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The holiday season is certainly a joyous time but it can be stressful when it comes to finding a gift for the special people in your life. Here are some last-minute gift ideas that will hopefully inspire.
Since the United States began its global war on terror more than a decade ago, hundreds of thousands of soldiers have gone overseas — to Afghanistan, Iraq and other places — to fight and protect this nation and its ideals.
Like the millions who went before them, to places like Europe, Africa, the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam and Kuwait, they served long tours far from home and in precarious situations that require a level of bravery and courage many people can only admire.
It’s rare that a free agent switches from one local ballclub to another. The only one who comes to mind is relief pitcher Pedro Feliciano, who left the Mets to join the Yankees in the fall of 2010. At the time, Feliciano was upset at how the Mets overworked him and then rewarded him by refusing to make him a reasonable offer. He never threw a pitch in a Yankees uniform because of injuries, and, ironically, rejoined the Mets as a free agent last year.
Feliciano now has company as a trivia answer, as recent Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson has accepted a four-year, $60 million deal from the Mets. This is the Mets’ first marquee free-agent signing since their ill-fated deal with outfielder Jason Bay four years ago.
Serious birders and backyard enthusiasts will come together Saturday in Queens to participate in the National Audubon Society’s 114th annual Christmas Bird Count.
Anyone can take part, but participants must first register with the count compiler. In Queens, that’s Corey Finger of Forest Hills. Everyone is assigned to one of eight circles in Queens to do a stakeout on Saturday for the count. Locations include Forest Park and environs, Alley Pond Park, the Flushing area, Douglaston and Jamaica Bay.
Construction began this week on the east side of Charles Park in Howard Beach to fix the erosion problem there.
National Park Service spokeswoman Daphne Yun said the construction is being done on the beach at the mouth of Hawtree Creek facing JFK Airport.
Seizures of unlicensed livery vehicles at John F. Kennedy International Airport have skyrocketed 500 percent since a new enforcement facility opened there on Oct. 8, according to a statement issued Monday by the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
The new facility, opened in coordination with the Port Authority, which operates the airport, was established to combat illegal activity by drivers of livery cars, so-called “dollar vans” and other drivers looking to make a buck off of fares from the airport.
It seems as if you can’t be a key player for the St. John’s Red Storm unless head coach Steve Lavin has suspended you for at least one game for mysteriously violating team rules. Last year guard D’Angelo Harrison missed the last few games of the regular season, along with St. John’s futile appearance in the postseason NIT. Earlier this season center Chris Obepka was suspended for a pair of exhibition games for unsaid infractions.
This past Friday night it was hyped rookie guard Rysheed Jordan’s turn to sit out a game for unspecified bad deeds. Jordan, a big-time Philadelphia high school star, was supposed to be the best recruit to come to St. John’s since Lavin became head coach four years ago. Lavin and the St. John’s Sports Information Department decided before this season started that the media would not be able to interview him until January 2014 at the earliest. Obviously putting Rysheed in a cocoon has not been the foolproof plan that the St. John’s coaching staff thought it would be. At press time, Lavin did not indicate when Jordan would be reinstated.
A full audience of Jackson Heights residents raised their hands Monday night when Janet McEneany, the president of Queens Quiet Skies, asked if they were tired of planes flying over their houses every minute, one after another, like a brigade of B52 bombers.
McEneany and Bob Whitehair, founders of Queens Quiet Skies, an advocacy organization that fights for noise regulations, gave their 26th community education presentation as part of a town hall meeting on the issue organized by Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights). Representatives from the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration were also in attendance.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says agents stopped an attempt to smuggle over 150 pounds of illegal drugs into the country on a flight that originated in the Caribbean and landed at JFK Airport late last month.
The bust occurred on Oct. 29. CBP officers at JFK conducted an aircraft search that day on a flight arriving from Montego Bay, Jamaica. During their aircraft search, they discovered 28 brick-shaped objects in two large, blue folded duffle bags behind a side panel wall.
Lacking a quorum at the meeting, the board voted unanimously as “a committee as a whole” to support the statement, an addendum to comments the EQA had previously sent to the two agencies.
According to Peter Richards, chairman of CB 13’s Parks and Environment Committee, the statement requests that an environmental impact statement be prepared to further investigate the impacts of the Runway 4L/22R Improvements Project. The concern is that conditions experienced in Southeast Queens due to airport activities will be exacerbated by the project, which proposes moving the runway 728 feet closer to the community and lowering aircraft flights by approximately 100 feet over homes.
The MTA has added articulated, also known as accordion or double, buses to the Q7 line in southern Queens.
The longer, increased-capacity buses, which were introduced to intraborough routes in Queens on the Q10 between Kew Gardens and JFK Airport along Lefferts Boulevard earlier this year, also ran along the Q52 limited line between Arverne and the Queens Center mall during the period in which the A train was out of service in the Rockaways due to damage from Hurricane Sandy. The subway reopened in May and the articulated buses stopped running on the route. The Q44, which connects Jamaica to the Bronx, has had artic buses for some time.
As home to two of the country’s biggest airports, Queens owes much of its economic activity and jobs to JFK and LaGuardia. Airports sell merchandise, employ local residents and need support staff to keep things running around the clock. Those jobs used to pay decent wages that allowed Queens families to live nearby and raise their kids in our city.
But now, there’s a disturbing trend. According to a recent report by researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, wages from airport jobs are falling rapidly as families find themselves struggling just to pay the bills and keep up. That’s because loopholes and outside contracting exempts many of these employees from the wages and benefits that come with being an official employee of a major airline company. As a result, one out of three airport workers lives in poverty and relies on taxpayer assistance to feed and shelter their families.
Queens residents who are tired of loud airplanes flying over their homes too frequently are actually happy about Gov. Cuomo’s veto of a bill that would have required the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to conduct a noise and land use compatibility study — if an identical measure passes in New Jersey — because he doesn’t want to wait.
Instead, he’s taking executive action.
Don’t look now, but the Giants, who started the season by losing their first six games, have now won three straight after beating the Oakland Raiders 24-20 at MetLife Stadium last Sunday.
The game was not as close as the score indicated. While Giants QB Eli Manning had an average day for him in terms of passing statistics, he did not have to do much as running back Andre Brown came off the injured reserve list to rush for over 100 yards.
The Department of Environmental Protection will undergo a massive sewer project next year that aims to reduce sewer overflow into Bergen Basin, a tributary of Jamaica Bay that runs into the western side of JFK Airport.
At the core of the project is the construction of a new sewer line under the Belt Parkway at 126th Street to supplement already existing, nearly century-old sewer lines that are often overwhelmed during heavy rains. The pipes connect the sewers of South Ozone Park to the Jamaica Water Treatment Plant in JFK Airport before releasing the treated water into Bergen Basin.
All over Queens, residents say that increased plane noise is affecting their quality of life. However, the neighborhoods of Maspeth and Middle Village have not been known to have this problem because they are located south of LaGuardia Airport, away from departing routes.
Representatives from the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration sought to address the community’s complaints at a Maspeth Town Hall public information meeting hosted by Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth) on Nov. 6.
The developer of a planned hotel near JFK Airport say their project will not do the community any harm, but a cautious Community Board 10, mindful of its lack of input on other hotel projects along the Belt Parkway and the situation at the former Skyway Motel, now a men’s homeless shelter, are not rushing to approve a zoning variance to allow it.
The hotel is planned for a triangle zoned for manufacturing between 149th and 150th avenues and 132nd Street in South Ozone Park. The location at 132-10 149 Ave. is directly across the street from the Hilton Garden Inn, JFK Sheraton and the Skyway men’s shelter, where a number of registered sex offenders live. Because of the manufacturing zoning, the hotel’s developer would need a variance to construct the building. The location is one block south of the Belt Parkway and about a quarter of a mile west of the main entrance to JFK Airport.
John Gotti was born into a poor Bronx family in 1940, the fifth of 13 children, the son of a laborer who wasted a lot of his money gambling. Growing up in East New York, Gotti was resentful that his father was a poor provider, and he and his brothers were soon drawn to the quick buck promised by a life outside the law.
By the time he was 16, he was leading a street gang and had dropped out of Franklin K. Lane High School. His activities caught the attention of Charlie and Danny Fatico, two mobsters with the Gambino crime family, and he got into the organization through them, according to Mafia expert Jerry Capeci, who co-authored the Gotti biography “Mob Star” and writes a weekly column on organized crime at ganglandnews.com.
Two Florida residents were arrested Monday after allegedly stealing money from the handbag of a Colombian tourist on a JFK-AirTrain platform.
Port Authority police said the incident took place at Delta Air Lines Terminal 4 shortly after 6 a.m. when the woman reported her bag missing.
It took three years and over a billion dollars but the top-to-bottom renovations of Madison Square Garden have finally been completed. The Garden truly has the feel of a brand-new arena, not one that was built in 1968 and had some modifications made to it.
A lot has been written about the pair of pathways known as “The Chase Bridges” located near the Garden’s ceiling, which allow patrons to walk from the 31st Street side to the 33rd Street side and back without missing any of the action. They are an architectural wonder as they are virtually undetectable looking up from the courtside seats. You have to climb up a few stairs from the Garden’s ninth floor, known affectionately as the “blue seats” since back in the day, to get to these bridges. Amazingly, the bridges don’t block the vision of anyone sitting on the upper level.