Tag Archives: thanksgiving

$6K reward offered for info on shooting of pregnant woman in LeFrak City


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Instead of coming together with his family to celebrate Thanksgiving, Joseph Massey had to spend his holiday trying to figure out a way to tell his four children that their mother would never be coming home.

Massey’s wife, 27-year-old Brandee Anastasia Massey, was gunned down outside of her apartment at LeFrak City at 98-15 Horace Harding Expwy. in Corona on Wednesday morning, police said. She was about six months pregnant and had been returning from dropping three of her four kids off at school, according to authorities.

The stay at home mom was shot in the chest and arm and taken to Elmhurst Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Doctors were able to deliver her baby, however several hours later the child died, according to police.

Now, hoping to develop leads in the murder investigation, state Sen. Jose Peralta and the LeFrak City Organization are each offering $2,000, in addition to the NYPD’s initial $2,000 reward, for any information leading to the arrest of Brandee’s killer.

“As this community mourns a horrific tragedy, we come together to provide however much support and comfort we can to a grieving husband and devastated family,” Peralta said. “But the most important thing we can do for them right now is to help police and law enforcement bring Brandee’s killer to justice and make whoever is responsible pay for this brutal crime.”

Brandee Anastasia Massey (Photo via Facebook)

Brandee Anastasia Massey (Photo via Facebook)

 

Since the shooting, Joseph Massey and his four children, who have not been able to return back to their home in Lefrak City, have been staying at a hotel. Peralta and Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras have helped the family with expenses.

After seeing Massey Thursday night, Peralta said the father is very distraught and just wants justice for his family and children.

“All he said was ‘I don’t know how to explain it to my children,’” Peralta added.

Peralta will also be creating a fund in the upcoming days to help provide for the education of Massey’s four children.

Norma Cooksey, 77, who lived in LeFrak City for 40 years, was friends with Brandee’s grandmother and said she was shocked when she heard the news.

“She grew up in front of me. She was a nice person,” Cooksey said.

Residents of LeFrak City, which is currently undergoing renovations and improvements, say they are concerned with their safety. The building where Brandee lived currently has no cameras and residents said the front door to enter the building remains unlocked.

“We have to really beef up security. Do we have adequate security here at LeFrak? In my opinion, absolutely not,” said Jim Galloway, coordinator for the Lefrak City Tenant’s League. “After this we need cameras on all the floors as quickly as possible. So if anybody comes in to LeFrak to do something irregular at least we can see them through any camera.”

Police Commissioner William Bratton said Thursday the shooting appears to have been a domestic dispute involving the victim’s uncle and police are looking to question to him, according to published reports.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Black Friday and Small Business Saturday deals in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Asha Mahadevan

BY PAULINA TAM AND ASHA MAHADEVAN

A diamond ring, inexpensive designer bags and discounted flat-screen TVs are just some of the goods shoppers can expect to find in Queens on Black Friday and throughout Thanksgiving weekend.

Michael Kors is offering a 50 percent discount on their bags, Macy’s is selling a $1,300 diamond ring for $499 and Atlas Park shops are distributing free gifts.

Local shops are also jumping into the festivities on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 29) with shop owners offering massive discounts to encourage shoppers to go local.

We rounded up some of the best deals available:

Buy one full-priced item at Banana Republic at the Queens Center Mall at 90-15 Queens Blvd. until 1 p.m. on Black Friday and take 40 percent off all of your purchases all day. Take 50 percent off your entire purchase on Thanksgiving and Black Friday at the Gap in QCM and 40 percent off your entire purchase on Nov. 29. Craving that special Michael Kors bag all season? If you go to their boutique at QCM, take 50 percent off select styles and an additional 25 percent off all sale merchandise until 10 a.m. on Friday. Go on www.shopqueenscenter.com for a full listing of participating retailers.

Famed retailer Macy’s is also hosting a great Black Friday sale. The retailer at QCM is offering deals on all their departments. Purchase a three-stone diamond ring in 14-karat white gold that is regularly priced at $1,300 for $499. Save 60 percent off select designer coats from the women’s department. Take $100-150 off select Dyson vacuums. For kids, save 60 percent off select Carter’s playwear.

