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Queens Chronicle 35th Anniversary


2013 Queens’ Largest Weekly Community Newspaper Group

35th Anniversary Edition


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SUNDAY, NOV. 24 12pm-3pm U--" / ÊEÊ   ",Ê , U/, - ,Ê-/1 /-Ê7  " U , ,Ê*  /Ê- ,6 U- ",-*Ê"**",/1 / -

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Join us for an evening of sheer delight as we celebrate the holidays with the lighting of our enchanted tree. There’ll be fun, entertainment and giveaways for the entire family plus a chance to welcome Santa to his new home. Santa arrives at 5:50 PM.


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Published every week by


MARK WEIDLER President & Publisher SUSAN & STANLEY MERZON Founders Raymond G. Sito General Manager Peter C. Mastrosimone Editor-in-Chief Liz Rhoades Managing Editor Michael Gannon Editor Domenick Rafter Editor Tess McRae Associate Editor Christopher Barca Reporter Terry Nusspickel Editorial Production Manager Gregg Cohen Production Assistant Jan Schulman Art Director Moeen Din Associate Art Director Ella Jipescu Associate Art Director Ehsan Rahman Art Department Associate Richard Weyhausen Proofreader Lisa LiCausi Office Manager Stela Barbu Administration Senior Account Executives: Jim Berkoff, Beverly Espinoza

Account Executives: Patricia Gatt, Debrah Gordon, Al Rowe, Maureen Schuler

Contributors: Lloyd Carroll, Ronald Marzlock

Photographers: Gabrielle Lurie, Rick Maiman, Steve Malecki

Intern: Andrew Johnson

Office: 62-33 Woodhaven Blvd. Rego Park, NY 11374-7769 Phone: (718) 205-8000 Fax: (718) 205-0150 Mail: P.O. Box 74-7769 Rego Park, NY 11374-7769 E-mail: Website: © Copyright 2013 by MARK I PUBLICATIONS, INC. All rights reserved. Neither this newspaper nor any part thereof may be reproduced, copied, or transmitted in any form, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, microfilming, recording or by any information retrieval system without the express written permission of the publishers. This copyright is extended to the design and text created for advertisements. Reproduction of said advertisement or any part thereof without the express written permission of MARK I PUBLICATIONS, INC. is strictly prohibited. This publication will not be responsible for errors in advertising beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error. Bylined articles represent the sole opinion of the writer and are not necessarily in accordance with the views of the QUEENS CHRONICLE. This Publication reserves the right to limit or refuse advertising it deems objectionable. The Queens Chronicle is published weekly by Mark I Publications, Inc. at a subscription rate of $19 per year and out of state, $25 per year. Periodicals Postage Paid (USPS0013-572) at Flushing, N.Y. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mark I Publications, Inc., 62-33 Woodhaven Boulevard, Rego Park, N.Y.

NEWS MAKERS 1978 David Berkowitz is sentenced for killing spree ...........................................6

1993 Fran Drescher has a hit with “The Nanny” ...............................................20

1999 Dr. Deborah Asnis discovers West Nile virus .............................................32

1979 John McEnroe wins his first US Open tourney .........................................9

1994 Menachem Schneerson is revered in death...............................................26

2000 Anita Smith is slain in Wendy’s massacre ............................................32

1980 Sister Maura Clarke is murdered in Nicaragua..............................................9

1995 John Paul II says Mass for 75,000 people ...............................................28

2001 Christopher Santora perishes in Sept. 11 attacks ..................................33

1981 Dr. Allan Rothenberg expands medical practice ..................................10

1996 Carroll O’Connor is cited for role as Archie Bunker..................................30

2002 Jam Master Jay is murdered in his studio ...............................................34

1982 Mario Cuomo is elected governor the first time ........................................10

1997 Tommy Huang is charged in RKO fuel spill ..............................................31

2003 Adrian Brody is youngest Best Actor winner ........................................34

1983 Cyndi Lauper hits it big with “She’s So Unusual”.........................................11

1998 Jimmy Breslin discusses being a columnist ............................................31

2004 Estée Lauder dies, leaves cosmetics empire ...........................................35

1984 Geraldine Ferraro runs for the vice presidency...........................................12


2005 Charles Camarda flies on the Space Shuttle ......................................35

1985 Donald Manes sees his world start to collapse ...........................................12 1986 Mookie Wilson helps Mets win World Series ........................................13 1987 Paul Simon wins a Grammy for “Graceland” .........................................13 1988 Officer Edward Byrne is killed in Jamaica hit..........................................14

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2007 Al Oerter dies; was Olympic gold medal king ..........................................36 2008 Hiram Monserrate is charged with assault ...............................................38 2009 Capt. Chesley Sullenberger lands Flight 1549..........................................39 2010 Mae West ‘reappears’ at old Neir’s Tavern ...............................................40

1990 Julio Rivera is murdered, spurring change ...............................................16

2011 Pat Dolan is killed; lauded for her civic work ............................................41

1991 Donald Trump declares his first bankruptcy ..........................................17

2012 Shirley Huntley is indicted and loses office ..........................................42

1992 John Gotti is finally convicted as mob boss ............................................18

2013 James Muyskens says he’ll retire from QC ..............................................42

Plus the top sports teams, songs, movies and more for each year! Supplement editor: Peter C. Mastrosimone; Supplement designer and cover illustrator: Ella Jipescu Production artist: Michael Ojaste; Special contributor: Stephanie E. Santana; #1 list compiler: Andrew Johnson


Photo credits: File photos except David Berkowitz: NYPD; John McEnroe: Shawn Calhoun / Flickr; Maura Clarke: Brad Corban / Wikipedia; Cyndi Lauper: lucascynnogue / Flickr; Donald Manes: Queens Borough Hall; Mookie Wilson: Facebook / Paul Simon: WFUV / Flickr; Claire Shulman: Peter C. Mastrosimone; Julio Rivera:; Donald Trump: Gage Skidmore / Wikipedia; John Gotti: biography. com; Fran Drescher: by Sarah Casey; Menachem Schneerson: Mordecai baron / Wikipedia; John Paul II: Beyond Forgetting / Flickr; Carroll O’Connor: CBS Television; Jimmy Breslin: David Shankbone; Deborah Asnis: MediSys Health Network; Jam Master Jay: Wikipedia; Adrian Brody: Fred Benenson / Flickr; Estée Lauder: Bill Sauro / World Journal Tribune / Library of Congress; Charles Camarda: NASA; Al Oerter: Cathy Oerter; Chesley Sullenberger: Ingrid Taylar / Wikipedia; Mae West: Wikipedia.

Your Choice - Your Voice

1989 Claire Shulman wins first full term as QBP ...............................................14


2006 Sean Bell is killed by police in disputed case ..........................................36


very story is a people story, an old journalists’ adage says. That means if you’re writing about a tax hike or budget cut, don’t just give the numbers, talk to people about the impact it will have on them. If the subject is a homicide, don’t just say someone was killed, find out who the person was and write about the life that’s been lost. Here we present, in celebration of our 35th anniversary and entry into our 36th year of publishing, 36 people stories. They’re all about people who made news in Queens, or people from Queens who made news somewhere else. There’s an event that ties each subject into a given year since the Queens Chronicle was first printed, originally as The Paper, but the heart of the stories are the people behind the incidents. Many are world-famous, some not nearly so. But they all have a story to tell, at least one. They cover the gamut of professions: There are actors, politicians, members of the clergy, doctors,

titans of business, criminals and more. We give you the good, such as Miracle on the Hudson pilot Chesley Sullenberger and longtime Howard Beach pediatrician Dr. Allan Rothenberg; the bad, such as lawbreaking developer Tommy Huang and corrupt ex-state Sen. Hiram Monserrate; and the worse, such as Mafia kingpin John Gotti and serial killer David Berkowitz. You’ll likely wonder why a given person was included and another one was not. But we couldn’t possibly cover every notable name in the last 35 years in Queens in just one special edition. Paul Simon got an article; Art Garfunkel only a mention. The Son of Sam is here; the Zodiac killer is not. We hope you find the stories informative, entertaining and insightful. We learned a lot in doing them and think you just might learn something in reading them. See you again next Thursday.

Peter C. Mastrosimone


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Berkowitz gets 25 to life for each killing

1978 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER Dallas Cowboys STANLEY CUP Montreal Canadiens NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Washington Bullets US OPEN — SINGLES Jimmy Connors Christine Marie Evert WORLD SERIES New York Yankees TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Grease TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Shadow Dancing: Andy Gibb TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Soundtrack: various artists BEST SELLER — FICTION Cheseapeake: James A. Michener BEST SELLER — NONFICTION If Life is a Bowl of Cherries — What Am I Doing in the Pits?: Erma Bombeck

by Peter C. Mastrosimone Editor-in-Chief

Just how crazy was David Berkowitz, the .44 Caliber Killer who terrorized Queens and the rest of the city for more than a year beginning in late July 1976? Crazy enough that for months before the man who killed six and wounded seven was caught, he taunted the police and the press with letters filled with insane rants such as “I am the ‘Son of Sam.’ Sam loves to drink blood. ‘Go out and kill,’ commands father

Sam. ... Police, let me haunt you with these words — I’ll be back! I’ll be back! To be interpreted as — bang, bang, bang, bang.” Berkowitz favored killing young women, often as they sat in cars with friends or boyfriends. Two of the people he murdered, Christine Freund and Virginia Voskerichian, were killed in Queens, while another young woman here was rendered a paraplegic and other victims suffered various wounds in his attacks. Berkowitz, who was caught in August 1977 and went on trial in May 1978, claimed that he was being given commands to kill by his neighbor Sam’s dog, one of a number of “devil dogs” running around the city. Whether he was truly insane or was making it up was an issue at his trial — unlike the fact he had committed the murders, which he freely admitted. But Berkowitz’s psychological troubles began long before his killing spree, according to analyses including a study done for Radford University’s Department of Psychology. Given up for adoption, he experienced repeated childhood incidents that could have damaged his mind, including being bathed in a beach club shower by his mother at age 5 while other nude women were present, getting hit by a car and suffering head injuries, and seeing several people

die in vehicular accidents of one kind or another. By age 12 he had begun to set what would turn out to be more than 1,400 fires, and at 13 he began to torture and kill animals. He had trouble at school but did graduate, and then joined the Army. There he used drugs including marijuana and LSD. In 1975, when he was 22, Berkowitz tried to kill two women with a knife, though both escaped. That same year he was working as a security guard at Kennedy Airport. The next year the killings began. A psychiatric report delivered to the three judges overseeing his trial said that while Berkowitz understood the charges against him, he was so emotionally dead that he could not assist in his own defense. Another psychiatrist, however, determined that the defendant was faking it and knew exactly what he was doing. Berkowitz pleaded guilty. On the day he was to be sentenced, he once screamed, “I’d kill them all again,” and the judges delayed his sentencing. On June 12, 1978, he finally was given 25 years to life for each of the six homicides. Since 1987 he has declared himself a bornagain Christian and said he was sorry for crimes. He has fought against being considered for Q parole, saying prison is where he belongs.





