VOL. 16 • NUMBER 46 • NOVEMBER 16, 2017
Howard Beach • Ozone Park • South Ozone Park • Woodhaven • Richmond Hill • Broad Channel Forest Hills • Middle Village • Glendale • Maspeth
South & West
Joe Mure’s ‘Little North Pole’ Celebration Raises Holiday Spirits and $25K for Type 1 Diabetes Research The Neponsit event is attorney Mure’s annual Christmas gift to the community.
See Story on Page 9 Forum Photo
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 46 NOVEMBER 16, 2017 | 1
MTA Set to Launch Access-A-Ride E-Hail Booking App By Forum Staff The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Monday indicated that it is advancing “a number of technological initiatives to improve the experience for Paratransit customers,” including the launch of a pilot program to provide the first ever on-demand e-hail trip bookings, GPSbased vehicle tracking and the accelerated development of a unified smartphone application for all Access-A-Ride services. The e-hail app pilot launches this month. According to the MTA, it will allow Paratransit customers to electronically hail yellow or green taxicabs on demand, similar to popular on-demand ride services such as Uber, Lyft and others. Paratransit, a division of MTA New York City Transit’s Department of Buses, has contracted Verifone to support the technological services required to disseminate trip requests to approximately 13,500 Taxi & Limousine Commission-licensed cabs throughout the five boroughs. The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission has also been a partner in developing and launching this program, the MTA said. The pilot will test the app with 200 Access-A-Ride customers to gather feedback, with plans to expand the pool of users and ultimately to increase
book their trips by calling a dedicated line at the Paratransit call center specifically for on-demand and same-day rides. Paratransit will collect customer feedback through surveys and focus groups. In addition to testing the e-hail smartphone app, Paratransit is also accelerating the development of a single unified Paratransit app for release by mid-2018. The app would incorporate all aspects of customer service, from trip management such as scheduling rides and tracking vehicles to customer service such as giving feedback or updating account information. While Paratransit continues to develop this smartphone app, the existing Paratransit web portal is being updated to incorporate new customer service functions such as trip management and vehicle tracking with real-time Google Maps locators and continuous updates for estimated arrival times. “We’ve been working hard to improve the quality of service and convenience for Photo Courtesy of MTA Paratransit riders, using advanced technolThe MTA unified smartphone application for all Access-A-Ride services is being developed now for a mid-2016 ogies from the private sector and incorporelease. rating feedback from our customers,” said MTA President Patrick Foye. “Real-time, significantly the number of on-demand e- of 200 customers will use a customized on-demand, GPS-based trip booking and hail trips. smartphone app to hail their rides either tracking will bring significant improveAccording to the MTA, during the first on-demand or to reserve a trip up to 24 ments to the Paratransit experience.” phase of the pilot, half of the initial group hours in advance. The other volunteers will
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Select Bus Service Debuts along Woodhaven-Cross Bay Corridor By Michael V. Cusenza The groans and profanity-laced tirades were muffled only by the steady, piercing wail of car horns. Rush hour in Midtown Manhattan? Nope. Welcome to Select Bus Service along Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards. The City Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week launched the operation of Q52/ Q53 SBS, the fifteenth SBS route, and at about 15 miles in length, the longest corridor to feature the service. According to the administration, the latest SBS route covers a 14.7-mile corridor that serves more than 30,000 daily bus riders, with connections to eight subway lines and more than 20 additional bus routes in the borough communities of Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Rockaway Park, Arverne, Elmhurst, Rego Park, and Middle Village. The Q52 and Q53 have a combined daily ridership of 20,000 commuters, but altogether, more than 45,000 daily riders of World’s Borough bus routes, including express bus pas-
Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza
Select Bus Service features include kiosks, like these at Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue, where customers can pay for their ride prior to boarding the bus.
sengers, will benefit from improvements along Woodhaven and Cross Bay, the City said. According to DOT, the Woodhaven-Cross Bay SBS route features: Safety Improvements: The corridor contains eight Vision Zero Priority intersections, including at Woodhaven Boulevard-Union Turnpike, which were all redesigned as part of the arrival of the service. Altogether, more than 30 intersections are being upgraded and improved for pedestrian safety and/
or traffic flow as part of DOT’s largest safety project in 2017. The City noted that the Q52/53 SBS service brings new red-paved bus lanes, real-time bus information, improved pedestrian safety elements and other enhancements, including new median bus stops along 1.3 miles of the boulevards now with service roads. A portion of the corridor was resurfaced this past year in advance of the improvements. Bus-Lane Enforcement: Automated camera enforcement will
be in effect, and motorists driving in the new red bus lanes along the Q52/Q53 route will be issued mailed warnings starting Sunday Nov. 19. The warning period extends 60 days, after which violations replace warnings. Bus lanes will be in effect curbside in residential areas from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, and curbside along Cross Bay Boulevard from 7-10 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Bus lanes offset from parking lane or in the main road will be in effect 24 hours,
seven days a week, and curbside parking will be preserved. Transit Signal Priority: The new SBS route includes Transit Signal Priority, a technology that is used to speed buses, hold green lights for buses and more quickly turn red lights green. Currently active along five other SBS bus routes, TSP has reduced bus travel times by an average of 18 percent. However, most, if not all, communities that would be directly impacted by the new SBS route were vehemently opposed to the plan. And, according to a Tuesday CBS New York report, their worries have apparently come to fruition. Some drivers said “their rush hour commutes have nearly doubled since the change…and there are people who say it has added an hour to their commute.” “The Queens Public Transit Committee warned us!” QPTC Chairman Phil McManus told The Forum on Tuesday. “It divides commuters and increases gridlock, tickets, and accidents across the borough. A more fair city? A tale of two cities? It’s Select BS! This will be a total disaster for our city and it will separate us and cost more to travel, live, and work in the outer boroughs.”
