Tag Archives: Glendale

‘The Great Gatsby’ director filming at new sound stages in Glendale’s Atlas Terminals


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Within just months of buying the Atlas Terminals industrial park, Brooklyn-based television and film production company Broadway Stages has set up working sound stages, some of which are currently being used for acclaimed movie director Baz Luhrmann’s first TV show.

Luhrmann, who is known for “Moulin Rouge” and “The Great Gatsby,” among many other movies, is working out of the new Glendale sound stages on “The Get Down,” a drama series that will run on online streaming service Netflix next year with 13 episodes.

“The Get Down” is based in the South Bronx in the 1970s and focuses on the birth of hip-hop. Depending on filming days, anywhere from 200 to 500 workers could be on site, according to sound stage manager Hernando Santana. This range includes film crews, actors and the staff that builds the sets.

It’s a turnaround in usage for the site, which was historically used as manufacturing space for multiple companies before Broadway Stages purchased it for nearly $20 million last year.

Damon Hemmerdinger of ATCO Properties, which developed the adjacent Atlas Park Mall that fell into foreclosure in 2009, began shopping the 11-acre Atlas Terminals site in 2011.

Broadway Stages promised not to destroy the old buildings on the site, but to transform them into new use for film production, further helping the booming industry in New York City.

“Broadway Stages is responsible for a lot of the filming in New York right now,” said Jamie Crowell, co-producer of “The Get Down.” “Because without the sound stages the jobs wouldn’t be able to come here.”

Today there are four new sound stages on the site, and there is space for more. Although the co-producer couldn’t reveal much about the plot of “The Get Down,” she said while some scenes will actually be filmed in the Bronx, in Glendale there will be sets for apartments and a club for reoccurring scenes from the show. “The Get Down” is using three of the sounds stages, while another upcoming show called “Billions” is being shot at the remaining one.

Besides the sounds stages, much of the Atlas Terminals property is used for “support space,” or lingo in the business for the offices, dressing rooms, practice space and areas used for constructing the sets.

When the property was bought, a Broadway Stages spokeswoman told The Courier that some of the space would be used for retail, but representatives couldn’t say more about that part of transforming Atlas Terminals yet.

Through its new sound stages use, film workers at the site are discovering the community as Broadway Stages encourages crews to use local retailers. Apparently, The Shops at Atlas Park is a hit.

“I’m a born and raised New Yorker and I’ve never been to Glendale, Queens,” Crowell said. “It’s fantastic. I love it. The mall is fantastic. You have all that stuff right there in one spot.”

ATLAS-PARK-SALE-624x3391

Map via Google

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

 

Make Music New York festival comes to Ridgewood on June 21


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/File photo

The sounds of pop rock, blues and hip-hop will fill the air in Ridgewood this Sunday as part of Make Music New York, a citywide festival of free concerts in public spaces.

Entering its ninth year, Make Music New York brings together over 1,000 artists for free shows across the five boroughs on the summer solstice. The acts range from high school bands to career musicians and everything else in between.

Ridgewood will host 10 acts at four different venues this Sunday. The two busiest locations will be Ridgewood Veterans Triangle, at the corner of Myrtle and Cypress avenues, and Venditti Square, at the intersection of Myrtle and St. Nicholas avenues, each of which will host eight performers.

The musical festivities get underway at Ridgewood Veterans Triangle at noon, with High North performing its experimental rock sounds. Following them at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively, will be rock artists Desmond McManus and Amber Stowell. Hip-hop artist Kyle Young will wrap things up with a concert at 7:15 p.m.

Blues band Hive will get things rolling at Venditti Square with their performance at 1:30 p.m. They will be followed at 2:45 p.m. by electronic indie rock performer Eric Contractor and, at 4 p.m., experimental rock artist Jim Duffy. Rock band Everpulse will round out the festivities with their 5:15 p.m. show.

Meanwhile, musicians from the Joe Fuoco Music Center in Glendale and friends will perform rock, country, pop and other music from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the 71st Avenue Triangle, located at the corner of Myrtle and 71st avenues.

