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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.
The combination of the press conference for pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and Derek Jeter’s announcement that this will be his last season certainly put the spotlight on the Yankees last week. That may be one reason why news of the Mets’ refinancing of a massive loan did not get a lot of play. Nonetheless it is a big story with plenty of troubling implications for Mets fans.
Bloomberg.com sports financial correspondent Kavitha Davidson wrote in her Feb. 6 article that the Mets were on the verge of delaying repayment of a $250 million loan issued by Bank of America for another seven years. Davidson cited New York Post financial columnist Josh Kosman’s Jan. 30 article saying the massive balloon payment was due this spring. Davidson took pains to point out that Kosman wrote that the new loan agreement did not restrict the Mets payroll the way the previous financial agreement did. It’s that aspect of the original covenant that raised my eyebrows.
Forget being called a Cinderella story, St. John’s is looking more and more like a buzz saw as the Red Storm enter the final three weeks leading up to postseason play.
One month ago, it would have been hard to imagine that the Johnnies would be sitting in fifth place in the Big East and have the third-most wins overall of any team in the conference, but here they are. The Red Storm are winners of six straight games and nine out of 10 contests, and now own a 18-9 record.
The two outdoor NHL games at Yankee Stadium involving the Rangers and their two local opponents, the Devils and the Islanders, this past week certainly drew big crowds despite the bone chilling cold of what seems to be an immobile polar vortex. The National Hockey League wisely made the games a de facto part of the NFL Super Bowl Week undercard.
It’s funny how the media has been in a frenzy about what the weather conditions will be like this Sunday at MetLife Stadium ever since the NFL announced that the 2014 Super Bowl would take place in our area, yet there was nary a word about the tundra conditions that fans would have to endure when the NHL announced this Stadium Series last year.
The Community Education Council in District 27 is opposing a Department of Education plan to rename MS 202 in Ozone Park after a Rockland County man who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
The DOE has announced plans to rename Robert H. Goddard Junior High School after Wells Remy Crowther, a 24-year-old equities trader who worked for Sandler O’Neill & Partners in the World Trade Center. Crowther, who had ambitions to be a New York City firefighter, is believed to have saved at least a dozen lives in the South Tower before he was killed in its collapse.
Seventeen Queens residents are among the 106 people — 80 percent of them former cops and firefighters —who have been charged with grand larceny for allegedly stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers by faking disability claims.
The defendants were all charged with grand larceny in the second degree and attempted grand larceny in the second degree. Four alleged ringleaders were also charged with first-degree grand larceny.
In Western Queens, 2013 was the year of development and affordable housing. Willets Point, Hallets Point, Hunters Point and 5Pointz became names commonly thrown around by politicians, community boards and civic groups throughout the area. There wasn’t a month that didn’t go by when residents, electeds and developers went head to head on major development projects, illegal apartments, a massive soccer stadium plan or even the possible closing of their neighborhood movie theater.
Elections and new laws adopted in 2013 promised sweeping changes across the city’s horizon in 2014, with a new mayor, a new City Council, and an uncertain future for policies on education, law enforcement and city finances.
In a city the size of New York, politics and crime are often the biggest newsmakers, as was the case in 2013.
There was no shortage of political headlines this past year, an election year at that. Queens elected a new borough president while Forest Hills and Rego Park opted to bring back Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) for another term. Area politicians made their collective voices heard throughout the year, filling the Chronicle’s pages for months.
In life Nelson Mandela was called a rebel, a freedom fighter, a terrorist, Mr. President, a healer, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and an inspiration to millions.
The world has joined South Africa this week in paying homage to Madiba — a title of respect and a tribute to his ancestral clan — who died on Dec. 5 at age 95.
“The ooooonly reason that I decided to come to Brooklyn was to win an NBA championship!” future Hall of Fame forward Kevin Garnett declared to the press at Nets media day on Sept. 30. He was speaking as well for his fellow ex-Celtics, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry, who came to Brooklyn in the big trade that occurred last June.