Addabbo Urges Cuomo to Sign Medication Disposal Site Bill into Law By Forum Staff State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) on Monday advocated for final action on legislation he co-sponsors that will require chain pharmacies to collect unused, unwanted or expired controlled substances from the public. According to Addabbo, S.6750 has “passed the Senate and Assembly, with bipartisan support,” and he hopes that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will sign into law later this year, because it will “help protect both the environment and public health from drugs thrown into the trash or flushed down the drain.” Addabbo, a member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, noted that evidence is growing that medications are making their way into water systems and other parts of the environment, as well as the more serious issue of getting into addicts’ hands. “We need to make it easier for consumers to dispose of unwanted medications in a safe and secure manner, and requiring larger pharmacies operating in New York to offer collection services is part of the solution,” Addabbo said. “This bill would also address the drug addiction issue, by reduc-
velope costs will be held to $2. Chain pharmacies are those defined as having ten or more establishments operating under the same name, and they will also be required to post signs about available drug disposal options. Additionally, a 2014 federal Environmental Protection Agency study tested samples from 50 large wastewater treatment plants nationwide for the presence of 56 drugs. More than half the samples tested positive for at least 25 of the monitored medications. In addition, prescription drug use is rising. According to a 2013 Mayo Clinic study, almost 70 percent of all Americans take at least one prescription medication, which is up from 48 percent in 2007-2008. Another concern is that the improper disposal of controlled substances, or keeping them sitting in medicine cabiPhoto Courtesy of CVS Health “We need to make it easier for consumers to dispose of unwanted medications in a safe and secure manner, and requiring nets for long periods of time, is adding to the opioid addiction epidemic across the larger pharmacies operating in New York to offer collection services is part of the solution,” Sen. Addabbo said. state and nation. ing the availability of unused prescription ministration as authorized collectors of “[W]e need to provide New Yorkers drugs.” unused, unwanted or expired medications. with more consistent access to safe and seAddabbo also noted that in re- This legislation builds upon those efforts, cure medication disposal sites,” the senator cent years, New York has established and establishes a program under which added. “Final approval of this legislation voluntary programs encouraging New York residents can mail back medica- requiring chain pharmacies to collect these pharmacies to join with other businesses tions to out of state pharmacies where they potentially dangerous substances would be identified by the Drug Enforcement Ad- purchase prescription drugs. Mail back en- very helpful in addressing this issue.” THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 46 NOVEMBER 16, 2017 | 3
Solemn Memorial Service Marks 16th Anniversary of Flight 587 Crash
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“It’s important to mark such a human tragedy, and the service held on Beach 116th was beautiful,” said Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato.
By Michael V. Cusenza Rockaway residents, first responders, elected officials, and the families who lost loved ones in the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 on Sunday marked the 16th anniversary of the tragedy with a memorial service in Belle Harbor. AA 587 was a passenger flight aboard an Airbus A300 that was destined for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic but crashed into Belle Harbor shortly after taking off from John F. Kennedy International Airport. All 260 passengers aboard the aircraft died, as well as five people on the ground.
“It’s important to mark such a human tragedy, and the service held on Beach 116th was beautiful,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Howard Beach). “The monument itself is a fitting coda to such senseless loss. The inscription in English and Spanish: ‘Despues, No Quiero Mas Que Paz’ (‘Afterwards, I Want No More than Peace’) encapsulates our feelings, those of our residents and those of the Dominican communities impacted in New York City and the Dominican Republic. Our love goes to those families and communities. May the memories of the 265 souls we lost be for a blessing.”
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Resorts World has Contributed $2B+ to State Education Coffers to Date
It was revealed this week that Resorts World Casino New York City as now provided more than $2 billion in revenue to New York’s lottery fund for education since opening its doors in 2011. “Resorts World has once again demonstrated that its successful existence has benefited the people of our city and state,” State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (DHoward Beach) said of the South Ozone Park entertainment destination. “Aside from providing quality jobs, the financial
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assistance Resorts World has provided to our school system is certainly appreciated and needed. As a member of the Senate Education Committee, I know with each budget cycle, there is no guarantee that educational funds will be at the levels our children deserve. Having the influx of funds from Resorts World, and other aspects of our state’s gaming industry, has a direct impact of maintaining the quality of education in our state.” File Photo
New Law Allows Vets and Others to Access NY’s Medical Marijuana Program
By some estimates, Addabbo said, up to 19,000 patients in New York diagnosed with PTSD could be eligible to access the medical marijuana program.
