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Diane and Ron Erster with grandchildren Ryan and Kevin.
There were red tablecloths, candles, heart-shaped balloons and roses on each table, about what you’d expect on Valentine’s Day at many restaurants. But at White Castle?
Yes, love was the order of the evening at the iconic fast-food establishment in Bayside and throughout the square-steamed hamburger chain. White Castle has been offering its popular Valentine’s special for seven years and reservations are a must.
After all of the consternation about the weather and the first Super Bowl ever held in the New York metropolitan area, it was a pretty decent day by early February standards for all except the Denver Broncos. During Super Bowl week, perceptive lead Fox Sports voice Joe Buck told me that the weather was far worse in Dallas last year. He also pointed out that even though New York had a cold week, the conditions were far better than those in Southern cities as Atlanta and New Orleans.
Giants co-owner John Mara is one of the most accessible and likable sports executives you will ever meet. I was surprised that he wandered through the Super Bowl media party without any aides. “Even if you are not a football fan the energy and excitement of the Super Bowl raises the spirits of everyone living in the metropolitan area,” Mara told me. He concurred with my analogy of how even diehard Democrats enjoyed having the Republican National Convention in New York in 2004.
The Northeast Queens Republican Club swore in its newest president, Kevin Ryan, at a ceremony held at the Clearview Golf Course in Bayside on Sunday.
Former Congressman Bob Turner and Councilman Eric Ulrich (R- Ozone Park) swore in the new Board of Governors and the new executive officers. Outgoing president John Watch was also honored for his two years of service to the NEQRC, which has existed since 1894.
Things sure looked a lot brighter for the Jets a month ago when they went into their bye week with a 5-4 record, as they had just knocked off one of the NFL’s best, the New Orleans Saints. The conventional wisdom was that the two-week break would give Rex Ryan’s troops much-needed rest and a chance for some injured players, such as their best wide receiver, Santonio Holmes, a chance to fully recuperate.
Sadly for the Jets and their fans, things have not gone that way. Gang Green lost badly on the road to both the Buffalo Bills and the Baltimore Ravens. Still, there was no sense of panic because historically the Jets have always had trouble winning in those places. The common thinking was that the Jets would right the ship when they would take on the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium to begin December. A win over Miami would put them in a strong position to earn a playoff berth.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) defeated her Republican opponent Craig Caruana on Election Night to win a second term as the 30th District’s City Council representative.
Speaking to dozens of family members and supporters inside the Woodhaven House bar and restaurant at 63-98 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park on Tuesday, Crowley praised those who aided in her re-election campaign and those who voted for her.
Citizens Union rescinded its planned endorsement of Craig Caruana’s campaign for City Council last Thursday, just days after telling the Republican candidate via email that he would be receiving the group’s support.
On Oct. 21, an email was sent from Citizens Union Director of Public Policy and Advocacy Alex Camarda to Caruana, saying, “I wanted to let you know before we make it public later this week that we will be endorsing your candidacy in the race. Congratulations!”
Citizens Union rescinded its planned endorsement of Craig Caruana’s campaign for City Council on Thursday, just days after telling the Republican candidate via e-mail that he would be receiving CU’s support.
For all of their perceived power in city politics, the Queens County organizations for both major political parties were not on the winning side of their respective mayoral primary races this year. Queens Democrats chose City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) as their choice for mayor, while the Queens Republican leadership choose supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis as their standard-bearer.
Both lost, and now with six weeks to go until the city selects its new mayor, the county parties are seeking to unify behind the primary winners, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former MTA chief Joe Lhota.
In tomorrow's Republican primary for the state committee positions in the 26th Assembly District, which includes Auburndale, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck and Whitestone, Queens Republican Chairman Phil Ragusa and former Board of Elections Commissioner Judith Stupp are facing off against Sal Bacarella and Ann Marie Devlin, in a race that could end the years-long civil war in the county party.
As the Democratic primary races for citywide offices and open seats on the City Council top the headlines, on the Republican side are key elections that have gone relatively unnoticed, but could hold huge consequences to the future of the borough’s small, but powerful, GOP.
Across Queens, there are nine races for the state committee, a key position that often decides who gets the county organization’s backing for statewide races.
If you’re a registered New York voter, the peace and quiet of your evening at home may be pierced by a knock on your door from someone carrying a clipboard with a long sheet of paper (pink for Republicans, green for Democrats), asking for your signature. Or someone may have already visited you and you might be wondering what it’s all about.
This time of year is petition season in the political world. It’s the few short, hot weeks when candidates have to gather a minimum number of signatures from voters registered in their party, in order to get on the ballot. Archaic as it seems in the Digital Age, collecting signatures on paper and submitting them to the Board of Elections on time is the only way a candidate can get on the ballot.
The Knicks selected Tim Hardaway Jr. as their first pick in last Thursday’s NBA Draft. If the name rings a bell, it is because he is the son of former Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat star guard Tim Hardaway. The junior Hardaway is seven inches taller than his dad, but the Knicks are undoubtedly hoping that his outside jump shot is as good as his father’s and that he is a better rebounder and defender.
The following day Hardaway made an appearance at Citi Field, where he tried his luck at the Mets’ indoor batting cage. His swing was awkward but he kept making solid contact. He admitted that he wasn’t much of a baseball fan and did not play Little League.
The stain surrounding embattled Councilman Dan Halloran (D-Whitestone) is spreading.
The city froze $72,857 of the lawmaker’s discretionary grants, according to published reports.
The Fort Totten Pool, the only free public pool in Northeast Queens, may not open this summer if the City Council does not restore funding before passing the final budget.
It is one of four pools that were not included in the mayor’s preliminary budget proposal, according to Parks Department spokesman Phil Abramson. The four pools together cost $1.5 million to operate for the season. The other three are: Wagner Pool in Manhattan, Faber Pool in Staten Island and Howard Pool in Brooklyn.
An Astoria father faces several charges for allegedly bringing what were described as two BB guns to a crowded park last Tuesday, loading one of them with plastic pellets, firing at a tree and then handing them to his children so they could shoot too.
His 5-year-old daughter allegedly ran around the park waving one of the loaded guns at other children.
“The more you’re in politics, the more corrupt you are,” then-Congressional candidate and Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) said during a meeting with the Queens Chronicle’s editorial board last fall. “I don’t care if you’re the best person on the planet. You make deals, the line becomes blurry.”
That was Oct. 19. One day earlier, he allegedly left an unnamed Queens eatery $800 richer in exchange for promising someone a no-show job and other favors, according to a criminal complaint leading to Halloran’s April 2 arrest at his Auburndale home.
Efforts to legislate how much sick leave most employers in the city must provide to workers were renewed over the last week as lawmakers held a hearing on the bill and two mayoral hopefuls blasted opponent Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker, for blocking the measure for the last three years.
The measure would require smaller companies to provide employees with five paid sick days a year and larger firms to give them nine. Violators would face fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 and be liable to lawsuits for 18 months after denying sick leave.
The city's planned prohibition on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in venues it regulates was blocked in court Monday — the day before it was to take effect.
A Brooklyn rabbi was arrested and charged last Thursday for allegedly trying to meet up in Queens with someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, to engage in sex, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
The defendant, Nathan David Rabinowich, 59, of Avenue R in Brooklyn, allegedly sent explicit online messages to what he thought would be his victim. But really it was Det. Sean Ryan of the Major Case Squad’s Vice Enforcement Division, conducting an Internet sex sting.
The ongoing civil war between two factions of the Queens Republican Party is flaring up again — just in time for the 2013 city elections.
It all began when Queens Republican leaders failed to appropriately renominate Judith Stupp as the borough’s GOP commissioner on the Board of Elections by the Jan. 31 deadline. Stupp, a district leader from Bayside, is a key ally of Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa.
The state’s highest court has agreed to fast-track the city’s appeal of a ruling that stopped Mayor Bloomberg’s Outer Borough Taxi plan in its tracks.
But it will be up to the mayor and City Council to sort out just how to address the $635 million hole the lawsuit left in this year’s city budget.
The long lines at gas stations following superstorm Sandy are not images that will easily be forgotten. In many cases, it wasn’t a gas shortage that was the problem, but a lack of electricity that prevented pumping.
In order to prevent such a predicament in the future, some state lawmakers are introducing bills that would mandate that gas stations have a backup generator, and would provide them with a tax credit to help offset the cost.