Tag Archives: Bayside

Star of Queens: Lauren Elizabeth Cornea, Clinton Club of Northeast Queens


| editorial@queenscourier.com

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JANAE HUNTER

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Lauren Cornea has been a Young Democrat with the Clinton Club of Northeast Queens, which serves the neighborhoods of Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck and Whitestone, since 2010. The club keeps the community updated on local events and politics in the neighborhood. She is also a member of the Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club and does community and volunteer work for the community through the chapter. When she is not doing work for these organizations or volunteering for attorney Paul Vallone, she is a Learning Leader volunteer, where she tutors students at P.S. 21Q in reading, writing and math.

BACKGROUND: Cornea was born and raised in Flushing. After graduating from the Harvey School, Cornea spent some time traveling in Europe. Now, she is back in Queens and works as a realtor at Amorelli Realty in Astoria, and is the single mother of two children, Dominic John, 8, and Violeta-Rose, 6.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “The greatest obstacle I have faced is being a single mother juggling career and family life,” Cornea said. Raising two young children and balancing a job can be hard, but she makes it work. As for her career, being a female commercial realtor is tough when there are so many men doing the job. “This is a man’s world, and I have had to work extra to live in it. I work extra hard for people to take me seriously and value what I have to say. I have worked very hard to be seen as a woman who is knowledgeable and hard working and not just seen as a pretty face.”

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “I have so many achievements that I’m proud of that it’s hard to choose,” said Cornea. “One of my top achievements has been closing the deal on Steinway Mansion. That deal took 18 months and when we finally closed the deal it went for $2.6 million.” But, she added, raising her children, successfully bouncing back from the divorce, having the opportunity to give back by teaching children to learn to read, write and do basic arithmetic, and being a successful woman in a male-dominated profession are also some of Cornea’s greatest achievements.

INSPIRATION: “This may sound corny, but my biggest inspiration is definitely my kids,” said Cornea. “They rely on me for everything. On days when I do not feel like getting up, all I have to do is think about my two children who need me to be a success in order for them to have a better future.” Cornea said she is also inspired by her natural competitiveness that makes her try and be the best at whatever she does.

 

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Bayside outdoor concert series to start next month


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre


Get ready to rock, Bayside.

The Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID) signed a lease with the MTA for the small green space on 41st Avenue adjacent to the LIRR station house, hoping to hold an outdoor concert series this year and other activities, officials said.

The BID sent out a request for proposals, seeking a contractor to clean up and maintain the area. They hope to choose a contractor soon, and begin the concert series in August on Thursday nights, featuring local performers such as Baysider Michael Kormusis, who goes by the stage name The Mikey K Project.

Because the area is small, officials don’t expect to draw a big crowd, but to attract people to the area and nearby Bell Boulevard as they commute.

“What we are looking to do with that property is to have a pass-by space to slow people down as they are getting on or off the train,” said Lyle Sclair, the executive director of the BID.

Since two years ago, the BID has used the space for its holiday lighting show by dressing up the spot’s evergreen, and adding a nativity scene and menorah. In the future, they plan to collaborate with local organizations to promote services and add other activities.

In the meantime, BID officials are just focused on cleaning up the property, which is unkempt with an uncut lawn.

“Right now we just want to make sure the property look good,” Sclair said. “We just don’t want it to be a dead space in the community.”

 

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Little League bobbles sked, knocks Bayside from tourney despite win


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Bayside Little League


Little League struck out not looking.

After the Bayside Little League team defeated Elmjack in the District 26 finals on July 1 by a score of 24-0, there were smiles all around.

The Rebels were preparing to face teams from around the city in the intermediate sectional round, but those smiles turned to frowns and confused faces days after their win when manager John Callahan broke the news that the team will not advance to the sectional round because of a Little League administrative blooper.

The district was not properly registered for the sectional tournament and the 12 kids of the Bayside Rebels weren’t allowed to continue to the next round.

“The kids were heartbroken, and they didn’t understand why,” Callahan said. “Unfortunate. It really is unfortunate.”

Days following the win over Elmjack, Callahan reached out to Bayside Little League administrators for details on the next round. Usually, he would know by the next day, he said, but no one seemed to know anything about the team’s next game.

Bayside Little League President Bob Reid reached out to Little League coordinators for an explanation.

Little League officials told The Courier when Bayside defeated Elmjack, the sectional tournament had already begun, indicating that at some time there was a mistake that led the District 26 tournament to start late and not finish in time for the sectional round.

Little League representatives said they don’t know who is to blame yet for the slip-up, but are investigating the problem.

