Tag Archives: Forest Hills

MTA train operator arrested in hit-and-run death of celebrity jeweler in Forest Hills


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Instagram/@rafaello_eric

Updated 4:29 p.m.

An MTA train operator has been arrested for striking and killing a well-known jeweler in Forest Hills with his car, authorities said.

Charles Jordan, 46, of Long Island, is currently awaiting arraignment on charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting a death and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, the district attorney’s office said.

Aron Aranbayev, 40, had just gotten dropped off steps from his home on 71st Avenue near 110th Street at about 11:15 p.m. on July 19 when Jordan drove up and got into a heated argument with him. According to prosecutors, Jordan then allegedly put his Dodge Magnum in reverse, backed up, put it into drive, accelerated and then intentionally hit Aranbayev with his vehicle before speeding away.

Aranbayev was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries the following day, authorities said.

Jordan’s arrest follows the release of video footage a week ago of his car from the night of the incident.

According to the New York Post, there was a $50,000 reward fund to help locate the driver who hit Aranbayev.

Aranbayev, a married father of four who was also known as “Eric,” was a jeweler at his family-owned store Rafaello & Co. in Manhattan’s Diamond District, reports said. His celebrity clients included Floyd Mayweather, Sean Combs, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Brown.

Mayweather had donated $10,000 to the reward fund, with the additional $25,000 coming from Aranbayev’s family and $15,000 from an anonymous donor.

Jordan, who faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted, has been suspended without pay from the MTA following the arrest, a spokesman for the agency said. Jordan has worked for the MTA since 2000, when he was hired as a conductor. In 2006, he was promoted to a train operator.

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ACS adopts model used by Forest Hills foster care agency


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Forestdale, Inc.

BY KIRSTEN E. PAULSON

The New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) will be rolling out the Strong Families NYC Initiative, components of which are modeled after a Forest Hills-based child welfare organization.

Forestdale Inc. uses the Attachment and BioBehavioral Catchup (ABC) model, conceived of by Dr. Mary Dozier, whose research addressed the key role of cortisol, the stress hormone that regulates a person’s internal clock. Children who have faced adversity often have trouble regulating their cortisol levels. The ABC model, which has been used at Forestdale since 2011, has been highly effective in promoting attachment and bonding between caregivers and infants and toddlers up to 3 years old.

“Infants and toddlers often exhibit a variety of behavioral, emotional and physiological problems that can push caregivers away. ABC helps these caregivers and children form healthy attachments and develop the ability to regulate their response to stress, helping to enhance positive parent-child interactions. We were so thrilled to learn that ACS had incorporated this model into their initiative and are excited to continue our good work,” Forestdale Executive Director Anstiss Agnew said.

“Through Strong Families NYC, we will work with our partners to raise the bar and improve outcomes. This initiative will bring targeted and intensive trauma therapy and other practices built on the science of what works to many more New York City children and families,” ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrion said.

The ABC model will begin in a few high-need neighborhoods in 2015 and will expand to all five boroughs over the next three years.

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Forest Hills Rhythmic Gymnastics team performs at ‘World’s Most Famous Arena’


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy Forest Hills Rhythmic Gymnastics

The girls from the Forest Hills Rhythmic Gymnastics team got the chance to showcase their skills on center court at Madison Square Garden during the halftime show at a New York Liberty game earlier this month.

These children, ages 8 to 12, spend hours of their days, Sundays through Thursdays, honing their skills at juggling balls, hoops, ribbons and ropes, all while perfecting complex dance maneuvers at the Forest Hills Jewish Center, located at 106-06 Queens Blvd.

The team had been preparing for their moment at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” since their Father’s Day performance in June. After that show, they were invited to perform at Madison Square Garden during a Liberty game, since both the WNBA and rhythmic gymnastics are all-women sports.

During their routine on the court, the girls performed intricately choreographed dance moves with hoops, ribbons and ropes, to the delight of the Madison Square Garden crowd.

