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VOL. 12 • NUMBER 40 • October 3, 2013

Honoring A Son Gone Too Soon Maspeth Rejoices as O'Neill's Reopens Page 3

Surviving an Afghan Harem: Author to Recall Horror Page 11

George Gibbons Sr. joined a large group of family members and friends at a ceremony Saturday to co-name 60th Drive in Maspeth for his son, George Gibbons Jr., whose life was cut tragically short See Story by a hit-and-run driver. on Page 30

Thousands Flock to Forest Hills for Fall Festival Page 14

Anna Gustafson/The Forum Newsgroup

THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 | 1

2 2 | THE THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 25, 2012

A Place Synonymous with Community,   O'Neill's Reopens to a Jubilant Crowd By Anna Gustafson Sitting by the entrance to the Maspeth bar that has been in his family since 1933, George O’Neill greeted a nearly nonstop stream of customers who rushed towards him last Friday to say the same thing: Welcome back. We have missed you. “Everybody wants to come here,” Maspeth resident Mike Savage said of O’Neill’s, which was destroyed by a massive fire in 2011 and held its grand reopening celebration at the end of last week. “Families come here and gather and get together. I grew up hanging out here, and my kids hang out here now. We’re really happy it’s back.” A community mainstay for decades, O’Neill’s has played a role in the neighborhood that residents said can only be filled by the beloved Maspeth eatery. It is a place that has had Mets players tend bar and has held fundraisers for the spouses of police officers killed in the line of duty, has been the site of marriage proposals and parties celebrating everything from birthdays to christenings, and has, in general, been a constant source of community and strength in a world that can otherwise seem to change far too quickly. So, when a blaze erupted and destroyed O’Neill’s building at 64-21 53rd Dr., residents throughout the neighborhood - and beyond were devastated. “People would always tell me how much they missed it,” said George O’Neill, who owns the restaurant and bar with his son-in-law, Danny Pyle. “We’re very happy about today, about being back.” Firefighters from Maspeth’s Rescue 4 were also at last Friday’s festivities, during which they presented the O’Neill family with an American flag they saved while fighting the fire a little more than

evolved into O’Neill’s, the establishment would do more than flip burgers and serve up cold beers they held fundraisers for countless causes, including to help neighbors foot medical bills and for widows whose husbands were cops killed while serving their city, and they sponsored many sports teams, from Little Leagues to softball and basketball. “And people come work here and we see them go on to become doctors and lawyers,” O’Neill said. “We’re talking hundreds and hundreds of people who have worked here. We’re proud of them.” While much is new in the bar - including a mahogany bar, 60 television screens that routinely play sports games, a dining area and a party room - O’Neill’s will continue to be a family-run business that garners the love of many a Queens resident. “Everyone’s connected to the O’Neill’s here,” Anna Gustafson/The Forum Newsgroup said Bruce Meyerson, a Woodside native who O'Neill's owners George O'Neill, third from left, and Danny Pyle, second from left, celebrate the reopening of their now lives in Manhattan but routinely returns to beloved restaurant and bar in Maspeth alongside members of Rescue 4. The firefighters presented the O'Neill family the Maspeth eatery. “They’re great people.” with an American flag they saved while battling the blaze that destroyed O'Neill's in 2011.

two years ago. “This is a great neighborhood place,” said Rescue 4 Capt. Joe Gandiello. “It’s the fabric of this neighborhood. “They even make great pizza here - and that’s coming from an Italian in an Irish place,” Gandiello laughed. Pyle echoed his father-in-law’s sentiment about finally being able to return to the place they love most. “We’re thrilled to be back,” Pyle said as waiters and waitresses rushed by him in a dizzying swirl of buffalo wings, burgers and beers. “O’Neill’s has been here since 1933, and it’s a real family atmo-

sphere. We’re lucky enough to see people grow up here.” Originally opened by O’Neill’s father, also named George O’Neill, under the name the Plateau Tavern, the restaurant has gone from being a 15-foot-wide, 40-foot-long spot to a wildly popular hangout for everyone from neighborhood regulars to members of the 1986 Mets team that clinched the World Series. “They ran out of their locker room and to O’Neill’s, and people came in and said, ‘Wait a minute - are those the Mets tending bar?’” O’Neill said in previous interview. Musicians entertained those attending the grand reopenThroughout the years, as the Plateau Tavern ing ceremony

In Glendale, Showcasing a Thriving Queens Economy Business owners from around boro attend "Make It In America" fair By Anna Gustafson From a Kew Gardens artist’s paintings inspired by the Argentinian desert to a Bayside author’s comedy books and a Ridgewood woman’s eclectic jewelry collection, the “Make It In America” fair in Glendale last weekend drew a wide variety of Queens business owners who all agreed: The borough’s economy is not only alive, it’s thriving. Saturday’s event, a nearly all-day affair at Atlas Park, was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who said she wanted businesses to be able to show off their products and services as a reminder that the borough that was once home to a flourishing factory economy - including some of the most productive sweater manufacturers in the nation - is home to a network of successful small businesses. “This expo was an exceptional platform for American-owned companies in Queens to showcase their talents and wares,” said Meng, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee who wasn’t able to attend the event because she was tied up in Washington D.C. for the debate over the federal budget. “Local residents who attended were able to see firsthand the outstanding American products that are made right here in our great borough, and I think all who came out for it.”

Anna Gustafson/The Forum Newsgroup

Liana Shemper, who has run an art school in Kew Gardens for 23 years, exhibited a number of her paintings at the Make It In America fair in Glendale last Saturday.

Liana Shemper, who has run an art school in Kew Gardens for 23 years, exhibited a number of her paintings, from pieces depicting rural desert landscapes in Argentina to a jazz musician and a series of dancers in the midst of salsa, samba, swing and flamenco moves. “I’ve focused more on my school than selling paintings, but I’d love to sell paintings because I have no more space in my house,” laughed Shemper,

a Ukrainian immigrant who studied art as a child in her home country and who began teaching not long after she moved to the U.S. as a high school student. She opened Liana’s Art School at 119-37 80th Rd. in Kew Gardens more than two decades ago and has since taught pupils of all ages and abilities. David Yale, an author living in Bayside, spent the afternoon speaking to fair goers about his comedy books,

including the most recently published “HomesPun Humor: Original Puns, Word Plays and Quips: A Compendium of Guffaws, Giggles and Mirth.” Yale, who began working on his first book of puns in the 1990s, said while he hasn’t written humor all his life - he has punned for as long as he can remember. “I had a job where I didn’t get recognized, but I punned and could make people laugh - I realized something could come from that,” Yale said. The founder of the Ridgewood Market, Sarah Feldman, displayed an eclectic array of goods that represented what is sold at her event that has landed interest from vendors - everyone from, as Feldman said, “a honey guy” to “a beer guy” to an “antiques guy” throughout the borough, as well as thousands of customers. “All the vendors who come, they’ve become friends and there’s a lot of networking that goes on,” said Feldman, who sold earrings she made at Saturday’s event. “It’s helping to build local businesses in Queens.” Alicia Salvo, owner of the East Elmhurst-based Empresaria Concierge, and Blanca Lilia Narvaez, owner of the East Elmhurst-based Tropise Inc. Dehydrated Fruit, displayed the baskets they made together, which featured such thing as organic teas and dried fruits assembled as flowers. “Blanca’s a cancer survivor, so she

really wants to help people change their way of eating,” Salvo said. “We’ve worked together for a long time, and it’s incredible the things she can make.” Angelica Harris, a Glendale author and founder of the Excalibur Reading Program, spoke to those at the fair about her nonprofit, which works with a variety of children, including those with special needs and at-risk populations. Meanwhile, Briarwood artist Sandra Vucicevic enlisted attendees to participate in an art project that she will present from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the Studio 34 Gallery, located on the four floor at 34-01 38th Ave. in Long Island City.

Ridgewood Market founder Sarah Feldman shows off one of the earrings she made. Feldman sold earrings, as well as a variety of other eclectic goods, at the Atlas Park event.

THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 | 3

Response to Sandy Fires Suit is 'Shocking,' Attorney Says


File Photo

The 120 Breezy Point home and business owners who filed a lawsuit against the Long Island Power Authority and National Grid said they hope the suit will help them to rebuild their homes and businesses that burned to the ground during Hurricane Sandy.

By Anna Gustafson National Grid’s response to a lawsuit filed against it and the Long Island Power Authority is a slap in the face to the individuals who lost their homes or businesses in a blaze that devastated Breezy Point during Hurricane Sandy, the attorney for the 120 plaintiffs said this week. National Grid and LIPA filed a motion at the end of September to dismiss an $80 million lawsuit that alleges the companies’ failure to de-energize the power grid to the Rockaway peninsula before Hurricane Sandy hit last October caused one of the worst residential fires in the city’s history. Additionally, National Grid said in a further response to the lawsuit that it blamed the Breezy Point homeowners for the inferno that consumed about 150 homes. According to National Grid’s filing, “if the plaintiffs suffered...such injuries were caused by their own negligence, wholly or partially.” The plaintiffs’ attorney Keith Sullivan, a lawyer with the firm Sullivan and Galleshaw, LLP, which filed the lawsuit in Queens Supreme Court in July, said the company’s statement is not only ludicrous, it’s wildly offensive to the individuals who had their livelihoods wiped out in a fire that was not reached in time by firefighters because of flooding during the storm that wreaked havoc throughout much of New York City. “They’re blaming helpless victims,” said Sullivan, who lives in Rockaway. “It was shocking to see that.” “National Grid is the one that maintains and distributes the electricity, they chose to pump

electricity during the storm, and they’re going to blame the homeowners?” Sullivan continued. “ti’s highly insulting.” In its filing, National Grid also argued that it should be immune from prosecution because it is a government agency - and that LIPA should too because it is a private company hired to do work on behalf of National Grid. Sullivan and those involved in the lawsuit have said they hope the $80 million in damages could be used to help residents return to homes and businesses. “No one’s looking to make money off this lawsuit,” Billy Heeran, who owned the beloved Harbor Light Pub, said in a previous interview. “We just want to get our business back, our homes back. We shouldn’t have to take out another mortgage for that. My dad worked his whole life to pay this off, and now we’re back to square one?” Sullivan said the suit is not only an attempt to secure dollars for residents who hemorrhaged money in the wake of the hurricane, but aims to “restore these folks - to make them whole.” “What can never be brought back is the memories that lived in those houses - the photographs of grandparents now passed on, family heirlooms - the intangibles, we’ll never get those back,” Sullivan said in a prior interview. “But this is to make sure justice is serviced - this was an injustice,” he continued. “This was an avoidable travesty.” Now that National Grid and LIPA have responded to the lawsuit, Sullivan said he plans to oppose the motion to dismiss and oral arguments on it will likely happen before a judge in about two months.

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In response to an $80 million lawsuit, National Grid has in part blamed a fire that devastated Breezy Point during Hurricane Sandy on the homeowners.

