News

Monday, Jan. 31, 2011

Whitestone Times

College Point man sentenced to 12 years for anti-gay attack

The second of two admitted hate crime offenders identified in the case of the vicious beating and robbery of an openly gay man last year in College Point was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison. Comment.
Ridgewood

Markey takes oath for her seventh term

The inauguration ceremony for state Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Maspeth), who has represented her western Queens district since 1998, drew Democratic leaders and friends to the gala affair Sunday at Frank Kowalinski American Legion Post No. 4 at 61-57 Maspeth Ave. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Whitestone graffiti tagger nabbed: Cops

Police arrested a teenager last week for allegedly producing graffiti in at least four locations in Whitestone and Auburndale, but on another front they said auto thefts have increased throughout the 109th Precinct so far this year. Comment.
Ridgewood

CEC 24 to rezone district

District 24 Community Education Council voted Tuesday to shift the zone boundaries of six Glendale schools for the coming school year to alleviate overcrowding and create a new elementary school in the process. Comment.
Crime

Snowball fight becomes New Year’s fistfight: DA

CAMBRIA HEIGHTS — New Year’s Eve turned bad for one Cambria Heights man. Comment.
Crime

Cambria Heights teen missing from home

CAMBRIA HEIGHTS — Police have asked for the public’s assistance in finding a 14-year-old boy reported missing from a home in Cambria Heights. Comment.
Crime

Cops seek killer in Far Rock stabbing murder

FAR ROCKAWAY — Police were searching for a suspect Tuesday in connection with a murder inside apartment 3G at 22-88 Mott Ave. in Far Rockaway. Comment.
Laurelton

Vicious thief to serve 90-year jail sentence

A St. Albans man will be spending nearly a century behind bars for burglarizing several homes and assaulting two of the owners, including a woman who was six months pregnant, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Jamaica man convicted of 2006 Hollis murder

A Jamaica man was convicted Friday of not only gunning down a teen nearly five years ago but also of robbing another man at gunpoint months later, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

French’s mom wants justice for her daughter

When Chanel French, 21, came to Queens last summer to visit her father, everything “seemed great,” as her mother said. A military school graduate who had gone to the Camp Pendleton base in Virginia Beach, Va., French had dreams of working with mentally disabled children in hospitals. Comment.

Liu talks pensions at CB 13

City Comptroller John Liu said the mayor over-emphasized the effect the rising costs of pensions will have on the city’s budget deficit during a meeting of Community Board 13 Monday. Comment.

Widow to sue Police Dept.

A Queens Village widow plans to take on the NYPD after she claimed two officers forced her husband to walk half a mile home in the cold for identification after stopping his van and he had a heart attack on the way. Comment.
Editorial

Changing Name Changes Nothing

The city Department of Education has announced that the Gateway program will be one of the schools that will replace Jamaica High School next year. Although a city councilman and state assemblyman from Fresh Meadows have praised the proposal, we remain unimpressed. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Chhaya targets new buyers

Chhaya Community Development Corp., a Jackson Heights nonprofit aimed at serving the South Asian community, is holding a Home Buyer Fair this weekend. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Film doc, art exhibit highlight SJU Founder’s Week

From Queens, Long Island and Staten Island to Paris and Rome, St. John’s University kicked off numerous events this week as part of the college’s 17th-annual observance of Founder’s Week on its five campuses. Comment.

Residents, pols support Jamaica HS at rowdy hearing

Students, teachers and supporters of Jamaica High School made it loud and clear to representatives of the city Department of Education that they would do everything in their power to stop the city’s attempt at another shutdown of their campus. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Ex-Queensites pen book on history of Fresh Mdws.

Two former residents of the Fresh Meadows development are writing a book about it and the surrounding neighborhoods. Fred Cantor and Debra Davidson have arranged with Arcadia Publishing to write a book, as part of Arcadia’s popular “Images of America” series, which chronicles the history of American communities. The publication will be a photo album of the post-war period in Fresh Meadows, which captures the memories of the era and location. Comment.

S. Ozone Park man guilty of sex trafficking

A 25-year-old South Ozone Park man who was the first person in the state to be charged under the sex trafficking statute pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and other charges last week for prostituting three young women, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Nassau man charged in two 112th robberies

Police arrested a man Sunday in two robberies that police believe are connected to a string of purse snatchings in the 112th Precinct. And the man’s suspected accomplice is still at large, according to the Queens district attorney and the NYPD, who drew ire from the community about their handling of the case. Comment.

Snow doesn’t stop Grimaldi’s from baking

City officials were skewered over the response to the Dec. 26 blizzard at a hearing in Queens Friday, but amid all the bad news in the wake of the storm, there was at least one untold success story involving a legendary Ridgewood bakery. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Cops to crack down on bikers

Officers at the 112th Precinct will start ticketing the neighborhood’s bikers who break the rules of the road, saying in many cases it is for their own good. Comment.