Do you have a craving for electronics and other select goodies that you cannot find at the malls? Target at 88-01 Queens Blvd. is offering door busters on their HDTVs. Save $302 on a 60-inch Samsung 1080 pixel Smart LED television. Receive a free Target gift card when you purchase any iPad mini or iPad Air. How about that GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition? Only $249.99 with a gift card offer. Visit www.target.com to view their Black Friday weekly ads and start purchasing now. Other electronic giants like Costco at 3250 Vernon Blvd. offer $130 instant savings off a Nikon L830 Digital Camera. Save $150 on a HP Envy 15.6 inch TouchSmart laptop with Beats Audio.

Other centers like the Shops at Atlas Park at 8000 Cooper Ave. will distribute a free gift to the first 250 shoppers who arrive at the Atlas Park holiday table. Retailers within Atlas Park will open, the earliest by Toys R Us at 6 a.m. and the latest, J.Jill and Laila Rowe, at 10 a.m. Visit www.shopatlaspark.com/events/BlackFriday_2014 for a complete viewing of retailers and their hours.

The Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District is having a free kick-off party from noon to 1 p.m. at Bliss Plaza on 46th Street and Queens Boulevard. Rachel Thieme, executive director of the BID, said that the organization is participating in Small Business Saturday because “the event raises our profile and we want to draw attention to the district.” She added, “We are also distributing the Shop Local Holiday Gift Guide featuring 22 shops in Sunnyside.”

Czarinna Andres, a board member of the BID and owner of Bing’s Hallmark at 45-15 Greenpoint Ave. in Sunnyside, said her store is offering quite a few special deals, such as free gifts with any $50 or $100 purchase.

“We have a lot of specially priced items exclusive for that weekend including all our boxed cards and gift ornaments at buy one, get the second 50 percent off,” Andres said. “We will also be offering free gift wrapping for any gift item purchased in-store.”

It’s a special day for Megan Siefert, manager of Demi Hair Salon at 4701 Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside because it is a way for the neighborhood “to get to know about our salon and products.”

“People go to CVS or Rite Aid for hair products because they think it is cheaper but sometimes, it is actually not,” she said. “The other plus of buying a product at our salon is that you can speak to a professional and get a product that’s right for your hair.” She is offering 20 percent off all services on that day, if clients mention the deal while making an appointment.

The Brass Owl, a boutique specializing in shoes, accessories and gifts at 3619 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, is pulling out all the stops: owner Nicole Panettieri said that she is offering special deals, free gifts and “refreshments throughout the day.”

Robert Briskin, owner of Alicia’s Jewelers in the Bay Terrace Shopping Center, said some of the best holiday deals are at smaller shops like his.

“Small businesses suffer on Black Fridays because of the deals shoppers get in big box stores,” Briskin said. “On Saturdays, they come to their senses and realize that they can get better deals in smaller shops. We have low prices every day but on Small Business Saturday, we are offering 50 percent off on certain brands of watches such as Ebel, TechnoMarine and Bedat, among others.”

According to Rob MacKay, director of public relations, marketing and tourism, Queens Economic Development Corporation, “shop locally” is a very important concept.

“Local store owners are often extremely involved in their communities and invested in the success of their communities,” he said. “They tend to hire local people, support little leagues, organize cleanups, invest in improvements and even shop in the area themselves. They also pay taxes that municipalities need to provide services.”

Shopping locally is also a greener way to shop, he said. “You travel less when you go to the local store and burn less gas and waste less time.” Healthy stores attract other healthy stores, which is good for any neighborhood, he said.

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MTA service for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

From Wednesday, Nov. 26, through Sunday, Nov. 30, the MTA will operate on special schedules because of Thanksgiving weekend travel demands, according to the transit agency.

