Friday, July 24, 2009

Whitestone Times

Traffic agent avoids car, but gets hit by sandwich

FLUSHING — A Flushing woman pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after she almost hit a traffic enforcement agent with her car and threw a sandwich at the agent, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney’s office said Monday. Comment
Whitestone Times

Flushing man, 25, acted as undercover cop: DA

FLUSHING — A Flushing man was arraigned on criminal impersonation charges after he allegedly posed as an undercover police officer, a spokeswoman for Queens DA Richard Brown said Monday. Comment
Whitestone Times

Bloomberg outspends Avella 250-1 in mayoral race: Filings

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has outspent City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) by about 251 times in the bid for the city’s highest seat, according to recent filings, but Avella said he is ignoring the numbers and instead focusing on getting his name and message out to city residents. Comment
Whitestone Times

Flushing gallery’s artwork portrays bovine as divine

A cow may be black and white, but 25 artists who have their bovine-inspired work on display at a Flushing art gallery see shades of gray — and countless other colors. Comment
Whitestone Times

Avella slams Council truants

City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) criticized some of his fellow Queens lawmakers who have not shown up for numerous committee meetings over the past fiscal year, saying the politicians should drop out of the committee rather than continually miss meetings that typically occur once or twice a month. Comment
Whitestone Times

Boro model struts catwalk, perp walk

Looks likethe runway spotlight and the gossip pages were not enough for a South Ozone Park high-fashion model, who was arrested last week for allegedly taking part in 15 robberies in Queens and Brooklyn, the Queens district attorney said. Comment
Whitestone Times

Avella seat candidates blast petition challenges

The campaigns of five Democratic candidates vying for City Councilman Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) soon-to-be vacated seat called for a moratorium on petition challenges, but were all subsequently challenged by the supporters of the one candidate who declined to enter the agreement. Comment
Whitestone Times

After ‘no-challenge pledge,’ Singh files petition objections

City Council candidate Swaranjit Singh filed general objections to petition signatures submitted by his two rivals for the seat — state Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck) and Glen Oaks Village President Bob Friedrich — after he pledged not to do so and faxed Weprin a letter urging him not to use the tactic. Comment
Whitestone Times

Obituary: James Gaffigan, 69

James Gaffigan, a former Douglaston resident, died Jan. 8 in Rutland, Vt. He was 69. Comment
Whitestone Times

Repairs drag at Schleicher’s

For Rita Douglas, it is another day and another battle. Comment
Whitestone Times

Tenants angry at Vantage

City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-Jackson Heights) and Councilman Bill de Blasio (D-Brooklyn) joined about 50 community activists and tenants of an Elmhurst apartment building owned by Vantage Properties last week and accused the landlord of ignoring residents’ maintenance concerns, including allowing trash to build up in and outside the establishment. Comment
Whitestone Times

Bloomberg backs Vallone for Avella seat

Mayor Michael Bloomberg threw his weight behind City Council contender Paul Vallone last week to replace Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside), angering several of Vallone’s opponents in the race and the Queens County Republican Party. Comment

Time for Carrozza to Say Goodbye

The news keeps getting worse for state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza. Carrozza has moved back into her Bayside apartment, but the move may well be too little, too late. Comment
Whitestone Times

Berger’s Burg: Columnist must come to terms with past Aruba trip

Secret: To conceal or keep hidden — Webster’s Dictionary Comment
Whitestone Times

Country meets city at Socrates’ ‘State Fair’

State Fair, at Socrates Sculpture Park, is an art show with a rural, agricultural theme, juxtaposed against the background of the Manhattan skyline across the East River from the park. Comment

Murray determined to make bigger impact for Prep

Michael Murray is a quick learner. Give him a drill or a task and with hard work and dedication he will have it mastered eventually. Comment

Springfield Gardens DOA puzzles cops

Police were trying to figure out how a murdered Brooklyn man’s corpse ended up on the street of a quiet Springfield Gardens block early Monday morning. Comment

Atlas Park shops in trouble

Two major stores at the Shops at Atlas Park may be on the way out, a court-appointed receiver said as he attempts to steer the foreclosed mall toward profitability, but store representatives indicated the businesses would continue to operate. Comment

