Relay to Fight Cancer

Relay For Life at Fort Totten

Relay For Life at Fort Totten

Queens Courier


Thursday, February 19, 2009 6:08 PM EST
There’s a party on Bell Boulevard in Bayside, but it’s serious.

It’s a complimentary informational kick-off party, at the Outback Steakhouse, to spread the word for the American Cancer Society (ACS) 5th annual “Relay For Life,” scheduled for this June, at Fort Totten.

The Kick-Off Party will be held on Tuesday, February 24, from 8 to 10 p.m. at the steakhouse located at 23-48 Bell Boulevard, said event chair Stephanie Perger.

The overnight campaign will take place on Saturday, June 6 through Sunday, June 7, on the parade grounds of the historic fort, much of which is now a park and Fire Department facilities.

“We invite you to make a difference and help us provide hope to patients, families and friends coping with cancer,” Perger.

The event committee has been holding monthly meetings at the Chabad Jewish Community Center at 26-06 213th Street in Bayside. Their next meeting is scheduled on Thursday, March 5.

“All are welcome – bring a friend,” Perger said, adding two requests: “Please enter through the back door and please, no food or drinks.” She pointed out that at the party however, “Food and refreshments will be served.”

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the disease affects more than 8.9 million people nationwide – more than 1.2 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and a projected 555,500 will die from it this year, they say.

“Relay for Life brings the community together to remember those who have lost their battle with cancer, honor those who have won their battle and encourage those still in the battle,” Perger explained.

The idea was conceived in 1985 by Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma, Washington surgeon who wanted to boost his local ACS office.

He spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for more than 83 miles. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him.

He raised $27,000.

While he was circling the track, Klatt envisioned the team-relay event – and the rest, as they say, is history.

Millions have joined the cause all over the world, making Relay For Life the largest fundraising event ever, according to the ACS.

Perger pointed out that party seating is limited, and asks those planning to attend to R.S.V.P. by noon on Monday, February 23. Call John Link at the American Cancer Society, 718-263-2225, Ext. 5538 or via e-mail at

“If you can’t attend the party but would like additional information, please let us know,” she said.

For more information, you can also visit


Mexico City Mayor hands out free Viagra to elderly men – Bloomberg Gives Us Trees

Is This Tree on a Viagra Regimen?

Is This Tree on a Viagra Regimen?

Mexico City Mayor hands out free Viagra to elderly men. Michael Bloomberg gives New Yorkers trees. It doesn’t require much effort to make the analogy.
NY Daily News
BY Catey Hill

Friday, February 13th 2009, 12:10 PM

The government is handing out free Viagra to poor men, the New York Times reported.

If you are 60 and over, poor, and need a little extra excitement in your love life, Mexico City just might be the place to be.

“Everyone has the right to be happy,” Mexico City’s mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, told the New York Times.

The New York Times also reported:

Ebrard is up for re-election in July, and this little Viagra move might just help him get re-elected.

Ebrard not only is giving out Viagra, he’s also dumping sand at public pools to create beaches and turning major roads into bike paths on Sundays.  He’s staged a “kiss-in” on Valentine’s Day to increase awareness of domestic violence.  He’s built the largest skating rink in the world.

But it’s the Viagra that has many men excited.

“Now, I’m able to fulfill my wife,” Mr. Posadas, a grandfather of six, told the paper.

Angel Posadas Sandoval, 74, was a little more vague, but still got his point across by telling the paper, “things have changed.”

He added, “I’ll enjoy whatever time I have left.”

Your Doctor Wanted You to Smoke

In 1946 This Doctor Wanted You To Smoke

In 1946 This Doctor Wanted You To Smoke

Yes, there was a time when doctors and athletes were paid by tobacco companies to promote smoking.

Time has created a photo gallery of vintage pro-smoking advertisements.