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by Christopher Barca Reporter

Even though he spent the first four years of his life on an Air Force base in West Germany, John McEnroe is arguably the greatest athlete in Queens history. The hot-tempered Douglaston resident won his first Grand Slam singles title at the 1979 US Open, defeating his good friend Vitas Gerulaitis in straight sets. At just 20 years old, McEnroe became the youngest player to ever

win the tournament’s singles championship. He would go on to win 27 singles and doubles titles that year, an open-era record at the time. By McEnroe’s 27th birthday, he had already won the US Open four times and appeared in the Wimbledon final five times, winning on three occasions. But 20 years earlier, it was obvious McEnroe was destined for stardom. According to his father, McEnroe could strike a ball with a plastic bat at just 2 years old, and at 12, he was enrolled in the acclaimed Port Washington Tennis Academy on Long Island. Under legendary coaches Tony Palafox and Stanley Matthews, McEnroe blossomed into a once-in-a-generation tennis prodigy. He won the French Juniors Tournament shortly after graduating from high school in 1977 and, in that same year, McEnroe had to withdraw from the Wimbledon Juniors Tournament after qualifying for the men’s professional tournament. Upon reaching the semifinals, McEnroe became the youngest player ever to make it that far in the event. He earned two designations that year, one being Tennis Magazine’s Rookie of the Year award and the other being that he was already the sport’s most outspoken personality. McEnroe became known for more than his

THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER Pittsburgh Steelers STANLEY CUP Montreal Canadiens NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Seattle Supersonics US OPEN — SINGLES John McEnroe Tracy Austin WORLD SERIES Pittsburgh Pirates TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Kramer vs. Kramer TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG My Sharona: The Knack TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM 52nd Street: Billy Joel BEST SELLER — FICTION The Matarese Circle Robert Ludlum BEST SELLER — NONFICTION Aunt Erma’s Cope Book Erma Bombeck

Clarke was called ‘angel of the land’

1980 THEY WERE #1

by Mark Lord Chronicle Contributor

Sister Maura Clarke, while serving as a missionary in Central America, wrote the following: “There are so many deaths everywhere that it is incredible. It has become an ordinary daily happening. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I am at peace here.” Some six weeks later, on Dec. 2, 1980, shortly after civil war broke out in El Salvador, Sister Maura, along with three other churchwomen,

was shot to death. The next day, peasants discovered their bodies beside an isolated road. Sister Maura was born Mary Elizabeth Clarke, the oldest of three children, on Jan. 13, 1931. Her parents had emigrated from Ireland in the late 1920s, settling in Belle Harbour. Young Mary entered the Roman Catholic novitiate of the Sisters of Maryknoll in 1950. The novitiate was founded in 1912 and became a Pontifical Institute in 1954, when the group’s name was changed to Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic. Its headquarters are located at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, NY. In 1959, Sister Maura went to Nicaragua to teach. She soon became known as “the angel of the land.” She later returned to New York to teach. But by 1980, she felt the need to return to Central America. She went to El Salvador to minister to the poor and oppressed, knowing the danger there, and was killed only hours after she arrived in the country. More than 75,000 people were slain in El Salvador’s civil war. According to reports in the National Catholic Reporter, the four women were beaten, raped and murdered by five members of the National Guard of El Salvador. In keeping with Maryknoll tradition, Sister Maura’s body was buried

locally in the country’s Chalatenango region, where she was killed. News of the missionaries’ deaths led to public outrage back in the United States and debate over policy in Nicaragua, one that would eventually lead to the Iran-Contra scandal in the Reagan administration. To honor the late sister, the Maura Clarke Junior High School, a private co-educational institute on the Rockaway Peninsula, was opened as part of Stella Maris High School, becoming the only Catholic junior high school in Queens. Due to declining enrollment, both the high school and the junior high, like many Catholic schools, were closed several years ago. But the Maura Clarke-Ita Ford Center, named for Sister Maura and another Maryknoll nun who died with her, remains open in Brooklyn. It has been offering quality education to adults since 1993. Immigrant women attend the center to create opportunities for a better life, getting the opportunity to improve their English and advance their overall level of education. An entry in the Maryknoll Mission archives concludes, “We pray in a spirit of thanksgiving for the Clarke family, who so generously and lovingly shared Maura’s beautiful life with us.” Q

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SUPER BOWL WINNER Pittsburgh Steelers STANLEY CUP New York Islanders NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Los Angeles Lakers US OPEN — SINGLES John McEnroe Chris Evert Lloyd WORLD SERIES Philadelphia Phillies TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE The Empire Strikes Back TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Call Me: Blondie TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM The Wall: Pink Floyd BEST SELLER — FICTION The Covenant: James A. Michener BEST SELLER — NONFICTION Crisis Investing: Opportunities and Profits in the Coming Great Depression Douglas R. Casey

supreme talent, but for his verbal abuse of officials and affinity for on-court cursing as well. His famous line, “You cannot be serious!,” which he uttered after a disagreement with an official’s call during his opening match at Wimbledon in 1981, became his signature line in later years. In his various public appearances and movie roles, McEnroe often reprises the famous line, satirizing himself. It is even the title of his 2002 autobiography. After McEnroe’s surprising victory at the 1979 US Open, he would go on to enjoy one of the most successful careers in the sport’s history. He holds the Wimbledon and US Open records for most combined singles and doubles titles won at each event. He was the top-ranked male tennis player in the world from 1981 to 1984, and even after retiring from the professional tour in 1992, McEnroe still plays regularly on the ATP Champions Tour, a league designed for retired tennis professionals. McEnroe now works as a tennis analyst for various networks during their television coverage of major tournaments. He married musician Patty Smyth in 1997 and has six children, three of whom stem from an earlier marriage with Academy Award-winning Q actress Tatum O’Neal.


Page 9 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013

McEnroe: youngest Open winner ever

QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013 Page 10

35th ANNIV page 10

Rothenberg was an old-school doctor

1981 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER Oakland Raiders STANLEY CUP New York Islanders NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Boston Celtics US OPEN — SINGLES John McEnroe Tracy Austin WORLD SERIES Los Angeles Dodgers TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Raiders of the Lost Ark TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Bette Davis Eyes: Kim Carnes TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Hi Infidelity REO Speedwagon BEST SELLER — FICTION Noble House: James Clavell BEST SELLER — NONFICTION The Beverly Hills Diet Judy Mazel

by Peter C. Mastrosimone Editor-in-Chief

When Dr. Allan Rothenberg retired earlier this year from the Howard Beach medical practice he co-founded back in 1981, the response from the community was overwhelming. Well-wishers flooded his office with cards thanking him for what he had done for their children, or themselves when they were children. He wrote a column for the Queens Chronicle about his experiences as a doctor, and it went viral,

with people posting adoring comments on the piece. Clearly the good doctor had left his mark. “It was of course extremely humbling and f lattering,” Rothenberg said this week. “I received cards that were sent to the office and then forwarded to me from parents whose children I had taken care of years ago.” Meanwhile the staff at Queens Pediatric Care, which Rothenberg established with Dr. Phillip Dubin in 1981, threw a big retirement party for him and his colleague Dr. Dorothy Greenbaum, who retired the same day. Dubin had retired in 1999. A number of former staffers came to wish their best to Rothenberg and Greenbaum. Why pediatrics? Rothenberg had always enjoyed children, serving as a summer camp counselor in high school and college. And his experiences in training solidified his choice. “The attending pediatricians, more so than any of the other doctors I met in my training as a medical student and an intern, seemed the most personable,” he recalled. “Internists I found too intellectual, surgeons too arrogant. Pediatricians were the people I identified the most with.” Rothenberg finished his specialty training in pediatrics in June 1963 and then served two years in the Army in “the obligatory doctor draft” of the time, treating the children of sol-

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Cuomo became a Democratic superstar

by Stephanie E. Santana Chronicle Contributor

When the 52nd governor of New York began public school he couldn’t speak English. Meanwhile, Mario Cuomo’s father slowly worked his way from ditch digger to storeowner with his wife in South Jamaica. It was a struggle for his parents who left their native Italy to pursue a better life for their family in the 1920s. Six decades later, he would speak of their trials as Gov. Cuomo when he delivered the keynote address at

the Democratic National Convention. It was 1983 that marked the start of Cuomo’s 12-year tenure, the longest for a Democrat. He balanced 12 consecutive budgets, though many were late, reduced state income taxes by 20 percent and enacted the nation’s first seat belt law credited with reducing fatalities. Though seen by many as a clear choice for the presidential nomination, it never was for Cuomo. To run on a platform that said he could balance the nation’s budget while his own state was still without one would be a politically “foolish” move, as he said in a 1998 New York Magazine article. With a passion for law, Cuomo didn’t intend to be a career politician but saw it as a means to get things done. Upon graduating St. John’s University in 1956, he found work as a trial lawyer and within weeks, was offered a raise since he kept winning his cases. But, as a 1990 article by The Atlantic said, Cuomo wasn’t satisfied. “‘Fighting politicians, he learned that government had a lot of power, his friend Fabian Palomino says. ‘It could do a little bit of good.’” Aiding the Corona Fighting 69, a group of homeowners who wanted to stop a plan to demolish their homes for a new high school, put him on the political radar in 1972. By 1974, he was popular enough to receive

backing by the Democratic Party to run for lieutenant governor. Although he lost, Gov. Hugh Carey appointed him as secretary of state. In the 1982 primary, Cuomo faced Ed Koch, who had defeated him in the 1977 primary runoff for mayor. While Cuomo’s opposition to the death penalty may have been unpopular before, this time voters sided with it, aiding in his victory. Luck was also a factor as the Milwaukee Sentinel noted that Koch had alienated many upstate voters with negative remarks about rural life. Two years later, Cuomo’s keynote address focused on the theme of a “tale of two cities,” as he cited the hardships and lessons he learned about perseverance from people like his parents. “And that they were able to build a family and live in dignity and see one of their children go from behind their little grocery store in South Jamaica on the other side of the tracks where he was born, to occupy the highest seat in the greatest state of the greatest nation in the only world we know, is an ineffably beautiful tribute to the democratic process,” he said. After declining a spot on the Supreme Court and losing a bid for a fourth term, Cuomo returned to practicing law. His son, Andrew, one of five children he had with Matilda, his wife of 50 years, became New York’s 56th governor. Q

diers at Fort Dix, NJ. After that, he opened a practice in Lindenwood, merging it with that of Dubin in 1981 and finally merging their actual offices in 1989. They moved to Rockwood Park, where the practice remains today. During the 1980s, Rothenberg’s wife, Bobbe, ran the Big Apple Learning Center, also serving the children of the community. The doctor always found his work very rewarding. “What gives a lot of satisifaction to me and other pediatricians is that we are the closest thing to the old general practicioner,” he said. “Ninety percent of the time, whether the complaint is about the eyes, ears, throat, skin, stomach or chest, we’re able to handle it and make the patient get better.” Once when a man complained to Rothenberg about his patients’ parking, he called him “nothing but a lollipop doctor.” That attitude changed a couple months later when Rothenberg cleared up a case of roseola, often called infant measles, that the man’s grandchild was suffering from. Retiring just before the Affordable Care Act took effect, Rothenberg said he backs the law because everyone should have insurance. And he offered advice to his fellow medical practitioners: “No matter how big you get, you can’t lose Q that personal touch, that personal feel.”

1982 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER San Francisco 49ers STANLEY CUP New York Islanders NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Los Angeles Lakers US OPEN — SINGLES Jimmy Connors Chris Evert Lloyd WORLD SERIES St. Louis Cardinals TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Physical: Olivia Newton-John TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Asia: Asia BEST SELLER — FICTION E.T.: The Extraterrestrial William Kotzwinkle BEST SELLER — NONFICTION Jane Fonda’s Workout Book Jane Fonda

35th ANNIV page 11

by Tess McRae Associate Editor

From a girl living in Ozone Park to the first female to have her debut album chart four topfive hits on the Billboard Hot 100, Cyndi Lauper has remained the same unusual girl throughout. “I know who I am and when I came out with ‘She’s So Unusual,’ I wanted a few things: I wanted it to be good and I wanted it to be me,” Lauper said during her Oct. 20 show at Queens

College. “The record label didn’t want me writing my own songs even though I had been doing that forever, but I wasn’t going to let that get in my way. “They’d give me a song they wanted me to do and I’d change it around to make it something I’d want to sing or listen to.” But Lauper wasn’t all about the glitz and glamour; the rock star was a wild child way before the platinum records starting rolling in. Lauper was accepted into a special public high school for students with talent in the visual arts but eventually dropped out and left her home to study art. Her journey took her to Canada, where she spent two weeks in the woods with her dog Sparkle, trying to find herself. She then migrated to Vermont, where she took art classes at Johnson State College and worked odd jobs to support herself. Lauper eventually received her GED. “I wasn’t exactly a model student,” she said. “It wasn’t my priority.” Other than her music, Lauper prioritized what any single 30-year-old would: guys. “I always knew if a boy liked, me by how he handled the end of a date,” Lauper said. “When I was younger I lived on a five-floor

walk-up ,which is a lot of stairs. “Most of the time guys would just drop me off at the front door, see all the stairs and give up, but the keepers were the ones who walked all the way to the top.” One of those keepers, an old fling, gave Lauper his mother’s clock after the “She Bop” singer had broken hers. “It was the loudest f--king clock ever,” she said. “I had to keep it in the bathroom to keep from hearing it, but even that wouldn’t help.” As it turns out, the nuisance helped Lauper write one of the most iconic songs from the “She’s So Unusual” album: “Time After Time.” “I always use things from my actual life in my music, so when I’m trying to sleep and this clock is ticking on and on I think ‘Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick and think of you,’” she said. “That’s where the lyric came from. My boyfriend’s mother’s loud clock that wouldn’t stop ticking.” Her punky sound and keen writing technique got her a Grammy for Best New Artists at the 1985 Grammy Awards. The album also received nominations for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Female Pop Performance and Song of Q the Year.

