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Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Katz allocates $13M for library upgrades at nine branches

Borough President Melinda Katz announced $13 million in discretionary capital funds will be allocated toward improving nine public library branches in Queens. Comments (1)

Mute swan bill passes Senate for the third time

A bill introduced by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) asking the state Department of Environmental Conservation to reconsider its plan to eradicate the state’s mute swan population has once again passed in the state Senate. Comments (4)
The Veteran’s Memorial Obelisk in Bayside, although an important piece of local history, now sits on the side of the road on Northern Boulevard and Clearview Expressway. Paul Di Benedetto, president of the Bayside Historical Society, said most people do not even know it is there. But an online petition has begun that will rally support for bringing the monument back to its original location at the LIRR station on Bell Boulevard. Comments (1)

Flushing hair salon barber shop caters to residents

Jie Jie Barber Shop & Hair Salon in downtown Flushing offers styling and haircut services for Asian men and women in the neighborhood. Comments (5)
Dining Out

60 Beans offers much more than coffee

When our eating buddy, food blogger Joe Distefano, recommended 60 Beans to us as having great food, we were expecting a gussied up coffee joint, especially with a name with the word “beans” in it. Comment

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Pols say flight arrival plan for Newark Airport could bring more plane noise

The Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus is worried that a new flight arrival plan for Newark Liberty International Airport will create additional airplane noise over Queens. Comment

Google teams up with Queens Library for computer classes

Google has teamed up with Queens Library to offer computer science classes for children at 26 different locations this summer. The borough is the first in the city to enjoy the program. Comments (1)

Candidates begin petitioning for state Legislature

Candidates running for state Senate and Assembly seats have started collecting petitions to get onto the ballot. Comments (1)

Mets stick close to home for two draft picks

The New York Mets didn’t have to look very far for some of their first picks in this year’s Major League Baseball Draft. Comment

Monday, June 20, 2016

Long Island City

Small business stress a hot topic at the Taste of LIC

Last year’s Taste of LIC celebrated its 10th anniversary with a record 66 restaurants, wine shops and breweries taking part inside a 9,000-square-foot festival tent pitched on Gantry Plaza State Park Monday night. The cultural and culinary event raises over $100,000 annually to support programming at the Obie-award winning Chocolate Factory Theater, but this year was different. Comments (4)

Kaufman Astoria Studios to expand with two more sound stages

Kaufman Astoria Studios, one of the largest film and television centers on the East Coact, is about to become even larger when it builds two new sound stages on its campus, bringing the total number of stages at the complex to 12, including the only outdoor backlot in New York City. Comment

Douglaston Manor septic tanks flood from storm drain construction

Construction which took place on Shore Road in late March to improve storm drains is causing Douglaston Manor residents along this corridor to have their septic tanks pumped as much as once a month. Comments (1)

Woodside Houses get new basketball courts

It took more than 30 years of effort, but the residents of the Woodside Houses finally have basketball courts and a play area they can be proud of. Comment

McClancy ends season in tourney loss to Farrell

It simply wasn’t Monsignor McClancy’s night. Comment

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Officer injured in ax attack receives NYPD medal

A police officer who was attacked by a hatchet-wielding man in Jamaica in October 2014 was awarded the Medal of Honor Tuesday morning, along with several other officers who killed the assailant. Comment

Ridgewood car dealer charged with tax fraud: DA

A Ridgewood auto dealership and its owner have been charged with criminal tax fraud, grand larceny and other illegal acts for allegedly stealing nearly $300,000 in collected taxes from New York state and local municipalities, the Queens district attorney said. Comments (2)
The Play’s the Thing

You can take the memories of a community theater production with you

If you had been following the progress of the Parkside Player’s production of “You Can’t Take It With You” portrayed in my last three columns, you may want to know how it all turned out. Comment

Construction falls prey to hot Tottenville bats in PSAL final loss

The High School for Construction softball team dug itself into a hole and could never quite find its way out, falling to Tottenville 13-5 in the PSAL Class A championship. Comment

