Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010

Unisphere turns on the waterworks

The Unisphere and its magnificent fountains have been returned to their full glory for the first time since the 1964 World’s Fair, city Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said at the ribbon-cutting of the newly restored fountains Thursday morning. Comment

Mets’ K-Rod charged with assaulting his father-in-law

A Queens judge ruled that star Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez — known to fans as K-Rod — cannot see or contact his children, his common-law wife or her father, whom he is charged with assaulting Wednesday night in a hallway outside the family room at Citi Field. Comment

Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010

Harkless’ month for schools to remember

Google Maurice Harkless and the first result is his profile. It’s followed by various stories about his summer with the New York Panthers, his decision to decommit from the University of Connecticut, where he may end up, and his profile by Comment

City purchases four more parcels of land in Willets Point

The city has signed deals to acquire four more parcels totaling 33,100 square feet of land in the 62-acre Willets Point area of northeast Queens. Comment

Ridgewood church plans senior apts.

Members of the United Presbyterian Church of Ridgewood presented plans for building affordable housing for seniors on the site of the current parsonage house adjacent to the church to Community Board 5’s Zoning and Land Use Review Committee Monday. Comment

Teenage student sues ex-MS 8 teacher over affair

A former Jamaica middle school teacher who admitted to having an affair with one of her teen students is now the subject of a lawsuit filed by the boy and his mother. Comment

Kin of Forest Hills skier to sue for $5M

The family of a Forest Hills man who died while skiing on the border of Idaho and Wyoming earlier this year plans to sue a number of Idaho agencies for $5 million, according to a notice of claims recently filed by the relatives. Comment
Whitestone Times

College Point leaders vow to halt crimes

Crime is an issue in all city parks, but College Point Park has long seen a relatively low rate of incidents. Comment

Huntley hears tenants’ concerns at Baisley Houses

State Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica) vowed to help out the tenants of Baisley Houses Monday during a personal meeting with them at the Jamaica public housing complex. Comment

Female cop sues NYPD over talent show video: Post

A police officer who had a lengthy career in at least two Queens precincts is suing the NYPD in a sexual harassment case. Comment

Forest Hills pols want landmarking study for West Side Tennis Club stadium

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills), City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) on Wednesday urged West Side Tennis Club members to include elected officials and community members in their plans for the club’s stadium that is for sale. Comment

Friedrich promotes 11 stops on Q79 route

Glen Oaks Village President Bob Friedrich, who is a candidate for a state Assembly seat, offered 11 suggested stops for the city Taxi and Limousine Commission’s group ride program it is planning for Little Neck Parkway. Comment
Little Neck Ledger

Little Neck Chabad wants to open new school in fall

The Chabad of Little Neck plans to open a Hebrew school for children with special needs this fall at its center on Cullman Avenue, said Rivky Shifrin, one of the Chabad’s directors. Comment

Man who attacked cop still on the run: Police

ROCKAWAY — The city Police Department asked for the public’s assistance in locating a man suspected of assaulting a police officer Aug. 2 at about 5:23 p.m. at Beach Channel Drive and Dix Avenue. Comment

Cops find upstate man’s body on Rockaway beach

ROCKAWAY — A body was found washed up on Jacob Riis Beach at Rockaway Beach Boulevard early in the morning Aug. 3, police said. Comment

Mentally impaired man missing from boro home

QUEENS VILLAGE — The city Police Department is asking for help in finding a man reported missing from his residence at Queens Village Community Services. Comment

Jamaica woman victim of sexual assault: Cops

JAMAICA — The city Police Department sought the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect wanted for that sexual assault of a woman at a residence in the 103rd Precinct, which encompasses Jamaica, Hollis and Lakewood. Comment

Boro man injures ex-wife, DOB commissioner: DA

JAMAICA — A 51-year-old Hollis man had been arraigned on assault charges last Thursday for allegedly assaulting his ex-wife on the Grand Central Parkway, the Queens DA reported. Comment

Cops to crack down on large parties

Violence has erupted in several neighborhoods in southeast Queens where three shooting incidents that killed three and wounded several others´╗┐ have been linked to out-of- control parties, the authorities said. Comment

NBA player to hold basketball clinic in SE Queens

Southeast Queens native and NBA star Royal Ivey is coming back home next week to host a special basketball clinic for youth. Comment

South Ozone Park man crushed by car

A deacon at a South Ozone Park church was killed after he was crushed while working on his prized possession — a 1995 red Toyota Celica — the minister of the church said Tuesday. Comment

PA approves Delta face-lift

John F. Kennedy International Airport’s least-liked terminal will be razed and another terminal will undergo a major expansion as part of a $1.2 billion deal with Delta Airlines, airport officials announced last Thursday. Comment

