Happy birth day to all of the Queens kids born on Jan. 1, 1999
especially Marielly Luna, the first baby to arrive in Queens on the first day of the last
year of the 20th Century
we sweated through a sultry summer, as local politicians
sweated the upcoming election
and we mourned the loss of a father and son who
perished in a terrorist bombing at a US Embassy . . .
James Bohan, 25, was a kid from Middle Village, a fanatic NY Jets fan and a guy with a
heart as big as the universe
we mourned Bohans death on Dec. 18 after the
young firefighter was cut down during a blaze in Canarsie . . .
Once again city cops fizzled fireworks in the borough and kept a lid on festivities in
Ozone Park Dapper Dan John Gottis home turf
As usual, municipal road fix-up projects stalled traffic, heating up motorists
who sat in the steamy gridlock
a Tribune feature offered a list of the roadblocks,
and a guide to avoiding them
a newly-empanelled Charter Review Commission met with
folks from the community to discuss proposed changes in city government
School buildings in Queens started to get some long-needed repairs in July, and a
Queens realtor planted 7,000 American flags in front yards in homes in Forest Hills and
a brokers business card was attached to each of the flags
an act that furious homeowners saw as particularly unpatriotic
Summer kicked-off without lifeguards
at city-owned pools
the pools were closed until the city was able to muster-up
enough of the water-watchers
a Kew Gardens grandmother cried foul after
a guard at a Main Street movie theater checked her bags for outside candy
and a Tribune article asked reps for Borough President Claire Shulman why she
reneged on a bet with Bronx Beep Freddy Ferrer
Shulman agreed to don a Yankee cap
for a day if the Bombers beat the Mets in a summer subway series
Wanna-be Ball Boys and Girls headed to Flushing Meadow to vie for a spot at the US Open
Astoria Park hosted an east River Festival, and Trib news hound Gary McLendon
nearly got blown away by 100-mph winds in a Twister simulation sponsored by
Universal Studios at Flushing Meadows
the families of 230 people killed on board
TWA 800 marked a second year waiting for answers about what made the plane crash
Queens favorite-son Congressman Thomas Manton sent politics in the borough into a
tailspin in July
Manton announced his decision to retire and named Queens
Assemblyman Joseph Crowley to fill his shoes
the move was met with shock and anger
by Queensites and local politicos
Mother Nature turned up the heat on us
temperature soared to 105 degrees on July 22
Queens jurors convicted the Zodiac
Killer, Heriberto Seda, of far too many heinous crimes and sentenced him to 83-1/3 years
in jail to pay for them we published a front-page featuring original art by the
It was official the Goodwill Games came to the Big Apple, but event organizers
snubbed Queens by scrapping plans to open the games sin Flushing Meadows
reporter Brian Schwartzman exposed the naked side of adult entertainment in Queens and
offered an update on the Porn War in the borough in a July feature
Zip-ity Doo Dah! The Tribune, with the help of Congressman Gary Ackerman and
Assemblyman Mark Weprin, was victorious in its ten-month, eight-part battle battle with
the Postal Service to preserve the names of Queens neighborhoods on the envelopes of our
Mr. Zip wrote, This is a victory the proportions of David over Goliath, the small
over City Hall, names over numbers, midgets over digits, graces over databases...
