Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010

Aqueduct deal official as DiNapoli signs off on contract

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli signed off on the video lottery terminal contract for Aqueduct Race Track Monday afternoon, giving Genting NY LLC the final approval it needed to officially become the winning bidder for the project. Comment.

Ferreras accuses Monserrate camp of harassment, threats

A spokesman from the office of City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D–East Elmhurst) said her tires have been slashed and she has received vulgar notes, harassment which her office alleges is from Hiram Monserrate, her former boss when he held her seat. Comment.

Far Rock woman shook baby, causing brain damage: DA

A Far Rockaway woman was arraigned Monday for allegedly injuring her baby while trying to get her to fall asleep, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010

Young Terriers relish underdog role on gridiron

Brendan Stackpole split time at quarterback last year, but he was under center when St. Francis Prep turned its season around a year ago, and the Terriers shook off a miserable start to advance to the CHSFL Class AA semifinals before losing a heartbreaker to Mount St. Michael. Comment.

Cambria Heights’ Jack commits to Rutgers

Rutgers’ future got brighter at 6 p.m. Aug. 31 by 6 feet, 9 inches. Comment.

Richmond Hill dad drove drunk on Rock boardwalk: DA

A Richmond Hill father was arrested and charged with violating Leandra’s Law last week after he allegedly drove his SUV drunk on the Rockaway boardwalk with six children inside, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Sink your teeth into Discover Queens Restaurant Week from Sept. 20 through Sept. 30

It’s that time of year again for Queens gastro-nauts with Discover Queens Restaurant Week approaching. Comment.

Cops in search of bike perp

Police in Forest Hills and Rego Park said they were looking for a thief who travels by bicycle and was wanted in connection with swiping property from five young victims. Comment.

David Weprin receives the backing of NYS United Teachers and UFT

New York State United Teachers, the group representing more than 600,000 teachers, and its United Federation of Teachers affiliate threw their support behind state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) last week, citing his support for public schools as a lawmaker in the city and Albany. Comment.

Amtrak to plant Woodside trees after complaints

Amtrak will soon begin planting hundreds of trees along the tracks in western Queens following its decision last spring to clear trees in Woodside near the Astoria border. Comment.

VIDEO: City rolls out electronic voting machines for Primary Day

Officials from the city Board of Elections led a demonstration in Maspeth of new voting machines, which will be in place for Tuesday's primary. Voters will be handed ballots that should be filled out with a pen by hand and then placed in a machine to be scanned. The machine should then show that one ballot has been counted. Comment.

Friedrich: Controversial donation taken by mistake

State Assembly candidate Bob Friedrich took a $1,100 contribution from a controversial Glen Oaks catering hall that has been the source of complaints from civic organizations in and near Floral Park, Bellerose and Glen Oaks, but Friedrich said he did not mean to accept the donation. Comment.

Pedestrian dies after getting hit by SUV: Cops

ROCHDALE VILLAGE — A man crossing Merrick Boulevard was struck and killed early Saturday morning, police sources said. An investigation is still ongoing. Comment.

Cops search for missing Queens Village man

QUEENS VILLAGE — The city Police Department asked the public for help in locating a missing Queens Village man. Comment.

Boro drunk driver had six kids in car: Brown

ROCKAWAY BEACH — A Richmond Hill resident allegedly drove drunk on the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach early Aug. 31 with six children in the car, five of whom were younger than 14, said the Queens District Attorney’s office. Comment.

Virginia woman shot to death on visit to St. Albans

A young Virginia woman visiting St. Albans on Labor Day weekend was shot three times and killed in the early hours of Monday morning, police sources said. Neighbors said the shooting may have occurred at a block party. Comment.

Huntley, Clark face Dem challengers in primary

Next week’s Democratic primary will be pitting two of southeast Queens’ veteran members of the state Legislature against two challengers hoping to make their mark on the borough’s political scene. Comment.

Full slate missing at NAACP candidates’ debate

A political debate in St. Albans last Thursday hosted five candidates running for four offices representing southeast Queens, but incumbents and their challengers never once met face-to-face during the forum. Comment.

St. Albans squatter taken in by shelter

A squatter who made her home in St. Albans Park, much to the anger and dismay of nearby residents, has been moved to a homeless shelter, the city said last week. Comment.

Clogged catch basins behind floods: DEP

Frustrated Springfield Gardens homeowners got some answers last week as to why their houses suffered serious flood damage during a torrential rainstorm two weeks ago despite a massive upgrade to their sewer systems. Comment.

