Tag Archives: Flushing

19th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day to kick off US Open with concerts, tennis programs


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Dominick Totino

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is hoping to kick off the US Open with a blast through the 19th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day event.

Tennis and musical stars will combine on Saturday to bring a day of fun activities and performances, while signaling the start of the two-week Grand Slam tournament in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Every year, Kids’ Day displays some of the music industry’s top up-and-coming performers at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Last year, Ariana Grande and Austin Mahone took part in the event, and past acts include Justin Bieber, Rihanna, the Jonas Brothers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sean Kingston, Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys.

This year country superstar Hunter Hayes, duo MKTO, girl group McClain, British pop rock band The Vamps, teen sensation Madison Beer and DJ Salerno, among others will headline the list of performers for the event.

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Besides the concerts, there will be a variety of tennis programs for kids to learn more about the game, such as lessons with professional teachers, special technology to test the speed of kids’ serves and obstacle courses to challenge agility and balance. Fans can also get autographs and watch some pros as they practice for the tournament.

“Not only is Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess a fantastic way to kick off the US Open, but it’s also a great time to encourage youth to be active, play tennis and develop healthy habits,” said USTA Executive Director and COO Gordon Smith. “This annual event continues to bring the entire family together for a fun-filled day of sports and entertainment.”

Michelle

Various celebrities and tennis stars usually host the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. First lady Michelle Obama and Serena Williams shared the stage in last year’s event. This year, actors Jeff Sutphen, China Anne McClain and fitness trainer Shaun T will host the event and US Open men’s singles No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic will make an appearance.

For more information on the event, click here.

 

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Anti-John Liu protestors disrupt political forum


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Eric Jankiewicz

A group of protestors crashed a political discussion forum in Flushing Tuesday, claiming that one of the candidates, John Liu, was a spy for the Chinese government.

Liu and Paul Gilman are challenging state Sen. Tony Avella for his seat in the state senate. They were invited to discuss issues ranging from immigration to the minimum wage.

Unlike a debate, each person answered questions individually. But as soon as Liu took the stage several people from the large audience stood up from their seats, walked up to Liu and unraveled a sign that said “Arrest john [sic] Liu to Prevent his further Harm to the U.S.”

Liu supporters quickly tore the sign down but the protestors, shouting in Mandarin, prevented the forum from continuing for more then 20 minutes.

Workers from the MinKwon Center,the organization that held the forum ,attempted to remove the protestors by pushing them out, but the anti-Liu group wouldn’t budge.

Eventually cops were called and escorted the protestors from the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing.

“This injustice must be exposed,” protester Guohua Liu said through a translator. “Mr. Liu is not an American; he is with the Chinese government.”

After the protestors left, Liu, the politician, explained that these protestors often follow him around and crash other parties.

The other candidates were not present for the protest.  Each addressed the group separately.

 

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Missing 85-year-old Flushing man found in good health: cops


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of NYPD

Updated 5:32 p.m.

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Police have found the 85-year-old Flushing man who went missing Monday afternoon.

A Silver Alert was issued  for Michael Sakis , who only speaks Greek, on Aug. 18 after he was last seen inside his residence, wearing blue jeans, a blue polo shirt and brown shoes, according to police.

According to police, Sakis was found in good health.

 

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Work progressing on 13-story Flushing residential building  


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Excavation work recently began on a planned 13-story residential building in Flushing.

The building, which will be located on the corner of Main Street and Elder Avenue near the Queens Botanical Garden, will have 20 apartments, according to filings with the Department of Buildings.

Raymond Chan Architect designed the building, and it is expected to be completed by winter 2015.

 

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Health Department to treat parts of Queens against West Nile


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Images Courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Tuesday, Aug. 19, the Health Department will treat parts of Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of West Nile virus.

The treatment, which will spray pesticide from trucks, will take place between the hours of 8:15 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Wednesday, Aug. 20. during the same hours.

For this spraying, 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.

