Tag Archives: Middle Village

Petition: turn proposed Glendale homeless shelter site into a school


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo by Jeff Stone

A petition has been started to turn the proposed homeless shelter site on Cooper Avenue into an educational facility to better accommodate the overcrowded School District 24.

“We are not happy about the shelter,” Kathy Masi, president of the Glendale Civic Association, said at a Community Education Council meeting on Tuesday. “We are asking the DOE to take a look at the location of Cooper Avenue and the two adjoining properties [for a possible school].”

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

All residents at the meeting were urged to sign the petition, which was started by residents of Glendale and Middle Village, with the help of the Glendale Civic Association, asking for a school in the already over-saturated district. Residents believe that turning the site into a specialized school that runs from pre-K to high school would be the optimal usage for the site, whereas if it were turned into a homeless shelter, the child-to-school ratio in the district would grow even more.

“I just cannot comprehend the logistics,” said Nick Comaianni, president of the Community Education Council for District 24. “Doesn’t the city take a look at this?”

A “green light” was given for human habitation of the land after concerns were voiced about a former chemical complex on the site, according to the petition.

The petition urges the the city instead to acquire the site and build an educational complex there, citing a “dire need of school seats for children of District 24, the most overcrowded school district in NYC.”

“The location would serve as a good site to alleviate problems already present in District 24,” Masi said. “Building a school would be a great alternative for that site.”

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West Nile spraying to target areas of Queens this week


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Wednesday, Aug. 27, 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 8:15 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Thursday, Aug. 28 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 Auburndale, Murray Hill and Flushing (Bordered by 25th Avenue to the north; Murray Street to the west; 45th Avenue to the south; and 192nd Street, Francis Lewis Boulevard and Utopia Parkway to the east).

Parts of Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Forest Hills Garden, Forest Park, Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park and Woodhaven (Bordered by 63rd Avenue, 80th Street and Long Island Expressway to the north; eastern boundary of Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Metropolitan Avenue, 73rd Place, Myrtle Avenue and eastern boundaries of Mt. Lebanon and Mt. Hope to west; Park Lane South to the south; and Metropolitan Avenue and Alderton 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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Residents nervous about Glendale homeless shelter impact on schools


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE QUEENS COURIER/ Photo by Salvatore Licata


Hundreds of residents voiced concerns of potentially overcrowded schools at a forum on the impact of a proposed homeless shelter in Glendale.

It would be irresponsible to put kids in a shelter that you cannot fit into its zoned school district, said Nick Comaianni, president of the Community Education Council for District 24 at the Wednesday meeting at P.S./I.S. 28.

“District 24 is already the most overcrowded school district in the city,” Comaianni said. “This is not a strategic place to house these children.”

Thirty-one of the 39 schools in the district are already over capacity, ranging from about 110 to 150 percent saturation, according to Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley.

Adding the 125 families that are proposed for the Cooper Avenue shelter would mean the children living there would have priority to go to school in the area.

Increasing the number of seats to accommodate these families would be too much of a burden on the schools in the area, Crowley said.

“We need to find nearly 5,000 high school and elementary school seats for children already going to school in the area,” she said. “We have to do everything we can do to make sure [the proposed shelter] turns into a school to house these 5,000 children already overcrowding the district.”

The site was looked at two years ago by the School Construction Authority (SCA) but was deemed inadequate because of its proximity to busy Cooper Avenue and because there was a chemical plant  next door, among other things, according to Mary Lease, a representative from the SCA.

However, because Independent Chemical Corporation would now like to sell, adding that land to the land of both the vacant factory and the Hansel ‘n Gretel meat processing plant, which is for sale, means the SCA is re-considering the nine acre plot for a school, Lease said.

To buy the land, the SCA first has to do environmental assessment tests on all three of the sites.  At this point, only Hansel ‘n Gretel has agreed to let the SCA on their property to do an environmental review, with the owner of the vacant factory and owner of the Independent Chemical Company denying access, according to Lease. Without all three sites, the SCA will not build a school there, according to Lease.

