Monday, June 30, 2008

Como Brings Home the Bacon

According to Elizabeth Benjamin of the NY Daily Politics, despite the recent budget fiasco newly elected Councilman Como has brought the bacon home to the district.

June 29, 2008
Pork Lite (Updated)

Here's the latest Schedule C - the list of discretionary funding (AKA "pork" ) that will be doled out by the Council in the coming year.

It's $46 million, which is 8 percent less than last year's $50 million.

Despite the reduction, even the Council's newest member - Queens Republican Anthony Como - who was just sworn in earlier this month, got member item cash.

More than 2,000 nonprofits were awarded grants, but some 200 - including the Brooklyn-based Donna Reid Memorial Education fund, which was at the heart of the first indictments of the ongoing Council slush fund probe - got nothing at all.

There's a lot of anger out there in the nonprofit world, and a number of cultural institutions are predicting the reduction in funds could lead to layoffs.

UPDATE: The speaker's press office on Sunday released a list of errors in Schedule C. It appears in full after the jump.

A small number of organizations that were erroneously listed in Schedule C have been identified.

The errors identified thus far are as follows:
Section 1 of Schedule C:

* DYCD Food Pantries Initiative, Page 46
Planned Parenthood is listed erroneously with an allocation of $368,000.

Section 2 of Schedule C:

* Alliance for Community Services is listed erroneously for allocations of $135,000 and $11,500 on page 5 and for $51,714 on page 148.

* For A Better Bronx is erroneously listed with a $10,000 allocation on page 42.

* SCAN-New York Volunteer Parent * Aides Association, Inc. has been identified erroneously as a fiscal conduit on page 158.

* Parkville Youth Organization, Inc. is listed erroneously with a $5,000 allocation on page 164.
* Man Up is listed erroneously with a $40,000 allocation on page 172.

* Bronx African American Chamber of Commerce is listed erroneously with a $10,000 allocation on page 179.

* Project Renewal is listed erroneously in Section 2 and should be listed in Section 1 under Homeless Services.

* Chess in Schools is listed erroneously in Section 2 and should be listed in Section 1 under Youth and Community Development.

* Young Women's Leadership Foundation is listed erroneously in Section 2 and should be listed in Section 1 under Education.

Once the Council has gathered additional information on any other errors in Schedule C, and has received additional information from the State Attorney General and the Mayor's Office of Contract Services on the status of the organizations listed with an asterisk as pending, a transparency resolution will be publicly considered and voted on this summer.

The Council will notify each relevant agency of the above errors and direct that these funds not to be processed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tony Causes Truck to Overturn

This is what happens when Truck drivers realize Tony 'Tulips' Nunziato is running for office.

"Did I do that?"

Famous Queens Resident Series, Part XXXVIII

Jimmy Durante - The big-nosed actor used to live on 161st Street near Bowne Park with his first wife, "Mrs. Calabash."

Comedian, composer, actor, singer and songwriter ("Inka Dinka Doo") Jimmy Durante was educated in New York public schools. He began his career as a Coney Island pianist, and organized a five-piece band in 1916. He opened the Club Durant with Eddie Jackson and Lou Clayton, with whom he later formed a comedy trio for vaudeville and on television. He appeared in the Broadway musicals "Show Girl", "The New Yorkers", "Strike Me Pink", "Jumbo", "Red Hot and Blue", and "Stars in Your Eyes". By 1936, he had appeared at the Palladium in London. Later he had his own radio and television shows, and was a featured headliner in night clubs.
Biographer Gene Fowler wrote his biography, "Schnozzola". Joining ASCAP in 1941, he collaborated musically with Jackie Barnett and Ben Ryan, and his other popular song compositions include "I'm Jimmy That Well-Dressed Man", "I Know Darn Well I Can Do Without Broadway", "I Ups to Him and He Ups to Me", "Daddy Your Mamma Is Lonesome For You", "Umbriago", "Any State In the Forty-Eight", "Chidabee Chidabee Chidabee", and "I'm Jimmy's Girl".

Daughter Cecilia is a horseback-riding instructor, is married to a computer designer, lives near San Diego, and has two sons

For years he signed off his radio and TV shows with "Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are", but he would never divulge who she was. Some speculated it was a "code name" for a current or former lover, some doubted she ever existed. It was not until after his death in 1980 that it was revealed she was, indeed, a real person.

According to the book, "Hollywood Trivia," (Greenwich House, 1984), by David P. Strauss, Jimmy Durante's famous "Mrs. Calabash" sign-off referred to his first wife, Jeanne Olson. Calabash was the name of a Chicago suburb they both liked.

Comic Sonny King, who worked with Durante during his career, stated in an interview that the mysterious "Mrs. Calabash" was indeed Jimmy's late wife Jeanne Olson, but "Calabash" was a reference to Calabasas, California, where she was hospitalized in her later years. She had difficulty in pronouncing the city name, often calling it "Calabash", and it became an inside joke for the Durantes.

Dropped out of school in the eighth grade and a couple of years later played ragtime piano for a living, taking jobs wherever he could, including bars, cabarets and whorehouses. He became known for a time as "Ragtime Jimmy."

Also made a living as a bandleader and talent booker.

