Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whitestone Times

Yellow buses irk Whitestone

It’s a new neighborhood but the same issues face Vallo Transportation, a yellow bus operator that recently opened on the water’s edge in Whitestone. Comment.

Park advocates plan rally

A letter sent to a Maspeth homeowner turned into a call to arms for residents who want a park on the site where St. Saviour’s church used to sit. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Whitestone pizzeria goes the extra mile

Mark Boe called up DiNardo’s Restaurant and Pizzeria in Whitestone last week to order a few pies, just like dozens of other pizza lovers. Comment.

Massino saga helps to convict ‘Vinny Gorgeous’

Mafioso Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano was found guilty of murder Monday and could face the death penalty for ordering a hit on mob associate Randolph Pizzolo in 2004. Comment.
Whitestone Times

Whitestone faces a civic war

Whitestone’s civic leaders are clashing and local politicians are taking sides. Comment.

LIJ set to open new hospital

North Shore University Hospital cut the ribbon Friday on its $50 million Katz Women’s Hospital, a 73-bed facility that is expected to open later this month with private patient rooms and hotel-style amenities. Comment.
Little Neck Ledger

Alley Pond Park doesn’t disappoint as a place to go birding

As I get off the exit on the Grand Central Parkway to Alley Pond Park, a male cardinal flies fast across the road. With the spring migration just starting, I hope it’s a harbinger of things to come this cool, cloudy morning. Comment.

Man accused of stealing items from Rego Pk. car

REGO PARK — A criminal who reportedly left a trail for investigators was arraigned two weeks ago on charges of breaking into a woman’s car and stealing her property, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.

IMF head pulled off JFK flight after attack: Cops

JFK AIRPORT — A high-ranking French official was pulled off an Air France flight Saturday amid accusations of rape. Comment.

Bronx man burgles Jamaica apartment: DA

JAMAICA — DNA evidence was used to catch a Bronx man who reportedly broke into a woman’s apartment and stole her belongings, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.

Plane returns to JFK after engines suck in bird

JFK AIRPORT — The pilot of a JetBlue airplane thought a bird strike was cause for concern Saturday night, but passengers thought it was time for dinner. Comment.

Martin, Richmond Hill saved

Southeast Queens leaders and school officials said they were relieved when word came down that August Martin and Richmond Hill high schools would be spared from the chopping block, but they are cautious over the exact planning to reshape the academic institutions. Comment.

Man arraigned on SE Qns. sex charges

A Brooklyn man was arrested and arraigned last week for allegedly attacking and sexually abusing three Queens women over a span of six weeks, the Queens district attorney said. Comment.

South Jamaica rezone approved by Council

The residential character of South Jamaica has been saved following the successful rezoning of the area last week, elected officials said. Comment.

Liu: School report card system flawed

The city’s school report card system that was used as a factor in the city Department of Education’s decision to phase out Jamaica High School inaccurately measures an institution’s success over the years and needs to be more transparent for parents, an audit report from the city comptroller’s office contends. Comment.

New media center opens to fanfare at August Martin HS

For years, students at August Martin High School have been working to be the next Steven Spielberg or Walter Cronkite through its communication arts academy, but they have had to use equipment and material that were decades old. Comment.

Give This Proposal an F

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others who say the scores on standardized tests should be a major factor in evaluating teacher performance in the city’s public school system. The scores would account for as much as 40 percent in determining which teachers will be retained and laid off. If the proposed system of evaluation goes into effect, it will replace the existing, seniority-based system. Comment.

CB 5 delays Maspeth truck bypass vote

After nine years, what’s another month? Comment.

CB 4 nixes school plan near Corona firehouse

Despite a great need in the area for its youngest residents, Community Board 4 rejected a proposal last week for a 1,100-seat primary school at 96-18 43rd Ave. in Corona, saying the potential site’s proximity to Engine 289/Ladder 138, at 97-28 43rd Ave., would create a safety hazard. Comment.

Forest Hills barber still a cut above others

Simon Khaimov has been cutting hair since he was in the old country, and he has no intention of stopping anytime soon. Comments (3).

CB 5 denounces plan to close Glendale SS office

Soon elderly, poor and disabled residents of Glendale who rely on Social Security benefits will have to travel to Rego Park for service instead of down the street. Comment.

Two charged in Ozone murder of pizza man’s son

A reputed mob associate was one of two men indicted Monday in the 2009 murder of the son of an Ozone Park pizzeria owner who was coming to his father’s aid during a botched home robbery, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.