By Michael V. Cusenza A new piece of legislation, part of a package of veteran-focused bills signed into law on Saturday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, will enable New York vets and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to participate in the State’s medical marijuana program. The nascent law adds PTSD as the 12th qualifying condition for medical marijuana in the Empire State. According to the Mayo Clinic, PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. “New York is home to some of the bravest service members in the nation and in addition to residents suffering from PTSD due to other traumatic experiences, this legislation will ensure that everyone receives the effective treatment they deserve,” said State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Brooklyn and Staten Island), the bill’s sponsor. “I commend Gov. Cuomo for taking action to support our residents and veterans, and signing legislation that will help remedy a number of serious conditions affecting New Yorkers in communities across the state.” According to the Cuomo administration, approximately 19,000 patients with PTSD in New York could benefit from the use of medical marijuana, including military veterans, police officers and firefighters, as well as survivors of domestic violence, rape, violent crime, and accidents. “It is particularly heartrending that so many of our servicemen and women come home from serving their country to struggle with PTSD. By making it one of
the qualifying conditions to gain access to the State’s medical marijuana program, we will be lending an important helping hand to those many veterans in New York who return home from service deeply troubled by their experiences,” said State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Homeland Security. “In addition, this new law will aid others diagnosed with PTSD, including sexual assault victims, domestic violence survivors, first responders, and others who have lived through highly traumatic events.” Addabbo also noted that almost all other states with medical marijuana programs in place include PTSD as a qualifying condition. And stringent protocols are in place to ensure the integrity of New York’s program and guard against its misuse. “Research is demonstrating that PTSD is associated with a deficiency in the brain and nervous system that responds to the cannabinoids in marijuana,” said Addabbo. “Other treatments often prescribed for this condition bring with them significant and potentially dangerous side effects – like the risk of suicide and the development of diabetes – which are not associated with marijuana.” Addabbo urged veterans who believe they are struggling with PTSD to reach out for help. The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs maintains a Crisis Line at (800) 273-8255; veterans should press 1. The website ptsd.va.gov/public/where-to-gethelp.asp also provides information about PTSD resources, the senator noted. In New York, veterans may also contact the State Division of Veterans’ Affairs at (888) 838-7697 to get information and make an appointment with a benefits advisor.
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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 46 NOVEMBER 16, 2017 | 5
Demetrius Blackwell Convicted of NYPD Det. Brian Moore’s Murder
Man Sentenced to Up To 12 Years in Prison for Forcing Teen Into Prostitution By Forum Staff
Blackwell shot and kill ed Moore in May 2015.
By Forum Staff The killer who gunned down two NYPD officers while they were on patrol in 2015, will face life in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted in the murder of Police Officer Brian Moore and the attempted murder of Police Officer Erik Jansen. A Queens jury comprised of seven women and five men handed down their verdict before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasik after deliberating for two days. The jury found Demetrius Blackwell, 37, of 212th Place, Queens Village, guilty of firstdegree murder of Officer Moore, first-degree attempted murder of Officer Jansen and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. District Attorney Brown said, “The evidence of the defendant’s guilt presented at trial was truly overwhelming. The jury fairly weighed all the evidence offered by both sides before concluding– unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt – that the defendant deliberately fired a weapon at the two police officers without provocation or warning, killing one of them. It is likely that he will never again taste another day of freedom.” “The defendant’s actions were a direct attack on our society and the law and soberly reminds us of the unseen dangers that our police officers face each day – and the ultimate sacrifice they may be called upon to make – as they carry out their sworn duty to protect and serve our communities,” DA Brown continued. “Our sympathies go out to Officer Brian Moore’s family for the loss of their loved one and the prolonged pain that they and Officer Erik Jansen and his family have had to endure as this case made its way through the criminal justice system. Although the verdict cannot bring back Brian I hope that today’s conviction brings a sense of closure and comfort to his family, friends and colleagues, knowing that his killer finally has been held account-
able for his heinous and cowardly act.” According to trial testimony, Police Officer Brian Moore, 25, and his partner, Officer Erik Jansen, then 30, who were assigned to the New York City Police Department’s 105 Precinct Anti-Crime Unit, observed Blackwell, then 35, adjusting something on his waistband on 104th Road at approximately 6:15 p.m. on May 2, 2015. When the two plainclothes officers rode alongside the defendant in their police vehicle to question him, Officer Moore said, “Police, you got something?” Blackwell responded, “Yeah, I got something.” He then removed an unlicensed five-shot silver revolver from his waistband and fired three shots at the two officers, striking Officer Moore twice in the head. The third bullet, which was intended for Officer Jansen, struck a nearby house. Sometime between the shooting and his arrest that day, Blackwell stopped at a nearby house, got rid of his weapon and stole a tee shirt and a pair of sneakers in an attempt to alter his appearance. When Blackwell was picked up hours later, he possessed small amounts of cocaine and marijuana. The weapon used in the shooting was found two days later and DNA evidence discovered on it linked Blackwell to the weapon, as well as to the two unfired bullets found in the chamber. Officer Moore, who died two days after the shooting, was posthumously promoted to Detective First Grade and Officer Jansen is now with the Suffolk County Police Department. “From the outset, I promised the families of both officers that the investigation and prosecution of this case would be a top priority of my office. I promised that we would see this case through to its conclusion, and that in so doing we would follow the law and present all of the evidence – and that is what we have done,” said DA Brown.
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A Bronx man has been sentenced to 6-12 years in prison, for forcing his 18-year-old victim into performing sex acts with strangers for money. He was convicted last month of second-degree promotion of prostitution following a jury trial presided over by Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Buchter Richard Cabassa, 45, of Davidson Avenue in the Bronx, forced the victim to engage in sexual intercourse and oral sex with strangers at a motel on South Conduit Avenue in Queens. The young victim was required to make no less than $600 per day and to turn over all cash to the defendant. On days she did not meet his financial requirements, Cabassa savagely beat her. “A jury, after weighing all the evidence, convicted the defendant of committing this heinous act. The defendant through intimidation and violence, forced an 18-year-old teenager into prostitution. He treated this
young woman as chattel - a commodity to be sold to others for cash - and then pocketed the money she earned for himself. Prostitution is a degrading and demeaning crime that will not be tolerated in Queens. The defendant will now be incarcerated for his actions,” said DA Brown. The acts took place for a little over a year, starting in December of 2015 and gong through February of last year. On February 13, 2016, according to trial records, the young woman sparked Cabassa’s temper because she only made $200. As he stood outside the hotel, he grabbed the teenager by her hair, dragged her down the street and repeatedly kicked her in the torso. The beating finally ended when hotel employees who witnessed the beating intervened. But once again inside a room Cabassa told the girl, “No one is around to save you now” and struck her with his fist repeatedly in the stomach and bashed her in the head with a lamp and mirror.
