Statue destruction

Dear Editor,
I am appalled by the act of vandalism over the weekend that destroyed two 84-year-old statues at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Forest Hills.
This type of hatred must end. I hope the person who committed this act is captured soon.
Frederick R. Bedell, Jr.

Get vaccinated

Dear Editor,
Even though millions of Americans have been vaccinated against COVID-19, the virus still continues to mutate.
How can it be possible with all of the medical and scientific knowledge that the world is still in the throes of a pandemic for over 19 months? We can’t keep opening and closing, unmasking and masking.
The Delta variant is rapidly spreading across the country, particularly in those states with low vaccination rates.
We have three effective vaccines against COVID-19. For the sake of your fellow Americans, please get vaccinated as soon as possible. Do it for yourselves, your families, friends, and neighbors so that we can live our lives normally.
John Amato
Fresh Meadows

Heart attack risks & calcium

Mothers have been telling us for decades to drink our milk to have strong bones. They are not necessarily wrong; calcium from diet is essential. However, what about calcium from supplements?
Many people, especially women after menopause, take calcium supplements as a preventive measure to reduce the chances of osteoporosis. Patients who have osteoporosis are instructed to take calcium to prevent fracture.
In a meta-analysis, 1200 mg of calcium plus 800 mg of vitamin D resulted in preservation of bone mineral density at the hip and spine. In fact, there was a 12 percent reduction in the risk of fracture in patients taking this combination.
The demographics included people over the age of 50. So, you can understand why patients would readily use calcium supplements.

Is it possible that calcium supplementation is dangerous?
A meta-analysis that looked at five randomized control trials in 2007, showed that calcium taken without vitamin D may increase the risk of a heart attack. Patients who had a heart attack had calcification (hardening) of the coronary arteries. The average dose of calcium supplementation was approximately 1000 mg.
In the treatment group, there was a 31 percent increase in incidence of heart attack, compared to the placebo group. The authors recommended at the time that most of your calcium come from diet.
I agree that it is important to take calcium and vitamin D together; vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium. However, high levels of calcium may interfere with vitamin D’s functioning.
Still, a study published in the British Medical Journal in 2011 illustrated that calcium with vitamin D increased the risk of a heart attack by about 20 percent. The authors analyzed data from the Women’s Health Initiative, with over 20,000 participants.
The most damaging impact to calcium supplementation is the authors’ conclusion that for every 1000 people taking calcium for five years, regardless of vitamin D intake, there would be an increase of six heart attacks or strokes, but prevention of only three fractures.
This may mean that the risks outweigh the benefits with calcium supplementation. The study used 1000 mg of calcium and 400 IUs of vitamin D. The conclusion of the authors is that patients should get most of their calcium from diet.

What are the different types of calcium supplementation?
The two common types are calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Calcium carbonate is less expensive, found in products like Tums, and it has a higher propensity to cause the most common type of kidney stone, calcium oxalate stones.
Calcium citrate is better absorbed. Therefore, I recommend to my patients, if they take calcium, it should be calcium citrate.

What is the optimal dose of calcium?
We see all varying doses of calcium on pharmacy shelves. The body absorbs <500 mg of calcium most effectively at one time, according to the Institute of Medicine. Therefore, it is best to target this amount. Also, the studies above showed an increase in heart attack with 1000 mg of calcium supplementation. Where should we get most of our calcium?
Even though it is not completely clear what to do about calcium supplementation, there is a recurrent theme of recommending dietary calcium. Interestingly, there was a study that showed that a diet rich in calcium, but not in vitamin D or dairy, lowered risk of death due to ischemic heart disease.
Foods that are naturally high in calcium include soybeans and vegetables, such as kale and bok choy. High levels of sodium and protein cause decreased levels of calcium.
There is definitely value in supplementing vitamin D in patients who are insufficient or deficient, but most people, including those with osteoporosis or osteopenia, may not have low levels of calcium. So, if patients have normal levels, there is no need for them to take calcium supplements.

