Tag Archives: 9/11

Op-ed: Two catastrophic events, one Queens community


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY STATE SENATOR JOSEPH P. ADDABBO JR.

In the moments and months following Superstorm Sandy, I saw struggles and emotions of all types. I saw people wading through the floodwaters carrying every possession they could, I saw men and women piling their useless furniture, appliances, children’s toys and personal photos onto the curbs outside their damaged homes. I also saw the expressions of anxiety, grief and loss on the faces of every affected individual.

My district was crippled, to put it mildly. For me, the last time I remember seeing an event take such a disturbing toll on people, the last time people were so emotionally drained, was on Sept. 11, 2001.

Within the communities I represent, someone had lost someone in 9/11, gotten battered with Hurricane Irene and now may have lost their home during Sandy. It’s hit after hit, which are out of our control. But through it all, our resilience continues to shine.

And now, on the 13th anniversary of 9/11 and the two-year anniversary of Sandy on Oct. 29, as we remember the crises from our past, it reminds us it’s now more important than ever to work together for our future.

The city rebuilding program Build it Back has reimbursed and assisted a number of people. While I am grateful for their efforts, we know that its work is far from over.

Build it Back aid is doing more than just reimbursing storm victims; it’s giving back some stability and reassurance to people’s lives. Time and time again, I heard about my constituents spending their life savings, their kids’ college funds or their retirement money on replacing what Sandy took from them. Build it Back has the opportunity to restore these people’s lives and make the memory of the superstorm less of a nightmare. That is why it is so important as an elected official to work through the Build It Back process in quickly addressing the needs of Sandy victims.

After 9/11, our Queens community lost not their homes but their neighbors, their friends, their family. Memories like that will never fade, never change, but the support from the community never wavered. Thirteen years later, that continues to hold true. Most individuals take time around 9/11 to honor those who died, thank those who saved others and remember the tragic event as one way to understand the need to support our military in the fight against the evil and hatred of terrorism.

Tragic events such as Sandy and 9/11 remind us that we know how to band together to support each other when a situation arises. For many, the word ‘resilient’ is not just found in the dictionary, but has become a lifestyle.

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Queens pols remember 9/11 during 13th anniversary


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@TonyAvella

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Queens marked the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks across the borough on Thursday.

State Sen.Tony Avella, fresh off his victory in the primary, joined the 109th Precinct at the 9/11 Park Dedication ceremony in the morning to honor the lives lost 13 years ago. After the ceremony, he embarked on his annual motorcade, visiting the streets in his district which have been renamed after those who died that day. He hung wreaths on the poles of 26 streets that bear the names of the fallen.

Paul Vallone, councilman for Bayside, Whitestone, Auburndale, College Point, Little Neck, Douglaston, and North Flushing, observed the 9/11 anniversary with students at P.S.169 and Bell Academy

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic attended the remembrance ceremony at Queens College. The ceremony honored alum Mohammad Salman Hamdani, who died on 9/11, but was falsely implicated as a terrorist.

Rozic is expected to also attend the candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. in Bayside Hills

U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley released a statement in which he said that every detail of that day is etched in our collective memories.

“But just as vivid are the memories of all those we lost – mothers, fathers, children, friends, and complete strangers whom we, as a nation, grieved for as if they were family,” he said. These memories make today “a bit more manageable” and we should “honor our service members who continue to protect our nation.”

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stated that “we continue to feel the ache of such a swift and immeasurable loss” but while we mourn the dead, “an attack meant to shatter us instead brought out the great hope and resilience within all New Yorkers and all Americans” and on this day, we should “recommit to our work toward a more secure future.”

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. called upon the people to not only remember the first responders and uniformed personnel in the city but to also “support our military who remain vigilant in the fight against the evil and hatred of terrorists.”

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9/11 heroes battle cancer with hope


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Asha Mahadevan

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Thirteen years ago, when tragedy struck the World Trade Center, they were one of the first to respond to calls for help. Today, they are suffering the after-effects of their selflessness.

