Tag Archives: Glendale

Fundraiser to help dog who was thrown from car


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Project Woodhaven

She was wrapped in a sleeping bag, thrown from a car in Glendale and left for dead.

Dasher, a young Rottweiler, had a bleak chance of survival when she was left at the intersection of Vermont and Cypress Avenue next to the Jackie Robinson Parkway on the night of Nov. 20, according to published reports.

But a quick response may have saved her life. She is currently seeking treatment at the New York City ASPCA but medical bills are racking up fast.

A firefighter at the scene decided that if Dasher survived he would adopt her.

To help the first responder pay for the medical bills, one local restaurant is holding a fundraiser on Wednesday.

Nier’s Tavern, located at 87-48 78th St. in Woodhaven, along with K9 Korral Inc. will be hosting the event from 5 to 9 p.m.

The event is called the “Let’s bring Dasher home fundraiser,” and a flyer is asking people to “Please come help this poor girl get better so she can get home.”

There will be food, raffles and entertainment throughout the night, and proceeds will help make sure Dasher finds her way home.

“We want to help get this dog a new home,” said Loycent Gordon, a firefighter and owner of Neir’s Tavern. “If we are not able to take care of pets that is a direct reflection of how we take care of each other.”

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Thanksgiving food drive benefits veterans in Queens


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilman Eric Ulrich's office

Elected officials and veteran organizations are giving thanks this Thanksgiving by serving those who have served the country.

In Queens, Councilman Eric Ulrich, chair of the veterans committee, opened his doors to collect goods for a food drive for veterans that has been taking place citywide since Nov. 10.

The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #32, located in Whitestone, joined the councilman in helping those less fortunate who’ve served the country. They have donated hundreds of dollars’ worth of food to the drive and have done their own collection for veteran food pantries and kitchens.

“If you served our country in any shape or form and need help we want to do so,” said Paul Narson, president of the chapter.

All of the food that has been collected by the chapter will be given to Ulrich to then distribute as part of the food drive. Most of the food collected by the organization has been donated from its 252 members in Queens, said Narson.

Moreover, the chapter has also donated 16 turkeys to food pantries around Middle Village and Glendale.

It’s the least they can do for those brave men and women who sacrifice their lives to protect America’s freedom, noted Narson, who has been a member of the chapter for 25 years.

“We try to do all sorts of things for veterans,” he said. “We help out whenever we can.”

Close to 30 percent of New York City’s veterans and their families rely on emergency food to get by, according to the New York City Food Bank.

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$63K raised in fight against proposed Glendale homeless shelter


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo by Jeff Stone

The Glendale/Middle Village Coalition is making strides in their effort to combat the city on the proposed Cooper Avenue homeless shelter.

The coalition announced that they have now raised just $300 shy of $63,000 as of Nov. 4 for a legal fund. This money will go toward a lawsuit against the city as the coalition believes the agencies did not go through the proper steps to check how adding a homeless shelter to the neighborhood would affect it.

“People are giving what they can, which is great,” said Brain Dooley, a member of the coalition. “I think in another three or four months we can get to our goal.”

Out of the nearly $63,000 raised, about $15,000 has been allocated toward the coalition’s first legal step, filing an Article 78, which is an appeal to the Environmental Assessment the city did of the land. The coalition instead wants the city to do a full Environmental Impact study.

As the coalition moves on, they are looking to raise at least another $65,000, which they believe will get them through the full legal process against the city.

Dooley reiterated multiple times that the group was not against helping homeless people in the city.

“We are not against giving homeless people housing,” Dooley said. “We are against the warehousing of 125 families in homeless shelters.”

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Pedestrian fatally hit by tractor-trailer in Glendale


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

AmbulanceInMotionHC0507_L_300_C_Y-624x416

Updated 2:15 p.m.

A 46-year-old man is dead after a tractor-trailer struck him in Glendale Thursday morning, according to police.

The victim, Martin Srodin, was attempting to cross 80th Street, near The Shops at Atlas Park, at about 6:10 a.m., when he was hit, authorities said. According to a preliminary investigation, the vehicle struck Srodin with its rear tire as it was making a left turn from Cooper Avenue onto 80th Street.

