Tag Archives: Woodside

PHOTOS: Queens residents enjoy a fun ‘Night Out’ with New York’s Finest

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Promoting greater harmony between police and the people they serve, Tuesday’s National Night Out Against Crime brought thousands of Queens residents out to venues across the “World’s Borough” for family-friendly activities.

From Astoria to the Rockaway Peninsula, each Night Out event included free games and activities for children of all ages as well as refreshments, live music and other entertainment. Residents also had the opportunity to meet with the officers who serve their community and learn more about the NYPD’s various crime prevention programs.

Local elected officials, including Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, attended each gathering and presented proclamations to the precinct commanders. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who made the rounds at Night Out events across the city, stopped by the 113th Precinct’s Night Out in Springfield Gardens.

The National Night Out Against Crime, founded by the National Association of Town Watch, aims to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities. Millions of people across the U.S. and Canada were estimated to have participated in Night Out events Tuesday evening.


Woodside, LIC community asks car dealerships on Northern Blvd. to be ‘good neighbors’

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Members of the Woodside and Long Island City communities are calling on local car dealerships — which can be found on both sides of Northern Boulevard — to be good neighbors and help keep the streets safe.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer gathered with residents and local leaders on Tuesday morning to voice their outrage and concern with car dealerships and auto body shops on Northern Boulevard parking their cars illegally on sidewalks, blocking the path for pedestrians.

“We call for increase in enforcement of the auto dealerships along Northern Boulevard but also increased neighborliness on the part of these auto dealerships,” Van Bramer said. “In addition to [Northern Boulevard] being an incredibly busy roadway, it is also the neighborhood for tens of thousands of people who are going to school, going to parks, going to church, going to work and they need the sidewalks free and clear of any obstructions.”

Van Bramer added that on Monday he met with the commanding officers of the 108th and 114th precincts, which share coverage of Northern Boulevard, to discuss increasing enforcement. Both precincts had previously given out tickets to cars parked on the sidewalks.

The councilman also led a tour down Northern Boulevard on Monday pointing out various dealerships between 55th and 61st streets, which had cars parked on the sidewalks. He added that the issue continues down the strip.

During the tour, a car left the Queensboro Toyota dealership on 62nd Street – located across the street from P.S. 152 – was seen heading the opposite way down a one-way street, and then entering a parking lot behind the dealership. According to residents, this is something that normally occurs.

Queensboro Toyota did not immediately respond to request for comment.

“We cannot, should not and will not accept pedestrians being forced onto Northern Boulevard to be able to get where they are going. That is so dangerous and potentially deadly and this problem has gone on for a while,” Van Bramer said.

Jackson Heights resident Clarence Eckerson Jr., a father of a newborn baby boy who said he often walks down the thoroughfare to go shopping with his wife, said he has seen this issue for a long time and the problem gets worse on the weekends.

Eckerson, who has taken photos of cars parked on the sidewalks, added that another problem is cars without license plates taking up metered spaces.

“We would like to see them step up and be good neighbors. I’d like my son to grow up on a Northern Boulevard that he can safely walk on and I don’t have to fear for his life,” Eckerson said. “[Car dealership owners] may not see parking their cars illegally on the sidewalk or blocking pedestrians as something that is anti-vision zero but it does contribute to the climate of making our streets dangerous and we’re here to let them know that.”

According to Van Bramer, this call is not an attack on the car dealerships that are running businesses and have every right to succeed; however, the community wants to be able to make changes before accidents happen — not after.


Woodside resident to seek Assembly seat and ‘fight for the middle class’

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Brian Barnwell

Brian Barnwell is looking to be the voice of a district he has called home all his life and one he says needs a big change and new leadership.

The 29-year-old Woodside resident and lawyer has announced that he will run next year for the seat in the state Assembly representing District 30, which covers the neighborhoods of Maspeth, Woodside, Middle Village and parts of Astoria, Sunnyside and Long Island City.