Two days before the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, four Queens residents, who developed cancer because of their exposure to carcinogenic substances at the WTC site, came forward to share their pain at the North Shore – LIJ’s WTC Clinical Center of Excellence at Rego Park on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

John Licato, 52, a resident of Howard Beach and a former cop with the 110th Precinct in Corona, was diagnosed with neck cancer in 2012. Since then he has undergone chemotherapy and radiation and now, his cancer is in remission. Christian Foggy, 67, an electrician from Jamaica who transported generators to the site for almost two months, was treated for prostate cancer.

Former narcotics cop Joe Ramondino, 52, developed Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. “They said it was safe,” said the Maspeth resident about concerns that arose in the aftermath. Last August, he was told he is dealing with a type of cancer he calls “treatable but not curable.”

“It is devastating learning what is in your body,” he said. “I am just staying positive and following a healthy lifestyle.”

Added his wife Toni, “It was frightening. We are sticking together and getting through.”
The program at the WTC Clinical Center is federally funded by the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which is meant for treating the people who fell sick due to exposure to harmful materials at ground zero. The funding runs through 2016. Initially, the people being treated were those with respiratory disorders such as asthma and sinus cases, and mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder. However, cancer takes many years to develop, said Dr. Jacqueline Moline, vice president and chair of Population Health at North Shore-LIJ. “We have more than 2,500 certified cases,” she said. “Truncating the program after 15 years is not right.”

Patricia Workman, 76, and her sister Julia Mooney, both from Flushing, helped at the site as Red Cross volunteers. “I worked in the pit, in the morgue, served meals, distributed supplies, whatever needed to be done,” said Workman. She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2008. She was treated and went into remission but suffered a relapse earlier this year. Despite her trauma, she says she doesn’t regret helping out the way she did. “It was a terrible day,” she said. “We should not forget it because if you do, it can happen again.”

Mooney, who suffered from PTSD due to her time at the site, added, “These people [who died that day] deserve to be remembered always.”

Despite their pain, the patients and their families are staying positive. As Ramondino put it, “Things could have been worse. Lots of people died that day. We are still here.”

“I have three children and three grandchildren,” said Workman. “I have a lot to live for.”

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9/11 anniversary events around Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Astoria Heights

The United Community Civic Association’s 9/11 Memorial Candlelight Ceremony will take place on Sept. 10 from 7:30 p.m. at McManus Memorial Park, on 81st Street and the Grand Central Parkway service road.

Flushing

St. Mel’s Catholic Academy’s Parent Academy Association is organizing a Memorial Mass on Thursday, Sept. 11, at 1 p.m. After Mass, students will release bubbles in the schoolyard in memory of the 9/11 martyrs. 154-24 26 Ave.

The Queens Historical Society is observing the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with a community conversation for children and their family members. The discussion will be led by Karyn Balan, who will guide the attendees through Jeanette Winter’s book “September Roses”. The book tells the story of two sisters from South Africa who are stranded in the city with the 2,400 roses that they had flown in on the day of the attacks for a flower show. The event begins at 1 p.m. and is free for children and the adults accompanying them. Kingsland Homestead, 143-35 37th Ave.

Sunnyside

A remembrance ceremony will be held on Thursday, Sept. 11 from 6:30 p.m. at the Doughboy Park. The ceremony will include a candlelight vigil and poetry readings. Corner of 56th Street and Woodside Avenue.

Bayside

The Bayside Hills Civic Association will be holding its annual 9/11 observance on Thursday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. at Bell Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway.

Middle Village

The 13th Annual Candlelight Vigil will take place at the 9/11 Memorial at Juniper Valley Park (near 78th Street.) from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m on Thursday, Sept. 11. Attendees are advised to bring a candle and a chair.

East Elmhurst

The third annual two-mile Remember Me Run will take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13 at St. Michael’s Cemetery, located at 7202 Astoria Blvd. Sign-in will begin starting at 10 a.m. Registration fee $25. After the run, a memorial service will be held.

