New Commanding Officer of the 104

Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman discusses plans for community, uptick in crime

Although he doesn’t have a New York accent, NYPD Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman is no stranger to the city—or the borough of Queens.

He first moved to Astoria from Rochester, NY in September 2001—just 10 days before 9/11—and now lives in Manhattan.

Coleman joined the NYPD exactly 19 years ago, and started his career at the 6th Precinct in Lower Manhattan.

He went on to work at the 25th Precinct in East Harlem, 43rd and 52nd Precincts in the Bronx, 10th Precinct in the west side of Manhattan, where he served as commanding officer, and the Patrol Borough Bronx before being transferred to the 104 three weeks ago.

The 104th Precinct serves the western section of Queens, containing the Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village, and Maspeth neighborhoods.

“I’m very excited to be here,” Coleman said. “Working-wise, this is my first time in Queens, as I was mainly a Manhattan and Bronx cop for my career. But I’m happy to be here at the 104 and in a new experience working in Queens.”

Coleman said he made the conscious decision to go to bed early the night before his first day, June 6, and he’s glad he did—as the fatal shooting at 1080 Wyckoff Avenue happened early that morning.

“My patrol sergeant called me, and I woke up to respond directly to the scene there. We had a fatality there; a man was shot in the head, which is a tragedy on its own,” he said.

“We had about four shooters that are pretty much linked to crews in Brooklyn, and even the Bronx, and they have an ongoing dispute,” he continued. “It’s horrible. We had a fatality, but it could have been worse there.”

Coleman said that the 104’s former commanding officer, Captain Louron Hall, has been very helpful for his transition into the new precinct.

Hall is now the Commanding Officer of the 109th Precinct in northeast Queens.

Similarly to Hall’s approach, Coleman aims to engage with the community as much as possible, by way of meeting with stakeholders and elected officials, attending local events, being active on social media, and being present at community meetings to hear people’s concerns.

“I like to talk with people,” Coleman said. “I have what I call an open door policy for my cops. I’ll talk to them, but also with people in the public by arranging meetings.”

Coleman attended his first 104th Precinct Community Council meeting last week, where he and other police officers from the precinct listened to community members’ concerns and provided them with crime statistics.

He shared that the precinct is up in almost all categories of crime, especially gun violence, as there have been seven shooting incidents year-to-date versus zero at this time last year. The Ridgewood section of the precinct is the area with the most violent crimes, as it borders the 83rd Precinct in Brooklyn.

“None of [the shootings] are connected, but I think it does illustrate that people are walking around with firearms, which is concerning,” Coleman said. “We want to make it very clear that this violence will not be tolerated here.”

He added that the 104th Precinct recovered a handful of guns in the past two weeks alone, and emphasized that any type of violent crime is a priority of the precinct, as well as other crimes such as scams, robberies, or grand theft auto.

As for interacting with the community, Coleman said that so far he feels supported by them, despite the widespread anti-police sentiments.

“Obviously, there are people that can have justified concerns about policing, and that goes for any profession. However, the thing that was really shocking to me during the ‘defund the police’ movement is this stigma to paint all cops, the entire profession, as bad people,” Coleman said.

“I know for a fact, being in the NYPD for 19 years, that there are so many good people who are here for the right reasons. They want to help communities, they want to help people, and they want to reduce crime,” he continued. “Because of the pandemic and the incidents that happened, such as the murder of George Floyd, I think people in general challenge authority more than they once did.”

Coleman reflected on a past experience in the Bronx, where he and his partner arrested an individual wanted for a crime.

During the arrest, the person turned to him and the other officer and said, “You guys are the bad guys now.”

“Although I don’t think that’s true, it certainly felt that way,” Coleman said. “And I think these things can be about perception, and where it becomes a problem is the bad guys out there that commit crimes, if they believe that they have this ability to challenge the police and that they feel like the public is on their side about that, that empowers them.”

Despite this, Coleman acknowledges that the majority of New York City actually supports the police, and feels that those who do not are in the minority.

