Tag Archives: LIC

Police officers honored for saving man’s life in LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer's office

Two local police officers were honored Thursday for their heroic actions that saved a life in Long Island City last month.

Police Officers William Caldarera and Corey Sarro of the 108th Precinct were given a proclamation on behalf of the City Council for saving the life of a 66-year-old man who was found motionless in front of LaGuardia Community College in December.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who was joined by Mayor Bill de Blasio, presented the honor to Caldarera and Sarro.

On Dec. 16, the officers saw a crowd of people gathering around a man lying motionless on the sidewalk in front of the college. Caldarera approached the elderly man and discovered he did not have a heartbeat and was not breathing.

Sarro then began to conduct chest compressions, while an ambulance was requested. Using a defibrillator provided by a public safety officer, Caldarera and Sarro attached the machine to the man’s chest, according to police. After a second shock, the man’s heartbeat returned and he began breathing again.

The man was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition.

Although both Caldarera and Sarro had experience with CPR while off duty, this incident was their first time having to use a defibrillator.

Both officers said it felt great once they were able to revive the man and get him to breathe again.

“There is really no feeling to describe it,” Sarro said at the time. “It was a relief to be able to save him.”

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LIC boutique hostel to host first Queens Brewers Night


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Image courtesy of The Local NY

It is time to raise your glass to Queens.

In celebration of the booming borough being recently named the No. 1 travel destination in the United States by travel guidebook company Lonely Planet, Long Island City boutique hostel The Local NY will be hosting the first Queens Brewers Night.

In December, Queens made the top of the list of the company’s Best in the U.S. 2015, selected by Lonely Planet’s authors and ranked by its U.S. editors.

Each of the craft breweries recognized by Lonely Planet — Big Alice, Rockaway, Singlecut and Transmitter — will be serving their latest drinks on Feb. 7 alongside live music.

The Local NY, located at 13-02 44th Ave., was also featured by Lonely Planet.

Local bands Fairways, Hips & Brows and Fuxida will perform, and Queens food vendors will be selling food.

Queens Brewers Night goes from 7 to 10 p.m. and tickets are $20.15. To purchase tickets, click here.

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Private sanitation truck hits and kills bicyclist in LIC


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

AmbulanceInMotionHC0507_L_300_C_Y-624x416

A private sanitation truck fatally struck a man as he was riding his bicycle in Long Island City Saturday night, police said.

The truck was traveling northbound on Vernon Boulevard about 7:15 p.m. when it made a right turn onto 41st Avenue and hit the bicyclist, police said.

EMS pronounced the bicyclist, 36-year-old Hoyt Jacobs, of Brooklyn, dead at the scene.

The driver remained at the site of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

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Sunnyside map updated to attract more visitors to neighborhood


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District

Navigating the streets of Sunnyside just got better.

The Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, in partnership with the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and LaGuardia Community College, has released this year’s updated map for the neighborhood.

The map features full-color illustrations and an updated business directory of Sunnyside. A total of 15,000 maps were printed and will be distributed at hotels in Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside, local businesses and real estate offices, and community events.

The introduction of this map is an effort to bring in new people to the neighborhood while also familiarizing new residents with the area.

“The Sunnyside map is a great piece to promote the neighborhood,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District. “I was glad to see how well it was received last year, and we are grateful [to our] local businesses for supporting it again this year.”

The map, which will be updated every year with a new business directory and is printed locally at Paper Plus Printing, was started last year following a design competition among students at LaGuardia Community College. The artwork featured on the map for both this year and last year belongs to former student Carmen Zhu.

“Like Sunnyside itself, [the map] is both retro and fresh, and a useful, free, tangible gift to visitors and residents in this era of all online resources,” said Rigoberto Cardoso, president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce.

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Popular Mechanics features Queens in ‘best startup cities in America’ list


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Queens has not only been named the number one destination to visit in the U.S. but, according to one magazine, it’s also among the top places in the country to start a business.

In its February issue, currently on newsstands, Popular Mechanics has selected Queens as one of the “14 best startup cities in America.”

“No disrespect to San Francisco or Brooklyn, but we wanted to identify the next wave of cities building an ecosystem to turn innovators into entrepreneurs,” the magazine’s editors wrote.