Brooklyn man found shot dead in Jamaica

A Brooklyn man was killed last Thursday morning when he was shot several times while sitting in the front seat of his luxury sedan in Jamaica, police said. Comment

Leave It

Some fights are clearly not worth fighting. We had hoped the community, police and city would move on after the city Law Department agreed to award roughly $7 million to Nicole Paultre-Bell, whose fiance, Sean Bell, was killed in a hail of police bullets and two other men who survived the shooting. Comment

Elmhurst teen arraigned on charges he killed Woodhaven man

The Elmhurst teen accused of fatally stabbing a Woodhaven man in the Forest Park J subway station as the victim came to the aid of his brother was arraigned on murder and other charges last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment
Jackson Heights

New Elmhurst center will aid Asian women

The New York Asian Women’s Center, a nonprofit based in Manhattan that offers services for Asian women who have been victims of crime and their children, opened a community center Aug. 2 in Elmhurst. Comment
Jackson Heights

Vietnam vet dies in East Elmhurst fire

East Elmhurst resident David Newkirchen, 61, died in a fire in his apartment on 22-25 77th St. Friday, police sources said. Comment
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Driver improvement course an important refresher tool

Three years just passed and AAA notified me it was time to take its driver improvement course. The incentive is that I get a discount on my auto insurance. The problem is the course is seven hours with rest breaks and a lunch break, but instructors usually cut down the break times so we get out a little earlier than usual. Comment
Forest Hills Ledger

Weiner mobile makes stop in Rego Park

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-Forest Hills) tirade on the floor of the House of Representatives about the failure of a Sept. 11 health care bill landed him a jar of peanut butter from a constituent last week. Comment

Man killed on Blvd. of Death

City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) is calling for a traffic light at Queens Boulevard and 80th Road in Kew Gardens, where an elderly man died while crossing what is known as the Boulevard of Death last week. Comment

Forest Hills pols want stadium talks

Queens legislators said they plan to send a letter to the city Landmark Preservation Commission asking officials from the commission to discuss with them the possibility of landmarking the West Side Tennis Club’s stadium that is currently for sale. Comment

State cancels Willets meet

The state Senate Transportation Committee has canceled an eagerly anticipated meeting to consider concerns about the traffic effects posed by the $3 billion development project slated for the 62-acre Willets Point site in northern Queens. Comment

Anonymously run Web site devoted to anti-Stavisky rants

State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) may have a Captain Ahab on her trail. Comment

Senator wants safety measures after LIE crash

A Long Island state senator has introduced a bill aimed at putting an end to avoidable car crashes like the one last month in which police said an allegedly drunken Long Island man driving the wrong way on the Long Island Expressway in Queens hit a van head-on, severely injuring the driver, who died two weeks after the crash. Comment
Flushing Times

Residents list wants at new grocery

One of the last American food markets in downtown Flushing has been gone since May, and many non-Asian area residents are lobbying hard to ensure that its replacement carries the foods they expect from a grocery. Comment

Community lukewarm on Commons’ benefits

Emotions are mixed on the final plans for the $850 million Flushing Commons mixed-use development project, which many community members say does not provide enough benefit for downtown Flushing. Comment

Cyclist’s ribs fractured with baseball bat: Post

BAYSIDE — A man viciously beat a cyclist with a bat in Bayside July 31, the New York Post reported. Comment

City Dishonors a Hero

This may come as a shock to the a-rule-is-a-rule crowd, but there are times when common sense and simple human decency trump the letter of the law. The case of fire Capt. James Corrigan is one of those times. Comment

Strawberry opens eatery in Douglaston

Hundreds of people descended upon 235th Street in Douglaston last week for the opening of Darryl Strawberry’s new restaurant, which the Mets legend vowed would provide an affordable dining experience for families and sports fans. Comment

Seville renovation gets OK from city

The owner of the former Seville Diner’s property can continue renovating the Northern Boulevard building for a sushi buffet restaurant now that the city Board of Standards and Appeals has approved a variance for the site last week, said Susan Seinfeld, Community Board 11’s district manager. Comment

Speranza touts work as a cop

Rob Speranza said his experiences as a city police officer will distinguish him from his opponents, most of whom are attorneys, in the race for state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza’s (D-Bayside) seat this fall. Comment

Republican hopefuls lay out campaign plans in boro races

Five candidates, ranging from contenders for the U.S. Senate to the state Assembly, told members of the Queens Village Republican Club how they plan to win in November during the club’s meeting in Bellerose last Thursday. Comment

State audit finds MTA employees double salaries through overtime

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said more than 140 workers doubled their annual salaries through overtime pay because of a “culture of acceptance” in the MTA. Comment

Liu sees signs of recovery in city’s economic outlook

Seven months into his tenure as city Comptroller, former Flushing Councilman John Liu said he believes New York City is recovering from the economic downturn at an encouraging rate. Comment

