The College Point ballfields were padlocked over illegal landfill.
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… 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 slavery…
Assemblyman Gregory Meeks defeated all challengers to win a seat in Congress…The Tribune reported that the oldest standing structure in Queens – the historic Bowne House in Flushing – was 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 the attack….
Residents mounted strong opposition to plans to construct an elevated railroad along the Van Wyck. The AirTrain would connect JFK Airport to city mass transit…. 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…. 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 borough….
College Point residents rallied to have their ball fields opened for fair play after they were padlocked in a dispute over an illegal landfill…. 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…. 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….
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….Police Officer 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 violations.
Tom Manton stepped down after 14 years in Congress.
Flushing Hospital officials filed for corporate reorganization under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy laws… Queens Congressman Thomas Manton announced his decision to retire and named Queens Assemblyman Joseph Crowley to fill his shoes…Queens jurors convicted the Zodiac Killer, Heriberto Sedo…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 addresses….
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 Hospital Center….Queens’ Weeping Beech tree – which was planted by Samuel Parsons in 1847 – died.
Immediately after the Tribune, Bryan spent six months in Israel, where he volunteered for service projects in Jerusalem, and later lived and worked on a Kibbutz. He returned to school and earned a Master’s in Modern Jewish History and Literature. He currently writes for the Jewish Exponent, a weekly newspaper in Philadelphia.
I grew up in Bayside, but don’t think I really knew Queens until I worked as a reporter in the borough, thrown into the mix, visiting everything from houses of worship to strip clubs in pursuit of stories. I realized how unique the place truly is, how dreams from all corners of the Earth are carried each day like sacred cargo aboard the No. 7 train, and every bus and car throughout the county’s 125 square miles.
And yet, despite or maybe because of its 1 million foreign-born residents, Queens also exudes a profound and reassuring ordinariness. Community meetings in Jamaica are not that much different than in other towns and cities across the country; some are heated and others will put a journalist to sleep. More importantly, and without trying to minimize the differences between people, I observed repeatedly how similar are the concerns of individual families, (educating their kids, keeping their neighborhood safe, getting rid of those potholes) no matter where they hailed from, or what, if any, God they worshipped. Dare I say there is something profoundly American in the shared aspiration for a luminous future in which the past is not discarded.
The Tribune was my first job out of college; Jeremy Olshan, then a 24-year-old editor and now a reporter for the New York Post, offered me the job. During my time at the paper I may have gained some cynicism about the behavior of politicians, but my reverence towards the importance of the reader, how each and every voice out there is important, has never dimmed.
I also came away from the Trib with the feeling that while reporting is serious business, and often tackles matters of life and death, it is at heart a fun profession, and one not worth doing without a sense of humor. I’ll never forget the headline that ran above my last cover story, Borough Hall’s Alien Brother, about a Queens native’s recurring role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The editors and publisher at the Tribune showed me how much journalism can impact people’s lives, and yet reminded me never to take myself too seriously.