Tag Archives: Bayside

Star of Queens: Dr. Nicholas Rallis, volunteer, Free to Smile Foundation


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

_1Nicholas Rallis

BACKGROUND: Born in Greece and raised in Brooklyn, Dr. Nicholas Rallis, 51, moved to Queens in 1988 and began his dental practice in Bayside in 1990. He knew that he wanted to be a dentist since high school as he sees this profession as the only one in which a doctor “can see the result of your handwork, what you build for people, the before and after,” he said. “You can be a doctor and an artist at the same time.” He likes the fact that he gets to interact with his patients and feel the joy they express after a dental makeover.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Rallis’ friend is involved with the Free to Smile Foundation, an organization that offers free dental and surgical care to the underprivileged around the world. Last year, the foundation invited him to Guatemala to help treat people with dental emergencies. It was a shock, seeing how people live in mud huts with no roofs over their heads. He was touched by the experience, and this year, he went again to Guatemala, taking two assistants from his private practice with him. He led the team of 22 dentists, nurses, anesthesiologists and surgeons in their work in the city of Santiago Atitlan. He stayed there for nine days in the first week of September. The team treated about 260 patients and conducted 48 surgeries. They treated problems such as tooth pain, dental abscesses, cleft palates and cleft lips. These are not just cosmetic problems, according to Rallis. “Kids [with cleft palates or cleft lips] are usually undernourished because they cannot eat and cannot be fed even through a bottle as they don’t have the ability to create suction with their tongue,” said Rallis. “It is a challenge to make them get the nutrition necessary to make it possible for them to undergo surgery.” The organization works in other countries such as Tibet, Niger, Cambodia and Colombia, and Rallis is eager to volunteer again next year. “You see the need that is there, you can’t really stop going,” he said.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “My family is my greatest achievement,” said Rallis. “I have a beautiful family, three wonderful children and a great wife.” He adds, “I am also the clinical instructor of the Mouth Rehabilitation Clinic at New York University. It is a prestigious position. It is a four-year continuous education course where we teach dentists, not students, from all disciplines of dentistry how to incorporate the various disciplines and become better clinicians. It is really fulfilling.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Both of them [family and position at NYU],” he laughs. “Things that you are good at are the things you have to work on the most, because you always want to strive to become better.”

INSPIRATION: “I had a mentor in dentistry who passed away,” said Rallis. “His name was Dr. Dan Ianniello. I just like the way he interacted with people and strive to be better at his work. He was very humble. I try the best I can [to emulate him].”

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Stolen Yorkshire Terrier reunited with Bayside owners


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo by Danny Morales

Police reunited Nutty the Yorkshire Terrier with his Bayside owners after the dog was stolen along with the owners’ car.

“We’re so relieved to have him back with us,” said Danny Morales, the dog’s owner. “I just can’t believe that he was returned to us totally unharmed, too.”

On Tuesday, Morales drove with Nutty in his dark blue Honda Accord to his job on Horace Harding Expressway and 221st Street. He left Nutty in the car with the engine on while he went in to pick up his pay at the Chinese restaurant where he works.

When he returned, the car, along with Nutty, was gone.

“It was like a perfect getaway too because the Long Island Expressway is right there and you just hop right on it,” Morales said on Friday.

Morales and his girlfriend Diana Oh spread flyers with a $1,000 reward, and even created a Facebook page to alert people in the neighborhood.

But the search ended on Saturday when police reunited the owners with their dog at the 113th Precinct. The Bayside couple discovered that Nutty had been on a crime adventure over the last few days.

Morales said he received a phone called at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning from a woman claiming to be the dognapper’s mother.

“This woman called me and you could tell she was in tears and she said that her son had taken Nutty,” Morales said. “She kept apologizing and said her son was troubled.”

The mother told Morales that her son, a 19-year-old, had stolen several cars recently.

Police couldn’t be reached for comment, but Morales said that the dog was found in the driver’s seat of another stolen car. The driver, the 19-year-old son, was arrested along with his alleged girlfriend. Authorities found Morales’ identification card and credit cards in the girlfriend’s wallet.

