Tag Archives: Kew Gardens

First Queens Art Intervention Day to offer interactive projects throughout borough


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by RPGA Studios

Communities throughout Queens are set for an artistic intervention, looking to inspire, educate and empower residents and feed the pulse of the borough.

The nonprofit studio Rego Park Green Alliance, which uses creative methods to address community issues, will host the first Queens Art Intervention Day on Sept. 27 throughout the borough from Long Island City to the Rockaways.

“We see something that we are not happy with and we try to think about how we can fix it in a creative way,” said Yvonne Shortt, who started the studio and is currently the executive director.

The day-long event, which has a rain date for Oct. 4, will feature a total of 30 projects including murals, art installations, performance pieces, hands-on programs, and many more creative activities taking place outdoors in Astoria, LIC, Kew Gardens, Elmhurst, Rego Park, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights, Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Laurelton, Corona, Whitestone and the Rockaways.

QAIposter6

“We want our borough to be seen as a place that people want to come and do interesting things,” Shortt said. “We hope this will help Queens continue to grow and continue to thrive and not just have one spot thought of as artistic and creative.”

According to Shortt, along with being visually appealing, the pieces will also serve to bring about change and to get community members thinking about certain issues.

For example, posters for one project called “Stat Girl” depict a super hero displaying statistics on traffic accidents that have occurred on Queens Boulevard in the past two years. The posters will be put up all day down the thoroughfare.

stat girl photo by RPGA Studios

“We would love for people to stop and engage,” Shortt said. “It’s really about the communities themselves to find some inspiration and advocate for better communities.”

Shortt said that although there were over 160 submissions this year, funding, provided solely by Shortt, only allowed for 25 projects to be part of the event. In the future, she hopes to expand the event to more days and many more communities in the borough.

“There’s an active pulse throughout the borough of Queens and I’m very excited to help it move forward. I feel that if you have ideas and are willing to push it forward, that Queens is a very inviting borough.” Shortt said. “We’re showing the vitality of Queens.”

For more information and the full list of projects for Queens Art Intervention Day, click here.

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Two arrested after bikers, ATV riders drive recklessly on Van Wyck Expressway: cops


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police arrested a motorcyclist and an ATV rider on the Van Wyck Expressway near the Kew Gardens area on Saturday after a group of bikers were caught driving recklessly, cops said.

Omid Bedi, 30, and Equilla Ross, 39, were riding on the Van Wyck Expressway at about 5 p.m. when cops came to the roadway in response to several complaints about a large group of dirt bikes and ATV motorcycles driving recklessly, authorities said.

Police found the bikers on both sides of the expressway near Hillside Avenue, and observed one four-wheeled ATV driving the wrong way on the highway. They also said they saw some of the motorcyclists lift their bikes over the expressway median before fleeing and leaving behind two ATVs and a dirt bike. Bedi and Ross were apprehended at the scene.

Bedi, a Queens resident, who was riding a blue Yamaha ATV, has been charged with reckless endangerment, criminal nuisance, reckless driving, unregistered motorcycle and improper license violation. Ross, a resident of Mount Vernon, who was driving a red Honda motorcycle, has been charged with two counts of criminal nuisance.

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Community Board 9 district manager announces retirement


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Liam La Guerre

After three and a half decades of service Mary Ann Carey is stepping down from her position as District Manager of Community Board 9, which covers Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens, Ozone Park and Woodhaven.

“In my thirty-five years of service to this great city with very little exceptions, I loved every minute,” Carey wrote in her resignation letter earlier this month. “I have overseen many projects too numerous to mention here and worked with four Borough Presidents, dozens of legislators, commissioners, District Managers and their staff.”

Current Chairman Ralph Gonzalez congratulated Carey, who began her work as District Manager when Ed Koch was mayor, on her retirement and said it would be hard to imagine anyone who can fill her shoes.

“She has done so much for the community, and for so long,” he said. “She can be proud of the legacy she’s leaving at Community Board 9. I know that many people in Queens and on the Board join me in thanking Mary Ann for her years of dedication.”

The process to search for the next District Manager will start at the next community board meeting.

 

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Health Department to treat areas of Queens against West Nile this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Wednesday, Aug. 6 there will be West Nile spraying in parts of Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

The spraying will take place between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Thursday, Aug. 7 during the same hours.