Police Looking for Casino Theft Duo
Area cops this week reached out to the public for help in identifying two men wanted for questioning in connection with an October grand larceny that occurred at Resorts World Casino New York City. Grand larceny, as defined by the State Penal Code, is any theft of property that exceeds $1,000. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, (888) 57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit info by logging onto NYPDCrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All correspondences are strictly confidential. Photo Courtesy of NYPD
NY Elected Officials Blast GOP Tax Plan By Michael V. Cusenza Several elected New York officials on Sunday joined Mayor Bill de Blasio and representatives from labor and other advocacy groups in Manhattan to tear into tatters the tax reform plan put forth by Republican leadership in the House of Representatives. U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (both D-N.Y.); Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn and Manhattan), Joe Crowley (D-Queens and Bronx), Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica), and Jerry Nadler (D-Brooklyn and Manhattan); and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Richmond Hill) roundly ripped the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as a crushing blow to New York families. According to the GOP, the proposal is “pro-growth legislation that will overhaul our nation’s tax code for the first time since President Reagan’s historic tax reform 31 years ago.” With the plan, Republicans are promising that you: will be able to keep more of your hard-earned money every month; will have help raising your children and supporting your family; are going to have more job opportunities
Photo Courtesy of Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photography Office
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (at podium), Sen. Schumer, Rep. Velazquez, and Mayor De Blasio rallied in Manhattan against the GOP Tax Plan on Sunday
and see your paycheck grow after years of stagnant wages; will be able to more easily start your own small business, be your own boss, and pass on your work to the next generation; will see more “Made in America”; will be able to continue using the retirement savings option that best suits your needs at each stage of your lives. However, de Blasio called the
proposal “nothing more than a giveaway to businesses and the wealthiest Americans.” According to the administration, the five boroughs will be among the biggest losers if the reform plan as presently constituted is enacted. Of the 3.9 million families that file federal income taxes, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, 760,000 families – the
majority of whom are making less than $75,000 annually – would see an increase averaging almost $5,000 next year. That’s an additional $3.7 billion the federal government would claim from these families. “We need to simplify our tax system, but we need to do it in a way that rewards work and not just profitable corporations and
their CEOs,” Gillibrand said. Additionally, according to the City, the elimination of several deductions will be immediately felt by New Yorkers in every borough. As a result of the plan: • People with college debt – 250,000 filers in NYC alone – will no longer be able to deduct that interest from their federal income taxes. For example, a single filer with an income of $42,000, itemized deductions of $12,000, and $2,500 in student loan interest deduction, would see her taxes go up by $222 (+7 percent). • New Yorkers struggling with exorbitant medical expenses will now pay more for necessary care. For example, a married couple filing jointly with $60,000 in income and $24,500 in itemized deductions (of which $18,000 is medical expenses) would see their taxes increase by $497 (+32 percent). • Teachers using their own money on school supplies will no longer be able to deduct their expenses. Senate Minority Leader Schumer blasted the proposal as “a betrayal of the middle class.”
Cuomo Signs Legislative Package that Supports Empire State Veterans By Forum Staff Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday signed five pieces of legislation to support New York veterans by improving healthcare and services. In addition to allowing veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to access the State’s medical marijuana program, the package: Provides combat veterans employed by the State with additional days of paid leave to obtain health services, counseling, and access to other benefits; Waives the civil service examination fee for veterans who were honorably discharged; Requires the Department of State and Division of Military and Naval Affairs to maintain a public list of all not-for-profit corporations that solicit funds for the Armed Forces of the United States; and Directs the Office of General Services to set aside a public location within the State Capitol building for a Prisoner of War/ Missing in Action chair and plaque to honor those veterans
at home. Cuomo also said that making a list of all nonprofits that solicit funds on behalf of the Armed Forces publicly available will aid all New Yorkers wishing to make donations to nonprofits incorporated for the purpose of supporting the U.S. military ensure that they are donating to approved organizations. And the dedication of a POW/ MIA chair and plaque in the State Capitol building’s first floor lobby near the State Street entrance serves as just one way to remember the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have been held captive or never returned home from war, Cuomo noted. “Thousands of service members have gone unaccounted for and with the addition of the POW/MIA Chair of Honor Photo Courtesy of the Governor’s Office in the New York State Capitol, Cuomo Marched in the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Saturday. we will forever remember the who have not yet returned home. governor said. “From improving when they return home.” efforts and sacrifices our broth“Our veterans risked their lives access to healthcare treatments According to Cuomo, provid- ers and sisters have made, to enin order to defend the ideals and and services, to removing barriers ing combat vets employed by the sure the freedom and safety for principles that this nation was to employment, all five of these State with additional days of leave all,” said Assemblyman Michael founded upon and it is our duty to bills take important steps to en- to access health services and ben- DenDekker (D-East Elmhurst), do everything we can to support sure that veterans have every op- efits help them address the trau- chairman of the Assembly Comthem when they return home,” the portunity to continue succeeding mas they faced, both abroad and mittee on Veterans Affairs. THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 46 NOVEMBER 16, 2017 | 7
