Tag Archives: Easter

Two toddlers die in Far Rockaway home fire

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Updated Monday, April 21, 3:35 p.m.

Two 4-year-old siblings died early Easter morning in an accidental fire at a Far Rockaway home, according to the FDNY.

Firefighters responded to a one-alarm fire in the basement of a Bay 30th Street home at about 11:56 p.m. Saturday and the fire was under control by 1:17 a.m., officials said.

The cause of the blaze has been determined to be an accidental fire due to a child playing with fire, according to the FDNY.

Five people were removed from the two-story home, including 4-year-olds Jai’Luni Tinglin and Aniya Tinglin, who were taken to St. John’s Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival, police said.

The two toddlers were half-siblings, according to the NYPD.

Another 4-year old girl, Jai’Luni’s twin sister, was taken to St. John’s Hospital and is in stable condition. A 55-year-old woman was transported to Jamaica Hospital and a 63-year-old man, identified by police as the kid’s grandfather, was taken to Nassau University Medical Center. Both are listed in stable condition, cops said.

An FDNY officer was also transported to a nearby hospital with minor and none life threatening injuries, fire officials said.

According to a report published on the New York Post’s website Monday, the FDNY said that ambulances were delayed in responding to the deadly blaze.

“We are looking at the timeline and why it happened,” Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said, according to the Post.



Easter fun at LIC Flea this weekend

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Bradley Hawks

The LIC Flea & Food is hopping with Easter fun this weekend.

The popular  Long Island City market is on its third successful weekend and continues to bring visitors a wide array of items for sale including food and drinks, collectibles, antiques, arts and crafts, fashion and more.

The past two weekends have seen many new faces of both vendors and visitors as the spring weather continues to shine in Long Island City.

The market is located at the outdoor lot by the western Queens waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue.

This weekend the LIC Flea will host an Easter egg hunt with prizes including money to spend at the market.

LIC Flea & Food runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Applications are still being accepted for the new season by registering online at www.licflea.com.



Super-sized chocolate bunny raises money for Alzheimer research

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com



Aigner Chocolates is serving up something extra sweet this year for Easter.

The chocolate company based in Forest Hills has been making chocolate bunnies of all sizes for decades, but this year, its three-foot-tall, 17-pound milk chocolate bunny named Harvey will satisfy more than a few chocolate cravings.

Customers can buy raffle tickets for $1 to have a chance to win Harvey, which has a retail value of $400. All proceeds for the raffle are going to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer Research, a regional charity that puts more than 80 percent of its money toward research.

The original owners of Aigner Chocolates — John Aigner and Ester Tarp — were both diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

“It’s very close to our hearts,” said Christopher Aigner, the original owners’ grandson and current vice president. “We thought this would be a fun and festive way to raise funds and awareness for fighting this terrible disease.”

Harvey’s name plays homage to James Stewart’s invisible best friend in the 1950s classic “Harvey,” one of the Aigner family’s favorite films.

Smaller two-foot-tall chocolate bunnies named Easter Ester after Aigner’s grandmother are available in dark, milk and white chocolate. Aigner Chocolates also sells an array of other chocolatey treats including chocolate-covered marshmallow peeps, German papier-mâché eggs and marshmallow eggs.




Easter events in Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com



Starting at 11 a.m., the Spring Egg Hunt will take place at the Queens Botanical Garden, located at 43-50 Main Street in Flushing. Price of admission is $5.

Starting at noon, the Backyard Easter Egg Hunt will take place at the Queens County Farm Museum, located at 73-50 Little Neck Parkway in Glen Oaks. Price of admission is $5.

Starting at noon, the 12th annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place at St. Albans Memorial Park, located near Merrick Boulevard and Sayres Avenue in Jamaica. Admission is free.


Starting at 3 p.m., the Easter Egg Hunt will take place at the Forgiveness Assembly, 139-35 88th Avenue between the Cross Island Parkway and 247th Street in Jamaica. Price of admission is free.

Easter at Bohemian Hall will take place at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, located at 29-19 24th Avenue between 29th and 31st Streets. Price of admission is free but food purchase is required.

Forest Hills Ascension Presbyterian Church’s Easterfest will take place starting at 11 a.m, located at 2 Russell Place near Ascan Avenue. Price of admission is $5.


Transit changes for the holiday weekend

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

On Good Friday, March 29, all New York City buses will follow a regular weekday schedule, as well as following a regular Sunday schedule on Easter (March 31).

The Long Island Rail Road will follow a regular weekday schedule on Good Friday, but will add eight additional trains between 2:08 p.m. and 3:48 p.m. Three additional trains will run on the Babylon branch, three on the Port Jefferson branch, one on the Port Washington branch, and one on the Far Rockaway branch.

The additional trains are as follows:

Babylon Branch
• 2:29 p.m. express to Lynbrook, then all stops to Babylon.
• 3:00 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Rockville Centre, then all stops to Babylon.
• 3:31 p.m. express to Rockville Centre, then all stops to Babylon.