The seat is currently held by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, who was first elected in 1998.

“I just feel like it’s time for a change. I feel like we need some new energy where people are going to go out and engage the community and bring the community voices into the conversation,” Barnwell said. “Everyone is getting pushed out. The teachers are being thrown under the bus. The students are being thrown under the bus. The middle class is just being destroyed and we can’t take it for granted anymore. So I want to be the voice of the middle class, because I am in the middle class.”

Barnwell’s desire to run for office was fueled recently when he began working as the director of special events for Councilman Costa Constantinides, and experienced many residents coming into the district office complaining about various issues – including affordable housing.

This made him realize that there needed to be a change and he would be that change.

The platform of his campaign will strongly focus on helping individuals in the middle class and those vying to move into the middle class. With being a member of the middle class himself, along with his family, Barnwell said he has personal experience with the issues constituents face.

“The middle class is what made this country great. It’s what makes any country great. If you don’t have a middle class, you’re in trouble,” Barnwell said.

Barnwell’s platform – focusing on taxes, education and affordable housing – includes issues such as lowering personal income and corporate taxes; helping raise minimum wage; empowering teachers, parents and administrators in local schools and creating new curriculum based on districts; building more schools; and increasing the amount of affordable housing in the developing area.

For now, Barnwell will stay at Constantinides’ office until September, then he will hit the streets and reach out to the communities to see what issues the residents are facing.

“I want people to tell me what’s wrong with this district,” Barnwell said. “You’ve got to lead. You’ve got to be a leader. This why we elect these people to be leaders, not followers, and I want to be a leader. I don’t want to be a follower.”

Barnwell will hold his first fundraiser on Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. at The Brewery NYC, located at 49-18 30th Ave. in Woodside.

For more information visit Barnwell’s Facebook page or follow @Barnwell2016 on Twitter.


108th Precinct sees large crime decrease after new anti-crime team created

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of PropertyShark/Scott Bintner

Crime in the 108th Precinct — which covers Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and Maspeth — has seen a large decrease after a new team of seasoned officers hit the streets, according to the precinct’s top cop.

Captain John Travaglia, who took over the precinct last November, told The Courier that he has seen a 23 percent decrease in crime in the 28-day period ending on July 19 and a 30 percent decrease in the year to date.

Burglaries, which are the main issue the neighborhoods face, have been down 61 percent in the 28-day period and 26 percent in the year to date.

The police captain credits the decrease in crime to the creation of a second anti-crime team at the precinct which is made up of five seasoned officers.

“I inherited a precinct from Captain Brian Hennessy that I thought was working very, very well. The one thing that I noticed was we were missing an anti-crime team. Most precincts function with two anti-crime teams and we only had one,” Travaglia said.

Travaglia added that after going over the personnel background folders for each of the officers in the new team, he noticed they were being underutilized at the precinct and wanted “to get them back in the game.”

Since being formed in March, the team has worked to solve crimes that have been under the radar as well as more prominent crimes, and has helped take down ongoing crimes in the neighborhoods.

“We have put together, to me, one of the best anti-crime teams in the city of New York,” he said. “They’re just very sharp individuals. And I always say that if I was a criminal in this region right now, I’d be very scared of these men.”

Along with helping bring the crime numbers down, Travaglia said the men who make up the team are humble and are always accepting information from other officers and members of the precinct.

He added that they also train other officers around them and many other officers want to emulate these seasoned cops.

“They’re not giants among men. They’re police officers on a team. They don’t take credit for anything. The team takes credit. They’re phenomenal officers and they’re a big component of our crime reduction,” Travaglia said.

The precinct has seen a slight issue concerning Long Island City’s nightlife. Travaglia said that there have been issues, for example felony assaults, that occur late at night surrounding these establishments.

In order to tackle this issue and stop problems from occurring, Travaglia is looking to get together with the owners and managers of local bars, restaurants and clubs during a nightlife best practices meeting.