Pomonok mom against plea deal for suspect

The mother of slain Pomonok Houses resident Laseam Hogan is heading to the Kew Gardens courthouse Thursday in hopes that her son’s suspected killer does not take a 22-year plea deal offered by prosecutors. Comment.
Flushing Times

Mets help unveil baseball-themed NYHQ room for kids

Several members of the New York Mets organization stopped by New York Hospital Queens last week for the unveiling of a brand new room aimed at making children’s hospital stays a little easier. Comment.

Meng unveils Flushing biz language guide

The offerings of downtown Flushing’s commercial district may soon be a little easier for people of all nationalities to navigate, thanks to a new community guide put together by a local advisory board led by state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing). Comment.

Renovations planned for College Point Blvd.

Two roads at the west end of Flushing are getting a makeover. Comment.
Flushing Times

109th Pct. mints new panel to improve Asian relations

The 109th Precinct is working to ensure that its officers and the diverse communities they serve understand one another and are well-equipped to work together to keep their neighborhoods safe. Comment.
Crime

Bank robbery turns out to be less than expected

BAYSIDE — Police reported a stickup at the Citibank at 39-01 Bell Blvd. at around noon Friday, but the holdup turned out to be fiction. Comment.
Editorial

‘Fine and Dandy’

At the RKO Keith’s Theatre in downtown Flushing, it is once again two steps forward and one step back. Comment.

Whitestoner accused of theft

The registered sex offender recently expelled as a volunteer at St. Mel’s School in Flushing was back behind bars this week for allegedly bilking St. Mel’s Church out of thousands of dollars, according to the Queens district attorney. Comment.

E. Asian instruments arrive at Qns. College

Queens College took possession last week of about 20 pieces of Balinese instruments known as a gamelan that the college said would enhance its music program and help its students appreciate an obscure culture. Comment.

Padavan suffers mild stroke at his Queens home

Former state Sen. Frank Padavan has suffered a “very minor stroke,” according to Bill Coddington of Douglaston, a childhood friend who has visited him twice in the hospital since the incident. Comment.

Little Neck students advance to city wide robotics contest

For a group of students from MS 67 in Little Neck, their love of robots has landed them first place in a borough-wide competition, a chance to compete in an upcoming citywide contest and, perhaps best of all, the opportunity to lend their efforts to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Comment.

MTA to increase Q12 service, make cuts to Q4, Q26 routes

Queens patrons of MTA bus lines will see both cuts and additions in service with the arrival of spring, although the cuts in the borough will be fewer than the improvements. Comment.

Braunstein thanks voters at inauguration

Queens leaders gathered in Auburndale Sunday afternoon to ring in the beginning of Ed Braunstein’s career as a state assemblyman. Comment.

Rape trial of Bayside pastor on in March

The trial for the Bayside pastor who faces charges of raping an underage girl who is related to him is expected to start in March, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Haitian brothers reflect on moving to Queens Village

Two Haitian brothers who miraculously got out of their crumbling home alive during last year’s earthquake in the impoverished country said moving to Queens Village and attending Bayside High School has been a smooth transition for both of them. Comment.

Bayside Historical brings past to kids

The Bayside Historical Society will early next month unveil its new gallery space where children can learn about everyday life in Queens at the beginning of the 1900s. Comment.

Police arrest Nassau man sought in string of Flushing robberies

Police hope that a recent string of brutal robberies in Flushing, Murray Hill, Forest Hills and Rego Park has been curbed with the arrest Friday of a Nassau County suspect. Comment.
Crime

Two men fail in stealing items from car: Brown

RIDGEWOOD — A Ridgewood man and a Brooklyn resident were arraigned on attempted grand larceny, attempted criminal possession of stolen property and other charges after they allegedly ransacked a car and tried to steal a shovel and coffee bean set, a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.
Crime

Man steals, redeems lotto tickets in Astoria

ASTORIA — He must have thought it was his lucky day. Comment.
Crime

Woman, 19, sexually assaulted in Astoria

ASTORIA — Police have asked the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect wanted for committing sexual assault in Astoria. Comment.
Letters

Americans need the health-care law, and Obama must fight for it

As a political junkie, I read every newspaper — unlike Sarah Palin — and watch both Fox and MSNBC. It has become more apparent in the discussion and shameful votes the House Republicans placed on repealing the health-care law Jan. 19 is only an indication of what U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said on the floor of Congress: “We have to repeal this president.” Comment.
Letters

Prevent GOP from repealing health-care reform legislation

The GOP is gearing up for this week’s U.S. House of Representatives vote on repealing the health-care bill — and the time for us to take a stand is now. We need to be clear about what Republicans are trying to do: take away health care from 32 million uninsured Americans who have no other lifeline. These folks — our family, friends, neighbors, loved ones — need us to advocate for them, to speak out strongly and compassionately. Comment.
Letters

Halloran needs to find answers to blizzard blunder

The claims of our city councilman, Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), regarding a deliberate slowdown by the city Sanitation Department in cleaning up the accumulated snow after the Dec. 26 blizzard, ring out as no less than true. My point of view is born out by some observations in my neighborhood at that time. Comment.
Letters