4 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013

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Cops Seize 8 Guns With   Richmond Hill Search Warrant Recover other weapons, cash and pot

Relief for Forest Hills   Comes With Burglary Bust

Career criminal will stay locked up for a while By Patricia Adams

Photo Courtesy 106 Precinct

There were lots of happy cops at the 106 after an investigation initiated by their field intelligence unit led them to a house which contained a large number of illegal guns, weapons and drugs.Pictured L to R: Detective Nathaniel Taub, PO Thomas Scalise, Sgt. Joseph Muir and PO Sergio Silva.

By Patricia Adams Police at the 106th precinct made a major bust last week when they executed a search warrant at a Richmond Hill house. Detective Nathaniel Tauber and Sgt. Joseph Muir, assigned to the field intelligence unit at the 106, had developed information from a lead about the house where there was reason to believe there was illegal growing of marijuana on the property. Upon following up, police were able to acquire a search warrant for the premises and upon executing the warrant, police discovered and seized a total of 8 guns, including 2 loaded assault rifles, 3 loaded

handguns and 3 air operated pistols. In addition to the cache of illegal weapons uncovered, they also seized a large amount of ammunition, cash and unconventional sharps, including knives, spiked maces, clubs with metal studs, Billy clubs and a sword. A crop of marijuana was found to be growing outside in the back yard and was also confiscated. A total of four arrests were made inside the home. The individuals were charged with varying degrees of criminal possession of illegal weapons and criminal possession of an illegal substance. Three of the suspects are expected to be released after the owner of the home said that the articles found in the home were his and that no one else there had anything to do with them.

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Captain Thomas Conforti addressed more than 400 residents who filled a church basement back in April in response to the emergence of a burglary pattern in Forest Hills. Now, after five months, and a crucial arrest, residents can breathe a little easier.

Conforti also informed residents via the 112th Community Council's Facebook page that his officers have been reminding pedestrians along Queens Boulevard of the dangers of jaywalking. The effort comes in light of a fatal accident on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 21, when a 58-year-old Elmhurst woman was struck and killed as she crossed Queens Boulevard. Conforti stressed that pedestrians need to use the enhanced safety designs implemented on the boulevard in recent years, including extra wide crosswalks and countdown clocks. Nisath Hossain, an immigrant from Bangladesh, was reportedly walking home from her job at McDonald's around 10:15 p.m. when a silver minivan traveling westbound struck her and then sped off, according to the NYPD. She was transported to North Shore University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

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The arrest of carrier criminal Mario Girau, nearly two weeks ago, has brought a halt to a spree of residential burglaries that plagued the Forest Hills community and the 112th precinct for months. In an update about the burglaries posted on the Facebook page of the 112th Precinct Community Council, Captain Thomas Conforti reiterated his belief that his cops “caught their burglar,” when they caught Girau red handed after following him to the confines of the 106th precinct. Upon executing a search warrant for Girau’s Brooklyn home, police found electronics and jewelry from at least four of the burglaries that occurred in the 112, covering Forest Hills and Rego Park, and four additional burglaries that took place in the 106, which covers Ozone Park and Howard Beach. Since the arrest there have been no residential burglaries in the area. Conforti said he anticipates the perpetrator in this case to be in jail for what he termed a “decent” amount of time. News of the arrest of the burglar was extremely well received by residents who continued to offer their support and gratitude for the implementation of the Facebook page that many in the community are following. Organizers of the page are currently planning to expand their social media reach by inviting the online public to attend virtual town hall meetings. Details will be released in The Forum as soon as they are available.

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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 | 5

A Vision of Peace Dear Editor: If you recall my “Dark Side” letter, I wrote that Obama would invoke “classic diplomacy” in the Syria crisis. I wish to now change that to: historic diplomacy. Recently, history was made at the United Nations Security Council and the White House. 1) Skillful diplomacy developed between our Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the foreign minister of Russia. They laid the foundation for the “unanimous” Security Council: Syria resolution called for Syria to turn over all chemical weapons to the U.N. for disposal. 2) After 34 years of cold war, Obama made a historic call to Iran’s new president. Both presidents may be on the verge of their own classic diplomacy. I see in the near future, the key world leaders entering into a constructive search for stable peace in the Middle East. Anthony Pilla Forest Hills

Say No to 229 School Rezoning Dear Editor:

Not only will this proposal create more congestion, separate siblings, and reduce property values, it will also send children from one of the best schools in the district to a lower performing one. But perhaps even worse than that, it will change the character of our community. Children who live mere blocks apart will never get the chance to form friendships. The foci of our communities will change. Students and parents will not get to interact as they walk their children to school, as generations before them have. Please call all of your elected officials and the school district to protest this change. John Scherer Maspeth

A Vision of Peace Dear Editor: If you recall my “Dark Side” letter, I wrote that Obama would invoke “classic diplomacy” in the Syria crisis. I wish to now change that to: historic diplomacy. Recently, history was made at the United Nations Security Council and the White House. 1) Skillful diplomacy developed between our Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the foreign minister of Russia. They laid the foundation for the “unanimous” Security Council: Syria resolution called for Syria to turn over all chemical weapons to the U.N. for disposal. 2) After 34 years of cold war, Obama made a historic call to Iran’s new president. Both presidents may be on the verge of their own classic diplomacy. I see in the near future, the key world leaders entering into a constructive search for stable peace in the Middle East.

Nothing identifies a community more than its schools. Historically, many communities were designed around them. For most children, schools are their first chance to interact with the wider community outside of their own families. Children establish lifelong friendships with others who live in close proximity to them. Communities gather there to vote, view performances, and play in the schoolyard. It is no surprise that schools are one of the greatest pillars of our comAnthony Pilla munity. Forest Hills Change the school and you change the fabric of the comHow Low Can munity itself. Yet, that is exactly what the proposed Maspeth You Go? school rezoning will do. The fact that they are rushing this Dear Editor: dramatic change is even more disconcerting. Under the proI am truly amazed! How low posed rezoning, children that can Republicans go? Thank are a mere three blocks away goodness the GOP is here to cut from PS 229 will have to be billions from food stamps and bussed to PS 153, while chil- fight for the right of wealthy dren from Roosevelt Avenue Americans to buy a new yacht will be bussed across danger- every year. How should we ous Queens Boulevard despite describe Congress? Incompebeing mere blocks from PS 12. tent? Perhaps spiteful is a betThe city claims this will alleviate ter word. No wait, I've got it. congestion despite the fact that The word I was looking for is many children that now walk to “treasonist.” Threatening a govschool will have to be driven or ernment shutdown that would bussed long distances. 6 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013

prevent veterans from receiving benefits and seniors from filing for social security. This is all in an attempt to defund Obamacare, which would earn them the "privilege" of denying healthcare to millions of Americans. How patriotic. One Republican, Rep. Bill O'Brien even went so far as to say that Obamacare is worse than the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Wow! Providing coverage for 3.1 million young Americans through their parents' plans, 6.3 million seniors paying less for prescription drugs, coverage for people with pre-existing conditions (or as the GOP refers to them - "damaged goods") and more than 100 million Americans getting preventative care like mammograms and cancer screenings is worse than a law that let slave owners get their slaves back? At what point are Congressional Republicans led away in cuffs and charged with extortion, treason and political terrorism? They risk the well being of all Americans and blame everything on President Obama. The only thing that shines through their distorted view of facts is their hatred of a black president! Am I claiming that all Republicans are racist, homophobic, sexist, religious fanatics? No, but if the shoe fits, kick yourself in the head with it. One last word on food stamps: Under the bill the GOP voted for, states would have to require recipients to work at least 20 hours a week and be drug tested. I suggest the same for the Republicans in Congress.

the two with the goal of agreeing to a handful of debates, knowing full well that his election is already preordained. Republican Lhota has challenged him to a series of five debates, one in each borough. De Blasio has only agreed to three debates to date. Leading up to the September Democratic party primary starting in January, de Blasio participated in over 100 forums and debates on a daily basis with Quinn, Thompson, Liu, Weiner and Albanese. All incumbent elected officials, being Democrat or Republican on the city, state or federal level, start out with many advantages not available to challengers. During any term of public office, incumbents have daily television, radio and newspaper exposure, press conferences, newsletters, guest columns in newspapers, letters to the editor and speaking engagements on a regular basis. Don't forget the perks of public office, including announcements of

member items (many of which taxpayers consider local porkbarrel projects), which are used to raise name recognition and assist in greasing the wheels of re-election. In the 1960s, '70s and '80s, both Democratic and Republican primary candidates participated in numerous television and newspaper editorial board debates. Voters could look beyond the 30- or 60-second TV commercial sound bites to learn about real views and issues among the candidates. Those candidates who refused to participate in these debates would be subject to critical newspaper editorials. They ended up losing any chance of newspaper endorsements and usually went down to defeat in either the primary or general election. In the 1980s, a new Rose Garden strategy emerged. Incumbents or officially designated incumbent candidates of CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

PUBLISHER Patricia L. Adams EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Anna Gustafson PRODUCTION EDITOR Marisa Pilato REPORTERS Alan Krawitz, Samantha Geary

Robert La Rosa Whitestone *Written prior to government shutdown as of Tuesday.

CONTRIBUTING REPORTERS Hannah Sheehan, Kerry Goleski Kate Bubacz, Michael Florio

Playing Unfairly


Dear Editor: There is even more to last week’s Forum article, "Citing A Need For 'Unity', Queens Democrats Throw Support Behind de Blasio" by Anna Gustafson. Democratic party mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio is following the infamous Rose Garden strategy of ignoring underdog Republican challenger, Joe Lhota, and refusing to participate in a series of public debates between now and Election Day. De Blasio is stalling by claiming there is plenty of time to work out a schedule of debates. In the meantime, he has time daily to roll out endorsements from fellow Democrats on the steps of City Hall. He is running out the clock in negotiations between

PHOTOGRAPHERS Robert Stridiron, Richard York

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We Love A Parade… How About You?

