Tag Archives: Cambria Heights

More West Nile spraying to target Queens this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYC Health Department

Another round of West Nile spraying is set for parts of Queens this week.

The spraying will take place on Thursday, Sept. 18, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Monday, Sept. 22 during the same hours.

The following neighborhoods are being treated to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease, according to the city’s Health Department:

Parts of Arverne, Bays Water, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Hammels and Somerville (Bordered by Jamaica Bay to the north; Cross Bay Parkway to the west; Atlantic Ocean to the south; and Nassau County Boundary to the east).

Parts of Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Saint Albans and Springfield Gardens (Bordered by 119th Avenue to the north; Farmers Boulevard to the west; Merrick Boulevard to the south; and Belt Parkway and Nassau County Line to the east).

map 2

For the application, the Health Department will spray pesticide from trucks and use a very low concentration of Anvil®, 10 + 10, a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health.

The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

  • Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions  are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.
  • Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
  •  Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If  outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using  again.
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

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Bronx man found fatally shot in Cambria Heights


| lguerre@queenscourier.com


A man was shot and killed in Cambria Heights on Saturday, police said.

Cops responded to a 9-1-1 call at about 10:20 p.m. and discovered 33-year-old Jason Bragg of the Bronx unconscious with a wound to his head.

EMS pronounced the man dead at the scene and the medical examiner’s office later determined the man died from a gunshot injury.

The investigation is ongoing.

 

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Free lunches for kids to be distributed at Queens libraries this summer


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Liam La Guerre

BY PAULINA TAM

Twenty-two Queens Library locations, in partnership with the city’s Department of Education (DOE), will be distributing free summer meals to children and teens 18 years and under starting June 27 to August 29.

Bagged lunches will be served every Monday through Friday between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. and each will generally include a fresh sandwich, fruit, milk and sometimes a salad, according to library spokeswoman Joanne King.

“The library is an open public space and we want to attract people to come to the library,” King said. “While they’re here they can have free access to other programs. The Queens Library also has a very robust summer reading program and we want to encourage people to get involved with that so they can be better prepared for the academic program in the fall.”

There is no application, qualification or ID necessary to receive a free meal. Children and teens are recommended to arrive early to get lunches, while supplies last. The Queens Library is just one of many agencies collaborating with the DOE, and interested parties could call 311 to get a full list of participating locations.

Listed below are the participating Queens Library locations:

312 Beach 54 St., Arverne

14-01 Astoria Blvd., Astoria

117-11 Sutphin Blvd., Baisley Park

218-13 Linden Blvd., Cambria Heights

1637 Central Ave., Far Rockaway

41-17 Main St., Flushing

202-05 Hillside Ave., Hollis

89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica

134-26 225th St., Laurelton

98-30 57th Ave., Lefrak City

37-44 21st St., Long Island City

40-20 Broadway (at Steinway Street), Long Island City

92-24 Rockaway Blvd., Ozone Park

158-21 Jewel Ave., Pomonok (Flushing)

103-34 Lefferts Blvd., Richmond Hill

169-09 137th Ave., Rochdale Village

116-15 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Park

204-01 Hollis Ave., South Hollis

108-41 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., South Jamaica

43-06 Greenpoint Ave., Sunnyside

85-41 Forest Pkwy., Woodhaven

54-22 Skillman Ave., Woodside

 

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Driver arrested after bicyclist hit, killed in Cambria Heights


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

A driver was arrested after fatally striking a 53-year-old man while he was riding his bike in Cambria Heights Friday morning, cops said.

The victim, William Faison, was traveling southbound down 228th Street at about 8:55 a.m. when he was struck by a Kia sedan as it was driving westbound on 120th Avenue, officials said.

Faison was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said the sedan’s driver, Tiffany Delcia Moore, 26, was charged with aggravated unlicensed operator.

 

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Queens chef wins Food Network’s ‘Cutthroat Kitchen’


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Brian Redondo

Chef Tomica “Tom” Burke took a leap of faith that made her a Food Network champion.