All of the girls were excited to show what they could do on such a big stage, and Tatiana Nisenboym, one of the dance students, asked her father, “Dad, am I famous now?” after her participation in the performance.

From 1991 to 2011, Forest Hills Rhythmic Gymnastics has taught the centuries-old Eastern European sport to the children of Queens in the basement of the Queens Jewish Center located at 66-05 108th St. In 2011 the dance instruction classes moved into the Forest Hills Jewish Center, where they operate today.

The Forest Hills Rhythmic Gymnastics team has produced athletes that have become state, regional and national champions.

Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport that combines various elements of ballet, gymnastics, acrobatics, choreography, dance and apparatus movement.

The choreography must cover the entire floor and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots, balances and flexibility movements. Each movement involves a high degree of athletic skill. Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.

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Video released of vehicle that struck and killed jeweler in Forest Hills


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Updated Friday, July 24, 9:04 a.m.

Police have released video footage of the vehicle that reportedly fatally struck a jeweler to the stars following an argument between the victim and driver in Forest Hills Sunday night.

Aron Aranbayev was just steps from his 71st Avenue home near 110th Street at about 11:15 p.m. when he allegedly got into a dispute with the driver. According to police, the driver then hit Aranbayev with his vehicle before fleeing.

Officers from the 112th Precinct and EMS responded to the scene. Aranbayev was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Monday, authorities said.

His death has been ruled a homicide and police are still looking for the driver, who was behind the wheel of a dark-colored Dodge Magnum. Thursday night, the NYPD released video of the car.


Aranbayev, who was also known as “Eric,” was a jeweler at his family-owned store Rafaello & Co. in Manhattan’s Diamond District, reports said. His celebrity clients included Floyd Mayweather, Sean Combs, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Brown.

With @iamdiddy last night in the A! #BadBoy #MMG #ATL #TeamRafaello @rafaelloandco

A photo posted by Eric A. (@rafaello_eric) on

Boxing star Mayweather has donated $10,000 to a reward fund to help locate the driver who hit Aranbayev, according to the New York Post. In total, the fund is offering a $50,000 reward, with the additional $25,000 coming from Aranbayev’s family and $15,000 from an anonymous donor.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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Celebrate the premiere of ‘Sharknado 3′ in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Syfy

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Batten down the hatches and grab some bites at one of several Queens locations holding special screenings of “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” tonight.

The third installment in the tongue-in-cheek, B-movie franchise, premiering at 9 p.m. Wednesday on the Syfy channel, finds the entire Eastern Seaboard battered by killer sharks propelled onto land by another epic storm. It’s up to the aptly named chainsaw-wielding hero Fin Shepard, played by Ian Ziering of “Beverly Hills, 90210″ fame, and his wife April, played by actress Tara Reid, to do battle with the sharks and save the East Coast.

The franchise is known for its numerous celebrity cameos, with David Hasselhoff and Bo Derek appearing in this sequel as Fin’s parents. Local celebrity appearances include Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, along with the cast of the “Today Show.” Former Queens Congressman and 2013 mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner also appears as the movie’s National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration director.

The kitschy “Sharknado” trilogy has become an annual event, with many throwing shark-themed viewing parties to both celebrate and jeer at the over-the-top events and deliberately bad dialogue the movies have to offer. Here are a few ways to prepare for “Sharknado 3” in Queens.

Arepas Café and Grill
33-07 36th Ave., Astoria
718-937-3835

Shark is on the menu at this Astoria eatery in the form of savory Venezuelan arepas. The cazon arepa ($6.50) features shredded baby school shark, a form of white fish, served inside a gluten-free corn flatbread with onions, tomato, cilantro and peppers. The Pabellon Margariteno ($13) includes shredded baby school shark with white rice and black beans topped with grated white cheese and fried sweet plantains.

Sek’end Sun
32-11 Broadway, Astoria
917-832-6414

While the fate of many of Sharknado’s protagonists may hang in the balance, rejoice in being on dry land as you sip on Sek’end Sun’s cocktail ship of fools [on a cruel sea] ($10), a dark mix of strawberry-infused bourbon, balsamic vinegar, vanilla and lemon bitters.

