Tag Archives: Amazon

Shipping service center affiliated with Amazon moving to Ridgewood

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of PropertyShark/Greiner Maltz

A major shipping provider is moving to Ridgewood as it expands its space in the borough.

LaserShip, a shipping service that distributes products for companies including Amazon, Staples and Office Depot, has agreed to leave their current location in Long Island City, and move into the larger warehouse at 16-70 Weirfield St., between Cypress and Wyckoff avenues, according to The Real Deal.

The Commercial Observer reported that the distribution company based out of Virginia has signed a 10-year lease to use the one-story, 40,800-square-foot warehouse in Ridgewood, giving it more than triple the space they had at the 36-01 47th Ave. location, which is a 13,000-square-foot warehouse.

The Ridgewood location is an ideal space for the distribution center, as it will place LaserShip between Brooklyn and Queens.

When contacted, LaserShip declined to comment.


Queens startup offers independent musicians feedback from public

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Audiokite


Think music startups and you don’t usually think Queens. However, for Long Island City resident Alex Jae Mitchell, basing his business in Queens was a no-brainer.

“The low rent costs help me put everything I have into my business,” said Mitchell, 24, who moved here seven years ago from Washington, D.C.

That business is a website called Audiokite.com, a startup offering independent musicians feedback on their songs from the public. He founded the website six months ago and a month later launched out of a co-working space, Create NY Space.

Alex Mitchell Audiokite Headshot

Alex Jae Mitchell

“The way the music industry works, feedback comes down to being the opinion of the taste-makers, not what the public wants,” Mitchell said.

Audiokite uses Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service to bring independent musicians’ works to a section of the public for a review. The reviewers listen to the songs and then answer a questionnaire that is customized according to the needs of the musician. Their feedback helps musicians get a better idea of how their audience reacts to a song.

The song is evaluated on the basis of vocals, lyrics, beat, song structure and even the name of the song and the band name. Reviewers answer questions such as “How likely are you to stream this song?” and “How likely are you to attend a live show of the artist if they were playing in your area?”

“This is some measure of objectivity in a subjective field,” said Mitchell. “We are not saying a song is good or bad.”

Audiokite Homepage 2

If a song does exceptionally well among the reviewers, then Audiokite, for no extra charge, will put the artist in touch with people in the industry who can offer them better opportunities.

“I have seen how difficult and unfair the industry is toward independent artists,” Mitchell said. He started his artistic career as an electric violinist and now works as an audio producer. “There is a huge base of talent and the artists are not being developed.”

Mitchell said that reaching out to audiences can be prohibitively expensive for independent musicians, but Audiokite makes it possible for them to get feedback at a far cheaper rate.

Being in Queens, instead of Brooklyn or downtown Manhattan, means he can keep costs low and “offer more value at lower prices to the musicians,” he said.“It helps us be fair to artists, which is important in a business like this.”



Hamilton Beach resident writes memoir about the neighborhood

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

During the 1960s and ’70s, Hamilton Beach was a close-knit community that fostered lifelong friendships, as shown by a new memoir.

Hamilton Beach resident Theresa A. Tomeo published a memoir of her childhood days growing up in the neighborhood. The small community comes alive in Tomeo’s book, “The Screen House Kids.”

Tomeo published the book in late June using Amazon’s free publishing tool, CreateSpace. The story follows a group of girls, the screen house kids, growing up in Hamilton Beach during the 1960s. Tomeo spent 10 years writing the book and up until publication, she was adding information into the book. The most significant recent event is Superstorm Sandy, which flooded and destroyed a good part of the neighborhood.

“The whole concept of this book is about this group of friends who would do anything together,” said Tomeo, who is now in her 50s, as her daughter Arlene sat by her. “I wanted people to know that even in this day and age that strong friendships are still possible but you have to work hard towards it.”

The self-published, 250-page book, reads like two grandmothers reminiscing about the past and Tomeo said that is how the idea for the workdeveloped. Tomeo’s daughter, Arlene Arebalo, helped her edit the book and get it published.

“We went through so many revisions that I can’t even read the book anymore,” Arebalo said.

