VOL. 12 • NUMBER 35 • AUGUST 29, 2013
GOOD GUYS WANTED Calls To Make Ferry Service Permanent Page 10
Residents Flock To Family Festival In Howard Beach Page 12
Alarmed by ongoing crime in the neighborhood, Woodhaven leaders are looking to form a civilian patrol group.
See Story on Page 3
Last Days of Summer: A Guide Page 26
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013 | 1
2 2 | THE THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • July 25, 2013 FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 25, 2012
‘Patrolling Our Own Backyard’ Woodhaven residents look to launch civilian crime-fighting group By Anna Gustafson Watch out criminals, looks like Woodhaven’s about to have a new big kid on the block. Citing concerns about everything from alleged gang activity in the new skate park to muggings and graffiti, Woodhaven residents hope to soon launch a civilian observation patrol that would help take down criminals in their neighborhood. “We’ve had a number of crimes in the area, and there’s a general sense that we need to do something to feel like we have better control over what’s going on in our community,” Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association President Ed Wendell said of the civilian patrol he hopes is on the streets by the end of the year. Wendell and other WRBA members are working with Assemblyman Mike Miller (DWoodhaven) and the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol, or GCOP, to form the organization that would send out neighborhood volunteers to watch for crime in the area that they would then call into the 102nd Police Precinct as soon as it’s witnessed. Residents and area leaders said they have been particularly concerned about such incidents as the 17-year-old girl who was stabbed 11 times steps from her Woodhaven home at the end of July and the attempted rape in Forest Park last spring, when a 23-year-old woman was attacked by a man wielding a stun gun. Additionally, Wendell said a WRBA member was recently mugged near the London Planetree skate park, located on the border of Woodhaven and Ozone Park. Ac-
Anna Gustafson/The Forum Newsgroup
Woodhaven residents said a civilian patrol could help deter crime in places like the London Planetree skate park, where gang members have allegedly set up shop.
cording to Wendell, police told the mugging victim that the skate park has become a hotbed of gang activity – specifically the Latin Kings. “The reason GCOP and I went to Woodhaven about the patrol was because of the attempted rape that happened in the park, and GCOP wanted to step up patrols in the park and we thought it was a good idea to extend it into Woodhaven,” said Miller, who was a member with the Glendale group for close to two decades. Miller, GCOP and Woodhaven residents met in the assemblyman’s office last week to discuss the
ins and outs of forming the organization, and the legislator said they plan on soon sitting down with the 102nd Precinct’s deputy inspector. “Having a good civilian patrol brings a lot to that community,” Miller said. “It adds to the number of eyes and ears out on the street, preventing crime from happening.” In Glendale, for example, the number of graffiti arrests skyrocketed thanks to help from the neighborhood’s civilian patrol that was founded in 1976. Leaders in the 104th Precinct, as well as civic representatives, have called the group an essential part of fighting crime in the area.
“If you’re driving through a community, and there’s no graffiti, it puts a good light on your community,” Miller continued. “Patrolling the area makes it safer, and you can use the patrol for special functions like a parade or a street fair.” Wendell said he hopes to have about 25 to 30 members to begin with, all of whom would be trained before hitting the streets. The WRBA president said he’d like to send out three to four cars on a shift with two people in a car – and Wendell said residents would like to start with about three shifts per month. In the beginning, the Woodhaven patrol would likely align themselves with GCOP and try to go out around the same time as the Glendale group in the case that they need help or advice. “I love the officers, but they don’t live here and don’t have a sense of the history of this neighborhood,” Wendell said. “If I see a woman several times on a corner that I know has been the home of prostitution for 35 years, that’s something I can pass along. Or if I see cars parked along Park Lane South and see guys walking into the park, that’ll raise a red flag because that’s where they used to sell drugs. People who have years of history to fall back on could be very, very useful to police. We’re people patrolling our own backyard.” Those interested in joining, or getting more information, should email the WRBA at info@ woodhaven-nyc.org. Participants will have to be 18 years of age or older, and they will be required to go through a background check.
Woodhaven Manhole Fires Send Five To Hospital By Anna Gustafson Manhole fires on 75th Street near 88th Avenue in Woodhaven early last Thursday morning sent five people to the hospital and scorched two cars, according to area residents and Con Edison. Two manholes reportedly erupted into flames just before 1 a.m., and two others were gushing smoke, a Con Edison spokesman said. The FDNY said it had the blaze under control by 2 a.m. Five individuals were taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to officials. “I heard a loud boom, but I didn’t know what it was,” said Sebastine Cruz, who lives on 75th Street. “My mom went outside, and she saw all the fire trucks and police and said there was an explosion. I was scared.” Andres Veras, who also lives on 75th Street, said his daughter saw the incident and told her
Anna Gustafson/The Forum Newsgroup
Con Ed crews work on damage from manhole fires on 75th Street in Woodhaven last Thursday morning.
A white van’s windshield was completely shattered in the explosion.
A Con Edison spokesman said the cause of father that it caused flames to “shoot up in the air. “She said there was smoke everywhere,” Veras the fires was a failure of underground delivery said. “I was going to park my car where it happened. equipment. I thought, ‘Oh God, what if I had done that?’” Con Ed crews continued to repair the dam-
The fires left two cards badly scorched, including this one.
age throughout the day Thursday. A couple of customers lost power because of the blazes, but the Con Edison spokesman said it was restored by 6 a.m. Thursday morning.
Rallying To Reactive Rockaway Rail Line Philip McManus, founder of the Queens Public Transit Committee, left; Rockaway resident Carol McEvoy; Public Advocate candidate Cathy Guerrero; and Rockaway resident Ron Carroll were among a crowd of people who attended a rally last Saturday in Far Rockaway to support reactivating the Rockaway Beach Rail Line. The Rockaway Beach Rail Line, decades ago, ran from Rockaway to Rego Park. A number of residents and area leaders, in-
Photo Courtesy Philip McManus
cluding Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (DRockaway Park), state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Queens, Brooklyn), have thrown their weight behind a proposal to reactivate the line that they say would bring needed public transportation, as well as economic rejuvenation, to the Rockaways and South Queens. Others have proposed turning 3.5 miles of the abandoned line into a park similar to Manhattan’s High Line.
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013 | 3
Council Vote To Override Mayor On NYPD Bills Draws Divided Reaction From Queens By Anna Gustafson The City Council voted last week to override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of two bills that create an NYPD inspector general and allow individuals to sue for changes to the police department over perceived racial profiling by cops – a move that landed both criticism and praise from Queens legislators and civic leaders. The Council gave its stamp of approval, by a vote of 39-10 last Thursday, to push through the legislation that creates an independent monitor who will oversee the NYPD, and they voted 3415 to override the veto on racial profiling. The mayor, who vetoed the two bills that together make up what is known as the Community Safety Act in late July, said his administration has “zero tolerance for racial profiling” and slammed the Council’s vote as “aimed at winning votes. “It’s a dangerous piece of legislation, and we will ask the courts to step in before innocent people are harmed,” he said in a statement following last week’s vote. City legislators passed the legislation in response to controversy surrounding the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program that Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have hailed as necessary to reduce crime and remove guns from the street, but which critics have said unfairly targets minorities and does not yield high rates of confiscated weapons. Stop-and-frisk incidents have increased from 97,296 stops in 2002 to 685,724 stops in 2011, and black and Latino New Yorkers made up close to 90 percent of those stopped between 2002 and 2011, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. The NYPD seized 780 guns in 2011, compared to 604 guns during 160,851 stops in 2003, according to the NYCLU. Bloomberg and Kelly, meanwhile, have stressed that stop-and-frisk has resulted in removing 8,000 guns from the streets over the past decade, in addition to 80,000 “other weapons.” After a federal judge ruled the stop-andfrisk program to be unconstitutional earlier this
Photo Courtesy William Alatriste/NYC Council
Onlookers cheer after the City Council voted to override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of the Community Safety Act. A number of legislators and civic leaders in Queens, however, are not happy with the legislation, saying they fear it will result in an increase in crime.
month, the mayor said at a press conference that the tactic “has saved countless lives. “And we know that most of the lives saved, based on the statistics, have been black and Hispanic young men,” Bloomberg said. “It’s worth remembering that as recently as 1990, New York City averaged more than six murders a day. Today, we’ve driven that down to less than one murder a day.” During last week’s vote, the inspector general legislation landed the thumbs-up from Council members Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), and Ruben Wills (DJamaica). Council members Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) voted against it. “Quite frankly, I find this bill to be absurd,”
Ulrich said at City Hall last week. “It’s an unnecessary waste of money. We got the financial impact statement – $1.9 million, $2 million, a year to hire somebody that we don’t need when we could be using that money to hire more cops to make people safer.” All those who voted against overriding the veto on the inspector general bill did so again for the racial profiling legislation, as did Koslowitz – the only Queens legislator to split her vote. Echoing a number of police who spoke to this paper anonymously, Koslowitz said she worried the bill that allows residents to sue over stop-and-frisk would deter police from responding to situations. “I don’t want to see something that could be detrimental to the city,” Koslowitz said. “I don’t want to see a rise in crime. We’ve been fortunate to have a big decrease in crime.” The Forest Hills legislator said she voted for the inspector general in part because of her own experience after her son was stopped and
frisked twice – once in the 1990s and another time about a year and a half ago. “I tried to find out why they stopped him, but I’m still waiting for an answer from the 90s and I’m still waiting for an answer to the last time,” Koslowitz said. Crowley too said she feels the legislation is dangerous. “She spoke before she cast the vote and reiterated her point that this bill will harm the police’s ability to keep us safe,” said Crowley spokesman Eric Yun. Other Queens legislators disagreed, saying ensuring the bills became law – which will go into effect as of Jan. 1 – will help to address longstanding tension between communities of color and the police, among other issues. “I have no choice but to vote what I believe in my heart,” Weprin said. “I feel very strongly that this is a problem that needs to be addressed. This is a policy that needs to be reformed.” Comrie said that “by reforming this policy, these residents will be less likely to secondguess a police officer’s intentions and be more willing to help them in their investigation.” But some Queens civic leaders agreed with legislators who voted with the mayor, saying the act will severely constrain cops’ ability to the do their job. “The laws that passed the City Council are going to handcuff the police,” said Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association – which works closely with the 102nd Precinct. “By abandoning procedures that are working, they are going to put all of us in danger.” Juniper Park Civic Association President Bob Holden said he strongly identified with Ulrich’s statement. “We all fear that it’ll tie the hands of police officers and could bring back the bad old days that we remember in the 1980s and 90s of higher crime,” said Holden, whose organization works hand-in-hand with the 104th Precinct. “The meddling City Council can certainly mess things up, and it looks like they have. Only time will tell the impact of this.”