Kew Gardens

The Annual Day of Remembrance and the Lantern Festival will take place on Thursday, Sept. 18 from 6 p.m. at the Maple Grove Cemetery and Lakeside. 127-15 Kew Gardens Road.

LIC museum showcases extensive history of elevators


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

Something is going down in Long Island City.

For the past three years the neighborhood has been home to The Elevator Historical Society, also known as the Elevator Museum, on the second floor of the bright yellow taxi building at 43-39 21st St.


Photo by Patrick Carrajat

The museum was started by Patrick Carrajat, 70, who has been active in the elevator business since he was 11 years old and went to work with his father every weekend.

“What 11-year-old boy doesn’t want to go to work with his father?” Carrajat said.

Since then Carrajat, who lives in Long Island City with his wife, has worked throughout the elevator business, owning his own company at one point, and is now an elevator consultant and expert witness.

After realizing that his own personal elevator collection was getting too large, he decided to find a place to begin the museum.

Among the items at the site are those he has collected for years, including what he calls his favorite piece – a cover of an interlock that he brought home the first day working with his father in 1955 – and items he buys on eBay as well as some donations.

“The museum came about because I had no place to put all of this stuff and I thought it would be a good idea to give stuff back to the industry,” he said. “I owe a lot to the industry. It’s a pay-it-forward type of situation.”

Before starting the museum, Carrajat also wrote a book called “History of the American Elevator,” which he says came out of a “near death experience” after he was scheduled to be on the 79th floor machine room of the North Tower on 9/11, but took the day off.

He said what intrigues him the most are the social and economic implications and importance of elevators to our everyday lives.

“If we didn’t have the elevator, New York City would stretch from north of Boston to south of Washington D.C. It would be five- or six-story buildings, that’s all it would be,” he said. “There is also so much interaction that can happen in an elevator. There’s a certain closeness in an elevator, you can’t avoid it. Our personal space gets invaded in elevators all the time.”

Carrajat says the museum welcomes, with no charge, about 500 visitors per year. He hopes the visitors, who to his surprise are mainly made up of “non-elevator people,” leave with a little better appreciation of the history and hopefully pass along to other people “that there are interesting small museums.”

In the end, Carrajat said the plan is for all the items in his collection to go to Elevator World, Inc., the publisher for the international building transportation industry, in Alabama.

“I fell in love with the business and wiser people have said, ‘If you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life.’ I’m still waiting to go to work,” Carrajat said. “I think it’s a great thing to say at 70 that you love what you do and you keep doing it.”

Although people can stop by the museum, Carrajat recommends potential visitors call in advance just to make sure he is in. For more information visit www.elevatorhistory.org or call 917-748-2328.

 

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Looking into the artwork of LIC artist Luba Lukova


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Aeroblue © Luba Lukova


What was only supposed to be a one-week visit to New York for an international exhibition has turned into about 25 years of success for Long Island City artist Luba Lukova.

As a young girl in Bulgaria, Lukova never had a doubt as to what she wanted to be when she grew up. Influenced by her grandmother who was an artist, Lukova began to attend art classes and then graduated from an art academy.

Through an invite from Colorado State University, where school officials had seen some of her early artwork, Lukova came to New York for an organized exhibition featuring artists from all over the world.

Her initial idea was to stay in New York for a week and then return to Bulgaria, but she decided to stay indefinitely, and in 1991, she began drawing illustrations for the book review section of The New York Times. She then moved on and drew for the publication’s Op-Ed section covering subjects such as the Middle East.

These illustrations opened up doors for Lukova, exposing her to a larger audience, which got her into theatre work creating posters, and years later she even got a call from then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign to use one of her images months before his inauguration.

“It was just a miracle. I never went back [to Bulgaria],” she said. “For a young artist, it was a mind-blowing experience and when I saw the reaction of the people, it was really very exciting for me.”

Lukova’s pieces, whether they are on a canvas or theatre poster, all convey social and political issues in what she calls a “simple and accessible way.” She tells a whole story with just a few colors and images and creates visual metaphors for viewers to take in.

