Tag Archives: woodhaven

Fundraiser to help dog who was thrown from car


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Project Woodhaven

She was wrapped in a sleeping bag, thrown from a car in Glendale and left for dead.

Dasher, a young Rottweiler, had a bleak chance of survival when she was left at the intersection of Vermont and Cypress Avenue next to the Jackie Robinson Parkway on the night of Nov. 20, according to published reports.

But a quick response may have saved her life. She is currently seeking treatment at the New York City ASPCA but medical bills are racking up fast.

A firefighter at the scene decided that if Dasher survived he would adopt her.

To help the first responder pay for the medical bills, one local restaurant is holding a fundraiser on Wednesday.

Nier’s Tavern, located at 87-48 78th St. in Woodhaven, along with K9 Korral Inc. will be hosting the event from 5 to 9 p.m.

The event is called the “Let’s bring Dasher home fundraiser,” and a flyer is asking people to “Please come help this poor girl get better so she can get home.”

There will be food, raffles and entertainment throughout the night, and proceeds will help make sure Dasher finds her way home.

“We want to help get this dog a new home,” said Loycent Gordon, a firefighter and owner of Neir’s Tavern. “If we are not able to take care of pets that is a direct reflection of how we take care of each other.”

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Woodhaven building will finally be repaired 18 months after collapse


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Construction is now going full steam ahead to restore a commercial Woodhaven building that collapsed more than 18 months ago and has since been an eyesore.

The second floor front of the building, located at 78-19 Jamaica Ave., has been fully built back up and work will be “finished before the end of the year,” according to Elio Forcina, the building owner’s lawyer.

“My client is in the process of fixing the structure,” said Forcina. “It should be finished very shortly.”

The commercial building was originally occupied by a furniture store. The roof collapsed in April 2013, and the building has been vacant since. It has been a local eyesore since the collapse and was even close to being demolished in the summer.

But Forcina saved the building from being knocked down by suing the city for “arbitrary and capricious” conduct and settled on repairing it.

He now said once it is rebuilt, the building will bring pride to residents in Woodhaven.

“Once the building is completely renovated, it will be a structure the community is proud of.”

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Star of Queens: Suzanne Bettis, assistant district attorney, Iraq veteran


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

star of queens

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

BACKGROUND: Suzanne Bettis was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to the U.S. in ’97. She joined the Marine Corps when she was 17, because she wanted to be a part of something bigger than herself. She did two tours in Iraq as part of the unit that searched for and found troops who died on duty, processed their effects and sent them home to their families. She left the Marines in 2010, studied law at the New York Law School and now works in the office of Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. Since August, she has made Woodhaven her home.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: When she was a law school student, she set up an association that helped veterans and their dependents navigate the red tape of the Veterans Affairs department and get access to the benefits available to them. Now she is involved with the community falling under the 103rd Precinct. Every month, she attends the community council meeting to work closely with the community and the cops and reduce instances of gangs and gun violence. This year, she’ll be participating in the Veterans’ Day Parade.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “I feel like I am not done yet,” said Bettis. “I could go to law school because of the benefits from Veterans Affairs. That’s why when I was at school I focused on how veterans and their dependents can maximize the VA benefits. There are lots of veterans coming home now, and they should be able to use them to the best advantage. Also, many veterans can lose their benefits if they are convicted of criminal charges. At the DA’s office, we try to give them a second chance.” If they reform, for example, the charges against them are dismissed.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Getting acclimatized to being home,” said Bettis. “Military people are closed up. I am learning to interact with more people, ease myself year by year to trust people and hope they don’t look at me as a threat. There are so many misconceptions about why people join the military. We are all not killers. I just want to be understood. In the military, we don’t have the luxury of being fallible. Turning that off when you get home is tough.”

INSPIRATION: “I have a lot of people to thank,” said Bettis, “but especially those men and women we had to send back home in boxes. At 18, 19, 20, they are willing to sacrifice their lives for people they’ll never meet. Everyone I processed, searched for, dug out of still burning Humvees, are special people to put themselves in that position, knowing you’ll never get the opportunity to go to school, get married, have a family life. Their story has to live on. Every day I come to work, interact with someone, this is the community they were protecting. And I have to continue doing that.”

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Woodhaven teen earns spot on national roller derby team


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Manish Gosalia

A Woodhaven high school senior isn’t letting anything block her way to roller derby stardom.

Maureen MacIntosh, 17, was chosen as one of only 30 teenagers from the eastern half of the United States to be on the Team USA Junior Roller Derby. The selections were officially announced on Monday, along with 30 other members from the western U.S.

