Tag Archives: Middle Village

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.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

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.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens musician may be next big thing in heavy metal


By Queens Courier Staff | 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.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Dmytro Fedkowskyj announces candidacy for NYS Assembly


By Queens Courier Staff | 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.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Phillie’s Pizzeria II plans to offer outdoor seating


By Queens Courier Staff | 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?”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

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.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Addabbo sends list of bus problems to MTA


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

A local legislator is hoping to put the brakes on bus problems in the region he represents.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo recently sent a list of complaints from constituents to the MTA about bus service on nearly 10 lines, including some that travel through the subway scarce neighborhoods of Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village, hoping the agency can resolve the issues.

The note includes problems such as buses frequently arriving 20 or more minutes behind schedule, multiple buses bunching together and buses passing by commuters with “not in service” signs. The lines include the Q18, Q11/Q21, Q54, Q55, Q67, Q38 and Q29.

“As we negotiate our state budget funding and administrative decisions, we must realize that these resources must be allocated rationally and efficiently,” Addabbo said. “Acknowledging that the MTA provides a critical service and that state resources are not infinite, we must impress upon the MTA to improve service for my constituents given the resources it has.”

Last month, The Courier revealed exclusively that the MTA plans to reduce overall service in April of the Q54, which riders in Middle Village and Glendale depend on to connect to subway lines in Jamaica and Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

During weekday “PM peak” hours—from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.—the Q54 will run every six minutes and 30 seconds, instead of every five minutes, according to the MTA’s January Transit & Bus Committee Meeting. During the evening schedule, which follows “PM peak” hours, the Q54 will run every 20 minutes instead of every 15.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Cops arrest Ridgewood and Middle Village graffiti vandals


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Follow me @liamlaguerre 

 

The next thing these vandals could be drawing is punishment.

Police arrested Joseph Guilfoyle, 43, of Ridgewood, and David Negron, 20, of Middle Village, for graffiti in numerous areas of Queens.

Guilfoyle was charged on Tuesday with eight complaints of graffiti in multiple precincts. He was wanted for vandalizing roadways, such as the Long Island Expressway, the Grand Central Parkway and the Van Wyck Expressway.

Negron was charged on Saturday with 21 individual acts of graffiti. He tagged just about anything he could find, according to police, including store fronts of local businesses, ATM machines, mailboxes, doors, emergency call boxes and payphones, mostly in Maspeth and Ridgewood.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

LAST COURSE: Patrons say goodbye to Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Rosanne Aliperti celebrated one wedding and 23 birthdays at Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant.

And 84-year-old Nathan Boland sometimes made the trip twice a day, rain or shine, for a good chicken Parmesan.

Thousands of diners like them left with full stomachs and empty hearts Sunday on the beloved Italian restaurant’s last day in business.

“It was like one big family here. It’s a shame,” said Maspeth regular MaryAnn Papavero. “It’s very depressing to think this is their last day when it was such a great institution.”

The neighborhood fixture at 62-96 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park served hungry diners from across the city and Long Island for nearly 70 years. It opened in 1948 under Joe Abbracciamento and was later taken over by his sons, John and Joe Jr.

But after working in the restaurant since they were teenagers, the brothers plan to retire.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling, seeing the thousands of people who showed up today,” John, 60, said. “It’s a tribute to my father and my family, and it will be an everlasting memory.”

The decision to close was heartbreaking until the last hour, said his wife, Marie, after embracing customers — some who had grown into close friends.

“It’s very emotional for us,” said Marie, holding back tears. “We really don’t want to say goodbye to anyone. It’s going to be very hard to leave the people.”

People like Aliperti, 45, who walked into the restaurant on her wedding day on April 7, 1990 and essentially never left.

“I’ve spent every special day here — my wedding, every birthday, bridal showers, every anniversary,” said Aliperti, while wiping away tears. “They’re a part of our lives. I’ve had every beautiful moment here.”

The last day was also bittersweet for 86-year-old Mary Schmalenberger, who associates decades of happy memories with the longstanding corner eatery.

The senior has trouble walking and had not left the house in months, but made the trip from Middle Village to say goodbye.

“I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” she said. “There will never be another Abbracciamento.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Star of Queens: Matthew Silva, co-founder, People for the Pavilion


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Matthew silva

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Matthew Silva is co-founder of People for the Pavilion, an organization created in May of 2013 to fight for the preservation of the New York State Pavilion.

BACKGROUND: Born at Flushing Hospital, Queens, Silva lived in Middle Village until his family moved to Stony Brook, Long Island, when he was three.