Coming in at number 12, Queens was selected for offering lower rents than its outer-borough neighbor to the south, which often overshadows it.

The publication highlights QNS Collective, a co-working space that opened in Astoria in 2013, and nonprofit Coalition for Queens for supporting local tech startups. It also mentions Long Island City’s renovated Falchi Building, home to Coalition for Queens, The Food Box, Lyft’s New York City operations and other businesses with room for more tenants.

The Falchi Building (Image courtesy of Jamestown)

One new business that kicked off in the last year took advantage of the co-working spaces in the area.

Long Island City resident Alex Jae Mitchell founded Audiokite.com nine months ago and a month later launched out of a co-working space in Astoria, Create NY Space. His website offers independent musicians feedback on their songs from the public.

Mitchell, speaking to The Courier last year about why he decided to launch his business in Queens, said cheaper rent was a motivating factor.

“The low rent costs help me put everything I have into my business,” he said.

Other locations on Popular Mechanics’ list include St. Louis, Mo.; Asheville, N.C.; Oakland, Calif.; Portland, Maine; Baltimore, Md.; Holyoke, Mass.; Boulder, Colo.; Reno, Nev.; Des Moines, Iowa; Cleveland, Ohio; Urbana, Ill.; Detroit, Mich.; and Austin, Texas.

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Community welcomes new officers coming into Patrol Borough Queens North


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

A group of 56 new members of New York’s Finest, who will be patrolling the streets of Queens, received a warm welcome Monday afternoon by the communities they will work to keep safe.

The incoming officers, who were part of the graduating NYPD class on Dec. 29 and were assigned to Patrol Borough Queens North, were greeted on Jan. 5 by local leaders and NYPD officials during a ceremony at the Langston Hughes Community Library in Corona.

Patrol Borough Queens North is made up of eight precincts ranging from locations in Bayside to Ridgewood. The officers who filled the library’s second floor on Monday have been assigned to the 104th, 108th, 109th, 110th, 111th, 112th, 114th and 115th precincts. 

Assistant Chief Diana Pizzuti, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens North, welcomed the new cops to their posts and called them “ambassadors” for the borough, which was named the top tourist destination for 2015. 

“You are our youth, and it means a lot to me to make sure you get the best training,” Pizzuti told  the officers. “Queens is a very supportive community.”

Pizzuti also went over what she called the “Five Cs in Policing”: Community, Communication, Crime Prevention, Counter terrorism, and Character.

Pizzuti also spoke of the two slain officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, and reminded the new cops to stay safe while patrolling the streets.

“You have to stay vigilant. You wear the blue, you’re the target,” Pizzuti said. “Be mindful of your surroundings, not just at work but at home. Not everyone is our friend.”

Among the community leaders that spoke was Victoria Schneps, publisher of The Queens Courier, who congratulated and welcomed the new faces to the NYPD.

“You are the future sitting here, and I want you to know how much we respect you,” Schneps said. “We love our neighborhoods and we love the police that protect our neighborhoods.”

Seven of the eight precincts will receive six new officers. The 114th Precinct, which patrols Astoria, Long Island City, Woodside and Jackson Heights, will get 12 cops because they have more reported crimes, according to the NYPD.

“Keep an open mind and keep a positive attitude while you’re out there,” Pizzuti said. “Good luck and we’re here to help. We are one family.”

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Learning the art of the samurai sword in LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Eric Jankiewicz

Behind one of the studio doors at the Long Island City Art Center you can get a slice of Japanese culture dating back to the 1600s and come out feeling like a warrior.

Every Thursday night, the LIC Japanese art gallery RESOBOX holds samurai sword (iaido) classes at the center, based on the traditional sword techniques of the samurai, with instructor Deborah Klens-Bigman.

Although the classes first began at RESOBOX’s official gallery space located at 41-26 27th St. in 2011, a few months ago the instruction was moved to 44-02 23rd St., providing more open space for students and allowing art pieces to be kept at a safe distance from moving swords.

At the center, studio 210 becomes the dojo for Klens-Bigman and her students, who during a visit by The Queens Courier included one of RESOBOX’s founders, Takashi Ikezawa.

