South Queens Congressman
Floyd Flake was under tight
police protection after receiving death threats against his life. One
staff member said the general consensus as far as motive was the drug
battle raging in Flakes’ district for the past two years….
The much criticized
CUNY Law School made the news
again in June when about 50 of the 137 graduates turned their backs on
Queens College President Shirley Strum Kenny during graduation ceremonies. They were protesting her refusal to give
tenure to two professors, Homer LaRue and Vanessa Merton. Queens Borough
President Claire Shulman walked out of the May 26 ceremony when the “Internationale,”
the Soviet Union’s
national anthem under Joseph Stalin’s 30-year dictatorship, was sung
by the students. About 30 percent of the 1987 graduating class passed
the New York State Bar Examination, compared to a statewide passing rate
of 73 percent….
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) was
reported to be unhappy with the conditions of the U.S. Open Tournament site in
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The Association’s lease with the City
was to expire in 1995, but discussions with top real estate developers
such as Donald Trump were scheduled in an effort to relocate (see page
a physical and sexual development form, came under fire in public
schools. One woman whose daughter went to school in Queens was outraged
and called the form “an invasion of privacy.” Mark Rappaport, deputy
commissioner of the City Department of Health, defended the scale,
saying that while the effort may have been “poorly executed, the scale
is part of good medical care.…”
The American Museum of the
was dedicated in 1988.
Area beaches remained closed due to
illegally dumped medical waste….
One hundred and fifty
vials of blood were found in the
foyer of a closed Citibank in Ozone Park, and police investigators said
that the samples as well as medical instruments found at the site would
be tested for infection and that a complete search would be conducted
and a summons issued if warranted….
Illegal gambling in Queens was directly
responsible for a second death in three years when a would-be robbery
led to the murder of Richard Rubin at the Young Israel of New Hyde Park Synagogue in Little Neck. Gambling
sessions had been held at the temple for over a decade, according to Lt.
Kevin Heffernan of the 105th Precinct….
A Tribune exclusive article revealed an
illegal gambling operation being held at the Bellerose Jewish Center.
A spokesman for District Attorney John Santucci’s office warned that
“those who conduct illegal gambling, no matter how small, run the risk
of being arrested.” Operations at the center reportedly ceased after
the Tribune article appeared….
Museum of the Moving Image was
dedicated on Sept. 10. The $15 million, 50,000 square-foot facility
adjacent to the Historic Kaufman Astoria Studios was expected to attract
more than 250,000 international visitors during its inaugural year….
In November, the presidential campaign moved to
Queens as Vice President George Bush
spoke to an audience at Christ the King High School in Middle Village on
the eve of the election. Democratic challenger Michael Dukakis
appeared at a Forest Hills rally on his behalf with cousin Olympia
Dukakis and another actress, Cher….
Jon Lester, 18, the first of
three defendants sentenced in the manslaughter and assault convictions
in the Howard Beach racial attack,
received the maximum 10-to-30 year prison term. Jason Ladone, 17, the youngest of the defendants, received two consecutive terms of
two-and-one-half years to seven-and-one-half years for manslaughter and
assault charges. Scott Kern,
19, was sentenced to two consecutive terms of three to nine years for
manslaughter and assault. He was also given a one-year sentence for
conspiracy, to run concurrently….
Efforts were started to resuscitate the
Queens Theater in the Park by the
Department of Cultural Affairs. The 475-seat theater space, minimally
utilized since 1985, had been troubled by debt. The DCA began soliciting
proposals for the site from experienced, not-for-profit organizations of
proven artistic quality. Eight proposals underwent initial
windmill outside the Alley Pond
Environmental Center in Douglaston was destroyed by a fire, which was
looked into by the arson squad for suspicious origins. The windmill,
built around 1870, had been the object of a restoration effort before
Queens Supreme Court Judge
Lawrence Finnegan removed himself
from the case of John German, the former executive director of the Flushing Boys Club.
German pleaded guilty in 1987 to 87 counts of sexual molestation
of three boys. Finnegan was pressured to withdraw after it was revealed
that he had worked out a deal with the defendant. Under the plea deal,
German would have been allowed to speak nationwide about child
molestation instead of going to prison, and the judge allegedly played
an active role in lining up speaking engagements for German.
Finnigan also allegedly went to Brooklyn
Federal Judge Charles Sitton, requesting a reduction of German’s
four-year sentence for taking a 15-year-old boy to Mexico to have sex
with him. State Supreme Court Kenneth Browne replaced Finnegan in the
In April, the Tribune featured an
in-depth story on AIDS in Queens and featured some startling statistics. One out of every 700 men in the
borough had been diagnosed with the disease, while the statistics for
Queens women were one in every 5,366.
One out of every 98 infants was born test
positive for the HIV antibody, according to a study. The hardest-hit
category was men between the ages of 25 and 44, who accounted for 68
percent of total AIDS death in 1987….
A City Council report concluded that the City
Parks Department had not always negotiated contracts in its own best
interests, depriving the City of revenues that could be used to improve
parks. The council planned to look into allegations that Terrace On The
Park in Flushing Meadows-Corona
Park paid substantial license fees and that its license had never been
awarded by public bid….