Tag Archives: Flushing

Selfhelp unveils new Flushing senior housing development


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Selfhelp Community Services

Selfhelp Community Services hosted a grand opening Tuesday of Selfhelp Associates, a new development in Flushing, which looks to ease the need for more affordable housing for seniors.

The new 14-story development, located at 137-39 45th Ave. in Flushing, can accommodate more than 100 seniors in 92 units, according to Selfhelp.

Selfhelp ribbon cutting photo 1

Apartments for the building were filled through a housing lottery system, with a requirement that one member of the household be age 62 or older. Selfhelp said 80 percent of the building was filled with seniors earning less than 60 percent of the Area Median Income or no more than $23,240 per year for an individual or $26,560 for two people. The final 20 percent of units were reserved for seniors who earn no more than $34,860 annually or $39,840 for two people.

“This new Selfhelp development is built to serve the needs of our growing population of seniors, a key goal of the mayor’s housing New York plan,” said City Housing Development Corporation President Gary Rodney. “Advanced age and limited income should not constrain the quality of life. Selfhelp understands this and they have put a lot of thought and care into the design and function of this building. 

The building features computers, roll-in showers, video chat-enabled computer work stations, elegant rooms, cognitive strengthening units, exercise equipment and health screening kiosks.

Residents at Selfhelp Associates will also have access to the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, a 9,000-square-foot facility being built in conjunction with Selfhelp Associates, which is scheduled to open next year.

Selfhelp photo 2 (1)

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Flushing woman shares story in new immigration documentary


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of No Le Digas A Nadie Film

Since she was a young child, Angy Rivera has been told to keep quiet about many things in her life. But now she is sharing her story, hoping others can step out of the shadows.

Rivera is a 23-year-old college student from Flushing who was formerly an undocumented immigrant for 19 years and whose experiences for the past two years are the subject behind a new documentary called “No Le Digas A Nadie,” translated to “Don’t Tell Anyone.”

The film’s director, Mikaela Shwer, said she first read about the Colombian native, who in 2010 started the first national undocumented online youth advice column called “Ask Angy,”  in New York Magazine.

Interested in her story, Shwer met with Rivera and began building a relationship that led to Shwer filming the 23-year-old’s story in her debut as an independent film director.

“I know what the story is about and the ending, but it’s different watching it,” Rivera said about being in the film. “It was a healing process for me, opening up about things, exploring feelings that I have hidden away. It’s a different form of therapy.”

The film follows Rivera, the oldest of four children, through her everyday life hanging out with friends and her family. It focuses on the relationship she has with her mother, who immigrated to the United States with her.

The cameras also follow Rivera through her life as an undocumented immigrant and activist, as she applies for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) and obtains a visa.

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“The strength they all have as a community makes you reevaluate all the privileges that we have,” said Shwer about having shared time with Rivera and others in the immigrant community. “It makes you really appreciate things and also be frustrated. People really need to be frustrated in order for things to change.”

Although Rivera has opened up through her advice column and the activist work she has done as a core member of the nonprofit New York State Youth Leadership Council, the first volunteer undocumented youth and membership led organization, she is nervous about how some people will react to her story.

“[The film] is way different and a lot more personal,” Rivera said. “That’s always good but it’s also bad because it opens to judgment.”

Along with the issue of being an undocumented immigrant, the film also surrounds Rivera’s opening up of being a victim of sexual assault. The title of the film comes from a poem Rivera wrote called “Rusty Chains”  in which she describes how since she was a young girl, she has been told not to tell anyone about what was going on in her life.

“It’s the same thing like our immigration status, for a long time many of us felt alone, similarly when you’re assaulted you feel alone. It’s a life of silence,” Rivera said. “I hope this film will start a new conversation.”

Both Shwer and Rivera hope the documentary will help others who are in the same situations to step out and share their stories. They also hope the film will continue to bring up a lot more questions, bring community members together and inspire others to get involved.

“I hope people can see that we are a family, they are everything to me,” Rivera said. “Remove immigration status – it’s a real family. Maybe this will put a human face to this issue.”