Street Studio: Ridgewood will hold an electronic and experimental rock show from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Trans-Pecos Cafe, located at 915 Wyckoff Ave.

Click here for more information about Make Music New York events in Ridgewood and other parts of the city.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

New York and Atlantic Railway responds to community concerns


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

It’s been there for more than a century and is being used more frequently than in recent years, yet the Fresh Pond Railyard continues to be a source of friction between its operators and nearby residents.

The New York and Atlantic Railway, which leases the Glendale rail yard from the Long Island Rail Road for freight operations, insists only so much can be done to mitigate concerns from local residents while meeting regional transportation needs.

“What has happened over the intervening 100 years, as one would expect, the community has undergone expansion and construction where the footprint of the community ends at the footprint of the railroad,” said Paul Victor, New York and Atlantic Railway president.

Even with the uptick in railroad activity, Victor said, rail transportation is historically “a fraction of what it was.”

“We always try to accommodate as much as we can to local residents, but we can’t really fulfill their wish and not be here because if we’re not here, you have to weigh the historic difference between a railroad moving something and a truck,” Victor said.

As it pertains to local concerns over New York and Atlantic Railway’s open top rail cars, Victor said that the waste in those containers is non-organic, non-putrescible waste. It is only construction and demolition waste (C and D), which does not give off offending odors or attract unwanted wildlife.

“That has zero impact on the community because it’s no different than a C and D container in the street,” Victor said. “Then, to be fair, you have to cover everything in every street and see what happens to the economy. If that’s what they want, don’t do it to the railroad car only; take every construction site and force it to be covered on every corner.”

Residents of Glendale near the Fresh Pond Terminal also raised concerns about hearing trains operating during all hours of the night.

“There is no physical way to accommodate the existing traffic in an eight-hour window, or a ten-hour window, or even a 12-hour window,” said James Bonner, director of sales and marketing for New York and Atlantic Railway. “The nature of the timing of our interchange for some other agreements we have with other community members is that you’re going to have be operating around the clock, and that’s what we do.”

To help alleviate some of the noises made by the trains, New York and Atlantic Railway has recently installed a greaser in the Fresh Pond Terminal, which reduces the squeal of the trains.

“We did this specifically because we told CURES [Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions] we were going to do it and we did it,” Victor said. “We talked with them, we said here’s what we can do, we made the investment and put that in.”

Mary Parisen, chair of CURES, believes that the C and D waste can cause problems for the neighborhood.

“People with respiratory ailments are subject to the dust from the cars when they are being transported and bang together,” Parisen said. “When rain gets in there it can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

City budget tops Glendale Property Owners meeting


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

At the Glendale Property Owners Association’s (GPOA) final meeting before the summer break, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley gave members an update on the city budget on Thursday night at The Shops at Atlas Park.

“We are in the middle of negotiations, as we are every June because we must pass a budget before July first,” Crowley said. “This year the budget has grown to $78 billion. The mayor has proposed $500 million in new programs, but he has a plan to roll over approximately $2 billion into the next fiscal year.”

The City Council’s plans for the budget differ from those of the mayor. For example, the City Council is proposing to hire more police officers.

“[Mayor Bill De Blasio] would like to hire 500 police officers. The Council is calling for 1,000,” Crowley said. “The [Police] Department spends approximately $700 million a year on overtime, which is too much money on overtime. If you had more of a force you would spend straight-time and less overtime if you had the resources to deploy.”

Although the crime in Crowley’s district is low, other areas of the city are seeing a rise in crime, and the legislator believes hiring more police officers would help alleviate such problems around the city.

“In addition to hiring more police officers, I have been working with the mayor to get more resources to improve our emergency medical services,” Crowley said. “The Fire Department runs most of our ambulances in the city, and the response times, especially in Queens, are too high. For life threatening emergencies, it takes over 10 minutes if you look at the past three months, on average, and that’s far too long.”

The councilwoman also touched on some of the city parks that are getting renovations thanks to City Council funds. Frank Principe Park and Juniper Valley Park are both slated to receive renovations to improve their infrastructure.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

State Senate bill gives communities input on homeless shelters


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Communities will now have the chance to hear plans for proposed social service facility sites before they appear in their neighborhoods.