You need more green to live in Queens

You need more green to live in Queens

You need more green to live in Queens

From Your
You need more green to live in Queens
Report by Center for an Urban Future cites boro as fifth-most expensive locale in the United States

By Philip Newman
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 3:59 PM EST

New York City’s notorious cost of living is driving out thousands of the middle class in an exodus fueled not only by the exorbitance of Manhattan but Queens, too.

It turns out that of 315 urban areas in the United States, only Manhattan, San Francisco, Honolulu and San Jose are more expensive then Queens.

In fact, Queens is the fifth most-expensive urban area in the United States.

The Center for an Urban Future, a Manhattan think tank, reported that it takes $85,918 annually for a person to attain middle-class status in Queens, compared with $123,322 in Manhattan. The same lifestyle in Houston would require $50,000.

“Is it really that important to worry about the possible decline of New York’s middle class when the city has added so many well-heeled residents in recent years?” the center asked.

“The middle class are the backbone of the city’s work force — the book editors, Web designers, lab technicians, architects, nurses, paralegals, actors, university professors, carpenters and bus drivers.”

The Rev. Edwin Reed, chief financial officer of the Greater Allen AME Cathedral of Jamaica, said “the middle class are the professional people that really make the city run.”

Citywide, a combination of steep housing costs, the highest taxes in the nation and the rising cost of everything from milk to auto insurance has driven thousands of New Yorkers to places like eastern Pennsylvania, the Atlanta suburbs and North Carolina.

Overwhelmingly, it is housing costs that have diminished the middle class throughout the city, with the average monthly rent citywide at $2,801, which is 53 percent higher than in San Francisco, the second most-expensive city, the center found.

Between 1999 and 2007, the median sale price for a single-family home in Queens rose by 147 percent. That was more than in any borough except Manhattan, where the price shot up by 209 percent. The median price went up 131 percent in the Bronx, 145 percent in Brooklyn and 142 percent in Staten Island.

Queens residents are paying heavily for housing. A recent survey reported that 49 percent of residents shell out as much as 48 percent of their income on housing.

As for stagnant wages, the Center for an Urban Future said real weekly wages — those adjusted for inflation — rose by a smaller amount in Queens than in any other borough between 1975 and 2007.

In Queens wages rose by 1.1 percent, compared to 1.7 percent in Brooklyn, 2.5 percent in Staten Island and 8.6 percent in the Bronx. Wages climbed by 96 percent in Manhattan over the same period.

Queens also had a greater percentage of workers in low-wage jobs than any other borough except the Bronx. The report said 34.4 percent of Queens workers over 18 were employed in low-wage jobs, as determined by the U.S. Population Reference Bureau.

Citywide, the percentage of workers in low-wage jobs was 21 percent. In a breakdown by borough, the Bronx was at 42.1 percent, Brooklyn 32.2 percent, Staten Island 22.5 percent and Manhattan 21.6 percent.

But it is not just low wages and exorbitant housing that are making living in the city a trial for the middle class. Nearly everything costs more:

• Auto insurance: The survey obtained rate quotes for a 37-year-old male driving a 2006 Toyota Corolla who had been in no accidents in the previous five years and had an excellent bill payment history. In Queens he would pay $1,250 compared with $450 in Atlanta and $610 in Washington, D.C.

• Milk: One gallon in the city costs $4.08 (the national average is $3.82)

• The city has the nation’s fourth-highest telephone rates

• Day care in the city costs at least $2,000 a month for one child

New Yorkers pay 50 percent more in taxes than people in any other major American city and city taxes are 90 percent higher than in any other U.S. city. The average property tax on a one-, two- or three-family home has gone up 87 percent since 2000.

“Queens has done worse than any other borough in recent years when it comes to people moving out of the city,” said Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future.

Most of the migration out of Queens and the rest of the city took place in more prosperous times before the economic slump began in late 2007.

“Queens lost 51,177 residents in 2006 vs. 35,788 in 1993,” Bowles said. “Thus, domestic out-migration levels for Queens was a staggering 43 percent higher in 2006 than in 1993.”

Most middle-class residents cannot afford private schools, so many leave the city.

“People like to live where they feel they have access to a good education for their children,” said Cheryl Caddle, chairman of the Education Committee of the Cambria Heights Civic Association. “A lot of people believe the public schools in New York are subpar.”

Tanya Cruz of Community Board 13, which stretches from Glen Oaks to Queens Village, Laurelton and Rosedale said “our educational system is failing.”

The Center for an Urban Future said another factor making New York unattractive is unsatisfactory public transportation.

Many parts of Queens and Brooklyn have the longest commutes in the nation, and conditions en route are not always good.

“On a lot of bus lines, people are packed in there like sardines,” said Yvonne Reddick, district manager of Community Board 12, which represents Jamaica, Hollis and Springfield Gardens.

Olga Djam of Elmhurst said many commutes are too long. “If you’re commuting for an hour and a half, when are you going to spend time with your kids?” she asked.

The center offered recommendations to preserve the city’s middle class:

• develop a strategy to diversify the economy and support the growth of middle-income jobs

• stop neglecting the city’s community colleges (whose graduates earn 38 percent more than high school graduates)

• improve mass transit, particularly outside Manhattan

• increase housing for the middle class

• protect the character of neighborhoods

• rethink efforts to increase revenue from fees and fines, which have a particularly heavy impact on the middle class.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at or phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 136.

Price of Cigarettes Going Up in NYC

It’s going to cost more to destroy your health.

From MyFoxNY

Price of Cigarettes Going Up in NYC

Last Edited: Sunday, 08 Feb 2009, 5:06 PM EST
Created On: Sunday, 08 Feb 2009, 4:57 PM EST

NEW YORK – What a drag! A pack of cigarettes will soon cost more than $10 in Manhattan.

Costing More to Destroy Your Health

Costing More to Destroy Your Health

That’s because a 62 cent federal tax on cigarettes will take effect this week.

This means the cost of a pack of smokes in New York City will be the highest in the country.

Turf War Brewing in New York City Parks

Customers in the Cafe are starting to wonder if Parks & Recreation will ever get it right.

NYC Park - Use at your own risk

NYC Park - Use at your own risk

From 1010 WINS

Posted: Sunday, 08 February 2009 7:16PM

Turf War Brewing in New York City Parks

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — A turf war is brewing in New York City.

The city council will hold a hearing Monday on a bill that would ban new installation of artifical turf on city ballfields until all the fields can be tested.

Environmental groups say it’s because lead tests done on the turf in East Harlem’s Thomas Jefferson Park came back four times higher than previously disclosed.

But the Parks Department says new tests found no further evidence of elevated lead levels and rejected the call for a moratorium.

“The contaminated field at Thomas Jefferson Park is promptly being removed and replaced,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Thankfully, this appears to be an isolated finding.”

The council bill would mandate the removal of a controversial rubber infill which is made from recycled tires and a petroleum-based product containing more than two dozen different chemicals including arsenic, lead and zinc. These products have been known to be hazardous to people and the environment.

How Clean is That Restaurant?



January 31, 2009
Diners to Get a Quick Guide to Cleanliness

For the first time, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will compel the city’s nearly 25,000 restaurants to publicly post inspectors’ cleanliness ratings, which have previously been available only online or at the department. Rating signs, to be supplied by the city, will be required to be visible from the street, either in a restaurant window or vestibule.

The agency also plans to switch to a letter-grade system similar to that used for years in Los Angeles (using the letters A, B and C for passing inspection grades). The new rules, which will be part of a broad revamping of inspections, will be put in place over the next two years, giving restaurant operators time to comply.

The department said that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed off on the program as part of the executive budget announced Friday. He has scheduled a Saturday news conference to announce the new procedures.

“We expect this will improve our inspection program,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the city health commissioner. “It will encourage restaurants to be cleaner and inform people so they can make better choices about where to eat.”