No coverage

Dear Editor,
I found it disgraceful that the funeral for fallen police officer Anastasios Tsakos on May 4 was not carried live on any network station.
I called all the metropolitan networks, and the only channel that would even discuss this blatant disrespect was a woman from Channel 5, who agreed with me, but said those decisions are made above her. I thanked her for at least listening to me.
Channel 11 actually hung up on me twice when I asked why the service wasn’t being televised. Channel 4 and 7 advised it was on their website, but were unable to answer how the large segment of their audience without the ability to access the web could watch.
Channel 7 also told me they don’t usually televise funerals, but again were unable to provide an answer when I told them the George Floyd memorial and funeral were carried live by them.
I guess to them he was just another cop, but he wasn’t just that to his family, friends, fellow NYPD officers and the countless citizens he assisted during his career.
It’s time for the media to be held accountable for their lack of regard and concern for the brave men and women of law enforcement, who are the first ones they call when they need help. May God continue to bless and look after the members of all law enforcement departments.
Ray Schick

Station neglect

Dear Editor,
There are ongoing problems at the Bayside Long Island Rail Road Station that impact several thousand dally riders.
I give the LIRR credit for installation of new concrete ties and ballast that will insure a safer and more comfortable ride. They have also recently completed repairs to sections of the westbound platform edge, but there is still other significant outstanding maintenance and repair work to be done.
The original wooden support beams for various sections of the canopy have deteriorated, and pigeons have moved into the rotting bottom section of the westbound canopy stairs roof.
Other portions of the canopy roof are also in need of repair. Pigeons droppings can be seen at the bottom of the westbound stairs and second set of stairs for the eastbound platform.
The metal structure supporting the overpass connecting the east and westbound platforms is accumulating rust. There is also a hole in one of the eastbound steel staircases.
Pigeons have also found a second home in the hole on the roof over the ticket office facing the platform.
Why has the LIRR waited so long to allow these issues to grow even worse?
Larry Penner
Great Neck


Dear Editor,
It is very important we not let Governor Andrew Cuomo and state Health Commissioner  Howard Zucker off the hook for sending COVID patients discharged from hospitals  back into nursing homes. They had two other options: send patients to the hospital ship or the Javits Center.
To this day, they are adamant they did nothing wrong. Their negligence, arrogance, and lack of compassion caused the deaths of nearly 15,000 people.
They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Columbus dismissal

Dear Editor,
The Department of Education has eliminated Columbus Day as a school holiday. Instead, October 11th, will be known as Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous People’s Day.
I find this act by DOE most troubling.
I’m grand knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus Council #5911 in Douglaston, and support the fact that Christopher Columbus, with his faults like the rest of humanity, opened up a new world with unlimited possibilities.
Our organization was founded in 1882 by Father Michael McGivney to help immigrants. I believe Christopher Columbus should be remembered for the good things he accomplished and not the negative.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

104th Precinct Police Blotter (4/26/2021-5/2/2021)

Monday, Apr. 26
Nothing To Report

Tuesday, Apr. 27
Cornelio Regalado was arrested at 1855 Madison Street for criminal contempt by Officer Coronado.
Jose Santos was arrested at Green Avenue and Seneca Avenue for third-degree assault by Detective Moon.
Oscar Herredias was arrested at Forest Avenue and Myrtle Avenue for aggravated unlicensed operator by Detective Wright.
Michael C. Fox was arrested at 60-19 54th Street for aggravated harassment by Officer Petito.

Wednesday, Apr. 28
Benjamin Rosario was arrested at 765 Seneca Avenue for criminal mischief by Detective Wright.

Thursday, Apr. 29
Brookes M. Blalock was arrested at 60-02 69th Avenue for criminal mischief by Detective Wright.
Gerardo Reyes-Villanueva was arrested at 61-88 Dry Harbor Road for driving while intoxicated by Officer Hughes.
Angela Bandelt was arrested at 60-66 69th Avenue for second-degree assault by Officer Bonilla.

Friday Apr. 30
Nothing To Report

Saturday, May 1
Nelson Sissalema was arrested at 1641 Norman Street for strangulation by Officer Gomez.
Ana Chango-Lasluisa was arrested at 1641 Norman Street for second-degree assault by Officer Gomez.
Alexander Davidson was arrested at Schaefer Street and Wyckoff Avenue for false personation by Officer Gonzalez.
Jacqueline D. Powell was arrested at 8000 Cooper Avenue for grand larceny by Officer Daddario.
Victor Gonzalez was arrested at 79-63 Myrtle Avenue for criminal mischief by Officer Johnson.