More than 300 skaters from all over the country competed to be on the team, which will represent the United States in international events, such as the Junior Roller Derby World Cup.

“It as an absolutely amazing feeling because it was such a great confirmation of all the hard work I’ve done all year and all season,” MacIntosh said.

The accomplishment is no surprise to MacIntosh’s mother, Nellie, who first witnessed her daughter’s love for skating at the young age of 3 on the sidewalks of Woodhaven.

When she was 8, MacIntosh started looking for recreational rinks to skate at, and learned about roller derby from one of the owners. After researching leagues, she found out about the Gotham Girls Roller Derby, the only all-female, do-it-yourself, skater-operated roller derby league in the city, where she attended some games and basic lessons for younger girls.

Out of those lessons, the Gotham Girls Junior Derby was created in May 2012, with MacIntosh as one of its founding members.

Maurs Photo

A roller derby team has five players on the track at a time — a jammer, who is trying to score points, and four blockers, who are attempting to prevent the other team’s jammer from scoring.

In addition to being a blocker, MacIntosh, who uses the derby name Hale E. Williams, inspired by the lead singer of Paramore, is also the pivot.

The pivot, who is identified by a stripe on her helmet, tries to communicate as much information as she can to the other blockers. She also acts as the jammer when needed.

MacIntosh has learned a lot from the older Gotham Girls and from the entire experience of roller derby.

The Gotham Girls Junior Derby is coached by veteran Gotham Girls players from the adult league, and practices consist of more than just skating. The girls do dynamic stretching, agility drills, running and other cardio, and exercises to make sure their muscles are strong for games.

The roller derby has given MacIntosh a love for exercise and being healthy, which has rubbed off on her whole family, according to her mother.

“To see the change in my daughter since she’s started playing has made me feel good,” she said. “To me she seems happier than prior to skating.”

MacIntosh, a student at The Mary Louis Academy, was dead-set on going away for college, but now wants to stay in New York City to continue skating with the Gotham Girls Roller Derby.

She is also determined to keep participating in the sport well into adulthood.

“I hope my body can hold out for that long because there is nothing else that I’d rather be doing.”

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New historical research group started in Woodhaven


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Woodhaven is known for its history, but there was no central repository for the trove of information about it — until now.

The Woodhaven History Research Group was recently started by Ed Wendell as part of the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society.

The new group’s mission is to perform methodical searches of archives of the neighborhood to record names, addresses and any interesting pieces of information it finds about the town into a database, something that Wendell said would connect residents to the history of Woodhaven.

“There is all this great history about Woodhaven that many of us don’t even know yet,” he said. “My hope is to build a database that will outline the hyper-local history of the neighborhood.”

Wendell came up with the idea for the research group by chance.

He was invited by a local resident to a house where the man’s parents once lived. As they were checking out some of the home’s antiques, Wendell came across a flyer from the early 1900s with a man’s name on it who had a dog training service at the time. When Wendell plugged the name into the computer, he found “an incredible amount of history on the guy.”

He then wanted to have a place where he could archive such history, which is how the group began.

Wendell found a website that has archived The Lead Observer, Woodhaven’s newspaper, dating back to the early 1900s. He said he would like to split up the members of the group by giving them specific research areas.

After the research is completed, Wendell said he hopes that all members of the group will meet up and put together the pieces of history until “the puzzle is filled.”

The first meeting will be on Oct. 28 at the Avenue Diner, located at 91-06 Jamaica Ave., at 7 p.m. Wendell encourages all those who are interested in doing some local research and even those who would just like to learn more about Woodhaven to come down.

“I want people to be interested in their hyper-local history,” Wendell said. “Once you start searching, you never know what you’re going to find.”

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Plans released for possible QueensWay


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of thequeensway.org

It’s the Queens way.

A 3.5-mile stretch of recreational, walking and biking trails is planned for central and southern Queens as part of a multi-million dollar proposal that has coined the name, QueensWay.

“This will be a wonderful park for Queens,” said Will Rogers, president of The Trust for Public Land.

The QueensWay plans, proposed by W X Y architecture + urban design, will add a mix of new recreational and cultural opportunities and nature trails for the borough, said the Friends of the QueensWay.

The path, if built, will cross through the neighborhoods of Rego Park, Forest Hills, Glendale, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and Ozone Park, affecting over 322,000 people living within a mile of it.

In the plans, there are proposed areas for ecology and education, where planners are hoping to build an outdoor classroom for children to be able to learn the biodiversity in Queens.

Also, there will be two sets of trails for bicyclist and pedestrians to ensure the safety of everyone who uses the QueensWay.

