Tag Archives: Middle Village

Pilot program promoting public transportation launched in CB 5 area


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy NYC DOT flickr

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) pilot Go Smart NYC program has launched in the areas of Community Board 5 (CB 5).

Go Smart NYC is designed to increase residents’ use of public transportation, biking, carpooling, or walking in order to reduce the traffic congestion and emissions caused by single-occupancy motor vehicle trips.

The DOT chose CB 5 as the pilot area due to its population, proximity to public transportation options and bike lanes, walkability, as well as its high level of car ownership.

“The congestion and traffic in our communities can sometimes be unbearable. Go Smart NYC plans to alleviate that with the click of a button,” Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley said. “Walking, biking, public transportation and carpooling are all viable urban modes of travel and I look forward to this program’s roll out and working with the DOT to make it as effective as possible for everyone.”

Residents can sign up for the program through the Go Smart NYC website. After registering, participants can order a free, personalized travel toolkit, with information about walking, biking, public transit, carpooling and Vision Zero safety and education materials.

“I am excited that Community Board 5 has been selected for the kickoff to the city’s launch of Go Smart NYC,” said Gary Giordano, district manager of CB 5. “Middle Village, Ridgewood, Maspeth and Glendale are home to a wealth of local businesses, and this program encourages residents to shop and explore these neighborhoods by foot, transit and bike. The more we can walk or use public transit, the better off we will be as a society.”

Registered participants will be able to log their trips online in order to earn discount rewards at over 20 local businesses that are partnering with the DOT to help encourage sustainable travel choices and local shopping. To further enhance residents’ experiences with walking, biking or public transit, the DOT will assist the local community board in installing city benches, city racks, and a real-time bus information sign at an area bus stop.

“The Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) and Ridgewood Local Development Corporation are delighted to be partners for DOT’s new innovative program Go Smart NYC,” said Ted Renz, executive director of the Myrtle Avenue BID. “This is a win-win: increase of residents’ use of public transit, biking, carpooling or just plain walking will reduce traffic congestion. At the same time, it will encourage people to shop locally and support our merchants.”

Go Smart NYC will run in the areas of Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth until November. DOT is also looking at the possibility of expanding the program to other areas of the city in 2016, if the pilot is successful.

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Reward offered for help in finding serial Queens bank robber


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the FBI New York office

Federal agents and the NYPD are offering “a significant reward” for the public’s help in finding the man responsible for at least a dozen bank robberies in Queens dating back to last year — including several armed heists.

Authorities said the suspect last struck in Middle Village on Dec. 9, 2014, robbing cash from the Chase bank at 74-04 Eliot Ave. Many of the other robberies occurred in Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Maspeth, Sunnyside and Ridgewood.

During each incident, the suspect reportedly passed demand notes to a teller and walked away with various sums of money. In five capers, the perpetrator displayed a handgun in his waistband to bank employees, the FBI said.

Law enforcement agents describe the crook as a black or Hispanic male with a medium to light complexion standing 6 feet tall, and weighing between 200 and 250 pounds. He is usually seen on camera wearing glasses and a baseball cap with the logo of a sports team such as the New York Yankees or New England Patriots. The public should consider the suspect armed and dangerous.

Among the heists in the robbery pattern are the following incidents:

  • June 7, 2014, robbery of a Chase bank located at 77-01 31st Ave. in East Elmhurst;
  • July 22, 2014, attempted robbery of a Santander bank located at 89-01 Northern Blvd. in Jackson Heights;
  • July 25, 2014, heist at a Chase bank located at 47-11 Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside;
  • Aug. 30, 2014, incident at a Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh located at 75-23 37th Ave. in Jackson Heights;
  • Oct. 4, 2014, robbery of a Chase bank located at 69-55 Grand Ave. in Maspeth; and
  •  Dec. 6, 2014, heist at a Chase bank located at 60-67 Myrtle Ave. in Ridgewood.

The FBI-NYPD Violent Crime Task Force is investigating the pattern.

Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s whereabouts is urged to call the Task Force at 212-384-1000; all calls will be kept confidential.

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Five teens caught in Middle Village robbery


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

HandcuffsHC0511_L_300_C_Y-624x413

Five teenagers were taken into custody following a Tuesday night robbery in Middle Village, police reported.

