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It was shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday that a new Guinness World Record was set when the United States Tennis Association brought together 406 youngsters from various local youth organizations for the “largest tennis lesson” in history.
It took place inside the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows Park, kicking off the celebration of World Tennis Day and thousands of USTA Play Events throughout the month of March. They are intended to encourage families and children to give the sport a try.
One of the diners at EXO Cafe in Forest Hills who was injured when a speeding snow plow sent snow, ice and a garbage can careening into the restaurant on Feb. 13 has filed a lawsuit against the city.
Victoria Martini can be seen on surveillance video sitting at a table inside the eatery at 70-20 Austin St. with a fellow patron when the dangerous barrage blew apart the windows behind her and knocked her out of her chair, sending her crashing to the floor.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson generated headlines when he told fellow team executives that he expects the Mets to win 90 games in 2014. Alderson’s remark generated understandable guffaws from even optimistic types because the Mets have come closer to losing 90 games in a season the last five years than they have to winning that many.
Even if Sandy knows he’s just blowing the kind of smoke now legal in Colorado, I can’t really fault him. Frankly, I’m surprised he didn’t guarantee a parade down the Canyon of Heroes in late October or early November. The name of the game this time of year is to energize the Mets fan base, which has been understandably lethargic. Having five straight losing seasons, and going into this one with what Metsblog.com is reporting as the seventh-lowest payroll in the majors, will tend to depress ticket sales even among the diehards.
The 6th Annual NY ReelAbilities Film Festival, depicting the lives of people with disabilities, will be held at the Central Queens Y, 67-09 108 St., on March 9-10.
The festival is designed “to bring together the community to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience,” said Peggy Kurtz, coordinator of the film festival for the Central Queens Y, adding that it is the largest festival of its kind in the country. Three films will be shown as part of the festival.
Public libraries hold a long and distinguished commitment to providing a wide range of materials and services essential for a democratic society to flourish. Freedom of access to information and knowledge provides a critical foundation upon which progress is predicated. Therefore, how astonishing it is for the Queens Public Library president and CEO, along with the library’s board of directors, to hinder current requests for transparency in the private arrangements made for compensation utilizing taxpayer funds.
Fortunately, Comptroller Stringer seeks an outside audit and the stern and insightful requests by Borough President Katz for adherence to best practices for governance and management hold the potential for accountability to taxpayers.
The Internal Revenue Service’s form 990 is a publically disclosed document filed annually by most charities, including QPL. The Queens Chronicle quotes CEO Galante as saying he works “… nearly 100 hours a week …” yet the 2007 IRS 990 states 40 hours/week for a total c
ompensation of $375,498; by 2010 it reached $488,503, according to that year’s IRS 990 filing. In 2012 income from government grants (i.e., taxpayer monies) came to $99,668,280 while all other contributions, gifts and grants reached $627,271.
This overwhelming role of taxpayer funding requires consistent transparency. For the board of directors to have operated in the realm of compensation and contractive agreements including the “evergreen clause,” which effectively gives the CEO permanent employment on an advancing five-year calendar, along with a $2 million golden handshake for breaking the agreement, borders on gross arrogance toward the public. The outcome is distrust of an important community institution’s leadership.
Until complete transparency in these financial and employment practices occur, the public would be prudent to specifically earmark all contributions to QPL to be spent only for materials at their local branch library. I know that is what I intend to do.
Compliments are in order to Jonathan Eckman and Susan Gomber for their thought-provoking letters in the Feb. 20 issue of the Chronicle, “Utilize Obamacare” and “ACA benefits me.” They have called upon all Americans to embrace the most serious social issue of our time — universal healthcare!
Being so pleased with their remarks, I decided to send a copy of the Letters to the Editor to my relatives and friends living in Maine, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Florida and California.
Susan and Jonathan deserve “kudos” for their contribution to the debate that all Americans need the security of affordable healthcare!
Juniper Valley Park was known as the treacherous “Great Swamp” in the 19th century. It was made up of underground streams and quicksand, and only useful for raccoon and possum hunting and mining peat, the dark vegetable matter formed by partial decay of plants in wet ground.
Many developers believed dirt is dirt and land is land. However, any geologist will quickly tell you this is not always true.
A rash of tire thefts since January in Glen Oaks and Bellerose has put the neighborhoods on high alert.
Glen Oaks Co-op President Bob Friedrich told the Chronicle that at least nine thefts have been reported to the 105th Precinct. “It’s a real problem and we’re telling car owners to get tire locks and for residents who wake up in the middle of the night to look out their windows to spot trouble,” Friedrich said.
PS 154 in Flushing has received the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA Green Flag award for improving its efforts to conserve natural resources and integrate environmental education into the curriculum.
It’s the second of only two New York City’s schools to receive the honor.
One of the former owner-developers of the RKO Keith’s Theatre in downtown Flushing has been sitting on a 3.75-acre waterfront site for two years with no immediate plans to build.
Shaya Boymelgreen’s Olympia Heights Management Team of Brooklyn bought the property at 39-08 Janet Place, off Roosevelt Avenue, in 2012 for $33 million and plans to turn it into retail and residential space.