In one part, Tomeo recounts how her group of friends, who she calls the LULAS (Love U Like A Sister), go out on the water one night.

One night they were all hanging out at John’s house. They decided to go out on his boat. While they were out there cruising around the bay they decided to try night water skiing! First Ronny, then Terry! Those idiots were water skiing all around the parameter of Charles Park, IN THE DARK.

That was probably the craziest thing that Terry ever did, but Laurie took the cake for being wild.

In another section, Tomeo writes about her 50th birthday and the “trailer trash” theme. One of the party guests brings a trailer trash doll that is pregnant and when you pull the doll’s chord, it says “Get me another beer, I’m drinking for two.”



Astoria first-grader wins national writing contest

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of The Be Kind People Project

One Astoria first-grader has a prize-winning way with words.

Isabella Taxilaga, a student at P.S. 122 Mamie Fay has been named the $1,000 grand prize winner of the nonprofit The Be Kind People Project’s national student writing contest.

The “Kindness is the Key to Unlocking Good Character” competition was open to public, private and home-school kindergarten through eighth-grade students across the United States. Each student was asked to write an essay on how deciding to be kind can help them develop good character and make a positive impact on classmates, family, friends and the whole community.

“Our ultimate goal is to ensure that kindness becomes a vital and ongoing part of students’ lives,” said Lisa Hartsock, CEO of The Be Kind People Project. “The national writing contest provides a unique opportunity for students to apply what they are learning in language arts while demonstrating their commitment to kindness.”

Isabella’s essay, called “Kindness Is…,” included a colorful drawing of two girls smiling with a large red heart between them. She ends her essay with“Kindness makes the world a better place. Kindess is…everything!”

Along with taking home the grand prize, the Isabella ’s essay was also a winning entry in the first-grade category of the contest. Isabella and her teacher, Stephanie Lupoli received Amazon gift cards and P.S. 122 will get a personalized congratulatory Be Kind Pledge banner for the school office.

Isabella’s classmates will also have the chance to participate in an online chat with members of the young urban dance performance group called The Be Kind Crew.

“Students from Sacramento to Delaware participated in this year’s contest, which is part of a comprehensive program to help young people acquire the character skills they need to be respectful, positive and encouraging to others,” Hartsock said. “We believe that it’s essential to take every opportunity to acknowledge and reward acts of kindness whenever they occur.”

To read Isabella’s essay and other winning entries, click here.



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of rain. High of 68. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Tuesday night: Overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 57. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 50% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible.

EVENT of the DAY: Trifecta: Curators’ Choice

This is the last week to see the exhibit Trifecta: Curators’ Choice at the Queens College Art Center. The show is a tribute to the school’s 75th anniversary and features a contemporary viewing of three of the 475 artists presented on campus in the last 25 years. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

State’s top judge christens new CUNY law school building in Long Island City

The state’s top judge has delivered his ruling: CUNY School of Law’s new location in Queens is a boon for the judicial system. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens man placed on no-fly list, stranded for 22 days in Europe

A local man was finally back in New York on Monday night, and remained confused about why he was forbidden from flying home from Europe for more than three weeks. Read more: CBS New York

St. John’s dean burned documents at Queens home as officials raided her office: former student

A former St. John’s University scholarship student testified Monday that disgraced dean Cecilia Chang was burning documents in the fireplace of her Queens home on the day school officials searched her office. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens community urges peace in wake of local terror arrest

Just days after a man from Bangladesh was arrested on terror charges, members of the city’s Bangladeshi community gathered for a rally Sunday calling for peace. Read more: NY1

Obama, Romney pumped for dash to the finish

Their debates now history, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney on Tuesday open a two-week sprint to Election Day powered by adrenaline, a boatload of campaign cash and a determination to reach Nov. 6 with no would-have, should-have regrets in their neck-and-neck fight to the finish. Read more: AP

Apple set to unwrap mini-iPad to take on Amazon, Google

Apple Inc is expected to make its biggest product move on Tuesday since debuting the iPad two years ago, launching a smaller, cheaper tablet into a market staked out by Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc. Read more: Reuters