Heroin Ring Busted, Richmond Hill Location Raided By Patricia Adams
Feds say auto shop owner was ringleader
The US Attorney’s Office unsealed a 62-page complaint on Tuesday afternoon naming 9 defendants in the operation of a heroin ring operating out of two locations in Queens and one in Brooklyn. The document identifies FBI Special Agent Michael P Heffernan, as leading “Operation Birds of a Feather,” an undercover investigation within the time period of April 1, 2012 and August 26, 2013, into a heroin distribution conspiracy implemented by the defendants, collectively known as the Flock Organization. The investigation was an offshoot of “Operation County Connection,” a prior investigation conducted by the FBI and the NYPD into a separate heroin trafficking operation, conducted by the Perez Organization also operating in Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island. According to information obtained by a conRobert Stridiron/The Forum Newsgroup fidential informant, one of the defendants arrest- Authorities say Robert Flock, the owner of Fresh Start Auto Sales in Richmond Hill, was custom fitting cars with ed as a result of that investigation, Rafael Pichar- concealed traps to hide heroin, facilitating the sale and distribution of the drug throughout Queens and Brooklyn. do, was also dealing with the Flock Organization. Flock, has been named the alleged ringleader of the group named in the criminal complaint. He had been using a white Mitsubishi Gallant to conceal, store and transport heroin. In- police activity around the closed shop and shook the tire shop that had been trafficked up to New vestigators discovered that a built-in trap inside his head. “I can’t believe this was going on right York from Florida, was also provided by the inthe vehicle had been installed by Robert Flock, here,” the retired short order cook said. “Guys are formant. owner of Fresh Start Auto Sales and Tire Repair outside when you pass. You wave and say hello. A total of 16 instances of the purchase of on Atlantic Avenue and 102nd Street in Rich- But you never think this kind of thing.” narcotics since May 2012 were documented as a mond Hill. Investigators also learned that Flock was sell- result of the investigation. Members of the Flock Crews of agents and police descended upon ing 100-gram bags of heroin out of his business group sold a confidential operative approximatethe location in the early morning hours on Tues- and that he sold vehicles containing traps to cus- ly 800 grams of heroin, 150 grams of cocaine and day to conduct a full search and seizure at the tomers for the purpose of transporting narcotics 43 grams of cocaine base. location. Later in the day, Robert Galleion, who and drug proceeds. Information about another In addition to the drug purchases, the same oplives nearby and was on his way to Taco Bell saw defendant, Paul Langston, who sold firearms at erative purchased two pistols and hollow point am4 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013
The office of Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, will oversee another case involving the large scale sale and distribution of heroin in Queens.
munition for about $2,500, from two defendants. Wiretaps authorized on the premises at 10215 Atlantic Avenue from mid-December 2012 through January 18, 2013 and for an additional period of authorization from February to March, provided investigators with solid evidence against the crew. According to the affidavit, Heffernan said that Operation Birds of a Feather found the Flock Organization to be responsible for the sale and distribution of more than 25 kilograms of heroin throughout Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau and Suffolk with a street value of $1.5 million. Robert Flock, whom authorities have identified as the head of the organization, has a prior arrest record dating back to 1992 including arrests for criminal possession of stolen property, enterprise corruption, and criminal possession of a weapon.
Woman Raped and Robbed After Being Thrown Down Stairs In Rego Park, Police Say By Anna Gustafson
A 52-year-old woman was violently attacked in Rego Park last Friday, and police are hunting down the man who allegedly harassed the female before throwing her down the stairs and raping the woman he followed from the R-train stop at 63rd Drive, the NYPD said. The suspect, who goes by Junior and whose picture cops said was caught on security camera footage, allegedly began making sexual advances on the woman after she exited the R-train station near
Queens Boulevard at around 10 p.m. Friday, police said. The woman rebuffed his come-ons, and she tried to escape him by entering a Rite Aid, according to the cops. The man followed her into the store and then left, police said. However, once she exited the store, the alleged rapist was waiting for her and attacked her around 63-45 Saunders St. According to police, he grabbed the woman, pushed her down a flight of stairs and then raped her. NYPD The suspect then allegedly took off This man allegedly harassed, raped and robbed a with her cell phone and purse, the NYPD 52-year-old woman in Rego Park, according to police. said.
The victim told ABC News that the man told her, “‘I’d like to see you. There’s a connection between us. You seem special.’ “‘Are you a model? You look like a model,’” the victim said her attacker told her. The NYPD described the suspect as a 5-foot-7 black man in his 20s. Police also said he has a mustache. Anyone with information may call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-TIPS, provide information by visiting www.crimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and then enter TIP577.
Fender Bender Ends In Crash and Arrest 106 cops pursue as drunken driver runs lights and reaches speeds up to 80
Police from the 106th Precinct were led on a high-speed chase that ended up in Brooklyn and resulted in a car crash that sent 8 people to the hospital for injuries last week. According to the Queens DA’s office, Chance Deespina, 31, of Brooklyn was driving under the influence of alcohol when he left the scene of a fender bender in Queens and then was observed by police as he ran a red light in the vicinity of 120th Street and Liberty Avenue.
Deespina had sideswiped a vehicle on 106th Street and 109th Avenue sometime around 2 a.m. last Wednesday and sped away. Shortly after that, he was seen running a red light at Liberty Avenue and 120th Street. The officers activated their unmarked vehicle’s lights and sirens and went after the suspect. But Deespina did not yield to the attempts of the officers to pull him over and instead continued at a very high rate of speed to try and get away. During the pursuit, he ran at least ten steady red lights,
drove down a one-way street and reached speeds of more than eighty miles an hour. The chase ended with Deespina driving his car directly into the side of a 2011 BMW at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Van Siclen Street in Brooklyn. At the time of his arrest, the defendant had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech and a flushed face. Two empty Corona bottles were found in the car.
All five passengers in the BMW as well as two police officers and Deespina himself were taken to the hospital for treatment. Deespina refused to submit to a blood test at the hospital. He is charged with two counts of second-degree assault, one count of first-degree reckless endangerment, one count of third-degree unlawful fleeing of a police officer in a motor vehicle and various traffic laws. If convicted he faces up to seven years in prison.
Ulrich Opens HB Campaign Office
Eric Ulrich was joined by nearly 100 supporters on Saturday morning to launch the offi ial opening of his campaign headquarters in Howard Beach. Among those who joined Ulrich were Republican mayoral hopeful, Joe Lhota and Craig Caruana who is running for the City Council seat in nearby District 30 along with former congressman Bob Turner. Ulrich praised his district for its resiliency and determination in rebuilding after the devastating toll taken by Hurricane Sandy and pledged to continue to do whatever was necessary to return the areas so affected by the storm back to normal. Serving the peo-
Photo Courtesy Eric Ulrich’s Office
ple who elected him, he told reporters afterward, has been an “honor and a privilege never to be forgotten.” Supporters touted the incumbent councilman for what they termed the “stellar representation” of his constituency and vowed to return him to office for the next four years. Among the family and friends present was an even younger Ulrich than the candidate himself--daughter Lily. Clearly if the race were between the two Ulrich’s, Lily would give her dad a serious run for his money. The office is located at 162-38 Cross Bay Boulevard. THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013 | 5
Local News Gets It Right Dear Editor:
Peninsula Hospital closed, St. John's Episcopal is allegedly on the verge of doing the same. In response to this, some wonderful, caring doctors are stepping up to address the healthcare needs of the Rockaway community. My question is: How is it possible that in the richest country in the world, and arguably the financial capital as well, public monies made possible by tax dollars paid by Rockaway residents don't make their way back to the area to properly serve the Rockaway community and instead this vital need has to be met by a clinic whose doctors should be helping needier parts of the world? How is it possible that taxpayers in the Rockaways can be completely ignored and treated with such derision by those who we elect, on so many levels? Why do we pay taxes? This behavior - the lack of sewers until the 1980s and a pre-Roman era quality infrastructure in Broad Channel, the Rockaway peninsula overburdened with a waste treatment plant, the former LILCO gas plant, previously poor and now nearly nonexistent health care facilities, and the poor quality of the high schools in the Rockaways (except for Scholars) that has forced most people to send their children multiple bus routes away to get decent college preparedness - is classic slumlord tactics that governments prosecute for, only on a much larger scale. But where's the Times? The constitution says the role of the press is to inform the people and hold government accountable. The Times is the biggest kid on the block, but it looks like someone's asleep at the wheel over there. Thank God for the other outlets (especially our local papers); without them, I don't know where we'd be.