Transformer fire knocks out power in Douglaston

More than 100 Douglaston homes and businesses were without power Friday morning after a Con Ed transformer was destroyed in a three-alarm fire. Comment

City scraps plan for Elmhurst homeless shelter: Katz

Amid protests from Community Board 4 and civic leaders, the city has canceled its plan to send clients to a nonprofit homeless shelter on a residential street in Elmhurst, sources and Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s (D-Forest Hills) office confirmed. Comment

Baldeo first to the gate in race to replace Seminerio

State Assembly candidate Albert Baldeo, who has roughly $150,000 in his campaign account, said he amassed more than 1,800 petition signatures in his bid to replace former Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, who resigned in June after pleading guilty to honest services mail fraud charges. Comment

Senate, Bloomberg reach deal on mayoral control of schools

The state Senate majority conference reached an agreement on school governance with Mayor Michael Bloomberg Friday, and lawmakers said the bill they are expected to vote on and pass will give more of a voice to parents and strengthen the role of community superintendents. Comment

Kim leads money race in bid for Avella’s seat

Kevin Kim has moved into the lead in fund-raising efforts among the seven candidates vying for City Councilman Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) seat, according to campaign finance records released last week. Comment

Maspeth bridal shop to repay defrauded customers: Cuomo

A Maspeth bridal photography and video service that bilked customers out of thousands of dollars will be forced to repay them, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Monday. Comment

46 challenges filed in Liu seat race

In the race to replace City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing), even getting on the ballot is a battle. Comment

LIJ executive leaves to seek crack rehab

The executive director of Long Island Jewish Medical Center, who admitted to being addicted to crack while taking the stand in the drunken driving trial of a Nassau woman, has stepped down from the position and is on a leave of absence from the hospital, an LIJ spokesman said Tuesday. Comment

Throgs Neck to be reopened to trucks July 25 after fire

Transit officials said Tuesday they plan to re-open the fire-damaged Throgs Neck bridge to most trucks July 25 and restore the span to near normal by Aug. 10. Comment

Singh campaign photo upsets Floral Park priest

A Floral Park priest got hot under the collar after a photograph of him with Swaranjit Singh, a candidate for the City Council, appeared in Singh’s campaign literature. Comment

Maspeth protests trash train plan

Instead of an influx of green steel containers, Maspeth residents and elected officials are calling for more green space. At a rally at the Clinton Diner Saturday, some 25 people condemned Waste Management’s plan to expand its waste transfer station in Long Island City, a move that would send roughly 55 trucks a day into Maspeth to load garbage containers onto rail cars. Comment

Bayside students to retake AP exams after seating questioned

An estimated 200 Bayside High School students will be forced to retake their Advanced Placement tests after the organization that administers the tests questioned their seating arrangement, the school’s principal said. Comment
Jackson Heights

Vendors serve Sears with protest

City Councilwoman Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights) got an earful from a group of vendors after calling for a ban on food carts in the center of Jackson Heights. Comment
Jackson Heights

McLaughlin aided case: Feds

Federal prosecutors have finally publicly acknowledged former state Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin’s cooperation in the case against former Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio. Comment
Fresh Meadows

Mystery unsolved year after Flushing apt. gas blast

At 147-25 Sanford Ave. in Flushing late Monday evening, there were signs of normalcy. Comment
Fresh Meadows

Willets Pt. landlords hire lobbyist Lipsky

A group of Willets Point property owners retained the services of lobbyist Richard Lipsky this week as they continue to build a team to fight the planned redevelopment of the Iron Triangle. Comment
Fresh Meadows

QC professor honored for race research

Queens College professor Stephen Steinberg has long considered his research on race and ethnicity to be far outside the mainstream sociology field, which is why he was pleasantly surprised his outsider views seem to have launched him into his most recent accomplishment: being named a distinguished professor of urban studies by the City University of New York. Comment
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Transit officials thinking of bringing faster bus service to Qns.