RESOBOX Co-Founder Takashi Ikezawa

RESOBOX co-founder Takashi Ikezawa

Klens-Bigman has studied iaido for more than 25 years and was first introduced to it by Yoshiteru Otani when she saw him perform a demonstration. Otani later became her teacher until his death in 2004 .

“I was at a point in my life where I was looking to make a change of direction. [Otani] provided it,” Klens-Bigman said about her decision to begin learning iaido.

She has been teaching the form for about 14 years and brought her classes to RESOBOX when it opened in Long Island City.

At the beginning of Klens-Bigman’s class, students enter a moment of silence and breath while kneeling. They follow by bowing to the shinzen on the wall, a piece of calligraphy by Kiyami Hiroshi meaning culture and martial arts are the same path, then they bow to the instructor and finally to their sword.

Beginners are given a wooden sword to start learning the technique. Although it isn’t the same as a real blade, it still has the design and feel of a sword (just without the potential danger of hacking off a finger).

The main goal behind iaido is to draw your sword, defeat the opponent and then return your sword to its case, according to Klens-Bigman.

The class begins with an opening exercise, designed by Otani, called happogiri, which is the cutting in eight directions. It takes foot and arm movement, and can take a few tries to get the order correct. Afterward, students work on an individual kata, or exercise, called a Shohatto.

“It’s not a sport. For one thing, any adult who is in reasonably good physical shape can take up this art form and do it for the rest of his/her life. One can’t say that about most sports. And the more you practice, the better you get at it,” Klens-Bigman said. “One of my teachers turned 90 years old this year!”

Once the class comes to an end, students come together again, kneel down and bow to their sword, instructor and then the shinzen on the wall.

“For people who are interested, learning to use a sword teaches self-discipline and concentration. It is also good low-impact aerobic exercise,” Klens-Bigman added. “Most importantly, though, as my teacher used to say, ‘Iaido (swordsmanship) is philosophy.’”

Classes are available every Thursday starting at 6:30 p.m. at  44-02 23rd St. A trial class is $15 for 30 minutes, with prior registration. One class is $25 and five classes are $100.

For more information and to sign up for a class, visit www.resobox.com/iaido.

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Man pistol-whipped during LIC robbery: cops


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for three men and one woman who they say pistol-whipped a man before robbing him in Long Island City this past summer.

The 22-year-old man was exiting an apartment on 12th Street about 2:30 a.m. on June 28 when the four suspects surrounded him and demanded his property, cops said. Two of the male suspects took out guns, and one of them pistol-whipped the victim. The suspects then stole the man’s jewelry, including a black and gold G-Shock watch, an Apple iPhone and credit cards.

The victim suffered fractured a bone in his face during the attack and was treated at an area hospital, police said.

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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Dining: Sugar plum fairies


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Bradley Hawks

BY BRADLEY HAWKS

Pink spirals of coco fraise reach toward the ceiling, golden domes of mango and kiwi glisten in the pastry case, napoleons conceal sweet creams beneath zigzags of chocolate and vanilla frosting in flaky thin layers of pastry, slivers of apples rest cheek to cheek beneath blankets of sugary glaze, and pies of pecans, pumpkin and chocolate mousse beg to be chosen to take home.

Cannelle Patisserie has been a beacon of Parisian baking in East Elmhurst for over seven years, and just a few weeks ago, they opened their second location just a block from the Long Island City waterfront. It should come as no great surprise that recently the proprietor moved into one of the buildings across the street from the new location.

Owner and baker Jean-Claude Perennou was eager to offer a tour of the newest facility. And although most of the pastries are baked in specialty ovens in East Elmhurst, the LIC location will feature many exclusive items only available there.

“Most of the breads here are a little more labor-intensive,” Perennou explains. “And we will feature four versions of our Christmas logs.”

Patrons can order from a wide expanse of glass showcases, then take trays to communal tables to nosh on their sweet selections. As a part the requisite sampling, I savored one of the canelés.

