Thursday, April 2, 2009

Whitestone Times

Boro parents seek refunds from bus company

Several Queens parents of Bronx High School of Science students are out hundreds of dollars after being promised refunds from a College Point−based bus company that seemingly disappeared after a suspicious fire destroyed its fleet in February. Comment
Whitestone Times

Avella, North Flushing residents protest development ahead of rezoning

City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) led a protest outside a North Flushing home Tuesday where he said a developer is making a “bizarre” attempt to “beat the clock” on a forthcoming rezoning. Comment
Whitestone Times

Death of College Point man preventable: Federal report

A federal investigation into the death of a College Point Con Edison splicer who died in a Brooklyn manhole fire last year found he was not properly trained and concluded that the utility failed to take steps that could have prevented the fatal accident. Comment
Whitestone Times

St. Mary’s gets grant for musical therapy

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children has received a $30,000 grant that will go toward enhancing the Bayside hospital’s music therapy program for children with brain injuries, the center’s president said. Comment
Whitestone Times

NYRA to sell land near Aqueduct

The New York Racing Association is set to auction off 64 lots of property it owns near Aqueduct Race Track in June, the nonprofit said Tuesday. Comment
Whitestone Times

Forest Hills residents plan area’s upcoming Relay For Life

For Bayside resident Leon Koradhais, a two−year cancer survivor, Relay For Life is more than just a night filled with dancing and music — it is about raising money so others like him can beat a disease that about 9,000 Queens residents with be diagnosed with this year. Comment
Whitestone Times

Whitestone Bridge sign falls, injuring 2 people

A road sign collapsed onto the Queens side of the Whitestone Bridge after a truck smashed into it, injuring two people and snarling traffic for miles along the Whitestone Expressway Friday afternoon. Comment
Whitestone Times

State kills NE Queens watchdog

A commission created to protect the northeast Queens shoreline, including Udalls Cove, Fort Totten and Alley Pond, was eliminated in state budget negotiations between state leaders, state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) said Tuesday. Comment
Whitestone Times

Klein policies blasted by Flushing parents

The Community Education Council for District 25 vented its frustrations to city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein Monday night, blasting the city Department of Education for burying parents in incomprehensible policy and depriving them of any power. Comment
Whitestone Times

Seminerio, 74, enters not−guilty plea

Embattled state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio (D−Richmond Hill) pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court last week to a corruption charge alleging he extorted the president of a borough nonprofit and tried to extort a city hospital official, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office said. Comment

Let’s Make a Deal

As much as we support the effort to redevelop Willets Point, we are pleased to see Community Board 7 is not about to let the city transfer the problem to College Point. CB 7 made it clear earlier this month that it would not give the city Economic Development Corp. blanket approval to relocate five of the companies to the College Point Corporate Park. Comment

Changes at Aldona bldg. rile civic

As a major construction project nears completion in Elmhurst, the Juniper Park Civic is dredging up an old fight with its owner, who appears to be changing his plans for the site. Comment
Richmond Hill

City taps Far Rockaway group to redevelop firehouse

The city selected a Far Rockaway nonprofit last week to redevelop a 78−year−old former firehouse and the surrounding property to make way for the group’s new headquarters, which will house after−school programs and train residents for green jobs. Comment
Queens Village

Foster Laurie Senior Center to honor nonprofit for gift

The Foster Laurie Senior Center in St. Albans is holding an event this week to thank a neighborhood nonprofit that donated $4,000 in items to the center. Comment
Little Neck Ledger

Douglaston historians talk Matinecoc heritage

The Douglaston & Little Neck Historical Society will host a lecture later this month on the history of native Americans in Douglaston and Little Neck, where some believe ancestral remains are still buried, a spokesman for the society said. Comment

City installs lights along Laurelton LIRR stop

Laurelton commuters now have lights protecting them when they travel late at night on the Long Island Rail Road. Comment
Jackson Heights

East Elmhurst teen charged with reporter’s murder: DA

A 16−year−old East Elmhurst teen has been charged with murdering ABC Radio broadcaster George Weber in his Brooklyn apartment, the Brooklyn district attorney said last week. Comment
Jackson Heights

