2012-06-20 / Features

Gianaris Remains 12th S.D. Senator, Maloney Hailed

BY THOMAS COGAN

After the Dutch Kills Civic Association celebrated the last meeting of the season with a party at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church on June 14, state Senator Michael Gianaris reported that the redistricting situation that had threatened his representation of the 12th senate district had been resolved. He is still representing Dutch Kills, among other localities. He said he would be speaking at the last commencement of Long Island City H.S., from which he graduated years ago, and was otherwise working to effect a smooth transition to a new school with a new name, Global Scholars Academy at Long Island City. He added that in the latest phase of the Gypsy Rose gentlemen’s club saga, the club’s owners, frustrated by the State Liquor Authority’s denial of a license, had acted on a threat to make the club on 21st Street by an exit of the Queensboro Bridge an all-nude establishment with a new name, Show Palace. Such a place cannot serve liquor or allow its consumption on premises. Gianaris said that further protest against the club may be necessary.

DKCA President Jerry Walsh praised Congressmember Carolyn Maloney for the funding she has secured for Queens. He said he was particularly impressed by the newly opened Dutch Kills Green on the north side of Queensboro Plaza. Creation of this park area in the midst of the flow of vehicles headed for the Queensboro Bridge is greatly owing to the tens of millions of dollars gained for Queens Plaza redevelopment by Maloney.

Con Edison earlier in the decade distributed free street trees to sections of Western Queens badly affected by a weeks-long power outage in July 2006. Dutch Kills did not experience the localized power failure, but Con Ed nevertheless provided the trees left over from the distribution program to Dutch Kills. Volunteers are currently enrolled in a tree maintenance course and are distributing trees to several areas of Dutch Kills. DKCA Member Dominic Stiller, one of the leaders of the tree planting program, said that on a recent hot day he took a heat-seeking thermometer and measured a reading of 96 degrees on a section of roadway asphalt, while in a nearby tree pit the reading was 20 degrees lower. Street trees, he concluded, have a cooling effect on the neighborhood.

Stiller is also head of DSENY Building Service Inc., which has been renovating a building at 38-40 29th St. (“ugliest building on the block”, he called it, though the most recent exterior removal revealed an interesting wooden surface) that once had been the site of a tavern but had taken on a nondescript appearance in recent decades. He said it might return to the neighborhood as a coffee shop and eventually be a bar/restaurant, perhaps bearing a name he’d like, The Windmill. On the other hand, Walsh noted that a homeowner a block or so from that building wishes to sell his house to a developer who might bundle it with adjacent properties and erect a hotel. He said owners ought to be mindful of what might happen when they sell their properties, if they are concerned for the stability of the neighborhood.

The summer season in Astoria Park is to begin with the Joe Battaglia Big Band and a fireworks display Monday evening, June 25. DKCA Executive Director George Stamatiades said an additional treat that night would be a six-year-old singer from a recent Queens Library Has Talent contest, whom he described as amazing. The fireworks, he added, would be more spectacular than ever. More musical events begin Thursday evening, July 12 and continue on July 19 and 26, he said; and on Monday, August 6, movie night begins and continues on August 13, 20 and 27.

On the evening of Sept. 3, 2008, a female neighbor of 65-year-old Nicholas Nowillo, a DKCA member, asked him to come outside and watch as she went to her house because a homeless man, Eric Cherry, was hanging around and staring at her as she exited her car. Nowillo saw Cherry standing in front of Nowillo’s house at 39th Avenue at Crescent Street, banging and kicking Nowillo’s car. Nowillo told Cherry to leave. Cherry responded by punching Nowillo numerous times, then grabbing and throwing him to the ground. He then proceeded to kick and punch Nowillo multiple times, causing his death. Cherry was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault on April 23 of this year. At the DKCA meeting, Doris Nowillo-Suda, Nicholas Nowillo’s daughter, said that Cherry had been sentenced to 19 years in prison on June 12. Walsh said he was relieved that the sad event was finally resolved.

The Dutch Kills Civic Association will next meet on Thursday evening, September 13.

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