Furthermore, there are plans for basketball courts, a skate park, habitat wetlands, arts-related programs and a gateway entrance from the QueensWay to Forest Park.

“Parks are too often neglected and QueensWay would offer more access to open space and parkland,” said state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky. “Parks provide an economic benefit to local business, retail establishments and restaurants and people of all ages would be able to enjoy the recreational opportunities which this new green space would provide.”

The estimated cost for the QueensWay is $120 million and, if started, will take three to five years to build.

Although it has the backing of many elected officials and community leaders, some feel the narrow stretch of former rail line could be put to better use.

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder is a staunch advocate for the restoration of the Rockaway Beach rail line, which once ran on the property being looked at for the QueensWay. He has formed a coalition to fight to get it back.

“The QueensWay and Trust for Public Land have wasted taxpayer dollars on expensive, out-of-state consultants and one-sided studies that don’t actually represent the interests or needs of Queens’ families,” Goldfeder said. “Our growing coalition, including the MTA, will continue the fight to expand transit in Queens while easing commutes, creating jobs, cleaning the environment and expanding our economic development.”

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Historic 124-year-old Woodhaven Wyckoff Building sells for nearly $3M


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of  Nicholas Strini/ PropertyShark

Woodhaven Village relic is trading hands after its owner went bankrupt.

The historic 124-year-old Wyckoff Building, which is known for its old-style architecture,  was sold for $2,801,188, according to city records filed Wednesday.

The Ozone Realty LLC, which bought the property on the corner of 95th Avenue and 93rd Street in 2007, filed for bankruptcy last year after failing to meet the mortgage on the building, which was held by New York Community Bank, according to city records. SDF30 93-02 Ozone Park LLC is the new owner of the building, records show.

The building has six residential apartments and two commercial units throughout four floors and more than 13,000 square feet of space.

Its architecture has characteristics of Queen Anne masonry and Romanesque Revival style semi-arched windows— features found in few properties in the area.

Photo courtesy of Project Woodhaven 

Photo courtesy of Project Woodhaven

The former home of Woodhaven real estate firm Wyckoff & Co., according to published reports, it remains a representative of Woodhaven Village, although that part of the neighborhood is now Ozone Park.

The Wyckoff Building also had a Moorish style dome atop its roof as older pictures of the property show.

The building was falling apart in the 1970s but later restored, according to Project Woodhaven, a blog that chronicles the neighborhood.

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Real estate roundup: New Rego Park building rendering revealed, controversial luxury building opening in Elmhurst


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of GF55 Partners

Revealed: 65-70 Austin Street, Rego Park

“The building, designed by GF55, will fit in perfectly with the other seven-story buildings that have been erected on the south side of Austin Street over the past decade or two. The structures have been filling in a formerly industrial low-rise strip, set up against the Long Island Rail Road’s Main Line, right beside what used to be the Rego Park station, shuttered in 1962.” Read more [New York YIMBY]

Controversial High-End Building Opening as Part of Elmhurst ‘Renaissance’

“A controversial apartment building that was the subject of recent litigation is getting a luxury makeover as part of a hoped-for neighborhood “renaissance,” according to developers.” Read more [DNAinfo]

New program aims to battle the growing graffiti menace in parts of south Queens

“The residents of Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and Woodhaven are about to find out as officials kick off a new anti-graffiti program on Wednesday. For the first time, the Queens Economic Development Corp. is heading the program funded by City Councilman Eric Ulrich.” Read more [New York Daily News]

Suspect wanted in Woodhaven groping


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a suspect who allegedly followed a 52-year-old woman into her Woodhaven building and groped her.

The incident happened in the vestibule of the victim’s building just after midnight on Saturday. After following the woman, the suspect grabbed the woman’s buttocks, authorities said. The victim then screamed and the suspect fled southbound on Jamaica Avenue.

Cops have released a video of the suspect entering the building, and describe him as Hispanic and in his late teens. He was wearing a Pirates baseball hat and a black T-shirt with the number 18 on the back.

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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Video captures suspect during Woodhaven convenience store holdup  


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A man took $2,500 from a Woodhaven convenience store last week after flashing a silver handgun at an employee, according to police

The suspect entered the business, the Prime Convenience Store on Atlantic Avenue near 75th Street, at about 12 p.m. on Thursday, displaying the weapon and demanding money from the store worker, authorities said. After receiving the cash, he fled the store westbound on Atlantic Avenue.


Police describe the suspect, who was caught during the robbery on video, as black, about 25 years old, 6 feet tall and 175 pounds. He was wearing a black and gold baseball hat, black sweatshirt and blue jeans.