The Senate recently approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Joseph Addabbo requiring a more transparent process when it comes to locating homeless shelters or other social service facilities in communities throughout the city.

“This legislation, while not avoiding or ignoring the crisis of homelessness, substance abuse or other serious social ills in our society, does provide a necessary means for community members to be fully involved from the get-go when homeless shelters or other social service facilities are planned for their neighborhoods,” Addabbo said.

“All too often, communities are finding that facilities are being virtually rammed down their throats, with no real thought given to whether the buildings are appropriate for the programs, whether the neighborhoods have adequate transit or other services, or whether the proposed operators have questionable track records that should be challenged,” he added.

Under the new legislation, social service providers would be required to notify community boards and the City Planning Commission (CPC) within 45 to 90 days of selecting a location for their facility. The CPC would then have to hold public hearings to gather local input on the proposed facilities.

Within 60 to 90 days of the public hearings, the CPC would have the final authority to approve, deny or modify the community-based programs.

Community boards may also request hearings be held within the same time frame if a provider is planning on renewing its lease. This allows for local input in cases where questions have been raised about the operation of the facility.

“The fact of the matter is that we need transparency, honesty and in-depth community conversations about these programs—before they happen, not after the fact,” Addaboo said.

The Senator pointed out the proposed homeless shelter planned for Cooper Avenue in Glendale as a prime example.

“This project appeared virtually out of thin air, with no opportunity for the community to raise legitimate concerns about the facility, the track record of the operators, or other very pertinent issues—which then fell on deaf ears when brought to the attention of city officials,” he added. “We can’t let this continue to happen. It’s not about trying to keep people in need out of our neighborhoods—it’s about bringing neighborhoods together, with all the information they require, to help determine the best outcomes for these same people in need.”

The bill is currently under consideration by the Assembly Committee on Cities.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

CURES wants to put a lid on open-top rail cars


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

Updated June 3, 5:05 p.m.

An odoriferous open-top rail car, filled to capacity with construction and demolition debris, has been parked for several weeks in the Fresh Pond Railyard, directly across the street from Glendale homes, raising the ire of nearby residents.

Just an orange mesh lies atop the debris of the car at the corner of 68th Place and Otto Road, leaving it exposed to the elements of nature, according to one activist.

“When you have open containers like this, you leave the communities open to odors and debris,” said Mary Parisen, chair of Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES) civic group. “The orange top is not sufficient when the railcars are traveling near schools, parks and homes. These open rail cars are hosts for vectors, odors and storm runoff. Our communities cannot be held hostage by the state of New York to these conditions.”

“The railroad won’t move it. The rail car has a defect, which is why it is parked here,” she added. “The community shouldn’t be subjugated to vermin, raccoons or even rats. These long, heavy rail cars have been creating structural damage to homes, with seismic vibrations, and keeping residents awake all hours of the night.”

The rail yard is operated by New York and Atlantic Railway, which leases the site from the Long Island Rail Road for its freight operations.

A resident of the area believes that something has to be done about this rail car near his property.

“I’m not crazy about that, it’s been here over a week,” said Peter Germano, resident of 68th Place and Otto Road. “They shouldn’t leave it like that. You get a strong wind or some rain and it can get worse.”

CURES has urged Joseph Martens, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and elected officials for the complete containerization of all waste moved by rail, not just demolition and construction residuals.

“If you put a solid lid on top of the rail cars, you will be protecting the community since they are traveling though densely populated neighborhoods,” Parisen said. “The state needs to be responsible for this.”

In May, seven local elected officials, including state Senator Joseph Addabbo and Borough President Melinda Katz, penned a letter to Martens asking him to consider implementing the use of solid lids on rail cars carrying waste near communities.

“Additionally, we would like to follow up on the use of hard lids on all freight rail carts carrying putrescible waste,” the letter stated. “The use of solid covers to restrict pollution is a strong measure that would benefit our constituents and all New Yorkers.”

Paul Victor, New York and Atlantic Railway president, confirmed that the rail car is off the tracks and near the fencing by Otto Road. He said the car is there because it is awaiting parts for a repair before it can be put back on the tracks and moved.

