Tag Archives: Howard Beach

Howard Beach focus of storm resilience report


| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of The Nature Conservancy

Howard Beach was the focus of a Nature Conservancy report meant to study how nature-based defenses and man-made infrastructure can be used to protect communities from the impacts of climate change.

The Urban Coastal Resilience Report, which focused on Howard Beach because the neighborhood is low-lying and densely populated, found that combining nature-based features like mussel beds and restored marsh with “gray” defenses such as seawalls and flood gates could result in avoided losses in Howard Beach of up to $244 million.

“Man-made infrastructure used to be the default for most discussions about protecting at-risk communities,” said Bill Ulfeder, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in New York. “Now, science is showing us that natural defenses like dunes, wetlands, mussel beds, forests and oyster reefs can help to keep us safe from future disasters by absorbing floodwaters, reducing wave energy and helping defend against storm surges.”

Approximately 1,958 homes, 38 businesses and two schools in Howard Beach suffered damage when Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast in October 2012. In the months that followed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a resiliency project along Spring Creek and Jamaica Bay to protect homes and businesses from storm surges.

According to the report, New York is likely to face more intense and frequent rainstorms by 2050 and sea levels are projected to rise by 11 to 30 inches. If these projected numbers become a reality, Howard Beach could be at risk of daily or weekly tidal inundation even without a storm.

The 250-page report includes five suggestions for reducing damage sustained by storms. The fourth option, which is the most cost-effective at $45.5 million, includes adding restored marsh habitat on the coast, hard toe mussel beds along the shoreline, floodgates along the Belt Parkway to protect against storm surge and rising sea levels, and rock groins on the shoreline to help prevent erosion.

Though Howard Beach was the focus of the study, the five solutions can act as templates for all neighborhoods looking to mitigate dangerous and costly damage as a result of natural disasters.

“The type of analysis in the Urban Coastal Resilience report complements the work done in OneNYC, New York City’s strategic plan, and is a great example of how the public, private and nonprofit sectors can be ready to withstand and emerge stronger from the impacts of climate change and other 21st-century threats,” said Daniel Zarrilli, director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency.

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Howard Beach CVS worker slashed by ice cream thief: cops


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo and video courtesy of NYPD

A 62-year-old employee was attacked at the Howard Beach CVS Monday night as he was trying to stop a shoplifter looking for ice cream during the heat, authorities said.

The suspect entered the store, located at 157-05 Cross Bay Blvd., about 11:40 p.m., where he attempted to take the frozen dessert and flee, according to police. A worker tried to stop the thief from leaving and was slashed with an unknown object. The suspect was then able to get away with the ice cream.

EMS transported the victim to a local hospital and was treated for two lacerations to his forehead.

1806-15 Robbery 106 pct 7-27-15Police have released a photo and video footage of the suspect, who they describe as a black male, about 6 feet tall, 200 pounds and with black hair. He was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt.

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


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20-mile bike ride in Howard Beach to benefit two organizations


| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYFAC

Cyclists looking to ride for a cause will convene in Howard Beach for the second annual “Loop” helping two local charities.

The Loop, a 20-mile bike ride that begins in Howard Beach and benefits the NYFAC Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), will take place this Sunday, August 2.

The trail starts at NYFAC’s headquarters at 164-14 Cross Bay Blvd., snakes through Flatbush, Brooklyn, near Floyd Bennett Field and then ends back on Cross Bay Boulevard.

Tonia Cimino, director of development for NYFAC, said a discussion between Loop Chair Annmarie Gurino, the NYFAC foundation board and the JDRF board of directors spurred the creation of the event.

They chose a bike ride because “it is something that is very healthy and it engages a lot of people and it engages people from all walks of life and it’s a great way to have fun, get moving and give back,” Cimino said.

Registration for the event is $40 and includes entry to a barbecue after the ride and a “rider’s bag,” which includes a water bottle and other goodies, according to Cimino. People who pre-register for the event can pick up their bag at Sports Authority at 550 Gateway Dr. on Saturday, Aug. 1, and will also receive a 20 percent discount on purchases.

NYFAC was created in 1998 to1998 with a mission of “Helping parents, help their children, one family at a time,” according to Cimino, and provides clinical services, recreational services, and support services to educate and bring together family members of children with autism.

JDRF, which has hosted walks to raise money for diabetes research in Howard Beach for seven years, is the leading global organization funding Type 1 diabetes research.

Last year, more than 200 people participated in the bike ride and raised $15,000. Cimino said she is hoping they can double the amount of money raised this year.

“People love it,” Cimino said. “Last year, during the inaugural ride they came back and they literally said, ‘When’s the next one?'”

There will also be a 10-mile loop for those who do not want to commit to the full 20 miles. Cimino said the organizations are still looking for volunteers and anyone interested in donating their time to the event can call her at 347-566-3122 ext. 305.

To register, visit the NYFAC website here.

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Howard Beach cabbie to the stars ‘Mr. Ferrarii’ has big plans


| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Manny Anzalota

Howard Beach resident Manny Anzalota has been a New York City taxi driver for seven years but after one fateful encounter in October last year, he became “Mr. Ferrarii” — taxi driver to the stars.

Anzalota’s interaction with actor Tom Hanks has been well-documented, resulting in a post on the popular Humans of New York Facebook page; a two-page spread in InTouch Weekly; television appearances on the “Today” show and “Good Morning America”; and countless interviews in print, television and radio outlets all around the world.

After declining to give Hanks a ride at the end of his shift, Anzalota had a change of heart. He quickly recognized Hanks’ voice in the back of the cab and, mimicking Hanks’ character in the movie Cast Away, jokingly yelled out, “Wilson!”

He received a nickname from Hanks — Mr. Ferrarii because of the car logo emblazoned on his hat and shirt.

When Brandon Stanton, founder of the popular blog Humans of New York, also happened to enter Anzalota’s cab, the cabbie told Stanton his story, and Anzalota received requests for interviews from all over the world.

“The day that I went viral, everyone was calling me,” Anzalota said. “I was home for two days, my stomach was turning. I was getting lots of followers. My Facebook page went from 100 followers to about 7,000 in a matter of hours and I’m reading all the nice things people are telling me.”

Anzalota is now using his newfound fame to raise money for several organizations. Lifeline Energy, a nonprofit that designs, manufactures and distributes solar-powered and wind-up media players and radios for classroom and community listening, is teaming up with Anzolata to spread the organization’s mission. The ambassador to the nonprofit is a good friend of Anzalota’s — Tom Hanks.

“I managed to get the project guy in my car that works with Tom Hanks,” Anzalota said. “I get a lot of people to go to the site and contribute.”

Anzalota has lent his name to anti-bullying organizations, childhood cancer foundations and Girl Scouts selling cookies.

“Every time I see something going on I stop my car, come out with my [InTouch Weekly] magazine, explain to them who I am,” Anzalota said. “They love me right away. I engage with people walking and I sell out all the cookies in a matter of minutes.”

Anzalota is also working with Jack Giambanco, creator of Friendship Lights to spread “peace, love and unity” through glowing LED charms.

The cabbie is also working on creating a coffee table book with pictures and anecdotes from his passengers. He has been documenting his passengers’ stories for a while, he said, but has just started posting his collection to social media in the past few months.

“I just started learning social media in the last eight months,” Anzalota said. “I’m not that savvy tech-wise.”

His most ambitious plan is to install cameras into his taxi and conduct mini interviews with celebrities on their way to talk shows.

“That’s my goal and basically, if things work out and I’m making money, I definitely would like to buy an antique car, have pro cameras, drive people for free in the city and get their stories and donate the money to a great charity,” Anzalota said. “Every week will be a different charity.”

 

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Howard Beach sisters demand improvements to Frank M. Charles Memorial Park


| amatua@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

They just want their park back.

That is the message Sheri Volkes and Debra McCann are trying to relay to the National Parks Service about Frank M. Charles Memorial Park in Howard Beach.

The sisters have lived in Howard Beach for two years, and Volkes said Charles Park was a big part of their attraction to the neighborhood. But the sisters quickly realized that the federal park was not being maintained.

“The beach is filled with debris,” Volkes said. “The handball courts are disgraceful. The basketball courts are disgraceful. The park is supposed to be closed at dusk and nobody patrols it. Nobody stops anything.”

