Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010

Congress fails to pass DREAM Act

The dreams of many immigrant children died in the U.S. Senate last week, but Queens legislators are working to ensure that they live on. Comment

Hindu priest wins $2 million judgment against Corona temple in slavery case

A Hindu priest finally got some justice Wednesday after being forced to toil for $50 a week in a Corona temple for seven years. Comment

Woodhaven killer sentenced to 384 years for 2006 shooting spree

The Woodhaven man who went on a wild, drug-fueled shooting spree throughout several Queens neighborhoods in August 2006, killing one man and shooting at 13 others, was sentenced Thursday to 384 years to life in prison. Comment

Flushing police arrest four men in construction site robberies

Police arrested four men Wednesday thought to be connected to a string of construction site robberies in northeast Queens. Comment

Christ the King promotes freshman Calhoun to varsity

Highly touted Christ the King freshman Sierra Calhoun was promoted from the junior varsity to the varsity by the school last Thursday. Christ the King varsity girls basketball Coach Bob Mackey confirmed the move Saturday, saying it was a school decision. Comment

All-Queens girls volleyball honors

Like Brooklyn is for boys basketball and Staten Island is for softball, Queens remains the mecca of girls volleyball in New York City. Comment
Whitestone Times

Whitestone group holds fund-raiser for hospital

Welcome to Whitestone, a new neighborhood improvement group started over the summer by resident Devon O’Connor, held its first major event last week: a holiday fund-raiser for St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. Comment

New Queens UN Association president elected

John Tandana, a longtime community activist, was elected Dec. 5 as the new president of the United Nations Association’s Queens chapter, a group which promotes the mission of the UN in Queens. Comment

To groom’s relief, Flushing bride does not live up to her name

They just got married, but Matthew Murakami may want to be careful to stay on his bride’s good side — or at least hope his prenuptial agreement is strong. Comment
Whitestone Times

Whitestone mom says history text favors Islam

A Whitestone mother is considering pulling her third-grade daughter out of PS 193 and enrolling her in a private yeshiva after discovering earlier this month that she learned about Islam in school. Comment
Queens Village

City bus, vehicles collide in Qns. Village crack-up

A city bus that struck a light pole and two vehicles before plowing into a tractor trailer Friday afternoon in Queens Village did not cause any serious injuries, officials said. Comment
Whitestone Times

8 years for anti-gay attack

One of two admitted hate crime offenders in the case of the vicious beating and robbery of an openly gay man last year in College Point was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison and five years of post-release supervision. Comment

Bellerose seller of faux fashion found guilty of counterfeiting

A Bellerose woman was convicted last week of selling high-end counterfeit goods out of her Jamaica store, the Queens district attorney said. Comment

Gotti grandson admits to pellet gun at school: DA

KEW GARDENS — John Gotti’s grandson admitted this week in Queens Criminal Court to owning a pellet gun used to fire shots into a Howard Beach schoolyard, according to the Queens DA. Comment

Sanders to set up SE Queens crime watch program

The residents of Laurelton, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens will soon be taking to the streets to curb the growing crime that has been hitting their neighborhoods. Comment

Queens leaders welcome Wills

“Did you hear that?” City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) asked Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), laughing. “United States Sen. Chuck Schumer said District 28 — let me repeat, District 28 — was going to be the best district in this city.” Comment

South Jamaica community servant honored for her work

When Syreeta Gates was 18, she made a decision that not only changed her life, but other youths’ as well. Comment

Shooter, come in: Family

The family of Trevor Bell, the livery cab driver shot multiple times by his passenger in South Ozone Park Dec. 4, held a news conference at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center last Thursday at which they called for the shooter to turn himself in. Comment

FDNY’s EMS fee plan riles hospitals

The head of some of Queens’ major hospitals sounded off last week over the city’s proposal to charge medical centers that use FDNY ambulances to help transport patients. Comment

Cops search for Jam. man’s killer

Police were searching for clues in the latest murder to rock southeast Queens. Comment

Stop the DOE Madness

Talk about not learning fast. Once again, the city Department of Education is talking about closing Jamaica High School and three other schools in southeast Queens. The idea is as dumb now as it was a year ago. The DOE bureaucrats do not have a clue what this school means to its community. Comment
Jackson Heights