Srodin, who lived less than 10 blocks from the accident site, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The driver remained on the scene and the investigation is ongoing.

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Glendale’s Artistic Stitch to be on CNBC’s ‘The Profit’


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of CNBC

It’s hanging by its last thread.

Artistic Stitch, an 18-year-old Glendale business, is close to shutting its doors for good in 2014 because it ran into some financial hardships. Owner Sal Loretta could see Artistic Stitch going downhill, so he decided to seek help from a man known for saving dying businesses, Marcus Lemonis.

“It’s tough when the banks are tight on their loans, even when business is good,” Loretta said. “I [weighed] my options and decided to see if Marcus could help me amend my business with his expertise.”

Photo courtesy of CNBC

Photo courtesy of CNBC

Lemonis, a serial entrepreneur and host of the CNBC TV show “The Profit,” decided to come down to see whether his expertise would be able to help the business.

It won’t be an easy feat as Loretta racked up $1.5 million in debt.


This debt came about as a product of Artistic Stitch’s recent move to its current location.

Three years ago Loretta decided to expand his business. He moved his then-small business of custom embroidery and sign-making to a massive 28,000-square-foot warehouse, located at 79-08 Cooper Ave., where he added some new business ideas.

To fill up the space of the warehouse, Loretta added a sports complex and pizzeria. Since then, with the debt from business loans and other expenses, Loretta has been in the red with no relief in sight.

On this Tuesday’s episode of “The Profit,” on CNBC at 10 p.m., find out whether Lemonis was able to help Artistic Stitch become a viable business again.

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Plans released for possible QueensWay


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of thequeensway.org

It’s the Queens way.

A 3.5-mile stretch of recreational, walking and biking trails is planned for central and southern Queens as part of a multi-million dollar proposal that has coined the name, QueensWay.

“This will be a wonderful park for Queens,” said Will Rogers, president of The Trust for Public Land.

The QueensWay plans, proposed by W X Y architecture + urban design, will add a mix of new recreational and cultural opportunities and nature trails for the borough, said the Friends of the QueensWay.

The path, if built, will cross through the neighborhoods of Rego Park, Forest Hills, Glendale, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and Ozone Park, affecting over 322,000 people living within a mile of it.

In the plans, there are proposed areas for ecology and education, where planners are hoping to build an outdoor classroom for children to be able to learn the biodiversity in Queens.

Also, there will be two sets of trails for bicyclist and pedestrians to ensure the safety of everyone who uses the QueensWay.

Furthermore, there are plans for basketball courts, a skate park, habitat wetlands, arts-related programs and a gateway entrance from the QueensWay to Forest Park.

“Parks are too often neglected and QueensWay would offer more access to open space and parkland,” said state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky. “Parks provide an economic benefit to local business, retail establishments and restaurants and people of all ages would be able to enjoy the recreational opportunities which this new green space would provide.”

The estimated cost for the QueensWay is $120 million and, if started, will take three to five years to build.

Although it has the backing of many elected officials and community leaders, some feel the narrow stretch of former rail line could be put to better use.

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder is a staunch advocate for the restoration of the Rockaway Beach rail line, which once ran on the property being looked at for the QueensWay. He has formed a coalition to fight to get it back.

“The QueensWay and Trust for Public Land have wasted taxpayer dollars on expensive, out-of-state consultants and one-sided studies that don’t actually represent the interests or needs of Queens’ families,” Goldfeder said. “Our growing coalition, including the MTA, will continue the fight to expand transit in Queens while easing commutes, creating jobs, cleaning the environment and expanding our economic development.”

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Legislation proposed to give Glendale its own ZIP code


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Is it Glendale or Ridgewood? You can’t tell from the ZIP code.

But the confusion may be a thing of the past if new legislation, introduced by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, gets passed.

“For years, the residents of Glendale have sought to obtain a ZIP code for their community and now I join them in their fight,” Meng said. “Most areas in the borough are recognized by their neighborhood names, which provide a sense of identity and pride for local residents. That is true for Glendale, and it’s time for the Postal Service to accept and recognize that by creating a ZIP code that the community can finally call its own.”