Forest Hills Hospital names new directors

Forest Hills Hospital recently named a new executive and medical director, a move expected to help the institution deal with the influx of patients due to the closure of St. John’s and Mary Immaculate hospitals in early March. Comment
Jackson Heights

Bloomberg endorsed by boro Bukharians

The Forest Hills−based Bukharian Jewish Congress endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg Monday, with the group’s president Comment
Fresh Meadows

Flushing man to head Korean group

The position of president of the Korean American Association of Greater New York is largely ceremonial, pays nothing and is determined by an election that draws only a small swath of the hundreds of thousands of people the group claims to represent. Comment
Fresh Meadows

Utopia Pkwy block named for late rabbi

A crowd of more than 30 people cheered at the corner of 65th Avenue and Utopia Parkway in Fresh Meadows last weekend as a strip of the roadway in front of the neighborhood’s Utopia Jewish Center was renamed for a rabbi who acted as spiritual leader to the center’s congregation for 35 years. Comments (1)
Fresh Meadows

Fresh Mdws bus riders slam MTA

Community members railed this week against the MTA’s decision to cut Q74 bus service this summer, saying they will fight the MTA’s decision that they contend will leave thousands of borough residents with longer and more inconvenient commutes. Comment
Fresh Meadows

Mayoral control of schools must include accountability

On March 8, state Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D−Little Neck) held a Town Hall meeting at the Queens Children’s Center in Glen Oaks on mayoral control of city schools. Those in attendance heard former Assemblyman Steve Sanders talk about the city Education Law, which he authored as former Assembly Education Committee chairman in 2002. Weprin distributed his three−page Five Point Plan for School Governance. Comment
Forest Hills Ledger

Rego Park family hopes to go home

One month after the Zeltser family escaped the fire that destroyed their Rego Park apartment in March, Diana Zeltser, her husband and two children are confident they will someday return home. Comment
Forest Hills Ledger

Boro parents covet PS 101

In a Forest Hills Gardens classroom lush with bright colors, books and even an igloo constructed with milk jugs, 19 pre−kindergarten students busied themselves with blocks and puzzles Friday. As the students discussed such creations as block robots with school officials or other children, they were clearly having fun. Comment
Bayside Times

Bayside dentist assists in stem cell research

A Bayside dentist is collaborating with a Manhattan organization on a process during which stem cells from extracted teeth are stored for as long as 20 years in case they are needed to grew tissue or fend off diseases at a later time. Comment

MTA unfair in raising fares

It is outrageous the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is going to raise all mass transit fares. How much more can we be asked to pay? Comment

MTA must keep express bus service from boro to Bronx high school

Last month, it came to my attention that Bronx Science Bus Service Inc., one of two yellow bus companies that carry Queens students to the Bronx High School of Science, had reported on its Web site it was unable to continue providing service to Bronx Science students due to a fire that consumed 10 buses. Comment

Spend carefully in rough economy

We are in a deep economic recession and see many Queens residents out of work, homes being foreclosed and local businesses closing. Those of us working have been forced to cut back and make difficult financial decisions. Comment

Universal health care needed now

I have read the article about the health problems of Larry Hilsdorf (“Bayside family seeks aid during rough economic climate,” March 19). He is obviously in poor health. Comment

Campaign finance report contained an error

The New York City Campaign Finance Board has a system in which candidates must file electronically regarding their campaign fund−raising and expenditures. The most recent filing deadline was Monday, March 11. I filed by that deadline to show that my campaign had raised $11,030 — 95 percent of which I raised in the last two months. Comment

Council should have stood up to Monserrate

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) has been indicted. Of course, everyone, including the senator, deserves the presumption of innocence. That is what an indictment and trial are all about: determining innocence or guilt. Comment

Oral Health Program necessary for the well−being of city youths

In November, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the elimination of the Oral Health Program. After April 30, under his current proposal, the city will no longer provide dental care to thousands of underserved children. Already, the city Health Department is auctioning off equipment that costs thousands of dollars for $250 each. Comment