The following neighborhoods are being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity with high mosquito populations, according to the city’s Health Department:

Parts of Bayside, Douglaston, Hollis Hill, Little Neck and Oakland Gardens (Bordered by Long Island Rail Road Track to the north; 219th Street and Springfield Boulevard to the west; Long Island Expressway to the south and Douglaston Parkway to the east)

Parts of Blissville, Sunnyside and west Maspeth (Bordered by Green Point Avenue and 48th Avenue to the north; Van Dam Street to the west; Newtown Creek (Queens-King County Boundary) to the South; 49th Street, 56th Road, 50th Street, Queens Midtown Expressway and 49th Street to the East

Parts of Kew Gardens, Briarwood and Jamaica (Bordered by Grand Central Parkway and Jackie Robinson Parkway to north; Metropolitan Avenue and 118th Street to the west; Long Island Rail Road and Archer Avenue to the south; 14th Place, Jamaica Avenue, 144th Street, 87th Avenue and 150th Street to the east)

For the application, the Health Department will spray pesticide from trucks and use a very low concentration of Anvil®, 10 + 10, a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health.

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.

 

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Suspect steals from Kew Gardens synagogue donation box: cops


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD


A burglar decided to help himself to some religious charity in Kew Gardens last week.

On July 25, at about 12:25 p.m., the suspect made his way into Congregation Adas Yerem through an unknown entrance, police said. Once inside the Metropolitan Avenue synagogue, he took $75 from a donation box before fleeing.

The suspect is described as white, around 5 feet 10 inches tall and 185 pounds. He was last seen wearing a multi-colored striped short-sleeve shirt, beige slacks and beige shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Astoria-based Stitchin’ Queens brings together members with a love for crafts


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Jaime Burger

An Astoria-based group is knitting together women of all ages from throughout Queens who share a love for crafts.

Stitchin’ Queens is a knitting, crochet, needlework and general craft group that gets together every two weeks at the Astoria Panera Bread, located at 38-01 35th Ave., to practice the craft, eat and socialize.

The group originally began in 2007 under a different name and in 2012 Danielle Burger, who was a member of the group since it started, took over and changed the name. Since then, Burger has started to advertise the group and establish a Facebook presence as well, in order to attract new members.

“I really enjoyed [the group] because you get to meet other people you wouldn’t otherwise meet,” said Burger, who moved to Rego Park from Astoria in 2008. “It’s not a place to come and put your head down and just knit or crochet. It’s a social experience.”

Burger has also created a group on Ravelry.com, a website for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to share information and research projects, patterns and much more.

Stitchin’ Queens, which varies in the number of members because some move or can’t make meetings, according to Burger, not only brings together people who share the same love for the craft but also opens doors for members to socialize and learn from each other.

Cheryl Pasternack, 67, from Kew Gardens has been involved in Stitchin’ Queens since 2008 and found it to be a great outlet to pick up knitting once again since stopping in her college years.


                                 Cheryl Pasternack knitting 

“I wanted to start knitting again and I knew that unless I got involved in a group I wouldn’t do it,” said Pasternack, who is currently knitting a sweater and hat for her nephew who will be born in August. “I am older than most of the people in the group and I find that it is amazing because it opened a whole new world for me.”

Pasternack said the group members have helped her develop the skill being left-handed and also help her whenever she has issues with technology.

Astoria resident Franchesca Bisignano, 26, has been knitting for the past three years and says she likes the environment of getting together with the members of Stitchin’ Queens and attends the meetings for the social aspect.

“You get to interact and see what other people are working on,” Bisignano said. “It’s a great way to get ideas on new projects. It’s just amazing — the spectrum of women that you meet is so broad and its women that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. We get along so well, we have the same characteristics.”

The next Stitchin’ Queens meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 18. For more info visit www.facebook.com/stitchin.queens.

 

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Man stabbed in face at Kew Gardens subway station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/David Shankbone

A man was stabbed in the face during a dispute at a Kew Gardens subway stop Sunday afternoon, cops said.

The argument took place on the Union Turnpike station’s E train platform at about 2:15 p.m., according to police.

After the suspect stabbed the man, he fled and boarded a bus. Police stopped the bus, but he took off again on foot, cops said. The NYPD, using its canine unit, was eventually able to track the 35-year-old suspect to a backyard, and apprehend him.

The 26-year-old victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition, according to officials.

 

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Honda Accords, Nissan Maximas targets of tire and rim thefts: 102nd Precinct


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

In the past two to three months, police from the 102nd Precinct, representing Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and north Ozone Park,  have seen an increase in rims and tires being stolen from late model Honda Accords and Nissan Maximas.

In high-theft areas, cops said to etch the Vehicle Identification Number on windows, doors, fenders and trunk lids to make it difficult for thieves to market any stolen car parts.

