Astoria Times

Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014

Long Island City

LIC residents support 108th Pct. during candlelight vigil

As they filed out of the 108th Precinct, the hard and angry expressions on the faces of the NYPD officers and detectives began to soften as they looked at the crowd that gathered outside their stationhouse. Hundreds of Long Island City residents turned out in a cold and misty rain to stand with the police following the assassinations of two of their own Saturday. Comments (1).

Cubans in boro speak of new Cuba-USA relations

The Cuban community in the borough was caught by surprise when President Barack Obama announced moves to restore diplomatic and commercial relations with the island after more than half a century of Cold War tension. Comments (1).

City Hall has surprise party for Peter Vallone Sr.’s 80th

Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Mayor David Dinkins, and hundreds of current and former city leaders, family and friends joined Peter Vallone, Sr. to celebrate his 80th birthday with a surprise party at City Hall. The first and longest serving City Council speaker was overjoyed to see his former colleagues. Comment.

Sunnyside rallies to save movie theater

Roughly 170 residents and community leaders rallied in front of the Sunnyside Theater Sunday afternoon to protest the theater’s closing despite the owner’s rejection of a six-month lease extension. Comment.

Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014


Bratton refuses to consolidate Roosevelt Avenue under single precint

A proposal to unite Roosevelt Avenue under one precinct command has been rejected by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. Comments (1).

Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014


Watermain leak floods Ditmars basements

A torrent streamed out of a Ditmars watermain Saturday, caking several basements with water, mud and debris that quickly solidified into a deluge of insurance queries. Comment.
Long Island City

City finds new way to invest in safety at public housing

The city has found a unique way to finance enhanced security at some of the most dangerous public housing developments. Comment.

Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

Jackson Heights

$6 million in federal funds to combat domestic violence

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state received more than $6 million in federal funds that would allow community organizations, hospitals, police departments and district attorneys’ offices to increase services and protections for domestic violence or sexual assault victims. Comment.

Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Long Island City

Police save life of LaGuardia prof the day he retires

Two officers from the 108th Precinct are being hailed as heroes for saving the life of a LaGuardia Community College Professor Tuesday on the day he was to retire. Comments (3).
Long Island City

Van Bramer drafts law to give community greater voice in public art projects

A city agency’s plan to install an expensive sculpture in Long Island City has angered members of the neighborhood’s art scene and Community Board 2. Now City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), the chairman of the Cultural Affairs Committee, is drafting new legislation that would change the way the agency’s Percent for Art initiative works and increase the public’s involvement with future projects. Comments (2).

Maloney decries Senate failure to renew terrorist insurance act

A bill to extend the expiring Terrorism Insurance Act effectively died Tuesday when the U.S. Senate failed to reach an agreement to hold a vote before Congress heads home for the long holiday break. The program was created following the Sept. 11 attacks providing crucial federal insurance for the owners of skyscrapers and other large projects that could be the target of terrorist strikes. Comments (1).

Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

Long Island City

Lonely Planet names Queens nation’s top travel spot

Lonely Planet crowned Queens the top U.S. tourist destination in its annual list, but the travel publishing outlet apparently found the borough’s lodging less than regal. Comments (4).

Avella joins with Elmhurst United to stop city from making homeless shelter permanent

Members of the Elmhurst United Civic Association approached state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Flushing) to enlist his help in fighting against permanent status for the homeless shelter in the former Pan American Hotel at 79-00 Queens Blvd. Comments (3).

Elmhurst kid center of media storm after stock market fib

An Elmhurst teenager is apologizing for a fib that swept him, and a buddy, into a media firestorm this week. Mohammed Islam, 17, is admitting that he made up a story about making $72 million trading stocks at school, but not before a magazine article generated headlines around the world with the release of its issue Sunday. Comments (1).

Rally for Sunnyside Theater goes on despite rejection of six-month extension

The organizer behind Sunday’s rally to save the Sunnyside Center Cinemas from a date with the wrecking ball says the protest will go on despite the theater owner’s rejection of a six-month lease extension. Community activist Ty Sullivan hopes a huge turnout at the neighborhood’s only movie theater at 12:30 p.m. will bring the two sides together for more negotiations. Comment.

MTA blames four workers for missing derailment clues

The MTA blames three maintenance supervisors and a track inspector for their roles in an F train derailment in Woodside back in May that injured 30 riders. Comments (1).

Monday, Dec. 15, 2014

Long Island City

$2 million for LaGuardia Community College library renovation

The library at LaGuardia Community College is set for a massive renovation that will expand and modernize the facility and make it more accessible for the 850,000 students and faculty that visit each year. City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who allocated $2 million in funding for the project, was joined by the school’s president Dr. Gail Mellow, educators and students at a Friday groundbreaking at the Long Island City campus. Comments (1).

Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014


Reward doubles in murder of pregnant LeFrak mother of four

The reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer of a pregnant mother of four at LeFrak City in Corona has doubled. Comments (1).

Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014


Ditmars water main burst sends one to hospital: FDNY

A water main burst in Ditmars early Saturday, flooding close to 100 homes and sending one resident to the hospital, the FDNY said. Comment.

Friday, Dec. 12, 2014

Long Island City

Live from Long Island City: Variations’ scores big with holiday radio play

At the end of the calendar year, smaller theater companies face some fierce competition from “The Nutcracker,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and Mr. Dickens’ story of a miserly old man and a trio of ghosts. Comment.
Long Island City

Residents in western Queens decide which city projects to back

Dog runs under the Triborough Bridge, community gardens, pedestrian plazas, a community boat launch and a footbridge over Queens Boulevard and Thomson Avenue in Long Island City. These are just some of the ideas several hundred residents from Jackson Heights to Astoria came up with during brainstorming sessions as two City Council districts introduced participatory budgeting for the first time. Comment.
Long Island City

LIC civic associations join together for first food drive

When the leaders of two Long Island City civic associations heard how stressed area food pantries are this holiday season, they swung into action. Comment.

Creativity takes root in Astoria

Astoria’s Liza Fiorentinos cannot stop talking about a chunk of moss she discovered outside her 24th Avenue business Sunday morning. Comment.

Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014


Conley steps down as CB 2 Chairman after 23 years

Joe Conley’s sudden decision to step down last week as chairman of Community Board 2 after 23 years has set off a debate on the timing of the vote to name his successor. Comment.
Long Island City

Landmarks Preservation Committee reverses course on Boro’s historic properties

The Landmarks Preservation Commission reversed course and decided against holding a vote this week that would “decalendar” the iconic Pepsi sign in Long Island City as well as seven other historic properties in Queens. “Calendaring” is the first step in the public review process that gives structures protection from redevelopment or demolition. Comment.

Sunnyside movie theater facing shutout granted reprieve

The Sunnyside Center Cinemas, the neighborhood’s only movie theater, was expecting to close down Jan. 4 but has been granted a reprieve. Comment.
Jackson Heights

New municipal ID ready to launch next month

Thousands of Queens residents will be eligible to normalize their immigration status under the new programs announced by President Barack Obama. Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Nicha Agarwal estimated that in the city, the number of New Yorkers who will be able to come out of the shadows and become documented immigrants is between 114,000 and 121,000. Comments (1).

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