Tag Archives: BID

Sunnyside welcomes first of two public plazas


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Sunnyside Shines BID

CHRIS BUMBACA

It’s pure bliss in Sunnyside.

Bliss Plaza, the first of two new public plazas constructed in Sunnyside, opened Tuesday. The project was spearheaded by the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID).

Last year, the Sunnyside Shines BID submitted an application to the city’s Department of Transportation Plaza Program and with the support of local leaders such as Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, the application was accepted this April.

“Bliss Plaza is an oasis for pedestrians along busy Queens Boulevard and will be a fantastic place to have an outdoor lunch,” said Rachel Thieme, Sunnyside Shines BID executive director. “This is a huge benefit to neighborhood residents and businesses. We are thrilled with the high quality of work that the NYC Department of Transportation has put into this project and extremely grateful to Councilman Van Bramer and our other partners for supporting our application.”

Bliss Plaza is located at the intersection of 46th Street and Queens Boulevard under the elevated No. 7 train. The plaza has transformed an otherwise useless underpass into a lively and public space. The area includes tables, chairs and decorative planters. The project included leveling out a street to create a one-level pedestrian area and was completed by the DOT in early July.

“I commend the city’s Department of Transportation for all the work it has done to make this new neighborhood plaza a reality and I thank the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District for initiating this project and for its commitment to maintaining the plaza and to providing the programming there,” Borough President Melinda Katz said.

The second plaza, the Lowery Plaza at 40th Street and Queens Boulevard, is expected to open this fall. It will also be located under the No. 7 train and will have the same amenities as Bliss Plaza.

“These new public plazas have transformed the space under the 7 train with green space, ample seating and cultural programming,” Van Bramer said. “Tens of thousands pass these spaces every day but with these changes they will use them to meet friends, enjoy their neighborhood and create community.”

 

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Op-ed: Why a Business Improvement District will help our business


| oped@queenscourier.com

MONICA CALDERÓN

As a small business owner on Roosevelt Avenue, I understand what it is to a run mom-and-pop shop in this neighborhood. My parents immigrated to Queens and set up the business I currently run.  For over a decade, our business has served as our family pride and our lifeline, and we have called Roosevelt Avenue our home.

We love Roosevelt Avenue, but we also know that it can be better. If you look just a few blocks away at the area within the current 82nd Street Partnership, you can see the difference. The street is clean and safe, with significantly less trash and graffiti. The Partnership helped get grants to pay for new storefronts, awnings, lights and signs. Businesses benefit from free marketing and promotion through the crowds that come to the street for events like Viva La Comida, as well as online and social media promotion.

Businesses along 82nd Street have a voice and an advocate that represents their interests and needs with city government, and can connect them with free services and workshops to help them strengthen their business and succeed.

We want that extra boost, too.

The good news is that we can have it. In the coming days and weeks, business owners, residents, and property owners located on Roosevelt Avenue from 81st Street to 104th Street, as well as Junction Boulevard from 40th Road to 35th Avenue, will have a chance to vote to extend the 82nd Street Partnership boundaries to form the Jackson Heights–Corona Business Improvement District. To us it’s a no-brainer — we will be voting yes.

As small business owners in Queens face more and more challenges – online retailers, chain stores, high rents, navigating city rules and regulations – it is important that we come together as a community to create a stronger, safer and cleaner Roosevelt Avenue where people want to live, do business, and shop, at all hours, day or night. We urge our neighbors to vote yes to the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District.

For more information on the proposed Jackson Heights–Corona Business Improvement District, please visit www.JHCoronaBID.org.

Monica Calderón is an owner of L&C Accounting Service Inc.

 

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Some small business owners, residents continue to say ‘no’ to BID in Jackson Heights, Corona


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The resistance continues.

During the first of two public meetings on Thursday, some Jackson Heights and Corona residents and business owners asked their community to vote no to the expansion that would bring a business improvement district to the neighborhood. They brought up issues which the BID would bring such as gentrification, and the rising of property costs and taxes.

