Tag Archives: Bayside

Open houses this weekend: Astoria, Bayside, Forest Hills


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of StreetEasy and Douglas Elliman 

112-01 Queens Boulevard #23B, Forest Hills — $890,000

This two-bedroom unit has 1,135 square feet of space, two bathrooms and two balconies. The apartment features views overlooking Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The building offers a doorman and full-time concierge, as well as a pool, a sauna, a steam room, and Jacuzzis. An E and F subway station is a short walk away.

The open house is on Saturday, Jan 3. Contact broker Karen DeMeco of Douglas Elliman for more information.

 

43-12 214 Place #5B, Bayside — $799,000

This two-bedroom apartment has two bathrooms and a total of 1,055 square feet. Rooms have hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling windows. The Bayside building also features a gym and parking spaces and is pet-friendly. It is blocks away from the LIRR train station.

The open house is on Saturday, Jan. 3, and Sunday, Jan. 4. Contact Maria Carr, Larry Falabella and Lawrence Falabella of Douglas Elliman for more information.

 

26-20 21st Street #301, Astoria — $549,000

This apartment has 690 square feet and five total rooms with one bedroom and one bathroom. The unit has a balcony and features a washer and dryer, central air conditioning, a dishwasher and a hot tub. Pets are allowed in the building, and the N and Q trains are just a half-mile away.

The open house is on Saturday, Jan 3. Contact broker Samantha Freire for more information.

 

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Cardozo basketball coach notches his 700th victory with more to come


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cardozo basketball Facebook page

BY LARRY FLEISHER

Ron Naclerio keeps scorebooks of every game that he has ever coached, including his first win Nov. 30, 1981, a 56-40 victory over Aviation. That was his only victory in his first season coaching Cardozo as the youngest coach in the PSAL. At the time Naclerio wasn’t thinking about getting 699 more wins or looking 33 years ahead.

“My first year I only won one game. You win one game [per] year, I’d have to coach 700 years [to make it to the 700th win],” Naclerio said.

Naclerio didn’t have to coach 700 years. He gradually built a strong program at the Bayside school that would eventually became a major force in the PSAL. Several of his players, such as Duane Causewell, Royal Ivey and Rafer Alston, reached the NBA and many others including the Woodward brothers, Daryll Hill and Ryan Rhoomes got Division I college scholarships.

Naclerio’s 700th victory happened on Dec. 22 with a 73-61 game against High School of Construction. It came over three and a half years after his 600th victory by beating All Hallows and seven years after his 500th victory in a game against Flushing.

“That’s great,” said Rhoomes, a junior forward now playing at Fordham. “He’s one of my favorite coaches.”

Only when the Cardozo Judges survived a tough game did his latest coaching milestone sink in. Naclerio could not quite enjoy the moment until Rashond Salnave’s three-pointer late in the game gave the Judges an insurmountable 12-point lead.

After the three-pointer, assistant coach and former player Mike Blissett congratulated Naclerio. And when the game ended many of his current players embraced the passionate and frenetic coach, who was mostly relieved that Cardozo pulled out a victory after being down by one point at the start of the fourth quarter.

“When we won the game, I was so relieved because we started the fourth quarter down one and it was six with about a minute to go,” Naclerio said.

Naclerio became the fourth coach in New York State to reach 700 wins and third in the city to achieve that many victories. The late Molloy coach Jack Curran had 972 in 55 seasons. Campus Magnet coach Chuck Granby had 711 victories in his career.

Naclerio achieved the milestone with about 1,000 people in Cardozo’s gym, which he said seats 900. He also had more than 50 former players in attendance. Since notching the win, he has been getting endless phone calls, texts, and Twitter and Facebook messages.

“That’s a number that very few people have a chance to say [they achieved],” Naclerio said. “I’m the youngest in New York State high school, college or pro to do that. I didn’t realize that.”

Before building the Judges’ basketball program, Naclerio was a ballboy for the Red Holzman’s Knicks from 1970-75. He also played baseball for St. John’s and played four years in the minor leagues for the Chicago White Sox. Naclerio also worked as assistant coach under Al Matican, whom he also played for at Cardozo.