Man guilty of rape, attacking girlfriend

A jury convicted a 43-year-old Elmhurst man Friday of a vicious attack in which he slashed his girlfriend’s face and stomach and then three months later beat and raped her, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment

Cross Harbor plan will worsen west Qns traffic: Pols

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s Cross Harbor Freight Program is aimed at reducing truck traffic in and around the tri-state area, but elected officials and activists in western Queens worry the plan will just bring those trucks to their backyard. Comment
Jackson Heights

Two-way or the highway, board says

Community Board 4 narrowly voted against a plan by the city Department of Transportation to convert a two-way section of 57th Avenue between 90th and 92nd streets behind Queens Center Mall into a one-way westbound street. Comment

White House restaurant to close at end of month

The White House restaurant is closing at the end of the year after more than two decades of serving moderately priced American cuisine to the people of Whitestone and surrounding communities, but the departure is more sweet than sorrow. Comment

Owners of ex-Little Neck biz allay fears on the site’s future use

The owners of the former Leviton manufacturing plant in Little Neck tried to alleviate concerns residents have about future tenants at the site at a meeting last week, said a spokesman for Borough President Helen Marshall, who hosted the gathering. Comment
Forest Hills Ledger

Forest Hills wants scooter regulation

Forest Hills residents are concerned about a silent threat zipping around the neighborhood: electric scooters. Comment

Vornado wants to expand Rego Ctr.

The developer of a large Rego Park shopping center is planning to expand its footprint in the neighborhood. Comment

Zazi’s father pleads not guilty to federal charges

The father of a former Flushing man who pleaded guilty in February to planning to bomb New York City subway stations to coincide with Sept. 11, 2009, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a string of new charges. Comment
Flushing Times

Flushing man tried to murder policeman: DA

A Flushing man was charged with attempting to murder an on-duty police officer after he allegedly slammed his car into the officer who was trying to arrest him for selling marijuana last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment
Flushing Times

Meng, 109th put on seasonal celebrations

The 109th Precinct Community Council and state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) brought cheer to Flushing last week with a pair of holiday parties a block away from one another. Comment

Queens Is Going to the Dogs

Hats off to everyone involved in creating a dog run at Little Bay Park. The new facility makes permanent a temporary dog run that was opened at the same location in 2005. This was made possible by $500,000 secured by Tony Avella when he was a city councilman. Comment

City seeks public input from Baysiders for green plan

City officials sought input from Queens residents on how to make the borough and city more environmentally friendly at a meeting at Bayside High School last week. Comment

Art as Alzheimer’s therapy

As the Queens seniors looked at the wild brush strokes in Vincent van Gogh’s sky in “Starry Night,” they wondered aloud if the painting represented something internal for the artist — a chaos that was happening in van Gogh’s mind, they said. Comment

Riders give LIRR high marks in MTA satisfaction survey

Nearly 90 percent of Long Island Rail Road riders have given a “satisfied” or “very satisfied” rating to service on the nation’s second-largest commuter line. Comment

Kupferberg exhibit recalls Nazism in metro area

The disturbing images portrayed in the exhibit at the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center at Queensborough Community College of a Nazi summer camp and people saluting flags with a swastika printed on them seem like they should be from Germany in the 1930s. Comment

Bulgarian party gives Halloran national tour

City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) threw his support behind the Order, Law and Justice Party in Bulgaria last week when he was invited by the center-right political group to tour the southern European country. Comment

Cord Meyer trying to lure more stores

Cord Meyer Development Co. officials are trying to woo a number of businesses to set up shop at Bay Terrace Shopping Center, representatives from the group told the Bay Terrace Community Alliance meeting last week. Comment

Historic Bowne House opens for holiday party

Though Bowne House in Flushing has been closed for extensive restorations , it opened its doors to the public last weekend for a holiday party to remind Queens residents of a place that housed a family who fought for religious freedom in the United States hundreds of years ago. Comment

Qns. Botanical Garden to close for the holidays

The Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing will be closed for part of the holiday season in order to save money. Comment