Authorities stated that the two victims were traveling through Juniper Valley Park at approximately 10:25 p.m. when they were approached by the five suspects. One of the perpetrators reportedly displayed a knife and demanded the victims’ cellphones.

During the course of the robbery, the group attacked the teens and removed their iPhones before fleeing from the scene, authorities said.

Officers from the 104th Precinct responded to the incident; the victims suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

Police apprehended the five perpetrators in the area of 69th Street and Metropolitan Avenue shortly after the incident. They were identified as Jonathan Perez 18, from the Bronx; Kenneth Cabrera 18, of Glendale; Justin Santos 19, of Middle Village; a 17-year-old male, of Maspeth; and a 15-year-old male from New Britain, Connecticut.

Each suspect was charged with robbery.

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Queens students fight against animal abuse and endangerment through art


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos by Anthony Giudice

Middle school students from across the city are getting the chance to have their artwork put on display in city parks thanks to Learning through an Expanded Arts Program’s (LeAp) public art program.

Students from P.S. 9 Walter Reed School in Queens participated in the public art program where they expressed their thoughts on the issues of animal abuse and animal endangerment through the power of art.

The project, titled “A View from the Lunchroom Students Bringing Issues to the Table,” tasked students with painting a lunchroom table to help raise awareness for their topic of choice.

“A lot of animals are being killed for their tusks or to make food,” said Demitirius Morris, student of P.S. 9 at I.S. 5. “It was fun making the table. We want to tell people to be nice to animals and protect the Earth. It is most important to me because I have a dog.”

Their table is now on display at Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village and will remain there through August.

“We are proud to put our table in Juniper Valley Park in Queens, New York,” said Vincent Suraty, a student at Walter Reed School.

The public art program allows public school students to have a voice in their communities and speak out on the social issues that matter to them. The children work with a LeAp teaching artist to explore the critical issues in their communities, study the history of the issues raised and learn how to express themselves through art.

“The idea is to target this age group to show them that adults respect what they have to say,” said Alexandra Leff, director of LeAp’s public art program. “We give them this public forum to express themselves and empower them to have a voice through artwork.”

The students learned from the LeAp teaching artist how to use art as a form of expression, and how their message can reach many people.

“We teach the students about symbolism in art, how to use color and to visually express their message,” said Christy Powers, LeAp teaching artist. “We teach them how important that is, especially in Queens, with such a diverse population and people speaking different languages. Art has a way to emotionally impact you.”

Walter Reed School was just one of 10 schools from all five boroughs to have their artwork displayed in city parks. This art program is the largest student art exhibition in the history of New York City parks, and the first to span the five boroughs.


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Salvation Army opening store on Metropolitan Ave in Middle Village


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Joseph Irvine

The Salvation Army is opening up shop in Middle Village this June.

The new location, which will open at 73-26 Metropolitan Ave., will be a Salvation Army family store where patrons will be able to find great deals on second-hand clothing, furniture, appliances, accessories, jewelry, toys and much more. A former pharmacy, the location has been vacant for many years.

“The Salvation Army is been interested in the site for a number of years. However we were only recently able to negotiate an affordable purchase,” said Joe Irvine, an administrator for the Salvation Army. “We look forward to becoming a community partner.”

The proceeds from the family store will help fund the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) program, an intense six-month, faith-based, work therapy, drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.

“We have been running a deficit throughout the winter,” Irvine said of the ARC program. “We get no federal, state, city or other funding for the program. We’ve needed to borrow money from the Salvation Army headquarters. This store is a rejuvenation of the project.”

“We’re totally dependent on these stores,” he continued. “It also gives us an opportunity for certain individuals in the program to get job training. That’s the great thing about our program: it is real-world therapy.”

This location will become the 11th installation for the Salvation Army’s Brooklyn/Staten Island ARC area command.

“The store will provide up to 10 employment positions for local residents,” Irvine said. “We hope to open the store June 19. There will be door prizes and giveaways celebrating the grand opening.”

“We have already noticed that it is a very family-oriented area,” Irvine added. “We think that we will be a welcomed clothing store to the area. We look forward to being a part of the community.”

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Photos: Queens honors and remembers soldiers with Memorial Day parades


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Dominick Totino Photography/Gallery by Robert Pozarycki, Anthony Giudice, Liam La Guerre

Nearly a dozen Memorial Day parades were held in Queens over the weekend as the borough paid tribute to military men and women who protect the freedoms residents enjoy today.