He also said that the orange mesh atop the garbage in the rail car is used to signify that it is filled with construction and demolition debris, and not any other type of garbage.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens students know the meaning of sportsmanship


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Aaron Finkel

Three students from Queens were among the winners of New York Sports Connection’s first annual New York City student sportsmanship essay contest, “What Sportsmanship Means to Me.”

The students were tasked with writing original 400- to 500-word essays on the topic of what sportsmanship means to them. The submissions were anonymously judged on originality, emotional appeal, use of the theme, grammar, spelling and writing skills. Entries were received from all five boroughs, and the finalists were selected from 10 different NYC public and private schools.

“We were overwhelmed by the response and impressed by the wonderful quality of the many essays we received,” said Aaron Finkel, New York Sports Connection founder.

Sifan Lu, 17, a Forest Hills resident and student at Stuyvesant High School, won the 11th- and 12th-grade category. Xavier High School student, Connor Mulvena, 16, a resident of Glendale, was named a finalist in that category.

Forest Hills resident Jennifer Yu, 15, was a finalist among the ninth- and 10th-graders. She is a ninth-grader at Stuyvesant Tech in Manhattan.

As a category winner, Lu will receive a $500 prize. Mulvena and Yu will each receive $100 for being finalists in their categories.

The essays were judged by a celebrity panel of judges, including WFAN radio sports talk personality Craig Carton; former New York Mets relief pitcher and team captain John Franco; Mike Puma, a sportswriter with the New York Post; and Luis Fernando Llosa, former Sports Illustrated associate editor.

“It was an honor to help judge New York Sports Connection’s First Annual Youth Essay Contest,” Franco said. “The essays submitted by the finalists showed a level of maturity way beyond their years, and were a testament to the amazing work done by parents, coaches and volunteers to ensure that our kids’ youth sports experience teaches real life lessons.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Jackie Robinson Parkway shutdowns begin tonight


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Jim Henderson

Portions of the Jackie Robinson Parkway will be closed beginning Monday night as the state Department of Transportation (DOT) begins resurfacing the five-mile-long and winding road between Kew Gardens and Brooklyn.

The work will begin tonight on the eastbound side from the parkway’s Brooklyn terminus at the corner of Jamaica and Pennsylvania avenues to the Cypress Hills Street exit. As reported in the Ridgewood Times, the project will be performed in segments, with the eastbound side completed first.

The $17 million project is expected to be finished in mid-August, barring any weather-related delays. Much of the work will be done during weeknight hours from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. the next morning, but portions of the parkway will be shut down entirely on six weekends, from 11 p.m. Friday to 5:30 a.m. the following Monday.

The first two weekend closures will occur on June 5 through 8 and June 12 through 15. Drivers will be diverted through marked detour routes passing through neighboring Brooklyn, Ridgewood, Glendale, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Forest Hills and Kew Gardens.

During the project, crews from Tully Construction Company of Flushing — working on behalf of the state DOT — will remove the existing asphalt pavement and repair the concrete roadbed, then apply new asphalt and re-stripe the roadway with new lane markings. Various traffic safety devices, from reflectors to new signage, will also be installed.

“The Jackie Robinson Parkway is a critical connector between Brooklyn and Queens, carrying thousands of commuters each day and supporting the local economy,” state Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said in a statement. “[This] project will give more than 82,000 motorists who use the parkway each day a smoother, safer ride.”

“Motorists who use the Jackie Robinson Parkway can look forward to a better road experience thanks to this paving project and infrastructure enhancement,” added Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, who thanked the DOT and Governor Andrew Cuomo “for making the improvement of the parkway a priority.”

Drivers are reminded 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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Five-alarm inferno in Queens Village amid stormy weather


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@FDNY

Updated Monday, June 1, 11:24 a.m.

Firefighters battled a five-alarm inferno at a Queens Village commercial building Sunday night amid wild weather that caused street closures borough-wide due to flooding.

According to the FDNY, the blaze broke out at about 6:30 p.m. on the ground floor of the warehouse located in the area of 218th Street and 98th Avenue.

Hundreds of firefighters from across the city were battling the inferno, which was upgraded to a five-alarm fire at about 8:47 p.m. Sunday. No injuries were reported, and the blaze was brought under control about four hours later.

The 109th Precinct tweeted that the odor of heavy smoke from the fire wafted across northeast Queens. Residents in the Queens Village area were advised to keep their windows closed and limit outdoor activity until the smoke dissipated.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, as thunderstorms carrying torrential rains rolled through the city, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reported numerous road closures due to flooding.

As of 9:01 p.m. Sunday night, the OEM reported flooding forced the closure of the westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway at Union Turnpike in Glendale and the Long Island Expressway at Utopia Parkway in Fresh Meadows. Both roads have since reopened.

The 104th Precinct also reported that part of Cypress Avenue at Vermont Place in Glendale was closed after a sinkhole developed at a construction site.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Glendale school reaches recycling milestone


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Redeemer Lutheran School

The students of Redeemer Lutheran School in Glendale have been recycling drink cartons to earn their school money and prizes.

As part of TerraCycle and Capri Sun’s Drink Pouch Brigade, the students have been collecting their empty drink pouches in the lunchroom at school and at home. Since they began, the students have reached the first level of the milestone contest by collecting and recycling more than 10,000 drink pouches, earning Redeemer Lutheran School over $700.

In addition to the money earned for each piece of waste collected, participants can win prizes made from recycled drink pouches, such as storage bins, a playground and other rewards for their schools.

“The milestone program is meant to inspire individuals and organizations to collect more waste while receiving prizes for their achievements,” said Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle. “It is rewarding to see the students and administration get so involved in making this work. It’s an incredible achievement to have kept so many pouches out of the waste stream.”

The students at Redeemer Lutheran School look to continue their recycling ways and reach higher milestones in the Drink Pouch Brigade contest.

“Our students have done a tremendous job,” said Michael Williams, principal of Redeemer Lutheran School. “They are really helping with recycling and fundraising for the school.”

Thousands of other schools and organizations across the U.S. participate in the Drink Pouch Brigade. The free program is open to any interested organization or individual, and all shipping costs are paid. Since 2007, Drink Pouch Brigade participants have kept almost 235 million drink pouches out of landfills and have raised more than $4.5 million for charity.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Photos: Queens honors and remembers soldiers with Memorial Day parades


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Dominick Totino Photography/Gallery by Robert Pozarycki, Anthony Giudice, Liam La Guerre

Nearly a dozen Memorial Day parades were held in Queens over the weekend as the borough paid tribute to military men and women who protect the freedoms residents enjoy today.

Mayor Bill de Blasio marched in the Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, which began at 2 p.m. on Northern Boulevard and Jayson Avenue, alongside U.S. Representative Grace Meng, Borough President Melinda Katz, Public Advocate Letitia James, Councilmen Paul Vallone and Mark Weprin and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein.

Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Loree Sutton, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, served as the parade’s grand marshal. Sutton hailed Memorial Day as a sacred time.

“It is a day that we come together to commemorate and remember and to think about all that we share in this great country and to remind ourselves that the cost and price of freedom is never free,” Sutton said. “That we are so blessed to be in the land of the free because of the brave.”

Parades were held in Woodside/Sunnyside, Whitestone, Laurelton, Howard Beach, Glendale/Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village, Forest Hills, College Point and Woodhaven.

New military recruits, veterans in vintage cars, fire fighters, police officers, JROTC members, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and marching bands participated in the borough’s parades while parents and children donned red, white and blue and waved the stars and stripes from sidewalks.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

In Glendale, 104th Precinct looks to improve on crime drop


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Crime numbers continue to plummet in the 104th Precinct, but the command is looking to do even better.

Capt. Mark Wachter, the 104th Precinct’s commanding officer, came to the precinct’s Community Council meeting on Tuesday at The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale and reported a 26 percent reduction in overall crime in the past month. This included a significant downturn in domestic violence and felony assaults.

The precinct also experienced a 40 percent decrease in grand larcenies and stolen cars. Wachter credits crime prevention tactics, such as personalized home visits and spreading awareness about scams, with the large reduction.