Borough Celebrates the Service of Veterans By Michael V. Cusenza Borough communities over the past week paid respect to their veterans in ceremonies across Queens and at the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan. City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), chairman of the Council Veterans Committee, could be seen marching up Fifth Avenue, proudly waving the Stars & Stripes. State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) last Thursday participated in Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s Veterans Day Observance Ceremony at the Helen Marshall Cultural Center in Bor-
ough Hall. That event included special recognition for three borough veterans: U.S. Army Corp. Pedro Nieves; U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Spencer Polinger; and U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Rosetta Cargin. The ceremony also featured a tribute to the late Paul Narson, former commander of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32. Sen. Addabbo also sponsored this year’s Take a Vet to School Day, which saw several local veterans honored at PS 47 in Broad Channel. Photos Courtesy of Edwin Torres/ Mayoral Photography Office, the Queens Borough President’s Office, and Sen. Addabbo’s Office
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‘Little North Pole’ is Early Christmas Gift for South Queens By Michael V. Cusenza Thousands of families on Sunday afternoon bundled up and braved a blast of wintry weather in the middle of fall to take in the sounds, smells, and sight of Santa and Mrs. Claus at the 22nd annual “Little North Pole” celebration in Neponsit. Hosted by Rockaway attorney Joe Mure, the event that benefits JDRF Diabetes Foundation was organized about three weeks earlier than in years past, because this year, the “House that Joe Lit” will be featured on network television in a national holiday show. Radio personalities Joe Causi and Goumba Johnny emceed the fundraiser that featured a star-studded lineup of entertainment, food and drinks for everyone and the distribution of nearly 3,000 toys to ecstatic children by Santa, Mrs. Claus and a full compliment of elves and helpers. Mure was also generously supported in his efforts by the Ben Bay Kiwanis clubs and Kiwanis clubs throughout Brooklyn and Queens, including Howard Beach. As of Wednesday afternoon, this year’s “Little North Pole” raised nearly $25,000 dollars for JDRF and Type 1 diabetes research and support. For more information and to donate, visit littlenorthpole.org Forum Photos by Michael V. Cusenza
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 46 NOVEMBER 16, 2017 | 9
HS Students To Study QueensWay Land
The Pharmacist’s Corner Presented by Frank Pantina, R.Ph
A challenge for thyroid patients
The Trust for Public Land and Friends of the QueensWay in May released the schematic design for the first halfmile of the proposed linear park and trail.
By Michael V. Cusenza This fall, high school students from the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School will engage in scientific research at the abandoned railway in Central Queens that several community groups are advocating be developed into a park known as the QueensWay, according to AT&T, which is supporting the afterschool program along with Friends of the QueensWay and The Trust for Public Land. The QueensWay project involves converting the long-abandoned Rockaway Beach Rail Line of the Long Island Rail Road—a 3.5-mile, 47-acre swath of the borough, from Rego Park to Ozone Park—into a $120 million public park, similar to the Highline in Chelsea, boasting trails and amenities. The afterschool program will teach science, technology, engineering, and math concepts to the participating 9th-12th grade students in a real-world environment. Through hands-on research, the students will learn about collecting data and providing information to the community to better understand the existing plant and animal life of the land that some would to see become the QueensWay.
According to AT&T, as part of the program, students will have the opportunity to interact with landscape architects working on the QueensWay project, to consider how various factors such as grade, soil, and drainage impact the habitat of plants and animals. Students will also be using technology and social media to collect data on the species they observe on the QueensWay Ultimately, this information will be placed in a database, providing baseline information on the natural resources of the QueensWay corridor. In April, 2018, the MELS students and their teachers hope to engage the broader community in the City Nature Challenge—a national competition to observe and document as many species as possible in a 4-day period in urban natural areas. “Hans-on learning is the foundation of a more sustainable education,” said MELS Assistant Principal Hilary Mills. "This program will provide our students with an opportunity to examine the principles of sustainability in a unique and engaging way, helping them to develop the skills they need to become the leaders that will guide our city into the future.” The design stage of Phase I began in ear-
Grumbling about the cold won’t make it go away, and for some people, those dealing with thyroid conditions, the winter can be especially taxing. We’ve put together some tips for those of you with thyroid conditions and how to survive the winter in a little more comfort. The thyroid gland is like a thermostat for our bodies. People with a sluggish thyroid are prone to having low body temperature and are prone to cold intolerance. If your thyroid function is low, you need to take some precautions to protect your health. Strategies for warming up and giving your thyroid a break: Get plenty of rest. Keep your home temperature warm. If you happen to have a landlord that is stingy with the heat, getting a note from your doctor may provide some prodding. If you do need to go out into the cold, dress in layers. Hot baths are a nice way to get yourself warm without making your thyroid do all the work! If you can’t make it to your local pharmacy to buy a heating pad, try filling an old sturdy sock with rice. Make sure you tie the end
securely and then heat it in the microwave for two minutes—just be careful that it’s not too hot when applying it to your body! Soaking your feet in hot water for 5-10 minutes will warm up the rest of your body. Cuddling and holding hands with your significant other or your pets can help you get through the cold. Spouses and pets are will share their heat with you for back and belly rubs. Did you know that the saying “Three Dog Night” is thought to originate from Eskimos who would keep dogs in their igloos to help them warm up on particularly cold nights! Balancing your blood sugar will help you stay warm. Be sure to eat high quality fats and proteins every few hours and limit sugary and starchy foods. Foods known as thermogenic can increase the metabolism. Some common spices in this category are: chili, mustard, red pepper, black pepper and red hot chili peppers. Don’t leave friends and family “out in the cold,” let them know you need a little more heat than the average bear. Remember, people with thyroid conditions are more likely to experience the "Winter Blues". Until next week...
