|How The Tribune Went Postal
Perhaps one of the most significant accomplishments in the
improvement of governmental services to Queens came in 1998 in the form of a battle of
wits between a little guy named "Mr. Zip" and the Queens Tribune.
In August 1998, the Tribune
completed a nearly year-long crusade to put the names of Queens neighborhoods back on the
envelopes of our correspondence. With the help of Congressman Gary Ackerman and
Assemblyman Mark Weprin, we were able to convince the Postal Service to cease its policy
of clustering all of Queens neighborhoods into either Flushing, Jamaica or Long
This is a victory the proportions of
David over Goliath, the small over City Hall, names over numbers, midgets over digits,
graces over databases.
The problem was caused by a Post Office
database, housed in Memphis, Tennessee and affectionately known as the "City State
File Address Information Systems Product File."
In Queens, all zip codes that begin
113 were labeled "Flushing," as all 114 zip codes were
labeled "Jamaica" and all 111 zip codes "Long Island
In the five-digit disarray that ensued,
Flushing became the size of Boston, and Jamaica the size of St. Louis.
Residents bombarded the Tribune with
dozens of letters addressed to Fresh Meadows, not Flushing and the message
was clear: "A Rosedale by any other name would not smell as sweet."
Angered by the series in the Tribune,
Flushing Postmaster Bill Rogers threatened to pull all advertising from the paper unless
But Mr. Zip did not stop, and with the
support of Congressman Ackerman and Assemblyman Weprin, the Tribune succeeded in
saving the day.
Attack Of The 50-Foot L.I.C. Woman
The young woman peered down from a huge
sign atop the Mojud Building (at 33rd Street and 37th Avenue) in Long Island City for more
than a dozen years.
One leg outstretched, the woman appeared to
be slipping into a stocking made by Mojud (a major hosiery manufacturer).
Then came the rains. It was during the
1960s when a major storm whipped through the area sending the woman tumbling to the street
A local teenager happened to be walking on
the street below when the wind sent the woman sailing. The 14-year old was struck in the
head by part of the woman.
He was injured though not critically
(hard head). He recovered, his family sued, and he won.
Mojud closed up shop in the early 70s
and moved their mill to New Jersey.