Burke, a Douglaston resident who grew up in Cambria Heights, came out the victor Sunday on the Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.” She went head-to-head with three other chefs on the reality cooking show hosted by celebrity chef Alton Brown.

“I couldn’t breathe in the morning before we started filming,” Burke said. “Once we got into the studio, it was a totally different ball game. You’re there and doing the best you can. It was very hard; between every round I had no idea what was going to happen.”

Contestants are given $25,000 at the start of the show to bid on the right to sabotage their competition during three rounds of cooking challenges.

In the episode called “Chain of Tools,” Burke had to create her own versions of Cobb salad, enchiladas and layered cake while facing sabotages such as having to mix ingredients in a cement mixer and create her own kitchen out of items within a shopping cart.

Although Burke had received no training as a chef and never enrolled in culinary school, the Queens resident beat her competition Sunday night and took home a total of $8,600 in winnings.

“You have no idea what you can do until you have to do it,” she said.

Burke, however, did not start off as a chef. The 31-year-old graduated from Columbia Law School and, while studying and working in a city law firm, took courses at the Institute of Culinary Education. She then decided to leave the legal profession and opened her own catering company in 2013 called “TomCookery – New Comfort Cuisine & Catering.”

Since then, Burke has been cooking Caribbean and Southern-inspired food, influenced by her grandmothers, out of the Entrepreneur Space in Long Island City. TomCookery caters for any kind of party including weddings, bar mitzvahs and much more.

She said as a new business it was very important for her to take the risk of competing on the show, which she hopes will create more business and recognition for TomCookery.

“I think taking risks is super-important in general,” she said. “You shouldn’t limit yourself, just jump at every opportunity and let life decide what is going to happen.”

For those who want to catch a rerun of Burke on “Cutthroat Kitchen,” the episode will air again on April 26 at 4 p.m. and May 4 at 6 p.m.

For more information on TomCookery visit here.

 

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Cambria Heights high school scholar set to graduate in three years


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Rosmary Reyes

Follow me @liamlaguerre

While most high school students are happy to leave school when the bell rings, Rosmary Reyes takes extra classes, which sometimes keep her as late as 6 p.m.

Now that extra time is about to pay off.

Reyes, a student at Business, Computer Applications & Entrepreneurship High School in Cambria Heights, is set to graduate after just three years.

“I feel like as soon as I get out of high school, I can get into the real world and closer to my dream of being a lawyer,” Reyes said. “The faster the better.”

Reyes, 16, maintains a 91 percent average in school, is a member of Arista, the National Honor Society, and is in the running to be her school’s valedictorian or salutatorian. She speaks fluent Spanish, and also knows American Sign Language, which Reyes learned so she could communicate with her deaf cousins.

Besides her academics, Reyes participates in a great deal of extracurricular activities and volunteer work.

She is president of the school’s student government, editor of the yearbook, a member of the journalism and the recycling clubs, and she also tutors students who need help in specific subjects. Reyes volunteers at the annual high school fair for eighth-graders and the college fair.

Outside school, Reyes is a New York Cares team leader and has volunteered to help many causes, including working in a soup kitchen and taking part in a coat drive for a senior citizens home.

“It’s not just for academic achievement or looking better for my resume,” Reyes said. “I like [volunteering] because I want to do it. I like helping people and being in leadership roles.”

Even before high school, Reyes was an exceptional student. She received student of the month and student of the year awards from M.S. 61. Reyes pushes herself to do more, because of her philosophy to stay motivated.

“When you are tired and just want to give up, you should just stop for a moment and imagine what you can achieve if you try just a little bit more,” Reyes said.

But her ideals aside, Reyes recognized that she wouldn’t have been able to achieve all of her accomplishments without her family as a backbone of support.

“[I] give thanks to my parents for always giving me the resources I need, and my sister for always giving me the push I need to achieve my goals.”

Reyes is now waiting to hear from St. John’s University, where she plans to continue her education. She then wants to go to law school to become a civil litigator or human rights lawyer.

“I always found a true passion in it,” Reyes said. “The thing I like about lawyers is that they get to help people who may not be able to help themselves.”