I am grateful to the Tribune for
bringing the problem to a successful solution, said Borough President Claire
The Tribune was the bulwark of the defenders of Queens neighborhoods, added
After a lone gunman turned the US Capitol into a killing fields on July 24, the Trib
featured a review of safety measures at our most-public places
rated high as the safest public buildings in the borough
three youngsters in
Elmhurst took the law into their own hands in August, leaving a note scribbled in pencil
with the names of three culprits who broke into a vehicle parked on the street
three youngsters signed the note with an apology to the motorist
The very-popular principal, Perry Sandler, of IS 145 in Jackson Heights was ousted by
School Board 30 Superintendent Angelo Giomondo for comments he made about a
teacher and Giomondo
a Trib feature examined the future of Queens as a
College Town after colleges in the borough announced plans to expand
exotic dancers at a Queens X-rated club stopped gyrating in August
legislation stopped the gals from wigglin
a Queens landmark
(unofficial) packed-up its pastrami and moved to Manhattan in August
King was the setting for many political upheavals
Queens residents joined with police at National Nite Out celebrations, to
send a message to the bad guys to stay out of our neighborhoods
Queens man and his son became victims of a bomb blast at the US Embassy in Kenya in August
Julian Bartley Sr., 55, was the Consul General of the Embassy and his 20-year old
son Jay were buried side-by-side in Jamaica, after they received national honors at a
Washington, D.C. ceremony
A State Senate race got down and dirty in September
just weeks prior to a
Primary Election, members of a re-election crew for Sen. George Onorato were
charged with harassment and assault by workers for opponent George Delis
after the incident, Delis workers scrapped the formal charges, citing threats to
their careers if they pressed on
Another topless club was busted by officials in September
padlocked for its policy of parading nude dancers
the years-old battle between Home
Depot and the Woodhaven, Forest Hills and Glendale communities turned toxic in September
residents charged that soil at a proposed site for construction of the megastore
was contaminated by a previous use
Ever wonder what happened to Big
Olé, a veteran of the 1964-65 Worlds Fair at Flushing Meadows, now
stands at an intersection in Alexandria, Virginia
a Trib feature revealed the
current whereabouts of the 28-foot tall, 8,000 pound replica of a 14th Century Viking,
along with the current whereabouts of other distinctive Queens artifacts
Queens residents voiced complaints about the big boom that shakes their foundations
whenever a plane takes off or arrives at LaGuardia or JFK Airports
focused on new efforts by the Port Authority to become a good neighbor
on the arrival of a new Sears store on Queens and Woodhaven Boulevards
a Roy Rogers
eatery on the site hoofed it into history
the Sears store should open in early
Fear of a terrorist attack or violent outbreak sent an army of city cops into Flushing
Meadows to secure the annual US Open
the Cos, Bill Cosby, and the
Backstreet Boys charmed Opening Day Crowds
A Swiss-Air MD11 crashed into the choppy waters off Halifax, Nova Scotia on Sept. 2
after a takeoff from JFK International Airport, killing 229 people on board
article examined the background of the craft, possible reasons for the crash and profiled
Queensites who were on board the doomed craft
A Tribune feature sought to educate readers on the new role city cops would play in
policing schools . . . two megastores opened in College Point in October . . . a Target
store and a BJs Wholesale Club opened on the once-marshy 20th Avenue . . . the State
Senate passed legislation to increase the number of flights in and out of LaGuardia and
JFK Airports . . . add 36 new flights per day at each airport to the 350,000 flights
currently handled at each and you get some furious residents . . .
The annual Tribune Guide To
Queens premiered in October, dressed up in a cover that boasted 100 different images
of Queens circle of life the Unisphere . . . the Guide is packed with
information on whos-who, how-to and where to get help in the citys most
boisterous borough . . Bo Knows Queens was the headline that announced a Trib
feature article on former Queens cop Bo Diete . . . a movie, One Tough Cop is
based on Dietls life story . . . and city officials breathed new life into a Long
Island City firehouse that was slated to be shut down . . . Engine Co. 261 will remain in
Long Island City, while Mayor Rudy Giuliani made history by opening the citys first
new firehouse in 11 years . . . Engine Co. 133 will respond out of a house on Merrick
Boulevard . . .
City officials broke ground for a new state-of-the-art Queens Hospital Center in
October . . . Queens residents displayed prize zucchini that were damaged by jet fuel
dumped over the borough by incoming aircraft . . . the photo accompanied an article on the
fuel-dump problem . . . city officials brought down the curtain on Naked City, padlocking
the nude club under new legislation . . . and city officials declared war in a long-time
Queens enemy: the pothole . . . a feature dubbed Tuesdays With Morrie, Wednesdays at
the Trib examined the past and present days and nights of Mitch Albom, a former
Tribune managing editor whose book, Tuesdays With Morrie jumped to No. 1 on the NY
Times Bestsellers List . . .
