Rookie firefighter and Whitestone native Thomas
Wylie passed away on Jan. 3, a
victim of smoke he inhaled while battling a blaze in Chinatown on Dec.
27. Thousands of firefighters and cops lined the streets outside a
Whitestone church to mourn Wylie….
A Tribune feature in 1995 looked
at the state of retail in Queens.
Fire Commissioner Howard Safir moved ahead with
his plan to eliminate 15,000 fire alarm
boxes from street corners
throughout the City...members of the Cedar Grove Homeowners Association
proposed fencing themselves in to prevent crime….
More than 800 Queens residents piled into the
auditorium of P.S. 17 in Long Island City to participate in a Town Hall
meeting hosted by Mayor Rudy Giuliani….
City budget cuts
kept youth counselors throughout the borough on their toes in January
– scurrying for ways to keep programs funded, and after-school and
weekend activities available….
Mayor Giuliani proposed changing community board lines
so parts of Flushing near Queens College got moved from Community Board
7 to Community Board 8….
A simple tribute to one of Queens’ best-loved
politicos turned into a muddy brouhaha, when over 100 angry residents of
Fresh Meadows turned up to protest community board approval of renaming
188th Street to “Saul Weprin Boulevard.” Residents were reacting to a “mysterious” flyer distributed the night
before the meeting, warning that a change in the name from “street”
to “boulevard” would adversely affect the neighborhood….
The idea of pay
toilets for Queens was flushed
again.... Schools Chancellor Ramon Cortines was signed up by the Board of Ed to serve the City’s children for
another two years….
Thirty-two borough scholars were named
semi-finalist in the prestigious Westinghouse Science Competition in
Queens detectives, working around the clock,
arrested two suspects charged in the bloody
massacre of a College Point family
on Jan. 7. Six people – including teenagers who were having a sleep
over — were stabbed, shot and tortured in what police believe was a
drug-related “hit.” One surviving teen, whose throat had been
slashed and who had been left for dead, made her way to a neighbors door
and was rushed the hospital. It wasn’t until she was strong enough to
write a note that police knew where she had been and went back to find
the other victims. Two suspects were in custody within three days after
the slayings. One man remained at large….
Forest Park turned 100…Queens
students put the borough at the top of the list in January – the list
of outstanding “future” scientists, that is. Thirty-two borough
scholars were named semi-finalists in the nationally acclaimed Westinghouse
Talent Search – giving Queens
more winners than anyone else….
Shoppers mourned the impending loss of another
department store – A&S would soon hit the dust, joining a host of “favorite” but defunct
Police discovered nuclear materials in a Woodside
garage…The Mitchell-Linden Civic Association and the Bowne Park Civic
Association made noise after they claimed that the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) broke a promise to them and allowed planes from LaGuardia
to fly over their homes….Dr. Allen Lee Sessoms
is appointed president of Queens College….
The Tribune reported that Levco Properties in Astoria –
an industrial property right near the studio where “Sesame Street”
is taped – was one of nine toxic sites in Queens….
The body of a well-liked Queens gynecologist was found in
the trunk of her car parked on a Bronx street. Detectives quizzed the
doc’s oldest son, eyeing her offspring in the doctor’s slaying….
Police discovered nuclear materials in a
Woodside garage in 1995.
State Senator Serphin Maltese drew kudos –
and raised a few eyebrows – in February by proposing “paddling”
for graffiti vandals caught in the act….
A Trib feature took a look at department stores of the past,
and examined the future of retailing in Queens….
The plight of the homeless took center stage in a
February Trib feature . . . Feisty Mary Cummins
resigned from School Board 24 after 18 years on the panel….
Flushing Meadows Phil introduced Corona Kate to
Queensites at the annual Groundhog outing on Feb. 2. The couple will cohabitate to reproduce some furry
forecasters of winter’s end. Phil and Kate saw their shadows, and
predicted more winter weather (unlike their “fellow”
A pair of vagabond dolphins appeared in Flushing Bay
in February. City cops and Coast Guard emergency crews, dubbed the
“Flipper Flotilla,” led the mama dolphin and her calf to safer
seas…A duck named Corona
found a friend for life, and a home in the country in February. Police
Emergency Service cops Lieutenant Robert Sobecienski and Police Officer
William Thomson rescued the stray duck from Meadow Lake in Flushing
Meadows-Corona Park, after she became stuck in the frozen water.…
A Tribune exclusive exposed that in a
time of budget crisis, the City was still about to spend $186,000 for
art installation in a Douglaston Parkway Sanitation garage….
York College President Josephine Davis resigned,
following a flurry of charges of mismanagement and financial
improprieties at the college….
The Parks Department put out a Request for
Proposals to turn the deserted boathouse on Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park into a “white
tablecloth, sit-down restaurant.…”
The City Health Department closed down the Earle Theatre in Jackson Heights,
a porn theatre that the City said allowed unsafe sexual practices and
numerous health code violations….
After years of deadlocking, the City promised
to add traffic lights to Queens Boulevard,
a street that has been dubbed the “Boulevard of Death” for being
dangerous to pedestrians….
The issue of school
redistricting was voided…Trib
reporter Shonna Keogan exposed the “overexposed” nature of two
Queens cops, a male and a female, who posed naked for magazines….
It took a month for governor George Pataki to
convince opponents that Ridgewood resident George Marlin
was the right man to head the Port Authority….
Borough officials cried “foul” to Mayor
Rudy Giuliani’s plan to ax funding for municipal
hospitals in the borough….
Fort Totten in Bayside was
decommissioned as an Army base, but unknown levels of dangerous
chemicals were found in the waters of Little Bay next to it, causing a
wave of civic anger. It was believed that the chemicals leaked into the
water from a broken drain in one of the Army’s buildings….
A Tribune feature alerted Queens
residents about a series of sexual assaults
in the borough – all connected to one man with a penchant for cheap
motels and Automated Teller Machines….
The likelihood of ferry service to Rikers Island
rose out of troubled waters again in February…The Trib outlined
plans for a two-way split in the command center of Queens
policing. The borough’s 16
precincts were divided into two patrol borough of eight precincts each
– Patrol Borough Queens North and Patrol Borough Queens South – to
accommodate the growing needs of a growing borough….
staffers prepared to
commemorate and celebrate the 25th anniversary
of Queens’ largest, and still-growing, weekly newspaper.