Friday, June 27, 2008

Whitestone Times

Accident on LIE spills gravel onto highway

FRESH MEADOWS — A major accident on the Long Island Expressway created a nightmare for motorists Saturday. Comment
Whitestone Times

Foreclosure bill passes but Padavanreprieve fails

A day after more than a dozen homeowners facing foreclosure stormed state Sen. Frank Padavan's (R-Bellerose) district office, legislators in Albany passed a bill that will assist the hundreds of borough residents in danger of losing their homes. Comment
Whitestone Times

Board names public oversight as condition for approval

Community Board 7's committee studying the city's planned redevelopment of Willets Point voted 22-3 to recommend approval of the project if a series of conditions are met by the time it goes to the City Council for a vote later this year. Comment

No Pity for Bad Cops

If new allegations against former cops, who admit accepting cash and sexual favors for protecting a Flushing whore house, are true, then the hammer should come down hard. Informants allegedly say that two former 109th Precinct cops planted drugs on suspects and stole their cash. Comment
Queens Village

Sanders, Laurelton residents protest motel

City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) and a group of angry southeast Queens residents took their frustration over a proposed motel near Springfield Gardens High School right to the doorstep of the lodge's developer Monday night. Comment
Queens Village

No arrests after slaying of 41-year-old, police say

A violent murder that was committed over an alleged argument early Sunday morning left a close neighborhood in Jamaica shocked and frightened. Comment
Queens Village

New Floral Park biz brings traffic problems: Resident

A Floral Park resident organized a petition drive to get 260th Street by Hillside Avenue converted to a one-way street after he claimed traffic took a turn for the worse on the block when a new business opened. Comment
Queens Village

Jamaica man convicted of raping Columbia student

A Jamaica homeless man with a long criminal history was found guilty Tuesday of raping and trying to murder a Columbia journalism student in her own apartment last year. Comment
Queens Village

City closes strip club where Bell was shot to death

The strip club where Sean Bell spent the last hours of his life was shut down last month, the city Department of Health revealed Friday. Comment
Queens Village

Bell shooting inspires police education bill

The state Senate unanimously passed a new bill last week to improve police procedures and conduct in light of the Sean Bell shooting. Comment

All about Benjamin

Stephan Benjamin couldn’t do much more than wait. Wait for his opportunity. Wait for a chance to prove himself, to prove that a Campus Magnet football player belonged in the game. Comment

Little Neck candy shop to close in August

After 13 years in business, Little Neck's neighborhood candy shop will close its doors this summer for good. Comment

Douglaston landmarking debate divides community

Homeowners, community members and City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) were divided over the fate of 21 historic structures in Douglaston Tuesday as they testified before the city Landmarks Preservation Commission. Comment

Contractual issue snarls antenna permit at CB 13

Community Board 13 granted a request Monday by North Shore Towers to delay a vote on whether to extend permits for communications antennas on the roofs of the co-op pending an investigation into potential health effects from the devices. Comment

Bellerose Playground park house reopens after 10-year shutdown

Just in time for summer, the city Parks Department upgraded the park house at the Bellerose Playground this month after the structure had been closed for 10 years because of vandalism. Comment

Restraining order prevents opening of slaughterhouse

Democratic State Committeewoman Joan Flowers obtained a temporary restraining order preventing R&B Slaughterhouse, at 126-24 Farmers Blvd., from opening June 16. Residents and leaders, including state Assemblyman William Scarborough (D-St. Albans), have called for the establishment's removal because they feared it would contaminate the surrounding residential neighborhood. Comment

CB 13 backs Laurelton rezoning

Community Board 13 unanimously endorsed the proposal to rezone 240 blocks of Laurelton at its monthly meeting Monday. Comment
Fresh Meadows

Foreclosure bill passes but Padavan reprieve fails

A day after more than a dozen homeowners facing foreclosure stormed state Sen. Frank Padavan's (R-Bellerose) district office, legislators in Albany passed a bill that will assist the hundreds of borough residents in danger of losing their homes. Comment

Developers plan for new building in Briarwood

A Briarwood building on Hoover Avenue may soon have a neighbor after part of the lot on which it sits was sold last week to a Long Island developer. Comment

Councilman says mayor has ignored Utopia problem

The Utopia Jewish Center hosted a news conference Friday about the flooding of Utopia Parkway that has been bedeviling the neighborhood for at least two decades and occurred again June 14. Comment

Sentencing for former 109th Pct. officer delayed

A Brooklyn federal court judge has delayed the sentencing of a former 109th Precinct officer who pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in December after new evidence surfaced that he and other officers allegedly planted drugs at crime scenes in order to make arrests, according to court papers. Comment