Sunday, May 2
Christopher R. Goller was arrested at Borden Avenue and Perry Avenue for aggravated unlicensed operator by Officer Rosalez.
Leeanna Patto was arrested at 59-40 55th Road for criminal mischief by Officer Fitzalbert.
Peter Sarter was arrested at 79-40 68th Road for criminal mischief by Detective Gerardi.
Juan Cancel was arrested at Fairview Avenue and Madison Street for criminal mischief by Officer Bonilla.

Brooklyn projects honored with Lucys

Building 127 at the Navy Yard, 560 Second Street, and Endale Arch in Prospect Park were among the Brooklyn projects recognized at the 2021 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards virtual ceremony.
The Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards are the New York Landmarks Conservancy highest honors for excellence in preservation.
“It’s wonderful to see this year’s winners of the Lucys, knowing that this great work was conducted during these most challenging times,” said conservancy president Peg Breen. “The projects demonstrate that preservation has provided jobs and helped the city throughout these difficult months.”

560 Second Street
Restoration of 560 Second Street represents the commitment of a longtime owner to her Park Slope neighborhood.
In 1967, she and her young family purchased the house. They had been priced out of Brooklyn Heights when they attended a Brownstone Advice Bureau open house.
They heard about the house from a local contractor, architect and representative of the Fifth Avenue Savings Bank, one of the few willing to finance purchases in this community.
The house was constructed in 1891 in the Romanesque Revival style, with orange Roman brick and robust brownstone decoration, but the façade had been painted white to resemble limestone, hiding intricate details.
It was divided into seven apartments. Over the next five decades, the couple raised their family, reclaimed some of the apartments, and became part of an enthusiastic if untrained movement of Brownstoners.
They retained and restored stained-glass windows, folding shutters, beautiful fireplaces and decorative plaster ceilings.
In 2018, the owner finally began to tackle the facade. LPE Engineering oversaw the project. The initial scope of work called for repairs and a new white acrylic coating. After work began, contractors discovered that the paint could be removed without damaging the masonry.
As the layers of coating were taken off, the façade’s rich color and decorative elements emerged. The scope changed to remove the coating entirely and restore the masonry.
The project also included a new roof, repointing and rebuilding the rear wall and foundation, new copper gutters and cornice at the rear, a new roof hatch and two new skylights.

Building 127
Building 127 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard joins other buildings at the historic complex that have been adapted for light industrial use, restoring the historic architecture and sustaining the complex’s industrial heritage.
The three-story industrial neoclassical-style brick structure was built in 1903 as a small boat construction and repair facility. By the time the most recent tenant left in 2017, Building 127 was in disrepair and much of its historic character lost.
The rehabilitation was spearheaded by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the not-for-profit that develops and manages the properties on behalf of the City. S9 Architecture and Engineering was the project architect, while Higgins Quasebarth & Partners served as preservation consultants.
At the exterior, brick, granite and ornamental steel lintels were repaired and restored. Concrete block infill was removed from window and door openings and they were restored to their historic sizes.
Historic wood windows were repaired and restored, and new wood doors and multi-light wood windows matching the historic were installed. New decorative multi-light roundel windows matching the historic were installed at the pediments. A fire stair was removed, revealing the historic rhythm of the north facade.
Partitions, enclosures, and mezzanines that obscured the interior were removed. The historic exposed structural systems were retained to reinstate an expansive, light-filled historic configuration.
Original interior elements, such as gantry cranes and associated rails, and riveted columns, girders, and trusses, were kept in place.

Endale Arch
Endale Arch in Prospect Park has undergone an enchanting renovation and proved to be a highlight of 2020, sparking joy and thousands of social media posts.
The Arch, completed in 1868, was the first permanent structure in Olmsted, Vaux & Co.’s Prospect Park. Within the passage, city sounds are muffled and ahead lies a framed view of pastoral Long Meadow.
It exemplifies Olmsted’s philosophy of blending architecture with landscape, in form, material, and purposeful views.
The project’s first phase was landscape restoration. Stone retaining walls were reset to secure the hillsides, and new plantings stabilized the slopes.
Next, drainage was overhauled to prevent flooding. The path through the arch was regraded and repaved using hex-block pavers.
Work inside the arch began with historic research and physical investigation. Prior to restoration, original woodwork had vanished under layers of dirt and thick green paint.
Cleaning revealed a pattern of alternating Eastern white pine and black walnut, not seen for decades. New wood paneling and trim, matching the historic planks, now lines the vault.
Original wood at the south cross vault was cleaned and sanded, revealing intricate details of the trefoil. The design team opted to leave the granite block wall of the north cross vault exposed to highlight the original craftsmanship.
At the entrances, the colors of the yellow Berea sandstone and New Jersey brownstone were brought out by low-pressure power washing and gentle sanding. Finally, LED lighting was integrated into the wood trim along the length of the arch ceiling.

