Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Legislature works out final version of rent control bill

Legislative negotiators were working Wednesday toward final agreement on details of rent renewal regulations before they and other legislation come up for a vote, according to Albany sources. Comment.

Amicable, hairy pig found near College Point Corporate Park

A friendly pig masquerading as a wild boar was found near the College Point Corporate Park and will be forsaking the urban life for a farm outside the city. Comment.

Flushing girl found

A 9-year-old Flushing girl who had been missing since Thursday night was found Friday and reunited with her family, according to police. Comment.

Holy Cross’ Hopper commits to Siena

Marcus Hopper has had a permanent smile on his face for the better part of the last four days. Comment.

Blanco’s dash sends Bowne to city title

Adrian Blanco will never be confused with one of the ‘B’ division speed demons. John Bowne’s husky first baseman weighs a rotund 240 pounds, but his 180-foot dash from second base Saturday lifted the Wildcats to their first city championship in 40 years. Comment.

Slocum tragedy remembered

The 1904 accident of the steamship General Slocum in the waters off Astoria and the Sept. 11 attacks in Lower Manhattan claimed thousands of innocent lives, but the community’s strong sense of history has not let those events’ impact fade away, according to Dan Austin Jr., president of the All Faiths Cemetery Restoration and Beautification Program. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Welcome to Whitestone civic now a nonprofit

Whitestone’s new civic group has been officially granted nonprofit status, quieting concerns by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) that the group has been improperly collecting funds. Comment.

Glendale biz owner blames city for snafu

A Glendale restaurant owner unwittingly acquired all sorts of licenses to run his eatery while never actually having a certificate of occupancy, and the architect for Villagio Pizza blames it on the city’s bureaucratic licensing system. Comment.

Stop St. Saviour’s build: Civics

Activists from Maspeth want the city to do its job and stop construction on the site of the old St. Saviour’s church. Comment.

St. Albans man murdered at home

A father of two who had no enemies was gunned down in a random shooting outside his family home in St. Albans last week, the police and his loved ones said. Comment.

Summer school for city kids

Thousands of city school children will be trading the beach for a desk this summer to help them improve their academics, but a new state study released Tuesday says some high school graduates may need even more help. Comment.

City hears Keith’s case for developing theater

The city Board of Standards and Appeals has completed its review of the proposed $160 million redevelopment of the long-neglected RKO Keith’s Theatre in downtown Flushing. Comment.

Contributors wait to hear from him

Major campaign contributors of embattled U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) are tight-lipped as to whether they will continue to support the scandal-scarred congressman, while others are taking a wait-and-see approach. Comment.
Queens Village

St. Albans rapper takes judge’s Ja-Ruling in stride

Ja Rule will now be singing the jailhouse blues for the next couple of months after he was sentenced last week for illegally possessing a gun. Comment.

Ridgewood neighbors push city to deal with squatters

The previous owners of a foreclosed Ridgewood home moved out, and neighbors said the city has done little about the squatters who illegally moved in. Comment.

Christ the King parents sues school over sexting expulsion

A parent is suing Christ the King High School in Ridgewood for expelling her son allegedly over a sexting incident. Comments (1).

Egypt arrests former Ackerman intern on espionage charges

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) said Tuesday he had been in contact with all possible parties concerning his former intern, Ilan Grapel, who was arrested late last week in Egypt on charges of being an Israeli spy. Comment.

Weiner resigns at Brooklyn Center where he launched political career

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) ended three weeks of speculation over his political future Thursday and announced his resignation at a packed Brooklyn news conference. Comment.

Whitestone men plead not guilty to synagogue plot

The two Whitestone men accused of plotting to blow up synagogues in Manhattan and a church in Queens no longer face the possibility of life behind bars, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Comment.

Boro civic heads debate bus service

About a dozen civic leaders from northeast Queens met in the boardroom of Glen Oaks Village last week to come up with a plan to restore bus service for residents affected by last year’s elimination of the Q79 bus. Comment.
Little Neck Ledger

Doug retiree battles on to keep BellTel benefits

When Eileen Lawrence retired from her job at NYNEX in 1990, things were much different from when she started 37 years earlier. Comment.

Meeks’ VA bill to keep hospital for vets passes

A bipartisan bill is in the works in Congress that would stop the controversial plans to redevelop part of the St. Albans Veterans Hospital into a private space. Comment.

