Nabes say tree pruning the last straw
by Shane Miller
May 29, 2013 | 706 views | 3 3 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Assemblymen Ed Braunstein and Ron Kim at the rally.
Assemblymen Ed Braunstein and Ron Kim at the rally.
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Upset residents rally outside Star Nissan in Auburndale last week.
Upset residents rally outside Star Nissan in Auburndale last week.
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A Queens auto service center angered its neighbors last week after it decided to “fix” the trees surrounding its garage.

Star Nissan in Auburndale was fined $84,000 by the Parks Department for aggressively pruning - and in some cases completely destroying – approximately 20 trees along Auburndale Lane, 42nd Avenue, and 172nd Street.

The trees were planted ten years ago by the city to act as a buffer between the busy service center and the residential homes that surround it.

But neighbors say the fines aren't enough. They say that the management of Star Nissan has been unwilling to compromise and communicate with the community on a host of issues, including cars being parked on residential streets and noise, to name a couple.

“[This is] yet another in a long series of arrogant and malicious acts against the surrounding community,” said Rhea O'Gorman, co-president of the Station Road Civic Association. “Only this time the act was illegal.”

Chrissy Voskerichian, vice president of the Station Road Civic Association, said some progress has been made over the last few years to open up dialogue with ownership of Star Nissan to address some of the issues.

So it was disheartening when employees of Star Nissan were sent out to chop branches off the trees, which are technically on public property.

“This sets us back ten years,” said Voskerichian.

Residents want Star Nissan to foot the bill for replacing the damaged trees, as well as transplanting damaged trees that likely won't survive in an urban setting to area parks.

Assemblyman Ed Braunstein joined residents at the rally last Friday, and acknowledged that issues with Star Nissan predate even his time in office.

“I have files from my predecessor dating back 15 years regarding the noise at Star service center,” he said. “If Star wants to continue to operate in our community, they must finally be a good neighbor.”

A representative from Star Nissan briefly attended the rally, but declined to comment.

Comments
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Soon yi Kim-Lee
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February 09, 2014
Paranoid schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness in which a person loses touch with reality (psychosis). The classic features of paranoid schizophrenia are having delusions and hearing things that aren't real. According to Ms. O'Gorman, Star Nissan is to blame for everything wrong in Flushing and the world today. Ms. O'Gorman's battle with Star dates back more than a decade. As a mental health professional myself, I would speculate that Ms. O'Gorman's obsession with Star Nissan was precipitated by a traumatic event which occurred approximatly ten years ago and that traumatic event brought on her paranoid schizophrenia. I have watched Ms. O'Gorman badger this humble car dealership to the point of harassment for years. She is known to verbally attack anyone associated with the dealership, including Star's many satisfied customers. I have seen her even take pictures of cars serviced by Star; the motive behind this behavior is unclear, but certainly signals an individual who is consumed with paranoia. I urge our neighbors to support Ms. O'Gorman in getting the mental health help she so desperately needs. Rhea, if you are reading this, please call 1- 800-LIFENET. There are many trained professionals who can help you.

Jimmy McNabb
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December 26, 2013
Who the hell cares? If Ms. O'Gorman got herself new glasses she would see that Flushing became a Korean shanty twenty years ago. This isn't even Archie Bunker's neighborhood anymore. These two "ladies" are worried about a few tree branches when there are rapes, murders, and muggings here in Queens everyday. Star Nissan should sue Voskerichian and O'Gorman for harassment. No one is above the law.
Lorraine s.
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June 19, 2013
Ms. O'Gorman's appearance is arrogant and malicious.