Rediscover Woodhaven’s living monument

Just over 100 years ago, a beautiful tradition was launched in Forest Park. It was the creation of a living, breathing memorial to 70 young men from Woodhaven who lost their lives in World War I.
Although our country’s time in the war was brief, we suffered many casualties and Woodhaven was hit very hard. Week after week, the front page of the Leader-Observer announced the names of the newly dead and wounded.
It was a dramatic turnaround from the early days of our involvement in the war, when the newspapers and the public were quite enthusiastic, sending our young men off with rousing cheers and festive parades.
In the days and months after the war ended, residents of Woodhaven wanted to create a unique monument to the young men whose lives were lost. The idea they finally settled upon was original indeed, and the press stated that it was the first of its kind in the United States.
In May of 1919, 53 trees were planted along the road entering Forest Park at Park Lane South and Forest Parkway, each to honor a soldier that perished. Over time, as more names were added to the Honor Roll, the number of trees grew to approximately 70.
And every Decoration Day (as Memorial Day was originally known), families would gather in Forest Park and decorate the memorial trees. A large granite monument with a plaque listing the names of the dead was erected atop that hill, across from the golf clubhouse.
The residents of Woodhaven referred to that hill as Memorial Knoll, and the annual parade would end there among the memorial trees.
Chairs would be set out on the lawn in front of the clubhouse and hundreds and hundreds of veterans, family members and residents would march up that hill to pay tribute to the dead.
According to reports in the Leader-Observer, veterans from the Civil War marched up that hill and took part in ceremonies.
It was a beautiful tradition that faded away due to a series of events triggered by the widening of Woodhaven Boulevard in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
The American Legion headquarters sat on the old Woodhaven Avenue, and it had to be torn down to make way for the ten-lane Woodhaven Boulevard.
The city reimbursed the Legion and they built a new headquarters at 88th Avenue and 91st Street behind PS 60, where it sits today.
And since they had a nice new building with a lovely front yard, they decided to move the monument from Forest Park to its current location. If you’ve ever been to a WRBA meeting or at the senior center, then you’ve seen this monument. It’s still there, listing the names of these young heroes.
But once the monument was moved the parade route was switched, and as families moved away or died off or just plain forgot, the tradition of decorating the trees disappeared.
But the trees are still there.
Sure enough, time has been harsh to the trees and many of them have fallen, but quite a few of these trees have passed the century mark. They still stand proudly on Memorial Knoll high above Woodhaven.
The Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society and American Legion Post 118 worked together to revive the tradition of decorating the trees in 2015. They have been decorated every Memorial Day since then.
It’s a beautiful walk, and as the road from the bandshell to Oak Ridge is still currently closed to vehicular traffic, it’s a walk that can really be savored and enjoyed.
If you’re going to get out and walk in the park any time soon, please consider making Memorial Knoll a part of your route.