The city Water Board is a body appointed by the mayor whose main job seems to be to increase water rates paid by homeowners, co-op owners and business people. For this, board members receive pay. Looks like a good patronage job. Comment
Forest Hills Ledger

Chain leads pack in fund-raising

The race to replace City Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills) is heating up now that candidates have filed signatures to get on the ballot for the Democrat primary and the latest fund-raising numbers showed Heidi Harrison Chain has boosted herself to the top financially. Comment
Forest Hills Ledger

New playground designed by kids with tough lives

For Ridgewood resident Teyu Shu, a Forest Hills playground designed by foster children last week will be more than just a place to have fun on the swings or see-saw. It will be a safe haven for children whose lives have often been characterized by the obstacles they must jump. Comment

Carrozza defiant on re-election bid

State Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) said she plans to run for re-election despite a low attendance record in Albany this year and word from Democratic party insiders that she does not plan another bid to retain her seat. Comment

Firm wants St. John’s Hosp. site after failed bid

The would-be rescuer of St. John’s and Mary Immaculate hospitals is now in the running to acquire the Elmhurst property, an official with a familiar face told Community Board 4 last week. Comment
Astoria Times

Police make arrests in interboro crime spree

ASTORIA — Three Queens men and another from Brooklyn were arrested last Thursday in Astoria for allegedly robbing 15 convenience stores and bodegas in Queens and Brooklyn from June 14 to July 12, police said. Comment
Astoria Times

Man threatens neighbor with knife: Brown

BROAD CHANNEL — A Broad Channel man was arrested July 8 after he allegedly brandished a kitchen knife at the tenant of a neighboring apartment because the tenant was making noise while he and his mother were trying to sleep, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment

Building new crossings for borough motorists

With the recent closure of the Throgs Neck Bridge, it has become apparent there is a need for other crossings between Queens and the Bronx. I have submitted my suggestions to Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials. These new crossings will not only alleviate traffic nightmares of the future, but provide current employment for so many laid-off workers. Comment

Candidates should not take public money

As reported, I have declined to take taxpayer public matching funds for my City Council campaign for Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s (D-Forest Hills) seat. Taxpayer dollars should not go toward political campaigns during these times of economic crisis, so I opted out of the program. I believe taxpayer dollars should go toward senior centers, police officers and other services that benefit our community. Comment

City needs to invest in West Maspeth

Two issues of concern are the focus of this letter. The first is the former site of St. Saviour’s Church in West Maspeth. The city Parks Department has identified this area as one that is underserved by parks. Community Board 5 has for the past few years listed a community center as a priority for Maspeth and has mentioned that site as an ideal location for one. Comment

Our Wonderful Diversity

Only in New York and, more precisely, Queens. Last week, Flushing residents witnessed the Hindu pageantry of India. With conch shells, drums and an elephant bedecked in flowers, borough Hindus gathered to mark the end of a five-day religious festival. Comment

Looking for a Profile in Courage

Is there a Democrat in the state Senate who will say Sen. Hiram Monserrate should not be rewarded for the treachery that brought the state government to its knees? Comment
Astoria Times

Dishing with Dee: Bloomberg visits Whitestone to make Vallone endorsement

The big Queens political news this week was the visit of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, complete with his entourage, to Francis Louis Boulevard and 25th Avenue in Whitestone. The reason for the mayor’s Friday visit was to stop by Paul Vallone’s campaign headquarters. Comment
Astoria Times

Our History: United States’ current flag took shape in the late 1770s

Flag Day, which we commemorated June 14 and though not a legal holiday, is significant because it is the anniversary of the adoption of the American flag. At one time or another in our early history, various flags were unfurled, but it was not until June 14, 1777, that Congress, in Philadelphia, adopted a resolution declaring that “the flag of the United States be of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Comment
Astoria Times

Political Action: Halloran runs on platform of small gov’t, development curbs

For City Councilman Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) seat, the Democrats are involved in a fierce primary election to determine their candidate. This will be decided in the Sept. 15th primary election. Comment
Astoria Times

Bayside barista opens Breadbasket

Korean immigrant Gi Lee, a self-proclaimed coffee nut, said too many cafes and coffeehouses in Queens are too similar. Comment
Astoria Times

How’s Business? Update your kitchen for less

Most real estate professionals will say the kitchen is one of the most important focal points in a home. The kitchen decor has a life span, with changing styles coupled with the general wear and tear the average kitchen takes on a daily basis. Comment
Astoria Times

