Thursday, April 21, 2011

Alan Hevesi sentenced to one to four years in jail

After nearly four months of delays and adjournments, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge sentenced disgraced former New York Comptroller Alan Hevesi to one to four years in prison Friday morning for taking kickbacks and redirecting hundreds of millions of dollars of the state’s pension fund into a private equity group. Comment

New chancellor Walcott tours his alma mater, Francis Lewis HS

New Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott visited his alma mater, Francis Lewis HS, on Thursday, where he touted the school for balancing its large class size with special programs that attract some of the brightest students in the city. Comment

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Saez’s bat gives LIC first win of season

It was fitting that Edwin Saez was on the mound and at the plate in the seminal moments of Long Island City’s slump-busting 8-4 victory over Lane last Thursday. For while his teammates may have struggled in getting off to an 0-3 start, Saez certainly hadn’t. He, for example, blasted three home runs in a season-opening loss to Queens A West leader John Adams. Comment

Loss to LIC doesn’t dampen spirits at upstart Lane High

They dressed slowly and chatted with each other, not wanting to leave the field. When they did change and leave the field, they did so together, heads held high and conversation flowing, joined by James Curcio, the Lane baseball coach. Comment

Housing Dept. says Jamaica bldg. stinks

One of Jamaica’s worst-kept buildings has been hit with another violation for a broken sewer pipe and the city had a long ordeal last week getting the stench out of the rent-stabilized space. Comment

Peace rejects plea bargain

The man accused of shooting livery cab driver Trevor Bell several times at close range in South Ozone Park and sticking up fast food restaurants around the borough turned down a plea deal last week. He will now go on trial later this month. Comment

Maspeth triangle torn up again

The triangular concrete island designed to ward off trucks and help pedestrians cross Grand and Flushing avenues in Maspeth is currently getting a makeover — for the second time in a year. Comment

Howard Beach man, plus trio stole $8M in gambling ring: DA

One man from Maspeth, two from Howard Beach and another from Long Island were charged last week with running an illegal gambling ring that netted more than $8 million over a two-year period, said the Queens DA. Comment
Whitestone Times

CB 7 approves rezoning plan for Whitestone bank construction

Community Board 7 voted Monday night to support a plan that would rezone a Whitestone site to allow a TD Bank to be built. Comment

Flushing Ave. tow biz grabs parking spots

City inspectors found nothing wrong when they visited a Maspeth tow truck company last week, but before and afterward residents complained that the garage used Flushing Avenue as its own private parking lot. Comment

HOME: Spiffing up for spring

Hooray, it’s finally spring! The days are growing longer, the crocus and primrose have burst through their dark blankets of soil, and we feel refreshed and renewed with the promise of sunshine and warmer weather. Comment

HOME: Learn tricks of the trade used in the best interior paint jobs

Back in ancient times the Egyptians and Romans made paint by mixing milk with lye. For binders they used egg yolk or tree gum. Color came from natural ingredients: white from crushed bone or ivory, and black from the soot produced by oil lamps. They painted with their fingers or with brushes made of grass and reeds. Their tomb art lasted for thousands of years. Comment

Bellerose fire damages bar, kills cat living above

The smell of smoke lingered Monday on the corner of Jericho Turnpike and 244th Street, three days after a two-alarm fire tore through a bar on the corner, displacing a tenant above the watering hole and killing his cat, residents said. Comment

Woman hit, robbed of cell phone in Jamaica: DA

JAMAICA — A Jamaica man has been charged with second-degree robbery after allegedly attacking a woman in front of 129-10 Bedell St. at about 11 a.m. March 10, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Comment

Planes touching at JFK under federal probe

JFK AIRPORT — The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a fender-bender that was caught on video at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Comment

Grandson arrested in home homicide: Police

JAMAICA — A 26-year-old man was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly killing his grandmother and ditching her body under the stairwell of her Jamaica house, police said. Comment

Firefighters almost die in 3-alarm blaze: Post

ROCKAWAYS — Two firefighters narrowly avoided death while fighting a three-alarm fire in a three-story Rockaways building, according to the New York Post. Comment

Man tried to bribe cops at 102nd Precinct: Post

RICHMOND HILL — An 18-year-old man has been charged with bribery after allegedly offering $10,000 to police officers to release him after he was arrested on an unrelated offense, according to the New York Post. Comment

Qns. Vill. woman gets prison for voodoo abuse

A Queens Village grandmother who admitted to failing to seek medical attention for her 6-year-old granddaughter, critically burned in 2009 during an alleged voodoo ritual at her home, was sentenced to one to three years in prison last week in Queens Supreme Court, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Comment

CB 12 leader injured in auto crash

Community leaders and elected officials are sending their support to Community Board 12’s district manager following a collision last week that left her hospitalized for days. Comment

Queens Reformed Church offers family fun night event

The Queens Reformed Church, at 94-79 Springfield Blvd. in Queens Village, is providing an opportunity for families to spend recreational time together at its Family Fun Night. Comment

JFK expansion would hurt bay: Ecowatchers

Environmentalists who have been fighting to keep Jamaica Bay alive are pushing the federal government not to go forward with plans to expand John F. Kennedy International Airport into the ecosystem. Comment

Dentist helps Haiti victims

Jamaica dentist Dr. Kevin Grant returned to help the people of Haiti with their dental problems last month for the second time since the devastating January 2009 earthquake, and he said conditions in the impoverished country have not changed in the year since he first lent his assistance. Comment

SE Queens landlords top de Blasio’s ‘worst’ list

The city public advocate is taking his fight against the city’s worst landlords, many of whom are in southeast Queens, to the World Wide Web in order to help tenants avoid the headaches of moving into poorly maintained apartments. Comment

Jam. man gets 20 years for killing girlfriend

A Jamaica man was sentenced Monday to two decades in prison for killing his girlfriend and dumping her body in the Delaware River, the Queens district attorney said. Comment

The Fat-Fast Food Cop

It was hard not to come to the conclusion last week that City Councilman Leroy Comrie is himself at times a few french fries short of a Happy Meal. Comment
Jackson Heights

Peralta distributes $50K for libraries

In the midst of a prominent campaign by the Queens Public Library for private donations so the institution can buy new books, representatives of the system recognized one of their largest donors Friday. Comment
Jackson Heights

Moya sounds warning on illegal apts.

Getting a low-rent apartment in a basement or attic might seem like a bargain, but state Assemblyman Francisco Moya’s (D-Jackson Heights) office and the city Department of Buildings took to the streets last Thursday to try to teach people that their converted dwelling may not just be illegal, but dangerous. Comment

Jamaica HS rallies against closing plan

Alumni, students and faculty came to Jamaica High School Sunday afternoon to protest the city Department of Education’s plan to close the school, which has served city students for more than a century. Comment

Angels come to rescue for Douglaston kids

The buzz and hum of the festival atmosphere that filled a cavernous dining hall at the Immaculate Conception Center, at 72-00 Douglaston Pkwy. in Douglaston, last week was regularly enhanced by a series of slightly varied announcements. Comment
Fresh Meadows

The Civic Scene: Gov’t options to cutting costs lie in plain sight

Our state, federal and city governments are in debt but have a multitude of contracts to provide services and consultants which, if evaluated, revised and eliminated, could go a long way toward reducing our deficits. The state constitution and City Charter require a balanced budget every year. While our federal constitution does not require a balanced budget, it behooves our government leaders and all citizens to pressure for one or we may discover that the world markets may consider us bankrupt someday. Comment
Forest Hills Ledger

JetBlue greens torn up park

Forest Hills and Rego Park lived up to their names Saturday afternoon by participating in droves in a massive greening event in MacDonald Park in Forest Hills. Comment
Forest Hills Ledger

Holocaust survivor to recount tale

History is always more vivid when told from first-hand accounts, and Queens residents will have the chance to hear the story of a woman who survived the Holocaust as a teenager with the help of some brave French villagers. Comment

Women, minorities get over 50% of Aqueduct jobs

More than half of the construction workers who are building the casino project at Aqueduct Race Track are either minority or female employees, higher than the developer’s goal of 25 percent that it set in its bid for the contract, the company announced Monday. Comment

Mama Pia! Howard Beach shattered by ‘Idol’ boot

Students of PS 207 and residents of Howard Beach were shocked after “American Idol” contestant and darling of the southern Queens neighborhood Pia Toscano was voted off the program last Thursday. Comment

Selfhelp starts work on Flushing senior apt. building

Selfhelp Community Services broke ground on a new 14-story, 92-unit affordable apartment building for senior citizens in Flushing last week. Comment
Flushing Times

S. Ozone Park pimp gets 8 yrs. in prison

A South Ozone Park pimp has been sentenced to up to eight years in prison for forcing a 19-year-old girl into working for him as a prostitute under the threat of murder, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Comments (1)

Principals swap ideas at East-West School

East met West at the East-West School of International Studies in Flushing Tuesday afternoon. Comment
Flushing Times

Feds to investigate tour buses after incidents

Just weeks after a fatal bus crash in the Bronx and a deadly accident in New Hampshire involving a Flushing tour company, the National Transportation Safety Board has agreed to conduct an investigation into the practices and regulations governing the low-cost tour bus industry. Comment

Family celebrates birthday of Flushing centenarian

A century after her birth, a Flushing woman celebrated her life with several dozen members of her extensive extended family Sunday afternoon. Comment

‘Just a Guy from Queens’

Mayor Michael Bloomberg all but admitted last week that hiring Cathie Black to run the city schools was a mistake. He called a press conference last week to announce he and Black agreed that her resignation was in the best interest of the children attending city public schools. Comment

DEP’s scaled-back water rate increase wins few admirers

The city Department of Environmental Protection is touting its proposed water rate increase of 7.5 percent as relief to customers, but not everyone finds that an easy pill to swallow. Comment

Movie brings stuttering into focus at SJU

After viewing the multiple Oscar-winning film “The King’s Speech” at St. John’s University last week, members of the Queens chapter of the National Stuttering Association spoke about their own difficulties and dispelled myths that surround the speech disorder. Comment

Monahan & Fitzgerald revamps and reopens

Monahan & Fitzgerald has been one of Bayside’s traditional Irish pubs for 25 years, and with the recent renovations now complete, owner Jim Fitzgerald said he hopes “to have a go at another 25-year run.” Comment

Fighter from Bayside dojo wins Golden Gloves at the Garden

The windowed facade of the Tiger Schulmann’s training center on Bell Boulevard in Bayside has a new award to display after Julio Arce won his boxing match at Madison Square Garden Friday night to take the 141-pound novice class title in the Golden Gloves tournament. Comment

Boy burned in blaze back at bat

Saturday was a celebration for the Forest Hills community as Jesse Iacovetta returned to the baseball diamond for Opening Day of the 2011 Forest Hills Little League season. Comment

111th officers honored for carjacking arrest

The best cops use quick thinking and resourcefulness when they are called upon with a split-second’s notice to protect their communities, and that’s just how three officers in the 111th Precinct reacted when they got the word about a violent crime in progress. Comment

Budget watchdog praises subway’s efficiency

The Citizens Budget Commission says the New York City subway system was among the nation’s most efficient, but MTA buses and commuter trains get lower marks. Comment

Play Ball! Little League starts

Hundreds of baseball fans both young and old marched in the Bayside Little League’s annual Opening Day parade Saturday morning, an affair that rings in the start of spring. Comment

Avella issues plan to change Albany

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said he is trying to reform Albany but is finding some resistance from his Republican colleagues during a visit last Thursday to North Shore Towers. Comment

Officer assaulted by driver in Astoria: Brown

ASTORIA — An Astoria man was arrested on three charges after he allegedly hit and injured a police officer with his vehicle, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Comment

Reform taxes for co-ops, condos

According to data from the Long Island Board of Realtors, many co-ops and condos in Queens are selling for the same amount or less than what they were selling for a few years ago. Despite this fact, the city Department of Finance, which falls under the purview of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, proposed assessed market valuations that have in many cases increased by high double-digit percentages and in some cases triple digits over last year. Comment

Layoffs will hurt both teachers and students

I am writing in response and agreement with the letter “Pols must start supporting teachers” by John Amato in the March 24-30 issue of TimesLedger Newspapers. Comment

Tax the rich to balance budget

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget refusal to support the millionaire tax surcharge on the grounds that such people would leave the state is as empty as the claim that by not fully taxing the rich, money would trickle down to the middle class and the poor. Comment

Count Queens and other urban areas differently in census

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau is supposed to offer Americans a unique opportunity to learn more about our communities. But in the latest count, it came as a surprise that we are the ones who have to teach the federal government about who New Yorkers are. According to the census data released last week, New York City has only grown 2.1 percent in the past 10 years. The idea that our city, universally recognized as the “capital of the world,” barely grew in the past decade is absurd. Even more ridiculous is the notion that Queens, the nation’s fourth-largest and most diverse county, only grew by 1,343 people — or a measly 0.1 percent. Comment

‘We Are Bryant’

One week before Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the beheading of city Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, students and alumni of Bryant High School in Astoria and elected officials gathered to fight for the future of the school. Comment

QueensLine: Military man Colin Powell once called Hollis home

Colin Luther Powell was born April 5, 1937, in Harlem to Jamaican immigrant parents Maud Arial and Luther Theophilus Powell. When Powell was 6, the family moved to the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx, the setting for the movie “Fort Apache, the Bronx.” In his memoir “My American Journey,” Powell wrote that while Hunts Point was a tough neighborhood when he was a boy, the extreme social breakdown depicted in “Fort Apache” had not yet set in. Comment

Dishing with Dee: Queens papers head north for N.Y. Press awards convention

This weekend was one of my favorite annual treks. It was the New York Press Association’s spring convention at the Gideon Putnam Hotel Resort in upstate Saratoga Springs. Comment

