Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Neighborhood record store set to open in Astoria

Neighborhood record stores have been in decline for over two decades, but one Astoria resident believes they’re ready for a comeback. That is why Javi Velasquez is ready to open HiFi Records at 23-19 Steinway St. early next month. According to Nielsen, U.S. album sales between January and March of this year were up 53 percent from the same period last year. Comment.

Second Avenue subway on track to meet 2016 deadline

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria), speaking amid the din of construction on the Second Avenue subway, expressed hope the first phase of the long-sought project will be completed on schedule next year, but cautioned that delays would cost more millions. Comment.

Simotas gets two bills passed

New York state has become the first in the nation to advance legislation to ensure prenatal care for all after lawmakers in both chambers passed a bill, last week to make pregnancy a qualifying event for enrollment in a health insurance plan. The legislation, introduced by state Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria), followed a report by city Comptroller Scott Stringer that highlighted the need for expanded access to vital prenatal care. Comment.

City and Justice Department reach agreement on reforms at Rikers Island

The city and the U.S. Justice Department agreed Monday on a package of comprehensive reforms at Rikers Island. The deal includes the appointment of a federal monitor, new policies restricting the use of force by guards and the installation of 7,800 surveillance cameras and a pilot program for body cameras on correction officers. Comment.

Cardozo’s Sanghyeon Park wins Federation golf title

Sanghyeon Park never misses a moment to swing a golf club and his dedication earned him a historic victory. Comment.
Forest Hills

Give America hope

What is urgently needed to help resolve the crisis in America’s deprived urban and rural areas is for Congress to create a domestic Marshall Plan, similar to the one George C. Marshall called for in a 1947 speech at Harvard. His European recovery program of $12 billion from Congress restored war-torn Europe to pre-war conditions. Comment.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rochdale Village

Man shot to death in Rochdale Village

A Jamaica resident was fatally shot Sunday night near 166th Place in Rochdale, according to police. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Jacx Hts to hold vigil marking 25th anniversary of Julio Rivera’s murder

Jackson Heights residents will join City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and LGBTQ activists for a candlelight vigil Wednesday to mark the 25th anniversary of Julio Rivera’s anti-gay murder. The crowd will gather at the southwest corner of 78th Street and 37th Avenue, the very spot where the 29-year-old gay bartender was brutally killed by a three-man “hunting party” in the early morning of July 2, 1990. Comment.

Arson blamed in fire at Woodhaven church’s community center

A fire briefly lit a church’s community center in Woodhaven on Monday morning, according to police. Comments (1).

DOT to build Astoria’s first Slow Zone and protect cyclists on Vernon Boulevard

Motorists in Astoria will have to slow down later this summer when the Department of Transportation begins construction of the neighborhood’s first Slow Zone. Comment.

Schools chancellor addresses PS 120 carnival incident in Flushing

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña had some harsh words at a roundtable discussion last week for former PS 120 Principal Joan Monroe, who was reassigned after she banned students who did not pay a required fee to attend a Flushing school carnival. Comment.
Forest Hills

New York Pops come to Forest Hills

The New York Pops are shimmying over to the Forest Hills Stadium this summer with thousands of free tickets for students in the area. Comment.

State lawmakers pass bill to reform nail salon industry in the city

State lawmakers passed legislation introduced by state Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) that would target unlicensed nail salons but also protect vulnerable workers. Comments (2).
Block Shots

Representing Queens on the football field

Charles Driver looked around at Empire Challenge practice and was shocked to see there were very few players of his kind there. Comment.

Woman raped by fake customer at Flushing massage parlor: NYPD

FLUSHING — Police were searching for a man who posed as a customer and raped a woman in a massage parlor in Flushing June 16. Comment.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Shirley Weinstein, veteran Flushing community leader dies

Shirley Weinstein, a well-known community and civic leader in Flushing who died at the age of 90 June 13, was described by friends and fellow community leaders as a hardworking, honest activist who was always “civic-minded.” Comment.

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Jamaica business look forward to improvements

The Jamaica Business Improvement District had its annual meeting Tuesday, where keynote speaker York College president Marcia Kiesz talked about future project idea such as first ever CUNY School of Pharmacy and capital investment in the startup industry, at the Harvest Room since the launch of Jamaica Now action plan this year in downtown Jamaica. Comments (1).

Dads reconnect with kids at Queens Zoo for Father’s Day

In celebration of Father’s Day, the city Department of Youth and Community Development brought hundreds of fathers who don’t have custody of their children together with their kids at the Queens Zoo on Saturday to reconnect over nature and animals. Comment.

Rainbow store in Whitestone closing

The Rainbow store in the Whitestone Shopping Center will be closing after more than 40 years of serving shoppers in the area. Comment.

The best of Queens softball celebrated

Archbishop Molloy has reclaimed its place atop both the borough and the city. Comment.
The Civic Scene

Queens schools accomplish much this year

As the 2014-2015 school year ends, I again print some of the many fine things happening in our high schools. Comment.

Punishment must fit the crime

Interestingly, the Democratic versus Republican fence in the City Council has been torn down with the recent joint proposal of Councilmen Lancman (D) and Ulrich (R) for more diversion routes (in lieu of punishment) in “veterans courts” for veteran criminals in lockstep with Mayor de Blasio’s task force on behavioral health and the criminal justice system, whose recommendations are premised upon the false conclusion that the social environment-mental disorder complex determines sociopathic behavior and criminal acts. Comment.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Plastic foam to-go containers on the way out

After July 1, the city will no longer permit restaurants to use EPS products, commonly referred to as Styrofoam, a good and cheap insulator used to hold food and beverage products. Comment.
Fresh Meadows

Over 8,600 Road Runners run in Queens 10K

New York Road Runners’ flagship event in Queens returned to Flushing Meadows Corona Park Sunday, bringing out 8,650 runners for the 2015 Queens 10-Kilometer Race. Comment.

District 29 candidate gets Dem support

Alicia Hyndman, Democratic candidate for William Scarborough’s state Assembly seat, is one of the first contenders to announce her campaign for the special elections. Comment.

Ahmed blossoms into cricket star at John Adams

Talk to Amran Ahmed and he will use a few simple words to get his point across. They will be barely audible, because the John Adams cricket star is as shy as they come off the field. On the field, however, it’s a different story. Comment.

Rising above hate

The horror of racism jolted Queens as residents of the nation’s most ethnically diverse borough gathered to mourn the deaths of nine people gunned down inside a Charleston, S.C. church. Comment.
Mayoral Spin Cycle

Cheers to the Latino Leadership Institute

In a world dominated by skyrocketing tuitions and onerous student loans, the Latino Leadership Institute stands out in being able to provide a superlative education to young people who would otherwise not be able to afford it — for free. Comment.

Uncovering a hidden health care cost

My recent hospital bill had an asterisk at the bottom noting, “includes New York State surcharge tax,” so I decided to investigate. I was shocked to discover that since 1996 New York State has imposed a 9.63% surcharge on patient care from licensed health care providers. Every time we go to a hospital or a clinic or to a doctor’s office, the state adds a 9.63% surcharge to the bill. While insurance companies pay the surcharge, they pass it on to patients directly or through higher premiums. Comment.

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