Scrub Bell Blvd. parking tix from bogus signs: Halloran

City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) said this week he hopes to make the city drop pending traffic tickets given to drivers who parked on Bell Boulevard during bogus street cleaning hours as well as potentially reimburse money collected from tickets given during those hours over the past decade. Comment

Bay Terrace declares its independence

Bay Terrace Community Alliance members unanimously threw their support behind a declaration of independence that the group unveiled last week, calling for them to separate from Community Board 7 and join CB 11. Comment

Sunnyside man threatens driver with harm: Brown

SUNNYSIDE — A 36-year-old man from Sunnyside was arrested after allegedly repeatedly threatening a man in a car at the intersection of 39th Street and Queens Boulevard Dec. 5, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment

Boro man steals $300 and pushes woman: DA

FOREST HILLS — A Jamaica man was arrested after he allegedly assaulted a woman after she caught him stealing $300 from a Forest Hills home where she is a custodian Dec. 4, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment

Boro landlord did not want to fix heat: Brown

EAST ELMHURST — An East Elmhurst landlord was arrested after he allegedly refused to fix the heating unit in a tenant’s apartment between May and December, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment

Off-duty cop hit with DWI in Forest Hills

FOREST HILLS — Officers from the 112th Precinct arrested an off-duty police officer for allegedly driving while intoxicated early last Thursday, according to police. Comment

$2K-plus in items bought with stolen card: Police

ASTORIA — The NYPD was looking for a thief who stole a man’s credit card and used it to rack up more than $2,000 in purchases in November, police from the 114th Precinct said. Comment

Appointment of Black proves that mayor has too much power

We cannot win for losing! And that is not to say that the fight to have Cathie Black rejected as city schools chancellor is far from being over. What is disappointing to me is the crying out, or lack thereof, by our elected officials. Comment

Extending No. 7 train into N.J. could prove a realistic endeavor

The idea of extending the No. 7 train to New Jersey was proposed during the preliminary EIS phase of the Access to the Region’s Core project and was rejected for two reasons. Comment

Queens residents awarded for their preservation efforts

The Queens Preservation Council, founded in 2003, is a coalition of people from historical societies and neighborhood groups from throughout Queens who work collectively to curb overdevelopment and advocate for the preservation of historical buildings and neighborhoods in our borough. Comment

Elected bids farewell to constituents

An open letter from state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) to her constituents. Comment

Schwartz gets Conservative votes for not being on Republican line

An open letter to TimesLedger Newspaper columnist Dee Richard. Comment

Ackerman came through on GCP plantings

An open letter to U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside). Comment

Let Livery Drivers Use Common Sense

The hearts of the city are with the family of Trevor Bell, which continues a bedside watch for the livery cab driver who was left in critical condition after being shot seven times. Police have accused Shawn Peace, 22, of shooting Bell before stealing $100. The robbery was caught on camera. Comment

Our History: Observance of Christmas has changed greatly in U.S.

Christmas as an American holiday had a rather unhappy entree into our country’s history, for a wave of religious reform was also changing the way Christmas was celebrated across the seas in Europe. In the 17th century — about 1645 — the Puritans canceled Christmas to rid England of all things decadent. Fortunately for us today, Charles II came back to the throne and with him the popular old celebration of Christmas. Comment

Political Action: Dragging out Nassau Co. race ballot count sets bad precedent

In the 2010 election, several cliffhanger races for the state Senate have delayed the verdict on which party won a majority. In addition, the courts have been getting more involved in deciding election results as demonstrated by the court cases involving three Albany Senate contests. Comment

Dishing with Dee: Party at the Bayside Historical Society pays tribute to Padavan

The holiday party season has begun with a vengeance. If this pace keeps up, I’m going to have to find a way to clone myself if I’m half serious about attempting to cover them all. Here are some of the ones I did get to. Comment

Berger’s Burg: Blacks celebrate cultural heritage through Kwanzaa

I had a request to write a column about Kwanzaa, so I did. Thanks for asking. — A.B. Comment

MidVill biz knows how to make kids smiles

When it comes to taking studio photos of children, Eric Hairabedian, who owns Violet’s Photography Studio in Middle Village, says his work is both professional and personal. Comment

