Tag Archives: Woodside

Track work to disrupt LIRR weekend service beginning Oct. 4


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Sara Touzard

Track work on the Long Island Rail Road will affect commuters along the Port Washington Branch on two consecutive weekends, Oct. 4-5 and Oct. 11-12.

On Saturday, Oct. 4, trains in both directions will run every hour instead of every half hour beginning at 12:26 p.m. and running through the rest of the day because of switch renewal work.

The next day, Sunday, Oct. 5, there will be no train service in either direction for a portion of the line from 3 p.m. until midnight.

Bayside will be the eastern terminus with shuttle buses operating in both directions between Bayside and Port Washington.

The next weekend, starting on Saturday, Oct. 11, one of the tracks in the Woodside area will be out of service for 27 hours. During this time, train service will be reduced to every hour.

Then on Sunday, Oct. 12, both tracks will be out of service from 3 p.m. to midnight.

Commuters going east will have to board Ronkonkoma Branch trains at Penn Station and transfer to buses at Woodside.

Going west, commuters at stations from Port Washington through Flushing-Main Street will need to board shuttle buses and transfer to trains at Woodside.

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Woodside street to be renamed after man behind Alfred Hitchcock film


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

the wrong man still 2

The story of one man, who influenced an Alfred Hitchcock film, will live on in the neighborhood his family called home.

This Saturday, the corner of 73rd Street and 41st Avenue in Woodside will be co-named after Christopher Emmanuel “Manny” Balestrero as “Manny ‘The Wrong Man’ Balestrero Way.”

In 1953 Balestrero was arrested outside of his home after three witnesses identified him as the person who robbed a Prudential Insurance Company office, according to Councilman Daniel Dromm’s office. Balestrero was later charged with two armed robberies and taken to trial. After another man confessed to the crimes, he was exonerated.

“Manny Balestrero’s story is one example how we must continue to reexamine our criminal justice system,” said Dromm, who together with Community Board 4 helped get the street renamed after Balestrero.

In 1956 Alfred Hitchcock directed and produced the docudrama film “The Wrong Man,” starring Henry Fonda, which followed Balestrero’s real-life story and had scenes shot on the streets of Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Woodside.

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

“Street co-namings can also serve as an educational tool,” Dromm said. “I hope that when people see the ‘Manny ‘The Wrong Man’ Balestrero Way’ sign they will be compelled to delve into this history and in doing so they will learn a little about their community, about cinematic history and continue to think critically about how our justice system works.”

The Sept. 27 co-naming ceremony will take place from noon to 2 p.m.

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Plans for proposed Sunnyside, Woodside slow zones revealed


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of Department of Transportation

More streets in western Queens will soon be slower and safer.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) presented its plans for two proposed slow zones in Sunnyside Gardens, Woodside and Sunnyside, south of Queens Boulevard, before Community Board 2 (CB 2) during a public hearing on Wednesday night.

The slow zones were designed through input from the community, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and CB 2.

As part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative, the neighborhoods that will be included in these two slow zones were selected based on the transportation agency’s evaluation on crash history, traffic fatalities, community support, and the closeness of schools and senior and day care centers.

THE COURIER/File Photo

THE COURIER/File Photo

Slow zones are marked with high-visibility blue signs that warn drivers at all streets entering the zones. Each area has a speed limit of 20 mph and includes speed bumps and eight-foot-high letters on the road that read “20 MPH.”

The first proposed area, which would be called the Sunnyside Gardens-Woodside Slow Zone, would be bordered by 43rd Street, 38th Avenue, Barnett Avenue, 58th Street, Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue. There are three schools and three daycare/pre-K centers in the area.

SG-W SZ

According to the DOT, since 2007 there has been one death in the proposed zone and three severe pedestrian injuries.

The Sunnyside Gardens-Woodside Slow Zone would include 18 proposed speed bumps, added to the already existing 12 bumps, and 19 neighborhood slow zone gateways.

In the proposed Sunnyside Slow Zone, which has four schools in the area, the borders would be 36th Street, Queens Boulevard, 51st Street and part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The area is split diagonally by Greenpoint Avenue, which is not part of the slow zone, according to the DOT.

Since 2007 there have been four fatalities in the proposed zone and since 2008 three severe pedestrian injuries and five severe injuries involving vehicle occupants.

The Sunnyside Slow Zone would include 20 speed bumps, in addition to the current eight bumps, and 31 neighborhood slow zone gateways.

CB 2 will vote on the proposal during its next monthly meeting.

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Former Community Board 2 district manager Dolores Rizzotto passes away


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Rizzotto family

Dolores Rizzotto, former district manager of Community Board 2 for more than 15 years, died Thursday after a battle with cancer, according to CB2 chair Joseph Conley.

Rizzotto, who chaired CB2 for more than 15 years, was 70.

“Dolores served the City of New York in many capacities but none so important as her role in our community as district manager,” Conley said. “Dolores worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for so many. Dolores will be sorely missed for her wisdom, compassion, sense of humor and leadership. Dolores was a true friend to all and an expert in helping so many.”

Rizzotto, a lifelong Corona resident who recently moved to Florida, retired in 2006 from CB2, which serves Long Island City, Woodside and Sunnyside. Rizzotto would travel back and forth between Queens and Florida visiting family and friends.

She is survived by her two sons, Michael and Robert, and two grandchildren, Anthony and Thomas.

A wake will be held at Edward Guida Funeral Home, located at 47-20 104th St. in Corona. Visitations hours will be Sept. 18 from 7 to 9 p.m., and Sept. 19 from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral mass will be on Sept. 20 at 10:45 a.m. at St. Leo’s Roman Catholic Church, located at 104-05 49th Ave. Rizzotto will be buried at Mount Saint Mary Cemetery in Flushing.

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MTA employee charged after caught pleasuring himself in booth: cops


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

An MTA employee was busted for public lewdness after he was allegedly caught masturbating inside a booth at a Woodside subway station, police said.

Two riders were inquiring about a MetroCard at the 61st Street stop Tuesday night when they allegedly discovered Harold Sisselman, 51, pleasuring himself in the booth.

Police were called and Sisselman  was charged with public lewdness just after midnight. He was issued a ticket for a desk appearance, officials said.

According to published reports, Sisselman has been suspended without pay.

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Stavisky, Markey, Sanders win primary


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File photos

Three incumbent Queens elected officials have easily taken the win in the Democratic primary.

State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, who was first elected to the state Senate in 1999 and is the only female member of the state Senate from Queens, won the race with 4,981 votes, holding onto 57.3 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results.

The Forest Hills resident ran against S.J. Jung, a Flushing resident, activist and president of the MinKwon Center for Community Action.

Assemblywoman Margaret Markey also won the primary with 1,880 votes and 75.2 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results. She has represented the 30th Assembly District, comprised of Maspeth, Woodside and parts of Long Island City, Middle Village, Astoria and Sunnyside, since 1998.

In the race for the 10th District, state Sen. James Sanders Jr., who was elected in 2012, took the win with 5,898 votes and 74.5 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results.

Photo via Twitter/@tobystavisky

Photo via Twitter/@tobystavisky

In other statewide elections, incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo easily defeated his two competitors at 61.7 percent with 93.2 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. His running mate, lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul, also took the win with 59.7 percent of the votes. 

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Health Department to treat parts of Queens against West Nile


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYC Department of Health

On Monday, Sept. 8, 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 8:00 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning. In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Tuesday, Sept. 9 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, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Murray Hill Pomonok, and Queensboro Hill (Bordered by 46th Avenue, Holly Avenue and Kissena Boulevard to the north; Main Street and Elder Avenue to west; Long Island Expressway to the south; and Hollis Court Boulevard to the east).

Parts of Astoria, Jackson Heights, Steinway and Woodside (Bordered by 19th Avenue and 81st Street to the north; 45th Street to the west; 25th Avenue and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway West to the south; and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway East, 25th Avenue, 77th Street and Grand Central Parkway to the east).

WNV2

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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Street cleaning initiative expands to Dutch Kills


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer's office

More streets of western Queens will continue to shine as The Doe Fund expands into Dutch Kills.

The move into the Long Island City neighborhood comes a month after it was announced the nonprofit organization’s reach would be expanding to other areas of Long Island City and Hunters Point, and would also be remaining in Woodside.

The Doe Fund, which employs recently homeless or formerly incarcerated people as part of its Ready, Willing and Able transitional work program, will keep the sidewalks clean and clear corner trash cans on 36th Avenue from 27th to 36th streets.

Two workers will be on-site two days per week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We continue to tackle the issue of street cleanliness head-on,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer who secured $33,000 to begin The Doe Fund program in Dutch Kills. “The maintenance of our commercial corridors and residential streets is a top priority for me.”

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Woodside catering hall sold for $9.8 million


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Elite Palace catering hall on Garfield Avenue in Woodside is under new management.

V.G.F. Properties LLC sold the building to 6902 Garfield Ave LLC in a $9.8 million transaction, which was finalized on Wednesday, according to city records.

The more than 22,000-square-foot building, which hosts everything from weddings to Sweet 16 parties, has a grand ballroom with 20-foot ceilings and 22 Bavarian crystal chandeliers. The catering hall can accommodate events of up to 700 people. There are also 83 parking spots on the property and valet parking.

The building was converted to a catering hall in 2008, according to Department of Buildings filings. The new owners plan to continue to operate the catering business, according to a representative.

 

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Police release video of suspect in Corona murder


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Cops have released footage of a suspect who is wanted for knifing a man to death in Corona earlier this month.

On the night of his murder, Aug. 3, officers found Fabian Carreno, 30, at about 2:15 a.m. lying on the corner of 97th Street and Northern Boulevard with slash wounds to his face and neck, police said. The suspect and Carreno were allegedly arguing when he was attacked.

Carreno, a Woodside resident, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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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Woodside resident writes book on famed Brazilian soccer player


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

One Woodside resident has scored a goal in the literary world.

Dominique Beaucant, who is originally from France and came to the United States in 1978, is the author of the privately published book called “Garrincha – O Rei Dos Reis,” meaning “Garrincha – A King of Kings.”

The book looks back on the life of Brazilian soccer player Garrincha, whose real name was Manuel “Mané” Francisco dos Santos.

Garrincha, who passed away in 1983, was known for his “dribble” on the soccer field and also for his bent legs which did not prevent him from helping the South American national team take home World Cup titles in 1958 and 1962. He was referred to as nicknames such as “People’s Joy” and “Bent–Legged Angel.”

“He was more than a soccer player, he was a phenomenon,” Beaucant said. “When I saw a book that came out in 1995, I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to do a book one day that gives justice to this great player.’”

The 56-year-old Woodside resident began learning about Brazilian soccer players from his sixth-grade teacher Walter Durando in France. Every time he got together with his teacher he would ask to learn more and before making his trip to America he was given a collection of hundreds of magazine and newspaper clippings of the soccer duo.

As the years went by, his admiration for Garrincha grew into more than just hobby.

“That’s how it started and I never stopped,” Beaucant said. “I was fascinated by the guy, who he was and what he did on the field.”

In 1995, Beaucant, who has been a freelance writer and chef, began jotting down notes on Garrincha and throughout the years kept filling his drawers with hundreds of notes. In 2011, he began combining the notes and started writing the 288-page book.

To complete the book, which is written in Portuguese, contains 245 photographs and comes in a slip case, Beaucant looked back at his large Garrincha collection of newspaper and magazine clippings and images.

He has also traveled to Brazil and Europe for seven years, meeting Garrincha’s family and childhood friends.

More than 100 photographs in the book are never-before-seen images from the French sports newspaper “L’Equipe.”

Each book will be sold individually by Beaucant for $150 and he is plans of taking out a second book on Garrincha as well.

“I never did this book to make money. I never did this book to make a big profit,” Beaucant said. “This book is a result of all of my love, admiration, infatuation, respect and admiration for Garrincha.”

Although the book was printed by a company in New Jersey, the typesetting, cover design and embossing was done by Ebrahim Jaffer of Triboro Printing located at 25-02 Steinway St. in Astoria.

“[Garrincha] is no longer with us physically, but with this book his spirit and his soul [are] still living,”

Beaucant said. “The angel with bent legs, how he was known before, somehow is being reborn and the divine angel that he was is going to fly again.”

For more information or to purchase a book you can email Beaucant at copade58brasilcampeao@aim.com or call 718-626-0486.

 

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Queens straphangers planning to sue over Woodside subway derailment: report


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA / Patrick Cashin


Several passengers who were on the subway train that derailed in Woodside this May are planning on suing the city for millions, claiming the accident left them traumatized and injured, according to a published report.

Queens resident Monifah Kidd filed a notice of claim shortly after the derailment, saying she still suffers from nightmares, the New York Post said. Kidd, who is planning to sue for $5 million, is also reportedly claiming she was left with permanent neck, back and head injuries.

A total of 29 people have filed notices of claim so far, the Post reported.

Those claimants also include a Little Neck lawyer who suffers from neck, back, leg and arm pain, and another Queens resident who claims she was left disabled and is planning to sue for $10 million, the Post said.

A Hunter College student from Queens filed a notice of claim last month, according to published reports, after the subway accident left her with panic attacks.

In the May 2 derailment, 19 people were hurt when the six center cars of an eight-car F train went off the express track near 65th Street and Broadway. Of those hurt, 15 suffered minor injuries and four were taken to the hospital.

 

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Man found murdered in Corona


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Police are investigating the murder of a 30-year-old man who was slashed to death in Corona on Sunday.

Officers, responding to a 9-1-1 call, discovered Fabian Carreno at about 2:15 a.m. lying on the corner of 97th Street and Northern Boulevard with slash wounds to his face and neck, cops said.

Carreno, a Woodside resident, was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

There have been no arrests made, authorities said.


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Man shot dead, another stabbed in dispute near Woodside Houses


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

A confrontation between two men Friday night near the New York City Housing Authority’s Woodside Houses resulted in the stabbing of one man and shooting death of another, cops said.

The violence broke out after James Sloane, 30, and Jose Feliciano, 50, got into a dispute, at about 11:15 p.m., around 50-30 Broadway, authorities said. Feliciano stabbed Sloane, who then pulled out a gun and shot the older man, according to police.

Both men were taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where Feliciano was pronounced dead.

Police arrested Sloane and charged him with murder, criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence, cops said.

 

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Cops probing homicide in Woodside


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Police are investigating the death of a man in Woodside on Saturday.

Cops arrived at 37-27 57th St. at about 1 a.m. following a 9-1-1 call about a man who had been shot, cops said. They found a 24-year-old male with a head wound and a 25-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds in his left leg and back.

Both men were taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where the 24-year-old, who has yet to be identified by police, was pronounced dead, according to authorities.

 

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