Thursday, Jan. 22, 2004

Korean refugee bill gains support in Flushing

"The Kim Jung Il regime is one of the most terrible regimes that exists in the world. We've got to help," said Ellen Kang, the founder of the Korean-American Defenders of Freedom group, referring to the government in North Korea. Comment

Long illness takes life of CB 8’s Katz

Katz, who lived in Jamaica Estates, was a community leader and a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at PS 131 for 25 years before she retired in 1991. Three years later she developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare neurological disease that causes impermanent paralysis, after taking a flu shot. Comment

NE Queens’ 109th Precinct sees 10 percent crime drop

The Police Department statistics "demonstrate that even with so few resources the men and women of the 109th Precinct do a phenomenal job of keeping our neighborhoods safe and they continue to get even better at it," Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) said. Comment

Dward Giraffe: DePhillips Sporting Goods tops Cascarino’s Pizzeria

On Sunday night there was a full schedule of games in the DG Senior Division. In the first game DePhillips Sporting Goods defeated Cascarino’s Pizzeria in a hard-fought battle. Scott Leo led DePhillips with 23 points, followed by Mena Yacoub’s 21 points and Ed Johnston’s 19 points. Joey Mare scored 35 points for Cascarino’s. Comment

College Point intersection to get four-way stop sign

"It is good news for College Point residents that DOT has at long last responded to the safety concerns at this location," Avella said. "When I first became involved in the College Point community over 20 years ago, this was one of the first civic issues I worked on." Comment

Queens Botanical Garden 9/11 fund blooms to $20K

A $10,000 grant from the Mushroom Trust in Scotland will be contributed to the fund named for Neil Levin, the executive director of the Port Authority who died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center two years ago. Comment

Civil rights leader’s legacy remembered in St. Albans

Living proof of the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. filled the Roy Wilkins Park Family Center last Thursday in celebration of what would have been the civil rights leader’s 75th birthday. Comment

Plumbers help save Little Neck school’s computers

"We had trouble getting into our programs," said Justin Muller, a sixth-grade representative in the school's student organization, which showed Avella the lab of more than 30 computers that had problems connecting to a server. Comment

Douglaston Hill may get landmark status

Sievers, society co-president Julia Schoeck and executive committee member Kevin Wolfe met Jan. 14 with Landmarks Commission Chairman Robert Tierney, commission staff and Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside), who led a rally the week before to press for landmark status for Douglaston Hill. Comment

Avella denies Padavan’s ballfield charges

Padavan (R-Bellerose) urged the Queens district attorney to file criminal charges against officers of the College Point Sports Association back in 2001 after five contractors were indicted for illegally dumping debris on the group's ballfields. Comment

TimesLedger wins 10 awards in news contest

TimesLedger newspapers this week captured seven first-place and three second-place awards in the 2003 Suburban Newspapers of America contest, including the coveted Suburban Journalist of the Year award won by reporter Courtney Dentch. Comment

Gianaris eyes race for Spitzer’s seat

State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) has begun raising more than $1 million for a possible campaign for state attorney general in 2006, but he said he will run for the post only if current office holder Eliot Spitzer decides not to seek re-election. Comment

Congregation mulls fate of Astoria church

Faced with a financial crisis, the members of a Presbyterian church in Astoria are grappling with two choices: to save their 82-year-old church from the ravages of time or to keep their congregation alive. Comment

Astoria travel agency refunds scam victims

Refund checks are being distributed this month to more than 200 customers who were ripped off two years ago by an Astoria travel agency that went out of business before providing airline tickets the travelers had already paid for. Comment

AirTrain ridership on track to meet year-end goal: PA

In its first month, the AirTrain rail link to Kennedy Airport carried an average of more than 15,000 passengers a day, but the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is hoping to push daily ridership to 34,000 by the end of the year, a spokesman said. Comment

The ‘Other’ Victims: Boro survivor recalls non-Jews in Holocaust

When Michael Preisler was a teenager in pre-World War II Poland, he had always expected to take over his father’s architectural firm in the town of Jarocin. Comment

111th beefs up patrols after Auburndale woman raped

The 111th Precinct’s first rape of 2004, in which a woman was attacked and robbed in her Auburndale home last week, has brought stepped-up patrols and a push by a local civic group to renew neighborhood watch programs in the area. Comment

