Tag Archives: Queens College

QC’s Outstanding Frosh ready for year 2


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Carla Pennolino

BY CARLA PENNOLINO

Reggie Miller enjoyed a Hall of Fame basketball career with the Indiana Pacers after altering his shot at a young age because his older sister, Cheryl — also a Hall of Famer — would always block it.

Abe Akanmu of the Queens College men’s basketball team can relate to the star’s beginnings.

“I got into basketball because my older sister used to play and I wanted to do everything just like her,” Akanmu said. “I fell in love with the game and the rest is history.”

The standout sophomore started playing basketball at age five and the experience has shown throughout his hard work, dedication and leadership inside Fitzgerald Gym, QC’s home court.

Akanmu received East Coast Conference All-Rookie honors as well as a QC Outstanding Freshman award last year. The point guard averaged 8.0 points per game and dished out 35 assists in only 13 games played; he missed much of the early and middle portions of the season due to a knee injury. He received East Coast Conference Rookie of the Week honors on November 14, 2011 and later scored a season-high 25 points against St. Thomas Aquinas on February 1.

Last year, explained Akanmu, was an up and down season not only for him, but for the entire squad. After starting off the season strong with a winning record, the team faltered and ended with a 4-22 mark. A torn PCL in his left knee robbed the Staten Island-native of 13 games but he plans on coming back and helping lead the team toward a much better ending this time around.

“The goal is always to win the championship,” said Akanmu. “The key is to take it step by step. This year, we need to focus on getting into the playoffs and then we will take it from there.”

The guard loves the game for its competitive nature, which fuels his drive toward greatness.

“I hate losing, but love the game. It’s what I care about,” he said.

As a junior at Xaverian High School, the political science major knew he wanted to be a QC Knight.

“Head coach Kyrk Peponakis recruited me to be a big part of the team,” said Akanmu. “I like being a leader and always want to be.”

Peponakis recognized Akanmu’s potential in high school and wanted the 5’11” guard to be an integral part of the Knights’ future.

“He is a solid all-around guard who can not only shoot but defend,” said Peponakis. “He knows the game very well and he is a leader on the court.”

Akanmu’s most memorable basketball achievement, in fact, occurred in that same junior year. The Xaverian squad beat three nationally ranked high schools — Christ the King, Bishop Loughlin and Rice — during the 2009-10 season.

“We beat top teams in the nation,” said Akanmu. “That was big for me.”

A similar scenario can play out for Akanmu and the Knights this season as LIU-Post was predicted to repeat as ECC champions in a preseason poll.

In the future, he can’t see himself abandoning his love of the sport, instead he envisions himself as a coach or running a camp or clinic. He cannot let his passion go.

“Basketball teaches you a lot about life,” he explained. “It teaches you to work as a team, work ethic, responsibility, discipline and how to listen.”

When the Knights’ conference season tips off Saturday, December 1 at Mercy College, Akanmu will be sporting a symbolic jersey number.

“I chose number one because I want to be the best,” Akanmu said.

One family feeds the Rockaways


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

SANDY FOOD CART2

One family-owned food cart rolled down to the Rockaways to feed Sandy survivors their first warm meal in weeks.

Two weeks ago, Shah’s Halal Food Cart relocated from its usual spot by Queens College and set up in the Rockaways, handing out chicken and lamb over rice, falafel and kebabs for free.

For many displaced locals, it was the first warm meal they had eaten since the storm hit.

“They were really happy,” said Khalid Mashriqi, who co-owns the food cart with his brother, Shah. “People were saying this was the best meal they’ve had in a week.”

Assisted by Mashriqi’s uncle, NYPD Detective Qudratulla Mashriqi, Mashriqi parked the cart outside a church on 129th Street in the Rockaways. Crowds gathered by Mashriqi’s cart, soaking in the heat as it wafted off the griddle. Over 600 people scarfed down hot meals, staying by the cart until hours after the sun had set. For those with ailing relatives or young children, the vendors handed out extra food. By the end of the night, they had given away every single scrap.