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nest last summer, Friends of the QueensWay and the Trust for Public Land announced in June 2016. Phase I, which is next to the neighborhoods of Forest Hills and Glendale, could be built and open to the public by 2020 as a City park. According to the two groups,
the phase dubbed “the Metropolitan Hub” will greatly improve access to Forest Park, running from Metropolitan Avenue south to Union Turnpike, where an existing path provides pedestrian and bike access to the park.
Schumer Calls on Homeland Security to Review TSA Employee Training Methods, Equipment Testing By Forum Staff Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer on Monday urged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to immediately conduct a top-to-bottom review of the effectiveness of Transportation Security Administration’s employee training procedures, as well the need for upgraded detection technology. “In an era of lone wolf terrorists, the continued TSA security failures at airports across the country are highly concerning and a major threat we must neutralize,” Schumer said. “In light of the recent test result reports, TSA should move immediately to address all holes, File Photo shortfalls and gaps in training procedures, “The continued TSA security failures at airports across the country are highly concerning and a major threat we technology, and the entire airport security must neutralize,” Sen. Schumer said. process.” acting head of the TSA to lose his job. Since Schumer referenced “recent test result re- items passed TSA checkpoints. Additionally, in 2015, media reports cited then, the effectiveness of TSA screening has ports,” including the latest one from the DHS Office of the Inspector General, which found a TSA “Red Team” report suggesting agents hardly improved, according to Schumer. And that the OIG office was able to evade airport failed to uncover 67 out of 70 threats at air- the congressional committee charged with screeners most of the time and sneak banned ports across the country. This news forced the homeland security expressed public concern 10 NOVEMBER 16, 2017 • Number 46 VOL. 16 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
with the TSA shortcomings. Schumer also noted that at a Nov. 8 Homeland Security Committee hearing in Congress, Chairman Michael McCaul said that a recent briefing the Inspector General noted “vulnerabilities in covert testing” as it relates to the TSA security screening at airports. According to media reports, the most recent undercover tests, conducted this year, suggest at least an 80-percent failure rate. As part of the undercover investigation, agents successfully smuggled fake weapons, explosives, and components through security checkpoints. New York’s senior senator called these revelations “alarming,” especially during a time in which lone wolf terrorist threats are at an all-time high. Schumer pointed to a recent threat made by terrorists planning to develop a laptop bomb. Schumer also pointed to an alarming incident last week in which a man made his way onto the tarmac of Miami International Airport after sneaking through the conveyor belt.
Senator Secures $50K for Free Immigration and Housing Legal Services
By Forum Staff
State Sen. Jose Peralta (DEast Elmhurst) on Thursday announced that he has secured a $50,000 allocation for the City University of New York School of Law’s Community Legal Resource Network to provide qualified attorneys and offer free legal counseling services focusing on housing and immigration. According to Peralta and CUNY, the services include assistance with deportation proceedings, immigration actions taken by the federal government, housing discrimination and tenant harassment, among others. Those
seeking free legal consultation are asked to call Peralta’s district office and schedule an appointment at (718) 205-3881. All cases will be kept confidential. Attorneys can answer questions, review documents, give legal options on a current problem and explain the law and legal process. “I am determined to fight Trump and his un-American, antiimmigrant policies that deeply hurt our communities and our hard-working families. For the past year, pushing back against Trumpism has been at the core of my efforts to defend and protect New Yorkers. Plans to end DACA, build a wall, and executive orders
partnered with professionals from the CUNY School of Law to offer free legal services to help my constituents.” Alizabeth Newman, interim executive director, Alumni Engagement & Initiatives, Community Legal Resource Network, CUNY School of Law, noted that having legal advice and analysis before or during a legal process can make a huge difference in a person’s ability to assert and dePhoto Courtesy of Sen. Peralta’s Office “I am determined to fight Trump and his un-American, anti-immigrant policies that deeply fend their rights. The attorneys however, are not able to go to hurt our communities and our hard-working families,” Peralta said. court or take on full representafor a travel ban have traumatized daily lives with fear in their eyes, tion of cases, as some of could many people. It is frightening to and I am not going to tolerate it. take years. see immigrants go about their This is why, in the era of Trump, I
Brooklyn Queens Connector Streetcar Unveiled
By Michael V. Cusenza The group leading advocacy efforts for the establishment of a light-rail system along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront introduced NYC on Monday to the possible future of public transportation in the two boroughs. Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector unveiled an actual-size prototype of a BQX streetcar at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. According to the New York Daily News, the $100,000 car is 46 feet long, 9 feet wide, and was designed and constructed by the French multinational rail-transport company Alstom. Photo Courtesy of Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector According to the Friends of the The prototype car was unveiled at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. system will be efficient” and run BQX, the “state-of-the-art streetcar
from Astoria to Sunset Park on 14 miles of track “flush with the existing roadway.” Stops are expected to be approximately a half-mile apart and the line will connect to up to 10 ferry landings, 30 bus routes, 15 subway lines, 116 Citi Bike stations, and six Long Island Rail Road lines. The BQX will travel primarily in dedicated lanes, separated from traffic and bicycles along the route, the group noted. The idea of a modern-day Gotham trolley system was introduced by Mayor Bill de Blasio during his State of the City address in February 2016. According to Hizzoner, the $2.5 billion BQX could “generate over $25 billion of economic
impact” for the five boroughs over 30 years. “The BQX has the potential to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers,” de Blasio added. According to Friends of the BQX, it would take approximately $30 million per year to operate and maintain the system. The fare will be the same as standard bus and subway fares, and should be integrated with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for payment and free transfers. “If all stakeholders work together, the BQX can break ground by 2019,” the group added.