New York City subways and buses

New York City subways and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day. The closest subway stations to the start of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are the 1 at 79 St and the C at 81 St. There will be additional service on the S 42nd St Shuttle as well as increased early morning service on the 1 line. A number of bus routes will be impacted by the parade, and details will be provided at www.mta.info under “Service Status.” On Black Friday, Nov. 28, service will operate on a weekday schedule with some exceptions listed at mta.info.

Long Island Rail Road

On Wednesday, Nov. 26, the LIRR will operate nine extra afternoon eastbound trains from Penn Station. On Thanksgiving Day, there are extra trains to take riders to and from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

On Black Friday, Nov. 28, the LIRR will run on a regular weekday schedule, but tickets will be sold at the lower, off-peak fares.

There will be extra trains on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 29-30 as well.

For more information, click here.

Metro-North Railroad

On Wednesday, Nov. 26, 22 early getaway trains depart Grand Central between 1 and 4 p.m. and early getaway trains will operate on both the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines. On Thanksgiving, there are extra inbound trains for those heading to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

On Friday, Nov. 28, Black Friday, the Metro-North will operate on a Saturday schedule with additional inbound trains in the morning and outbound trains in the afternoon.

On Saturday, Nov. 29, and Sunday, Nov. 30, there will be regular weekend schedules with the usual Shoppers’ Specials trains, 13 on Saturday and four on Sunday.

A special printed Thanksgiving holiday timetable covers Thursday, Nov. 27, through Sunday, Nov. 30.

For more information, click here.

Staten Island Railway

Staten Island Railway customers looking to get a head start on the Thanksgiving Day holiday will be able to catch earlier afternoon express train service on Wednesday, Nov. 26, with MTA Staten Island Railway’s Early Departure Getaway schedule. Extra SIR trains will be added earlier in the afternoon beginning at 2:30 p.m. from the St. George Ferry Terminal. There will be one express train and one local train awaiting every boat until 7:50 p.m. On Thanksgiving Day, SIR will operate on a Saturday schedule.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Routine maintenance and temporary construction work at all MTA Bridges and Tunnels crossings will be suspended beginning 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26, through early morning on Monday, Dec. 1.

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Street Talk: What are your plans for Thanksgiving?


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

street talk

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Vartanoush Krastev

“I will spend it with my extended family. My son and I will be visiting his wife’s family. I won’t be cooking; [I] will do that for Christmas.”
Vartanoush Krastev

Nijah Taylor

“I will go with my family to my aunt’s house in Montgomery. She is having a family get-together. We’ll be eating ribs, lasagna, rice, ham and turkey, play music and just have fun.”
Nijah Taylor

Lourdes Aguilar

“My sister and I will go to our parents’ house for Thanksgiving. My dad will cook and we’ll bring wine.”
Lourdes Aguilar

Bit Chang

“We’ll just have a nice family gathering. I’ll help with the cooking.”
Bit Chang

Joseph McAteer

“Nothing special. I’ll go to church in the morning, watch ballgames and eat turkey.”
Joseph McAteer

Nicole Kopczynska

“I’ll go to my parents’ house in Howard Beach. I won’t be cooking, I’ll just eat what they cook.”
Nicole Kopczynska

Jeffrey Cabreja

“I am going to spend the day with my girlfriend. We’ll go to her parents’ house first and then go to my dad’s house in New Jersey.”
Jeffrey Cabreja

Jorge Chavez

“I’ll be working two jobs that day. I’ll miss out on being with family.”
Jorge Chavez

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Snow threatens Thanksgiving travel


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated 5:01 p.m.

A winter storm is set to arrive just in time for the Thanksgiving rush.

The storm could bring 3 to 5 inches of snow to the city and is expected to impact holiday travel, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter storm advisory is in effect for the city from 7 a.m. Wednesday until 1 a.m. Thursday. The city’s Department of Sanitation has issued a snow alert for Wednesday, starting at 7 a.m. To track the progress of DSNY clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

The New York City Office of Emergency Management also issued a hazardous travel advisory for Wednesday.

After a spring-like Monday, Wednesday daytime temperatures will be in the 30s and rain starting that morning will change to snow.