Dr. Navarra Rodriguez, Advantage Care Physicians

Dr. Navarra Rodriguez is president and chief medical officer of Advantage Care Physicians New York (ACPNY). She oversees 40 offices that care for a half-million patients in the New York metro area.
A new ACPNY recently opened in Jackson Heights at 40-31 82nd Street, the group’s ninth in Queens.
“As we see communities grow and evolve, we do our best to ensure that our staff is meeting those needs and matching our communities as closely as possible,” said Rodriguez. “We’re lucky that we have a lot of providers and care team members that come from the community. They are eager to serve.”
AdvantageCare Physicians is part of EmblemHealth, which opened a new Neighborhood Care center at the Jackson Heights location. The center is open and free for anybody.
Community members can access primary care providers and specialty care services at ACPNY, and find connections to community resources, such as food and housing, wellness classes, and health benefits.
“At ACPNY, we know that accessible and quality care is both life-affirming and life-saving,” said Rodriguez, who has practiced medicine for over 20 years. “I have advocated for prevention, comprehensive care, and helping communities of color to get the healthcare access they need.”

Here’s to another 100 years in Forest Park

For over a century, the carousel in Forest Park has been part of growing up in Woodhaven, Glendale, Ridgewood and many of the nearby neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn.
In many families, several generations have fond memories of riding on the carousel, and have passed on the tradition by taking their own children or grandchildren for their first ride.
A few summers ago, the operators of the carousel added the Woodhaven Express Train. Last summer, they introduced the Frog Hopper to Forest Park. So with a few rides to choose from, along with a basketball shootout and a ring-toss game, it has been transformed into a mini-amusement park.
And so, while the carousel itself will always be known as the Forest Park Carousel, the entire site is now called the “Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village,” and it officially opened its gates for 2021 on weekends…for now. Understandably a soft open after the past year.
We were very fortunate the day that New York Carousel Entertainment was selected to be the stewards of our historic carousel’s future. They have been committed to the growth and well being of the carousel site, while at the same time remaining reverent of the carousel’s past and the feelings that the people of Woodhaven have for it.
Artistically, the Forest Park Carousel is particularly notable as it was the handiwork of the legendary master carver Daniel Muller. Muller came to the United States from Germany as a child in the 1880s. As a young man, he and his brother worked for Gustav Dentzel, a renowned carousel builder in his own right.
Dentzel’s father built carousels in Germany going back to the mid-18th century. Muller took advantage of the opportunity to learn all of these old-world skills from Dentzel, and blended it with his own realistic style to carve out a name for himself. In 1903, D.C. Muller and Bro. Company was founded.
Muller’s carvings were notable for being very beautiful and realistic. In some cases, the carvings were militaristic, with horses sporting bugles, swords and canteens.
Over 14 years, D.C. Muller and Bro. created over a dozen carousels but, sadly, today only two remain: one in Cedar Point, Ohio, and the one right here in Forest Park.
The Forest Park Carousel contains three rows of carvings. The outer row contains 13 standing horses, three menagerie animals and two chariots. The inner two rows each contain 18 jumping horses for a total of 36.
While the Forest Park Carousel is often referred to as a Muller carousel, you will also find a few carvings from Dentzel and Charles Carmel, another notable carousel artist of the same era, on the inner two rows.
The Forest Park Carousel recently underwent a major overhaul. Many of the century-old gears and bearings were carefully replaced, a repair job that took months and required that the carousel be taken completely apart piece by piece.
“We did this so it can run for another 100 years in this very spot,” says David Galst, managing director of New York Carousel. “We know that people are very protective of this carousel, and we want it to last forever.”
The Forest Park Carousel has also established themselves as a friendly partner in the community, working with several charitable groups and organizations, including the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society.
We came so close to losing this carousel a few years ago. It’s mind-boggling to think of how lucky we’ve been and how good this has turned out. So it’s on all of us to support this great New York City Landmark this summer to make sure that it stays healthy and sticks around for another century for future residents of Woodhaven to enjoy.