Malcolm X’s daughter to pay more than $55k in fraud case

Malcolm X’s youngest daughter will be paying back the family friend she defrauded years ago more than $55,000 in restitution, the Queens district attorney said last week. Comment.

Teen wins free tuition in culinary contest

A Cambria Heights teen cooked her way to a free scholarship at Monroe College after winning the New Rochelle school’s America’s Best High School Chef Competition. Comment.

Jamaica outlet to use haute couture to fight autism

A new thrift store in Jamaica set to open this weekend wants to do more than give customers a large selection of fashionable clothes at an affordable price — it will also benefit autistic children. Comment.


It seems like someone at McDonald’s headquarters fell asleep. An ad for the fast food chain that was supposed to be funny was insulting to the people who live in Far Rockaway. The McDonald’s poster on the A train suggests riders should drink the chain’s iced coffee or risk “falling asleep and ending up in Far Rockaway.” Comment.
Jackson Heights

Rally cry: Keep libraries open

Queens residents of all ages and many ethnicities gathered at the Jackson Heights library last Thursday to protest New York City’s proposed budget cuts to the library. Comment.
Jackson Heights

E. Elmhurst church celebrates half century of community

The 50th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church’s home in East Elmhurst has come and gone, but the parish is not yet done celebrating. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights sex predator sentenced: DA

A sex offender from Jackson Heights will be spending up to four years in prison for failing to register his Facebook username and e-mail address with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, the Queens district attorney’s office said last week. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

City announces free Wi-Fi initiative for Queens parks

For anyone who is on a stroll and wants to identify a squirrel in Astoria Park, a tree in MacDonald Park or wondering what will become of the towers in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, you will have a new option: Google it. Comment.
Forest Hills Ledger

All Faiths remembers Slocum wreck victims

The 1904 accident of the steamship General Slocum in the waters off Astoria and the Sept. 11 attacks in Lower Manhattan claimed thousands of innocent lives, but the community’s strong sense of history has not let those events’ impact fade away, according to Dan Austin Jr., president of the All Faiths Cemetery Restoration and Beautification Program. Comment.

Community House seeks help

Some Queens kids may face unemployment before they land their first job. Comment.

Meng defends dog owner in cemetery fight

State Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) plans to introduce a bill to ensure all dogs can go to heaven alongside their owners. Comment.

Lancman maid safety bill gets state Senate sponsor

State Assemblyman Rory Lancman’s (D-Fresh Meadows) bill requiring hotels to provide housekeepers with panic alert buttons in the wake of attempted sexual assault charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has a state Senate sponsor and is closer to becoming law, his office said Monday. Comment.

L.I. brothers stole $30K from Queens residents: Brown

The Queens district attorney’s office announced last week that two brothers from Long Island would be charged under the state’s hate crime law with cleaning out the pockets of the borough’s elderly residents. Comment.

CB 7 discusses new tennis stadium with USTA officials

The United States Tennis Association brought its plans for a new tennis stadium at its sprawling site in Flushing Meadows Corona Park to Community Board 7 Tuesday evening. Comment.

Jamaica man threatens pupil with knife: Brown

FLUSHING — A Jamaica man was arrested at Queens College last week for allegedly brandishing a knife while harassing a student, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.

Cop, 26, suspended for DWI incident: Police

BAYSIDE — An off-duty police office was arrested Tuesday, the NYPD said. Comment.

Who Should Decide?

Should U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner resign in the wake of the Twitter scandal? Should the House of Representatives force him to step down? Whose decision should it be? Comment.

Weprin bill aims to keep kids smoke-free in cars

Smoking bans may soon extend from city parks to cars carrying passengers under age 14. Comment.

Little Neck girl’s study provides basis for city anti-bullying law

The efforts of one Little Neck resident to find a solution to a real-world social issue paid off last week when Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed City Councilman Mark Weprin’s (D-Oakland Gardens) anti-cyberbullying bill into law. Comment.

Sacred Heart students rally for firehouse

The chants of “Save 306” and — with some provocation — “Down with Bloomberg” could be heard along Bell Boulevard Friday as children from the two schools closest to FDNY Engine Co. 306 marched to protest the mayor’s plan to close the Bayside fire company at the end of the month. Comment.
Bayside Times

Ten years later, PS 169 unites and reflects

At the turn of the millenium, the students in June Manley’s first-grade class spent a lot of time learning about animals. Comment.

Koslowitz fights parking meter hike

A Forest Hills lawmaker blasted the city Sunday for planning to increase parking meter rates in the outer boroughs for the second time in a year. Comment.

TimesLedger Newspapers lend a hand to future reporters

TimesLedger Newspapers is hoping to keep old-world media tradition alive by passing its editorial knowledge on to the younger generation. Comment.

Bell Blvd. face-lift closer

After a number of stops and starts, a Bell Boulevard beautification project appears to be ready to revitalize Bayside’s main drag. Comment.

Lions Club returns to northeast Qns.

A familiar organization came roaring back to northeast Queens last week — with a little extra bite this time — when the Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club held its charter dinner at the Bourbon Street Cafe on Bell Boulevard. Comment.

Bayside Hills foes take their lot case to BSA

A bus packed with members of the Bayside Hills community left the corner of 216th Street and 51st Avenue around noon Tuesday en route to downtown Manhattan, where the city Board of Standards and Appeals held a hearing on a controversial variance that has had the neighborhood in an uproar. Comment.
Bayside Times

Baysiders use phone bank to keep Engine 306 open

Baysiders concerned about the fate of their local fire company took an hour or so out of their day last week to call their neighbors and urge them to let the mayor know how they feel about his plan to close Engine Co. 306. Comment.

Cops chase L.I. driver, find marijuana: Brown

HOWARD BEACH — A Long Island man was arrested two weeks ago after he led a police officer on a wild ride, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.

Cops search for missing Alzheimer’s patient

FAR ROCKAWAY — The police have asked for the public’s help in finding a mentally ill Queens senior citizen who went missing last week. Comment.

L.I. men beat up gay pride parade-goers: DA

JACKSON HEIGHTS — Three Long Island men were arrested last week during the gay pride parade for allegedly verbally and physically abusing three revelers, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.

Robber stole money from Getty station: Police

FOREST HILLS — A man was wanted in connection with an armed robbery of a Yellowstone Boulevard gas station that took place two weeks ago, police said. Comment.

B’klyn man tells mom, kid he’d kill them: DA

REGO PARK — A Brooklyn man was arrested last month for allegedly threatening a mother and child, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.

Ridgewood man stabbed his roommate: Brown

RIDGEWOOD — Police arrested a man last week who allegedly stabbed his roommate in the back, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.

Burglar steals cash, jewels from apt.: Cops

JACKSON HEIGHTS — A suspect was wanted in the burglary of a home that took place last month, police said. Comment.

Why Mixed Martial Arts is being hit below the belt

When you hear the word jujitsu, what do you think of? I think of the agility, strength and discipline needed to study this style of martial arts, which dates back to the samurai. The same is true of other fighting arts like judo, karate and Brazilian jujitsu. To many observers, these are art forms built on honor and mastered with determination. Comment.

Take Weiner’s tears over sexting with grain of salt

One of the most stunning aspects of the Weiner affair is the arrogance of power that we saw on display and have come to expect with many of our elected officials. Weinergate is merely the latest example. Comment.

Weiner took page from Clinton book

An open letter to U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills). Comment.

Decrease pensions and benefits to fund the city’s institutions

The politicians are always fighting. They are fighting the closing of firehouses, libraries and high schools. Comment.

Do not lay off city workers

The mayor’s proposal to shutter some 20 firehouses throughout the city due to the budget crisis is simply unacceptable. Comment.

Dishing with Dee: Media should leave Weiner alone on sexting controversy

Being the political junkie I am, I can’t let the Weinergate fiasco go by without a few comments. Incidentally, these comments are solely my own, so here goes! First, don’t you think all the constant repetitive jibes are overkill? How much of Weiner’s sexting is of such earth-shattering magnitude that it deserves daily coverage? Why is it pushing national and international news into second place? Comment.

Boro tutor center focuses on more than work

Glen Oaks native Dennis Sze said he always wanted to start his own business, but could never put his finger on what that startup should be. Comment.

Don’t leave seniors powerless: Simotas

Based on an AARP report measuring the rate of residential customer turnoffs by electric service providers across the state, state Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) recently introduced legislation calling for a review of how shutdowns are done, but Con Edison said the report is flawed. Comment.

Willets Point ramp project spurs debate

Opponents and supporters of the city’s planned $3 billion overhaul of Willets Point butted heads last week over the impact the proposed development project would have on traffic. Comment.

Resign Weiner: Protesters

Two groups of borough voters divided about the future of U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) squared off in dueling rallies outside his Kew Gardens office Sunday. Comment.

