Tag Archives: Glendale

Santa mailbox comes to Glendale for second year


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Salvatore Licata

Santa Claus may not have arrived in Glendale yet, but that doesn’t mean children can’t get in touch with him there.

A Sprinkle of Fun, located at 79-05 Myrtle Ave., is hoping to spread a little Christmas spirit by putting a Santa mailbox outside of their store so children can get their letters to Santa shipped to the North Pole. Kimberly Hickey, the owner of the event hosting business, wanted to give residents of Glendale a local place to drop off their Santa letters.

“I saw a Santa mailbox when I was shopping one time,” said Hickey, who has owned the business since 2012. “I thought it would be a great idea to have one by the store.”

So, she decided to check out the price to buy one, but when she noticed it cost hundreds of dollars, she went the economical route and made one herself. This is the second year she put the mailbox outside of her store.

She has gotten about 15 letters from children since the mailbox was set up early this month. Hickey guarantees every child gets a return letter from “Santa” with a candy cane included.

“I wanted to do it because there is no there is no other mailbox like this in the area,” she said.

santa mailbox1

A Sprinkle of Fun hosts events from children’s parties to baby showers. Hickey has all types of arts and crafts activities for the kids to do including sand art and painting. She has become so fond of making children happy that putting the mailbox out in front of the store was a no-brainer to get her message across.

“There is a magical thing about the way children believe in Christmas,” she said. “When I see kids run up with a smile on their face and put a letter in the mailbox, I just love it.”

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Coalition funds growing to combat ‘warehousing’ of homeless in Glendale


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo by Jeff Stone

Though donations have slowed down in recent weeks, the Glendale/Middle Village Coalition is continuing to raise money to pay for its legal battle to block a proposed homeless shelter.

The group has raised $70,000 for a fund to pay for legal fees in its lawsuit against the city on the proposed Glendale homeless shelter.

“We want to make it clear that we are not against helping homeless people,” said Dawn Scala, a member of the coalition. “We are against the warehousing of them in large facilities.”

Over 445 different people and groups have made donations to the community coalition. It was something that Brian Dooley, treasurer of the coalition, was proud of because of his concern with how the city handles the homeless.

“We should all be very proud of this number,” said Dooley.

Sal Crifasi, president of the coalition, said that donations have been coming in less and less over the past few weeks, but he remains optimistic that they will reach their goal of $130,000 as he believes the slow-down in donations of late is because of the holiday season.

“We used to get about 15 checks a day coming into the office, now we are getting two or three,” Crifasi said. “But every donation counts.”

Crifasi said most of the donations are coming from Glendale residents. But he wants to branch out into Middle Village as he believes the homeless shelter will affect that neighborhood just as much as, if not more than, Glendale.

At this point, the coalition has spent $15,000 on the Article 78 filed against the city, which was an appeal against the Environmental Assessment the city did on the land. They will have to spend another $15,000 on this first action, which will leave them with about $40,000 to work with, Dooley said.

The coalition’s members feel that the city did not take a “hard look” at the area in order to determine the impact of a homeless shelter at the site. They want a full Environmental Impact Study done.

“This is a bad spot and a bad idea,” said Fred Haller, a member of the coalition who is also a lawyer. “This has been a great effort by all the groups in the neighborhood. Legal fees are expensive and we are raising a lot of money.”

The city has until Dec. 12 to answer the Article 78 filed against them. Haller said that the coalition, along with their attorney, are discussing further lawsuits they could bring on city, state and federal levels.

“[The proposed shelter] is not the right answer for helping these people,” Dooley said. “We have a lot more fighting to do.”

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Broadway Stages to build massive sound studio and retail complex in Glendale


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Map via Google Maps

Glendale is ready for its close-up.

Brooklyn-based television and film production company Broadway Stages plans to build a massive film studio and retail complex in the neighborhood with existing warehouses.

The firm purchased Atlas Terminals, a huge industrial park with buildings adjacent to The Shops at Atlas Park mall, for $19.5 million, as first reported by The Courier on Monday.

“We’re excited to turn the existing warehouses at Atlas Terminals into some TV and film studios and create rental space for local mom and pop retail businesses,” said Jackie Kessel, Broadway Stages spokeswoman. “We look forward to working with local officials as we develop our plans to draw on all of the energy around Atlas Park, bringing new jobs, business growth and economic development to Queens.”

The site comprises 82-10, 82-04 and 81-80 Cooper Ave. There are 21 buildings and multiple parking areas on the site with about 500,000 square feet of building space.

Damon Hemmerdinger of ATCO Properties, which foreclosed on the Atlas Park Mall in 2009, sold the property to Broadway Stages. Hemmerdinger began shopping the 11-acre Atlas Terminals site in 2011.

The Broadway Stages representative did not say when the studios will open.

Public officials in the area are optimistic that the development of the site can boost the neighborhood.

“Though we only have preliminary information at this point, I am pleased to hear Broadway Stages could bring a film studio and industry services to our community,”  State Sen. Joseph Addabbo said. “In addition to the cultural advantages, the renovation and upkeep for a studio could provide job opportunities for my constituents. Also, the new studio’s location next to The Shops at Atlas Park could promote the Shops’ businesses, and overall contribute a boost to our local economy.”

 

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Brooklyn film studio Broadway Stages buys Glendale industrial park for $19.5M


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Map via Google Maps

Queens may have another film studio in its future.

Brooklyn-based television production company Broadway Stages purchased Atlas Terminals, a huge industrial park with buildings adjacent to The Shops at Atlas Park mall, in Glendale for $19.5 million, according to property records filed Monday.

The property was sold by Damon Hemmerdinger of ATCO Properties, which foreclosed on the Atlas Park Mall in 2009.

Broadway Stages President Gina Argento signed on the sale of Atlas Terminals. Hemmerdinger began shopping the 11-acre Atlas Terminals site in 2011, according to The Real Deal.

The sale comprises 82-10, 82-04 and 81-80 Cooper Avenue. There are 21 buildings and multiple parking areas on the site with about 500,000 square feet of building space.

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Dog heartlessly thrown from car is put down


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Butler

The sad tale of Dasher, a dog who was tossed from a moving car last month, came to an end late last week when the poor pooch was humanely euthanized by the ASPCA once it was determined she could not recover from her injuries and illnesses.

The female Rottweiler captivated the public’s attention after a firefighter discovered her wrapped in a sleeping bag at the intersection of Vermont and Cypress Avenue next to the Jackie Robinson Parkway on the night of Nov. 20. She received extensive medical treatment but was not responding to it, according to the ASPCA.

“Dasher, a senior Rottweiler, received extensive medical care for nearly a week at BluePearl Queens and the ASPCA Animal Hospital. After thorough examinations by multiple veterinary specialists and round-the-clock efforts to improve her delicate condition, Dasher was not responding to treatment,” APSCA officials said. “Due to several serious medical complications that were causing significant discomfort and leading to a poor quality of life, Dasher was humanely euthanized late last week to end her suffering.”

A fundraiser took place in her name on Nov. 26 to pay for the medical expenses for Dasher. Charlotte Butler, president of the Canine Korral Dog Run Friends of Forest Park, the organization that sponsored the fundraiser along with Neir’s Tavern, was heartbroken by news that the pooch had passed away.

“I was unbelievably saddened to find out she passed on,” Butler said.

At the event, they raised over $1,100 for the pup’s medical expenses. Butler is now in the process of figuring out the best place to donate the money.

This case is still under investigation by the NYPD and anyone with more information of this case is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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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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