The pleas for a Glendale ZIP code have been constant for over a decade but have continually fallen on deaf ears, according to published reports. The neighborhood currently shares its 11385 ZIP Code with Ridgewood.

In 2007, the U.S. Postal Service shot down Glendale’s plea for its own ZIP code because it would be too costly and would have an adverse effect on mail service, according to the Daily News.

But residents and elected officials are willing to give it another go and win their very own five-digit identity.

“The residents and business owners in Glendale have advocated for Glendale to have a unique ZIP code for many year,” said Brian Dooley, president of the Glendale Property Association.

“Glendale should be recognized as a truly unique place with its own identity, issues and strengths, separate and apart from our neighbors in Ridgewood.”

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Fire restoration firm buys $3.8M Glendale warehouse for Queens move


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of PropertyShark/Christopher Bride

American Fire Restoration, a Brooklyn-based firm that cleans and revitalizes properties damaged by fire, water or smoke, recently closed on an 18,400-square-foot Glendale warehouse for $3.8 million.

The company is making a move to Queens after purchasing the former woodworking shop on 71-02 80th St., according to Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates, which represented the firm in the transaction.

Gina Palone of National Brokerage Real Estate represented the seller, 71-02 80th Street Properties Inc.

The building is directly across the street from The Shops at Atlas Park, a mall with a number of retail stores, a movie theater and some community space.

American Fire Restoration, which also specializes in mold remediation and repairs, will use the building for office and warehouse space.

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‘Scarves for Zoë’ Facebook page started for Glendale teen with cancer


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Salvatore Licata

Zoë Bonowitz, 14, decided to start wearing a scarf early this September. It was not because she was too cold or for a fashion statement but for a reason only revealed when she takes the scarf off.

It covers up an immense scar where doctors removed part of her thyroid and the cancerous tumor growing on it — Zoë’s third cancer surgery.

Zoë began wearing a scarf to cover the scar, but also manages to wear a smile despite her medical travails.

“If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen,” she said. “That’s life. You just have to keep things positive.”

To show their support, her family all started wearing scarves. But her aunt, Patricia Molina, went one step further.

“I decided to take a picture with a scarf on to show my support for Zoë and when my friend Sal Pasquetti saw it, he thought it would be a good idea to ask friends to take pictures with scarves on to show their support,” Patricia Molina, Bonowitz’s aunt, said. “So, I started a Facebook page and the support took off.”

The Facebook page, Scarves for Zoë, has become a worldwide hit, with more than 600 followers and oodles of pictures of people from all over the world sporting scarves to support Zoë.

Just seeing the pictures of strangers supporting her helps to give Zoë strength.

“The fact that people take time out of their day to support me is amazing,” Zoë said. “I’m glad that people care. It helps, it honestly helps.”

zoe2

When Zoë was 3, she was diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer. She spent nearly a year in and out of the hospital before doctors removed the kidney along with the eight-pound tumor that sat on it.

But it wasn’t over then.

When she was 8, Zoë was told she had cancer in the other kidney. Doctors soon after removed a quarter of that organ.

Now at 14, functioning with only three-fourths of a kidney, she is fighting her thyroid cancer.

“Nobody likes being told they have cancer,” Zoë  said. “But I’m fine. What happens, happens, you just have to fight through it.”

And she has.

With the successful removal of the thyroid, Zoë is waiting to have radioactive iodine therapy. She will stay in isolation for a week while on the medication and when it’s over, doctors will be able to tell if they fully removed the cancer.

But as she fights, Zoë is pursuing her dream of becoming a professional storyboard artist.

She currently attends the Academy for Careers in Television and Film, and draws comics and writes her own stories about the drawings in her spare time. It is something that she has done for as long as she can remember and said it helps her to keep calm throughout her situation.

The overwhelming support that she has received from the Facebook page is helping her through her fight, but the positive outlook she has on life has been what has kept her going.

She said it’s a lesson everyone should learn.

“You can’t worry about the hardships life throws at you,” Zoë said. “I’ve been through this already. I mean, what’s the big deal?  It’s just cancer.”