Okeanos Greek Seafood Restaurant
35-02 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria
718-777-8844

For shark served with Mediterranean flare, Okeanos also features grilled or pan-seared baby shark ($13.50) with a side of garlic potato dip. Pair it with the taramosalata caviar spread ($5) or octopus with onions, peppers and capers ($15.95) for a luxurious taste of the sea.

The Astor Room
34-12 36th St., Astoria
718-255-1947

Fans of Sharknado’s gory action scenes may want to kick off their evenings at this Kaufman Astoria Studio’s cocktail bar and try the aptly named Blood and Sand ($12) which blends Buffalo Trace bourbon and Cherry Heering with Cocchi vermouth and freshly squeezed orange juice. Movie fans will marvel at The Astor Room’s cinematic history, as it once served as a commissary for Hollywood legends like Rudolph Valentino, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and W.C. Fields while they filmed at the studios.

5 Burro Cafe
72-05 Austin St., Forest Hills
718-544-2984

Head over to Forest Hills and sip on this iconic eatery’s signature cocktail, The Shark Attack ($10), a potent blend of vodka, Blue Curacao, grenadine, 7-Up and lemon/lime. As a bonus, this specialty cocktail is often served with a small toy shark, usually bearing the grenadine.

Forest Hills Station House
106-11 71st Ave., Forest Hills
718-544-5000

As the Sharknado approaches, take cover inside this quaint pub located on the outskirts of Forest Hills Gardens and try the Dark and Stormy ($10), a spicy mix of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, ginger beer and lime.

Cozy Corner Tavern
60-01 70th Ave., Ridgewood
718-381-8397

This Ridgewood bar is hosting a special viewing party for the premiere of “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” The festivities begin at 7 p.m., when the bar will air last year’s “Sharknado 2: The Other One,” which was set in Queens and Manhattan. Then, stay tuned for the main event when “Sharknado 3” airs on every TV in the bar at 9 p.m. Cozy Corner also will be serving up Sharknado-inspired drinks, and shark-themed costumes and attire are encouraged.

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Police looking for driver who fatally struck man in Forest Hills


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

A 40-year-old Forest Hills man is dead after he was struck by a car just steps from his home following a dispute with a driver Sunday night, police said.

Aron Aranbayev was on 71st Avenue near 110th Street at about 11:15 p.m. when he allegedly got into the argument with a driver of a dark colored Dodge Magnum. According to authorities, the driver then hit Aranbayev with his vehicle before speeding away.

Officers from the 112th Precinct and EMS responded to the scene. Aranbayev was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Monday. His death has now been classified as a homicide, police said.

According to CBS New York, Aranbayev is a well-known jeweler with celebrity clients, working at his family’s store Rafaello & Co. on West 47th Street in Manhattan.

Police are still searching for the driver.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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Stop & Shop to buy out Pathmark, Waldbaum’s supermarkets in Queens


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated, July 21, 2 p.m.

Stop & Shop is looking to grab six Queens supermarkets off the clearance rack.

The company announced Monday it is acquiring local Pathmark and Waldbaum’s supermarkets from the struggling Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P), which filed for bankruptcy. In all, Stop & Shop is purchasing 25 Pathmark, Waldbaum’s and A&P locations in the tri-state area from the grocery giant for $146 million. The deal is subject to court approval, but is expected to be finalized before the end of this calendar year.

On Sunday, A&P announced it was filing for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, its second such filing in five years, according to The Wall Street Journal. A&P reportedly racked up $2.3 billion in debts versus $1.6 billion in assets, according to its bankruptcy filing. Reportedly, the company lost $300 million between February 2014 and February 2015.

A Stop & Shop spokesperson said the acquired locations will remain open and become integrated into the national supermarket chain, and all of its employees would be retained.

“Stop & Shop is always looking for convenient locations to better serve our customers,” said Don Sussman, president of the company’s New York Metro Division. “We are very happy to have the opportunity to expand our presence in greater New York and serve new customers.”