“[My artwork] involves thinking and the viewer’s participation,” she said. “All of my work is like that — it’s always provoking stuff. I try to make it accessible and bring something to the contemporary viewer that can stop them and make them think.”

Her “Social Justice” poster portfolio, the first publication from her own publishing company, has gotten her national and international acclaim. Currently some of her work is part of a show at the Museum of Modern Art and Denver Art Museum.

After moving out of Manhattan following 9/11, Lukova has been working and living in the booming art scene found in Long Island City. Last year she took part in the LIC Arts Open festival, which introduced her to a community she has now become a part of and loves.

“I think it’s a great group of artists with a lot of energy,” she said. “The art community here is growing and it is so huge.”

This year Lukova designed the poster for the LIC Arts Open, and her exhibition “Drama on Paper: Posters for the Stage” can be found at The Local at 13-02 44th Ave. throughout the festival.


     LIC ARTS OPEN POSTER © Luba Lukova

“I’m excited to be a part of it again,” Lukova said. “I think what [the festival organizers] do is very admirable and I hope we will keep the community here and we will expand. Because New York without the arts would be a very sad picture. We don’t just want New York to be the city with museums; we need the real art here.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Sunshine and a few clouds. High 67. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Cloudy skies early, then off and on rain showers overnight. Low 52. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Citizens’ Climate Lobby

The Queens-Nassau chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby will hold its monthly meeting at 6: 30 p.m. at Panera Bread in the Bay Terrace Shopping Center. Join us and help create the political will for a stable climate. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Knockdown center denied liquor license

The Knockdown Center took a straight right to the chin courtesy of the State Liquor Authority (SLA). The SLA denied the Maspeth arts center’s license application at a full board hearing Tuesday. Read more: The Queens Courier

After hour-long debate, New York Senate passes bill to make yogurt state snack

The New York senate passed a bill that would make yogurt the state’s official snack, but not without a surprisingly spirited debate Tuesday evening. Read more: NBC New York

Pedestrian fatalities in city decreased by one-third during first four months of 2014

The number of pedestrians hit and killed by cars dropped by a third in the first four months of 2014, data obtained by the Daily News show. Read more: New York Daily News

Federal report: climate change is upon us

Climate change is a very real problem, according to a new federal report called the National Climate Assessment. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Unidentified 9/11 remains to be moved back to Ground Zero

The unidentified remains of those killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 are set to be moved to a repository at ground zero this weekend, renewing a more than decade-long debate among grieving family members about the best final resting place for their loved ones. Read more: AP

 

Bayside police cadet who died on 9/11 honored with street co-naming


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

When 23-year-old Muslim American Salman Hamdani, who was an NYPD cadet and EMT, heard about the 9/11 attacks, instead of going to work, he headed straight for the World Trade Center.

He lost his life trying to help people and for his sacrifice, Community Board 11 and Councilman Paul Vallone honored him by co-naming 204th Street in Bayside, where he grew up, as “Salman Hamdani Way” on Monday.

But his mother, Talat, believes it’s just the first step toward getting the recognition her son deserves after the injustice he received.

Hamdani, who was born in Pakistan and immigrated to America as a toddler, was initially thought to be involved in the attacks, and still hasn’t been honored as a first responder on the 9/11 memorial.

“The City of New York needs to recognize him officially as a cadet when 9/11 happened, when he gave the ultimate sacrifice,” Talat said. “And the national 9/11 memorial cannot deny him his due place in history.”

Photo courtesy Talat Hamdani 

Instead of being listed as a first responder, Hamdani’s name is on the memorial as a civilian killed in the attacks. His family believes this bias stems from his faith, but they insist he was an American in every way.

As a child, Hamdani watched cartoons on the Disney Channel, loved the Yankees, played football for Bayside High School, and was a truly dedicated Star Wars fan— so much so that “his licenses plate read, ‘young Jedi,’” Talat said.