Thousands of spectators took to Cross Bay Boulevard on Sunday to join in the celebration of Columbus Day at the Howard Beach parade. The weather was in a word, glorious, but there was something much more in the air than sunshine. There was appreciation, renewal, pride and enthusiasm. For a community so ravaged nearly one year ago by Sandy, there was no sign of disaster. Instead, there was a sense of revitalized spirit. People waved flags and cheered as groups of marchers, bands and floats with entertainment made their way from 156th Avenue down to a reviewing stand at 165th Avenue. And, perhaps for the first time, it became very clear that this was much more than a parade. It and other events like it are the life’s blood of a community. It was obvious that those who stood along the boulevard and packed the bleachers at the end of the parade route missed the parade last year. It was evident that Howard Beach has come to count on this parade as a fixed representation of the tremendous pride it has in its Italian heritage. The reaction to this year’s parade should serve as an indicator to all of those who enjoy the efforts of different groups who host

events for the benefit of the community. Whether it is the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation, the International Society of SS Cosma and Damiano, the Kiwanis, Angels on the Bay or any other organization or charity, we as a community must take an active role in helping bring these events to fruition. Organizations such as these are run on dedicated and determined volunteers, people who selflessly give their time and energy and often a great deal of personal money to bring this component to community. They set their own business and family life aside in order to participate in the massive organization that is a part of every successful event. One problem might be that many people do not realize the amount of work and planning that goes into the production of these events. Whether it’s a parade, a walk, or a dinner, it takes a tremendous amount of work to get things done. Work done by people that have jobs, lives and families and the same pressure of everyday lives that all of us do. We hope that in months and years ahead, you will truly realize what it takes to get these projects off the ground. We hope each of you will find a way to make a contribution, whether it’s time, money or professional skills. These are the things that keep our

Letters Cont'd

community foundation strong and provide us with a sense of pride. The next time you see someone who works on or heads up one of these organizations, extend your hand and say thank you. Tell them you appreciate the job their doing and ask them how you can help. It’s these people that bring you days like the one we shared on Sunday. It’s these people that raise money for children with life threatening diseases. It’s these people who give scholarship money to local students. It’s these people who make our community better and stronger. We’ll start here by saying thank you to the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation for giving us a great day and for their role in the preservation of Italian heritage in our community. And thank you to Joe DeCandia and the International Society of SS Cosma and Damiano for their tireless efforts to fund hospitals and research programs for sick children. And thank you to Joe Mure and JDRF for leading the fight against Juvenile Diabetes. And thank you to all the volunteers in our communities that give of themselves and their families in order to give all of us a better place to live. As always, we pledge our support as a trusted voice in this community to help these groups get their word out and in whatever way we can. How about you?

both parties refused to debate lesserknown, under-funded opponents in either the primary or general election. They had no interest in providing a free forum for challengers to get their message directly out to voters. Too many newspapers and good government groups failed to speak up and shame these incumbents into participating in open forums and debates. They don't want to provide their respective unknown and under-financed opponents with free forums to explain their positions on issues of the day. It is your local community newspaper that provides a forum at no charge affording underfinanced and lesser-known candidates a chance to communicate their views on issues of the day to voters. Let us hope that enlightened newspapers such as the Forum South and Forum West call for an end of incumbents and officially designated organization candidates use of the infamous Rose Garden strategy in future elections. Intelligent voters deserve frequent debates prior to the general election as opposed to canned TV commercials. If de Blasio refuses to participate in series of debates with his underdog challenger Lhota, he should be subject to critical newspaper editorials and forfeit any chance of endorsements by media outlets. Larry Penner Great Neck

THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 | 7


Letitia James Tops Dan Squadron in Runoff Election for Public Advocate James wins with nearly 60 percent of vote

By Alan Krawitz City Council Member Letitia James (DBrooklyn) handily defeated state Sen. Dan Squadron (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) on Tuesday in a surprisingly bitter runoff election for the city's Public Advocate position. James’ win, garnering nearly 60 percent of the vote, makes it a near-certainty that she will now become the first African-American woman to be elected to citywide office, as there is no Republican challenger in the Nov. 5 general election. As predicted, voter turnout was very light, with just under 200,000 of the city’s more than 2.8 million registered Democrats coming out to cast their ballots. Known as a progressive voice, James, 54, was elected to the City Council in 2003 and won with substantial support from the city’s major labor unions, as well as high profile feminists, such as Gloria Steinem and several women’s organizations. At a victory party at the Copacabana Club in Manhattan, James spoke about the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy in addition to the city’s lack of affordable housing - an issue she promised to tackle head-on during her campaign. James also noted her place in history as “the first woman of color to hold citywide office.” In the last few weeks, the campaign had turned especially negative with both candidates

Letitia James

Dan Squadron

accusing each other of taking money from corporate interests as well as pointed, personal attacks. Squadron, who had the backing of powerful politicians including Sen. Chuck Schumer, had accused James of not disclosing rental income as well as her tax returns while James said Squadron was “living off a trust fund.” He later denied the charge. Despite the loss, Squadron, 33, vowed to press on fighting for the city in the state Senate. "Although we did not win tonight, I will keep on doing what I’ve always done in public office -

fighting for New Yorkers and a city I truly love," said Squadron, who had landed the backing of a number of Queens Democrats, including state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway). The Queens Democratic Party, led by U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, Bronx), officially endorsed James last week, with Crowley praising the councilwoman as someone who, "bring with herself compassion I've witnessed for 25 years."

A number of Queens Democrats attended James' victory party Tuesday night and praised her as the city's next public advocate. Among those from the borough in attendance were Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Hollis). Despite the loss, Squadron immediately threw his support behind James. "And I know that Tish will be their great advocate for New Yorkers across the city,” he said. “She ran a great campaign.” In existence since 1993, the office of the public advocate is an ombudsman to give voice to residents’ complaints and concerns. Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has held the office of public advocate since being elected in 2009. In light of the expense of the runoff election, which at $13 million vastly exceeded the office’s actual budget of roughly $2 million, both candidates agreed that a move should be made to instant runoff elections, whereby voters rank candidates in preference order, which would eliminate the need for expensive runoffs. "We ran this campaign making the case that the Public Advocate’s office can be essential to our city – getting results for New Yorkers who need them,” Squadron said. “For New Yorkers without a voice, without high-powered lobbyists, without City Hall on speed dial. For people with no place else to turn, their families need a strong public advocate.”

Government Watchdogs Call for Changes to City's Expensive Runoff Election System By Anna Gustafson Tuesday’s runoff election for public advocate - which cost the taxpayers $13.2 million for an office with a budget of about $2.3 million - is emblematic of a financially burdensome system that needs to change, the good government group Citizens Union said this week. “The problem with the current runoff system is it’s costly and results in low voter turnout,” Alex Camarda, director of public policy and advocacy at Citizen’s Union, said Wednesday. Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota even joked that both James and Squadron could be public advocates and it would still end up costing the taxpayers less than it would to hold the runoff. Alongside Tuesday’s runoff election coming with a steep price tag, fewer than 200,000 Democrats cast their ballots in the runoff between Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Brooklyn) and state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Manhattan) - far fewer than the city’s 2.8 million registered Democrats. Both James, who won the runoff with about 60 percent of the vote and will become the first black woman to hold a citywide office, and Squadron have criticized the costly runoff process, which occurred several weeks after the Sept. 10 primary. A runoff occurs in New York City when a primary’s frontrunner does not land 40

File Photo

Some legislators and good government groups are calling on the city to reform the way it conducts runoff elections, saying the process now costs taxpayers far too much.

percent or more of the vote. Instead of having an election system as it exists now, Citizens Union and a bevy of legislators are backing an instant runoff system. In cities that currently have instant runoffs including Minneapolis and San Francisco - residents rank the candidates when they vote. That way, if no candidate lands the minimum number of votes to be labeled the winner - so, for example, the 40 percent mark in New York - the votes for

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the last-place candidate would be redistributed to the others based on the rankings. There are several versions of the instant runoff system that have been proposed in New York City, including one from Councilman Brad Lander (DBrooklyn) and another from Councilwoman Gail Brewer (D-Manhattan). Camarda said government watchdogs are pleased with both, though he noted that Lander’s is a more expansive proposal while Brewer’s is more limited in scope.

Lander’s bill would apply to all residents voting in primaries for citywide offices, as well as borough president offices, and special elections for City Council. Brewer’s legislation would only make absentee voters in primaries rank the candidates running for citywide positions. So far, Brewer’s bill has garnered more support than Lander’s, so far garnering 28 cosponsors compared to the Brooklyn politician’s 19 cosponsors. Camarda noted that, for the first time, it seems that the majority of Council members support “an instant runoff in some form.” “This is something groups like ours have been advocating for years,” he said. “But this is the first time we’ve actually gotten legislation introduced at the city level.” Still, not everyone is jumping to back the instant runoff system - including current Public Advocate and Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. “There’s a certain incompleteness to it - there’s a certain cursory nature to it that worries me,” de Blasio told The New York Times. “I think it’s very important that people get to weigh their choices fully. And, for example, if a seemingly less popular candidate ends up in a runoff, people would have another chance to really get to know that person. I want to think a little more about it.”


Lhota Focuses on Job Creation Proposal in Bid for Mayor By Anna Gustafson

Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota unveiled a job creation plan in Jackson Heights Friday, touting the proposal as something that will strengthen the middle class and break the generational cycle of poverty. The former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, who is running for the city’s highest office against Democratic candidate and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, announced amidst the rows of mom-and-pop shops on 37th Avenue that he wants to execute a four-pronged approach to job creation.’ First, he said he wants to diversify the city’s economy to increase the variety of available jobs, as well as make it easier for different employers to launch businesses in each of the boroughs. Second, the Republican said he hopes to stimulate new industries and attract additional businesses to the city. Third, Lhota emphasized that he hopes to make the five boroughs more affordable places to live and conduct business by cutting taxes. Lastly, he said the city needs to “lower the barriers” to a quality higher education and further invest in the City University system. “This plan is a blueprint on how to create quality jobs in the city that will expand the middle class,” Lhota said in a prepared statement. “New York City is a city of opportunity, but it’s critical to have the right policies in place that allow us to reach our po-

Joe Lhota

tential. We need to have a comprehensive approach to expanding job creation in all five boroughs, while ensuring New Yorkers have the skills they need to excel in a growing economy. This is the best way to expand the middle class and break generational cycles of poverty.”

Among the specific recommendations in the proposal, Lhota said the city “relies too heavily on the finance, insurance and real estate industries for jobs and tax revenue” and should instead attempt to attract a more diversified set of businesses. The candidate suggested “stimulating the fast-growing hospitality and high-tech industries” by “encouraging the expansion of biotech and life sciences work.” Additionally, Lhota noted that hospitality and tourism is the city’s fastest growing industry - employing more than 350,000 individuals throughout the five boroughs. To build on the industry’s expansion, the Republican said the city must remain “affordable, safe and attractive” to those in hospitality. In order to do so, Lhota said he wants to create a flagship CUNY Hospitality Management School, lower the city’s travel taxes and and chop the hotel tax to 5 percents, and “employ sound law enforcement strategies.” Other initiatives in Lhota’s platform included replicating the Brooklyn Navy Yard model in the other four boroughs and create an Office of Industrial and Manufacturing Business to nurture and advocate on behalf of the city’s “vulnerable manufacturing base.” Among his plans to make education more affordable, the former MTA chairman said he would establish a free online community college program for all city residents and create a tech campus in each borough, starting with Staten Island.