Cops advise drivers to always roll up windows and lock the car, no matter where it is parked, and also remove valuables and GPS mounts. They also recommend parking in front of houses that have cameras.

For more information, contact Crime Prevention Officer Quwella Brown, quwella.brown@nypd.org or 718-805-3217.

 

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Police seek Forest Hills, Kew Gardens purse snatcher who threatens to cut victims


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos and video courtesy of NYPD

Cops are looking for a Queens purse snatcher who grabs his victims using a bear hug and threatens to cut them, according to police.

The suspect first targeted a woman about 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 11 as she was walking on Lefferts Boulevard near Metropolitan Avenue, the NYPD said. After approaching the woman, the suspect pushed her up against a fence, then displayed a box cutter and took her purse. He then fled on foot.

A day later, just before midnight, the suspect exited a dark colored four door sedan and grabbed a woman in a bear hug as she was walking along Continental Avenue near Dartmouth Street, according to police. He then threatened to cut the victim, though no knife was displayed, and stole her purse. The suspect took off in the car.

On Feb. 19, the suspect again grabbed a woman in a bear hug as she was walking down Austin Street near 71st Road about 1:45 a.m., cops said. He pressed an unknown sharp object against the victim’s hand and took her purse. The suspect then fled in a dark colored four door sedan.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Kew Gardens man arrested after allegedly blaming girlfriend’s shooting on home invasion


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The boyfriend of a Kew Gardens woman who was shot in their apartment Sunday morning has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly claiming she was injured during a home invasion.

Steven Diaz, 30, is accused of shooting his girlfriend, Amanda Rivera, 22, once in the head, sometime between 4:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., inside their 127th Street home, according to District Attorney Richard Brown. Diaz then allegedly ditched the weapon by throwing it in a sewer.

Afterwards, Diaz drove his wounded girlfriend to Jamaica Hospital where he initially told officials that they were the victims of a home invasion by three masked robbers, one of whom allegedly shot her in the head, Brown said.

Rivera is in critical condition and suffered severe damage to her brain, according to the district attorney.

Diaz is currently awaiting arraignment on charges of second-degree attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, tampering with physical evidence and criminal possession of marijuana, prosecutors said.

Police allegedly found more than 10 pounds of pot inside of Diaz’s apartment at the time of his arrest, according to Brown.

If convicted, Diaz faces up to 25 years in prison.

 

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Kew Gardens woman shot in head during alleged home invasion: reports


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

A Kew Gardens woman is in critical condition after being shot in the head at home during an alleged armed robbery Sunday, according to published reports.

The 22-year-old woman was shot Feb. 9 about 9 a.m., and taken to Jamaica Hospital, reports said.

The woman’s live-in boyfriend said three armed robbers, demanding money, attacked in an apparent home invasion, according to the New York Post and New York Daily News.

 

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70-year-old dies in possible Kew Gardens explosion


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Updated, Tuesday, January 7, 3:10 p.m.

A man died Monday night in a possible explosion in Kew Gardens that he set off himself, officials and sources said.

Authorities, responding to a report of an explosion, found 70-year-old Alfred Mayo inside of 82-72 Austin St. about 6:30 p.m.with serious injuries to his head and torso, the FDNY and police said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, the NYPD said.

Mayo’s death appears to be a suicide after he was killed exploding some kind of pyrotechnic device, a police source said.

The investigation is ongoing and autopsy results are pending, officials said.

 

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NYPD, Lion Cage Shredding holds free public document shredding event at Queens Center


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The NYPD is working to make sure residents begin the New Year on the right and safe foot.

Together with Lion Cage Shredding, located at 120-10 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens and Macerich Properties, owner of Queens Center in Elmhurst, the NYPD’s Crime Prevention Section held a free document shredding public event in front of the mall on Sunday to make sure personal information does not get into the wrong hands.

“We want to help people stop becoming victims of [identity theft],” said Sergeant Raymond Morales, from the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau. “It’s important that [the documents] get destroyed properly. This is a first major step on helping prevent [identity theft].”

During the event, people were able to bring in documents with personal information, dump them into two large garbage bins and watch them be destroyed inside the Lion Cage Shredding truck.

“You have to be proactive in taking steps to protect yourself,” said Sergeant Morales.

Participants were also able to bring in their computer hard drives and watch them be destroyed, as a hole was punctured into the hard drive. People were also able to have their electronic devices registered with the NYPD Operations ID Program and sign up to receive a certificate from Lion Cage confirming the destruction of all personal information from Sunday’s event.