“I asked him one day, what is Star Wars?” she recalled, and he replied, “Momma, you don’t know what Star Wars is, you’re not an American!”

Hamdani’s  family is calling for Mayor Bill de Blasio to put his name on the first responders list to honor his memory.

“The fact is that he was a cadet,” Talat said. “He should be properly acknowledged.”

Photo courtesy Luigi Novi/Wikipedia Commons

 

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110th Precinct shaves hair, raises funds for fellow officer


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

Lieutenant Patrick Welsh did not have to think twice when deciding to shave his long curls for fellow officer and friend, Sergeant Paul Ferrara.

Welsh, together with five other members of the 110th Precinct, including commanding officer Deputy Inspector Ronald D. Leyson, volunteered Thursday to shave their hair for Ferrara, who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in January.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS,

“It’s all for a great cause , for Paul, for a fellow brother,” said Welsh, who has been growing his hair out since last September. “It wasn’t even a question, [Ferrara] is one of the most liked men in the precinct.”

Ferrara started his career in Brooklyn’s 81st Precinct in 1992 and then was promoted to sergeant in 2006 and assigned to the 110th Precinct. During his 22 years of service, Ferrera has been a 9/11 first responder and former anti-crime sergeant, and now serves as a counter terrorism supervising officer.

Ferrara’s diagnosis is currently being linked to what he, together with other first responders, faced at Ground Zero in 2001.

The 110th Precinct came together last month to start a fundraiser to collect money to help the 44-year-old NYPD officer and his family with medical expenses. Ferrara is married and has a 12-year-old son.

As part of the fundraiser, officers at the precinct, which encompasses Corona and Elmhurst, came up with the idea to “put a price on the commanding officer’s head” and have the officer with the highest donation shave Leyson’s hair.

Through a collaborative effort, the highest donation was $1,500 and Police Officer William Bahrenburg, who also shaved his hair and mustache, had the honor Thursday of shaving the deputy inspector’s hair.

“Like the police department does, we get together to help out one another,” Leyson said. “I’ve been on the job for over 20 years and there’s a lot of things that we complain about, but it is a family, when one of us is in need, that’s one thing this police department always does – step up.”

Police Officers Matthew Zimmerman and Thompson Wen, and Auxiliary Police Officer Chris Lui also volunteered to have their hair shaved in honor of Ferrara.

“It’s just the right thing to do. He’s always been there for me,” Wen said. “Hair grows back.”

So far, the precinct has collected a total of $40,000. The 81st Precinct has also contributed to the fundraiser.

“It’s the proudest I’ve been because none of this has to be done, but it’s getting done anyway,” Ferrara said.

The donations will be presented to Ferrara on Sunday, April 27 during a fundraising event at Lily Flanagan’s Pub in Babylon, Long Island.

Anyone interested in donating can mail or drop off a check at the precinct, located at 94-41 43rd Ave. in Elmhurst. Checks should be made out to the 110th Precinct General Fund, with “Sergeant Ferrara Fund” written on the memo line.

 

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Mother wants deceased EMS son recognized as 9/11 public servant


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Maggie Hayes

Dorie Pearlman sat in her Howard Beach home and combed through binders of records about her son, Richard Pearlman, who lost his life in the 9/11 attacks.

Over a decade after his life was taken, and countless media outlets and some elected officials jumped in, his mother continues to question why her EMS son is not recognized as a public servant after voluntarily running to help when the World Trade Center came down.

“I know my son. If someone needed help, he’d find a way to get down there,” Dorie said. “His life’s mission was to help people.”

Richard, who had a longstanding history with the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps, was photographed bringing people out of the Towers. But one last time, he did not come back out. He was missing for over a week before Dorie “knew he wasn’t coming home.”

Seven months later, Richard’s body was discovered amongst the rubble. He was carried out wrapped in an American flag and awarded the Medal of Valor as an emergency service officer, an honor only given to public service employees, Dorie said.

Since then, despite compensation funds and several awards of recognition, Dorie has continually applied to grant her son a Public Servant title through the Department of Justice (DOJ), and has continually been shot down.