Mayor Bill de Blasio marched in the Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, which began at 2 p.m. on Northern Boulevard and Jayson Avenue, alongside U.S. Representative Grace Meng, Borough President Melinda Katz, Public Advocate Letitia James, Councilmen Paul Vallone and Mark Weprin and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein.

Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Loree Sutton, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, served as the parade’s grand marshal. Sutton hailed Memorial Day as a sacred time.

“It is a day that we come together to commemorate and remember and to think about all that we share in this great country and to remind ourselves that the cost and price of freedom is never free,” Sutton said. “That we are so blessed to be in the land of the free because of the brave.”

Parades were held in Woodside/Sunnyside, Whitestone, Laurelton, Howard Beach, Glendale/Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village, Forest Hills, College Point and Woodhaven.

New military recruits, veterans in vintage cars, fire fighters, police officers, JROTC members, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and marching bands participated in the borough’s parades while parents and children donned red, white and blue and waved the stars and stripes from sidewalks.

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In Glendale, 104th Precinct looks to improve on crime drop


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Crime numbers continue to plummet in the 104th Precinct, but the command is looking to do even better.

Capt. Mark Wachter, the 104th Precinct’s commanding officer, came to the precinct’s Community Council meeting on Tuesday at The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale and reported a 26 percent reduction in overall crime in the past month. This included a significant downturn in domestic violence and felony assaults.

The precinct also experienced a 40 percent decrease in grand larcenies and stolen cars. Wachter credits crime prevention tactics, such as personalized home visits and spreading awareness about scams, with the large reduction.

In an effort to confront quality-of-life concerns, the 104th Precinct also held a successful undercover sting operation last Saturday to combat prostitution along Cypress Avenue and Starr Street on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border. According to Wachter, officers made six arrests and seized one vehicle for illicit activity.

“We put pressure on and basically make it go away,” he said. “We don’t want it to go somewhere else; we want it to go away.”

Despite these victories, burglaries remain an area of particular concern for the command. The Community Council’s Public Safety Committee and P.O. Eddie Collado of the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit delivered a video presentation and discussion on home burglary prevention.

“The burglar is an opportunist,” Collado said. According to police, perpetrators often gain access to homes through unlocked rear windows, doors and fire escapes.

Collado urged residents to secure windows and doors with the proper locks and volunteered to conduct personalized home safety surveys upon appointment. He also asked that residents register their valuable items such as electronics and bicycles with the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit. The items are marked with serial numbers that can potentially help identify and recover them if lost or stolen.

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

P.O. Sean Paul Hynes was honored as Cop of the Month for apprehending a suspect wanted for robbing a Boar’s Head delivery truck driver at gunpoint on April 21 on Woodward Avenue at Woodbine Street in Ridgewood.

According to Wachter, Hynes and his fellow officers from the 104th Precinct’s Anti-Crime Unit were able to track the suspect and his getaway vehicle through the use of undisclosed computer resources. Within minutes of the robbery, Hynes was able to track the vehicle to a specific location in Brooklyn.

A brief foot pursuit ensued, after which the male suspect and his weapon were taken into custody.

“It’s one less gun on the street, but we can never measure how many victims the gun could have taken out,” Wachter said.

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Middle Village dance studio hosts free performances


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theater

The Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theater (SLDT) – The Academy will be hosting the fifth-annual Free Sunday Arts Performances series in their Middle Village studio, located at 66-85 73rd Pl., in June.

During the Free Sunday Arts Performances, sponsored by Queens Council on the Arts, SLDT will showcase six emerging New York City choreographers and dance companies. The performances will be held on June 7 and 14 at 5 p.m. and are open to the general public.

Established in 2003, SLDT is a nonprofit organization that aims to offer professional dance instruction and arts education to a diverse income area that is lacking in arts, cultural and community activity.

SLDT – The Academy serves as a permanent home for the Salvatore LaRussa Dance Company, allowing it to better the artistic, creative and educational needs of the Queens and Brooklyn communities. The Academy is a long-term, innovative, exploratory learning center for children, parents and adults that will bring the joy of dance to the community.

The Academy teaches the art of ballet and modern dance. In addition, it fosters opportunities for active and healthier lifestyles by engaging the community with alternative recreational activities, such as creative movement classes for young children, as well as dance and theater classes for all ages.