“It’s almost like its own little world, here in these neighborhoods, which are right in the center of Queens and Brooklyn,” he said. “I like that this community is really closely knit and supportive—not just of the police, but for each other.”

Flushing High School goes undefeated for the first time in 74 years

For the first time since 1948, the Flushing High School baseball team went undefeated this season, while taking home the PSAL championship title.

On Friday, June 24, New York City Councilwoman Sandra Ung presented the team with certificates in recognition of their accomplishment.

To commemorate the occasion, Ung also announced that she secured $500,000 in funding from the adopted $101 billion city budget to renovate Leavitt Field, where the team practices and plays its home games.

“I don’t remember us having much athletic success when I was a student, so I am going to have to claim this title partially as my own,” Ung, a former graduate of Flushing High School herself, said jokingly. “I want to congratulate the Flushing team on this history-making undefeated season.”

During the ceremony, Ung presented certificates to coaches Joe Gerloven and Antonio Bausone, in addition to the rest of the coaching staff and the players.

Leavitt Field, where the ceremony took place, is used by several athletic teams comprised of students from Flushing High School, Veritas Academy, and Queens High School for Language Studies. All three schools are housed in the Flushing High School building on Northern Boulevard.

It is also used regularly by local athletic leagues and to host community events. The $500,000 in funding will go to help repair the turf fields, fix several sink holes, address ponding issues, and replace portions of the fence.

“I am happy I was able to fulfill the request of school officials and allocate money for this project,” Ung said. “Hopefully when all of the work is done, we will have a sports field worthy of this title-winning team.”

Gerloven said the last time there were any major renovations done at the complex at 32nd Avenue and 137th Street was back in 2010. Since then, the Flushing High School athletic teams have taken the initiative to host several fundraisers to raise money to make minor repairs.

“I’m incredibly appreciative of all this,” Coach Gerloven said. “This will benefit not just the current players, but every group of students after them.”

Catalytic converter theft pattern raises eyebrows

New state legislation to address issue

While almost universally used in most modern cars to reduce harmful pollution, catalytic converters are a hot commodity in today’s economic climate.

They are so sought after that thieves go out of their way to steal them from under strangers’ vehicles—especially in Queens—where street parking is so common.

Catalytic converters, on average, sell for $1,500 to $3,000, due to their valuable metals platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which continue to rise in price.

Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman, the new commanding officer of the 104th Precinct, said that the short time it takes to steal a catalytic converter also plays a role.

“Perpetrators of this crime have become very good at it, and often, what they do is pull up to the target vehicle, and two of them get out,” he said.
“They can perform this operation in under a minute, or 30 seconds, very quickly,” he continued. “It happens in the blink of an eye and they drive off.”

As a result of constituent complaints and concerns heard at local civic meetings, NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo and his state colleagues approved a bill to combat catalytic converter theft.

The newly adopted legislation requires vehicle dismantlers and scrap processors to document information on the seller of the device, otherwise they will face a hefty fine.

State lawmakers, including Addabbo, hope these requirements will deter thieves from committing the crime.

“The ease of removing these devices from vehicles and the valuable precious metals used in catalytic converters has made this particular item a prime target for thieves,” Addabbo said. “This legislation, which for me is a direct result of constituent complaints, will ensure law enforcement has the necessary tools to thoroughly investigate the theft of this vital equipment which serves to protect the environment, while also ensuring individuals caught stealing will face appropriate consequences.”

Charlie, a Forest Hills resident who declined to give his last name, said he personally witnessed two thieves stealing his neighbor’s catalytic converter.

“I saw one guy acting as a lookout and I heard some sawing sounds coming from under the car. I immediately took out my phone and started taking photos, and I even got a good shot of the license plate, which was a paper one,” he said.

“The spotter noticed me taking photos and started yelling at me, asking me what I’m doing,” he continued. “They were pretty much done in 10 to 15 minutes, and by the time the cops arrived these thieves were long gone.”