Samaritan Village, the nonprofit organization looking to build the homeless shelter on the site, wants to lease the vacant factory for 60 years.

The proposed lease has not made its way to City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office yet, according to Crowley.

“We have to keep pressing upon the mayor’s office and continue our fight,” state Sen. Joe Addabbo said. “We have a serious issue regarding the overcrowding of our schools and this is not an issue that will go away.”

There is one possibility that may alleviate the further overcrowding of schools in the area if the homeless shelter is built. The school of origin program is one where children who move from one district to another can stay in the school they attended previously. This is a condition that parents of the homeless children may consider which can help some of congestion.

But considering that District 24 schools are already at 30 percent higher capacity than any other district in the city, adding even a couple of children to the schools would be too much, Crowley said.

Residents of the district asked both Crowley and Addabbo what the plans are going forward.

Crowley said she would make sure the chancellor of New York City Schools, Carmen Fariña, is aware of the issues that are already facing the district even without children from the shelter. Addabbo said he will continue to fight and send letters to the mayor’s office about the negative impact this shelter will have on the community.

But both agreed that residents also need to voice their concerns to the comptroller’s and mayor’s offices to show there is great concern for their children’s education.

 

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Cops searching for Queens serial bank robber


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD


Police are looking for a suspect wanted in five bank robberies and two attempted heists around Queens over the past two years.

The latest incident occurred on Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. at a Santander Bank on Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, cops said. During the robbery, the suspect passed a demand note but left without any money.

The other robberies, which date back to July 2012, took place in the Long Island City, Astoria, East Elmhurst and Middle Village areas of the borough, officials said. In the suspect’s most successful theft, on Dec. 12, 2012 at a Chase Bank at 77-01 31st Ave., he fled with $12,400, cops said.

Police describe the suspect as Hispanic, 30 to 35 years old, 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a baseball hat with a New York Yankees symbol on the front, a button down short sleeve shirt, tinted eyeglasses and a black wrist watch on his left wrist, and had a light beard connected to a goatee.

Authorities have released a photo of the suspect from the July 22 attempted robbery and a June 7 robbery at a Chase Bank at 77-01 31st Ave.

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.

Middle Village resident named Yankees’ All-Star Teacher


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of William Termine


Physical education teacher William Termine is an “All-Star” with his students who will be honored at the Mid-Summer Classic.

The Middle Village resident was selected as the Yankees’ All-Star Teacher and will be recognized in a ceremony before Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis.

The 40-year-old Queens native has loved the Bronx Bombers since he was a child.

“I became a Yankees fan because my older brother and father were Mets fans,” he said. “Being the younger son, I felt I had to be independent and go my own way.”

Termine was one of three Yankees fans who were selected as All-Star Teacher finalists, after one of his students sent in an essay nominating him and he penned his own essay, explaining how he’s helped out his school and community.

He started his education career as a paraprofessional in 1996, and since 2000 has been a physical education teacher at P.S. / I.S. 87 in Middle Village, teaching fourth through eighth-grade. 

Termine’s passion for getting children to be active goes beyond gym class.

He also teaches kids fitness classes at Vigorous Fitness Clubs on Metropolitan Avenue, and coaches soccer and softball for his 8-year-old daughter’s teams at Our Lady of Hope on Eliot Avenue.

Termine is additionally involved with CHAMPS (Cooperative, Healthy, Active, Motivated and Positive Students). He started working with the program, which brings fitness activities and sports to students outside of middle school hours, after he pledged to bring it to his own school.

“Exercise is something kids should want to do, not something they should have to do. That is my goal,” he said.

Despite all the hard work Termine has done trying to achieve that goal, he still said he was “shocked” when he was selected, through online voting, as an All-Star Teacher.

“I looked at some of the other teachers’ resumes and some of the fantastic things they were doing and felt honored to be part of that group,” he said.

Before Tuesday’s ceremony he was honored with the other two finalists at Yankee Stadium on June 17.

