The Swingline stapler factory in Long Island City was to be the temporary home of the Museum of Modern Art.
The Y2K (Millennium) bug never bit in Queens, but the Sydney Flu bug sure did. The flu wreaked havoc among Queens’ healthiest residents, taking them out by the dozen.…
The Flushing family of a Quinnipiac College student offered a $20,000 reward for information on her whereabouts. Shamiya Haqiqi disappeared on Nov. 12, 1999...A Queens cabbie was hailed for returning a $40,000 violin to its errant owner – a student at Juilliard…The Port Authority announced plans for a $9 billion rehab at JFK International Airport.…
West Nile -bearing mosquitoes took front page in January, when city officials released a game plan for beating the bugs…The Trylon Theater shut its doors for good….
Folks living near St. John’s University continued their battle to stop construction of a baseball field for a Mets minor league team on the campus. In the end, the Queens Kings did play there for one year before the field was given to the St. John’s baseball team...The dangers of illegal conversions became a major issue when dozens of people were trapped inside a maze of illegal “cubicles” at a private home where a fire broke out….
Officials at the Museum of Modern Art laid out plans for the renovation of the Swingline building in LIC...Queens resident NickGaraufis was nominated for a position in the federal courts. He would eventually win the position…A state grant promised a spruce-up at the Bowne House in Flushing…A group of more than 200 Queens seniors greeted President Bill Clinton in Forest Hills. Clinton spoke on prescription drug price controls and the future of social security....
Queens College president Allen Lee Sessoms announced his plans to resign, setting off a search for a new prez...The Tribune obtained the first one-on-one interview with Harold Levy, “the man who would be chancellor”...The Trib covered the state of pollution caused by power plants in Queens, and the feds paved the way for more air traffic over the borough.…
The Tribune welcomed a new partner in the news, as the PRESS of Southeast Queens made its debut – the latest addition to the family of News Communications publications…The battle to stop construction of the AirTrain over the Van Wyck Expressway and southern Queens continued…A group of Queens pols secured $5 million to fight West Nile mosquitoes….
Jean Auguste, Anita Smith, Ramon Nazario, Jeremy Mele and Ali Ibadat were shot dead, execution-style, on the floor of a basement freezer at a Wendy’s restaurant in Flushing. Two other victims – Patrick Castro and Juo Quione Johnson – were shot execution style and left to die. Police arrested suspects John Taylor and Craig Godineaux. The Tribune provided exclusive coverage of the massacre through an interview with one of its survivors and courthouse interviews with members of the victims’ families….
Interim President Russell Hotzler was chosen for Queens College…The Tribune broke a piece of news about City Councilman Walter McCaffrey’s irregularities in handling of campaign bucks. He eventually withdrew from a race for Congress…Archbishop Molloy High School went co-ed for the first time in a century….
The Mets were World Series-bound after beating the Diamondbacks to become National League champs. The Amazin’s faced the Yankees in the first Subway Series since 1956, but those damn Yankees prevailed, winning in five games….
The owners of the Douglaston Manor catering facility faced charges that they concealed cash revenues from City coffers…The much-beleaguered 63rd Street MTA “Tunnel To Nowhere” was pronounced almost ready to go somewhere.
Tamara Hartman: Tamara served as the managing editor of the Tribune from 1999-2003 and as executive editor of the PRESS of Southeast Queens from its birth in 2000 until 2003. She is currently enjoying adventures in life and writing as a freelance journalist, marketing consultant and graphic designer.
In 1970, Queens witnessed the birth of two unstoppable forces driven by a passion for the news and an honest belief that truth can change things: the award winning Queens Tribune…and me.
It took 29 years with a couple of near misses before our paths joined forces. Over a plate of pasta at Caffe on the Green, Tribune Publisher Mike Schenkler and I traded Queens pedigrees, and then we got down to newspaper stories. Before he considered whether or not to hire me, he challenged me to explain my vision for the paper.
I referred to a yellowing piece of newspaper I had clipped when I was in high school. It was a column called QUIPS (Queens In Politics) that I saved all those years because of its creativity and the way it revered and yet poked fun at my profession. It was a column written by Mike Schenkler in the Queens Tribune.
In this particular QUIPS, Mike instructed readers in the jargon of journalism, including: “By-line: The name of the reporter responsible for the mistakes; Lede: (leed) The catchy intro to a story written to give basic information and catch the reader’s attention. A come-on; Obit: A comprehensive story of a person’s life that you didn’t print in time.”
As I explained my vision for the Tribune, it included taking up the task of telling the Queens news like my mother’s old newspaper – the daily Long Island Press – told it. And I felt it had to have a place of regular, intelligent commentary to dig into the political scene and the challenges of life. If he hired me, Mike would have to once again take up writing a weekly column for the Trib. He did, and Not 4 Publication was born.
During my four-year watch as Managing Editor, the Tribune covered an amazing wealth of stories – things like the West Nile Virus, the Wendy’s killings, Sept. 11th, the Power Plant battle, toxic waste in Southeast Queens, School Board 29’s computer scandal, Fort Totten’s turnover and the blackout are just a few.
But in addition to the Trib’s outstanding tradition of community journalism that we maintained with these stories, we added a strong human voice through Not4Pub. Whether he was telling softer stories of his daughter’s reaction to life and terrorism or cutting the hard edge and shouting about term limits, Mike has used this space to educate, enlighten, and shake things up – adding a proud piece to the paper’s history and to my list of accomplishments.
But as the Trib celebrates its 35th year as a champion of the borough and its people, I also want to add a note of praise for the people of the Trib – the Tribbies, as we call them. The talent that gravitates to, educates, reports, types out, lays out, proofreads, designs, and touches with care and concern each page of this paper every week is simply outstanding and a tribute to the tradition of the Tribune – and the people who read it.
My former proofreader, who happens to also be my mom, recently forwarded me an e-mail she saved in her files. It was something I sent out to the Trib staff one proud night. As they celebrate this week, I’d like to repeat the gist of it here as a commentary on the outstanding people I worked with, the ones that have long built the Tribune’s reputation, and those now charged with carrying it on into the next decade:
“Newsroom — There have been more times than I can count and more days than I can remember when I have finished my work for the day and rode home filled with the pride of a job well done, a story well told.
“But in my many years as an editor I only recall a few times when that title took hold in my end-of-day musing and I found myself instead thinking particularly about how proud I am of my newsroom.
“Today was one of those days.
“All of you pulled together your talents and your resources, you worked as a team…some of you took on leadership roles in ways you never have before, and others rolled up your sleeves and dug in to do whatever needed to be done so that the paper would get the story and get out.
“You should be proud of yourselves…I know I am. That’s what I call a damn good news day, and a damn good newsroom.
“Now let’s do it again tomorrow.”
Marcia Moxam Comrie
Marcia Comrie had been a professional writer for trade magazines and has served for years as the advisor for York College’s Pandora’s Box. She helped launch the PRESS of Southeast Queens and serves as the paper’s Associate Publisher and as a contributing editor.
In 1970 I was a skinny Caribbean schoolgirl dreaming of a career in journalism. Three thousand miles away in New York, Gary Ackerman was founding the Queens Tribune, then known as The Flushing Tribune. What were the odds that I would grow up and become a beneficiary of this great idea? It was as remote a possibility as, say, marrying an American politician.
Fast forward 30 years and Mike Schenkler and Michael Nussbaum were gestating an offspring for the Tribune. To my delight and great honor, they hired me to help act as midwife and co-parent. We named it The PRESS of Southeast Queens, and it is still growing nearly five years later.
As editor-in-chief and associate publisher of the PRESS, I spent a lot of time at the Tribune and became a contributing editor there. The Tribune has been a training ground for some of the best journalists to come out of New York City. It is a publication on par with the best newspapers anywhere.
Before becoming part of the Trib family I slaved away unrecognized at trade publications. My byline was being seen nationwide and on the World Wide Web, but no one in my community even knew I was a writer.
Because of the Tribune I have been able to write about my neighbors and their children, their big moments, their disappointments and their tragedies. I have also been able to take what I’ve learned from community journalism and help train other aspiring journalists in my burgeoning teaching career.
Mike and Gary, through the little paper that could, have provided a great training ground and voice for the people of our Queens community. The Tribune has been a trendsetter and the one to beat after all these years.
Happy 35th birthday Tribune, and congratulations on your silver anniversary at the helm Mike — you’re the bomb!
In late 2000, a budding sports cartoonist from Rego Park named Dominic Nunziato sent the Tribune a humorous cartoon depicting Olympian Michael Johnson setting a world record for being able to cross Queens Boulevard before the light changed. He has been a weekly contributor to QConfidential and Not 4 Publication ever since. His work can be found online at www.spoil-sports.com.
Five years ago I was trying to learn about the Internet and read everything that was dot-com-related.
One day I picked up the Queens Tribune and saw a column called Not 4 Publication, which caught my eye right away. At first I was disappointed when I discovered it was a political, rather than a technical, column.
However, upon reading it I really enjoyed this guy Schenkler’s passion. I began sending him Queens-related cartoons, and the rest is history. Happy 35th anniversary, Mike!
Regina Vogel Lichtenstein
Regina came to the Tribune in 1971, worked as a typesetter and moved on to take over the entire production department. When she started working full-time as a teacher she scaled back, but continues to organize and write the Queens Today section and contributes occasional pieces for publication.
As an English major at York College, the most important piece of information I learned in my “Ed” classes was to have the skill other teachers might not be able to do - drama, journalism, debate, etc. I joined the school newspaper, Pandora’s Box, and met Gary Ackerman and company at the Tribune, where Pandora’s was typed and designed. Within months I became a computer typesetter, working on the new Compugraphic equipment that was, at that time, state of the art.
Upon graduating with absolutely no teaching prospects since the test for the secondary English teaching license was suspended due to an excess in the field, I stayed on at the Tribune as a mechanical paste-up artist. Within a year I was Production Manager and was responsible for the Travel and Education pages. Later on, I took over the Queens Today section when then-editor Jeff Tarlo left the Tribune. I did some freelance work – as page designer for the Arts Chronicle or news writer for ARMTOC News – in addition to my Tribune responsibilities.
When the English license was re-instated in 1980, I took the test and was now able to find a job teaching English in NYC. My relationship to the Tribune – and journalism – was strong, so I continued doing Queens Today on the weekend. After six months teaching at Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, I was offered the position of newspaper advisor, which I accepted. Taking on this position helped keep me desirable in the eyes of the administration.
For the past 24 years, I have been teaching English literature, writing and journalism (the past four years at John Bowne High School). You can take the girl out of the newsroom, but you can’t take the newsroom out of the girl. Although I am no longer a full time Tribbie, I continue to contribute articles and, thanks to my beginnings at the Queens Tribune, my interest in journalism has never faded.