“Right now they say $1,000 annually, once the project gets approved then a little bit more, a little bit more they squeeze one’s throat,” said Sergio Ruiz, a business owner of 15 years, about the estimated yearly cost per lot in the district.

The 82nd Street Partnership, a nonprofit group promoting the current local BID covering four blocks and over 160 businesses, announced last year it would be extending all the way through 114th  Street to form the Jackson Heights-Corona BID. It was later revised to stretch from 82nd Street to 104th Street and down Junction Boulevard. The corridor will include a total of 440 lots and about 850 commercial tenants.

Tania Mattos, a member of the coalition Queens Neighborhoods United, said the group has been trying to educate the community on what a BID is, the voting process and options, and they have been cleaning Roosevelt Avenue every two weeks.

“Roosevelt Avenue does not need the BID,” Mattos said. “It needs the city to wake up, to realize it has neglected Roosevelt Avenue for decades and I’ve seen it personally. Instead the broken sidewalks, perishing and poorly maintained elevated train is blamed on the residents.”

According to Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, the concept of the BID came from every community resident she had spoken to expressing concerns about the safety and cleanliness of Roosevelt Avenue.

“They want to be able to walk, they want to be able to shop, they want to be able to come with their families and contribute to the businesses,” Ferreras said. “We have a very different and very vibrant business corridor, we deserve better, we deserve to be able to have a business corridor that is vibrant, clean and safe.”

Other business owners at the meeting showed their support for the BID and tried to encourage audience members to vote yes.

“We have to give it a chance and give ourselves a chance,” said Rosita Cali, a business owner and Jackson Heights resident for 17 years. “Let’s give ourselves the room, the chance to have the opportunity to try this and also if something comes out wrong we have the right to say that it’s not right. But if we give the opportunity and this is positive, why not enjoy all the changes?”

In the upcoming weeks, business owners, residents and property owners on Roosevelt Avenue will have to vote on whether they want the BID in their community.

“The BID is really an advocate for the business community, the goal here is to improve the shopping environment, make it cleaner, safer, more inviting and better for the small business,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership.

For more information, visit JHCoronaBID.org.

 

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Jackson Heights, Corona get ‘taste’ of better living thru business improvement district


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Julissa Ferreras

Businesses, property owners and residents along Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard are getting a taste of how being a business improvement district (BID) can improve their quality of life.

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras announced sanitation and graffiti removal services for the areas. They come as part of her New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue, which promised a “taste” of services to be offered by the Jackson Heights-Corona BID.

The “Taste of the BID” is a partnership between Ferreras, the Department of Small Business Services, the 82nd Street Partnership and local property owners. The Jackson Heights-Corona BID itself, which is still being formed, will cover the major commercial corridors of Roosevelt Avenue, Junction Boulevard and 103rd Street.

“By bringing new sanitation crews to our heavily-trafficked business corridors like Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard, we are not only increasing safety and cleanliness,” Ferreras said. “We are also helping to drive new customers to our local businesses.”

Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership, touted further pluses.

“Merchants and property owners along Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard will begin to see how cleaner sidewalks can make the neighborhood a better place to shop and stroll,” he said Seth Taylor. “We are delighted that the community is getting a small taste of what the proposed Jackson Heights-Corona BID will do to improve quality of life, and we are encouraged by the growing support for the BID.”

The “Taste of the BID” is expected to run until the end of the year, with cleaning ambassadors in the area every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The services will cover Roosevelt Avenue from 82nd Street to 114th Street and Junction Boulevard and 103rd Street off Roosevelt Avenue.

“New sanitation crews have already begun to make a difference along Roosevelt Avenue through cleaner and brighter streets,” said Rob Walsh, commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “By providing this neighborhood with a taste of what a BID can offer, this commercial corridor will only continue to get stronger.”

