Local school board members geared
up for a distasteful campaign to keep their seats. More and more boards
jumped on the bandwagon led by District 24 School Board President Mary
Cummins, voting for stricter control of lessons taught under the
“Children of the Rainbow curriculum….
The Dept. of Health found 41 confirmed cases of
New York City, after the agency declared New York a rabies epidemic
area. It was the first outbreak of the virus since the 1940s, and
pointed toward the lack of sanitation in New York city....
Mayor David Dinkins announced his
reelection campaign at P.S. 164, to what Tribune writer Vincent S. Castellano described as a
“politely attentive crowd.” He was not reelected to another term....
Citing the spiraling cost of doing business in
New York City, operators of the Ronzoni pasta factory in Long Island
City announced their decision to shut down the 43-year-old plant on July
1. Some 220 employees took the news with a mixture of disbelief, anger
and frustration. Ronzoni, now a corporate
stepchild of the Hershey Food conglomerate, kissed the apple goodbye….
The City’s Human Rights Commission awarded
$100,000 to a part time employee of the Corona-Congregational
Church because she was allegedly
sexually harassed by the Reverend Irvine A. Bryer. The Church was held
liable by the human rights commission for the transgression ….
On Feb. 26, nearly 40 second-graders from P.S.
191 in Floral Park were on the 107th floor observation deck when a bomb
ripped through the basement garage of the World Trade
Center. The kids shared hats and gloves to keep warm as they waited
for rescue crews to give an “all clear” for their descent from the
roof of the building.
After huddling against the biting cold for
several hours, the group made its trek down a stairway to the street.
The eight-hour ordeal left the kids exhausted, but exhilarated. Another
group of youngsters weren’t as lucky. The doors had just closed on an
elevator packed with 46 third- and fourth-graders form P.S. 91 in
Glendale, when the bomb tore through the basement of the Twin Towers.
Clinton visited Queens in 1993 and the Tribune was there.
For over four hours, the kids and their
teachers had no communication with rescuers as they waited in the cold,
dark, crowded elevator. Some of the kids laughed, some cried. They sang
songs, told stories and helped each other through their seven hour,
smoke filled ordeal….
School officials from Queens sealed the fate of
Chancellor Joseph Fernandez, who was fired by the Board of Education in February, following months of
controversy and turmoil over public school curriculum….
Five firefighters for Engine 293 – which escaped the
budget ax recently – were burned late in February, 1993. City budget
cuts had left the Engine without a backup man. City Councilman Thomas
Ognibene criticized Mayor Dinkins for the closure of engine 294, which
also would have responded to the alarm.
In March, the Tribune exposed
shenanigans inside Runway 69, a nude bar which opened for a brief time on Austin Street in Forest
Hills. The paper’s front page headline covered “Sex on Austin
Street,” and became the focus of compliments and controversy (see page
90). Faced by a barrage of nightly protests by community activist, club
owners were forced to move, the club just weeks later – a move hailed
as a victory for protestors….
Irwin Altman, who served for 11
years as superintendent of School Board 26, died of lung cancer at age
Queens straphangers faced another series of
setbacks in service on the No. 7 line,
after transit officials announced their decision to suspend express
service in western Queens to allow for renovations at the Main Street
station in Flushing….
In March, city councilmen came out in droves to
criticize the mayor for not fulfilling his promises in the “Safe Streets/Safe City”
program. Civic leader Tony Avella came out and said “we just haven’t
seen the extra cops.” ….
In May, Dr. Leonard
Jeffries brought his
controversial brand of history to Queens during a speaking engagement at
the Shaw A.M.E. Zion Church in East Elmhurst….
Also in May, the Borough Board approved a USTA Stadium Expansion. The US
Open had moved into the stadium in 1978, but was now asking for a new
renovation, calling the current stadium “woefully inadequate.” The
USTA got a sweet deal on the lease, as the city would be penalized
between $250,000 and $325,000 in annual rent if airplanes flew over the
stadium during a match....
Queens Assemblyman Alan Hevesi
threw his hat into the City’s political arena, announcing his
candidacy for City Comptroller, while City Council President
Andrew Stein announced his
decision to withdraw from the race for City Hall….
Queens got very colorful in May, when members
of the New York City gay and lesbian
community paraded through Jackson Heights in May, in the first annual
Queens Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade….
At least six Chinese nationals died on June 6,
when a rusted freighter, carrying 328 travelers from the Fujan Province,
ran aground some 200 yards off the Rockaway peninsula. About 120 of the
passengers – believed to be human contraband in a $30,000 per-person
smuggling operation – jumped from the Golden Venture into the 54-degree choppy waters. Others
were rescued by police, firefighters, Coast Guard and other emergency
personnel at the scene.