Fererras looking into raid at Willets Point

City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) had not learned anything new as of Tuesday into an unannounced law enforcement raid on Willets Point last week that led to the arrests of more than a dozen workers, according to her spokesman. Comment

Veterans court will address ex-soldiers’ criminal record

Queens sealed some cracks in its judicial system Monday when a court system specifically designed for veterans convened in Kew Gardens for the first time. Comment

Sabra plans to leave Astoria

Sabra Dipping Co., a manufacturer of hummus and other Mediterranean-style vegetable dips and spreads, recently announced it will be relocating its administrative offices from Astoria to White Plains, N.Y., a move that disappointed local business groups. Comment

Queens Hospital gets 40 new beds

Staff members at Queens Hospital Center in Jamaica unveiled 40 new beds Monday and said that the added space for patients will help alleviate overcrowding in the borough, where the closing of three hospitals has left medical facilities scrambling to meet the need for care. Comment

Peralta calls for new school for immigrants

A few days after former Hearst Magazines Chairwoman Cathie Black received her waiver to become city schools chancellor, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) already had a potential assignment. Comment

Guv vetoes bill but still allows vertical drilling

Gov. David Paterson last week vetoed legislation widely supported by officials from Queens and other parts of the city that would have placed a temporary ban on a controversial drilling technique near the city’s upstate watershed. At the same time, the governor also issued an executive order that implements a moratorium on a certain type of drilling until July — later than what the state Legislature had mandated. Comment

Victorian antiques window to Christmas past

In his many years as curator of the Vander-Ende Onderdonk House in Ridgewood, Richard Asbell has worked to bring the past to the people of today. With his latest exhibit at the house, “Victorian Christmas,” Asbell is doing it with his own collection. Comment

Ten leaders a-leaping to let immigrants vote

Ten City Council members were preparing to introduce a bill that would extend municipal voting rights to legal immigrants, but not all lawmakers are pushing for suffrage. Comment

Businesses dumped in Jamaica Bay: DA

Four Brooklyn business owners came under fire by that borough’s district attorney’s office last week for allegedly dumping raw sewage into Jamaica Bay. Comment

Imam beaten by two thugs on subway

Two men, one of them a Triboro Bridge and Tunnel Authority worker, are accused of assaulting and robbing a man in a Manhattan subway station in what the Manhattan district attorney’s office said was an anti-Muslim bias attack. Comment

Gateway to replace Jamaica

The Gateway program, which serves minority and low-income students at Jamaica High School, will become one of the schools that will ultimately replace Jamaica High, Queens legislators announced this week. Comment

Framing suspect was trying to beat rape charge: Victim

A Far Rockaway man who is accused of framing his ex-girlfriend for robbing two individuals while dressed as a police officer in Nassau County did so because he had been charged with raping her in 2009 and wanted to discredit her, her attorney said. Comment

Mayor: Rename Q’nsboro Bridge after Ed Koch

Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to rename the Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City after the man who was instrumental in rehabilitating it: former Mayor Ed Koch, a move supported by Queens politicians. Comment

New schools chief tours Hillcrest HS

Incoming city Schools Chancellor Cathie Black toured Hillcrest High School Monday, during which time she received some words of advice from Queens lawmakers: Support after-school programs, do not dismiss the value of large high schools and decrease class size. Comment

Audubon Society lands $50K for youth to clean up Jam Bay

A city group has received a major grant to clean up Jamaica Bay and it will be using it to recruit youth from the borough to help do the job. Comment
Astoria Times

Astoria leaders laud 21st Ave. speed bump

Astoria legislators praised the city Department of Transportation Tuesday for installing a speed hump on 21st Avenue between 26th and 27th streets. Comment

QC explores Afghan war

A new art exhibit at Queens College tells a war story from a different angle — from the perspective of Afghanistan citizens. Comment

Make a joyful noise

Queens residents from all walks of life — retired engineers, teachers, transit workers — will come together this weekend to perform in the Oratorio Society of Queens’ annual holiday concert, an event that has become so popular there was a waiting list for it last year. Comment

Astorian’s sugarplum dreams come true

It was the tiara and the tutu that initially beguiled Lily Balogh. Comment



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