“No Le Digas A Nadie” is in the post-production phase and is expected to be finished by the end of this year. It is also in the process of finding a medium in which to be shown, with hopes of being featured in a spring or summer film festival in 2015.

For more information visit www.nodigasfilm.com.

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Flushing burglars drive off with $48K in aircraft aluminum: police


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Cops are searching for two suspects who they say stole $48,000 worth of aircraft aluminum from a Flushing business on Saturday.

The pair apparently drove a van into the lot of S & L Aerospace Metals, at 120th Street near 28th Avenue around 7:40 a.m before taking off with the aluminum, authorities said.

According to its website, S & L Aerospace has been a “key supplier” to the aircraft industry since 1967.

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Police have released photos of the van the suspects were driving.

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 7-Eleven robbery ends in flames after police chase


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

Three men suspected of robbing a Flushing 7-Eleven at gunpoint early Tuesday morning crashed into a deli after police chased the trio through the streets of Queens, authorities said.

Three men in their 20s were in the process of robbing the 7-Eleven on Northern Boulevard near 171st Street at about 2 a.m. when cops arrived, police said. The three men then took off in a Nissan Altima.

During the chase, the three suspects threw a wallet and money out of their window. Police later discovered that it belonged to the 7-Eleven workers they robbed, cops said.

The hour-long chase led police and the thieves along Northern Boulevard and then the Long Island Expressway before ending when the robbers crashed into a Flushing deli on 164th Street and Pidgeon Meadow Road, according to authorities. Fire and smoke rose out of the car’s engine following the crash.

Police recovered a shotgun from the car but couldn’t say if it was the weapon used in the robbery.

The deli was empty at the time of the crash, but the incident left one of the suspects, 21, with a broken hip, and a 22-year-old suspect with a broken hand, cops said. Both were taken to Flushing Hospital. The driver, a 29-year old, was not injured.

Charges against the three suspects are pending.

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Man wanted in Flushing livery cab robbery  


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A man had a livery cab driver take him on a ride through the borough before robbing him during a final stop in Flushing, cops said.

The driver picked the suspect up at 85th Avenue and Parsons Boulevard in Jamaica on Sept. 1, and was asked to make several stops in Queens, police said.

When they arrived at 131-25 Avery Ave. around 2 p.m., the suspect simulated a gun and demanded money from the driver, according to authorities. The suspect then fled on foot.

Authorities describe the suspect as Hispanic, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 200 pounds and with a scar on his forehead.

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 senior center enriches members’ lives with technology


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

For a senior center in Flushing, innovation is measured by iPads and in megabytes.

The City Council allocated $150,000 to senior centers like the Benjamin Rosenthal Prince Street Innovative Senior Center so that it could continue to develop technological programs that, among other things, allow older people to connect with their families using Skype. The senior center is run by Selfhelp and was designated by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg as an “innovation center” along with seven other places in 2012.

“This Council has been determined to enhance senior services and Selfhelp is a great example,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said on Friday during a tour of the center.

Skype is used as the engine of the virtual senior center, which provides seniors with extra-large computer screens, so even those with failing eyesight can participate remotely in live events.

Such events include virtual tours of the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art.

Councilmen Paul Vallone and Peter Koo joined Mark-Viverito on the tour, and both emphasized the importance of caring for the elderly and stimulating their minds with devices like the Nintendo Wii game console that the center has.

Vallone said that with the new allocation they would be able to make more centers “innovative.”

“My senior centers in northeast Queens are going to start experiencing this wonderful technology as we start phasing it in,” he said. “This is the beginning of something wonderful.”

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Report: Queens rental prices drop in August


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Charts courtesy of MNS Real Estate 

The fluctuating Queens rental market saw a decrease in prices in August, after increases in July, according to the “Queens Rental Market Report” by MNS Real Estate.

Average rents throughout the borough dropped 3.74 percent from $2,113 in July to $2,034 in August, the report stated.

The report focused on several neighborhoods, including Long Island City, Astoria, Ridgewood, Flushing, Rego Park, Forest Hills and Jackson Heights.

The biggest changes occurred in studio apartments in Ridgewood, where prices dropped 43.5 percent — about $848 — to $1,100, the least expensive rental price for any type of apartment in the borough. The average price of a studio in the borough is $1,550, according to the report.