“He got the award, and now you’re denying me the title,” Dorie said. “The same thing you’re denying me, you also awarded me. It’s irrational.”

The title would allow the Pearlmans compensation for losing their son, but Dorie said she persistently applies “for the principle.”

Because Richard was young—18—and only a volunteer, not a city employee, the DOJ said he does not qualify, according to Dorie.

“It was a state of emergency and everybody was called to help. In that moment, they became official public servants,” she said. “I have all the proof they want. I have pictures, I have letters.”

“I don’t know where to go anymore. I’ve applied to everyone in the world,” she said. “People say you get over it, but you never get over it. You learn to deal with it.”

The DOJ did not immediately respond to request for comment.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Generally cloudy. High 48. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy this evening. Fog developing late. Low 43. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: The David Leonhardt Trio

The David Leonhardt Trio, an internationally acclaimed jazz group will have fingers snapping and toes tapping as they present a winter holiday concert of cool jazz and hot rhythms at Flushing Town Hall at 8 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

School bus company to shut down; NYC seeks alternative

While most parents should be relaxing during the Christmas break, many in New York City are now going to have to try and figure out how to get their kids to school. Read more: Fox New York

Super Bowl Monday possible if storm comes to Northeast: organizers

Super Bowl organizers say they’re prepared to deploy thousands of trucks and tons of salt to prevent snowy weather from interfering with the biggest football game of the year. Read more: NBC New York

MTA launches new apps for LIRR, Metro-North riders

Some new apps may help Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road customers avoid an extra long wait for the train. Read more: ABC New York

9/11 victims OK to sue Saudi government

Victims of the 9/11 attacks will have another chance to sue the Saudi Arabian government after a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the original dismissal of the case was an “error of law.” Read more: New York Post

Target data breach leaves customers angry, frustrated

Potential victims of credit card fraud tied to Target’s security breach said they had trouble contacting the discounter through its website and call centers. Read more: AP

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain. High of 86. Winds from the South at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Thursday night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers. Low of 68. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph shifting to the NNW after midnight. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.4 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: A View From The Bridge

A View From The Bridge, Arthur Miller’s fiercely compelling drama about love, belonging and betrayal, based on a true Brooklyn “love” story, will be at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City from September 12-21. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Mayoral primary politics resumes after 1-day silence

After abstaining from campaigning on Sept. 11, the candidates emerging from New York City’s primary elections are expected to break their silence. Read more: AP

Seamstress sues Brooks Brothers for $30M, claims sexual harassment at Queens factory

There’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing sexually harassing a seamstress at the venerable Brooks Brothers factory in Queens, a lawsuit charges. Read more: New York Daily News

Push made to designate 9/11 a national holiday

For more than a decade, people have come to the World Trade Center site on Sept. 11 to reflect and remember. But this year, one voice among many called for something greater. Read more: CBS New York

Sunnyside Gardens residents seek to foil metal Aluminaire House from coming to their historic district

The owners of a futuristic aluminum-and-steel home are struggling to drum up support to bring the noted building to a brick historic district. Read more: New York Daily News

New York plans to opt out of new insurance rules

New York’s top financial regulator said the state plans to opt out of new U.S. insurance rules as the framework does not compel life insurers to hold adequate capital reserves for paying out customer claims. Read more: Reuters

 

9/11 anniversary remembered in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Annual memorial a touching tribute

Every September 11 for the past 12 years, Linda Catalano has placed a memorial of candles and a poster outside her house.

She pays tribute to all the lives lost that faithful day, but especially her friend, Lieutenant Robert Wallace of FDNY Engine Company 205 Ladder 118 in Brooklyn and a former Woodhaven resident.

Wallace ran into the Towers to help save lives, but much like many of his peers and thousands of innocent people, he didn’t make it out alive. He is survived by a wife and four children.

When Catalano moved to Glendale three years ago to be closer to work, she continued her tradition. This year she decided to attend the community memorial on September 8 in Forest Park and couldn’t hold back the tears when his name was called, along with the more than 40 lives lost from the neighborhood in the attacks.