 

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Several injured during attempted carjacking in Cambria Heights


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A suspect is in custody after he stabbed several people during an attempted carjacking in Cambria Heights Tuesday afternoon, police said.

The attempted carjacking occurred about 12:35 p.m. at 228th Street and 115th Avenue when a man approached the passenger side of a 52-year-old woman’s Hyundai, cops said. After he asked to use her cell phone, the suspect stabbed the woman. She then drove away with the suspect in the car, struck a tree at 226th Street and the vehicle overturned, according to authorities.

A few Good Samaritans came to help the woman, including a 36-year-old man who kicked in the windshield to get the woman out of the car, police said. The suspect, while trying to flee, then stabbed two other people who were trying to help, a 38-year-old and a 57-year-old man.

All three of the victims were taken to the hospital, authorities said. The woman is in stable condition and the two men’s injuries were non-life threatening.

The suspect was taken into custody and charges are pending, cops said.

 

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Pols put a stop to dangerous traffic at Cambria Heights intersection


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Drivers passing through an accident-prone intersection can now do so more safely thanks to new streetlights.

In Cambria Heights, the intersection of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 121st Avenue has been a notorious site for car crashes. Local officials responded and worked to get three streetlights put up along the busy roadway.

Councilmembers Donovan Richards and I. Daneek Miller, whose districts meet at the intersection, advocated for the safety measure in the residential neighborhood.

“For a very long time, this intersection has been dangerous to not only my district but Daneek’s district,” Richards said. “Today, you don’t see cars crisscrossing each other.”

Miller’s predecessor, Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie, started work on the traffic installment during his time as a councilmember. Miller took over the project after his term began this month.

“I live and grew up on this street,” Miller said. “We’ve been watching it grow. We have a real increase in traffic that needs to be addressed.”

In recent years, Cambria Heights has experienced several traffic fatalities. A 27-year-old man lost his life in March 2013 after losing control of his vehicle while on icy Francis Lewis Boulevard, and Paulina Rodriguez, 24, died in a three-car accident after she ran a stop sign on 115th Avenue and 227th Street.

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Netball added to Cambria Heights, Saint Albans middle schools programs


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Netball America

Young girls in south Queens now have an opportunity to play a different version of a familiar sport.

Netball, a form of basketball that is primarily played by women and girls, was added to the Department of Education’s Cooperative, Healthy, Active, Motivated, and Positive Students (CHAMPS) program, which provides a variety of sports and activities for youngsters in hundreds of public schools.

P.S./ M.S. 147 Ronald McNair in Cambria Heights and I.S. 192 The Linden school in Saint Albans are among a list of six schools in the city that are currently participating in a pilot program to introduce the sport.

“I’m so excited, because our goal was to get into the U.S. educational system,” Sonya Ottaway, president of Netball America, said. “It’s a great opportunity to get girls more active and just get them excited about sports again. It’s about giving them another option.”

Although Netball was invented around the same time as basketball, the sport is very popular in foreign countries, such as Australia, England and countries in the Caribbean. Now about 70 million people in 20 countries play the sport, according to stats from Netball America.

Netball, like basketball, mainly consists of shooting a ball in a hoop to score points. However, unlike basketball opposing players are not allowed to contact each other and there are seven instead of five players on each side of the court. Also, players on offense don’t dribble, but pass to advance the ball, and some players are redistricted to certain areas of the court.

Since mostly girls play the sport, traditional uniforms have skirts. However, boys can play the sport with shorts.

“Basketball is too rough and soccer or rugby girls shy away from it,” Ottaway said. “Because it’s none contact sport, boys and girls can play together. How many sports can you have boys and girls on the same court?”

Having the sport in the middle school system is significant, because netball organizations having been trying to grow it around the country for years. Ottaway hopes it will expand through children, who will grow with the sport.

“Right now we are starting with the middle schools,” Ottaway said. “We want to have everyone, but we are doing it piece by piece. Once [girls] see it, it’s going to pick up like wildfire.”

If the sport becomes popular, it’ll be added to other CHAMPS schools around the borough and in the city as well.