Pickleball is coming to West Side Tennis Club

Established in 1892, the West Side Tennis Club (WSTC) is synonymous with tennis and music history. You may soon be adding the growing sport of pickleball to that legacy.
A new beginner and advanced pickleball camp, customized based on skill level, will take place at WSTC on August 12-13.
“It is amazing that a tennis club with the prestige and history is looking to open its doors to a newer sport like pickleball,” said Frank Milillo, a pickleball enthusiast from Rockville Centre. “This is a great chance to bring more attention to the sport and provide support to the players who want to improve.
“This is the first private tennis club in New York that’s ready to provide pickleball memberships to prospective members,” he added.
Pickleball combines elements of tennis, ping-pong and badminton, and is played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes.
“Most tennis players become very good and competitive very quickly,” said Milillo. “Pickleball is a very social sport.”
Pickleball was invented in a backyard on Bainbridge Island in Washington by former congressmen Joel Pritchard, William Bell, and Barney McCallum after they returned from a golf outing to children complaining about being bored.
“Everyone who is playing it for the first time is amazed when I tell them this sport is over 50 years old,” Milillo said.
Milillo plays on average five times a week.
“A short court and the quick points makes this sport exciting,” he said. “With lots of movement in short bursts, pickleball is an extremely healthy sport. You burn as many calories playing pickleball as you do playing tennis.”
Camp attendees will begin with the essentials, such as learning dink shots, footwork and ball striking, as well as serve, return, and drop shots. The training will be followed by games and matches with expert analysis by pros and an emphasis on strategy and shot selection.
Participants will also have an opportunity to work with WSTC director of Racquet Sports Jason Weir-Smith and Ken Henderson, founder and director of Traveling Pickleball Pros and an IPTPA Level II certified pickleball teaching professional and national medalist.
“I ran a few clinics and we kept the dialog going,” said Milillo. “Then I mentioned the camp and Jason was right on board.
Milillo is confident pickleball has a bright future at WSTC.
“WSTC is the perfect venue for clinics, camps, and tournaments, the options are limitless,” he said. “Ken and Jason have the foresight to embrace the new players, new game, and its popularity.”
Milillo played tennis for most of my life, but took up pickleball after a shoulder injury made tennis a bit of a challenge.
His website at promotes clinics, leagues, and open play opportunities.
“I have over 200 people playing pickleball in Rockville Centre and it’s growing,” he said. “I had over 15 leagues each season.”

Fees for the camp are $395, or $350 if you sign up by July 31. For WSTC members, the cost is $200. For more information, call (718) 268-2300.

Street co-namings honor two in Astoria

Two icons of the Astoria community were honored during street co-naming ceremonies this past weekend.
State Senator Michael Gianaris recognized Lieutenant Edith Elida Torres, an FDNY member who responded to the attacks of September 11, and Luke Gasparre, an army veteran who was a beloved long-serving usher for the New York Mets.
Torres was memorialized at the intersection of 34th Avenue and 21st Street, while Luke Gasparre will be forever remembered at the intersection of 25th Avenue and 43rd Street.
“One of the things that makes Western Queens so special is the people who dedicate their lives to service and enrich our neighborhoods with their lives,” said Gianaris.
Torres, a 23-year FDNY paramedic veteran rushed to the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001, where she worked the debris pile and rescued survivors.
She worked out of Battalion 49 in Astoria and was then promoted to lieutenant in 2005. She began her career as a volunteer EMT at age 20 with the Jackson Heights-Elmhurst Volunteer Ambulance Corps. She passed away from a-9/11 related illness in 2017.
“Off-duty on 9/11, she responded, and spent many hours at the site, working to provide medical care that day and for countless days afterward,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “It is that selfless work that led to the illness that claimed her life.”
Gasparre, a member of the Army who fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, was a longtime employee of the United States Postal Service and among the longest-serving ushers in the history of the New York Mets organization, serving since 1964 until his passing in February 2020.
Gianaris inducted Gasparre into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame in 2016.
“My dad has taught us that to be kind was better than to be cruel, he taught us that to have an open heart was better than a closed heart,” said Roseanna Gasparre. “There is a saying when someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. He truly was a treasure to each of us in his own special way.”

Up to the ‘Challenge’

The Parks Department broke ground on a playground in Little Neck designed specifically for kids with special needs in mind.
Challenge Playground is located at 251st Street and 61st Avenue. It is adjacent to PS 811, a school that serves students with disabilities.
“We’re excited to break ground on renovations that will transform Challenge Playground into a more inclusive and accessible green space,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett last Thursday. “Upon completion, Queens residents and visitors can enjoy enhanced play and integral family-friendly space for recreation and outdoor fun.”
Councilman Barry Grodenchik said when he first took office, he visited the playground, which he said was really just a piece of asphalt. He pushed for the renovations, which are getting underway just six months before he leaves office.
“The improvements will create an amazing outdoor space where local residents, especially children, will be able to connect, interact, and thrive for years to come,” he said.
The playground will feature the usual amenities often found on city playgrounds, such as swings, slides and spray showers. But it will also feature auditory and visual elements with shadow effects, sounds and touchable textures.
The $3 million project should be completed by spring of 2022.
“Challenge Playground has a special place in our community’s history and it’s long time to rebuild this important public asset,” said State Senator John Liu.