Union nixes concessions, braces for layoffs at Queens libraries

The city’s budget may have saved the Queens library from massive cuts, but it was not enough to save the jobs of nearly four dozen employees. Comment

Gennaro praises temporary ban on gas drilling

Queens legislators cheered the state Senate’s passage of a bill that would place a moratorium on drilling for natural gas in the upstate watershed, which provides drinking water for 9 million city and Westchester County residents. Comment

Tea Party members call for end to Ackerman’s tenure

About 40 protesters, most of them senior citizens, held up signs and chanted, “Ackerman’s got to go!” in front of the congressman’s Bayside office at 218-14 Northern Blvd. Saturday morning. Comment

Vaughan College to get soundproofing near LGA

U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) has applauded the federal government for an appropriation that will pay for soundproofing Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia Airport. Comment
Bayside Times

Bell Boulevard parking could extend to 2 hours

Community Board 11 will vote next month to determine whether parking meters along Bell Boulevard should be extended to two-hour time limits amid a lack of parking spots and aggressive ticketing by traffic agents along the commercial strip. Comment

Police search for suspect in robbery at station

KEW GARDENS — The city Police Department was seeking assistance in identifying the whereabouts and name of a suspect connected with a robbery at the Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike E and F train station. Comment

Groper caught in act with cell phone camera: Cops

ASTORIA — The city Police Department sought the public’s assistance in finding the name and whereabouts of a man connected with the sexual abuse of a woman at the Steinway Street subway station July 31. Comment

B’klyn man robbed of cell phone in Howard Beach: DA

HOWARD BEACH — A 30-year-old Brooklyn man was arraigned last Thursday on charges of robbing a man in the area of Howard Beach July 22, the Queens district attorney’s office reported. Comment

Cops in veep escort injured in collision

JACKSON HEIGHTS — Two city Police Department officers escorting Vice President Joe Biden to meet Mayor Michael Bloomberg Friday clipped each other on their motorcycles, the New York Post reported. Comment

Motel in Astoria site of burglary: Police

ASTORIA — Police were seeking assistance in identifying two suspects connected with a burglary at the Westway Motor Inn at 71-11 Astoria Blvd. Comment

Testing doesn’t equal learning

I have not lost much sleep over the news that fewer city public school students, based on their test results, met state standards this year. As a parent, I care about how our children are performing in school, but I do not worry much about scores on high-stakes tests. Up or down, above or below any particular proficiency cutoff, the test scores fail to indicate what parents really care about: Is my child learning? Comment

GOP plays political games with lives of Sept. 11 responders

You may have seen how angry I was on the U.S. House of Representatives floor last month, but the story behind that 110-second video clip is one of years of delay and some outrageous tactics by my Republican colleagues who have denied heroic Americans important relief. Comment

Name Warren to lead consumer protection agency

An open letter to President Barack Obama. Comment

Residents have to stay in the loop about construction at St. Mary’s

An open letter to St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children Executive Vice President Dr. Edwin Simpser. Comment

Co-op, condo owners have to back bill creating ombudsman agency

Having lived in a co-op for the past 15 years, I cannot speak out enough on supporting bill 7958-A, introduced by state Sens. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) and George Onorato (D-Astoria). This bill would create a government agency that would hear the cries of hundreds of thousands of residents who own shares in co-ops. Comment

Make voting more democratic with non-partisan elections

The City Charter Revision Commission is considering whether to change our way of electing city officials to a non-partisan approach. This is an excellent idea and will give more people an opportunity to run for public office without having to be beholden to either major political party. Comment

MTA must fix its problems before increasing fares for straphangers

The latest noise from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is not good. It is proposing to hike fares on all public transportation and area bridges and tunnels to help close the large gap in its budget. Comment

Weiner’s Meltdown

Two years ago he topped the list of candidates hoping to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He dropped out of the race when the City Council allowed Bloomberg to run for a third term. Today, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner is the early frontrunner in the 2013 mayoral race. Comment

QueensLine: City subway fare increases, but JFK opens for business in ‘48

New York celebrated the 50th anniversary of consolidation in 1948 with two important milestones in transportation. Halfway through the jubilee year, the authorities struck a sour note when they announced the end of the best bargain in New York City. Comment

Dishing with Dee: Cops, residents come together for boro National Night Out

Tuesday was our National Night Out Against Crime. It was a lovely evening weather-wise. Our first stop was the 109th Precinct’s event on Barclay Avenue and Union Street in Flushing. While there, we ran into Debbie Markell, Mathew Silverstein, Mary Conratty, John Messer, Sal Bacarella with a young friend, members of the 109th Community Council as well as District Attorney Richard Brown accompanied by Jesse Sligh, his executive assistant DA. Comment

Berger’s Burg: Pickpocket almost ruined chance to see Giants in the Super Bowl

A middle-aged woman was sitting next to an unoccupied seat at Giants Stadium. “Why is that seat empty?” she was asked. “It’s my husband’s seat and he died.” “Couldn’t you have given the seat to a friend?” “Oh, no, they’re all at his funeral!” Comment

Police tackling robbery sprees in western Queens

Police have arrested a 16-year-old girl and were searching for a male accomplice for their suspected involvement in a series of incidents during which deliverymen were called to Woodside Houses and then robbed, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney said. Comment

Queens pols continue talks over SUNY bill

One of the final sticking points keeping the new state budget from passing in the final days of negotiations was a set of higher education proposals which were left out of the final document. Comment

Opinions vary on state budget

State legislators passed a budget four months late and the response from Queens elected officials has ranged from lukewarm approval to outrage. Comment

Astoria festival draws saw players from around the globe

Making music with a saw and violin bow may sound like a niche interest, but the NYC Musical Saw Festival at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria Saturday proved it is one with an international appeal that only seems to be growing. Comment

Community House forced to cut English classes

The Forest Hills-based Queens Community House will have to reduce the number of borough students in its English-language courses by about 500 because of state and city budget cuts, officials from the nonprofit said. Comment

LaGuardia CC president has big plans for school

The person heading up LaGuardia Community College for the rest of this year will be different, but to faculty and students he’s a familiar face. Comment

MTA OKs bus ad against Ground Zero mosque

Transit officials have approved an advertisement for New York City buses opposing a mosque near the former World Trade Center site. Comment

Senate to Hiram: Give it up

The state Senate is considering contacting the state police if ousted Sen. Hiram Monserrate, who is running for an Assembly seat, does not return his Senate-issued parking placard. Comment

Battle brews over Queens Plaza millstones

An effort to preserve a pair of Long Island City millstones from the 17th century has split western Queens community activists who are debating where the artifacts should be stored even as the city plans to relocate them to a neighborhood library. Comment

Boro Dems back Rice for state attorney general

State attorney general candidate Kathleen Rice said in Briarwood last week that if elected she would focus on educating Jamaica and other Queens residents facing foreclosure on resources available to them. Comment

Boro flight attendant makes grand exit: DA

A heated argument and a bump on a JetBlue flight attendant’s head did not turn him into the Incredible Hulk, but his wacky antics during the incident at John F. Kennedy International Airport Monday afternoon are turning a Belle Harbor man into an online superhero. Comment

Over 150,000 attend Jamaica Arts & Music Festival

Excellent weather and a huge, early crowd combined to make this year’s Jamaica Arts & Music Summer Festival one of the best yet, said Tyra Emerson, executive director of Cultural Collaborative Jamaica. Comment

Dragon Boats draw record crowd to Flushing Meadows

Hundreds raced in large wooden boats to the sound of beating drums while thousands watched the races, enjoyed dancing and music, ate Chinese food, and even made crafts at the 20th Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival Saturday and Sunday. Comment
Astoria Times

Sunnyside library thanks Van Bramer

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) visited the Sunnyside Library last Thursday, where they were greeted with giant cards and handmade jewelry from grateful children and teenagers. Comment
Astoria Times

Developer cries foul over Maloney letter

A developer targeted in a recent letter U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) wrote to the city Department of Buildings urging action on his construction site has fired back at the congresswoman, saying she wrote the letter without talking to him. Comment

Genting NY’s Aqueduct bid endorsed by Senate leader

Two down, one to go. Comment

Between the lines

When one looks at Astoria artist Erika Mahr’s drawings from afar, the viewer gets a sense of abstract, atmospheric images. If one stands less than a foot away from her pictures, however, the observer will see hundreds of tiny grids run across the paper. The images no longer appear to be shadings drawn in an instantaneous motion, but minute lines that become part of a detailed, geometric pattern meticulously planned and designed. Comment

The Play’s The Thing: United Queens theater cos. could stand taller than ever

In my most recent column, a month ago, I suggested that Queens needs a year-round venue where our audiences could see theater of all kinds, including contemporary plays, mysteries and comedies, musicals and children’s theater, original and seldom performed works, Shakespeare, classics and staged readings. Nothing like that exists now in our vast borough, and I’m sure the public would welcome and support it. Comment

‘Model Latina’ show features 2 Queens contestants

Two Queens natives are fighting for the title and the honor of being the next “Model Latina” on the Si TV series of the same name. Comment

Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010

Head of Queens International Film Festival charged with stealing from vendors

The Queens International Film Festival’s founder and executive director has been charged with grand larceny and several other crimes after she allegedly failed to pay thousands of dollars to at least four vendors associated with the 2007 and 2008 festivals, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment


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