“There was some miscommunication between two of our district administrators,” said Pat Wilson, Little League senior vice president of operations and programming. “We are still collecting information.”

Callahan and Reid said that despite their efforts, Little League didn’t try to amend the situation and have the team continue anyway after the problem was discovered.

At this point, the sectional tournament is already over and there isn’t much Little League can do for Bayside, but maybe issue an apology to the parents and players.

“Growing up, my father said a man makes mistakes and you don’t judge him by the mistakes but how he makes up for them,” Callahan said. “But [Little League] ignored it.”

 

 

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Queens businesses brace for LIRR strike impact


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Ahmed Iftikhar drives from Mineola with his wife to the Bayside LIRR station every day except Sundays to set up his newsstand and open at 5 a.m.

He serves coffee, snacks, newspapers and magazines to a portion of the 4,000 daily commuters who use the station for 14 hours, making an average of $200 per day in sales, he said. Each month he pays $3,450 for rent and about $300 in utilities.

The potential LIRR work stoppage, which could start on Sunday, would not only strand thousands of commuters, but also hurt small businesses in Queens like Iftikhar’s newsstand, which depends on LIRR service for customers.

“If they do the strike, I’ll be sad,” Iftikhar said. “I’ll be very upset. What would we do in the future?”

While some LIRR stations in Queens, such as Jamaica, which has subway lines nearby, wouldn’t be as affected, others that depend primarily on the LIRR service could feel an impact, businesses and community leaders said. Businesses, such as the deli and café near the Douglaston LIRR station, stand to lose potential customers in the 2,000 daily commuters at the station.

“Of course no one is happy about it,” said Dorothy Matinale, president of the Douglaston Village Chamber of Commerce.

The manager of Kelly’s Car Service, located near the Bayside station, said if the strike occurs they expect road traffic to be slow for further trips, as the MTA expects more drivers to be on the road.

“Going into Manhattan would be impossible,” manager Richard Pearlman said.

Pearlman couldn’t anticipate how the strike would affect business, but said the car service is thinking of offering trips directly to subway stations on Main Street, although plans have not been finalized.

While the unions and the MTA continue to negotiate, Iftikhar hopes they’ll patch it up soon.

“It’s a little problem,” he said. “If they solve it, it’ll be nice for everyone.”

 

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Bayside BID envisions innovative parking garage for municipal lot expansion


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Rauch Foundation


Some modern parking lots aren’t just places to park.

Scattered around the country and even in this state, there are eye-pleasing, sleek parking structures with cool lighting and sometimes pro-green features that double as event spaces or commercial and residential mixed-use facilities.

The trend is to avoid the architectural tragedy that is a looming concrete box, for an artsy, efficient structure that solves parking issues and attracts people. Officials from the Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID), which plans to conduct a feasibility study to expand the Bayside municipal lot on 41st Avenue, are hoping to erect a forward-thinking innovative garage that people want to park in and be in, they explained in an annual meeting on Monday.

“What’s cool about this juncture for Bayside is there are endless possibilities,” said Jocelyn Wenk of the Long Island think tank Rauch Foundation, which has been researching ways to improve main streets in communities through modern parking garages with its Build a Better Burb website.

Wenk, the site’s editor, explained their results at the BID’s meeting, which highlighted colorful renderings from around the globe of flamboyant parking structures and some that seamlessly blend with nearby residential designs. The optimistic presentation gained excited “oohs and aahs” from the crowd of local residents and leaders, followed by skeptically inquiries.

“What they could put on there is interesting,” said Christine Haider, chair of Community Board 11. “I wish them luck.”
Councilman Paul Vallone allocated $20,000 toward the upcoming feasibility study, which will examine costs and other difficulties with expanding the lot in addition to its design.

At this point, BID members can’t definitively say what can be done with the space, which sits a block from Bell Boulevard on 214th Place. And while they believe it should be revolutionary to help draw business, they recognize obvious limits.

“You’re not going to put a structure that belongs in Las Vegas there,” BID Chair Dominick Bruccoleri said. “A project like this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to do.”

 

 

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Howard Beach Waldbaum’s sells winning Cash 4 Life ticket


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Graziella Licata

SALVATORE LICATA

Updated Wednesday, July 18, 11:22 a.m.

A winning Cash 4 Life ticket was sold at a Waldbaum’s in Howard Beach for the July 14 drawing, according to the New York Lottery website.

The lucky winner has come forward, but will be identified at a press conference at a later date, a lottery spokeswoman said.

The ticket is worth at least $7 million or $1,000 a day for life. Cash 4 Life game is the lottery’s newest game and recently started with its first drawing on June 13.

Another winning Cash 4 Life ticket was also recently sold in Queens, at a Bayside 7-Eleven last month.

 

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Bayside rider sends foul message to potential LIRR strikers


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Sal Licata


With the impending LIRR worker strike only nine days away, a rider in Bayside is sending a strong message to the unions that represent the employees.

“Let the a—-h— strike. F— -em!!!” said the vulgar messages, which were spotted by The Queens Courier scattered on sidewalks and a tree near the 41st Avenue Bayside LIRR station. The letters aren’t the only proof of the building frustration for the sides to reach a deal.

THE COURIER/Photo by Mike Shain

New York congressional leaders also announced their disappointment in a statement on Friday after MTA and union officials couldn’t reach a deal on Thursday despite extensive discussions. Though their message was made in a more formal manner.

“We are pleased that representatives from labor and management spent nearly five hours negotiating on Thursday in an effort to ensure the continued operations of the Long Island Rail Road,” the New York delegation said. “We remain optimistic that an agreement can be reached without any disruption of rail service, however, we are troubled that no further negotiations are currently scheduled. We strongly urge both parties to work through the weekend to reach a deal to benefit the diverse ridership of the Long Island Rail Road.”

About 5,400 workers are planning a work stoppage as early as July 20 if the MTA and unions representing the workers don’t come to an agreement on wages, leaving about 300,000 riders stranded daily.

The MTA announced a strike contingency plan on Friday, providing alternative routes, shuttle buses and other solutions for an estimated 15,000  riders per day in case of a work stoppage.

 

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Former Queens Assemblyman Vincent Nicolosi passes away


| editorial@queenscourier.com


A former Queens assemblyman and prominent member of the Bayside community for many years, Vincent Nicolosi passed away Friday after a battle with breast cancer, according to family members. He was 74 years old.

Nicolosi was a member of the New York State Assembly between 1975 and 1980, where he served as chairman of the Assembly Insurance Committee and Governmental Operations Committee, according to a profile on Forbes.com.

He also served as a Queens assistant district attorney from 1967 to 1972, and from December 1998 to April 2009, was  a commissioner on the New York State Commission of Investigations, the profile also said.

The former Bayside resident recently moved to Manhasset, Long Island, where the attorney was a partner in the law firm of Nicolosi & Nicolosi LLP.

 

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Assemblyman Braunstein to introduce law to ban fake clothing drop-off bins


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre


Assemblyman Ed Braunstein is planning to introduce legislation to clean up clothing drop-off bins of businesses that masquerade as nonprofit organizations.

Under the bill, clothing bins that are not operated by organizations recognized as proper nonprofits by the IRS will be banned and the city will be able to remove the bins immediately. First-time offenders will be fined $250, and then $500 for every additional one during a calendar year.

Recently, there has been an explosion in bins all over the city, according to published reports. Bin owners collect donated clothes and sell them to thrift stores, using what should be donations for income, the assemblyman said.

“Enough is enough. It is time we remove these bins from our streets and ensure that these fake charities no longer benefit from their deceptive actions,” Braunstein said.

Currently, all clothing bins are banned in the city on public property. The Department of Sanitation places notices on the bins, giving operators 30 days to remove them. But organizations simply remove the notices and move the bins to other locations, the assemblyman and local leaders said.

“But if you’re parked illegally [the city] has no problem towing your car that day,” said Devon O’Connor, president of the Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association.

Besides hiding under the false pretense of a nonprofit company, residents have complained that the bins attract graffiti and are eyesores in the community.

Community Board 11, which represents Bayside, Douglaston and Oakland Gardens, has received numerous complaints of nearly a dozen bins around the community, which range in colors from a stark pink to black.

“It’s just a scheme for some crooked people to make money and it’s a horror story,” said Andy Rothman, a Bayside resident. “They shouldn’t be anywhere in New York City or New York State.”

Calls to Our Neighborhood Recycling, which owns a few bins in Bayside, were not returned.

 

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Annual Tour de Queens draws more than 1,200 riders


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Transportation Alternatives


More than 1,200 bicyclists from around the city participated in the 7th Annual Tour de Queens, a 20-mile ride that travels through several neighborhoods in the borough.

The annual ride on Sunday by Transportation Alternatives began in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, in the plaza between the Unisphere and the Queens Museum, and took cyclists of all ages through East Flushing, Murrary Hill, Auburndale, Bayside, Bay Terrace, Beechhurst and Whitestone.

While the event bears a resemblance in name to the rigid Tour de France biking competition, the Tour de Queens is not a race. Participants rode through streets at a leisurely pace with the NYPD and volunteers from Transportation Alternatives acting as safety marshals.

Proceeds from the event will go toward advocacy efforts to enhance public transportation and make the streets safer for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

 

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EXCLUSIVE: Bayside BID to study DOT lot expansion to solve community parking woes


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Building up may be the best way to build up Bayside businesses, and Councilman Paul Vallone allocated $20,000 for a study to solve the parking problem near Bell Boulevard, which many residents and business owners say is the No. 1 issue in the community.

The Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID), which supports hundreds of businesses along Bell Boulevard between Northern Boulevard and 35th Avenue with sanitation, event planning and marketing services, requested the funding to conduct a feasibility study to build a multilevel parking lot. The parking structure would expand the current Department of Transportation (DOT) municipal lot on 214th Place and 41st Avenue.

“It is no secret that the popularity of this commercial hub makes parking difficult for those commuting via the Long Island Railroad and customers frequenting stores,” Vallone said. “Potentially expanding the municipal parking lot on 41st Avenue could greatly alleviate parking concerns and ensure continued success for the businesses that call Bell Boulevard home. This study is a step in that direction.”

A representative of the BID said the feasibility study will identify and estimate costs to expand the lot, examine financial impacts on the neighborhood, analyze the supply and demand for spaces, and determine possible mixed-use options for the new structure. The lot may expand up, but representatives aren’t sure how many levels at this moment.

Currently, the parking lot has dozens of spaces, but residents and business owners say it’s usually filled.

“You can’t find a [parking spot] there on nights and on weekends,” said John Bonavita, co-owner of Fiamma 41, a restaurant that opened eight months ago on 41st Avenue between Bell Boulevard and 214th Place. Bonavita said that the restaurant added valet parking on weekends specifically to counter complaints about the lack of parking.

“The fact that they would add parking would be a plus for the boulevard,” he said. “I lose a lot of business because people say they can’t find parking.”

 

 

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Cops arrest man in Bayside home invasion of elderly couple


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Police have arrested a man for a Bayside home invasion that left an elderly couple seriously injured.

Christopher Ramirez, 24, has been charged with robbery, burglary and assault in connection to the April 23 break-in, cops said.

During the robbery two men, claiming to be maintenance workers, forced their way into the 15th Avenue home around 2:30 p.m., according to police.

Once inside, they assaulted the couple, an 85-year-old woman and 86-year-old man, leaving the wife with bruising to her face and body and the husband with head injuries, officials said.

Both victims were taken to New York Hospital Queens in stable condition.

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NY Lottery $1,000 a day for life winning ticket sold at Bayside 7-Eleven


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Paulina Tam


Bayside just hit the jackpot.

New York Lottery officials confirmed Tuesday that a single Cash 4 Life ticket, worth at least $7 million or $1,000 a day for life, was bought at the 7-Eleven on Bell Boulevard and 41st Street.

The winner has yet to be identified. Officials are urging the winner to sign the back of the ticket immediately and contact the organization to claim his or her prize.

The Cash 4 Life game is the lottery’s newest game and recently started with its first drawing on June 13. The winning numbers for the June 23 Cash 4 Life drawing were 5, 16, 21, 33, 47 and the Cash Ball was 4.

The odds of winning the jackpot were 1-in-21,846,048, according to the New York Lottery.

 

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Street co-named for longtime Bayside school teacher


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Office of Councilmember Paul Vallone


Family, friends and former students of longtime P.S. 41 science teacher Geri Cilmi attended a street co-naming in her honor outside the Bayside school on Friday.

The new Mrs. Geri Cilmi Place street sign was unveiled at 214th Lane behind the school. Cilmi, who died in 2011 after battling cancer for four years, taught at the school for about 25 years and was a teacher in city schools for about four decades.

During her time at P.S. 41 she was loved by colleagues and students for her extraordinary effort as a teacher. Cilmi hosted science nights in the school, where parents and students were able to do a variety of experiments. She applied for numerous grants for the school, including one from NASA for a weather station. She also set up the school’s garden, was vice president of the Elementary School Science Association (ESSA), and made various science presentations for children.

Photo courtesy Tom Cilmi

Cilmi lived in Flushing with her husband, Tom, and her son. Various elected officials, including Councilmember Paul Vallone, Borough President Melinda Katz and Congresswoman Grace Meng, were in attendance for the street co-naming ceremony.

“Mrs. Cilmi’s life was dedicated to teaching and showing her students that science was beyond the classroom,” Vallone said. “To co-name the street in front of the school where she spent over a decade is a fitting tribute to her career and tells the community Mrs. Cilmi will forever be in our hearts.”

 

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