Queens Will Miss Tom White

The TimesLedger Newspapers joins southeast Queens in mourning the passing of City Councilman Thomas White. White died of cancer last week at 71. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Moya contends new faces needed to help community

As he runs for the Assembly seat in the 39th District, community activist Francisco Moya said he believes the people in the neighborhood know they need to turn the page on the past. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Monserrate runs on record in his bid for Assembly seat

When Democratic voters in the 39th state Assembly District head to the polls Sept. 14, former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate asks that they vote based on what he has done in the state Legislature, not the scandals of the past two years. Comment.

Centenarian keeps her secret

Since she turned 100 July 23, Fresh Meadows resident Lena Koblentz has been asked time and again what her secret is: How has she lived so vibrantly for so long? Comment.
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Charter revision should change BSA to help boro homeowners

The mayor’s City Charter Revision Commission has been holding hearings for the last five months. Since the charter is the city constitution, whatever the commission proposes is of importance to the civic leaders who comprise the Queens Civic Congress. The QCC even held its own forum to evaluate the revision topics June 21. Most people probably do not even know what is happening, although the civics tried to alert people during the summer. Comment.

Bloomberg enters stadium foray

Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a town hall meeting in Forest Hills last week he would get in touch with the United States Tennis Association’s president to discuss residents’ concerns about preserving the West Side Tennis Club Stadium that club members are considering selling. Comment.
Flushing Times

Four cars torched, more keyed in Whitestone spree: Halloran

Several Whitestone residents woke up the morning of Aug. 31 to find that their cars had been burned beyond recognition during the night, while others found theirs had been scratched with a key, according to City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone). Comment.
Flushing Times

Key Food replacement under fire

New York Mart, the new owner of the shuttered Key Food supermarket in Flushing, owes the city thousands of dollars in fines after failing for more than a month to comply with a stop-work order, according to city records. Comment.

Flushing Hospital opens newly revamped lobby

Flushing Hospital Medical Center opened the doors on its brand-new lobby last week, a visually impressive space that through its modern touch reflects other improvements at the facility in recent years. Comment.

Car, tires on another stolen in 111th: Police

OAKLAND GARDENS — The 111th Precinct reported the theft of one vehicle Monday and the removal of tires and rims stolen from three vehicles Friday in the Oakland Gardens area, police sources said. Comment.

September starts off with 3 Bayside burglaries

BAYSIDE — The 111th Precinct reported three burglaries in northeast Queens early September, police sources said. Comment.

A Happy Ending in College Point

It took more than 13 years, but the second phase of the construction at the College Point Fields has finally been completed. College Point families now have a state-of-the-art sports facility. Comment.

A few teachers get jobs back at Merrick

Some of the Merrick Academy teachers who were fired by administrators using letters delivered by Fedex were given their jobs back last week following negotiations between the Jamaica charter school and the United Federation of Teachers. Comment.

Bayside church hosts Korean food festival

The Korean Presbyterian Church of Bayside will host its third-annual food festival Sunday, Sept. 12, along 211th Street, where attendees will be able to sample traditional Korean cuisine and watch a variety of performances. Comment.

Queens Metro High School ready to open

Queens Metropolitan High School Principal Marci Levy-Maguire said the outside of her school may not be something to look at, but she told Community Education Council 24 members last week she is thrilled with what is going on inside. Comment.

Carrozza seat candidates vie for votes at debate

The five candidates vying for state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza’s (D-Bayside) seat told Mitchell-Linden Civic Association members during a debate last week that they would fight special interests and lobbyists if voters send them to Albany. Comment.

Avella hosts motorcade for Sept. 11 fallen

Sixteen street corners in northeast Queens have been named after those who lost their lives as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Yet for Tony Avella, the former city councilman who was instrumental in having the intersections renamed, these urban memorials are not enough to commemorate the dead. Comment.

Pols take on curb complaint

A group of Auburndale residents are upset over the handling of a recent repaving in their section of the sleepy residential neighborhood, saying the city failed to address problems with curbs before fixing the street. Comment.

Candidates for Ackerman seat focus on jobs

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) and two challengers for his seat said they are emphasizing economic initiatives for northeast Queens ahead of next week’s primary election. Comment.

Man, 45, dies as result of hit-and-run: Police

WOODHAVEN — A man was struck and killed in a hit-and-run in Woodhaven, police sources said. Comment.

L.I. man sells US Open tix worth $10K: Brown

FLUSHING MEADOWS CORONA PARK— A Long Island man was charged and arraigned with re-selling US Open tickets equivalent to a value of $10,000 at the United States Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Queens DA’s office said last Thursday. Comment.

Motorcycle rider injured by drunk driver: Brown

MASPETH — A Maspeth resident was arraigned Aug. 30 on charges of vehicular assault, driving under the influence, leaving the scene of a crime, reckless driving and reckless endangerment, the Queens district attorney’s office reported. Comment.

4 robbed home, pulled gun on people: Police

EAST ELMHURST — The city Police Department has requested help in finding four menwanted for a home invasion robbery. Comment.

It’s chic to stay up late with Fashion’s Nite Out in Queens

Fashion’s Night Out, a worldwide one-night event intended to give a boost to the recession-slammed fashion industry, returns to Queens Friday as the city partners with designers and Vogue magazine to bring chic celebrations to department stores, malls and boutiques throughout the five boroughs. Comment.

Voters should get familiar with new system of voting

Recently, I was joined by state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone), City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), community leaders and concerned seniors who, along with all voters, must deal with a new form of voting after years of using mechanical lever machines. Comment.

Queens students’ arts education is getting cut

Budget cuts have a knack for making things disappear. With history as our guide, we know the arts will be one of the first subject areas to vanish with this year’s school budget cuts. The not-so-entertaining thing is this disappearing act was already underway during a period of historic growth in education spending. Comment.

Charter revisions not in city’s favor

Notwithstanding the fact that the public twice voted in favor of term limits and a cabal by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and 21 term-limited City Council members who overruled the will of the people, Bloomberg’s hand-picked City Charter Revision Commission has now given the public another slap in the face. Comment.

Fire DOE official for using n-word

An open letter to city Education and Community Development Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott. Comment.

Cop should’ve prevented girl’s death

The tragic death of Brianna Ojeda should never have happened. The police officer who was on the scene was begged by her mother to help her. Why did he not do so? Comment.

Standing Against Hatred

In a week when a cabdriver from Jamaica had his throat slashed because he happens to be Muslim and a man was arrested for urinating on the floor of a Queens mosque, the leaders of a mosque in Astoria opened their doors to the community to counter growing anti-Muslim hysteria. Comment.

QueensLine: 1,000 WWI draftees from LIC march in Manhattan

On Sept. 4, 1917, nearly a thousand young men from Long Island City took part in a draft parade along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. These men were Long Island City’s first quota to make up the “first army of 500,000.” Comment.

I Sit And Look Out: Landmark Richmond Hill school stands as building of beauty

In the decades when Elaine and I lived on Park Lane South in Richmond Hill, I took many walks in Forest Park, which despite financial problems in the city, got better over the years. Some of my longer walks were along the residential streets of Richmond Hill, when I enjoyed the varied architecture and beautiful trees that line the community’s sidewalks. Comment.

Dishing with Dee: Before primary, 2 groups hold Meet the Candidates nights

The big political event this week in northeast Queens was the Bay Terrace Alliance Meet the Candidates night at the Bay Terrace Jewish Center Aug. 31. The Meet the Candidates night has always been one of my favorites. They always manage to produce an organized and all-inclusive evening featuring all the local candidates. The only elected officials they had as part of their program were U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman and state Sen. Toby Stavisky. All the others tossing their hats in the ring were hopefuls. Comment.

Berger’s Burg: To children, ‘grandpa’ is another word for ‘friend’

Children learn that the best place to be when sad is sitting on grandpa’s lap. Comment.

Residents call new voting machines easy to use

The machine, they said, looked suspect. Comment.

Boro leaders pay homage to White

The city’s top leaders, southeast Queens activists and hundreds of residents who were touched by City Councilman Thomas White’s years of work gathered at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral last Thursday for a final goodbye. Comment.

Man convicted in rape, robbery of SJU student

A Bronx man was convicted last week in the rape of a 20-year-old St. John’s University student who was leaving her first day of work at a new job in Fresh Meadows and managed to capture the attack in a disturbing 911 call played in court, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.

Incumbents Hevesi, Miller face Dem rivals

State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) entered the last throes of the primary campaign with more than twice as much money in his coffers than his Democratic challenger Joe Fox in the race for the 28th Assembly District, according to their last filings with the state Board of Elections. Comment.