“That’s when the cops realized that Nutty wasn’t just some dog,” he said. “It turns out that he took Nutty with him on all these car thefts.”

Morales and Oh celebrated on Saturday with family and friends. They took the dog to the veterinarian, who found nothing wrong with Nutty.

“He’s acting a little weird but then again, he’s always been an oddball,” Morales said.

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Suspect wanted in connection to 21 Queens, Bronx commercial break-ins


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

Police are looking for a man wanted in connection with a string of citywide commercial burglaries.

In a total of 21 incidents, starting in June in Rosedale and most recently occurring on Oct. 20 in the Bronx, at least one suspect broke into commercial establishments via the roof, side or rear doors, or ventilation ducts while the business were closed, according authorities. Money from the cash register and broken-into ATMs, as well as miscellaneous items, such as cigarettes, were taken during the thefts.

In Queens, the burglaries have occurred in Laurelton, Broad Channel, Jamaica, Astoria, Queens Village, Bayside, Hollis, Glen Oaks, College Point, Richmond Hill and Flushing. The other break-ins all happened in the Bronx.

The NYPD has released surveillance photos of the male suspect wanted in an incident on Sept. 12 in Richmond Hill. During this burglary, at about 8 p.m. the suspect entered 88-24 Van Wyck Expressway via the roof, damaged the security system but did not remove any property, police said.

Anyone with information 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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Bayside residents searching for missing dog taken in car theft


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo by Danny Morales

Two Bayside residents are scrambling to find their beloved Yorkie after a thief stole their car with Nutty the dog inside of it.

“I don’t care about the car. We’re just hoping that he didn’t just abandon the car with the dog stuck in it or something,” said Danny Morales, Nutty’s owner. “I just want my dog back. That’s it. We don’t care about anything else. No questions asked.”

Morales is offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who returns Nutty, a brown Yorkshire Terrier. Anyone with information can call Morales at (917) 942-0121 or (646) 201-3882.

On Tuesday, Morales drove with Nutty in his dark blue Honda Accord to his job on Horace Harding Expressway and 221st Street. He decided to leave Nutty in the car with the engine on for just a second while he went in to pick up his pay at the Chinese restaurant where he works.

“And when I went outside my car wasn’t there,” Morales recalled. “It was like a perfect getaway too because the Long Island Expressway is right there and you just hop right on it.”

Nutty_2

Danny Morales’ stolen Honda Accord.

Morales, along with his girlfriend Diana Oh,  have spent the past few days spreading flyers in the Bayside area and even Little Neck and Douglaston.

They’ve created a Facebook page Bring Nutty Home so that friends can spread the word. The incident was reported to the police but Morales believes that distributing fliers and using social media will be the fastest way to be reunited with Nutty.

“He’s so small and innocent, it sucks,” Morales said. “I’ve lived here for 30 years and everyone knows me here, so I can’t believe this happened.”

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Nick Cannon visits Bayside children’s hospital for fundraiser


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Eric Jankiewicz

Nick Cannon is giving St. Mary’s Hospital a dose of talent.

The comedian and host of “America’s Got Talent” recently became a board member of the children’s hospital and on Thursday he stopped by the Bayside facility to kick off a fundraiser.

“I visited a few years ago and hanging out with the kids really touched me,” he said, speaking at St. Mary’s. “Now I’m officially Dr. Cannon on the board.”

After that visit, he decided to join the board to help raise money for the thousands of severely disabled children that the hospital serves. The event,  A Tribute to Nick Cannon. started in the hospital on Thursday morning with guest musical performances by finalists from “America’s Got Talent” — Quintavious Johnson and Sons of Seredip. Miss. USA 2014 Nia Sanchez also visited during the event. The event will continue into the evening when Cannon and the other performers will be in Times Square with the children for a performance.

“I’m taking over Times Square,” he said, harkening back to “The Nick Cannon Show” where Cannon “takes over” various things like family or the military to make things better or set them right. In one episode, Cannon even takes over a hospital.

The hospital’s children sat in the lobby as various performers sang to the children about being comfortable with yourself even if you’re not perfect and other themes that resonated with the children.