Seeing Sandy’s destruction first-hand, Mashriqi said, was overwhelming.

The idea to serve Rockaway residents came to Mashriqi from hearing about the devastation from his uncle, who had been helping out in the decimated region in the weeks since the storm. The nine-year police veteran’s story of an entire row of homes, obliterated by the violent water, pulled at Mashriqi’s heartstrings.

During the food cart’s day-long stint in the Rockaways, people tried to leave money in exchange for lunch. At the end of their shift, Mashriqi folded the $120 tip in an envelope and handed it to a woman and her three young grandchildren.

“A lot of people were so thankful and asking what they could do,” Mashriqi said. “Just pray. Just pray the situation gets better.”

Seinfeld comes home, performs at alma mater Queens College


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of John Shearer

When Jerry Seinfeld emerged from behind the curtain at the Colden Auditorium, he was not only returning to his alma mater, but to the stage that helped launch his comedy career.

“This is where I started the whole damn thing,” Seinfeld said as he greeted the crowd at Queens College’s sold-out Colden Auditorium, his fourth of five shows in each of the city’s boroughs.

Seinfeld first landed on the Queens College stage in the 1970s as part of a student play.

“I was a reporter in the play and it wasn’t really supposed to be funny,” the Massapequa-born comedian remembered. “I came out and made the whole thing really funny and it wasn’t a comedy play.”

The director pulled him aside to remind him it wasn’t a comedy, Seinfeld said, “And I said, ‘Screw this acting thing, I’m going to [Manhattan comedy club] Catch a Rising Star.”

Between Catch a Rising Star and the Thursday, October 18 show, Seinfeld turned himself into a world-renowned comedian and co-creator of one of the most beloved sitcoms of all-time, “Seinfeld.”

Seinfeld, who helped write the show famously about nothing, still displayed the ability to riff on the frivolities of life, including a five-minute bit on breakfast and the magic of Pop-Tarts.

“Once there were Pop-Tarts, I did not understand why other types of food continued to exist,” Seinfeld joked. “My mother was shopping and preparing meals, I was like, ‘What are you doing, it’s over? You’ll never beat this.’”

Other topics touched on by the funnyman were marriage (“When you’re single you can oversleep a half hour and no one even notices”); energy drinks (“What does it even feel like to be in deficit of five hours of energy?”); and food (“Why is it that you can smell french fries through a three foot concrete wall?”).

But Seinfeld also focused on Queens in the homecoming show. It was his first time back to the school since he received an honorary doctorate in 1994.

“I am so happy to be back in Queens. I love Queens,” he said.

Students and residents can easily identify with the grief Seinfeld remembered from his two years at Queens College: Parking problems and the misnamed Utopia Parkway.

“At what point was that a utopia?” said Seinfeld, who carried a double major while at the school, communication and arts and sciences.

“I took two majors because both of those are about half a major together.”

Following the 75-minute show, Seinfeld returned to the stage to take questions from the audience.

When asked for a favorite episode, Seinfeld said he gets foggy on which stories go with which episode, but rattled off a few treasured scenes: the golf ball in the blowhole of the whale, George accidentally poisoning his fiancée with toxic envelopes and Jerry stealing the rye bread from the old lady.

Currently, Seinfeld is filming an Internet show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which is exactly what the name implies. Seinfeld will pick up a comedian in an exotic car and they’ll chat and quip while driving and sitting down for a coffee or meal.

Among those featured on the show was his “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David, who rode in a 1952 VW Bug.

But those awaiting a reunion show will not be hearing “Seinfeld, party of four,” any time soon.

“When you sit in those director chairs, it’s just depressing,” Seinfeld said. “Yeah, it’s great, it’s great … it’s over.”

CBS Financial Analyst gives tips at QC


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

The economy is on the upswing, albeit slowly, but there is still a long road ahead to full economic recovery, said CBS financial analyst Jill Schlesinger.