Economy tops issues in Maloney race

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) will face off against Manhattan’s Reshma Saujani next week to retain her seat in a race the congresswoman said has become dominated by one issue: “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Comment.

Parks Dept. oversees boro concessionaires poorly: Audit

A comprehensive audit of the city Parks Department by city Comptroller John Liu has found that the agency has failed to effectively monitor concessionaires. Comment.

Library lays off 44 workers after talks with union fail

After 11th-hour negotiations between the Queens Public Library and the union representing the library’s workers failed last month, 44 employees were laid off Friday. Comment.

De Blasio slams bad landlords

The city public advocate is taking aim at New York’s worst landlords and seven borough building owners are on his list, giving Queens the second fewest number of offenders. Comment.

DA mulls alternative program for Slater

Steven Slater’s rant and escape from a JetBlue aircraft following an argument with a rowdy passenger last month turned him into an Internet sensation, but the flight attendant’s mental state during the caper may get him out of serving serious jail time. Comment.

Jamaica HS opens its doors

During the last school year, students, teachers, parents and other supporters rallied, fought and lobbied to keep Jamaica High School’s doors open for a new class of freshman. Comment.

Good Samaritan remembered for helping others

As family, friends and community members gathered Saturday to unveil the new name of the corner at 40th Avenue and Crescent Street, they remembered how its inspiration, late Dutch Kills resident Nicolas Nowillo, selflessly served the community both in life and death. Comment.

Police searching for sniper who killed Elmhurst father

A bread truck driver from Elmhurst was shot in the head and killed Friday while making his rounds through Brooklyn, police sources said. Police are unsure if the bullet that killed the man, Jorge Martinez, was intended for him or not. Comment.

Congressional ethics body urges probe into Crowley fund-raising

U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) is facing an investigation by the House Ethics Committee into his fund-raising activities after an independent congressional watchdog group recommended that he and two other congressmen should be questioned. Comment.

City women live 6 years longer than men: DOH

New York City men die an average of six years earlier than women, many of them because of what health officials call preventable causes including poor diet, smoking, lack of health care and homicide. Comment.

Gianaris bill notifying parents of bedbugs in schools now law

Gov. David Paterson has signed into law a bill that notifies parents of public school students about bedbugs that was first proposed by state Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) in 2007 amid a rash of western Queens infestations. Comment.

Boro bar should close: Pols

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and state Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Ridgewood) led about 50 people in a rally to close the Casa Romana Bar in Sunnyside last Thursday. The demand was in response to an altercation in which two minors were stabbed outside the Queens Boulevard eatery Aug. 28. Comment.

Aubry faces ex-cop in race

Community activist and retired city Police Department Officer Anthony Miranda hopes to break the 18-year tenure of state Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Corona), but Aubry’s finances are double those of his Democratic challenger. Comment.
Astoria Times

Cops plan to increase Astoria Park patrols

The 114th Precinct will send out an additional squad car to patrol Astoria Park on weekend nights this fall following an increase in quality-of-life crimes as well as a murder in the park during the summer, City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) said. Comment.

DiNapoli denies he’s stalling on Aqueduct VLT contract

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office has been accused of holding up the deal to award Genting NY the contract to install video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Race Track, but the comptroller denied the reports, saying he and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo are doing their due diligence. Comment.

Shooting in LIC involved Albanian mobster: Feds

A 27-year-old man who is a top aide to Albania’s deputy prime minister has been accused of the 2005 drive-by shooting death of a man outside a Long Island City cafe, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan said. Comment.

Hellenic strings

Astoria-based guitarist Peter Douskalis is a solo musician nurturing a dream to inspire others through music. In between teaching guitar lessons at the New York City Guitar School and Queens Guitar School, Douskalis recently put out his second album, “The Dance of the Sea.” Comment.

The Play’s The Thing: Outrageous Fortune Co.’s players newly wandering

The Outrageous Fortune Company is now homeless. After 17 years and 50 plays at Queens Theatre in the Park, money and other issues have caused us to part company. Comment.

Dining Out: Vetro: Tasty Italian elegance with a view in Howard Beach

We know that Queens rules when it comes to diversity and quality in ethnic dining. We can take our tummies on a world tour any day of the week. However, when it comes to being cosseted in sumptuous surroundings while eating that terrific food, the options are undeniably less numerous. But if fine dining is what you’re looking for, we have just discovered Vetro, a nine-months-new restaurant in Howard Beach that really got our attention. Comment.

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