Studios page

Also, two-bedroom units in Jackson Heights dipped 26.12 percent to $1,841 from $2,494 in July, a decrease of $653.

“Smaller neighborhoods in Queens are seeing slower progression, however more new developments are scheduled to open their doors in the coming months offering high-end amenities and exceptional convenience,” the report said. “As is evident from the overall decrease in prices this month Queens is expected to have up and down monthly fluctuations, but long-term projections have prices increasing steadily.”

Flushing had the largest decrease in overall average rents with 7.47 percent. Two-bedroom units in Flushing experienced a fall of 17.8 percent from $2,599 in July to $2,136 in August.

The biggest increase was in Ridgewood, where prices for one-bedroom apartments rose 15.3 percent or $260 to $1,960.

Prices in Astoria and Long Island City remained fairly stable, although dropped slightly, according to the report.

Click here to view the full report.

 

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Former Community Board 2 district manager Dolores Rizzotto passes away


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Rizzotto family

Dolores Rizzotto, former district manager of Community Board 2 for more than 15 years, died Thursday after a battle with cancer, according to CB2 chair Joseph Conley.

Rizzotto, who chaired CB2 for more than 15 years, was 70.

“Dolores served the City of New York in many capacities but none so important as her role in our community as district manager,” Conley said. “Dolores worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for so many. Dolores will be sorely missed for her wisdom, compassion, sense of humor and leadership. Dolores was a true friend to all and an expert in helping so many.”

Rizzotto, a lifelong Corona resident who recently moved to Florida, retired in 2006 from CB2, which serves Long Island City, Woodside and Sunnyside. Rizzotto would travel back and forth between Queens and Florida visiting family and friends.

She is survived by her two sons, Michael and Robert, and two grandchildren, Anthony and Thomas.

A wake will be held at Edward Guida Funeral Home, located at 47-20 104th St. in Corona. Visitations hours will be Sept. 18 from 7 to 9 p.m., and Sept. 19 from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral mass will be on Sept. 20 at 10:45 a.m. at St. Leo’s Roman Catholic Church, located at 104-05 49th Ave. Rizzotto will be buried at Mount Saint Mary Cemetery in Flushing.

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Former Gambino associate’s grandson busted for allegedly shooting friend on Malba jetty


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A man whose grandfather was reportedly a former Gambino family associate has been charged with attempted murder after he shot a childhood friend multiple times near the Malba shoreline, officials said.

Robert Sasso, 33, and his friend, 39-year-old Dean Oku, were smoking marijuana on a jetty off of Summit Place in the affluent neighborhood at about 2 a.m. on Aug. 29 when, during a conversation, Sasso shot Oku without warning, the Queens District Attorney’s Office said. Oku was struck in the abdomen, left leg and left arm, and taken to a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

In addition to being charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the shooting, Sasso, a Flushing resident, was also busted for assaulting his live-in girlfriend, according to prosecutors.

Just two days before the shooting, Sasso is accused of punching his 33-year-old girlfriend, who had recently taken an order of protection out against him. He then allegedly pushed her out of his vehicle as it sat on an East Elmhurst street, causing bruising to her face, the district attorney’s office said.

Sasso has been separately charged with assault, harassment and criminal contempt in his girlfriend’s assault. He is currently awaiting arraignment in both cases and faces a total of up to 29 years in prison if convicted.

According to the New York Daily News, Sasso’s grandfather was a former Gambino family associate who was convicted in 1992 for helping John Gotti get payoffs from contractors. His father was also convicted for gun trafficking.

Sasso was suspected in the shooting of a construction supervisor in Hell’s Kitchen last year, the Daily News also said.

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Stavisky, Markey, Sanders win primary


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File photos

Three incumbent Queens elected officials have easily taken the win in the Democratic primary.

State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, who was first elected to the state Senate in 1999 and is the only female member of the state Senate from Queens, won the race with 4,981 votes, holding onto 57.3 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results.

The Forest Hills resident ran against S.J. Jung, a Flushing resident, activist and president of the MinKwon Center for Community Action.

