2007-07-25 / Features

News Of The Neighborhoods

COMPILED BY LIZ GOFF

Soprano Star Shot In Queens

Emmy Award-winning "Sopranos" star Michael Imperioli was spotted decked out in a Mets uniform at Shea Stadium on July 17, where he was filming the TV movie "For One More Day".

The film, based on author Mitch Albom's best-seller of the same name, features Imperioli as a hard-nosed, broken down former baseball player- and father- who falls into alcoholism and depression and is magically granted one more day to redeem himself, producers said. Imperioli, who played "Soprano" family member Christopher Moltisanti in the hit HBO TV mob series, co-stars alongside Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn and his real-life son, Vadim, 10, who is making his screen debut in the upcoming made-for-TV film.

Ban On Motorists 'Texting' While Driving

City motorists may soon find themselves in trouble with the law if they drive while sending or receiving text messages.

State lawmakers are calling for a ban on driving while texting following the deaths of five upstate teenagers who died while a teen driver was text-messaging friends while driving her SUV.

The measure, sponsored by state Senator Carl Marcellino and Assemblymember Felix Ortiz, calls for fines up to $100 for those caught text messaging while driving- the same penalty slapped on motorists caught talking on cell phones while driving. Ortiz, who authored the law prohibiting motorists from using hand-held cellphones while driving, said: "It's a shame that it may take a tragedy like the deaths of five teenagers for this measure to move toward approval by state lawmakers."

Tests performed on the SUV driver after the June crash in Canandiagua, New York showed the primary cause of the accident was driver inattention, caused by her apparent text messaging while driving. Tests showed that alcohol was not a factor in the accident. Police said the 17- year-old driver was on her way to a celebration with four friends who had just graduated high school when the crash occurred.

Cooling Centers Open

Cooling centers throughout Queens opened their doors beginning July 9 to residents seeking a way to beat the heat.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged Queens residents of all ages to take a break from the heat during designated heat emergencies, when temperatures exceed 90 degrees, by visiting one of the borough's 74 cooling centers.

For more information on a cooling center in your neighborhood, including hours of operation, call 311 or 212-504- 4115.

Muni-Meters On Union Turnpike

Motorists in Flushing and Fresh Meadows who park their vehicles for business or pleasure on Union Turnpike are experiencing the demise of conventional parking meters.

The city Department of Transportation (DOT) is in the process of installing 62 Muni-Meters along Union Turnpike from Main Street to 193rd Street, replacing 351 old, self-standing meters. DOT crews started making the changes on July 14, when 62 of the old meters were removed from 193rd Street to 185th Street, officials said. Additional removals are scheduled for July 21-24.

DOT officials said that Muni-Meters already installed on shopping strips in other areas of Queens have successfully increased the number of curbside parking spaces.

"Motorists who park in Muni-Metered areas are able to utilize the entire regulated curbside. Spaces are not lost due to arbitrary spacing associated with singlespaced meters," agency officials said in a prepared statement..

Muni-Meters, first considered for use by city officials in the 1980s, are more accurate than traditional parking meters, according to DOT officials. The computerized Muni-Meters accept quarters, dollar coins and paper currency as well as credit cards. Motorists may also purchase New York City Parking Cards in denominations of $20 and $50 for use in the new meters.

For more information about Muni- Meters or to purchase parking cards call 311 or go to www.nyc.gov/dot.

Mets Cookbook 'Smokin' Off Shelves

The "Gour-Mets" are cooking on and off the bases this season with the team's new 56-page cookbook. Fans can savor favorite recipes of players, trainers and even team manager, Willie Randolph.

The spiral-bound cookbook featuring plastic-coated pages, contains 47 recipes, from heart-healthy meals inspired by Mets trainers to "Homemade Hamburgers" dished out by team mascot, Mr. Met. Proceeds from all sales go directly to the Food Bank for New York City and Island Harvest to support hunger relief efforts.

According to sources, Island Harvest supplies surplus food to more than 425 nonprofit agencies on Long Island. The Food Bank for New York provides 68 million pounds of food each year to more than 1,000 emergency and neighborhood food programs throughout the five boroughs, providing more than 250,000 meals each day.

The "GourMets" cookbook is available at all Stop & Shop Supermarkets, Mets Clubhouse Stores, and the Mets Team Store at Shea Stadium or online at www.newyork.mets.mlb.com/nym/fan_f orum/fan_information.jsp.

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