Naclerio doesn’t regret sticking with high school basketball, instead of moving to coach college. By sticking with high school coaching, he said he has had the chance to witness some other memorable victories besides his team’s two city championships.

Among the most noteworthy in Naclerio’s mind were a four-overtime victory over St. Anthony’s, a comeback from an eight-point deficit against Springfield Gardens with less than a minute to play in 1988 and the PSAL semifinal victory over Lincoln in 1999 that preceded Cardozo’s first championship.

In between memorable wins, Naclerio has spent numerous hours scouting and preparing while using his passion for the sport to getting the most out of his players.

“When I played basketball, I was the all-time hustler,” Naclerio said. “There’s no such thing as too much hustle in basketball and I was like that when I played. I was like that when I played baseball and I think it just carried it over.”

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Father of 4-month-old Bayside boy charged with son’s murder


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Charges against the father of a 4-month-old Bayside boy have been upgraded to murder after the medical examiner determined his son died from abusive head trauma, authorities said.

Jagsheer Singh, 28, was arraigned on Tuesday on a charge of second-degree murder and held without bail, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. He was previously arraigned on charges of first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child on Dec. 21 before the death of his son, Nevin Jandu, two days later.

Singh claimed the baby was hurt when he fell off the changing table the morning of Dec. 20. He had been watching his child the previous night, while his wife, a physician and the baby’s mother, was at work, the district attorney’s office said. He said the child was fine when she left, and returned the following morning and went to sleep.

After discovering the baby wasn’t breathing a short time later, Singh said he woke up his wife, who hadn’t checked on the child before going to bed, and called 911.

Medical personnel at the hospital examined the baby and found that his injuries were consistent with non-accidental abusive head trauma and were not consistent with the injuries that would have occurred if he had simply fallen from the changing table, the district attorney’s office said.

The baby died at Cohen Children’s Medical Center on Dec. 23.

The medical examiner later ruled the child’s death a homicide due to abusive head trauma, which included fractures to the skull, a spokeswoman from the office said.

Singh’s next court date is Jan. 5.

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Bayside baby dies after being assaulted by father: police


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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A 4-month-old boy from Bayside died Christmas Eve several days after he was hospitalized for injuries he suffered during an alleged assault by his father, authorities said.

Jagsheer Singh, 28, claimed the baby, Nevin Janduher, was fine while he was watching him on the night of Dec. 19. His wife, a physician and the baby’s mother, was at work that night.

She returned the following morning and went to bed without checking on her son, Singh said. Singh claimed that baby was fine when he woke up around 7 a.m., but that the baby fell off the changing table that morning while Singh was taking care of him. A short time later, he discovered that the child was having difficulty breathing. That’s when he woke up his wife and called 911.

Nevin was first taken to Flushing Hospital Medical Center and then transferred to Cohen Children’s Medical Center. Medical personnel at the hospital examined the baby and found that his injuries were consistent with non-accidental abusive head trauma and were not consistent with the injuries that would have occurred if he had simply fallen from the changing table, the district attorney’s office said.

Singh was arraigned on Dec. 21 and charged with first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 5.

At the time, the child was in grave condition and had suffered brain damage, according to authorities.

“The baby is in grave condition and if he does not survive the charges will be upgraded,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement, announcing Singh’s assault charge.

The baby boy was pronounced dead on Christmas Eve.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

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Commodores boys basketball playing catch-up


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Bayside’s Ryniek Holloway steps up to the foul line

BY LARRY FLEISHER

It’s approaching 5 p.m. on Dec. 18, and Bayside is minutes away from facing off against Cardozo. Students line up in the small entrance to the school near Corporal Kennedy Street in anticipation of a big game and upon entering the tiny gym, they’re greeted with blaring music, creating the feel of a college environment.

