Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010

Senate votes to expel Monserrate immediately

After long deliberation, the state Senate has ousted embattled Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-East Elmhurst) — at least until he appeals the decision in court like he has vowed to do since his misdemeanor assault conviction last year. Comment

Weprin wins state Assembly seat

The 38-year Weprin legacy in the state Assembly will reach a 39th year after former City Councilman David Weprin soundly defeated Glen Oaks Village President Bob Friedrich in a special election Tuesday, according to preliminary results from the city Board of Elections. Comment

Politics eyed in long-shot win

Gov. David Paterson’s selection of Aqueduct Entertainment Group, which has strong ties to influential southeast Queens minister the Rev. Floyd Flake, to build and operate video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Race Track is being called into question by those who believe the pick may have been politically motivated. Comment

Qns. reacts to St. Vincent’s shaky future

As city and state officials race to keep Saint Vincent’s Medical Center afloat in the face of $700 million of debt, Queens leaders differ as to whether the Manhattan institution is attracting more public support than last year’s closure of Queens’ Mary Immaculate and St. John’s hospitals — both once owned by the struggling Greenwich Village hospital. Comment

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010

Friedrich supporters protest Weprin mailing

Dozens of supporters of state Assembly candidate Bob Friedrich rallied Sunday afternoon in Little Neck to protest what they describe as hateful campaign literature opponent David Weprin sent out last week condemning Friedrich’s opposition to hate crime legislation as “extremist” and featuring a swastika. Comment

Five injured in 3-alarm fire in St. Albans

A three-alarm fire damaged three homes in St. Albans and sent some residents to the hospital Friday morning. Comment

Weprin campaign sends mailing with swastika accusing Friedrich of extremism

State Assembly candidate Bob Friedrich and his supporters are livid over a campaign piece from his opponent that hit mailboxes Thursday that painted Friedrich as an “extremist” who opposes “extra-tough criminal penalties” for hate crimes and used an image of two police officers behind crime scene tape with a swastika clearly visible in the center. Comment

CK lets its shot at national ranking slip away late

NEWARK, N.J. — The Christ the King girls basketball team had been teetering on the brink of a national ranking for weeks. The Royals were winners of nine straight and, with a clean sweep against two powerhouses this weekend, they would have been a shoo-in. Comment

Christ the King crowns St. Peter’s

NEWARK, N.J. — Joe Arbitello has seen his team bounce back from difficult losses all year. They did it after a shocking defeat at Molloy and again in a semifinal loss to nationally ranked Milton (Ga.) in the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions. Comment

Seminerio to report to prison in 30 days

A Manhattan federal judge sentenced Anthony Seminerio, a former state assemblyman from Richmond Hill, to six years in prison Thursday for abusing his power as a lawmaker and extorting money out of hospitals, nonprofits and other groups in exchange for lobbying state officials on their behalf. Comment

Smith spreading the word on earned income tax credit

With tax season around the corner, state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) wants southeast Queens taxpayers to get their fair share in returns. Comment

Meeks, Smith nonprofit funds questioned

Several southeast Queens political leaders’ involvement in a neighborhood nonprofit has been called into question amid a report in the New York Post that the group’s tax returns failed to give a full accounting of how its funds were spent. Comment

Chancellor Klein Goes to School

Is it possible city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein attended the meeting at Brooklyn Technical High School last week, where hundreds of parents protested the city’s plan to closed 19 schools, and not have been moved? Comment

Neighbor to Neighbor: Law must come down harder on Queens graffiti vandals

Ever since the momentous Obama election campaign, the world of politics seems to be spinning faster and faster — sometimes in unexpected ways. Some politicos, once elected, assume the position will be theirs forever. Sometimes they are forced to leave for one reason or another, including when a new face appears and makes a sensational entrance. When that happens, everyone may try to rationalize why. Comment
Jamaica Times

Rockaway mother burned toddler: DA

A Rockaway Park mother was charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly submerging her 3-year-old son in scalding hot bath water and causing him to suffer second-degree burns, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Illegal conversions endanger residents due to fire hazards

The headline of an article in the December 2009 North Flushing Civic Association newsletter read “Save Lives — Report Illegal Apartments.” The article explained that our city is asking residents to report suspected illegal conversions and apartments. Comment

