Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010

Judge issues restraining order against teacher firings at Merrick Academy

An Albany judge ordered a Jamaica charter school Wednesday to halt its efforts to fire a quarter of its staff. Comment

Kew Gardens Hills woman robbed 5 businesses with toy gun: DA

A Kew Gardens Hills woman with no prior record was arraigned Tuesday night on charges she allegedly used a toy gun to rob five businesses in the borough, the Queens district attorney said. Comment

Magnet alum Hargrave gives back with Queens Day

Queens Day is Haron Hargrave’s personal labor of love. Comment

Rosedale’s Allen puts int’l dreams on hold

Herbie Allen isn’t your traditional streetball story. Comment

Ridgewood gets new bus terminal

For Ridgewood straphangers who also ride the bus, a $10 million new bus stop will make their commute a little more appealing. Comment

Falcons hope for lights at Ridgewood park

After being asked to leave their former practice field at Juniper Valley Park, the Queens Falcons have been facing a few struggles in the new field where they play, especially as it gets dark. Comment

Making of a Candidate: Turning voters into votes

Once the mailers have been sent out, posters posted, ads purchased and volunteers enlisted, the focus for campaigners shifts from getting a candidate’s name out there to actually getting voters into the polling booths. Comment

Allen tenants call for repairs

A group of Jamaica tenants of buildings owned by the Greater Allen AME Cathedral’s affordable housing wing are calling on the church to adhere to a court order that mandated repairs to their decrepit edifice. Comment

Astoria woman arrested in Manhattan robbery, suspected in ‘Cat Lady’ thefts

An Astoria woman who fronts a death metal band based in the Bronx was arraigned Thursday on charges of robbery and attempted robbery of two boutiques in Soho,  the Manhattan district attorney said. Police sources say the suspect may be the “Cat Woman” involved in  two other heists in Queens. Comment

Councilman Thomas White dies

City Councilman Thomas White (D-South Ozone Park) died Friday morning, after a battle with cancer, city officials said. He was 71. Comment

Calls for tolerance follow anti-Muslim attack on Jamaica cabbie

The governor, mayor and activist groups are calling for an end to racially antagonizing rhetoric after a Jamaica cab driver was stabbed by a 21-year-old filmmaker while working in Manhattan early Tuesday night, police said. Comment

Astoria’s alligator catch mugs for the camera

The baby gator rescued from an Astoria street this weekend seems to be enjoying his stopover in Brooklyn under the care of Michael Pastore at the city's Animal Care and Control facility, where he's living in a tank in a room largely populated by rescued cats and kittens. (No kittens were harmed during the making of this video.) The city is working to find a home for the reptile at a sanctuary in Pennsylvania. Comment

Popeye’s Fried Chicken robber sought by cops

ROSEDALE — Police have sought the public’s assistance in locating a suspect wanted in connection with a robbery in Rosedale. Comment

Cops on the lookout for missing boro woman, 61

ST. ALBANS — Police have asked the public for help in searching for a missing woman. Comment

Motorcycle accident kills 1, injures another

JAMAICA — Police responded at about 12:48 a.m. Sunday to a 911 call about a motor vehicle accident on the southbound Van Wyck Expressway before the eastbound Belt Parkway. Comment

Police need help catching armed bank robber

JAMAICA — Police have asked for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect wanted for an armed bank robbery. Comment

Jamaica mosque hosts Ramadan school supply giveaway

Going back to school will be a little easier for 500 Queens students and their families, thanks to a program that came to a Jamaica mosque Sunday afternoon. Comment

Fire near Jamaica station cripples LIRR

All it took was a fire at a switching tower just east of the Long Island Rail Road’s Jamaica station to shut down and immobilize all but one of its commuter lines Monday, but the transit agency said that an overall fix is on its way. Comment

Slain Hollis marine remembered by family, loved ones

A year after he was killed on duty in Afghanistan, the family and friends of Lance Cpl. Leopold F. Damas said his sacrifice still resonates in their hearts and minds and it inspires them to do good. Comment

Laurelton church hosts family party

The third-annual St. Luke Cathedral Family and Friends Day was a great success Saturday afternoon, bringing the Laurelton community together to socialize, have fun, learn about healthy living and praise God. Comment

DOT to take Jamaica buildings for road rehab

The city will be using eminent domain to acquire several buildings near two projects in Jamaica following a hearing last week, city planners said. Comment

Huntley, Nunes pound pavement in Southeast Queens

With more than two weeks left before the Sept. 14 Democratic primary, state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica) and Lynn Nunes are strengthening their campaigns to get their voices heard. Comment

Southeast Queens is a leading exporter of goods to China: Feds

With an international airport and thousands of wares in great demand, southeast Queens is one of the leading American cities that export goods to China, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said last week. Comment

Families pack Rosedale picnic

A community picnic for the residents of Rosedale Saturday in Brookville Park went off without any of the drama that surrounded last year’s raucous bash. Comment

Plans for St. Albans VA slammed

Plans to redevelop the current site of the St. Albans VA Hospital has come under heavy fire as dozens of residents, politicians and veterans struck back at a controversial developer after he laid out his plans for the site. Comment

And They’re Off …

Genting NY appears to have cleared the final hurdle in winning the contract to build and operate video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Racetrack. After all the bids were evaluated, the subsidiary of a Malaysian-based company was the only horse left in the race. Comment
Jackson Heights

Travers Park opens after major redesign

A jungle fit for Tarzan and his animal companions brought children, parents and community and City Council members together last Thursday for Travers Park’s ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate recent renovations to the Jackson Heights park. Comment
Jackson Heights

Pakistan flood aid from groups in Queens virtually nonexistent

An effort to provide aid to victims of the flooding that has devastated Pakistan since the July monsoon rains has been slow to emerge even though the borough is home to a substantial population from the South Asian nation. Comment
Jackson Heights

Retired cop challenges Aubry

As the founder of the National Latino Officers Association, a group that defends the rights of law enforcement officers and citizens, state Assembly candidate Anthony Miranda has always seen himself as a community advocate. Comment

Bone marrow drive mounted for New Hyde Park man

Philip Felice is fighting for his life and the New Hyde Park resident got some help from City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), state Senate candidate Tony Avella and about 20 others during a bone marrow blood drive Saturday at the Curves gym in Glen Oaks. Comment
Fresh Meadows

Ex-homeless to clean streets in Briarwood

Funds allocated by City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) will be used to hire formerly homeless men to clean Briarwood streets, the city lawmaker and community residents said this week. Comment
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Elderly should keep eye out for numerous types of scams

As the holidays approach, many scam artists try to separate us from our money. One scam has to do with lottery tickets. Scammers write to say they won a lottery in a foreign country but cannot collect the money. They promise to share the money with you if you send them some money to show your good faith. Comment
Forest Hills Ledger

Residents in dark over Kew Gardens sewer upgrade

Kew Gardens residents are welcoming a two-year sewer improvement project slated to begin at the end of September, although officials said they were disappointed the city only recently notified them of the upcoming construction and said they had a bevy of questions they want addressed. Comment

Parkgoers get new, beautified gateway to Willow Lake

New decorative gates at the two entrances to Willow Lake will protect the wetland from the vandals that once plagued the area, making way for a peaceful place that residents can tour, Queens officials said last week. Comment

Pupil who overcame depression wants to re-enter Molloy

When Isabella Cortes left Archbishop Molloy High School after her father committed suicide last year, she said officials from the Briarwood school told the A-student she was guaranteed a spot whenever she wanted to return. Comment

B’way star from Bellerose undergoes blood transplant

An 11-year-old Bellerose girl who starred in the Broadway hit “The Lion King” as the young Nala underwent a successful umbilical cord blood transplant last week to treat her leukemia, a family friend said. Comment

Youths robbed, attacked food delivery man: DA

BAYSIDE — Three teens were arrested earlier this month in connection with a robbery of a Chinese food delivery man, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment

Times Are Not so Tough at Borough Hall

Times may be tough in other parts of the city, but that did not stop Borough President Helen Marshall from asking the city to shell out $85,000 in taxpayer funds for publicity photographs over the coming year. The private photographer will chronicle the borough president’s daily activities. Comment

St. Mary’s becomes target of lawsuit from opponents

A Bayside civic group is suing St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children on the grounds that its $114 million expansion would subject neighbors to excessive noise, truck traffic, dust and other forms of pollution, according to papers filed in Queens Supreme Court. Comment

Padavan runs on record in re-election bid

State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) said he plans to run on his record of getting things done in Albany as he faces off against former City Councilman Tony Avella this fall, but he emphasized the need for new borough jobs as his top priority. Comment

Birth control holding up LIJ center at St. Vin’s: Source

The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System’s plans to operate an urgent care center at the former emergency department of St Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village is being delayed in part because of the Catholic hospital’s demands that birth control advice not be given at the site, a source familiar with the negotiations said. Comment

Van Wyck project commences

State and city officials broke ground last week on a five-year project designed to unsnarl the mess of traffic along a number of intersecting highways in Kew Gardens. Comment

Weprin’s campaign bid focuses on middle class

In the six months since he won a February special election, state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) said he has hit the ground running and will continue to fight for middle-class residents if he is fortunate enough to win re-election in November. Comment

Queens smokers upset at cigarette price soar

Queens smokers and shopkeepers alike are feeling the pinch as cigarette prices have soared with New York state’s recent tax increase. The borough’s nicotine-craving consumers are doing what they can to save a few dollars, which in many cases means looking elsewhere for their cigarette purchases. Comment

Opponents slam Braunstein’s ties to Silver

State Assembly candidate Edward Braunstein came under attack this week from his opponents in the race to replace Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) after his campaign put out a flier calling for Albany reform. Comment

NYPD cop sues 111th Precinct

A sergeant with the city Police Department has filed an $11 million lawsuit against Bayside’s 111th Precinct, alleging that the precinct held her overnight on an expired order of protection, her attorney said. Comment

Outrage over mosque misguided by prejudice

At the outset, I should say that I am an American citizen of the Jewish faith. I am opposed on constitutional grounds — i.e., the First Amendment, which establishes the freedom of religion — to any government interference with the building of a mosque within two blocks of Ground Zero. Comment

City must hold Willets Point traffic meeting

In addition to the loss of hundreds of small businesses and the jobs of thousands of employees and their dependents, the proposed Willets Point project also involves the general public, whose daily lives will be affected by the huge increase in the volume of vehicular traffic on the Grand Central Parkway and the Van Wyck Expressway. Comment

Friedrich, boro residents protest Q79 group rides

School will be starting in less than a month and the stress being put on parents as a result of the loss of the Q79 bus is unconscionable. Besides being the only north-south public transportation link in our community, it is a critical bus link for our students who need it to get to school. Without it, they must walk miles or have parents take time off work each day to drive them to school. Comment

Save Queens Plaza millstones from onslaught of city development

A fitting home must be found for the historic millstones that have languished for decades among the traffic and pollution at Queens Plaza. These millstones are connected to the grist mill of the first European community in Queens, in what was and is today Dutch Kills. Comment

Pesticides pose a danger to people

A notice was e-mailed to me from the city Department of Health regarding the pesticide spraying to kill mosquitoes in an effort to stop the spread of the West Nile virus. Unfortunately, the notice had an error in terms of the location of the spraying. Comment

Unemployment must be reversed quickly

As 2010 moves along, the unemployment rate still remains high at 9.5 percent. Many people who had been looking for employment have become so frustrated that they have stopped looking. Those who are still looking for work continue to face all kinds of roadblocks — too much experience, not enough experience, too young, too old. Comment

No Tolerance for Intolerance

The World Trade Center was destroyed Sept. 11, 2001, because the Twin Towers stood as a powerful symbol of all that makes this nation great. The Muslim extremists who steered two airliners into the WTC had no tolerance for freedom of religion. Comment

QueensLine: Grand Avenue railroad extension connected Queens and Brooklyn

On Aug. 1, 1876, a great event was celebrated in Elmhurst. The Grand Street & Newtown Railroad opened for service between the Grand Avenue ferry in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Broadway in Elmhurst following Grand Avenue through Maspeth. Comment

Dishing with Dee: Queens Theatre begins work on legislative review

The sands of time in the political hourglass are rapidly shifting toward empty. There are only four-plus weeks left to Primary Day, which is Sept. 14. All the political types and their minions are scurrying around trying to squeeze four months of work into the four weeks left. Comment

Berger’s Burg: Good riddance to heavy, unnecessary phone books

A rich gentleman was briefed by the private detective on what his wife was doing. “At this very moment, she is carrying on in your bedroom.” The furious man dialed his house and the butler answered. “I want you to get my shotgun, then go into the bedroom and blast the two people in bed.” Ten minutes later, he called the house and asked the butler if he did it. “Yes, sir.” “What did you do with the gun?” “I threw it into the pool.” “I don’t have a — is this 555-0437?” Comment

Court rejects bid to bar plan at Willets Point

An attempt by more than 20 Willets Point business owners and landowners to block the mixed-use development project the city has planned for the 62-acre area has been denied in State Supreme Court. Comment

Woodside senior center rings in 10th anniversary with laughs

Some may think seniors just want peace and quiet, but at the 10th-anniversary party for the VNS CHOICE Adult Day Center in Woodside Friday, the 100 seniors assembled proved they could still be party animals. Comment

Over 700 city supermarkets violate pricing rules: Study

In many supermarkets citywide, the cost at the checkout is different from the price tag — that is, if you can find a price tag. Comment

$700M in fed funds expected to boost boro schools

Queens legislators cheered the federal government’s decision to award about $700 million in education funds to New York state, which officials said will help them create a statewide curriculum that will decrease the emphasis on test scores and boost teacher training. Comment

Queens College students call for action in Darfur

Queens College students organized a vigil in Manhattan’s Union Square last week to urge people to advocate for President Barack Obama to create a more well-defined policy on the Darfur region of Sudan, with the hope of ending the violence that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions. Comment

Queens College gets high marks on Princeton list

The Princeton Review heaped accolades on Queens College in its annual schools guide that was released this week, citing its affordability and diversity. Comment

Two charged with murder of man at Ozone Park bar

A South Ozone Park man and a Jamaica livery cab driver who was called to drive a patron home from an Ozone Park bar were charged last week with the robbery and murder of the bar customer, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment

Marshall budgets $85K for official photographer

Borough President Helen Marshall’s office has requested that a borough photographer’s contract be renewed and authorized as much as $85,000 per year to pay him to photograph her at public events, according to a proposal published in the City Record. Comment

Turning voters into votes

Once the mailers have been sent out, posters posted, ads purchased and volunteers enlisted, the focus for campaigners shifts from getting a candidate’s name out there to actually getting voters into the polling booths. Comment

Liu establishes coalition to halt foreclosures by pressuring banks

City Comptroller John Liu is leading a coalition of government, civic and religious leaders in a charge to implore banks to change their practices in order to help stem the rising foreclosure crisis wreaking havoc on the New York economy. Comment

Little Necker bunkoed bingo: DA

A Little Neck man who owns a Jackson Heights bingo hall has been accused of using licensed charitable organizations as a front to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars for more than three years, the Queens district attorney said last week. Comment

Girl, 12, among group in Rock drug sting: DA

A 12-year-old girl was among 37 people arrested in a major undercover drug sweep in the Rockaways involving residents of two housing developments on the peninsula, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment
Astoria Times

Ciafone drops out, leaving Simotas unopposed in run

State Assembly candidate Aravella Simotas will face no challengers in her bid for Assemblyman Michael Gianaris’s (D-Astoria) seat after John Ciafone dropped out of the race last week. Comment

Voters will weigh in on term limits in November

Voters will get a third chance to make their feelings known on term limits after the City Charter Revision Commission voted this month to put the contentious issue back on the ballot in November. Comment

Nonprofit takes to Citi Field to raise cancer awareness

More than 600 people — many of whom were decked out in pink shirts, dresses or ties — gathered early in Caesars Club at Citi Field last week to raise spirits and cash for the American Cancer Society’s annual Queens Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk Oct. 17. Comment

NBA star from Hollis passes on life lessons at free clinic

Growing up in Hollis, Royal Ivey always focused on getting good grades at PS 118 and playing the sport he was best at — baseball — according to his father, Rod. Comment

Vallone will honor Mother Tereresa

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) and religious leaders of varying faiths from Astoria will celebrate the life of Mother Teresa at Athens Square Park this week following the Empire State Building’s refusal to commemorate her 100th birthday by illuminating its spire. Comment

Gator grabbed in Astoria gutter

The city provided some gator aid this week after an 18-inch alligator was discovered under a car in Astoria. Comment

Assembly newsletters promote pols: Group

One of the advantages incumbents in the state Assembly have over their challengers is a printing budget that enables them to mail out quarterly newsletters to their constituents, which at least one good government group says is in need of reform. Comment

Air quality poor in parts of Queens: Study

It has long been established that thousands of cars and trucks create major pollution along New York City’s boulevards and highways, but it turns out that even quieter places like parts of Queens endure a dangerous, smog-like ozone. Comment

The Reel Queens: Many Queens-made films to hit theaters as fall arrives

The fall movie season kicks off next week with two films shot in Queens and wraps up at year’s end with a likely awards contender set in the borough. But an additional seven movies as well as several series and festivals during the next four months will display the best of what Queens cinema has to offer. Comment

Flights of stone

Queensborough Community College will open a new exhibit by a Brooklyn artist at its Bayside gallery next month that will feature four pieces — one of which nearly takes up an entire room and reaches the ceiling but only weights 200 pounds — inspired by aviation. Comment

APAC opens 10th season with acclaimed ‘MilkMilk’

The Astoria Performing Arts Center will celebrate its 10th season with two main stage plays, Joshua Conkel’s “MilkMilkLemonade” Oct. 28, and “The Human Comedy,” the musical based on William Saroyan’s story, in May. Comment


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