News

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011

Ridgewood

Qns men ran betting ring in Ridgewood apt.: DA

A group of western Queens men were charged with running an illegal sports betting operation out of a Ridgewood apartment, the Queens DA said. Comment.
Queens Village

City cuts close Originals day care

Day-care workers are pushing the city to restore funding to one of the longest-running facilities in Jamaica which shut its doors last week because it did not have the money to renew its lease. Comment.
Ridgewood

Boro auto theft ring shut down by police

Six people who allegedly ran an auto-theft ring in Queens over the past year could face up to 25 years in prison, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Little Neck Ledger

Douglaston Historical raises money for future

The Douglaston Historical Society raised $20,000 during an event Friday showcasing old photos of the neighborhood from 1925-45. Comment.
Laurelton

Man shot friend in back, faces jail time for murder

A Queens judge sentenced a Rosedale man to 24 years to life in prison last week for killing a teen in Springfield Park nearly four years ago, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Laurelton

Sex offender charged in murder of Laurelton man at his home

A Brooklyn sex offender was arrested and arraigned last week for allegedly stabbing and killing a 40-year-old Laurelton man on the evening of Feb. 4, the Kings County district attorney’s office said. Comment.

Schumer decries loose pilot regulation plan

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has complained to the Federal Aviation Administration that airlines are trying to water down rules against using fatigued pilots that he championed. Comment.

Rug merchant broke Iran embargo: Feds

An Iranian immigrant who ran a carpet store in Rosedale was convicted last week in a bench trial of violating the trade embargo between the United States and his homeland by transferring nearly $300,000 there illegally, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan said. Comments (1).

Rochdale coach sexually abused his players: DA

The coach of the Rochdale Village Little League team has been accused of sexually abusing young athletes in his home for nearly two years and the authorities are trying to investigate just how long this illicit activity has been going on, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Laurelton

Elderly man’s body found in Laurelton fire

A dead man found on the Laurelton block that went up in flames Monday afternoon did not perish as a result of the three-alarm blaze, but the fire did damage five homes, the authorities said. Comment.
Laurelton

DOB yanks motel’s permits

A developer’s plan to build a controversial motel near Springfield Gardens High School was blocked by the city Friday just weeks after the community was alerted that the construction was continuing. Comment.

Quinn pushes legislation to ease parking

While the DMV is preparing to crack down on cell phone use by drivers, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) said she hopes to give motorists trying to park in the city a break. Comment.

City to reveal traffic plans

The city will take its first steps toward curbing excess truck traffic in Maspeth at a meeting next week, ten years after Community Board 5 pointed out the problem. Comment.

Duos in love after decades

Bill and Carol Miller met in July 1960 on a blind date, got engaged within two weeks and were married six months later. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Marc Haken of CB 8 nominated for service award

Community Board 8 member Marc Haken was nominated for the Brooke Russell Astor Award, which is given by the New York Public Library to an “unsung hero” of the city, it was announced during CB 8’s meeting last week. Comment.

Dist. 28 fights student influx

About 100 parents, students and officials packed an auditorium at the District 28 Metropolitan High School in Forest Hills last week and many voiced opposition to the temporary placement of ninth graders from Maspeth in the building. Comment.

Parish not told priest never charged Our Lady Queen of Martyrs parishioners want public exoneration of Dempsey

No charges were ever filed against a popular Forest Hills priest who was investigated by federal officials last year amid allegations he looked at child pornography on the Internet, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

CB 6 wants to be briefed by city before DOT proposes bike lanes

Community leaders in Forest Hills and Rego Park are already preparing for a contentious addition to the neighborhood — bike lanes — though a single line has yet to be planned or painted. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

Station Square Apartments scaffolding to come down

The green scaffolding that was erected seven years ago and still covers the tower of Station Square Apartments at the Forest Hills Long Island Rail Road stop is set to come down this year. Comment.

Community hopeful on Atlas Pk’s future

As Macerich, the owner of Queens Center Mall, prepares to assume control of The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale at the end of the month, there is no shortage of opinions on what direction the new landlord should take with the troubled shopping center. Comment.

Jax Hts. man admits guilt in boro slay

The Jackson Heights man accused of sexually assaulting and brutally killing a new Chinese immigrant in a downtown Flushing alleyway pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Monday afternoon. Comment.

Flushing Mall to be torn down for parking space when construction of Flushing Commons begins

The Flushing Mall is slated to be demolished next year to clear space for interim parking while the $850 million mixed-use Flushing Commons development is under construction in downtown Flushing. Comment.
Crime

Boro man tailgates, then kicks victim’s car: Brown

FRESH MEADOWS — Police arrested a motorist last Thursday morning for allegedly wrecking another person’s car during a road rage incident, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.
Crime

Flushing man, 77, killed while crossing street

FLUSHING — An elderly man was killed on Valentine’s Day as he was crossing the street near Queens College, police said. Comment.
Editorial

Save the Mets

Could the New York Mets go broke? Two years after opening Citi Field, Mets co-owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz are on the brink of financial disaster because the team was built in large part with profits earned from investments made with Bernard Madoff. If that happens, it will not be just the Wilpons who suffer. Comment.

