Learning from a more recent past: The Bayside Times looks back on 10 years of news reporting

Bayside Times Graphic for Ani
By Anthony Medina

The Bayside Times celebrates its 90th anniversary this year and there’s no better time to reflect on years worth of news-gathering and community storytelling. No longer are newsrooms filled with cigarette smoke and rotary phones rigging non-stop, but what remains is the tenacity of the reporters who continue to bring essential news stories to the public. 

Since the inception of the Bayside Times, the award-winning journalists behind the paper have led the way in community news reporting and in sharing vital information with their readers. 

Our coverage spans a broad spectrum: from celebrating community heroes and their significant contributions to our neighborhoods, to reporting on crime, emergencies, and political developments. We also share stories of loss and tragedy, acknowledging the moments that touch our lives with sorrow.

The Bayside Times has consistently delivered essential information to its readers, offering insights into the most significant stories from the past decade in the news industry. This exploration reveals how a venerable name in print journalism has adeptly navigated and surmounted the broader challenges facing the community.

Here are some of the top stories that have defined our coverage and captivated our audience in just the past 10 years.


Willets Pt shops eye new home 

At the very beginning of the Willets Point transformation, in Corona, The Bayside Times followed what would become of the businesses that occupied the space. At least 40 businesses owners were expected to move their shops to the Bronx, in their search for a similar space that could accommodate the vast majority of goods and services offered. The redevelopment of Willets Point remained a controversial topic among civic groups and elected officials for many years to follow. 

Cuomo orders plane noise study

For years, residents voiced their concerns over essesive noise coming from helecoptors and aircrafts passing through Bayside and the surrounding neighborhoods. The noise issues didn’t go away and The Bayside Times made sure to document the public’s outcry for some sort of resolution. At the time, Governor Andrew Cumo diirected the Port Authority to conduct an noise study to address community concerns both in the Bayside area and throughout the city. 

Avella Fends Off Primary Challenge

The special news coverage of political races often made its way to the front page of The Bayside Times. These stories were mostly written the on same night when polling numbers were revealed to the public and one or many parties claimed victory. In this news story, the former city comptroller John Liu refused to accept defeat from Senator Tony Avella, in a Senate Democratic Primary race. 


Mario Cuomo laid to rest

The death of Mario Cuomo, New York State Govenor from 1983-1994, sent ripples throughout the city. The funeral of the once three-term Govenor of New York State made the front page of The Bayside Times, in addition to the front pages of publications throughout the city. The news coverage accurately described the legacy Cuomo left behind, while giving a space to those mourning the loss of the widley known public figure. Death often made it’s way to the front page of The Bayside Times, and although it often evoked sorrow in readers, it served as an essential role in reminder of the lives and work of the dead. 

Ally Pond given new life

As the second largest public park in Queens, the addition of 3,500 trees and 1,500 new shrubs created a sense of unity for a community that took pride in their public park space. Furthermore, the intervention of The New York Knicks showed yet another example of New York pride taking place on a local scale. 

City Honors the Matinecock

When a Native American Tribe was honored in a street co-naming in Little Neck, The Bayside Times jumped on the opportunity to share the story. The co-naming paid homage to The Matinecock, a branch of the Alogonquin Indian Nation that once inhabited villages where Flushing, College Point, Bayside, and Douglaston exists. The unique tale of recognition given to the grouping of Native Americans allowed for a inside look at a neighborhoods’ history and progress. 


Queens digs out from blizzard

The second worst snow-storm in the city’s history took place in 2017 with close to four feet of snow fall. The Bayside Times covered the aftermath of the snowstorm and held former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio accountable for a obvious neglect of central Queens neighborhoods by city agencies. 

First Lunar holiday makes history

Years before Letitia James entered the role of New York City Attorney General, she joined with community leaders in Flushing to announce the addition of Lunar New Year as a school holiday. James helped to make history as the widely celebrated holiday became recognized in city schools. The Bayside Times was able to follow the legislative progress on its way to becoming and official addition to the city. 

Maspeth protesters rejuvenated

A video shared online through former Mayor Bill de Blasio captured children as part of a homeless shelter in Maspeth being sent on a trip to the Children’s Museum in Manhattan, in what was believed to be an effort to keep them away from protesters. The video re-fueled protesters in several neighborhoods who already shared their opposition towards hotels turned homeless shelters.


Blaze destroys 14 businesses

As a fire ripped through 14 known businesses in Kew Gardens Hills, residents turned their attention to The Bayside Times for answers. The fire took place right at the start of the New Year, at a time when celebrations occur throughout the city. Small businesses were directly impacted by the fire and The Bayside Times shared the words of residents who were all too familiar with the mom-and-pop shops.

Anti-Semitic crims on rise

A recorded rise in anti-semitic crimes towards members of Jewish faith concerned two Flushing lawmakers after personally receiving threats based on their religious beliefs. Further investigations revealed a nation wide issue, but emphasized a growing unity among residents to dispel hate speech. 

Ally Pond tortoise stolen

A beloved tortoise at the Alley Pond Environmental Center was suddenly stolen from his home. The Bayside Times spoke with law enforcement and officials at the park who couldn’t truly determine what the motive was behind the tortoise theft. Thankfully, in July, the missing tortoise was found and returned to the Ally Pond habitat. The thief was later sentenced to six months in prison. 


Willets Pointers Blast Blaz

Willets Point once again took front page of The Bayside Times months after initial reporting about the city’s plan to redevelop the area were released. Once phase one of the city’s plans were underway, controversy about the plot of land generated additional questions. The reporting on Willets Point showcased a divide between council members and the city Mayor. 

Community comes together to put Baby Dutch to rest

The Bayside Times story on the burial of a tiny infant baby found dead in a playground garbage can evoked a deep sense of sorrow and pain to all of its readers. Astoria mourned the loss together and with grace. 

Protesters demand new renewals for older drivers

News coverage of protests continued to take page one of The Bayside Times as the years progressed. Protesters in Whitestone advocated for new legislation that would require older drivers to renew their licenses, following the death of a 17-year-old child. 


City Hall protest for College Pt. Shelter Plan 

Plans for a homeless shelter to open in College Point made its way to City Hall after residents repeatedly voiced their opposition towards the new additional housing in their neighborhood. In the unfolding of events, similar to what was reported in the past, opponents and supporters of the shelter hurled accusations against each other. The outcry from residents about the shelter led to it’s extensive news coverage. 

More noise relief for northern Queens 

Following a series of studies about frequent helicopter noise for the Bayside and Whitestone Area, news of an extension to an alternate helicopter route used avoid bringing noise to residents provided temporary relief for residents. 

Game, set & match for racquet club

A Bayside Tennis and Racquets Club center was sold for $12.25 million dollars and the hopes of locals to keep the space were squashed. The Bayside Times documented the million dollar deal and what would potentially come from the site. 


Mask shortage in Flushing

Covid-19 took its grasp of the city and the need for more personal protective equipment became scarce. In Flushing, where residents were already concerned over misinformation spread about how the virus came to the U.S., residents turned to their elected officials for answers. Those elected officals then turned to the city. 

Flushing Community leaders stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s protest

Civil unrest in the city after the death of George Floyod while in Police custody sparked outrage throughout the country. Demonstrations held in Flushing showed solidarity with protesters who continued to champion the end of police brutality. 

BLM protesters march through Bayside

The Black Lives Matter movement brought into question how law enforcement interacts with diverse communities in a modern setting. The death of George Floyd brought a continued movmenet to end police brutality and hold law enforcement accountable for the discrimination of diverse communities. The Bayside Times made sure to document the BLM movement. 


Queens Polio Pioneer among first to receive COVID-19 vaccine at Whitestone Nursing Home

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and fears of a new vaccine to lessen the impact of the vitus, community leaders took a stand to encourage vaccination. One of those leaders was a survivor of the polio epidemeic, who bravely allowed The Bayside Times to document her vaccination. 