In an effort to confront quality-of-life concerns, the 104th Precinct also held a successful undercover sting operation last Saturday to combat prostitution along Cypress Avenue and Starr Street on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border. According to Wachter, officers made six arrests and seized one vehicle for illicit activity.

“We put pressure on and basically make it go away,” he said. “We don’t want it to go somewhere else; we want it to go away.”

Despite these victories, burglaries remain an area of particular concern for the command. The Community Council’s Public Safety Committee and P.O. Eddie Collado of the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit delivered a video presentation and discussion on home burglary prevention.

“The burglar is an opportunist,” Collado said. According to police, perpetrators often gain access to homes through unlocked rear windows, doors and fire escapes.

Collado urged residents to secure windows and doors with the proper locks and volunteered to conduct personalized home safety surveys upon appointment. He also asked that residents register their valuable items such as electronics and bicycles with the precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit. The items are marked with serial numbers that can potentially help identify and recover them if lost or stolen.

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

P.O. Sean Paul Hynes was honored as Cop of the Month for apprehending a suspect wanted for robbing a Boar’s Head delivery truck driver at gunpoint on April 21 on Woodward Avenue at Woodbine Street in Ridgewood.

According to Wachter, Hynes and his fellow officers from the 104th Precinct’s Anti-Crime Unit were able to track the suspect and his getaway vehicle through the use of undisclosed computer resources. Within minutes of the robbery, Hynes was able to track the vehicle to a specific location in Brooklyn.

A brief foot pursuit ensued, after which the male suspect and his weapon were taken into custody.

“It’s one less gun on the street, but we can never measure how many victims the gun could have taken out,” Wachter said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Glendale students learn the secrets of Broadway


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

Students from P.S./I.S. 119 got a chance to look behind the scenes and learn how a hit Broadway show is put together.

The students who took part in the Glendale public school’s partnership with Inside Broadway, a program designed to bring the performing arts to more than 20,000 children in more than 75 schools across the city, were invited to the Gershwin Theater in Manhattan to go behind the scenes of the Broadway show “Wicked” earlier this month.

More than 3,000 students from all five boroughs attended the free Creating the Magic seminar hosted by Inside Broadway, where they learned the dynamics of putting on a professional show, as well as learning about career opportunities in the performing arts from the actors, musicians, sound technicians and other members of the cast and crew of “Wicked.”

The professionals showed the kids how the props worked, how the sound effects came from hidden speakers throughout the theater and how the 23-musician orchestra is located beneath the stage. Some of the cast members even performed musical numbers from the show.

“I thought it was really cool,” said Quinn Corcino, an eighth-grader at P.S./I.S. 119. “The stage design was really cool, the vines were interesting and the dragon was great.”

Sixth-grader Adam Sikorski enjoyed the demonstration of how the props worked, especially the head of the Wizard of Oz.

“The Oz head was my favorite,” he said. “I really liked when they showed the back of it and you saw all the different instruments and switches.”

Ashley Wool, a teaching artist with Inside Broadway who was at the seminar helping usher students around the Gershwin Theater, said that the kids really enjoyed this learning experience.

“This was the third one of these that I’ve been to,” she said. “This was a really special one. The kids were very responsive.”

“I always like watching these because they show the other aspects that bring the show together,” Wool continued. “[The students] see it is not as easy as going to a theater and doing the show. That’s the kind of thing that will bring kids into the performing arts world. It shows respect for all of the people working on it.”

The students from P.S./I.S. 119 took away more than just a fun experience from the Creating the Magic seminar.

“I learned that it’s not just about the cast, but it’s about the crew too,” said Julia Sikorski, a P.S./I.S. 119 eighth-grader.

Darren Valdera, also an eighth-grader, learned “how important the crew is.”

“It is also important to have loud volume when you’re on stage for the crew to hear their cues,” he added.

The students will take all that they learned during the Creating the Magic seminar and put it to use as they get ready to perform “Once on this Island Jr.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Your guide to Memorial Day parades and vigils in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

The sacrifices of American soldiers will be celebrated across Queens in the days to come at various Memorial Day parades and vigils.