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Astoria playground gets makeowver with unique tribute to Steinway and Sons

A tribute to the Steinway & Sons piano company is part of a $2 million reconstruction of the Paul Raimonda Playground, located on 20th Avenue between 47th and 48th streets in Astoria. Comments (1)
A 24-year-old armed Whitestone man, who was charged with drug possession in January, was fatally shot and killed by a retired NYPD police officer after he tried to rob patrons at a Whitestone bar early Monday, police said. Comments (1)

The man who keeps things running on time at Belmont Park

Sentel “Sonny” Taylor could probably walk through the Belmont Race Track with his eyes closed and his hands tied behind his back. Comment

Friday, June 17, 2016


LaGuardia Community College holds 44th Commencement

Students at LaGuardia Community College have to work much harder than the average collegian, according to the school’s president. And that makes graduation day more of a crowning achievement than at other institutions. Comments (1)

Kaplan touts legislative experience and diverse background

Anna Kaplan, one of the five candidates in the Democratic primary race to succeed U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Melville) in representing northeast Queens, said her approaches to policy and her motivation for running were informed by her experience as an immigrant who left Iran in the midst of that country’s revolution. Comments (1)
St. Albans

Miller speaks out against congestion pricing

Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) condemned MoveNY’s proposal to increase tolls on vehicles entering Manhattan over the East River, saying that it would place an outsized burden on neighborhoods with paltry public transit options. Comments (5)

Landmarks bill passed by City Council splits pols, preservationists

Although the City Council passed a bill introduced by Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) imposing timelines on the designation of landmarks and historic districts, historic preservationists and some Council members say the bill could hurt the character of the city’s historic districts and properties. Comments (2)
East Elmhurst

Biden and Cuomo attend ground-breaking for LaGuardia Airport rebuild

Vice President Joe Biden, who in 2014 likened LaGuardia Airport to one in a third world country, returned there to help Gov. Andrew Cuomo formally break ground on the $4.2 billion reconstruction project, marking the first complete rebuild of an airport in the United States in 20 years. Comments (2)

Lancman rails against new NYPD use of force guidelines

City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio for threatening to veto a bill he sponsored making the use of a chokehold in the process of an arrest a misdemeanor. Comment
Jackson Heights

Queens legislators plan City Hall rally after Orlando shooting

In response to the worst gun massacre in U.S. history in Orlando, Fla., U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) will join members of the New York Congressional Delegation, other elected officials, LGBT leaders and gun safety advocates at a City Hall gathering to honor the victims and call for the passage of legislation to put a halt to gun violence. Comment
Forest Hills

Jews and Muslims share interfaith Ramadan meal at Central Queens Y

Jewish and Muslim attendees gathered to break bread for Ramadan’s Iftar dinner at the Central Queens Y last week. At the third annual interfaith meal hosted by the Y and funded by United Jewish Appeal, attendees sat side by side to enjoy food and music in a night of cultural exchange. Comments (1)

Simotas human trafficking bill passes Assembly

A bill, designed to inform victims of human trafficking that help is available to them, passed the state Assembly last week. Comments (2)

Queens rejects hate

Once again Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights became the gathering spot for elected officials and other mourners to express grief at the tragic loss of 49 lives in the mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando. Comments (6)

Queens has a tuneful Tuesday in store thanks to Make Music New York

In its 10th year, Make Music New York will bring a mix of over 1,000 free outdoor concerts to the city Tuesday, with a long list of family-themed events taking place in Queens. Comment
Political Action

A Republican candidate gets involved in the mayoral race

Looking ahead to next year’s mayoral race on the Republican side, one candidate will be the Rev. Michel Faulkner, a pastor of a Baptist church in Harlem. Comment

Gun advocates only see part of the problem

There are fantasies and then again there are fantasies. Those that are considered as possible realities by fanatics are not only delusional but dangerous. Comments (3)

