Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015


Eclectic Belgian beer bar with social atmosphere hits Ridgewood

They are an American phenomenon — drinking establishments where bartenders spend more time texting on their phones than assisting customers, or where patrons keep their eyes glued to televisions rather than talking to the person next to them. Comment

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


United pulls up wheels at JFK this fall

United Airlines announced that it would leave John F. Kennedy International Airport permanently by Oct. 25 and move its West Coast daily flights to Newark Liberty International Airport. Comment

Queens Library renews the job search

The Queens Library has revamped the job search workshop that the library conducts at several of its locations across the borough. Comment

Clearview residents learn self expression through painting

Several residents of the Selfhelp Clearview Senior Center have spent the last five months exploring self-expression by creating art under the instruction of an acclaimed artist, which culminated with a gallery exhibition at the center on Tuesday. Comment
Little Neck

Salt marsh at Alley Pond gets rehabilitation work

The Natural Areas Conservancy led a volunteer effort Saturday to restore the salt marsh at Alley Pond Park in Little Neck, which was damaged by debris and trash from severe weather and Hurricane Sandy. Comments (1)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Neighborhood record store set to open in Astoria

Neighborhood record stores have been in decline for over two decades, but one Astoria resident believes they’re ready for a comeback. That is why Javi Velasquez is ready to open HiFi Records at 23-19 Steinway St. early next month. According to Nielsen, U.S. album sales between January and March of this year were up 53 percent from the same period last year. Comment

Second Avenue subway on track to meet 2016 deadline

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria), speaking amid the din of construction on the Second Avenue subway, expressed hope the first phase of the long-sought project will be completed on schedule next year, but cautioned that delays would cost more millions. Comments (1)

Simotas gets two bills passed

New York state has become the first in the nation to advance legislation to ensure prenatal care for all after lawmakers in both chambers passed a bill, last week to make pregnancy a qualifying event for enrollment in a health insurance plan. The legislation, introduced by state Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria), followed a report by city Comptroller Scott Stringer that highlighted the need for expanded access to vital prenatal care. Comments (1)

City and Justice Department reach agreement on reforms at Rikers Island

The city and the U.S. Justice Department agreed Monday on a package of comprehensive reforms at Rikers Island. The deal includes the appointment of a federal monitor, new policies restricting the use of force by guards and the installation of 7,800 surveillance cameras and a pilot program for body cameras on correction officers. Comments (1)

Cardozo’s Sanghyeon Park wins Federation golf title

Sanghyeon Park never misses a moment to swing a golf club and his dedication earned him a historic victory. Comment
Forest Hills

Give America hope

What is urgently needed to help resolve the crisis in America’s deprived urban and rural areas is for Congress to create a domestic Marshall Plan, similar to the one George C. Marshall called for in a 1947 speech at Harvard. His European recovery program of $12 billion from Congress restored war-torn Europe to pre-war conditions. Comments (1)

Monday, June 29, 2015


DOT to build Astoria’s first Slow Zone and protect cyclists on Vernon Boulevard

Motorists in Astoria will have to slow down later this summer when the Department of Transportation begins construction of the neighborhood’s first Slow Zone. Comment

Schools chancellor addresses PS 120 carnival incident in Flushing

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña had some harsh words at a roundtable discussion last week for former PS 120 Principal Joan Monroe, who was reassigned after she banned students who did not pay a required fee to attend a Flushing school carnival. Comment
Forest Hills

New York Pops come to Forest Hills

The New York Pops are shimmying over to the Forest Hills Stadium this summer with thousands of free tickets for students in the area. Comment

State lawmakers pass bill to reform nail salon industry in the city

State lawmakers passed legislation introduced by state Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) that would target unlicensed nail salons but also protect vulnerable workers. Comments (5)
Block Shots

Representing Queens on the football field

Charles Driver looked around at Empire Challenge practice and was shocked to see there were very few players of his kind there. Comment

Woman raped by fake customer at Flushing massage parlor: NYPD

FLUSHING — Police were searching for a man who posed as a customer and raped a woman in a massage parlor in Flushing June 16. Comment