This was one of the several talking points of Schlesinger, editor-at-large of CBS MoneyWatch, when she spoke on Friday, September 21 at a business forum at Queens College. Among other things, Schlesinger discussed the job market and housing, and offered advice on financial planning.

Schlesinger, who got her start as a trader on Wall Street, broke down some of the causes of the 2008 economic crisis that still has a number of countries scrambling to get back on their feet. A cause of the “bubble bursting,” according to Schlesinger, was overspending on credit, deregulation, and mortgages that were too easily approved.

“We really had a perfect storm in that market,” she said. “We got lazy as investors, we just expected things go up. [Investors] bought into this idea that things are great.”

Schlesinger said the highest demographic of those unemployed were workers who only possessed a high school diploma. The lowest group of unemployed was those with at least a bachelor’s degree, and Schlesinger told the Queens College students in attendance that it paid to complete their degrees.

“College is worth it if you don’t spend too much money on it,” she said. “You picked the right place. Stay in school and get degrees, because college really is worth it.”

But though the last time the nation lost jobs was February 2010, there are still nearly five million fewer jobs than before the recession’s 2008 peak.

To plan for the future, Schlesinger advised that those planning to retire put aside additional money and determine how much they would need for the rest of their life.

“Hopefully what we see, and after what we’ve gone through and where we are in this recovery, what you understand is it’s still your personal, financial life,” she said. “It’s still up to you to manage it, and it really is up to you not to blow it. I wish it would be different, but it’s just not.”

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: A slight chance of showers before 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 75. Southwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming north in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Thursday night: A chance of showers, mainly after 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 59. East wind 7 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

EVENT of the DAY: Ella Fitzgerald

A musical that reflects on the life and songs of the legendary jazz/pop vocalist Ella Fitzgerald at Queens Theatre. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ramps down the hate, but still slams ‘Zionists’ in UN speech

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shelved most of his usual hate speech and invoked Jesus Christ in a mellow farewell address Wednesday at the United Nations. The rambling 35-minute address on the Jewish high holy day of Yom Kippur included shots at the U.S. for the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and “uncivilized Zionists.” Read more: Daily News

Bronx super finds woman’s body in plastic bin

Police are investigating after the body of a woman was discovered earlier today in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx. Details are limited but police confirm the body was found inside a plastic container at 1460 Macombs Road. The gruesome discovery was made by a building superintendent. Read more: NY1

Hair’s one way to catch a ‘coke smuggler’

They just couldn’t keep a lid on it. Two women stashed nearly 2 kilos of cocaine beneath their hairpieces and weaves in a bid to smuggle the drugs through Kennedy Airport — but were busted after wigging out at Customs, officials said yesterday. Read more: NY Post

MTA auctioning off items from lost and found

It’s not surprising that straphangers leave items such as cell phones and handbags on subways and buses, but even bikes make it to the MTA New York City Transit’s lost and found. Eventually unclaimed items are auctioned off by the agency, making about $30,000 to $50,000 a year for its operation budget. Read more: Queens Courier

Thug repellent: Fights off gat burglars

A fearless Queens resident went toe-to-toe with two home-invading thugs who cocked a loaded gun against his wife’s head — by wrestling away the weapon and leaving one suspect shot in the leg, cops said. Ghulam Khanlodhy, 42, of South Richmond Hill, later displayed a battle scar from the 3 a.m. life-or-death struggle — a perfect set of teeth marks in his right bicep where one of the masked men gnawed into his flesh. Read more: NY Post

NOAA awards $1.3M grant to Queens College

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also known as NOAA, awarded Queens College with a $1.3 million grant, which will be used to help train grade-school teachers across the city how to use a hands-on approach in the classroom. Read more: NY1

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 77. Breezy. Winds from the West at 15 to 20 mph shifting to the NNW in the afternoon. Monday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 57. Winds from the SW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT of the DAY

Monday is the opening of a special retrospective exhibit of Swiss abstract artist H.A. Sigg. at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College. The exhibit ends October 26. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Career criminal surrenders in Queens shooting of highly decorated cop