Famous for a number of other beloved catch-phrases besides the "Mrs. Calabash" routine, including: "It's a catastrophe!", "I'm mortified!" "Surrounded by assassins!", "Everybody wants ta get inta da act!, and "Hotch-cha-cha-cha-cha!"

Sang the famous 'Frosty The Snowman' song.

Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. Pg. 146-148. New York: Facts on File, 1992.

A legal challenge to his adoption of daughter CeCe late in life, on the grounds that he was too old to care for such a young child, was dismissed by a judge, who said, "I've heard this man sing 'Young at Heart.'

His voice was the inspiration for that of the dog in the Tom and Jerry cartoons.

Has a street named after him on the east side of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Courtesy of

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Senator Bruno Will Not Seek Re-election

Looks like the Republicans can't catch a break these days. It will be interesting to see the political power struggle this will cause for the state GOP.


State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno released a statement Monday evening saying he will not seek re-election in November.

The news came on the last official day of the 2008 legislative session.

Bruno, 79, has served as leader of the Senate since 1995. He has represented the state's 43rd District, which includes Saratoga and Rensselaer, since 1976.

"I have decided that it is time to move on with my life and to give my constituents an opportunity for new representation and my colleagues in the Senate who have supported me, an opportunity for new leadership," he said in a statement.

The state's top Republican lost his wife earlier this year after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, although Bruno cited "timing" as the reason for his departure.

"After 32 years of many successes and a few failures, I know now more than ever, and I can say that with comfort and confidence, there is no calling greater than that of public service," Bruno said. "There have been few more rewarding experiences in my life. But, timing in life is everything. While there may never be a good time to make these kinds of life decisions, I have decided that it is time for me to move on with my life."

In response to Bruno's announcement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised his good friend.

"Joe Bruno has been a good friend to me and the people of New York City for all the years I have known him," said the mayor in a statement. "Time and again, when we have asked him for leadership, he has delivered -- for our schools, our environment, our economy, and our people. He has more than earned the right to retire, and we wish him all the best."

"The senator is certainly a piece of Albany, an era ends with Joe Bruno leaving," added State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Last year, Bruno's public feuds with then-Governor Eliot Spitzer gained even more attention when State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo accused Spitzer of hiring State Police to track the majority leader's travel records with the intent to smear Bruno's reputation.

There is no indication that an FBI probe into Bruno's private consulting business has anything to do with his stepping down.

If the Republicans maintain the majority following the November elections, a new leader will then be selected. Bruno's term ends December 31st.

Monday, June 23, 2008

From Queens Crap – Re-Flushed “Ask Tony”

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Let's ask Tony ...

No not Tony Nunziato, but Council Member Tony Avella what he thinks about QC statement that Anthony Como only won because he is Italian and the Italian American voters are too stupid and shouldn't be allowed to vote.

I found this very interesting statement on CM Avella's official page on the New York City Council website:

"As Chair of the Italian American Caucus, Tony has promoted Italian culture and heritage through an annual celebration at City Hall in October during Italian American Heritage Month. Tony has also been in the forefront of fighting the negative stereotyping of Italian Americans."

Wow ... This is the guy running for mayor? Yet he stand with QC and JPCA with their anti-Italian hatred?

Well, I figured I would give him the benefit of the doubt and wrote him the following open email:

To the Hon. Tony Avella,

In light of your position as Chair of the Italian American Caucus, the statement that you "have been on the forefront of fighting the negative stereotyping of Italian Americans", and your candidacy for Mayor of New York City, I would like to ask you to please comment on the following posting on the Queens Crap (QC) blog site (posted on Thursday, June 19, 2008) that has been one of your strongest supporters:

"After speaking with voters who participated in this month's special election, I have come to the conclusion that Anthony Como won based on mistaken identity. I noticed many people were mispronouncing his last name, so I dug a little deeper. And when phrases like, "I thought his father did a decent job as governor so I figured he'd be good" and "I guess politics runs in his family" are bandied about, then it's easy to put two and two together. (These are the same people who voted for Alan Hevesi years back because they thought he was Italian.) So, although the corrupt election process may have had something to do with the outcome, most of the blame has to be put on the blatant stupidity of voters in western Queens."

It seems clear to me and all the proud Italian Americans in CD 30 that this posting by QC is deliberately insulting to all the voters of CD 30 (especially to the Italian American voters), and is blatantly very stereotyping of Italian Americans.

I ask that you please comment on your feeling about this anti-Italian American posting and also how can you stand with a group like QC (in like of these statements) that is so transparently anti-Italian American.

I will be posting this email and your response to the same on my blog at

I anxiously await your reply.



Patriots Welcome "Queens Crap – Reflushed" to the Blogosphere

We have been alerted by email that a new blog has been created by MVBen and he asked that we help publicize his new site.

According to the tag line it is "a website for all of the bloggers whose real postings and feeling on "Queens Crap" get deleted. So come here and let the "truth" be told."

Visit Queens Crap Reflushed

From The Mind Of George Carlin

Mr. Carlin had a unique and philosophical outlook on the human condition. I believe he will be remembered as one of the greatest satirists of our time.

Here are a just a few of his thoughts:

  • Always do whatever's next.
  • At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom.
  • Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
  • By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth.
  • Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.
  • Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.
  • Dusting is a good example of the futility of trying to put things right. As soon as you dust, the fact of your next dusting has already been established.
  • Electricity is really just organized lightning.
  • Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.
  • Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.
  • Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?
  • "I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?
  • I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it.
  • I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away.
  • I think it would be interesting if old people got anti-Alzheimer's disease where they slowly began to recover other people's lost memories.
  • I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work.
  • I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me - they're cramming for their final exam.
  • I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
  • I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood.
  • I'm always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I'm listening to it.
  • I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.
  • I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect.
  • If God had intended us not to masturbate he would've made our arms shorter.
  • If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.
  • If we could just find out who's in charge, we could kill him.
  • If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten.
  • In comic strips, the person on the right always speaks first.
  • Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.
  • Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town.
  • May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.
  • Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.
  • Not only do I not know what's going on, I wouldn't know what to do about it if I did.
  • One can never know for sure what a deserted area looks like.
  • One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.
  • People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think.
  • Religion is just mind control.
  • Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.
  • Standing ovations have become far too commonplace. What we need are ovations where the audience members all punch and kick one another.
  • The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.
  • The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.
  • The reason I talk to myself is that I'm the only one whose answers I accept.
  • The status quo sucks.
  • The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.
  • There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.
  • There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.
  • Think off-center.
  • Weather forecast for tonight: dark.
  • Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?
  • What does it mean to pre-board? Do you get on before you get on?
  • When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day?
  • When Thomas Edison worked late into the night on the electric light, he had to do it by gas lamp or candle. I'm sure it made the work seem that much more urgent.
  • When you step on the brakes your life is in your foot's hands.
  • When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat.
  • You know an odd feeling? Sitting on the toilet eating a chocolate candy bar.
  • You know the good part about all those executions in Texas? Fewer Texans.

R.I.P. George Carlin

George Carlin mourned as a counterculture hero

By KEITH ST. CLAIR, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES - George Carlin, the frenzied performer whose routine "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television" led to a key Supreme Court ruling on obscenity, has died.

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. He was 71.

"He was a genius and I will miss him dearly," Jack Burns, who was the other half of a comedy duo with Carlin in the early 1960s, told The Associated Press.

Carlin's jokes constantly breached the accepted boundaries of comedy and language, particularly with his routine on the "Seven Words" — all of which are taboo on broadcast TV and radio to this day.

When he uttered all seven at a show in Milwaukee in 1972, he was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace, freed on $150 bail and exonerated when a Wisconsin judge dismissed the case, saying it was indecent but citing free speech and the lack of any disturbance.

When the words were later played on a New York radio station, they resulted in a 1978 Supreme Court ruling upholding the government's authority to sanction stations for broadcasting offensive language during hours when children might be listening.

"So my name is a footnote in American legal history, which I'm perversely kind of proud of," he told The Associated Press earlier this year.

Despite his reputation as unapologetically irreverent, Carlin was a television staple through the decades, serving as host of the "Saturday Night Live" debut in 1975 — noting on his Web site that he was "loaded on cocaine all week long" — and appearing some 130 times on "The Tonight Show."

He produced 23 comedy albums, 14 HBO specials, three books, a couple of TV shows and appeared in several movies, from his own comedy specials to "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" in 1989 — a testament to his range from cerebral satire and cultural commentary to downright silliness (and sometimes hitting all points in one stroke).

"Why do they lock gas station bathrooms?" he once mused. "Are they afraid someone will clean them?"

He won four Grammy Awards, each for best spoken comedy album, and was nominated for five Emmy awards. On Tuesday, it was announced that Carlin was being awarded the 11th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which will be presented Nov. 10 in Washington and broadcast on PBS.

Carlin started his career on the traditional nightclub circuit in a coat and tie, pairing with Burns to spoof TV game shows, news and movies. Perhaps in spite of the outlaw soul, "George was fairly conservative when I met him," said Burns, describing himself as the more left-leaning of the two. It was a degree of separation that would reverse when they came upon Lenny Bruce, the original shock comic, in the early '60s.

"We were working in Chicago, and we went to see Lenny, and we were both blown away," Burns said, recalling the moment as the beginning of the end for their collaboration if not their close friendship. "It was an epiphany for George. The comedy we were doing at the time wasn't exactly groundbreaking, and George knew then that he wanted to go in a different direction."

That direction would make Carlin as much a social commentator and philosopher as comedian, a position he would relish through the years.

"The whole problem with this idea of obscenity and indecency, and all of these things — bad language and whatever — it's all caused by one basic thing, and that is: religious superstition," Carlin told the AP in a 2004 interview. "There's an idea that the human body is somehow evil and bad and there are parts of it that are especially evil and bad, and we should be ashamed. Fear, guilt and shame are built into the attitude toward sex and the body. ... It's reflected in these prohibitions and these taboos that we have."

Carlin was born on May 12, 1937, and grew up in the Morningside Heights section of Manhattan, raised by a single mother. After dropping out of high school in the ninth grade, he joined the Air Force in 1954. He received three court-martials and numerous disciplinary punishments, according to his official Web site.

While in the Air Force he started working as an off-base disc jockey at a radio station in Shreveport, La., and after receiving a general discharge in 1957, took an announcing job at WEZE in Boston.

"Fired after three months for driving mobile news van to New York to buy pot," his Web site says.

From there he went on to a job on the night shift as a deejay at a radio station in Fort Worth, Texas. Carlin also worked variety of temporary jobs including a carnival organist and a marketing director for a peanut brittle.

In 1960, he left with Burns, a Texas radio buddy, for Hollywood to pursue a nightclub career as comedy team Burns & Carlin. He left with $300, but his first break came just months later when the duo appeared on Jack Paar's "Tonight Show."

Carlin said he hoped to emulate his childhood hero, Danny Kaye, the kindly, rubber-faced comedian who ruled over the decade Carlin grew up in — the 1950s — with a clever but gentle humor reflective of the times.

It didn't work for him, and the pair broke up by 1962.

"I was doing superficial comedy entertaining people who didn't really care: Businessmen, people in nightclubs, conservative people. And I had been doing that for the better part of 10 years when it finally dawned on me that I was in the wrong place doing the wrong things for the wrong people," Carlin reflected recently as he prepared for his 14th HBO special, "It's Bad For Ya."

Eventually Carlin lost the buttoned-up look, favoring the beard, ponytail and all-black attire for which he came to be known.

But even with his decidedly adult-comedy bent, Carlin never lost his childlike sense of mischief, even voicing kid-friendly projects like episodes of the TV show "Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends" and the spacey Volkswagen bus Fillmore in the 2006 Pixar hit "Cars."

Carlin's first wife, Brenda, died in 1997. He is survived by wife Sally Wade; daughter Kelly Carlin McCall; son-in-law Bob McCall; brother Patrick Carlin; and sister-in-law Marlene Carlin.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Queens Chronicle Assistant Editor Profiles Councilman Como

The Queens Chronicle wrote a profile on newly elected Councilman Anthony Como and at first glance it looks like the voters of 30th District picked a winner.

Let's hope he performs his duties up to his apparent capabilities. The story screams "local boy done good"

With Votes In, Como Takes District 30 Council Seat

Votes were officially certified by the city's Board of Elections last Friday in the special election for City Council District 30, giving Middle Village Republican Anthony Como a definitive, if narrow, victory in this hotly contested race.

With voting machines opened and recanvassed, and all paper ballots — including absentee and affidavit ballots — counted and recounted, and with all disputed ballots put to rest, the final count gave Como a 41-vote lead over Glendale Democrat Elizabeth Crowley, at 2,442 votes to 2,401.

Middle Village Republican and former District 30 City Councilman Thomas Ognibene came in a close third with 2,110 votes, while Ridgewood Democrat Charles Ober finished fourth with 766 votes.

Within political and media circles, it is easy to forget that amid all the hype attached to this sometimes bitter personal and ideological battle to replace the disgraced former-Councilman Dennis Gallagher — who in April was forced to resign as a part of a plea bargain over charges of sexual assault — attention to the race was low in a broader sense.

In a district which comprises a large part of middle Queens, including Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Glendale, and parts of Woodhaven and Richmond Hill, a turnout of fewer than 8,000 voters — though higher than many anticipated — was scarcely high by any other standard.

Local residents who have followed this election closely perhaps have a sense of who Como is, and what he wants to bring to the district in terms of his passions, ideals and causes. But for the tens of thousands of district residents who did not vote, but who he will represent, he is a man worth getting to know.

Como's name could gain importance in the coming years, even beyond district lines. By virtue of circumstance, term-limits in the City Council could mean he will wind up council speaker by virtue of seniority, due to the extra year-and-change added by having been elected June 3 (other council members go up for election or re-election in November 2009).

Complex state election law requires that he face election again this November, then again in November 2009, before sitting a full, four-year term (making him a good candidate for speaker in about five years). But the advantages of winning the seat now are clear in terms of establishing the Como brand before voters hit the polls again — and again.

The Queens Chronicle sat down with Como toward the end of a long day on Tuesday to get to know him a little better. The new office is familiar: it is the same one that belonged to Dennis Gallagher before he resigned, a corner, storefront office on Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village. For a few hours, the 34-year-old councilman relaxed, spoke about his ambitions and his life growing up in the area and sipped a large iced coffee just before dashing off to attend four evening meetings with civic groups, Little Leagues and seniors. He had been sworn into office just the day before.

Como was born at Wyckoff Heights Hospital, in Brooklyn, on April 22, 1974, the second of three children to Sicilian immigrant parents. For most of his young life, he lived with his parents, older sister Rosa and younger brother Sal on Woodbine Avenue, in Ridgewood, and attended Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Catholic school from first to eighth grade. During most of that time, his father worked in construction and carpentry unions and his mother was a seamstress.

After his father underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery, his parents opened a grocery store in Ridgewood, about the time Como was in eighth grade. Afternoons, he and his siblings would get home from school, change clothes and help out around the store, sweeping floors, organizing shelves, doing whatever small jobs needed doing. "It was the best thing," he said. "You learn the value of a dollar. And it made us an extremely close family.

It's not because I was forced to do it," he added. "But I realized that my parents had been there all day and I felt it was selfish of me to say, 'hey, I wanna go play outside,' but meanwhile my parents have worked already 10 to 12 hours."

His family moved to Middle Village around the time Como moved on to high school, when he attended Christ the King Regional High School, also in Middle Village. It was there that he first informally met state Sen. Serphin Maltese, on the board of directors at the school, who, in years to come, would become a "father figure" to Como.

It was a relationship that developed quickly when Como was at Queens College, where he earned a double-bachelor's degree in urban planning and political science. In his last year, he interned for Maltese, then took a full-time staff position with him the next year after he graduated.

For the three years following, from 1997 to 2000, Como stayed on staff with Maltese, while also juggling a full course load at Hofstra law school. "I'd always wanted to be an attorney," he said. "I always wanted to go to law school. Ask my family, since I was a kid, I always wanted to go."

While he worked for Maltese, he made a lasting impression. "He was a very bright young man," Maltese said. "Better than that, he was somebody that was very feeling, very concerned about the people that he dealt with. I could always depend on him to follow through."

Once he had finished law school, Como left Maltese's office with the senator's blessing to serve as an assistant district attorney under Queens District Attorney Richard Brown from 2001 to 2005.

We had many conversations about that," Maltese recalled. "I was an assistant DA … and I thought that since he wanted to stay in public service that he should take a similar route."

Once inside the courtroom, Como rose quickly to prominence. In a phone interview, Brown said that the assistant district attorneys who did "extraordinarily well" were assigned to the homicide investigations bureau. "They're the ones who arrive to homicide cases in the middle of the night and are the first line of defense to our obtaining all the background information that we need with respect to our homicides," Brown said.

In 2002, Como won the Hal Miller Weinstein Memorial Award in his first year, given to those first-year assistant district attorneys who, in Brown's words, most exemplify the "spirit, enthusiasm and dedication to public service" of the former assistant district attorney for whom the award was named, and whose life was cut tragically short in a car accident in 1992.

(Como) was certainly a team player," Brown said. "He was always willing to step up and lend a hand." He went on to commend his popularity among colleagues, his "good investigative instincts," and the long hours he put in after hours and on weekends.

In 2005, Como left the district attorney's office to run in a special election to replace Michael Cohen for the 28th District state Assembly seat, an election he lost to Andrew Hevesi. "It was a fun race," he said in retrospect. "But it worked out the way it did, and I believe everything happens for a reason."

With the election finished, Como soon took on the dual responsibilities of acting as chief legal council to Maltese, and working as the commissioner to the Queens Board of Elections.

In his first year, he was offered the presidency of the BOE for the city. "It was tough, because it was my first year," he said. "But I enjoyed the challenge and I enjoyed the job. Sometimes when you serve well, you get punished by getting another promotion."

Over the years, Como has served as a member on numerous organizations, including the Glendale Civic Association, Middle Village Property Owners / Residents Association, The Congress of Italian-American Organization and as legal counsel to the Juniper Park Civic Association.

He also formerly served as a board member for the Italian American Federal Credit Union and Italian Charities of America. Like his mentor, Maltese, he has also served on the board at Christ the King, a post he retains today.

Recently married to longtime sweetheart Tiziana, a school psychologist, he said he hopes to have children sometime soon, but is in no rush. He first looked forward to taking his wife away for a couple of days now that the grueling election race was over, and to moving into their new home in Middle Village, still under construction, within a few months.

That said, Como's greatest challenge clearly lies before him, a fact of which he was clearly aware. For starters, there's the city budget, which the City Council has to approve by June 30 — necessarily Como's top legislative priority at the moment.

But it's also no secret that in the wake of the Gallagher scandal — particularly because Gallagher was a divisive figure around the community to begin with — district residents are looking to move forward, a view expressed repeatedly from civic meetings to polling stations over the last several months.

"I was brought up by my family, and in politics, to believe that your word means something, and your handshake means something," he said. "That's the type of campaign I ran. … I ran on me and my merits, and I knew people would see that.

I owe something to the people that voted for me," he added. "And that's what I've got to deliver on now

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Como And Ognibene Bury The Hatchet

Tom Ognibene formally declared a truce with his erstwhile 30th CD special election opponent and fellow Republican, Councilman Anthony Como, and said he will not run against Como in the general election this fall.

"I am not going to run in the fall, I think it would do too much damage to the Republican Party," Ognibene said in an interview after Como's office announced the Republican truce in a press release.

The June 30th CD special election coincided with the first day for circulating petitions. Some candidates - including Ognibene - were already out in the field collecting names for a potential run in November. But Ognibene said he has instructed his volunteers to pull his petitions back.

Democrat Elizabeth Crowley's name is also on petitions being carried by the Queens Democratic organization.

In her concession to Como, Crowley pledged to "continue to speak out on the issues that matter to the families of my community." She did not rule out another run this fall when turnout will be significantly higher.

The petition period ends July 10 and candidates have until July 14 to decline, enabling committees to fill vacancies to select replacements.

The independent petitioning period starts July 8. Candidates must collect signatures from 5 percent of the number of voters in the district who cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election or 2,700 people - whichever is less.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bowling for Tax Dollars

Bowling has always been a fun activity for all members of the family. From the very young to the young at heart all can enjoy the sport of bowling. Unfortunately, bowling alleys have been closing around the area to make way for big box retail stores or residential development. Consequently, residents from Queens are waging a fight to keep bowling in our area.

Why can't city spare some tax deals for bowling alleys?

Monday, June 16th 2008, 2:25 PM

Jim Santora

What sport can you participate in when you are 2 years old and more than 100 years old? Bowling, of course!

According to the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), there were more than 67 million people who went bowling in 2007. Bowling is the No. 1 participation sport in the U.S. and yet it is getting harder and harder to find a bowling alley in the five boroughs.

In 1970, 125 bowling establishments existed in the boroughs; now, sadly, there are less than 25. In Queens alone, where just two months ago, there were seven, there are now five. The recent closings of the well-regarded and populated Woodhaven Lanes and Van Wyck Lanes sent bowlers reeling in search of other sites to continue their sport.

Senior citizens are finding it nearly impossible to navigate to more distant centers. Young children are being deprived of a neighborhood entertainment center and their popular bowling birthday parties. Teens and young adults need to find other exciting and safe things to do on Friday and Saturday nights instead of "Cosmic" bowling. On any given day, you can find people of all ages, colors, religions, nationalities and genders bowling together in harmony.

Woodhaven Lanes and Van Wyck Lanes were the victims of high rent and insurance, increases in the value of the property and the escalating costs of doing business. Reportedly, both will be leased to "big box" retailers with no ties to the neighborhood. Woodhaven Lanes served its community proudly for almost 50 years. It was more than a place to bowl. The center was a meeting place where lives seemingly developed in a blink of an eye, but actually over decades. People found their mates there, made lifelong friendships and received comfort when loved ones were lost.

Now, there isn't a place to mourn another lost loved one - Woodhaven Lanes. Generations of bowlers religiously frequented those lanes. Senior citizens and disabled bowlers eagerly awaited their daily and weekly visits to get away from their aches and troubles. It was vital and low-cost emotional and physical therapy. These are the precious jewels of life that future generations may not encounter.

Recently, two articles appeared in the Daily News stressing tax breaks for the purpose of keeping businesses in the city. Television and movie producers, major fast food chains such as McDonald's and White Castle as well as gas stations were handed large tax incentives. Tennis and golf clubs are routinely given tax breaks as well. None of those enterprises gives back to the community what bowling centers do and yet they are left out of the mix.

There were several bowling entrepreneurs - among them a well-respected proprietor, John LaSpina, an owner of four lanes in the metropolitan area - who were ready to step in and keep Woodhaven Lanes operational for decades to come. A tax incentive would have made a difference and kept the cost of running a bowling establishment at a reasonable level for both the bowler and the owner of the property.

Sadly, an agreement did not come to fruition. Many local politicians base their platforms on the dangers of "over-retailing" of the community and the need to provide quality of life. We have enough places to shop but not enough areas to socialize, play and share our lives. Isn't it time we invested in the community and its people by giving the bowling operators a tax break?

Jim Santora, 55, of Middle Village, was president of a 176-member bowling league at Woodhaven Lanes in Glendale until it closed May 18.

Buh-bye Willie...

Well his tenure wasn't as long as most had hoped...

But the Patriots wish him the best...

Sports Illustrated Story

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

ANTHONY COMO, 30th District Councilman

Congratulations to Anthony Como!

After recounts, Como declares victory

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 7:32 PM EDT
After a machine recount and absentee paper count, it appears Republican Anthony Como has held off Democrat Elizabeth Crowley by 38 votes in the 30th City Council District Special Election, although an official certification will likely not come until next week.

During a tumultuous Wednesday, June 11, at the city’s Board of Elections (BOE), Como’s vote-margin dipped below the 29-vote lead he held going into the absentee paper count, but by the end of the count, he had received 85 additional votes while Crowley only picked up 76.

“They always tend to go the same way as the machine goes,” an exuberant Como told The Courier shortly after he heard the news of the final totals. “It’s exactly what we predicted.”

As of press time, the Crowley campaign said they could not confirm the numbers or comment publicly.

Courtesy of the Queens Courier

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ober's Camp Throws Hissy Fit

Please read below this email from Esposito of the Ober for Council Campaign. This is a beautiful piece of hilarity and a bushel of sour grapes. The best part is when they give a special thanks to the JPCA, The Forum West, Christine Wilkinson and the Queens Crap.

Enjoy. You can't make this stuff up.

To all our supporters, our friends, our volunteers and our workers,

We will be releasing a press release in the coming days. But I wanted to just say a few things about this race. We won this race. Maybe not in the way many of you would understand, but we really are winners. We had 2 goals, 1 Charlie would win but more importantly was not to let Crowley take that seat. We felt that if Crowley won, this district would be in for a very bad 10 years and it would have strengthened the democratic machine here in Queens. We wanted other people and politicians to understand that the 6th crime family, the Queens Machine family, was not going to run things the way they used to anymore. We ran an honest and clean campaign. Ewe never lied, threatened, hurt or demanded anything from anyone. We remained respectable, and thoughtful this whole race. Charlie did not embellish himself like the other candidates did, he did not make up shit like the other candidates did, he did not threaten peoples job, positions or even friendships like the others did and we used community people to help us in our entire campaign unlike the others. I can sit here and go on and on about how many rotten and unethical things all the candidates did to try to get elected but in the end, we stayed true to ourselves, and true to who we really are. That is important to us because there was no acting or shenanigans like that all did. We did not hang up fliers all over the poles like all the others did. We did not go and rip down peoples banners and posters like the others did. We did not harass the other peoples volunteers like they did to us. We ran a respectable race with honesty and integrity reflecting Charles personality.

We are winners. We put the Queens machine in their place. We hurt Crowley's chances of ever getting elected. And county has 3 people to blame for that. Cathy Nolan, Lois Marbach and Cathy's wife Jerry Marsciano Nolan. The 3 of them knew since Dennis got arrested that Charlie was going to run. They may deny that now but it is true and Charlie saved the emails that he sent to Cathy about his race. Cathy Nolan underestimated Charlie and figured that he would never be able to mount a successful campaign and she promised him she would endorse him and the club would endorse him. She promised him that he would have her support. In the end Cathy lied flat out. Cathy sent out a damaging letter to all the board members of the club saying very hateful things about Charlie and basically letting the club members know that if they support Charlie she will not be their friend anymore, so no one in the Cathy Nolan Independent! Democratic club supported or endorsed Charlie because they are so afraid of not being able to play with Cathy anymore. Not to mention the fact that Cathy threatened her employees that they would be fired if they supported Charlie. Imagine a grown woman using her power and position to control people. Well, that is politics. And lets see if Cathy is going to get 260 people to show up to the 100th anniversary dinner in 2 weeks. If not for Charlie she would have never had such successful events. But now that Charlie is not helping her lets see if they can top 260 like last year I doubt it.

Cathy Nolan cursed me out in front of 8 people. She accused me of not belonging to the neighborhood and why the **** I was even involved in the club. She accused me of coming into her neighborhood and getting involved in local politics, not realizing that Charlie and I have been friends for over 20 years. She lost her cool because she knew that I was going to mount a serious campaign and did not want that. All along her and Lois tried to set Charlie up for a fall and they failed and now they have to face county.

Cathy Nolan the assemblywoman on Easter Eve not only cursed me out but also threatened Charlie, that if he ran he would cause the world to fall on her club. To be exact, she stated that some people would lose their jobs, that Lois would not get any work, that the club will lose support, that no one will support the club anymore, that no politician will ever speak at the club again, that he would lose his partner, that he would lose his friends, that the club functions will fall apart, that the dinner will not be successful because no one will come because he is running against Crowley, that the club will divide itself, that she would lose her precious power within the club because Charlie was going to run. The only thing Cathy did not blame on Charles' run was the Iraq war. Her and her cohorts tried everything to get Charlie not to run. They even tried to see if they could buy him out of the race. What no one knows is that Charlie cannot be bought and he will not compromise his principals and morals like Cathy did. Charlie is true to himself. He is a man of integrity and honesty. He is a man that stands on those same principles he was taught as a kid. Money and power does not motivate him for a seat. He is absolutely a caring person. Cathy Nolan should be ashamed of herself. A former employee went on to say that Cathy is very afraid of having to run a campaign after being in office for 22 years. She is so afraid because she is so out of touch with the community and the changes that have come over the 22 years. Cathy does not to have an opponent. That is why Nolan did not want Charlie to run because county threatened an opponent against her. County also called on every city employee that got a job because of county and threatened their status if they did not help Crowley. They used their power to threaten all the city council employees to say that if they did not help Crowley they may not have a job later on. This needs to be investigated because this is how the Mafia got their start, through intimidate=ion and threats. Crowley a congressman having his cohorts threaten people and threaten peoples jobs. Is this what we have come down to?

We ran an absolute honest campaign. Wee did everything by the books. All these wonderful endorsements and kind words about Charlie are really true. I think that a combination of Crowley's people sending out that letter to the community making homosexuality an issue is part of our down fall. But that only shows you how hypocritical the democrats are. Being gay is only good enough when you need our money, out time and our energy. But when a gay person wants to run for office that is where they draw the line. They are all 2 faced individuals who have to live with themselves for how they acted in this race. Charlie Ober never once used the gay issue as something to run on. We never marched down Myrtle Ave trying to make a point we never brought the gay community here to make an issue we had a small press conference and put a period to it and went on. That letter was a vicious attempt by the Democrats to come after Charlie because they had nothing else to go after him with. He has nothing to hide. He is completely clean and scandal free. So they used his sexuality to scare the people from voting for Charlie. Plain and simple.

We lost because we would not have people go in the polling sites voting under dead people's names, we would not threaten people if they did not support us, we did not fight with people, we did not use horrible tactics to hurt any of the candidates all we did was tell the truth all along and even though we lost the race CROWLEY is not the councilwoman of the 30th district and that is great. Now we need to start again and we hope that the people of the 30th district take this more seriously and see why the NY Times, the Independent Party and the 504 Democrats endorsed Charlie, because he really is a man of integrity and honesty and that he will never compromise for anyone. Charlie cannot be bought out.

I am also putting word out that we are looking for people who want to run for the assembly seat against Nolan. And the committee chair against Vanbramer. I will run your petitions with Charles in certain areas and I will run the petitions for you in the other areas also. All I need are 2 people who would like to run for office. I will take it from there. Please contact me if you want to run and we will talk about logistics.

It is a time to vote out the good for nothings, the people who want to keep their little club together without having outsiders come in and know the truth about all the money they waste on themselves, all the money they give away to groups that are part of their little piggy banks and we want honest people who are going to use the people's tax money in ways that mean something and not in ways that are for themselves beneficial.

A special thank you to the JPCA, Pat Adams at The Forum, Christine Wilkinson and Queens Crap for all your support, among the other people that helped and there was a lot. We have made a lot of good friends and that you cannot vote out. These people are hard working people who make it there business to help the community all the time. We will announce after petitioning what our plans will be but do not count out Ober because we have only started and have a lot more fight in us.

And remember if you are interested in running for the 37 assembly or for committee chair let us know we will be glad to run your petitions for free. We have a lot of people who want to help us now and we will do it as volunteers for you.

Ober for Council Campaign

Monday, June 9, 2008

Visiting the Windy City...

Be back on Wednesday...

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Nursery Song for Eric Ulbitch

One …two, we're Coming for you

Three… four, he's Holden's Whore

Five…six, No Carrot but a Stick

Seven…eight, We'll Seal His Fate

Nine…Ten, He'll Never Run Again

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Holden, Wilkinson and Avella's Impotence

I haven't stop laughing since last night because I've been thinking about Holden, Wilkinson and Avella crying over their abysmal election failure last night.

Once again, Bobby, Christina and Tony have proven they are politically impotent and personally bankrupt.

Consequently, the two candidates that they supported came in last as opposed to the two candidates Holden, Wilkinson, Avella and Crappy attacked over and over again.

The end is drawing near for these despicable individuals and we are over come with joy.

Congratulations to Como

It is being reported that Anthony Como has won the Special Election for the 30th Council District by 74 votes.

Como By 70 In 30th CD (Updated)

With 100 percent of the vote in, it appears the Republicans have just barely managed to hold on to the 30th CD seat that used to belong to former Councilman Dennis Gallagher, maintaining their three-member conference.

The unofficial results, according to the city Board of Elections, are as follows:

Anthony Como: 2,352, 31.71 percent.

Elizabeth Crowley: 2,282, 30.77 percent.

Thomas Ognibene: 2,031, 27.38 percent.

Charles Ober: 752, 10.14

UPDATE: There are 196 valid absentee ballots so far, according to board spokeswoman Valerie Vasquez-Rivera, and they can be received by the board up until next Tuesday.

So much for the idea that having once held a seat gives you an edge in trying to get it back, not to mention the clout (or lack thereof) of The Times endorsement in the 30th.

It's also, one might argue, a triumph of the establishment over independence. Both Crowley and Como were endorsed by their respective county party committees.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008




Monday, June 2, 2008

Ognibene The True Spoiler Candidate

In a recent mailing, the friends of Tom Ognibene put out a letter chastising other candidates of being spoilers. However, Ognibene has the history of being the premier spoiler for his own personal and political gain.

According to reliable sources, a poll conducted by Ognibene revealed that the race for the 30th District Council Seat is between Crowley & Como. Therefore, they made a feeble attempt to divide dedicated Republican voters in hopes of exacting their own personal vendettas.

Oginbene tried (unsuccessfully) to run against Mayor Bloomberg and didn’t care that he would be helping democrat, Freddy Ferrer. Therefore, Ognibene calling anyone a spoiler is absurd and an insult to republicans, conservatives and all voters.

Matt Hunter signed the letter but failed to inform readers that is a liberal leftists and that he has been a Crowley contributor since day one despite his new republican affiliation.

Gabriel Tapalaga signed the letter in the hopes of securing his wife another chief of staff position. Let us not forget that his wife was Gallagher’s part-time chief of staff.

Bart Haggerty signed the letter as a political wannabe who has delusions of grandeur of taking over the Queens’ GOP. Thankfully, the Haggarty’s have as much influence as an umbrella salesman in the Mojave Desert.


Holden Supports Developers, Corruption and Gallagher

The Patriots are going to utilize mathematical logic to prove the above title. In logic, you are able to make certain assertions by other known facts.

Here goes:

If Holden endorses Ognibene,

and Ognibene takes a lot of money from developers…

Then Holden supports developers.

If Holden endorses Ognibene,

and Ognibene is named in a bribery scandal…

Then Holden condones bribery of public officials

If Holden endorses Ognibene,

and Ognibene has defended Gallagher and called Dennis an effective public servant…

Then Holden defends the competence of Gallagher

Now we are totally aware that this is faulty logic because the only thing that Holden supports is his own greed, personal gains, individual vendettas and his sole purpose of taking over the Juniper Park Ballfileds to erect his evil palace, the Taj MaHolden.

In the end, Robert Holden is just a hypocritical asshole.


Ober Disses Christina Wilkinson

In a recent mailing condemning overdevelopment, Charles Ober used the above picture to show how the JPCA helped destroy Neidersteins although they "say" they wanted to preserve the civil war relic.

The hilarious aspect is that WE created the picture Ober used to show how hypocritical Christina Wilkinson (depicted as a weeble wobble) and Robert Holden are because Arby's is now a big advertiser in their Forum Crap.

Nice Job Ober!

See link below

Christina Wilkinson Flip Flops on Arby's