Page 11 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lauper releases ‘She’s So Unusual’

1983 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER Washington Redskins STANLEY CUP New York Islanders NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Philadelphia 76ers US OPEN — SINGLES Jimmy Connors Martina Navratilova WORLD SERIES Baltimore Orioles TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Return of the Jedi TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Every Breath You Take: The Police TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Thriller: Michael Jackson BEST SELLER — FICTION Return of the Jedi: James Kahn BEST SELLER — NONFICTION In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best Run Companies: Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman

To The Queens Chronicle, Especially to Mark Weidler, Publisher and Staff on their Anniversary of Thirty-Five Great Years of Journalism



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QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013 Page 12

35th ANNIV page 12

Ferraro, a tough trailblazer in politics

1984 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER Los Angeles Raiders STANLEY CUP Edmonton Oilers NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Boston Celtics US OPEN — SINGLES John McEnroe Martina Navratilova WORLD SERIES Detroit Tigers TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Beverly Hills Cop TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG When Doves Cry: Prince TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Thriller: Michael Jackson BEST SELLER — FICTION The Talisman Stephen King and Peter Straub BEST SELLER — NONFICTION Iacocca: An Autobiography Lee Iacocca with William Novak

by Stephanie E. Santana Chronicle Contributor

At one of the law firms she applied to, Geraldine Ferraro made it through five rounds of interviews before hearing a “no.” The simple and acceptable reason back then: They weren’t hiring any women that year. But as 1984 Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale said, this wife, mother, teacher and lawyer “had a lot of fire” and wasn’t about to let that stop her. Her drive led her to become the first female vice

presidential nominee on a major party ticket. Ferraro kept her mother’s surname in the public eye in her honor. Her widowed mother worked as a seamstress to make sure Geraldine went to college at a time when women were largely expected to be housewives. She became the first female in the family to receive a degree and used it to teach at PS 85 in Astoria. Always ambitious, she eventually attained a law degree from night school and worked parttime at her husband’s firm while handling pro bono cases in family court. She served as assistant district attorney in Queens and started the Special Victims Unit, which focused on victims of sex crimes and abuse. Four years later, she became the first congresswoman from Queens and co-sponsored the Economic Equity Act, which sought to end pension discrimination amongst women. In the 1984 election, Mondale was facing President Reagan’s popularity. Aware of the challenge, he felt that “putting a woman on a majorparty ticket would change American expectations, permanently and for the better,” he wrote in “The Good Fight: A Life in Liberal Politics.” While she fended off questions that asked if she was tough enough to push the nuclear button, the uphill battle grew steeper when the

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Manes sets stage for final desperate act

by Michael Gannon Chronicle Contributor

Donald Manes had been a man in a hurry. The Queens prosecutor was 31 in 1965 when he became the youngest person ever elected to the City Council until then. In 1971 he won a special election to became the youngest Queens borough president in history. And in November 1985 he was elected to his record fifth term in a landslide. The “King of Queens” was one of the most powerful people

in the city, and seen as a likely mayoral candidate. But the machinery that would bring him down was already in motion long before Election Day. And just a few days after Manes was sworn in for his historic term in January 1986, he would be pulled over by police in his car, covered in blood, a deep gash in his wrist. After an unbroken string of successes, he had lost public support with his plans to build a Grand Prix race track and a domed football stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, both rejected. He was being investigated for receiving bribes and kickbacks from contractors working with the Parking Violations Bureau, and the feds also had placed the awarding of cable television franchises in Queens under scrutiny. One by one, as 1985 drew to a close, Manes’ aides and associates either were being arrested or forced to resign as U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani closed in, the crusading federal prosecutor drawing steadily shrinking circles around his target. The one thing standing between Manes and a federal corruption indictment was his longtime friend Geoffrey Lindenauer.

And Lindenauer had decided to talk. Manes, who originally told police that the wounds he received came from two unknown men who had been waiting in his car, admitted a few days later in a press conference from his hospital bed that he had slashed his own wrist. He resigned on Feb. 11, giving way to his deputy, Claire Shulman, with many thinking that the sad coda to his public career. But prosecutors kept closing in, and Lindenauer agreed to cooperate on or about March 9. On March 13, 1986, Manes, who had been suffering from depression as the scandal grew, was on the phone in his Jamaica Estates home with his psychiatrist. Manes’ wife was upstairs on an extension taking part in the conversation. They were discussing treatment when the doctor was called away and put Manes on hold. Manes, whose father had committed suicide, then grabbed a large knife from a kitchen drawer and stabbed himself in the heart. His daughter discovered him on the kitchen floor, but help summoned by a 911 call was too late. The probe that drove Manes mad would eventually ensnare Bronx Borough President Stanley Simon, Bronx Democratic leader Stanley Friedman and former congressman Mario Q Biaggi among others.

media scrutinized her husband’s questionable financial dealings. On election day, the ticket only won two states. The rest of her dynamic career included co-hosting CNN’s “Crossfire,” and serving as an ambassador to the UN Humans Rights Commission in Geneva. In 1998 Ferraro was diagnosed with cancer, yet continued to work. Speaking as an advocate of cancer research to Congress in 2001 she said she hoped to survive long enough, “to attend the inauguration of the first female president of the United States.” Although she succumbed in 2011, and could not see this come to fruition, her career influenced a future generation of politicians. Twenty women now serve in the Senate compared to the one when she ran in 1984. Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz - who also went through law school, has a family and works full time - says that Ferraro “proved that you can be a smart and articulate female government official who also had a family.” When Ferraro took the stage at the 1984 convention Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens), then a young delegate, said of the night, “It was electrifying … she was a trailblazer who broke down barriers for all of us — and a mentor who helped change my life as she blazed Q a new path for all American women.”

1985 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER San Francisco 49ers STANLEY CUP Edmonton Oilers NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Los Angeles Lakers US OPEN — SINGLES Ivan Lendl Hana Mandlikova WORLD SERIES Kansas City Royals TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Back to the Future TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Careless Whisper: Wham! TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Born in the USA: Bruce Springsteen BEST SELLER — FICTION The Mammoth Hunters Jean M. Auel BEST SELLER — NONFICTION Iacocca: An Autobiography Lee Iacocca with William Novak

35th ANNIV page 13

by Christopher Barca Reporter

With two outs in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Mookie Wilson stepped up to the plate. The Mets trailed the Boston Red Sox 5-4, but with runners on first and third, Wilson had a chance to become a postseason hero with a hit. After a wild pitch allowed the tying run to score and the possible winning run to advance to second base, the game was in Wilson’s hands.

On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Wilson hit a slow ground ball to Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner. “A little roller up along first, behind the bag. It gets through Buckner!” screamed legendary announcer Vin Scully. “Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!” In one of the most recognizable plays in baseball history, the ball trickled through Buckner’s legs, allowing Mets third baseman Ray Knight to score the winning run. The Mets would go on to defeat the Red Sox in Game 7 to win their second World Series title. Mookie will live on in Mets history forever, but his personal history almost made that indelible moment impossible. William Wilson was born in Bamberg, SC on Feb. 9, 1956. Given the nickname “Mookie” because of his inability to pronounce “milk” as a child, Wilson was playing baseball soon after he learned to walk. Mookie played ball at Bamberg Ehrhardt High School and was both a dominating pitcher and a solid hitter. On the mound, he went 14-0 in his senior season, leading his team to a state championship. Wilson played his first two years of college ball at Spartanburg Methodist College before

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Simon has always put the music first

1987 THEY WERE #1

by Stephanie E. Santana Chronicle Contributor

Before Paul Simon even wrote a song for his 1987 Grammy-winning album, “Graceland” was already making headlines, but not in praise of its music. Instead, he got criticized for flying to South Africa at a time when the UN had a cultural boycott against the country’s apartheid regime. Twenty-five years later, the album was again in the news thanks to the documentary “Under African Skies,” which chronicled the controversy

and Simon’s journey back to South Africa. The album was a pivotal moment in Simon’s life, marking an extension to a career that began when he was just a teen. For many years, Simon’s musical career was intertwined with Art Garfunkel, whom he had first performed with in sixth grade. Simon played the White Rabbit and Art the Chesire Cat in the play, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Growing up blocks apart in Kew Gardens Hills, the pair saw they shared a passion for music and at 15 were performing as Tom and Jerry. Inspired by the Everly Brothers, they wrote “Hey, Schoolgirl,” which reached the Top 50. With no immediate follow-up they took a hiatus, with Simon attending Queens College and Garfunkel Columbia University. Later, the folk scene at Greenwich Village got them performing together again. Soon after, they recorded the album, “Wednesday Morning, 3 a.m.” with the iconic, “The Sound of Silence,” as a track. In 2013, the song was one of 25 recordings selected to be preserved in the Library of Congress. It took a year but radio stations began playing the single which skyrocketed to No. 1. For the next few years, the duo gained notoriety for creating more story-telling literary songs such as “Mrs. Robinson,” which would become part of the soundtrack for

the “The Graduate.” The last album before another break-up was the wildly popular, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” ranked 48th on Rolling Stones’ 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Recording for the album came at a time when both musicians were exploring different creative outlets with Garfunkel venturing into acting and Simon experimenting more with world music. His first solo album, “Paul Simon,” was the first of many. In spite of his success, by the time Simon traveled to Africa, he was at a low point in life, dealing with a failed movie, album and divorce, as he told The New York Times in 1990. “By then, I thought, well, I just love this music and I’m probably not going to have any more hits anyway, so what’s the difference? During that time I fell in love with music again,” he said. The resulting album made people fall in love with Simon again. Despite groups such as the African National Congress opposing his flight, the musicians he worked with were the ones that welcomed him and ultimately gained from the exposure. In the documentary of Simon’s visit, he reconciles with the ANC’s leader but sticks to his view. “The power of art lasts,” he says. “The political dispute Q has gone, but the music still lasts.”

For the latest news visit 35th Anniversary Edition

SUPER BOWL WINNER New York Giants STANLEY CUP Edmonton Oilers NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Los Angeles Lakers US OPEN — SINGLES Ivan Lendl Martina Navratilova WORLD SERIES Minnesota Twins TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Three Men and a Baby TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Walk Like an Egyptian The Bangles TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Slippery When Wet: Bon Jovi BEST SELLER — FICTION The Tommyknockers Stephen King BEST SELLER — NONFICTION Time Flies: Bill Cosby

transferring to the University of South Carolina, where he became the first African-American baseball player in school history. Wilson once again dominated in his time as a Gamecock, batting .357 while leading his team to the 1977 national championship game as a senior. He gave up pitching, which he said was his strength, that year to focus on hitting full time. Wilson’s life could have turned out much different the year before, as the Los Angeles Dodgers drafted him in the fourth round of the 1976 Major League Baseball draft. Instead of signing with the Dodgers, he opted to play another season at South Carolina. He was a second-round draft pick of the Mets in 1977, and by 1981 became the team’s center fielder. By 1984, he was the face of the franchise. After helping the Mets win the 1986 World Series, Wilson enjoyed his best season in 1987, batting .299. He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1989 and retired in 1991. Wilson remained the Mets all-time stolen base leader with 281 until Jose Reyes passed him in 2008. Wilson was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1996 and since his retirement, he has served as the Mets first base coach, a gospel Q singer and a truck driver.


Page 13 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wilson, Mets win World Series title

QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013 Page 14

35th ANNIV page 14

Byrne was destined to wear the badge

1988 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER Washington Redskins STANLEY CUP Edmonton Oilers NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Los Angeles Lakers US OPEN — SINGLES Mats Wilander Steffi Graf WORLD SERIES Los Angeles Dodgers TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Rain Man TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Faith: George Michael TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Faith: George Michael BEST SELLER — FICTION The Cardinal of the Kremlin Tom Clancy BEST SELLER — NONFICTION The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure Robert E. Kowalski

by Peter C. Mastrosimone Editor-in-Chief

Police Officer Edward Byrne did all he could to make the streets safe in life, and in death succeeded more than most cops could ever hope to. Byrne was guarding the home of a witness in a drug case in South Jamaica when, in the early morning hours of Feb. 6, 1988, he was assassinated by four men on the orders of a drug kingpin. His murder horrified and sickened the city, but also galvanized it. It marked a turning point

in the war against crime, as citizens and officials decided they weren’t going to allow gangs to own the streets any longer. Tactics changed, new police units were created and within just a couple years, the murder rate that had always just kept on rising was finally being reduced. And it’s been coming down ever since. “Eddie’s death sparked the greatest policing comeback that I have ever witnessed!!” an officer named Michael Yacopino said in a post on NYPD Angels, a website dedicated to fallen officers and frequented by their colleagues. Yacopino said he was working a stakeout the night Byrne was killed in the same precinct, the 103rd. In fact, he said, he was working with the two detectives who caught Byrne’s killers. “Where drug dealers at that time ran rampant and crime and murders [were] at a New York alltime high, that evening everything changed,” Yacopino said. “In my opinion the city since then is a safer place for all.” Yacopino’s comment is only one of dozens posted on the site, many from officers who knew Byrne and some from cops who were inspired by his story to join the force. One who knew him since they were in junior high school together is Sgt. Gary Costanza. “I will never forget the day Eddie became a

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Shulman led Qns. into the 21st century

by Liz Rhoades Managing Editor

Claire Shulman rose to power in 1986 with the death of Borough President Donald Manes, but 1989 was the year she was elected to her first full term. Shulman, who was Manes’ deputy, succeeded the troubled and scandal-ridden borough president, who committed suicide. She was appointed to replace him by the City Council and later in 1986 elected to complete his term.