De Blasio Tours Rockaway, Issues Sandy Recovery Plan By Anna Gustafson Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio traveled to Far Rockaway Sunday to discuss his long-term recovery plan for residents still struggling after Hurricane Sandy. Nearly a year after the storm devastated much of the Rockaways and South Queens, as well as other parts of the city, de Blasio stressed that far too many residents are still struggling and need help from the government in a variety of different ways among them “quality health care and good-paying jobs with community leaders outside the now-closed Peninsula Hospital.” Peninsula Hospital was shut down by the state Department of Health last year, leaving just one hospital to service the entire Rockaway peninsula. “Eleven months after Sandy, our challenge to rebuild and recover remains greater than ever,” de Blasio, who is running for the city’s top political spot against Republican candidate and former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota, said in a prepared statement. “Recovery must come faster in these neighborhoods, and I’m committed to listening to the needs of working families and vulnerable communities. “I’m honored to tour Far Rockaway today with faith and community leaders and discuss the urgent need for storm recovery that includes good-paying, living wage jobs, affordable housing, and quality healthcare for all,” de Blasio continued. The Democrat said he believes the next mayor will face three major challenges post-Sandy, including overseeing a transparent and effective rebuilding process to repair storm damage, improving

Bill de Blasio

the city’s disaster response system for future storms, and strengthening New York’s resilience to storm surges and extreme weather. As part of the plan spelled out by the Democratic candidate, de Blasio said the city must work more effectively with community- and faith-based organizations to prepare for the next disaster - including formalizing a collaborative plan that integrates such organizations into the city’s emergency management plan

and ensure training for the groups. Additionally, he said there needs to be better communication in order to distribute supplies through such groups. Expanding natural storm barriers needs to be a priority for the city - including tidal wetlands and sand dunes - particularly in the Rockaways and other beach communities, de Blasio stressed. “New York City will also renew our waterways - such as the Gowanus Canal, Newtown Creek and Jamaica Bay - to improve our water ecosystems and implement a five borough bioswales initiative to minimize the pressure on our water and sewer system,” de Blasio said in his plan. The city’s infrastructure must be upgraded, and, while the city is rebuilding, buildings should meet new green energy and resiliency standards, the candidate continued. Electrical systems should be modernized - including rebuilding schools with backup solar power systems, and efforts should be focused on placing people who lost work because of the storm at living wage jobs on both immediate recovery and long-term work upgrading the city, de Blasio said. “However, nothing New York City does alone can stop the escalating damage of increasing climatic events if our nation and world does not limit the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change,” de Blasio said in the plan. “Bill de Blasio will help lead other mayors and grassroots organizations across the country to demand national politicians enact the legislation and policies needed to radically reduce carbon use nationwide over the coming decades to limit the causes, not just the consequences, of climate change.”

New Yorkers Support Casino Constitutional Amendment, Poll Says By Anna Gustafson According to New York voters, a rose by any other name wouldn’t smell just as sweet. A Siena College Poll released Monday reported that New Yorkers would support a casino gaming constitutional amendment - as long as they are asked using the language slated to appear on November’s ballot. When asked if they would vote yes or no to approve an amendment to “allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York state for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated,” 55 percent of those polled said they would back it - compared to 42

percent who said they would not. However, when those same people were asked if they “support or oppose passing an amendment to the state constitution to allow non-Indian, Las Vegas style casinos to be built in New York,” those numbers drop to 46 percent of voters backing it and 46 percent not. A majority of voters - 51 percent - reported they believed the language on the ballot for the proposed amendment is fair, agreeing that it highlights “the benefits for New Yorkers,” while 43 percent said “it only includes arguments in support, ignoring arguments in opposition.” “Clearly the wording on the ballot for the casino amendment matters,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “When voters are asked a generic casino gambling amendment question they are evenly divided, with New York City voters opposed and

downstate suburban voters and upstaters mildly supportive. However, when voters were provided the specific wording they will see on the ballot, a majority of voters from every region and from every party say, ‘yes,’ they would approve the casino amendment.” The vote on the amendment is a push by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to legalize full gambling and bring casinos to different parts of the state - but, in the beginning, zero the New York City area. A number of Queens legislators have been outraged that the governor wouldn’t expand gaming at Resorts World New York City in South Ozone Park, and people like Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) and state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) have called on Cuomo to bring table games to Queens. The politicians have said such an expansion would bring much-needed jobs to an economy still floundering after Hurricane Sandy. THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 | 9

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Escape from Afghanistan

Author to discuss new memoir, “An American Bride in Kabul,” at Forest Hills Y By Anna Gustafson Young and in love, Phyllis Chesler left the United States to move to Afghanistan with her new husband in 1961 to embark on what should thought would be a series of world traveling adventures in far-flung corners of the globe. Chesler, who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Borough Park, Brooklyn, expected she and the man she believed to be spend the rest of her days with would live a whirlwind of family dinners in Kabul and then move onto Europe - experience Paris and London and Barcelona. Instead, the then 20-year-old’s life turned into a nightmare. Chesler, who had met her husband, Abdul-Kareem, while the two were studying at Bard College in Annandaleon-Hudson, had her passport taken almost as soon as she stepped foot into Kabul - and instead of attending large, raucous dinner parties with new relatives she expected to love, she was trapped as the property of a polygamous family. “We were bohemians - intellectuals, and I thought we would travel through Europe,” said Chesler, a renowned feminist author and psychotherapist

Photo Courtesy Phyllis Chesler

Phyllis Chesler with her husband around 1959, when the two met and fell in love while studying at Bard College. Phyllis Chesler

Photo Courtesy Joan L. Roth

who will speak about her new memoir, “An American Bride in Kabul,” at the Central Queens YM & YWHA in Forest Hills at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 7. “Maybe we would climb mountains and through deserts - and then we’d return to the U.S. so I could finish college. “I was very young and naive, and he was a deceptive idealist, saying he wanted to return to his country to reform it, to bring it into the 20th century,”

Chesler continued. “He did not tell me his father had three wives and 21 children - and that my American passport would be confiscated when we landed. I couldn’t freely go out, except with the permission of a male.” Without an American passport, and as the wife of an Afghan citizen, Chesler quickly learned she was essentially stripped of most of her rights. She began to fear what was to become of her. Almost always relegated to spending time away from her husband and with her

female relatives, Chesler was not invited into the family and her mother-in-law grew increasingly hostile with her, spitting on her while angry. Facing the most dramatic culture clash of her life, the 20-year-old fell gravely ill and was told she needed to leave the country to get medical help. While her husband originally refused, she eventually convinced her father-inlaw to allow her to depart Afghanistan for the U.S. with an Afghan passport. She never returned to Kabul - or Afghanistan.

After regaining her health, Chesler went on to graduate from Bard College and go on to get her PhD in psychology. Crediting her time in Afghanistan with inspiring her to become a feminist scholar, Chesler has gone on to teach psychology and women’s studies and write 14 books, including the 1972 best-seller, “Women and Madness.” She has written on a variety of topics, including gender, mental illness, and violence against women. Her newest book, the memoir, “is a good read,” she said. “It’s an adventure,” Chesler continued. “There’s poetry and a deep appreciation of eastern and Islamic culture and its people. It’s not a negative portrait - it’s one I crafted with love.” Chesler's talk at the Forest Hills Y will detail her time in captivity, gender apartheid, and how her personal experience shaped her passion for worldwide social, educational, and political reform. The Central Queens Y is located at 67-09 108th St. in Forest Hills. The talk is open to the general public, and a $7 donation is suggested. More information is available at or by calling (718) 2685011, ext. 151.

Where Foreclosed Homes Rot, Calls for Banks to Step Up

Goldfeder, residents say financial institutions need to maintain properties in areas hit by Sandy By Anna Gustafson Marie Persans knows 163rd Road in Hamilton Beach. The civic leader and retired teacher knows its history, its families, its residents who look out for one another. She knows if a stranger walks down the street, there will be many a pair of eyes peeking out from behind partially opened blinds to make sure they’re not up to no good. And, for too long, she has known its empty houses, the properties that have sat abandoned, its owners pushed out by foreclosure long ago. For at least one of the homes on the street - a place of tight-knit middle-class - she knows how it was vacated after Hurricane Sandy, its rugs and curtains still remaining nearly a year after the storm’s waters receded. She knows the residents of 163rd Road deserve better - deserve something more than a line of abandoned homes, their insides likely rotting from the mold left in Hurricane Sandy’s wake. “The kids that used to break in, they don’t want to go in anymore because they’re so gross,” Persans said of the abandoned homes following Sandy. “Kids have standards too, you know,” joked Persans, who has spent countless hours cleaning up the areas around the vacated spots, doing everything from mowing the grass to getting the banks that own the properties to seal the premises so children or other individuals are not able to break in.

Anna Gustafson/The Forum Newsgroup

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and civic leader Marie Persans stand in front of two abandoned homes on 163rd Road in Hamilton Beach.

For properties like the ones that plague 163rd Road - and they are scattered throughout South Queens and the Rockaways - Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) said he is calling on New York’s five major banks to stop neglecting sites that have been foreclosed, or are in foreclosure, in postSandy neighborhoods. The hurricane both caused people to move from their homes, leaving them to fall into foreclosure, and transformed already-abandoned homes into one big health concern, thanks to

issues like mold. “The banks should not only make repairs, but make enough repairs to get the homes back on the market,” Goldfeder said as he stood before a Hamilton Beach home that has remained empty since the storm last October. “It would be a total neighborhood changer to get young families living in these homes.” Goldfeder has sent letters to JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi Mortgage, and

Build It Back Registration Extended to Oct. 31 More Queens residents have applied for the city’s Build It Back program than in any of the other boroughs - but they’re not the only ones who will be eligible for the federal funds slated to help homeowners, landlords and tenants impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The city announced this week it has extended the deadline to register for the program until Oct. 31. More than 22,000 New Yorkers have so far reg-

istered for Build it Back, a city program using about $648 million in federal funds to help hurricane victims still recovering from the storm to return to permanent, sustainable housing. About 9,409 Queens residents have applied for the program - the most in entire city. Brooklyn comes in second, with 6,974 residents having applied, and 4,981 individuals have registered in Staten Island. There have been 236 applicants in Manhattan, and 193 in the Bronx. Over the past two weeks, the mayor’s Office of

Housing Operations partnered with area elected officials - including Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway), community groups and others to register people for Build it Back. “With an influx of new registrants in the past two weeks, we are extending the deadline so that more New Yorkers have the opportunity to sign up for NYC Build it Back,” said Brad Gair, director of the mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations Gair said individuals should register online at

Ocwen Loan Servicing to demand that they maintain the seized properties so they do not cause the downfall of a neighborhood where many a resident has grown up and raised a family. “These are private entities, but we can put public pressure on them to let them know we won’t let them get away with cheating our neighborhoods,” Goldfeder said. Persans, along with many other residents, too said they want to see the problem spots become places where they, once again, will see families outside in the yard. “I’d like to see a lot more taken care of,” Persans said. The assemblyman said he has gotten varied responses to his letters to the banks, from Chase being one of the most responsive institutions to HSBC being one of the least. Earlier this year, HSBC announced it would permanently closely its Rockaway Beach branch, despite Goldfeder’s pleas to remain open for the residents recovering from the devastating natural disaster. “JPMorgan Chase has gone above and beyond to respond to customer and community concerns, and I am confident they will once again do the right thing,” Goldfeder said. “HSBC has proven to be a bad community partner, and this may be an opportunity to do the right thing. The last thing a homeowner should have to worry about while they’re rebuilding is the property next door.” or by calling 311. As part of the program, individuals could receive funds for rebuilding and reimbursing out-ofpocket repair expenses. After the initial registration, participants will meet with a Housing Recovery Specialist to help them complete the application process. Once eligibility is reviewed and confirmed, a visit will be scheduled to the registrant’s home to evaluate the damage and determine what repairs may need to be completed, including elevating homes when necessary. For more information, visit builditback.