“We need cooperation because you don’t want to meet me after the situation has happened. You worked hard to get your liquor license, you’ve worked hard to license your establishment, to build your reputation up,” he said. “I want people to be successful here. People are coming to Long Island City to patronize these establishments at night, to visit here, so I want everyone to have a safe experience and pleasant experience.”

The precinct hopes to hold the first nightlife meeting in August or September at the precinct house, located at 5-47 50th Ave.

In regards to traffic enforcement, Travaglia said that since he took the post at the 108th Precinct there have been no traffic fatalities in the neighborhoods and he helped engineer a team of officers to follow traffic trends.

He added that although he has gotten some backlash on enforcement on bicyclists, he said he hopes the 364 summonses given out in the 28-day period, compared to the 17 in the same period last year, will control the other thousands on the road.

In regards to vehicles, he said there have been 7,000 moving summonses and 2,500 parking summonses given year to date.

“Someone has to make sure everyone is adhering to the rules of the road,” Travaglia said. “It’s something that I found needed to be addressed. We’re here to make sure the roadways are safe for all.”


Burglar grabs euros from Woodside business: NYPD

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police continue to search for a man wanted in connection with a burglary at a Woodside business earlier this month in which foreign currency was stolen.

According to authorities, the break-in occurred at 7:45 a.m. on July 2 on Roosevelt Avenue near 53rd Street.

Reportedly, the suspect — described as a black male between 30 and 40 years of age who was wearing blue jeans — entered through an unlocked rear door and removed an unknown quantity of euros. The theft was later reported to the 108th Precinct.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


Skateboarder wanted for groping woman in Woodside

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a skateboarder who they say grabbed a woman’s buttocks as he whizzed by her on a Woodside street last week.

The 24-year-old victim was walking on 61st Street near Queens Boulevard at about 7:40 p.m. on Friday when the suspect rode past her and grabbed her behind before fleeing, according to authorities.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


Participatory budgeting coming to Councilwoman Crowley’s district

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley is the latest city lawmaker to hop on the participatory budgeting bandwagon.

Crowley announced on Tuesday that residents in the 30th City Council District — which includes all or parts of Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Woodhaven and Woodside — will get to decide how to spend $1 million in city funds on community improvement projects.

She is the 11th member of the City Council’s Queens delegation to host participatory budgeting. During the 2015 fiscal year, City Council members Costa Constantinides, Daniel Dromm, Julissa Ferreras, Karen Koslowitz, I. Daneek Miller, Donovan Richards, Antonio Reynoso, Eric Ulrich, Paul Vallone and Jimmy Van Bramer — along with former City Councilman Mark Weprin — pledged to fund $12,871,000 in projects through the process.

“This year, I am able to bring participatory budgeting to my constituents and give them insight into the often lengthy and sometimes very expensive city budgeting process,” Crowley said in a statement. “This will provide a forum for active engagement between residents and myself to decide on capital projects, and calls for the participation of every community member.”

Through participatory budgeting, local residents brainstorm and then vote on a number of proposed capital budget projects for their community, such as street tree planting, park improvements, school technology upgrades, security cameras and street resurfacing.

The first round of community meetings focused on the process will be held in September, with voting taking place in February 2016. For additional information, call Crowley’s Glendale office at 718-366-3900.


Get the scoop on exotic Queens treats during National Ice Cream Month

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso


July is National Ice Cream Month, so forgo the basic soft serve and embark on a self-guided culinary tour of exotic, uniquely flavored frozen treats here in Queens.

The first stop on the journey is Max and Mina’s (71-26 Main St., Kew Gardens Hills), first opened nearly 18 years ago by brothers Bruce and Mark Becker. The Flushing confectionery features an extensive, ever-changing roster of bold, unexpected ice cream flavors such as “beer,” “merlot” and “grass,” inspired by Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh.

Unique flavors like “toasted marshmallow,” “coconut s’mores” and “corn on the cob” made with real kernels are like a campfire cookout in a cup.

THE COURIER/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

Pop culture-inspired flavors like the SweetTart candy-infused “Tart Bart Simpson” and the “SpongeBob,” a decadent mix of sponge cake, batter and sprinkles, reflect the fun and colorful cereal box collages covering the walls.

The “Cookie Monster,” a blue mix of Chips Ahoy and Oreos, is popular among children. Adults may want to try the “Roker-licious,” a spicy blend of red chili flakes and caramel cream created by Al Roker himself on a visit to the shop.

Upcoming flavors include date, fig, Fruity Pebbles cereal and Minions-inspired banana.

Single scoops are $3.25, doubles are $5.70 and pints run $7.50.

Skip on over to Elmhurst and stop by the aptly named Sugar Club (81-18 Broadway) for a truly sweet experience. The Thai confectionary features the “emerald mango” ($9), a tropical mix of homemade mango ice cream topped with whipped cream and warm green sticky rice.

Not to be outdone, nearby Plant Love House (86-06 Whitney Ave.) is busy keeping Elmhurst cool with scoops of Thai coconut ice cream served in up in terracotta flower pots topped with red bean, fresh coconut and frozen egg yolk.

For a taste of the Philippines, visit House of Inasal (65-14 Roosevelt Ave., Woodside) for a unique ice cream sandwich featuring purple yam or “ube” ice cream, coconut and crisp rice served on a warm “pan de sal” egg roll.

For more experimental flavor combinations, head over to Astoria Coffee (30-04 30th Ave.) for offerings from Manhattan-based confectioner Ice and Vice. Rotating selections may include “9 a.m.”, a mix of coffee, chicory, Saigon cinnamon and doughnut truffle, “3 Little Pigs,” with salted caramel, bacon butter and bacon praline, or the popcorn, raisin and chocolate-infused “movie night.”


Wrap up your tour in Glendale at Dan’s Sweet Shop (70-03 Myrtle Ave.), where daredevils can attempt to devour “#ascoopofeverything,” a monstrous bowl of 32 scoops loaded with brownies, candy, three sauces, cones, whipped cream and cherries ($73).

Average folks can indulge in scoops of “Superman,” a brightly colored blend of strawberry, banana and blue moon, or “cotton candy,” a pink and blue candy blend.


108th Precinct commander touts major crime decline

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

Crime in the 108th Precinct has drastically decreased so far in 2015, with reports down by 23 percent for the year overall, police reported during Tuesday’s 108th Precinct Community Council meeting in Sunnyside.

“When looking at crime overall, it’s a great trend that we’re seeing right now,” said Capt. John Travaglia, the precinct’s commanding officer, who credited his patrol officers and anti-crime teams for their work in keeping the neighborhood safe.

According to Travaglia, there have been fewer incidents this year in nearly all categories versus the same 28-day period from last year. Felony assault is down by 60 percent, with six reported versus last year’s 15. Burglaries are also down by more than half, with 11 incidents recorded by police versus the 25 incidents that occurred last year. Grand larceny down considerably, with 27 reported in the past 28 days versus 47 during this time in 2014.

Robbery was the only criminal activity that saw a slight uptick, but according to Travaglia, arrests have been made to deal accordingly with these instances.

Travaglia said that traffic issues have also been decreasing. There has been a 3 percent decrease in accidents and reported traffic injuries are down 8 percent. Additionally, there has not been a fatal car accident in the 108th Precinct for the past eight months.

In sharp contrast to decreases across the board, bike summonses have gone up sharply in 2015, Travaglia said. Over the last 28 days, 352 tickets were issued to bike riders versus only 3 percent during this time last year. Bike summonses were caused by a variety of infractions ranging from personal safety issues such as not wearing a helmet, to traffic violations incurred by riding through a red light.

The increase in traffic safety enforcement among bikers is largely spurred by the Vision Zero initiative undertaken by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office and other city agencies to reduce death and serious injuries on city streets.

In recognition of their crime-fighting efforts, the 108th Precinct Anti-Crime Team was honored with the “Cop of the Month” award for their collective efforts in preventing crime and interrupting incidents in progress. The Ridgewood Times donated the plaque presented to the team.


Woman mugged outside Woodside bank: NYPD

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via NYPD / Property Shark/Scott Bintner

Police are have released the photo of a mugging suspect who they say nabbed a woman’s purse in broad daylight after she exited a Woodside bank last month.

The 24-year-old victim was leaving the Astoria Bank at 60-20 Woodside Ave. just after 4:30 p.m. on May 26 when the suspect ran up to her, pushed her to the ground and fled with her pocketbook, containing her identification, credit cards and an undetermined amount of money, authorities said.

The suspect, who goes by the first name “Eladio” is described as a Hispanic male in his early thirties, 5 feet 5 inches tall and 150 pounds.

1475-15 108 Sqd 05-26-15 (1)

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.


Driver arrested for drug stash following LIC traffic stop

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A simple traffic violation led to serious charges for a driver who was pulled over in Long Island City and caught with an assortment of drugs in his car, police said.

Two plainclothes officers from the 108th Precinct in an unmarked vehicle spotted a Jeep Grand Cherokee blow a stop sign on 38th Street before heading east on 43rd Avenue at about 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, authorities said.

The cops then stopped the driver and as they approached the car smelled a strong odor of marijuana allegedly coming from the vehicle. When they looked inside the car, the officers saw marijuana residue on the floor.

They also discovered that the driver, identified as 29-year-old Omar Carbajal of Woodside, was driving with a suspended license.

According to authorities, Carbajal was arrested and taken to the 108th Precinct stationhouse in Long Island City for processing while police searched his car.

During the search, they uncovered 2 ounces of PCP in the trunk and later discovered a trap in the center console that contained over 5 ounces of cocaine, over 8 ounces of marijuana and 60 amphetamine pills.

Carbajal was charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, including with the intent to sell, criminal possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operator, failure to stop at a stop sign and excessive tint, police said.


CB 2 unanimously approves Queens Boulevard safety improvements

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of Department of Transportation

Queens Boulevard is now one step closer to going from the “Boulevard of Death” to the “Boulevard of Life.”

Community Board 2 (CB 2) unanimously voted Thursday night to approve the Department of Transportation’s proposed safety improvements and redesign of a 1.3-mile portion of Queens Boulevard between Roosevelt Avenue and 73rd Street.

The DOT said it decided to focus on this section first because, according to statistics, there have been six fatalities since 2009 in that particular area.

“Community Board 2’s unanimous vote tonight is a big step toward turning Queens Boulevard into the Boulevard of Life,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg in a statement after the meeting. “This investment made by the de Blasio Administration will make the boulevard safer, greener and better for all users. I would like to thank the community for its support and local leaders, such as Councilman [Jimmy] Van Bramer, for their leadership.”

A preliminary plan for the strip was released in March. The proposal presented by DOT representatives during the June 4 meeting was based on community input gathered during safety workshops earlier this year and also a meeting held with CB 2’s Transportation Committee two days prior to last night’s vote.


Some of the features of the first redesign segment, expected to be implemented in August, include safer crossings, increased pedestrian space and improved intersections. The plan also looks to calm the traffic on service roads and try to reduce the number of times drivers move between the main line and service roads.

Goals for the redesign include keeping the main line moving, reducing constant lane change, completing crosswalks and connecting neighborhoods, and eliminating highway-like design features.

Unique redesigns include a protected bike lane integrated into a widened service road median, with new pedestrian space and median-to-median crossings.

As part of their decision, CB 2 members asked the DOT to keep an ongoing dialogue with the community and address issues such as the loss of parking spaces and some of the turn lanes off the center median of the thoroughfare.


(THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano)

Residents at the meeting voiced their support for the proposal and praised DOT for the proposed safety improvements.

“What I’m really excited about the proposal today is that it kind of paints a future and gives an idea of what it would be like to have a road safe enough to bicycle on and it makes me excited to get my bicycle out and actually ride it,” said Patrick Rhea, a resident who walks and drives on Queens Boulevard.

The DOT plans to hold more public workshops during the fall and winter for the future phases of the initiative, from 73rd Street to Eliot Avenue and from Eliot Avenue to Union Turnpike.


Police hunt burglars in western Queens

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos and video courtesy of NYPD

Authorities are searching for the suspects — including one apparently relaxed lookout — wanted in two separate break-ins of residences in Woodside and Sunnyside last week.

1256-15 108 precinct Burg 5-29-15 (1)The first incident occurred just after 5 p.m. on Friday at a second-floor apartment on 48th Avenue in Sunnyside, according to police.

The suspect — described as a Hispanic male standing about 5 feet 8 inches and weighing about 190 pounds with black hair and wearing a striped shirt — accessed the apartment by climbing the fire escape and opening an unlocked window, cops said. He then took an IWC watch and $300 in cash.

In an unrelated incident, on Sunday at about 2:45 p.m., two men were involved in the burglary of a private residence located on 37th Avenue in Woodside, authorities said.

One of the suspects allegedly broke into the home through a rear basement door, while another male acted as a lookout in the front of the residence. The suspects then stole electronics and jewelry before fleeing.


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.



Woodside couple tricked by group of deceiving burglars: cops

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for five people wanted in connection with a recent deception burglary at an elderly couple’s Woodside home.

Authorities said the incident occurred at 3 p.m. on May 1 at an undisclosed location within the confines of the 104th Precinct, when two suspects—a male and a female—knocked on the door of a home belonging to a 90-year-old man and an 88-year-old woman.

When the couple answered the door, police noted, the male suspect claimed he and his partner were from Long Island Jewish Medical Center and there to visit the couple’s daughter. The couple then let the duo inside their home and got into a conversation.

Moments later, a third suspect—a female—entered the home and asked to use the bathroom, cops said. This suspect walked upstairs purportedly to use the bathroom, but instead searched the couple’s bedroom and removed all of their jewelry and credit cards.

Following the theft, all three suspects left the home in an unknown direction. The couple later reported the incident to the 104th Precinct.

During its investigation, the 104th Precinct Detective Squad obtained surveillance camera footage from the Payless Shoe Source store at the Rego Center Mall showing two female suspects attempting to use one of the stolen credit cards in making a transaction.

The squad also obtained security video from the Outback Steakhouse at the Queens Place shopping center in Elmhurst showing the five suspects- a male and four females- trying to use a stolen credit card to pay their check.

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.


Photos: Queens honors and remembers soldiers with Memorial Day parades

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Dominick Totino Photography/Gallery by Robert Pozarycki, Anthony Giudice, Liam La Guerre

Nearly a dozen Memorial Day parades were held in Queens over the weekend as the borough paid tribute to military men and women who protect the freedoms residents enjoy today.

Mayor Bill de Blasio marched in the Little Neck/Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, which began at 2 p.m. on Northern Boulevard and Jayson Avenue, alongside U.S. Representative Grace Meng, Borough President Melinda Katz, Public Advocate Letitia James, Councilmen Paul Vallone and Mark Weprin and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein.

Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Loree Sutton, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, served as the parade’s grand marshal. Sutton hailed Memorial Day as a sacred time.

“It is a day that we come together to commemorate and remember and to think about all that we share in this great country and to remind ourselves that the cost and price of freedom is never free,” Sutton said. “That we are so blessed to be in the land of the free because of the brave.”

Parades were held in Woodside/Sunnyside, Whitestone, Laurelton, Howard Beach, Glendale/Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village, Forest Hills, College Point and Woodhaven.

New military recruits, veterans in vintage cars, fire fighters, police officers, JROTC members, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and marching bands participated in the borough’s parades while parents and children donned red, white and blue and waved the stars and stripes from sidewalks.