Former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman at the updated Panorama of the City of New York, located at The Queens Museum.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani delivered on a campaign promise, and reopened Engine Co. 294 in Richmond Hill. The Jamaica Avenue firehouse was shut by the Dinkins administration in 1991, despite the pleas and protests of local residents and politicians….
Patrick Bannon was sent to a maximum-security prison upstate by Supreme Court Justice Robert Hanophy. Describing the Elmhurst resident as a “thug,” Hanophy sentenced Bannon to at least 30 years for a manslaughter conviction in the July 1992 death of Flushing resident John Camarda…. Queens teenager Dale Ramphal was acquitted in the December 1992 murder of 16-year-old Ryan Dionne in the much-publicized “Maze” murder case….
The Tribune spotlighted motorists’ ire over cameras installed by the City at red lights, designed to catch drivers who ignore the traffic signals…. Assembly Speaker Saul Weprin passed away on Feb. 11. His son Mark Weprin, ran to fill the vacated seat… Mike Abel was elected in March to lead Republicans in the City Council, sweeping past Middle Village Councilman Tom Ognibene.… A March Tribune feature focused on a $10 million “slush” fund administered by trustees of the Queens Borough Public Library….
A 63-year-old Blue Atlas Cedar tree, a gift from the Emperor of Japan in 1964, died in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. It was killed, City parks officials said, by poor handling when tree movers hired by the US Tennis Association uprooted the tree to make room for expansion of the US Tennis Center…. Astoria native Police Officer Sean McDonald was shot to death when he walked into a robbery in progress at a Bronx bodega. McDonald, who was married and the father of two small children, was shot point-blank when he interrupted the holdup….
Former City Park’s Commissioner Henry Stern and then Queens Borough President Claire Shulman at the renovated Unisphere.
Carjacking became a constant fear in Eastern Queens in April, after the “Silver gun carjacker” pulled off more than eight gunpoint attacks in Bayside, Flushing and Whitestone….
Queens College President Shirley Strum Kenny stepped down from her nine-year stint as head of one of the borough’s leading academic institutions.... City Parks Commissioner Henry Stern and Queens borough President Claire Shulman dedicated the renovated “core area” of 28 acres surrounding the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, including newly renovated fountains…. Queensites mourned the fate of the Ederle Amphitheatre - the Aquacade at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The once-grand, but now crumbling amphitheater was doomed….
Captain Joellen Kunkel became the first-ever female commanding officer of a Queens precinct in August, when she became the top cop at the 104th Precinct…. Subway officials broke ground on the long-awaited connection between the 63rd Street “Q” line (the infamous Tunnel To Nowhere) and the Queens Boulevard line. The cost? Approximately $645 million….
A Tribune feature exposed the underside of the “Queens Festival” and announced the possible demise of the weekend-long borough bash…Governor Mario Cuomo was out and George Pataki was in and New Yorkers prepared to witness the swearing-in of the first Republican Governor in the state since Nelson Rockefeller brought his billions to the statehouse in the late 1950s….
Queens politicians and residents balked at a proposal by Fire Commissioner William Safir to remove fire boxes throughout the City… The Queens Museum opened its newly renovated doors to Queensites at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, featuring an upscale and updated Panorama of the City of New York….
A Columbia graduate, Marcia got her start at the Queens Tribune, moved on to The Hill in Washington D.C., and then the Palm Beach Post. She later relocated to the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she is currently City Hall bureau chief.
In the spring of 1993, I tried to do what my graduate school professors advised: Apply to a small, rural daily newspaper where you can learn journalism basics – from covering the police beat to sitting through lengthy zoning board meetings and determining what’s news. But with a tight job market, I wound up instead at the Queens Tribune, a weekly newspaper five minutes from where I grew up.
Here, I learned about those journalism basics, in addition to understanding and appreciating more about the community in which I was raised.
As a reporter and then editor at the Tribune, I got to come up with story ideas, work with other young, ambitious reporters, and meet community leaders. Along the way, I took a particular interest in our public schools and education system, covering the controversy at the time over Rainbow Curriculum. With citywide opposition spearheaded by School District 24, I spent considerable time getting to know civic leaders from a part of Queens that seemed very different than my own.
Lesson learned: I didn’t have to go to a rural town to learn about diversity.
Growing up in our own Queens neighborhoods, we create boundaries that are too often broken only to visit Manhattan or Long Island. There’s a whole world in our own borough that is a city unto itself. I’ve learned that and never forgotten.
After one year at the Tribune, I accepted another newspaper job with the same publishing company. That job took me on an unexpected three-year detour to Washington, and exposure to a political world that I’d never dreamed of being that close to, so early in my career.
Second lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to just let life happen.
It is anybody’s guess as to where I would have wound up if I had not had my start at the Tribune – but I have no regrets that I did.