Community leaders rally against anti-asian hate on National Day of Action and Healing

An unfortunate outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic involved a rise in hate grimes towards Asian communities across the city. In neighborhoods packed with rich Asian culture and roots, residents felt especially target by some who would turn to violence over missinformation about how the virus arrived in the city. Only through the advocacy of residents and the spreading of fact based news gathering, were the misconceptions towards Asian cultures thwarted. 

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival returns

The city that never sleeps was forced to shut down during the hight of the COVID-19 pandemic, where social distancing practices were in full effect and the transmission rate of the virus remained at an all time high. Despite the challenges faced in the pandemic, the return of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival brough back a sense of regularity to residents. 


Flushing residents commemorate capital attack with virtual candlelight

In 2022, the attack on the capital building in Washington by radical supporters of President Donald Trump, in addition to other radicalized groups, reached it’s one year anniversary. Flushing residents acknowledged the anniversary on the historic attack on democracy, while still searching for those responsible to be brought to justice. 

Bayside lawmakers share residents’ frustrations

Issues with squatters brought Bayside residents together to vent about an airbnb guest who overstayed their welcome, and couldn’t face eviction due to squatters rights laws. The issue remains one that comes to the forefront of community conversations and The Bayside Times coverage of squatters shows a consistent shortfall from city officials. 


Congressman George Santos says he will not be resigning after admitting to lying about his past

After being caught in the series of lies about his past and experiences, George Santors refeuesed to resign from his post as a member of Congress. What followed this decision was months worth of news reporting by The Bayside Times on additional lies told by Santos and outrage from fellow elected officials who were just as upset about the deception as the constituents he served. 


Another fine mess

New sex harassment charge hit scandal-ridden Rep. Santos

In addition to the numerous lies uncovered about the disgraced congressman George Santos, new allegations of sexual harassment were revealed. The additional discovery his misdeeds developed into a new resume of lies that were carefully reported by The Bayside Times. The attention to the elected official gave reason to why good journalism remains necessary in holding entities accountable for their actions. 

End of an era 

Owners announce closure of Bayside Diner, a longtime neighborhood staple, after decades of service

The closure of the Bayside Dinner resonated the readers of The Bayside Times. The COVID-19 pandemic placed many family owned establishments out of business and growing inflation caused additional financial strain. Bayside Dinner stood the test of time for many years and it’s departure from the neighborhood warranted front page news coverage on The Bayside Times. 


Cardozo High School alum planning to open cannabis shop with help from justice involved program

The roll-out of legal adult-use cannabis dispensaries with the historic legalization of marajuana created new business ventures for some New Yorkers and more health concerns from others. The Bayside Times followed the process of opening cannabis dispensaries and highlighted one business owner, familiar to the neighborhood, who planned on bringing legal cannabis to the neighborhood. More stories highlihgitng cannabis businesses shortly followed. 


Near the end of an era?

Whitestone theater in jeopardy with Jamaica Multiplex set to shutter

Fear over the end of movie theaters spread throughout the city as more cinemas shuttered its doors. When Multiplex Cinemas, as part of Shocase Cinemas, began shutting down, a popular Whistone theater was in jeopardy of joining the wave of closings. Reporting done by The Bayside Times discovered the official closing of the theatre, coming in May. 

Shocking loss of Paul Vallone

Paul Vallone, former northeast Queens council member, dies at 56

The life of a respected city council member and civic leader was cut short, with many who were familiar with his work paying their respects. Paul Vallone died at 56-years-old and left a legacy of steafast advocacy in his passing. 

Smoke Shops Seized

Authorities raid illegal cannabis dispensaries in College Point, Whitestone

The beginning of legal cannabis dispensaries also brought its antithesis in the form of illegal smoke shops. A developing problem that plagues neighborhoods throughout Queens also came to Bayside and surrounding neighborhoods. Elected officials have come together to help stop the abundance of smoke shops through the use of multi-agency efforts, but without further intervention from New York Govenor Kathy Hochul, the NYPD is limited in their ability to shutter these shops indefinitely.