 

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Sunnyside businesses offering exclusive deals every Thursday in May


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

1 - Hoppin' Thursdays card

Get ready to start hoppin’.

Area businesses are participating in Hoppin’ Thursdays in Sunnyside, a weekly promotion for the month of May.

Thirty-three business are offering exclusive deals to customers.

The promotion is co-sponsored by the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID) and Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars.

The deals include dining and drink specials, discounts on products and discounted salon services. When a customer purchases a Hoppin’ Thursdays deal, he or she gets a stamp on the back of a card available at participating business and the Sunnyside Shines BID’s office. A complete list of businesses and deals is on the back of the card.

“It’s a great way to encourage people to check out a business they haven’t yet,” said Rachel Thieme, director of the Sunnyside Shines BID. “And it is a great way for businesses to promote themselves.”

Customers who receive stamps for buying at least five deals will be eligible to enter a sweepstakes with prizes including a flat screen TV, an iPad mini and a Kindle Fire. There is no limit on the number of cards participants can complete.

“Businesses have been very creative with their Hoppin’ Thursdays deals and we want to generate excitement about shopping locally in Sunnyside,” said Thieme. “This is also a great opportunity to introduce our excellent local businesses to people from other neighborhoods.”

Every Thursday this month, participating bars will offer a “buy one, get one free” offer on a featured drink with a limit of one drink special per customer per night.

Other deals include two-for-one wheatgrass shots, $4 smoothies and 20 percent off fresh, organic bread from Go Natural Health Food and Juice Bar at 45-03 Queens Boulevard. Pink Icing Bake Shop at 44-13 Queens Boulevard is offering a free cupcake or small coffee with a $5 or more purchase between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Thursday.

For a complete list of participating businesses and specific deals, visit www.sunnysideshines.org.

 

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82nd Street Partnership expands business improvement district


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Logo Courtesy of the 82nd Street Partnership

The 82nd Street Partnership will now extend all the way through 114th Street as part of the New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue announced by Councilmember Julissa Ferreras.

“The 82nd Street Partnership is thrilled to announce this endeavor of expanding our business improvement district to include the major commercial corridors of Roosevelt Avenue, Junction Boulevard, 103rd Street and National Street,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership.

In this expansion, the 82nd Street Partnership will form the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District (BID). This will become a community-driven effort including property owners, businesses, residents, public officials and other stakeholders that will improve the strip’s “sense of place.”

“The future BID will work to improve quality of life and support local economic activity in the neighborhood by creating a cleaner, safer, brighter, and overall more enjoyable place for everyone,” said Taylor.

Under the leadership of Ferreras and the BID’s steering committee, it will work with community boards and city government agencies, like the Department of Sanitation, to certify all the city services and resources will be delivered to the neighborhood.

According to Robert Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, Roosevelt Avenue will continue to flourish once the change, which was brought to the stretch on 82nd Street years ago by the 82nd Street Partnership, is replicated throughout the community.

In addition to the expansion, $350,000 in funding, from Mayor Bloomberg’s office in union with Small Business Services, was secured for a “Taste of the BID.” This “taste” will introduce local business owners and community residents the benefits of the expanded partnership.

In the following months, the 82nd Street Partnership will work with its partners to develop the BID plan and help form the neighborhood’s future headed for a “collectively shared vision,” said Taylor.

An introductory seminar to the expansion for residents, property and business owners will be held on Tuesday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. at 103-24 Roosevelt Avenue. To get more information on the BID, the community can visit www.jhcoronabid.org.

 

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Brrrrrrrr! How Queens is dealing with the cold


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Anthony O'Reilly

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

Baby it’s cold outside.

With temperatures expected to stay below freezing, and wind chill factors making it feel even colder over the next week, Queens residents are bundling up to protect themselves from the frigid temperatures.

Richard Schaffer, 51, of Bayside, volunteers to do yard work for the Lutheran Redeemer Church on Bell Boulevard. Schaffer says the only outdoor work he does during the winter months is to change the outside sign of the church, but even that is challenging with the cold.