Termine (second from right) with Yankees manager Joe Girardi when the team honored the Yankees’ All-Star Teacher finalist at the stadium.

“It was a dream come true to meet all these players. I’ve been a Yankee fan all my life so to actually get to stand on the field, it was surreal,” he said.

As a kid he was a fan of Don Mattingly, then in the 90s it was Paul O’Neill, and today it’s Derek Jeter.

“It makes it that more special,” Termine said of being able to attend his first All-Star Game, which will be the Yankee captain’s 14th and final one.

“I’m looking forward to the whole experience,” he said. “This is a once in a lifetime thing.”

 

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Middle Village crematorium to commemorate famous people it cremated


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Queens’ oldest crematorium takes a look back at its history this summer with an exhibit that memorializes the many celebrities that have been cremated there.

Fresh Pond Crematory plans on opening the exhibit this summer. The project is lead by the crematorium’s nonprofit corporation president Joseph Peter Troia. Since opening in 1884, the Middle Village establishment has processed celebrities like the rapper Biggie Smalls (full name Christopher George Latore Wallace) and the banker John Pierpont Morgan. Troia wants to commemorate this by establishing a series of pictures and symbolic urns for these people.

“We’re doing this to let people know that [cremation] is an option and that many people have chosen it before,” said Troia, who has been working at the crematorium since 1964 when he started as an office clerk.

With only three furnaces, the crematorium holds about 40,000 people in 16,000 niches. These niches are a crematorium’s version of a plot.

“These are not just ashes,” Troia said. “They’re human cremated remains.” And the layout of the facility reflects this belief. Most of the rooms are lined with these niches and given names like Hall of Serenity and the Gothic Room.

Some other notables that made their last corporeal stop here are John Savage, Lou Gehrig, Ringer Lardner and Bruno Richard Hauptmann, the convicted kidnapper and killer of the infant Charles Lindbergh. All of these people, and more, will be memorialized in the crematorium’s exhibit.

While most of these people don’t have their remains in the crematorium, Anton Seidl, a Hungarian composer who worked with Richard Wagner, is placed high in a huge urn in a room that smells like the Metropolitan Museum, with all its age and history.

The crematorium is located near a highly dense area of cemeteries.

“New York City can only hold so many of our dead in the ground,” he said. “We’re conserving land here.”

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Former Woodhaven resident pens play about Sandy


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Pavel Voz

The Flood,” a play written by then-Woodhaven resident Daniel McCabe as Superstorm Sandy roared into New York City, premieres this August at the New York International Fringe Festival.

In the aftermath of the storm, his family in Queens helped with relief efforts and he was reminded of the importance of family and his neighborhood.

“They’re the unsung heroes of New York City,” said McCabe, 34, who also stars in the play. “They’re the people who keep the lights on, who run the trains and give the city life.”

The other actors and actresses in the play came from around the world to live in New York City and Queens. John Duddy, a former boxer from Ireland who now lives in Middle Village will also be starring in the play. And Emma Ishta, McCabe’s wife from Australia, is featured in the production.

McCabe went to Saint Elizabeth School on Atlantic Avenue and 85th Street, where he was surrounded by the Irish working class. And he credits the characters in the neighborhood with influencing him to become a writer.

“I was surrounded by storytellers, real characters that just knew how to tell you about things,” he said. “It’s an interesting conversation dynamic when you have the train [on Jamaica Avenue] going overhead every five minutes and you just have to stop talking for that time.”

“The Flood,” which McCabe will also direct, takes place in the East Village just as Sandy begins to loom over the city. Charlie, his character, is a bartender dealing with family troubles and a suicidal brother.

“A lot of the conflict of these characters has a lot to do with growing up in working class neighborhoods,” he said.

Though McCabe, who has relatives in Forest Hills, Woodhaven, Bayside and Richmond Hill, now lives in Brooklyn, he and his wife often go back to Woodhaven, where his mother still lives.

“Woodhaven will always be my home,” he said.

 

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Stats show universal pre-K’s limited reach in western, central Queens


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo by Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio

Only 30 percent of 4-year-olds in parts of western and central Queens got into the pre-K of their choice, the lowest percentage of matched applicants in all of New York City.

Parents in Queens District 24 — Corona, Glendale, Ridgewood, Elmhurst, Long Island City, Maspeth and Middle Village — must now search for an alternative to public schools.

According to the Department of Education, the majority of parents with 4-year-olds — 70 percent — in the district recently received letters informing them that the public pre-K of their choice was already full.

In comparison, in Manhattan’s District 1 only 10 percent of applicants were unmatched and, overall, 38 percent of applicants throughout New York City were unmatched.

“Every single school in this district is overcrowded,” said Nick Comaianni, president of School Board District 24. “In the past we’ve actually had to get rid of pre-K seats to make room for kindergarten to fifth grade.”

As the city changes gears for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s aim to make pre-K universal, the DOE is using community-based organizations like local YMCAs and mom-and-pop pre-K programs to scoop up the applicants that didn’t get into a public school pre-K.

But Comaianni, who has been president of the board for 11 years, believes that the mayor’s office and the DOE are moving too fast.

“Someone should’ve done their homework before pushing pre-K through so quickly,” he said, noting that since the schools in the district are already overcrowded, there is no extra space for more students. “You can’t have pre-K if you don’t even have second grade.”

The DOE is opening up 53,000 full-day seats through community-based organizations in time for the new school year in September. While this will still leave some toddlers behind, by next year there will be 73,250 seats, enough to put every 4-year-old in New York City in school, according to education officials.

Which is just fine, Comaianni said, but warned: “In our haste to open these seats let’s hope we have qualified people who can teach pre-K and it’s not just a baby-sitting center.

Queens by school district:

Source: Office of Student Enrollment

 

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Residents skeptical as Maspeth, Glendale, Middle Village begin composting in city program


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Liam La Guerre

Little brown plastic bins have begun to appear in Maspeth, Glendale and Middle Village as those neighborhoods have been chosen as the vanguard in the city’s new composting program.

The first bins were installed on June 2 as the city attempts to reduce the amount of trash going into landfills by recycling organic waste.

The neighborhoods were chosen because they’re a microcosm of the rest of the city with the rich variety of housing from single-family homes to larger apartment buildings, said sanitation representative Lisa Brunie-McDermott.

The city-run program’s goal is to collect organic waste like food scraps and turn it into renewable energy or compost, which is used to enrich soil.

But many in the communities are skeptical about how effective the program will be and say that the city didn’t warn them that they would be chosen for the composting experiment.

“It’s an inefficient program at this point,” said Gary Giordano, a resident of Glendale and district manager for Community Board 5. During a meeting that the Glendale Property Owners held on June 5 to discuss the pilot program, Giordano noted that in order for the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) to collect the organic waste, an extra truck would have to be sent out on each block where there are brown bins.

“So what we’re looking at is an oxymoron. You’re wasting extra fuel in the name of going green,” he said.

Many residents at the meeting were also concerned that the city would ticket them for not participating in a program that they never wanted to be a part of in the first place. But, Brunie-McDermott explained, since the program is not law yet, there are no fines.

“It’s likely that if this becomes law, then there will be tickets involved,” she said. And whether or not the program becomes law is dependent on how communities like Glendale respond to it and whether residents participate. The DSNY is holding similar programs in the other four boroughs and by this time next year, the city will gauge how successfully the programs worked in the pilot areas.

Brunie-McDermott noted that during the first recycling period on June 3, just a day after the bins were given out, residents in Glendale had filled up their brown bins with all kinds of organic waste. And that’s a good sign for her, even if some in the community express trepidation.

“It’s a behavior change and it takes time,” Brunie-McDermott said. “I’m sure there were similar growing pains when the city decided to have regular recycling.”

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104th Precinct sting finds delis, restaurants selling alcohol to minors


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

police-web11

Updated Saturday, May 17 11:12 a.m.

Two Queens businesses have been forced to close as they were caught selling alcohol to minors for a third time, police said.

Mount Everest Deli, 5609 Myrtle Avenue, and Apulum Bar, 18-19 Palmetto St., were shuttered by cops after allegedly selling alcohol to undercover auxiliary cops who were under 21.

Eight other establishments received summonses for alleges alcohol sales to minors: Optimo Convenience Store, 6693 Fresh Pond Road; Linden Convenience Store, 6661 Fresh Pond Rd; M&A Deli and Grocery, 6920 Fresh Pond Rd; Start Smart Deli, 6042 Myrtle Avenue; Three Family Deli, 801 Cypress Avenue; Eddy’s Grocery, 10-34 Wyckoff Avenue; Sabor and Rumba Bar, 666 Seneca Avenue; and Sabores Restaurant and Bar, 392 Woodward Avenue.

The operation was carried out by the 104th Precinct on April 12, according to Detective Thomas Bell, the precinct’s community affairs officer.

The precinct goes out periodically in their coverage neighborhoods of Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth to look for businesses that sell alcohol to minors, Bell said.

Robert Holden, a local and president of the Juniper Park civic association, said that he has witnessed the remains of underage drinking in Juniper Park Valley Park in Middle Village.

“We find dozens of bottles thrown all over the baseball field. They just get wild and crazy,” he said, noting that these findings have been on the rise lately. He worries that if more kids are drinking, they will be putting themselves and others danger.

Holden said he has been pushing the cops to come down on businesses that sell beer and alcohol to minors.

“We hope they expand the sweeps,” Holden said. “We think it’s a good deterrent. The community works with the precinct and we’ve made this a priority.”

 

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Queens musician may be next big thing in heavy metal


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Barnewold

ANTHONY SCIARRATTA

Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax — the big four of heavy metal — might soon have to make room for Lance Barnewold and his Middle Village-based band, Fate Breaks Dawn.

Barnewold is the new kid on the block in the competitive world of the music industry. Born and raised in Middle Village, Barnewold is determined to become an established guitarist. He spends eight hours a day practicing and sometimes even plays with metal royalty.

“I knew I wanted a career in music when I had my first jam session with Albert Bouchard, the original drummer of Blue Oyster Cult, and metal icon Ross ‘The Boss’ Friedman,” Barnewold recalled of his experience as a 14-year-old.
Ross says that Barnewold is quickly moving up the ranks.

“Lance is truly becoming a world class musician,” said Ross. “Lance and his band, Fate Breaks Dawn, really have a bright future ahead.”

With mentoring from rock legends like Ross and others, Barnewold has started off on the right foot.

“It all started when my uncle taught me how to play guitar,” said Barnewold, who has been playing since 13. “I enjoyed myself so much that I knew I was going to have a career in music one day. After coming in second place in the EMG Metallica Challenge, I knew I could get somewhere in the music industry.”

The EMG Metallica Challenge is a contest where contestants put videos on YouTube of themselves covering Metallica songs with EMG-equipped guitars. Barnewold was up against thousands of contestants. The band members of Metallica served as judges, and the winner received a $4,000 prize package.

In November 2012, Barnewold formed his current band, Fate Breaks Dawn. He met the other members in his hometown. “When you love music you find other people who are just as passionate about it,” he said. “That is how I met my band — we all just clicked.”

They’ve quickly made a name for themselves in the local music scene. In 2013, at New York City’s legendary music venue Webster Hall, the band opened up for Orianthi and Alice Cooper.

“It was one of the best feelings in the world knowing that I played on the same stage as the legendary Alice Cooper,” said Barnewold.

Barnewold and his band have also played other big venues like the Gramercy Theatre, Six Flags, Irving Plaza, the Zebra Club, the Knitting Factory and the Roseland Ballroom. To most musicians that sounds like a résumé that most established rock stars have.

“Lance is a great musician. The sound of his playing draws you and all who are watching him into his world of music by his guitar strings,” said Rosa Porcaro, an avid fan of Fate Breaks Dawn.

Recently, the band released its first CD on iTunes. They have not signed with a label yet, but Barnewold says the band is currently in talks with multiple agencies about a deal.

Barnewold’s pursuit of a career hasn’t been all glamorous, however. Behind the scenes, there’s a lot of hard work.

“The most stressful part of being a musician is the time and money that it takes to become successful. If you want to be a musician you have to have another job on the side,” Barnewold said.

When he’s not jamming with his band, Barnewold works at a glass company with his father.

Barnewold’s job at Serenity Glass is what pays his bills until he becomes a full-time musician. The money he makes goes toward funding his music career.

“The most important people that back you up are not superstars, but your family,” Barnewold said.

Most families would be skeptical about their child putting it all on the line for music. But Barnewold said his whole entire family — father, mother and two brothers — helps him with his career.

“My family helps me try to achieve the best, but my father is the one who really pushes me to succeed,” he said. “He is my band’s manager, supplies all my gear and gives me all the moral support I need.”

Barnewold said he continues to pursue his dream not for fame and fortune but rather because he’s passionate about his music.

“I just want to be able to make a comfortable living playing music, but my ultimate dream is to be one of the greatest metal bands of all time,” he said. “I would be okay with either.”

He added, “When you get on the stage and see all those people looking at you in the crowd, it’s nice to know that everyone is having just as much fun as I am.”

 

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Dmytro Fedkowskyj announces candidacy for NYS Assembly


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Dmytro Fedkowskyj

KATRINA MEDOFF

Dmytro Fedkowskyj, longtime resident and civic leader of the 30th Assembly District, officially announced his Democratic candidacy for the New York State Assembly on Saturday, in front of Maspeth High School.

“I’ve spent the last 10 years safeguarding the educational interest of our parents, students and school communities, but now I want to safeguard and protect the interest of all our residents, which is why I’m running for the State Assembly,” Fedkowskyj said. “This campaign will be about the people, not the politics.”

District 30 is comprised of Maspeth, Woodside and parts of Long Island City, Middle Village, Astoria and Sunnyside.

The district’s current assemblywoman, Marge Markey, who has held the seat since 1998, has said she is planning on running again.

Fedkowskyj is a Middle Village resident and has served as a member of the Community Education Council of District 24; as chair of the School Construction and Zoning Committee; and as a trustee for the city’s Board of Education Retirement System.

A former member of the city’s Panel for Education Policy (PEP), which serves to improve the welfare of schools and students in the city, Fedkowskyj is an advocate for more funding for education. During the announcement, he spoke about the need for more seats to relieve overcrowding in schools as well as the need for extended yellow bus service.

He supports the pending NYC Council’s Audible Alarms Bill that requires a door alarm to be installed on the outer doors of the city’s schools.

For crime prevention, he plans to advocate for increased state funding to hire more police and emergency personnel.

On the subject of taxes, he said that “it’s unconscionable to increase taxes on the working middle class, so I will only support a plan that keeps income and property taxes at their lowest possible levels. We need our middle class families to keep as much of their earned income as possible.”

Additionally, he said that he will support the Senior Citizens’ Exemption, which helps senior homeowners by reducing their property taxes so that they can continue to live in their homes.

He said he aims to advocate for equal pay and for closing the wage gap for working women.

Fedkowskyj said he also hopes to improve quality of life in the district by creating more green spaces, minimizing petty vandalism and upgrading technology in libraries and community centers.

 

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Phillie’s Pizzeria II plans to offer outdoor seating


| editorial@queenscourier.com

SOPHIA ROSENBAUM

Phillie’s Pizzeria II is hoping to add some outdoor seating to its Middle Village location for customers to enjoy a slice out in the sun.

The pizzeria is slated to present an application to the Department of Consumer Affairs at Community Board 5’s monthly meeting that would establish an outdoor sidewalk café along the 74th Street side of the restaurant.

Sal Gallina, who co-owns the pizzeria with his brother Phil, said the addition would allow Phillie’s customers to choose to eat outside and wouldn’t affect pedestrians walking on the sidewalk.

But the plans for the outdoor café are at a standstill until Community Board 5 approves Gallina’s application, although Gallina thinks he has a good chance.

“CB 5 is on my side,” said Gallina, 39. “I have a good relationship with them and [the outdoor seating area]’s not going to bother anyone.”

Right now, Phillie’s can seat 70 people in its dining area and enclosed café.

The Gallina brothers have already worked with an architect to figure out the best location for the expansion, which will include four tables and eight to 12 chairs.

“It’s just something that I wanted to do to accommodate my customers,” Gallina said. “The more I can do for them, the better it is.”

Gallina said the outdoor café will cost a few thousand dollars with most of the expenses going toward the licensing and permit fees. He has already paid $3,000 in paperwork fees alone.

If all goes well at the board meeting, Gallina said, he hopes to open the outdoor café by the end of spring. Since the expansion is so small, he will not need to hire another waiter to service the extra tables.

Gallina said he is all about providing his customers with the best experience possible.

“People are always looking to sit outside in the summertime,” he said. “So we figured, why not let them sit outside and enjoy a nice day with a good slice of pizza?”

 

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Star of Queens: Lorraine Sciulli, first vice president, Juniper Park Civic Association


| editorial@queenscourier.com

LoriChristmas2012

 HARVIND JAPRA

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Lorraine Sciulli is the first vice president of the volunteer group Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA) and a member of Queens Community Board 5. Sciulli is also the editor of Juniper Berry, a quarterly all-volunteer magazine of the JPCA that focuses on the history of Middle Village, Maspeth and Elmhurst and other pertinent information about the community.

BACKGROUND: “At Juniper Park Civic Association we do everything, literally everything. People come to us with problems and we help anyone we can. We have over 1500 members and we’re in charge of all of Middle Village and Maspeth.”

FAVORITE MEMORY: “My favorite memory goes way back to the late 70s when there was a problem with a parking lot. There was prostitution going on down there and Arthur Catsman was the council member at the time, and he helped me with the petition for closing down the parking lot. It was the first spark and the first beginning to when it pulled me into the whole system, where I just wanted to keep doing it.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “The biggest challenge I had to face was in the early turn of the century. We wanted to include the area of the Elmhurst into Middle Village, because it was right across the road and it would make it easier for the people of Elmhurst to identify themselves. We wanted to include the area into the 11379 zip code and it wasn’t easy. It took a lot of work and patience, but we did it.”

INSPIRATION: “I’ve never looked at anything hopelessly. Anything is possible; if you have a goal and you set out to get it you will win, and even if you don’t win, you’ll win enough to want to stay working at it. That’s what happens when people come to us at JPC — they come to us with a problem and we find tangible results. They like making a difference, and they end up staying active with us.”

 

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U.S. Coast Guard visits Middle Village boy, Colin Flood, with helicopter


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Bob Holden

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

It was a cool day on Monday for 8-year-old Colin Flood in more ways than just the weather.

Flood, who is battling his second round of acute lymphocytic leukemia, received special gifts from the U.S. Coast Guard, which landed a helicopter in a closed off Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village.

The Coast Guard wanted to treat Flood to the helicopter visit because they learned he is a fan of the TV show “Coast Guard Alaska.”

Photo by Lorraine Scuilli 

Members of the Coast Guard air crew gave Flood a tour of the helicopter and a picture of it. Flood also received a Coast Guard hat and T-shirt along with unit patches and a personal name tag. Members of the nearby 104th Precinct and the U.S. Coast Guard members then took pictures with him.

“It meant a lot to us to see the happiness on Colin’s face and to be able to fulfill his dream to see a Coast Guard helicopter up close and personal,” said John Keeley, special agent of Coast Guard Investigative Services.

Photo by Bob Holden 

About two years ago Flood was in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant and there was a successful collection drive in the neighborhood, where thousands of people volunteered to be tested.

Also, the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Flood’s wish to go to Walt Disney World Resort in November last year.

 

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