Thursday, March 7, 2002

Prep, CK girls to battle it out for B/Q crown, again

When the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens girls’ basketball playoffs began Feb. 27, some probably thought why even bother. Just let Christ the King and St. Francis Prep battle it out for the fourth consecutive year. Comment.

St. Francis edges St. Joe’s in first game of semfinals

Need evidence of the parity in the Catholic High School Hockey League’s ‘B’ division? Just check out St. Joseph by the Sea’s playoff run. Comment.

Young filmmaker inspired by Queens

What we know as the American film industry got its start in Queens, at the Kaufman Studios, approximately 100 years ago. Since then, the movie business has gradually developed its major film factories in Hollywood - a name is now synonymous with billion-dollar profits and celebrities. Comment.

Queens Knights claims NYCAC crown, earn NCAA berth

When the Queens College men’s basketball team earned its first bid into the Division II NCAA Tournament last year, more than a few teams in the Northeast questioned its at-large bid. Comment.

SJU hoping for win at Big East Tournament

The St. John’s Red Storm will make its play for the Big East Tournament Championship this week. Winning the tournament would certainly help the Red Storm’s NCAA Tournament chances as well as give the team a boost in confidence following a disappointing loss in Villanova this weekend to end the regular season. Comment.

Johnnies drop final game of regular season, 77-62

The St. John’s Red Storm blew a chance to all but lock up a berth into the NCAA Tournament Sunday when the team fell to the University of Villanova Wildcats, 77-62, in the final Big East Conference game for both teams. Comment.

Editorial: For whom the bridge tolls

There has to be a better way of balancing the city’s budget than by adding tollbooths on the crowded bridges crossing the East River. Collecting tolls at either or both sides of the Queensboro Bridge would be a nuisance for drivers and a disaster for residents living near this bridge in Long Island City and Manhattan’s East Side. Comment.

Berger’s Burg: Muting the sounds of the big band era

I recently learned that the “Browsers” radio program, which emanated from Chicago and beamed throughout the country for more than 22 years, was abruptly dropped by its radio station. It was one of the few programs left in America that was keeping the big band fires alive. The big band sound, combining and integrating many musical instruments — brass, woodwind, string and percussion — to achieve an all-encompassing, ensemble sound, is systematically being drained from the musical life of America. Comment.

Point of View: Asian immigrants realizing American dream

The influx of new immigrants has made Flushing the fastest-growing metropolis among the city’s five boroughs. New stores and mini-malls have emerged one after another while construction projects continue to pulse through this part of Queens. Comment.

21 boro residents nabbed in unemployment scam

Nearly two dozen Queens residents were arrested last week in an unemployment insurance scam in which they were accused of bilking the state out of more than $130,000, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.

Neighbor to Neighbor: Boro budget testimony gives community voice

As I gathered my thoughts together to write the speech I planned to give at the budget hearings in Queens Borough Hall, I turned the radio dial. An unnamed man seemed to be in the middle of an address to a large audience. Before I could focus on what he was saying, there was a long silence, followed by him saying, hesitatingly, “It’s so hot in here.” There was another brief silence and then he apparently fell to the ground. Comment.

The Civic Scene: Overall crime down in 107th, but daytime burglaries on rise

Each month the 107th Precinct Community Council holds a meeting on the next to the last or the last Tuesday of the month in the ready room of the 107th Precinct at 71-01 Parsons Blvd. in Flushing. Capt. Patrick Heaney attends these meetings along with his lieutenant, sergeant and other relevant police officers who can help him report to the people who attend these meetings. Comment.

To The Point: College Pt. Girl Scouts receive Silver Awards

Welcome to the Point. The Point being College Point. Comment.

Haitian painter makes art his own restaurant

First and foremost Shubert Denis, the owner of The Port-O-Prince Star Restaurant in Cambria Heights, is an accomplished painter. His paintings have hung in galleries and museums, but he loves the constant contact with the public owning a restaurant provides. Comment.

City okays Huang bid to fix RKO

Tommy Huang, the owner of the dilapidated RKO Keith’s Theater, has permission to make the necessary repairs that could open the door to the building’s development, a city official said. Comment.

New school zoning targets District 24 overcrowding

Parents at PS 87 in Middle Village held an impromptu celebration outside the school last Thursday evening after School Board 24 approved a rezoning resolution that will allow their children to stay in the school until eighth grade. Comment.

Marshall wants educators to make parents welcome

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall scolded educators across the borough Saturday who do not open their school doors and make parents feel welcome. Comment.

Smith replaces Comrie on school board

The tenure of school boards throughout the city could come to an abrupt end if Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets his way, but until then the newly elected member of School Board 29 believes he can make a difference. Comment.

School Board 26 opens doors to parents

School Board 26 in Bayside is opening its doors next week, and board members are hoping a lot of parents walk on through. Comment.

Woman slain in St. Albans lot: Police

A Long Island City woman was fatally shot in the parking lot of a St. Albans McDonald’s last week in an attack that may have stemmed from a dispute involving her son, police said. Comment.

‘Art of the Song’ at Flushing Town Hall

Musica Reginae Productions continues its Accolade Concert Series for 2002 with “The Art of the Song,” an illuminating exploration into the world of lieder, opera and Broadway. This performance in Flushing Town Hall, a beautiful new concert space at 137-35 Northern Blvd., will be at 4 p.m. Sunday. Comment.

Borough St. Pat’s parade honors fallen fire chaplain

All of Queens was Irish Sunday as marchers from the Emerald Isle joined Mexican dancers, Korean drummers, politicians and borough residents in the third annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Sunnyside, which drew larger crowds than ever. Comment.

Flushing limo driver survives first week

A former postal worker from Flushing has landed on the island of Marquesas in Tahiti where he is vying against 15 other competitors for a $1 million prize on the new season of “Survivor.” Comment.

Weprin may join Council’s minority caucus

In a move that has drawn the ire of some members of the City Council’s Black and Hispanic Caucus, City Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis) petitioned to join the group after being invited by two of the organization’s leaders. Comment.

Whitestone elderly furious at closure of senior center

More than 20 elderly men and women took to the streets of Whitestone Friday with a group of politicians to protest the threatened closing of a neighborhood senior center. Comment.

Translation help decried at Wyckoff

Over the past 10 years, the Hispanic population in Ridgewood has skyrocketed by 144 percent, with Hispanics now accounting for one out of every two residents, figures from the 2000 U.S. Census show. Comment.

Beep listens to parents’ educational concerns

With a ferocious debate over mayoral control of the city’s public schools taking center stage and budget cuts forcing school districts to tighten their belts, the state of education in Queens has been anything but quiet and peaceful. Comment.

Art helps heal MS 67 students after Sept. 11

Days after the Sept. 11 attack on the Twin Towers, MS 67 fine arts teacher Anthony Ingoglia asked the students to do special projects in which they coupled images from newspapers and magazines with their own work to express their emotions. Comment.

Queens murder rate falls in first two months of year

Coming off a record-setting year when for the first time in three decades there were fewer then 100 murders in Queens, the borough’s murder rate has continued its downward trend in 2002. Comment.

Fake firefighter guilty, gets 1 to 3 yrs in prison

The phony firefighter who scammed the city and a Whitestone woman in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center Sept. 11 was sentenced to one to three years in prison Monday. Comment.

Pols, residents form group to protest Pomonok ruling

Theresa Alleva, president of the Pomonok Tenant Association, takes pride in the housing project she calls home. Comment.

Adams girls advance to semis with victory

All Francesca Romano ever wanted was a chance — a chance to be a part of a team competing for a championship. Comment.

Women’s center escapes eviction yet again

The Queens Women’s Center conducted its business at Bayside’s Fort Totten as usual this week, trying to ignore the specter of eviction that has been haunting the group for three months. Comment.

DA charges five teens with starting fire at Sears mall

Police and fire officials arrested five teens, including four juveniles, on charges of starting a fire at the Sears mall in Rego Park by pouring gasoline in an entranceway and lighting it with a match, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week. Comment.

Movers held oxygen tank of son: Mom

A Richmond Hill moving company held hostage oxygen machines and other medical equipment belonging to a seriously ill customer, demanding $2,300 more than the original estimate to complete a move from Long Island to Georgia, a Long Island woman said. Comment.

Lewis girls sneak by Curtis to stay alive

The top-seeded Francis Lewis High School girls’ basketball team nearly hit a dead end on the road to the PSAL ‘A’ semifinals Saturday afternoon. Comment.

92-year-old woman killed in fire in Jamaica Estates

An elderly Jamaica Estates woman was found dead in her home Saturday night after a blaze broke out in her Kent Street house. Comment.

DEP could reopen old area wells

Southeast Queens residents are wary of a city plan to reactivate wells from the Brooklyn-Queens Aquifer to help offset the impact of a looming drought because of fears the water may be contaminated. Comment.

Ackerman wants retired police officers at JFK

A new plan could place retired law enforcement officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport as part of a pilot program to improve security in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, officials said. Comment.

Huang still looking at Klein Farm

Controversial Flushing developer Tommy Huang may still purchase and develop the historic Klein Farm in Fresh Meadows despite reports that he had given up on the contract, Huang’s lawyer and the owner of the farm said. Comment.

Violations halt work on controversial building

Last week Charlie Knight allowed his two sons and his dog to return to their backyard on 125th Street in College Point for the first time in almost two years. Comment.

Vanderbilt Parkway granted historic status

The world’s first road built specifically for daily automobile use — a “hidden jewel” in the heart of eastern Queens — will finally receive the historic recognition it deserves, state Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Bayside) announced. Comment.

LIC limousine drivers stage strike for better wages

While bus drivers waved placards and walked the picket line last week, a smaller but more revolutionary strike was being waged by a unionized force of limousine drivers who decided to play cards rather than pick up passengers. Comment.

Closures planned for Cross Island at LIE

Some think the weekends are a good time for long, leisurely drives, but if you live near the interchange of the Cross Island Parkway and the Long Island Expressway, you may want to hold off on any weekend pleasure trips. Comment.

Faulty lights, police checks snarl LIE traffic for miles

The morning commute to Manhattan along the Long Island Expressway, never really a walk in the park, turned into a crawl through the parking lot late last week as delays transformed brief treks along the borough’s central artery into hourlong odysseys. Comment.

Borough reacts with anger to Louima verdict reversal

Queens residents were infuriated when a federal appeals court unanimously overturned the convictions of three officers in the brutal torture of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima last week. Comment.

Dromm launches early political campaign

The invitation to Thursday night’s fund-raiser for Daniel Dromm, a fourth-grade public school teacher who is probably the borough’s most prominent gay rights activist, has all the trappings of an ambitious piece of campaign literature — with only one glaring omission. Comment.

Ozone Park paper makes pitch for US cricket

A recent editorial in a weekly newspaper produced out of a small office on Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park blasted the bosses of two players selected to represent the United States at an international cricket tournament later this month for refusing to grant them time off from their jobs to compete. Comment.

Woodside armored truck robbers grab $1 million

Two robbers stole $1 million from an armored truck in Woodside last Thursday after tying up the guards and hijacking the vehicle for two blocks, police said. Comment.

Flushing man get six years for sex abuse

A Flushing man was sentenced to six years in prison last week for sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl, a friend of his daughter, and endangering the welfare of two sisters, the Queens district attorney announced. Comment.

Bayside business group tackles Bell Blvd. garbage

Tired of hearing complaints about the smelly garbage strewn around Bell Boulevard, the Bayside Business Association stepped up to the plate last week by hiring a cleaning company to tackle the area’s sanitation problems. Comment.

Attack on nuclear facility could affect boro: Gennaro

Queens residents could be injured and their water supply would be decimated if terrorists struck the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, Councilman James Gennaro (D-Jamaica Estates) said last week in calling for a shutdown of the Westchester County facility. Comment.

Good Samaritan slay suspects will not face death sentence

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes will not seek the death penalty for the two people charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Rupinder Singh, the good Samaritan from Richmond Hill shot to death in July after offering a ride to strangers. Comment.

Haber era as leader ends for Community Board 11

After more than 30 years with Bernard Haber of Douglas Manor at the helm of northeast Queens’ Community Board 11, the group elected Bayside Hills civic leader Jerry Iannece as its new chairman Monday night. Comment.

Wiesenfeld takes aim at Dan Hevesi

An old feud between state Sen. Daniel Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) and Jeff Wiesenfeld, an aide to both Democratic and Republican politicians for many years, resurfaced this week after Wiesenfeld claimed he had influenced the redrawing of district lines to pit Hevesi against state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing). Comment.

Clinton promises borough federal immigration help

U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) pledged Saturday to find federal funding to help Queens deal with the impact of immigration on schools, housing and other services in the nation’s most ethnically diverse county. Comment.

Borough Jewish groups honor Marshall, Shulman

Queens Jewish organizations honored former Borough President Claire Shulman and welcomed her successor, Helen Marshall, during a gathering Monday night at Hillcrest Jewish Center. Comment.

City intends to unsnarl plaza roads

The first stage of the city’s redesign plans for Queens Plaza calls for the tangled streets to come together in a simpler pattern, with wider medians and a public square built where a parking lot now stands. Comment.

2-alarm fire burns down restaurant

A Jamaica Avenue restaurant was destroyed and at least two families were displaced Sunday morning by a two-alarm fire that began at 3 a.m. Comment.

111th Pct. tackles rise in burglary

111th Police Captain Julio Ordonez acknowledged this week there had been a sharp increase in burglaries in the normally quiet northeast Queens precinct but said police were doing all they could to stop the crime spike. Comment.

Blaze causes heavy damage to Afrikan Poetry Theatre

A quick-burning fire swept through the second floor of the Afrikan Poetry Theatre in downtown Jamaica last week, destroying offices and damaging the theater space. Comment.

Boro residents relieved after Air India scare

Anxious borough residents flocked to John F. Kennedy International Airport last Thursday afternoon after hearing that the Air India flight carrying their relatives from London to Queens was being followed across the Atlantic by U.S. fighter jets. Comment.

Borough Jewish group to honor FDNY March 11

Atlas, a Queens-based Jewish outreach group, is sponsoring a tribute to the heroes of Sept. 11 on the sixth-month anniversary of the attacks. Comment.

Bus union demands city act to avoid new strike

Buses from three private lines once again rolled the streets of Queens Friday when a rapid response by city officials brought the drivers’ two-day strike to an end, but the threat of further service disruptions will loom until the city meets the union’s demands. Comment.

Teen admits murdering deliveryman

A Jamaica teenager who admitted to fatally attacking a Chinese food deliveryman with a brick faces seven years to life in prison. Comment.

Comrie’s town hall offers forum to Jamaica residents

Nearly 150 Jamaica residents took advantage of a town hall meeting last week in St. Albans to voice their concerns about traffic, flooding, abandoned houses and more. Comment.

Boro school construction slowed, not stopped: Mayor

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday he is dedicated to building new schools in Queens despite the city’s budget troubles — a sign of his commitment to education. Comment.

Window factory unveils Chinese art gallery

On any given day, the Crystal Window & Door Systems factory in College Point is bustling. Comment.

Police Blotter: Passerby thwarts McDonald’s robbery

WOODHAVEN — A passerby who stumbled upon two bandits dragging a safe across 91st Street near Jamaica Avenue helped foil the robbery of a McDonald’s restaurant early Monday morning, police said. Comment.

Northeast Queens Community Calendar Listing

Garden Jewish Center of Flushing, 24-40 Parsons Blvd. Mondays, 7:15 p.m. 445-1317. Comment.

Southeast, Western Queens Community Calendar Listings

Painting and clay workshops for those 5 and up. Mondays, Tuesdays. Alliance of Queens Artists, 99-10 Metropolitan Ave., Forest Hills. 520-9842. Comment.

Arts & Entertainment Listings

Parkside Players seek actors for musical comedy “Once Upon a Mattress.” Prepare something to sing. Thursday, Friday, Monday, 8 p.m. Grace Lutheran Church, 71st Road and Union Turnpike, Forest Hills. 516-520-9474. Comment.

St. Francis edges St. Joe’s in first game of semifinals

Need evidence of the parity in the Catholic High School Hockey League’s ‘B’ division? Just check out St. Joseph by the Sea’s playoff run. Comment.

College Round-up: Hofstra’s Adeleke named CAA Rookie of the Year

With the exception of garnering an NCAA Tournament berth, Kenny Adeleke couldn’t ask for more of his freshman season on the Hofstra men’s basketball team. Comment.

Queens Knights claim NYCAC crown, earn NCAA berth

When the Queens College men’s basketball team earned its first bid into the Division II NCAA Tournament last year, more than a few teams in the Northeast questioned its at-large bid. Comment.

Molloy claims B/Q crown over Xaverian

Things could not have started on a worse note for the Archbishop Molloy Stanners in Friday night’s Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan Tournament championship game against Brooklyn’s Xaverian High School. Then again, things could not have ended better. Comment.

College Round-up: Hofstra’s Adeleke named CAC Rookie of the Year

With the exception of garnering an NCAA Tournament berth, Kenny Adeleke couldn’t ask for more of his freshman season on the Hofstra men’s basketball team. Comment.

Bosco’s Corner: Ron-Ron happy to be out 

Queensbridge native and former St. John’s basketball star Ron Artest was traded from the Chicago Bulls to the Indiana Pacers last month as part of a multi-player deal that also included Jalen Rose, Travis Best, Brad Miller, Ron Mercer and Kevin Ollie. And while Artest essentially left one sub-.500 team for another, it is as if he has been released from the Gulag. Comment.

DG basketball playoffs off to fast start

Lee’s Jewel Box sparkled during playoff week with a victory over a wonderful Verdis Restaurant team. Katie Brent scored early and often to build a lead that lasted the whole game. Another gem of a game was played by Angelica Carmody. All Lee’s Jewels glowed in this game, especially Gillian Avery, Lisa Rooney and Angela Jurkovic. And, of course, the pearls Tanya Kozakis, Lacey Losgar and Jessica Mora. Although Verdis didn’t win today, they had the best record during the regular season, paced by the spectacular play of Lexie Ma Comment.

Mary Louis edges Molloy for spot in ‘D’

Sixteen days of preparation and the only thing standing between the Mary Louis Academy basketball team and its goal of playing for a state title was 12 seconds. Comment.

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