Avella denies Padavan’s ballfield charges

Councilman Tony Avella’s recent campaign to hold on to his northeast Queens seat revived a two-year-old effort on the part of Republican state Sen. Frank Padavan to pin the blame for the closing of the College Point ballfields squarely on the Democratic incumbent. Comment

Blaze erupts in Bell Boulevard gift shop

An electrical basement fire spread to the ground floor of the Top Drawer gift shop on Bell Boulevard Wednesday afternoon, causing heavy damage to the store and filling the Papazzio restaurant next door with smoke. Comment

Bay Terrace community blasts meters in protest

Bay Terrace residents and northeast Queens politicians picketed in front of doctors’ offices on Bell Boulevard Friday to protest the installation of parking meters in the area, which they said doctors had arranged without residents’ support. Comment

Flushing ushers in Year of Monkey with flair

With a row of firecrackers crackling and sending smoke into the air, Chinese watching the annual Lunar New Year parade in Flushing Saturday said this year’s celebration was particularly “yeet nao,” or filled with warmth and liveliness. Comment

NE Queens’ 109th Precinct sees 10 percent crime drop

The 109th Precinct in northeast Queens cut crime by 10 percent last year, a decrease the Flushing councilman and a police spokesman attributed to the influx of more officers into the area. Comment

Douglaston Hells Angel busted on drug ring charges

A former president of the New York City Hells Angels motorcycle gang has been charged with stockpiling a cache of 41 weapons at his Douglaston home and being part of the largest methamphetamine distribution ring ever found in upstate New York, authorities said. Comment

Queens leaders: Budget gets praise and criticism

Politicians and labor leaders in Queens had both criticism and praise for Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed $45.7 billion budget last week, saying they wanted raises for a host of municipal employees but agreed with $400 annual tax rebates for property owners. Comment

Spa takes the bite out of dental work

It is new age dentistry. Comment

How’s Business?: Health worries

It has been said that the more things change the more they remain the same. This saying is pertinent to a major issue that is talked about but continually put on the back burner — health coverage — and that will increasingly affect the people and businesses of Queens. Comment

A Storefront View: Bellerose shopping district grew from joint effort

The history of the Bellerose shopping district is a “tale of three cities.” Comment

Business Calendar

speaks at LICBDC Business Breakfast, 8-9:30 a.m., at Tennisport Restaurant on Borden Ave. and 2nd St. in LIC. Call 718.786.5300 x 21 to RSVP. Admission is $30 for nonmembers, and $25 for members. Sponsored by Sterling National Bank. Comment

Recent Real Estate Transactions

Bayside, 58-05 213 St., Single-Family Detached, $550,000, Bed 3, Bath 1, Construction: Brick, Basement: Full, Lot Size: 41 x 98, Taxes: $2,500 Comment

Editorial: The tragic fall of Sheldon Leffler

Leffler was sentenced last week to five years probation, a $5,000 fine... Comment

Editorial: Rush to ridicule

The ink had barely dried on the president's proposal for dealing with illegal immigrants when local officials began taking shots. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) and Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) blasted Bush and charged that the policy announced Jan. 7 is an election-year ploy that would eventually lead to deportations of Queens residents. Comment

President of Queens Chamber of Commerce resigns

The president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce announced his resignation this month, citing a job offer outside the borough as the reason for his departure. Comment

Berger’s Burg: Borough Asians celebrate Year of the Monkey

It was lunchtime at the Yangtse Restaurant, the only kosher eatery in town. At one table the Chinese waiter took the order in Hebrew, making small talk in that language with the diners as they studied the menu. The meal over, a customer paid at the desk and remarked to the Jewish owner, “I never saw a Chinese man speak Hebrew before.” Comment

Dishing with Dee: Electeds pay respects to Queens County clerk, kin

Old man winter has arrived with a vengeance. We were all spoiled with the mild December weather we enjoyed. It’s time to get the long johns, ear muffs, scarves, hats, gloves and sweaters out of the moth balls or cedar chests or wherever you stored them last year. Comment

Point of View: Lunar New Year festivities fill streets of Flushing

Three weeks ago millions of Americans watched the annual spectacle of a crystal ball dropping from the sky over New York City’s Times Square, signifying the start of a new year. While the celebratory euphoria is still very much in the air, here comes another one today. It is the Chinese Lunar New Year, or the Year of the Monkey. Comment