Port Jefferson Branch
• 2:08 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Mineola, then all stops to Huntington.
• 2:32 p.m. stopping at Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Jamaica, New Hyde Park, then all stops to

• 3:24 p.m. stopping at Jamaica, Mineola, Westbury and Hicksville.

Port Washington Branch
• 3:40 p.m. stopping at Woodside, Flushing Main St., then all stops to Great Neck.

Far Rockaway Branch
• 3:48 p.m. express to Locust Manor, then all stops to Far Rockaway.

All road closures will also be temporarily lifted by 1 p.m. on Friday, March 29, in anticipation of a early rush hour.

For more information on service changes, visit mta.info.



Queens chocolate company gets $250K grant for Sandy recovery

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence Cullen

Normally, the staff of Madelaine Chocolate makes Valentine’s Day sweet for countless couples.

But this year, because of Sandy, their holiday was sweetened thanks to National Grid.

The gas company presented owners at Madelaine with a check for $250,000 on Tuesday, February 12 to help the confectioners continue their recovery. The money will go toward getting at least one leg of the Madelaine factory producing chocolate again, said co-owner Jorge Farber, and the staff back to work for Halloween candy.

“It’s a beginning for a long, long road that is ahead of us,” Farber said. “This grant from National Grid is the first substantial outside grant and resources we have received. It’s a very concrete first step because it helps us rebuild one of our 14 molding lines that produce chocolate.”

This is the first of several grants National Grid will give to companies in its floodzone that suffered severe damage from the storm. National Grid president Ken Daly said the power company has a $30 million fund, with roughly 100 companies applied. The amount of grant money will vary based on the company, he added.

Jack Friedman, executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said the grant would be a boost to Madelaine and the workers who live nearby.

“It’s going to help re-employ some of the workers who have been out of work since October, and probably will be out of work through the summer,” Friedman said. “And it’s going to help the community of Rockaway because most of their workers come from the local area.”

Madelaine, the largest Queens small business with about 450 employees, was the first on National Grid’s list, Daly said, because of the long working relationship between the two. The executives at National Grid are committed to getting Madelaine back and making candy as soon as possible.

“[For] many, many years, they’ve been supporting us as a company,” Daly said. “Today, it’s really our opportunity to return that support and help them get back up and running.”

Farber said the factory had already lost two seasons — Valentine’s Day and Easter — of candy production because of the damage from the storm. The combined cost of the damage and cost of doing business is still unestimated, he said.

The first of the eight kitchens, however, has been almost restored. That kitchen had a staff of 42 and produced about 46,000 of 100,000 pounds of chocolate per day.

The grant from National Grid was the first step in getting the staff back to work, as the company awaits potential loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. As more loans and donations come in, the staff can begin making chocolate goodies for distribution.

“We cannot lose another season,” Farber said. “We need to be back by Halloween.”




The meaning of Easter brings families together

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


If you ask Christians what their favorite holiday is, many will quickly answer “Christmas.” People love the lights and trees, the presents and songs, the red poinsettias and gold bows. However, as much as I too love Christmas, Easter is my favorite. Easter Sunday and the week before, which we call Holy, reminds me every year why that baby was born on Christmas day. Jesus was born and lived for a reason, so that he may die and rise for all of us.

Easter is my favorite time of year because we know that the warmth of the spring and summer are approaching and the darkness and cold of winter are behind us. It is a time of change, rebirth, renewal and life. The warm pastel colors of the clothing people wear and flowers that are in bloom give me energy. These signs of life remind me that our God is a living God, who is always there to lift us out of the darkness.

Easter is my favorite also because it is a time for family to come together with no strings attached. There are no pressures to buy the perfect gift, or have the most lights on the house, or decorate the tree better than last year. Families get dressed up for Easter Mass and attend as a family. The Catholic Church offers believers a dramatic retelling of the Easter story through the liturgies, music and decorations of Holy Week. It is through the traditions of the Church that we too walk in the steps of Christ to His crucifixion so that we may likewise enjoy the rewards of His resurrection.

When families return home from Mass and come around the table for Easter dinner, they often recall those that are no longer with them. Maybe they remember the pies that grandma made, or the fruit that grandpa use to ask for. While most of us enjoy a particularly American Christmas and Thanksgiving, no matter what our ethnic heritage, the family traditions of Easter for many have retained their cultural identity. This is most obvious in the food that we eat. On Christmas we eat duck and on Thanksgiving we eat turkey, but for Easter every table is different. We may eat rabbit or lamb, pasta or ham, but the miracle of the day is that we are able to celebrate the same thing in different ways. This also allows us to recall our roots and the very basics which ground us as a family.

Easter is my favorite because every dish has a meaning and a story. Recipes are handed down which tie food and faith together as reminders of the important things that sustain a family physically and spiritually. Children eat the candy from their Easter baskets while Charlton Heston stars on our home television screens in “The Ten Commandments,” 56 years later.

Yes, Easter is my favorite holiday because it is my favorite holyday. It is the day which we commemorate just how much God loves us all and reminds that in turn we must love each other.