Charlie said he did not want to get too close to the perpetrators, as they could have been armed, and hopes that the new state legislation will make thieves think twice before stealing the part.

“The parts cost so much money to replace, and it’s certainly hurting the pockets of the people that own the cars or the insurance companies,” he said. “Because of the high cost of parts replacement in addition to the inconvenience caused to car owners, thieves and chop shops should also pay a big price for stealing these parts.”

Michael Zhou, a Rego Park resident, said that his brother’s catalytic converter got stolen last week in Kew Gardens Hills, and his own was stolen in February.

He is frustrated that this crime is so rampant in the community, and how perpetrators only seem to care about making fast money with no consideration for the people it affects.

“It takes the perpetrator less than 2 minutes to steal it. For someone to make $300, like my daughter who works for an ice cream store at $15.50 an hour, she would need to work 19 hours. Perps, of course, would rather earn $300 in two minutes instead of working for 19 hours,” Zhou said.

Peter Magnani Way installed on 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights

Urban planner honored with street co-naming in Jackson Heights avenue he helped beautify

By Juan Arturo Trillo

Named after former Deputy Queens Borough President, “Peter Magnani Way” now stands tall on 81st St and 34th Avenue.

Magnani, who also served as an urban planner and architect, was honored with a street co-naming in his home of Jackson Heights on the morning of Saturday, June 18, 2022.

At 82 years old, Peter passed away on June 23rd, 2021. The street naming ceremony was attended by Peter’s family, friends, colleagues, and teammates.

A variety of speeches by Peter’s friends and community leaders preceded the unveiling of Peter Magnani Way.

The installation of Peter Magnani Way was spearheaded by former Councilman Danny Dromm along with former judge and community leader Rudy Greco.

“We’re here to honor Peter, but I feel honored to have been numbered among Peter’s friends,” Greco said.

Dromm anticipates that students will see Magnani’s name on the street and will be pushed to learn more about his impact.

Councilman Shekar Krishnan spoke of Magnani’s many contributions to Queens, including the Flushing Meadows Corona Park swimming pool/ice rink, Queens Hall of Science, and conversion of the Towers Co-Op in Jackson Heights.

He propelled a variety of projects, including the Flushing Meadows Corona Park swimming pool/ice rink, Queens Hall of Science, and conversion of Jackson Heights’s Towers Co-Op.

Magnani drove the installation and development of new libraries in Long Island City, Glen Oaks, Elmhurst, Far Rockaway, and Hunters Point.

Magnani helped to protect working class communities from developments which would displace tenants from their homes and communities, Krishnan added.

Krishnan said that Magnani understood how people’s environments affect their daily lives.

“His life, his legacy, has not just literally and physically changed the landscape of Jackson Heights and Queens, but it has left its mark on urban planning, on public space, and on how we think about our communities and our city for generations to come,” Krishnan said.

One of Magnani’s largest projects was the median on 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights.

The median now lies in the center of the new 34th Avenue Open Street, where the street is closed to cars from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Krishnan attributed much of its success to Magnani’s median.

Borough President Donovan Richards added that open streets give people an opportunity to build community, learn about each other, and celebrate the borough’s greatest strength: its diversity.

In addition to other initiatives, Magnani’s legacy was cemented through the variety of roles he served within the Queens and New York City communities.

Magnani worked at both the Bronx and Queens Departments of City Planning. He was then appointed as Deputy Borough President under the then-Borough president Claire Shulman. Finally, he became the Director of Capital Program Management for the Queens Borough Public Library.

Former Councilman Barry Grodenchik remembered Magnani as a “voice for his community” in his role as Deputy Borough President.

Former Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer added that Magnani was the “calm in the center of the storm” in his work.

Robert Esnard, former Deputy Mayor under Ed Koch, described Magnani’s career route to his government roles as unique. Esnard attended the City College of New York with Magnani where they played baseball together, and their friendship continued into their later years.

Esnard said that one of Peter’s final dreams was to play half-court basketball with his grandsons.