Assemblywoman Margaret Markey also won the primary with 1,880 votes and 75.2 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results. She has represented the 30th Assembly District, comprised of Maspeth, Woodside and parts of Long Island City, Middle Village, Astoria and Sunnyside, since 1998.

In the race for the 10th District, state Sen. James Sanders Jr., who was elected in 2012, took the win with 5,898 votes and 74.5 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results.

Photo via Twitter/@tobystavisky

Photo via Twitter/@tobystavisky

In other statewide elections, incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo easily defeated his two competitors at 61.7 percent with 93.2 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. His running mate, lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul, also took the win with 59.7 percent of the votes. 

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Three found dead with slash wounds in Flushing fire: cops


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

Updated 4:18 p.m. 

Police are investigating the deaths of three people who were found with slash wounds in a Flushing apartment fire Tuesday morning as a possible murder-suicide, authorities said.

The blaze started just before 5 a.m. in the top floor of a six-story building at 143-40 Roosevelt Ave., the FDNY said. The fire, which was contained to one apartment, was brought under control in about 30 minutes.

A 54-year-old woman, 50-year-old man and 15-year-old boy, were discovered dead in the blaze, cops said. According to published reports, the victims were a husband , wife and son.

Police sources said the bodies were badly burned, but appeared to have had wounds on their necks. A suicide note was found a the scene. The medical examiner will determine how the victims died.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Three firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, the FDNY said.

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Two dead in Flushing murder-suicide: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Desiree Mathurin

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 9, 6:25 a.m. 

A man fatally shot his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself in Flushing Monday night, according to police.

The man, identified as 51-year-old Xie Bin, and the woman, 46-year-old Ya Ling Meng, were having an argument around 5:30 p.m. on 41st Avenue near Main Street when he shot her once in the head, cops said. He then shot himself in the head.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

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Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty opens first Queens office


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty 

Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty held its grand opening ribbon-cutting celebration for its first Queens office on Thursday.

The new Flushing office, located on 35-16B Francis Lewis Blvd., is Daniel Gale’s 22nd sales office in the area. The other branches are scattered throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The opening is another sign of the expanding real estate market in Queens, office representatives said.

“Queens is a vibrant and exciting place, with its many diverse communities attracting potential homeowners from Manhattan, Brooklyn and the world,” said Queens native Donna Rubertone, who will lead the sales team. “Queens is widely appealing to many people of all ages who at one time looked to Brooklyn as a place to live.”

As appropriate for the borough, the office will have 30 experienced agents who collectively speak a variety of languages, including Arabic, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Croatian, Taiwanese and Fuzhounese.

 

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Health Department to treat parts of Queens against West Nile


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Monday, Sept. 8, 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 8:00 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Tuesday, Sept. 9 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 Auburndale, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Murray Hill Pomonok, and Queensboro Hill (Bordered by 46th Avenue, Holly Avenue and Kissena Boulevard to the north; Main Street and Elder Avenue to west; Long Island Expressway to the south; and Hollis Court Boulevard to the east).

Parts of Astoria, Jackson Heights, Steinway and Woodside (Bordered by 19th Avenue and 81st Street to the north; 45th Street to the west; 25th Avenue and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway West to the south; and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway East, 25th Avenue, 77th Street and Grand Central Parkway to the east).

WNV2

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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Nordstrom Rack hosting SkyView Center grand opening party with giveaways


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom Rack

To kick off the opening of Queens’ first Nordstrom Rack at The Shops at SkyView Center in Flushing on Wednesday, Sept. 10, the retailer is hosting a party, where one lucky customer can win a $1,000 shopping spree.

The “Rally at the Rack” event starts at 8 a.m., at 40-24 College Point Blvd., with music, free breakfast treats and coffee in the 35,000-square-foot, two-level store.

Customers 18 and older can enter a raffle to win one of 30 $100 gift cards, and one person will win the shopping spree, dubbed “Rule the Rack,” which will be drawn at 8:25 a.m.

Also, the first 1,000 customers to buy items at the store will get a free complimentary Nordstrom Rack tote bag.

The new Nordstrom Rack at the SkyView Center will be the 154th location in the country.

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