A mixture of rain and snow will begin about 10 a.m. Wednesday and transition to only snow by the early afternoon. The snow will continue falling, along with the temperatures, until Wednesday night. Winds will be breezy at up to 22 mph.

By Thanksgiving, the snow will be gone, but cold temperatures will impact Black Friday shoppers on Thursday night and the following day, with lows around 30 and highs in the mid 30s.

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Thanksgiving food drive benefits veterans in Queens


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilman Eric Ulrich's office

Elected officials and veteran organizations are giving thanks this Thanksgiving by serving those who have served the country.

In Queens, Councilman Eric Ulrich, chair of the veterans committee, opened his doors to collect goods for a food drive for veterans that has been taking place citywide since Nov. 10.

The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #32, located in Whitestone, joined the councilman in helping those less fortunate who’ve served the country. They have donated hundreds of dollars’ worth of food to the drive and have done their own collection for veteran food pantries and kitchens.

“If you served our country in any shape or form and need help we want to do so,” said Paul Narson, president of the chapter.

All of the food that has been collected by the chapter will be given to Ulrich to then distribute as part of the food drive. Most of the food collected by the organization has been donated from its 252 members in Queens, said Narson.

Moreover, the chapter has also donated 16 turkeys to food pantries around Middle Village and Glendale.

It’s the least they can do for those brave men and women who sacrifice their lives to protect America’s freedom, noted Narson, who has been a member of the chapter for 25 years.

“We try to do all sorts of things for veterans,” he said. “We help out whenever we can.”

Close to 30 percent of New York City’s veterans and their families rely on emergency food to get by, according to the New York City Food Bank.

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Six ways to give back to Queens for Thanksgiving


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

ShelterMealHC1311_X_300_C_Y

BY PAULINA TAM

What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? Is it a roof over your head or daily hot meals? Use the Nov. 27 festivities to lend a helping hand by giving back to the community. Listed below are volunteer opportunities where you can participate.

1. The Daily News and City Harvest are collaborating this holiday season from Oct. 21 to Jan. 16 to collect nonperishable food and keep the local food pantries’ cupboards filled in their “Daily News Food Drive.” Their goal for this season is to raise 1 million pounds of food. Queens drop-off locations include the Steinway Goodwill Store at 32-36 Steinway St. and the Van Dam Outlet at 47-47 Van Dam St. Visit www.cityharvest.org/dailynews to find out more Queens locations.

2. Although volunteer opportunities by Food Bank NYC and New York Cares for the holiday season fill up fast, there are always vacant but competitive positions still up for grabs. Prepare dinner at a local pantry or go on food deliveries throughout Queens. Events are updated daily. Register on www.foodbanknyc.org or www.newyorkcares.org now to secure your holiday volunteer placement. Please note New York Cares does require new registrants to attend a one-hour orientation.

3. The New York City Department of Education annually partners up with Citymeals-on-Wheels for their handmade greeting cards. Schoolchildren are invited to break out their crayons and markers and craft a greeting card that will be handed out alongside a free meal for those homebound during the holiday season. In 2012 alone, 57,187 handmade holiday cards designed by children in private and public schools were distributed. Visit www.citymeals.org/food-for-thought/handmade-greeting-cards to learn more.

4. Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens have various ongoing food pantries happening in churches in Queens. Some of the churches include Our Lady of the Angelus at Rego Park and St. Rose of Lima at Far Rockaway. Pantry times and dates vary. Visit www.ccbq.org/what-we-do/parish-community-services to contact a church near to you to assist with any food distribution. Last year, over one million meals were handed out to over 115,000 people throughout Brooklyn and Queens.

5. Have a gently used coat that you no longer need that is just sitting in your closet? The 26th Annual New York Cares Coat Drive is kicking off on Nov. 17. Call your local Queens Library branch, NYPD and FDNY precincts to see if they are participating in the drive, and drop off a coat to help those in need keep warm this holiday season.