“[Peter] lived his life with grace, with kindness, and with a concern for his fellow man,” concluded Esnard.

Krishnan, whose district encompasses Jackson Heights, recalled Magnani’s long lasting legacy that will be remembered for generations to come.

“We lead the way as a neighborhood standing on the shoulder of Peter, pushing his work and legacy forward,” Krishnan added. “In changing permanently, a small piece of the landscape of New York City, we are recognizing the incredibly large impact that Peter’s life and work had.”


Thumbs down for Innovation Queens

CB1 votes down proposed $2 billion redevelopment

A rally preceding last week’s Community Board 1 meeting pitted supporters and adversaries of Innovation QNS against each other, with mixed feelings about the project that seeks to rezone five city blocks to build a mixed-use residential and commercial district in Astoria.

Some seven hours later, the board voted 24-8 in disapproval of the project, marking a setback for the proposed $2 billion redevelopment.

Before the roll call vote was called, Elizabeth Erion, co-chair of the board’s Land Use and Zoning committee, labeled the project as “unprecedented” for the western Queens community.

“We as a board over the years have supported large scale developments,” Erion said. “We supported the Astoria Cove and recently the Hallets North development and we’re open to redeveloping areas of Astoria and Long Island City, as long as the development is appropriate, is contextual and it isn’t overbearing.”

The board was first introduced to the renovation project in December 2019, whose developers include the trio of Kaufman Astoria Studios, Silverstein Properties, and BedRock Real Estate Partners.

Earlier in June, the board’s Land Use committee voted 7-2 to not approve the project.

Erion cited longstanding issues that the board took into consideration, including the scale of the development, size of the buildings, the density of the project, as well as economic impacts it would have on the community.

“In those early meetings, and even now, some of the issues still remain,” Erion said.

She cited a May subcommittee meeting where a consensus was reached on how to proceed with the project’s recommendation.

“We agreed at that particular meeting, that the development as was proposed, as it was presented to us, was really an inappropriate development for the community and would have an impact on it in negative ways,” Erion said.

The proposed $2 billion development would allow for the construction of 12 towers between Northern Boulevard and 37th Street, ranging from eight to 27 stories tall. The redevelopment project also calls for 725—or 25 percent—of the 2,845 units to be affordable for those making $50,000 annually, and 60 percent of units to be within the price range of area median income.

Developers also tout the creation of 3,700 construction jobs that could last up to a decade, as well as 1,700 permanent jobs created. In addition, two acres of open space for play and leisure is included in the project.

CB1 board member Katie Ellman says that more open spaces in Astoria is a good thing, but cautioned her fellow board members on what the tradeoff for that would be under this redevelopment project.

“The tradeoff of what comes with that will lead to more inequity, displacement of residents, and just a complete change of our community,” Ellman, a third-generation Astoria resident, said. “So many of us are being pushed out due to the high cost of rent and high cost of living, especially families with young children. So what do we want our community to look like in the next year, five years, ten years? A vibrant community that is diverse in backgrounds, diverse in ages and diverse in incomes. My fear with this is that it will change the entire scope of Astoria.”

She added, “I can barely afford to live here now, how many of us will be pushed out?”

Board member Andre Stith voted in favor of the redevelopment, saying that he would not allow the project to dictate what his children can or can not aspire to.

“I’m not going to tell them that just because something is new and shiny, that they can’t afford it and it’s not for them,” Stith said. “I’m going to tell my kids to go out and get.”

During the public comment section of the meeting, which ran several hours long, Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Grech voiced his approval of Innovation QNS, saying that the project does not include or require public funds for it to be implemented.

“There are a number of projects whose benefits do not come near Innovation QNS, that are being put forth and executed across the U.S. in places like Austin, Texas,” Grech said. “This is a great project that will create 2,000 apartments including 700 affordable homes.”

The project application will now receive a recommendation from Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who has 30 days from the Wednesday, June 21 meeting to submit it. Next in the Uniform Land Use Review Process, or ULURP, the City Planning Commission will vote on the project. If approved, then it would be sent to the City Council for approval and a vote that would have lasting effects in western Queens.