All classes are taught by SLDT dance company members, as well as professionals from the New York City dance and theater communities.

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Your guide to Memorial Day parades and vigils in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

The sacrifices of American soldiers will be celebrated across Queens in the days to come at various Memorial Day parades and vigils.

Among the celebrations are the following events, scheduled to take place rain or shine:

Woodhaven
Residents of Woodhaven will hold an early tribute to America’s fallen troops with a ceremony on Thursday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. The vigil, sponsored by the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation, will take place at Forest Parkway Plaza, located at the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Forest Parkway.

The program includes patriotic music, a color guard, laying of wreaths and remarks from local elected officials and veterans.

College Point
The College Point Citizens for Memorial Day Inc. will begin their parade on at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 24, at the intersection of 28th Avenue and College Point Boulevard. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is set to appear along with other local officials, and veteran Louis A. DiAgostino will be honored as the grand marshal.

Marching bands, drill teams and dance groups will all be performing at the event, and military servicemen and women will march in the festivities. The College Point Citizens for Memorial Day are accepting donations to offset parade costs. For more information contact parade chairman Rev. Adam Crabtree at 718-640-8840.

Forest Hills
The Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade hosted by the American Legion and the Forest Hills Kiwanis Club will take place on Sunday at noon. The parade starts from Metropolitan and Ascan avenues and will head westward down Metropolitan Avenue to Trotting Course Lane. From there, the parade will turn right and stop at the landmarked Remsen Cemetery between Trotting Course Lane and Alderton Street.

This year’s grand marshal will be Roland Meier, president of the West Side Tennis Club. Members of ROTC, band, and local civic and children’s organizations such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will march in the parade. Organizers of the parade will hold a ceremony at Remsen Cemetery to honor veterans.

Maspeth
The United Veterans and Fraternal Organizations of Maspeth will honor the men and women of the U.S. armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice during their 31st Memorial Day Parade on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Grand marshals James Desio, retired US Army WWII veteran, and William Aronowicz, retired U.S. Marine Corp. WWII veteran, will lead the procession, beginning at Walter A. Garlinge Memorial Park, located at 72nd Street and Grand Avenue. At 2 p.m., there will be a memorial service for the deceased veterans of WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Middle Village
The St. Margaret Catholic War Veterans Post 1172 will honor those who died for the nation on Monday, May 25, with a special Mass at 9:30 a.m. at St. Margaret Church, located at the corner of Juniper Valley Road and 80th Street.

Then, at 11 a.m., post members and residents will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Middle Village Veterans Triangle, located at the corner of Gray and 77th streets near 66th Road. The ceremony will include prayers, a military salute and the playing of taps.

Glendale/Ridgewood
The Allied Veterans Memorial Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale, a committee made up of delegates from six veteran organizations, will honor the more than 1.14 million men and women of the U.S. armed forces who died in defense of the country during the 77th Memorial Day parade Monday.

At 11 a.m., the parade will begin at the Glendale War Memorial, located at Myrtle and Cooper Avenues, with a short memorial service to honor the war dead of Glendale. They will then march down Myrtle Avenue westbound to the Ridgewood War Memorial, located at Myrtle and Cypress Avenues, where there will be another short memorial service to honor the war dead of Ridgewood.

Howard Beach
The Howard Beach Memorial Day Parade will honor Vietnam War veterans, including the Howard Beach residents lost at war since the neighborhood’s founding.

There will be a memorial day Mass before the parade at Our Lady of Grace at 101st Street on Monday at 9:30 a.m. At 10:15 a.m., there will be a brief ceremony on top of Hawtree-Ramblersville Bridge and the parade will officially commence at Coleman’s Square at 11 a.m. The parade will stop at the Vietnam War Memorial, located at 99th Street and 157th Avenue and then head to the World War II Memorial at Assembly of God Church at 158-31 99th St. They will then march to St. Barnabas Church at 159-19 58th St. before marching back to Coleman Square.

Laurelton
The Laurelton Lions Club will present the 26th Annual Laurelton Memorial Day Parade, featuring The Queens Area Pathfinders Marching Band and The Black and Gold Marching Elite Band, on Monday starting at 9 a.m. The parade begins at Francis Lewis and Merrick boulevards, and will end at the Veterans Memorial Triangle at 225th Street and North Conduit Avenue.