BSA hears RKO Keith’s plan

The redevelopment of the dilapidated RKO Keith’s Theatre in downtown Flushing is on track to be approved by the city Board of Standards and Appeals, according to one of the lawyers representing its developer, Patrick Thompson. Comment.
Flushing Times

Francis Lewis HS senior wins $100,000 college scholarship

Francis Lewis HS senior Viola Wu emigrated from China eight years ago, not knowing a word of English. Comment.
Flushing Times

Odd Flushing corner causes drivers tix woes

The parking rules on a Flushing street corner could have been written by Franz Kafka. Comment.
Flushing Times

CB 8 re-elects officers after a voting dust-up

Community Board 8 voted last week to retain all of its officers, but not without controversy. Comment.

Armenian massacre focus of QC exhibit

The U.S. government does not officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, but a new exhibition at Queens College has been curated with the intent of preserving the memories of the 1.5 million who lost their lives during the first genocide of the 20th century. Comment.

Man from Flushing impersonated cop: DA

AUBURNDALE — A Flushing man was arrested two weeks ago for allegedly impersonating an officer to settle a dispute, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment.

A New Day in NY Politics

Now that the results are in from the first national census of the 21st century, the state’s political bosses are salivating at the thought of redrawing district lines in a manner that will further partisan interests. Elected officials believe gerrymandering is a legitimate part of the democratic process. Comment.

NYHQ prez touts staff, $210M wing in Flushing

New York Hospital Queens invited the public to its annual State of the Hospital address last week, during which its leaders spoke of the technologies and techniques that are keeping them at the cutting edge of medicine, from robotic surgery to electronic record-keeping. Comment.

Joe Franco’s restaurant rezone approved by city

A restaurateur’s plan to overhaul the White House restaurant in Whitestone is one step closer to becoming reality after securing the approval of the city Planning Commission. Comment.

Ft. Dix head to lead Little Neck-Douglaston parade

Year after year, the communities of Little Neck and Douglaston simultaneously pay respect to those who have died serving in the country’s armed forces while at the same time ushering in the summer season with all the appropriate celebration and festivity. Comment.

Lawmakers affirm immigrant rights

Immigrant workers in Queens are often loath to alert authorities to unsafe or unfair working conditions for fear of being deported, but several lawmakers want to make it clear that every worker in the borough has the same rights. Comment.

Queens man killed in road fix operation on Cross Island

Errol Wilson, a Queens resident and 18-year veteran of the city Department of Transportation, was killed in an accident while conducting late-night repair work Tuesday on the Cross Island Parkway near Northern Boulevard in Bayside, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday. Comment.

Avella censures 311 at town hall meet

Since taking office in January, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has repeatedly pledged to stay active in the local affairs of his constituents, and during his first town hall meeting last week, he placed himself — literally— between the city’s various departments and the people they serve. Comment.

‘Absolutely Anna’ taking the stage at Bay Terrace

Anna Berger, known for her portrayals of characters in film and television and on the stage, brings her original play, “Absolutely Anna,” to the Bay Terrace Jewish Center this Sunday. Comment.

Answers needed over conversion of street

An open letter to City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone). Comment.

Korean merchants in Flushing must find funds for English signs

Regarding the May 5 TimesLedger Newspapers article “Signage fix eludes leaders,” isn’t it time we stopped kidding about “poor merchants” who “cannot afford” to change their signs to conform with the state law passed in the early 1900s, which says that all signs must be prominently in English? Comment.

Keep budget by cutting pensions

Your recent story about local City Council members reacting to the mayor’s proposed budget is interesting. While all of them profess the desire to help the middle class by making cuts, none of them talk about cutting spending. Comment.

Mayor should tap into surplus, but not lay off any city teachers

Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed his budget for the city and he is still insisting that he will have to lay off nearly 6,000 teachers. Comment.

A Welcome Bump in the Road

Speed bumps are a pain. Even at 30 mph they can damage the bottom of a passenger car and spill the driver’s coffee. Nobody likes driving over a speed bump. Nevertheless, we are certain the people living along Maurice Avenue in Maspeth welcome the three new speed bumps put into place last week by the city Department of Transportation. Comment.

