Tag Archives: Queens Courier

2012: A year in pictures


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Breezy Point Sandy

JANUARY

Fire bomber charged in hate crime: Ray Lazier Lengend, 40, confessed to a string of five fire bombings, four in Queens and one on Long Island. No one was injured in the attacks and Lengend was charged with a hate crime.

Queens native named Obama chief of staff: Forest Hills native Jacob Lew, an orthodox Jew, was named President Barack Obama’s chief of staff in a ceremony at the White House on January 14. Lew, 56, grew up on Yellowstone Boulevard and graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1972.

Worst landlords named: A list released by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio named the 50 worst landlords throughout the city, including 15 with dozens of properties in Queens. The dishonor roll, based on complaints and violations over the past year, was compiled to warn residents searching for apartments.

Flushing nurses protest: About 200 registered nurses at Flushing Hospital rallied outside the facility after their contracts expired in December. The nurses protested for better healthcare, pay and pension benefits.

FEBRUARY

Giants win Super Bowl: For the second time in five years, the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Eli Manning was named MVP of the Giants 21-17 victory.

Con Ed heroes: Four Con Edison employees — John Kane, John McDonnell, Michael Santeramo and Anthony Farmighetti — rushed to the aid of the victim of a violent purse snatching in Bayside before chasing after the suspect.

NY goes Lin-sane: New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin took New York and Madison Square Garden by storm after entering the team’s starting lineup in February. Lin-sanity took over the city as the unheralded, undrafted Harvard graduate played like an MVP and helped lead the Knicks to the playoffs.

FreshDirect heads to Bronx: FreshDirect, an online fresh food grocer, announced they will move their operations from Long Island City and leave the borough for larger facilities in the Bronx, taking with them 2,000 Queens jobs.

MARCH

Heejun Han on ‘American Idol’: Flushing-native Heejun Han sang his way into the hearts of millions of Americans each week on the hit singing competition. Han made it all the way to the top nine before being eliminated.

Peninsula Hospital closure announced: Bankruptcy and instability at Far Rockaway’s Peninsula Hospital forced the medical center to close its doors leaving the peninsula with just one hospital, St. John’s Episcopal.

FedEx moves to LIC: FedEx announced plans to open a new, 14,000-square-foot FedEx Ground distribution center costing $56 million on Borden Avenue in LIC. The facility will be larger and contain more automated package sorting systems than the existing station in Maspeth, allowing the company to better serve the area.

Woodhaven drug ring busted by FBI: A drug ring headquartered in Woodhaven known as the Perez Organization was busted by the FBI for allegedly distributing over 20 kilograms of heroin, possessing a street value of around $2.75 million, to drug dealers in Queens and Long Island.

APRIL

Driver arrested after leaving toddler on empty school bus: A private bus driver was arrested on April 12 after she left her vehicle unattended in Corona with a toddler still aboard. Police broke a window on the bus and removed two-year-old Samantha Bustamante, who they believe was left alone for roughly 15 minutes. Bustamante — who was in good physical condition, according to EMS — was taken back to the 110th Precinct, where she was reunited with her mother. The bus driver, 62-year-old Ana Garcia, was charged with failure to exercise control of a minor.

Hero firefighter saves woman: Firefighter James Goelz became a hero when he made his first on-the-job rescue, saving an elderly, unconscious woman from her Lindenwood apartment, which became a blazing inferno on April 6.

Kung fu fighter thwarts sex assault: Good Samaritan Mike Novak thwarted a sexual assault in Sunnyside on April 8, when he ran to the aid of his female neighbor, who was being groped by a man in the bushes down the block from his house. The 54-year-old kung fu fighter chased the perp away, then pulled the victim out of the bush and stayed by her side until authorities arrived.

MAY

Historic carousel spins once more: The Forest Park Carousel held its grand reopening on May 26 after nearly four years of being shuttered. Hundreds of visitors, both children and adults, were able to take another spin on the historic, century-old merry-go-round.

Bayside cop arrested after heroin bust: Bayside cop Devon Daniels was arrested on May 15 for his role in allegedly aiding drug dealers. The 30 year old, who was assigned to the 111th Precinct, allegedly communicated with the leader of a Jamaica-based heroin distribution organization on numerous occasions to ask for money and to borrow vehicles, authorities said.

Gruesome murder in Bayside home: A Bayside woman was found dead in her basement with lacerations to her neck after the man she lived with allegedly killed her, set fire to their shared home and tried to hang himself in the couple’s bedroom closet. The gruesome scene occurred on May 23, claiming the life of Eun Hee Sin, 57, and sending a 56-year-old unidentified Asian man to the hospital, where he was said to be in stable condition.

JUNE

Queens kid places third in national spelling bee: Bayside Hills whiz kid Arvind Mahankali won third place at the televised Scripps National Spelling Bee for the second consecutive year. The 12 year old’s spellbinding run ended when he misspelled “schwannoma,” a German name-based word that means a type of cancer. Mahankali, a seventh grader from J.H.S. 74, took home $7,500.

First no-hitter for Mets: Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history on June 1, when the New York team won 8-0 over the St. Louis Cardinals. Santana walked five and struck out eight.

Willets Point development details announced: Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced specifics of the Willets Point project, which includes retail space, a hotel and quicker access to the Van Wyck Expressway. More than 12,000 construction jobs and 7,000 permanent jobs would come from the proposed Willets Point renovation, he said, which is expected to bring $4.2 billion in economic activity over the next 30 years. A new component, Willets West, was also designated from a portion of the Citi Field parking lot to become one-million square feet of space for retail, entertainment and dining.

JULY

Con Ed lockout: As temperatures across the city spiked, Con Edison locked out more than 8,000 workers over heated  contract talks — leaving 5,000 managers responsible for maintaining electric, gas and steam service  for the company’s 3.2 million customers. The power giant blamed the stalemate on leaders of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) Local 1-2 — the union representing roughly 8,000 Con Edison employees — who refused to accept its offer to extend their members’ contract for two  weeks. After a major push to end negotiations from Governor Andrew Cuomo, locked-out Con Ed  workers returned to their posts following a tentative agreement between the utility provider and representatives from the UWUA Local 1-2, ending the month-long stalemate.

Former pol arrested: Former Queens Assemblymember Jimmy Meng, the father of newly appointed Congressmember Grace Meng, was arrested on a federal wire fraud charge for allegedly attempting to scam $80,000 in cash from a state court defendant. Meng allegedly promised the defendant — who sought the former elected official’s help after being charged with state tax crimes — that his sentence would be reduced to one year if he paid prosecutors $20,000 each in bribes, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Federal prosecutors said Meng offered to act as the middle man, instructing the individual to conceal and deliver the $80,000 payout in a fruit basket. The government investigation, however, uncovered no evidence the past politician even contacted prosecutors, and officials said Meng planned to keep the bribe money for himself.

Soda ban: Tensions fizzed over when locals expressed their distaste for the city’s proposed ban on large, sugary beverages at a public hearing on July 24.  “Will the government be telling me when to go to bed next?” asked Councilmember Dan Halloran. “Or how big my steak should be? How many potato chips I can eat? After all, it’s all in the name of my health. And clearly the government knows what’s best for me.” The soda ban will halt the sale of sugary bottled and fountain drinks, such as teas, sodas and sports drinks, of more than 16 ounces in every store and restaurant with letter grades, movie theaters, sports venues, delis and food trucks and carts. Diet sodas, calorie-free drinks, and drinks with at least 50 percent milk are exempted from the regulation.

Summer crime wave:  As temperatures soared, so did crime rates. And Queens did not remain bulletproof. Between July 4 and July 7, four deaths occurred throughout the borough, one man critically wounded and an MTA cop suffered a sight-threatening injury. On early Saturday, July 7, three men were fatally shot, and a fourth wounded, in Jamaica. Police said there were two shooters — one of whom fired 63 rounds from an AK-47. This was one of several shootings or stabbings to take place over what was considered the Fourth of July weekend. Councilmember Peter Vallone, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, said this spike in citywide crime was due to a decrease in the amount of on-duty cops and a spike in criminals — mainly due to budget cuts. These factors — along with soaring temperatures — were causing a higherthan-normal spike in crimes, Vallone said.

AUGUST

Sikh temple shooting: The August 5 shooting at an Oak Creek, Wisconsin gurdwara that killed six and wounded four struck close to home for the tens of thousands of Sikhs in Queens. Of the at least 300,000 Sikhs in the United States, between 30,000 to 40,000 live in New York City, with the bulk residing in Queens. Elected officials and religious leaders gathered at the Sikh Cultural Society — where thousands of Sikhs congregate weekly — the day after the shooting rampage inside the Wisconsin Sikh Temple to offer condolences to the community and show support. Shooter Wade Michael Page, an army veteran and alleged white supremacist, was killed at the scene. Post-9/11, the country experienced a large spike in hate crimes against Sikhs, said Amardeep Singh, director of programs at the Sikh Coalition. While incidents have slowed in recent years, Singh said discrimination in schools and the work place still persists.

Fire at home under construction: More than 100 firefighters from 33 units responded to the three-alarm blaze on Tuesday, August 14, at a Douglaston home, which was under renovations. The 39-12 Douglaston Parkway dwelling received 44 complaints since March 2008 from callers saying the ongoing construction work being done at the site exceeded the scope of the approved permit, according to the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB). No one was in the house at the time, and no one was severely injured, an official said. While all complaints made against the home were listed as closed, homeowner David Wei Huang was pinned for two violations from the DOB and 17 from the Environmental Control Board (ECB). Of those violations, nine were still outstanding, according to the DOB, and were related to the ongoing construction. Huang was issued a $2,500 fi ne when construction at the site was found not to be in compliance with approved plans and another $1,200 for failing to safeguard the public and his property. There were other violations for working with an expired permit, the DOB said.

Huntley surrenders: State Senator Shirley Huntley pleaded not guilty to charges of falsifying business records and tampering with evidence in the first degree, which are felonies, and conspiracy in the fifth degree, a misdemeanor, after officials said she covered up the funneling of nearly $30,000 in state funds to a non-profit she helped establish. Huntley turned herself in to the State Attorney General’s regional office on Monday, August 27, and was arraigned later that day. Voters gave Huntley the boot in September, when she decisively lost the Democratic primary to challenger James Sanders Jr., who was elected to the 10th District seat in November.

 SEPTEMBER

Rare tornado strikes Breezy Point: A tornado struck Breezy Point during a late summer down pour on Saturday, September 8. The twister damaged parts of the Breezy Point Surf Club, but many were thankful the club had been mostly closed up by that point. “We’re lucky the storm hit this weekend and not last weekend,” Councilmember Eric Ulrich said, who surveyed the damage in the area shortly after the storm. “Because last weekend the Surf Club was filled with people.”

“Look!” campaign promotes safety: A Department of Transportation (DOT) campaign to promote safety when texters crossed the street was launched in September. The program includes a sign that reads “LOOK!” in crosswalks throughout the city, to remind pedestrians to proceed with caution. “New Yorkers are driven to distraction with their smart phones, and the simple act of looking can prevent thousands of crashes and injuries every year,” said DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “LOOK! is a message to all New Yorkers that safety is in the eye of the beholder and everyone needs to keep an eye out for each other on our streets.”

Ulrich wins primary: Councilmember Eric Ulrich defeated Forest Hills lawyer Juan Reyes in a Senate District 15 Republican Primary on September 13. In the weeks leading up to the election, the Reyes campaign sent out a string of mailers attacking Ulrich’s reputation in the City Council and made anti-gay statements. Ulrich would go on to unsuccessfully challenge incumbent State Senator Joseph Addabbo in the general election. The race became one of the most contested in Queens.

Serial arsonist is nabbed: A suspect wanted for setting 13 fi res in Flushing and Murray Hill during a three-week period was arraigned on September 15. Thien K. Dinh, 43, was charged with two counts of second-degree arson, four counts of third-degree arson, 13 counts of fi rst-degree reckless endangerment and thirddegree burglary. Dinh admitted to the crimes, which included a fire at 143-01 45th Avenue near Bowne Street on August 20 that gutted adjacent businesses and totaled the four-story multiple family dwelling.

OCTOBER

Four Richmond Hill High grads die in crash: Four teenagers from South Ozone Park and Richmond Hill were killed in the morning hours of October 8, when the car they were riding in careened off the Southern State Parkway and threw them from the vehicle. The driver, Joseph Beer, 17, survived the crash and only had a learner’s permit, authorities said. The teen was later indicted by the Nassau County District Attorney on a slew of charges that included allegations he was high at the time of the crash.

Cop, driver killed in deadly rampage: An ex-con fatally shot Nassau County police officer Arthur Lopez near the Cross Island Parkway before fleeing on Tuesday, October 23. Darrell Fuller, 33, then took off and carjacked Raymond Facey, who was shot and killed. The incident resulted in a manhunt throughout southeast Queens searching for the perp, who was later found with a bullet wound in his shoulder. He was then taken to Jamaica Hospital before being transferred to Nassau County to be charged.

Cannibal cop: NYPD officer Gilberto Valle was nabbed for plotting to kidnap and eat more at least 100 women. The six-year veteran, who lived in Forest Hills, was charged with accessing the federal National Crime Information Center database to gain information without authorization, and agreeing to kidnap a woman to sell her to an individual for no less than $5,000, according to court documents.

Sandy strikes seaside south: Superstorm Sandy shut down much of Queens beginning on Monday, October 29 and carrying into the next day. Damage was felt, at different levels, throughout the borough. Trees came down on to houses in the northeast, in one case killing a man; parts of Long Island City’s water front arose and flooded several buildings. Rockaway and Howard Beach were some of the hardest hit areas however. The channel in Howard Beach poured on to Cross Bay Boulevard and knocked out some businesses for weeks. In Rockaway, the ocean poured over and met with Jamaica Bay.

NOVEMBER

Breezy Point residents search for hope: During Superstorm Sandy, the majority of Breezy Point homes received extensive water damage, and 111 homes burned to the ground after an electrical fire sparked. Residents, left at a loss, tried to receive as much relief as possible from organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross, and many more. Kieren Burke was one of many who lost his home in the fire, and he spent some time searching for anything left behind — namely his wife’s wedding ring. Burke spent the storm in his parents’ house nearby, and ran outside once he saw the blazes engulf the streets, but he was only able to save a few things before his home was gone.

Obama visits New York after Sandy: Alongside New York’s most prominent officials, President Obama surveyed damage in the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. The President arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday, November 15, and was greeted by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan. He then surveyed the damage to the Rockaway peninsula by air, and went through Staten Island on foot.

The Kings of Queens: Over 400 guests gathered at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to mingle at one of the largest networking events in the borough and honor this year’s “Kings of Queens.” The fifth annual Queens Courier event, held on Thursday, November 15 featured special honoree, Steven Lacy, Fox 5 news anchor, and honored dozens of top businessmen throughout Queens.

DECEMBER

Boardwalk future: Sandy ripped mercilessly through the Rockaways, destroying an iconic haven enjoyed by all: the boardwalk. The community came together and urged that their boardwalk be rebuilt better than ever before, so no storm can ever do this again. Mayor Michael Bloomberg responded with a new plan, hopefully to be in place by next summer. Wooden planks will be a thing of the past, and a concrete boardwalk will be put into place. Locals, although pleased, still asked for sea walls to further protect their home.

Bayside murders: A Bayside man was named in an indictment charging him with two separate counts of second-degree murder. Gregory Cucchiara, 36, was charged for beating his mother over the head before submerging her in water, and another 15 months later when he smothered his father to death. He was being held at Rikers Island, and faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted.

Sunnyside vigil: A mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut hit home for Sunnyside residents. Little Benjamin Wheeler, 6, originally from Sunnyside, was shot and killed during the unspeakable tragedy. Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook, selfl essly gave her life to the shooter while trying to save as many students as she could. Her life was also remembered at the vigil by her stepsister, who resides in Sunnyside. The massacre was the second deadliest shooting in our nation’s history, killing 26 people, 20 of who were children.

The Courier, Queens Chamber of Commerce & Russo’s on the Bay team up to make Christmas bright for kids


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

047-DSC_2620 (640x427)

Under the sparkling chandeliers and twinkling Christmas lights, seventh grader Maddie McDade smiled brightly.

The St. Francis de Sales student’s Belle Harbor home burned down during Superstorm Sandy, leaving her and her family displaced to parts of Long Island and Brooklyn just weeks before the holidays. She, and students from five south Queens schools, attended a holiday celebration at Russo’s on the Bay on Tuesday, December 18, hosted by The Queens Courier and the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re all getting together and I’m excited to see everyone,” said Maddie. “And it’s a nice celebration we’re having after everything and everyone being sad. It kind of brings everything up.”

Over 1,000 students in kindergarten through eighth grade gathered at the event hall for lunch, music, entertainment and gifts. Jugglers and magicians travelled from table to table, showing off their skills to students whose mouths dropped to the floor. Nick the Baloonatic – a renowned balloon artist – created swords, hats and animals out of colorful rubber and thin air for the amazed guests. Even Santa was present, making his grand entrance to the sounds of delighted screams and cheers. Students clamored up to Saint Nick’s gilded throne, posing for pictures with the man in red.

Click here to see all the photos from the event

“For us, this was just a simple way to bring joy to children at this time who really, truly need it,” said Russo’s on the Bay owner Frank Russo Jr.

Jack Friedman, Executive Director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, couldn’t have been happier to provide such a wonderful experience for children who have experience such tragedy. The Queens Chamber of Commerce Foundation provided essential funding to give each child a gift at the end of the celebration.

“Many of [the children] lost homes, personal possessions, many were displaced or had no electricity for weeks,” said Friedman. “The impact on children, the stress on children is something that’s rarely looked at, so to put a smile on children’s faces today is just a great, wonderful thing. These children missed out on Halloween so we’re going to make sure they have a merry Christmas.”

Callie Todd, a 3rd grader at St. Rose of Lima, is finally back in her Breezy Point home after the storm. The spirited amateur equestrian hopes to get the American Girl horseback riding set for Christmas, but is just ecstatic to be home again with all her toys.

Kindergartner John Anthony Grimes from Ave Maria Catholic Academy was excited for the day’s activities and to meet Santa Claus. After staying in his grandparents’ house for several weeks after the storm, he said he couldn’t wait for Christmas, and hoped to find a toy dirt bike under the tree.

Theresa Andersen, principal of St. Rose of Lima, said the school has continued to carry on holiday festivities, despite the tragic events of Sandy. She thanked Frank Russo Jr. for his immense kindness, stating that the school even switched the date of their Christmas show so children would not miss out on the party.

“This is a wonderful thing that [Russo] didn’t have to do, but he did it from the heart, and the children were so excited,” said Andersen.

Other volunteers who made this event possible were Archbishop Molloy High School Student Volunteers, Consolidated Bus Transit, Inc., Flowers by Brian, Danielle Michaels of Adrenaline Entertainment, Nick the Balloonatic, Magician Lou Johnson, Jack Lasala of Satisfaction Guaranteed DJs, Nicky Guida of 2+2 DJs, Steven Retas of Classie Sounds, Artie D’Alessio, Dan Drennan, Robert Castellano, Scott Nastro, Julian Nardulli of Express It Video, Susan McVea, Party City in Bayside, Mullen Advertising Agency, Lois Christie and the staff of Christie & Co. Salon * Spa, New York Hospital Queens, John and Colette Roe, the Jamaica Rotary, Dr. Mary Andrea, Benefits Advisory Group, All Car Rental Car, Rego Park Forest Hills Kiwanis, the Giving Tree Family, the New York Daily News, and Heskel and Janet Elias and American Car Wash.

- Additional reporting by Terence M. Cullen

Top headlines from around the web


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Top headlines from around the web

Victims in Connecticut massacre ID’d as police find ‘very good evidence’ that could help illuminate shooter’s motives
The unhinged gunman who slaughtered 26 children and adults yesterday in a elementary school arrived with guns blazing — blasting his way into the building, according to Connecticut State police. Read more: New York Post

Tragedy touches NYPD and Puerto Rico
The nephew of an NYPD lieutenant was among the 20 young children gunned down in yesterday’s Connecticut mass murder at a Connecticut school, a police official said. Read more: New York Post

Hillary Clinton treated for concussion after fall
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hospitalized Saturday after fainting and striking her head, officials said. Read more: Daily News

Queens kids still struggling after Hurricane Sandy write heartbreaking holiday wish lists
For Christmas this year, kids in still storm-stricken areas of Queens aren’t asking Santa for shiny new toys or expensive gadgets — they just want their homes back. Read more: Daily News

Police Search For Alleged Queens Bank Robber
Police are asking for help finding a suspect wanted in connection with a series of bank robberies in Queens. Read more: NY1

Sandy-Impacted Students Mail College Applications
For students affected by Hurricane Sandy, being able to mail their college applications on time carried special significance. Read more: NY1

Queens Courier in search of the borough’s next Rising Star


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

The Queens Courier will once again recognize the “Rising Stars,” a yearly networking event held to honor the borough’s 40 top young professionals.

In years past, the event has boasted attendance of over 400 people and has raised thousands in charity funds. Guest appearances have been made by Borough President Helen Marshall, Former Mets baseball player Darryl Strawberry and just recently, Mike Woods, meteorologist for Fox 5’s Good Day New York. Honorees have included various elected officials and top business leaders. This year hopes to bring that and more, and will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Caesars Club at Citi Field on Thursday, January 31, 2013.

Along with recognizing notable Queens figures, the “Rising Stars” event also provides one of the top networking forums in the borough.

If you know someone you wish you nominate as a “Rising Star,” or are interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Maria Romero at 718-224-5863 ext. 226 or mromero@queenscourier.com. Nominations can also be submitted online at www.queenscourier.com/nomination.

Tickets are $85 per person, or $800 for 10 people, and can be purchased at queenscourier.com/events.

Health Expo offers tips on staying healthy, financial fitness


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

DSC_0060w

North Shore Towers residents and other guests excitedly ventured around Towers on the Green, visiting each and every vendor offering advice on how to improve their quality of life.

The Queens Courier’s annual Health & Financial Fitness Expo, held Friday, November 30, featured dozens of different business representatives from a variety of industries.

After attendees were able to visit with vendors and talk one-on-one, the program began with a number of speakers covering topics from consumer and bank fraud, to healthy aging, to the importance of a properly fitted shoe.

Jennifer Seery of CHS Home Support Services, a subsidiary of Catholic Home Care, attended the expo and brought along several prototypes of their merchandise, such as a breathing mask. The service focuses on providing the elderly with the care that they may need in order to stay in their home for as long as possible.

“It’s anything you would need outside of a hospital or a nursing home facility,” said Seery of their products. “We have all medical equipment, so if you should need anything to assist you, we can give it to you.”

“[We’re here] to get our name out in the community and let people know that it’s possible to stay home for as long as possible, if that’s what they choose,” Seery said of the event and its networking value.

Also at the expo was New York Community Bank/Queens County Savings Bank; Sinai Chapels; Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation; AgeWell New York; Turnpike Comfort Footwear; Margaret Tietz Center Light Health System; Premier Care; Steadfast Caregivers; Brandywine Senior Living; Robert Lubow; Reverie Spa; Dr. Gail Lowenstein, M.D., Physician Homecare; Genworth Insurance; OKG Jewelry; Comfort Keepers; Life Caller; Home Instead; Bayside Chiropractic, Dr. Vilan; The Lev Group at Morgan Stanley; Carelink, Inc.; REL Business Gazette; Quality Health Care; Best Senior Care; Why Weight?; Dr. Zdenko Beg, P.T.; New York Life Insurance and Fatoullah & Associates.

Ron Fatoullah of Fatoullah & Associates spoke during the event to a crowd of Towers residents and outside guests regarding planning for and securing long-term care.

“Especially in an uncertain time, planning is the most important thing,” said Fatoullah. “People should get their affairs in order now.”

The attorney spoke about the federal gift and estate tax levels that will decrease by January 1, and Fatoullah wants people to be aware of that.

“They need to have essential documents in place,” he said. “Such as last will and testament, living trust and health care proxy. Planning in advance is the key to protecting assets.”

Those who also spoke at the event included Christine A. Feingold of Sinai Chapels; Tara Buoncore-Rut, Executive Director of AgeWell New York; James Christopher, Assistant Vice President of New York Community Bank Corp; Mark Margulies, owner of Comfort Keepers; Dr. Rob Sharma of Premier Care; Susan Cohen of Brandywine Senior Living; Robert Hauer, Manager of Turnpike Comfort Footwear; George Chiungos of Genworth Financial; and Gail Lowenstein, M.D.

Lowenstein, who came to the expo for the first time this year, enjoyed being able to speak to Towers residents about her work.

“The concept of my care is based on the care I give my parents,” she said, regarding her work in geriatrics. “North Shore Towers would be a wonderful locale for us to see patients.”

George Chiungos of Genworth Financial echoed this sentiment.

“It’s always nice to come to these events and see people that you wouldn’t normally interact with,” he said. “We’re here, taking a proactive approach [for our] long term care protection.”

Get your finances in top shape


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The word fitness is typically used to describe a person’s physical health, but financial fitness is also important for well-being.

The Queens Courier’s Health & Financial Fitness Expo on Friday, November 30, will feature both — and show how you can keep them in top shape.

At the event, sponsored by the North Shore Towers, there will be a panel, “Planning During Uncertain Times: How To Weather The Storm,” featuring keynote speaker Ronald Fatoullah, Esq., as well as ones from Premier Care, Brandywine Assisted Living, Turnpike Orthopedic, Physician Home Care, Genworth Insurance, Comfort Keepers, Sinai Chapels and Queens County Savings Bank.

The speakers will be discussing a range of topics concerning financial fitness, elder law and home care planning.

There will also be networking opportunities, free coffee and cake, and exhibitors promoting long-term care insurance, health management, estate planning, financial services and more.

Admission to the Health & Financial Fitness Expo is free, but limited seats are available, so call today to register.

To attend or for sponsorship or exhibitor opportunities please call 718-224-5863 ext. 201 or email aamato@queenscourier.com.

The Queens Courier’s Health & Financial Fitness Expo will be held on Friday, November 30 at 10 a.m at Towers on the Green in the North Shore Towers, 272-48 Grand Central Parkway, Floral Park.

The Courier celebrates the Kings of Queens


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

DSC_0032 (640x424)

The Queens Courier’s fifth annual “Kings of Queens Awards & Networking Event” was celebrated at Terrace on the Park, honoring dozens of notable businessmen and special honoree Steve Lacy, Fox 5 news anchor.

“[This event] brings people and their businesses together. I’m honored to be honored,” said Mortimer A. Lawrence of the Lawrence Law Group, LLC New York, one of this year’s “Kings.”

The breakfast, held Thursday, November 15, was attended by 400 people and served as a networking opportunity.

“What’s great about this event is that we bring together the leaders of our community. We’re so proud of the unique people that we can recognize,” said Courier publisher Victoria Schneps.

Click here to see all the picture from the event

Different vendors were able to set up tables in the Terrace on the Park expo room and share their information.

“We’re looking to expand,” said Roger Flores of RNC, a telecommunications business within Queens. “We’re a local business and we are here today to let people know what services we have to offer.”

Vendors from businesses such as RCN, to restaurants, to airlines all attended the networking event, hoping to mingle with other local companies and gain contacts.

“It’s the networking, the opportunity to meet other businesses,” said George McKirdy, a bake shop owner in Astoria. “We wanted to get in touch with some of the other businesses in Queens.”

Sponsors of the event included: TD Bank, Delta Airlines, Flushing Bank, CUNY, Con Edison, Sandwire, Melrose Credit Union, Queens Library, Daily News, Crystal Window & Door Systems and Queens County Savings Bank.

The Courier does a number of events that link businesses and communities,” said Richard Mazda, an honoree. “I appreciate getting the word out about The Secret Theatre.”

Other honorees included John Antzoulis, TD Bank; Sal Bacarella, president, Garden Works; Gerard X Brogan Jr., MD, medical director, Forest Hills Hospital; John Careddu,  New York Community Bank; Don Cato, Co-Director, Queens World Film Festival;  Sam Chang, chair, McSam Hotel Group; Dr. Michel Cohen, founder, Tribeca Pediatrics; Brother Leonard Conway, principal, St. Francis Prep; Michael Davidov, attorney, Davidov Law Group, PC; Jack Friedman, executive director, Queens Chamber of Commerce; Carl Goodman, executive director, Museum of Moving Image; Paul Goodman, CEO, NY Waterway; Kirk Haltaufderhyde, 2012 National Science Foundation Graduate Research; Dr. Gerard McNeil, associate professor, York College; Alan Kaufman, CEO, Melrose Credit Union; Mortimer A. Lawrence, Esq, The Lawrence Law Group, LLC; Dr.  Adam Lublin, co-owner, Dynamic Dental; Douglas MacLaury, Mattone Group; Hossam Abdel Maksoud, Founder & Chief Executive, Maksoud Pharm, Inc.; Eric S. Martinez, JD, CPA, audit partner, Grassi & Co; Richard Mazda, founding artistic director, The Secret Theatre; John A. Messer, VP/counsel, DC Solar Solutions; Vincent Riso, The Briarwood Organization; John E. Roe, Sr., chair of the board of Flushing Financial; Hal Rosenbluth, president, Kaufman Astoria Studios; Frank Russo, owner, Russo’s on the Bay; Edward Sadowsky, trustee, Queens Library; George Schmidt, president, Eastern American Data Voice; John Venaziano, General Manager, Douglaston Club; Mathew Xenakis, president, Woodhaven BID; Daniel Zausner, COO, National Tennis Center.

Following an hour-and-a-half of networking, this years’ “Kings” proceeded into the ballroom, donning red robes and crowns, and were greeted by rounds of applause. Videos of each honoree sharing their “keys to success” played while breakfast was served.

Hearing community leaders speak about their business tactics in the past and plans for the future was inspiring, said Steve Lacy, Fox 5 news anchor and also the MC and honoree at the event.

“It’s the people and the sense of community that I’m really impressed with,” he added.

At each Courier event, all proceeds from raffle ticket sales go to charity. This year, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the roughly $3,000 raised will go to the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance and St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children.

Meet the 2012 Kings of Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Honoring the top businessmen of Queens for their outstanding leadership and their contributions to the community, the 2012 Kings of Queens: A Champions Breakfast Awards & Networking Event will take place on Thursday, November 15 at 8:30 a.m.

This event, which will be held at Terrace on the Park, is the ultimate networking opportunity and also includes a business expo followed by a breakfast and awards ceremony.

There will also be a raffle, with all proceeds going to Sandy relief.

Attracting 500 of the top business leaders in the borough, Kings of Queens has featured Mayor Michael Bloomberg as keynote speaker as well as a recipient of the “King of Kings” award, and Borough President Helen Marshall as the recipient of the “Queen of Queens” award.

This year, honorees include John Antzoulis, small business relationship manager, TD Bank; Sal Bacarella, president, Garden Works; Gerard X Brogan Jr., MD, medical director, Forest Hills Hospital; John Careddu, retail banking regional executive, New York Community Bank; Don Cato, Co-Director & Programmer, Queens World Film Festival;  Sam Chang, chair, McSam Hotel Group; Dr. Michel Cohen, founder, Tribeca Pediatrics; Brother Leonard Conway, principal, St. Francis Prep; Michael Davidov, attorney, Davidov Law Group, PC; Jack Friedman, executive director, Queens Chamber of Commerce; Carl Goodman, executive director, Museum of Moving Image; Paul Goodman, CEO, NY Waterway; Kirk Haltaufderhyde, 2011 Graduate of York College/2012 National Science Foundation Graduate Research; Dr. Gerard McNeil, associate professor of Biology, York College; Alan Kaufman, CEO, Melrose Credit Union; Mortimer A. Lawrence, Esq, The Lawrence Law Group, LLC; Dr.  Adam Lublin, Co owner, Dynamic Dental; Douglas MacLaury, SVP of real estate development, Mattone Group; Hossam Abdel Maksoud, Founder & Chief Executive, Maksoud Pharm, Inc.; Eric S. Martinez, JD, CPA, audit partner, Grassi & Co; Richard Mazda, founding artistic director, The Secret Theatre; John A. Messer, VP/counsel, DC Solar Solutions; Vincent Riso, managing member, The Briarwood Organization; John E. Roe, Sr., chair of the board of Flushing Financial; Hal Rosenbluth, president, Kaufman Astoria Studios; Frank Russo, owner, Russo’s on the Bay; Edward Sadowsky, Trustee, Queens Library; George Schmidt, president, Eastern American Data Voice; John Venaziano, General Manager, Douglaston Yacht Club; Mathew Xenakis, president, Woodhaven Business Improvement District; Daniel Zausner, Chief Operating Officer, National Tennis Center

TD Bank, Delta Airlines, Flushing Bank, CUNY, Con Edison, Sandwire, Crystal Window & Doors Systems, NY Daily News, NY1, Queens County Savings Bank and Sandwire are sponsoring the event.

Reserve Your Ticket Today

$70 per person or $650 for a table of 10

You can also call 718-224-5863 x 226 or email mromero@queenscourier.com for tickets or sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities.

Take care of our trees


| brennison@queenscourier.com

As the season transitions from summer to autumn, it is very important that the Department of Parks & Recreation prune many of the trees in the city’s parks and along its streets.

While every single tree cannot be pruned, there are those that are in serious need of pruning to reduce the risk of injury to people or damage to property. Also, those trees that are dead or dying need to be removed as quickly as possible.

While the city is dealing with a fiscal crisis, it is important to maintain the trees in our parks and along our streets. There are over 1 million trees within the city and its parks, and some of them have stood for over 100 years. They give us needed shade in the summer and beautiful, colorful mosaics of changing leaves in the fall. Our evergreen trees grace us with their winter beauty when snow accumulates upon them, adding to the festive feeling of every holiday season.

Trees are our cathedrals of nature, soaring high above streets and homes. They also give off oxygen and take in carbon dioxide, which cleanses the air, and also retain soil from eroding on the sides of our roadways and hills. Let us work to maintain our trees so that they can be enjoyed by many future generations of New Yorkers.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

 

Cycle of hate


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The Muslim world is afire with outrage over images of the Prophet considered to be derogatory. Yet their outrages against other religions are despicable, horrendous, horrible and barbaric. What other religion demands killing those of different beliefs?

Worldwide Muslims number over a billion and assuredly not all are terrorists, extremists or insisting upon forcing their law on everyone. Clearly those who demand blood as the price for any insult they claim shall never accept democracy or could ever comprehend a Bill of Rights so much a foundation of liberated peoples.

The war of extremist theology against non believers is nothing new. The world has witnessed its ugliness and its cost in innocent victims for generations. The U.S. supported dictators throughout the Middle East, in large part due to the need for oil but also to suppress the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

Containment that was the byword for U.S. foreign policy used against the Soviet Union cannot work to combat this threat. Targeted killing of extremist leadership will continue but will not change the reality for ideologues who believe paradise is their reward for killing infidels.

Sadly, nothing indicates anything different can be expected. If the economics of the poor in these countries improved, ordinary people might find hope for a better future, thereby quieting the voices of extremists.

In the meantime acts of violence destroy economic investment and development insuring the cycle of poverty continues, which empowers zealots of uniformity and hate.

Edward Horn

 

Reason to Move?


| letters@queenscourier.com

“Prohibition All Over Again: Board of Health approves beverage ban” (Billy Rennison, September 21) is doomed to failure before it even starts.

New York City residents will be jealous with envy as neighbors in Nassau County, Westchester County and New Jersey down large “Big Gulps” at the numerous 7-Elevens just minutes from the city line.

The insane policies of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his “health food police” regulating consumer choice will continue driving more people into surrounding counties and states, just like they do to shop at Walmart, which is also banned in the Big Apple. Freedom loving New York City residents will join us in tasting the flavor of freedom and liberty still alive and well in Nassau County.

Larry Penner

Great Neck

 

Duly noted!


| letters@queenscourier.com

Greetings to The Queens Courier team, just wanted to check in and say we enjoyed your Best of the Boro spread, and plan on trying out the Agra Indian restaurant at some point soon.

Our only concern is that there is no “vegetarian” category in the restaurant listings. Millions of people are now transitioning toward vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian food choices, for many very important reasons, and we ask that you please consider including that option during the next round of voting.

There appears to be an empty space below the “Thai” category, which would position it perfectly alphabetically.
The Winton family

Whitestone

Queens Courier to present Power Breakfast


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Queens, particularly Long Island City, could be the “Silicon Valley of the East.”

With this in mind, The Queens Courier, together with TD Bank, will present “The Future of LIC: How the tech boom will affect you & your business!,” a power breakfast networking event on Thursday, October 11.

The event will be led by Seth Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYEDC) since 2008. Under his leadership, the NYEDC is helping local industries transition into the 21st century and investing in development and infrastructure.

The breakfast will also feature Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and State Senator Michael Gianaris, and a panel of guest speakers that includes Gayle Baron, president of LIC Partnership; Jukay Hsu, founder of Coalition for Queens; Carol Conslato, public affairs director of Con Edison and president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce; Greg Pass of Cornell Tech; Andrew Kirby, president of Plaxall; Elias Roman, CEO of Songza Media; and Elliot Park of Shine Electronics.

The speakers will each give a unique view point on what a tech boom signifies for Long Island City, which will be just a short train ride away from the Technion-Cornell applied science campus.

It’s estimated that thousands of more tech jobs will grow out of the school in the future and many of them will be in Queens.

Additionally, a recently announced initiative will provide for more tech educational opportunities in the borough and could lead to even more startups in Queens.

Don’t miss your chance to attend this informative discussion. “The Future of LIC” will be held at Water’s Edge Restaurant, 44th Drive at East River, Long Island City. Networking starts at 9 a.m. and breakfast at 10 a.m. For registration and ticket information, visit www.queenscourier.com/events or call 718-224-5863, ext. 226.

Weekend roundup


| mchan@queenscourier.com

The-Afternoon-Roundup2

Brooklyn, Queens Locals Clean Up Damage From Two Tornadoes

Cleanup efforts continue in Brooklyn and Queens after tornadoes roared through parts of both boroughs yesterday morning, but residents are relieved to know that no one was reported injured by the twisters. Read more: NY1

 

Queens teen calls cops, then her brother is found stabbed to death

“If you don’t get here fast, I’m going to kill this guy!”A distraught Queens teenager made that warning to a 911 operator moments before allegedly stabbing her brother to death in a clash over a cellphone, sources told The Post yesterday.

Neighbors could hear screams from inside the first-floor Woodhaven apartment during a fight between Yocairis Diaz, 18, and Frank Fortuna, 20, at about 5:25 p.m. Friday. Read more: New York Post

Queens parkour virtuoso stars in short film

Keith Horan has a serious addiction — and his enabler is the landscape of New York City.

The 27-year-old from Rockaway is a plumber by trade but his passion is parkour, which uses everything from walls to train trestles for a form of urban gymnastics. Read more: Daily News

 

Bigger is better: Forest Hills High School bucks trend

For years, school overcrowding has been an issue, leading to the development of smaller, more specialized facilities in New York City.

But Forest Hills High School, a massive, 75-year-old institution on a bucolic city block in Queens, is bucking the downsizing trend and proving that large schools can function just as well as its smaller counterparts. Read more: Daily News

 

Thug wanted in shooting of NYPD sergeant is also suspected for Queens murder

A career criminal being sought for shooting an NYPD sergeant in Queens last month is also wanted for a murder in June, the Daily News has learned. Read more: Daily News

The sad and the ugly


| qceditorial@queenscourier.com

THE SAD . . .

We at The Queens Courier extend our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of William Bateman, a local homeless man found dead just steps from the Bayside LIRR station.

The loss of a loved one is undoubtedly very difficult, and losing someone who was so well-liked in the community is truly sad.

One Queens Courier reader wrote that he “saw Bill every day on the way to work. [He] seemed to be a man with pride who never asked for anything.”

But maybe he needed help. Perhaps the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) could have stepped in and offered resources.

After all, there are many factors that might lead to homelessness, and sometimes people are just too afraid to ask for help.

We agree with our reader, who eloquently pointed out, “[It’s] sad that that richest country in the world neglects those who are left behind, for whatever reason they are out there.”

In Bayside, there is another well-known homeless man, often seen along Bell Boulevard.

Perhaps he could use some help.

With the economy the way it is, it is incumbent on DHS to do as much as possible to help those in need.

THE UGLY

Four words: State Senator Shirley Huntley.

The politician, who is currently seeking re-election, turned herself in to the state attorney general’s regional office in Mineola, as she is being investigated for state funds sent to non-profit organizations.

What we find odd is the fact that Huntley is making a circus of her ignominy.

She hosted a press conference on Saturday, August 25, at which she announced that she would be taken into custody, and, upon her arrest, she said she was not worried about the charges and she would be cleared.

“I am not concerned,” she said. “Whatever will be, will be.”

What is truly ugly is abuse of power – politicians are meant to be bastions of justice for the little guy, the voice of the people.

When those people are struggling to make ends meet, allegations that funds were funneled are downright disheartening. We put our trust in these people, we elect them to be our leaders.

In this election year, we say they should start acting like it.