Some opponents of the redevelopment plan, like Astoria resident Gil Lopez, say the ULURP process is broken, and called on their neighbors to continue to express their concerns with the developers.

“MIH (Mandatory Inclusionary Housing) and AMI (area median income) are nothing more than constructs of the real estate lobbyists,” Lopez said. “They are not affordable to the actual residents here, and that must be reformed.”

Lopez called the public engagement effort by developers as nothing more than a “PR stunt”.

“If the city and the community board want more open space, let’s take back the street we gave to Kaufman Astoria Studios and give it back to the people as a park,” Lopez said.

On Thursday, Queens Borough President Richards will hold a virtual public hearing on land use related to the proposed Innovation QNS applications.

Developers are specifically seeking a zoning map amendment, a series of three zoning text amendments and a series of zoning special permits pursuant to the large scale general development regulations in the zoning resolution.

A public live stream of the public hearing will be available at on Thursday, June 30 at 9:30 a.m.

Middle Village Relay For Life raises $78K

Cancer survivors, caregivers, family, friends, prominent community figures, and even pets gathered in Juniper Valley Park on Saturday to stand up against cancer.

For the 19th year, the American Cancer Society hosted the Relay For Life of Middle Village, which honored locals who have been affected by cancer, as well as those who have donated to support the cause.

Collectively, the Middle Village Relay For Life raised well over $78,000 for cancer research, patient care programs, and other valuable resources.

The list of sponsors includes local businesses and organizations such as Maspeth Federal Savings, Kiwanis Club of Glendale, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Move to the Melodie, Main Street Radiology, Cord Meyer Development Company, Ridgewood Moose Lodge 1642, and O’Neill’s Maspeth.
Maspeth resident Leslie Orlovsky of the American Cancer Society, who led the event, said that the overall goal of the Relay For Life is to support groundbreaking cancer research, to ultimately find a cure.

“I know a lot of survivors, and people who are close to me that have lost their battle to cancer,” Orlovsky said. “And I’m so thankful for the science and the recent breakthrough cancer research we have seen. I hope we are close to a cure.”

New York City Councilman Robert Holden was in attendance, and reminisced about the event’s past successes and celebrated the promising future for cancer research.
“I thank everyone who’s here and is keeping the faith. There have been great strides this year in the fight against cancer, with some major breakthroughs,” he said.

Since the event was held at the Multi-purpose Play Area/Field 8 of the park, it was much smaller than years past, but Holden said that he can “almost guarantee” that it will be back at the Juniper Valley Park track and field next year.

Melissa Alke-Sparnroft kicked off the event by sharing her cancer story with the crowd, which was followed by a series of walks and team laps around the track. There was also a relay, fun and games, a Zumba dance class taught by Melodie Mattes, and the Luminaria Ceremony in the evening.

Alke-Sparnroft, a resident of Ridgewood and a mother-to-be, is living proof that cancer does not discriminate.

Her journey began in 2018 when she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, and began going for yearly blood work and ultrasounds.

In 2020, she was due for her annual appointment, which got canceled due to the first COVID-19 panic.

In June of that year, Alke-Sparnroft found out she was pregnant with her first son, Jackson, but she had a stillbirth in October.

Right around Christmastime, she got the call from her doctor that she had papillary thyroid cancer.

“That just goes to show that cancer doesn’t care,” she said. “I ended up having surgery in February 2021 to get my thyroid and a few lymph nodes removed… I went into isolation for a week.”

Although it was one of the most difficult times in her life, Alke-Sparnroft is pleased to say that the medical procedures worked, and she and her husband will soon welcome a child into the world.

“I’m really thankful for science because without it, the researchers and the doctors would not have been able to basically find a way to cure this type of thyroid cancer,” she said. “You also really have to be your own advocate and use your voice. Go to your recommended cancer screenings. You have to take control and go to it.”