“I just think it’s great to do this for the community,” said Regina Pluchinotta, from Ozone Park, who brought in bags of documents to be shredded and watched as her hard drive was destroyed. “You try to be precautious and safe about it all.”

Elmhurst resident Fabian Alsultany brought in two folding shopping carts filled with documents dating back to 1999 which were taking up room in his house.

“This was a real godsend,” said Alsultany. “This just makes life a lot easier. It’s a great service for the city to offer.”

The NYPD and Lion Cage Shredding will be working together with private companies and property owners in the next 10 months to hold document shredding events throughout the five boroughs. The next stop will be in the Bronx, and later dates and locations are to be determined.

For more information on the document shredding events or any other NYPD events, visit the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau website or text “NYPD” to 22828. To find out more about Lion Cage Shredding, visit its official website or Facebook page.

 

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11 injured in four-alarm fire at Kew Gardens apartment building


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of FDNY

Updated Wednesday, November 13 12:07 p.m.

A four-alarm blaze at a Kew Gardens apartment building Tuesday night left 11 people injured and displaced several families.

The fire started just after 7:00 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the 129th Street dwelling and extended to the fourth, fifth, and sixth floors, and an area below the roof, said the FDNY.

Eight firefighters and three residents suffered minor injuries in the blaze.  Those hurt were taken to Jamaica Hospital and North Shore Hospital, according to the fire department.

The FDNY said the blaze was under control at about 9:15 p.m.

Mireille Fabius, 81, said herself, and the other residents who live on the ground floor had to be evacuated.

”I came out and it was turmoil. We didn’t know what w as going on,” she said.

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The Red Cross, who sent workers to the scene to assist displaced residents, said 12 units were either destroyed by the fire or vacated as a result.

According to a spokesperson for the organization, the Red Cross had to provide emergency shelter to four households and the remaining displaced families were able to find their own housing.

-With additional reporting by Melissa Chan

 

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Op-ed: A vote for the ages


| oped@queenscourier.com

JOSEPH F DEFELICE

When you vote on November 5, you will find a number of propositions on your ballot.

Proposition 6 refers to the maximum mandatory retirement age for certain judges of our state courts. In particular the proposal, which would amend Sections 2 and 25 of Article VI of the New York State Constitution, would permit justices of the Supreme Court, who now must retire at 70 years of age but can obtain three two-year extensions so that service actually can be extended to 76 years, to serve until 80 years of age. In effect, the proposal would allow justices of the Supreme Court to obtain five rather than three extensions so that their service could extend to the age of 80.

The proposed amendment would also allow judges of the Court of Appeals, this State’s highest court, who reach the age of 70 in office to remain in service on the Court of Appeals for up to 10 additional years in order to complete the term to which that judge was appointed.

As a background it should be noted that in 1777 the mandatory judicial retirement age under the State Constitution was 60 years of age. This remained in effect until 1894 when the mandatory retirement age was extended to 70 years of age, which is the current state of the law. So why should the present proposal be approved?

A study by the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics has demonstrated that people are living longer and healthier lives and that various studies have rebutted any presumption of incompetency at the age of 70. Further, the public policy of New York State since the 1980s has been to prohibit employers from subjecting their employees to mandatory retirement in both the public and private sectors.

If our public policy has prohibited such age discrimination, why should it be allowed for judges? Additionally, the current retirement age for judges in the only mandatory retirement age of its kind that remains in the New York State Constitution. It should also be noted that “judging” is usually a late peak occupation and that it is in the public interest that would be judges have had significant and long legal experience.

The craft of being a judge is one that benefits from immense past experience. Studies have also demonstrated that in states with higher judicial retirement age requirements, there is a high record of productivity for judges over the age of 70. In fact, there is no mandatory age requirement for federal judges. If they had the same requirement, former US Supreme Court Justices such as Earl Warren, William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall would have had to retire years before they actually did. In the case of Justice Brennan his term would have been shortened by 14 years and Justice Marshall’s by 13 years. Justice Antonin Scalia, who still currently serves on the US Supreme Court, would have needed to retire some seven years ago.

These are only a few examples of judges who have worked and been highly productive after the age of 70. The current ballot proposal makes sense and on November 5, you should vote YES to allow the mandatory retirement age to be extended to 80 years of age.

Joseph F DeFelice is an attorney practicing Criminal and Immigration law with offices in Kew Gardens, NY and is currently President of the Queens County Bar Association.

 

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