draw attention to what they claimed are unfair corporate tax practices. Comment.

Bayside angler talks fishing

A Bayside man has a big fish story to tell. Comment.

New Lions Club comes to Bayside

Familiar names are popping up in northeast Queens. Comment.

Avella leads Albany fight for legislative term limits

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) held a meeting with reporters last week to discuss his first 100 days in office as a state legislator and some of his plans for the immediate future. Avella, who served two terms in the City Council prior to being elected to the Senate in November, expressed some frustration with adjusting to the bureaucracy of Albany. Comment.
Crime

Man critical in hospital after hit by car: Police

RICHMOND HILL — A man was in critical condition at Jamaica Hospital after being struck by a car Friday, the NYPD said. Comment.
Crime

USPS worker hit in head with phone book: Cops

ASTORIA — Police were searching for a man who assaulted an on-duty postal worker April 7, hitting him in the head so hard with a telephone book that he had to be taken to an area hospital. Comment.
Crime

Glendale woman, 71, has gone missing: Police

GLENDALE — The NYPD was looking for a 71-year-old Glendale woman who has been missing since Monday at around 1 p.m. near her home near 73rd Street and Myrtle Avenue. Comment.
Crime

Corrections worker killed mother of his child: DA

RIDGEWOOD — More than 10 years after a mother was shot eight times in the head and left on the floor of a Ridgewood gymnasium, a city corrections officer has been charged with the murder, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Crime

Astoria Super 8 robbed at gunpoint: Police

ASTORIA — The NYPD was searching for a man who entered a motel in Astoria carrying a gun and robbed it last month. Comment.
Letters

Cost of living rising under Bloomberg’s reign

I am 95 years old, have lived through two world wars and economic catastrophes, outlived most of my children and am a widow on a fixed income. Comment.
Letters

Ackerman should make presence known in his Assembly district

As a taxpayer who just paid my taxes, I sat and asked myself what I am getting for them. My first question was, “What is my congressman doing for those taxes?” Comment.
Letters

Redistricting strengthens democracy

An open letter to state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck). Comment.
Letters

EDC must tread lightly on issue of Van Wyck Expwy. ramp in suit

City Economic Development Corp. spokeswoman Julie Wood’s belief that the EDC did nothing improper in initiating eminent domain proceedings, notwithstanding a prior commitment by state Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden not do so until it received state and federal approval for ramps onto the Van Wyck Expressway, is another example of the antithesis of good government in which the EDC has been operating in the matter of the Willets Point proposal (“Judge might reopen Willets suit against city,” Flushing Times, April 7-13). Comment.
Letters

Schools should never be run as if they were corporations

If your child is enrolled at a New York City public school, rest assured he or she is receiving a substandard education. This statement may sound alarming, but it is true. Teachers unions are under attack nationwide. The agenda being pushed by the wealthiest Americans via our elected officials is to destroy unions, privatize public schools and turn teaching into a low-income, low-skilled, high-turnover job. Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Queens GOP gears up for district leader races in off year

This year in Queens, there are few races for public office other than county district attorney and a few judgeships. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Former pol comes back for visit at boro spring dinner

Did everyone get their taxes done and filed on time, or did you have to file for an extension? Did you ever notice at this time of the year how everyone swears they are never again going to put themselves through all this pressure and tension? They all swear they are going to get it together and will be better organized and record everything in order to avoid the last-minute insanity. Comment.
Business

Brothers give Bayside a taste of Vietnam

A Vietnamese restaurant has just opened in Bayside, and though many other eateries may use the word “authentic” in their advertising, the owners of Mekong East, at 43-13 Bell Blvd., are actually from east of the Mekong River. Comment.
Astoria Times

No endless summer for Water Taxi Beach

It’s been named one of the top party beaches in the world by a major magazine and was featured in a popular reality TV show, but employees at Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City are nevertheless preparing not to open this summer or for any future summers. Comment.

Walcott wins chancellor waiver

New city Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott visited his alma mater, Francis Lewis HS, last Thursday, where he touted the school for balancing its large class size with special programs that attract some of the brightest students in the city. Comment.

St. John’s Hospital mixed-space plan nixed by Dept. of Buildings

The city Department of Buildings rejected plans filed by a Brooklyn architecture firm to develop the shuttered St. John’s Queens Hospital in Elmhurst, saying the proposal as submitted lacked crucial information. Comment.

Specialty schools fret loss of trained teachers

Teacher layoffs have been at the heart of a heated debate about cuts to the city’s education budget, but those layoffs could have farther-reaching consequences for schools with unique curriculums like Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in Forest Hills. Comment.

Boro residents sue SS judges on claims

A group of Queens residents has filed a class-action lawsuit alleging five judges in the borough are biased against disabled residents and consistently deny applicants Social Security benefits. Comment.

City rent regulations face new Albany test

Thousands of Queens apartments are under rent regulations, but state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) says renters live on a slippery slope because of what he calls loopholes that favor landlords. Comment.
Astoria Times

Man guilty of burning ex-girlfriend

A Brooklyn man who splashed gasoline on his ex-girlfriend and a Queensbridge Houses building, then set them both on fire was convicted of attempted murder and arson last Thursday, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.

Bayside kids’ paper cranes help Japan rebuild

Laurie Oates’ third-grade classroom at PS 159 in Bayside was full of origami cranes last week: blue cranes and gold ones, some big and some small, cranes made out of smooth, thin origami paper and some made of pieces of salvaged cardboard. Comment.

Workers say pay at ballplayer’s eatery not so Amazin’

A waiter from Astoria and a Woodside bartender filed a class-action lawsuit in Manhattan federal court Friday against a restaurant co-owned by New York Mets player Carlos Beltran, alleging the eatery underpaid them while they worked there. Comment.

Mets hurlers read to students at PS 92 in Corona

Teachers at PS 92 might have thought Mr. Met is a little too good at his job. Comment.

Boro’s ‘Last Don’ testifies

Joseph Massino, the Howard Beach Mafia boss who ran operations of the Bonnano crime family often out of a restaurant in Maspeth was in court to testify against his subordinate last week. Comment.

Greek church gets payback

Rev. Michael Kontogiorgis could well have yelled “Bingo!” after receiving a check last week for $830,000. Comment.
Astoria Times

Pol challenges kids to read

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Library Card Act, which made it mandatory for the city Department of Education to distribute library-card applications to students citywide, the law’s creator, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) hand-delivered cards to PS 199 students last Thursday. Comment.

Schneiderman may sue feds over hydrofracking

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is threatening to sue the federal government if it does not decide within 30 days to conduct an environmental review of proposed regulations that would allow natural gas drilling, otherwise known as hydrofracking, in the Delaware River Basin. Comment.

Hevesi gets jail time for kickbacks

He used to be state comptroller, but now Forest Hills resident Alan Hevesi is known as Inmate 11-R-1334. Comment.

Soccer club seeks more play time at College Pt. Fields

The founder of a new youth soccer league based in northeast Queens said Monday its 243 players are being shortchanged by the city Parks Department. Comment.

Liu’s audit slams carousel operator

Exactly a week after the city Parks Department issued a request for proposals to operate two vintage carousels in the borough, the city comptroller’s office released a scathing audit of the concessionaire who used to run both sites. Comment.

Asian-American panel views domestic violence

The seemingly intractable scourge of domestic violence among Asian Americans was front and center at a panel discussion last week in Flushing. Comment.

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