Tag Archives: lindenwood

Lindenwood liquor store meets opposition

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Concerned over its proximity to a school, many members of the Lindenwood Alliance voiced reluctance toward a proposed liquor store in the Lindenwood Shopping Center.

Members voted 20-8 against the liquor store at their August 13 meeting. The primary worry was that the store, which would be located at 82-33 153rd Avenue, would be too close to P.S. 232, which is across the street.

Along with the proximity to the school, residents said they were unsettled about unruly characters coming in and out of the store, late night hours and lewd advertising.

Residents said there were also problems with the shopping center as a whole, mainly regarding traffic. Several people said there had been accidents or incidents as a result of shoppers parking in the center’s fire lanes, and driving the opposite way on one-way streets.

The liquor store’s potential owner, Gurinder Singh, was present at the meeting with an advisor, John Springer, to hear residents’ worries and plead their case for the shop.

Springer said he had walked the distance from the school to the site and determined it to be 338 feet door to door. This, he said, is well over the minimum distance of 200 feet.

“There’s a buffer,” Springer said. “The legislature decided 200 feet was a good enough buffer.”

Regardless of the outcome, Councilmember Eric Ulrich said it was a good sign that the potential owner was interested in the community’s opinion.

“I think it’s an act of good faith on their part,” Ulrich told members.

Howard Plaza Realty, the management company for the Lindenwood Shopping Center, was represented by Catherine Napolitano and Joseph Trotta. Trotta is also a member of the Alliance. The two told members that when searching for someone to fill a vacant store, they look for a suitor who will mesh well with what is already there.

Napolitano said that the liquor store’s potential spot, which had been a bagel store, had been vacant for nearly two years as the management company looked for the right candidate.

Singh is due to appear for his liquor license on August 29, he said, and hopes that it will be approved.

Local officials endorse Jeffries for Congress

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Congressional hopeful and incumbent State Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries received key endorsements from several local officials Friday afternoon on Cross Bay Boulevard as the days leading up to the June 26th primary grow fewer.

“I am honored to have the support of so many distinguished leaders from Queens,” Jeffries said. “Although our district spans two boroughs, we have the same priorities of better education for our children, preserving home ownership and getting people back to work.”

Congressmember Joseph Crowley, State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder — Jeffries’ colleague in Albany — endorsed the candidate, citing that despite being a Brooklyn based politician, they had confidence he would best represent the small portion of Queens that is part of the newly drawn Congressional District 8.

The officials said Jeffries was active in speaking with Queens residents and discussing their needs, despite Howard Beach, Ozone Park and Lindenwood making up only a small portion of the district.

“Hakeem Jeffries is exactly the kind of person we need in Congress,” said Crowley, who’s chairperson of the Democratic Party in Queens. “Not only will he fight to create jobs for New Yorkers, but he will also work hard to protect middle-class families, seniors and children.”

Jeffries said what he found most energizing about the area was how the various neighborhoods were united and concerned about the same issues.

The Jeffries campaign raised a little more that $250,000 from April 1 to June 6 alone, the campaign announced last week. 947 of the 1,217 donors in that time only gave $100 or less, according to a Jeffries press release. In total, Jeffries for Congress has raised $769,544 from 2,447 donors.

‘Kids Kare 2′ Fight Cancer

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

The Courier/Photo by Alexa Altman

The parking lot at the corner of 151st Avenue and 84th Street in Lindenwood buzzed with children carrying foam swords, creating colorful sand art and jumping in and out of the inflatable bouncy houses –all were having fun and all were helping to fight cancer.

Over 1,400 people came out to help the Howard Beach chapter of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at the group’s Kids Kare 2 event on Sunday, April 29, supporting the cause and raising money for cancer research.

“We were so happy that the community came together to have fun and for a great cause,” said Howard Beach Relay for Life co-chair Phyllis Inserillo. “We do whatever we can to support the cause and help everyone have a great time.”

Inserillo began the Howard Beach chapter of Relay for Life in 2009 with co-chair Melissa Schuler Fochetta, a cancer survivor. Forchetta, who was diagnosed in 2003, became good friends with Inserillo when the pair met in 2005 and began a party planning business together.

“We’re used to doing big events,” said Inserillo. “We wanted to do something community involved.”

That day, Kids Kare 2 raised $10,000 for cancer research, adding to the $150,000 to $200,000 the group accrues annually.

Inserillo hoped to thank all the event’s sponsors, most importantly Dr. Anthony Napolitano, who donated the parking lot where the event was held.

Throughout the year, the Howard Beach Relay for Life chapter hosts get-togethers such as a Halloween party and Bingo nights, raising money and spreading information about the cause. Group members also attend local schools, educating students about cancer prevention and the importance of early detection.

Kids Kare 2 is leading up to Relay for Life’s major event, a two-day walk-a-thon at Charles Park, beginning on June 9. Teams of between eight to 15 participants will raise money as they walk the park’s track.

Even Pia Toscano, of former “American Idol” fame, has assembled a group for this year’s Howard Beach Relay for Life.

Olympic events such as a javelin throw and swimming races will fill the day while there will be music, dancing and raffles all night. According to Inserillo, the event is to celebrate cancer survivors while remembering those who have succumbed to the disease.

YouTube video sparks Autism fundraiser

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Sandra Constantino

Several Lindenwood residents are raising money for Autism awareness, sparked by one young girl’s YouTube video.

Sixteen-year-old Shyanna Constantino created an online video about her younger sister, five-year-old Kaylene Vazquez, who suffers from Autism. A friend’s mother saw the video, called “Happy Hope for Autistic Children,” on YouTube, and thought it would be a great way to raise money for the cause.

Shyanna, along with her mother Sandra Constantino, friend Lisa Tazeras and her mother Drena Muniz, who originally spotted the online video, sold chips, cupcakes and toys to attendees at P.S. 232 Park in Lindenwood on Saturday, April 14. Several families with Autistic children came to the event, happy to see the great work being done by the local philanthropists. Cookie Monster and the blue Care Bear came to the event as well, making children smile while posing for pictures.

Over 70 children also participated in a basketball tournament to raise money for Autism awareness, held at the same time. Organized by Constantino’s son, kids donated $5 each to participate in the afternoon’s athletic competition.

According to Constantino, 100 percent of the proceeds are going to help build New York Families for Autistic Children’s (NYFAC) new recreation center in Howard Beach. They were able to raise $1,200 during the fund raising event that took them less than a week to put together.

NYFAC is a non-profit organization that provides various services for children with Autism and other developmental disabilities throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Headquartered in Ozone Park, NYFAC’s most recent undertaking is the construction of a center in Howard Beach.

Firefighters feted following Lindenwood blaze, rescue

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo by Robert Stridiron

Firefighter James Goelz made his first on-the-job rescue when an elderly woman’s Lindenwood apartment became a blazing inferno.

“When we got [to the building] there were people standing outside the apartment,” said Goelz. “When we got to the lobby we could smell something. People said there was something going on. We knew we were going to work that day.”

On Friday, April 6, fire safety officials responded to a call at the Ardsley apartment building, located at 153-25 88th Street.

Alex Alarcon, the Ardsley’s super and a tenant himself, recalled awaking that morning to the frightening sound of banging on his door. Alarcon, who has overseen the apartment complex for the past 22 years, said the male tenant who was knocking exclaimed that there was a fire on the fourth floor of the building.

When he went upstairs, Alarcon said the entire place was black and filled with smoke.

The tenant who alerted him called the fire department. Firefighters from Brooklyn’s Ladder 107 arrived shortly thereafter.

Responding firefighters surveyed the building’s layout, deducing that the fire originated from a unit on the fourth floor. Using a thermal imaging camera, Goelz, along with Lieutenant Gerry Cox and John Bunning, found the source of the blaze. Upon entering the smoke-filled residence, Goelz discovered the elderly, unidentified victim unconscious.

Cox carried the woman downstairs and outside, where he performed CPR on her. Goelz stayed behind to search for more victims. Thankfully, there was no one else in the apartment.

According to Alarcon, there has never been a fire in the Ardsley building before.

Alarcon alleged that the woman, would smoke and fall asleep with her cigarette still lit. He claimed that on several visits to her apartment, he noticed marks on the ground from where she would drop her cigarettes. Alarcon said he urged the tenant not to smoke in bed.

According to the FDNY, fire marshals determined the cause of the blaze to be careless smoking.

Goelz, who has been fighting fires for the past six years, said that regardless of the known danger, people continue to light up in bed.

“It is pretty common,” said Goelz. “It’s surprising that people do it, but they do. It’s not off the wall.”

The local hero is extremely proud of the rescue, especially the commendable job done by his fellow firefighters.

“It felt good,” said Goelz. “We did what we were supposed to do. Everyone did a good job and we really worked together. Everything went really clean. She’s still fighting for her life and that’s what it’s all about. You don’t get that opportunity all the time.”

One person critically injured after early-morning fire rips through Queens apartment

| jlane@queenscourier.com

An early morning fire ripped through a Queens apartment, leaving one person clinging to life, fire officials said.

The blaze broke out on the fourth floor of a six-story building at 153-25 88th Street in Lindenwood at 7:32 a.m., officials said.

One victim went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/queens/queens_person_critically_injured_MLDboGY1QPj6HqqgZOyBLM#ixzz1rH8UL3gi

Lindenwood parents peeved at proximity of alleged pedophiles

| mchan@queenscourier.com

A level 3 sex offender, Jermaine Lee lives in an apartment complex on 153rd Avenue in Howard Beach, which is less than a block away from P.S. 232.

Parents in Lindenwood are up in arms after learning of three sexual offenders living in the area, including one located less than a block away from an elementary school.

According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), Jermaine Lee lives in an apartment complex on 153rd Avenue in Howard Beach, which is less than a block away from P.S. 232.

He is a level 3 sexual predator — the highest designation of sexual offense — meaning he poses a significant risk of a repeated violations, according to the DCJS. He was convicted on June 24, 1997 for first-degree sexual conduct against a child, when he had sexual intercourse with an eight-year-old female victim, and was sentenced to up to eight years in state prison.

“There are different rules for different levels of sexual offense,” said Kenneth Zorn, Community Affairs Officer for the 106th Precinct. “The gentleman in question was not prohibited from living near a school. We’re well aware of who’s where and if there’s an incident, we’ll look into it.”

According to the DCJS, the Sex Offender Registration Act does not restrict where a registered sex offender may live. However, if the offender is under parole or probation supervision, other New York State laws may prevent the offender from living within 1,000 feet of a school or other facilities caring for children.

“I’m disappointed. It’s too close for comfort,” said Tammy Greco, a Lindenwood mother of a one-year old. “I do understand that they need to live somewhere, and that they want to move on with their lives, but putting them very near a school doesn’t help them move forward in a different direction. It’s like putting an alcoholic in a bar and saying not to drink.”

Greco said she has reached out to multiple elected officials to try and change the law, “so that it’s a little more difficult for these individuals to live close to a school.”

“I know they’ve done their time and they want to do better, but allowing them to live so close to a school is an accident waiting to happen. It’s not good for them and it’s not good for our children,” Greco said.

The area is also home to two other registered sexual offenders — 52-year-old Noel Nieves of Ozone Park and 76-year-old Joseph Zito of Howard Beach.

Nieves was convicted on April 8, 2005 for rape in the third degree of a 16 year old, and was sentenced to probation for 10 years. He served six months in a local jail.

Zito is also a level 2 sex offender and was arrested by the FBI on February 24, 2006 for a non-New York State felony sex offense against a 13-year-old female.

He was sentenced to three years of probation and 70 months in state prison.