Stop & Shop currently has five locations in Queens, including on Myrtle Avenue in Glendale; on Union Turnpike on the Glendale/Forest Hills border; on Northern Boulevard in Little Neck; and on 48th Street in Long Island City.

The chain will more than double its presence in the “World’s Borough” with the addition of three Waldbaum’s stores on 26th Avenue in Bayside, Beach Channel Drive in Belle Harbor and Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach, as well as three Pathmark locations on Farrington Street in Flushing, Atlantic Avenue in Ozone Park and Springfield Boulevard in Springfield Gardens.

The 19 other Waldbaum’s and Pathmark locations that Stop & Shop purchased are in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, Staten Island, Brooklyn, the Bronx and New Jersey.

The 25 stores Stop & Shop acquired represent about 10 percent of A&P’s 296 stores nationwide. As part of the bankruptcy filing, A&P put up 120 supermarkets for sale at a combined $600 million, which will be tested at an upcoming auction. The company is closing 25 other locations immediately; none of those stores are in Queens.

Stop & Shop has 395 stores from New Jersey to Massachusetts employing over 59,000 workers.

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See it: Meticulously restored Forest Hills home with wine cellar listed for $1.85M


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Terrace Sotheby's International Realty

BY KIRSTEN E. PAULSON

The house at 69-36 Harrow St. in Forest Hills offers comfort and luxury with five bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, a wood fireplace with an elegantly carved mantle, and a 750-bottle wine cellar.

With a main-floor speaker system, a family room, and a rec room on a lower level, this home is ideal for an owner who loves entertaining guests, whether for an evening or a weekend. A spacious backyard provides the perfect setting for a garden party, while a sleek, modern kitchen and roomy dining area come ready-made for hosting dinner parties. The top floor of the home is just the right size for a cozy guest room, while a two-car garage could store a family car and a visitor’s car.

For the owner themselves, the master bedroom is spacious, well-lit, and comes with his-and-hers closets.

Other amenities of the house include cable- and Internet-ready wiring, a security system that includes interior and exterior cameras, and a lawn sprinkler system.

The house is listed by Terrace Sotheby’s International Realty for a price of $1.85 million.

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Tropical flavors in Forest Hills


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

IMG_4308

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

The sleepy cobblestone and stately, Tudor-lined streets of Forest Hills are alive with panache and flavor thanks to Matiz, the newly opened bistro serving up Latin fusion cuisine in the heart of Queens at 110-72 Queens Blvd. off the 75th Avenue E/F subway station.

Co-owners Oscar Cano and Sigifredo Quesada opened Matiz two months ago. Quesada honed his craft and palette while running his family-owned restaurant in his native country, Costa Rica.
Inspired by their culture and upbringing, Quesada and Cano joined forces to bring their eclectic and flavorful Latin dishes to the culinary landscape of Forest Hills.

“We love the neighborhood,” Cano said. “We saw the potential because there are not that many Latin restaurants around here, so this is another option for the people.”

The cuisine at Matiz blends a multitude of flavor profiles and traditions from Latin countries such as Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, Spain and Puerto Rico. Matiz chef Alex Jarcia, formerly of Calle Ocho in Manhattan, also imparts his own unique spin on Latin cuisine inspired by his Cuban heritage.

Matiz’s menu includes many familiar favorites, like tostones, arepas and empanadas, traditionally found in Latin restaurants. However, the entrees, or platos grandes, feature an impressive array of the eatery’s unique and savory signature dishes.

The pollo Matiz ($20) features succulent grilled chicken breast with asparagus, manchego cheese and rosemary potatoes bathed in lemon and white wine sauce.

Summer offerings include the paella Matiz ($26), a spicy mix of mussels, clams, chorizo, chicken, calamari, shrimp and scallops. Seafood lovers would also enjoy the taco de pescado ($10), a flavorful blend of Baja fish, chipotle aioli and fresh salsa verde. The delectable salmon tropical ($22) is served on a bed of quinoa grain and mango in a piquillo pepper sauce with a side of summer vegetable hash.