“Unfortunately, you can’t change letters while wearing gloves,” he said.

Schaffer’s strategy for staying warm during the cold months, he says, is to avoid confronting it.

“I try to go outside as little as possible.”

Schaffer also said he had just come back from London, where there was snow and temperatures of about 30 degrees. He said that although there was snow in the UK, he’d prefer the weather from across the pond over the temperatures here.

“We didn’t know how good we had it over there.”

Lyle Sclair, executive director of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID), said during cold stretches, the employees who are outside sweeping the streets are provided with “weather appropriate clothes.”

“We provide them with a full body suit that goes over their regular uniform,” he said. “That’s because we value their service.”

A BID worker sweeping the streets of Bell Boulevard also wore an insulated face mask to keep his face warm while working outside.

When asked if employees had ever complained about working during the colder days, he said he wasn’t aware of any such instances happening.

Forecasts predict a light accumulation of snow for Friday, Jan. 25 and a mix of snow and rain for Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Despite this, Sclair says that BID workers will still be outside working if necessary.

Bayside BID holds election, 1 position still undecided


| Phertling@queenscourier.com

Lyle Sclair, new executive director of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID), will look to bring variety to Bell Boulevard over the next several months.

The BID held a meeting on Monday to discuss Sclair’s future plans of “branding” the already popular area.

“It’s a place to conduct business,” Sclair said.

Sclair along with Chair James Riso and Councilmember Dan Halloran addressed board members, business owners and residents about upgrading the BID’s strip.

“We have a variety of shopping here on Bell,” Sclair said. “We need to bring out what your customers are looking for in a shopping environment.”

The annual board member elections were also held at the meeting, which resulted in four new uncontested members. Mark Boccia and John DeFina were elected to represent Class A property owners while David Lilienthal and Edward Teran were chosen to represent Class B commercial tenants.

Former executive director Gregg Sullivan stirred up some controversy by criticizing the poor communication between him and Sclair. Sullivan thought he’d be running for a Class B spot, but instead found himself on the Class C resident’s ballot.

Halloran quickly put an end to the controversy by proving that Sullivan did not meet the credentials for a Class B position. Due to a mix up involving the proxy votes of the election, the sole Class C position is still undetermined. Either Sullivan or Mitchell Catanzano will be elected to the final spot.

In addition, a few other individuals were unhappy with the lack of communication from Sclair and Riso, who will be stepping down from his position to join the board.

“The more the merrier,” Riso said to those who were unaware they could run for the board, encouraging them to run for a spot at next year’s election.

Sclair spoke about how an increase in communication between the board and the businesses could improve the strip. A weekly newsletter has been created under his power and improvements to the BID website are in the near future. He believes a team effort will lead them to success.

“It’s everybody together moving forward,” Sclair said.

City Comptroller John Liu also stopped by the meeting to speak about the current state of the city’s economy.

“We have to have policies that start reducing this wealth gap and start filling the middle class up,” Liu said.

Liu added that he was a critic of the city’s economic development policies but was pleased with what he saw on Bell Boulevard.

“Every time you come here, you see more businesses opening. I think that’s a good sign that the economy is going to pick up,” Liu said.

 

Bayside BID director vows to better biz


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

BID1w

Bayside business and property owners were introduced to Lyle Sclair, the new executive director of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID), who discussed plans for the BID’s future.

Sclair, who succeeded recently-ousted Gregg Sullivan, was presented to a packed room of more than 50 BID members at All Saints Church on Tuesday, May 8.

He was chosen “based on his qualifications and his ideas,” said BID Chair James Riso, who held the final interview with Sclair. “Right at the table he knew what a BID was. He came into the meeting with fresh ideas.”

Sclair holds a degree in urban planning from New York University. He has experience as an economic development associate in Brooklyn and has worked with four BIDs.