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Shirley Weinstein, veteran Flushing community leader dies

Shirley Weinstein, a well-known community and civic leader in Flushing who died at the age of 90 June 13, was described by friends and fellow community leaders as a hardworking, honest activist who was always “civic-minded.” Comment

Jamaica business look forward to improvements

The Jamaica Business Improvement District had its annual meeting Tuesday, where keynote speaker York College president Marcia Kiesz talked about future project idea such as first ever CUNY School of Pharmacy and capital investment in the startup industry, at the Harvest Room since the launch of Jamaica Now action plan this year in downtown Jamaica. Comments (1)

Dads reconnect with kids at Queens Zoo for Father’s Day

In celebration of Father’s Day, the city Department of Youth and Community Development brought hundreds of fathers who don’t have custody of their children together with their kids at the Queens Zoo on Saturday to reconnect over nature and animals. Comment

Rainbow store in Whitestone closing

The Rainbow store in the Whitestone Shopping Center will be closing after more than 40 years of serving shoppers in the area. Comments (12)

The best of Queens softball celebrated

Archbishop Molloy has reclaimed its place atop both the borough and the city. Comment
The Civic Scene

Queens schools accomplish much this year

As the 2014-2015 school year ends, I again print some of the many fine things happening in our high schools. Comment

Punishment must fit the crime

Interestingly, the Democratic versus Republican fence in the City Council has been torn down with the recent joint proposal of Councilmen Lancman (D) and Ulrich (R) for more diversion routes (in lieu of punishment) in “veterans courts” for veteran criminals in lockstep with Mayor de Blasio’s task force on behavioral health and the criminal justice system, whose recommendations are premised upon the false conclusion that the social environment-mental disorder complex determines sociopathic behavior and criminal acts. Comment

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Plastic foam to-go containers on the way out

After July 1, the city will no longer permit restaurants to use EPS products, commonly referred to as Styrofoam, a good and cheap insulator used to hold food and beverage products. Comments (1)
Fresh Meadows

Over 8,600 Road Runners run in Queens 10K

New York Road Runners’ flagship event in Queens returned to Flushing Meadows Corona Park Sunday, bringing out 8,650 runners for the 2015 Queens 10-Kilometer Race. Comment

District 29 candidate gets Dem support

Alicia Hyndman, Democratic candidate for William Scarborough’s state Assembly seat, is one of the first contenders to announce her campaign for the special elections. Comment

Ahmed blossoms into cricket star at John Adams

Talk to Amran Ahmed and he will use a few simple words to get his point across. They will be barely audible, because the John Adams cricket star is as shy as they come off the field. On the field, however, it’s a different story. Comment

Rising above hate

The horror of racism jolted Queens as residents of the nation’s most ethnically diverse borough gathered to mourn the deaths of nine people gunned down inside a Charleston, S.C. church. Comment
Mayoral Spin Cycle

Cheers to the Latino Leadership Institute

In a world dominated by skyrocketing tuitions and onerous student loans, the Latino Leadership Institute stands out in being able to provide a superlative education to young people who would otherwise not be able to afford it — for free. Comment

Uncovering a hidden health care cost

My recent hospital bill had an asterisk at the bottom noting, “includes New York State surcharge tax,” so I decided to investigate. I was shocked to discover that since 1996 New York State has imposed a 9.63% surcharge on patient care from licensed health care providers. Every time we go to a hospital or a clinic or to a doctor’s office, the state adds a 9.63% surcharge to the bill. While insurance companies pay the surcharge, they pass it on to patients directly or through higher premiums. Comments (1)

Friday, June 26, 2015


Queens’ gay councilmen welcome same-sex marriage decision

A Department of Transportation press event on the long-awaited redesign of 21st Street in Astoria was delayed by history Friday morning. City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) was on the phone telling his husband, Dan Hendrick, that the U.S. Supreme Court had just ruled 5-4 in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide, Comments (5)
Broad Channel