A national study revealed a startling statistic . . . one-third of the Queens
population cannot read . . . a Tribune feature examined why we are illiterate, who is
included in the percentage and what steps government and Queens educators are taking to
make the borough of diversity literate . . . City Councilmember Julia Harrison convened a
meeting of the RKO Keiths Task Force in November, hoping to obtain a clear picture
of the current status of the troubled landmark . . .
Law Enforcement officials in Queens issued a strong warning to residents
particularly seniors, to be alert to a team of con artists who pose as utility workers to
rip-off unwary victims . . . The November election results were in, and for almost all of
Queens, incumbents won back their seats . . . things werent quite the same in Forest
Hills, though, where incumbent Melinda Katz was unseated in a Primary Election in
September . . . Outgoing Congressman Thomas Manton and his successor, Joseph Crowley
welcomed President Bill Clinton to Woodside in the days just prior to the election . . .
Residents in Queens Village staged a
boisterous protest in November at the construction site of a motel on Jamaica Avenue . . .
residents voiced their concerns over the impact the motel would have on the area . . .
advertising for the motel boasts rooms by the hour a sure sign of
problems-to-come (drugs, prostitution), the protestors charged . . . a newly-renovated
Midway Theater reopened in November . . . the Queens Boulevard movie palace reopened as a
multiplex . . .
Jurors and prospective jurors cried foul in a November Action Desk
complaint . . . its not exactly that they dont want to serve, but it is fair
to penalize jurors by ticketing their cars? . . . municipal meters at a parking facility
near the Jamaica Civil Courthouse eat-up $6.50 in quarters each day an unfair price
for jurors to shell out to do their civic duty . . . not to mention those who arrive
quarterless and find their vehicles ticketed while they seek out the precious
coins . . .
Queens 6,000-plus Nicaraguan and Honduran immigrants rallied in November to
collect and ship food, clothing and the essentials to the victims of Hurricane
Mitch friends and relatives who were left helpless and in the dark by the storm . .
. a Trib article examined the Board of Educations plans to build new schools in
Queens, where a burgeoning student population threatens to leave at least 60,000
youngsters without a seat in borough schools by the year 2007 . . . officials announced
plans to relocate the Jackson Heights Jewish Center to the site of a former Sizzler
Steakhouse at 77th Street and 37th Avenue . . . the center was left homeless when the
Board of Education evicted the seniors to use their original home as the site of a new
elementary school . . .
Trib news hound Jennifer DAngelo broke the news of a partnership, established
between organized labor and CUNY (City University of NY) . . . the Partnership for
the 21st Century is designed to expose CUNY students to a wide range of
opportunities offered by organized labor . . .
A Tribune feature cleared the air of confusion surrounding Queens most toxic
industrial polluters and just how government agencies are working to eliminate the problem
. . . the Trib got a jump-start on holiday con artists by offering Queensites tips on how
to stay safe during the upcoming holiday shopping season . . . the article issued a
Bah, Hambug! to con artists and thieves alike and gave Queensites a list of
dos and donts for the frantic shopping season . . .
It was the warmest December in Queens history . . . temperatures that soared into the
high-60s made us feel more like spring had sprung and less like shopping for Christmas and
Chanukah . . .
A Trib feature examined the crush at Queens schools and how officials are
planning to cope with overcrowding in the 21st Century . . . Editor Jeremy Olshan gave us
a peek into movie-going in the new century . . . with the conversion of the Midway
Theater, the renovation of the Elmwood Theater to an 18-screen multiplex and the
construction of a multiplex in Astoria, Queens will have more than enough seats for
theater-buffs . . . so why dont we have adequate seats for the education of Queens
students? . . .
The Tribune began its annual run of holiday articles in December, pieces geared to the
needs of holiday shoppers, revelers and to those who just like to take-in the sights and
scents of the season . . .