But based on what we’ve seen in the first three weeks, the Nets look to be far from a lock to make the NBA playoffs, let alone win a championship. Garnett seems to be a shell of himself as he has had trouble putting the ball in the basket while rookie head coach Jason Kidd has gingerly limited his playing minutes. The same can be said of Pierce and Terry. While it is understandable that Kidd wants to be careful how he utilizes his older players to avoid injury, they will not shake off the rust unless they start playing more minutes.
Efforts are underway to have an Elmhurst street corner renamed after an area police officer who died in 2010.
In a presentation to Community Board 4 on Tuesday, deputy chief Jeff Maddrey expressed his desire to have the corner of 95th Street and 43rd Avenue, adjacent to the 110th Precinct, renamed for the late police officer Robert Ehmer. The board unanimously voted 27-0 to accept the proposal.
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.
With two outs in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Mookie Wilson stepped up to the plate. The Mets trailed the Boston Red Sox 5-4, but with runners on first and third, Wilson had a chance to become a postseason hero with a hit. After a wild pitch allowed the tying run to score and the possible winning run to advance to second base, the game was in Wilson’s hands.
On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Wilson hit a slow ground ball to Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner.
In the last 50 years, few days have had more historical relevance than September 11, 2001. On that clear late-summer Tuesday, when terrorists flew hijacked airliners into New York City’s tallest buildings, nearly 3,000 died just a few miles from Queens. More than 200 of them were residents of the borough.
Among them was a firefighter and lifelong Long Island City resident who had only been in the FDNY for two months.
The efforts to get the Maspeth Firehouse designated as a landmark now have even more community support.
On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 first responders from the home of FDNY’s Squad 288 and Hazardous Materials Company 1, perished at the World Trade Center, more than any other firehouse in the city. Steve Fisher of Middle Village and his sister Maxine Fisher wish to memorialize both the firehouse’s place in the city’s history and the building’s centennial next year, but were recently turned down by the Landmarks Preservation Commission because of a legal benchmark.
The Hugh L. Carey/Brooklyn Battery Tunnel will close for several hours on Sunday for the annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run, commemorating the late FDNY firefighter’s dash through the tunnel to reach the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
One tube will close at 10 p.m. on Saturday and remain closed through 3 p.m. on Sunday. The remaining tube will have one lane in each direction until 8 a.m. on Sunday, when it too will close.
Banners and flags decorated the stage area where the Juniper Valley Park 9/11 memorial ceremony took place. Hundreds of people turned out to honor those who died in the World Trade Center 12 years ago.
Ed Shusterich, president of the Pullis Historical Landmark, right, was recently honored by state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach). Shusterich was given a certificate for serving “the community with loyalty and dedication through his efforts and work on the 9/11 Plaque in Juniper Valley Park.”
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, left, with Dorrie and Barry Pearlman, whose son, Richard, died at the World Trade Center. A commemorative program was held last week at the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps, where Richard was a member.
The Forest Hills community remembered the attacks of 9/11 and the loss of one of its own on that day.
A memorial event was held on Sept. 11 in front of the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps on Metropolitan Avenue.
The annual commemoration of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center was held on the anniversary last week at the White-stone Memorial Field.
The event was sponsored by the White-stone Veterans Memorial Day Association.
Hundreds of people gathered in Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks.
“I come here every year,” Millie Batyr, a Middle Village resident, said. “The loss of all the people is just so sad and heartbreaking to see the children here without their parents, but it’s nice to see so many people come out each year.”
Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine stirred things up when he complained that the Yankees did not reach out to their community following September 11, 2001.
In fairness to Valentine, he was probably still steaming about a 2004 HBO Sports documentary, “Nine Innings From Ground Zero,” which spent the lion’s share of the time concentrating on the Yankees playoffs and seven-game nail-biting World Series loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fall of 2001 and how that helped cheer up New Yorkers needing a diversion. The Mets barely rated a three-minute mention in it from what I remember even though Valentine and his players spent a lot of time preparing boxes of food and supplies. Shea Stadium was used as an emergency center for first responders because of its sizable parking lot which Yankee Stadium lacked. The MLB network replayed the documentary last week — carryitclearly.com.