“When you’re in those really difficult times, you have to do what you can to keep moving forward,” she continued. “My personal motto is ‘Day by day, sometimes hour by hour, and sometimes it’s even minute by minute.’ You have to do what you can, holding onto some sort of hope for the future and moving forward.”

Ridgewood makers market spotlights queer artists

By Stephanie Meditz

While the Pride parade marched on in Manhattan on Sunday, queer artists in the Ridgewood and Bushwick areas came together in a celebratory display of their work.

The Footlight Underground at the Windjammer hosted a makers market for artists of various media, including jewelry, visual art, digital art, clothing, and tattoos, to set up shop for the day, gain exposure, and meet other artists in the area.

Many artists who attended the market see their art as an outlet for self-expression and a way of reconnecting with their roots.

Amy Catherine Welch has been painting since she was a child. She rediscovered her passion when she found an online painting application during her workday as a receptionist.

The bright, neon colors in her work are a welcome change from the white walls that surround her most of the time.

“I feel like I’m a bit of an old soul, so I like having these kind of Victorian women liberated with all the color…I just like playfulness,” she said, referencing her favorite piece. “I just like bringing joy.”

Bushwick-based illustrator and animator Eva Redamonti, @evaredamonti_art on Instagram, describes her extremely detailed artwork as psychedelic and surreal.

She sees art as a way of coping with her emotions in all their complexity.

“I think my art is deeply connected to my mental health,” she said. “So I make art when I’m happy, I make art when I’m sad, and it always makes me feel better. It’s kinda just what I do to survive in this world.”

Hans Rasch of Le Sylphide Tattoos.

Musician and visual artist Michael Rider likewise expresses themself through their art, specifically their experiences as a queer, nonbinary person.

“I find that in my visual work as well as my music, there’s a lot of longing, remembrance, nostalgia, just a lot of fantasizing for a kind of reality that doesn’t really exist,” they said.

Rider’s newest album, “Cycle,” came out in May and is available on most major streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon Music, and Pandora.

Hans Rasch of Le Sylphide Tattoos—“@le.sylphide” on Instagram—places a similar emphasis on queer and transgender experiences in conducting their practice.

They run a trauma-informed practice that creates a soothing, meditative, and private environment for their clients who are mostly people of color, feminine-presenting, or queer.

“A lot of breath work happens in the process, and meditation,” they said. “I’m a professional dancer as well, and so much of dance training has to do with psychosomatics and checking in, so a lot of that sort of vocabulary of listening in to the body… finds its way into my practice.”

Since Rasch works as a tattoo artist once a week, they value the unique personal connections they make with their clients.

Lex Glade

Lex Glade, an artist, costumer, photographer, and prominent force behind the scenes of Footlight Presents, similarly finds it important to make connections and empower others to create art.

A self-described “professional dress-up person,” they love hosting one-on-one workshops to teach people how to sew and apply special effects makeup.

Glade’s brand Sparkle Punk—“@sparkle.punk” on Instagram—sells colorful jewelry, face masks, headbands, scrunchies, and more.

“I found that when I can make something that somebody can wear that makes them feel so good, that makes them feel really authentic and real and them, just made me really happy,” they said. “The most punk thing you could ever do is be yourself.”

Glade runs “@footlightpresents” on Instagram and is responsible for much of the organization’s recruitment for events and engagement with the community.

“That’s how people find us,” they said, referencing social media. “They’re like, ‘I feel the energy and I feel good, I feel safe here’… I think being a fem-owned and run business also really helps with that because we can really create a space that does what we preach.”

Footlight Presents hosts a variety of different events, such as open mic nights, cabarets, and workshops, to give emerging artists a platform and make culture accessible to all people.

It accomplishes these goals with the help of its members, who pay as little as $5 a month to support its efforts.

This funding allows events to have sliding scale admission, meaning that ticket prices vary and people pay what they can.

Footlight Presents also publishes a Zine titled “The Footlighter” that often highlights work by local artists and attendees of past events.

Laura Regan, who runs Footlight Presents, describes it as a need-based, community-oriented organization created “by artists for artists.”