Our History: Daniel Webster fought hard for interests of federal gov’t

In what is known as the Webster-Hayes debate, Daniel Webster argued for “the supremacy of the federal government.” With all of his notable abilities and accomplishments, Webster unfortunately did not achieve his hope of succeeding one day to the presidency. He was, however, in negotiations over the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1843 to achieve what turned out to be his greatest diplomatic success. This treaty dealt with our country’s northeast boundary. Comment.

Political Action: Gov’t must find better way to get ballots out to military

The U.S. Congress has recently passed the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, whereby state and local ballots have to be ready 45 days before an election so these ballots can be sent to overseas military personnel and returned in a manner that allows sufficient time for these ballots to be counted. Comment.

I Sit And Look Out: Father-in-law was a self-made man

My father-in-law, Dr. Charles Radack, and former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan never met, but there was what might be called an intersection once, and that is what leads me to write about two poor American kids who made it in their lives. Only in America. Comment.

Dishing with Dee: Delicious food and drink abound at Taste of Queens

Queens is coming into its own. It has made an impressive transition from a bedroom community for Manhattan into a vibrant, diversified borough on its own merit. It’s no longer necessary to travel into Manhattan to work, shop, eat, be entertained, etc. — that is, not unless you want to. For special occasions, the city is still the best, but for regular lifestyle events check out the beautiful, bountiful borough known as Queens. Comment.

Board agrees on 7.5% water

Get ready to pay more for your water. Comment.

Elmhurst Hospital opens new brick walkway

Elmhurst Hospital Center has already raised all the funds for its planned Women’s Health Pavilion, but a new venture is expected to keep the donations flowing and provide something permanent for the givers. Comment.

No bail for alleged terrorists

Two Whitestone men from North Africa made their second appearances in Manhattan criminal court Tuesday after being ordered held without bail last Thursday on terrorism charges. Comment.

Spring Community Fair offers info for Elmhurst

The Community Partnership Initiative will hold a Spring Community Resource Fair at Elmhurst’s The Rock Church May 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Comment.

Drink mogul speaks at SJU

The St. John’s University graduate who crated a multibillion-dollar beverage company returned to his alma mater Sunday to impart three nuggets of simple wisdom to the class of 2011. Comment.
Astoria Times

Gianaris: No tax help for Big Electric

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) condemned a bill passed in the Senate Monday to give tax abatements to power generators, saying it would provide them with an unfair tax benefit. Comment.

Third car slams into barriers at Queensboro exit

Yet another car smashed into a Long Island City commercial block early Saturday morning after careening down an off-ramp of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. Comment.

Koslowitz to host Pacific Islander cultural celebration

Did you know May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month? Comment.

Mets clubhouse manager took $2.3M in team artifacts: DA

The former clubhouse manager for the New York Mets was charged in Queens Criminal Court last week with stealing nearly $2.3 million worth of Mets memorabilia, including autographed jerseys, bats and baseballs belonging to the Flushing team, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment.

Walder wants LIRR to do Amtrak track work

The trains are running back on schedule, but the ride for Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road is still a bit bumpy. Comment.

Feds eye Huntley: Source

State Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-St. Albans) is under federal investigation, a legislative source familiar with the probe said. Comment.
Astoria Times

Credit union marks 1st year

With 602 members and assets of more than $300,000, the East River Development Alliance’s Federal Credit Union has had a magnificent first year, ERDA founder and CEO Bishop Mitchell Taylor announced at a meeting for the union. Comment.

Council pushes feds to back St. Albans VA

The City Council is backing the calls of veterans and southeast Queens leaders for the federal government to reconsider its plans for the St. Albans Veterans Center. Comment.

Black, white residents leave boro as Asian numbers rise: Census

Queens has grown more diverse over the last 10 years, with the Asian and Hispanic populations rising while whites and blacks are fleeing the borough, according to census data released last week. Comment.

Astoria photographer has eye for firefighters’ inner bravery

When Astoria resident Katherine Kostreva takes pictures of shirtless firefighters in New York City and the rest of country for her self-published calendars, she is doing it to say thanks. Comment.

Tribe mulling plans for Aqueduct racino rival

The Shinnecock Nation said it has received an offer to build a casino at Belmont Race Track in Nassau, which could put a dent into profits for the Aqueduct racino in Queens that is slated to open in late summer. Comment.

Woodside mom allegedly threw out baby: DA

A 23-year-old Woodside woman has been charged with throwing her just-born baby into the trash can of an Elmhurst Hospital Center bathroom, the Queens district attorney’s office said, and the infant girl is currently on life support. Comment.

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