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Say No To Breast Cancer In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, The Forum begins a series of articles this week that we hope will serve to raise awareness and underscore the mandatory things every woman must do to prevent breast cancer and to preserve breast health. Throughout the month we hope to provide you with facts, tips and resources that can serve as helpful tools for you or for a loved one who has questions or is facing this disease. And remember, the five minutes you spend reading this or other information about breast cancer can save a life. Maybe your own.



omen recognize the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, which includes conducting self-exams to detect for breast cancer. Breastself-exams are vital to discovering abnormalities, including lumps or tenderness, in the breasts. Self-examination increases the chances of early detection of breast cancer. John Hopkins Medical Center states that 40 percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump. Doctors urge women to conduct monthly self-exams to familiarize themselves with the look and feel of their breasts, which enables them to more readily recognize any abnormalities that may indicate illness. There are a number of ways to conduct a breast self-exam, and women are urged to find the method they feel is most comfortable for them. The National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. offers these tips for conducting a breast examination at home. • Examine breasts in the shower. A breast examination can take place in the shower while you are washing. The shower is a convenient place to conduct an exam since you already have removed your clothes. NBCF says you should use the pads of your fingers and move around your entire breast in a circular pattern, moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month for any lumps, thickening or hardened knots. If you find a lump,

visit your physician for an evaluation. • Conduct an examination in bed. The breast tissue will naturally distribute over your chest wall and ribs when you are lying down. NBCF advises you to place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit. Squeeze the nipple and check for discharge or lumps. Then repeat the process on the left breast. • Conduct a visual examination. Standing in front of the mirror, you can look at your breasts with your hands at your side and over your head. Look for any differences between breasts. Many women find that their breasts are not exactly the same shape or size, but unusual dimpling or taut or thick skin may be indicative of a problem. Should any lumps or abnormalities be discovered during an examination, a woman should not panic but schedule an appointment with her doctor for a more thorough examination, which may include a mammogram or ultrasound to map out images of the breast that may be hidden to the naked eye. Breast self-examinations are an essential element of a healthy lifestyle for women. Early detection of breast cancer vastly improves survival rates, and self-examination is often the most effective way to detect breast cancer early on.



Researchers and doctors have hope for the future that the only thing passed through generations concerning breast cancer is how to prevent it.

t the age of 12 to 15, many young women are experiencing the body and life changes that accompany adolescence. It can be difficult to imagine that breasts that are just beginning to develop may contain cancer. But such is the reality for some girls. The majority of women who receive a breast cancer diagnosis are over the age of 40. Experts at Monroe Carell Jr. Hospital at Vanderbilt University note that only 5 percent of breast cancer cases are found in women under the age of 40. However, the hospital recently treated a 14-year-old girl who found a lump and learned she had a rare form of breast cancer called a phyllodes tumor. In 2009, a 13-year-old from Little Rock, Ark. found a quarter-sized lump in her right breast, while a 19-year-old student at the College of New Jersey was diagnosed with cancerous cells and underwent a bilateral mastectomy. Though such cases are rare, it behooves teenage and adolescent girls to familiarize themselves with the disease and be mindful of their breast health. Some organizations have increased breast cancer messages for young girls, and it is not uncommon to find young women participating in runs

and fundraisers for breast cancer research. Some organizations even conduct breast cancer workshops to educate young women about breast health. Dorothy Paterson of Texas, a former Girl Scout leader who was diagnosed with breast cancer herself, began conducting workshops for Girl Scouts in 2007. The idea isn’t to scare girls into believing they have the disease, but rather to increase their awareness of changes in their bodies that may or may not be normal. Some parents worry that educating children about breast cancer may cause them to worry unnecessarily, especially considering a young girl’s risk of developing breast cancer is so minimal. However, others see the importance in schooling girls early on about a disease that is so common. Advocates of teaching young girls about breast cancer often note that any effort to help save lives and promote health is worthwhile. Just as with older women, adolescents and teens should realize that eating healthy foods, exercising, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and maintaining annual physical exams with a doctor are key ways to reduce the risk for cancer. THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 | 13

Fall Fun for All at Forest Hills Festival The 13th annual Shop Forest Hills Fall Festival drew thousands of people to Austin Street Sunday, when residents from throughout the borough spent the sunny afternoon perusing everything from jewelry and clothes to baked goods, and much more, from about 200 area businesses. The Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce sponsored the festivities, for which businesses up and down Austin Street - and beyond - showcased what they offer, from yoga and music classes to Forest Hills T-shirts. A number of nonprofit groups also set up shop to inform residents about their role in the community, including the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the Self Help Austin Street Senior Center. Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and her staff also had a booth, at which they spoke to residents about a wide variety of concerns or ideas about the neighborhood. Photos by Anna Gustafson/The Forum Newsgroup

Thousands of people flooded Austin Street Sunday for the 13th annual Shop Forest Hills Fall Festival.

Mason Ramirez, 3, of Fresh Meadows was thrilled to spend time with "Abby," a furry friend who entertained fair goers at the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps' stand. The costumed character is part of the nonprofit Party Pals NYC, which provides entertainment for a variety of events to raise money for a wide range of causes, including the Kidney Foundation and the Brain Cancer Foundation.

Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps volunteer EMTs Jun Xiao, left, and Felix Cabrera spoke to festival attendees about FHVAC, which has served Forest Hills since 1971 and Rego Park since 1997. Forest Hills T-shirts from Ink Stain Inc. flew off the racks at the festival.

Susan Lane, the arts and crafts instructor at the Self Help Austin Street Senior Center, stands with two of the center's members, at the booth where they sold a number of handmade crafts. The senior center, located at 106-06 Queens Blvd., offers a class in Dominic Groch, 10 months, and his mother, Paulina Balaban, have fun at the festivities. needle point and jewelry making every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 p.m.

Yaheli Mordechai, 8, of Briarwood, sits patiently as his face is painted.

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Children and adults alike had fun on a variety of rides, including inflatable slides.

Liel Kalen, 7, left, her father Steven, and brother Stav, 8, of Forest Hills, paint in the booth from the business Plaster Fun.


Celli Pasta 1 lb. bag ........................................................ 89 ¢ Brooklyn Market Crushed Tomatoes 28 can ............... $1.49 LaSquisita Pitted Black Olives 6 oz. can .................... $1.49 New York Ricotta Cavatelli 13 oz. box ........................ $2.99

SALE ENDS 10/09/13

Boneless Pork Chops & Pork Roast ............................... $2.99 lb. Black Angus Shoulder London Broil .............................. $2.99 lb. Bell & Evans Sliced Chicken Cutlets .............................. $4.99 lb. Calf Livers ......................................................................... $2.99 lb. Black Angus Boneless Sirloin Steaks ............................ $3.99 lb. Certified Black Angus Chop Meat ................................... $2.79 lb.

The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the thrill of a bargain has passed.


Our Own Cooked Top Round Roast Beef ................$9.99 lb. Our Own Oven Roasted Turkey Breast ....................$9.99 lb. Boars Head American Cheese ..................................$4.99 lb. Homemade Tuna Salad ..............................................$4.99 lb. Homemade Chicken Salad .........................................$4.99 lb.

Not Responsible for Typographical Errors

California Slicing Tomatoes ............................. $1.49 lb. Bananas ................................................................ 59 ¢ lb. Cello Mushrooms .......................................... $1.49 each Onions 2 lb. bag ........................................... $1.49 each Celery .............................................................. $1.69 each Green & Red Leaf Lettuce ................................... 99 ¢ lb.

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Marchin’ On in By Hannah Sheehan For the first time in two years, Vespa riders, marching bands, girl scouts, bagpipers, members of various civic associations, and revelers waving from atop red, white, and green trimmed floats made their way down Cross Bay Boulevard for the Howard Beach Columbus Day parade. After a rough year due to Hurricane Sandy, Howard Beach and its surrounding neighborhoods have

16 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013

been a little solemn, but on Sunday, thousands of spectators lined the sidewalks to witness the Italian-pride themed celebration. Lydia, a Howard Beach resident who preferred not to give her last name, said it was "nice to come out and see it after Sandy. I think everybody feels that way." Jill O'Sullivan, who grew up in Howard Beach, brought her two young children to watch the parade and visit their grandparents. "It really brings the

n Howard Beach community together," she said of the event, also mentioning that she was pleased with this year's turnout--one of largest she'd ever seen. Her mother, Judy Buttner, has lived in the neighborhood for 42 years and usually attends the parade. She said she was "happy to see so many people enjoying the day." The community event is hosted by the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation, which will hold its annual gala dinner on Wednesday, October 9 at Russo's On

The Bay. MediSys Health Network Director and lifelong Howard Beach resident Joann Ariola, former City Council Member Melinda Katz, City Council Member Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), and several local business owners were among those honored during this year's festivities. Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota was also on hand to greet voters. Photos by Patricia Adams, Hannah Sheehan and Robert Stridiron

THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 | 17

18 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013

PHOEBE and JOEY are proud to announce The Forum’s

GREEK GRILL Come experience a little bit of Greece right in your own backyard!

tions a l u t ra ble Cong a r o d a to our friend, furry

We now offer an EXPANDED MENU of all your favorite, authentic, Greek dishes made with the freshest ingredients.

• Gyro • Spanakopita • Souvlaki • Stuffed Grape Leaves • Hummus • Pastichio • Fresh Char-Grilled Fish and Meat • Moussaka and of course Greek Salad

We would like to thank all who participated in our contest. Phoebe and Joey think all of you are PURR-FECT! There are more fun contests to come so don’t forget to check out The Forum every week!


! e m o H A d Foun

In only a few short days, Coco was adopted by a very loving family. Due to an overwhelming response from Forum readers, we would like to invite others to send us information regarding pet adoptions. We would like to offer this service FREE OF CHARGE so long as you are not selling the animals. Please email photos and information to .

We would like to thank all those who reached out to help Coco.

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20 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013

forum Fun & Games ACROSS 1. Venice bank 6. A late time of life 9. *Electronic brain 13. Mountaineer's tool 14. Hula dancer's necklace 15. Shade of violet 16. Wimpy Kid's journal 17. No ___ 18. *Often donated 19. Boring 21. *Diamond, e.g. 23. Telephone 24. ____ office 25. The ___, NYC museum 28. Biblical captain 30. Continually annoy 35. Gulf V.I.P. 37. *Sun, e.g. 39. Millionaire maker 40. Apple variety 41. Boot brand 43. Boyfriend 44. Middle 46. Lion's do 47. Leo or Virgo, e.g. 48. First letter of Hebrew alphabet, pl. 50. *Chemistry Nobelist ____ Hahn 52. Homer Simpson's neighbor 53. Apiece 55. Federal procurement org. 57. *Stone that floats 60. *Reddish-brown 63. Hardship 64. Pirate's "yes" 66. R in R.E.M. 68. Hollers 69. Seasonal blues 70. *Threat to food 71. *Like desert 72. One of Bo Peep's flock 73. Affirmatives

DOWN 1. Auction action 2. *Opposite of base 3. Approximate 4. One of 4 Cs 5. *All around us 6. Full of elms 7. Grazing spot 8. Bee Gees' most successful genre 9. *Low-____ diet 10. "Les MisÈrables" author 11. Popular Russian name 12. Used for signing 15. "Mere ______" 20. Paint choice 22. Often used to make baseball bats 24. Khufu or Khafra, e.g. 25. *Molten rock 26. Often received with a sound 27. Spanish accent 29. *Elementary particle 31. Schneider and Lowe, e.g. 32. Dined at home 33. *Microscope's platform 34. *It travels about 768 mph 36. Coarse file 38. Monthly due 42. Fire 45. Belonging to him and her 49. *Anatomical pouch 51. Fish hawk 54. Halt 56. With rapid movements 57. Embarkation location 58. Tangelo 59. *Type of fungus 60. Formally surrender 61. Heroic poem 62. Agitate 63. Shag rug 65. Swerve 67. Insult




TRIVIA 1. What planet is closest in size to our moon? 2. What's the base unit of mass in the metric system? 3. What founding father was knocked unconscious while attempting to electrocute a turkey?