Volkes said people from outside of the Howard Beach community use the beach for sacrificial rituals and residents frequently see and smell dead chickens and rotting fruit. People also barbecue on the grassy area by placing the charcoal directly onto the grass, which damages the area, she said.

Volkes and her sister started an online petition that has garnered 356 signatures so far and also held a petition drive two weeks ago to persuade others in the community to sign it. Volkes and McCann, who have dubbed themselves “two girls on a mission” will be hosting another petition drive this Saturday and representatives from Melinda Katz’ office will be there to inspect the neglected park.

“I love that park and it could be a beauty if taken care of properly,” Vicki Carbone said in a post on the online petition.

The baseball fields in the park were recently renovated after several residents, including local softball team X-Bays, told Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder about the poor conditions. But Volkes said those changes are not enough.

“The park needs to be cleaned,” Volkes said. “It needs to be restored. The handball courts need to be painted. The playground needs to be safe. The rituals need to stop. The residents are tired of hearing the beating drums, the stench from whatever is burning.”

Daphne Yu, a spokesperson for the National Parks Service said that the agency has collaborated with community groups throughout the year to keep the park clean. According to Yu, the agency is working with the Charles Park Conservation Society through a youth employment program to have two students at the park three times a week for maintenance.

“This is all above and beyond the maintenance and cleanup our own staff provides for this site, which happens daily,” Yu said.

She also said that any group that wants to help keep the area clean can contact Keith White, volunteer coordinator for the park at Keith_White@nps.gov.

Volkes said it should not be the responsibility of Howard Beach residents to clean up the park, especially if people outside of the community are the ones causing the damage.

“It’s sad when a kid comes over to you and says, ‘I hope you clean up the park because this way my parents will take me there,'” Volkes said.

 

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Goldfeder calls for mosquito spraying in Howard Beach


| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Phil Goldfeder's Office

Despite early requests from Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder for preventative measures against mosquitoes, south Queens is not scheduled to receive any such pesticide treatment from the Department of Health (DOH).

The area code 11414, which includes Howard Beach, Lindenwood and Hamilton Beach, was not included in DOH’s West Nile Virus Spray and Aerial Larviciding Schedule though residents have complained of an increasing mosquito population in these neighborhoods, according to Goldfeder.

“Families in Howard Beach, Lindenwood and Hamilton Beach have experienced multiple flooding events in the past few years and have seen an increase in abandoned properties following Sandy,” Goldfeder said. “These are the ideal conditions for mosquito breeding and the potential spread of deadly West Nile virus. The city needs to step up and include these communities in this summer’s West Nile spray schedule to help keep our families safe.”  

Goldfeder wrote a letter to DOH Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett requesting that she include the area code in the agency’s spraying schedule. A spokesperson for DOH said the agency started spraying larvicide in every storm sewage catch basin in May. A second round of spraying is ongoing and a third round will be conducted in August. The spokesperson also said that DOH conducts weekly surveillance for West Nile activity throughout the city.

“Adulticide will be applied to carefully delineated areas only if the threat to humans is imminent in those areas,” the spokesperson said in an email. “Spraying adulticide in populated areas before we have any evidence of West Nile virus activity is neither appropriate, nor will it help protect public health.”

In June, DOH reported that it found mosquitoes carrying the disease in parts of the city, including Glen Oaks. Last summer, four people and 200 mosquito pools in Queens tested positive for the disease.

The DOH encourages people to report standing water on private property to 311 or online.

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


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated, July 21, 2 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Man jumps to his death at Howard Beach A train station


| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook/Far Rockaway

Updated 1:47 p.m.

A man jumped to his death Monday morning from the platform of a Manhattan-bound A train at the Howard Beach-JFK Airport station, it was reported.

Police and EMS units received a call about the incident at 8:19 a.m., according to officials, and they responded to the scene shortly thereafter. Service was suspended from Rockaway Boulevard to Beach 90th Street until 10:46 a.m. Free shuttle buses were provided during that time.

The man has not been identified and the investigation is still ongoing.

Later, the MTA suspended A train service from Euclid Avenue and Ozone Park-Lefferts Boulevard in both directions due to switch problems. Service between Euclid Avenue and Broad Channel was also suspended in both directions.