A career criminal who was on the lam for about a month after shooting a highly decorated NYPD sergeant in Queens turned himself in Sunday, police said. Read more: New York Daily News 

Brooklyn, Queens locals clean up damage from two tornadoes

Cleanup efforts continued in Brooklyn and Queens on Sunday, a day after tornadoes roared through parts of both boroughs, and residents were relieved to know that no one was reported injured by the twisters. Read more: NY1

Queens carwash’s employees are first in city to join union

Workers at a carwash in Queens have overwhelmingly voted to join a union, organizers said Sunday, in the first major victory in a six-month effort in New York City to unionize workers in an industry the organizers say is rife with labor law violations. Read more: New York Times

Queens trio to launch co-working space in Astoria

A trio of Astorians are trying to entice local freelancers, entrepreneurs and stay-at-home employees out of their homes and corner coffee shops and into a communal working space. Read more: New York Daily News

Significant help reportedly on the way for those who got sick after 9/11

The 11th anniversary of 9/11 is just two days away, and now help may finally be on the way for those who got sick after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Read more: CBS New York

Obama squeaks out Aug. fundraising win over Romney

President Barack Obama squeaked out a fundraising victory over Mitt Romney in August as the candidates gear up for the final stretch of their closely contested campaign. Read more: AP

 

Competition to help you StartUP! your business


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Have an idea for a startup business? It may be worth $10,000.

The Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) launched its seventh annual Queens StartUP! Business Plan Competition, which will award three businesses $10,000 to get their idea off the ground.

“We are extremely happy to offer StartUP! again,” said QEDC executive director Seth Bornstein.

The competition is backed by a $50,000 grant from the Citi Foundation.

The contest includes a series of free workshops beginning in October at the Jamaica branch of the Queens Library. Running through January, classes can also be taken via webinar.

“Entrepreneurial business is the bedrock of Queens’ economy. Queens Library has so many resources to help businesses grow and succeed,” said Thomas W. Galante, president and CEO of Queens Library.

StartUP! had well over 200 participants in 42 teams submit business plans to the judges last year. The winners included a plan for an all-natural premium ice cream and sorbet truck, Itizy Gourmet; a start-up that eliminates the need to dig through purses for personal items, Seez-it; and an accent-reduction services business, Social Enterprise.

For the first time, this year’s competition will include a $5,000 entrepreneurship award handed out to a Queens College student.

James Muyskens, president of Queens College, said the school’s inclusion this year reflects the “commitment to supporting the entrepreneurial spirit that is crucial to the borough’s development.”

To enter you must live in Queens and want to start a business that will be registered, owned and operated in the borough. Your business must still have less than $20,000 in revenue or still be in a concept phase.

Business plans are due by March 1, 2013.

For more info, visit www.queensny.org/qedc.

Saying goodbye to Marvin Hamlisch


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

marvinw

Marvin Hamlisch, the stage and screen composer who scored countless cultural masterpieces such as “A Chorus Line” and “The Way We Were,” passed away at the age of 68 in Los Angeles after a brief battle with an illness.

Hamlisch was one of the few entertainers to obtain the coveted EGOT – winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award. In addition to these, Hamlisch also won a Pulitzer Prize – one of only two people in history to attain all five commendations.

Born in Manhattan, Hamlisch exhibited musical genius from a very young age. He was accepted to Julliard’s Pre-College Division and worked as a rehearsal pianist on the production of “Funny Girl,” starring Barbara Streisand, who. he worked with at various points throughout his career.

In 1967, Hamlisch graduated from Queens College with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

“Everyone in the Queens College family mourns the passing of American music icon Marvin Hamlisch. His experience at Queens College echoes that of many of our current students—he was a young man from humble beginnings who benefited from a dedicated faculty, and then went on to make great contributions to his field,” said Queens College President James Muyskens.

Hamlisch’s best known screen compositions include music for “The Sting,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford; “Sophie’s Choice” with Meryl Streep; and the 1977 James Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me.” The Bond movie’s theme song, “Nobody Does It Better,” performed by Carly Simon, became a radio sensation.