4. What's the most malleable metal? 5. What continent is subjected to the world's largest ozone hole? Answers from Last Week: 1: Kevin Bacon. 2: Two Broke Girls. 3: Top Chef. 4: New Girl. 5: Chicago Fire. THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 | 21

THE HAPPENINGS Thursday, Oct. 3

Howard Beach Senior Center Art Class 155-55 Crossbay Blvd. The Howard Beach Senior Center will offer art classes with a certified teacher from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., as well as from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. All individuals age 60 and older are welcome to attend. The center is located on Crossbay Boulevard across from Waldbaums. For more information, call (718) 738-8100.

Friday, Oct. 4

Howard Beach Senior Center Bridge 155-55 Crossbay Blvd. The Howard Beach Senior Center offers a variety of bridge playing experiences. There is supervised bridge on Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and duplicate bridge is offered on Fridays from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. The Howard Beach Senior Center is now located across from Waldbaums on Cross Bay Boulevard and is open to anyone 60 or older. For more information, call (718) 738-8100.

Manuel Valera & New Cuban Express Flushing Town Hall 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing 7:30 p.m. Manuel Valera and his New Cuban Express are incredibly popular in the New York City jazz scene and will perform as part of Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert Series. The concert is free. For more information, visit

Quintessential Queens: Celebrating America’s Fourth Largest City

graphics, its neighborhoods, its long history of welcoming immigrants, and its place in literature and popular culture. New York Times best-selling nonfiction author Robert Sullivan will deliver the keynote address. For a full conference agenda and to register, visit http://www. Tickets are $20 each. The event will conclude with a cocktail hour featuring the music and foods of Queens.

Saturday, Oct. 5

Pet Adoption Fair

Rain date Sunday, Oct. 6 The Ridgewood Market presents a Halloween clothes swap for children and adults. The entry fee is $8 if you bring clothes and $10 without clothes. Items that are wanted to swap include children’s and adults’ Halloween clothes, regular clothes for children and adults, shoes, and accessories. For more information, visit

Friends of the Ridgewood Library’s Fall Fun Day

Madison Street between Forest and Fairview avenues, Ridgewood 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A flea market to benefit the library will include more than 25 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. vendors, free face painting, a cartoonist, hot dogs, cakes, Lou Lodati Dog Park 43rd St. and Skillman Ave., drinks, and more. At the event, residents can sign up for a free library card, as well as renew their membership or join Sunnyside The Sunnyside United Dog Friends of the Ridgewood Library and choose 10 free books. There will also be music entertainment. Society presents the Four Paws Sake, NYC adoption event. There will be dogs and cats for adoption, and they will all be fully vetted, neutered/spayed and microchipped. An animal trainer will be available to answer any questions, and Canine Good Citizenship Testing 71-11 112 St., Forest Hills 10:30 a.m. will be conducted by Paw- The Reform Temple of Forest Hills is partnering with North sative Dog Training on a first Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital to present a symposium come, first served basis. featuring Dr. BianaTrost as the guest speaker. Dr. Trost, a For more information, board certified cardiologist with a practice at North Shore-LIJ visit Hospital in Manhasset, will speak to the audience about cardiology breakthroughs and overall best practices. The lecture will be given in the temple’s lower ballroom. A light breakfast will be served. Advance registration is required and is available online at Emanuel United Church of Christ 93-12 91st Ave., Woodhaven 11 a.m. For more information, call (718) 261-2900. The Emanuel United Church of Christ will hold its annual Blessing of the Pets beginning at 11 a.m., and there will also be a pumpkin patch. All are welcome to participate.

Sunday, Oct. 6

Cardiology Lecture at Reform Temple of Forest Hills

Blessing of the Pets

Audra McDonald Live Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Colden Auditorium 65-30 KissenaBlvd., Flushing 8 p.m. Returning to the stage after four seasons on the hit television series “Private Practice,” the two-time Grammy winner and five-time Tony winner will sing favorite show tunes with a jazz ensemble. Ticket prices range from $30 to $89. To purchase tickets and for more information visit

All-Star Country Music Tribute

15th Annual Fall Festival Car Show

Forest Park bandshell parking lot, Woodhaven 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The East Coast Car Association will sponsor this yearly fall festival car show, which will feature a live band, trophies, goody bags and door prizes. There is a $20 donation for individuals showing cars and motorcycles. All donations will go to St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children. For more information, call Bob at (917) 385-2322 or Lou at (917) 682-5362.

Queensborough Performing Arts Center 222-05 56th Ave., Bayside 8 p.m. Whether you’re a country music mega fan or a theater enthusiast, you will love these country star look-alikes paying tribute to the most iconic country music stars in U.S. history. Performers will invoke the music of Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, and Willie Nelson. Tickets are $38 each. LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College For more information and to purchase tickets, 65-30 KissenaBlvd., Flushing 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. visit The “Quintessential Queens” all-day conference will celebrate the borough and the 75th anniversary of one of its most important institutions, Queens College. The conference will The Queens County Farm Museum gather academics, government employees, college and high 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy., Floral Park 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. school students, and the public to learn about Queens’ place The Queens County Farm Museum will sell a variety of Hudin the city, the nation and the world. Lectures will cover the son Valley apples, donuts, fresh cider and apple pie every borough broadly, including the evolution of Queens and its Gotham Thrift Shop weekend in October. Admission is free. defining events, its landscapes and natural places, its demo60-47 Myrtle Ave., Ridgewood 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit

Ridgewood Market’s Halloween Clothes Swap

22 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013

Fall Farm Kickoff

We'll show you how to have a good time... Enjoy your community. ar Iran. Also scheduled to speak is the executive director of be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If trees are United Against Nuclear Iran, David Ibsen, a former official at remaining at the end, you can adopt more than one tree. the U.S. State Department. For more information, visit forum will provide an update on the latest developments tHillsTreeGiveaways or email Michael Perlman at unlockbetween the U.S. and Iran and prospects for convincing Iran Queensboro Plaza station 4 p.m. to discontinue its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Official Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum will lead a walk The event is open to the public and free of charge, but from Queens Plaza to the East River waterfront. He will dis- RSVP is required to attend. To RSVP, email MengRSVP@ cuss a number of changes that have happened in recent or call (718) 445-7861. years in Long Island City, including the emergence of a live arts community and restaurant scene. American Legion Post 118 Those interested in attending should meet at the fare booth 89-02 91st St., Woodhaven 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the lowest level of the Queensboro Plaza station. The fee A luncheon honoring the American Legion’s Past Commandis $15 per person. er and Past President will be held on Sunday, Oct. 13. On For more information, visit the menu will be roast beef, turkey, mashed potatoes, string beans, bread and rolls, beer, wine, and soda. There will also be coffee, tea and cake. Music by “DJ Walter” will be provided Fair Field Pavillion and there will be raffles. 131-10 101 Ave., South Richmond Hill 7:45 p.m. LeFrak Concert Hall 65-30 KissenaBlvd., Flushing The cost is $25 per person. Please call for reservations beAll members of the public are welcome to attend the monthly 2 p.m., show begins at 3 p.m. fore Oct. 8. Seating is limited. Share an afternoon with the Queens Symphony Orchestra meeting of Community Board 9, which covers the neighbor- Call Loretta Phillips at (718) 848-1292 or mail a check made and meet the instruments, listen to the William Tell Overture, hoods of Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, and Kew out to American Legion Post 118 and send it to Loretta Phillips Gardens. and experience Micah Chamber Goldberg’s animated film, at 88-08 Sutter Ave., Ozone Park, NY 11417. “Who Stole the Mona Lisa?” accompanied by Stravinsky’s colorful “Firebird Suite.” Tickets are $10 to $20. For more information, visit

What’s New in Long Island City?

American Legion Luncheon

Tuesday, Oct. 8

Who Stole the Mona Lisa?

Community Board 9 Meeting

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Monday, Oct. 7

Feminist Leader to Talk About Life in Afghan Harem Central Queens YM & YWHA 67-09 108th St., Forest Hills 1:30 p.m. Phyllis Chesler, a professor of psychology and women’s studies, will speak about her new memoir, “An American Bride in Kabul.” In the book, Chesler writes about her life growing up an Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn and marrying an Afghan Muslim who secluded her in a harem in Kabul. Stripped of her rights and trapped as the property of her husband’s family, Chesler eventually escaped. A bestselling author, Chesler is a professor emerita at the City University of New York, a psychotherapist, and a renowned feminist with an expertise in honor killings and other forms of violence against women. The talk is open to the public, and a $7 donation is suggested. For more information, call (718) 268-5011, ext. 151.

Communities of Maspeth & Elmhurst Together Bethzatha Church of God 85-20 57th Ave., Elmhurst 7 p.m. All members of the public are welcome to attend the monthly COMET meeting, where residents will get a chance to speak with civic leaders and police officers from the 104th, 108th and 110th precincts. A wide variety of neighborhood issues are discussed, from transportation to sanitation and more.

Queens Forum On Iran

106th Police Precinct Community Council Meeting

Greater Ridgewood Historical Society Harvest Festival

103-53 101st St., Ozone Park 8 p.m. All members of the public are welcome to attend the precinct’s monthly meeting. Police and civic leaders will be present to address concerns about safety and crime in South Queens.

Community Board 5 Meeting Christ the King High School cafeteria 68-02 Metropolitan Ave., Middle Village 7:30 p.m. All members of the public are welcome to attend Community Board 5’s board meeting and public hearing. Among other The Onderdonk House items, the board will vote on the Fiscal Year 2015 capital and 1820 Flushing Ave., Ridgewood 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. expense budget priorities. CB 5 covers the neighborhoods of This harvest festival will include free pumpkins for the first 500 Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village, and Maspeth. children, live music entertainment, face painting, rides, crafts, games, apple pressing for cider, Colonial candle making, tours of the Onderdonk House, refreshments, and a gift shop. Adults’ tickets are $3 each, and children age 12 and under will be free with an adult. For more information, call (718) 456-1776.

Sunday, Oct. 13

‘Zombies Into Action’ Walk for Autism

Metropolitan Avenue, Middle Village 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The “Zombies Into Action” walk will go up and down Metropolitan Avenue and end up at Pat’s Sports Bar at 73-13 Metropolitan Ave. The event costs $35 per entry and includes a limited edition t-shirt, entry to the Walking Dead Season 4 Premier Party, a Coors Light draft voucher, and the “All the Flesh You Can Eat” buffet. Participants must be 21 years old or over. For those who only want to participate in the walk, the cost is $20. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Play4Autism, a Middle Village-based organization that works with children with autism and their families. Space is limited. Call Greg at ((718) 894-3400 or visit for more information.

