The landmarked exterior of the
RKO Keith’s movie theater in
Flushing was vandalized. Two sets of bronze doors and their frames were
stolen form the site, which had been closed since 1986.
After conducting a survey of the damage, Queens
real estate developer Thomas Huang, the owner of the site, agreed that a
new gate should be constructed to prevent further abuse (see page
The City moved to
repossess Flushing Town Hall. The
leaseholder, Metro Club, Inc., had been in court since 1985 over
allegations of neglect.
Each time, the company was given more time to
make repairs and each time, little or no work was done….
In February, the FBI made the
largest heroin bust ever in the
United States at residences in Flushing and College Point.
Three million dollars in cash was found in
Corona in the third leg of the sweep. The smugglers had the drugs hidden
inside hollowed-out rubber wheels and packed together with real tires.
FBI agents weighed the tires and discovered a
six-pound discrepancy that aided the investigation and subsequent
arrests, which began 18 months before….
In response to a Tribune article, the
New York City Council and the State Legislature declared March 19-25 “Freedom of the Press Week”
as an outcry against the firebombing of the Riverdale Press in
the Bronx. Their editorial offices were destroyed less than a week after
the paper published an editorial denouncing attacks on the controversial
book, “The Satanic Verses….”
Two female students at St. John’s University
were threatened with disciplinary action for posing naked for Playboy magazine. Scholarship student Irene Tarassuk saw the pictorial as an opportunity.
“I don’t think I represented the
college wrong,” she said. “Kids get drunk every day wearing St.
John’s sweatshirts. That’s worse for the college.…”
Sharpton led over 100
demonstrators through Howard Beach to publicize that none of the
defendants in the controversial trial were serving time in prison.
The three defendants — John Lester, Scott
Kern and Jason Ladone — were awaiting their appeals to a higher
After deliberating for two days, separate
juries returned with guilty verdicts for the three defendants in the
murder of rookie police officer Edward Byrne, who was assassinated on Feb. 26, 1988, as he sat in a patrol car
protecting the home of a drug witness in South Jamaica. Scott Cobb, 25,
who admitted driving the getaway car, was found guilty first. Philip
Copeland was given the maximum sentence of 25 years to life.
Astronaut Ellen Baker (Center) her
Queens Borough President Mom Claire Shulman(Left) and autograph
collector Lee Katzman (son
of Trib Publisher MIchael Schenkler.)
In addition, he was sentenced to five to 15
years for possession of a weapon. Both terms were to be served
concurrently. David McClary was convicted in the slaying.
Pappy Mason was found guilty in ordering the
murder. Mason was reputed to be the head of the multi-million dollar
“Bebos” gang, known for their jewelry….
New York Schools Chancellor
Richard Green passed away
suddenly from a massive heart attack at the age of 53. He had held his
position for just over one year….
The Metropolitan Transit Authority voted to
increase fares on trains and
buses. In a 10-2 vote, increases were approved to take effect on Jan. 1,
1990. Bus and train fares went from $1 to $1.15….
Over 4,000 Ozone Park locals cheered when
fireworks lit up the skies over the 101st Street block party on the
Fourth of July.
The cheering was partly for the display of
defiance by reputed mob boss John Gotti
(see page 57) toward police orders forbidding pyrotechnics at the annual
The courts ruled in favor of the City and
Flushing Town Hall was returned
after its landlords were deemed in violation of an agreement to properly
maintain the landmarked building. “It is in this Court’s considered
opinion that Metro Club (landlord) significantly departed from a
substantial obligation of its tenancy by failing to attend to certain
conditions,” said Judge Phyllis Orlikoff
Residents of Forest Hills and Forest Hills
Gardens held a standing-room only meeting to discuss the problem of “booting.” That is the method
employed by the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation to immobilize vehicles
they deemed were parked illegally.
Furious drivers told stories of the indignities
and severe penalties they suffered at the hands of the Forest Hills
Gardens Corporation, who claim that their streets are privately
Elizabeth Holtzman was the only
no-show candidate at the Tribune TV debate between City
Comptroller candidates. In her stead was an empty chair, which was
referred to several times by her opponents….
The MTA restarted service of the
Flushing No. 7 subway line after
four years of construction work. Excluded from the express was the 61st
Street Woodside station, which accommodated 2,600 riders from western
In September, a Boeing 737 leaving for North
Carolina crash-landed at LaGuardia Airport.
Two women sitting 10 rows from the back of the plane were killed at the
spot where the plane split as it plunged into the East River when the
pilot aborted the takeoff.
Passenger Eric Trendal told authorities that he
had been out bar-hopping with the pilot and co-pilot. DA John Santucci
was critical of the USAir 5050 cockpit crew’s refusal to talk with
federal investigators or to disclose their whereabouts before the flight
until two days after the crash and launched his own probe….
The Tribune exposed
racial discrimination in housing policies when a black reporter was told that there was a waiting list for an apartment in Flushing. A white reporter
was immediately offered the same apartment….
The Rolling Stones rocked Shea
Stadium in October, to sellout crowds.
The home team Mets finished second in their
division, allowing for additional Stones concert dates during what would
have been their playoff games had they won….
Ellen Shulman Baker, the Borough
President’s daughter, became Queens’ first astronaut on Oct. 18,
1989 as she was aboard a mission of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. “I’m
overwhelmed by the experience,” her mother exclaimed while watching
the launch from Cape Canaveral….