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Congratulations on your 35th Anniversary! How fortunate we are to live in one of the few remaining free societies, with a wealth of information sources available. Sadly, most American cities, suburbs and small towns are down to one local daily or weekly newspaper.
Newspapers and magazines have to deal with increasing costs for newsprint, delivery and distribution along with reduced advertising revenues and declining readership due to competition from the internet and other new information sources.
Queens residents have a number of daily newspapers to select from including the Daily News, Post, Times, Newsday, USA Today and Wall Street Journal, along with freebies such as AM New York and Metro New York. Decades ago we had our own daily Long Island Star Journal and Long Island Press.
Daily newspapers concentrate on international, Washington, Albany, City Hall, business and sports stories. They have few reporters assigned to cover local neighborhood news. As a result, daily newspapers miss significant news and political stories from local Queens neighborhoods.
Weekly newspapers such as our own Queens Chronicle and others fill the void for coverage of local community news. We are blessed with many weekly papers to select from besides our own Queens Chronicle. These competitors include the Queens Courier, Queens Gazette, Queens Tribune, Queens Examiner, Times, Times Ledger chain, TimesNewsweekly, Ridgewood Times, Forum and The Wave.
I’ve been grateful all this time that the Queens Chronicle has afforded me the opportunity to express my views via letters to the editor, along with others who may have different opinions on the issues. Thanks to you, an ordinary citizen like me has the freedom to comment on the actions and legislation of various elected officials. Public officials use taxpayers dollars on a regular basis to promote their views via mass mailings of newsletters, news releases, letters to the editor and guest columns. In many cases, they are ghost written by campaign or office staffers paid for by taxpayers on public time. Ordinary citizens like me only have the limited ability to write when we can to find the time.
We need to continue supporting all our weekly community newspapers. Patronize their advertisers; they provide the necessary revenues to help keep them in business. Let them know you saw their ad. This helps keep our neighbors employed and the local economy growing. In the marketplace of ideas, let us hope there continues to be room for everyone, including the Queens Chronicle and many others.
The Queens Tribune is housed in the same building as Multi-Media Advertising, a political consulting firm owned by the same parent company.
The power of the local press was on full display in the tight 2009 City Council race between Democratic nominee Kevin Kim and Republican Dan Halloran.
Halloran did not allow Multi-Media’s role in the race to go unnoticed. In September 2009, the Tribune ran a story originally headlined “Democratic Victor vs. Pagan Lord” that detailed Halloran’s unconventional religious practices.
A Queens Tribune ad for an escort service.
This past spring your paper brought to light ads promoting prostitution in the Queens Tribune. The publisher of the Tribune hid behind free speech and also said they would do what they could to end trafficking. As someone who has worked overseas, in safe houses, rehabilitating and educating trafficked and sexually abused girls, I find these ads disgusting.
The paper has now gone even further by recently placing Tribune-sponsored coupons, offering discounts when johns mention the Tribune at a particular agency. This directly contradicts their promise to stop trafficking. Instead they have chosen to partner with pimps for profit. This is truly despicable and should be made known to the wider public.
Queens children were in for a treat when Max Gruberg, a well-known Philadelphia carnival operator, purchased a piece of land abutting what was then Horace Harding Boulevard at 174th Street, close to Saint Mary’s Cemetery. The plan was to build an amusement park. Gruberg had successfully opened a similar fun spot in Long Beach, LI a few years earlier and saw the need for the expanding population of Fresh Meadows to be entertained.
On March 15, 1950 he opened Kiddie Park at 174-15 Horace Harding Blvd., offering free admission, nine great rides, a clown, refreshments and souvenirs. Six rides cost 50 cents. With a special postcard you got three more for free. Kiddie Park was a big hit with the little baby boomers of the area.
Queens politics in 2012 brought new districts, a historic election in the 6th Congressional District and enough cloak-and-dagger intrigue to fill a Robert Ludlum novel.
But when Hurricane Sandy struck in October, killing 12 people in Queens and more than 40 in the city, devastating the Rockaways, Howard Beach, lower Manhattan and Staten Island, the people of central Queens, who were largely spared the storm’s wrath, rallied to the cause of those worst hit.
Politics in middle and southwestern Queens was the favorite sport outside of Citi Field in 2012, and the worst storm to hit the region in 74 years devastated some while causing others just a few flickers of their lights.
As the year began, the city filed an appeal of a ruling by federal Judge Nicholas Garaufus that found discrimination on the part of the FDNY against African-American firefighters in the testing and hiring process.
With the announcement this past weekend that The Village Voice is being sold came word from the new owners that Backpage.com would not be among the properties included in the deal.
The owners had been under increasing pressure to shut the site down, with critics saying the site advertises prostitution and sex trafficking.
Saying that women in the city face a health crisis because it’s getting harder for them to find insurance, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) on Tuesday released a five-point plan to improve their access to care.
Crowley, who is running for the Democratic nomination for the 6th Congressional District against three opponents [see separate stories], says too many women are not seeking preventative and prenatal care due to, respectively, a lack of insurance and the number of obstetricians and gynecologists who have left the city.
Saying that she is the best choice for the job, retiring Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-Queens, Nassau) endorsed Flushing Assemblywoman Grace Meng for the newly created 6th Congressional District seat on Tuesday outside the Pomonok Senior Center.