Ellen Young makes history as temporary Assembly speaker

State Assemblywoman Ellen Young (D-Flushing) became the first Asian American to officiate over the state Assembly last Thursday when she acted as Assembly speaker pro tempore in place of state Assemblyman Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan). Comment

Residents blast park order

Bayside resident John Geiyer has fond memories of the parkland that surrounds his home. Comment

PS 41 class gives $3K to China quake kids

A group of PS 41 third graders gathered on the steps outside their Bayside school Tuesday morning to present a check for $3,100 to the president of UNICEF. Comment

CB 11 wants cells allowed in schools

Community Board 11 members voted 22-12 Monday to support a resolution that calls on Schools Chancellor Joel Klein to change the city's current policy and allow students to bring cell phones to schools. Comment

Avella seeks investigation

City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) was expected to announce Thursday that he will introduce a resolution into the City Council calling for the FBI to launch an investigation into the Chinese Consulate in Manhattan for its alleged involvement in attacks on Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing. Comment
Astoria Times

Woman arrested for making threats: Cops

LONG ISLAND CITY — Police arrested a 31-year-old woman for making violent threats during an argument Sunday. Comment
Astoria Times

Maspeth woman arrested in airplane assault: Cops

DENVER, COLO — A Maspeth woman was released on bail Monday after being accused of punching a flight attendant on a cross-country flight last week, authorities said. Comment
Astoria Times

Man arrested for attack with pole in Astoria: Cops

ASTORIA — Police arrested a 52-year-old man last Thursday for allegedly striking another person in the face with a metal pole. Comment
Astoria Times

Car crash stops traffic in LIC

LONG ISLAND CITY — A collision between two vehicles shut down traffic at the intersection of 23rd Street and Broadway Saturday evening. A red Chevrolet sedan ran a red light going east on Broadway at the same time a silver Hyundai was heading north on 23rd Street. Comment

When a heat wave hits the city, schools should close for the day

As a school teacher, I contend our public and parochial schools should have been either closed or dismissed for a half-day during the recent heat wave. There were schools in New Jersey and on Long Island that closed either for a full day or a half-day and also cancelled after-school outdoor activities because of the excessive heat and humidity. Comment

Tim Russert epitomized the word ‘integrity’

I believe the program "Meet the Press," hosted by Tim Russert, keeps me informed about what is happening around the nation. In a way I feel Russert is family because he cared about what American families are up against. Comment

Elite high school budget cuts would harm pupils’ education

Walk the halls of Townsend Harris High School on Queens College's campus and you will see pictures of distinguished graduates, including Broadway composers Richard Rodgers and Ira Gershwin and Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. Comment

Capping property tax hikes would help working families

During this period of rising fuel, pension and health care costs, New Yorkers, especially middle-class and working families, need tax relief. That is why I support a property tax hike cap, endorsed by both Gov. David Paterson and a tax-relief commission. It is a shame that Albany has blocked this common sense proposal, bowing to lobbyists and special interest pressure. Comment

Off with Their Heads

Imagine living next to a slaughterhouse, the smell of rancid blood and goat guts wafting through the neighborhood as your children play. It is hard not to sympathize with St. Albans homeowners protesting the opening of a slaughterhouse planned for their residential neighborhood. Comment

Holy Hyperbole!

It was no fun witnessing the demise of Mets manager Willie Randolph. For weeks, the Wilpons let him dangle, only to fire him on the West Coast at 3 a.m. East Coast time. Randolph has been a stand-up guy who had enjoyed some success until the meltdown began last August. We wish him well. Comment

A Man of the People?

How does a billionaire convince the little people that he knows what they are going through? That is the dilemma facing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has 18 months left before leaving office by term limits. Comment
Astoria Times

The Civic Scene

Few people know that many Queens high school graduates have already attended three or four award ceremonies where they have been honored for their achievements. About two weeks ago, many seniors attended an awards ceremony where they received certificates, plaques and trophies. In a school like Hillcrest High School, 400 honors can be given to 200 students. In a small high school, the same percentage of students received honors. Comment
Astoria Times

South Queens Speaks

A mosquito bite is not always benign. Some mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus, a viral disease that can cause mild to severe symptoms and possible death from infected mosquitoes. Comment
Astoria Times

Political Action

A recent Quinnipiac University poll of possible 2010 New York gubernatorial candidates revealed some interesting results. Of those registered state voters polled, 30 percent of them favored Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 26 percent former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 23 percent Gov. David Paterson, 15 percent state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and 6 percent had no answer or favored other candidates. Comment
Astoria Times

Neighbor to Neighbor

Some things deserve to be repeated. With summer here, remember that is it against the law to buy, sell, store or use fireworks. They are dangerous and cause injuries and sometimes death. They can also lead to fines and jail time. Instead, make use of public fireworks displays. Comment
Astoria Times

Dishing with Dee

The weeks seem to be flying by. Before we know it, summer will be over. Can you believe that the Fourth of July is next week? Comment

Berger’s Burg

It is now the beginning of summer. 'Tis the season for relaxing, thinking cool and laughing. As a refreshing breeze to you sweaty, uncomfortable readers, this week's column offers a collection of light, mirthful and frothy looks at life. Laugh loud, live easy and be jolly. Comment
Astoria Times

How’s Business?

I attend Queens financial networking and seminar meetings and always hear professionals speak about smart things to do with money. This week, though, let's talk about bad things you could do with your money and how to have smart alternatives. Comment
Astoria Times

Astoria cafe pleases many palates

Astoria has grown to become one of the borough's most diverse neighborhoods in recent years, and Ted Kouris said his newly opened Lava Bar & Grill can cater to the varying needs of the community's protean population. Comment

Woodside’s PS 12 chosen for playground upgrade

Four borough schools, including sites in Maspeth and Ridgewood, will have their playgrounds renovated for the upcoming school year to include new equipment, benches and improved athletic fields, a nonprofit group that raises funds to build recreation space at city schools said. Comment

Women have a long way to go for equality: Maloney, Quinn

Three women trailblazers, among them a Queens congresswoman, spoke Monday about their view of the road ahead for women and said the sexes still are not equal. Comment

78th St. to become Sunday ‘play street’

Jackson Heights pedestrians will get a little more breathing space on Sundays this summer and fall after Community Board 3 voted to close off 78th Street to vehicle traffic. Comment

Suspicious fire in MidVill claims its fourth victim

The fourth victim in a suspicious Father's Day fire at a Middle Village apartment building died last week as police continued to investigate whether the blaze was caused by arson, police said. Comment

Suspected cat burglar arrested

A 25-year-old Brooklyn man suspected of being the Forest Hills cat burglar and linked to four residential break-ins since May in the 112th Precinct has been arraigned on charges stemming from the theft of thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry and electronic equipment, the Queens district attorney said last week. Comment

Special election victory gives Republicans hope for Nov.

Queens Republican leaders said they believe newly elected City Councilman Anthony Como's (R-Middle Village) recent win in the special election to replace former City Councilman Dennis Gallagher was a sign that state Sen. Serphin Maltese (R-Glendale) would fare well during his fall re-election bid. Comment

S. Ozone Pk. man pimped teen: DA

A South Ozone Park man last week became the first person in the state to be indicted under a new sex trafficking statue that passed the state Legislature last year, Queens DA Richard Brown said. Comment

Solstice party draws festivalgoers west with the sun

For some people, the beginning of summer means hot days on the beach, sunshine and vacation. For others, it is a special occasion that marks the dawning of a new cycle of Mother Nature. Comment

Richmond Hill soldier killed

Those close to National Guard Sgt. Andrew Seabrooks say the Richmond Hill native lived for two things: his family and to save their beloved Richmond Hill house from debt collectors. Comment
Astoria Times

Rent hike unsettles tenants in Queens

James Kim wanted to continue taking courses toward his bachelor's degree in accounting this fall, but now with the Rent Guidelines Board's big rent increase for the city's rent-stabilized apartments, Kim may have to halt his education to help his mother afford their rent-stabilized Flushing apartment. Comment

Queens subway riders struggle for comfort

There may be a building boom in Flushing and Long Island City, but the No. 7 subway line that links them cannot accommodate any more trains and already carries one of the borough's heavier passenger loads. Comment

PS 229 in Woodside wins recycling award

Queens schools led the pack in recycling and cleanup in this year's Sanitation Department Golden Apple awards, taking home four citywide awards, compared with two each from Manhattan and Brooklyn and one from Staten Island. Comment

Nonprofit lauds 2 from Qns.

A citywide nonprofit volunteer organization has honored a Long Island City man and a Woodside woman for their long-term volunteer work assisting recent immigrants and underprivileged children from Queens and the Bronx. Comment

New turn signals coming to Northern Blvd.

Turning left on Northern Boulevard is about to get a little easier in Jackson Heights and Woodside. State Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette (D-Jackson Heights) announced 27 new left-turn traffic signals will be installed at intersections on the thoroughfare between 57th and 114th streets. Comment
Astoria Times

MTA worker faces charges following Internet sex sting

Queens prosecutors arraigned a 57-year-old Long Island resident and longtime Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker last Thursday on charges of attempting to meet an NYPD Vice detective, whom the accused believed was a 14-year-old Queens girl, for sex. Comment
Astoria Times

MTA eliminates free pass perks

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board has voted to abolish the policy of giving board members free bus and subway MetroCards and free E-ZPasses for personal use outside of MTA business. Comment

Monserrate pushes plan to find jobs for veterans

With a historically high ratio of veterans surviving major battlefield injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, a Queens councilman joined advocates Monday to announce that a new job initiative for them is coming to the city next spring. Comment

Man arrested in Queens Plaza stabbing

A Brooklyn man who police believe may have been behind a series of stabbings in western Queens was arrested Tuesday evening and faces charges of stabbing a woman this weekend as she was taking a walk with her daughter. Comment

Maltese poll says he has big lead over Addabbo

An internal poll conducted by state Sen. Serphin Maltese's (R-Glendale) campaign last week showed the longtime incumbent defeating his likely Democratic challenger, City Councilman Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach), in November by 27 points. Comment

Kaufman gets ready to expand studio space

Kaufman Astoria Studios will finally break ground this fall on a $20 million project that includes a new soundstage and support space, the president said, while it eventually plans to close off a portion of 36th Street to allow for the creation of a studio lot. Comment

Justice for slain Jax. Hts. teen

A 21-year-old Springfield Gardens man was sentenced last week to 24 years in state prison for fatally shooting his teenage girlfriend during a dispute inside her Jackson Heights apartment building in April 2007, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment

Glendale residents question Q45 changes

Representatives of a Queens neighborhood have complained of a surfeit of unbidden bus routes through their residential streets to a mall owned by the family of Dale Hemmerdinger, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman. Comment

Glendale library branch to start building children’s section

Glendale's Queens Library branch will finally break ground later this summer on the long-awaited renovations to its children's room, which will include additional books and computers, a library spokesman said. Comment

‘07 Flood victims seek help

Almost 11 months after the Aug. 8, 2007, storm that swamped Queens and put the borough on the city comptroller's radar for compensation for damages, Sunny Tam is still waiting to see if he will receive any of the money he claimed after his Fresh Meadows basement apartment flooded. Comment
Astoria Times

FAA mismanagement will snarl air traffic: Schumer

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has predicted worsening air traffic jams climaxing in "total gridlock" at New York City airports and accused the Federal Aviation Administration of driving away air controllers through a "culture of fear." Comment

City will spray borough to ward off West Nile Virus

The city Department of Health will begin spraying larvicide in several parts of Queens in the coming weeks in an effort to ward off a West Nile Virus outbreak. Comment
Astoria Times

City survey on services to hit 20,000 residents in borough

If you get a postcard and then a survey in the mail from the city, do not panic. It is not a jury questionnaire and it does not mean Big Brother is watching you. Comment

City plans to tweak N. Corona rezoning

The Department of City Planning has more changes in mind for North Corona. In a preliminary recommendation, officials unveiled plans to reduce the maximum density of many residential blocks in the area. Comment

Citigroup anticipates cutting 6,000 jobs

The banking giant has two towers at One and Two Court Square in Long Island City, which house 6,000 of the company's 25,000 employees citywide. Comment

Borukhova wins child visitation rights

Although she was granted the right to see her daughter in jail, the incarcerated doctor who is accused of having her estranged husband killed in a Forest Hills playground lashed out against her in-laws in Family Court last week for having custody of the girl. Comment
Astoria Times

Boro’s GOP senators confident in spite of Bruno’s retirement

The borough's two Republican state senators said Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno's (R-Saratoga Springs) abrupt and unexpected announcement Monday that he would not seek re-election has no bearing on their chances to hold on to their seats. Comment
Astoria Times

Boro schools improve state math, English scores

Queens students in grades three through eight showed great progress on statewide English Language Arts and math exams, according to results released by the state Department of Education Monday. Comment
Astoria Times

Boro needs clean buses, more routes: Marshall

Borough President Helen Marshall opened a transit forum by proclaiming that buses are Queens' transportation lifeline — with most straphangers agreeing and some questioning the lifeline's reliability. Comment

Baldeo offered to withdraw for judgeship: Qns. Dems

The Queens County Democratic Party's executive secretary said the county organization recently turned down Ozone Park attorney Albert Baldeo's request to support him for a judgeship in return for his not running against Councilman Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) in the September primary. Comment
Astoria Times

Remain in Light

Dina Denis' dance company, Dance Into Light, has been performing since 2003, and their most recent show was held June 13-14 at the Green Space Studios in Long Island City. The show featured the Middle Village-based group's new and repertory works, as well as a piece by Denis' students at Nadia's Performing Arts Center in Whitestone and live original music by Rob Ash, Steve Scalfani and Ken White. Comment
Astoria Times

Veteran College Pt. rocker going strong with new CD

On June 5, College Point native Bill Popp and his band The Tapes celebrated the release of their newest album, "My Lonely Mind," at Kenny's Castaways on Bleecker Street, a favorite venue of the band. Comment
Astoria Times

LIC Arabic music group honored by Independent Music Awards

NEW YORK — The Long Island City-based Arabic music and dance ensemble Zikrayat are among the diverse group of artists chosen as the Independent Music Awards Vox Populi winners. Comment

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Astoria Times

Berger’s Burg

It is now the beginning of summer. 'Tis the season for relaxing, thinking cool and laughing. As a refreshing breeze to you sweaty, uncomfortable readers, this week's column offers a collection of light, mirthful and frothy looks at life. Laugh loud, live easy and be jolly. Comment

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Astoria resident sounds the call

As Ryan Resky and the rest of his classmates in the Lindenhurst High Class of 1996 were mapping out their futures, 11th grade physical education teacher Jeff Smith had Resky’s planned out. Comment
Astoria Times

Dining Out

One of the best things about living in Queens is the easy access to exotic dining. A case in point is The Catch Restaurant in St. Albans, a pocket-sized eatery with bragging rights to being Queens' only restaurant specializing in the cuisine of Barbados. Comment

Paper ‘out of touch’ with readers in actions

Once again, the Bayside Times, in its June 6 editorial "Cheap Shot," is out of touch with its readers and this city. And, once again, I stand by my position. Comment

Legislators should form union

After hearing our state legislators' crying and complaining about the failure to receive a raise from wealthy state taxpayers, I have devised a solution to this problem facing those who go to Albany and claim to represent us. Comment

Heat wave power outages prove Con Ed not doing effective job

The first heat wave of the season came and went, but already there were problems with electrical service in the city. There were also problems on several subway lines. Comment

Good deed saves Douglaston man from losing his valuables forever

On Sunday, I played tennis at Crocheron Park, as I do every Sunday. It was hot and an hour of singles was enough to send me rushing home for a cool shower. As I got out of my car, I realized that I was missing my fanny pack in which I had my wallet, cell phone and other items that pretty much comprise my life. Without them, I would be lost. Comment

Bloomberg should be allowed to serve a third term as mayor

I feel that Mayor Michael Bloomberg deserves another term as mayor. I find it sad that we have term limits which prevent that from happening. Comment
Astoria Times

The Civic Scene

This school year started with high hopes for improving the city school system. Principals were given autonomy over the way money was to be spent. They were also promised more money so they could help failing students and a bonus if students' test scores improved. There was the threat, however, that if their school received a failing grade, they would be removed or fired. Comment
Astoria Times

Political Action

Our present mayor began his political affiliation as a Democrat and changed to a Republican when he first ran for mayor in 2001. By running as a Republican, he received the party nomination without having to go through the Democratic primary. Comment
Astoria Times

Our History

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their rounds." Comment
Astoria Times

Neighbor to Neighbor

Too many people do not know that the police officers who serve our communities are regular folks with families, friends, hopes, talents and fears. The demands sometimes made on them to respond to dangerous situations set them apart from the rest of us. What makes them different is bravery. Comment
Astoria Times

I Sit and Look Out

It may be that the Dutch, having suffered under the harsh rule of Spain and the Holy Inquisition, decided, even though many were staunch Calvinists, that religious freedom was wise to espouse. In 1579, long before they founded New Netherlands here, they proclaimed that "no one shall be persecuted because of his religion." Comment
Astoria Times

Dishing with Dee

This week was not the same old type. Tuesday we went to a fund-raiser for Paul Vallone at Verdi's in Whitestone. Dad, Peter Sr., Mom Teena and brother Peter Jr. were there for support. The only one who could not attend was brother Perry. The place was packed with about 150 people. Comment
Astoria Times

Berger’s Burg

Hot weather and insects are soulmates. A wife walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter. "What are you doing?" she asked. "Hunting flies," he responded. "Kill any?" she asked. "Yes, three males and two females." Intrigued, she asked, "How can you tell?" He answered, "Three were on a beer can and two on the phone." Comment



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