Malba Gardens civic cries foul over survey review

With regards to Chuck Apelian’s comments that Feinstein Iron Works take out a full-page ad in two local newspapers apologizing to him and Community Board 7 for his honest comments (“CB 7, Feinstein make amends after Willets clashes,” Jan. 20), it is amazing he would have the audacity to make such demands. After all, he is a public official in his roles as vice chairman of CB 7 and the CB 7 land use chairman. Comment.
Editorial

Short Term Pain, Long Term Gain

The state budget ax is about to fall and, barring some sort of miracle, Queens will feel its share of the pain. It is rumored that in his Feb. 1 budget address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will call for the layoffs of 5,000 to 15,000 state workers. Comment.
Opinion

QueensLine: Jackson Hts. the birthplace for shock jock Howard Stern

One of the most outlandish, controversial and successful radio personalities of all time, Howard Allan Stern was born in Jackson Heights on Jan. 12, 1954. His parents, Ben and Ray Stern, who were both children of immigrants from Austria-Hungary, also had a daughter named Ellen, born four years before Howard. In 1955, the Stern family moved to Roosevelt, L.I., where Howard would later attend Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Queens LGBT dinner-dance draws big names from Dems

This month has gone by rather rapidly. Can you believe it’s already the end of the month? Comment.

Queens leaders blasé on State of City talk

Mayor Michael Bloomberg touted Queens’ capital projects and announced his plan to bring the chance to hail a cab to the outer boroughs in his 2011 State of the City address, but the annual speech left some Queens legislators unimpressed. Comment.

Boro faces challenges: Beep

Queens got its annual checkup from Borough President Helen Marshall Tuesday when she delivered her State of the Borough address at the Colden Auditorium at Queens College and the diagnosis was mixed with a rise in crime offset by new additions to crowded hospitals. Comment.

DOE results unfair: CEC Ed council wants audit of process to determine underused schools

Community District Education Council 30 unanimously passed a resolution at its meeting last Thursday demanding the city Department of Education stop determining if schools are underused until city Comptroller John Liu completes his audit of the process. Comment.

Queens Dems back Pheffer for county clerk

Queens Democrats have recommended state Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Rockaway Beach) for Queens County clerk to fill the post left vacant by the death of Gloria D’Amico. Comment.

State gives approval to repower plant in Astoria

Astoria took another step closer toward cleaner air quality last Thursday when the state gave approval to NRG Astoria Power LLC to repower its plant on 20th Avenue. The estimated $1.4 billion project would increase the plant’s capacity from generating 600 megawatts to 1,040 megawatts while also decreasing its emissions, particularly during peak hours. Comment.

LIRR says it will be ready for next transit emergency

After frustrated straphangers criticized the Long Island Rail Road following the Dec. 26 blizzard, the MTA has announced it will institute an emergency service plan whenever extreme conditions arise in order to keep commuters better informed about service changes. Comment.
Astoria Times

Woodside man gets 33 years for hit plot

A Woodside inmate at Riker’s Island who attempted to hire a hitman to murder two people who had witnessed him killing a man was sentenced to 33 years in prison Jan. 19, the DA’s office said. Comment.

FBI mob raid targets four boro murders

Federal agents arrested nearly 100 suspected mobsters last week in the largest organized crime bust in FBI history and among the cases are four murders that occurred in Queens over the last 30 years. Comment.

LIC man admits to deadly hit-run

The Long Island City drunk driver who struck and killed a 52-year-old Elmhurst man riding a scooter last year pleaded guilty to felony manslaughter Jan. 18, the Queens district attorney’s office said. He will be sentenced March 1, the DA said. Comment.

Needy Ravenswood woman struggles to get city’s help

Elba Kercado, 55, is a single mother of three. She raised her daughters during the 1980s and ’90s, even though her own mother and father lived more than 1,500 miles away and knew nothing of her day-to-day existence. Comments (1).

Jamaica’s Hostess factory workers face unsure future

After the closing of the Hostess Co.’s Wonder Bread factory in Jamaica last week, many of the plant’s 175 former workers were left wondering what they would do next. Comment.

City’s outreach brings boro’s homeless out of cold

A city agency scoured the borough earlier this week for homeless residents on the street who were in danger due to the frigid temperatures. Comment.

Boro blizzard hearing finds city could have done better

Dozens of community leaders urged the City Council not only to find the reasons behind the paralysis caused by the Christmas weekend blizzard, but also to reassure them and residents that it will not happen again. Comment.

Pols take oath at iconic museum Inaugurations for Congress, state Legislature posts feature old hands, new blood

Gathered together on stage at the Museum of the Moving Image and surrounded by their mentors and colleagues in government, Astoria’s federal and state legislators — one returning to a long-held post, two ascending to new ones — were ceremonially sworn in last Thursday. Comment.

Ackerman slams health law repeal

Hundreds of thousands of residents from northeast Queens would be negatively affected by the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote last week to repeal the sweeping health-care reform that became law last year, Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) said. Comment.

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