Woman attacked beau with scissors: DA

BAYSIDE — A Long Island woman was charged with assault after allegedly stabbing her boyfriend with a pair of scissors during an argument, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment

Man hit sister with cane during fight: DA

GLEN OAKS — A Glen Oaks man was busted by police after allegedly bashing his sister on the head with his cane during an argument, the Queens district attorney said. Comment

Man held after clocking bus driver: Brown

BAYSIDE — A Flushing man was ordered to undergo a psychiatric examination after being arrested for allegedly punching an MTA bus driver, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment

Not Here

We cannot find any reason why the trial of the self-described masterminds of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks should be held in lower Manhattan. At a time when the mayor is searching for ways to balance the budget without firing teachers, it is ridiculous to ask the city to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to hold the trial here. Comment

How’s Business? Watch out for bargain tricks

After every holiday season, we all try to cash in on buying quality products for discount prices. Stores have less than a month to make their last quarter profit margin. In this trying economy, many retail stores have a “kill or be killed” sales mentality. You must be on-point for possible retail trickery. Comment

Arbor celebration unites Bayside Jews

It was only appropriate that a celebration of regrowth should be the occasion of two Bayside synagogues coming together to rekindle the Jewish community in northeast Queens. Comment

Archbishop speaks at St. John’s on Haiti

Archbishop of New York the Rev. Timothy M. Dolan told hundreds of people who gathered to hear him speak at St. John’s University last week that he plans to work with other religious leaders to help Haiti with relief and restoration efforts for years to come. Comment

Yogurteria to raffle itself off

It is not often an individual can buy a business for $100, but that should change come April. Comment

Zazi relatives charged in terrorism case: Feds

Two men face new charges in relation to the case against Najibullah Zazi, a relative of theirs who grew up in Flushing and allegedly planned a thwarted al-Qaeda terror plot against New York. Comment

Macedonia AME plans affordable apartment building

Plans to build a 14-story building with 140 affordable housing units, ground-floor retail space, a day-care center and church on the site of downtown Flushing’s Macedonia AME Church are moving forward rapidly. Comment

Mark Weprin lays out agenda as new councilman

City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) kicked off his first term with style in a two-hour-long bash at Queensborough Community College Sunday. Comment

Flushing HS unfairly targeted, leaders say

In the wake of last week’s controversial decision by the Bloomberg administration to close 19 city schools, including Jamaica and Broad Channel high schools, elected officials, parents and school administrators are questioning why Flushing High School could be on the docket next. Comment

Bayside accident prompts resident to call for change

A Bayside businessman is urging community leaders to do something about what he calls a dangerous intersection after an accident took the life of a pregnant employee of his store last month. Comment

No common ground found in boro Assembly debate

The two candidates vying for the state Assembly seat vacated by City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) pulled no punches during a debate Monday night in Glen Oaks. Comment

Gennaro film tops Sundance

City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) might soon have another title other than politician: movie star. Comment

First new store opens at Sky View Park complex

Flushing and Muss Development celebrated a milestone Saturday morning as BJ’s Wholesale Club became the first business to open at the massive Sky View Parc development. Comment

St. John’s students use food stamps for 100 hours

For St. John’s University student Meredith Chesler, a plate of pasta last week had never tasted so good. Comment

GPS burglar nabbed red-handed: Brown

ASTORIA — An Astoria man was arrested on suspicion of burglary after being caught with a stolen GPS navigation unit, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment

Parcel worker stole cell phone: Brown

MASPETH — A UPS worker from Brooklyn evidently forgot his company has lots of experience tracking items. He was charged with petit larceny after a UPS security officer caught him with a stolen cell phone, the Queens DA said. Comment

Drunk driver nabbed in the Rockaways: Brown

ROCKAWAY BEACH — A Broad Channel woman was facing jail time after being caught driving drunk a second time, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment

Cabbie busted after giving false ID: Brown

CORONA — A Corona livery cab driver faced prison time after twice giving police false information about his identity, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment

Boro man head-butted angel statue: Brown

WOODHAVEN — A South Ozone Park man was busted on suspicion of vandalism after head-butting another man’s cement angel sculpture, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Comment

Try to get financial aid for college early

Each winter, New Yorkers and families across the country are confronted with one of the most crucial financial concerns regarding their teenage children: how to pay for their college education. Comment