 

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Clyde Vanel latest to enter race for Malcolm Smith’s Senate seat


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photo

The race for State Senator Malcolm Smith’s seat is widening with new contender Clyde Vanel.

Vanel joins attorney Munir Avery to try and snag the Senate seat from Smith, who was arrested last April for corruption charges.

“We have zero representation right now in the Senate,” Vanel said of the 14th Senate District, which comprises of southeast Queens neighborhoods, including Jamaica, Queens Village, Hollis and Cambria Heights.

Vanel, a Cambria Heights native, wants to focus on bringing jobs back to the district and straightening out “Albany’s dysfunction.”

“We need to bring more jobs to our state and economic policy,” he said. “I have owned and run businesses before. I’ve had employees. I’m a business attorney, so I understand the policies and regulations that make it difficult for people to keep small businesses in New York.”

Vanel most recently ran to replace the term-limited Councilmember Leroy Comrie, but fell short by two percent of the votes to current Councilmember Daneek Miller in September’s primary.

Since then, the attorney said he has “been trying to get back on my feet” and expand support in the district for this upcoming election.

If elected, he said he would “be loyal to the Democratic Party,” criticizing Smith for associating with the Independent Democratic Conference, a bipartisan legislative branch. He also hopes to find alternative ways to bringing in revenue outside of raising taxes.

“We have to be more creative with respect to how do we generate revenue from the government, and how do we do more with less,” he said.

He added he will soon be releasing a plan of ideas on how to do so.

“I’m the best person that is currently in the race now,” he said. “The thing is, I’m not running against Malcom Smith, I’m running for the seat. The plan of attack is to just stand on the issues.”

 

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West Nile spraying in Queens this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of James Gathany/CDC

On Thursday, August 22 there will be West Nile spraying in parts of Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

The spraying will take place between the hours of 8:15 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Monday, August 26, during the same hours.

Parts of  Auburndale, Murray Hill, Pomonok and Queensboro Hill (Bordered by: Northern Boulevard, Sanford Avenue, 156th Street, 46th Avenue, and Holly Avenue to the north; Kissena Boulevard to the west; Long Island Expressway to the south; and Fresh Meadow Lane and Auburndale Lane to the east).

Parts of  Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens and Saint Albans (Bordered by Linden Boulevard to the north; 170th Street, Ring Place, 171st Street to the west; 125th Ave, Merrick Boulevard, 223rd Street and 130th Avenue to the south; and Francis  Lewis Boulevard, 121st Avenue and Francis Lewis Boulevard to the east).

For the sprayings, the Health Department will use a very low concentration of Anvil®, 10 + 10 a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health.

The Health Department  recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

  • Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions  are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.
  • Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
  •  Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If  outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using  again.
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

Cambria Heights residents demand action after cars crash into accident-prone home


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

For residents of one Cambria Heights block, it was nothing new.

In the early morning hours of Friday, May 3, two cars reportedly collided and then careened into a home near the corner of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 133rd Avenue. According to residents, traffic conditions create a high number of accidents in the area.

“This is something that’s been happening for a while,” said Roxanne Depeiza, who lives next door to the damaged home.

Depeiza said the home’s resident, Pat Austin, frequently deals with her property being damaged, with cars regularly knocking down her fence. Friday’s accident was the second time her stairs have been destroyed, according to Depeiza.

“Those stairs are her entrance and exit to the house,” she said. “What does she do now?”

Austin could not be reached for comment.

Depeiza said last month, two cars got into an accident on the block and slid into her own parked van, “totaling” it completely.

Along Francis Lewis Boulevard, one traffic light is at 133rd Avenue, with another a short distance away at Merrick Boulevard. Residents said that cars speed down the road to make green lights.

“Once that first light changes, you don’t have much time to make the second,” said David Varick, who lives on the block.

Depeiza said she has asked the Department of Transportation (DOT) to install speed bumps in the area, but to no avail.

The DOT said it has not received any requests, but will review the location for the applicability of safety enhancements.

The department added there have been no fatalities, pedestrian injuries or serious driver injuries at the intersection between 2007 and 2011, the most recent year for which data is available.

“Somebody needs to do something about this before someone dies,” said Depeiza. “It’s getting worse every year. I could go on and on about how many accidents we see here.”

 

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Neighborhood Care center will help solve policy problems


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Ben Scaccia, the lead strategic implementation specialist for Emblem Health’s Neighborhood Care, told a room full of civic and religious leaders in southeast Queens that the insurance company’s new centers throughout the city were set to be “open, personal statements in the community.”

Emblem’s Neighborhood Care center in Cambria Heights is set for a test opening on October 29 at its new Linden Boulevard site, but its grand opening for the public will be in December. The goal of this facility, Emblem representatives said, was to provide a face-to-face help center for policy holders that will help with any problems they might have with bills or coverage. It will be open Monday through Saturday and provide help in English and Spanish.

The center will also go beyond normal policy help, Emblem staffers noted, and look to help members with their health and ability to pay for co-pays.

The center is open to any policy holder, he said, with a smaller scale of the site’s features available to non-members.

In addition to bill and coverage services, the representatives said health classes would be offered to help particularly target the high diabetic demographic in the region.

Several community leaders in attendance suggested that while diabetes is a major issue in the community, the care center should later explore targeting concerns of asthma and obesity in the region.

Philippa Karteron, executive director of the Council for Airport Opportunity, told the Emblem team that she currently had a package with the company for her staff. Karteron asked if the care center could come visit her office, or if she could bring her staff to the center, to inform them of what assistance the site really offered.

David Fleminster assured her that small businesses working with Emblem would have the option of bringing in staff to completely understand what Neighborhood Care offered, or Emlbem can visit an office to inform the staff.

Dr. Eliza Ng, a senior medical director at Emblem, summed the presentation up by saying that it was not just about retaining policy holders but supporting them.

“We want to be part of the dialogue,” Ng said. “I think we would like to be there and help people take care of their families and loved ones.”

Districting debacle: Blurry line for Cambria Heights


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the NYC Districting Commission

Cambria Heights residents are standing unified against a proposal to divide them into two council districts.

Around 400 people attended an emergency town hall meeting on Sunday, October 21, hosted by attorney and assembly hopeful Clyde Vanel.

“We were expecting 40 people,” said Vanel, who was pleasantly surprised by the community turnout.

Vanel told the community that the New York City Districting Commission was drawing up plans to move a section of Cambria Heights from District 27 into the neighboring District 31. This map was based on population changes from the 2010 census, designed to make sure each district contains an equal number of constituents.

However, at Community Board 13’s monthly meeting the next day on Monday, October 22, residents learned that the commission is working on revising this proposed map, and trying to keep the neighborhood together.

Jonathan Ettricks, director of community outreach for the commission, attended Monday’s meeting and spoke to over 100 concerned residents.

“The first proposal cut out a small piece of Cambria Heights based on population change only,” said Ettricks. “It didn’t take into account the needs and concerns of the people of Cambria Heights.”

The current line for District 27 runs along 121st Avenue from Springfield Boulevard to the Cross Island Parkway. The preliminary draft moves 119th Avenue from Springfield Boulevard to 230th Street into District 31.

Ettricks said that the first proposal was scratched last week — before Sunday’s town hall meeting — and that “the people who organized the meeting hadn’t looked at the [districting] website or called me.”

After a second public hearing on Wednesday, October 10, the commission began revising maps based on public input.

“The goal is to try to put Cambria Heights into [District] 27,” said Ettricks.

“They’re going to ‘try’?” countered Vanel, who is continuing to urge community engagement.

Vanel insists that Sunday’s emergency meeting was necessary, because a large majority of the community was still unaware of the redistricting proposal, as shown from the large turnout.

“I don’t understand how the commission could tell the community: ‘We met, we’ll try to keep Cambria Heights in one community, but the process is still going,” said Vanel. “How definitive is that?”

At the town hall meeting, Vanel passed around a petition, and hopes to acquire 1,000 signatures. He also suggests that residents write letters to the commission voicing their concerns. The process, according to Vanel, is “still not over.”

“Go to your block, go to your neighbors, go to your friends. Empower yourselves,” he said.

However, Ettricks said that the commission is in fact working to accommodate the neighborhood.

“As long as Cambria Heights can be put into [District] 27 as a whole without exceeding the deviation called for by the charter, it’s something that could be done, and that’s what we’re looking at now,” he said.

The New York City charter that Ettricks referenced requires drawing district lines that keep neighborhoods intact.

The next public meeting addressing this issue, among others citywide, is being held at New York Law School on Tuesday, October 30, at 1 p.m. Final draft plans from the commission will be submitted to the City Council by November 5; if those plans are rejected, another round of public hearings will commence. Residents can visit www.nyc.gov/districting for more information.

“People need to continue to pay attention to the process,” said Ettricks.

Synagogue, residents at odds over busing


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

In Cambria Heights, a battle rages on between an area synagogue and longtime residents.

The Congregation Ohel Chabad Lubavitch proposed earlier this year to create a layover zone on Francis Lewis Boulevard, in between 227th and 228th Streets, for buses that transport congregants. The vehicles would take worshippers to and from services, and wait parked until pick-up times in front of Montefiore Cemetery.

However, residents of the residential area are far from pleased with the idea.

“You have to realize, this is not the Port Authority. This is not Canal Street. What you’re doing is you’re actually dropping off 50-60 people per bus in front of someone’s house,” said Tanya Cruz, the head of Community Board 13’s Transportation Committee.

A constant flow of people visit each day, with the number swelling on religious occasions, according to Ohel officials. Director Abba Refson compared the synagogue to a “museum in Manhattan,” said that people from all over the world visit the site. It has had visitors from places as near as New Jersey and far as Australia, and Refson wishes to accommodate these guests.

The Ohel has become a destination for thousands of religious Jews, for it is the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. Jews from all over the world are said to come to the site to receive inspiration and blessings from the revered spiritual leader of the Chabad-Lubavitcher movement, who died in 1994.

Each group that visits is responsible for providing its own transportation, and must cover the costs. Price varies with each group, determined in part by the length of the trip and the type of bus they choose to travel in, whether it is a charter bus or a school bus.

According to Cruz, the group’s lawyer, Lyra Altman, said only five to seven buses would be present at the site at a time.

“There are buses that come every day, and very often they don’t have parking and they double park,” said Refson. “There are complaints from the neighbors regarding the buses idling.”

The layover zone would theoretically eliminate engine idling and prevent them from stopping traffic, according to Refson.

Despite the benefits, residents living around the suburban area still see disadvantages. The chair of the Cambria Heights Civic Association, Kelli Singleton, spoke at a Community Board 13 meeting about the matter.

“Our civic association is opposed to this request,” she said on behalf of the organization.

In a letter to the Community Board, Singleton stated that the association is opposed due to potential damage to air quality, safety, residents’ welfare and the lack of a traffic study of the area.

As an alternative, the civic association proposes the charter buses drop visitors in the cemetery parking lot, and then proceed to a separate area along the nearby Springfield Boulevard between 121st and 122nd Avenues, where they can park and await pick-up times.

In order to determine the feasibility of this option, Singleton suggested Altman, on behalf of the synagogue, contact the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Debuty Borough Commissioner, Dalila Hall.

Hall said that no proposal has been presented regarding Springfield Boulevard, but that when one is, the request will be processed through the DOT.

Another alternative would be to park in the Montefiore Cemetery lot, close to the synagogue. Montefiore is up for sale, and the parking lot can be repurposed.

Glenn Nielsen, the manager of Montefiore Cemetery, was not approached by anyone about that possibility.

Refson said that the congregation is not necessarily opposed to these ideas, but believes they are impractical compared to the current proposal.

“Knowing the situation on the ground, this is the most practical solution,” he said.

“We’re willing to work with them,” said Singleton of the Orthodox sect. “We understand their need to pray and what have you — that’s not what this is about. We need to act within the law, and not infringe on the residents’ rights at the same time.”