The musician also received an Academy Award nomination in 1986 for the film version of the Broadway hit “A Chorus Line” – centered around the lives of dancers during a tense and somewhat revealing audition — for which he wrote popular songs like “One,” “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three” and “What I Did For Love.”

Recently, Hamlisch joined director Steven Soderbergh to compose music for the 2009 film “The Informant!” In 2011, Hamlisch became the lead conductor of the Pasadena Pops and occasionally conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and San Diego Symphony.

 

Jerry Seinfeld to perform stand-up in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Twitter/@JerrySeinfeld

The comedian and former television star will do stand-up shows in all the five boroughs this fall, including one on October 14 at the Colden Auditorium at Queens College in Flushing, reported Playbill.com. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on July 30 at 10 a.m.

Seinfeld, who went to school in Queens, has not performed a full show in New York City in 14 years.

Manhattan
Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012
The Beacon Theatre located at 2124 Broadway
Tickets are available online at www.BeaconTheatre.com or by calling  (866) 858-0008

Bronx
Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012
Lehman Concert Hall located at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West
Tickets are available online at www.LehmanCenter.org or by calling (718) 960-8833

Queens (Flushing)
Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012
The Colden Auditorium at Queens College located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd.
Tickets are available online at www.KupferbergCenter.org or by calling (718) 793-8080

Staten Island
Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012
The St. George Theatre located at 35 Hyatt Street
Tickets are available online at www.TicketMaster.com or by calling (718) 442-2900

Brooklyn
Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012
The Walt Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn College located at 2900 Campus Road
Tickets are available online at www.BrooklynCenter.com or by calling (718) 951-4500

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

UPDATE: Family of missing Queens girl ups reward

The family of a missing Queens woman has increased their reward to $5,000 for information in the case. Investigators say Rajwinder Kaur, 26, was last seen leaving her home on 198th Street in Hollis around 8 p.m. Sunday. Her family says she was on her way to her volunteer job at a Brooklyn homeless shelter when she disappeared. Read more: [NY1] 

New police academy recruits sworn in

More than 1,200 police recruits were sworn in to the New York City Police Department’s Police Academy during a ceremony at Queens College Wednesday. About one in five of the recruits was born outside the U.S., representing 50 countries. 72 served in the military and more than a third have bachelor’s or advanced degrees. Read more: [NY1] 

New book details the role of Rockaway pioneers 

Much has been written about Rockaway’s rise and fall as summer resort and its recent rebirth as a hipster haven. But local resident Vivian Carter thought there was another important story to tell of the people who settled in the peninsula and made it their home year-round. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Queens councilman take aim at pooping pigeons along sidewalks under 7 train 

There’s a pigeon poop problem in Queens and one local lawmaker is determined to do something about it. In response to constituents complaining about droppings scattered about on the sidewalks under 7-line Train stations, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who told CBS 2′s Dave Carlin he has been peppered with poop a “couple of times” himself, has spearheaded an effort combat the problem. Read more [1010wins]

Hertz to install solar panels at Kennedy & Newark airports 

An international car rental company is going green with plans to install solar panels at two of its locations at New York City area airports. The Hertz Corporation will start construction on the panels this fall at John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty International Airports, a Hertz official said Wednesday. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

 

 

Queens College cuts ribbon on four renovated arts venues


| mchan@queenscourier.com

DSC_0248w

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at Queens College marked the completion of renovations to the campus’ four arts venues and the start of a “renaissance” throughout the borough, said the school’s top official.

“Today is a landmark for our arts center,” said Queens College President Dr. James Muyskens. “There is no other way to describe Queens College’s vision of the future than to call it the Queens renaissance. Our aspirations are that high, our commitment is that fierce, and the impact we can have is great.”

Four arts venues within the Selma and Max Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts — the Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Music Building, Goldstein Theatre, and Colden Auditorium — were officially reopened on June 11 after two years of interior and exterior renovations.

Renovations included redesigns and enhancements to the interior lobbies and facades, along with new landscaping and signage, and updated technical, HVAC and security systems.

“We believe that as part of this renaissance in Queens, we must expand our programs into the communities where our students and their families live and work. We can brighten so many lives by streaming live concerts and performances into schools, libraries and nursing homes by providing workshops, seminars and presentations off campus and so much more,” Muyskens said.

Officials at the institution also paid thanks to Max and Selma Kupferberg, the two benefactors who donated $10 million to the college in 2006 to support the arts.

“The borough of Queens is on the brink of perhaps the most exciting time in its history,” Muyskens said. “We are standing on the shoulders of a giant, and in this case those shoulders belong to Max Kupferberg.”

Queens College students present solar energy research project


| RubenMuniz@queenscourier.com

Flushing may soon be getting a little more sun.

A class of graduates and undergraduates from Queens College presented a research project on the benefits of a potential plan to allow Flushing to rely on solar energy.

The main focus of the 14-week-long study was to educate merchants, schools, landlords and homeowners on the benefits of using solar energy panels to generate electricity.

On Friday, June 1, students gave the presentation at the Flushing branch of the Queens Library.

Their research cites the “rooftop revolution” that Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has advocated to implement, an initiative where schools in the city would be fitted with solar panels to generate electricity. Stringer’s plan could create up to 5,000 new jobs.

“We’re trying to convince business owners as well as property owners that conserving energy is really important for the long term,” said Sarah Salama, a first-year graduate student studying urban affairs at Queens College. “Flushing residents have used the least amount of electricity; that shows that they understand the value of conservation,” she said, citing the neighborhood’s low rate of electricity usage compared to other neighborhoods in Queens.

“Carbon emissions are inflating due to transportation and energy use. If we don’t switch now [to solar energy], it could be detrimental in the future,” said Brandon James, a junior undergraduate at Queens College.

“What would be ideal is if elected officials would take a look at our recommendations and support the Solar Jobs Act,” said Tarry Hum, an associate faculty member in the Department of Urban Studies at Queens College, and professor of the class.

In attendance was John Choe, director of One Flushing, a community economic development initiative. Choe and One Flushing collaborated with the class in their research and community outreach efforts.

“There’s a perception out there that solar panel energy is prohibitively expensive. There are resources at the city, state, and federal level that can help fund and lower the initial up-front cost [of solar panels],” said Choe. “You can actually save money long term, but these incentives will not last forever,” added Choe.

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Police Bust 14 In Queens, Brooklyn Auto Theft Ring

If you own a specific type of luxury SUV, you could have been the target of a sophisticated car theft ring. The New York City Police Department and Attorney General’s office announced the arrest of 14 people Wednesday in a sting they’re calling Operation EZ Steal. Read more: [NY1]

 

A Whitestone tradition in danger of disappearing 

 

A Memorial Day tradition in Whitestone is in danger of disappearing. The Whitestone Veterans Memorial Day Parade has hit tough times, with organizers barely able to fund this year’s event. Some residents are worried it may become the last. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

Board Threatens To Disband NYRA Amid Pay Out Scandal

 

State regulators are threatening to replace the New York Racing Association amid allegations the entity cheated bettors out of millions of dollars. The state’s Racing and Wagering Board is blasting the agency for holding back $8.5 million in winnings and is now considering reorganizing all of NYRA which operates the tracks at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga. Read more: [NY1]

 

JFK Airport Cargo Worker Accused Of Stealing From Care Packages Meant For Troops Overseas

 

A cargo worker at John F. Kennedy Airport is accused of stealing from care packages meant for U.S. troops serving overseas. Investigators said the theft was discovered when the suspect was caught wearing one of the stolen items. Read more: [1010WINS]

 

Like they never Met

Guess he’s still more of a Wally the Green Monster kinda guy. Mayor Bloomberg seemed to give Mr. Met the cold shoulder at City Hall yesterday as he announced that next year’s MLB All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field. Read more: [New York Post]

 

Queens College students plant one of the city’s biggest apple orchards on campus

 

Where most Queens College students saw an empty field, senior Grace Magee imagined a place where an undergrad could pluck a low-hanging piece of fruit on her way to class. She suggested to school administrators last month that the campus partner with an initiative that plants Newtown Pippin and other apple tree types in New York’s public spaces. Read more: [New York Daily News]

His ‘Imperfect’ life inspires


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE QUEENS COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

Though his autobiography is entitled “Imperfect,” the cover captures the one day in his career Jim Abbott was perfect — well, unhittable.

Abbott, a former Yankees pitcher, was on hand at Queens College to speak about overcoming adversity — a lifelong struggle for the lefty.

“If we know anything, we know that challenges will come,” Abbott said. “It comes to all of us in a lot of different forms.”

Abbott was a lefty for one simple reason — he was born without a right hand.

Dozens attended the speech in the college’s Student Union ballroom that was part of CUNY’s disability awareness month.

“He’s inspiring, even for someone without a physical handicap,” said Steven, a junior.

Abbott’s tome, Imperfect: An Improbable Life, released in April, tells the tale of the pitcher’s life growing up in Flint, Michigan, his award-winning days at the University of Michigan and on the U.S. national team and his days as a major leaguer.

“I don’t believe you have to be bound by the circumstances you’re born into,” he shared. “With strength and resiliency we all have it within us to adapt.”

Adapting was at the heart of the hurler’s talk, utilizing the word as an acronym outlining the traits needed to overcome any struggle: A: adjustability; D: determination; A: accountability; P: perseverance; T: trust.

Though the former major leaguer doesn’t like to harp on his disability, he realized that even as he climbed the ladder of success and entered the majors, his difference was always going to follow him.

In one of Abbott’s first little league games, the opposing coach had the first six players on his team bunt to see if he could field it and make the play at first.

“Six straight times,” Abbott recalled. “Two innings.”

A bunt almost destroyed his chance at baseball history on the night of September 4, 1993.

After holding the explosive Cleveland Indians hitless over the first eight innings on that fateful night, speedy leadoff hitter Kenny Lofton laid a bunt down the first base line. On his way to a sure single and breaking up Abbott’s chance at immortality, the ball bounded foul.

Lofton grounded out, followed by a fly out and another ground out and Abbott entered into the select group of pitchers over the game’s 100-plus years to throw a no-hitter and marked the crowning achievement in his unlikely story.

“It makes you think about what you can attain,” Derek, a sophomore at the college, said of Abbott’s accomplishments.

After retiring, Abbott spoke at his daughter’s pre-school career day. During his speech, his daughter raised her hand and asked, “Do you like your little hand?”

He had never thought about that, but took a second and answered.

“I like my little hand, but I haven’t always liked it, and it hasn’t always been easy. But you know what, my little hand has taught me an important lesson — life’s not easy. If you can find your own way of doing things, if you can make the most out of what you’ve been given, if you can believe in yourself no matter where you go in this world, nothing is going to stop you.”

Music will be ‘Bach’ in the classroom


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Queens College

One woman is on a mission to bring classical music “Bach” to school.

Maxine Fisher, a literature professor at Queens College (QC) and a devout music lover, plans to provide free, classical music concerts to local elementary and middle schools in East Elmhurst, Woodside and Middle Village this spring.

“You’re never too young to learn to appreciate classical music,” said Fisher, who grew up in Maspeth.

The “Bach to School” program — which was created with the help of Edward Smaldone, the director of QC’s Aaron Copland School of Music, and a $1,500 grant from the QC Foundation — features interactive, fun lessons and easy to understand pieces of music, Fisher said.

“Even just a few minutes of listening to classical music each day with your children will have a great impact on their musical appreciation for years to come,” she said.

The program’s inaugural performance was held for first-through-eighth- graders last December at St. Stanislaus School in Maspeth. It featured a pianist and a Julliard-trained violinist, who is studying for a Master of Arts degree in music at QC, Fisher said.