Meat lovers can satiate their appetites with the churrasco ($26), a marinated grilled skirt steak served with garlic spinach and papa rellena in a red chimichurri sauce.
Rainy summer days call for mofongo ($18), a traditional Puerto Rican stew featuring green plantain, mojo isleno and your choice of chicken, pork or shrimp.

Matiz also features several vegetarian options, as well as a two-course, $19.95 prix fixe brunch menu available on Sundays between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Brunch offerings include an array of fresh salads, a breakfast burrito, salmon, and empanaditas. One star of Matiz’s brunch menu is the tosta colada. This coconut brioche french toast drizzled with pineapple marmalade is perfect for warm summer Sundays.

“Everything is made fresh daily,” Cano added. “We only use the best ingredients and organic produce.”

The seasonal menu will change every three months, with hearty soups and stews in store for the upcoming fall and winter seasons.

In the summer months, the storefront windows of Matiz are open, giving patrons the unique experience of dining al fresco. Diners can also opt to enjoy their meals by candlelight amid the bistro’s cozy, exotic interior.

Organic elements like the rich dark teak wood bar backsplash create an earthy balance against the sleek, modern grey bar and vibrant red walls. Edison lightbulb starburst chandeliers illuminate the bar, while soft globe pendant lights create an air of warmth and intimacy in the dining room.

“We wanted something modern yet elegant, something fancy where people can still feel comfortable,” Cano said.

Whether dining out with friends, enjoying brunch before shopping or having a cozy night on the town for two, Matiz is the perfect spot for both flavor and flair.

Matiz
110-72 Queens Blvd.
718-880-1213

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Glendale author to be featured at Barnes & Noble book fair


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Rosaria Lucia Photography

In celebration of Get Pop-Cultured: Outlander Day, the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Forest Hills will host a book fair featuring Glendale author and founder of the Excalibur Reading Program, Angelica Harris.

The book fair will run from open to close (9 a.m. to 10 p.m.) on Sunday and proceeds will help benefit the Excalibur Reading Program, located at 80-17 78th Ave. in Glendale. Harris will be available to sign her latest book in the Excalibur series from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

“It is a fundraiser for the kids and the families that we service,” Harris said. “I’ll be signing my book, I’ll be talking about my reading program and the impact the program has made on my life and why I opened the Excalibur Reading Program.”

Harris is a successful author, poet laureate, entrepreneur, advocate and speaker. She will also be moderating the poetry and art contest to be held during the Fresh Pond Road street festival this September.

Since 2005, the Excalibur Reading Program has been conducting educational workshops and tutoring students in reading, writing and math. The program is geared to help all children, especially those of impoverished means or those who have special needs, to reach their academic and personal goals.

Barnes and Noble Bookfair Flyer

The Excalibur Reading Program partners with community organizations to mentor children who have been through domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as those who have been incarcerated. They also provide private tutoring lessons for students in kindergarten through college, creative writing workshops and blog and essay workshops, among other programs.

“I want to leave a legacy behind of good children that become good adults. This is the legacy I want to leave behind here,” Harris said of the Excalibur Reading Program. “This is what it’s all about: paying it forward.”

“The Barnes & Noble book fair, in conjunct with the Excalibur book series and reading program, invite children to come find their holy grail through fantasy and time travel and the journey of their legacy within,” Harris added.

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More road work closures on Jackie Robinson Parkway this week


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Anthony Giudice

Ongoing renovations on the Jackie Robinson Parkway will cause even more headaches for drivers this week.

Portions of the eastbound lanes of the 5-mile parkway between Pennsylvania/Jamaica Avenues in Brooklyn and the Van Wyck Expressway will be closed overnight from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. through Friday, July 3, as crews replace existing guardrails.

Additionally, the right lane of the eastbound parkway between the Woodhaven Boulevard overpass and Metropolitan Avenue will be shut down on weekdays from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. through Thursday. The closure is needed as workers replace a retaining wall.

The closures are part of the state Department of Transportation’s efforts to upgrade the entire Jackie Robinson Parkway, which connects Kew Gardens to eastern Brooklyn and winds its way through Ridgewood, Glendale, Cypress Hills, Forest Hills and Kew Gardens.

Both sides of the parkway will be resurfaced in the $17 million project, which also includes the installation of new safety devices, lane markings and reflectors. The state DOT indicated in May that entire segments of the parkway would be closed to traffic on six separate weekends through the late summer.

Drivers are advised to use designated detour routes while closures are in effect. The DOT also reminds them to travel safely and slowly through work zones; by law, speeding fines are doubled in work zones, and convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone may result in a driver’s license suspension.

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Uno Pizzeria and Grill in Forest Hills closes


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy PropertyShark/Scott Bintner

Forest Hills residents will have to go somewhere else for their deep dish pizza fix.

The Uno Pizzeria and Grill on 107-16 70th Rd. has closed. Wednesday was the last time that Chicago-style deep dish pizza lovers were able to dine at the eatery, which had been at the location for over 25 years.

“We’re very sad and very surprised,” said Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce President Leslie Brown, who added that the chamber got notice of the restaurant’s closing on its last day of operation. “We held our monthly chamber meetings there, so it’s a double whammy for us.”

According to multiple online reports, parent company Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation filed for bankruptcy in 2010 with a debt of $176.3 million after a failed menu redesign which aimed to move the company toward more varied and health-conscious food options.

In February 2015, the Boston Globe reported that the company has largely pulled itself out of debt and remodeled many of its franchises, even changing its name from Uno Chicago Grill to Uno Pizzeria and Grill, and reemphasized their signature deep dish pizza menu options.

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Anti-bullying contest winners honored at 112th Precinct meeting in Forest Hills


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook/112th Precinct Community Council

BY ANGELA MATUA

The four winners of the 112th Precinct Community Council’s anti-bullying script contest were honored during the council’s June 17 meeting in Forest Hills.

Precinct Council President Heidi Chain, Chief Diana Pizzuti of NYPD Patrol Borough Queens North, other officers in the precinct and children from the precinct’s youth council read the 31 scripts submitted to the contest and awarded the four winners with plaques and gift cards donated by Ridgewood Savings Bank.

“The people who wrote these scripts, you are all to be congratulated because you captured real life and I think when they do the production everybody who sees it will benefit because it will give a deeper understanding,” Chain said.

The winners, students from Kew Forest School and Russell Sage Middle School, will have their scripts combined and adapted by producer Jay Rogers and performed by participating students at Queens Theatre in August.

Kenia Torres, a seventh-grader from Russell Sage Middle School, was the first-place winner. Sofia Rubin, Annie Podedworny and Genesis Azor, who are ninth-graders from Kew Forest School, were second-, third- and fourth-place winners respectively.

In other news, Deputy Inspector Judith Harrison, the 112th Precinct’s commander, said that crime is down across all disciplines for the year and that the burglaries around Forest Hills High School have severely decreased in large part to increased patrols. The last burglary in the area occurred on May 26.

Harrison said the precinct is offering to survey specific houses and make recommendations for alarm systems and other preventative measures homeowners can take to secure their property.

Finally, Police Officers Wilking Nunez and Anthony Fallacaro and Sgt. Walter Padilla were awarded Cop of the Month honors for apprehending an individual who stole a vehicle. Nunez, who detected the stolen car with a plate reader on 71st Avenue, called Fallacaro and Padilla to the scene because they were in an unmarked car and dressed in plain clothes.

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

The perpetrator rented the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban from a Rent-A-Car at John F. Kennedy International Airport with a fraudulent Pennsylvania driver’s license and kept the car beyond the agreed upon time. Padilla and Fallacarro performed a screen observation and surveillance and were able to arrest the perpetrator when he tried getting into the car.

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The New York Pops to call Forest Hills Stadium home this summer


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

One symphonic orchestra, bringing a new take on popular music to thousands of ears, has found a home in Queens this summer and will be offering thousands of local kids the opportunity to enjoy live music for free.

The New York Pops, the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music, announced Thursday its inaugural season at its new summer home at Forest Hills Stadium.

“We are tremendously excited to be embarking on this new venture in such a fantastic, historic venue,” said Anne Swanson, executive director of NY Pops. “I cannot imagine a more wonderful summer home for The New York Pops.”

For their first performance on Aug. 6, The New York Pops will be joined by special guest award-winning actor, singer and dancer Sutton Foster. The following night on Aug. 7, the orchestra will be joined by the group Pink Martini.

These concerts are just the beginning of The New York Pops’ relationship with the borough of Queens, as the group plans to return the following summer and play exclusively at Forest Hills Stadium.

“With outdoor concerts I feel like it gives a lot more freedom amongst the audience members to be able to express themselves and engage in the music in a way that they normally cannot do in the confines of a concert hall,” said music director and conductor Steven Reineke. ”We’re all tremendously excited to get our first concerts underway here and I hope that it will be the beginning of a long and wonderful relationship with the Westside Tennis Club, the borough of Queens. The New York Pops is proud to call Forest Hills Stadium its new summer home.”

Along with offering the community the two upcoming concerts, The New York Pops will also expand its Kids in the Balcony program, which provides 100 students free tickets to each of the orchestra’s concerts at Carnegie Hall.

At Forest Hills Stadium, the group will offer 1,000 tickets per concert and work with local schools to reach as many students as they can.

Tickets range from $10 to $129 and can be purchased at foresthillsstadium.com.

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Forest Hills triplets graduate at top of classes at Holy Cross High, Mary Louis Academy


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel/Gallery courtesy of the Chow family

Three’s the magic number for the Chow family.

Forest Hills triplets Dylan, Brandon and Kylie Chow ended their final year of high school as academic superstars, with each being honored as a valedictorian or salutatorian in the graduating classes of their schools.

Two of the trio, Dylan and Brandon, both graduated on June 6 from the all-boys Holy Cross High School in Flushing. They had grade point averages only one point from each other, with valedictorian Dylan earning a yearly average of 105, and Brandon graduating with 104.

Kylie, the third of the Chow triplets, graduated as the 2015 salutatorian from The Mary Louis Academy, an all-girls Catholic school in Jamaica Estates that had a 100 percent college acceptance rate last year for the 2014 graduating class.

According to Nina and Jeffrey Chow, the brainy teens’ parents, all three are self-motivated to attain academic achievement and did not need any outside discipline imposed on them to get good grades.

“Mostly, I think it comes from within,” Nina Chow said, “and I think those are the people the succeed and do well.”

Even in elementary school, Dylan, Brandon and Kylie breezed through at the top of their classes, and all won full scholarships to attend private high schools. They say that their greatest scholarly competition was each other, and this proved to be a strong incentive toward their continued success.

“You don’t want to be the dumbest out of the three,” said Brandon, who could compare many of his own grades with marks earned by his brother in the same classes. Both he and Kylie plan to begin classes this fall in the business school of Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

Although what they have accomplished is a dream for many, the teens manage to stay humble.

“It’s nice to know that your hard work paid off,” said Kylie, who said she was surprised to be named for the salutatorian position because her grades were very nearly beat by another girl with whom she competed academically.

“I didn’t really care about being the best, just in doing my best,” said Dylan, who is set to attend the Macaulay Honors College at Baruch College. “I didn’t put too much pressure on myself, I just took it easy.”

While they are bursting with as much pride as any parent would be in their position, Nina and Jeffery Chow admit that even they are amazed at having all three of their youngest children graduate high school with such distinction. Their eldest daughter, Kaitlin, currently resides in Philadelphia and will turn 25 this month.

“They are different in personality, but for them all to accomplish the same thing, to us it’s just amazing,” Nina Chow said.

“It’s pretty incredible what they did,” Jeffrey Chow said. “We had some idea that they were somewhere near the top, but not the top.”

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