He pledged to gathered entrepreneurs that he will cooperate with them to make them money, bring more customers to Bell Boulevard and transform Bayside into “a model retail” area not only for Queens, but all of New York City.

“You have a room full of engaged business individuals who want to make a difference and want to see their businesses succeed,” Sclair said. “So I think we have a lot of opportunity to go forward.”

He gave a run-down of plans for the future, including each member getting a free expo table at the upcoming June Art Fair, an event called “Roll Up the Gate” in September to have all property owners conduct a marathon open house and a plan to get patrons to flood Bayside restaurants in October during the Queens Economic Development Corporation’s Restaurant Week.

“Once I understand your challenges we can understand what reflective strengths are to address those,” Sclair explained. “It’s my job to make you money.”

Sullivan, who was at the meeting, approved his replacement as he acknowledged the goal of the BID is to make Bayside better.

“Seems like a wonderful gentlemen,” Sullivan said. “I already wished him the best of luck, told him I would offer him my support.”

After the event, Sclair said the goal is get to another level.

“Bayside is a very good shopping district,” Sclair said. “Other communities are saying that they want to be like Bayside — they want to be better than Bayside. We have to be better than ourselves.”

LIC to get BID


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

The Courier/Photos

Industrial business in LIC may soon be “improving.”

The city is progressing with its plan to launch Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), which are formal organizations made up of property owners who are dedicated to promoting business development and improving the quality of life in their area, in four industrial neighborhoods across the five boroughs – the west shore of Staten Island, Newtown Creek in Brooklyn, Eastchester in the Bronx and between Skillman Avenue and Borden Avenue and west of Van Dam Street in LIC.

The industrial BIDs will allow companies and properties to band together on unique issues they face, including security and sanitation problems. The creation of the districts will also provide a sustainable source of funding to support ongoing maintenance and capital improvements in the areas.

“The Bloomberg administration is once again demonstrating its commitment to supporting and expanding the city’s industrial sector,” said Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Seth Pinsky. “The creation of up to four industrial BIDs will allow industrial businesses across the city to work collectively to overcome the unique challenges they face, ultimately providing a major boost to a critical sector of our city’s economy.”

Commercial BIDs, which provide supplement services to the community through a special assessment payment from companies’ properties, have proven to be successful in transforming neighborhoods across the city – including Times Square and Bryant Park.

“I am pleased the EDC has chosen LIC for the creation of one of the first Industrial BIDs,” said

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “This initiative will create a sustainable source of funding that will provide flexibility within our industrial business zone in order to adapt to the changing economic environment in western Queens. Supporting industrial businesses ensures we will have a firm foundation of good paying jobs in Queens for many years to come.”

The EDC announced on April 10 that it has chosen the four local organizations that will lead the planning of the industrial BID formation in their respective neighborhoods over the next year. The LIC Partnership, which has already created a commercial BID in Queens Plaza and Jackson Avenue in LIC, was chosen as the consultant for its western Queens community based on its response to a Request For Proposals issued in December of 2011.

“LIC is home to the largest concentration of industrial businesses in New York City,” said Gayle Baron, president of the LIC Partnership. “The creation of an industrial BID in our neighborhood will further strengthen this very important business sector. Building upon our ongoing services to industrial businesses, we look forward to increasing this assistance by providing sustainable, innovative and customized services leading to an improved bottom line, business growth and new job creation for LIC’s industrial firms.”

All of the selected organizations have proposed a variety of innovative services that could be provided to businesses within the industrial BID, such as cost sharing for infrastructure improvements and waste removal services, group purchasing of health care and coordinated shipping of imports and exports.
Dan Miner, the senior vice president of business services for the LIC Partnership, believes creating the BID in LIC would provide industrial businesses with services they are currently without – increasing efficiency, market share or profits in the process.

The subsequent steps in the formation of the BIDs include outreach and authorization, which requires the approval of at least 50 percent of the property owners.

The city’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) recently approved a purchase contract of up to $300,000 to assist the organizations as they work to create the districts.

Bayside Bid Battle Brewing


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

DSC_0341

A business battle is brewing in Bayside.

Store owners on Bell Boulevard attended a meeting on April 18 organized by Gregg Sullivan – the former director of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID) – to address concerns about the current state of the organization. During the meeting, the BID members in attendance voted to reappoint Sullivan, who was fired on December 19.

The merchants’ complaints included a lack of information and response from the BID’s board since Sullivan’s firing, a blurring of the line between the BID and Bayside Business Association and ambiguity regarding the allocation of funds, including a reported 30 percent increase in the organization’s original $80,000 budget. No board members attended the meeting, although Sullivan claims to have invited them all.

“Bayside got lost, and it’s been unattended to and neglected,” Sullivan said. “We need to change that now. We need to reclaim Bayside and put it in the right direction.”
Claims were also made that some owners were unaware a BID existed or that they could apply for the right to vote. According to Sullivan, there are roughly 150 businesses in the BID – which is on Bell Boulevard from 35th Avenue to Northern Boulevard – and only 29 are signed up to vote.

“We need to unify and get everyone together as merchants and real estate owners and bring this back to life. We need to have organization, structure and passion and set a one-year plan in place,” said William Degel, a BID member who organized the meeting along with Sullivan. “Nobody has done anything [since Sullivan was fired.] There is no information and no communication. It’s like everything died.”

Degel, who owns Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse on Bell Boulevard, said he expects Sullivan to be reinstated and hopes to hold a meeting with the current board to gauge their interest in making improvements and increasing transparency. In the event the board is unwilling to negotiate, replacing the members entirely was discussed during the meeting.

The motion to reinstate Sullivan was introduced by Margaret Papacostas – BID member and owner of Azure clothing store – and subsequently seconded and approved by the 16 BID voters in attendance. No one opposed the motion.

Sullivan believes he was fired after the board discovered he sent a letter to the commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) complaining about the status of the BID. Although he claims he enjoyed working for members of the board, including BID President James Riso, Sullivan feels there may be a need for the infusion of new energy.

Riso says he was never invited to the meeting, and while Sullivan was well liked by business owners and energetic to the public, he was insubordinate behind the scenes. He also feels that the attacks on the BID have taken away from the organization’s ability to focus fully on improving business in the area.

Riso, who will step down in June due to fatigue, claims the BID’s budget was still $81,368 up until December 31, 2011, and that the board did everything expected of them at that time. With the recent increase in budget, the board hopes to accomplish more, according to Riso.

“We are not hiding behind a curtain doing secret things trying to get over on people,” said Riso. “I own a business on Bell Boulevard. I pay more taxes that anyone. We welcome people to help. Instead of having these secret meetings, help out. The people making these accusations are inhibiting us from progressing.”

Despite Sullivan’s claim that he has been reinstated to his former position, the BID recently hired an executive director. Lyle Sclair, a former economic development associate with the Brooklyn Economic Development Council, was named the new executive director of the BID on April 23. “My number one objective is to meet everyone and learn the challenges they are facing. I’m not out there to recreate the wheel, but really just to help them grow their businesses,” Sclair said. “Bell Boulevard has a great mix of restaurants, nightlife and shopping. It offers everything, so if you are looking for something you will find it on Bell Boulevard.”

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Gillibrand Wants Geese Roundup In Wake Of Bird Strikes

In the wake of a pair of recent bird strikes involving planes in the New York area, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is looking to rein in the flying nuisance responsible. She’s proposing a new measure that would make it easier for the Department of Agriculture to round up and kill Canada geese on federal land at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge near Kennedy Airport. Wildlife advocates oppose the idea. The birds can shatter windshields, dent fuselages and ruin engines. Read More: NY1

 

 

Jackson Heights BID Delivers On Promise, Merchants Say

The Jackson Heights shopping strip is looking a lot prettier these days with news trees, benches and cleaner streets. It’s a far cry from what the 82nd Street business improvement district or BID used to look like. Now it’s got a new look, new leadership and a new name. It’s now called the 82nd Street partnership and business owners appear to like it. Retail businesses are members of the BID and many of the store owners had complained to local leaders that under the old Business Improvement District there wasn’t a lot of improvement. Read More: NY1

 

 

Power line from Quebec to Astoria draws mixed reviews

A proposal to create a $2.2 billion power transmission line to bring wind and hydroelectric power from Quebec to Astoria is pitting environmentalists and against each another and creating some unusual alliances. The Champlain Hudson Power Express project would bring up to 1,000 megawatts of Canadian power into the city through a roughly 333-mile underground, and at times underwater, cable. Read More: Daily News

 

Judge clears crane magnate James Lomma of manslaughter in deaths

Manhattan crane czar James Lomma was acquitted Thursday of the deaths of two hardhats who were killed when one of his giant machines collapsed on them. Lomma, who was charged with manslaughter in the deadly May 2008 accident at an E. 91st St. construction site, sat stoically as Judge Daniel Conviser handed down his verdict in Manhattan Supreme Court. Lomma faced up to 15 years in prison for the deaths of Donald Leo, 30, and Ramadan Kurtaj, 27. The two were killed when the crane cab plunged 200 feet down into the street. Read More: Daily News

 

Knicks’ Lin beats Lakers’ Bryant in NBA jersey sales

Jeremy Lin outsold Kobe Bryant in official jersey sales over the past year, the NBA revealed Thursday, despite the Knicks phenom only emerging to prominence in February. Fans rushed to get the former undrafted D-Leaguer’s name on their back at an unprecedented rate when “Linsanity” took hold little more than two months ago as his breakthrough performances captured global attention. The mass demand meant only Bulls guard Derrick Rose sold more jerseys than Lin last year. It is the first time the Chicago star, who was boosted by last season’s MVP title, has topped the annual list. Read More: New York Post

Camera catches prostitute accused of stealing $500K worth of diamonds

This is the savvy prostitute who allegedly swiped half a million dollars worth of uncut diamonds from a hapless gem trader — caught on surveillance video as she made her barefoot getaway from a Manhattan hotel, police say. Erika Cooper, 34 — a k a Bianca Williams — is now the target of an NYPD manhunt for allegedly pulling off the April 17 heist at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, where she waited until her john Kurt Kaiser fell asleep before she fled with his loot. Her big mistake was giving Kaiser her real phone number, which cops have used to identify her and dig up mug shots from an earlier prostitution bust, a police source said. Read More: New York Post

Busy October for Bayside BID


| bdoda@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy Gregg Sullivan The Arts and Crafts Fair on Bell Boulevard was a hit with community

The first annual outdoor music festival on Bell Boulevard recently had community members dancing in the streets, according to Gregg Sullivan, Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID) executive director. But the fall events have just begun.

On Sunday, October 9 from noon until 6 p.m. the BID, in association with the Bayside Historical Society and Alley Pond Environmental Center, will temporarily close 41st Avenue on both sides of Bell Boulevard for the first annual Bayside Village Retail Expo. The event is specifically designed to introduce and reacquaint the local community with the local retail businesses along Bell Boulevard and to show shoppers what local retailers have to offer. The event will also feature live music at the newly-restored Bayside LIRR station park.

The following Sunday, October 16, Bell Boulevard will be host to the second annual Bayside Village Arts and Crafts Fair as well as the kick-off of the Bayside LIRR beautification. While there will be goods for sale along the boulevard, the emphasis of this year’s fair will focus more on the visual and performing arts with live performances from local musical and dance groups.

During last weekend in October, the BID is sponsoring a contest for storeowners along the boulevard for the most creative Halloween window display with the winner to be announced online on Tuesday, November 1.

For more details regarding these upcoming events, visitwww.baysidebid.com or call 718-423-2434.