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Con Edison reduces power in south Queens, urges customers to conserve


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Flickr/Con Edison

Equipment problems and a power strain related to today’s hot weather forced Con Edison to cut back voltage by 8 percent in several southern Queens neighborhoods.

The reduction affects customers in the areas of Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Kew Gardens, Lindenwood, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park and Woodhaven. In all, 138,000 customers are affected in the area generally bounded by the Jackie Robinson Parkway, Queens Boulevard, Van Wyck Expressway, Jamaica Bay and the Brooklyn/Queens border.

Con Edison said the cutback aims “to protect equipment and maintain service as repairs are made.” Until further notice, residents in the reduction zone should not use heavy-duty appliances such as washers, dryers and air conditioners and should turn off any unnecessary lights or televisions.

Queens is in the midst of this summer’s first heat wave, with temperatures today forecast at 92 degrees. Combined with oppressive humidity, it’ll actually feel more like 102 degrees, according to accuweather.com. Thunderstorms are also forecast for this evening.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation also issued an air quality health advisory through 10 p.m. Monday for the New York City area, as the stifling, muggy air may also include heavy amounts of pollutants such as ozone. Children, seniors and those with respiratory disorders should limit their outdoor activity.

The city will have cooling centers around the five boroughs open on Monday, including at senior centers, NYCHA facilities and parks. Call 311 or click here to locate the nearest center.

Con Edison urges customers who experience power outages to report them immediately to 800-75-CONED and visit its website to check the status of service restoration efforts. When reporting an outage, customers should have their account number available and notify the operator if neighbors on their block also lost power.

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Queens Village woman receives dream wedding with help from community


| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Minerva Santivanez

Minerva Santivanez met her fiance Edward Horan seven years ago and knew that day that the couple would be together a long time.

Her intuition was right, and on Sunday, August 2, the couple will get married at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach with a little help from the community.

Though they were only engaged on May 23, Santivanez and Horan want to tie the knot before Santivanez starts chemotherapy treatment to fight her stage 4 cancer.

In November 2014, Santivanez, a Queens Village resident, saw bulges in her abdomen and went to Queens Hospital to have them examined. Doctors told her that they were tumors and that she would need surgery to have them removed.

During her recovery in the hospital, Santivanez experienced chest pain and difficulty breathing. Soon after, she became unresponsive and the staff went against hospital policy to give her a double blood transfusion that saved her life.

Though it has been a difficult journey, Santivanez said her fiance and family have been a great support system for her.

“I’m grateful that my fiance has been there the whole way through,” Santivanez said. “I told him, I don’t know how he deals with things, how he’s been so strong. My cousin Mary has been helping me out nonstop, her family as well.”

Once Santivanez and Horan got engaged, her cousin Mary Legaspi began using social media to raise funds for the wedding and hospital bills. Frank Russo, who owns Russo’s on the Bay, heard about the story through his son Frank Russo III and offered to provide Russo’s on the Bay for the service and reception.

“I’m trying not to cry right now because it’s been overwhelming,” Santivanez said. “Who does that nowadays? In this day and age nobody does anything unless you’re going to do something in return. They don’t know me like that and they just offered it.”

Once other people heard her story, the offers started pouring in. Thomas Knoell Designs donated wedding jewelry, Clay Bouquet Shop offered to donate a bouquet, Nidji Photography, Alice Escobar, Nick Kanellopoulos and his wife will be donating their photography services and DJ entertainment and several other organizations and people have offered to provide wedding services for free.

“Just listening to her story, sometimes you get caught up but every time you hear a story, if it can help … it’s a situation that we could participate in and that’s pure and that’s the most important piece, then I don’t mind helping,” Russo Sr. said.

Santivanez  said she cannot wait to meet these people so she can hug and thank them in person. She’s also excited to participate in a longstanding wedding tradition — the first dance.

“I’m excited for everything,” Santivanez said. “I’m hoping to beat chemo in the end and have it all be a bad memory. But the fact that everybody has been there for me, I want to be able to thank everybody. I just want to be able to hug them and thank them in person.”

Anyone who would like to donate to help Santivanez and her family cover medical expenses can visit her GoFundMe page.

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Ulrich secures a record $5.6 million in funding for district


| amatua@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Southwest Queens will receive $5,685,000 in funding from the City Council, the most that has ever been awarded to the 32nd City Council District.

Councilman Eric Ulrich, who represents neighborhoods including the Rockaways, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven and South Richmond Hill, secured $685,000 in expense funding for local community groups, civic associations, senior centers, volunteer fire departments and other local groups.

New York Families for Autistic Children, Inc.Queens Chamber of CommerceHoward Beach- Lindenwood CivicRockaway Point Volunteer Emergency Services and Girl Scout Council of Greater New York were among the grant recipients.

“Above all, this year’s budget keeps New Yorkers and their families safe and protects the vital services we all rely upon,” Ulrich said. “It also provides funding for local groups that serve my constituents in every corner of the district. Since taking office, I have made sure that we receive our fair share of city services and resources in the budget. This year is no exception.”

Local schools in the district will receive funding for SAT programs and the $5 million allocated to capital projects will fund technology upgrades at 17 local schools and school library and auditorium renovations.

Forest Park will receive a number of enhancements and improved security measures. Residents who voted in the participatory budgeting process chose to refurbish the 9/11 Memorial and the Forest Park Dog Run and to install emergency call boxes throughout the park.

Libraries in Ozone Park and Richmond Hill have been awarded $200,000 for security upgrades and renovations.

The Richmond Hill library will look to install self-check-in and check-out machines, renovate the basement and purchase new computers and tablets, according to Rebecca Babirye-Alibatya, the library’s manager.

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Students from P.S. 207 in Howard Beach call for traffic safety


| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Office of Phil Goldfeder

Students from P.S. 207 in Howard Beach have stirred Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder to call for improved traffic safety near the school.

After third-graders from the school held a rally for improved traffic safety around school grounds on Friday, June 26, Goldfeder sent a letter to Department of Transportation (DOT) Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia requesting yield signs at crosswalks outside of the school.

“I am truly inspired by the students of Class 301 for their efforts to improve pedestrian safety in our community,” Goldfeder said. “Installing yield signs outside P.S. 207 will help ensure that our students can come home safely from school each and every day. I urge the Department of Transportation to take immediate action and make these necessary upgrades before someone gets hurt.”

At the rally, Goldfeder received more than 500 signatures from Howard Beach residents calling for the installation of signs around the school to urge drivers to yield to pedestrians. The yellow pedestrian signs already installed have not been effective in spurring cars to yield when a crossing guard is not present, residents said in the petition.

Goldfeder also met with the students of Class 301 to offer his support and received handmade yield signs from students thanking him for his efforts. In his letter, Goldfeder asked Garcia to install yield signs at the four intersections around P.S. 207 including 88th and 89th streets between 169th and 160th Avenues.

“No parent should have to fear for their child’s safety when sending them off to school each morning,” Goldfeder said. “This small step will help give area families the peace of mind they need and deserve.”

A formal request has been sent to the DOT and Jon Greenfield, communications director for Goldfeder, said they are looking forward to working with the agency to install these yield signs.

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Fighting cancer step by step at Howard Beach Relay For Life


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Noreen Feehan

Howard Beach residents filled the track at Frank Charles Memorial Park on June 13 to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

For the seventh annual Relay For Life event, an overnight community fundraising walk, Howard Beach participants raised $52,000, bringing the local event’s seven-year fundraising total to $650,000.

The fundraising event, which takes place in tracks all over the country, honors cancer survivors and those who have lost their lives. Cancer survivors took the first lap around the track as onlookers cheered their victory.

“The goal of Relay For Life is to bring communities together in the fight against cancer,” said Meaghan Neary, special events manager for the American Cancer Society. “At Relay, we aim to celebrate our survivors and caregivers, remember those we’ve lost and pledge to fight back against a disease that has taken too much.”

At sundown, participants lit candles lining the track as part of the luminaria ceremony to remember those who died as a result of cancer, honor people who beat cancer and support those who continue to fight the disease.