Although the new district only covers 37 percent of Ackerman’s domain, his support is seen as important. Since Meng has the backing of the Queens Democratic Party, virtually every other elected Democratic official has already endorsed her.
Writer and photographer Dee Richard, a well-known figure in Queens social, political and business circles, died Tuesday at age 86.
Richard wrote the column “Dishing with Dee” for the TimesLedger newspaper group and took society page-style photos of the many events she attended. She previously had worked for the Queens Tribune and, briefly, the Queens Chronicle.
Sixth Congressional District candidate Grace Meng says the American public doesn’t want to hear excuses from politicians, it wants action, and she believes she can deliver.
During an extensive interview at the Queens Chronicle’s Rego Park office on Friday, Meng laid out her plans if elected. She faces a Democratic primary against Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) and Dr. Robert Mittman of Bayside on June 26. The winner will face Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) in the fall general election.
Over the past few weeks, the Queens Chronicle has written an editorial, blog post and three articles about the Queens Tribune running “adult services” ads and the hiring of Multi-Media, its political consulting affiliate, by Grace Meng for Congress.
Your article “Meng knew firm’s ties to adult ads” (May 3, multiple editions) about the Queens Tribune newspaper printing ads promoting “Adult services” while having a consulting and printing firm, Multi-Media, had important information missing. The information that was missing was that Congressman Gary Ackerman is a part-owner of the Tribune.
There is certainly something wrong with this picture. While Meng and others were testifying in front of Congress to pass a bill that would end the exploitation of non speaking women, trafficking, and prostitution, the congressman’s newspaper “featured 37 ads promoting adult services, including 23 promoting the use of Asian women.”
The congressman started the Tribune in the 1970s and continues to have a stake in it. Would publishing those ads be called procuring?
Here is just another example of a congressperson putting monies before morals and the protection of women.
When she called on Congress to pass an extension of the Violence Against Women Act last Thursday, Ann Jawin of the Center for the Women of New York singled out “one English language newspaper” for running ads that promote adult services.
“Those ads say ‘Lovely Latinas’ and ‘Hot Asian Girls,’” Jawin said. “But they promote prostitution. And when you have more customers, you need to get more girls.”
Yesterday Assemblywoman Grace Meng skirted the issue of financially supporting a political consulting firm whose close affiliate both profits from and promotes the world's oldest profession.
When she called on Congress to pass an extension of the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday, Ann Jawin of the Center for the Women of New York singled one “one English newspaper” for running ads that promote adult services.
The congressional campaign of Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) has denied allegations from Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) that it has encouraged Jeff Gottlieb to enter the race for the Democratic nomination in the 6th Congressional District.
Lancman has alleged that the move was made to dilute the district’s Jewish vote in the June 26 primary. And the news website City & State on Wednesday ran a story saying that Meng advisor Michael Nussbaum has a history of planting such candidates dating back to 2009, when Nussbaum’s company, Multi-Media, was a consultant for Council candidate Kevin Kim.
The announcement over the weekend that Jeff Gottlieb, who is Jewish, has entered the Democratic primary race for the 6th Congressional District had drawn outrage from the other Jewish candidate, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, over tactics by the county Democratic Party and another of his opponents.
Lancman discussed what he called the “complete sham candidacy” of Gottlieb on Monday, adding: “It’s an outrageous and cynical tactic. And I think it will backfire badly.”
The Queens Chronicle is not in the business of knocking our competition, as regular readers know quite well. We’ve only done it twice.
Once it was to admonish those papers that carry ads for “massage parlors” and “escort services” that are really thinly disguised fronts for prostitution.
Long before he went to Capitol Hill, Gary Ackerman made change and made history. And he did it for the middle-class working man.
A junior high school teacher in the city schools, Ackerman saw his first child born in 1969. He wanted to take time off to be with the baby girl, but the Board of Education said no. Only women were allowed such leave. But the 26-year-old teacher wasn’t willing to take no for an answer. He sued the board, and won — in a landmark case that established the right of either parent to take unpaid leave for child care.
Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-Queens, Nassau) announced his bombshell decision Thursday night not to seek re-election, and the fallout continues.
There are already three announced Democratic candidates, while the county Republicans are looking at their options. But the reality is that Queens is losing one of its most colorful elected officials.
Queens native and former Mets General Manager Omar Minaya was hired last week by the San Diego Padres as senior vice president of baseball operations. Minaya, who grew up in Corona and attended PS 19, IS 61 and Newtown High School, was the Mets GM for six years, until he was fired along with Manager Jerry Manuel in September 2010.
Sure, Omar made mistakes, such as signing Oliver Perez to a three-year, $36 million contract, and trading relief pitcher Heath Bell to the Padres, ironically enough, for little in return. But the Mets were a far more interesting team to cover with him running the show than they are now. Every big-name free agent had the Mets on his radar during his tenure.
In a gesture of unity and goodwill, dozens of elected officials and religious leaders signed a pledge of tolerance and understanding at Flushing Town Hall last Wednesday, hoping to educate people and prevent hate crimes. The symbolic document has no legal or legislative significance, but those who participated touted its necessity nevertheless.
“Every time we publicly articulate the message of tolerance and the condemnation of hate crimes, it filters out to the general public and it may make some young person, who does not understand the gravity of what they’re about to do, think twice,” Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) later said. “So I think in some small way it helps.”