Monserrate Must Step Down

A grand jury last week indicted state Sen. Hiram Monserrate on charges of slashing his girlfriend in the face with a broken glass. The former cop and city councilman from East Elmhurst has been charged with three counts of second−degree assault, a Class D felony. Comment

So Much for Going Green

Despite talk about ecology and improving the air we breathe, the recent decision by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to raise fares will take the city in the wrong direction. The increase in mass transit fares and reduction in service will encourage more people to use their cars for the daily commute. Comment
Astoria Times

Politicians should pay interest on unreported income

April 15, a date that lives in infamy for many people, is rapidly 1040−ing toward us. If you have not already prepared your !@#$% 2008 income tax return, are not a member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet or are not U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D−Astoria) or U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, I suggest you take care of this matter post−haste. Comment
Astoria Times

Avella’s passion for elected office fuels his run for mayor

As the mayoral race moves along, soon the various political parties and their county organizations will be designating candidates. Now that U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D−Forest Hills) has suspended active campaigning for mayor, only two active Democratic candidates remain: city Comptroller Bill Thompson and City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside). Comment
Astoria Times

Blizzard of 1888 stalled train for two days before rescue

On March 13, the Blizzard of 1888 struck Queens with a fury. The Newtown Register vividly tells the story, below. Comment
Astoria Times

Find a job after getting laid off

It is scary to lose your job. In these trying financial times, it is becoming more common to hear that someone got laid off. In speaking with numerous Queens professionals, I have put together a battle plan to make your situation better if you get downsized. Comment
Astoria Times

Forest Hills eatery offers choice

Astoria resident George Philippakos had a great experience when he visited a Cheeburger Cheeburger restaurant in Long Island a few years back. Comment
Astoria Times

Boro has 2nd−fewest sex felons in projects

The number of registered sex offenders living illegally in New York City Public Housing complexes grew over the last year, but Queens has the second fewest of any borough, a study conducted by City Councilman Eric Gioia (D−Sunnyside) found. Comment
Astoria Times

Bloomberg opens campaign headquarters in Forest Hills

It’s terrible having your wings clipped. In my case, it’s a pinched sciatic nerve. Thank goodness this hasn’t been a terribly busy week, so I really didn’t miss that much. Comment
Astoria Times

‘Mad Hot Ballroom’ program faces budget crunch

A citywide ballroom dance program, which brought a first prize to Douglaston’s PS 98 and captured the attention of two major filmmakers, may not be able to expand to more schools because of city budget cuts, the founder said. Comment
Astoria Times

Dept. of Ed plans to buy Middle College building

After the owner of the building that has housed Long Island City’s Middle College High School for decades declined to renew the school’s lease, the city Department of Education is laying the groundwork to purchase the property. Comment
Astoria Times

Willets Pt. cleans up despite city sweepers

City Sanitation Department workers spent most of last week cleaning up parts of Willets Point, but that did not keep property owners and workers from clearing more than eight tons of trash in their own organized cleanup of the hardscrabble business community. Comment
Astoria Times

Legislators, guv make deal to pass budget

Just under the gun, Gov. David Paterson and the state Legislature reached a tentative agreement on a record $131.8 billion state budget over the weekend, eliminating cuts to education, but imposing higher taxes on households earning more than $300,000 a year and adding a nickel deposit to bottled water. Comment
Astoria Times

Queens College promotes diversity with new center

The Center for Ethnic and Racial Understanding at Queens College is slated to open late this spring, thanks to $285,000 in federally appropriated funds from a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D−Bayside). Comment
Astoria Times

Queensboro Bridge’s 100−year legacy remembered by historians

Whether it’s a “groovy pop” song, a breathless passage in a definitive 20th century novel or a somber moment in a World War II drama, the Queensboro Bridge has etched itself into the consciousness of New Yorkers. Now the iconic structure is celebrating its centennial. Comment
Astoria Times

CNG opens Brooklyn HQ, TimesLedger stays in boro

TimesLedger Newspapers’ parent company cut the ribbon Friday on its downtown Brooklyn office, where the weekly’s classified and production staff are now operating. The chain’s editorial department and display sales remain in the Bayside office. Comment
Astoria Times

Boro archers shocked over Whitestone stray arrow

Queens archery experts were mystified about the origins of an arrow that struck the home of a Whitestone family last week and said it was a model sold online or in sporting goods stores. Comment
Astoria Times

Monserrate pleads not guilty to slashing his girlfriend’s face

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) pleaded not guilty to slashing his girlfriend in the face Friday after a grand jury indicted him on charges, but he will still not be allowed to associate with girlfriend Karla Giraldo. Comment
Astoria Times

32nd Ave., Linden Place get $19M from D.C.