The acoustic guitar-wielding duo Alternate Routes also performed for the children. Cannon introduced all of the groups and singers.

“The obstacles [the kids] had to overcome makes me feel like my problems are so small,” Cannon said. “The history of this place really drew me in.”

The hospital, which opened in 1870, relies on fundraisers for a large part of their funds, according to the hospital’s spokeswoman Maxine Mitchell. The staff are constantly treating the patients with various forms of physical therapy and musical therapy. But since Medicaid, the insurance most of the kids have, doesn’t cover such treatment, they depend on philanthropists and fundraisers to keep these programs running.

“A lot of our programs are strictly funded through event’s like today’s,” Mitchell said. “We’re very lucky to have someone like Nick Cannon join our board.”

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Bayside could be site of new homeless shelter


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Updated Thursday, Oct.23

The Department of Homeless Services is considering putting an emergency homeless shelter in Bayside, but before plans are even set, there is already opposition.

There are currently no concrete details in place, and the agency said it hasn’t specified where in Bayside such a shelter would go. But they said that “at this time” there are currently no plans for a shelter in Bayside.

The spokesman added, “However, as the agency sheltering New York’s most vulnerable, it is our hope that communities across the city can find compassion to help and embrace these New Yorkers as they are rebuild their lives so they can soon contribute to a stronger New York from which we can all benefit.”

After hearing about the potential shelter, Councilman Paul Vallone voiced his disapproval.

“Of all the places to target for an emergency homeless shelter, Bayside, one of the most residential neighborhoods in New York City with an extreme lack of public transportation options, is not even remotely appropriate,” he said.

Vallone wrote a letter to the Department of Homeless Services in an attempt to stop the shelter before the city makes a final decision.

“As we’ve seen time and time again, a lack of community involvement, input or dialogue with civic leaders and not offering alternative sites clearly shows a complete disregard for the effect on our community,” Vallone said. “So to make it very clear, I am against this and our community is against this, and we will not sit idly by while the DHS makes their determination.”

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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

IDENTIFY

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Northern Boulevard at Bell Boulevard in Bayside 

IDENTIFY-624x511

Influx of new commercial centers arriving in Bayside


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Three new commercial buildings are coming to a section of Northern Boulevard in Bayside, bringing an influx of retail space to the neighborhood strip.

Jeewha Kim, president of 211 St. LLC, filed permits with the Buildings Department on Friday for a new three-story commercial center at 211-02 Northern Blvd.

The new building will have 19,993 square feet of space with 66 parking spaces when completed, according to city filings.

About a block away from that development site, permits were issued last year for a two-story commercial plaza at 212-14 Northern Blvd., and renderings have been posted on the construction site. However, a partial stop work order exists on the property.

This building, designed by Victor K. Han Architect, will have 12,030 square feet of space and 40 parking spaces, including some underground.

On-site poster

On-site poster

Also, 209 Northern Property LLC has almost completed its two-story commercial building at 209-35 Northern Blvd.

That development will have 24,865 square feet and 84 spaces for parking, according to city records.

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Group exhibition ‘Cultural Canopies’ to open at Courier/Mittman Gallery


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Queens Courier Staff

The borough’s diversity is being honored in a new photography exhibition coming to Bayside.

“Cultural Canopies,” curated by Vida Sabbaghi, will be opening Oct. 9 at the Courier/Mittman Gallery, located at 38-15 Bell Blvd.

The exhibition, inspired by Steven Hoelderich’s photography book “Cultural Canopies of Queens,” features images that display characterizations of Queens, including store canopies in different languages and in an array of colors. The photos also show the diverse stores found in the borough. Six photos from Hoelderich’s book are part of the exhibition.

Along with showing the urban landscape of Queens, organizers also invited photographers to exhibit photographs from throughout the tri-state area that could apply to all New Yorkers. For example, photographer Norma Colon took a photo of a person walking a dog in Brooklyn, looking to appeal to dog owners all throughout the city.