IMG_8926

Howard Beach resident Noreen Feehan lost her father to duodenal cancer in February. Her father, Lester McCann, was well known throughout the community and coached the Lynvets football team in Howard Beach. Feehan attended the event with her 6-year-old and 8-year-old daughters and said Relay For Life allowed her to teach her children an important lesson.

“I think it’s very important for younger people to attend these events. As my 8-year-old had asked, she said ‘Mommy, why are we celebrating when it’s something sad?’ and I explained it to her that a person’s life is not contained in the sadness of their death,” Feehan said. “It’s in the happiness of their life and the memory of them of when they were alive is what we have to keep alive.”

Feehan said the survivor walk was an important part of changing the stigma of cancer from a death sentence to a disease that can be beaten with the right treatment and mental attitude. She would also like to see the event become a place where people who currently have cancer can come to find more information.

“There’s a lot of good services especially for people who are going through chemotherapy where they have wig services or hat services so that it can also become an event which disseminates information to those who need it,” Feehan said.


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Identify this place in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Church

Do you know where in Queens this photo was taken? Guess by commenting below! The answer will be revealed next week.

Last week’s answer to “Identify this Place”: Frank Charles Park in Howard Beach

IMG_0165-624x416

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A taste of Howard Beach history


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Robert Pozarycki

When Lenny’s Clam Bar ran television commercials years ago, owner Joe DiCandia Sr. became something of a local celebrity, famously offering viewers a free glass of wine to any diner who came to the Howard Beach hotspot and mentioned his name.

They still honor that promotion to this day even though the senior Joe DiCandia has long since handed the restaurant reins over to his son, Joe Jr. It’s part of a 42-year history of charm, tradition and good food that Lenny’s has offered to generations of customers who’ve come through its doors.

There have been changes to Lenny’s through the years, most notably after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which flooded it and many other Howard Beach businesses. DiCandia Jr. “turned a negative into a positive,” rebuilding the clam bar larger than before, as it expanded into a neighboring business.

Even with change, much of the staff — from line chefs to attendants — has been there for 20 years or longer. And the restaurant’s menu mainstays — sumptuous seafood and classic Italian cuisine — continue to attract customers from far and wide.

Naturally, the clam features prominently on the menu. The baked clams ($7.95 a half-dozen, $12.95 a dozen) are a great way to start your meal whether you’re a seafood lover or looking to try seafood for the first time. The cheesy breading complements the perfectly cooked clams, which offer diners that briny note of flavor that only fresh seafood can provide. Lenny’s also offers raw clams ($7.75 a half-dozen, $12.50 a dozen) and oysters ($12.95 for eight) on the half-shell, served with fresh lemon and cocktail sauce.

The seafood possibilities are almost endless when it comes to the main course. On our date to Lenny’s, my wife enjoyed the stuffed shrimp ($19.95) featuring mounds of scrumptious crab meat in a lemon wine butter sauce and served with potatoes and broccoli. You can also get broiled scallops or Norwegian salmon ($19.95 each) or breaded and baked lobster tails ($17.95 single tail, $24.95 for a double).

As an Italian food lover, I certainly enjoyed the chicken cutlet parmigiana ($18.95), a generous portion of perfectly cooked chicken breast covered in a zesty tomato sauce and served with linguine on the side. Other Italian specialties to try include the chicken sorrentino ($21.95) topped with tomato, prosciutto, eggplant and mozzarella in Madeira wine sauce and the linguine with red or white clam sauce ($14.95).

Lenny’s offers seemingly anything to suit anyone’s appetite, from tender barbecue baby back ribs basted in the house barbecue sauce to a boneless shell steak off the grill cooked to order. The kids menu features cheeseburgers, pasta or mozzarella sticks.

Whatever you order, save room for dessert, as Lenny’s offers an incredible variety of sweet treats straight out of the DiCandia family cookbook. Their homemade cannoli is light and sweet without being too heavy, while the pistachio bomb — a tartufo ball of pistachio ice cream with a chocolate shell and a raspberry sauce — is an explosively tasty and delightful way to end a meal.

Times may always change, but Lenny’s Clam Bar still reigns as the champion of classic seafood and Italian fare in Howard Beach.

Lenny’s Clam Bar
161-03 Cross Bay Blvd.,  Howard Beach
​718-845-5100

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