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Group against proposed Glendale homeless shelter hosts first meeting


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Hundreds of residents came out Wednesday evening to the first meeting of the Glendale/ Middle Village Coalition, a group formed to combat a proposed homeless shelter in a former warehouse on Cooper Avenue.

The meeting at Christ the King High School was held to inform locals of the group’s plans for action against the shelter and to show them the ways they can help the cause, organizers said.

“We want to prevent the warehousing of the homeless,” Kathy Masi, president of the Glendale Civic Association, said.  “We are asking residents for help.”

The Glendale/ Middle Village Coalition has raised more than $30,000, which it intends to use to challenge a declaration by the city that said a homeless shelter would have no adverse effect on the community.

“[The city] just went through the motions,” Chris Murray, the coalition’s lawyer, said. “If we win, the city will have to go back and do an Environmental Impact Statement. This could then take them up to three years to complete and will prolong the process.”

But to continue the legal action the coalition asked locals to kick in money and for at least one resident on each block to become a “block captain,” who would keep neighbors informed and collect donation pledges.

By the end of the night, more than 70 people signed up to become block captains and more than 50 checks were collected, organizers said.

The coalition estimated that it will need about $100,000 more to fight the proposed shelter effectively.

Sal Cafasi, one of the originators of the coalition, said the group will continue to hold meetings and update residents.

The coalition has asked for the community’s continuing support throughout the process.

“This is a battle and we will win it,” Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, said. “The neighborhood is united against this. We need [residents] to spread the word.”

The Department of Homeless Services did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Eateries to offer free samples ahead of Queens Restaurant Week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Economic Development Corporation

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Take your palate on an adventure as the Queens Restaurant Week kicks off with a free lunch on Oct. 6 at The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale. Thirteen eateries will offer free samples of their dishes to everyone who attends, starting at noon.

The eateries participating in the kickoff include Agora Taverna, Austin’s Steak & Ale House, Bourbon Street, California Pizza Kitchen, Chili’s, Deluge, Family Restaurant, Fiamma 41, Neir’s Tavern, O’Neil’s, Shiro’s of Japan, The Fortune Society and Uncle Peters. The event will also include speeches by politicians such as Borough President Melinda Katz, City Council member Elizabeth Crowley and state Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.

The 11th Annual Queens Restaurant Week officially begins on Oct. 13 in almost 30 neighborhoods across the borough. Cuisines of every variety, such as French, Greek, Uruguayan and Salvadorian foods, will be on offer with around 150 local restaurants participating. Specials and deals vary according to the eatery, but most of them will offer a three-course dinner for $25 per person and lunch for $14. It is also up to the restaurant’s discretion as to which days of the week they want to offer the specials. The Queens Restaurant Week will go on till Halloween.

If you have wanted to try a different cuisine without tearing up your wallet, here is your chance.

For a complete list of participating restaurants, click here.

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Motorcyclist killed in Glendale crash


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

AmbulanceInMotionHC0507_L_300_C_Y-624x416

A 38-year-old motorcyclist is dead after a collision in Glendale early Sunday morning, according to police.

At about 4:10 a.m., David Malave was riding his bike eastbound on Cypress Avenue when he struck a curb and began to skid toward a second motorcyclist, a 43-year-old man who was stopped at a red light on Cypress Avenue and Cypress Hills Street, cops said. Malave’s motorcycle struck the rear of the second bike before coming to a rest.

Malave was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The 43-year-old man was not injured in the accident, according to authorities.

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Two Glendale residents searching for kidney transplants


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

When the workday ends for Debbie Zeni, she returns to her Glendale home to her husband and two children, Ava, 8, and Dario, 9.

But before she can spend time with them, she has to meet with another member of the household: Nancy #3.

Nancy #3 is Zeni’s dialysis machine and its name was coined by her two children as it is now the third one to have taken residence in their home.

Zeni needs to use it each day for over two hours because she has a condition called polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary condition where cysts form on the kidney.

Both of her kidneys have been completely non-functional for almost two years, so she needs Nancy #3 to survive.

“It is a real hardship each day,” Zeni said. “But you just have to keep fighting and not give up hope.”

Zeni’s appearance would not cause anyone to think that she is fighting for her life each day, and many times when she breaks the news to people, they respond with a look of disbelief.

This also applies to James Deifel, one of Zeni’s friends who also is suffering from kidney complications. Deifel, a Glendale resident and father of two, has a condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), which has currently depleted his kidney function to about 16 percent.

Still, each day, he gets up and goes to work for Verizon in order to support his wife, Claudia, and two children, Julia, 9, and Michael, 13.

There is no cure for either Zeni or Deifel’s diseases. The only option for either is a kidney transplant.

Each has gone to family members and are on a transplant list, but neither has found a match.

But they are not giving up hope and neither is Deifel’s wife, who is now trying to up the chances to find a donor by using social media.

Last week, Claudia Deifel started a Facebook page called “Glendale Kidney,” where she has listed both her husband’s and Zeni’s conditions along with their case managers’ information. The page has already received more than 1,500 shares, and she is hoping that getting the word out to the community and beyond will better the chances of finding donors.

“I thought to myself, let me start with the community and get the word out to people,” Claudia Deifel said. “All I could do is keep putting the word out there and hope the right person sees it.”

Contrary to popular thought, with today’s technology, a kidney transplant requires only minimally invasive surgery. The donor would first have to take a blood test to see whether a match existed.

But both Zeni and Deifel understand the difficulty involved in kidney donation.

“We are aware it would really take a special type of person for a stranger to donate an organ to another stranger,” Zeni said, while holding Ava on her lap. “But if I get a kidney, I know I would live to a ripe old age.”

As they continue to fight, both are humbled with the overwhelming response they have gotten from the community via Facebook. They hope that as their story spreads, their chances of finding a match will grow.

“It’s great to see that friends of friends in the community have been spreading the word around,” Deifel said. “Remember, it only takes one.”

To find out more information, visit “Glendale Kidney” on Facebook.

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Cops looking for Queens jewelry store thieves


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police are searching for a suspect who tried to rob a Glendale jewelry store last month before holding up a Rego Park jewelry store with two other men this month.

The first robbery happened on Aug. 16 at about 12:20 p.m. at a jewelry store on Myrtle Avenue near 69th Place, cops said. After displaying a gun, the suspect struck a 64 year-old man with the butt of the weapon before fleeing empty-handed. The victim was not taken to the hospital.

Cops believe the same man, along with two other suspects, robbed a jewelry store on Queens Boulevard near 64th Road at about 1:50 p.m. on Sept. 5, according to authorities.

One of the suspects displayed a gun and discharged one round into the floor. The suspects then took several pieces of jewelry and fled and in a gray BMW X3. None of the robbery victims were injured.

Authorities have released video footage from the latest robbery.

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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New group formed to fight proposed Glendale homeless shelter


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo by Jeff Stone

The fight goes on.

A new group named the Glendale/Middle Village Coalition has formed to combat the proposed homeless shelter site on Cooper Avenue.

“Instead of everyone doing little things on their own [to combat the site] we will form one group to make a stronger argument,” said Salvatore Crifasi, co-founder of the coalition.

The group was formed just a couple of weeks ago. Its main argument is that the site will serve better as a school campus than a homeless shelter for the most overcrowded school district in the city, Crifasi said.

They also believe the city did not properly assess the site as a homeless shelter for its impact on the environment and have hired a lawyer to help them in their argument.

Whenever a government agency proposes a project they must go through State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR), which requires an environmental impact assessment.  A “negative declaration” is given to a site, such as the one on Cooper Avenue, when it is determined that whatever is proposed for it would not have a significant impact on the environment.

“The negative declaration that was issued for the site does not accurately depict what the homeless shelter would do,” said Chris Murray, the attorney hired by the coalition. “The city was just trying to rush this thing through.”

The coalition is still trying to raise enough funds for the legal fees in order to bring this case to the state Supreme Court. The negative impact statement was issued on June 12 and by law there is a four-month window to file a legal challenge, Murray said. This gives the coalition about a month to raise money for their lawyer to bring a case.

“There are other alternatives that we feel will have a better impact [on the community],” Crifasi said. “We are trying to raise enough money [for legal fees] and find a better solution for the site.”

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