DSC_0776

The contributing artists to the exhibition are Steven Hoelderich, Patricia Samuel, Leah Thornton, Norma Colon, Jason Mangual, Maeen Saleh and Linda Allen.

As a way to interact readers with the exhibition, there will be a photo contest with a prize of dinner for two provided by The Queens Courier.

To participate in the contest, submit a community-inspired photo with a description of no more than 50 words to info@copenyc.org. The deadline for submission is Oct. 31.

The opening reception for “Cultural Canopies” will take place Oct. 9 from 5 to 7 p.m.

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Flushing, Bayside schools bag Blue Ribbon


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Title

The National Blue Ribbon Schools program, run by the U.S. Department of Education, has awarded the coveted Blue Ribbon school status to two schools in Queens — PS 205 Alexander Graham Bell School in Bayside and Queens College School for Math, Science and Technology in Flushing. Both of them are winners among public schools in the Exemplary High Performing Schools category.

Only 337 schools across the country were awarded a Blue Ribbon this year. This status is designated “based on the school’s overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups,” according to the Department of Education’s official website. Both the Queens schools won because of their academic excellence.

The winning schools are given a plaque and flag as recognition of their National Blue Ribbon School status. The recognition ceremony honoring 287 public schools and 50 private schools will take place on Nov. 10 and 11 in Washington D.C.

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Bayside resident’s podcast reaches thousands of Americans


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Coming to you live from Bayside are the guys from Queens.

Andrew Zarian, a lifelong Bayside resident, created and produces the Guys From Queens Network, a live podcast network that hosts 15 different shows.

“I still get emails from people in places like Minnesota telling me that they listen to my show because they’re from Queens,” Zarian said. “And that makes sense because if you or your parents came from another country, chances are you came through Queens and then went to other parts of the country.”

The most watched and downloaded show that Zarian produces is “What The Tech,” hosted by Paul Thurott. The show brings in about 30,000 live views and downloads a week.

“What The Tech,” like many of the other shows hosted by the GFQ Network, considers various issues in one-hour segments. The cameras live-recording are trained on the hosts throughout the show, switching intermittently to either a guest or a co-host.

Other shows tackle male-centric issues like baldness, comic books and pro wrestling, giving viewers the warm feeling that they’re watching a blend of “The Howard Stern Show” and “The Man Show.”

While Zarian still prefers live recordings, the podcast has transformed into an online network that brings in enough ad revenue to allow him to pay a dozen hosts, two producers, a full-time editor and a digital marketer, Zarian said.

Most of the shows are recorded and produced in Zarian’s home and on Thursdays he has a full house of radio hosts live recording their shows throughout the day.

“My house turns into a frat house on Thursday,” he said.

Zarian started the podcast with his friend Kunall Arora five years ago when Zarian lost his job. The two began live recording themselves online for a podcast that consisted of “observational humor and just yelling at each other,” Zarian said.

“I grew up listening to Howard Stern,” Zarian said. “This all started as a hobby but we’ve gotten much bigger since then and we have viewers all over the country. But we’re still the guys from Queens.”

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Track work to disrupt LIRR weekend service beginning Oct. 4


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Sara Touzard

Track work on the Long Island Rail Road will affect commuters along the Port Washington Branch on two consecutive weekends, Oct. 4-5 and Oct. 11-12.

On Saturday, Oct. 4, trains in both directions will run every hour instead of every half hour beginning at 12:26 p.m. and running through the rest of the day because of switch renewal work.

The next day, Sunday, Oct. 5, there will be no train service in either direction for a portion of the line from 3 p.m. until midnight.

Bayside will be the eastern terminus with shuttle buses operating in both directions between Bayside and Port Washington.

The next weekend, starting on Saturday, Oct. 11, one of the tracks in the Woodside area will be out of service for 27 hours. During this time, train service will be reduced to every hour.

Then on Sunday, Oct. 12, both tracks will be out of service from 3 p.m. to midnight.

Commuters going east will have to board Ronkonkoma Branch trains at Penn Station and transfer to buses at Woodside.

Going west, commuters at stations from Port Washington through Flushing-Main Street will need to board shuttle buses and transfer to trains at Woodside.

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Parks Department closes Oakland Lake Park for one year


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Edward Mertz

The Parks Department closed Oakland Lake Park in Bayside last week to begin a huge one-year construction project. The project will include the installation of stone swales (similar to bioswales), cleaning the drainage system and planting new native wetland plants, according to the Parks Department.

The $2.5 million project’s aim is to improve water quality by reducing the amount of sewage water seeping into the lake during rainstorms, but some park-goers believe that closing the whole section of the park is a drastic move and it will leave many in the community at a loss for recreational activities. 

Eugene Harris, a professor at Queensborough Community College, is skeptical about how necessary the changes are. Harris maintains a Queensborough nature blog devoted to the flora and fauna of the park.

The lake, which is part of the larger Alley Pond Park, borders the college and Harris said that many students and faculty visited the lake to escape the stress of academics. But since the city fenced off the 46-acre area until next fall, the public is restricted from using any part of it.

“It’s crazy that they’re caging in the entire lake,” Harris said. “I can’t see why they couldn’t do it in portions so that the public can at least enjoy part of it.”

A Parks Department spokeswoman said it is necessary to keep the park closed for public safety and so that contractors can work unhindered. The spokeswoman noted that closing a park for major construction like this is typical procedure.

The Parks Department announced the project in 2011.

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Bayside Medical Arts Center on sale for $9 million


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Massey Knakal 

The Bayside Medical Arts Center, anchored by a division of North Shore-LIJ for decades, has been listed for $9 million.

A member of the family firm C.B.R., LLC, which owns the building at 23-19 Bell Blvd. in Bay Terrace, plans to retire and another family member no longer wants to manage the building, according to Stephen Preuss of Massey Knakal, who is marketing the property.

Preuss added that the approximately 15,000-square-foot property would be a great investment as the offices are well-attended by many patients, the building is in great condition and the “tenancy is extremely strong.”

There are 12 units throughout the building and only one vacancy. There are also 20 parking spaces for patients and staff.

Other tenants in the building range from dentists to pediatricians and other medical specialists.

The building is located directly across from the Bay Terrace Shopping Center, which is home to large chains such as The Gap, Waldbaum’s, Barnes & Nobles, an AMC Loews Theater and Applebee’s, as well as local brands.

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BP Katz holds hearing on Bayside car dealership


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Updated Friday, Sept. 19

Members of the Bayside community urged Borough President Melinda Katz to uphold Community Board 11’s decision to remove a Star Toyota and Scion dealership from the area during a hearing Thursday morning.

“For 40 years, this business has been a bad neighbor,” a community board 11 member said. “There’s excess noise in the night and in the day. Unlicensed cars constantly speed through the neighborhood, blowing every stop sign.”

Katz didn’t make a decision during the meeting but she remained skeptical that the dealership was sincere about responding to the community’s complaints about broken sidewalks, trash and fixing the fence.

The dealership’s manager, Michael Koufakis, didn’t attend the meeting but his lawyer, Todd Dale, said that all of the issues that the community raised were addressed.

“When presented with these problems, we took care of it,” he said, referring to the broken sidewalks and fence and all of the trash in the area.

“I find that, as borough president, people clean up right before these meetings and then they go back to their bad habits afterwards,” Katz said.

According to Katz’s spokesman, the borough president will make a decision to either allow the variance to be renewed or echo Community Board 11′s decision. She plans on making her decision before the case goes to the Board of Appeals (BSA), the last stop before a final decision is made. The variance allows the business to operate in a residential zone as long as it cooperates with the community board.

Neighbors of the dealership hope that the BSA and Katz will reject the variance application.

Rennie Xosa lives behind the dealership’s parking lot. He, as well as community board members, said that the lot is used by the dealership to showcase cars to customers, an act that would be illegal under the business’ zoning rules.

“I have this beautiful backyard but I often can’t use it because there are people over there checking the car alarm system, honking the horn, testing how loud the radio goes and all of these other things that shouldn’t be going on there,” Xosa said. “I won’t let these people kick me out of my own neighborhood. I’m staying here and fighting them.”

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