Among the celebrations are the following events, scheduled to take place rain or shine:

Woodhaven
Residents of Woodhaven will hold an early tribute to America’s fallen troops with a ceremony on Thursday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. The vigil, sponsored by the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation, will take place at Forest Parkway Plaza, located at the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Forest Parkway.

The program includes patriotic music, a color guard, laying of wreaths and remarks from local elected officials and veterans.

College Point
The College Point Citizens for Memorial Day Inc. will begin their parade on at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 24, at the intersection of 28th Avenue and College Point Boulevard. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is set to appear along with other local officials, and veteran Louis A. DiAgostino will be honored as the grand marshal.

Marching bands, drill teams and dance groups will all be performing at the event, and military servicemen and women will march in the festivities. The College Point Citizens for Memorial Day are accepting donations to offset parade costs. For more information contact parade chairman Rev. Adam Crabtree at 718-640-8840.

Forest Hills
The Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade hosted by the American Legion and the Forest Hills Kiwanis Club will take place on Sunday at noon. The parade starts from Metropolitan and Ascan avenues and will head westward down Metropolitan Avenue to Trotting Course Lane. From there, the parade will turn right and stop at the landmarked Remsen Cemetery between Trotting Course Lane and Alderton Street.

This year’s grand marshal will be Roland Meier, president of the West Side Tennis Club. Members of ROTC, band, and local civic and children’s organizations such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will march in the parade. Organizers of the parade will hold a ceremony at Remsen Cemetery to honor veterans.

Maspeth
The United Veterans and Fraternal Organizations of Maspeth will honor the men and women of the U.S. armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice during their 31st Memorial Day Parade on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Grand marshals James Desio, retired US Army WWII veteran, and William Aronowicz, retired U.S. Marine Corp. WWII veteran, will lead the procession, beginning at Walter A. Garlinge Memorial Park, located at 72nd Street and Grand Avenue. At 2 p.m., there will be a memorial service for the deceased veterans of WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Middle Village
The St. Margaret Catholic War Veterans Post 1172 will honor those who died for the nation on Monday, May 25, with a special Mass at 9:30 a.m. at St. Margaret Church, located at the corner of Juniper Valley Road and 80th Street.

Then, at 11 a.m., post members and residents will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Middle Village Veterans Triangle, located at the corner of Gray and 77th streets near 66th Road. The ceremony will include prayers, a military salute and the playing of taps.

Glendale/Ridgewood
The Allied Veterans Memorial Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale, a committee made up of delegates from six veteran organizations, will honor the more than 1.14 million men and women of the U.S. armed forces who died in defense of the country during the 77th Memorial Day parade Monday.

At 11 a.m., the parade will begin at the Glendale War Memorial, located at Myrtle and Cooper Avenues, with a short memorial service to honor the war dead of Glendale. They will then march down Myrtle Avenue westbound to the Ridgewood War Memorial, located at Myrtle and Cypress Avenues, where there will be another short memorial service to honor the war dead of Ridgewood.

Howard Beach
The Howard Beach Memorial Day Parade will honor Vietnam War veterans, including the Howard Beach residents lost at war since the neighborhood’s founding.

There will be a memorial day Mass before the parade at Our Lady of Grace at 101st Street on Monday at 9:30 a.m. At 10:15 a.m., there will be a brief ceremony on top of Hawtree-Ramblersville Bridge and the parade will officially commence at Coleman’s Square at 11 a.m. The parade will stop at the Vietnam War Memorial, located at 99th Street and 157th Avenue and then head to the World War II Memorial at Assembly of God Church at 158-31 99th St. They will then march to St. Barnabas Church at 159-19 58th St. before marching back to Coleman Square.

Laurelton
The Laurelton Lions Club will present the 26th Annual Laurelton Memorial Day Parade, featuring The Queens Area Pathfinders Marching Band and The Black and Gold Marching Elite Band, on Monday starting at 9 a.m. The parade begins at Francis Lewis and Merrick boulevards, and will end at the Veterans Memorial Triangle at 225th Street and North Conduit Avenue.