A fresh canelé pastry

A fresh canelé pastry

These mysteriously magnificent little domes originated in Bordeaux, though they are commonly found throughout all of Paris. The source of endless myths and legends, some say they were developed by a tiny convent of nuns in Bordeaux, while others attribute the origins to the winemakers of the region who utilized only the egg whites, leaving behind the yolks for the pastries. Regardless of speculation, it is particularly thrilling they can now be purchased on 47th Avenue. The crisp, crunchy, caramel casing gives way to an airy, rum-kissed pastry laced with custard. These tiny two-bite treats are simply exquisite, like miniature bruléed Eiffel Towers.
Patrons can also select various quiche and croque monsieurs from the fridge — as well as a modest selection of sandwiches and salads. They are offering soups as well — most recently French onion. Everything is worth a try, so come prepared for a line, especially on the weekends.

But do not be surprised if you find — as I did — that it is perfectly acceptable to make a holiday stop simply for an exquisite pastry. And do not be ashamed if you find yourself returning a salad to the refrigerator and ordering a mango mousse instead. This is far more than your average neighborhood bakery. So grab an extra canelé — or two or three — especially if there is a chance you might run into someone you know. Because despite even the most generous holiday spirit, you are probably not going to want to share.

Cannelle Patisserie
5-11 47th Ave., Long Island City
718-937-8500

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Candlelight vigils held around Queens for slain officers


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Communities around Queens came together, holding emotional candlelight vigils to show their respect for the two NYPD officers who were murdered last week and to express sympathy for their families.

From Ridgewood to Long island City and Jackson Heights, among other neighborhoods, residents and the men and women in blue held a moment of silence for Police Officer Rafael Ramos and Police Officer Wenjian Liu, who were both shot dead by a deranged man who traveled from Baltimore to Brooklyn with the intention of killing police officers.

“This is a difficult time for everyone in the city of New York,” said Borough President Melinda Katz, who attended the 104th Precinct’s vigil in Ridgewood. “Our prayers go out to Officer Ramos and Officer Liu.”

In Long Island City, officers at the 108th Precinct, located at 5-47 50th Ave., gathered Monday night with residents, local leaders and elected officials during a vigil for Liu and Ramos.

“We in this community are a model, a beacon of light in the darkness,” said Captain John Travaglia, commanding officer of the 108th Precinct.

People filled the street in front of the precinct holding candles and joined in prayer for the fallen officers.

“Our community responds with love, remembrance and gratitude for Officers Liu and Ramos and the NYPD,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said.

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD108Pct

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD108Pct

Over in Jackson Heights, instead of the holiday tree lighting ceremony at Diversity Plaza, located on 37th Road and 74th Street, a vigil was organized to honor the two police officers and also “condemn violence in any form.”

Another vigil was held in Whitestone last night as well, with local residents and officers from the 109th Precinct.

On Sunday, Dec. 21, there was a candlelight vigil in front of the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights as well.

The family of Ramos, who lived in Brooklyn, has made arrangements for his viewing ceremony on Dec. 26 from 2 to 9 p.m. at Christ Tabernacle Church, located at 64-34 Myrtle Ave. in Glendale. The funeral will be on Dec. 27 at the same location at 10 a.m.

Arrangements for Liu were still pending yesterday.

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Fire at Queensbridge Houses sends two to hospital


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

Updated 1:18 p.m.

A fire at a building at the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City Tuesday morning sent two people to the hospital, the FDNY said.

The blaze started about 10:40 a.m. in the fourth floor of the six-story residential building at 41-01 12th St. About 65 firefighters were at the scene, and by 11:25 a.m., the flames were under control, officials said.

Two people with minor injuries were taken to NYU Langone Medical Center, the FDNY said. Three other people refused medical treatment at the scene.

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Queens Courier brings Santa Claus, gifts to kids at Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Santa came early this year, bringing holiday cheer and bags full of presents for children at the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens in South Richmond Hill, thanks to The Queens Courier’s annual holiday gift drive.

With a joyful “ho ho ho,” Father Christmas greeted over 100 girls and boys between the ages of 5 and 10, who gasped and wore broad smiles when they saw that Santa Claus had come to town.