The noisy atmosphere continues as Bayside scores the first six points, takes leads of 9-3 and leads for most of the first quarter. It stays loud as Bayside stays close with the Judges and trails by six at halftime, but then the noise dims as Cardozo scores the first 12 points of the second half and leads by 24 going into the fourth quarter.

Eventually Cardozo went onto an 88-45 victory that is a reflection of the defending champions’ ability to dominate and the inconsistencies of the Commodores. Bayside has been a playoff team the previous three seasons, has gone 32-10 in league play in that span and knocked off Cardozo on Dec. 18, 2012 — but this year the team remains a few steps below its neighborhood rival.

“Basically we’re knocking on the door for the top teams and we’re right there,” senior guard Ryniek Holloway said. “Just baby steps and we’re going to get to the point where we want to be at the end of the season. For now it’s just a learning experience.”
The team is learning about how to cope when opposing defenses take away Holloway and Daniel Hernandez as options. Through his first six games, Holloway averaged 21 points and seven assists while Hernandez averaged 19 points.

Against Cardozo, Holloway scored eight of Bayside’s first 20 points, and the rest of his points were scored when it was too late for a comeback. Hernandez finished well below his scoring average after getting 33 and eight rebounds on Dec. 16 against High School of Construction. It is also proof of second-year coach Steven Scharf’s description of his team, especially on a day when the Commodores can’t get another option going offensively.

“Developing,” Scharf said. “I’d say we’re a team that can be good one day, good one quarter, bad one quarter, good one possession and bad one possession.”

Through seven league games, Bayside is 4-3 and tied for second place with Queens High School of Teaching, which it faced on Dec. 22. So far Bayside has wins over Van Buren, Flushing, Edison and Beach Channel, and its fourth win came after facing an eight-point deficit through the first eight minutes. When they’re not playing games, the Commodores are fine-tuning their game with lengthy practices. The idea is that when January and February show up, some of those things that are stunting the development are over with.

“It’s only December,” Holloway said. “We’re still learning and we’re a young team. I just feel like by January, February, we’ll be ready. We have plenty of time to be ready and all those little things we’ll fix.”

And asked what those little things are, Holloway was quick to point them out.

“Just little things like free throws, rebounding and just the mental toughness and the mental aspect of the game. We have to make those big shots. Basically, we just have to make those clutch plays.” Scharf and the Commodores will visit Cardozo on Jan. 30. By then they will have played 18 games and Scharf is confident the showing will be better the next time his team takes on the defending champions.
“A way better performance than you saw today — guaranteed,” he said.

NBA teams and players are fond of talking about learning and developing when trying to learn the system of meshing with a new group and coach. While it’s not as complex as the Knicks attempting to learn the triangle or the Nets trying to learn the motion offense of new coach Lionel Hollins, it’s a similar concept for Bayside.

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Bayside dad charged with assaulting 4-month-old son


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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A 28-year-old Bayside resident is charged with assaulting his 4-month-old baby, causing the infant to suffer brain damage that has left him in “grave condition,” authorities said.

Jagsheer Singh was taking care of his baby Nevin Janduher, while his wife and the baby’s mother, Dr. Reena Malhotra, a radiologist, was at work at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, according to District Attorney Richard Brown. When Malhotra left home around 8:30 p.m. on Friday, the baby was healthy. When she returned around 6:15 a.m. the next day, she did not check on the baby and went to bed instead.

According to statements made by Singh, the baby was fine when he woke up around 7 a.m. When he checked on him around 7:30 a.m., he found that the baby had defecated, and so he took him into the shower. Shortly after, the baby fell off the changing table, which was 4 feet off the ground, Singh said. He also stated that he did not tell his wife about the fall at that time. Around 8 a.m., he found that the baby was having difficulty breathing. That’s when, he said, he woke up his wife and called 911.

Baby Nevin was first taken to Flushing Hospital Medical Center and then transferred to Cohen Children’s Medical Center. According to the district attorney’s office, medical personnel examined the baby and found that his injuries were consistent with non-accidental abusive head trauma and were not consistent with the injuries that would have occurred if he had simply fallen from the changing table, as Singh claimed.