“I got all emotional,” Catalano said. “He was a big part of my life.”

As the names were read, children, veterans and members of the community placed roses at a memorial stone in their honor.

“As a community we will never forget what we lost that day,” said Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley.

“It’s important to remember. It’s one of the most terrible tragedies in our country,” echoed Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5. “We are lucky enough to carry on. God bless the police officers and firefighters that continue to protect us every day.”

LIAM LA GUERRE

 

Honoring the ultimate sacrifice 

Friends and family members of six first responders who lost their lives during the 9/11 terrorist attacks gathered to honor their loved ones.

Members of the United States Army Reserve held the annual memorial service at Fort Totten on Saturday, September 7 to pay tribute to the six who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“We’re here to honor those who stood fast in the face of the enemy,” said Brigadier General Dwayne Edwards, deputy commander of the 99th Regional Support Command. “These six heroes refused to let the terrorists win the day.”

“Their strength and resolve shadowed that which is shown every day by service members who refuse to let the terrorists win,” Edwards continued. “Their patriotism can never be questioned, their valor can never be matched, and their sacrifice can never be repaid.”

The six men being honored were Captain Michael Mullan, Captain Mark Whitford, Warrant Officer Ronald Bucca, Sergeant Shawn Powell, Staff Sergeant Frederick Ill, and Lieutenant Colonel William Pohlmann.

They were part of the 77th Regional Support Command, which was renamed the 77th Regional Readiness Command in 2003. Five of them were New York City firefighters, and the other, Pohlmann, was a volunteer firefighter in Ardsley, New York.

“Their bravery is unimaginable,” said Will Mojsoski, who attended the memorial service. “They were among the first to put their lives on the line for not just their families and friends, but for perfect strangers.”

Bucca, who was fire marshal in Manhattan Command, was the first FDNY fire marshal killed in the line of duty. Pohlmann was an attorney with an office in the World Trade Center. He was also the engine company president of the Ardsley Volunteer Fire Department.

Mullan, a member of New York City Ladder 12, and Whitford, of Manhattan’s Engine Company 23, died while operating rescue missions at the Towers. Powell was a firefighter for Engine Company 207 and Frederick was a fire captain with Ladder 2 in Manhattan.

“Their silent service to this great country must never go unnoticed,” said Edwards. “It is our duty to constantly remind Americans how important is it to honor our men and women in uniform.”

JOHANN HAMILTON

 

St. Michael’s hosts Remembrance Run

Dozens gathered at Saint Michael’s Cemetery this past weekend to take part in the Remembrance Run, an annual event that raises money to help support children whose parents died on September 11, 2001.

The race was split into a children’s section and an adults’ section, and cut through the cemetery. The starting point and finish line was the Wall of Remembrance, which is engraved with the names of FDNY members who lost their lives that day.

“This event is to help those children whose parents contracted diseases and died at the World Trade Center on September 11,” said St. Michael’s Director of Community Relations Ed Horn. “That doesn’t just mean those who died that day, but also those who went back to work cleanup and look through the rubble. Many of them contracted diseases while searching for survivors and this event raises money for their children.”

Saturday, September 7 was the second annual Remembrance Run, and there was also a memorial service afterwards.

 

The first to finish the race was Kenneth Young, who was also the last person to register.

“It’s great what they’re doing here,” said Sarah Small, who came to support her friends in the race. “It’s important that we don’t allow the memories of those who died that day to fade away, and events like this prevent that from happening.”

 

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9/11 anniversary events around Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Maspeth Memorial Park

There will be prayers, laying of wreaths, musical performances and poetry readings at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 7 at the Maspeth Memorial Park, located on 69th Street and Grand Avenue.

East Elmhurst

The second annual Remember Me Run will be taking place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 7 at St. Michael’s Cemetery, located on 72-02 Astoria Boulevard.