Even with no Triple Crown at stake, Belmont was still a great show

At this year’s Belmont Stakes, crowning a new Triple Crown winner was not an option. Comment

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Marilyn Bitterman to retire from Community Board 7

Community Board 7 bid farewell to District Manager Marilyn Bitterman, who will be retiring from the board in August after 40 years. Comment

Bayside High School celebrates 80th anniversary

As alumni entered Bayside High School for the 80th anniversary of the school’s founding, the walls were decorated with student photos from decades past. The crowd of attendees gazed at the class portraits, sports teams and sororities in the school’s celebrated history. Comment

Feds sue DOE over alleged discrimination of black teachers at Elmhurst school

One borough lawmaker was shocked to see Preet Bharara’s latest target. The U.S. attorney in Manhattan announced last week that the federal government had filed a lawsuit against the city’s Department of Education that alleges that the department discriminated against black teachers who worked at an Elmhurst school and retaliated against an assistant principal who spoke out. Comments (1)

Sacred Heart principal retiring after 28-year run

Dennis Farrell, the principal of Sacred Heart School for 28 years, will be hanging up his hat at the end of this year. At 69 years old, he feels he can leave his job knowing he has made a difference to the community and the students he has served in his long career as an educator. Comments (1)
South Jamaica

Former Knick Anthony Mason honored in street renaming ceremony

A crowd of Anthony Mason’s family and fans gathered at the corner of 147th Street and Rockaway Boulevard in South Jamaica Saturday to rename a part of 147th Street in honor of the New York Knicks forward who died last year. Comment
Fresh Meadows

Big Apple Circus’ future uncertain

Fresh Meadows

Big Apple Circus’ future uncertain

Big Apple Circus, a nonprofit that entertains millions of children and families at Cunningham Park in Fresh Meadows and Lincoln Center in Manhattan, is hoping to raise $2 million to keep the institution going. Comments (4)

Owners of Gafaufis house must file for new work permit

The former home of U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis has made headlines in recent months because of backlash over renovations deemed more than excessive by neighborhood residents. Comment

Panel looks at development potential in Flushing, Jamaica

Developers and experts in Flushing and downtown Jamaica weighed in on how recent development projects have affected the two neighborhoods at a panel last week in Long Island City hosted by ULI New York, a nonprofit that provides leadership in land use policy. Comments (1)

Jamaica BID holds fifth annual fashion event

The Jamaica Center Business Improvement District is gearing up for the fifth annual “Just My Style” fashion event this weekend. Comment

Footsteps leads to a new future for young people

Sol Feuerwerker grew up as an alien. Not “alien” as in “illegal immigrant.” Alien as in someone from another planet. Comment

Mel Meer will be missed on CB 11

As an 11-year member of Queens Community Board 11, I was disturbed to learn that one of my colleagues had not been reappointed to the board in April. Comment

Bayside takes PSAL title

Danny Alfonzo had made the play more times than he could count. Comment

Monday, June 13, 2016

Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights vigil remembers those lost in Orlando attack

Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights vigil remembers those lost in Orlando attack

Queens, the borough of immigrants, held a vigil to commemorate those killed in the Orlando gay bar massacre, demonstrating the solidarity that has developed between the LGBT community and members of the many religions that call the borough home. Comments (13)
A retired NYPD police officer shot and killed a man who tried to rob a bar in Whitestone early Monday, police said. Comments (9)

Friday, June 10, 2016


Elmhurst school discriminated against black teachers: Feds

The city’s Department of Education has become the target of the federal government in a lawsuit that alleges that the department discriminated against black teachers who worked at an Elmhurst school and retaliated against an assistant principal who spoke out, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Comments (2)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

College Point

Police hunt man wanted in attempted College Pt. rape

Police were looking for a man who attempted to rape a 51-year-old woman in College Point early Wednesday morning. Comment



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