“When in Queens, I would always see the buildings looking out the window of my parents’ car and I always wondered what they were,” said Silva.

Silva attended SUNY Oswego, where he studied technology and video production. He now works as an educator, teaching technology.

After learning the history of the New York State Pavilion, he started making a film to educate people about the significance of the site.

Two years ago, Silva involved his eighth grade class in his passion for the Pavilion and created a project allowing them to redesign the building for community use. “They loved it, and that’s part of what started the group [People for the Pavilion] –I realized there were a lot of people out there who had a connection to these buildings.”

While promoting his film last May, he met Christian Doran, and they came together and decided they would form an organization that would work to save the New York State Pavilion.

FAVORITE MEMORY: Because the organization is still so new, Silva says he is still enjoying every part of this adventure.

“This all began with a film, and film is a very powerful medium, so I would just say the most exciting part of all of this is the next milestone we reach.”

BIGGEST INSPIRATION: Although so many things inspire him today, Silva’s biggest inspiration is Phillip Johnson, architect of the New York State Pavilion.

“He [Johnson] was such a champion for the city and for arts and architecture, so I felt someone had to fight for his ailing work,” said Silva.

Silva finds that many people have a connection to these buildings and hopes that people will visit his Kickstarter page called “Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion” and help in any way they can.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Silva and People for the Pavilion have had a lot of good luck since launching, but Silva feels the biggest challenge will be convincing the masses of the need to save the Pavilion and finding and funding an adaptive reuse that captures the imagination of people.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Popular tween spa launches in Middle Village


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Young girls can now get special makeovers in Middle Village.

Seriously Spoiled, a salon and spa that targets tweens, had a soft opening on Feb. 15 of its new location on Metropolitan Avenue near 75th Street, which is also its first store in New York City.

“Middle Village is a good core neighborhood. There is a lot of foot traffic. The [Metropolitian] Avenue is really busy,” Seriously Spoiled owner Lisa Falco said.

Falco, a former sales director for cosmetics company Mary Kay, and her sister started the business six years ago after Falco’s daughter wanted to go to a spa for her birthday with friends.

The pair made a makeshift spa in Falco’s basement and realized the demand for a tween salon. Just half a dozen years later the Falcos now have three locations, with two others in Suffolk County.

The parties at the salons are dedicated to making the girls feel like princesses. Seriously Spoiled offers six different party packages, where tweens can throw two-hour private celebrations. Some packages include manicures, pedicures, chocolate facials, hair styling and other services, with prices ranging from $495 to $719 for eight to 10 guests.

All packages include special invitations, a tiara for birthday girls, sparkling pink lemonade, karaoke, and of course – a red carpet runway show to conclude.

“This is a place you can take them for just a special occasion or just because they want to get their nails done,” Falco said. “It builds confidence in young ladies, it teaches them how to take care of their hair and get a manicure. It’s all fun. And it teaches them good hygiene.”

For additional fees customers can order white or pink limousine service and massage therapy, among other services. Besides private parties the salon offers walk-in services and day packages, and has Seriously Spoiled clothes and other products for sale.

Falco said the Middle Village salon has already started hosting parties and has girls booked through April for their private room. Seriously Spoiled has also been a good business neighbor for Middle Village. The store has already hired 10 residents and has struck a deal with nearby Carlo’s Pizzeria to provide food for the girls after their parties.

The Falcos are planning to host an official grand opening of the salon in March with special deals.

For more information visit seriouslyspoiledsalonandspa.com

 

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Stalled Maspeth, Ridgewood, Middle Village transportation projects suffer more setbacks


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Ridgewood residents were hopeful that reconstruction of the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge would finally start this spring, but it’s been delayed again.

The path, which is elevated over LIRR tracks where Metropolitan Avenue intersects Fresh Pond Road, carries major truck traffic and is long overdue for repairs. In 2007, city officials informed Community Board (CB) 5 it was in danger of collapse.

Financial troubles delayed its original reconstruction start date back in 2009, and at a recent CB 5 Transportation Committee meeting, it was said that it’s been pushed back yet again, because the project has to undergo review and redesign.

The bridge is just one of a few major transportation projects, together worth about $115 million, in CB 5 that just keep getting delayed. The Metropolitan Avenue Bridge alone could be a $25 million project, CB 5 District Manager Gary Giordano said.

“You are talking about a lot of money for one district,” Giordano said. “We keep bringing them up at our transportation meeting because we believe that they need to be done and want don’t want to forget about them.”

Developers are now considering building an abutment, eliminating one track under the bridge, to help the building process.

There is also the Grand Street Bridge project, which connects Maspeth to Brooklyn over Newtown Creek.

The 111-year-old bridge is so narrow that it can’t support two-way traffic, although it is a two-way span, with all the big rigs and city buses that traverse it. The new bridge would cost about $50 million.

The plan for a new bridge was ready to go when Sandy struck in 2012 and flooded the area. Now plans are being redesigned to meet new flood regulations.

Besides the bridges, major street rebuilding plans have also been set back.

The Wyckoff Avenue Reconstruction Project, estimated to cost about $20 million, was supposed to start during the summer of 2010, but has been pushed back to 2026, according to the city Department of Design and Construction (DDC).

The project would give Wyckoff Avenue new sewer lines, new water mains to replace the 70-year old ones, as well as a new concrete base on the roadway, new sidewalks and new curbing from Flushing Avenue to Cooper Avenue.

The community has been waiting on a similar project in south Middle Village for about two decades. The area from 73rd Place to 80th Street, between Metropolitan Avenue to Cooper Avenue, are due for new sidewalks, sewer lines, new water mains, signage and street lights, estimated to cost about $20 million. The project has a due date of 2022, according to the DDC.

The projects are pushed back because the city keeps putting funding to higher priority initiatives, CB 5 Chair Vincent Arcuri said. But Arcuri said the planned repairs would help boost the community and should be pushed.

“When you rebuild the streets, the property value increases,” Arcuri said. “It becomes an economic boost to the community.”



RECOMMENDED STORIES

Board approves proposed bike lanes in Ridgewood and Glendale


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Map courtesy of City Planning

Follow me @liamlaguerre 

 

Plans to add new bike lanes to Community Board 5 (CB 5) got the green light.

After an endorsement by freshman Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, CB 5 approved the proposed bike lanes in Ridgewood and Glendale on Wednesday with a 29-5 vote.

The Department of City Planning will begin implementing the phase one bike lanes of the proposal this summer, which connect to the Brooklyn network of paths.

One set flows parallel on Woodward and Onderdonk avenues from Flushing Avenue to Cooper Avenue. Another set runs on Harman and Himrod streets from Evergreen Avenue to Metropolitan Avenue.

“I’m very excited for this first step. I wish it could have been more,” said John Maier, co-chair of the CB 5 Transportation Committee. “I look forward to working with City Planning and the board to find phase two and possibly phase three.”

The city agency will also continue to evaluate the phase two bike lanes of the proposal, which could eventually add more paths and connect routes in Maspeth and Middle Village.

Phase two contains an expansive network of lanes throughout the rest of CB 5. However, residents have complained about a proposed lane on Elliot Street through Mount Olivet Cemetery between 67th Street and Mount Olivet Crescent. The two-way street is so narrow it is already dangerous for car traffic.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Star of Queens: Greg Vasicek, president and founder, Play4Autism Foundation


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

IMG_1261

COMMUNITY SERVICE:  Greg Vasicek is the president and founder of the Play4Autism Foundation, a registered nonprofit organization that helps children on the autism spectrum get active.

BACKGROUND:  Vasicek grew up in New Rochelle, and started playing professional ice hockey at 18 in England.  After a 15-year career, Vasicek came back to the United States and decided to concentrate his efforts by pursuing hockey as an event promoter and coach.  Vasinek’s success in this field led him to establish partnerships with several corporations, which eventually served as a platform for his vision, Play4Austism.

Vasicek founded the organization in December of 2011 in Arizona.  After returning to New York in October of 2012 he expanded the foundation.

INSPIRATION: Vasicek has a nephew who is along the autism spectrum, who he cites as his inspiration in creating the Play4Austism Foundation.  Along with his nephew, Vasicek finds inspiration in his future wife, Helena, who has helped him a lot with his work for the organization.

GOALS: Vasicek has been able to help 20 to 25 kids in the Middle Village area, as well as kids in other areas outside Queens, like Arizona and Utah. Vasicek’s goal for his organization is to increase awareness of autism and to help children get the attention they need to develop social and recreational skills, while offering these services to parents at a minimal cost.

Play4Austim also partnered with Kidz into Action programs, which offer children the opportunity to improve their self esteem, leadership, social and communication skills.

FAVORITE MEMORY:  For Vasicek the most rewarding part of working with the kids and their families is just seeing them happy. “Just seeing a smile on a child’s face after tossing a football around for five minutes and the proud look and some tears of [their] mother or father is what it’s all about.”   

BIGGEST CHALLENGE:  The biggest challenge Vasicek has faced is finding a permanent location for his organization and for the people who help him out. “I definitely hope to find a place in the coming year that we can call home,” he said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES