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2022 Election Profile: Assembly Candidate Johanna Carmona

Johanna Carmona, a Sunnyside native and former Hispanic community liaison for outgoing Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, announced her bid for the New York State Assembly’s 37th District.

Nolan, whose district whose district encompasses the Hunters Point, Sunnyside, Woodside, Maspeth, and Ridgewood communities in Western Queens, has held the position since 1984. Following the announcement of her retirement, four local candidates have opted to throw their hats into the ring.

Carmona, 32, is a lawyer who previously worked special victims for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. She has also been endorsed by Nolan, who has represented the area for decades and felt she is the most qualified to succeed her up in Albany.

The main reason Carmona is running for the Assembly is to help give her community substantive representation at the state level.

“The neighborhood’s growing, but at the same time, it still has the same values that I feel are there from when I was little,” Carmona said in an interview. She emphasized that the tight-knit community of Sunnyside has been instrumental in her own life, like when neighbors helped her Dad with everything from babysitters to cooking a decent meal after Carmona’s mother suffered a stroke.

Carmona’s three top issues she’d like to tackle up in Albany are public safety, education, and affordable housing.

“The rent increases are going to be a concern because it also affects someone like myself,” Carmona said about the Rent Guidelines Board potential increases, adding that she’s been a lifelong tenant. Carmona supports Good Cause Eviction, a bill that would strengthen tenant rights with certain clarification to the language of the bill, saying that some terms such as what is deemed ‘satisfactory’ to the court are too grey and needs more clear definitions.

While Carmona is generally supportive of bail reform, she says the legislation could have been written more robustly before passing. The former special victims prosecutor said that the bill lacked key provisions and that her experience as a lawyer will suit her to write effective legislation.

“And then there was also another one where they didn’t include which was obscene sexual acts performed by a child, why wasn’t that included? My biggest thing is that I’ve dealt with victims, and my biggest proponent is to make sure victims are protected. And, of course, it was amended and included that, but you know, people have to understand that the wording has to be careful when something that passes so quickly,” Carmona said.

Carmona plans to laser in on lowering class size, funding for after-school programs, and expanding college access programs.

“Making sure we have solid college access programs, I think will be very beneficial because it’s a nice way coming from a family of very low income to segue into a better job,” Carmona said, specifically highlighting how an NYU program helped her in her own life.

While Carmona has her main issues, she also would like to focus on otter topics like climate policy. Specifically, she’s looking at ways to revitalize Newton Creek, such as using the waterway as a source of renewable energy and utilizing discretionary funds to expedite the clean-up timetable.

Carmona has been hitting the district one door at a time, even giving her personal cell phone number to potential voters to make sure she is accessible to the community.

“The majority of people just want a better quality of life,” Carmona said about her conversations with voters across the district. “It comes down to people protecting their families, being able to afford their homes, and being able to just go down the street and say I can come back home safe. And honestly, it’s just that’s what’s been resonating throughout the whole district.”

Carmona will be facing fellow candidates Juan Ardilla, Jim Magee, and Brent O’Leary in the Tuesday, June 28 primary.

Two Grand Marshals named for the 2022 Maspeth Memorial Day Parade

Maspeth Memorial Day Parade: Sunday May 29th, 2022 @ 1PM
Parade Begins at Grand Avenue & 69th Street
Memorial Services immediately following the parade at Maspeth Memorial Square

Cosantino Carbone, Jr.

Costantino, nicknamed J.R., was born on July 16,1932 on North 7th Street in Williamsburg Brooklyn. He attended PS 17 and later transferred to PS 73 before graduating from Newtown High School. J.R. pushed up his draft to join the Korean War.

Patriotism ran bold in the Car- bone household with five of his brothers serving in the Army. He volunteered for Jump School and
joined the 101st Airborne Division. As a young Private Rifleman he was transported to North Korea to join the 3rd Infantry Division located on the front line. At 5’ 4” he volunteered to carry the Browning Automatic Weapon, a big gun for little guy as he put it. His outfit was engaged in combat from Day One.

The North Koreans would charge their positions and fight at night. During the day they tried in vain to rest, sustaining constant bombardment. As he recalled, his buddies thought they would never return home. Then, on July 27, 1953, a cease fire was announced, however, his unit never left the front line.

The good ship Fort Mason carried him home and he mustered out of the Army at Fort Kilmer, N.J. Tech. Sgt. Carbone saw much action on the front line and received the following awards and decorations:

  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star
  • Korean Defense Service Medal Combat Infantryman Badge United Nations Service Medal Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation

On a personal note, he met his Maspeth born and raised Theresa at the Maspeth Memorial Day Parade in 1950. Theresa attended St. Stan’s grammar school. The Carbone’s were married at St. Stan’s Church in April 1956. They became the proud parents of three children: Vicky, Frank and Connie. Today they enjoy doting on their great- granddaughter Rowan. They still reside in Middle Village and attend many social events as an admired couple.

Peter Wolyniec

Peter has been part of the Maspeth landscape since his birth in 1950. He was born a “special baby” with a severe case of Syndactylism which affects the formation and position of the body’s extremities. Peter underwent many surgeries to improve his ability to walk and the dexterity to function in our everyday world.
Although he was compromised at birth but overcame his afflictions with true grit attending Holy Cross Grammar School and Christ the King High School.

As a youngster he became a Boy Scout of troop #213 at the American Legion in Maspeth. LaGuardia Community College offered a course in handicapped typing, which provided the impetus to be offered a job as a computer operator at Pfizer Chemical. That same year, 1978, Peter was a charter member of the newly formed Maspeth Lions Club. He ascended to President for two years and has been its Recording Secretary since 1985. It was around this time in his life that he also joined the United Veteran & Fraternal Organization of Maspeth. He served as its President for two years, Recording Secretary for 30 years and Parade Commentator for 25 years.

Now in his golden years he has but one regret, not being able to join the armed services because of his dis- abilities. Peter is indeed proud of the long line of relatives that have served their country in military service. His motto is “God, Country & Family.”

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