Sponsors for this year’s parade include the Laurelton Lions Club, American Legion Benjamin Moore Post 1946, Garden Club of Laurelton, Federated Blocks of Laurelton and Concerned Citizens of Laurelton in Conjunction with Col. Edward O. Gourdin VFW POST 5298.

Whitestone
The Whitestone Memorial Day Parade will honor veterans and public servants from the community on Monday, May 25. The event will begin at noon at Whitestone Memorial Park at 149th Street and 15th Drive with a ceremony. Following the ceremony, the parade will commence and follow a rectangular route around the neighborhood back to Whitestone Memorial Park. Jim Dunn, a veteran from The American Legion in Whitestone, will serve as the grand marshal.

The parade will feature classic cars, elected officials, children from local sports leagues, and it will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of Whitestone’s Engine 295/Ladder 144 of the FDNY. For additional, information or to volunteer call Devon O’Connor, parade chairman, at 718-757-8546.

Woodside/Sunnyside
This year the St. Sebastian’s War Veterans will host the Woodside Memorial Day Parade to honor fellow veterans on Monday starting at 11 a.m. Parade participants will get together at the St. Sebastian’s School yard located at the corner of Woodside Avenue and 57th Street.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and John V. Daniels Jr. Post No 2813 in Sunnyside will host a Memorial Day event to honor veterans on Monday at 11 a.m. The event will be held at John Vincent Daniels Square, located on Roosevelt Avenue and 52nd Street. During the ceremony, a wreath will be placed at the flagpole in the middle of the park.

Little Neck/Douglaston
This year’s Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. Monday, pays special tribute to Vietnam War veterans. Dr. Loree Sutton, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, will serve as grand marshal of the march sponsored by the Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Association.

The march begins in Great Neck from the corner of Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard, then proceeds west on the boulevard to the yard of St. Anastasia’s Church, located near Northern Boulevard and 245th Street.

CB 5 committee considers stricter liquor license rules


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Bar and club owners seeking liquor licenses in Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village may soon need to show Community Board 5 more than just their business credentials.

Members of the Community Board 5 (CB 5) Public Safety Committee met Monday and considered a proposal that would require new applicants to complete a written form stating their intentions with regard to their businesses.

Christina Wilkinson, an active member of the COMET (Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together) and the Juniper Park Civic (JPCA) associations, proposed the idea to the committee. This measure was introduced in response to the recent influx of bars, pubs and nightspots to Ridgewood and Bushwick.

According to Wilkinson, community boards 1 and 4 in Brooklyn have already adopted this practice in response to the rapid growth and popularity of their respective neighborhoods.

“At one point, Greenpoint was in the same boat that we’re in. They didn’t think it was going to be all that bad, and it got bad,” Wilkinson said. “I think we should be better prepared. Let’s learn from them. It’s working for them.”

Public Safety Committee Chair Robert Holden expressed support for the idea and asked District Manager Gary Giordano to discuss the issue with the Executive Committee. “We’re just trying to get more information,” he explained.

Newly appointed board member Alex Maureau agreed. “It’s also a good way for the local owners to get to know us, and vice versa,” he said.

Giordano voiced support for a shorter version of the written form. “I think it has a lot of merit,” he said. “We could certainly work out something.”

According to Giordano, the board can grant recommendations for or against liquor licenses. The board also notifies the 104th Precinct and Lt. George Hellmer, the precinct’s special operations coordinator, of establishments with a prior history of problems. The precinct, in turn, will notify the board of any prior arrests, summonses or felonies committed at establishments seeking licensing.

“I never want to be in a position to be okaying liquor licenses,” Giordano said. “In some cases, we have taken votes at community board meetings related to certain establishments that have been a problem. But we comment to the negative and I would prefer it that way.”

Under the current policy, prospective bar owners seeking liquor licenses must notify CB 5 30 days prior to applying for licensing from the State Liquor Authority.

Holden proposed that the extra form, if approved of by the Executive Board, be made available to bar owners as a PDF document on the board’s website. The agreement would be signed and submitted to the community board prior to seeking State Liquor Authority licensing.

P.O. Charles Sadler of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit explained that he has adopted a “proactive instead of reactive” approach to new nightlife in the area. He said that he had personally visited five of Ridgewood’s newest bars, including The Monk and Onderdonk and Sons, in an effort to reach out to local bar owners.

Owners of each of the five establishments met with Sadler and other officers at a recent nightlife meeting hosted by the precinct. According to Sadler, all of the new bar owners and managers were made aware of the precinct’s regulations and guidelines, and all pledged respect and compliance.

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Flyers impress at Astoria Park meet


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy St. Margaret's/Resurrection Flyers.

The St. Margaret’s/Resurrection Flyers brought home five gold medals in the Ray Suarez Memorial Meet at Astoria Park last weekend.

Novice boy Andrew Kelly won the gold in the 400-meter run, while novice girl Olaia Higgins took the gold for the 100-meter run. Winning gold medals for the running long jump were bantam girl Mackenize Collin, senior girl Ainara Higgins and senior boy Luc Cathersal.

The silver medal winners included bantam boy Ricky Hubert for his performance in the 400-meter run and novice boy Josiah Boulet for the 100-meter run. For the 800-meter run, the Hurson sisters, Rebecca and Bryanna, brought home silver.

Other silver medal recipients were junior girls Nina Allen, Lili Cathersal, Claire Rooney and Shauna Hurson for the 800-meter relay race. The Flyers’ last silver medal winner was senior boy Brian Kelly for the running long jump.

Novice girl Aileen Mitritonda and novice boy Unai Higgins earned the bronze medal in the 400-meter run. Caira Roche also won the bronze for her performance in the 800-meter run.

The Flyers other medal recipients were; bantam girl Emily Browne for the 400-meter run and junior boy Owen Kelly for the 800-meter run. Receiving medals for the 100-meter run were bantam girl Athalia Mulligan and senior boy Joshua Boulet.

Novice girls Nora Olmo and Kate Lynagh put in great efforts in the 100-meter run. Other flyers who gave a tremendous effort were bantam boy Shane Rooney in the 400-meter run, junior boy Joseph Browne in the 800-meter run and junior boy John Boger for the running long jump.

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Middle Village block renamed for fallen sanitation worker


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley's office.

A Department of Sanitation worker from Middle Village killed in a tragic accident last year will be remembered forever on the block where he grew up.

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley helped family members, friends and former colleagues of the late Steven Frosch unveil on Sunday a street sign renaming the block of 67th Drive and 78th Street as “Steven Frosch Way.”

Frosch, 43, died in June after being fatally struck by a street sweeper while performing maintenance work at the DSNY’s Maspeth garage. He spent 15 years with the agency after serving for four years as an NYPD officer and briefly as a member of the FDNY.

“Steven dedicated his life to helping others, even before he became a uniformed serviceman. Those who were close to him tell stories of his selfless ways, always encouraging those around him to be their best,” Crowley said. “People like Steven Frosch are few and far between, and will always live on in the hearts of those they touched. I’m proud of this street renaming and thank my colleagues and everyone who helped make this possible.”

Frosch is survived by his wife, Bina, their four children Stevie, Charlize, Frederica and Jesse, and his brother Robert.

“We always had a group and endless laughs,” said Frosch’s close friend, Frank Ciccione, to the group of over 100 who were at the unveiling. “The city just recognized what we already knew—that this is Steve’s block.”

Last September, Greg Heihs, a friend of Frosch, came to Crowley’s office to request the co-naming. After a push from her office, the community and Frosch’s DSNY family, the name change request was submitted in November and approved by a City Council vote in January.

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Film to feature Middle Village


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy David Lee Madison

Middle Village native and acclaimed filmmaker David Lee Madison is returning to his roots to shoot his next film named for the neighborhood where he grew up.

Madison currently lives in Milford, Pennsylvania, but he spent the first 27 years of his life in Middle Village. He attended St. Margaret’s School, P.S. 49 and I.S. 119, and is a graduate of Queens College.

Over the years, he has seen his hometown transition and change, giving him an insider’s perspective of the area, both past and present.

“We plan on showcasing the most important aspect of Middle Village, its residents,” Madison said of the film. “We will also bring the viewer back to some great nostalgic places of the past. We hope to make a film that is informative, smart, nostalgic and funny.”

Growing up in Middle Village left a long-lasting impression on Madison, and he intends on sharing what he loves about his hometown in this film, which he described as having “elements of a documentary film with a staged narrative to set some of our talking points.”

“Middle Village had such a positive impact on the person I grew up to be,” he said. “The place was so unique to any other place I have been, I feel this story should be told. My favorite memories of growing up in Middle Village are playing ball at the schoolyard, riding my bike in the park and hanging out with my wonderful group of friends.”

“I don’t think that many people realize that Middle Village, which is just a handful of miles away from the biggest city in the world, was and still is just a small town,” Madison continued. “Much like you would find in the middle of America.”

Madison and his crew have already begun filming scenes for the movie, visiting staples of the Middle Village community such as London Lennie’s restaurant on Woodhaven Boulevard, Juniper Valley Park, Middle Village Playground and areas of Metropolitan Avenue.

“We plan on filming at several other locations throughout Middle Village over the next two months,” Madison said.

Filmmaking has been a major part of Madison’s life since his early childhood.

“I developed a love for film as a very young kid,” Madison said. “When I was about 8 years old I remember seeing “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time. It had such a visceral impact on me, I knew right away I wanted to be a filmmaker.”

This love of filmmaking led Madison to create some great horror films, including his last film, “Mr. Hush,” a throwback to classic slasher films. This movie about Middle Village will be a drastic change from Madison’s usual work.

“As a filmmaker, you like to explore different things,” he explained. “I have a great passion for my old neighborhood, and feel we can tell a story that will connect to people throughout the country. My last film, ‘Mr. Hush,’ had become a bit of a cult classic in the horror genre; it was even placed in The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library to be preserved forever. I just wanted to take a step back from my beloved genre for a moment.”

With no set release date yet for “Middle Village,” Madison expects the film to come out right before Christmas.

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Middle Village bank robber linked to four other local heists since 2012


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

photo courtesy of NYPD

The crook who successfully swiped cash from a Middle Village bank on Wednesday afternoon is also responsible for four heists in Brooklyn and Queens dating back to 2012, according to police.

Authorities said the perpetrator grabbed an unknown amount of cash from the Cross County Savings Bank at 80-10 Eliot Ave. at about 3:22 p.m. on Wednesday.

The bandit — described as a white male between 38 and 48 years old, standing between 5 feet 6 and 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing between 280 and 300 pounds — approached a teller and demanded money, according to police. After being provided with cash, he fled in an unknown direction.

Officers from the 104th Precinct responded to the scene; there were no injuries.

Detectives determined the crook held up another bank — the Amalgamated Bank at 69-73 Grand Ave. in Maspeth — three separate times in the last three years.

The bandit reportedly first visited the branch on Aug. 4, 2012, and, while armed with a weapon, stolen a unknown amount of cash. He returned to the location unarmed twice more — on May 4, 2013, and Oct. 18, 2014 — and swiped various amounts of currency.

Police also linked the bandit to the July 19, 2013, armed robbery of a Sovereign Bank located at 4823 13th Ave. in Brooklyn.

Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Middle Village coyote caught


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD104Pct

Updated Wednesday, April 29, 12:36 p.m.

The wily coyote that ran amok through Middle Village Monday morning was safely caught Tuesday night, police announced.

The 104th Precinct posted a photo on its Twitter account at about 8:40 p.m. of the wild animal locked inside of a crate. The critter—which New York City Animal Care and Control (AC&C) later identified as a 4-year-old female—was caught in the area of Caldwell Avenue and 77th Place.

“He [sic] might have gotten away once but not today,” Capt. Mark Wachter, 104th Precinct commanding officer, said in the tweet Tuesday night.

Neighbors and police discovered the coyote sleeping in the front yard of a home on 71st Street across from Juniper Valley Park at about 10:30 a.m. Monday. When first responders moved in to tranquilize and trap the beast, the coyote darted off into the park and surrounding streets.

Police lost track of the coyote, which had been last seen Monday afternoon in the area of Juniper Boulevard South and 80th Street.

Officers and animal care experts were called to the 77th Place home at about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday night after a resident spotted the coyote in her backyard. The animal was successfully tranquilized, trapped and transferred into the custody of New York City Animal Care and Control for evaluation; the AC&C indicated the coyote has since been fitted with a tracking microchip.

Once deemed healthy, the coyote is expected to be released into the wild at a location far from the city.

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