Elected officials announced Monday that Community Board 7 received more than $19 million in federal stimulus money that will go to completing two long−awaited road projects and provide a boost to a Flushing medical center. Comment
Astoria Times

Major renovation set for Queens Plaza

The congested, pothole−wracked streets along Queens Plaza will get a major upgrade over the next two years with the help of more than $37 million in federal stimulus funds, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday. Comment
Astoria Times

Bayside teen’s atypical models to hit catwalk at charity event

An 18−year−old senior from Bayside’s Benjamin N. Cardozo High School said she is currently overseeing 18 teenage girls who do not fit the typical description of a fashion model, but will walk the runway at a Manhattan charity event this summer. Comment
Astoria Times

Going Green in Queens cultivates new volunteers

Borough green thumbs converged on Flushing’s Al Oerter Recreational Center last weekend for the Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Space’s Going Green in Queens 2009 conference, where borough environmental leaders called for an increase in volunteering from city residents. Comment
Astoria Times

Tax credit gets thumbs up

Western Queens studio heads were pleased about Gov. David Paterson’s proposal to reinstate a tax credit for films and television shows shot in New York back into the state’s budget. But they said the governor’s plan falls short in keeping productions on their lots. Comment
Astoria Times

Queens shed 13,000 jobs during historic Feb. losses

Queens lost nearly 13,000 jobs in the month of February as the city suffered historic job losses, according to statistics from the state Labor Department. Comment
Astoria Times

MTA’s Shevell skips budget vote for a hard day’s night of dancing

“Hey Jude,” where was Nancy when the MTA Finance Committee approved all those terrible fare hikes and service cuts? Comment
Astoria Times

Flushing movie swept up in pension fund scandal

A low−budget 2004 film set in Flushing is seeing a revival, of sorts, after the state attorney general’s office recently said the movie was entangled in an alleged scheme during which two aides to former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi are accused of taking millions in kickbacks and using their influence over the state’s billion−dollar pension fund for personal gain. Comment
Astoria Times

Elder Flushing survivors recall Armenian Genocide

Two Armenian women who live in a Flushing home for the elderly recalled their experiences escaping the genocide that killed most of their family members and nearly 1 million other people in the Ottoman Empire just under 100 years ago during a remembrance of the massacre held by the Armenian House. Comment
Astoria Times

Pols waffle on bailout plan after MTA OKs hikes, cuts

Millions of straphangers await a legislative rescue plan, without which MTA officials warn the city transit system could begin a slide toward an era of breakdowns and chaos, such as it experienced 30 years ago. Comment
Astoria Times

State legislators ease penalties in Rockefeller drug laws

Albany leaders reached an agreement Friday to reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws that in part gives judges the option to send low−level, nonviolent drug offenders to treatment facilities instead of prison, state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D−St. Albans) said Friday. Comment
Astoria Times

Federal funds go to boro projects

Queens is getting federal stimulus funds for nine infrastructure projects that range from extensive work on Queens Plaza to the rebuilding of the Rockaway Boardwalk as part of the $261 million designated for New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and federal elected officials said Monday. Comment
Astoria Times

31st Street alley gets makeover with retail

A formerly grimy, deserted alleyway that acted as an unofficial garbage dump in Astoria has been transformed into a newly paved, white−washed row of kiosks following years as a community eyesore. Comment
Astoria Times

Mt. Sinai Hospital gets $1M to handle new patients

After being hit with a flood of new patients since two other Queens hospitals closed in February, Long Island City’s Mt. Sinai Hospital is receiving $1 million from the state to bolster its staff. Comment



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