Post-Sandy restorations at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge announced Monday it will start the groundwork for a post-Sandy restoration project this fall in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, the National Park Service and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy. Comment

Costa rallies Acropolis residents who are living without gas or hot water

Residents of the Acropolis Gardens co-op in Astoria are at their wits’ end, having lived without cooking gas and hot water for more than six weeks. Public Advocate Letitia James and City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) joined many tenants Monday outside their garden apartments on Ditmars Boulevard and 33rd Street to call on the complex’s management company to make the necessary repairs to restore gas service. Comment
Queens Village

Concannon’s GOP backers for City Council tout pro-police record

Political activist Joe Concannon is not likely to have any competition in the primary election as he campaigns for Mark Weprin’s City Council seat. As he officially announced Monday outside the NYPD’s 105th Precinct in Queens Village, Concannon has the backing of both the Republican and Conservative Party lines. Comments (2)

Queens Museum lit orange at vigil for Charleston massacre, gun violence victims

Elected officials, community leaders and anti-gun violence advocates spoke out against the Charleston massacre and gun violence in Queens Monday night in front of the Queens Museum. Comment

Knockdown Center takes home liquor license

The controversial Knockdown Center in Maspeth succeeded in its second attempt to get a liquor license. Comment

AME, elected officials reflect on Charleston shooting during service

Southeast Queens tried to come to terms with the shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. as several city leaders gathered at the Greater Allen AME Church in Jamaica to share their perspectives. Comment

Petition opposing new high school grows to 3,200 signatures

A petition has been circulating in protest of the city School Construction Authority’s purchase of the Bayside Jewish Center for a future high school site, and now with over 3,200 signatures, it is a clear indicator of some strong opposition to the project. Comments (3)

Homeless man charged in connection with Forest Park murder: NYPD 

A homeless man has been arrested in connection with the murder of a 23-year-old man in Forest Park in Woodhaven earlier this month, the NYPD said. Comment

Artist’s exhibition celebrates serenity and feminity

An exhibit by Taiwanese artist Sophie Wen-Shuo Yen is bringing serenity and femininity to the Hwang Gallery high above the bustling streets of Flushing. Comment

Ramadan revelations

Ramadan, the holy fasting month for Muslims, started for me and my TimesLedger colleague Madina June 18 at the TimesLedger office. During Ramadan, Muslims fast—no eating or drinking at all—from sunrise to sundown. Comment

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Willets Point

Hunger strike ends in failure, mechanics forced out of Willets Point

George Molina struggled to pull down the shutter on his car shop in Willets Point. For 12 years he’s made a living in a part of Queens that is filled with potholes that resemble mini caves and one of the highest concentrations of businesses aimed at fixing cars internally and aesthetically. Comment

‘House Party’ turns 25, made two Queens kids stars

The Museum of the Moving Image will present a 25th anniversary screening of “House Party,” the hip hop comedy cult classic film that catapulted the rap duo Kid ’n Play to fame in 1990, Friday night at 7 p.m. Christopher “Kid” Reid and Christopher “Play” Martin are hoping to take part, via Skype from Las Vegas, in a discussion with members of the cast and crew after the screening. Comment
Hunters Point

Extraordinary security in store for 4th of July fireworks in Hunters Point

Hunters Point residents in Long Island City will be subjected to heavy security July 4 when more than 50,000 spectators are expected to watch the Macy’s fireworks along the waterfront. Hunters Point South Park will be closed to the public so that NBC can use it as the base for its national broadcast while Gantry Plaza State Park remains open, Comment
Long Island City

LIC Summit discusses changing landscape of dynamic neighborhood

Several hundred business leaders, city and state officials, residents and stakeholders gathered Tuesday at the Museum of the Moving Image for the 2nd annual LIC Summit to hear panel discussions on such issues as real estate, transportation, tourism and culture that shape the future of Long Island City. The unprecedented growth of the neighborhood dominated conversation. Comment

Lunar New Year to become a school holiday

After the decision to place two Muslim holidays on the school calendar renewed the push for a Lunar New Year holiday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced Lunar New Year would become an official school holiday starting next February. Comment

City begins tackling dangerous intersection

The city is finally tackling a fatally dangerous intersection that straddles the border between Ridgewood and Bushwick. Two people have been killed at the intersection since 2009. Comment

AME, city officials rally for Charleston victims at St. Albans Park

Hundreds of African Methodist Episcopal churchgoers and members of communities from around the city and Long Island marched down Merrick Boulevard Saturday to mourn the nine lives lost in a race-provoked massacre at an AME Church in Charleston, S.C., concluding the day with a vigil at St. Albans Park. Comment

Queens Library has revamped itself: Interim president

Following a management shakeup, the head of the Queens Library says the system has entered a new era of transparency and has new sources of funding. Comment

Legislative deal makes little compromise in Albany

Deals were reached in Albany Tuesday, a week and a half into a prolonged legislative session, extending both rent regulations and the Republicans’ prioritized property tax cap by four years, but the tentative accord left much of the legislative agenda unresolved. Comment

2016 city budget includes 1,297 new police officers

Negotiations on the fiscal 2016 city budget took a major turn and concluded earlier than expected Monday night, when the City Council and mayor announced an agreement that includes almost 1,300 additional police officers and more funding for the city’s libraries. Comment

One man’s trash is another man’s fashion treasures

Where one person may see a pile of garbage, another might envision haute couture. Comment

Looking back on the Apple Watch

This week, our columnist wonders what will become of the latest World’s Coolest Gadget. Comment

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Albany back at work again on rent laws

Elected officials are in the process of working out a four-year framework to extend rules that protect rent-stabilized apartments. Comment

Lunar New Year to become official school holiday

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced Lunar New Year would become an official school holiday starting next February at a news conference at PS 20 in Flushing Tuesday morning. Comments (11)

Queens Museum lit orange at vigil for Charleston massacre, gun violence victims

At a vigil and lighting ceremony in front of the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park Monday night, elected officials, community leaders and anti-gun violence advocates spoke out against the Charleston massacre and gun violence in the borough. Comments (1)

Three youths wanted for criminal mischief in Flushing parking lot

Police were looking for three youth who threw a fire extinguisher at the windshield of a moving car in Flushing earlier this month. Comments (3)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Queens Village

Joe Concannon makes City Council campaign official

Joe Concannon officially announced the launch of his campaign for Mark Weprin’s City Council seat Monday outside the NYPD’s 105th Precinct in Queens Village, backed by both the Republican and Conservative party lines. Comments (2)

Prayer vigil for Charleston victims to take place Monday in Flushing Meadows

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, District Attorney Richard Brown, elected officials, community leaders and advocates will host a borough-wide interfaith prayer vigil for the victims of the Charleston massacre and a lighting ceremony for gun violence awareness Monday night. Comment

Sunday, June 21, 2015


AME holds service, vigil in memory of Charleston shooting victims

The Greater Allen AME Cathedral in Jamaica held a Saturday service to remember the nine victims of the bible study massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. Wednesday, followed by a march of hundreds of people to St. Albans Park for a vigil. Comments (2)

Astoria man found dead with several stab wounds: NYPD

A 54-year-old Astoria man was found dead in his apartment by police early Saturday morning, the NYPD said. Comment

Friday, June 19, 2015


Schools chancellor addresses PS120 carnival incident in Flushing

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña had some harsh words at a roundtable discussion Friday morning for former PS 120 Principal Joan Monroe, who was reassigned after she banned students who did not pay a required fee to attend a Flushing school carnival. Comments (1)

Fran Drescher is holding Manhattan cruise to fight cancer

Queens native Fran Drescher, star of “The Nanny” is throwing a Sunday Funday party with her celebrity friends on a cruise ship to fund-raise for cancer. Called the Floating Cocktail Party Cruise, the S.S. Hornblower Hybrid will be setting sail at 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Sunday, June 21, from Pier 40 on 353 West St. in Manhattan. For $100 online at or $150 at the door, anyone can be a part of the cruise. Comment


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