Four-year-old Hudson Graves of Howard Beach won’t have to run away to the circus anytime soon — he’ll be going to see it with his mom and his aunt, courtesy of the Queens Chronicle.
Hudon’s mother, multimedia artist Kimberly Graves, won the Chronicle’s sixth annual Holiday Photo Contest, and chose as her prize three passes to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. It’ll be Hudson, Kimberly and her sister, photographer Brittney Garkowski — Brittney Panda on the Web — enjoying the show under the Big Top. Kimberly won with her adorable shot of Hudson making like a present under the tree.
Community Board 11 voted Monday to recommend that the city Board of Standards and Appeals disapprove the plan of a new owner to finish developing four attached brick houses on 47th Avenue off 198th Street in Auburndale, despite a longstanding effort to resolve what residents and board members have regarded for years as a potentially dangerous eyesore.
The site has access on 47th Avenue but uses a 198th Street address due to the configuration of the houses.
St. Patrick’s Day came early in Sunnyside. Children wearing bright green shamrock-shaped hats waved and smiled to the rainbow of people parading down Skillman Avenue in the St. Patrick’s Day for All Parade on Sunday. Though it was a cold March day, the spirit of love and equality fueled the crowds of dancers, marching bands, bagpipers, activists, politicians and spectators.
Many of the participants, including Mayor de Blasio, will not be marching up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on March 17 because lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning people have been barred from openly partaking in the event with banners and as organized groups since 1991.
A new bill introduced by Congressman Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens) on March 4 would allow those caring for elderly relatives who do not live with them to receive a tax credit of up to $1,200 for qualified elder-care expenses.
Many of those caregivers — who, according to Israel, spend on average $5,530 out-of-pocket each year on expenses for their aging relatives — cannot claim their parents as dependents because they live elsewhere.
Sports fans are well aware of the number of can’t-miss top draft picks in baseball, football and basketball who were never able to live up to expectations, much to the chagrin of the teams that signed them to lucrative contracts and the fans whose hopes were dashed. As former Mets star Rusty Staub famously quipped, “Potential means that you haven’t accomplished anything yet!”
The pop music world is littered with artists who looked like big hit makers but for one reason or another failed to light the charts on fire. “American Idol” fans can recite the names of most of the past winners as proof.
Another parcel of land in Elmhurst went up for sale this week, adding to the likelihood that another residential building will be erected in the area.
The site comprises most of the parking lot of the Georgia Diner on Queens Boulevard, just west of the Queens Place mall. It is being offered for $24 million, according to an announcement made by Massey Knakal Realty Services, the broker handling it.
(NAPSI)—One film star is stepping out of the spotlight to shine a light on homeless pets. It turns out that Josh Duhamel, an actor known for numerous action films, has a serious soft spot when it comes to pet adoption.
The formation of Richmond Hill came about as a result of the 1869 purchase of the Lefferts and Welling farms by Albon Platt Man, a prominent New York attorney.
In the very early days of the community folks were connected by a post office in Jacob Van Wicklen’s store on Myrtle Avenue. At that time it was referred to as the Clarenceville Post Office. In 1872, it was replaced by the new Richmond Hill Post Office, located near the “triangle” where Park Street (now Hillside Avenue) and Myrtle Avenue meet.
The National Football League generated backpage headlines this past weekend when it was learned that the league is pushing for penalties and possible game suspensions for players who use the “N-word” slur during a game. The NFL was acting primarily in response to such lunkheads as the Miami Dolphins’ Richie Incognito and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Riley Cooper, who brought shame to themselves and the NFL last year by using that disgusting term.
Sorry, ACLU supporters, I support the NFL’s decision in this matter. What wasn’t clear, however, was if NFL referees will have the power to issue penalties for slurs made against other ethnic groups, races or differing sexual orientations. If you are trying to take a principled and responsible stand against prejudice, then you can’t have situations where some groups are protected and others are not.
Rep. Grace Meng, back row standing, with members of the community she honored for Black History Month at Latimer Gardens Community Center in Flushing Monday night.
Shown seated are Sharon Banks, left, Brandi Covington, Dr. Evelyn Julmisse and Marie Adam-Ovide. In the back row are Marvin Jeffcoat, left, Courtney Cohen, Leroy Comrie, Mark Levy, Kenneth Cohen II and Assemblyman Jeff Aubry.
State Sen. Toby Stavisky has moved and she is now making her residence in Forest Hills.
The senator told the Chronicle on Monday that the area she previously covered was redistricted last year and her Whitestone residence is no longer in her district.
Not far enough.
That was the message sent this week by members of Community Board 13 in response to the Indian Cultural and Community Center proposing to cut three stories from a pair of senior apartment buildings on the grounds of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Bellerose.
Hurricane Sandy damage to a seawall at LeHavre co-ops in Whitestone has left owners of the 28-acre upscale waterfront property overlooking the Long Island Sound wondering who will pay.
Described as “luxury waterfront co-ops” by the real estate industry, LeHavre was built as rental units in 1958 and converted to co-ops in 1984. Damage to the seawall was discovered after the 2012 storm and the development’s insurance does not cover repair costs.