Sponsors for this year’s parade include the Laurelton Lions Club, American Legion Benjamin Moore Post 1946, Garden Club of Laurelton, Federated Blocks of Laurelton and Concerned Citizens of Laurelton in Conjunction with Col. Edward O. Gourdin VFW POST 5298.

Whitestone
The Whitestone Memorial Day Parade will honor veterans and public servants from the community on Monday, May 25. The event will begin at noon at Whitestone Memorial Park at 149th Street and 15th Drive with a ceremony. Following the ceremony, the parade will commence and follow a rectangular route around the neighborhood back to Whitestone Memorial Park. Jim Dunn, a veteran from The American Legion in Whitestone, will serve as the grand marshal.

The parade will feature classic cars, elected officials, children from local sports leagues, and it will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of Whitestone’s Engine 295/Ladder 144 of the FDNY. For additional, information or to volunteer call Devon O’Connor, parade chairman, at 718-757-8546.

Woodside/Sunnyside
This year the St. Sebastian’s War Veterans will host the Woodside Memorial Day Parade to honor fellow veterans on Monday starting at 11 a.m. Parade participants will get together at the St. Sebastian’s School yard located at the corner of Woodside Avenue and 57th Street.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and John V. Daniels Jr. Post No 2813 in Sunnyside will host a Memorial Day event to honor veterans on Monday at 11 a.m. The event will be held at John Vincent Daniels Square, located on Roosevelt Avenue and 52nd Street. During the ceremony, a wreath will be placed at the flagpole in the middle of the park.

Little Neck/Douglaston
This year’s Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. Monday, pays special tribute to Vietnam War veterans. Dr. Loree Sutton, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, will serve as grand marshal of the march sponsored by the Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Association.

The march begins in Great Neck from the corner of Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard, then proceeds west on the boulevard to the yard of St. Anastasia’s Church, located near Northern Boulevard and 245th Street.

Volunteer patrol praised for efforts to find missing Glendale student


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Efforts to track down a missing Glendale student and honors for a graffiti-fighting cop were highlighted during Thursday’s meeting of the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) at St. Pancras Pfeifer Hall in Glendale.

Capt. Gregory Mackie, 104th Precinct executive officer, commended the civilian patrol for their help in the search for 12-year-old Kwan Williams, a student at P.S. 113 in Glendale, who went missing after school on May 11. After an extensive precinct-wide search, Williams was eventually found safe at his father’s home in Manhattan.

As part of the effort, the 104COP mobilized 13 patrol cars in the search for Williams. Units searched local parking lots and parks, including Juniper Park, Mafera Park and the Forest Park Bandshell and surrounding areas.

In addition to the diligence of the patrols, 104COP members also credited social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter with helping to spread the word about the missing boy. According to Mark Pearson, 104COP first vice president, the missing persons flyer was posted and tweeted to all of the local civic groups social media pages. It was shared an estimated 350 times online, and reportedly reached 35,000 people.

“It was a great showing of community,” Pearson said.

P.O. Charles Sadler of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit commended the use of social media in the search for Williams. “Let’s take advantage of the outlet we have and use it for something good,” he said.

Frank Kotnik, 104COP president, expressed pride over the effort and the search’s success.

“We’re out there and we’re looking to help,” Kotnik said. “It’s a good feeling that we had a purpose.”

The patrol also honored P.O. Justin Dambinskas of the Citywide Vandals Task Force, who was previously the 104th Precinct graffiti coordinator.

“He was one of the best graffiti coordinators in our precinct,” Kotnik said, adding that there were over 450 vandalism arrests and 2,500 sites painted and cleaned on Dambinskas’ watch.

Dambinskas credits the local judiciary system and the keen eyes of the community with helping win the war against graffiti.

“The District Attorney and prosecution in this neighborhood is the best I’ve ever worked with,” he said. “We’ve got people jail time and restitution. People are afraid to actually tag in Queens because of what happens.”

Dambinskas also thanked community and civic groups such as G-COP for contributing to the success of the precinct’s anti-graffiti operations.

“We got involved because graffiti was out of hand back in the day,” Kotnik said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES