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Courier honors Bloomberg by crowning him ‘King’

Just hours before announcing his bid for a third term in office, Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned of tough times ahead, but vowed that the city would lead the way economically and environmentally as he accepted an award which dubbed him the “King of Queens” from a borough weekly newspaper.

The Queens Courier honored 19 borough leaders at its “Kings of Queens” ceremony last Thursday at Douglaston Manor. The mayor, who spoke to a packed crowd at the catering hall less than three hours before announcing he would seek another term, was honored as the “King of Queens” and given a trophy by the paper’s publisher, Victoria Schneps−Yunis.

The mayor said the nation’s economic struggles and Wall Street woes would not negatively affect city services.

“We’re going through tough times in this city, in this country and in this world,” Bloomberg said. “People will have tough times getting loans for college tuition and homes. If banks are unwilling to lend money, this economy will be in trouble. We’ll do everything we can to keep this economy going.”

He said the city would not allow the economy to affect other factors in the city.

“We can’t let crime get worse, let schools get worse or have cultural institutions fall apart,” he said. “And being environmentally sensitive is good for businesses if done the right way. It can attract people to come to New York and generate a lot of revenue.”

The mayor also described the controversial redevelopment of Willets Point as “a great opportunity.” He said that project could create new businesses and jobs during a struggling economy.

Honorees at the ceremony included Borough President Helen Marshall; Albert Pennisi, president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce; Gary Isenberg, chief executive officer of Field Hotels; Michael Rosenblut, president of Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation; Peter Meyer, city market president for Commerce Bank; Marc Kramer, CEO of the Daily News; Joseph Mattone, CEO of the Mattone Group; Antonio Martin, executive director of Queens Hospital Center; and Bruce Bendell, dealer principal at Major Automotive Group.

Other honorees included Joseph Ferrara, CEO of Ferrara Brothers Building Materials Corp.; Dr. Nicholas Vogiatzis, CEO of Queens−Long Island Medical Group, P.C.; Thomas Newell, vice president of the Brooklyn−Queens electrical operation at Con Edison; Chris Constantino, executive director of Elmhurst Hospital Center; Joseph Ficalora, CEO of New York City Community Bancorp; Michael Lee, CEO of TDC Development; Eduardo Giraldo, founder of Abtex International Brokers Inc.; the Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake, pastor of Greater Allen AME Cathedral Jamaica; and Damon Hemmerdinger, developer of Glendale’s Shops at Atlas Park.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at nduke@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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