South Queens residents and French nationals come together to fight the Concorde’s plans for JFK.
In January the Tribune reported on community protests over a $3 million plan to develop playgrounds, ball fields and bicycle paths in Kissena Corridor Park...The Tribune revealed exclusively that E. J. Korvettes department store would be erected on the former site of St. Joseph’s Convent in Flushing. A nearby synagogue and a church opposed the plan on the grounds that the project would bring congestion to the area... An actual moon rock from the 1969 Apollo moon landing went on display at the Hall of Science...
Protesters marched along the banks of the polluted Flushing River, calling for a massive clean-up of the once-beautiful water-way...Councilman Donald Manes introduced legislation to bar the U.S. from developing the SST (Super Sonic Transport) airplane and to prevent any from landing at New York airports... The Tribune in March presented a major debate between a high official of the Soviet Union and prominent Jewish leaders in Queens over the Soviet’s claim that it did not hinder the immigration of Russian Jews...
A Flushing rabbi, the spiritual leader of Temple Gates of Prayer, denounced the Tribune at public meetings and wrote to the paper his outrage that the Tribune would even print the Soviet official’s position. The rabbi wrote to local advertisers to pull their ads from the paper. In a front-page war of words, the rabbi’s letter ran alongside a response from publisher Gary Ackerman that began, “Upon receiving your letter, I immediately called your office to determine if you had actually written it, or if some crank using your stationery had sent it in.”...
Pope Paul IV visited members of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park World’s Fair Association at the former site of the Vatican Pavilion… In April, the Tribune revealed that School Board 25 in Flushing was planning to vote to remove a book, “Down These Mean Streets,” from all libraries in the district... The School Board 25 meeting to vote on banning Piri Thomas’ book turned raucous when a school board member in favor of the ban read sections of the book containing explicit language. Despite an appearance by the author himself, and the opposition of all local elected officials, the board voted to ban the book…
In the same issue, the Tribune speculated that Borough President Sid Leviss would soon step down for a State Supreme Court seat and that Councilman Donald Manes was a likely choice as his replacement…
In May, the Tribune moved its offices to a more spacious storefront at 46-25 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing. Within a year it would expand to another storefront next door, which it shared with its new printing and typesetting arm, Multi-Media, Inc….Mayor John Lindsay announced plans for rapid development of the 460-acre, $400 million College Point Industrial Park....Congressman Benjamin Rosenthal called on Mayor Lindsay to close down Flushing Airport, calling it “a threat to the safety of persons living nearby and a potentially dangerous source of increased air traffic in our already overcrowded skies.”....
Local residents formed a “Save Our Schools Committee” to protest the Board of Education’s re-zoning plan for high schools. The plan was put into effect to accommodate Hillcrest High School – a new institution – and would have forced many students to bus to school. The group took the Board of Education to court over the matter….
In late September, City Councilman Donald Manes was selected as the new borough president and the Tribune announced that it was changing its name to the Queens Tribune, saying that “The second-largest county in New York State and the sixth largest in the nation needs its own paper.”...
By the end of the year, the Tribune had started the first of its regional editions in Forest Hills….
A Tribune headline screamed: “Protests Mushroom Over Nuclear Reactor.” As part of a renovation and expansion of the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, an actual training nuclear reactor was planned. Some local officials and civic groups protested the plan, saying it posed a potential mortal danger to the surrounding community.
One of the founders of the Tribune, Alan continued a career as an educator while serving as managing editor of the Trib. He is currently retired from teaching would like to serve as an occasional Manhattan correspondent.
Wow, 35 years. That seems like a lifetime ago and of course it is. Thirty-five years ago the Queens Tribune was founded, actually it was the Flushing Tribune and I was there at the beginning. Gary Ackerman, Henry Levy and I had our first office in the back of the Shalda Realty on Main Street in Kew Gardens Hills. We had two desks and access to one phone.
I was teaching at the time and through my whole adventure and association with the Tribune I never stopped teaching. I taught for 36 years for the New York City Board of Education and am now retired. My experiences with the Tribune were loaded with deadlines, long nights, rented vans for deliveries, hustling for advertisers, and dealing with breaking stories and controversy.
Gary, Henry and I were friends, we all lived in the Pomonok Housing Project in Flushing, attended Queens College, and at the time the paper was founded, we were all teaching. Gary wanted to start a community newspaper and I thought it was a great idea. I became the primary financial backer and was given the title of Managing Editor, which entitled me to work all day, teaching, and all night at the paper. Henry became the chief seller of advertising space, and Gary was the key idea man and driving force of the enterprise.
I also wrote editorials and many articles for the paper. One of my editorials lauded the work of Donald Manes as Borough President – that was before he was indicted.
I covered murders, fires, the Forest Hills Housing controversy, and the politically based appointment of judges in Queens. We also had a whole series of articles on anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union. In connection with that series, Gary and I rushed to Eli Weisel’s home in Manhattan and then rushed back to Queens so we could meet the deadline for publishing his article in that week’s issue of the Tribune.
The Flushing Tribune soon moved to offices on Kissena Boulevard, changed its name and geographical reach to the Queens Tribune and 35 years later is still a vibrant and important voice for the people of Queens. I am very proud that I helped in its formation. As a matter of fact, I would like Mike Schenkler to appoint me the Manhattan representative of the Queens Tribune with appropriate press credentials so I can once again have that exhilarating feeling of being part of a great newspaper.