LOCATIONS:

Parts of Corona, Forest Hills, Forest Hill Gardens, Flushing, Kew Gardens Hills, Queensboro Hill and Rego Park (Bordered  by Long Island Expressway, College Point Boulevard and Booth Memorial Avenue to the north; 99th Street, 67th Avenue and Austin Street to the west; Jackie Robinson Parkway and Grand Central Parkway to the south; and Main Street to the east)

Parts of Bellrose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Hollis Hills, Glen Oaks and Little Neck (Bordered by Long Island Expressway, Douglaston Parkway and Van Zandt Avenue to the north; Cloverdale Boulevard,73rd Avenue and Springfield Boulevard to the west; Hillside Avenue to the south; Little Neck Parkway, Leith Road, Hewlett Street and Langdale Street to the east.)

 

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Private ambulette fatally strikes bicyclist in Flushing


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A man riding his bike in Flushing was killed when he was hit by a private ambulette Wednesday morning, according to police.

As the ambulette was driving southbound on Parsons Boulevard at about 9:50 a.m., it struck the bicyclist as he made a left turn onto 37th Avenue from the opposite direction of the boulevard, cops said.

The bicyclist, a man in his 60s who has yet to be identified by police, was taken to New York Hospital Queens by EMS, where he was pronounced dead.

The NYPD’s Highway District Collision Investigation Squad is investigating.

 

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Suspect snatches necklace from wheelchair-bound 50-year-old in Flushing: cops


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a suspect who stole from a wheelchair-bound man as he sat on a Flushing street.

The 50-year-old victim was on Franklin Avenue near Bowne Street at about 4:15 p.m. on Monday when the suspect placed his hand on the victim’s shoulder and grabbed a chain from his neck, cops said.

The suspect then fled westbound on Franklin Avenue.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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NYC musician to perform, celebrate roots at Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the Rectifist

BENJAMIN FANG

For Rectifist vocalist Marcus Lui, performing at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is extra special.

Lui, a New York City resident but a Hong Kong native, is thrilled to be celebrating the Hong Kong tradition. His local band Rectifist, formed in June 2012, will take the stage Aug. 10 at 12:45 p.m.

“For me, I feel great because I was born in Hong Kong. I came from there,” Lui said. “Now, there is a chance for me to perform at a festival about Hong Kong.”

Lui, who used to work for the Cantonese radio station AM 1480, said he has been to the Dragon Boat Festival almost every year. This will be the first time he’s playing the music.

Usually a hard rock and metal band, Rectifist will be paying tribute to the disbanded Hong Kong rock band Beyond by playing cover songs in its upcoming performance.

“Beyond is one of the very important bands from Hong Kong,” Lui said. He said their songs talked about the world, race and other societal issues.

Rectifist currently has five band members: Steve Cheng and Sylivan Tam on the guitars, Chun Yeung Au with the bass, Jeff on the drums and Lui, also known as Spark, as the vocalist. All were involved in a prior band named X-Scale before forming Rectifist. The band is influenced by the underground rock and grunge music scene.

Rectifist, which Lui said usually plays in local city venues with two to three hundred people-audiences, will play in front of a much larger crowd in this year’s Dragon Boat Festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

 

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Astoria friends raising money to get hot sauce in stores, restaurants


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Fez Production

A group of Astoria friends are turning to Kickstarter to help them bring the heat.

Matthew Konchan, Joe Muscente and James Nestor are the creators behind the artisanal all-natural, low-sodium and gluten-free hot sauce called Chi-Cho Sauce.

For the past two years, the trio, who have backgrounds in finance and marketing, have spent hours combining and testing flavors until they came up with the “spicy and sweet” flavor, which creators said is “the best hot sauce you’ll ever have.”

“We wanted to do something different, something that isn’t going to kill you,” Konchan said. “It’s not a novelty. It looks presentable.”

After selling and giving away more than 1,000 bottles of the sauce for free at local markets, including the LIC Flea & Food, and receiving positive feedback, the Astoria residents started a Kickstarter campaign to help continue making the sauce and selling it online, as well as launch the product in stores and restaurants.

“We want something that is nice that you can put out on the table of a nice restaurant,” Konchan said.

The goal of the campaign, which ends on Sept. 12, is $8,003 and the funds will go towards manufacturing, operating, distribution and marketing costs.

Chi-Cho Sauce — the name comes from a college friend’s slang name — is created using local ingredients and cooked at a commercial kitchen in Flushing. Every bottle of the sauce is individually stamped with a batch number and “born on” date.