Historic Midway Theatre reopening

On May 14, the Midway Theatre at 108-22 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills will reopen its doors. Operator Regal Cinemas decided last fall to close 543 theaters due to the pandemic, and the Midway was one of them.
“I thought they were shutting their doors for good, so this is such wonderful news,” said local resident Christina Gennaro. “The history surrounding Forest Hills is what made me want to move here. Movie theaters like the Midway are living history.”
With a largely intact vertical beacon, curved façade, and whimsical circular lobby with a sweeping staircase, the Art Moderne theater is one of the borough’s oldest, operating since 1942.
The Midway was named after the Battle of Midway in World War II. Opening attractions were the U.S. Navy’s Technicolor short The Battle of Midway, as well as The Pied Piper and Just Off Broadway.
Among the celebrities who made appearances were Bob Hope and Lucille Ball, who conducted a meet and greet.
Over time, it transitioned from a single screen to a quad to nine screens. In more recent times, digital advances and recliners were introduced.
“It holds fond memories,” said Jennifer Vega of the theater. “I’ve went there with my parents and siblings in the 1980s, had dates there in the late 1990s and 2000s, and then watched movies with my son.”
The Midway was designed by America’s foremost theater architect, Scotland native Thomas White Lamb, along with consulting architect S. Charles Lee. Today, Tom Andrew Lamb of White Plains is preserving his great-grandfather’s legacy.
“The most compelling reason that the Midway is worthy of preservation is the history that has taken place in this neighborhood theater,” he said. “For almost 80 years, this place has seen first dates, family outings, and solo trips on lonely nights. In our throwaway world, these spaces hold our collective experience and are repositories of memories.”
North Carolina resident Richard Delaney was six when the Midway opened.
“The opening was a big deal, it was like a black-tie event” he recalled. “It was modern Art Deco and completely different from the 1920s theaters.
“The Midway definitely needs to be preserved” Delaney added. “It’s an architectural treasure that was very ahead of its time.”
Over the years, the Midway hosted a range of events, including anniversary galas, benefits, and floor shows.
“My friends and I were the shadow cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” said Joseph Pormigiano. “I played the criminologist in the floor show,”
Marco Zanaletti is an airline employee from Italy. He has had the opportunity to visit Forest Hills on several occasions.
“I noticed the Tudor-style residential buildings and the Art Deco presence in places like the Midway,” he said. “I remember thinking, ‘wow I am in the U.S. and in a real community, not just as a tourist coming to New York shopping along 5th Avenue’ I started to feel a part of New York history around me.”
“The Midway is a landmark in my life,” added Thomas Duffy, whose Midway journey began in 1982 with E.T. “My first date with my longtime partner was at the Midway in 2000, when we saw Down to You. I hope to see a blockbuster or two this summer.”

Digital training for the formerly incarcerated

The Fortune Society is joining the Grow with Google Career Readiness for Reentry program, an initiative to provide free digital skills and job readiness training to formerly incarcerated individuals.
The program is in partnership with five nonprofits that have successfully developed and delivered high-quality job training to returning citizens, including Fortune Society, The Last Mile, Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), Defy Ventures, and The Ladies of Hope Ministries.
The program’s training will focus on fundamental digital skills, such as how to apply for jobs online and create a resume, along with more advanced topics including entrepreneurship and business budgeting. In total, the program will train 10,000 participants this year.
“We have a job readiness program that is three weeks in length, so when people are either coming to us after serving time in jail or prison we put them through this training program,” said Ronald F. Day, vice president of Programs at Fortune Society. “We help them with job search, proper interviewing skills and attire, how to fill out job applications and we connect them with some of the employers we work with.”
Fortune Society has funding to provide fellowship opportunities to serve as transitional work for a program of ten weeks for 21 hours a week at a minimum wage and connect them with their long list of employers that work with the nonprofit.
Headquartered in Long Island City and founded in 1967, Fortune Society is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit reentry service and advocacy organizations, serving 9,000 justice-involved individuals in New York City every year.
“We don’t just do advocacy now, we provide alternatives to incarceration,” said Day. “We work with people who have been arrested for felony charges and try to reduce the chances that they end up with a prison sentence.”
Each year, 600,000 Americans transition out of incarceration and face barriers to reentering the workforce. The unemployment rate for returning citizens is five times the national average, and returning citizens who are Black experience an even higher jobless rate.
The increasingly digital nature of work presents another challenge to workforce reentry, making the employment process difficult for those who lost access to technology while in prison.
“Lack of access to digital skills training and job coaching puts formerly incarcerated individuals at a severe disadvantage when trying to reenter the workforce and increase their economic potential,” said Malika Saada Saar, Global Head of Human Rights at YouTube, a subsidiary of Google. “We are thrilled to work alongside program partners who have demonstrated true expertise and leadership in supporting successful reentry through digital skills training to men and women, mothers and fathers, impacted by incarceration.”
The program is part of Google’s racial equity commitments and builds on the company’s ongoing investments in criminal justice reform. Since 2015, Google has given more than $40 million to nonprofits advancing criminal justice reform, and $60 million to organizations working to expand access to hands-on computer science learning.
Any nonprofit organization offering training to the reentry population can join the Grow with Google Partner Program and access resources, workshop materials and hands-on help free of cost.