Free Tree Giveaway in Forest Hills

Forest Hills Jewish Center 106-06 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills 6:30 p.m. U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, will MacDonald Park host a special forum on Iran as developments between the Queens Boulevard and 70th Avenue 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Islamic Republic and the United States continue to unfold. A total of 150 potted small trees will be available for residents The forum, entitled “Halting Iran’s Nuclear Program,” will feato adopt and plant on their property for free. ture key speakers who are experts on Iran. They will include Those who wish to participate should register online. If you Mark Wallace, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Na- choose not to reserve your tree online, a limited quantity will tions and Chief Executive Officer of the United Against Nucle-

Saturday, Oct. 19

Oktoberfest at Trinity in Middle Village Trinity Lutheran Church 63-70 Dry Harbor Rd., Middle Village 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Trinity Lutheran Church will hold an Oktoberfest celebration as part of its year-long 150th anniversary celebration of worship and service to the community. Part of the festivities will include live music by John Weber and entertainment by the Original Enzian, aschuplattler dance group. The menu will include a choice of smoked loin of pork or chicken breast, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, applesauce, homemade desserts, wine, beer, soda, and coffee. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Children age 12 and under are $12.50. Make reservations early by calling Elaine at (718) 849-1475.

THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 | 23


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Legal Notices FMA CONSULTING SERVICES LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 08/26/2013. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Francisco Arianna, 79-15 35th Avenue, 4F, Jackson Heights, NY 11372. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose. Yiqi Properties, LLC Arts of Org filed with NY Sec of State (SSNY) on 6/8/10. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: 38-21 Main St, #3D, Flushing, NY 11354. General Purposes.

Arcfe Group 3, LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 4/11/13. Office in Queens Co. SSNY desig. agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to 136-18 39th Ave Ste 704, Flushing, NY 11354. Purpose: General. DATE WRITE LLC, a domestic LLC, filed with the SSNY on 8/28/13. Office location: Queens County. SSNY is designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: James Swierczewski, 79-17 Pitkin Ave., Ozone Park, NY 11417. General Purposes.

Statement of Ownership, 10/03/13 Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation, PS Forum 3526. The Forum, USPS publication number 3378, is published weekly 52 times a year at an annual subscription price of NY State-$19.99, outside NY-$25. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: 155-19 Lahn Street, Howard Beach, NY 11414. Complete mailing address of headquarters or general business office of publisher: 155-19 Lahn Street, Howard Beach, NY 11414. Publisher: Patricia Adams, 155-19 Lahn Street, Howard Beach, NY 11414. Editor: Anna Gustafson, 155-19 Lahn Street, Howard Beach, NY 11414. Managing editor: Marisa Pilato, 15519 Lahn Street, Howard Beach, NY 11414. Full name Vista News and Publications Inc. Complete Mailing Address: 155-19 Lahn Street, Howard Beach, NY 11414 Teresa Gulino president Vista News and Publishing/ The Forum Queenswide, 155-19 Lahn Street, Howard Beach, NY 11414 Issue Date for circulation data below: 10/03/2013. Extent and Nature of Circulation: Average Number Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: Total number copies (Net Press Run), 127; Paid or Requested Mail Subscriptions outside-County, 37. Paid in-County

subscriptions, 90 (Include Advertisers’ Proof Copies/Exchange Copies). Paid distribution outside the mails, 0; Paid distribution by other classes, 0. Total Paid and/or Requested Distribution, 127; Free Distribution Outside County, 0. Free Distribution in County, 0. Free or nominal rate copies mailed at other classes, 0. Free or nominal rate distribution outside the mail, 0. Total Free Distribution, 0; Total Distribution 127; Copies Not Distributed, 0. Total 127. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation, 100%. Actual Number Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: Total number copies (Net Press Run), 134; Paid or Requested Mail Subscriptions outside-County, 44. Paid in-County subscriptions, 90 (Include Advertisers’ Proof Copies/Exchange Copies). Paid distribution outside the mails, 0; Paid distribution by other classes, 0; Total paid and/or Requested Distribution, 134; Free Distribution Outside County, 0; Total Free in County Distribution, 0; Free or nominal rate copies mailed at other classes, 0. Free or nominal rate distribution outside the mail, 0. Total Free Distribution, 0: Total Distribution: 134; Copied Not Distributed, 0; Total 134, Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation, 100%. This Statement of Ownership will be printed in the 10/03/13 issue of this publication.

24 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013

Notice of Formation of THEATRE BEYOND BROADWAY LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 09/05/13. Office location: Queens County. Princ. office of LLC: 116-40 Park Ln. South, D2, Kew Gardens, NY 11418. 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 12207-2543. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Notice is hereby given that license #1273748 has been applied by the undersigned to sell alcoholic beverages at retail in a restaurant under the alcoholic beverage control law at 33-20 31st Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106 for on-premises consumption. Mahapochanahphan Inc. DBA Enthaice Thai Kitchen Notice of Formation of AB 32ND STREET CORNER, LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 09/24/13. 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, 34-55 32nd St., Astoria, NY 11106. Purpose: Any lawful activity. NOTICE OF FORMATION OF LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY. NAME: 101-19 NORTHERN BLVD., LLC. Articles of Organization were filed with the Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 09/10/13. 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, 101-19 Northern Boulevard, Corona, New York 11368. Purpose: For any lawful purpose.

ADULT DISTRIBUTIONS LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 05/30/2013. Office loc: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: 166-35 20th Road, Whitestone, NY 11357. Reg Agent: Guido Benanti, 166-35 20th Road, Whitestone, NY 11357. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose. Notice of Formation of MWB PROPERTIES, LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 11/30/05. 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, 32-75 Steinway St., Ste. 212, Astoria, NY 11103. Purpose: any lawful activity.

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verified complaint is not served with this summons, to serve a notice of appearance, on the plaintiff’s attorneys within twenty days after the service of this summons, exclusive of the day of service (or within thirty days after service is complete of this summons if not personally delivered to you within the State of New York); and in case of your failure to appear, or answer, judgment will be taken against you by default, for the relief demanded in the verified complaint. The United States of America, if designated as a defendant in this action, may answer or appear within sixty (60) days of service hereof. TO THE ABOVE NAMED DEFENDANTS: the foregoing Summons is served upon you by publication pursuant to an Order of the Hon. Augustus C. Agate, a Justice of the Supreme Court, Queens County, dated September 12, 2013 and filed with the complaint and other papers in Queens County Clerk’s Office, Queens, NY. The object of the action is to foreclose a mortgage recorded in the NYC Registers Office, Queens County, on the 28th day of February, 2005, as CRFN 2005000118235 covering prem. k/a 102-51 Jamaica Avenue, Richmond Hill, NY 11418. DATED: September 30, 2013. Harry Zubli, Esq., Atty for Pltf. Harry Zubli Esq. Attorney for Plaintiff 1010 Northern Blvd., Suite 310 Great Neck NY 11021 Telephone: (516) 487-5777 Facsimile: (516) 487-4834

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. 159-35 PARTNERS, LLC, a domestic LLC, filed with the SSNY on 8/1/13. Office location: Queens County. SSNY is designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: The LLC, 162-45 Crossbay Blvd., Howard Beach, NY 11414. General Purposes. NOTICE OF FORMATION OF LIMITED PARTNERSHIP. NAME: 20-70 STEINWAY STREET FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP. Application for Authority was filed with the Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 08/15/13. The LP was originally filed with the Secretary of State of Nevada on 01/23/01. The duration date is perpetual. Office location: Queens County. SSNY has been designated as agent of the LP upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to the LP, 23-19 Broadway, Astoria, New York 11106. JFK SOLAR ENTERPRISES LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 8/16/13. Office in Queens Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to The LLC 32 Cherry Wood Lane, Port Washington, NY 11050. Purpose: Any lawful activity. STANDING WITH GOD L.L.C Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 5/22/13. Office in Queens Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to The LLC 11175 158th St Jamaica, NY 11433. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Registered Agent Winter Jade Flowers-Olowofela 11175 158th St Jamaica, NY 11433. PYJ REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT LLC, a domestic LLC, filed with the SSNY on 7/5/13. Office location: Queens County. SSNY is designated as agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Yuval Jacob, 7554 190th St., Fresh Meadows, NY 11366. General Purposes.

TSDNYC, LLC Arts of Org filed with NY Sec of State (SSNY) on 6/10/13. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: 142-20 41st Ave, #4H, Flushing, NY 11355. General Purposes. Notice of formation of SOUTH DRIVE MALBA LLC, a limited liability company. Articles of Organization filed with the Secretary of State of NY (SSNY) on 09/05/2013. Office located in New York. SSNY has been designated for service of process. SSNY shall mail copy of any process served against the LLC to The LLC, 42-95 Main Street #3, Flushing, NY 11355. Purpose: any lawful purpose. 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 LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY. NAME: FLUSHING ASPHALT RECYCLING, LLC. Articles of Organization were filed with the Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 08/12/13. 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, 120-01 31st Avenue, Flushing, New York 11354. Purpose: For any lawful purpose. Notice of Formation of JEFF BERZON BOOKKEEPING LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 08/22/2013. 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 80-22 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, NY 11004. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Pritpal Kaur LLC Arts of Org. filed with NY Secy of State (SSNY) on 8/14/13. Office: Queens. SSNY is design. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served and shall mail process to 162-03 84th Dr. Flr 1 Jamaica, NY 11432. Purpose: any lawful activity.

Notice of Formation of GOMMA, Notice of Formation of MAY LLC, Arts. of Org. filed with the Secy. SQUARED REAL ESTATE LLC. Arts of State of NY (SSNY) on 07/11/2013. of Org. filed with NY Secy of State Office loc: Queens County. SSNY (SSNY) on 4/24/13. Office: Queens. has been designated as agent upon SSNY is designated as agent of LLC whom process against the LLC may upon whom process against it may be be served. SSNY shall mail process served and shall mail process to The to: Carlos M Roman II at 41-34 CresLLC, 255-07 61st Avenue, 1st Floor, cent Street, Long Island City, NY Little Neck, NY 11362. Purpose: any 11101. Purpose: Any lawful activity. lawful activity. THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 | 25

Patricia Adams/The Forum Newsgroup

Somber faces among the crowd at Saturday's rally to protest the Biggert Waters Act were indicative of the range of emotion and concern felt by residents facing hikes in flood insurance premiums that could drive them from their homes and wipe out many coastal communities.


