Maureen Walthers, former owner and publisher of Ridgewood Times, to be honored with street renaming ceremony

Photo by Douglas Kearse

Queens residents will honor Maureen Walthers, the former longtime owner and publisher of the Ridgewood Times and Times Newsweekly, with a street renaming ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 27.

The occasion is planned to take place at 11 a.m. at the north corner of Woodbine Street and Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood, close to where she once resided.

Walthers died on Aug. 30, 2020, after a brief illness. She was 86 years old.

Walthers’ daughter, Patricia Mack, will speak at the occasion, along with Robert Pozarycki, former editor-in-chief of the Ridgewood Times and current editor-in-chief of amNewYork Metro. Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and former Senator Serphin R. Maltese will also attend the occasion.

The event will be sponsored by Councilman Robert Holden’s office.

In an interview with QNS, Holden spoke about Walthers’ lifelong contributions to the community where she grew up and resided for most of her life.

“I’m proud to co-name the street near the corner of Woodbine Street and Fresh Pond Road for Maureen Walthers. She was a reporter, publisher and long-time civic activist who poured her heart and soul into her work and dedicated her life to making Queens a better place,” Holden said.

During her time at the Ridgewood Times, Walthers was on the front lines covering the civic scene in Ridgewood and neighboring Bushwick, Brooklyn, during the 1970s. She would ride along with police officers and firefighters as they responded to emergencies in both communities.

Monsignor James Kelly (left), pastor of St. Brigid Church, is pictured with Maureen Walthers and Carl Clemens of the Ridgewood Times in 1978 being honored for their seven-part series, “The Agony of Bushwick.” (Ridgewood Times archives)

In 1981, Walthers became the Ridgewood Times’ first female editor, as well as executive vice president and co-owner. Two years later, she purchased the paper from the then owner, Carl Clemons, who remained on board as publisher emeritus until his death. After completing the sale, she brought her son, John T. Walthers, on board to help her run the operation.

At the office, Maureen was known for her bubbly personality, lighting up the room with her sharp wit, never afraid to speak her mind. She guided the editorial team with an enthusiastic, straightforward style, always emphasizing fact-based reporting while keeping a constant pulse on the beat of the communities the paper serves.

A Ridgewood Times office party in 1986. Maureen is seated second from left, next to her son, John T. Walthers (second from right). (Ridgewood Times archives)

Holden also spoke about Walthers’ involvement in several local causes.

“Even while publishing her own paper, Maureen was active in civic associations and a member of Queens Community Board 5.  She co-founded the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society and took an active role in helping to preserve and landmark Onderdonk House, a colonial farmhouse on Flushing Avenue. She was also a member of the Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation,” Holden said.

Maureen Walthers (seated, second from right) and members of the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society in 1976. (Ridgewood Times archives)

“Maureen Walthers is a credit to Ridgewood and our district,” he added.

The Ridgewood Times, which Schneps Media purchased in 2015, is an affiliate of QNS.

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