As the "Newspaper of Record," The New York Times is missing the big picture story about the Rockaways (Breezy, Rockaway and Broad Channel); the long history of this collective community being ignored on nearly every level despite paying taxes for services, and the post-Sandy land-grab attempts in the less monied areas. I also have to say that my respect for The Times is being challenged when it appears that its coverage is lacking in connecting the dots, and also in understanding the destructive effect the tone of even one, never mind two stories they run can have. In the article and video published on July 10th, "Where Streets Flood With the Tide, a Debate Over City Aid," and in the video, "Raising Broad Channel," the article asks the question, "How much sense does it make to keep reinvesting taxpayer dollars in [Broad Channel], a community that is directly in harm’s way?" The very title "Raising Broad Channel" is degrading and insulting to the proud, hard working residents of Broad Channel, period. That aside, when we look at the evolution only of the buyouts with taxpayer money that were proposed immediately after the storm and how that conversation changed, it should raise at least one flag. Mayor Bloomberg immediately spoke about offering post-Sandy values for stormdamaged properties so they could be redeveloped. However, Gov. Cuomo initially said he supported giving pre-Sandy values for those same properties because the objective was to have large areas, blocks at a time, of residents accept Sophia Vailakis-DeVirgilio the offer so the land could be Broad Channel turned back over to mother nature. But the state's plan has No One quietly changed so that only those in the velocity zones Is Perfect are being offered pre-disaster values; everyone else will be Dear Editor: see only post-Sandy prices for their storm damaged properWe need to hear what Anties. It has also been reported thony Weiner has to say on that Cuomo donors - real es- how he would help the middle tate developers - got gener- class and poor people. Weiner ous multi-million-dollar tax was on the televised race for breaks after donating hun- mayor and had given a good dreds of thousands of dollars speech on how he would help to his campaign coffers. the people. We need to give Now let's have a look at oth- him a chance. We all have seer quality of life and death is- crets in the closet, some worse sues affecting the Rockaways: than others. Let’s hear what 6 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • July 25, 2013
and how he could help the people. M. S. Queens
Who Will Be The Next BP? Dear Editor: State Sen. Tony Avella withdrawing from the race for Queens borough president is no surprise. Once U.S. Rep. and Queens County Democratic Party Chairperson Joseph Crowley crowned former Councilmember Melinda Katz as his choice, the previous crowded field began to disappear. Avella now joins Councilmember Leroy Comrie, Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik and state Sen. Jose Peralta as loyal members in good standing. They have taken the "hint" from Crowley and folded their tents to move on elsewhere. Don't be surprised when they are rewarded by Crowley by becoming deputy borough president or go to work for the next NYC mayor, city comptroller or public advocate. Only Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr. has the cojones to stay in the race until the bitter end. Of course, having raised over $1.4 million dollars doesn't hurt to remain competitive against Katz - the Queens County Democratic clubhouse designated candidate. Republican candidate Auelio Arcabascio, outside of his Astoria neighborhood, is virtually unknown. Money is mother’s milk of politics. Without it, candidates are unable to grow and compete. Former Gov. Pataki, former Mayor Guiliani, former GOP Councilmembers Mike Abel, Anthony Stabile, Tom Ognibene, Anthony Cuomo or Dennis Gallagher, state Assemblymember Doug Prescott, state Sens. Frank Padavan and Serf Maltese, or U.S. Rep. Bob Turner along with Queens GOP Chairperson Phil Ragusa have yet to raise any dollars which would enable Arcabascio to run a competitive race. He has only raised less than $5,000 to date. As of April 1, 2013 there were 1,076,439 active voters including 703,202 Democrats, 128,335 Republicans, 206,770 unaffiliated, 27,556 Independents, 5,862 Conservative and 3,280 Working Family. Arcabascio will need a million dollars for direct mail, telephone banks, newspaper,
radio and television advertising to overcome these overwhelming odds if he is to be taken seriously. This is necessary to level the playing field against whomever the Democrats nominate. No wonder the last Republican Queens borough president was James A. Lundy, who served from 1952-1957. Ditto for Nat Hentel who served as the last GOP District Attorney in 1970. By comparison, the odds of winning the recent $600 million dollar lotto were easier. Larry Penner Great Neck
What The Stats Say
ing. More blacks were arrested than whites for murder and non-negligent manslaughter in 2011 despite the fact they comprise only 14% of the population. It's not only about poverty, lack of opportunity or racism. It's about 72 out of 100 black babies being born to unwed mothers in single parent households. Daniel Patrick Moynahan was a visionary when in 1965 he cited in his report as Assistant Secretary of Labor that the black family was on a path of destruction. At that time, 25 out of 100 black babies were born out to single parent households. John T. Urban Howard Beach
Dear Editor: In regards to the death of Trayvon Martin, the young black man killed by Hispanic George Zimmerman last year, President Obama said, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.” I would ask the president if Dominique Lang and De'Marquise Elkins also remind him of his “son” as they stand trial for murdering a 13-month-old whose mother didn't move quick enough while being robbed? Maybe James Edwards, Chancey Luna and Michael Jones, who cowardly shot a jogger in the back because they were “bored,” remind Obama of his sons? Or is it the two thugs that murdered a WWII veteran who could qualify for a filial relationship with our president? Obama, and the “mainscream” media would have us duped into believing there are disproportionate killings of blacks by whites, but the truth is suppressed and more alarm-
Hidden Agenda Dear Editor: It’s becoming transparent to many Americans that the GOP hatched a sinister plot to manipulate the voting rights of citizens so that white male power will always control our political institutions. Simply put, their systematic plot is a crime against democracy. In previous letters, I have criticized Republican “red” states for enacting voter photo ID suppression laws. States like Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania were among the first after their 2010 victories. Thanks to state and federal court intervention, many suppression laws were struck down, modified or delayed. Recently, the most serious assault on voter rights took place in North Carolina. GOP Gov. Patrick McCory, while signing the law said, “Our law is an attempt to prevent voter
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Taking Back The Neighborhood Gang activity in the new skate park. A 17-year-old girl stabbed 11 times. Car windows being smashed around Forest Park. Attempted rape. Vehicles being broken into. Muggings. And the list goes on. Our police work unbelievably hard - but, faced with budget cuts from City Hall and the fewest number of cops on the streets in years, they can’t do it all. So, in places like Woodhaven - where residents have been alarmed by the recent string of crimes listed above - civilians are trying to lend a hand to their men and women in blue. And we
applaud them - loudly - for doing so. Area civic leaders, including those from the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, are working with the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol, otherwise known as G-COP, and legislators to set up their own civilian patrol. Regular neighborhood folk would volunteer to be part of the group that would be reminiscent of G-COP - a wildly successful organization that has, for decades, curbed graffiti in the neighborhood and fought a variety of illegal activity. Volunteers would be trained to be part of the patrol, and, hopefully, the group will be able to send out its first cars by the end of the year. As part of its mission, the partic-
ipants would keep an eye out for criminal activity and immediately alert the police when they see it. As Assemblyman Mike Miller told our paper this week, they’re extra eyes and ears on the street - and that is sorely needed in the 102nd Precinct. It’s just a matter of finding people who are willing to volunteer - and we can think of few things better to support than a neighborhood group that knows the area like the back of their hand and cares, deeply, about its future. People who want to see gangs stamped out of the London Planetree park - a haven for skaters that the city just opened this summer and which should not be taken from our children and other residents by thugs
GOP motive. “Our new voter ID law will deliver Pennsylvania to Mitt Romney.” 2) When Republican Gov. Tom Corbett served as attorney general, he never prosecuted any voter for fraud. It is my understanding that North Carolina’s NAACP intends to call upon the U.S. Dept. of Justice to challenge the constitutionality of the McCory voter suppression law. Let us hope, for the sake of our democracy, that our federal courts will declare this assault on voters to be in violation of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.
policies used by police, all they are really concerned about is votes. With only one other local newspaper taking the same position as yours, albeit in less detail, you explained so well that ending the policy disables the police from capturing and pursuing criminals. As the candidates pretend to be concerned about non-white New Yorkers, by ending stop and frisk it is precisely those citizens who are most in danger. Crime will increase, innocent people will be injured or killed, and criminals will resume carrying guns. In reality, they are hurting the people they claim to be protecting. In that regard, I have more respect for the Republican candidates for City Council and mayor who have either defended the policy and voted to sustain mayor Bloomberg's veto of the Community Safety Act, or stated their support for stop and frisk. With gratitude and admiration I salute Eric Ulrich, Joe Lhota and John Catsimatidis. They had the courage to speak the truth about the bills and stood against overwhelming opposition.
who think they can intimidate those around them. People who want the thieves out of Forest Park for good. People who have grown up in Woodhaven, who, like WRBA President Ed Wendell told us, know the history of drug dealing on one block or where prostitution occurs. They already know where to go to stake a spot to see cars lining up as part of drug deal - and, for the police, that is invaluable. And it lets people feel a new ownership of their neighborhood. After all, residents know there’s good and bad about living anywhere. But when life starts to feel out of control - when your window has been smashed or your tires have been stolen or you’ve been the victim of a more
serious crime, like the attempted rape that was committed by a man wielding a stun gun in Forest Park earlier this year - it’s important to feel as though you can do something about it. That you can fight for your home - for the place where maybe you have raised a family, or where you want to. So, residents, it’s time to take a stand. Volunteer- it won’t take much of your time. Plus, you’ll meet people you may not know who care as deeply as you do about this place you call home. And, someday, hopefully the W-COP will be training other neighborhood groups to do just what it has done: Make Woodhaven, and Queens, a place we can all be proud of.
Letters Cont'd fraud.” Here are five issues he failed to discuss. 1) College students, minorities and elderly citizens are required to purchase a state photo ID card or be unable to vote in elections. 2) Early registration days have been reduced from 17 to 10. This strategy was to curtail the number of African Americans from registering. The law ends their traditional “souls to the polls” Sunday registration drive. 3) Students attending state universities would be denied the right to show their school photo ID cards to polling officials. Only government issued cards would be accepted. If both cards are issued by state agencies, why must they obtain two? 4) Citizens at age 17 who would be 18 on Election Day will no longer be able to pre-register. 5) Same-day registration was eliminated. Why? In 2012, 56% of nonwhites registered on election day. Need I say more? Gov. McCory’s voter fraud fear is not more than a phantom. In the 2012 presidential election, over 6.9 million voted were cast in the “tarheel” state. Only 121 were considered potential fraud votes. That comes to .00174% of total votes cast. Hardly justifiable for this law. The McCory law is nothing more than a GOP power grab. Since 2010, this phony issue was sold to several “red” states. Here are two Republican leaders who peddled a very dishonest bill of goods to the citizens of Pennsylvania. 1) The GOP majority leader of the “keystone” state legislature, Mike Turzai, let the cat out of the bag when he revealed the true
Anthony Pilla Forest Hills
Empty Votes Dear Editor: Effusively and gratefully I must acknowledge The Forum of South Queens for its most recent editorial. In the August 22, 2013 edition you did a splendid and honest job explaining just what the debate over stop and frisk is all about. It is nothing more than a political volleyball being used as the primary issue by Democratic candidates desperately grappling and begging for black and Latino votes. Under the guise of claiming it is used unfairly, they are race baiting in desperate attempts for votes. With no clear frontrunner and a runoff election likely, stop and frisk has become the major issue. Claiming to be concerned about
Edward Riecks Howard Beach
There was a misprint last week in Joan Kinneary's "AntiAbortion" letter. Please see the corrected statement below: Yes, there are hard cases and as a society we have to reach out and help women in a true crisis pregnancy.
PUBLISHER Patricia L. Adams EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Anna Gustafson PRODUCTION EDITOR Marisa Pilato REPORTERS Alan Krawitz Samantha Geary CONTRIBUTING REPORTERS Will Sammon Hannah Sheehan James Girdusky Kate Bubacz PHOTOGRAPHERS Robert Stridiron Richard York
______________________________________________ THE FORUM NEWSGROUP 155-19 Lahn Street, Howard Beach, NY 11414 phone • 718-845-3221 fax • 718-738-7645 e-mail • email@example.com site • theforumnewsgroup.com THE FORUM NEWSGROUP publishes every Thursday. Ad space reservations by Monday, 12 noon, preceding date of publication. Editorial submission must be made by Monday, 3 P.M., preceding date of publication. All letters to THE FORUM NEWSGROUP should be brief and are subject to editing. Writers should include a full address and home / office telephone number. Anonymous letters are not printed. Name withheld on request. No such ad or any part thereof may be reproduced without permission of THE FORUM NEWSGROUP. The publisher will not be responsible for any error in advertising beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error. Errors must be reported to THE FORUM NEWSGROUP within five days of publication. Ad position cannot be guaranteed unless paid prior to publication. Genesis Print Media & Consultation assumes no liability for the content or reply to any ads. The advertiser assumes all liability for the content of and all replies. The advertiser agrees to hold THE FORUM NEWSGROUP and its employees harmless from all costs, expenses, liabilities, and damages resulting from or caused by the publication placed by the advertiser or any reply to any such advertisement.