Residents from Howard beach, Broad Channel and Rockaway join 15 states to push for the repeal of the Biggert-Waters Act By Patricia Adams Nearly 1,000 people from Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways converged at the American Legion Hall in Broad Channel last Saturday afternoon. They joined tens of thousands of others who gathered across the nation in more than 15 states at the same time, for the same reason--to try and stop the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from enacting the Biggert-Waters legislation that is postured to destroy their families, their homes and their communities. The act was signed into law in 2012 and essentially presents itself as the mechanism to abolish the flood insurance subsidy program that homeowners in coastal communities have always depended on to provide affordable protection for their homes. Dan Mundy, President of the Broad Channel Civic Association who was at the forefront of the organized efforts in Broad Channel, led the charge against the legislation in his community and the surrounding ones. “We were brought together today,” Mundy told a cheering crowd, “because of outrageous legislation and perhaps the most inept agency I’ve ever seen: FEMA.” Mundy explained that his own research

led him to many discoveries, including the fact that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducted a study which defined Sandy as a once in a 700 year storm, and the category of event which was not likely to hit again, according to the same experts, for a similar period of time. “Nature took its best shot at us but we’re still here,” Mundy said. Urging residents to take immediate action by calling government officials and demand the repeal of Biggert Waters, Mundy praised the determination and the resilience of everyone who struggled over the last year to rebound. “You deserve a tremendous round of applause,” he said. “And this is what you did. You pumped out your basements and you pumped them out again when they filled up. You pumped out your crawl spaces when they filled up with fuel oil. You dealt with no electricity, no gas and absolutely no information. You ripped out the sheetrock, the floors, the ceilings and the walls. You threw out everything you owned. You shoveled the sand out of your homes, and then dealt with an absolutely ridiculous snow storm in October. You helped out your neighbors, your friends and every stranger in need you encountered. We certainly saw the best of the best rise in this situation.

26 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013

That is what you did. And you can’t stop now.” Speaker after speaker from different communities took the mic to reiterate that which Mundy spoke about. Howard Beach architect, John Calcagnile, who worked on hosting the rally with Mundy, reminded the crowd about the government’s lack of response to help its own people. Calcagnile spoke over thunderous applause. “If our government can send billions and billions of dollars overseas to our friends and our foes who use our own money against us, “ he said, “then why can’t they give money to the coastal communities that need it? Keep our money at home.” Calcagnile pointed out that since 1968, it’s been government policy to offer a subsidized flood insurance program in order to encourage development along the coastline. Now an overwhelming threat has been posed by legislation which, as of hours before the rallies were scheduled to start, was branded by its own author, Maxine Waters, as a mistake. “I am outraged by the increased costs of flood insurance premiums that have resulted from the Biggert-Waters Act,” Waters said. “I certainly did not intend for these types of outrageous premiums to occur for any homeowner.” Waters went on to explain the goal of the legislation as a means to create a bipartisan solution to the national flood insurance

program. She pledged to work with Congress and FEMA to fix the problem and the “unintended consequences.” But now the unintended consequences are faced by many people who will not be able to cover the exorbitant costs of the newly proposed insurance rates. “These people are not millionaires,” Mundy reminded the crowd. The people who live in these neighborhoods are the ones that teach our kids, pick up our garbage, keep us safe from the bad guys and run into burning buildings. That’s who we have in these neighborhoods.” Provisions of Biggert-Waters were scheduled to begin taking effect on October 1st. Among the points that are considered to be among the worst features of the legislation is that anyone who purchases a home in the flood zones will be subjected to an immediate escalation to top level premiums. “First, they want to make it impossible for us to stay in our homes,” said Rockaway resident Viola Holmes, “now they also want to make it impossible for us to sell them. The United States of America has lost its identity.” The Forum urges you to do everything that you can to help repeal the Biggert-Waters Act. For a list of numbers and suggestions, please see page 27 for details on how you can help.


In support of the rallies that were held around the country on Saturday, we have put together this list of representatives that you


and demand action from our representatives. Call your representatives and tell them they must act to stop this outrage against the people in coastal communities throughout the United States. Without the repeal of the Biggert-Waters Act, the rise in flood insurance premiums will drive our property values down and make it impossible for us to either remain in our homes or sell them. The Biggert-Waters legislation will cause more damage to our homes and our lives than any storm ever could. Stand up now or we will lose everything we have worked for all of our lives.


Senator Charles Schumer Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Congressman Peter King Congressman Hakeem Jefferies Congressman Gregory Meeks

(212) 486-4430 (212) 688-6262 (202) 225-7896 (718) 237-2211 (202) 225-3461 THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 | 27

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Remembering the Heart of Maspeth, George Gibbons Jr.

Family, friends gather to co-name 60th Drive for community leader killed by hit-and-run driver By Anna Gustafson George Gibbons Jr. was known as the heart of Maspeth’s 60th Drive - the street where the man who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2011 grew up, where he deejayed all the block parties, where he always returned to spend time with his incredibly close-knit group of family and friends. Now, it is a place that will always be remembered as a street where Gibbons once made everyone laugh - and never failed to lend a hand to a neighbor in need. More than 100 people gathered at the corner of 60th Drive and Mt. Olivet Crescent on Saturday for a ceremony to co-name the street for the son, brother, friend and bar owner who was killed at the age of 37. Anna Gustafson/The Forum Newsgroup “This road, 60th Drive, held a very Family and friends of George Gibbons Jr. joined Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley for a special place in George’s heart,” Siobceremony Saturday to co-name 60th Drive in honor of the Maspeth community leader. han McEntee, one of Gibbon’s five dle Village), who sponsored bar was hit by a Chrysler Sebring traveling in siblings, said at the ceremony that the legislation to co-name the wrong direction. The driver of the Sebring, drew a large crowd of individuals the street, remembered Peter Rodriguez, of Brooklyn, fled the scene. each one of whom had countless stoGibbons as “a man of great The community rallied to offer $10,000 for his ries about the way Gibbons had made integrity with a big heart.” capture, and he was apprehended in Connectitheir world a more joyful place. George Gibbons Jr. “He gave back to so cut that November thanks to an anonymous tip. “I hope this sign will help people to Rodriguez was sentenced to three-and-a-half remember George as a person - the way he many,” Crowley said of Gibbons. “...He’ll always treated everyone with respect,” Bernadette Gib- be remembered in this community for the good to seven years in prison. He was originally charged with manslaughter, and prosecutors bons said of her brother, who owned the Gib- life he led.” Gibbons was killed Oct. 15, 2011 when the believed he had been drinking. However, they bons’ Home bar on 69th Street in Maspeth. Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Mid- livery cab he was taking home after closing his settled for a lesser sentence because prosecutors

Rego Center Mall Apartments Get Mixed Reviews From Residents

File Photo

A plan to build 300 or more rental apartments atop the Rego Center Mall has received both positive and negative feedback from residents.

By Alan Krawitz A plan to build 300-plus rental apartments atop the Rego Center Mall in Rego Park is moving ahead and getting mixed reactions from area residents. Vornado Realty Trust, the developer of the Rego Center Mall, which opened the complex in 2010, has taken its plans for a 24-story residential tower, to be built on top of the mall, off hold and is moving forward after getting some initial construction permits from the city’s Department of Buildings in late August. As Frank Gulluscio, district manager for Community Board 6 pointed out, the plans for the tower are nothing new. Vornado had intended to build the tower in 2007 but had to shelve the project due to the severe economic downturn. “Now, things have turned around a bit and I

guess they [Vornado] feel it is good timing for the project,” Gulluscio said. Asked about concerns over the project, the district manager said there are both pros and cons. “The concerns we’re hearing from local residents are simple—traffic, volume, etc,” he said. “Our infrastructure can hold just so much," Gulluscio continued. "But, the bottom line is this will be built.” Breaking things down further, Gulluscio said that while the borough’s economic base will continue to grow as a result of the new rentals, there will also be many more people coming to an already congested area and that “infrastructure will continue to be strained.” In a regulatory filing last year, Vornado projected the development would cost between $100 million and $120 million. Through a spokesman, Vornado declined to comment on the current project.

30 | THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013

Rego Park resident Puo Lu, who lives across the street from the Rego Center Mall, called the project “brilliant” from a commercial perspective. “The Rego Center is easily accessible from two I-495 highway exits, it’s 25 to 30 minutes via car and 30 minutes via subway from Manhattan, and it’s situated in the middle between Queens Mall and Forest Hills, which are both one to two stations away along the M/R line," Lu said. However, the resident said that street parking could be problematic. “I used to spend five to 10 minutes on average circling around the blocks for a spot and that might get worse,” he said. He also added that another downside of the project is an “almost certain risk of gentrification.” Forest Hills resident Michael Perlman, a preservationist and local landmarks advocate, had reservations about the project. “I understand Vornado's vision of developing what was once an eyesore of parking lots, and introducing some unique shops and restaurants with the mall's green and eco-friendly atrium,” he said. But, Perlman also said the community should question the “quantity of new housing developments (particularly high-rises) that our community really needs.” He added that the neighborhood faces pedestrian and traffic congestion, as well as sewage and sanitation problems. “Let's examine the consistently overflowing trash receptacles and foul odors on every other street corner…let's take care of issues that take priority, before planning any future developments," Perlman said. City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), whose area includes Rego Park, declined to comment on the project. Gulluscio added that, “while the area is very congested, it’s also someplace where everyone wants to live due to its proximity to Manhattan.”

weren’t confident about proving the charges. After Gibbons’ death, his family has been working with legislators, including Crowley, to change state traffic law that Crowley’s office said essentially encourages drunk drivers to flee the scene of an accident. If a drunk driver hits someone - and they die - an individual can be hit with a charge of negligent homicide - but, if they flee the scene and prosecutors are unable to prove they had been drinking, they will typically face far lesser charges, Crowley spokesman Eric Yun noted. “Basically, it makes more sense for someone who’s under the influence to leave the scene of the crime,” Yun said. Gibbons’ relatives - including his father, George Gibbons Sr. and his siblings Siobhan, Bernadette, Brendan, Eamon, and Maureen said they will continue to fight until state law is changed, with the hopes that other families would not have to go through the pain they have experienced. “Because he ran, we weren’t able to charge him as much as we would’ve wanted,” Bernadette Gibbons said. But, for now, the Gibbons family said they are happy that the memory of their son and brother will live on in a community where he is very much missed - and forever loved. “Everyone knew George,” Bernadette Gibbons said. “Everyone knew him, and everyone loved him.”

Pupil Wins Astoria Bank Contest

Astoria Federal Savings essay contest winner Nicolette Inzerilla is presented with her award from Astoria Federal Middle Village Branch Manager and Vice President, Banking Division Alphonse Gentile. In recognition of Financial Literacy Month, Astoria Federal Savings held its eighth annual essay contest for children, ages 5 through 12. For the contest, students were asked to complete the statement, "If I save a lot today, in the future I could..." Nearly 550 essays were received from neighborhood branches throughout Queens, Brooklyn, Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester. Astoria Federal Savings judges selected one winner from each branch, and 10-year-old Nicolette Inzerilla submitted the winning entry at the Middle Village branch. She visited the Astoria Federal Middle Village branch to receive her award including a $25 American Express gift card, a Teach Children to Save Certificate, and an Education First medal from Branch Manager and Vice President, Banking Division Alphonse Gentile.

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Phone: 718-738-6721 • Fax: 718-846-7755 THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • October 3, 2013 | 31

Sit down and relax... Laundry is easy at

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Forum West 40 October 3  

West Queens news and currents.

Forum West 40 October 3  

West Queens news and currents.