CB 7 votes for RKO Keith’s redevelopment

One of the grand institutions of downtown Flushing is one step closer to returning to life after Community Board 7 approved a proposal Monday night for the redevelopment of the long-shuttered RKO Keith’s Theatre. Comment.

Padavan to be lauded at annual GOP event

The Queens Village Republican Club is set to honor former state Sen. Frank Padavan as part of its 137th-anniversary Lincoln Day Dinner. Comment.

New Greek restaurant on Bell a family affair

Queens residents who want to have a real home-cooked Greek meal need not travel to Athens since the delicacies of that land can be tasted right here in Bayside. Comment.

Teen beats sickle cell ailment

Hunter Haymore struggled with sickle cell anemia for all of her 14 years until an anonymous miracle bone marrow donor surfaced late last year to virtually cure her of the disease. Comment.

Dershowitz argues appeal for Borukhova

Civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz and a Queens prosecutor squared off before a panel of Appellate Court judges last week to argue over the conviction of Daniel Malakov’s murderous estranged wife. Comment.

Bayside Chinese immigrant pleads guilty to $200K fraud

A 34-year-old Bayside man has pleaded guilty to what federal authorities said was a scheme that siphoned more than $200,000 from financial institutions involving maxed-out credit card accounts. Comment.

Franco gets OK for White House catering hall plan

The White House, a landmark Whitestone restaurant, is poised to be renovated and transformed into a large catering hall after Community Board 7 voted Monday to support a rezoning proposed by its new owner, who ran Caffé on the Green in Bayside for many years. Comment.

111th Precinct officers push residents to be safer on bikes

The 111th Precinct is getting the word out about bike safety in time for spring. Comment.
Crime

Burglar steals computer from Maspeth biz: DA

MASPETH — A 47-year-old man was arraigned last week for allegedly burglarizing a stairs factory in November, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.
Crime

96-year-old robbed, pushed to ground: Cops

ASTORIA — Police have been looking for a man who they say robbed and assaulted a senior citizen last week. Comment.
Crime

Sunnyside man busts girlfriend’s apt. door: DA

WOODSIDE — A Sunnyside man was arrested last week for allegedly going on a rampage at his girlfriend’s apartment, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.
Letters

Council housing caucus calls for exemption from flip taxes

I am writing with good news for New York City’s co-ops and condos that have flip taxes to maintain the property. I received notification from the Federal Housing Finance Agency that its proposed rule on private transfer fees includes an exception for fees paid to homeowner associations, condominiums and cooperatives, which use the proceeds to benefit the property. The initial proposal would have effectively forced local co-ops and condos to eliminate their transfer fees, known as “flip taxes,” and I contacted the FHFA seeking the exception. Comment.
Letters

Clean your fire hydrants of snow and ice

I would like to thank whoever got the fire hydrant on my block cleared out. I called my daughter’s father to come over and asked him to shovel it out, and when he went across the street the fire hydrant had already been shoveled out. Comment.
Letters

Black must resign as chancellor of school system over remarks

The person masquerading as the city schools chancellor has a bad case of “hoof-in-mouth” disease. Her quip, “Could we just have some birth control for awhile? It could really help us all out a lot” is the perfect example of how unqualified she is to deal with parents in this educational system. Comment.
Letters

Bloomberg admin devious over how it uses eminent domain

An integral part of the Bloomberg administration’s misguided Willets Point project is the use of ramps to and from the Van Wyck Expressway to handle the expected huge increase of vehicular traffic the project will cause. Even without the project the Van Wyck and Grand Central Parkway are currently often clogged. The traffic issue as yet has not been resolved nor approved by the Federal Highway Administration. Comment.
Letters

MTA should bring back QM22 with improved schedule

This past June, our express bus, the QM22, was discontinued by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bus Co. Although the QM22, from Jackson Heights to midtown Manhattan, had just two trips in each direction per weekday, the discontinuation of the QM22 shows the lack of thought put into the MTA’s service cut proposals. Comment.
Letters

Jamaica HS can be improved if kept open and treated better

I wanted to take the opportunity to voice my concerns about what has clearly been the systemic destruction of Jamaica High School by the city Department of Education. I speak not only as an elected official, but as the parent of two public school students and a proud alumnus of Jamaica High. Comment.
Editorial

Who Decides Who Should Go?