“I go to a lot of events, I follow people on Instagram, I connect with people all the time, I’m always looking for new talent. I do come to a lot of the open mics and stuff too to scout for talent and see if I can book them on events. So it’s just about being invested and part of the community,” she said.

To support Footlight Presents in their mission to empower local artists and amplify diverse voices, become a subscribing member at


Jastremski: An Electric Weekend In The Bronx

Yanks/Stros In October Sounds Tasty!

You never want to get nuts with a late June series, one way or another if you’re a Major League team.

That said, there was a heightened sense of adrenaline kicking in the Bronx this past weekend for the Yankees-Astros series.

After Sunday’s finale finished up, my first thought was.

Man, can we get 7 of these come October?

The Yankees and the Astros have developed quite the rivalry over the last couple of seasons.

They’ve played multiple playoff series, both teams have won a whole lot of games, and of course the bad blood from the 2017 cheating scandal.

There is no love lost for the Yankees and the Astros.

There is certainly no love lost for Astros star Jose Altuve from the Yankee faithful.

However, the rivalry has been pretty one-sided in games that really matter.

The Astros are responsible for eliminating the Yankees from the 2015 Wild Card game and the 2017 & 2019 American League Championship Series.

Cheaters or not, the Astros have pretty much owned the Yankees.

I looked at this past weekend as a great litmus test for the red hot Bombers.

As far as I’m concerned, the Yankees passed the initial tough test.

They split the four games, but the wins and losses featured two different subplots.

The two wins on Thursday & Sunday displayed the grit and intestinal fortitude that has been on full display in the Bronx all summer.

On Thursday, the Yankees were down 3 in the 9th inning. Aaron Hicks hit a 3 run bomb to tie it and Aaron Judge walked it off with a double.

Friday and Saturday didn’t go quite as well for the Yankee bats.

They were shut down by Yankee nemesis Justin Verlander on Friday night and on Saturday, the Yankees were no-hit for the first time since 2003.

Ironically enough, the last team to no-hit the Yankees was the Houston Astros, the same exact script that took shape on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday wasn’t looking particularly good for 6 innings.

The Yankees once again were being no-hit, but the difference between the 2021 Yankees and this year’s team was on full display.

The Yankees scratched and clawed their way back. A couple of homers to tie the game and an Aaron Judge walk-off bomb in extras to win it.

It was an electric weekend of baseball in the Bronx.

Two terrific teams, star power all over the field, and exactly the sort of series you’d want to see come October.

The Yankees have a whole lot cooking in 2022. If they want to win it all, they must slay the dragon that is a very dangerous Houston Astros team.

Theater that I would most certainly pay to see!

You can listen to my podcast New York, New York every Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday on The Ringer Podcast Network on Spotify/Apple Podcasts. You can watch me nightly on Geico Sportsnight following Mets postgame on SNY.

Pol Position: Attack Ads target Assembly Candidate

Real estate interests are spending big in local assembly district races across the city, with attack mailers labeling candidates as too far left.

One of these candidates, Juan Ardila, was recently endorsed by The Queens Ledger in the race for Assembly District 37 — which covers Sunnyside, Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, and Long Island City.

The attacks ads are part of a last-minute ad-blitz from the group “Common Sense New Yorkers,” a Super PAC funded by big real estate money.

Records from the State’s public disclosure system show that within the last two weeks, “Common Sense New Yorkers” has received two donations from 360 SLD Management, a foreign limited liability corporation under the White Plains-based Cappelli Organization, for $30,000; and Muss Development, a multigenerational development company based out of Forest Hills.

These are the groups funding the message that Juan Ardila is “bad news” for our community. Pretty rich for people who don’t live in the neighborhood.

The mailer labeling Juan Ardila as “Dangerous! Reckless! Socialist!” are far from the truth. In an interview with The Queens Ledger, Ardila emphasized that he was not seeking DSA’s support in the race, and has received the endorsement of more traditional New York liberals like Senate Deputy Leader Michael Giannaris or the Working Families Party.