104th Precinct Police Blotter (7/5/2021-7/11/2021)

Monday, July 5
Margarit Tesillos was arrested at 1814 Gates Avenue for felony assault by Detective Friedrich.
Beatrice Moise was arrested at 84-16 Penelope Avenue for criminal trespass by Detective Wright.
Gia Love was arrested at 64-02 Catalpa Avenue for misdemeanor assault by Detective Palminteri.
Juan-Alonso Molina-Guaman was arrested at 1924 Palmetto Street for misdemeanor assault by Officer Bonilla.
Brittny Dones was arrested at 64-02 Catalpa Avenue for criminal contempt by Detective Rochford.
Arturo Vargas was arrested at 2058 Gates Avenue for resisting arrest by Officer Iannuzzi.

Tuesday, July 6
Fuquan Robinson was arrested at 60-75 67th Avenue for criminal contempt by Officer Bertrand.
Nancy Ramos was arrested at 71-05 67th Place for felony assault by Officer Armond.
Carl Singleton was arrested at 71-05 67th Place for criminal mischief by Officer Armond.
Andrew Barros was arrested at Grand Avenue and Rust Street for menacing by Officer Baltusis.
Xiomara Simbana was arrested at 60-64 Catalpa Avenue for misdemeanor assault by Officer Santos.
Freddy Jimenez was arrested at 1819 Cornelia Street for criminal trespass by Officer Sheehan.

Wednesday, July 7
Ricardo A. Gonzalez was arrested at Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road for driving while intoxicated by Officer Troia.
Daniel Drago was arrested at 60-15 61st Street for criminal obstruction of breathing by Officer Moise.
Jonathan Gonzalez was arrested at 64-04 Catalpa Avenue for criminal contempt by Detective Golden.
Bart Papavero was arrested at 64-02 Catalpa Avenue for misdemeanor assault by Detective Lodato.
Malik L. McKoy was arrested at Cooper Avenue and 61st Street for aggravated unlicensed operator by Officer Gonzalez.
Marko Kauzliar was arrested at 59-53 Madison Street for criminal mischief by Officer Incantalupo.
Md N. Islam was arrested at 325 Wyckoff Avenue for forcible touching by Officer Lin.
Travis Foley was arrested at 64-02 Catalpa Avenue for misdemeanor assault by Detective Bublin.
Thomas Rodriguez was arrested at 60-31 Metropolitan Avenue for petit larceny by Officer Shoy.

Thursday, July 8
Ivan A. Delgado was arrested at 55-27 Metropolitan Avenue for petit larceny by Officer Gluck.
Juan C. Asmal was arrested at 1721 Gates Avenue for robbery by Officer Alban.
Joey Lopez was arrested at 64-50 Madison Street for burglary by Detective Fogus.

Friday, July 9
Juan Rodriguez was arrested at 1889 Cornelia Street for criminal contempt by Officer Hopson.
Martin Daly was arrested at 78-02 Metropolitan Avenue for petit larceny by Officer Gonzalez.
Daniel Vasquez was arrested at 1827 Cornelia Street for criminal mischief by Officer Bonilla.

Saturday, July 10
Yuriy Volchanin was arrested at 70th Avenue and Fresh Pond Road for aggravated unlicensed operator by Officer Baltusis.

Sunday, July 11
Fuquan D. Robinson was arrested at 60-75 67th Avenue for criminal contempt by Officer Khan.
Piotr Wilk was arrested at 61-15 71st Avenue for robbery by Officer Foppiano.

Kathleen King

Kathleen King passed away on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at the age of 64. Beloved Mother of Lisa Riccardo and Joseph Pizzonia, mother-in-law of Louis and Natalie. Cherished Grandmother of Brooke, Avery, Kendall, Milania, Audrina and Delaney. Loving Sister of Ann, Patricia, Teresa, Geraldine, Thomas, Danny, Robert and the late John. Dear Aunt of many loving nieces and nephews. Mass of Christian Burial offered at Miraculous Medal Church on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 10:30 AM. Interment followed at Calvary Cemetery, Woodside, NY under the direction of Papavero Funeral Home, 72-27 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, NY 11378.

Fill the Form for Events, Advertisement or Business Listing