Comptroller calls for DOB reform

The city Department of Buildings is not doing enough to enforce the spate of illegal conversions that has plagued Queens since the 1990s, city Comptroller William Thompson said last week. Comment
Astoria Times

Lounge 47 license raises ire at CB 2

Complaints about loud patrons at Lounge 47 on Vernon Boulevard were met with a customer’s story of being hosed down by a neighbor as Community Board 2 grappled with a spate of liquor license applications on the Long Island City thoroughfare. Comment
Astoria Times

Hero cab driver pleads guilty to attempted rape

The Elmhurst livery cab driver who last year was praised for delivering an abandoned baby girl to a Corona firehouse has pleaded guilty to attempted rape, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment
Astoria Times

City studies possibility of ferry service for JFK Airport

The city said it is hard at work at bringing a viable ferry service to coastline commuters in Queens, but borough leaders and residents say more needs to be done to create the perfect waterway system to fit all their needs. Comment
Astoria Times

SE Queens home sales prices slip 15%: Report

The majority of Queens neighborhoods have seen drastic drops in the sales prices of homes, a new report released last week indicated. Comment
Astoria Times

Party friends cleared in Astoria student slay

Two men who attended a party with the 23-year-old Fashion Institute of Technology student found strangled in her Astoria apartment earlier this month have been cleared after being questioned by investigators, a police source said. Comment
Astoria Times

Gillibrand’s bill gives tax breaks to employers who offer English

More money may be coming to help boost Queens’ immigrant population in its efforts to learn English. Comment
Astoria Times

City, state leaders discuss future transit proposals

For his part, former city Parks Commissioner Henry Stern wanted it known he did not like tolls on bridges and tunnels and thought there was too much car bashing. Comment
Astoria Times

St. John’s prep program gives boost to minorities

Since St. John’s University professor Leonard Baynes launched the summer law school prep program four years ago in response to a decline in enrollment of black and Latino students at U.S. law schools, the program has continued to usher more minorities into prestigious law schools and officials are hoping this year will top last year’s achievements. Comment
Astoria Times

Crash on 30th Ave. kills 30-year-old motorcyclist

A motorcyclist was killed at an Astoria intersection after he got into an accident early Saturday morning with a motorist who was driving with a suspended license, police said. Comment
Astoria Times

Western Queens chides Con Ed on blackout anniversary

Three years ago on July 17 most of western Queens was engulfed in a blackout that paralyzed the community for more than a week. Comment
Astoria Times

Queens athletes take swing at being US Open ballpersons

As the US Open tennis tournament nears, the U.S. Tennis Association is whittling down the ballperson field for the high-profile event. The first round of tryouts was held last month and callback tryouts were completed last Thursday afternoon. Comment
Astoria Times

MTA to allow Bronx-bound trucks on Throgs Neck

Transit officials said Tuesday the Throgs Neck Bridge will be reopened to most trucks Saturday following a fire that damaged the structure and traffic is scheduled to return nearly to normal Aug. 10. Comment
Astoria Times

No. 7 subway named best in New York City

The Straphangers Campaign has proclaimed the No. 7 as the best subway line in the city, the fifth time the line that runs through northern Queens has gotten top billing. Comment
Astoria Times

Economy is key for Vallone

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) said he will focus on crime prevention and economic measures during his bid this fall to retain his seat for a third term. Comment
Astoria Times

Maloney under fire for racial slur prior to making Senate run

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) came under fire this week for using a racial slur while relaying a story to a city publication amid plans to challenge U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in the 2010 Democratic primary. Comment
Astoria Times

McLaughlin enters prison

Disgraced former state Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin was admitted to federal prison in Butner, N.C., Tuesday to begin serving a 10-year sentence with notorious financier Bernard Madoff after a last-minute bid to delay his surrender was turned down by a federal judge. Comment
Astoria Times

Take a bow

Jamaica natives Tourie and Damien Escobar, the brothers who make up the classical/hip-hop fusion duo Nuttin’ But Stringz, are bringing their talent back home with their highly anticipated concert for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign at the York College auditorium July 24. Comment



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