The mailers also claim that Juan Ardila wants to “reduce the budget of the police throughout the state” and that it is in his own words. In the Jim Owles questionnaire response, the attack ad which refers to Ardila specifically, talks about funds that have been used to militarize the police and divert them to social programs to be able to tackle the issue of crime. While he does advocate for some reallocation, it is far from the “too extreme for Queens” allegations.

The mailers also attack Ardila for racist, homophobic and anti-semitic comments he made in high school. This is not a new revelation as it was unearthed by The New York Post during Ardila’s previous campaign for City Council. Ardila has previously apologized for the language he used on Facebook as a teenager.

The truth is Juan Ardila has the best interests of district residents. He is an ardent supporter of good cause, a necessary bill that will protect tenant rights, while the cost of living keeps rising.

One of Juan Ardila’s main competitors in the race, Johanna Carmona, is the real estate industry’s pick. Public records show that Carmona received $4,700, the highest possible donation from Neighborhood Preservation, a PAC associated with the pro-landlord Rent Stabilization Association.

With 24 hours left in the campaign, Carmona has raised some key high-dollar donations from other real estate interests. Public records show that she took a $1,000 donation from Dan Tishman, a long-standing member of the Real Estate Board of New York. Carmona also took $1,000 from Ayala Barnett, the wife of Extell Development founder Gary Barnett, who received favorable tax breaks after being a long-time donor to former Governor Cuomo, as the New York Daily News reported.

Juan Ardilla has foregone taking corporate or developer money. While the polls will have closed before this paper is printed, these attack ads only solidify our endorsement of Ardila as the candidate to represent the community’s interests up in Albany.

City complete stabilization of Shore Road

$4.9M project restores roadway damaged by 2018 nor’easter

The New York City Department of Design and Construction and Department of Transportation recently announced the completion of a $4.9 million emergency contract to stabilize Shore Road, between West Drive and Bayview Avenue, in Douglaston.

The roadway, which runs along the coaster perimeter of Little Neck Bay, was severely damaged by a nor’easter storm in 2018, leaving the street vulnerable to inclement weather. The embankment and timber walls that supported the street, along with the pathway used by workers to help maintain the embankment, partially collapsed as well.

“Shore Road is an important part of the fabric of our community,” Douglaston Manor Association President Pia Thompson said in a statement. “It was designed in 1906 as our promenade, a place where we can take a leisurely walk and meet neighbors or just reconnect with nature.”

The project, which was completed $700,000 under budget, was designed by DDC’s in-house design team along with Hazen and Sawyer engineering consultants, to ensure that any potential storms or flooding would not cause future hazards along the route.

“The Shore Road waterfront is a hidden gem in Douglaston, widely enjoyed at all times of the year by both residents and visitors wishing to take in sweeping vistas of Little Neck Bay,” State Senator John Liu said in a statement. “When the 2018 nor’easter threatened to destabilize the entire region, we knew immediate resiliency actions needed to take place.”

During the pandemic, while construction slowed throughout the city, Liu said his office continued to work closely with city agencies and the City Comptroller to expedite the emergency contract and make sure that it remained a priority to the administration to finish the project on time and under budget.

MFM Contracting Corp. began construction in June 2021 with additional engineering services provided by EnTech Engineering. The project includes the installation of steel sheets and 40-foot-deep solider piles to support the roadway. Approximately 700 cubic yards of gabion baskets filled with stone were also installed at various elevations to support the embankment and roadway.

Additionally, the 2,550 square foot walkway along the lower portion of the embankment was restored to allow access to workers, and more than 900 square feet of roadway along the embankment was fully restored.

“It is vital that we maintain the integrity of our coastal communities and protect our shorelines, while also maintaining the beauty and history of Douglaston,” Councilwoman Vickie Paladino said in a statement. “I commend the work of NYC DDC and DOT for the major accomplishment of this project to have been completed swiftly, especially under budget. This is a very exciting time for the Douglaston community.”

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