Singh has been charged with first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arraigned on Sunday, where bail was set at $200,000.

“The baby is in grave condition and if he does not survive the charges will be upgraded,” Brown said.

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Queens Chamber celebrates winners of annual building awards


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

The Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted its 99th annual Building Awards on Thursday, recognizing architecture and design of new buildings around the borough.

Out of 100 total entries, just 19 new construction, interior and rehabilitated use projects were selected as winners from various categories, including public use, office space, commercial and residential.

City Planning Director Carl Weisbrod was the keynote speaker at the event in the LaGuardia Marriott Hotel. The Chamber’s President’s Award was given to College Point-based developer Mattone Group.

In terms of new construction, the modern, glassy, three-story commercial building by K.O.H. Architecture at 215-15 Northern Blvd. in Bayside was among the winners. The building is home to a Tiger Schulmann, a Pizza Hut and a day care.

Plaza College’s newly opened campus in the Forest Hills near the intersection of Queens Boulevard and Union Turnpike was among winners in the rehabilitative use category. The school moved following a devastating fire that destroyed its Jackson Heights campus at 74-09 37th Ave. The new campus serves 750 students and features labs and medical classrooms.

Mediterranean and soul food fusion restaurant Pa-Nash of Rosedale, which opened in April, was also a winner in the rehabilitative use category, as well as the Queens Library’s redesign of the teen space in the Cambria Heights branch.

Pa-Nash 3

Below is the full list of winners.

 

New Construction

Category                                                         Project

Schools                                                            Public School 330Q

Commercial                                                     215-15 Northern Blvd., Bayside

Office Buildings                                             Jackson Heights Office Building

Multi-Family, Low Rise

(up to 3 stories)                                               Xiaoyan Jin Residence

 

Single Residences

(1 family-detached up to 3000 sq. ft.)              Grippi Residence

 

Single Residences

(1 family-detached over 3000 sq. ft.)               Vaccaro Residence

 

Multi-Family, High Rise

(4 or more stories)                                           Multi-Family Residential Building

Mixed Use

(residential/commercial/industrial)                  Antonelli Building

 

Rehabilitation, Readaptive Use, Alteration or Addition

Category                                                         Project

Public Buildings                                             Queens Library @Cambria Heights-Teen Space

Colleges                                                          Plaza College

Schools                                                            P.S. 81Q

Commercial                                                     Pa-Nash Restaurant & Lounge

Single Residences

(1 family-detached up to 3000 sq. ft)               Annie Hsu Residence

 

Interiors

Category                                                         Project

Colleges                                              Queens College Rosenthal Library

Commercial                                                     Murphy’s Lobster Grill

Single Residences

(1 family-detached over 3000 sq. ft.)               Long Residence

 

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The winning attitude


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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BY LARRY FLEISHER

It began the first time Ray Salnave stepped foot inside the gym at Cardozo High School.

Even before any of the fall teams at the Bayside school started practicing, Salnave was working on his game over a span of about seven hours, according to coach Ron Naclerio.

Two years later, Salnave and the Judges are the defending city champions and are looking to add a third banner to a program that has produced standouts such as Rafer Alston, Duane Causwell, Duane and Brian Woodward, Royal Ivey and Darryl Hill.

To hear Naclerio say it, as good as those players were, Salnave is wired differently, and the junior shooting guard has a different motor on the court.

“He has certain traits that very [few] kids I’ve ever coached have,” Naclerio said. “He’s got one or two traits that none of the kids I’ve coached had. He’s tough to coach because he’s volatile sometimes and people know when he was young and childish, he did things but the volatility is his desire to win. I would probably say out of all the players I’ve ever coached, he might have the closest desire to win as do.”

“It’s a good thing, but some people are used to the ordinary basketball player,” Salnave said. “You can say I’m an ordinary basketball player, but my thing is I like to win. Whatever it takes, I’ll do what it takes to win. Coach says that about me — that means I’m doing something good. We have the same goal. We both don’t like losing.”