Teen Talk: True friendship requires an unconditional love

And I am lucky to say that I have had the pleasure of experiencing a few great friendships in my life... Comment

I Sit and Look Out: Queens was not immune from McCarthy’s impact

Last spring a committee of the U.S. Senate made public disclosure of the 1953-1954 transcripts of secret hearings held by Sen. Joseph McCarthy. At the time of the release, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who oversaw the release,... Comment

Neighbor to Neighbor: SE Queens writer recalls life of former radio host

When I woke up on Jan. 9, I switched on the radio and heard that former radio host John A. Gambling had died after a short illness. Like a lot of other families, the Gamblings had come into our homes and hearts most days of every week for many years. Some members of our family probably even heard the first Gambling radio presentation when John A.’s father, John B. Gambling, substituted for the host of an exercise program in 1925 and did such a fine job that he was asked to stay on. Comment

The Civic Scene: Media should emphasize positivity of boro schools

Recent articles make it seem like schools in Queens and the rest of the city are rampant with violence and crime. While there are problems in some educational institutions, most schools have few if any problems. The media highlight disruptive students and make it seem that everywhere there are terrible problems, while thousands in a particular school are learning up to capacity. Comment

The Plant Doctor: Poinsettias can be saved to bloom another season

Unquestionably, the most popular Christmas plant is the celebrated poinsettia. With careful planning, horticulturists encourage the plant to bloom right on cue. Regrettably, most poinsettias will be discarded shortly after the blooms depart the plant. With a little care, however, most of these truly beautiful plants can be saved to bloom still another season. Comment

Police Blotter: Queens men charged in Brooklyn bat fight

BROOKLYN — Seven Hispanic men, including two from Ridgewood, one from Ozone Park and four from Brooklyn were arrested in connection with a violent fight in front of 200 Knickerbocker Ave. in Brooklyn on Jan. 13 at around 12:51 a.m. that resulted in one victim dying and three victims being hospitalized for injuries, police said. Comment

Arts & Entertainment Listings

Acting Seniors Comment

Pataki proposes increase in funding for boro schools

Gov. George Pataki introduced education funding reforms Tuesday that would bring billions of dollars to public schools in Queens and across the city as part of his executive budget. Comment

A taste of Newport jazz comes to Queens

The joint was jumping Saturday night as the Newport Jazz Festival took its act on the road, making a stop at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University. Next stop — Queensborough Community College. Comment

QSO reaches out to younger audiences

G. Garrett Keast has joined the Queens Symphony Orchestra as director of education and community relations. He will develop and organize the orchestra’s education and outreach programs and will return to conduct and host the popular QSO Young People’s Concerts that he led last year. These special concerts were attended by more than 8,000 local registered schoolchildren in the two-part series that Keast helmed last season. Comment

Filipino writer Tabios to speak at LaGuardia

Tabios, who has published 10 books of poetry, fiction, and essays, including “Beyond Life Sentences,” which received the Philippines National Book Award for Poetry, will conduct the reading in the college’s E-building at 31-10 Thomson Ave. Comment

Northeast Queens Community Calendar

Alzheimer’s Disease Comment

Queens arts group honors Unisphere 40th

Queens Council on the Arts celebrated the unveiling of a series of pieces based on the Unisphere last week at Shaheen’s Restaurant in Jackson Heights. Comment

Volunteers sought to aid Queens Symphony Orch.

The group is looking for friendly people to become a core group of dedicated volunteers. The plan is to create a group that will enjoy working and socializing together, while helping to promote the orchestra and its mission to the community of Queens. Comment

Bosco’s Corner: Anatomy  of another SJU loss

Being around the St. John’s University men’s basketball team is usually a pretty cool thing. Despite all the negative press of late, the multitude of losses and the fact that the team doesn’t have a head coach, the Red Storm is still THE Division I program in New York City. Comment

With Telfair healthy, Lincoln handles Cardozo

It was the second game of what high school basketball fans hope is a trilogy. And after the Cardozo boys’ basketball team struck first last month, Lincoln got its revenge Friday night in the Brooklyn Winter Classic at St. Francis College. Comment

Francis Lewis girls top Kearney in consolation game

Dawn Coleman was sitting on the bench nursing a sore right ankle, Alaina Davis had just fouled out and the Francis Lewis girls’ basketball team saw its 12-point lead disappear as the Patriots trailed Bishop Kearney by five with 2:23 left in the fourth quarter. Comment

Klein unveils $25M plan to evaluate third-graders

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein turned his attention to third-graders last week as he unveiled a host of intervention programs designed to help borough and city students advance to the fourth grade with the necessary reading and math skills. Comment

Mary Louis falls to St. Mikchael’s in tourney finals

It was the little team that could against mighty St. Michael’s and big, bad Kia Vaughn. Comment

St. Francis Prep takes bite out of Holy Cross

Laurence Jolicoeur’s turnaround foul line jumper capped a 22-5 run, and the William O’Meara Memorial Gym in the basement of Holy Cross High School exploded. Comment

McClancy hockey claims first place with 8-3 win over St. Ray’s

McClancy hockey coach Mike Brenneis stressed to his team the importance of trying to stop St. Raymond’s sniper Eddie Perez before their CHSHL ‘C’ division clash Friday at the Ice Hutch in Mount Vernon. Comment

Molloy Stanners strike late to capture bowling title

Entering the 10th frame with the CHSAA bowling championship on the line, Molloy’s Paul Cianciaruso wasn’t nervous. He just did what Anthony Cosenfino and Vince Castellano did before him. Comments (1)

TimesLedger Athlete of the Week: Bryan Geffen

School: St. Francis Prep Comment

Library to raise funds for face-lift

The restoration campaign announcement was made by Community Board 5 member Vincent Arcuri Jr., the Queens Library Foundation's vice president. Comment

Greater Ridgewood group cleared away graffiti in ‘03

The GRRC released its end-of-year report for 2003 last week, detailing a busy year the group had in its efforts to erase the work of graffiti vandals. Comment

Boro leaders honor King with plan to prevent bias

The event, co-sponsored by the New Immigrant Community Empowerment group, or NICE, and Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Jackson Heights), brought together representatives from groups such as the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee, Corona Congregational Church and South Asians Against Police Brutality and Racism. Comment

City unveils 2012 Olympic bid in Long Island City

At a news conference held in Queens West, the proposed location of the Olympic Village, Doctoroff and U.S. Olympic Committee President William Martin outlined details of the city' bid sent last week to the IOC. Comment

College Round-up: SJU’s Wingert picked 12th by Columbus Crew

It’s been the site of the two biggest losses of his college career, but former St. John’s men’s soccer star Chris Wingert will call Columbus Crew Stadium home after the Crew selected the defender 12th overall in the MLS SuperDraft Friday. Comment

SW Queens takes a bite out of crime

Incidents in the 106th Precinct, which includes the communities of Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Howard Beach and Broad Channel, dived by 16.72 percent during 2003, continuing the area's downward trend of documented criminal acts. Crime in the precinct has plummeted by 78.12 percent during the last 10 years, the statistics from Jan. 1 to Dec. 7 showed. Comment

Addabbo seeks medians, Forest Park renovations

Addabbo, chairman of the City Council's Parks Committee, told a Community Board 10 meeting two weeks ago that he wants money to make sure the greenhouse, built in 1905, does not fall further into disrepair following 47 years of neglect. He also said he wants to get funds to incorporate medians in his district into the citywide "Green Streets" program, designed to beautify major thoroughfares. Comment

The ‘Other’ Victims: Boro survivor recalls non-Jews in Holocaust

Preisler, 84, a Catholic now living in Richmond Hill, said the best part was that the father and son team would not have to change the sign because both were named Michael. Comment

Queens Boulevard may get overpass: DOT

DOT spokesman Tom Cocola did not wish to reveal specifics about the projects until they have been further discussed with transportation experts and key members of the community, but he assured the people of Queens that the DOT is still working diligently to make the notoriously dangerous boulevard safer. Comment

Washington Mutual opens location in Richmond Hill

The Woodhaven branch at 90-14 Jamaica Ave., which officially opened Nov. 17, and the Richmond Hill branch at 119-21 Liberty Ave., which opened Jan. 12, give residents in the two communities as well as those in Ozone Park and Howard Beach more options to save and grow their capital, said Michael Fina, assistant vice president of the Woodhaven bank. Comment

Queens pays tribute to women’s hoop team

Gail Marquis was once again the center of attention as she held court at Fitzgerald Gymnasium Saturday night. Comment

Richmond Hill museum searching for new home

Dan Gaydos, who opened the museum in June, said he hopes to expand programming and educational opportunities in the museum's future location. The problem is that Gaydos and other partners with the Museum of Sound Recording have yet to find a new permanent venue. Comment

3-alarm Richmond Hill fire guts home, damages others

The blaze started at around 11:30 a.m. as a one-alarm fire at 132-18 101st St. and grew within 20 minutes to a three-alarm fire, said Lt. Patrick Cleary, a spokesman for the city's Fire Department. Comment

Greater Jamaica celebrates AirTrain link to JFK at gala

At the Jan. 14 event, Greater Jamaica honored some of the Port Authority leaders who helped make the connection between Jamaica and Kennedy Airport a reality as well as the chief executive for HSBC Bank USA, which provided a grant to create the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District outside the AirTrain terminal. Comment

Q83, Q27 changes cause woes for Queens Village

But instead of improving their commutes, some riders of the Q83 and Q27 buses are complaining that the change is costing them more money and leaving them stranded late at night, according to those familiar with area transit routes. Comment

Queens men drop 3rd straight, fall to Adelphi 51-48

Greg Dickinson had a chance. He had a chance to exorcise the demons that have haunted him for almost a year and he had a chance to send the game into overtime for the Queens College men’s basketball team Tuesday night at Adelphi University. Comment

Magnet principal says high school is safe

Four magnet high schools are situated on the grounds, located at 207-01 116th Ave., and together they make up a campus that accommodates some 2,200 students. Comment

Jamaica veterans advocate dies at 61

Young, a former Springfield Gardens resident and the founder of several veterans support organizations, died Jan. 12, and about 50 family members and veterans gathered to remember her at a funeral in Jamaica Monday. Comment

Richmond Hill, Forest Hills clinics bilked insurers: DA

Brown, standing with Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly, said the charges were filed against a group of lawyers, doctors and other medical professionals who allegedly coordinated efforts in both Queens and Brooklyn to defraud insurance carriers after a two-year investigation. He said the defendants, including one from Richmond Hill and one from Forest Hills, have been charged with insurance fraud, grand larceny, falsifying business records, tampering with public records, falsely reporting an incident and conspiracy. Comment

More cops on beat on Jamaica streets

The new officers - who collared a man trying to break into a car and a shoplifter - are among the more than 60 new cops who hit the streets in downtown Jamaica in an extension of the Operation Impact program which reduced crime by 50 percent in a targeted zone there in 2003. Comment

Red Storm falls to Villanova

The St. John’s University men’s basketball team lost another painfully close Big East Conference matchup Sunday, falling to the Villanova University Wildcats, 85-74, at the Pavilion in Philadelphia. Comment

Couples exchange single life for vows in Flushing

Next to her, another bride sat with her husband-to-be, avoiding photographers and nervously rereading the wedding program. Comment

Hospital tests treatment for heroin users

Suboxone reduces withdrawal symptoms after addicts stop using heroin or other opiates. It is made up of Buprenorphine, a pain-relief medication, and Naloxone, an opiate blocker that has no effect if taken orally but causes people to feel sick if they abuse the drug by injecting it. Comment

Man sentenced to 21 years in Flushing Meadows rape

"Before this event I led a normal life with my family," the victim said in a letter to the court that was read to Judge Randall Eng by Assistant Queens District Attorney Donna Golia. Comment

Queens Farm animals weather falling mercury

"I said, "Somebody tell those ducks to get out of there,'" she said. Comment

DAC Basketball: Pier 25A Lightning splits two

Pier 25A Lightning played in two gutsy battles this week, winning one, 17-14, against the Washington Mutual Bank Sparks in an overtime nail-biter and losing one, 19-16, to the first-place Rockets. Comment

Hevesi attacks on MTA lead to new regulations

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has put into effect new financial reporting regulations issued by state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who once accused the MTA of a lack of accountability. Comment

‘We don’t want the CIA,’ protesters tell Maloney

Chanting, placard-carrying demonstrators picketed the Manhattan office of U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) Tuesday to protest legislation to permit the assigning of CIA agents to local police. Comment

Minors can easily buy adult-rated video games: Gioia

Racists, women-haters and cop killers. Comment


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