On a sad note, Queens Weeping Beech tree died . . . the tree was planted by
Samuel Parsons in1847 and designated as the citys first living landmark . . . the
magnificent marvel grew to shade seasons of generations of Queensites . . . it blossomed
on 37th Avenue and Parsons Boulevard for more than 151 years and is survived by eight
offspring . . . city Parks Commissioner Henry Stern held a memorial service
for the tree, eulogizing the Beech, Now it is smiling down through the clouds, from
where it will always be in leaf . . . There are no winters in tree heaven, Stern
said . . .
A NY State Corrections officer was
shot and killed at a brothel in Corona . . . Levi Watts, 27, tried to reach his car to get
his off-duty weapon to stop a robbery at a house of prostitution . . . he was shot several
times and was found sprawled alongside his GMC Jimmy by police . . . detectives arrested
one man in the shooting several weeks after the incident . . . they are still searching
for four other men . . .
The Trib examined troublesome toys, offered tips on mailing and gave a history of St.
Nick the real St. Nicholas, that is . . .
A Trib feature highlighted the Festival of Lights and introduced a book The
Story of Chanukah by Queens-born artist Mark Podwol . . . Queens politicians and activists
lined-up to throw their hat into the race for Queens Borough President in 2001 . . .
Borough Beep Claire Shulman will have to step down as a result of Term Limits voted in by
city residents several years ago . . . a host of politicians who will also be on the
unemployment line in 2001 are gearing up to vie for the position . . . a Manhattan
developer lost his battle to build high-rise housing on the East River in Astoria . . .
Socrates Sculpture Park will remain on the site . . . and a Trib feature asked the
question, Will Queens Throw the Switch? . . . the feature examined the Death
Penalty in Queens, weighted against charges that were pending in a murder trial in Jamaica
. . . James Gordon tortured and murdered three women and critically injured two others in
a killing spree on July 10, 1996 . . . he faced the death penalty but received life
without parole in a decision rendered by a Queens jury . . . the article recalled,
step-by-step how a team of Queens detectives smoked-out their man and brought him to
justice . . .
The City Council announced a proposal that would offer more bus routes in Queens to
private companies . . . a cemetery in Glendale faced charges that it buried two family
members atop each other in one plot . . . and long lines at the new, high-tech Flushing
Library frustrated otherwise elated book lovers . . .
Queens kids were treated to a story of their own in December . . . The Christmas
Tree Mess told the tale of a shipping error that sent the Rockefeller Center Tree to
a family in Forest Hills . . . we asked Queensites to define the true meaning of
Christmas, and listed where and when seasonal celebrations were taking place in Queens . .
James Bohan was a Queens kid . . . he grew up playing softball on the streets of Middle
Village, where he dreamed of a future riding the big red rigs, screeching on their way to
battle blazes in the city of his heart . . .
Bohan loved his home, his family and his home town . . . he loved his NY Jets and
cheered-on the Mets and Yankees to their victories . . . Bohan, 25, was a kid at heart
with the capacity to give much more than he received . . . the young firefighter perished
in a Dec. 18 blaze in Canarsie . . . Bohan died alongside two fellow firefighters as they
tried to save a woman who they believed was trapped inside her apartment in her Brooklyn
high-rise . . .
We bid a heros farewell to Bohan in December . . . he now now a part of our
history, along with Police Officer Anthony Mosomillo and the many others who gave their
lives to keep us safe . . .
As we enter the last year of this fabulous 20th Century, we offer our
congratulations to the brides and grooms, grads, moms, dads and all those who celebrated
the best of times in 98 . . . we offer our condolences to the Mosomillo and Bohan
families, and tip our hats to the bravery of their sons . . . condolences to Queens Parks
Commissioner Estelle Cooper on the loss of her husband, Mel and to Trib publisher Mike
Schenkler on the passing of his dad and confidante Max . . .
Heres to a brighter tomorrow and to the best of Queens as we step confidently
into the new century . . .
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Happy birth day to all of the
Queens kids born on Jan. 1, 1999 especially Marielly Luna, the first baby to arrive in
Queens on the first day of the last year of the 20th Century
we sweated through a
sultry summer, as local politicians sweated the upcoming election
and we mourned
the loss of a father and son who perished in a terrorist bombing at a US Embassy . . .