The organization’s elementary school program introduces children to a range of topics such as robotics, astronomy, video game development, visual arts and sport activities. They emphasize STEM enrichment and provide homework assistance and tutoring for young people. Additionally, cultural understanding is highlighted as children are led to explore various cultures through food, music and dance.

Toys were donated to The Courier’s holiday gift drive by Courier readers and advertisers as well as visitors to the LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market in Long Island City. Donations also came in from Assemblyman Edward Braunstein and Flushing Bank, which helped collect toys at branches throughout the borough.

Noah Rodriguez, 6, who made sure he got more than one photo with Santa, received a Ninja Turtles board game and said he couldn’t wait to get home and play with it.

Kailey Ceboller, 6, said she was “surprised” to see Old Saint Nick and felt happy when he gave her a Barbie princess doll as a gift.

Another boy, 7-year-old Angel Sigaran, was all smiles when Santa took out a toy truck from his bag of presents.

“I feel excited and happy and want to go home and play with [the truck],” he said. “It feels so good to see Santa.”


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Last weekend at the LIC Flea Holiday Market


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

DSC_05601-624x416

Christmas is just a week away and although the LIC Flea Holiday Market will be coming to an end this weekend, there is still enough time to get your shopping done and snap a photo with Father Christmas.

This Saturday and Sunday are the last two days of the popular Long Island City market, which made its move to the warehouse connected to the original outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue.

The market features two floors of a mix of 60 vendors offering a selection of unique, local, handcrafted and vintage items. There are also two special boutique spots in the inner building. Shoppers will be able to find something for everyone on their lists just in time for the holidays.

Along with being able to find last minute presents, Santa Claus will again be at the LIC Flea market both Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m. on the second floor of the warehouse for free photos for children and those still young at heart.

The market will also be filled with live music, including a jazz performance by Dandy Wellington and His Band on Sunday.

Although the Long Island City holiday market is coming to an end, the outdoor season will begin again in April. Applications for vendors are wanted and to apply email info@licflea.com.

The LIC Flea Holiday Market is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information visit www.licflea.com or www.facebook.com/licflea.

Here are some vendors to check out this weekend at the popular indoor Long Island City holiday flea market.

1. Mee Beauty, HoneyGramz
www.meebeauty.com
www.honeygramz.com
Queens resident, Ruth Harrigan, turned her passion for beekeeping and launched HoneyGramz, an “edible greeting” in a 2 oz. honey bear. Each HoneyGramz contains 100 percent raw honey, which means it’s chock full of goodness created by honeybees. During the off season, Ruth began to blend honey into homemade lip balms and then Mee Beauty was born. “Mee” is “honey” in Chinese. It is a key ingredient in her skincare line. Honey is known to have three essential properties that are beneficial for the skin: As a natural humectant, it retains moisture; antibacterial quality inhibits bacterial growth; and an antioxidant, the ability to clean up oxygen free radicals that may damage cells. How sweet!

2. Razorday Print Photography
www.razorday.com
These are New York-based artists with the aim to provide beautiful art from New York and America. Be it just an ordinary fire hydrant or an incredible vintage automobile from the 1960s, they strive to produce thought provoking photography taken from a wide range of subject matter across New York and the USA. From Brooklyn, Harlem, Queens and Manhattan to Miami, Arizona and California. “The balance of Americana, popular culture, decay and commercial appeal is poetic.”

3. La Rosa Jewelry
www.larosajewelry.com
A jewelry designer orginally from Spain, this vendor has been living in Astoria for more than 20 years. Her inspiration comes from nature as she often takes walks and photographs birds, leaves, trees, seeds, etc. And those are the most present elements in La Rosa Jewelry. The style is varied, some pieces have a vintage flair while others are more glamorous.