Albany failed city’s schoolchildren

Politics as usual is still the name of the game in Albany as the state Legislature last week passed up to $700 million from the federal government in needed education funding. It was unable to get its act together and pass the federally mandated legislation on charter schools that would have made those funds available. Comment

Federal gov’t, state must pass laws prohibiting the sale of expired foods

While grocery shopping in a local supermarket recently, I purchased a package of pepperoni I found in a display case at the end of the produce section. Upon opening the package at home and biting into one of the slices, I experienced a foul, uncharacteristic taste. In looking on the package, I saw that the expiration date had passed a while prior to my purchase. Comment

CB 11 looks out for welfare of Bayside community

As a member of Community Board 11, I take exception to the Jan. 14 TimesLedger Newspapers editorial “The ‘Dangerous’ Sign,” in which you ridiculed the vote by the board to have the illuminated sign in front of Bayside High School removed. Comment

Come together and help Haiti

It is critical that we as a nation stand together to help the Haitian people begin the long and painful recovery from the massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake which struck Jan. 12. Comment

The Contingency Plan

Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered a gloomy budget proposal last week with a matter-of-factness that made his news easier to digest. His message was clear: Tough times lie ahead. Comment

Dishing with Dee: Weprins and Avella ready for upcoming election bids

The annual Bayside Taste of Food event was held last week at the Cue Restaurant on the corner of Northern and Bell boulevards. It’s a great place to have a food tasting. All the pool tables are covered up with plywood boards and thereby make excellent banquet tables to both display and serve the food available for tasting. Comment

Our History: Boro love of ice skating began in the 19th century by dancer

A sight or sound can take you back to another time, especially at this time of year with cold, crisp days and the possibility of snow falling. Memories return of pastimes triggered by the sight of a small pond once nestled in a forest. Comment

Berger’s Burg: Year of the Tiger promises to bring tumultuous events

Thank God for the Chinese. Without them, what would the rest of us eat? Comment

Political Action: GOP could come back in 2010 Queens races

The Massachusetts miracle of 2010, in which state Sen. Scott Brown (R-Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex) defeated Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley in an upset U.S. Senate race, has a precedent in the not-too-distant past. In the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race of 1952, incumbent Republican Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. was defeated in an upset race by Democrat John F. Kennedy. Comment

City eating comes home to Bayside

The owners of a new restaurant in Bayside opened the eatery with the hopes of matching aspects of eating in the city to the neighborhood while retaining the personal touches locals love about eating close to home. Comment

Newtown High reacts to underachiever label

Elmhurst’s 130-year-old Newtown High School is not taking its placement on a state list of schools slated for redesign or closure lying down, although answers about the process have been hard to come by. Comment

Ulrich criticizes plan to shutter Beach Channel

City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Rockaway Beach) said the decision last week by a panel that sets education policy to shutter Beach Channel High School in Far Rockaway will create a hardship for hundreds of students on the peninsula, who he said would be forced to drop out or travel to Brooklyn or mainland Queens for high school. Comment

Boro Board backs restrictions on front yard parking

The Queens Borough Board voted unanimously Monday night to support changes to city streetscape zoning regulations proposed by the Department of City Planning. Comment

Astoria power plant closes under pressure

It took eight years to shut down the Charles Poletti Power Project, but Astoria leaders and the New York Power Authority said it was better late then never for the borough’s environment. Comment

Baggers to be compensated

A year and a half after a state senator publicized their plight, an Elmhurst supermarket has agreed to pay $331,000 to reimburse several grocery baggers who only worked for tips. Comment

Loss of Jamaica HS peeves pols

Last week’s decision to shut down Jamaica High School has angered several of the borough’s elected officials who tried to save the 107-year-old institution and now they are condemning the city Department of Education’s approach that led to the closings. Comment

Strongest honor Whitestone man killed in Astoria

Frank Justich worked at the city Sanitation Department for only 11 years, but the Whitestone father was a humble man who brought energy to his fellow workers day after day, according to the people who knew him. Comment

MTA’s cleanliness suffers as finances wane: Walder

MTA Chairman Jay Walder has acknowledged what some straphangers have begun to complain about: Subway stations are getting dirtier. Comment

Synagogue looks at genocide from Auschwitz to Congo

To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, speakers at a Kew Gardens Hills synagogue last week said individuals must fight to stop mass killings that continue today in places like the Congo and Darfur. Comment

Cuomo targets Vantage

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced last week he plans to sue Vantage Properties, which owns more than 80 buildings in Queens, to stop it from harassing rent-regulated tenants and forcing them from their homes in order to rent the apartments to individuals who could pay for more expensive, market-price units, he said. Comment

MTA may put stimulus money toward deficit

Mass transit systems throughout much of the nation, most in varied levels of financial distress, have expressed an eagerness to take advantage of federal stimulus money proposed by the Obama administration.The MTA is one of them. Comment

Koslowitz celebrates her return to Council

What was old is new again as City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) celebrated her inauguration for her second tenure in the governing body. Comment

Flushing murder inspires tougher stand on stalkers

Elected officials have rushed in to help the family of a Flushing woman who was viciously murdered last week by exploring legislation to keep better tabs on violent predators and obtaining visas to bring her immediate family from China to the United Statesfor her funeral. Comment

Monsignor at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Forest Hills in child porn investigation

A Forest Hills priest has been placed on administrative leave after federal officials launched an investigation into the monsignor for allegedly watching child porn on the Internet. Comment

Boro keeps Haiti on its mind

Alexandra Cothia has left the tremors of Haiti, but the tremors have not left her. Comment

Road to Jamaica HS closing long, rocky

Over the last 2 1/2 years, the fate of Jamaica High School has been shrouded in controversy and uncertainty as the city and state flip-flopped on their evaluations of the school’s performanceand its importance to the southeast Queens community. Comment

Mayor’s budget plan would trim 4,300 jobs

Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled a tough city budget proposal last Thursday that would help close a projected $4.1 billion hole at the cost of 4,300 jobs and a reduction in pay raises for teachers. Comment

Comrie slams plans to close high school

Following the decision last week to close the Business, Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship High School in the Campus Magnet school building, City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) blamed the city Department of Education for not committing enough resources to the struggling school. Comment

Saujani makes bid for Maloney’s congressional seat

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) is facing a primary challenge from a young Manhattan lawyer eager to make her mark as a progressive Democrat. Comment

Bloomberg used political party to pay backer: Post

Mayor Michael Bloomberg used the state Independence Party as an intermediary to funnel a $750,000 payment to a high-profile Queens Republican backer of the mayor, according to campaign finance records and the New York Post. Comment

2 burglars target boro elderly

Astorians and Middle Villagers were taking precautions against a pair of burglars masquerading as Con Edison workers last week after a string of elderly residents were victimized. Comment

Crowley slams proposal to cut fire companies

Fire companies are once again on the chopping block in the mayor’s opening round of city budget negotiations, including one that covers Ridgewood, City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) said. Comment

Program aims to make college possible for Flushing students

A new initiative aimed at preparing Flushing students for college will begin to provide high school students with preparation tools for higher education this month. Comment

UFT sues city over planned school closings

Even though the city finalized its controversial plan to close down 19 city high schools, including Jamaica High, Beach Channel HS and one of the Campus Magnet institutions, the teacher’s union is still putting up a fight to prevent the move from becoming a reality. Comment

In the mood for love

From a tango musical written by a Latin Grammy winner to meals laden with chocolate and champagne, there are plenty of ways for Queens couples to celebrate their love this Valentine’s Day. Comment

Astorian has moment in spotlight as ‘Memphis’ lead

Bryan Fenkart got some rather jolting news recently when he stepped off-stage after performing his regular role as a member of the chorus in the lively Broadway musical “Memphis.” Comment

Worth the Trip

Theater Comment

The Reel Queens: Historical Society series opens with Steinway Piano film

The Greater Astoria Historical Society will explore the crafting of a Steinway & Sons piano as well as the golden age of television through a new film and TV series that the group is hosting in January and February at its Broadway locale. Comment

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010

CB 4 shoots down new school plan on 43rd Ave. in Corona

Corona desperately needs another school, residents and members of Community Board 4 agreed, but they balked Tuesday night at the city’s plan to put it next to a firehouse, on a street with no sidewalks and on a property that would force out a local business that has been there for 28 years. Comment



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