You can purchase a 6 oz. bottle of Chi-Cho Sauce for $9 on chichosauce.com and also find recipes and food pairings for the sauce.

“We want to maintain the brand,” Konchan said. “A fun and young company.”

To donate to the Kickstarter campaign, click here.

 

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Op-ed: Bowne Park: kiss your venerable trees goodbye


| oped@queenscourier.com

CARSTEN W. GLAESER

The July 10 Courier reporting on the planned “facelift” and revitalized green space of Flushing’s Bowne Park comes with a cost far greater than the proposed $2.45M capital construction expense, if we consider the large long-lived trees that populate the park. In addition to aesthetics, we must be mindful of the high economic value and benefits and services that those trees provide. Scientific evidence reveals new understandings of the benefits and services gained from large trees, elevating these organisms to significant and irreplaceable natural assets in communities. From improvements in our health and healing, the psychological benefits we find among large trees, the removal of gaseous air pollution and interception of harmful particulate matter, valued in the millions of dollars, to the cooling effects and the savings from costly storm water control systems by a tree’s absorbing capacity, we ought to do a better job protecting this invaluable natural resource.

Yet, one park-wide construction facelift across a highly tree-sensitive landscape will result in needless tree losses in short time. With its heavy equipment and excavation, the harmful compaction of soils along with the deliberate absence of effective tree and landscape protections shall see scores of large park trees compromised in health. Such is the historical pattern of many NYC Parks Capital Construction park-revitalization projects populated by public trees. It is a division that is misguided and tree-unfriendly.

In 2013, the Chronicle reported on such a Parks Capital project in Queens at the Ridgewood Reservoir. Several venerable, irreplaceable 150-year old specimen plane trees and the adjacent open landscape were abused and harmed for a design scheme that did all but consider the “trees’ needs.” In 2004, a $2.0M Parks Capital lake-revitalization project in Kissena Park saw similar large shade trees abused by having protection and oversight removed to expedite the project to the financial gain of a contractor. Once magnificent, broad-canopied lakeside trees valued at $1.8M (as a living public asset) are now mere tree-skeletons, with a cost value that is quickly approaching zero. Then there is Washington Square Park, with its historic trees, where that revitalization project allowed abuses on a magnitude that some believe bordered on criminal.

By not addressing the trees’ needs amid construction, municipalities allow for tree abuses. When tree-unfriendly and illogical design schemes with award-winning intentions take preference over the trees’ needs, the outcome is never good. An effectively implemented and enforced state-of-the-art Tree and Landscape Protection Plan could combat this abuse. If carried out by the right arboricultural professional and given a level of autonomy and close collaboration with the project engineer, a Tree and Landscape Protection Plan could effectively reverse the tree abuse trends and consequences that have been witnessed.

The friends of Bowne Park, civic members and all who value and enjoy the presence of their large park tree assets and wish to have those trees for decades or even a century longer need to demand the best for tree health and its protections. They must demand of Parks Capital to plan and implement a Tree and Landscape Protection Plan. Its maintenance and enforcement, by whom and for how long must be mandated and upheld, or else your venerable trees will go the way of others lost to similar revitalization projects — dead and gone before we even realize what has happened.

Carsten W. Glaeser is a Flushing-based independent Consulting Arborist. He has an advanced graduate degree from CUNY Graduate Center in the plant sciences and was a biology and plant sciences instructor for CUNY undergraduate students before turning to consulting. Dr. Glaeser is active in several professional arboricultural and urban forestry organizations and locally is the current vice president of the Kissena Park Civic Association.

 

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Rendering posted of new 15-story Flushing building


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre


Developers planning to build on 36-16 Main St. posted the rendering of a new building that’ll soon make its mark in the ever-growing downtown Flushing skyline.

The new building, which is being designed by JWC Architects Engineer DPC, will be a 15-story residential development, according to Department of Buildings records.

The structure, which will be located near the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Main Street, has an anticipated completion date for 2018.

 

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Leaders pushing to save Flushing row houses


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Flushing leaders don’t want developers to make themselves at home in some parts of the neighborhood.