That desire manifested itself during the final seconds of title game against Thomas Jefferson at Barclays Center. In Cardozo’s 55-54 victory, Salnave drove to the basket, was fouled and made the free throws with 2.5 seconds remaining. That ended a 16-point game that saw him go 10-of-12 from the line and a title run that saw the Judges defeat teams from the powerhouse Brooklyn AA Division in Boys & Girls, South Shore, Brooklyn Collegiate and Jefferson.

Now Cardozo is the team to beat and even more so than other non-title years. The last time Cardozo won a title was in 1999, and since then, there have been some difficult defeats, notably a four-point overtime loss to Jefferson in the 2013 quarterfinals, a one-point loss to Lincoln in the 2011 semifinals and a five-point loss to Boys & Girls in the 2010 title game.

“When you put so much into it and you make it the most important thing in your life, it’s a weird feeling because you’re so used to having the agony of defeat at the end of the season,” Naclerio said. “To have that thrill of victory for the second time, you want the season to end like that and I know the odds are the season probably won’t end up like that.”

If Cardozo is going to experience that thrill again, besides Salnave — who averaged 18 points last season and was recently offered a scholarship to Rutgers — some other people will be even more important. Cardozo is replacing forwards Carl Edoua Balthazar and Francisco Williams as well as stout defenders Marzuq Jimoh and Kristian Mondesir.

Naclerio said that sophomore Tareq Coburn is ready and that he expects contributions from Armando Dunn and Amir Tutt. He also is anticipating the impact of guard Aaron Walker, who transferred from Molloy and was described as being a Division One player.

“I know how hard it is because not only do you have to be very good, you have to be a little lucky,” Naclerio said. “When you have a bad game you have to find a way to get through it in the playoffs, you got to get through injuries, you got to get through ineligibilities, you got to get through being the hunted and the kids that start the season off with the pain and agony from the previous year. It’s a lot easier to talk to them than when the kids think when the script is going to be the same.

The Judges were good by going 28-2 and 16-0 in league games. They also had the good fortune of having Salnave’s will in the title game and throughout the playoffs.

Or as Naclerio says: “I’d rather be a champ than a chump.”

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Bayside Tudor apartment complex becomes city landmark


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Landmarks Preservation Commission

Community members in Bayside no longer have to worry about the possible overdevelopment or radical changes to a collection of artfully designed Tudor apartments.

The City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LCP) voted unanimously Tuesday to landmark the Hawthorne Court Apartments, which are located on the corner of 216th Street and 43rd Avenue.

Designed by respected architect Benjamin Braunstein, the Tudor-style homes were built in 1930 and 1931. The architect arranged the homes into two groups with varying sizes, surrounding a courtyard.

“This charming and ornate complex is a fine example of the Tudor Revival style, and provides a critical narrative of Bayside’s transformation to a commuter suburb after the completion of the railroad tunnel to Manhattan in 1910,” LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said.

It is not the first time the Hawthorne Court Apartment buildings have received recognition for their architecture. In 1931, the Queens Chamber of Commerce selected the homes for an award for “excellence in design and civic value.”

 

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Bayside electronics store not closing – just improving


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Bayside residents recently took to social media to bemoan the loss of an electronics store on Bell Boulevard, saying it marked the end of an era filled with 45 RPM records and the British Invasion. But the store isn’t closing — it’s just adding a modern repair shop.

“We’ve been here since 1946 and we’re not going anywhere,” said Jay Hildebrand, the owner of S&L Electronics. “We love Bayside. Why would we leave?”

Jimmy James, a Bayside resident, recently posted on a Bayside Facebook group that the store was closing. Fans of the store commiserated over the sad news

“So sad…I bought all my 45s there. They had the top 40 laid out in order every week in these little cubby holes,” resident Denise Marie Coyle wrote.

Many wrote their recollections of the store’s workers fixing their record players and VHS players. Hildebrand wants to modernize the store’s ability to fix electronics by making the jump from cassette players to iPads.

“I don’t know how to fix any of these new gadgets,” he said. “So we’re renting out part of our space to an electronic repair shop.”

These days, the majority of customers who come into the store with broken electronics have digital gadgets, but Hildebrand has had to turn them away. Soon, though, he won’t have to.

Hildebrand expects the construction of a small shop in the front of the store to take about two weeks to complete.

In the summer, Hildebrand makes most of his money from air conditioner installations, and the store also serves as a thrift shop. Hildebrand’s eclectic business interests are reflected through the store’s messiness. He wants to take the opportunity of the repair shop construction to do some minor renovations and cleaning up.

“A lot of people gather all this stuff and then at the end of the life they look at it all and they don’t know what to do with it,” he said, with three jackets from the Korean War hanging on a pole behind him.

People often come in, Hildebrand said, wanting to sell their parents’ and grandparents’ belongings. And so the store has collected more than just electronic items.

As the new repair shop goes up, the business is still open, even if it looks like the store is closed.

“People ask me why don’t I retire,” Hildebrand said. “But that’s not fun.”

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Bayside no longer under consideration for homeless shelter site


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Potential plans to create an emergency homeless shelter in Bayside have been scrapped after a month of deliberations.

In late October, the Department of Homeless Services looked into Bayside as a possible candidate to host a homeless shelter. But, according to Councilman Paul Vallone, those plans have since been removed.

After hearing about the potential shelter last month, Vallone wrote a letter to the agency in which he asserted his belief that Bayside was not a good site for a shelter because of a lack of transportation and the residential nature of the area.

“I thank the Department of Homeless Services for listening to our concerns,” Vallone said, “and deciding to abandon plans for an emergency shelter in Bayside. As I’ve said before, my district not only has the lowest population of homeless persons in the whole city, but Bayside in particular lacks the infrastructure and public transportation options to support an emergency shelter. I’m glad that the DHS considered these obstacles and concerns and came to agree that Bayside is an inappropriate location.”

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Queens churches celebrate priest’s 50th year


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

pastor photo

St. Robert Bellarmine Parish congregants and trustees held a celebration on Nov. 16 to mark Monsignor Martin T. Geraghty’s 50th anniversary of priesthood. At 74, the pastor has served churches from Jackson Heights to Far Rockaway and now serves as the head of the Bayside church.

“Fifty years as a priest is a very special thing. So we needed to honor him,” said Bob Coccia, a trustee and one of the many organizers of the event. “The parish wanted to recognize and honor him for it.”

The mass that was held in his honor was packed with about 1,000 people, according to organizers. Afterward, there was a reception in the church’s hall where food was served as a slideshow of Geraghty’s life was on display.

Geraghty became the head of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish during uncertain times. The former pastor, Monsignor John Lavin, died in 2006 and Geraghty was his replacement.

“When Monsignor Lavin died, we couldn’t have had a better priest come in,” Coccia said. “He came in and very quietly gained the community’s respect. He filled Lavin’s shoes above and beyond. He serves with all his might.”

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Star of Queens: Harold Rutgers, contributor, Jewelers For Children


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

BACKGROUND: Harold Rutgers was born and raised in Flushing. His father Victor was a jewelry designer who opened a jewelry store in Great Neck in 1962. Rutgers, a certified gemologist, joined the family business and opened Bell Family Jewelers in Bayside in 1987.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Rutgers is associated with Jewelers For Children. It is a nonprofit organization that donates to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Rutgers has a box and a sign in his store that states that he won’t charge customers for services such as jewelry cleaning.

Instead, they can donate a sum of their choice to the charity by dropping it in the box. Rutgers said that after he started this initiative 10 years ago, he found that people come to his store for the services because they also get the opportunity to give back at the same time. This year, he has already collected more than $1,500 and hopes to surpass that and collect $2,000 next year.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “Being able to give back to the wonderful community,” said Rutgers. “Just being able to give back every day makes me feel great. I try to teach my two children to do the same.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Staying competitive in the business, keeping prices reasonable with today’s rising costs,” said Rutgers. “It’s a tough business environment.”

INSPIRATION: “My father,” said Rutgers. “He gave me an engraved ID bracelet when I went to high school that said, ‘The secret to success is consistency to purpose.’ That’s the rule I live by.”

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New Bayside Colombian restaurant is instant hit


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Chicken lovers flocked to Mr. Pollo #1 on Friday to try the new Colombian restaurant on Bayside‘s Bell Boulevard.

The eatery was even busier on Thursday, opening day, according to workers.

“They say it usually takes two years before a business becomes profitable, but I don’t think we’ll need to wait that long here,” the manager said as he rushed to answer ringing phones.

The pork loin lunch special

The restaurant’s opening is the latest in a South American food invasion on Bell Boulevard, with a new Peruvian restaurant, Piura, set to open and the Mexican restaurant Cinco de Mayo reopening further down the commercial strip.

The store was packed for the second day in a row. A steady stream of people ordered take-out on Friday afternoon, while others chose to eat inside the eatery. Two delivery boys tried to stay ahead of the lunch rush, while workers ran around like hens without their heads.

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The new business on Bell Boulevard claims to be the first Colombian restaurant in Bayside.

There is also a Mr. Pollo #2, owned by the same people, in Whitestone, according to the menu.

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Bayside’s small businesses tell film industry to take five


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook/GreggSullivan

Call it Hollywood fatigue.

The Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID) wants the city to put a temporary stop on granting filming permits to movie and show makers using Bayside as a shooting location.

The organization, representing dozens of small businesses, plans on sending a letter to the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting to request a moratorium on filming in commercial areas like Bell Boulevard, according to the organization’s executive director, Lyle Sclair.

“Filming in Bayside is a balancing act, but too often it’s swayed away from us,” Sclair said.  “There’s a much better way to work together.”

Citing a marked loss of business because of frequent filming activity in the area, Sclair said that small businesses need more representation in government.

The FX-produced show “The Americans” used Bayside to film several scenes in January. During filming, Harry Rutgers’ jewelry business was penned in on 41st Avenue and Bell Boulevard.

“We might as well be closed when the film crews are here,” said Rutgers, who is the owner of Bell Family Jewelers. “The whole business district shuts down and everybody suffers while one [group] benefits.”

Rutgers cited many of the same problems that Sclair will bring up to the city. The vehicles used to transport the film crews and equipment are big and bulky, and these vehicles take up all the parking spots on Bell Boulevard that would be used by potential customers.

Rutgers said that another problem is that the crews don’t spend any money in the area because they come with their own food and services.

“They don’t spend a nickel on Bell,” Rutgers said. “I never heard anyone say they benefited from the film crews.”

Rutgers suggested that the trucks and trailers used by the film industry should park away from Bell Boulevard so they don’t take up parking. He also said that if the crews spent money in the area, business owners would be more willing to tolerate the film industry.

Sclair plans on making all of these suggestions when he sends the letter to the Mayor’s office. He is also urging the City Council to pass oversight bills.

Councilman Paul Vallone is signing the letter, according to his spokesman.

“I firmly support the Bayside Village BID’s request for a moratorium on filming on Bell Boulevard and the surrounding avenues, as the area is rapidly becoming a filming hot spot,” he said. “Our residents and small business owners should not have to bear the burdens that come with excessive filming, especially in an area that already has very limited parking space availability. It’s unfair for our small businesses to suffer these consequences.”

Film crews park trailers and trucks in front of businesses and take up many parking spots, causing the merchants to lose money, according to Sclair. The large vehicles also cause people to think that businesses are closed.

Bayside is frequently used for movie and television shoots, reflecting the city’s initiative to make New York City a filming center.

The mayor’s office did not respond to a request for comment but, according to the city-run “Made in NY” site, the city “looks to support film and television productions of all shapes and sizes, and we look to make each and every one of those projects a clear, seamless, and enjoyable production experience.”

In the city’s haste to make the five boroughs film-friendly, it’s alienated small businesses, Sclair said.

“It seems like the city is saying, ‘We’re choosing the film industry over mom-and-pop businesses,” he said.

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