Katz now Accepting Applications to Serve on Borough Community Boards By Forum Staff Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is accepting applications from qualified and neighborhood-minded individuals who would like to serve on one of the borough’s community boards, she announced on Thursday. According to Katz, community boards play an important advisory role in considering land use and zoning matters. Community Boards also contribute to public dialogue by holding hearings and issuing recommendations about the city budget, municipal service delivery and many other matters that impact their communities. Each Board holds a monthly full membership meeting, and applicants are encouraged to attend at least two such monthly meetings to understand how the Boards
function. There are 14 community boards in Queens and a total of 59 citywide. All Queens community board members are appointed by Borough President Katz, pursuant to the City Charter, with half of her appointees nominated by the City Councilmembers representing their respective Community Board Districts. Each board has up to 50 unsalaried members, with each member serving a two-year term. All community board members who wish to continue serving on a board are required to re-apply at the conclusion of their two-year term, and are subject to review and reconsideration. “Government works better when we have active and engaged members from whom to draw expansive knowledge and extensive life experiences,” Katz said. “Serving on a com-
munity board is a significant commitment, demanding in both time and energy. Civic-minded residents interested in playing a larger role in the governance of the city, helping to ensure the delivery of municipal services and serving Queens families and neighborhoods are encouraged to apply.” The community board membership application is available online at queensbp.org/communityboards. The application deadline for both new applicants and current community board members is Jan. 12, 2018. For the upcoming round of appointments, the two-year term of service will begin on April 1, 2018. Further information may be obtained by calling Katz’s office at (718) 286-2900. File Photo
Queens has 14 of the city’s 59 community boards.
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 46 NOVEMBER 16, 2017 | 11
EDITORIAL CARING FOR THE CAREGIVERS While we realize that just four weeks ago in this valued space we decided to spotlight the great work of the New York chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association—and with good reason. In October, the organization, along with more than 500 participants, helped raise more than $100,000 for critically needed funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research at the Queens Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Little Bay Park in Whitestone. November officially is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. This week we wanted to turn the bright lights of recognition and gratitude toward those angels on earth more commonly known as caregivers. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 15 million family members and friends across the U.S. are currently caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s. Here’s how you can help them: Learn: Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s disease – its symptoms, its progression and the common challenges facing caregivers. The more you know, the easier it will be to find ways to help. Give a Break: Make a standing appointment to give the caregiver a break. Spend time with the person with dementia and allow the caregiver a chance to run errands, go to their own doctor’s appointment, participate in a support group or engage in an activity
that helps them recharge. Even one hour could make a big difference in providing the caregiver some relief. Check In: Almost two out of every three caregivers said that feeling isolated or alone was a significant challenge in providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. What’s more, half of all caregivers felt like they couldn’t talk to anyone in social settings or work about what they were going through. So start the conversation – a phone call to check in,
sending a note, or stopping by for a visit can make a big difference in a caregiver’s day and help them feel supported. Tackle the To-Do List: Ask for a list of errands that need to be run – pick up groceries, dry cleaning or even offer to shuttle kids to and from activities. It can be hard for a caregiver to find time to complete these simple tasks outside of the home that we often take for granted. Be Specific and Be Flexible: Openended offers of support (“call me if you need anything” or “let me know if I can help”) may be well-intended, but are often dismissed. Try making your offer of help or support more specific (“I’m going to the store, what do you need?” or “I have free time this weekend, let me stop over for a couple of hours so you can do what you need to do.”) Don’t get frustrated if your offer of support is not immediately accepted. The family may need time to assess its needs. Continue to let the caregiver know that you are there and ready to help. Help for the Holidays: Holiday celebrations are often joyous occasions, but they can be challenging and stressful for families living with Alzheimer’s. Help caregivers around the holidays by offering to help with cooking, cleaning or gift shopping. If a caregiver has traditionally hosted family celebrations, offer your home instead.
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Legal Notices NYATH GROUP LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 10/31/17. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, 3537 36th Street, 2nd Floor, Astoria, NY 11106. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. Notice of Formation of JORIV LLC Art. of Org. filed Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 10/30/2017. Office location: Queens County. SSNY Designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to: JORIV LLC, 229 BEACH 148TH STREET, NEPONSIT, NY 11694. Purpose: any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of 505 GRANDVIEW AVENUE LLC Art. of Org. filed Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 2/22/2017. Office location: Queens County. SSNY Designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to: THE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, 505 GRANDVIEW AVENUE, RIDGEWOOD, NY 11385. Purpose: any lawful activity. Notice of formation of 3940 21ST STREET REALTY LLC . Arts of Org filed with Secy of State of NY (SSNY) on 9/19/17. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent upon whom process may be served and shall mail copy of process against LLC to: 39-40 21st St., Astoria, NY 11101. Purpose: any lawful act. TOP NOTCH LEGAL LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 7/27/17. Office in Queens Co. SSNY desig. agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process toTHE LLC, 118-35 QUEENS BLVD., SUITE 400, FOREST HILLS, NY 11375. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. THE LIVANOS ALBANY GROUP LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 9/20/17. Office in Queens Co. SSNY desig. agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to PO Box 501, Maspeth, NY 11378. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. Notice of Formation of MurphyMade LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 8/23/17. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Matthew Murphy, 235 E. 95th St., Apt. 34J, NY, NY 10128. Purpose: any lawful activity.