Glendale

A memorial ceremony will be held at the 9/11 memorial site on 80th Street and Myrtle Avenue. The event is sponsored by the American Day Committee and takes place on Sunday, September 8 at 12:30 p.m.

There will be a prayer and remembrance service on  Sunday, September 8 at the Dry Harbor Playground in Forest Park. The service starts at 12:30 p.m.

Whitestone

On Wednesday, September 11, the Whitestone Veterans Memorial Day Association will be holding their annual program at the Whitestone Memorial Field, located at 149th Street and 15th Road. The event begins at 11 a.m.

State Senator Tony Avella will be traveling to and laying wreaths at 25 intersections named in honor of 9/11 heroes throughout Queens on Wednesday, September 11. The Wreath-Laying Ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 147th Place.

Sunnyside

There will be a candlelight vigil in Doughboy Park on Wednesday, September 11 from 2-7 p.m., hosted by the United Forties Civic Association of Sunnyside. The park is located between 55th and 56th Streets.

Bayside

The Bayside Hills Civic Association will be holding its annual 9/11 observance on Wednesday, September 11 at 7 p.m. The event will take place at a memorial on Bell Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway.

Floral Park

There will be a remembrance concert on Wednesday, September 11 at 7:30 p.m., presented by Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church, located between 80th Avenue and Union Turnpike.

Middle Village

The annual candlelight vigil at Juniper Valley Park will take place on Wednesday, September 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Forest Hills

The Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance and the American Legion will be holding an event in memory of FHVA member Ron Pearlman at 7 p.m on Wednesday, September 11. The event will take place at 92-29 Metropolitan Avenue.

Flushing

The St. Mel’s Home School Association will be holding their annual 9/11 Day of Remembrance on Wednesday, September 11. Mass begins at 9 a.m. at St. Mel’s Church, and is followed by a patriotic balloon release. The church is located at 26-15 154th Street.

Astoria Heights

A commemoration will be held Thursday, September 12 at 7:30 p.m. by the United Community Civic Association. The event takes place in McManus Memorial Park, on 81st Street and the Grand Central Parkway service road.

Kew Gardens

The Annual Day of Reflection and Remembrance will be taking place at the Maple Grove Cemetery Center on Thursday, September 19 at 5:30 p.m. The Maple Grove Cemetery Center is located at 127-15 Kew Gardens Road.

Op-Ed: Time is running out – October 3 deadline for sick 9/11 First Responders and survivors


| oped@queenscourier.com

CONGRESSMEMBER CAROLYN MALONEY

The horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11 affected all of us, but survivors and the brave First Responders , many of whom risked everything to provide emergency aid, have suffered incomparable health problems and financial loss in the years following this awful tragedy. Recognizing that many of the victims of 9/11 continued to suffer in the aftermath of the attacks, I, and a number of my colleagues in the New York congressional delegation, authored the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The Zadroga Act provides health care and economic compensation to first responders and survivors.

However, time is running out to apply for economic benefits under the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). If you are a 9/11 survivor or First Responder and discovered as of October 3, 2011 that you have an injury or became sick as a result of the 9/11 attacks, you MUST register for economic compensation by October 3, 2013.

If you lost a loved one, compensation may also available to the family members of First Responders and survivors. You can find out more information about the VCF and apply by visiting www.vcf.gov.

Research has shown that First Responders and survivors who were exposed to dangerous toxins that entered the air at Ground Zero have significantly higher cancer risks, respiratory problems and other medical concerns.

While the World Trade Center Health Program portion of the Zadroga Act provides health coverage for eligible first responders and survivors – and recently coverage was extended to additional types of cancer that have been linked to toxins from Ground Zero – there are likely many out there who are eligible for economic compensation as a result of lost productivity, pain and suffering, etc. That is where the VCF comes in.

My New York Congressional colleagues and I worked hard to pass the Zadroga Act and will continue to fight for strong funding. I encourage anyone who became sick or injured as a result of the 9/11 attacks and suffered economic losses to apply for compensation. Please don’t wait.

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney represents New York’s 12th District, which includes Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.

 

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