Shulman’s success in getting things done was reflected in wins in 1989, 1993 and 1997 before she was term-limited out of office. A Brooklyn native, she started her career as a nurse and worked at Queens Hospital Center in Jamaica, where she met her future husband, Dr. Mel Shulman. After their first child was born she got involved in the community, was appointed to the local planning board in 1968 and later elected its chairwoman. She also served as president of the PS 41 Mothers Club. Shulman got noticed in Borough Hall when she was able to get PS 41 rehabbed. She went to work at Borough Hall in 1972, serving as director of community boards for eight years. In 1980 she was named deputy borough president, a position she held for five years. “I was doing the budget for many years, so I was well-prepared for taking over,” Shulman said. “I’ve always been interested in government. Manes was interested in politics.” She is proud of many accomplishments: getting more seats for public schools and establishing and improving major cultural institutions in Queens such as the Queens Museum of Art, the Queens Zoo and the New

York Hall of Science and the expansion at Queens Hospital Center. More accomplishments? How about putting $100 million wor th of sewers into Southeast Queens to prevent f looding, starting the paratransit system, restarting the motion picture industry in Queens and saving the homes of thousands of residents who didn’t have the money to stay when landlords converted buildings to co-ops and raised the prices? Managing a borough is work, Shulman said: “You have to focus; it’s not magic. The key is to have a good staff and mine was wonderful. We all got satisfaction out of our achievements.” She called former Mayor Rudy Giuliani “very cooperative,” saying, “He treated all the boroughs equally and he listened to me.” Not one to rest on her laurels, the 87-yearold serves on the board of New York Hospital Queens in Flushing and is president of the Flushing-Willets Point-Corona Local Development Corp., which encouraged the Willets Point redevelopment plan and is now focusing on downtown Flushing. “I’ve had a good run,” she said. “I’m grateful Q for it.”

police officer,” said Costanza, who followed in his friend’s footsteps a few years later. “He was so proud to wear that uniform and to have that shield in his pocket.” It seems there was never much question about what line of work Byrne would go into. His father was a cop, and Byrne joined the city’s Transit Police force, then separate from the NYPD, when he was just 20 years old. Soon after he transferred to the NYPD. He died at 22. “Eddie loved football, hunting and fishing,” his eldest brother, Larry, told the Queens Chronicle last February. “He was into Journey and some hard-rock music. And he always wanted to be a cop like our father.” Larry Byrne was speaking at a memorial service held at the site of his brother’s killing to mark the crime’s 25th anniversary. It drew hundreds, including more than 100 police officers. Following Byrne’s killing, new police details such as the Tactical Narcotics Team and Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit were created. A federal law enforcement grant bearing his name was established. A street, park and school were named in his honor. Byrne’s killers still live, housed and fed by the taxpayers in prison, but it’s the man they Q murdered who really lives on in this city.

1989 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER San Francisco 49ers STANLEY CUP Calgary Flames NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Detroit Pistons US OPEN — SINGLES Boris Becker Steffi Graf WORLD SERIES Oakland Athletics TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Batman TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Look Away: Chicago TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Don’t Be Cruel: Bobby Brown BEST SELLER — FICTION Clear and Present Danger: Tom Clancy BEST SELLER — NONFICTION All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten Robert Fulghum

C M 35th ANNIV page 15 Y K


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Page 15 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013

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C M 35th ANNIV page 16 Y K

Rivera: a death that inspired social change

1990 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER San Francisco 49ers STANLEY CUP Edmonton Oilers NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Detroit Pistons US OPEN — SINGLES Pete Sampras Gabriela Sabatini WORLD SERIES Cincinnati Reds TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Home Alone TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Hold On: Wilson Phillips TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 Janet Jackson BEST SELLER — FICTION The Plains of Passage Jean M. Auel BEST SELLER — NONFICTION A Life on the Road: Charles Kuralt

by Stephanie E. Santana Chronicle Contributor

To the men who killed him, Julio Rivera was apparently just a gay man upon whom they could inflict their hate. But to the residents of Jackson Heights, Rivera was the catalyst who would propel them to enact positive changes within their community. Early morning on July 2, 1990, Rivera was leaving Friends Tavern, a local gay bar, when he was violently beaten and stabbed to death in

a playground by three men affiliated with the gang called Doc Martin Skinheads. According to testimony cited in The New York Times, Daniel Doyle, 21, Erik Brown, 21, and Esat Bici, 19 were hunting for a “drug dealer or a drug addict or a homo out cruising” to use their hammer and knife on. Doyle, who delivered the fatal blow, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and became the chief witness against his two accomplices. Bici and Brown were also convicted but the decision was later reversed due to procedural errors. While Brown eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter, Bici fled after being released on bail. In 2002, he was found shot to death in Mexico. The New York Times called Rivera an “unlikely martyr” for the effect his death had on uniting gay advocacy groups. He was a 29-year-old bartender and drug user whom friends saw as unhappy. His death came at a time when supporters for Doyle could shout out gay slurs as Rivera’s boyfriend entered the courtroom at Doyle’s trial and when politicians didn’t want to take pictures with the gay community, as Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) recalls. And yet, now the Latino gay community had someone who represented them and whose tragic death could be

used to spread awareness about gay rights. Since the killing, gay advocacy groups such as the Queens Pride House and the Queens Center for Gay Seniors have sprouted up in Queens, adding to its great diversity. And while politicians may have been reluctant to stand with the gay community 20 years ago, today there are two openly gay elected officials in the borough, one of them, Dromm. Queens County also had the second highest number of elected officials voting in favor of the marriage equality bill when it passed in Albany in 2011. Three years after the murder, Dromm founded the first Queens Pride Parade in Jackson Heights. He recalls seeing police on the rooftops at the first parade as a precaution. That year, attendance was uncertain. It came at a period when the councilman, then a teacher, was advocating the Rainbow Curriculum, which sought to address homosexuality in public schools. The controversial program and the murder “galvanized the community to say, ‘That’s it. We’re not going to take it anymore, we’re going to stand up for ourselves,’” said Dromm. Twenty years later, the parade continues to grow bigger and stronger with about 40,000 in attendance, making it the secondQ largest pride parade in the city.

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C M 35th ANNIV page 17 Y K

by Peter C. Mastrosimone Editor-in-Chief

Before there was Donald Trump the reality TV star, or Donald Trump the Republican presidential hopeful, or Donald Trump the skeptic of President Obama’s birthplace, there was Donald Trump the entrepreneur. Trump was the epitome of the wildly successful, superrich business magnate in the go-go ’80s. Hotels, casinos, an airline, the gleaming new Trump Tower in Manhattan —

he owned it all. His 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal,” sold millions of copies and topped the New York Times’ nonfiction best seller list for weeks on end. It seemed everything The Donald touched turned to gold. “I like thinking big,” he says in the book. “I always have. To me it’s very simple: If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.” When the city wasn’t anywhere near finishing its planned two-and-a-half-year renovation of the Wollman Skating Rink in Central Park after six years of work, Trump convinced Mayor Ed Koch to let him finish the project. He did it in six months, spending only $750,000 of the $3 million budgeted to complete the job. Everything in the ’80s seemed to indicate that Trump, who grew up in Jamaica Estates, was as successful as could be, worth at least $1 billion. He had grown up wealthy, but took his father’s real estate development company to new heights and shifted his focus from middleincome housing in the outer boroughs to Manhattan skyscrapers and Atlantic City casinos. But beneath the gleaming surface, things were not so golden. Trump was massively in debt. By 1989, he was unable to pay back his lenders, and his use of junk bonds to finance his

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Taj Mahal casino, along with a weakening economy, caused the business to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1991. Trump nearly went personally bankrupt that year too. But his creditors, worried they would lose even more money if they fought him in court than if they reached an agreement, restructured his debts. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court agreed to give half of the casino’s ownership to the bondholders in exchange for their accepting lower payments from Trump, and he made it through the crisis. But it wasn’t the only one. Various Trump businesses also sought bankruptcy protection in 1992, 2004 and 2009. Yet he says it’s all part of doing business. “I’ve used the laws of this country to pare debt,” he told ABC News in 2011. “We’ll have a company, we’ll throw it into a chapter. We’ll negotiate with the banks. We’ll make a fantastic deal. You know, it’s like on ‘The Apprentice.’ It’s not personal, it’s just business.” Trump has bounced back from each bankruptcy case and has never led anything but the life of a superrich man. At the Comedy Central roast of himself two years ago, he joked, “What’s the difference between a wet raccoon and Donald J. Trump’s hair? A wet raccoon doesn’t have Q seven billion f---ing dollars in the bank.”


Page 17 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013

Trump runs out of cash, the first time

QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013 Page 18

C M 35th ANNIV page 18 Y K

Gotti was made to be a ‘made man’

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by Peter C. Mastrosimone Editor-in-Chief

John Gotti was born into a poor Bronx family in 1940, the fifth of 13 children, the son of a laborer who wasted a lot of his money gambling. Growing up in East New York, Gotti was resentful that his father was a poor provider, and he and his brothers were soon drawn to the quick buck promised by a life outside the law. By the time he was 16, he was leading a street gang and had dropped out of Franklin K. Lane

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High School. His activities caught the attention of Charlie and Danny Fatico, two mobsters with the Gambino crime family, and he got into the organization through them, according to Mafia expert Jerry Capeci, who co-authored the Gotti biography “Mob Star” and writes a weekly column on organized crime at Gotti’s street smarts and Machiavellian ruthlessness propelled him to the top of the family. “He proved to be a willing mob associate and became a ‘made guy’ in the late 1970s, when he was released from prison after serving only two years behind bars for the murder of a gangster who had been suspected of kidnapping and killing a nephew of Mafia Boss Carlo Gambino,” Capeci said in an email to the Queens Chronicle. But Gotti didn’t just draw the attention of fellow mobsters. He also made himself a prime target for law enforcement and, especially after ordering the murder of Gambino leader Paul Castellano so he could take over the family in 1985, he made himself a celebrity. Much of the public, weaned on gangster movies from “The Public Enemy” to the “Godfather,” was willing to look not so much at the homicides, drug dealing, assaults and robberies that really make up “the life,” but instead almost saw Gotti as a character from one of the films. He fit the

J& B

bill well as he ran his empire from the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club in Ozone Park, wearing expensive suits and keeping his hair perfectly styled, earning the nickname “the Dapper Don.” “He was the perfect picture of what everyone imagines Mafia bosses to be,” Capeci and coauthor Gene Mustain wrote in “Mob Star.” “He was gravel-voiced and smart-alecky, and handsome in a dangerous-looking way. He was good on his feet. He did for the Mafia what JFK did for politics 25 years before; he made it entertaining.” But the leader of a secret criminal society is not supposed to entertain, he’s supposed to operate in the shadows. Gotti’s refusal to do that helped the government to finally bring him down — along with audiotapes and the testimony of turncoat hitman Sammy “The Bull” Gravano. Gotti was convicted in 1992 on racketeering charges that included five murders and went to prison for good, dying there in 2002. He was buried at St. John’s Cemetery in Middle Village. “His conviction was a well-needed boost for the FBI and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn who nailed him, after three losses in state and federal court,” Capeci said. “For mobsters, it also reestablished the principle that Cosa Nostra grew powerful by operating as a secret society, and not Q by daring the law to catch their leaders.”

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If only fairy tales could last forever in real life as they do in the world of make-believe, Queens native Fran Drescher would have undoubtedly taken her place alongside the likes of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. By the time Drescher was attending Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, she was a beauty pageant contestant, nearly capturing the title of Miss New York Teenager in 1973. Shortly after graduation, she made a small splash as a dancer and shared a brief scene with handsome leading man John Travolta in the blockbuster film “Saturday Night Fever” — famously asking his character if he’s as good in bed as he is on the dance floor — paving the way for a career on the silver screen. Just three years after that, in true storybook fashion, she married her high school sweetheart, Peter Marc Jacobson, who was to become her longtime life and business partner. In 1993, she reached the pinnacle of success when the pair created the sitcom “The Nanny,” a long-running CBS series starring Drescher in the title role. With her unmistakable New York accent, nasal voice and signature laugh, she won instant acclaim, a huge fan following, nominations for Emmy and Golden Globe awards and a place for herself in the annals of local history. Born Francine Joy Drescher on Sept. 30, 1957 in Kew Gardens to a bridal consultant mother and naval systems analyst father, she was a Hillcrest classmate of fellow entertainerto-be Ray Romano, and she went on to attend Queens College. She would eventually be seen in over two dozen movies, including “American Hot Wax,” “Ragtime” and “This Is Spinal Tap.” But along the way harsh reality would continue to rear its head.

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In 1985, two armed robbers broke into Drescher’s Los Angeles apartment and raped her, with Jacobson forced to watch. At the height of “The Nanny’s” success, Drescher and Jacobson separated. They divorced in 1999, after 21 years of marriage. Sometime later, Jacobson came out as gay. And in 2000, Drescher’s world was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer, leading her to undergo a radical hysterectomy. Ever anxious to make the best out of every situation, Drescher wrote a book about the experience, displaying her sense of humor in its title, “Cancer Schmancer.” She also launched a movement that shares the book’s name and promotes early cancer detection in women. Today, Drescher lives in Malibu, Calif. She and Jacobson remain friends and business partners. She has been occupied primarily with frequent television guest spots. Most recently, she and Jacobson created a new television series, “Happily Divorced,” inspired by their shared lives together. The show ran for 34 episodes over two seasons before being canceled in August. But who Q knows what Drescher might do next?

C M 35th ANNIV page 21 Y K Page 21 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013

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Schneerson is said to be Jews’ Messiah

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by Mark Lord Chronicle Contributor

A controversial figure in life, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson remains so today, nearly two decades after his death in 1994 at age 92. Much of the talk surrounding the longtime leader of the Chabad Lubavitch movement centers around the question: Might he be the Messiah, or Mashiach, who, in a fundamental part of Judaism, is believed to be a leader anointed by God who will herald the Age of Global Peace?

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Y E R SA R ANNIV -2013 1938

candidate on dynastic grounds and on the basis of his scholarship and personal qualities. When Schneersohn died, the Hasidim rallied around Schneerson to succeed. He was reluctant and refused to officially accept leadership for an entire year, but was eventually cajoled into accepting by his father-in-law’s followers. In 1977, Schneerson suffered a massive heart attack, but he refused to be hospitalized. He was opposed to retirement. On the occasion of his 70th birthday, he proposed the establishment of 71 new institutions to mark the beginning of the 71st year of his life. In 1992, he suffered a serious stroke while praying at the grave of his father-in-law. He was left partially paralyzed and unable to speak. Still, he responded daily to thousands of requests for blessings from around the world. It was around this time that the belief in Schneerson as the Messiah became more widespread. When Schneerson died, he was buried alongside his father-in-law. Today, the site, at the corner of Francis Lewis and 121st Avenue, is Schneerson’s Ohel, or shrine, a place of prayer to which thousands of the faithful flock. Naming no successor, Schneerson would become the movement’s seventh and last rebbe, the one still known today simply as The Rebbe. Q




Many of the estimated 35,000 followers who gathered outside Lubavitch headquarters in Brooklyn following his passing would likely have answered in the affirmative. And the tens of thousands of Jews from all over the world who make an annual pilgrimage to his graveside in Montefiore Cemetery on Springfield Boulevard in Cambria Heights would probably agree. The belief that Schneerson is the Messiah can be traced to the 1950s. It picked up momentum during the decade preceding his death. Though by some accounts he generally discouraged such talk and publicly rejected the notion, the belief continues to this day. Without a doubt, he is among the most revered Jewish leaders of the past century, and is recognized as a pioneer of outreach. He built a network of more than 3,600 institutions, including schools, synagogues, and Chabad houses, in over 70 countries and 1,000 cities around the world. Born in 1902 in present-day Ukraine, Schneerson was the son of a prominent Hasidic rabbi. He was fifth in a direct paternal line to the third Chabad Lubavitch rebbe, or Hasidic leader. In 1951, a year after the death of his father-inlaw, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, he assumed leadership of the movement, a natural




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QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013 Page 28

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John Paul II was ‘The People’s Pope’

1995 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER San Francisco 49ers STANLEY CUP New Jersey Devils NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Houston Rockets US OPEN — SINGLES Pete Sampras Steffi Graf WORLD SERIES Atlanta Braves TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Toy Story TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Gangsta’s Paradise: Coolio featuring LV TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Cracked Rear View Hootie & the Blowfish BEST SELLER — FICTION The Rainmaker: John Grisham BEST SELLER — NONFICTION Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: John Gray

by Stephanie E. Santana Chronicle Contributor

On Oct. 6, 1995, Pope John Paul II touched down onto Aqueduct Race Track via helicopter. With a multicolored cross above him to symbolize the diversity of Queens, he delivered a Mass to a crowd of 75,000. His trip to the United States was one among the journeys he made to 129 countries during his papacy, an attribute that helped him be known as “The People’s Pope.” When Pope John Paul II began his 26-year

papacy, cardinals were ready to kneel before him and kiss his ring as tradition required. Instead, the pope told them to stand so he could hug them. At 58, Cardinal Karol Josef Wojtyla of Poland became the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. Soon after he assumed the role, he began his travels, using his ability to speak eight languages to draw out millions wherever he went. His first message as pope was of peace: “To reach peace, teach peace,” a sentiment he practiced since childhood. When his friends would play soccer, Catholics versus Jews, he would often volunteer to play on the Jewish side if they were short players. Growing up, Wojtyla was active in many sports and arts activities, even spending time as a playwright. But, a devout Catholic, he was always set on the priesthood, citing the influence of his father, who had to raise him by himself after the deaths of his older brother and mother. “Day after day I was able to observe the austere way in which he lived … his example was in a way my first seminary, a kind of domestic seminary.” While he was studying literature and philosophy at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University, Nazi occupation closed the school, and Wojtyla had to work in a factory to protect himself from deportation to a labor camp. Despite the risk, he also

participated in an underground theater at a time when it was outlawed for Polish citizens. His opposition to stifling political movements continued into his papacy. In 1979 he visited Poland and stressed religious freedom before his crowd. His criticism of communism fuelled the formation of the Solidarity movement, encouraging Poles to stand up against their government. In 1998, he gave Mass in Cuba. His trip was said to influence Fidel Castro’s decision to lift a ban on Christmas festivities. Always a proponent of human rights, the pope spent his papacy attempting to alleviate tension between religions and cultures. In 2000, he asked forgiveness for the church’s errors including those during the Inquisition, and the persecution of Jews and heretics. Despite his rock-star status, he did receive criticism on issues ranging from his handling of the sex abuse scandals to his conservative stance against abortion, stem cell research and euthanasia. Critics aside, by the time of his death in 2005, supporters called to “make him a saint now” at his funeral. He bypassed the usual five-year waiting period and received the required twomiracle approval after two women were said to have been healed because of him. He is slated to Q be declared a saint in April 2014.




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O’Connor’s Archie was a staple of TV

1996 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER Dallas Cowboys STANLEY CUP Coloradio Avalanche NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Chicago Bulls US OPEN — SINGLES Pete Sampras Steffi Graf WORLD SERIES New York Yankees TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Independence Day TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix) Los del Rio TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Jagged Little Pill: Alanis Morissette BEST SELLER — FICTION The Runaway Jury: John Grisham BEST SELLER — NONFICTION Make the Connection Oprah Winfrey


For better or worse, for much of the world outside of Queens, the borough is symbolized by a man who never existed: Archie Bunker. The star character of television’s “All in the Family,” one of the most popular and highly regarded shows ever made, was a gruff, blue-collar guy, old-fashioned and more than a little racist and sexist, but one who often did the right thing in the end, even if he had to be brought there kick-

Where e c a Pl

Michael Stivic — “Meathead” to Bunker. “I had a friend whose father always reminded me of Archie,” Holden said. “He would say things like Archie, had kind of a short fuse and had the mannerisms. But I’m talking now late ’60s, early ’70s. At that time I had long hair, and that’s how he talked to us. But he was a good guy who cared about his son.” Holden also saw some of Archie in some of the people closest to him, and that’s where he says the character’s attitudes were generational, and that the show was really about family dynamics anyway. When he started dating his future wife, Amy Sciulli, her father, Angelo, told him he didn’t even want to see him on his block. Holden’s own father, Joseph, also disapproved of the match, because Amy is half-Japanese. Holden’s father and uncle had both fought in the Pacific Theater in World War II, his father as a medic, and his uncle explained to Bob that he could hardly be blamed for not looking kindly on Japanese people. But eventually his father came around, just as Bunker usually did. “I think that generation all had a little Archie in them,” Holden said. “I don’t think Queens had a monopoly on it. And Archie always came around. The show taught people something and Q was entertaining at the same time.”

EVERYONE is Wel com




by Peter C. Mastrosimone

ing and screaming by his wife, Edith. Actor Carroll O’Connor’s portrayal of Bunker was doubtlessly the key reason TV Guide ranked him the 38th greatest television star of all time in 1996. It later named Bunker himself the fifth greatest TV character ever. But while some Queens residents revel in O’Connor’s portrayal of a WASPy racist who in many ways would rather live in the past, some even calling themselves “Archies” in the blogosphere to indicate their outlook, others object to the reputation Bunker gave to the borough. Among the latter is Bob Holden, the civic leader from Middle Village, an area thought to have its share of Archies. “I kind of resent it when you see people on blogs refer to Queens or certain neighborhoods as Archie Bunkerville,” Holden said. “When we don’t want a homeless shelter, we’re all Archies. In fact I know that most people in our neighborhood are not like that, though some people in Manhattan might disagree.” Holden said it’s likely anyone from Queens — or anywhere else — knew someone like Archie Bunker when they were growing up, and that many of his attitudes were largely those of his generation. Holden, a baby boomer, said he and his friends related more to Archie’s son-in-law,

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by Alessandra Malito Chronicle Contributor

Tommy Huang, the controversial developer from Flushing, has been in the news for more than three decades — known for building and damaging properties throughout Queens and probably more than anything, destroying the RKO Keith’s Theatre. Although Huang made several attempts to ruin the Keith’s, it was a longstanding oil leak for which he was criminally charged in 1997.

Huang emigrated from Taiwan in 1969 with his wife, Alice Liu, a daughter of the wealthy owner of Taiwan’s Haw di-I Foods and Bull Head Barbecue Sauce. He broke ground in Flushing in 1979 on a five-family house. The developer went on to construct high-rises around Queens Boulevard and five others in Flushing. He was first applauded for helping to rebuild Flushing, but controversy soon erupted. In 1982, Huang wanted to buy a site off Main Street to build a 16-story condominium. After a bank refused to sell it to him, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into a restaurant there, destroying several properties. Soon after, Huang increased his bid on the location and the property was sold. He said he did not know anything about the bomb. Huang bought the RKO Keith’s Theatre on Northern Boulevard in Flushing in 1986 for $3.4 million with hopes of turning it into a mini-mall, but he was thwarted by the city, which had partially landmarked the theater. Many rallied to keep the theater but Huang refused to budge from his plans. The city issued a stop-work order after he partially bulldozed the staircase. In 1990, a fire was set inside the locked theater, but no charges were filed. In 1996, city inspectors found heating oil

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Breslin, the master wordsmith of Qns.

1998 THEY WERE #1

by Peter C. Mastrosimone Editor-in-Chief

Just about every columnist wants to write like Jimmy Breslin, the legendary wordsmith from Forest Hills — and those who don’t probably should, or maybe they should find another line of work. Breslin writes exciting. He writes interesting. He writes real life. When Kennedy was assassinated, he famously interviewed the gravediggers. When he wanted to write about the mob, he hung

out with mobsters. And when Son of Sam serial killer David Berkowitz wanted to write a letter to a newspaperman, even he in his insanity knew there was only one choice: Jimmy Breslin. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author sat down for an illuminating discussion of the craft of writing columns with several other journalists on “The PBS Newshour” in August 1998. The talk was prompted by columnist Mike Barnicle’s recent resignation from The Boston Globe amid then-allegations of plagiarism and inaccuracies. Breslin is no stranger to controversy himself, having made news a number of times for a number of reasons, but no one’s ever accused him of plagiarism. He’s all original. Asked what a reader has the right to expect from a columnist, he said hard work, hitting the streets, being out there to get the real story — and of course getting people’s names right. “They don’t know, as they read somehting, that you have done a lot of walking around, a lot of interviewing, but they get the idea that someone cared enough to put some work into this piece they’re reading because the chemistry of the piece has work in it, and that’s the whole game,” he said. He also said the worst thing a columnist can be is boring, calling it “a felony” if “your words

are made out of balsawood,” and adding, “Your newspaper folds with boring people.” Writer Tom Wolfe was one who recognized early on the value of the gritty, on-the-street work Breslin puts into his columns, lauding him as a leader of “the new journalism” in a piece for New York magazine. “Breslin made a revolutionary discovery,” Wolfe said. “He made the discovery that it was feasible for a columnist to leave the building, go outside and do reporting on his own, actual legwork.” Other columnists start with a few ideas they’ve had for a while and quickly run out steam, Wolfe said. Then they try to get ideas around the house, or from some book, or TV — and that’s when you know they’re done. “Without television shows to cannibalize, half of these people would be lost, utterly catatonic,” he said. But not Breslin. And given how good he was from the start, some of the establishment was bothered by what the gumshoe guy from bluecollar Queens was writing: “Breslin’s work stirred up a certain vague resentment among both journalists and literati during the first year or two of his column — vague, because they never fully understood what Q he was doing.”

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emanating from two 12,500-gallon tanks in the theater. A year later, he was arrested for endangering public health by letting more than 200 gallons of petroleum leach from the basement furnace and lying about cleaning it up. Huang pleaded guilty to state environmental charges in 1999 and was sentenced to five years’ probation. The theater still remains vacant, though Huang eventually sold the property. In 2002, the Department of Buildings made Huang file for a variance after he bought property in Bayside to develop. Lawsuits were filed because of unsafe conditions and damage to adjacent property. The houses remain empty. Huang and his wife were banned from selling condos in Queens in 1999 after failing to pay $325,000 in common charges on unsold apartments at the Flushing Tower Condominium. In 2011, a Huang construction worker was killed on an Elmhurst project. The developer was later fined for safety violations. Last June, Huang and his wife pleaded guilty to developing and selling units in the Broadway Towers condos in Elmhurst with their son, Harry. They were sentenced to pay $3.3 million that came from illegal profits and $1.5 million in penalties. They are banned from construction Q and real estate for at least five years.


Page 31 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013

Huang broke the law as rogue developer

QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013 Page 32

35th ANNIV page 32

Asnis: Expert doctor discovers West Nile

1999 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER Denver Broncos STANLEY CUP Dallas Stars NBA CHAMPIONSHIP San Antonio Spurs US OPEN — SINGLES Andre Agassi Serena Williams WORLD SERIES New York Yankees TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Believe: Cher TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Millennium: Backstreet Boys BEST SELLER — FICTION The Testament: John Grisham BEST SELLER — NONFICTION Tuesdays with Morrie Mitch Albom

by Liz Rhoades Managing Editor

Medical sleuthing led Flushing Hospital’s Dr. Deborah Asnis to a major discovery in 2000: the first outbreak of West Nile virus in the Western Hemisphere. A native of Whitestone, Asnis is chief of infectious diseases at the Flushing institution. At the end of August 1999, she noticed five patients with unusual and serious symptoms and alerted officials at the city Department of

Health. Although the symptoms were not identical, there were similarities. The only common factor was the patients all spent time in their backyards. Officials first believed it was St. Louis encephalitis, but later confirmed the illness was caused by a rare strain known as the West Nile virus. “Sometimes doctors have to assume the role of detective and the results here were gratifying,” Asnis said. “In this case, we did recognize something. It was tiring because we worked long hours, but exciting.” In 2008, she was inducted into the New York City Hall of Fame for health and science. In making the presentation, the city said it was her quick actions that helped save the lives of many New Yorkers, who would have not otherwise taken proper precautions. A graduate of the Northwestern University School of Medicine, Asnis lives in Roslyn, LI with her husband and two children. Since West Nile was discovered, it has spread across the country by infected mosquitoes. In 1999, there were 47 cases in the city with four deaths, most of them in Queens. This year, the city reported eight cases with no fatalities. One case was in Queens.

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Smith’s life cut short was one well spent

by Liz Rhoades Managing Editor

Everybody liked Anita Smith. She was friendly, patient and a good friend. But on May 24, 2000 her short life of 22 years ended in a Wendy’s freezer in downtown Flushing. Smith, of South Jamaica, was one of five employees killed by a disgruntled former coworker who had a penchant for robbing fastfood restaurants. Two others were shot but survived.

Smith was working to save up to start classes at York College in the fall. She wanted to major in psychology with the hopes of becoming a social worker and helping autistic children. Aside from handling the night shift at Wendy’s, Smith assisted at Quality Services for the Autism Community, an Astoria-based group. QSAC officials said that she worked in the group’s Fresh Meadows office three afternoons a week. “She was very patient, caring and enjoyed what she did because she liked to see the children achieve,” a QSAC spokesman said. Because of that, the organization set up a scholarship fund in her honor for college students pursuing careers in developmental disabilities. The two gunmen responsible for the massacre, John Taylor and Craig Godineaux, first ordered food from Smith, and Taylor joked with her as he had hired her. They then waited until nearly closing around 11 p.m., when Taylor pulled a gun on the manager and demanded that he order the other employees to the basement for a meeting. Smith and the others were tied up and bound with duct tape and marched into the

freezer. Godineaux later told police that he put a coat on her before she entered. One of the survivors said that Taylor first shot the manager and Smith screamed, “What happened? What happened?” Then there was another shot and she was silent. Neither killer admitted shooting the only female employee, but evidence indicated that Taylor shot the manager and Smith before turning over the gun to Godineaux to finish the job. Godineaux was found to be mentally incompetent and could not be tried for the death penalty. He pleaded guilty and is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole. Taylor, who planned the robbery that netted them $2,400, was found guilty of firstdegree murder and sentenced to death, but in 2007 the state Court of Appeals overturned the sentence in a close vote based on a technicality, giving the killer a life sentence without parole. Naturally still emotional about her daughter’s death 13 years later, Joan Truman-Smith of Rosedale said Anita was her firstborn and had a wonderful attitude about life. “It takes guts to work with autistic children,” TrumanQ Smith said, “but she could do it.”

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent statistics show a total of 88 deaths and 2,170 cases throughout the country. About one in five people who are infected with the virus will develop flu-like symptoms, with less than 1 percent developing a serious neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. Since the virus originated in Queens 14 years ago, the city has taken an aggressive approach to deal with the sometimes deadly virus. It sprays neighborhoods where there has been an increased activity of infested mosquitoes and spreads larvacide in more than 140,000 catch basins. The agency also instructs the public on preventative measures. Since the first outbreak, which was pinpointed at undeveloped Powells Cove parkland in College Point, the city has restored the salt marshes there, which prevents the water from stagnating and eliminates a major mosquito breeding ground. As the virus spread across the country, states learned from the city DOH how to attack what the agency calls “a major public health problem” by adopting similar practices. Q And it all started with Asnis.

2000 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER St. Louis Rams STANLEY CUP New Jersey Devils NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Los Angeles Lakers US OPEN — SINGLES Marat Safin Venus Williams WORLD SERIES New York Yankees TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE How the Grinch Stole Christmas TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Breathe: Faith Hill TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM No Strings Attached: ’N Sync BEST SELLER — FICTION The Brethren: John Grisham BEST SELLER — NONFICTION Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life: Spencer Johnson

35th ANNIV page 33

by Domenick Rafter Editor

In the last 50 years, few days have had more historical relevance than September 11, 2001. On that clear late-summer Tuesday, when terrorists flew hijacked airliners into New York City’s tallest buildings, nearly 3,000 died just a few miles from Queens. More than 200 of them were residents of the borough. Among them was a firefighter and lifelong

Long Island City resident who had only been in the FDNY for two months. Christopher Santora was just 23 years old when he ran toward the burning World Trade Center to save lives. He was not even on duty at the time. Santora had just returned home after finishing his shift when he got the call about the attacks and raced back to his firehouse, Engine 54 in Manhattan’s Theater District, to help. He never returned home. Santora died when the towers collapsed. His last known whereabouts were just outside the north tower when the building gave way. After originally being misidentified, Santora’s remains were buried at St. Michael’s Cemetery three months after the attacks. Born and raised in Long Island City, Santora spent much of his early life on the basketball courts, including one at the intersection of 21st Street and 33rd Road, which now bears his name as “Firefighter Christopher Santora Place.” During his short life, Santora followed both of his parents in their professional footsteps. Before he went into the FDNY Academy to be a firefighter like his father, Alexan-

der, he followed his mother, Maureen, into the education field, working as a substitute teacher in New York City public schools for several years. He turned down a full-time teaching position to pursue a career as a firefighter — his real dream. In the years since his death, a scholarship fund has been set up in Santora’s name. “Once we decided to do something good to overcome the bad, we knew exactly what our mission would be: to keep Christopher’s name alive, and to honor his legacy as a teacher and passionate lover of America and her History,” Santora’s parents wrote on the scholarship’s website. The scholarship, called the Christopher Santora Follow Your Dream Memorial Scholarship, is focused on helping children follow their dreams as Santora did in becoming a firefighter by providing them with the materials needed and up to $50,000 each year. Some of the dozens of honorees since the scholarship was first awarded in 2005 have been children of firefighters. Also honoring Santora’s education background, PS 222 on 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights was named for him when it opened Q one year after the attacks.

Page 33 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013

Santora, firefighter, dies in 9/11 attacks

2001 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER Baltimore Ravens STANLEY CUP Colorado Avalanche NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Los Angeles Lakers US OPEN — SINGLES Lleyton Hewitt Venus Williams WORLD SERIES Arizona Diamondbacks TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG Hanging by a Moment: Lifehouse TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM 1: The Beatles BEST SELLER — FICTION Desecration Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye BEST SELLER — NONFICTION The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life: Bruce Wilkinson


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35th ANNIV page 34

Jam Master Jay: Hollis hip-hop icon

2002 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER New England Patriots STANLEY CUP Detroit Red Wings NBA CHAMPIONSHIP Los Angeles Lakers US OPEN — SINGLES Pete Sampras Serena Williams WORLD SERIES Anaheim Angels TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE Spider-Man TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG How You Remind Me Nickelback TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM The Eminem Show: Eminem BEST SELLER — FICTION The Summons: John Grisham BEST SELLER — NONFICTION Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out: Dr. Phil McGraw

by Stephanie E. Santana Chronicle Contributor

To his family, he was Jason Mizell, but to the world, he was DJ Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC, a rap trio that helped make hip-hop mainstream for the MTV generation. Sadly, at just 37 years old, he was gunned down by an unknown assailant on Oct. 30, 2002, ending his musical journey. But he had forever changed the landscape for deejays worldwide. Although Ronald Washington, a convicted

drug dealer, was named as a suspect in the murder no one was ever charged. A combination of reluctant witnesses and weak evidence leaves the case and motive unsolved 11 years later. Mizell’s rise to fame began in Hollis. As a child, he played several instruments including the guitar and drums, which would become key influences on his signature aggressive hip-hop sound. He switched over to turntables as a teenager after noticing their popularity and was playing in front of audiences at Queens parks and bars within a year. His reputation grabbed the attention of fellow Hollis residents Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, who recruited him to be their deejay. Equipped with just a turntable, Adidas shoes and black hat, he would often receive confused looks from concert promoters who expected a full-fledged band. But satisfied crowds dispelled the skepticism and by the time their second album, “King of Rock,” hit in 1985, it became the first hip-hop album certified gold. Other RunDMC firsts included being the first rap act to receive a Grammy nomination and the first rap act to appear on MTV. One of their chart-toppers was “Walk This Way,” an Aerosmith cover, which helped revitalize the rock group’s career. “Run-DMC and Jam

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Brody wins Oscar for Best Actor at age 29

by Domenick Rafter Editor

Adrien Brody was not yet a household name when he showed up at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles for the 75th Academy Awards Ceremony. Brody was up against A-listers Nicholas Cage, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Caine and Jack Nicholson for the Best Actor in a Leading Role award that year for his performance as Władysław Szpilman in Roman

Polanski’s World War II epic “The Pianist.” W hen Halle Ber r y an nou nced Brody’s name, the Woodhaven native stepped into history. At age 29, he became the youngest Best Actor winner ever. During his acceptance speech — delivered just days after the start of the Iraq War — Brody referenced his home borough and a childhood friend. “I have a friend from Queens who is a soldier in Kuwait right now,” he said right after making a reference to the war and hoping for a quick peaceful solution. Brody was born in Woodhaven on April 14, 1973 to Sylvia Plachy, a photojournalist, and Elliot Brody, a retired professor. He attended school in Jackson Heights, went to high school at Fiorello LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts and briefly attended Queens College. He appeared in Off-Broadway plays and low-budget films and in supporting roles in movies like “The Thin Red Line” and “Summer of Sam.” Then in late 2000, he landed the lead role in “The Pianist” — the biopic about Szpilman, the Polish musician and Holocaust survivor, that also won Polanski a Best

Director Oscar. Brody won the role after Polanski became unsatisfied with the more than 1,400 men who auditioned for it. Brody had to lose 29 pounds and learned to play Chopin on the piano for the role. Besides earning him the youngest Best Actor winner ever, his performance in “The Pianist” also won Brody a Cesar Award, the French equivalent of an Oscar, making him the only American to ever win one. Brody’s victory came as a surprise to many — especially Brody — who famously kissed Berry on live television upon winning the award. It also served as a catalyst to launching his career, which later included starring roles in Peter Jackson’s remake of “King Kong,” “Cadillac Records,” and as painter Salvador Dali in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.” Brody was also famously banned from “Sat u rd ay Night Live” af ter doing an unscripted performance while hosting the show on May 10, 2003. Besides acting, Brody has had a successful career as a model for Prada and has done commercials for Diet Coke, Schwepps, Q Stella Artois beer and Gillete razors.

Master Jay’s gift to the world was a new kind of music for a whole new generation …” said Aerosmith in a 2002 statement after his death. “Jay was scratching before anyone had the itch and still at the top of his game when we played with him this summer.” Their height of success came with the 1986 triple-platinum album “Raising Hell,” but they also took criticism over violent outbursts between gangs at their concerts. The trio called for a day of peace between L.A. gangs, reflecting their lyrics that often denounced violence. After a trying time of lackluster album reviews and personal hardships for each member during the later 80s, the trio had their last great triumph with “Down with the King.” Mizell then branched out on his own to start JMJ Records and became a mentor to rap artists 50 Cent and Onyx. The same year of his death, Mizell was working on launching the Scratch DJ Academy, the first of its kind, with partner Rob Principe who had the idea to make learning the art form more accessible to all. According to a 2012 Guardian interview, Principe said Jam Master Jay was immediately on board. “I’m in,” he said. “Let’s create something that my son can work when Q he’s older. Let’s leave a legacy.”

2003 THEY WERE #1 SUPER BOWL WINNER Tampa Bay Buccaneers STANLEY CUP New Jersey Devils NBA CHAMPIONSHIP San Antonio Spurs US OPEN — SINGLES Andy Roddick Justine Henin-Hardenne WORLD SERIES Florida Marlins TOP BOX-OFFICE MOVIE The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King TOP BILLBOARD POP SONG In da Club: 50 Cent TOP BILLBOARD POP ALBUM Get Rich or Die Tryin’: 50 Cent BEST SELLER — FICTION Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: J.K. Rowling BEST SELLER — NONFICTION The Purpose-Driven Life: Rick Warren

35th ANNIV page 35

by Alessandra Malito Chronicle Contributor

She was just a Corona girl working in her family’s hardware store with a chemist for an uncle before she was Estée Lauder. But she became the co-founder of a company worth $8 billion selling products all over the world. Born Josephine Esther Mentzer and changing her first name to Estée, adapted from her nickname, Esty, the young woman was in high school when she started to sell beauty products in

salons. She would demonstrate them on women while they were using hair dryers — a concept of touching and showing the customer the products that is still used by the company to this day. In 1946, she and her husband, Joseph Lauder, started their company with four products — a crème pack, cleansing oil, super-rich all-purpose crème and skin lotion — that they created on a stove and hand-delivered to their customers. A year later, Saks Fifth Avenue gave them their first big order — $800 worth of products — and two days later, they were sold out. Estée Lauder went to Newtown High School in Elmhurst, and never went on to college, but she was a natural saleswoman. She touched the customers (“It’s that rare touch, that person-toperson contact, that leaves the deepest impression,” she said), explained the products to them, gave them samples with each purchase — another tradition the company keeps to this day — and instructed beauty advisors at all her stores on just how to make sales and display the merchandise. Lauder had an eye and a nose for beauty products. She chose the pale turquoise color used for some of the company items because the color went with all bathroom décor. Her successful fragrance, Youth Dew, started as a bath oil in 1953 because women at that time often didn’t

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Camarda flew key Space Shuttle trip

2005 THEY WERE #1

by Peter C. Mastrosimone Editor-in-Chief

Could learning to drive and parallel park in Queens be good practice for docking a Space Shuttle at the International Space Station? Maybe, but it really takes a lot of education and The Right Stuff — both of which Ozone Park native Charles Camarda has in spades. Camarda was a crew member aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on the historic Return to Space Flight of July 26 to Aug. 9, 2005, the

first shuttle mission since the tragic loss of the Columbia and its crew on Feb. 1, 2003. The flight was designed not only as a rendezvous with the ISS but as a test for new protocols meant to avoid any repeat of the Columbia disaster, which was caused by a piece of insulation that broke off during launch, damaging part of the shuttle’s hull and causing it to burn up on re-entry. A piece of insulation also broke off Discovery when it took off but did not damage the ship. Before the mission, Camarda told NASA writer Amiko Nevills that he fully recognized the danger of spaceflight. “I’ve always been aware of the risks,” he said. “I think every one of us understands that spaceflight is risky. It’s important that we take those risks for the future of space and for the future of the development of technology to help us on Earth.” Camarda, a research scientist with seven patents to his name, was a mission specialist on the flight, and sent the computer commands that locked the shuttle to the space station once the craft was in place. Born in 1952, Camarda had wanted to fly into space ever since he was a boy awed by America’s original seven astronauts. “It was a time when spaceflight was so intriguing,” he

said. “It was natural for me to want to be an astronaut, to dream of being an astronaut.” It takes a lot of education to get there. Camarda graduated from Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School and Archbishop Molloy High School here in Queens. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, a master’s in engineering science from George Washington University and a doctorate in aerospace engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. His work at NASA focused on thermal protection systems and materials for the leading edge of the Space Shuttle. He was selected as a candidate for spaceflight in 1996. Nine years later he and six other crew members spent two weeks in space on the mission dubbed STS-114. It was hailed as a success. “STS-114 included breathtaking in-orbit maneuvers, tests of new equipment and procedures, and a first-of-its-kind spacewalking repair,” NASA said. “The f light provided unprecedented information on the condition of an orbiter in space.” Camarda, who is married with four children, later became the senior advisor for innovation in the Office of the Chief Engineer at the Johnson Q Space Center in Houston, Texas.

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buy perfume for themselves, so the bath oil worked as one instead. Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series Skincare for Men and Origins were five brands created for her company, and decades later, it acquired other major names such as MAC and La Mer. Hers was the first cosmetics company to develop an anti-aging product that works overnight. And in 1992, her daughter-in-law, Evelyn Lauder, who was a senior corporate vice president with the firm until her death in 2011, created the pink ribbon for breast cancer, along with Self magazine Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Penney. Lauder died at the age of 97 in 2004, more than 20 years after her husband. When they started the company, she and her husband were the only employees, but it has since grown here and overseas, the latter starting in 1960 with its first store in London. Since then Estée Lauder has opened stores in more than 150 countries. It is a public company now, but is still run by Lauders, a dream its namesake wished for that came true. “Living the American Dream has been intense, difficult work, but I couldn’t have hoped for a more satisfying life,” Lauder wrote in her autobiography. “I believe that potential is unlimited — success depends on daring to Q act on dreams.”


Page 35 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lauder made beauty her American Dream

QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013 Page 36

35th ANNIV page 36

Bell: killed by police on his wedding day

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by Stephanie E. Santana Chronicle Contributor

Once a year every November, a ringing bell breaks the quiet of a cold early morning in South Jamaica. It rings 50 times, once for each bullet that police officers fired on the fateful morning that killed Sean Bell. Valerie Bell remembers calling her son every day to check up on him. To her concerns he would reply, “Ma, I got this,” a saying that encompassed his confident outlook on life that

he seemed to have since a young age. At 6, he had hit his first home run, and by high school, he was the popular kid his friends would go to for advice about girls. In his senior year at John Adams, he had 97 strikeouts as a pitcher, and that same year he met his future fiancée, Nicole Paultre. The two eventually had a child together, which led to Bell dropping out of college to support his growing family. The 23-year-old’s death came at a time when he was turning around his life. After a few drug busts and odd jobs, Bell was set to start an electrical apprenticeship. He was even in talks with the Dodgers about a tryout. The last day of his life was spent shopping with his fiancée for a wedding ring. Three years after the proposal, Nov. 25, 2006 had been set as the wedding date. For the bachelor party, Sean and his friends opted for Club Kalua, a strip joint undergoing police investigation. When Bell’s party left the club Officer Gescard Isnora, who fired the first shot, said later he thought he heard someone from Bell’s group shout, “Yo, get my gun” after another man insulted them. His lieutenant then gave the order to approach Bell’s car. Two unmarked cars with five plainclothes officers blocked the vehicle. Isnora says he shouted “Police!” before

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Oerter was No. 1 in both body and mind

by Lloyd Carroll Chronicle Contributor

While heated arguments can be made about who the greatest native Queens athlete of all time is, there is no debate the late Al Oerter is the greatest Olympian to hail from our borough. Oerter, who was born in Astoria and lived as a child right next to the Ditmars Boulevard elevated train station, won the gold medal for the discus throw in four straight Olympic Games, 1956 through 1968. Even more amazingly, he won

with longer throws in each succeeding Olympics. He retired after the 1968 Olympics and wanted to attempt a comeback at the age of 43 in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, but the U.S. boycotted the games over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, ending his shot at a fifth gold medal. He was determined to take part in the 1984 Games in Los Angeles but tore some leg muscles while in training, which ended his discus career. If Oerter had accomplished his amazing feats in the 21st century, he certainly would have been a well-compensated athlete besieged by corporations seeking endorsement deals. But when he competed, Olympians had to be considered amateurs and couldn’t be paid. Oerter worked as a computer engineer at Grumman’s Bethpage, LI headquarters and was involved with designing the lunar module that transported Neil Armstrong to the moon’ s surface in 1969. Al’s widow, Cathy, recently spoke exclusively with the Queens Chronicle about her husband from her home in Fort Myers, Fla. “Al always enjoyed the thrill of competition,” she said. “Ironically, his joy was not competing against other athletes but rather against himself to do better. That’s what motivated him.” Why discus? Cathy explained that after her husband’s family moved to New Hyde Park, he

played on the Sewanhaka High School football team. One day he was running around the track when a discus landed at his feet. He threw it back to a kid on the track team, but it went way over his head. The track coach called Al over and “The rest is history!” she said with a laugh. Cathy said that Al always credited playing stickball in Astoria for developing his reflexes. “Al was an outfielder, and it was his job to catch that pink Spaldeen while avoiding both the trucks on 31st Street and the stanchions from the BMT elevated train line,” she said. Oerter not only was respected in the world of sports but in the modern art world as well, where he was renowned for his abstract paintings. Surprisingly, a number of other Olympians prided themselves on their artistic creations, including Oerter’s USA track & field gold medal-winning teammate, Jamaica High School alum Bob Beamon. Al created Art of the Olympians to showcase the creative side of his fellow athletes. Though an Olympian, Al had high blood pressure from a young age, causing a lot of wear on his heart. He died of heart failure on Oct. 1, 2007. Today Queens residents can stay at their physical best at the Al Oerter Recreation Center in Flushing, which has the best in fitness equipment Q and classes for a very low membership fee.

unleashing bullets, while Bell’s friends says they never heard it nor saw a police shield. Fifty shots were fired while Joseph Guzman, Trent Benefield and Bell were still in the car, with one officer even stopping to reload. In the end, the groom was fatally wounded while his two friends suffered serious injuries. Sean’s death sparked outrage across the nation for the excessive use of gunfire used. While the five cops faced charges including reckless endangerment, manslaughter and assault, they were acquitted of all of them. The verdict fueled protest marches led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and Nicole Paultre-Bell, who took his last name in his memory. Public condemnation eventually resulted in an overhaul of the NYPD’s undercover procedures, including mandatory alcohol testing if a gun is used. In 2012, three of the officers were forced to resign while Isnora was fired. Of their son, Bell’s mom remembers his serious side while his dad, William, remembers a smile that lit up the room. To preserve their son’s memories, William regularly speaks at schools to mentor youth while Valerie sets up support groups for parents who’ve lost a child. Together, the Bells also opened up a commuQ nity center in Jamaica in his name.

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Monserrate: from Senate to cell block



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It was in 2008 that Hiram Monserrate won the Senate seat for the 13th District in Western Queens unopposed. It was also the year that led to his downfall. On Dec. 19, Monserrate’s then-girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, showed up at North Shore-LIJ Medical Center needing 40 stitches for cuts to her left eye. According to doctors, she claimed that Monserrate had slashed her face in anger, leading to his arrest. He pleaded not guilty to three counts of second-degree assault and three counts of third-degree assault. In spite of a video that showed him dragging her out of their apartment building, Giraldo later testified that Monserrate was trying to take her to a hospital after he tripped with a glass of water, breaking it and cutting her accidentally. With charges still pending, he was sworn into the Senate on Jan. 7, 2009. Ten months later, he was convicted on only one misdemeanor account and ordered to complete community service and counseling and given a $1000 fine. A restraining order was also put on Monserrate against Giraldo, but later dropped at her request after the two reconciled. Members of the Senate urged him to resign and when he refused, they voted 53-8 for his expulsion in 2010, the first since the 1920s. Five weeks later, he tried to win a Senate seat in a special election but lost in a landslide to Assemblyman Jose Peralta. Sen. Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) claimed the ousting was in retribution for Monserrate’s brief party switch in 2009, which temporarily shifted the balance of power in favor of Republicans. After Monserrate was indicted, the Democratic Party welcomed him back, reinstating his committee chairmanship.

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The incident with Giraldo was not his first sign of trouble. He had been a New York City police officer but filed for a disability pension in 1999, citing mental problems for which the department seized his gun. On Sept. 10, 2001 he allegedly ran over a tow-truck driver’s leg as the man was attempting to repossess his car. A year after that incident, he began to serve Queens as a member of the City Council, during which he funneled more than $100,000 meant for LIBRE, a nonprofit that helped the Latino community, into his 2006 campaign for the state Senate. In 2010 he was indicted for misusing city funds. By that time, he claimed to only have $100 to his name and asked the judge to use taxpayer funds to pay for his lawyer. The judge refused. He pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges but asked Judge Colleen McMahon for community service instead of prison, arguing that the money was used for political purposes and not personal gain. That time he got two years in jail and was ordered to pay $79,000 to the city. “When Dante wrote the ‘Divine Comedy’ he assigned crimes to different circles of hell. Using people’s money for your own purposes is deep Q down in that circle of hell,” said the judge.

C M 35th ANNIV page 39 Y K

Chronicle Contributor

Although the 2009 takeoff and emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 took all of six minutes, behind that “Miracle on the Hudson” was 20,000 hours of flight time clocked in by Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Since he was 5 years old, Sullenberger knew that he wanted to be a pilot. As he noted in his book, “Highest Duty,” he was awed by the sounds of jet fighters zooming over his child-

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plane’s engines, disabling both. The captain had less than three minutes to decide whether to return to LaGuardia, head toward Teterboro Airport in New Jersey or land in the Hudson. He chose the risky watery landing and thankfully, first responders were able to immediately rush to the scene to rescue everyone from the frigid river. The last to leave was Sullenberger, who went back up and down the aisles to make sure everyone was accounted for. “One way of looking at this might be that for 42 years, I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education and training. And on Jan. 15 the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal,” he told CBS News in 2009. Coincidentally, inside the luggage that Sullenberger had left on board was a book entitled “Just Culture: Balancing Safety and Accountability.” It was a library book past due that Sullenberger promised to pay. When the captain and his crew were presented with the keys to the city, Mayor Bloomberg also gave him a replacement copy of that book. Sullenberger retired in 2010 after 30 years of service as a pilot. He continues to advocate Q for aviation safety.

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hood home, which was just nine miles from an Air Force base in Texas. “It fed my wanderlust,” he wrote. By age 11 he had his first plane ride and was devouring all the literature he could about planes. By 16 he convinced his parents to let him take flight lessons, an easy task since they saw his passion for it. His flight logbook dates back to those days in 1967. It only took a little over seven hours for his teacher, a crop-dusting pilot, to gain enough confidence to let Sullenberger fly solo in an Aeronca 7DC. He was a natural. In a 2012 interview with Conde Nast Traveler, Sullenberger said that a key influence in his life was the environment he grew up in, “in which education was valued, ideas were important, and striving for excellence was expected.” That dedication led him to receive the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award when he was in the U.S. Air Force Academy. He later advanced to become a flight leader and captain in the Air Force. Sullenberger is the first to note that his experience was a key factor in making sure all 155 passengers and crew made a safe landing on Jan. 15, 2009. After its takeoff from LaGuardia Airport, a flock of geese struck the


Page 39 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sullenberger: the hero on the Hudson

QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013 Page 40

C M 35th ANNIV page 40 Y K

West was known as the ‘Queen of Sex’

by Peter C. Mastrosimone Editor-in-Chief

Easy, fellas, easy. Yeah, that’s Mae West on stage. No, there ain’t another one like her. But if you go anywhere near her, we’ve got a couple fellas bigger than you that are gonna change your mind about that right quick. Isn’t that the kind of thing you could imagine being said in nightclubs all over, maybe even in Woodhaven’s legendary Neir’s Tavern, which West frequented both as patron and performer?

At least it would be if West wasn’t famous for saying — among many, many other things — “Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can’t imagine what from.” (Other men, no doubt.) It was hardly the stage and screen star’s bestknown line, but it reflected her attitude toward life nearly as well as some of the others, such as “When I’m good, I’m good. And when I’m bad, I’m better,” or “It’s not the men in your life that matters, it’s the life in your men.” All this from a woman whose career peaked before World War II. Yes, long before there was Marilyn or Raquel, Farrah or Angelina, there was Mae West, leading women’s fashion trends and pretty much setting men ablaze. A singer, actress, playwright and author, West pushed the bounds of public decency from the start, even serving eight days in jail in 1927 on what is now Roosevelt Island for violating moral standards with a play she wrote, produced and directed, entitled simply “Sex.” “I believe in censorship,” the witty West once said. “It made my career.” Born in Bushwick, West later moved with her family to Woodhaven. A plaque honoring her sits in front of their home at 98-05 88 St. Neir’s was the first bar she ever performed in.

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And though she died in 1980, she returned to the old watering hole to help celebrate its reopening in 2010. At least an impersonator did. “She always came back to Neir’s, not only because she got her start there but because she loved the place,” owner Loy Gordon said. “She also brought back other stars like W.C. Fields. “I guess when you think of Neir’s, I would like everybody to think of Mae West as well, because of all the people who came through Neir’s, she was the first. She was proud of it because she was from the neighborhood and she was a Neir’s regular.” The impersonator came and went, but a vintage portrait of West remains on the wall where she wowed the crowds in Woodhaven. West moved to Hollywood in 1930, the year her mother — who thought she could do no wrong though other relatives differed — died. She made her first movie, “Night After Night,” in 1932, when she was 39 (that’s a publicity still for the film at left). She did much more stage work than film work, however. Her personal life was as complicated as her witticisms made it sound, with at least one secret marriage, maybe two, and divorce. She finally settled down at 61 with a man half her age, who stayed with her until she died at 87. Q

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C M 35th ANNIV page 41 Y K

by Peter C. Mastrosimone Editor-in-Chief

“Oh, my God.� It was a little after 9 a.m., Nov. 16, 2011. “Oh, my God.� More urgently the second time. “Oh, my God!� After the third time I finally leaned through the window between our offices and asked my colleague Liz Rhoades what was going on. “I think Pat Dolan’s dead,� she said, still

focused on her computer screen. “The civic leader?� “Yes.� Rhoades had been going through the day’s NYPD press releases — generally brief affairs with only the most basic information. “Fatal motor vehicle accident� one of them read, and then, at the end, the part that caused Rhoades to cry out. “Deceased: Dolan, Patricia F/W/72,� for the victim’s gender, race and age. Within minutes Rhoades confirmed that it was indeed the Pat Dolan she had known for about 20 years, killed the night before as she crossed Hillside Avenue. Dolan was at the time the president of the Queens Civic Congress and the Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association. She had founded and led the Flushing Meadows Park Conservancy and served on Community Board 8 as well as the Borough Traffic Safety Board. She was on her way to a CB 8 Transportation Committee meeting the night she was killed, by a driver who stayed at the scene and was not cited for doing anything wrong. Dolan, who lived in the house she grew up in, was dedicated to Queens, determined to prevent as much overdevelopment in the borough as she could through tighter zoning regulations. Her


efforts began in her own community of Kew Gardens Hills but didn’t end there. “She was involved in just about anything going on in the borough, and she leaves major shoes to fill,� Queens Civic Congress President Rich Hellenbrecht recalled this week. “One of the things I most admired is she did her own rezoning sitting at her kitchen table with no computer, just paper and pencil.� City Planning formalized her work but pretty much took it as it was, he said. “She just had this real concern for the community and for keeping Queens the way it is, very residential, almost suburban,� Hellenbrecht said. Another accomplishment of Dolan’s was getting the expansion of the KGH Library moving. The library now bears a plaque dedicated to her. And in the nearby park she loved so much, a nature trail was named in her honor this year. Dolan, who lived alone with her cat, got things done through sheer force of will. “She was a tremendous communicator,� Hellenbrecht said. “She had every issue she was working on in her mind every minute, she got a lot done on every street corner and she had a persuasive way of getting her point across. Most of the electeds at her various memorials said when they saw her coming, they started to shudder.� Q

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Page 41 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dolan was intent on serving the borough

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C M 35th ANNIV page 42 Y K

Huntley lost Senate seat, and a lot more

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by Michael Gannon Editor

She was an outspoken, longtime representative of Southeast Queens in the state Senate. She displayed an increasingly disturbing pattern of public behavior before a highly publicized run-in with the law. And she lost her Senate seat in a primary even with the Democratic Party endorsement and a large fundraising advantage. Her name was Ada Smith.

The insurgent who defeated her? Shirley Huntley. Huntley was president of Community Education Council 28 when she eked by Smith in 2006, her margin of victory less than 200 from among more than 11,500 votes cast. In three terms, Huntley would serve as cochairwoman of the NYC School Governance Task Force. In 2009 she sponsored and passed 16 bills while serving as chairwoman of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee. In 2010 she served as chairwoman of the Cities Committee. “When I went to Albany, I just fell right into what needed to be done,” Huntley told the Chronicle four months after taking office in April 2007. “I’ve found my own way.” She also found the allure of power, the culture of corruption in Albany and easily available state taxpayer money too easy to ignore. Huntley already was under indictment on felony corruption charges in September 2012 when she suffered a 16-point drubbing at the hands of then-Councilman James Sanders Jr. in a Democratic primary. Sanders, who had come up against term limits in the Council, went on to coast to victory

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Muyskens learns so that he can serve

by Stephanie E. Santana Chronicle Contributor

Back when CUNY trustees unanimously voted to appoint James Muyskens as president of Queens College, the school was struggling to bounce back from shaky leadership under a president who stepped down after losing credibility. With Washington Monthly this year ranking it No. 2 as the “Best Bang for the Buck” Muyskens will have left the college in a much more elevated standing when he retires at the end of 2013.

From an early age, Muyskens knew he wanted to be an educator and he credits a high school math instructor for inspiring him to pursue a career as a math teacher. After taking a logic course as part of his curriculum at Central College in Iowa, however, he soon gravitated to philosophy, a field he was fascinated with since it didn’t always have concrete answers. The driving need to evaluate social constructs helped mold the rest of his career. Contemplating becoming a minister, as his father had been, he obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he learned about world religions. It further encouraged his zest for contemplation and prepared him for understanding a diverse student body at Queens College. After receiving a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Michigan, he moved onto Hunter College, quickly rising up the ranks from assistant professor to chairman of the philosophy department. Following 17 years at the school he then became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas. He found his next challenge in Atlanta, Ga., where he worked as the vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University System of Georgia under Gov. Zell Miller, a heavy supporter of

education reform. From 1995 to 1999 Muyskens was involved in increasing tech use in the classroom and college enrollment and study-abroad opportunites for students, practices which he later continued when he became president of Queens College in 2002. “The world comes to us,” Muyskens said of his international student body, “but we still have to send students out into the world.” He additionally sought to expand cultural exchanges right on his own campus. He pushed for the creation of a residence hall for 500 students, which he credits with helping international recruitment and improving student life. He says he also values hearing that many students pursue careers in public service, keeping in line with the college’s motto, “We learn so that we can serve.” Of his teaching days, he recalls a former student he taught 10 years prior rushing to greet him on the streets of Manhattan. The man was eager to let Muyskens know that a lesson on Soren Kierkegaard had forever changed his outlook on life. The benefit in critical thinking he sees students having years later is what has propelled him to return to teaching freshmen. He will continue his own public service as a philosophy teacher in CUNY schools after retirement. Q

and the state capital in the general election. Huntley’s fortunes would be far different. In January she pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing $87,000 in taxpayer money that she had secured for the Parent Information Network, a fraudulent nonprofit organization she had set up with Lynn Smith, her niece, and Patricia Savage, a former Senate aide. She would be sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison, and began her sentence in May. While awaiting sentencing, Huntley also pleaded guilty to a state charge of tampering with evidence in connection with the theft of nearly $30,000 in state member item money, which went to a nonprofit called Parent Workshop. Smith, Savage and consultant David Gantt also entered guilty pleas in that case, for which Huntley received five years’ probation. It was also while Huntley was awaiting sentencing that the federal government revealed that she allowed the FBI to put listening devices and cameras in her home while she met with nine people, including seven elected officials. The FBI said the chats in her home provided “useful information” about three elected officials, though no one has yet been charged Q as a result.


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35th Anniversary 2013  

Queens Chronicle 35th Anniversary Edition 2013

35th Anniversary 2013  

Queens Chronicle 35th Anniversary Edition 2013