NIAGARA RESIDENCE LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 10/13/2017. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: The LLC, 37-28 56th St., Woodside, NY 11377. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.
MODERN ARTS BUILDING LLC Authority filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 9/13/17. Office location: Queens Co. LLC formed in Delaware (DE) on 7/25/17 SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to The LLC PO Box 94081 Rockaway Park, NY 11694. DE address of LLC: 3500 S DuPont Hwy Dover, DE 19901. Arts. Of Org. filed with DE Secy. of State, PO Box 898 Dover, DE 19903. Purpose: any lawful activity.
Notice of Formation of ODEON SECURITY LLC Arts. of Org. filed with NY Dept. of State on 8/26/16. Office location: Queens County. NY Sec. of State designated agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served, and shall mail process to ODEON SECURITY LLC, 143-09 222nd STREET, GROUND LEVEL, LAURELTON, NY 11413, the principal business location. Purpose: any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of Corinthian Risk Management LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with NY Dept. of State on 9/13/17. Office location: Queens County. NY Sec. of State designated agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served, and shall mail process to 49-12 31st Pl, Long Island City, NY 11101, the principal business location. Purpose: any lawful activity.
BUDGET WIRELESS NE LLC. Filed 9/29/17. Office: Queens Co. SSNY designated as agent for process & shall mail to: Po Box 520707, Flushing, NY 11352. Purpose: General. KKL CAPITAL LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 10/19/2017. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Kiran Lal, 35-20 Leverich St., Apt B423, Jackson Heights, NY 11372. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose. PROFESSIONAL CARPET CLEANERS AND RESTORATION LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 09/21/2017. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: The LLC, 173-21 104 Ave, Jamaica, NY 11433. Reg Agent: NYSCORPORATION.COM, 1971 Western Ave., #1121, Albany, NY 12203. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose.
114-51 MERRICK BLVD LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 9/28/2017. Office in Queens Co. SSNY desig. agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to 169-37 144th Rd., Jamaica, NY 11434, which is also the principal business location. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.
DESTINY DRIVE LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 10/4/2017. Office in Queens Co. SSNY desig. agent of LLC whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to 33-24 Northern Blvd., Long Island City, NY 11101, which is also the principal business location. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. Notice of Formation of KOZAKI L.L.C. Arts. of Org. filed with NY Dept. of State on 7/19/17. Office location: Queens County. NY Sec. of State designated agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served, and shall mail process to LEGALINC CORPORATE SERVICES INC., 1967 WEHLE DRIVE, SUITE 1 #086, BUFFALO, NY 14221. Purpose: any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of OUTLINE ARCHITECTURE PLLC Arts. of Org. filed with NY Dept. of State on 9/13/17. Office location: Queens County. NY Sec. of State designated agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served, and shall mail process to THE LLC, 15350 89TH AVE., Apt. 1107, Jamaica, NY 11432. Purpose: any lawful activity.
JW CAPITAL GROUP LLC Arts of Org filed with SSNY on 08/14/17. Off. Loc.: Queens County, SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to: THE LLC, 52-35 74TH STREET, ELMHURST, NY 11373. Purpose: to engage in any lawful act. Notice of Formation of OLLIE NY 29-26 NORTHERN LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 05/15/17. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to Andrew Bledsoe, 757 Third Ave., 17th Fl., NY, NY 10017. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Notice is hereby given that an order entered by the civil court, Queens county, on the 11 day of August 2017, bearing Index Number NC-000826-17/QU, a copy of which may be examined at the office of the clerk, located at 89-17 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, NY, 11435, grants me the right to assume the name of (first) DAVON (middle) KAMORIE (last) DELVALLE. The city and state of my address is 11456 Van Wyck Expressway, South Ozone Park, NY 11420. The date of my birth is November 28, 1998; place of my birth is BROOKLYN, NEW YORK; my present name is (last) DELVALLE aka DAVON
TLN TRADING LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 09/15/17. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to TLN TRADING LLC, 216-26 DELVALLE aka DAVON KAMORIE DELVALLE 68TH AVENUE, OAKLAND GARDENS, NY Notice is hereby given that an order en11364. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.
U-BUILD HOLDING LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 10/04/17. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, 33-54 Farrington Street, Suite 2B, Flushing, NY 11354. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.
tered by the civil court, Queens county, on the 23 day of OCTOBER 2017, bearing Index Number NC-001002-17/QU, a copy of which may be examined at the office of the clerk, located at 89-17 SUTPHIN BOULEVARD, JAMAICA, NY 11435, grants me the right to assume the name of (first) SUZY(last) SIU. The city and state of my address is 63-36 83 rd. Place, Middle Village, NY 11379-1950. The date of my birth is JANUARY 22, 1971; place of my birth is MANHATTAN; my present name is (first) SOK (middle) WAH (last) SIU aka SUZY SIU.
PROMINENT HAIR AND LASHES LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 09/22/17. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, PAUNOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN LA FRANCIS, 183-10 DUNLOP AVE., SAINT THAT A LICENSE, SERIAL NUMBER ALBANS, NY 11412. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. 1306070, FOR AN ON PREMISE BEER
KEDIC FASHON WORKSHOP LLC Arts of Org filed with SSNY on 09/20/17. Off. Loc.: Queens County, SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to: LEGALINC CORPORATE SERVICES INC, 1967 WEHRLE DRIVE, SUITE 1 #086, BUFFALO, NY 14221. Purpose: to engage in any lawful act.
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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 16 • Number 46 NOVEMBER 16, 2017 | 13
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16 NOVEMBER 16, 2017 • Number 46 VOL. 16 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP