Tag Archives: jamaica estates

Ex-Assemblyman William Scarborough gets 13 months in prison for corruption

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

File photo

Another former state lawmaker from Queens convicted of corruption is off to jail.

Former Assemblyman William Scarborough was sentenced on Monday to serve 13 months behind bars and two years’ probation for pleading guilty earlier this year to federal wire fraud and theft charges, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced.

Scarborough, who previously represented the 29th Assembly District covering all or parts of Cambria Heights, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica Estates, Laurelton, Rosedale and St. Albans, was also ordered to pay a combined $108,710 in restitution to both the federal and state governments.

“Today’s sentencing of Assemblymember Scarborough on public corruption charges sends a clear message that those who abuse the public trust will be held accountable,” Schneiderman said. “[His] jail sentence resolves one unfortunate chapter in New York State government, but crystallizes the need for comprehensive reform to clean up corruption in our state.”

In May, Scarborough admitted in federal court that he used false information to apply for and receive per diem payments for purported business travel expenses related to his service in the state capital. The payments varied from daily allowances for overnight stays in Albany to reimbursements for traveling between Albany and his Queens home.

Between January 2009 and December 2012, authorities said, Scarborough submitted 174 falsified travel vouchers to the state government and received $54,355.

In a related case, Scarborough also admitted in state court to allegedly misusing $40,000 in campaign contributions for personal expenses. He is expected to serve up to one year in state prison for that guilty plea.


Trio accused of breaking into Jamaica Estates home, locking out homeowner

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Three men who allegedly broke into a Jamaica Estates residence and locked the homeowner out until the deed to the house was transferred to them could now be locked behind bars for years.

Brandon Sestoso, 33, his brother Chas Sestoso, 31, both of Hicksville, Long Island, and Jesse Kusinow, 32, of Howell, N.J., are accused of the crime, which District Attorney Richard Brown called a “truly bizarre case.”

According to the charges, after leaving her Grand Central Parkway home on the morning of April 29, the homeowner’s wife came back that evening to find that the locks had been changed and the three men were inside. They allegedly told her that they were working with the bank that held the mortgage on the property and that she could not gain access to her house until she signed documents regarding the property.

When she told them that her husband was the property owner and was in China, they had her call him, prosecutors said. The home invaders then told the husband about the documents he needed to sign, which included a deed transfer for the property, and emailed them to him. Though the husband allegedly signed and emailed back several of these documents, he did not sign the deed transfer, and continued to receive requests to do so.

The next day, the three gave the wife 10 minutes to retrieve belongings from the first floor of the home, according to the district attorney, at which time she noticed that it had been ransacked.

On May 12, the homeowner returned to the house and removed all the locks. Once inside, he found that the house was in disorder with missing property that included jewelry, knives, cash, and the deed and documents related to the ownership of his home.

Brandon Sestoso is currently awaiting arraignment on charges of second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, unlawful eviction and second-degree criminal trespass. Kusinow was arraigned on June 10 on charges of second-degree burglary, third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal mischief, unlawful eviction and second-degree criminal trespass, and has been held in jail in lieu of $75,000 bail since that time. Chas Sestoso was arraigned on May 26 on charges of second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, unlawful eviction and second-degree criminal trespass. He was released on $10,000 bail.

All three face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.


See it: Jamaica Estates home with sauna and steam room selling for nearly $1.6M

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of MLSLI/Douglas Elliman Real Estate


Who needs to visit the spa when there’s one right in the house?

For an asking price of approximately $1.6 million, future residents of 184-53 Cambridge Rd. in Jamaica Estates will have everything they need to pamper themselves on a whim. The basement of this three-bedroom, two-bathroom home comes with not only a Jacuzzi, but also a sauna and a steam room. A wet bar and spacious sitting area on the same floor would make it the ideal place to host spa parties.

The upper floors of the house are equally luxurious and suited to an owner who loves to have lots of company. An eat-in kitchen with attached dining area and a living room warmed by a marble gas fireplace are perfect for hosting winter parties, while the large outdoor sun deck and enormous grassy backyard are great spots for summer get-togethers.

This house also features an office, a laundry room, an in-ground sprinkler system and a detached garage.



See it: Jumbo Jamaica Estates home listed for $2.95M

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Michael Miguel and MLSLI

In a neighborhood where teardowns and McMansions are popular, it’s not uncommon to find a jumbo home just after venturing north of Hillside Avenue into Jamaica Estates.

But it’s a little more difficult to find some of those blown-up houses, which are stuffed onto hilly lots, with a comfortably sized outdoor space.

The residence at 181-02 Dalny Rd. offers a sizable, tropical-themed backyard featuring an elevated gazebo that is somewhat symbolic of Jamaica Estates’ contrast from usual New York City housing, while the neighborhood is still within the five boroughs. The backyard features a paved patio and garden with a variety of plants.

A few blocks away from the final Queens F train stop at 179th Street and Hillside Avenue, the 6,750-square-foot home was constructed pre-recession in 2006 on a lot of more than 9,000 square feet replacing an older home.

The luxury giant home was listed recently with Michael Miguel at Keller Williams Landmark Realty toward the top of the neighborhood’s market at $2,957,000, and comes with all the amenities one would expect at that price.

There are nine bedrooms and seven and a half bathrooms throughout four levels, which includes an attic with a skylight. Custom finishes, bamboo flooring and marble inlays are found throughout the residence, and the master suit has a Jacuzzi.


Woman who stabbed Martin Luther King Jr. dies at 98 in Queens

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The woman who tried to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr. in 1958 died earlier this month at a Queens nursing home, according to a published report.

Izola Ware Curry, 98, passed away on March 7 at the Hillside Manor nursing home in Jamaica Estates, the New York City medical examiner’s office confirmed to the The Smoking Gun.

A native of Georgia who relocated to New York City in 1937, Curry stabbed King in the chest with a letter opener during a book signing at a Harlem department store. She also had a loaded gun with her at the time.

Curry had reportedly developed paranoid delusions about the NAACP, King and other civil rights leaders, believing they were surveilling her and causing her to lose jobs.

Following her arrest at the scene, Curry was found not competent to stand trial, diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and committed to Matteawan State Hospital for the criminally insane.

Ten days after the attack, King — while still undergoing treatment at Harlem Hospital — publicly forgave Curry, adding that he harbored “no ill will” toward her. In April 1968, the civil rights leader was assassinated by James Earl Ray at a Memphis, Tenn., hotel.

According an August 2014 report from The Smoking Gun that tracked Curry down to the Hillside Manor nursing home, she had been living in Queens for about 40 years with apparently little notice.


See it: Stay warm in this Jamaica Estates home with two fireplaces

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Michael Chambers

Even when the weather outside is frightful, this house will still be warm and delightful.

This large colonial home, built nearly a century ago, features six bedrooms and two bathrooms in about 3,000 square feet, and sits on a lot that’s more than three times its size at 175-02 Grand Central Parkway Service South. But one of its most appealing features may be its two fireplaces — one on each side of the home. The asking price is currently $985,000.

The residence is a single-family detached home, but it was built to accommodate two families — hence the double chimneys, according to broker Michael Chambers of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. There’s also a kitchen on the first floor and gas lines hooked up to the second floor for a smaller-sized kitchen.

The elderly couple selling the house has lived at the home for more than 40 years, and has kept the abode in great shape. The floors are original hardwood throughout, but there’s no creaking, even on wooden staircases.

Jamaica Estates
is known for having large-scale detached houses unique from many other neighborhoods in the borough. But it’s hard to find another property with as much land as this one has, even in neighborhoods like Jamaica Estates.

There is more than 11,100 square feet of land for this corner property, which is near St. John’s University. And because the house sits on a hill, it has a huge, partially finished basement at ground level.

The garage, which is attached to the basement, can hold two cars, and the extended driveway can fit a few more.

But besides all its amenities, the best-kept secret in this home is the attic, which is like having another full floor with nearly 12-foot-high ceilings, lots of space and 10 windows. Though the current homeowners use it for storage, Chambers believes it’s possible to transform it into another bedroom.


84-year-old man fatally struck crossing the street in Jamaica Estates

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


A teen driver struck and killed an 84-year-old man as he was crossing the street in Jamaica Estates Sunday afternoon, police said.

The elderly pedestrian, Ignascio Andal, was near 188th Street and Wicklow Place, less than 10 blocks from his home,  just after 3 p.m. when he lost his life, cops said.

The driver, a 17-year-old boy, was making a right turn onto Wicklow Place from 188th and struck Andal with his Mazda as the 84-year-old was walking across Wicklow, according to police.

Andal was taken to New York Hospital Queens, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said they were investigating, but there is currently no criminality suspected.


Luxury penthouse building planned for Jamaica Estates

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of TCX Development

A new luxury penthouse building is coming to Jamaica Estates, further suggesting a change in investors’ attitudes toward the emerging market around the neighborhood.

Great Neck-based TCX Development is constructing the building, which will be located at 177-30 Wexford Terrace, a block away from the F train.

The group is also behind a seven-story rental building with a penthouse, which is being constructed at nearby 190-11 Hillside Ave.

The Wexford Terrace building will feature a rooftop terrace on top of eight stories with studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments. The exterior of the building will boast black brick and white panels.

There will be 68 total apartments, a 9,500-square-foot community facility space for residents and 47 parking spaces.

Prices at the residence building will start at $1,550 per month for studios, $1,750 for one-bedroom apartments and $2,200 for two-bedrooms, according to a representative from the firm.

The top two floors will have 10 penthouse units, which will start at $2,600.


See it: Jamaica Estates’ Villa Joy listed at nearly $3.5M

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty 

Just looking at Villa Joy in Jamaica Estates could bring a smile to someone’s face.

Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, which recently opened its first Queens office, is listing the more than 6,500-square-foot, 12-room house for $3,488,000.

The residence at 184-15 Hovendon Rd. has five bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms scattered through three levels. It also has a finished basement.

Luxury swells from the spacious rooms in this European Villa-style home, which was built in 2012 on a third of an acre of land.

A marble-floored foyer and high ceilings are just some of the features in the house.

Click here for more information on Villa Joy.



Jamaica Estates woman competes in Ms. New York Senior America Pageant

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Rose Scalia

When Jamaica Estates resident Rose Scalia heard about the 29th annual Ms. New York Senior America Pageant, she immediately applied to be a contestant.

The pageant, for those 60 and older, salutes inspiring women and serves as a stepping stone to the national Ms. Senior America Pageant in the fall.

At age 64, Scalia, who recently retired from her job as the director of human resources for a real estate firm, saw the contest as a challenge and a way to reinvent herself.

“On the cusp of retirement, I just said, ‘I need to change what I’m doing,’” Scalia said. “This is a new chapter in my life, but it’s a new chapter of reinvention.”

Though she didn’t win the contest, Scalia was awarded “2014 Ms. Congeniality” of the pageant on Sunday, April 27, at Hofstra University, for her ability to interact and connect with the other contestants. Jane Rubinstein of Merrick, N.Y., was crowned the 2014 Ms. New York Senior America.

The women in the contest were judged based on an interview, an evening gown presentation which focused on elegance, their philosophy of life and a talent demonstration. Scalia said her past experience helped her to compete.

She holds a master’s degree in mass communications from Queens College, was a theatre performer and was once a staffer for U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman. She has also been an adjunct professor at New York University for about 15 years and is now a full-time teacher at the school.

Even though she didn’t win, what Scalia said she learned from the experience was very significant.

“Make your age work for you, no matter how old you are,” Scalia said. “It tells me that I can do what I’ve done and love to do. I may tackle theatre again.”



Marino’s Italian Ices founder passes away

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The founder of Marino’s Italian Ices who passed away last week leaves behind a sweet treat and a lasting legacy.

Marinos Vourderis, who made his millions in Queens, died July 2 in his Jamaica Estates home, his family said. He was 97.

“He was just an amazing man,” said his granddaughter Kristen Breglio. “He would give you anything that he could. He was very generous his whole life.”

Vourderis was a ship engineer in the 1930s, when he left his small-town home in Aegion, Greece to start a new life in the United States, his family said.

With no money or schooling, but a hope in his heart, he settled in Queens and later started a distribution business called Olympic Ice Cream Company with his wife in the 1960s.

“He certainly had a vision and he took that and ran with it,” said Breglio, 33. “That’s how he got his start in the ice cream business. From there, they got the idea to make ices.”

Vourderis began dabbling with his own “old world” recipes, making the frozen treats in his basement.

Once perfected, he introduced his Marino’s Italian Ices at the 1964 New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows.

The product grew into a multimillion-dollar company based in Richmond Hill, where it still is today.

“He would always say, ‘Not bad for sugar and water,’” his granddaughter said.

Seeing the ubiquitous ices in stores, the family said, puts a smile on their faces even more now.

“I’m very proud to say that he’s my dad,” said his daughter Margie Hackford. “With no formal education, he was able to come and make the American dream happen.”

Hackford remembers her father for being selfless, saying he was always willing to give people down on their luck jobs or loan out money.

“People who had nowhere to go would come to my father. He would find a way to help you,” said Hackford, 57. “We’re just really happy that he was able to leave such an amazing legacy behind.”

Marino’s Italian Ices, a beloved summertime treat, can be found in supermarkets, pizzerias, restaurants and pushcarts throughout the country.

The company even opened its first official scoop shop in August 2010 in Shanghai, China.

Mike Barrone, who co-owned the company with Vourderis since 2000, said the Italian ice king was an excellent businessman who “had an open heart.”

“He did stuff that other people aren’t going to do in a lifetime,” he said.

Photo courtesy of Margie Hackford




Martha Taylor withdraws City Council bid

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

An ailing Jamaica Estates lawyer has rescinded her bid for City Council.

Martha Taylor, 72, announced late Monday she will no longer run for a vacant council seat in the 24th District due to “recent health concerns” that would disrupt campaigning.

“I am stepping out of this race, but my fight for our community is far from over,” she said. “It was a hard decision. Hopefully I’ll be perfectly fine, but I can’t take the chance.”

Taylor would not comment further on the illness, but told The Courier she is going through “exploratory” medical testing. Doctors advised her not to run.

“I really wanted to win this thing, but when you run for an election like this, you really have to do a lot of doorbell ringing and walking around the whole district,” Taylor said. “It’s not fair for me to start out and not finish.”

Taylor is the Democratic District Leader in the 24th Assembly District, president of the Jamaica Estates Association and vice chair of Community Board 8. She expects a full recovery, an aide said.

Former assemblymember Rory Lancman and retired scientist Isaac Sasson are still in the running for the seat. Other candidates are expected to enter the primary.




More West Nile spraying in Queens Thursday

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of James Gathany/CDC

On Thursday, September 13 there will be another round of West Nile spraying in Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the 1,993 cases of the disease that have been reported so far this year is the highest number reported to CDC through the first week in September since 1999, when it was first detected in the U.S.

The spraying will take place from 7:30 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Friday morning in the following parts of Queens:

Middle Village, Maspeth, Rego Park and Ridgewood, bordered by Grand Avenue, Long Island Expressway and Queens Boulevard to the north; Fresh Pond Road to the west; Metropolitan Avenue to the south; and 80th Street, Farmville Avenue, Woodhaven Boulevard and 63rd Road to the East.

Parts of Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Hollis, Holliswood, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills and Oakland Gardens, bordered by Long Island Expressway to the north; 188th Street, 80th Drive, Utopia Parkway, Homelawn Street and 169th Street
to the west; 90th Avenue, 191st Street and Hillside Ave to the South; and Hollis Hills Terrace, Richland Ave and 210th Street to the east.

Parts of Pomonok, Auburndale, Flushing and Bayside, bordered by 33rd to the north; 162nd Street, Laburnum Avenue, Kissena Boulevard to the west; Booth Memorial Boulevard, Utopia Parkway and 48th Avenue to the south; and Clearview
Expressway to the east.

The pesticide being used, Anvil 10 + 10, poses no health risks when used properly, but the Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

• Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.

• Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.

• Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using again.

• Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

Residents are also advised to take steps to reduce the number of mosquitoes around a home or property, including eliminating standing water in yards. In addition, New Yorkers are urged to:

• Dispose of used tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers in which water collects;

• Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors. Make sure roof gutters drain properly and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall;

• Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use and change the water in bird baths twice a week;

• Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds; and

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, and drain water from pool covers.

House of the Day: Jamaica Estates Colonial – 5 Bedrooms, 4.5 Bathrooms

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Copyright (C), Multiple Listing Service of Long Island, Inc, 2004

192-05 Randor Rd
Total Taxes: $7,000
List Price: $1,649,000

Colonial, Detached, # Families: 1
9.5 rooms, 5 Bedrooms , 4 Full Baths , 1 Half Baths

School District: Community District 26
Year Built: 1945

Construction: Brick
Lot Size: 72 X 100
Appearance: Diamond

Interior Features
Eat-in kitchen
Dining room: Formal
Den/Family room
Home office
Full Finished Basement
Stove, Washer, Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Dryer
Wood Floors
Fuel/Heat Type: Gas, Ha
A/C: Cac

Contact Info

Solomon Davydov
E-Mail Realtor

Roman .Davydov

Exit Realty First Choice
18032 Union Tpke
Fresh Meadows, NY 11366

Tel: 718-380-2500
Visit Our Website Email Office

Refer to MLS Number 2493729