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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West Nile spraying scheduled for parts of Queens this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Tuesday, Sept. 16, there will be West Nile spraying in parts of Queens, including along the Brooklyn-Queens border, to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

The spraying will take place between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Wednesday, Sept. 17 during the same hours.

The following neighborhoods are being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity with high mosquito populations, according to the city’s Health Department:

Parts of City Line, Cypress Hills, Highland Park, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Ozone Park, Spring Creek and Woodhaven (Bordered by Jamaica Avenue and to the north; Shepherd Avenue, Fulton Street Line and Fountain Avenue to the west; Jamaica Bay to the south; and Rockaway Rail-Line, Rockaway Boulevard and Woodhaven Boulevard to the east).

For the application, the Health Department will spray pesticide from trucks and use a very low concentration of Anvil®, 10 + 10, a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health.

The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

  • Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions  are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.
  • Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
  •  Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If  outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using  again.
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

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West Nile spraying to target areas of Queens this week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Wednesday, Aug. 27, there will be West Nile spraying in parts of Queens to help reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the disease.

The spraying will take place between the hours of 8:15 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Thursday, Aug. 28 during the same hours.

The following neighborhoods are being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity with high mosquito populations, according to the city’s Health Department:

Parts of Auburndale, Murray Hill and Flushing (Bordered by 25th Avenue to the north; Murray Street to the west; 45th Avenue to the south; and 192nd Street, Francis Lewis Boulevard and Utopia Parkway to the east).

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

For the application, the Health Department will spray pesticide from trucks and use a very low concentration of Anvil®, 10 + 10, a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health.

The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

  • Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions  are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.
  • Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
  •  Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If  outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using  again.
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

 

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Woodhaven ‘eyesore’ to start rebuilding process


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Construction work at the site of a partially collapsed Woodhaven building will begin on Aug. 25, according to the building owner’s lawyer.

“My client is sincerely saddened that the community is upset with him,” said Elio Forcina, the building owner’s lawyer. “When the new building is complete it will be one that the community is proud of.”

The building, located on 78-19 Jamaica Ave., was originally supposed to be fully repaired by Oct. 15, a date established in a prior court appearance.  But because the owner received his permit to work on the building later than he expected due to MTA issues and his having to switch contractors, the date was pushed back to Dec. 1.

“He would have started the work earlier if there wasn’t an issue with the MTA,” Forcina said.

At the hearing on Monday, the building owner submitted the permit he received and the plans for construction, which were both approved by the court, added his lawyer.

“My client got the permit a little later than he thought,” Forcina said. “But he is doing everything he can to fix it.”

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Community Board 9 district manager announces retirement


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Liam La Guerre

After three and a half decades of service Mary Ann Carey is stepping down from her position as District Manager of Community Board 9, which covers Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens, Ozone Park and Woodhaven.

“In my thirty-five years of service to this great city with very little exceptions, I loved every minute,” Carey wrote in her resignation letter earlier this month. “I have overseen many projects too numerous to mention here and worked with four Borough Presidents, dozens of legislators, commissioners, District Managers and their staff.”

Current Chairman Ralph Gonzalez congratulated Carey, who began her work as District Manager when Ed Koch was mayor, on her retirement and said it would be hard to imagine anyone who can fill her shoes.

“She has done so much for the community, and for so long,” he said. “She can be proud of the legacy she’s leaving at Community Board 9. I know that many people in Queens and on the Board join me in thanking Mary Ann for her years of dedication.”

The process to search for the next District Manager will start at the next community board meeting.

 

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Councilman Ulrich allocates $25K to clean up graffiti in district


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Cross Bay Boulevard can draw comparisons to 5Pointz with the amount of graffiti that has stricken its surrounding neighborhoods, but clean-up is on the way.

In his discretionary budget, Councilman Eric Ulrich has allocated $25,000 to graffiti clean-up in the district. Ulrich is teaming up with the Queens Economic Development Corporation (EDC), which will choose a company for the clean-up, for the first time and is hoping to start the job next month.

Cleaning up graffiti in these neighborhoods and all of Council District 32 is something that Ulrich has funded throughout his time as councilman, but this year he has allocated more money than ever to hit even more problem areas, according to Rudy Giuliani, a representative for the councilman.

The focus areas that Ulrich outlined are the neighborhoods of Woodhaven and Ozone Park. This is where graffiti is the biggest problem in Ulrich’s district, Giuliani said. The company that is hired by the Queens EDC will then move on to other areas in the district, which include Howard Beach, Lindenwood and the Rockaways.

 

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