Politicians and civic representatives are still pushing for a way to save row houses, after yet another residence on 56th Road was gobbled up by a developer, who has already begun to expand it from a single-family residence to a multi-family home.

While it’s not illegal or a violation of zoning regulations, neighbors are worried that the expansions will put an end to the classic single-family row houses, which have shaped the neighborhood since the 1930s. They also believe that expanding the row houses will create overdevelopment in the middle class community and lead to quality of life issues, such as traffic congestion.

“We understand that houses get bigger, but we have to balance that with some respect for the people who live in these homes,” said Don Capalbi, president of the Queensboro Hill Flushing Civic Association. “If we allow this, there are row houses all over the borough and all over the city that are going to expand. Once developers see what they can do and the money that can be made, they are going to be swarming all over the borough looking for these homes.”

Richard Hellenbrecht, president of the community umbrella organization the Queens Civic Congress, urged the Department of City Planning in a letter earlier this year to create a new zoning classification that would help protect single-family row houses. Community Board 7, which oversees Flushing, sent a letter to the city agency as well, and received a response that suggests future discussions, but no promises.

“An examination of zoning uses pertaining to single-family row houses raises citywide policy concerns, and to date no consensus has been reached regarding the specific nature and locational appropriateness of such a potential new designation,” said City Planning Director Carl Weisbrod in a letter the board received on July 11. “We would certainly be open to discussing this issue with you in the future.”

Councilman Peter Koo, who represents Flushing, has requested a meeting for the end of August with City Planning to figure out a solution that could help save the row houses.

“My constituents deserve the best possible protections against overdevelopment in their neighborhoods, and I want to make sure no block is left behind,” Koo said. “I look forward to working with City Planning and all community stakeholders as this process moves forward.”

 

 

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West Nile spraying set for parts of Queens this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Wednesday, July 30, 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 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Thursday, July 31 during the same hours.

The following neighborhoods are being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity with high mosquito populations, according to the city’s Health Department:

Parts of College Point, Flushing, Linden Hill, Malba and Whitestone (Bordered by the East River, Powell’s Cove, 138th Street and 11th Avenue to the north; Flushing Bay and Flushing River to the west; Northern Boulevard to the south; and 149th Street, 20th Avenue and Whitestone Expressway to the east)

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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Police looking for thief who stole gold necklace off victim’s neck in Flushing


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy the NYPD

Police are searching for a suspect in connection with a bizarre theft in which the victim was tricked into modeling scarves so the suspect could steal her gold necklace.

The suspect, described as a 40-year-old Asian woman, approached the victim, a 56-year-old woman, about modeling scarves for her on July 20 at about 1:45 p.m. in front of a retail store at 41-43 Main St. in Flushing, cops said.

Both women entered the store, and while the suspect was placing scarves on the victim’s neck, she removed a gold necklace from the older woman and fled the store in an unknown direction, according to authorities.

The suspect was last seen wearing a white shirt and blue jeans, and has black hair and a thin build.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Flushing thief strikes seven businesses


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD


A thief has hit seven Flushing businesses since last November, stealing as much as $18,000 during one of the incidents, cops said.

In the latest theft, at about 11:30 p.m. on July 14 at the Lyauaidai Cleaning Company on Prince Street, the suspect also got away with a large loot, taking, $13,000 in cash out of a drawer, according to police.

The suspect first struck the Motors Driving School on November 2013. After entering the school, located on Roosevelt Avenue, the suspect stole a bag out of a closet containing a debit card, credit card, Michael Kors bag and $30 in cash, cops said.

On Dec. 12 of that year, the thief allegedly took a bag containing $18,000 in cash and several credit cards from the Sarang Bang Restaurant on 41st Avenue.

Police have also connected the suspect to four January 2014 store thefts in Flushing, where the stolen goods included iPhones, a wallet containing credit cards and $3,000 in cash.

The suspect is described as about 30 years old, with a medium build and has brown hair and brown eyes.  Cops have released a photo of the suspect from a theft that took place at a  telecommunications store at 136-84 Roosevelt Ave. on Jan. 15. He was last seen wearing a black hat, black sneakers, blue jeans and a black and gray North Face backpack.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.