Vallone’s Italy visit combines work with kin

As the son of the former City Council speaker, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) comes from a family of public servants, but he said he had not realized the extent of his family’s passion until he visited his ancestral home in Sicily for four days last month. Comment.

Weiner voice made impact in House

The focus on U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) may be on his Twitter traffic, but the congressman has also been a prolific penner of legislation, sponsoring 17 pending bills in the House and co-sponsoring 62 others. Comment.
Astoria Times

Community honors Slocum victims, 9/11 heroes

The 1904 accident of the steamship General Slocum in the waters off Astoria and the Sept. 11 attacks in Lower Manhattan claimed thousands of innocent lives, but the community’s strong sense of history has not let those events’ impact fade away, according to Dan Austin Jr., president of the All Faiths Cemetery Restoration and Beautification Program. Comment.

Main Street attracts more straphangers

The Flushing-Main Street stop of the No. 7 subway line is among the 10 stations with the highest ridership for the first time since 2003, according to data recently released by the MTA. Comment.

Queens Chamber gears up for 100th anniversary

When the Queens Chamber of Commerce opened its doors 100 years ago, the borough was mostly farmland and known for its baking and movie industries. Comment.

EDC president touts new Queens projects

The city has launched hundreds of new initiatives to help small businesses and is making progress in developing Willets Point and Hunters Point South, the president of the city Economic Development Corp. told a breakfast Friday at Queens College. Comment.

Ex-South Ozone Park officer gets 3 years for kiddie porn

A former NYPD officer who downloaded child pornography involving children as young as 3 years old was sentenced last Thursday, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

Councilman not lovin’ Rockaways train quip

McDonald’s has pulled an ad featured on the A and 6 trains that suggests riders drink the fast food chain’s iced coffee or risk “falling asleep and ending up in Far Rockaway” after City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) said the neighborhood was not laughing at the poster. Comment.

Mayor trips should be logged: Vallone

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) wants the city to know when the mayor is many miles away from Gotham. Comment.
Astoria Times

Maloney gets $550K for LIC public schools

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) has announced a federal grant of $552,000 for volunteer mentoring and tutoring in an effort to increase attendance and graduation rates in Long Island City schools. Comment.

Weiner sexting casts doubt on his future

Calls for U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-Forest Hills) resignation grew stronger this week, but the embattled congressman had still not caved in to pressure. Comment.

School board elections draw fraction of parents

Last month’s parent council elections had a dismal turnout of less than 25 percent after the city Department of Education attempted to make the elections more accessible by putting them online. Comment.

Fair in Jackson Heights seeks to promote toleration of diversity

Individuals of all religions and backgrounds plan to come together on the weekend of June 25-26 for a fair in Jackson Heights to promote peace and understanding in the most diverse part of America’s most diverse county. Comment.

Goldfeder has inside track to fill Pheffer’s vacant seat

Y. Philip Goldfeder, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) director of intergovernmental affairs, is expected to run for the seat vacated by former state Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Rockaway Beach) and has the inside track to become the Democratic nominee in the yet-to-be announced race, a source close to Goldfeder told TimesLedger Newspapers. Comment.

Governor proposes bill to legalize same-sex marriage

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a bill to grant marriage equality for same-sex couples in New York State Tuesday. Comment.

Astoria street renamed for garbageman

For the residents of one Astoria block, Frank Justich was more than just the guy who picked up their trash twice a week — he was a valued member of the community. Comment.

City doles out grants to Qns. businesses for green makeovers

The city wanted a way to prevent sewage from flowing into waterways like the borough’s Newtown and Flushing creeks, so it awarded three Queens organizations money to alleviate the problem by improving their concrete sidewalks and roofs. Comment.

‘Ruler on Ice’ cuts through rain to win Belmont Stakes

Overcast skies and rainy weather did not stop thousands from watching an upset win at the Belmont Stakes over the weekend. Comment.

Queens businesses make push to attract summer tourists

When many tourists come to New York City, all they see of Queens is the interior of John F. Kennedy International or LaGuardia airports, but the Queens Economic Development Corp.’s summer program hopes to change that trend. Comment.

Eye of the beholder

Jackson Heights artist Jean Foos has developed an artistic process that could fool the eye of any viewer. Comment.

At dinner theater, murder’s never been so much fun

This writer couldn’t help but notice the name tag and huge round pin on the man’s suit as he wandered through the crowd in Tiffany Room at Riccardo’s in Astoria. He stopped and looked down at me. Comment.

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