The thought that the city may be forced to lay off teachers in public schools is disturbing. Classes are already overcrowded. Nevertheless, if Gov. Andrew Cuomo cuts $1.5 billion in public school aid, the city may have no other choice. The mayor, the United Federation of Teachers and the City Council are hoping it does not come to that. It may be that there will be no other way to close the budget gap. Comment.
Opinion

Our History: Irish immigrant had role in creating country’s navy

Very few, if any, are aware of the role of an early Irish immigrant who became a close and almost indispensable friend to President George Washington — and worthy to be called “Father of the American Navy.” Comment.
Opinion

Political Action: Borough’s public colleges face crunch as state battles deficit

In a recent interview I conducted with state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone), she reaffirmed her support for state government financial assistance for prospective public college students. She pointed out that most of that money comes from the Tuition Assistance Program, which gives tuition grants to students who cannot afford ever-increasing tuition costs. Comment.
Opinion

Dishing with Dee: Queens group’s Chef of the Year event truly scrumptious

There were two interesting events we attended this week. The first was at Terrace on the Park. It was the annual fund-raiser for the Benefit of Queens Centers for Progress, formerly known as the Queens Cerebral Palsy Center. The organization provides services for people with developmental disabilities and it does a great job carrying out its mission. Comment.
Business

Bayside eatery touts its dine-in experience

Vicky Chen said she had little concerns about managing her first restaurant, but the numerous Bayside visitors who have been frequenting China Bell since it opened last month has increased her confidence. Comment.

Willets businesses get eminent domain docs

The nine Willets Point business owners in the first phase of a $3 billion redevelopment plan who have not signed purchase agreements with the city received eminent domain notices from the city Economic Development Corp. Monday. Comment.

GOP’s cuts would doom boro: Weiner

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) said the budget proposal unveiled by congressional Republicans would devastate Queens if enacted, saying $167 million in aid to the borough would be cut if they had their way. Comment.

Van Bramer pens pipeline safety bill after Pa. disaster

In response to last week’s natural gas pipeline explosion in Allentown, Pa., City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) touted legislation Tuesday that he and his colleagues in government were writing to prevent the same thing from happening in western Queens, statewide and nationally. Comment.

Ed board blasts DOE plan

One month after unanimously passing a resolution to temporarily stop the city Department of Education from designating schools as underused, Community District Education Council 30 voted last Thursday to oppose the DOE’s stance that four of the district’s schools could take in more students. Comment.
Astoria Times

Silvercup sues hotel over copyright issue

Prominent Long Island City film studio company Silvercup Studios is suing a Manhattan developer who plans to open a hotel with a similar name close by. But the developer, despite changing the hotel’s name, denied any copyright infringement in papers filed in Brooklyn federal court last month. Comment.

Light at the end of the tunnel for Qns. blackout victims Energy giant funds various environmental projects in borough as payback for 2006 outage

Fifteen community organizations specializing in the environment and education officially received $3 million in grants last Thursday as part of a 2008 settlement paid by the Con Edison utility for the 2006 blackout, which left swaths of western Queens without power for 10 days. Comment.

Astorians celebrate resignation of Mubarak

The cafés and sidewalks of Little Egypt in Astoria were alive with jubilation in the minutes after it was announced Friday that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had stepped down from the office he held for more than three decades. Comment.

Madoff not a big donor: North Shore-LIJ

Buried on the 136th page of the 365-page complaint filed against the owners of the New York Mets by the trustee of Bernard Madoff’s bankruptcy case is a sentence saying Madoff made “large donations” to the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, where Mets co-owner Saul Katz was a former chairman of the board. Comment.

Boro woman slain in Astoria pharmacy: Cops

The brother of murdered Pomonok resident Guimmia Villia placed a single rose Friday by a makeshift memorial filled with candles outside Crescent Chemists, where Villia was fatally shot in the head, police said. Comment.

City picks Hunters Pt. developer

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said Monday that Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement that the city has chosen a developer and accepted a proposal for the first phase of Hunters Point South is yet another promising step in the ongoing revitalization of Long Island City. Comment.

Bloomy testifies in case against John Haggerty

A Manhattan assistant district attorney said Mayor Michael Bloomberg testified before a grand jury in the case of a once-trusted political operative from Queens who is accused of stealing $1.1 million of the mayor’s money, according to a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office. Comment.

Flushing Lunar New Year parade celebrates Qns. diversity Annual event draws in huge crowd of revelers from all over the borough with music, art and fun

The Flushing Lunar New Year Parade celebrated the history and culture of Chinese and Korean residents, but that did not stop revelers of other backgrounds from coming out Saturday to ring in the Year of the Rabbit. Comment.

Immigrants receiving restored Dromm funds

Joined by prominent members of immigrant organizations with offices in Jackson Heights, City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) announced last week that $4.5 million he had restored to the city budget for immigrant programs has begun to be delivered to recipients. Comment.

23% of corrupt ex-Albany pols from boro: Report

Of the 13 legislators who left office due to scandal or ethical misconduct from 2005-10, nearly a quarter of them were from Queens, according to a report released Monday by good government group Citizens Union on turnover in the state Legislature. Comment.

Vallone warns of rise in crime at precinct meeting

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), chairman of the Council Public Safety Committee, passionately made the case for boosting the city’s law enforcement capabilities and resources at the 109th Precinct Community Council’s meeting last week. Comment.

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