6. Nonprofit soup kitchen and food pantry Masbia of Rego Park will be handing out food to the hungry on Thanksgiving during their regular hours. Dining hours will be from 3 to 7:30 p.m. and the food pantry will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Packages of free food will be made available to guests after they are done with their hot meal during dinner service. Masbia is located at 98-08 Queens Blvd.

Visit www.foodpantries.org/ci/ny-queens or www.homelessshelterdirectory.org for a full listing of food pantries, soup kitchens and food banks active during Thanksgiving in Queens where you can volunteer and donate nonperishable food items. Pantry and kitchen times and dates vary. Call individual locations to find out appropriate times to line up for first-come, first-served food distribution.

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Queens Center to open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

BY MICHAEL SHAIN

No time for a second piece of pie at Thanksgiving this year.

For the first time, Queens Center is going to open at 6 p.m. the night of Thanksgiving, following a trend to start Black Friday earlier every year.

The move is prompted by the announcement this week that JCPenney and Macy’s are joining stores like Kmart and Walmart in being open on Thanksgiving night — getting a six-hour jump on the competition to start their first, big holiday sales.

“We always opened at midnight” for those stores that wanted to get the bargain rush going in the first hours of Black Friday, said John Scaturro, head of marketing for the Elmhurst mall. “But with stores like Sears opening early, now the big players are following suit.”

And since the two biggest stores in the mall are opening early, the owner of the mall, Macerich Co., has offered the chance to all the stores in the mall to open at 6 p.m. too.

“We project that 70 to 80 percent of our stores will elect to open Thanksgiving night,” Scaturro said. “Nobody is going to want to be closed in those first few hours.”

In the retail trade, the trend is being called “Black Friday creep,” a process that began more than a decade ago when big-box stores tested the idea of boosting sales by offering extraordinary bargains to die-hard shoppers willing to come to the stores at midnight.

Black Friday is the term used by retailers for the day after Thanksgiving — when people are off from work and the holiday shopping season officially began (and merchants could count on ending the day in the black).

But what started out as an experiment has taken off. Retailers — who have a bunch of bad years since economic crisis of 2007-8 — discovered shoppers have had enough football and family by nightfall on Thanksgiving and are itching to get out of the house.

“People always seem to be in very good spirits when they shop on those days. The truth is that, on Black Friday, we notice a lot of folks shopping for themselves — not for Christmas especially,” Scaturro said.

“Fall and winter clothes are the big items,” he said. “Shoe stores do very well on those days — and shoes are not something people buy for holiday shopping.”

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Middle Village scout troop needs members


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Charles Krzewski

The St. Margaret’s Boy Scout Troop 119 of Middle Village was once a bustling group filled with dozens of youngsters eager to learn about the outdoors.

But membership in the nearly 70-year-old troop has declined after years of competing for attention with computers, video games and now, mobile devices.

About two decades ago there were more than 35 members, but now with just 14 scouts, the group is seeking new members to teach the importance of nature and charity.

“Outdoor skills are very important,” said Charles Krzewski, the troop committee chair. “If they don’t learn this stuff they’re never going to have an appreciation for the outdoors. And you don’t want people going out to wreck it.”

The boy scout troop teaches boys from ages 10 to 18 how to start fires and build camps. They go on hiking and camping trips upstate and in New Jersey, Staten Island and Pennsylvania.

The troop also teaches the boys sports such as basketball, dodgeball, skiing, fishing, rafting, canoeing and rock climbing, among others.

But, in addition to the fun, the scouting group focuses on charity. They paint over graffiti and do community clean-up. Recently, the scouts also collected pies, snacks, canned food and turkeys, and donated them to local disadvantaged families for Thanksgiving.

Following the holidays, the scouts will collect food to donate to St. Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church in Middle Village, which will give it to people in need.

“Today’s kids are all concerned about self,” Krzewski said. “We want to have a good time, but we stress ‘you must give back.’ It lets them know that there is more out there than just themselves.”

Krzewski asks parents interested in signing their children up for the Scout Troop 119 to contact him at 718-894-4099.

 

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MTA service for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

From Wednesday, November 27, through Sunday, December 1 the MTA will operate on special schedules because of Thanksgiving weekend travel demands, according to the transit agency.

New York City Subways and Buses

New York City subways and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day. The closest subway stations to the start of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are the 1 at 79th Street and the C at 81st Street. There will be additional service on the 42nd Street Shuttle as well as increased early morning service on the 1 line. A number of bus routes will be impacted by the parade, and details will be provided at www.mta.info under “Service Status.” On Friday, November 29, service will operate on a weekday schedule with some exceptions listed at mta.info.

Long Island Rail Road

The Long Island Rail Road will provide extra trains on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 27, with extra afternoon eastbound trains to handle the expected getaway day rush home. On Thanksgiving Day, there are extra trains to get riders to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and extra trains them from the event. On Friday, November 29, there will be a regular weekday schedule with off-peak fares. There will be extra trains on Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1.

For more information, please click here.

Metro-North Railroad

Off-peak fares will be valid throughout the entire four-day period, and train schedules are adjusted to better serve more customers. On Wednesday, November 27, Metro-North will operate 20 extra afternoon trains departing Grand Central between noon and 4:10 p.m.

On Thanksgiving Day, Metro-North will provide additional inbound morning service for customers going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There is also expanded outbound service starting in the late morning and continuing until mid-afternoon for customers traveling to suburban destinations. There is expanded evening service for customers returning to New York City.

On the day after Thanksgiving, Metro-North will run fewer morning rush hour trains but more midday trains. Regular Saturday and Sunday schedules are in effect with extra trains on November 30 and December 1.

For more information, please click here.

Staten Island Railway

On  Wednesday, November 27 there will be extra trains added earlier in the afternoon beginning at 2:31 p.m. from the St. George Ferry Terminal. There will be one express train and one local train awaiting every boat until 7:50 p.m.

On Thanksgiving Day, November 22, SIR will operate a Saturday schedule, while on Friday, trains will run on a regular weekday schedule.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Routine maintenance and temporary construction work at all MTA Bridges and Tunnels crossings will be suspended beginning noon on Wednesday, November 27, through early Monday morning, December 2.

For more information, please click here.

 

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Middle Village man seeks home to donate his ducks


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

One man wants to donate his birds, but won’t let them be sitting ducks for Thanksgiving.

Middle Village native Frank Garet, who saved three ducks from possibly being the centerpiece of a dinner table last year, is now looking for a permanent home for the birds.

He believes the ducks deserve to return to nature, so he is considering a wildlife sanctuary upstate, but Garet is also talking with possible pet owners.

“I really hate to give them up, but they need a natural environment,” Garet said. “They are like my boys, but I think they deserve a beautiful pond.”

Since he found them, the birds have been in a pen at the Maspeth car dealership that Garet co-owns, Garet Motors on Flushing Avenue.

Garet said a woman had bought the ducks along with some chickens from a Flushing poultry market last year. But, when the box holding the birds broke and the animals started running around freely the woman collected the chickens, and left the ducks in the street.

Garet decided to rescue the young ducks because of a lesson his grandfather, who owned a hot dog truck, taught him early on.

His grandfather used to tell him to feed hungry birds that would gather near the vending truck. When he did, dozens of customers would suddenly appear to buy hot dogs.

“‘If the birds don’t eat, you don’t eat,’” Garet recalled his grandfather saying. “I fed the birds and cars never stopped coming.”
Since then, Garet has had a soft spot for the birds. He feeds corn and berries to his three feathered friends — Huey, Dewey and Louie — every day. But after a year, he said they have become too big.

Garet wants to find a home for them and is listening to anyone interested. However, he won’t donate them to someone until after Thanksgiving, “so they don’t kill them or sell them” and will take care of them “until the end of their natural lives,” Garet said.

“They are tame and friendly. They are healthy ducks and they deserve a good home,” he said.

Anyone interested in taking care of the ducks is encouraged to call Frank Garet at 718-371-1261.

 

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Donations help thousands have a happy Thanksgiving


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Thanksgiving had a new meaning this year for thousands of Sandy victims throughout New York, who received Thanksgiving dinner donations at the request of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Boxes filled with cranberry sauce, vegetables, stuffing, gravy and other Thanksgiving dishes, along with thousands of turkeys, were delivered to New Yorkers affected by the storm.

On Wednesday, November 21, the day before Thanksgiving, the Korean Senior Center in Flushing was one of the many sites across New York that received the generous donation.

Austin Shafran, vice president of public affairs for the Empire State Development, attended the lunch and helped prepare the meal.

Cuomo deployed agency commissioners and senior staff, such as Shafran, to help with the Thanksgiving donations, volunteer and serve at centers across the city.

“This Thanksgiving, we wanted to ensure that New Yorkers impacted by the storm can still celebrate the holiday with their loved ones,” said Cuomo.

At the Korean Senior Center, over 600 hungry people were served.

Statewide, roughly 4,000 dinner boxes and turkeys were distributed to different disaster-stricken areas, all donated by Costco, Delta, ShopRite and Walmart. They were packed and delivered by the National Guard, and brought to different centers in Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Westchester County and Long Island.

“The generous contributions . . . made [Thanksgiving] possible for families in the hardest hit communities in the state. I thank our corporate partners for their continuing assistance which will provide the invaluable comfort of a Thanksgiving dinner to thousands of New Yorkers,” said Cuomo.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 58. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon. Friday night: A slight chance of showers between 9pm and midnight. Cloudy, then gradual clearing toward daybreak, with a low around 40.

EVENT of the DAY: Improvius Maximus

Some of the best improv teams, from all corners of the land, gather to compete for Emperor Nero’s pleasure and yours in acclaimed comedy group Face Off Unlimited’s newest show. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Couple offers Ohio home rent-free to Superstorm Sandy victims

A warm-hearted Midwestern couple is offering free rent on an empty four-bedroom house — the only catch is that the tenants must have lost just about everything in Superstorm Sandy. Lauri Weinfeld, 56, and her husband Irwin Weinfeld, 69, are donating their rental house, in Perry Township, Ohio, to storm victims for four months free. Tenants will be responsible for their own utilities. Read more: Daily News

City Harvest salvages food from eateries to deliver to local storm victims

Members of the food rescue group City Harvest picked up meals donated from local restaurants and kitchens and delivered them throughout areas of Queens, Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan that were greatly affected by Hurricane Sandy ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday Wednesday. Read more: NY1

Driver killed after crash on Queens highway

A motorist was killed this morning after crashing on a Queens highway, police said. The 53-year-old victim was driving his 2011 Honda Accord eastbound on the Grand Central Parkway, near the Jackie Robinson Parkway interchange in Forest Hills, when he lost control and slammed into a median at around 3:20 a.m., police added. Read more: NY Post

Internal emails offer details on Osama Bin Laden’s burial

After his dramatic death at the hands of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six, Osama bin Laden’s last rites were kept so covert his corpse was referred to as “the package” and no sailors watched the burial at sea. Read more: Daily News

City outreach efforts abound this Thanksgiving

With so many New Yorkers still struggling to recover from Sandy, the city and other volunteer groups are trying to give them something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office said more than 26,000 Thanksgiving meals were expected to be handed out Thursday. Read more: NY1

Cops investigating whether Holy Cross HS coach had inappropriate contact with students he ‘watched shower’

The NYPD is investigating whether the hoops coach at Holy Cross HS in Queens had any inappropriate contact with the students he’s accused of watching take showers, law-enforcement sources told The Post yesterday. Read more: NY Post

Burglary is crime du jour post-Sandy, stats show

Some of the most cold-hearted locals saw a storm-torn Rockaway peninsula as the location for the perfect heist. Police are waging an offensive against brazen looters and dishonest tow-truck drivers in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, NYPD officials said. Read more: Daily News

Mother & son busted with illegal cigarettes & $132,000 in cash

A Queens mother and her son were arrested with 677 cartons of illegal Asian cigarettes and $132,000 in cash, authorities announced today. Ying-Jian Lin, 48, and Xiao Lin, 23, face up to four years in prison for peddling the shady smokes, which are untaxed and don’t carry the required surgeon general warnings, according to a Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Read more: NY Post

 

Shoppers line up for savings on Black Friday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

Fighting off the tryptophan, shoppers made their way out after Thanksgiving dinner eschewing sleep and leftovers for some early morning shopping.

Nearly 150 million people were expected to take advantage of Black Friday sales throughout the country this weekend, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey.

For some, Black Friday has become a tradition with Thanksgiving dinner providing the necessary energy for the shopping spectacle waiting the next morning.

“You eat, relax a little and then you’re ready to shop,” said Marilyn Bloom as she waited online outside Macy’s in Queens Center.

An estimated $586.1 billion will be spent during the holiday season, according to the NRF, a 4.1 percent increase from last year.

“Though the Black Friday tradition is here to stay, there’s no question that it has changed in recent years; already there is a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation surrounding retailers’ Thanksgiving and Black Friday promotions,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Many shoppers have begun to skip the long lines of Black Friday, instead opting for the ease of buying online on Cyber Monday. For others, the yearly practice of lining up the night of Thanksgiving has become a tradition.

“I do this every year. I prepare, check the deals and know exactly what I want. That’s how you have to do it, or you’ll be lost,” said Gabrielle Gandy, 37.

While Black Friday has begun to creep deeper into Thanksgiving – some national chains opened as early as 8 p.m. on Thursday – most stores in Queens Center waited for the stroke of midnight before opening their doors.

A DJ spinning records on the bottom floor provided the soundtrack to the party-like atmosphere in the Queens mall.

Z100’s Skeery Jones was also on hand giving customers a chance to win gift cards to the mall through a bevy of games.

As midnight approached, a New Year’s Eve like anticipation built outside Macy’s, which had the mall’s longest line, with customers even counting down the time until the doors would open.

“You have to get in there fast, but you don’t want to get stepped on,” said Erick Cruz as midnight approached.

Once crowded hallways emptied as shoppers flooded into stores as soon as the gates rose.

While some shops had hundreds of people lined up waiting to get in, others had none allowing shoppers to stock up on savings while avoiding the waiting and the crowds.

“It’s kind of crazy not to come. You’re paying less and there’s not even a line,” said Vic Calderon at Banana Republic, which no lines, but was offering 40 percent off.

A couple of blocks west at Queens Place, buyers looking to stock up on gadgets lined up outside the mall’s Best Buy hoping to score the hundreds of dollars of savings the electronics megastore was offering on televisions, computers and phones.

A floor up at Target, customers poured in at 9 p.m. to stock up on clothing, electronics and appliances.

Wielding multiple bags in each hand, Rachel Morales, 36, said however crazy it may get on Black Friday, the crowds are well worth it.

“I’m done Christmas shopping. Maybe just a couple of more small things,” she said. “Wait to the weekend before Christmas and then you’ll see craziness.”

Cuomo visits Breezy Point, promises community will come back stronger


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thanksgiving Eve visited first responders and Breezy Point residents and promised them that, despite the current turmoil, the entire New York community would be rebuilt and stronger in a year’s time.

“Today you see a day of damage, but you come back here in a year from now and you will see a community that is rebuilt better than before and a community that is stronger than it was before,” he said. “Because that’s what Breezy Point is all about and that’s what New York is all about, and I’m proud to be part of it.”

The governor, surrounded by state and federal officials who represent the area, called the collaboration between communities in the Rockaways, and the state as a whole was touching and something he was proud to be a part of. The small signs of recovery already showing in Breezy Point, Cuomo said, were inspiring and a good sign for the future.

“This is a special community, Breezy Point, and this is really devastating damage,” he said, “but you know it’s also a metaphor for what this is really a metaphor for what this is all about: it’s a very strong community, and they’re rebuilding and you see progress already. And it’s a heartwarming story around Thanksgiving the way people have come together, the way New Yorkers have come together, and the way the spirit of the community is going to rebuild.”