Renovated Central Library will welcome returning patrons

As New York begins to reopen, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) unveiled the first phase of its Central Library revitalization, both restoring a majestic landmark and creating new spaces to serve the next generation of library patrons.
“The most extensive renovation in Central’s history honors its past and looks with great excitement toward its future,” said BPL president and CEO Linda Johnson. “We’ve efficiently and artfully reclaimed significantly more space for the public, where millions of patrons will soon be able to browse books, log onto computers, refine their resumes, register to vote, and much more.”
BPL partnered with renowned architect Toshiko Mori to both restore the Library to its original grandeur and transform Central Library into a more flexible modern building for today.
The design both returns space formerly used for administrative needs back to the public and anticipates how people might use the library in the future.
“BPL’s mission of providing knowledge for free to everyone is now enhanced by increased physical and visual access to its resources,” said Mori. “Led by their own curiosity, the public can explore the library’s vast collection and experience a sense of discovery and wonder.”
With more than 1.3 million visits per year, Central Library is among the busiest buildings in the borough. Phase one of the multi-phase redevelopment created four new spaces for the public to enjoy
• The new Civic Commons is an easily accessible, dedicated hub for organizations and services that facilitate participation in public life, featuring a new dedicated entrance on Flatbush Avenue.
Home to Central Library’s Passport Services Center, IDNYC office, a rotating community partner office, and a computer lab, waiting patrons will find a common reception area offering seating and free WiFi. In the future, the space will host civic events.
• The Major Owens Welcome Center will provide a first point of access for Brooklynites as they enter the branch through the library’s famous gilded entryway, framed by 15 bronze sculptures of famous characters and authors from American literature.
The welcome center will process check-outs and returns, and direct patrons to services throughout the branch, just as the library did when the building first opened 80 years ago..
Owens, who represented New York’s 11th and then 12th Congressional districts, worked as a librarian at Brooklyn Public Library in the 1950’s and 1960’s. In his 12 terms representing Brooklyn, he was known as the “librarian in Congress” and dedicated his career to providing access to education.
Across from the Major Owens Welcome Center, patrons can view an exhibit on the Congressman’s life, including never-before-seen photographs of the Congressman, handwritten and typed speeches, publications, campaign flyers, and more.
“Major Owens believed that education was the key to civilization and that libraries were the key to quality education,” said Chris Owens, eldest son of the late congressman and founder of “He also considered the Brooklyn Public Library system to be his professional birthplace and home.”
• In the “New & Noteworthy” book gallery just off the grand lobby, patrons can find the latest fiction and nonfiction titles, from best sellers to lesser-known books thoughtfully curated by librarians.
At 1,190 square feet, New & Noteworthy can hold approximately 2,000 books along with space to read amid natural light from the large windows overlooking Grand Army Plaza.
Overhead, a striking custom-designed metal ceiling sculpture with specialty lighting invites curious readers to spend time exploring the collections in the room.
Funding for New & Noteworthy was provided by Susan and David Marcinek. Susan Marcinek, who serves as the chair of Brooklyn Public Library’s Board of Trustees, is also funding a new program called Pathways to Leadership, which will provide full scholarships for Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander members of BPL staff to earn master’s degrees in library science.
“It’s part of BPL’s commitment to dismantle structural racism and bias wherever it exists, and I hope it becomes a model for other libraries across the country,” said Marcinek.
• A new and greatly enlarged Business and Career Center is a reserved space for job seekers and small business owners. Drawing on a long tradition of helping the community in times of economic trouble from World War I to 9/11 to Hurricane Sandy, BPL offers an array of services and programs for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and job seekers.
Trained business librarians are on hand to help with everything from resume review to navigation of local, state and federal government aid programs.
The space includes custom-designed wood counter seating, four private meeting rooms, seven conversation nooks, a co-working area with laptops for loan, and two large seminar rooms, including one with automated presentation equipment.
More importantly, the Business and Career Library connects via a new glass-enclosed staircase to the popular Shelby White and Leon Levy Info Commons on the first floor.
Opened in 2013, it is among the most popular spots in the library, with a recording studio, seven reservable meeting rooms, computers, open space for students, gig workers and anyone who needs a quiet space to work, with plenty of outlets for all.
Phase one of the revitalization also restored the library’s lobby to its original grandeur, including restoration and refurbishment of the historic oak wood paneling, newly poured terrazzo flooring, and installation of new lighting.
In the second phase of the renovation, beginning in 2022, the library will update the collection wings, create a new teen center and provide for an expanded and modernized adult learning and literacy center.
“Beyond housing some of the world’s greatest cultural and educational resources, the Brooklyn Public Library is the resource hub for Brooklynites,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With this new investment, the Brooklyn Public Library can better serve the public, making it easier than ever before for New Yorkers to engage civically, cultivate their small businesses, and expand their careers in their own backyard.”

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