Diana Shen helped
usher-in 1998. She was one of five fourth-graders chosen to push the
button that began the annual ball drop atop One Times Square….
The embattled owner of Flushing’s RKO
Keith’s Theater asked the courts in January to move his trial
for environmental crimes out of Queens. Developer Tommy Huang asked –
to no avail – for a one-way ticket out of the borough charging
“adverse” pre-trial publicity. The court did postpone the trial for
a year, though….
reported on Feb. 5 that a “mismanagement of finances” had left the
historic Bowne House near decay.
The borough discussed its thoughts on the
Clinton-Monica sex scandal...
Queens Borough President Claire Shulman
juggled the fate of the embattled statue of Queen Catherine of Braganza in January. Shulman decreed that the
Queen – who may be the person that Queens is named after – should
reign from private land, not municipal property because she supported
Ferraro threw her hat in the political ring again when she announced her bid for
the U.S. Senate seat held by Al D’Amato….
University in Hillcrest became the keeper of the books – the United Nation’s
books, which document actions taken by the world body....
Gregory Meeks defeated all challengers to win a seat in Congress…The Tribune reports
that the oldest standing structure in Queens – the historic Bowne
House in Flushing – is near decay, a victim of “mismanagement
of finances,” according to borough historians….
Ex-NY Knicks forward Anthony
Mason was slapped with charges of rape on Feb. 9. The Tribune
ran exclusive information on the accused – and the accusers, including
a revelation that one of the teen victims was pregnant at the time of
borough’s residents voiced their opinions on the Clinton sex scandal
in January, only months before he came to Queens to honor Forest Hills
Residents mounted strong opposition to
plans to construct an elevated
railroad along the Van Wyck. The line would connect JFK Airport
to city mass transit….New York State announced its plan to sell 34
acres of unused land at Creedmoor
to a buyer that the community would choose… Rego Park handyman Luis Medine won $25 million in the New York State Lotto on Feb.
92, a former Queens educator and father of Tribune publisher
Michael Schenkler, passed away on Feb. 24….Claire Shulman dedicated a
triangle at 80th Avenue and Kew Gardens Road in Kew Gardens to Newsday’s
columnist Joe Queen, one
of Queens’ finest reporters who died on Christmas Day 1996….
Citing a need for “new blood” at the
Board of Education, Claire Shulman opened interviews for a new Queens
member, leaving Carol Gresser,
who held the seat for more than eight years, out of a job. Queens native
Terri Thomson eventually got the nod….
A Tribune feature examined the
controversy around a new school
uniform policy that would require students throughout public
schools in Queens to wear uniforms....
Renovations at the beleaguered Main
Street subway station were derailed again, this time because a
manufacturer held-up delivery of escalators for the fix-up….El
Niño blew its way into Queens in April, sending temperatures
into the 80s less than one week after a snowstorm blanketed the
College Point residents rallied to have
their ballfields opened
for fair play after they were padlocked in a dispute over an illegal
Officials at both St.
John’s University and Queens College announced plans to
construct on-campus dormitories. . .Tenants at the Skyline
and Carlyle Towers in Flushing vowed a lawsuit, citing rent
Hospital signed an agreement to acquire the 235-bed Western Queens Hospital…the
Federal Aviation Administration OK’d more
flights out of LaGuardia Airport, despite residents’
who bought and damaged the historic RKO Keith’s Theater went through
the legal system in 1998.
Memories of Ebbets Field inspired a new
$500 million stadium for the Mets,
which featured a retractable-roof…Gov.
George Pataki stirred the ire of educators when he slashed
funding for school programs and school construction from the 1998-99
state budget…School Board 24 member Frank
Borzellieri tried unsuccessfully to pass a rule banning the
discussion of homosexuality, abortion, contraception and masturbation in
Trib news-hound Jennifer D’Angelo
probed plans by the Museum of
Modern Art (MOMA) to use public funding to store some of the
world’s most valuable works of art where Queensites would never see
them – in a storage warehouse….
Borough buildings collapsed
under an unrelenting rainfall…Someone broke hearts and bruised egos by
breaking into a secure section of Shea Stadium and stealing
Mr. Met. The heartless thieves made off with the team mascot’s
uniform, big baseball head, unicycle and other team-related items. Mr.
Met was returned in June, but his eyes were punched out and his nose and
mouth were smashed. The team replaced the defaced items….
Federal officials yanked 179 Boeing 737s
out of the skies in May for inspection of faulty wiring. The agents
feared that the faulty wiring could spark a fire like the one that
devoured TWA Flight 800….
Anthony Mosomillo of Glendale lost his life when career criminal Jose
Serrano gunned him down in May. Mosomillo, a 14-year NYPD veteran, was
shot while trying to arrest Serrano, who was wanted for parole
Be they pro or con, everyone had an
opinion on a new CUNY admissions policy that eliminated remedial education at Queens and York Colleges…Community
activists in Long Island City protested the possible closing of Engine
A Tribune feature exposed the
possibility that street vendors who
were being pushed off the streets of Manhattan would end up in Queens…Flushing
Hospital officials filed for corporate reorganization under the
Chapter 11 bankruptcy laws…The Queens Botanical Gardens turned 50 in
Clinton honored Forest Hills High School in June, citing the school’s
“academic and extra-curricular excellence.” The school was chosen as
one of 124 “Blue Ribbon” schools nationwide….
Officials juggled a proposal to merge Queens
and Queensbor-ough Colleges…
Congressman Thomas Manton announced his decision to retire and named Queens
Assemblyman Joseph Crowley to fill his shoes…Queens jurors convicted
the Zodiac Killer,
The Tribune, with the help of
Congressman Gary Ackerman and Assemblyman Mark Weprin, claimed victory
in its 10 month, eight-part battle with the
Postal Service to preserve the names of Queens neighborhoods in
a 55-year-old Queens man, and his son Jay
were victims of a bomb blast at the U.S. Embassy in Kenya….
Despite threats that it would close, Engine
Company 261 stayed open in Long Island City, while Engine
Company 133 in Jamaica became the first firehouse to open in 11
years…City officials broke ground for a new state-of-the-art Queens
A nationwide study showed that one-third
of the Queens population can’t
read… Residents of Queens Village protest the construction of a
motel that advertises
“rooms for an hour.”…
Queens’ 6,000-plus Nicaraguan and
Honduran population rallied to send food and supplies to victims of Hurricane
Beech tree – which was planted by Samuel Parsons in 1847 –