4. Frittering Away
Frittering Away is a small batch, specialty lemonade company based out of LIC. They produce all natural, seasonal beverages with no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavorings or preservatives. Their lemonades are delicious on their own but make delicious cocktails also, perfect for the coming holiday season. Strawberry Basil Lemonade is Frittering Away’s signature drink. It is offered year round as there were near riots when it was taken off the menu. The combination of sweet/tart strawberries and slightly anise-y basil is addictive! Ginger Lemonade is made from fresh ginger and lots of it, steeped in lemon juice and sweetened with brown sugar to give it richness. Served hot it is spicy and comforting! Chai Pear Cider is winter in a glass! Warming sweet winter spices paired with earl grey tea serve as the base we then balance it with pear and apple cider and lemon juice. Delicious hot spiked with whisky! Mulled Pomegranate is a play on hot spiced wine or port so popular at holiday markets in Europe. They take the flavors of wine and port: pomegranate, cranberry and grape, to this they add roasted oranges, star anise, cinnamon and cloves. Robust and complex and completely satisfying.

5. Hanami Jewelry
www.hanamijewelry.com
“Designed by nature! We only help a little…”
Hanami Real Flower Jewelry is made of real, natural flowers. Each flower is carefully selected for originality, color and shape. It is then dried, preserved and covered with several coats of resin, to achieve a hard and durable finish. This process can take as much as one week for each flower. With proper care, their creations will last forever. It is nature that makes each piece of jewelry absolutely unique.There are never two alike.

6. Lady V Second Time Around Vintage Fashion Shop
www.v-lady.com
Visitors to Lady V Second Time Around Vintage Fashion Shop can participate in their holiday give-back program. For every $25 spent, Lady V will donate a professional jacket suitable for work and job interviews to a Queens-based charity helping women create financial stability.

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Police officers save man’s life in LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

For two police officers, a routine patrol in Long Island City on Tuesday turned into a moment of heroism.

Officers William Caldarera and Corey Sarro of the 108th Precinct saw a crowd of people gathering around a man lying motionless on the sidewalk in front of LaGuardia Community College, located at 29-10 Thomson Ave., cops said. Caldarera approached the 66-year-old man and discovered he did not have a heartbeat and was not breathing.

Sarro then began to conduct chest compressions, while an ambulance had been requested. Using a defibrillator provided by a public safety officer, Caldarera and Sarro attached the machine to the man’s chest, according to police. After a second shock, the man’s heartbeat returned and he resumed breathing.

Emergency personnel arrived at the scene and the man was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical but stable condition.

Although both Caldarera and Sarro had experience with CPR while off duty, this incident was their first time having to use a defibrillator.

Both officers said it felt great once they were able to revive the man and get him to breathe again.

“There is really no feeling to describe it,” Sarro said. “It was a relief to be able to save him.”

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Western Queens gets greener: park officials


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Valerie Medoff

Western Queens has gotten greener these past four years with a project that has planted more than 1,000 new trees — and the program will just keep growing.

Partnerships for Parks, a joint program between the nonprofit City Parks Foundation and the city’s Parks Department, celebrated on Dec. 12 the planting of trees and tree care events in Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside over the past few years.

Key project representatives, elected officials and local organizations, such as New York Restoration Project (NYRP), Trees New York, City Parks Foundation and NYC Parks/Forestry, gathered at the celebration ceremony where the “torch was passed” to community volunteers, who will now lead the program and continue to green the neighborhoods.

Since 2011, the Greening Western Queens (GWQ) Urban Forestry and Community Stewardship Program has brought more than 1,100 new trees and over 100 community-enriching tree care projects to the western Queens neighborhoods.

The four-year, grant-funded project was part of a $7.9 million initiative of The North Star Fund to invest in energy efficiency and environmental projects in the community, which was affected by a 2006 electric power outage.

The GWQ program was created in the summer of 2011, when honey locusts and Japanese pagodas were planted. Since then, the project has planted 1,127 trees, including 598 new street trees on sidewalks, 528 trees in publicly accessible private spaces, such as schools, churches and public housing sites, and a storm water mitigation bioswale on the site of the Steinway & Sons piano factory in Astoria.

Other works include training over 400 people in tree care best practices with Trees New York and supporting more than 1,600 people at over 128 volunteer tree care and greening events.

An existing tree inventory was also conducted, and 455 blocks were digitally mapped in the project area in collaboration with TreeKIT and 54 local volunteers during 27 citizen mapping events.

The program also installed 400 custom-designed, GWQ-branded tree guards in order to protect the young street trees and planted more than 1,800 native perennials in 117 tree beds.

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