Weiner, beep warn of boro budget pain

A Forest Hills congressman took the Republican Party to task Tuesday for the millions of dollars in proposed budget cuts that would harm the working-class and senior citizens of Queens and the borough president bemoaned belt-tightening at the city level after $5 million of funding for the long-awaited Queens West library branch become embroiled in budget talks. Comment

Walcott deeply rooted in boro school system

The streets of southeast Queens are buzzing with excitement after one of their own was chosen to lead the city’s school system and its 1.1 million children. Comment
Astoria Times

Correction Dept. tells Astoria civic of Rikers upgrade

Astoria residents have long been concerned about the situation at Rikers Island, the prison only accessible by road through the neighborhood, so city Department of Corrections Commissioner Dora Schriro visited the United Community Civic Association last Thursday to update residents on the prison’s renovation. Comment
Astoria Times

CB 2 OKs rezoning of two communities

Eateries on Queens Boulevard can pull out their chairs and their tables. Comment

St. John’s hospital site in for major makeover

A Brooklyn architecture firm has filed a certificate of occupancy with the city Department of Buildings to build what appears to be a mixed-use property with apartments, offices, retail and a clinic at the site of St. John’s Queens Hospital, which closed in 2009. Comment

Gianaris fights to prevent summer power rate hike

TransCanada has filed papers with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission demanding that its controversial planned 12 percent rate hike for power generators go into effect before June 28, but state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) has introduced legislation to make sure city customers do not have to bear the burden. Comment

Electeds urge DOT to step up

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), state Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Ridgewood) and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) demanded action from the city Department of Transportation Friday in light of the eerily similar road accidents that occurred in the last month on a Queensboro Bridge off-ramp. Comment

Major expansion begins at Queens Museum

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Borough President Helen Marshall and some members of the borough’s City Council delegation helped break ground Tuesday on the Queens Museum of Art’s $65 million expansion project that will double the size of the cultural institution in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Comment

TimesLedger wins 13 journalism awards at NYPA

TimesLedger Newspapers was honored by the New York Press Association with 13 journalism awards, which recognized individual reporters, editors and the collective newsroom for excellence in their coverage of Queens. Comment

Hiram trades politics for pies

Where he once handed out fliers and plotted campaign strategy, controversial former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate now serves up pizza, fruit juice and flan. Comment

Queens wants screen time in new MiB movie

Fans of the decaying 1964 World’s Fair buildings in Flushing Meadows Corona Park are pleased that a blockbuster Hollywood franchise is returning to the borough for a third film. Comment

Mets disappoint with loss to Nationals in chilly home opener

New York Mets fans held out hope for a promising season as they flocked to Citi Field for their team’s home opener Friday, but for one day the Amazin’s let them down in a 6-2 loss to the Washington Nationals. Comment

Little hope for Jamaica HS closure reversal

Although parents, leaders and others cheered over the announcement that Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott would replace outgoing city Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, supporters of the southeast Queens schools slated for phase-out this fall were still bracing for the worst. Comment

City says glitch distorted values of boro condos

The city Department of Finance acknowledged Monday that a computer glitch was partly responsible for grossly inaccurate property tax valuations for co-ops and condos and vowed to correct the errors, but co-op and condo advocates said they will only be satisfied when co-ops and condos receive notice of the blunder. Comment

Comrie targets Happy Meal toys with new legislation

City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) acknowledged that his recent crusade against childhood obesity would result in some shots at his own weight problems, but he is determined to make a difference and give his constituents healthier choices. Comment

Pols cheer Black’s ouster

State Education Department Commissioner David Steiner announced that a state DOE screening panel was expected to meet this week to discuss whether or not to grant a waiver to allow city Schools Chancellor designee Dennis Walcott to be appointed to that post. Comment

Boro Civil War historian marks 150-yr milestone

The Greater Astoria Historical Society kicked off a series of events Tuesday that will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War over the next five years with a presentation by actor and performing historian Patrick Falci. Comment
Astoria Times

Pols, activists fight against asphalt plant

On a pothole-ridden, almost hidden road near the Queens-Brooklyn border in Long Island City, elected officials and activists protested last Thursday a planned asphalt plant that they said would bring trucks into an overburdened area and had received permits without the community’s input. Comment

Creativity shines through

A new exhibition featuring the work of artists with developmental disabilities will be on display at Topaz Arts in Woodside through May 1. Comment

The Play’s The Thing: Challenging plays will prove more memorable in the end

It’s the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong. Comment

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Another huge downtown Flushing development to break ground

A major new mixed-use development is breaking ground this week in downtown Flushing. Comment

Soon-to-expire E-ZPasses must be returned

MTA Bridges and Tunnels is getting ready to send out new E-ZPasses to a million-plus motorists whose passes are nearing expiration. Comment



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