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • July 25, 2013 | 7
Council Hopefuls Slam Proposed Bag Charge As Attack On Middle Class But bill’s supporters say it is necessary to curb excessive plastic bag use By Anna Gustafson A recently introduced City Council bill that would result in shoppers being charged 10 cents for each plastic or paper bag provided to them in stores drew harsh criticism from political candidates and area civic leaders this week. “It’s essentially a tax, no matter what semantic game they play,” said Craig Caruana, a Republican running for Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s (D-Middle Village) seat representing Council District 30. “It’s a compulsory charge, forced by the government, to make people conform to what the elites thing is important. This might be fine for the wealthy, trendy folks in Manhattan and Brooklyn, who have the luxury of being concerned what’s fashionable. For the hard-working middleclass families in our district, it’s yet another expense that stretches our budgets even further.” Caruana was joined by Danielle De Stefano, who is running on the Independence line for Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr.’s seat in western Queens, Juniper Park Civic Association President Bob Holden, and other residents for a press conference on Monday on Myrtle Avenue in Glendale to denounce the legislation unveiled by Council members Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) and Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan) last week. If the Council passes the bill, customers at grocery and retail shops would be charged 10 cents for each plastic or paper bag given to them by the store. Lander and Chin said the legislation, which has garnered the support of such Queens Council members as Crowley and Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), would serve as an incentive for individuals to bring their own reusable bags. According to a release from Lander, the city pays an estimated $10 million to dispose of 100,000 tons of plastic bags in landfills each year. The 10 cents paid for each plastic or paper bag not brought by the customer would be retained by the store. Restaurants would not be
Anna Gustafson/The Forum Newsgroup
City Council candidate Craig Caruana, center, is joined by another Council candidate, Danielle De Stefano, left, and Juniper Park Civic Association President Bob Holden to denounce proposed legislation that would charge customers a dime for each plastic or paper bag provided to them in a store.
included in the legislation because of what the sponsors called “limited alternatives” for delivery and take-out food orders. Produce, meat and bulk food bags used within stores would be exempt for the charge in an effort to protect food from contamination. Pharmacy counter bags for medicine would also not be a part of legislation. A spokesman for Crowley said she is backing the bill because “there are about 5.2 billion plastic bags that are used in the city every year – and most of them are not recycled. “They end up in landfills; they clog up recycling machinery; they end up in catch basins, which can lead to flooding,” said Crowley spokesman Eric Yun. “It costs $10 million a year for the city to property dispose of these bags, and she thinks this is a good environmental message to reduce non-reusable plastic bags.” But Caruana argued that the bill would be a financial blow to Queens shoppers.
8 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013
“A middle-class mom doing grocery shopping for her family might have to pay around $2 more every time she shops,” Caruana said. “That probably doesn’t sound like much to the elite crowd, but working people need every dollar they earn.” Holden, too, slammed the proposal. “How much will it ever go down?” the JPCA president said of the 10-cent fine. “Will it ever go away? The answer is no… This is an attack on the middle class.” Fuad Alkadi, the owner of Sal Gourmet Deli in Glendale, said small mom-and-pop stores would be particularly hard hit by the fine, though he said a decrease in plastic bags littering the streets would be positive. “It’s going to be a problem,” he said. “A lot of people won’t want to pay it.” Supporters of the bill have stressed that other cities around the country, including Washington
D.C., Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, have implemented similar laws and have experienced a significant drop in the use of plastic bags. “It can be easy to forget the impact we each have on the environment – an impact that really adds up when you have a city of eight million people,” Lander said in a prepared statement. “The truth is, there are a lot of times that we don’t really need a plastic bag. This common sense legislation will help New York cut plastic bag waste, both saving money and reducing litter without affecting small businesses.” Citing concerns over the cleanliness of reusable bags, Caruana pointed to a 2010 University of Arizona study that found such bags can be a breeding ground for food-borne bacteria and pose a risk to public health. The study, which the University of Arizona conducted along with Loma Linda University in California, randomly tested reusable grocery bags carried by shoppers in Tucson, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It reported 97 percent of those interviewed never washed or bleached their reusable bags. “Reusable bags may be as clean as watching a Miley Cyrus performance,” Caruana said in reference to the 20-year-old pop star’s controversial performance at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards. Researchers involved in the 2010 study said that if municipalities do encourage the use of reusable bags, they should require instructions on the carriers indicating the bags need to be cleaned or bleached – as well as invest in a public education campaign to inform the public about the issue. “Our findings suggest a serious threat to public health, especially from coliform bacteria including E. coli, which were detected in half of the bags sampled,” University of Arizona Professor Charles Gerba said in a prepared statement when the 2010 study was released. “Furthermore, consumers are alarmingly unaware of these risks and the critical need to sanitize their bags on a weekly basis.”
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • July 25, 2013 | 9
South Queens Pols Call On Mayoral Hopefuls To Back Permanent Ferry By Anna Gustafson This is no time to see which way the winds blow – there needs to be a permanent ferry service to and from the Rockaways, elected officials from South Queens said last week. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (DRockaway Park) and Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) called on mayoral candidates from both sides of the political aisle to sign a pledge of support for ensuring those wanting to get to and from the peninsula will be able to do so on the ferry. The ferry, which costs $2 for the 35-minute trip from Rockaway to Manhattan and vice-versa, was re-established after Hurricane Sandy destroyed the A-subway line and left Rockaway residents with few options for mass transportation. Mayor Bloomberg announced last week that the service, which is much faster than the 90-minute trip on the A line from Rockaway to Manhattan, will run through Jan. 31, 2014 – longer than originally planned. “I commend the city for extending this vital means of transportation for our communities struggling to recover nearly 10 months after
Photo Courtesy NYS Assembly
State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, center at podium, and Councilman Eric Ulrich, third from right, called on mayoral candidates to back a permanent ferry service from Rockaway to Manhattan.
Sandy,” Goldfeder said. “Every candidate running for mayor must sign the pledge to demonstrate to voters in Southern Queens and Rockaway that they understand and will address local concerns.” Ulrich too said mayoral hopefuls need to pay attention to the wishes of Rockaway residents who have long felt ignored by City Hall.
“Anyone running for public office who wants to join us in representing the people of Rockaway need to sign this pledge,” Ulrich said. “Our constituents deserve permanent ferry service, and the future mayor of our great city is the only one who can guarantee that.” The ferry service, operated by Seastreak, will continue to operate until next year, but the new mayor will determine whether or not it will remain.
Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and former MTA Chairman and Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota vowed to make the service permanent – a measure that has also landed the support of Democratic mayoral hopeful and former Brooklyn Councilman Sal Albanese. “When I’m mayor, I’ll make that ferry permanent and make sure it stays at the current $2 fare,” Quinn said in a prepared statement. “And I’ll bring even more ferry fourtes to all five boroughs as part of my plan to make sure no New Yorker has to spend more than an hour commuting.” Lhota also said he would continue the “service uninterrupted. “The people of the Rockaways deserve equitable transportation options at a low cost,” Lhota said in a prepared statement. “Making this ferry service permanent will make a big difference in improving the quality of life for New Yorkers.” The ferry is located at Beach 108t Street and Beach Channel Drive and travels to Manhattan between Pier 11 and East 34th Street. The ferry has logged more than 120,000 passenger trips after Sandy.
Whistleblower Reports Elmhurst Tax Cheater Celebrity tailor will pay millions for lies on tax returns, funneling money to foreign bank accounts By Patricia Adams The East Elmhurst man who established himself as a tailor to the stars may be sewing prison stripes for the next few years after being indicted for hiding millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts to evade paying sales tax from his thriving business, according to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. And in a strange twist, the AG’s report revealed that Mohanbhai Ramchandani, the operator of Mohan’s Custom Tailors in Manhattan, was found out in part to his pension for reporting figures according to his belief in numerology. The AG’s office said the figures reported did not add up as numbers that could have occurred by chance.
The self-made millionaire, who grew his Manhattan based tailor shop by catering to sports figures and hard to fit celebrities, has plead guilty to violating the US Treasury Department’s Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report law as well as filing false tax returns to conceal $3.2 million. United States Attorney Lynch said, “Ramchandani not only grossly underreported his true income, he completely underestimated the tenacity of the IRS to ‘follow the money’.” The 66-year-old tailor allegedly perpetrated a complex tax scheme over the last ten years and admitted he reported only $5,674,738 in retail sales on tax returns between September 2002 and June 2012, when in actuality the sales figures for that time period were near $30 million.
Photo Courtesy IRS
Mohanbhai Ramchandani, a 66-year-old Elmhurst custom tailor, will now face three years in prison as well as muti million dollar fine as a result of his efforts to defraud the govenment in a tax cheating scheme that went on for 10 years.
Bacarella, Devlin Open HQ In Challenge To GOP Establishment Republican state committee candidates Sal Bacarella and Anne Marie Devlin were joined by Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota to open their campaign headquarters in Bayside on Saturday. Bacarella and Devlin are running against County Chairman Phil Ragusa and former Board of Elections Commissioner Judith
Stupp. State committee members, which are unpaid positions, play a number of different role in politics, including helping to decide who the county taps to back in campaigns. “It’s very important that we change and expand the Republican Party in New York, and we’re going to start right here in Queens,” Lhota said in a prepared statement. “I’m going to do everything I can to
Photo Courtesy Kevin Ryan
Republican state committee candidates Sal Bacarella, left, Anne Marie Devlin, Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota, and Councilman Eric Ulrich celebrate the opening of Bacarella’s and Devlin’s campaign headquarters last week.
10 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013
make sure we get the right leaders elected.” There are currently nine committee races across the borough, including the bid by Bacarella and Devlin in the 26th Assembly District. “Today, we’ve come together to take the first step in not only restoring integrity to our great Queens County GOP, but to also become the new standard of fair dealing for Republicans throughout our city,” Bacarella said of the party that tends to split into two camps: one that aligns with Ragusa and another that identifies with Ulrich. Among numerous disagreements, the Ragusa camp is backing John Catsimatidis for mayor, while those aligned with Ulrich have thrown support behind Lhota. “This is our party, not just mine and my friends,’” Bacarella said. “To make the Queens Republican Party something to be proud of again – a party in which everyone has a voice – we need to work together. We can make sure this Grand Old Party thrives in this magnificent county of Queens, for our children and grandchildren.”
One aspect of his fraudulent transactions included sending American Express transactions to the Bank of India in Hong Kong to an account he held there. He transferred additional funds to other banks in India and Canada, utilizing an account in his son’s name as part of the elaborate cover-up. Mohan has agreed to pay $5.5 million dollars in damages to settle civil claims that were first brought to light by a whistleblower under New York State’s False Claims Act, which was strengthened by amendments written by AG Schneiderman in 2010 when he served as a US Senator. The settlement is the first time the Act was used in resolving a tax case. Among the tailor’s clients were Patrick Ewing, Dayll Strawberry and former NYC mayors, Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch. Ramchandani could face up to three years in prison.
Homeowners Urged To Register For STAR Tax Break To ensure taxpayers are protected from inappropriate or fraudulent STAR exemptions, Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) is reminding all homeowners receiving the basic STAR benefit to register with the state Department of Taxation and Finance to continue receiving exemptions in 2014 and subsequent years. Registration began on Aug. 19 and will run through Dec. 31, 2013. Enhanced STAR recipients must continue to apply annually, or continue to participate in the Income Verification Program. Additionally, first-time applicants are not affected by this year’s registration procedure and must file Form RP-425, Application for School Tax Relief Exemption, with their local assessor. The tax department will mail instructions, including a STAR code necessary for registration, to all homeowners who currently receive the basic STAR exemption. Additionally, seniors who receive enhanced STAR will be exempt from the new home requirements and will not need to register to continue participation in the program. Homeowners can register at the state Department of Taxation and Finance’s website at www.tax.ny.gov or by calling (518) 457-2036.
A Return to Community Concerns Homeless shelters, park crime, crooked contractors top list
By Alan Krawitz As the summer draws to a close, community boards and civic associations around Queens will resume regular meetings starting in September. Some of the issues topping resident concerns in the southern and western parts of the borough include a proposed homeless shelter in Glendale, sanitation in Richmond Hill, crime in Forest Park and rogue home improvement contractors in Woodhaven. An issue which has galvanized residents from different civic organizations is a proposed 125-bed homeless shelter in Glendale, on the site of a former factory at 78-16 Cooper Ave. The shelter, which had been rumored to be in the works for more than a year, was officially proposed to the city’s Dept. of Homeless Services earlier this month by the nonprofit Samaritan Village. “The Juniper Park Civic Association is working on fighting the proposed homeless shelter on Cooper Avenue,” said Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association. “We are planning a rally among other things.” Last year, City Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, along with Glendale Civic Association President Kathy Masi collected more than 4,000 petition signatures opposing the proposed shelter, which Crowley said would take several million dollars in renovations to make the facility inhabitable, even for use as only the proposed “transitional housing.”
The building is currently zoned only for manufacturing use. Masi said the shelter will be a “major” topic at the association’s meeting next month. “We’re going to be looking at how homeless shelters can be proposed and come about without any community support.” Other issues Masi said would be discussed include an increasing amount of petty break-ins to autos and homes around Glendale as well as a perceived “lack of transparency” on the part of the Atlas Park Shops in Glendale. “They’re trying to engage the community, which is great,” said Masi about the strip mall on Cooper Ave., “but they never tell us what is happening until the last possible minute. They’re not transparent at all.” But, to Holden, Juniper Valley Park is always an issue of top concern. “We need more investment of capital funds… The tennis courts are sinking and cracking, the baseball fields need reconstruction and the running track and soccer field surface needs to be replaced,” said Holden, talking about needed park improvements. Alex Blenkinsopp, a member of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association, acknowledged that perennial concerns to the group include noise, traffic safety, sanitation, graffiti, and problems connected with illegal conversions. However, he also said that the group’s highest priorities at the moment are crime and promoting public safety. “We're looking at the pos-
sibility of starting a civilian observation patrol by teaming up with Glendale's, and we'll continue to strengthen our relationship with the 102nd Precinct,” Blenkinopp said. “Enjoyment of our public parks is crucial to residents of Community Board 9, yet recent sexual assaults have left many residents on edge,” said Joel Kuszai, chair of CB9’s Public Relations Committee. Kuszai added that CB 9 has been working with local elected officials in an attempt to bring permanent Park Enforcement Patrol officers to Forest Park. In addition, he said that contractors, operating without proper permits, filing false plans or making unapproved changes have long been an issue in the area. “Many of these contractors simply accept fines and penalties as the cost of doing business and stronger enforcement measures must be enacted.” Other issues, which Kuszai said would be addressed, include the development of a more efficient system to follow and track complaints and other issues in order to better understand the volume of community concerns and to better assist corrective action on the part of city agencies. Margaret Finnerty, president of Richmond Hill South Civic Association, said that sanitation has been a pressing issue along Liberty Ave. “People tend to put their home garbage into city garbage receptacles and that contributes to overall lack of cleanliness and proper sanitation,” she said.
Finnerty also said that concerns about local high school kids gambling at the nearby Resorts World Casino, would also be discussed. The Resorts World Casino, located at 10000 Rockaway Blvd., is in close proximity to John Adams High School, at 101-01 Rockaway Blvd., and Finnerty said she would like to see the state’s gambling age increased to 21, instead of the current 18. “We just worry that the students aren’t going and spending their money on gambling,” she said. She added that kids in New York, unlike other states, can now “buy a lottery ticket and go to the casino.” New York is one of only 13 states where the legal gambling age is 18. Finnerty said she is generally pleased with the casino but also wishes that Gov. Cuomo would move to change the gambling age. Further, Finnerty said that a catch-basin by the corner of John Adams High School has been repeatedly clogged. “We’re awaiting DEP action,” she said, noting that the basin becomes flooded on the 102nd street side during heavy rainstorms. And, for Frank Gulluscio, district manager for CB 6, he said that some main concerns revolve around school safety and vehicle traffic in school zones. “We’re concerned with creating slow zones and having cameras around schools to slow traffic,” Gulluscio said. “Every school needs cameras and slow zones,” he said, adding “At the end of the day, it’s all about safety.
This week The Forum brings back Celebrity Look-A-Likes, one of your favorite features from the past. We start out with some choices from the political landscape where obviously we have a lot to work with. We hope you enjoy our attempts to make you laugh and we invite
Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder
you to watch for the launch of our celebrity look-a-like contest which will premier in a couple of weeks! So start thinking of someone in the community who resembles a famous or infamous mug and we’ll let you know how you can turn that idea into a winner with The Forum!
Dopey the Dwarf
Senator Joe Addabbo
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013 | 11
Family, Fun, Food A MCA/O LG Family Festival had it all The parish of Our Lady of Grace in conjunction with the Ave Maria Catholic Academy held their 36th Annual Family Festival last week, and despite having to postpone the event for two weeks, organizers say the event was by far one of their most successful to date. People flocked to the school’s parking lot where the feast was held beginning on Wednesday night. “It’s really amazing,” said Joe DeCandia, “that we thought this year could be a bust because we had so many problems but clearly the community waited for us to get together and they did not let the delay get in the way. And then of course,” he joked, “we have higher authority on our side.” For five nights, adults and children of all ages were transported into an arena of fun where there were rides, games, face painting, crowd roaming characters, nightly entertainment and of course zeppole, sausage and peppers, cotton candy as well as other feast food favorites. Organizers explained that because the date had to be moved, many vendors who normally bring traditional festival favorites to the event were already booked into other events for the weekend. But both the school and the parish are looking forward to next year when they will be bringing a host of fun features to the 37th annual event next summer. Photos by Patricia Adams
12 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013
Bracing For Crowds, Forest Hills Residents Hope Stadium Concerts Will Also Bring Boost To Economy
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Anna Gustafson/The Forum Newsgroup
Construction crews worked this week at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium to prepare for the Mumford and Sons concert on Wednesday.
By Anna Gustafson Thousands of people were expected to flood into Forest Hills for the first concert held at the iconic Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in 16 years on Wednesday, leaving area residents both concerned about the massive crowds and excited for what some hope could revive a time when the world’s biggest entertainment and sports stars flocked to the neighborhood. Mumford and Sons, the Grammy-award winning band from Britain, played their bluegrass-rock hits that have garnered them accolades across the globe to a sold-out crowd at the 90-year-old stadium that has previously drawn the likes of the Beatles and Bob Dylan. The concert is the first in a series of 19 musical events scheduled for the next three years, according to representatives from the West Side Tennis Club, a century-old venue that owns the stadium and is located next to the site that once hosted the U.S Open Tennis Championship. “I know there will be tons of people around, and they might be drunk or rowdy, but I’m excited for it,” Andrea Fitzgerald, who lives near the stadium, said this week before Wednesday’s concert. “It’s nice to know that the stadium might finally start looking alright; it’s been dilapidated for so long and is just a blight on the neighborhood. I hope things start to change now; our neighborhood deserves that.” The stadium, which hosted the U.S. Open until it was moved to the larger Flushing Meadows Corona Park in 1977, stopped holding concerts in the 1980s because of complaints from residents about noise and parking problems – something West Side Tennis Club officials have said they have worked hard to address this time around. For example, Bob Ingersole, the tennis director and facilities manager at the West Side Ten-
nis Club, has said the new lineup of concerts would end around 10 p.m. in order to ensure loud music would not emanate from the stadium in the late night hours. The facility, at which some of the biggest names in rock history have played – including Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, and The Who – had become rundown in recent years and, when legislators pushed for it to be landmarked, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission ruled in 2011 that the site was in too poor of a condition to be considered for landmark status. While construction work has been ongoing at the stadium for the past month, some civic leaders said they don’t believe the site can ever land the prestige it once had. “That stadium is beyond repair,” said Barbara Stuchinski, president of the Forest Hills Community and Civic Association. “They put in some benches so people could go to the concert, but you’re not going to restore it to its glory days. Move forward. Find another plan. Do something with that land.” Still, other residents said they’re thrilled that the concerts could bring an influx of people to the neighborhood’s shops and restaurants. A number of area businesses prepared for the crowds, including the restaurant Banter, which provided live music after the show, and Jack & Nellie’s planned to open its doors earlier than usual to accommodate concert goers looking for something to do before the show. And, residents said, they’re happy that construction to prepare for the concert will be over. “The construction has been very annoying,” said Hank Arora, who has lived across the street from the stadium since 1995. “But before this, the place was disgusting. There were racoons running around; it looked awful, so hopefully this makes it better.”
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162-54 Cross Bay Blvd, Howard Beach (718) 848-5699 THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013 | 13
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The ABC's of Eating In Queens
What’s The Point?
A review of how our readership area measures up
By Patricia Adams Last week we began a two-part series into the Department of Health’s grading system and discussed within the article an agreement reached between the DoH and Council Speaker Christine Quinn to amend the price of violations/fines, the structures of such penalties and the circumstances under which they are written. All in all, projections say the initiative will serve to reduce the burden on the fine pool by roughly $10 million dollars.
In addition to their contentions about unfair fin s and oppressive inspectors, the group of plaintiffs claim the fin s are unconstitutional because the mayor did not go through the City Council in order to enact the system – instead they say he “slid it through the back door,” using administrative fiat to push it through. And while the lawsuit only includes affected parties from the Bronx, the problem is one that has inspired outcries and outrage throughout the city. And although their locations may differ along with the food they offer, the complaints restaurant owners and managers share are all alike.
GP (Grade Pending)
NYG (Not Yet Graded)
Forest Hills, Rego Park & Woodhaven
Middle Village, Maspeth & Glendale
Howard Beach, Richmond Hill & Ozone Park
Our Readership Total
All of Queens
3981 607 90
For many of the city’s 24,000 restaurateurs, it’s too little, too late. And for one group of 40 Bronx restaurant owners, whose attorney Neil Grimaldi filed a $150 million dollar lawsuit against the DoH a little over two months ago, it’s a consolation that matters very little.
Owners maintain that one of the greatest problems is the inconsistency of the rules and the way inspectors represent them. Court papers filed revealed examples of disparity in procedure and other inconsistencies that give unreasonable flexibility to interpretation.
But perhaps the most grievous of the complaints is that so many of the violations are given for issues that do not relate to the food being served – the widespread theory that has everyone in the food business running for cover, hoping to escape the hatchet. This week we have taken a look at the restaurants in our readership area and how they stack up against each other and the rest of the borough. And despite the protestations of restaurant owners and others in the business, over fines, consumers can feel at ease when eating at the majority of establishments. Just about 75% of eateries in our area proudly display one of the coveted A’s while an astonishingly low 2% of establishments have been given C’s. And contrary to the opinions of those on the receiving end of the fines, the city says the proof is in the proverbial pudding as to whether or not the system is working. Statistics show an increase in roughly 20% in the number of A’s given since the inception of the system in 2010. For those who wish to find more specific information on a particular restaurant, visit the Department of health and mental Hygiene at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/ html/home/home.shtml. There you can find information about every restaurant’s grade and violation history in the city. The search can be performed in a number of different ways including restaurant name, cuisine served, neighborhood etc.
A – 0 and 13 points B – 14 to 27 points C – 28 or more • A public health hazard, such as failing to keep food at the right temperature, triggers a minimum of 7 points. If the violation can’t be corrected before the inspection ends, the Health Department may close the restaurant until it’s fixed. • A critical violation, for example, serving raw food such as a salad without properly washing it first, carries a minimum of 5 points. • A general violation, such as not properly sanitizing cooking utensils, receives at least 2 points. • Monitoring inspections at a restaurant that has performed very poorly on its re-inspection. The Health Department may continue to inspect the restaurant roughly once a month until it scores below 28 or the Department closes it for serious and persistent violations. • Inspections at new restaurants not yet open to the public • An inspection at a restaurant seeking to reopen after the Department closed it. Inspectors assign additional points to refl ct the extent of the violation. A violation’s condition level can range from 1 (least extensive) to 5 (most extensive). For example, the presence of one contaminated food item is a condition level 1 violation, generating 7 points. Four or more contaminated food items is a condition level 4 violation, resulting in 10 points. –FROM THE NYC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
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Field of Dreams: American Softball League Benefits Athletes With Disabilities By Hannah Sheehan Players for the American Softball League convened in Flushing’s Kissena Corridor Park for the final game of the season on Saturday. Since last spring, the volunteer organization has provided a non-competitive, social environment for adults with developmental disabilities to play weekly softball games throughout the summer. Howard Beach resident Randy Novick started the league after a similar program shut down, leaving a friend’s adult son with limited options for accommodating recreational activities. “The Special Olympics is just once a year, for one week – this is every week,” Novick said. The softball league currently serves upwards of 40 men and women from group homes throughout Queens and Brooklyn, but Novick is hoping to expand his program with additional funding from the city so that more people can participate. “They live for this,” he said. “They come in May and they’re so thrilled when they hit the ball and run.”
Hannah Sheehan/The Forum Newsgroup
American Softball League founder Randy Novick, of Howard Beach, helps one of his players to bat at the group’s last game of the season on Saturday.
“It’s a great way for them to get exercise,” said Bayside residential program counselor Marie Policard. Cecilia Hewitt, a counselor at Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York in Jamaica, agreed that programs like the American Softball League are extremely beneficial for her residents. “The guys are getting out and having fun,” she said. “As many activities that we can get them involved in, the better.” Hewitt said playing in the league also affords adults with developmental disabilities a rare sense of involvement and belonging. “They watch the professionals on TV and they get to be part of it,” she said.
The American Softball League benefits adults with developmental disabilities from throughout Queens and Brooklyn.
Angelo DiGangi of Richmond Hill, an attorney with the Community Advocacy Center, said “just watching the players enjoy the game” is reason enough to volunteer as the team’s general manager. The league relies on community volunteers like DiGangi and counselors from the participating group homes to coach the team cheer the players on. League volunteer Fred Siles said “the fun and seeing their faces” keeps him coming back. Services for the Underserved counselor Addison John said the players look forward to game each week. “By the time it comes around, they’re ready for that Saturday,” he said. According to John, the positive experience of being involved in the league stays with his residents for days. “They want to go home and do it in the backyard,” John said, adding that he and the other Services for the Underserved staff members now make an effort to bring their residents to a nearby park to practice during the week. One player, Johnny, said hitting and catching are his favorite parts of playing in the league. Michael, another athlete, fondly remembers hitting five home runs this season, but said he enjoys everything about being on the team. “I love the field, I love the bat, and the weather’s beautiful,” he said. Saturday’s game was followed by a picnic lunch and an award ceremony during which Novick handed out trophies to his coaching staff and all participating players. General manager DiGangi briefly interrupted the proceedings to honor the organization’s founder. “None of this would be possible without him,” he said.
Celebrating Summer Camp in Richmond Hill Students in fourth- and fifthgrade participated in a Technology and Video Conferencing Summer Camp program at the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center. The program ran from July 22 through Aug. 1. The students who participated were from different schools in the Richmond Hill area, such as PS 90, PS 56, Holy Child Jesus, PS 62, and PS 66. The children conducted several video conferences with NASA, as well as with zoo keepers at the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri. Some of the topics discussed with NASA included the moon, how humans live in space, mission to Mars, states of matter, and the sun and other planets. From the zoo, they learned about such animals as seals, sea lions and penguins. During the video conferences, the students had the opportunity to ask the presenters questions. While learning new facts
Photo Courtesy One Stop Richmond Hill
and information, they also were able to make new friends from different grades and schools and learned to work with each other in cooperative groups. They also received a visit from Councilman Eric Ulrich. THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013 | 17
18 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • July 25, 2013
Fun & Games ACROSS
1. Aladdin's hang-out 6. Dear one 9. Frosh, next year 13. Single-cell protozoan 14. Similar to ostrich but in Australia 15. Dugout vessel 16. Wealthy one who made fortune in Orient 17. Dashboard acronym 18. Bring upon oneself 19. *Eat ______ pie 21. *To kick this is to expire 23. *Busy as a ___ 24. Female version of #6 Across in England 25. Mountain basin 28. Forbidden fruit, e.g. 30. Ready to be assembled 35. *Let it down and relax 37. Femme fatale 39. Give a speech 40. Beige 41. Often goes with "flowed" 43. This of a circle equals pi times r squared 44. Moved on runners 46. Length of earth's orbit 47. Diagnostic test 48. Strep throat organ 50. Bayonet wound 52. Typographer's measurement units 53. Retained 55. ___ shot 57. *Flatter someone, or ______ one up 60. Croquet hitter 63. Joseph Stalin's sidekick 64. *Do you have one in the hole? 66. Org. symbols 68. Admiral's group 69. "You're it" game 70. Grind down 71. Happy 72. About when one will arrive 73. Biter in the ring
1. Embargo 2. Asian nurse 3. Asian domesticated ox 4. Mushroom maker 5. Rectangular groove joint 6. Arid 7. Mischief-maker 8. "Dancing with the Stars" number 9. *It did this like a stone 10. *Shame on you for fooling me ____ 11. Sad grimace 12. ___ Royal Highness 15. Famous Roman orator 20. Depart 22. Strike caller 24. Most foolish 25. *Boasters beat this 26. Mad one 27. Rice wine 29. *Don't throw this out with bath water 31. "-zoic" periods 32. Travesty 33. It included Mr. T 34. *Spill them to reveal a secret 36. Regrets 38. Bog deposit 42. *_____ queen 45. Dictator's order 49. A Spike ___ joint 51. *Bite this to endure an unpleasant situation 54. Blabber 56. *No guts, no _____ 57. *Saving device 58. Carbamide 59. *Happens to your tongue when speechless? 60. Huge or large 61. The conscious mind, pl. 62. One of many errands 63. Roald Dahl's "The ___" 65. *Tongue stealer 67. John McCain, e.g.
Popular Expressions CROSSWORD
SOLUTIONS FROM LAST WEEK'S PUZZLE
1. Janet Jackson is he youngest of how many Jacksons? 2. Who was US President at the start of the 20th century? 3. Which politician stated, "Read my lips: no new taxes?" 4. Who was the first female to register 30 top ten hits? 5. Twister was a disaster movie about what? Answers from Last Week: 1: Israel and Jordan. 2: Europe. 3: Hawaii. 4: Portugal. 5: Paris.
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • July 25, 2013 | 19
THE HAPPENINGS Thursday, Aug. 29
should wear walking shoes and bring sunscreen and cash for businesses that do not accept credit cards. After scooping up some basic farm bounty at the Youthmarket, the group will shop at such places as Parrot Coffee, Morscher’s Pork Store, Max Euro, Hetman Fine Foods, Wallgate Deli, Ridgewood Pork Store, Valentino’s, Cracovia Deli, Ridgewood Farm Market, and more. The group will stop midway for lunch at the pizza joint Minitalia, where individuals will discuss the meals they plan to prepare with the food purchased that day. At the end of the tour, dessert will be enjoyed at Catania Bakery. Participants and their purchases will be featured in a future post on the blog, www.ridgefood.com.
Summer Swing Concert St. Helen’s Church 157-10 83 St., Howard Beach 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. A free indoor summer concert of swing music will be held in St. Helen’s Father Dooley Hall. Everyone is invited to come out for the annual Arnie Mig Memorial Concert and enjoy the music of the Big Band era. Returning again this year, Frank Pedulla will lead The New Swing Orchestra in a concert to honor Mig, who for many years brought swing music to the community.
Alternative Sports Drink Stand
The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band will perform at Resorts World. The first 1,000 people will be admitted for free.
This musical group will capture hearts and ignite the New York Hall of Science crowd with a power-packed performance of Michael 47-01 111 St., Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Jackson’s greatest hits. The concert is free for the first 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. 1,000 people. Enjoy samples of delicious alternatives to commercial- For more information, visit www.rwnewyork.com. ly available sports drinks, while learning some healthful tips for snacking, farming and creating your own drink flavors at home. The event is free. For more information, visit www.nysci.org.
Saturday, Aug. 31
Networking and Live in the Sky Concert Series
Through Aug. 31
Swingin’ with the All Stars: Louis Armstrong and Baseball
Day of Fun to Benefit Children with Autism
St. Margaret’s Church 66-05 79th Place, Middle Village Z Hotel NYC 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 11-01 43rd Ave., Long Island City Come join Play4Autism, a nonprofit working with chil5:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. dren with autism and their families, for a day of fun, Join about 150 other people with Queens interests at a awareness, great food, games, and more – including free networking party, and then listen to live music and an introduction to “Kidz Into Action” programs. enjoy a cash bar with happy hour specials on a rooftop Residents of all ages are welcome. For more informawith views of the midtown Manhattan skyline. tion and to inquire about vendor space, please call For more information, visit www.zhotelny.com. Play4Autism at (718) 894-3400.
Friday, Aug. 30
Fun City: New York in the Movies Museum of the Moving Image 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria 7 p.m. The Museum of the Moving Image hosts a screening of “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” as part of its series of New York City-filmed flicks that tapped into the turmoil, chaos and social energies of the late 1960s and early 1970s. With Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam and Hector Elizondo, this thriller was filmed on location – mainly in the tunnel of the abandoned Court Street subway station in Brooklyn and outside the subway entrance on 28th Street and Park Avenue South. The movie’s star character is Lower East Side-born Matthau’s police inspector. For more information, visit www.movingimage.us
Who’s Bad? The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band Resorts World Casino New York City 110-00 Rockaway Blvd., South Ozone Park. 8 p.m.
20 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013
Ridgewood Market Labor Day Weekend Flea Event 59-03 Summerfield St., Ridgewood Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1 11 a.m. The Greater Ridgewood Youth Council presents a market featuring a wide variety of goods, including antiques, art, and food. There will be handmade, local and vintage items for sale. For more information, visit RidgewoodMarket.com.
Ridgefood Grocery Shopping Tour Ridgewood Youthmarket Myrtle Avenue Clemens Triangle 10 a.m. Ridgewood residents are eligible to participate in a grocery store food tour sponsored by the blog Ridgefood. The tour is limited to six people, and to secure a spot in the event residents of Ridgewood – and Ridgewood only – may email a brief introduction about yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants must bring two reusable shopping bags, plus a sturdy backpack for heavier items. Individuals
Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong's relationship with baseball is explored in an exhibit that runs through Aug. 31 at the Louis Armstrong House in Corona.
Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Louis Armstrong House Museum 34-56 107 St., Corona The exhibit at the Louis Armstrong House Museum, “Swingin’ with the All Stars: Louis Armstrong and Baseball,” includes photos and artifacts exploring Satchmo’s relationship with the country’s favorite past-time, including a photo of the jazz legend backstage with Dodgers Don Newcombe and Junior Gilliam, a rare Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald baseball card from Holland, and one of his famed tape box collages featuring a photo of the trumpeter with New York Yankees Phil Rizzuto and Joe Collins. The exhibit runs through Aug. 31 and is free with museum admission. The museum is shown only through guided 40-minute tours that start every hour on the hour. The last tour of the day begins at 4 p.m. The exhibit area and garden may be explored before or after the tour. No appointment is necessary, unless you are planning a group visit for at least eight people. For more information, call (718) 478-8274 or visit www.louisarmstronghouse.org.
. .. e m ti d o o g a ve ha to w ho u yo We'll show Enjoy your community. Thursday, Sept. 5
Fresh Pond Road Street Festival Sept. 5 through Sept. 8 Fresh Pond Road between Woodbine and Menahan The annual Fresh Pond Road festival will run from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Sept. 5 through Sept. 7, and from 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 8. The festivities will include Italian food, including zepoles with powdered sugar, sausage and peppers, fried oreos and more. There will be rides and other activities for families and children. For more information, call (718) 366-9077
Monday, Sept. 9
Book Signing in Ridgewood Ridgewod Public Library 20-12 Madison Street 6 p.m. The Ridgewood library will host a book signing for Robert McNally’s memoir “I Had Jelly On My Nose and a Hole in My Breeches,” a humorous and poignant memoir about growing up in Ridgewood in the 1930s and 40s.
Saturday, Sept. 15
Myrtle Avenue Fall Street Festival
Myrtle Avenue from Fresh Pond Road to Wyckoff Avenue 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District is sponsoring its annual fall festival, which will include more than 200 merchants, rides and game booths. There will be performances by Joe Fuoco’s Music Center and the Banjo Rascals, as well as vintage buses presented in cooperation with the MTA. An array of antique and custom cars will be shown from the East Coast Car and Riviera Owners. For more information, call 646-230-0489.
Friday, Sept. 20
Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association Annual Fundraiser
Tuesday, Sept. 24
Colum McCann with Leonard Lopate at Queens College
Individuals will get a chance to glimpse great egrets, and many other forms of wildlife, during a three-hour narrated sunset tour of Jamaica Bay on Sept. 28.
history and ecology of the bay and see nesting and migrating hawks, peregrine falcons, oystercatchers, ospreys, herons, egrets, Ibis, shorebirds and waterfowl. The tour will be led by Don Riepe, Guardian of Jamaica Bay and noted local naturalist. The tour is $55 per person and includes wine, cheese, fruit and snacks. It will depart from Sheepshead Bay’s Pier 4 at Emmons Avenue and Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. To purchase tickets by credit card, go to http://cruiseseptember28th.eventbrite.com/ Individuals may also send a check for $55 per person to the American Littoral Society, c/o Don Riepe, 28 West 9th Road, Broad Channel, NY 11693. The cruise is a cooperative program with the American Celebrated author Colum McCann will read and be interviewed by WNYC's Littoral Society, Gateway National Park Service, NYC Leonard Lopate at Queens College. Audubon, and NYC Sierra Club. For more informaLeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College tion, visit www.littoralsociety.org, call (718) 47465-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing 0896, or email email@example.com 7 p.m. National Book Award-winning author Colum McCann will read his work and be interviewed by WNYC’s Leonard Lopate at Queens College’s LeFrak Concert Hall. McCann is the author of such novels as “This Side of Brightness,” “Dancer,” “Zoli,” “Let the Great World Spin,” and, most recently, “TransAtlantic.” McCann’s 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. work has been celebrated across the globe and de- The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association and scribed by critics as masterful and profoundly moving. community members are holding the Great WoodTickets to individual readings can be purchased for $20 haven Yard Sale at various locations throughout the at the door at 6:45 p.m. on the evening of the event. neighborhood on Sept. 28. Visit www.qcreadings.org for more information. A large number of residents are expected to participate in the event, and a wide variety of merchandise will be available during the community event. The WRBA will distribute a map showing the location of the participating households. Households who want to sell merchandise can be a part of the event by registering with the WRBA by Sept. 13. Register by visiting woodhaven-nyc.org Knights of Columbus Hall or calling (718) 296-3735. 135-45 Lefferts Blvd., South Ozone Park 7:30 p.m. All members of the community are welcome to attend the civic meeting. September’s event will feature Asyou would li semblyman Phil Goldfeder as the guest speaker. ke to
The Great Woodhaven Yard Sale
Thursday, Sept. 26
Richmond Hill South Civic Association Meeting
Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant 62-96 Woodhaven Blvd., Rego Park The WRBA’s annual fundraiser will honor the American Legion Pos 118 as Organization of the Year, Paul Rudolph of Walker Funeral Home as Man of the Year, St. Thomas the Apostle teacher Patti Eggers as Woman of the Year, and the Woodhaven firm Ohlert-Ruggiere as the Hall of Fame inductee. The annual event celebrates the civic group’s work and history, and this year participants have a chance 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to also purchase a ticket for a neighborhood veteran. Everyone is invited to a special three-hour narrated For more information and to purchase tickets, sunset tour of Jamaica Bay aboard the Golden Sunvisit woodhaven-nyc.org. shine ship. As part of the event, you will learn about the
Saturday, Sept. 28
Jamaica Bay Sunset Tour
IF YOU HAV E AN EVEN T include in The Foru m's Happen ings please ema il informati , on and photos to forumsouth @gmail.co m or call
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013 | 21
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TO ADVERTISE YOUR SERVICE OR BUSINESS, CALL THE FORUM TO RESERVE SPACE TODAY! 718-845-3221 Legal Notices SUMMONS, NOTICE AND BRIEF STATEMENT OF NATURE OF ACTION CONSUMER CREDIT TRANSACTION SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF QUEENS Index No. 3803/2013 M&T BANK, Plaintiff, -against- DANIEL CHONG a/k/a DANIEL D. CHONG a/k/a DANNY CHONG; JORGE CHONG a/k/a JORGE W. CHONG; SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT; RAB PERFORMANCE RECOVERIES; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; NEW YORK CITY ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL BOARD; NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE; “JOHN DOE #1- #50” and “MARY ROE #1- #50”, the last two names being fictitious, said parties intended being tenants or occupants, if any, having or claiming an interest in or lien upon the premises described in the complaint, Defendants. DANIEL CHONG A/K/A DANIEL D. CHONG A/K/A DANNY CHONG and JORGE CHONG A/K/A JORGE W. CHONG: YOU ARE HEREBY SUMMONED and required to serve upon plaintiff’s attorneys an answer to the complaint in this action within twenty (20) days after the service of this Summons, exclusive of the day of service, or within thirty (30) days after service is complete if the Summons is not personally delivered to you within the State of New York. The United States of America, if designated as a defendant in this action, may answer or appear within sixty (60) days of service hereof. In case of your failure to answer, judgment will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. Trial is desired in the County of Queens. The basis of venue designated above is that the real property, which is the subject matter of this action, is located in the County of Queens, New York. NOTICE YOU ARE IN DANGER OF
LOSING YOUR HOME IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT BY SERVING A COPY OF THE ANSWER ON THE ATTORNEY FOR THE MORTGAGE COMPANY WHO FILED THIS FORECLOSURE PROCEEDING AGAINST YOU AND FILING THE ANSWER WITH THE COURT A DEFAULT JUDGMENT MAY BE ENTERED AND YOU CAN LOSE YOUR HOME. SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY OR GO TO THE COURT WHERE YOUR CASE IS PENDING FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON HOW TO ANSWER THE SUMMONS AND PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY. SENDING A PAYMENT TO YOUR MORTGAGE COMPANY WILL NOT STOP THIS FORECLOSURE ACTION. YOU MUST RESPOND BY SERVING A COPY OF THE ANSWER ON THE ATTORNEY FOR THE PLAINTIFF (MORTGAGE COMPANY) AND FILING THE ANSWER WITH THE COURT. HELP FOR HOMEOWNERS IN FORECLOSURE New York State Law requires that we send you this notice about the foreclosure process. Please read it carefully. Summon and Complaint You are in danger of losing your home. If you fail to respond to the summons and complaint in this foreclosure action, you may lose your home. Please read the summons and complaint carefully. You should immediately contact an attorney or local legal aid office to obtain advice on how to protect yourself. Source of Information and Assistance The State encourages you to become informed about your options in foreclosure. In addition to seeking assistance from an attorney or legal aid office, there are government agencies and non-profit organizations that you may contact for information about possible options, including trying to work with your lender during this process. To locate an entity near you, you may call the toll-free helpline maintained by the New
22 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • July 25, 2013
York State Department of Financial Services at to 1-800-269-0990 visit the Department`s website at www.dfs.ny.gov. Foreclosure rescue scams Be careful of people who approach you with offers to “save” your home. There are individuals who watch for notices of foreclosure actions in order to unfairly profit from a homeowner’s distress. You should be extremely careful about any such promises and any suggestions that you pay them a fee or sign over your deed. State law requires anyone offering such services for profit to enter into a contract which fully describes the services they will perform and fees they will charge, and which prohibits them from taking any money from you until they have completed all such promised services. The foregoing Summons is served upon you by publication pursuant to an order of Honorable Augustus C. Agate, Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, signed on the 31st day of July, 2013, in Queens, New York and to be duly entered in the Queens County Clerk’s Office, in Queens, New York. The Nature of this action pertains to a note and mortgage held by Plaintiff on real property owned by the defendants, Daniel Chong a/k/a Daniel D. Chong a/k/a Danny Chong and Jorge Chong a/k/a Jorge W. Chong. The said defendants have defaulted on the note and mortgage and the plaintiff commenced a foreclosure action. Plaintiff is seeking a judgment foreclosing its mortgage against the real property and premises which situates in the Neighborhood of Woodhaven, County of Queens and State of New York and is commonly known as 97-28 95th Street, Ozone Park, New York 11416 and all other relief as to the Court may seem just and equitable. DATED: August 28, 2013 SCHILLER & KNAPP, LLP BY: WILLIAM B. SCHILLER, ESQ. Attorneys for Plaintiff 950 New Loudon Road Latham, New York 12110 Telephone: (518) 786-9069
NOTICE OF FORMATION OF LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY. NAME: 242-01 JAMAICA AVE LLC. Articles of Organization were filed with the Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 07/11/13. Office location: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to the LLC, 242-01 Jamaica Avenue, Bellerose, New York 11426. Purpose: For any lawful purpose.
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Legal Notices ENNOID LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 7/17/13. Office in Queens Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to The LLC, 2800 Coyle Street, Apt. 121, Brooklyn, NY 11235. Purpose: Any lawful activity.
ESMEE LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 7/29/13. Office in Queens Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to Revonia King-Asonye, 123-42 Irwin, Saint Albans, NY 11434. Purpose: Any lawful activity.
Notice of Formation of PVF Supply. com, LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 7/2/13. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: The LLC, 3542 41st St., Long Island City, NY 11101. Purpose: any lawful activities.
133 47 LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 7/24/13. Office in Queens Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to The LLC, 136-31 41st Avenue, Suite 5A, Flushing, NY 11355. Purpose: Any lawful activity.
Hong Kong Supermarket Landmark, L.P. Cert. of LP filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) 4/5/13. Ofc in: Queens Cty. SSNY designated agent of LP upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Jun Xu, 41-68 Main St., Flushing, NY 11355. Name/address of each gen. ptr. avail. from SSNY. Purpose: General. Notice of formation of I.C. CREATIVE L.L.C., Articles of Organization filed with the Secretary of State of NY (SSNY) on 06/18/2013. Office located in Queens. SSNY has been designated for service of process. SSNY shall mail copy of any process served against the LLC to Sabrina Rivera: 68-12 Yellowstone Blvd, 3Y, Forest Hills, NY 11375. Purpose: any lawful purpose. Notice of Formation of ExperBuy, LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 07/10/13. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to Corporation Service Co., 80 State St., Albany, NY 122072543. Purpose: Any lawful activity.
Notice of Formation of SCOTT AVE PARTNERS LLC Arts. of Org. filedwith Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on08/19/13. Office location: Queens County. Princ. office of LLC: 63-23Metropolitan Ave., Middle Village, NY 11379. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to the LLC at the addr. of its princ. office. Purpose: Any lawful activity. NOTICE OF FORMATION OF MEITAI PROPERTIES LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 03/21/2013. Office location: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process may be serviced and shall mail copy of process against LLC to: 39-01 MAIN ST., STE 203, FLUSHING, NY 11354. Principal business address: 64-27 229TH ST., STE 101, BAYSIDE, NY 11364. Purpose: any lawful act. Ac Cab LLC Arts of Org. filed with NY Secy of State (SSNY) on 6/3/13. Office:Queens. SSNY is design. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served and shall mail process to 14220 Franklin Ave. #5Z Flushing, NY 11355. Purpose: any lawful activity.
Legal Notices NOTICE OF FORMATION OF LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY. NAME: 3168 35th STREET LLC. Articles of Organization were filed with the Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 04/04/13. Office location: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to the LLC, P.O. Box 575042, Whitestone, New York 11357. Purpose: For any lawful purpose. GRAND APTS LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 08/19/2013. 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, 6548 174th Street, Flushing, NY 11365. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose. Notice of formation of AWESOME ENTERPRISE LLC, Articles of Organization filed with the Secretary of State of NY (SSNY) on 06/05/2013. Office located in Queens. SSNY has been designated for service of process. SSNY shall mail copy of any process served against the LLC to The LLC, 4122 42nd Street, Sunnyside, NY 11104. Purpose: any lawful purpose. Notice of formation of 9 JOY HOLDING LLC, a limited liability company. Articles of Organization filed with the Secretary of State of NY (SSNY) on 06/04/2013. Office located in Queens. SSNY has been designated for service of process. SSNY shall mail copy of any process served against the LLC to The LLC, 140-17 Oak Ave, Flushing, NY 11355. Purpose: any lawful purpose. Notice of Formation of 89-65 216 ST LLC, Art. of Org. filed Sec’y of State (SSNY) 5/24/13. 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 c/o Dhanpaul Naraine, 22029 Jamaica Ave., Queens Village, NY 11428. Purpose: any lawful activities. EASTGENE REALTY LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 6/20/12. Office in Queens Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to C/O Libo Qiu & Ruliang Xu 43-20 214th Pl 1st Fl Bayside, NY 11361. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of WEIGHT MANAGEMENT PHYSICIAN, PLLC. Art. of Org. filed NY Sec’y of State (SSNY) 07/22/13. Office in Queens Co. SSNY desig. as process agt. Process service address: 7211 Austin St, #372, Forest Hills, NY 11375. Purpose: Any lawful purpose or activity.
Notice of formation of MCKEE’S HOSPITALITY GROUP, LLC, Articles of Organization filed with the Secretary of State of NY (SSNY) on 06/10/2013. Office located in Queens. SSNY has been designated for service of process. SSNY shall mail copy of any process served against the LLC to The LLC: 2417 29th Street, Astoria, NY 11102. Purpose: any lawful purpose. Notice of formation of ANL REALTY, LLC, Articles of Organization filed with the Secretary of State of NY (SSNY) on 07/01/2013. Office located in Queens. SSNY has been designated for service of process. SSNY shall mail copy of any process served against the LLC to The LLC: 1 Stiles Drive, Melville, NY 11747. Purpose: any lawful purpose. Notice of Formation of Greenline Calls LLC: Arts. of Org. filed with NY Sec. of State (SSNY) on 5/17/2013. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to Greenline Calls, LLC c/o Tom Volker 4801 72nd St., Woodside NY 11377. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of 579 92nd Street LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with NY Dept. of State on 8/2/13. Office location: Queens County. Princ. bus. addr.: 616 Lowell Rd., Concord, MA 01742. Sec. of State designated agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served and shall mail process to: c/o Mark B. Elefante, Hemenway & Barnes LLP, 60 State St., Boston, MA 02109. Purpose: all lawful purposes. 48-03 30th Avenue LLC Arts of Org. filed with NY Secy of State (SSNY) on 8/1/13. Office:Queens Co. SSNY is design. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served and shall mail process to 48-21 30th Ave. Astoria, NY 11103. Purpose: any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of GOMMA, LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 07/11/2013. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Carlos M Roman II at 41-34 Crescent Street, Long Island City, NY 11101. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of ARVERNE CONSTRUCTION CO. LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 04/04/13. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to the LLC, 190 Beach 68th St., Arverne, NY 11692. Purpose: Any lawful activity.
Notice of Formation of MAY SQUARED REAL ESTATE LLC. Arts of Org. filed GREEN CLEAN ECO LLC, a domestic with NY Secy of State (SSNY) on LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 4/24/13. Office: Queens. SSNY is des5/10/13. Office location: Queens Counignated as agent of LLC upon whom ty. SSNY is designated as agent upon process against it may be served and whom process against the LLC may be shall mail process to The LLC, 255-07 served. SSNY shall mail process to: 61st Avenue, 1st Floor, Little Neck, NY Gina Loriggio, 2804 171st St., Flushing, 11362. Purpose: any lawful activity. NY 11358. General Purposes. THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • July 25, 2013 | 23
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24 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • July 25, 2013
New York State Assemblyman
L’ Shana Tova Best Wishes for a Happy & Healthy Jewish New Year
py p a H a e v a H and ! y a D r o b a L e Saf Ozone Park Office 108-14 Crossbay Boulevard Ozone Park, NY 11417 718-641-8755
Rockaway Beach Office 214 Beach 96th Street Rockaway Beach, NY 11693 718-945-9550 • Fax 718-945-9549
Congresswoman Grace Meng Paid for and Authorized by Grace for NY
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • July 25, 2013 | 25
In The Waning Days Of Summer, How To Have Fun In Queens By Anna Gustafson While the long days of sun and sand are coming to an end, don’t get too depressed about bidding adieu to the summer - there is plenty happening this Labor Day weekend that will keep your mind off the coming cold weather. Whether you and your kids want to take a free ferry ride or catch some last-minute rays on the beach before the days are filled with school books and work, Queens residents have plenty to smile about this Friday through Monday. There are a number of events running throughout the weekend that will no doubt be crowd-pleasers. Hop on the Staten Island ferry and visit the Richmond County Fair - an oldfashioned county fair that sets up shop on the 25acre Historic Richmond Town. There will be live music and such carnival-style events as pig races, pie- and hot dog-eating contests, classic car displays, and more. Tickets are $15 in advance, $16 at the door and free for children under 30 inches. And, even if you don’t feel like going to the fair, a ride on the Staten Island ferry - which is free - provides amazing views of the city, as well as the Statue of Liberty. Or, residents can jump on another free ferry and head to Governors Island, where the NYC Unicycle Festival will be held all weekend long. Residents can give one-wheeling a try, or the less adventurous can watch professional athletes play games of unicycle basketball and hockey. While you’re there, be sure
Summer may be ending, but that doesn't mean you can't soak up a few last rays on the beach.
to check out the vintage carnival happening on the island, Fete Paradiso. The festival is free. For those of you who would like to remain in Queens, a Michael Jackson tribute band will play at Resorts World Casino on Friday at 8 p.m. The concert, which will include power-packed performances of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits, is free for the first 1,000 people. On Saturday and Sunday, the Ridgewood Market Labor Day Weekend Flea Event will give residents a chance to peruse everything from antiques to art and food. The event, sponsored by the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, will include handmade, local and vintage items for sale. The event will begin at 11 a.m. both days and is located at 59-03 Summerfield St. in Ridgewood. The Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition will be held in Midtown West on
Sunday, when you can watch more than a dozen tug boats race from around the 79th Street Boat Basin to Pier 84, where there will be knot-tying and spinach-eating contests and live music. The races can be viewed for free between West 44th and West 79th streets. This weekend also gives residents a chance to catch up on some of the things they may have missed so far this season - including checking out a new amusement park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park to taking a spin on the carousel in Woodhaven’s Forest Park. Situated by the Flushing Meadows carousel, Fantasy Forest - the only amusement park in Queens - features five rides for younger children: the Queens Himalaya, Corona Choo Choo, Fantasy Frog Hopper and as mall roller coaster. Tickets are $1 each and each ride costs about three to four tickets.
For those who want to enjoy the water before it gets too cold, they can rent rowboats and paddleboats for outings on Flushing Meadows’ Meadow Lake at the boathouse on the body of water’s east side. For more information, call (646) 229-4470. Families can also get a kick out of a mini-golf outing at the New York Hall of Science, located at 47-01 111th Street. There, players can take their best shot on a course that features two real NASA rockets. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for children or seniors. And, of course, don’t forget about Queens’ beaches. Besides catching some last-season rays, residents can check out shops around Beach 116th Street, and more secluded spots are usually available around Beach 125th Street and beyond.
WOW GRILL ON. AND ON. Summer may be leaving soon, but it’ll be back next year! Get ready to grill later and save big now!
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2 Stainless steel burners 26,500 BTU-per-hour input 450 sq in Total cooking area 63x50x32" Grill Dimensions with lid open
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Cross Bay Ace Hardware 26 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • August 29, 2013
Weber Genesis Gas Grill- E-310
$699 3 Stainless steel burners 38,000 BTU-per-hour input 637 sq in Total cooking area 64.5x60x30" Grill Dimensions with lid open
Weber Genesis Gas Grill- E-330
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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • July 25, 2013 | 27
28 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • July 25, 2013
South Queens news and currents.