Project America: Glendale Residents Unite in Patriotic Display


In a stirring show of solidarity and patriotism, Glendale residents have come together to launch “Project America,” a community-driven initiative aimed at displaying unwavering support for the nation during challenging times. Spearheaded by Kathy Masi, a  Glendale resident and Head of the Glendale Civic Association, the project saw the installation of 40 American flags in the upper Glendale area in Late May. 

“The intention was just to basically enforce our support for the country during such terrible times,” Masi said. 

The endeavor, however, wasn’t a solo effort. Masi emphasized the collaborative nature of the project, crediting community members for their enthusiastic participation.

Despite logistical challenges, such as pole availability, the success of this year’s initiative has inspired ambitions for future expansions, embodying a spirit of unity and patriotism in Glendale. Courtesy of Kathy Masi.

“It started as maybe we can do this, and one thing led to another,” Masi explained. 

From ribbons adorning poles to the involvement of local businesses and individuals like Walter Charles and John Carroll, the project evolved into a testament to community spirit and unity.

While this year marked the inaugural installment of Project America, Masi expressed hopes of making it a recurring tradition. 

“We’d like to do it every year,” she stated optimistically. 

The success of this year’s endeavor has inspired ambitions for future expansions, potentially encompassing broader areas of Glendale. However, logistical challenges, such as the availability of suitable poles, may necessitate careful planning and resource allocation.

Masi highlighted the collaborative effort of community members and expressed hopes of making the project a yearly tradition. Courtesy of Kathy Masi.

For Masi and her fellow community members, the significance of Project America extends beyond mere decoration.

“The purpose is just to let everyone know that we have a true feeling of patriotism here, even though the country is going through such a rough time,” Masi said.

As the flags flutter proudly in the breeze, they serve as a poignant reminder of the enduring spirit of unity and patriotism that defines Glendale. In a world beset by challenges, Project America stands as a beacon of hope and solidarity, illuminating the path forward with the vibrant colors of the nation’s flag.

Ridgewood and Glendale Honor Troops With 86th Memorial Day Parade

By Britney Trachtenberg

Credit: Britney Trachtenberg

The communities of Ridgewood and Glendale held their 86th Memorial Day parade on Mon., May 27 around 11:00 a.m. at the corner of Myrtle Ave. and Cypress Ave. The Allied Veterans Memorial Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale sponsored the parade.

The Allied Veterans Memorial Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale started in 1920 with a mission of creating monuments for service members who lost their lives in World War I. The Allied Veterans Memorial Committee consists of Brewery-Keenan Heisser Post 1815 of the American Legion, Joseph B. Garity Post 562 of the American Legion, Ridgewood Post 123 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (V.F.W.), Lt. Alfred Lucia Chapter 118 of the Disabled American Veterans organization, and Glendale Post 104 of the American Legion, and Sgt. Edward Miller Post 7336 of the V.F.W. The auxiliaries of the Allied Veterans Memorial Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale include Edward R. Miller Post 7336 of the V.F.W. Auxiliary, Ridgewood Post 123 of the V.F.W. Auxiliary, and Lt. Alfred Lucia Unit 118 of the D.A.V. Auxiliary. 

Russell Goeller, Parade Chairman and member of the Brewery-Keenan Heisser Post 1815, hosted the opening ceremony and called each speaker to the microphone. Sailors and Marines from the Amphibious Assault Ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) in Norfolk, Virginia gathered in the street to listen.

Father Dariuz Blicharz of St. Matthias Roman Catholic Church gave an invocation. Larry Biordi, member of the Lieutenant Alfred Lucia Chapter 118 of the Disabled American Veterans organization, spoke the Pledge of Allegiance and Russell Goeller, III sang “God Bless America. Attendees who had gathered on the sidewalk joined in. Father Blicharz gave a benediction.

Goeller introduced James “Jimmy” Dwyer, Grand Marshall of the parade. Dwyer signed up for the U.S. Navy at sixteen years old and fought in the Vietnam War. The Grand Marshall said, “‘All gave some. Some gave all.’ You hear that said a lot and that’s what today represents. We remember those who serve our country and fell in the many, many conflicts and wars this country has been in. That’s the purpose of Memorial Day.”

NYC Council Members Robert Holden and Jenifer Rajkumar spoke during the opening ceremony.

Holden showed a photograph of Eddie Hoyt, a sailor who died at nineteen years old aboard the USS Jacob Jones. Hoyt’s family lived near Holden’s family. After Hoyt’s passing, Holden’s mother became a pen pal for sailors. Though she corresponded with many sailors, one caught her eye. The man became Holden’s father.

Rajkumar thanked the Sailors and Marines for their service. She said, “Every day, I thank God that I was born in the greatest nation on Earth and all of us have to prove ourselves worthy of the sacrifice made by those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”

The Joseph B. Garity Post 562 American Legion Firing Squad conducted the Salute to the Dead.

Participating organizations walked 1.4 miles from Myrtle Ave. and Cypress Ave. to Myrtle Ave. and Cooper Ave. Police from the 104 Precinct led the floats along the route. The Allied Veterans of Ridgewood/Glendale and Glendale Post 104 American Legion shared the first float, followed by a float from the Kiwanis Club of Ridgewood with the 104 Precinct and NYC Community Board 5.

Caroline Barnes, Music Teacher, led the drum line from Hawtree Creek Middle School in a lively performance with choreography. Barnes said, “We perform all over the place for different events. This is our first Memorial Day event. We are the junior G-line for the New York Giants. We started in 2018, but in the past three or four years, we started to get some recognition.”

Members from the NYPD American Legion Post 460 marched, followed by NYPD police officers in a pink car which honored Women’s Veterans Recognition Day. 

The Sacred Heart Twirlers from Sacred Heart Catholic Academy in Glendale performed a routine with their batons.

Walter Rastetter, Assistant Scout Master, led children from Scouts America Troop 427 of the Sacred Heart Parish. He said, “We march every year in this parade.” 

Members of Gotham Volunteer EMS carried the American flag, POW MIA flag, and NYS Excelsior flag. The Middle Village Volunteer Ambulance Unit 7, FDNY Unit 286, and FDNY Unit 135 followed in their respective vehicles.

Police officers from the NYPD Community Affairs, Highway Patrol, and Auxiliary attended the event. The Toys for Tots East Coast Car Connection and members from the Knights of Columbus Council 5103 made appearances at the parade. 

Representatives for Johanna Carmona handed out flyers to promote her campaign for NYS Assembly. Representatives from Wendy Li’s office handed out flyers to promote her campaign for Surrogate Court Judge.

Goeller led a closing ceremony at Myrtle Ave. and Cypress Ave. Desiree Wisotsky sang the National Anthem, joined by attendees who followed the parade to its final stop. Deacon Peter Stamm of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church said an invocation and Biordi recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. spoke at the closing ceremony about the housing crisis affecting veterans. He said, “Too many of our veterans come home from serving our country and they do not have access to a home. That is disgraceful. We recommit our work to ensure that you have housing when you come home. We are now undergoing the redevelopment of the [state-owned] Creedmoor site where we pushed for veterans’ housing to be on that site.”

Marissa Corston sang “God Bless America” and Deacon Stamm administered a benediction to end the parade.

The Allied Veterans Memorial Committee of Ridgewood and Glendale plan to hold the 87th parade on May 26, 2025.

NYC DOT Seeking Artists to Create Five Public Artworks Across the Five Boroughs


NYC DOT Art Program, Community Commissions 2017, ‘Common Demoninator’ by Anthony Heinz May. Courtesy of the NYC DOT.

In a bid to infuse the city with creativity and community engagement, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) has announced a call for artists to design temporary public art works across the five boroughs.

Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez unveiled the initiative, dubbed Community Commissions: Artists Request for Proposals (RFP), as a collaborative effort between the agency and local community-based organizations. The selected artists will have the opportunity to create and install temporary art pieces on NYC DOT infrastructure, including sidewalks, medians, and triangles.

“Public art inspires New Yorkers and beautifies our streetscape, and there’s no better way to amplify and support the mission of these local organizations than collaborating to make our public spaces more vibrant,” said NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We encourage all local artists to apply for this unique funding opportunity to produce artwork in their neighborhoods.”

The RFP, open until June 30, 2024, at 11:59 p.m., invites artists to submit proposals for site-responsive artworks. Selected artists will receive up to $20,000 for production costs and other project-related expenses.

NYC DOT has partnered with community-based organizations to facilitate the development of these artworks. These organizations will play integral roles in various project phases, including artist selection, design evolution, community engagement, fabrication, installation, and maintenance.

The designated sites for the artworks span each borough, including the Bronx’s sidewalk at Grand Concourse and East Fordham Road in partnership with Concourse House, Home for Women and Their Children; Brooklyn’s pedestrian space at Washington Avenue and Empire Boulevard in collaboration with I AM Caribbeing; Manhattan’s sidewalk median at Lenox Avenue and 124th Street, partnered with West Harlem Art Fund; Queens’ Diversity Plaza at Roosevelt Avenue and Broadway, partnering with the Rubin Museum of Art; and Staten Island’s Corson Avenue and Victory Boulevard, in collaboration with On Your Mark.

Community Commissions, aims to bring new art onto the streets through collaborations with local organizations. After selecting five organizations and sites across the boroughs, NYC DOT opened an open call for artists to submit proposals for artworks in those locations. Criteria for selecting partner organizations included their capacity to engage in such projects and alignment with the program’s mission. The goal is to bolster community programs and enliven public spaces while reflecting the neighborhoods’ cultural significance.

The program aims to foster enriching pedestrian experiences and draw attention to the missions of partner organizations. NYC DOT emphasizes the importance of connecting artists with organizations to ensure a meaningful reflection of each borough’s identity in the artworks.

NYC DOT Art will display the selected artworks for up to 11 months at the designated community sites, aiming to enrich pedestrian experiences and highlight the cultural significance of each neighborhood.

NYC DOT Art, Community Commissions 2017, ‘Exquisite Corpse’ by Fanny Allié. Courtesy of the NYC DOT.

To provide further insights into the RFP process, NYC DOT Art will host a webinar on June 5, 2024, at 12 p.m. The webinar will cover details about the open call for artists, introduce partner organizations, discuss installation sites, and review the application process.

The Community Commissions initiative underscores NYC DOT’s commitment to fostering cultural vibrancy and community pride through public art. For more information about the program and how to participate, visit and @nyc_DOTArt.

Representatives from partner organizations expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, emphasizing the potential for these artworks to reflect and enrich local communities.

“The Rubin is excited to partner with NYC DOT Art and an artist to create public artwork in Jackson Heights,” said Jorrit Britschgi, executive director of the Rubin Museum. “As we explore innovative ways to share art outside our walls, this is an important opportunity to make art more accessible and celebrate the rich culture of this diverse neighborhood.”

“I AM Caribbeing is thrilled and grateful to partner with NYC DOT for Community Commissions,” said Shelley V. Worrell, founder and cultural entrepreneur at I AM Caribbeing. “This vibrant art installation will be located adjacent to Caribbean-American communities, small businesses, and culturally iconic landmarks, showcasing the rich heritage and diversity of the area. This collaborative effort will not only beautify the area but also foster community pride, cultural exchange, and economic growth.”

As the deadline for artist submissions approaches, NYC DOT anticipates a diverse array of proposals that will contribute to the cultural fabric of New York City’s neighborhoods. With art as a vehicle for connection and expression, the city looks forward to welcoming these temporary installations as vibrant additions to its public spaces.

Community Board 5 Meeting Heats Up with “City of Yes” Discussion


Tensions flared at the Community Board 5 meeting in Middle Village as residents and officials clashed over the hotly debated “City of Yes” housing opportunity zoning text amendments. The meeting was held in the Christ the King High School Cafeteria on May 8.

Emotions ran high as residents, city officials, and community leaders engaged in a passionate debate surrounding the proposed “City of Yes” zoning text amendments aimed at expanding housing opportunities. Against a backdrop of growing concerns over housing affordability and urban development, the meeting became a focal point for diverging opinions and competing interests within the community.

Courtesy CB5

The City of Yes initiative, presented by representatives of the N.Y. City Dept. of City Planning, aims to address housing needs and stimulate economic growth through strategic zoning amendments.

The presentation by Representatives of the N.Y. City Dept. of City Planning unveiled more details about the ambitious “City of Yes” initiative, which aims to tackle New York City’s pressing housing needs through a series of strategic zoning amendments and policy reforms. This initiative underscores the pivotal role of housing not only in shaping the fabric of urban life but also in driving economic growth and social equity within the city.

At the heart of the presentation was a compelling argument regarding the economic ramifications of housing scarcity. It was emphasized that when a significant portion of residents’ income is absorbed by housing costs, it leads to decreased consumer spending in other sectors, thus constraining overall economic activity. By expanding housing availability, the initiative seeks to alleviate this financial burden on residents while simultaneously injecting billions into the city’s economy and generating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, predominantly in construction and residential maintenance sectors.

The discussion also delved into the intricate relationship between zoning regulations and housing supply dynamics. Zoning laws dictate not only the size and density of buildings but also their designated uses, influencing the very fabric of urban development. The proposed amendments aim to modernize and streamline these regulations, removing obstacles such as outdated parking mandates and overly restrictive zoning rules. By doing so, the initiative aims to foster a more diverse and inclusive housing landscape that caters to the evolving needs of New Yorkers.

Furthermore, the presentation elucidated the multifaceted approach of the “City of Yes” initiative, which encompasses a range of strategies to promote housing affordability and accessibility. From incentivizing the construction of affordable housing units to facilitating the conversion of non-residential buildings into residential spaces, the initiative seeks to create a more equitable housing environment across all neighborhoods. Additionally, innovative solutions such as transit-oriented development and the legalization of accessory dwelling units are proposed to maximize housing opportunities while promoting sustainability and community well-being.

The concerns raised by residents regarding the “City of Yes” initiative reflect a range of apprehensions and skepticism about the proposed changes to housing policy in New York City and their neighborhood and the communities.

Firstly, there’s a sentiment that the initiative appears to heavily favor developers rather than addressing the needs of existing residents. Many feel that the proposed amendments will lead to unchecked development, potentially resulting in the transformation of quiet, low-density neighborhoods into high-density commercial zones. Residents are worried about the impact on quality of life, including increased traffic congestion, loss of green space, and a shift in the character of their communities.

The issue of parking requirements is also contentious, with residents expressing concerns about the elimination of parking mandates for new developments. Many believe that this will exacerbate existing parking problems in both high-density and low-density neighborhoods, leading to increased competition for limited parking spaces and potentially higher rents without any tangible benefits for residents.

There was also skepticism about the efficacy of the initiative in addressing the city’s housing shortage. Some residents question the need for additional housing units, especially considering the recent decrease in population due to factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic. They argue that the focus should be on providing affordable housing options rather than catering to market-rate developments that may further exacerbate gentrification and displacement.

Residents also express frustration with the lack of transparency and community input in the decision-making process. Many feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the proposed changes and believe that there hasn’t been adequate opportunity for meaningful engagement or discussion.

Courtesy CB5

Kathy Masi and other residents expressed deep concerns about the initiative’s potential impact on lower-density communities, citing worries about unchecked development and lack of transparency.

Residents and community figures like Kathy Masi from Glendale expressed deep concerns about the “City of Yes” initiative, highlighting its potentially devastating impact on lower-density communities.

“In all the years I’ve been on this community board, I don’t ever remember taking speaking time to address a city proposal, basically because I never really felt that would have a great impact on our community,” Masi said. “However, the city of Yes proposal is very different. It will have a devastating impact on lower density communities such as ours.”

She points out the lack of environmental impact studies and questions why Mayor Adams is aggressively pushing for this initiative. Masi, along with other residents, believes that the proposal primarily benefits big real estate developers without offering any tangible benefits to residents, particularly homeowners and tenants in communities like hers.

Catherine Muraski was next to speak, as she serves as the Vice President of the Liberty Park Homeowners Association, an organization with nearly a century of history.

“Civic associations are very important when it comes to communities, and we will be the first of many to vote no for the city of mess. Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams and most of the city council think they can choose this,” Muraski said. “With these overdevelopment philosophies, they intend to take away the American dream from us native New York New Yorkers who all own a home and even rent in the end.”

Long-time community board member Fred Hoefferle voiced concerns over the City of Yes initiative during the public forum. Hoefferle, a resident and community board member of nearly 30 years, highlighted the paradox of relaxed parking regulations amidst existing shortages, noting the familiar sight of double-parked cars during alternate side parking days. He questioned the logic behind further easing restrictions given the city’s population decline post-pandemic, challenging claims of a housing shortage.

“Since the pandemic, the city has lost probably well over a half a million people,” Hoefferle said. “It’s hard to believe that having lost that many people, there is now a housing shortage. Where was the housing shortage in 2019?”

Residents also express frustration with the lack of transparency and community input in the decision-making process. Many feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the proposed changes and believe that there hasn’t been adequate opportunity for meaningful engagement or discussion.

Middle Village resident Frank Artim expressed mixed sentiments. acknowledging the complexity of the issue, raised concerns about transit access and the potential impact on local businesses and community cohesion. Reflecting on the diverse fabric of neighborhoods, Artim questioned the initiative’s goal of homogenizing the city without regard for individual differences.

“The bottom line is much of what people are saying here is about keeping the fabric of a community, I don’t know where you grew up, or you know, anything like that,” Artim  said. “But a lot of the people here know what it is to have a mom and pop shop, and everything that goes along with it. Now, apparently, from what we’re hearing, you’re looking to make the whole city as one big happy family without any differential differentiation from one person to another.”

Community representatives Robert Holden and Joanne Ariola from CB5 made a rare in-person appearance at the meeting to voice their opposition to the “City of Yes” initiative.

“I one hundred percent agree with everyone who spoke out against the City of B.S,” Ariola said. “We do not need more density, we do not want that character of the community, we don’t want less regulation… This text amendment is enormous, why isn’t it broken down? Why are we voting on it in it’s entirety? It’s because this is just a way to just shuffle it in.”

“You know I’m against the City of Yes,” Holden said. “It’s doing everything we’ve fought against during there 90’s and early 2000s. They want to allow everything we fought against… It’s a tragedy that they are trying to destroy our neighborhood.”

Courtesy CB5

Robert Holden criticized the proposal for appearing to heavily favor developers without adequately addressing the needs of existing residents, particularly homeowners and tenants in communities.

In summary, the Community Board 5 meeting showcased a passionate debate over the “City of Yes” housing opportunity zoning text amendments. While city officials presented the ambitious initiative as a solution to New York City’s housing needs and economic growth, residents voiced concerns about unchecked development, loss of community character, and a perceived lack of transparency in decision-making.

“As residents of Queens, it is our jobs to contact the city council representatives, many communities such as Glendale are represented by more than one, let them know we want them to vote against the City of Yes,” Masi said. “The power is with the city council, the mayor needs to hear from the council that this does not work.”

Kidney Coalition of NYC Hosts Pop-Up Craft Fair

Courtesy The Kidney Coalition of NYC

The Kidney Coalition of NYC recently hosted a vibrant pop-up craft fair at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Glendale.


The Kidney Coalition of NYC (KCNYC) hosted a vibrant pop-up craft fair on April 28, drawing in crowds of supporters, vendors, and music enthusiasts to the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Glendale. The event, which showcased the organization’s dedication to its cause, featured over 20 vendors, raffles, music, and a bustling concession stand.

Volunteers, the lifeblood of KCNYC, worked tirelessly to ensure the event’s success. From setup to cleanup, their dedication was instrumental in creating a welcoming atmosphere for all attendees. Gratitude poured in from the organization to everyone who contributed, from volunteers to vendors and the community at large.

Courtesy The Kidney Coalition of NYC

The event featured over 20 vendors, live music, raffles, and a bustling concession stand, drawing in crowds of supporters and community members.

The event proved not only a celebration of creativity and community spirit but also a fundraising success. Initial estimates indicated a raise of over 750 dollars.

The funds raised will be directed toward the organization’s impactful campaigns. A significant portion will support the children’s campaign, Florie’s Flowers, while the remainder will be allocated to providing tote bags for dialysis patients. This dual focus underscores KCNYC’s commitment to addressing the diverse needs of individuals impacted by kidney disease.

Courtesy The Kidney Coalition of NYC

Volunteers played a crucial role in ensuring the event’s success, from setup to cleanup, while attendees enjoyed a festive atmosphere filled with creativity and camaraderie.

Looking ahead, KCNYC has already set its sights on its next vendor event scheduled for October 26. As the organization continues its mission to provide a community of learning, support, and healing for individuals affected by kidney disease, events like these serve as crucial touchpoints for raising awareness and fostering connections within the community and beyond.

Founded as a non-profit organization by individuals with kidney disease for individuals with kidney disease, KCNYC stands as a beacon of hope and support for those navigating the complexities of chronic kidney disease. Through its myriad programs, activities, and events, KCNYC remains dedicated to its vision of advocacy, education, and ultimately, finding a cure for Chronic Kidney Disease.

For more information about KCNYC and upcoming events, visit their website at

Courtesy The Kidney Coalition of NYC

The fair raised over $750, with funds directed towards supporting the organization’s children’s campaign, Florie’s Flowers, and providing tote bags for dialysis patients.

St. John’s Evangelical Church Sees 180th Anniversary

By Britney Trachtenberg

St. John’s Evangelical Church in Glendale is approaching its 180th anniversary. Led by Pastor Matt Staneck, the parish has delivered the gospel of Jesus Christ through three themes: education, human care, and music. Throughout its history, the church has seen changes in locations and initiatives, but that has not stopped the parish’s momentum.

In 1844, the church opened its doors at 10 Eyck St. in Williamsburg as the German Evangelical St. John’s Church. In the 1920s, many congregation members moved to Glendale. The Brooklyn parish began a relationship with the Glendale parish. In 1937, the congregation moved to 88-24 Myrtle Ave. in Glendale. The move helped to revive and change the congregation.

Pastor Staneck said, “When we talk about changing the church that means still holding onto the gospel. Even if those things look different, we have to find ways to do things that are important to our identity as Christians and people who are a part of St. John’s.”

St. John’s has three main themes: human care, education, and music. Pastor Staneck said, “The word ‘evangelical’ comes from Greek, which means ‘good news’ or ‘gospel.’ The reason for the themes is the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The parish helped food insecure community members through a hot breakfast served on Sunday mornings. The initiative stopped due to volunteers passing or moving away. In recent years since the pandemic, the church has operated an edible garden in the summers. From June until August on Wed. nights, parishioners plan to harvest and give produce to their neighbors. Pastor Staneck hopes to expand the garden in the future and get more people involved.

The church used to operate Christian day schools in Queens and Brooklyn that served students in kindergarten through eighth grade. In 2013, the parochial schools closed. However, the parish is searching for new ways to educate Christian children.

St. John’s has a pipe organ through which they play music. Pastor Staneck hopes to develop a more active music ministry that incorporates the main messages from his sermons.

He said, “A big part of the gospel message is the daily dying and rising based on Jesus Christ’s rising. This means getting out of your own way and into the spirit of having God lead. Even in times of trouble, we die and rise each day as people of hope.”

When asked about advice for people in general, Pastor Staneck said, “There’s a lot of wisdom in moving one day at a time.”

Northwell Health Takes Over Glendale Hot Spot


Northwell Health has transformed Glendale’s former Shiro of Japan space into a healthcare hub, unveiling the Northwell Health Physician Partners at Glendale within Atlas Park. Courtesy Northwell Health.

In a stride towards accessible and comprehensive healthcare, Northwell Health has repurposed the former Shiro of Japan space at Atlas Park into a healthcare hub, officially unveiling the Northwell Health Physician Partners at Glendale. 

Now located within Atlas Park at 80-40 Cooper Ave Suite 4204, Glendale, the multi-specialty practice marks a pivotal addition to the community’s healthcare landscape, offering a diverse array of medical services under one roof.

The grand opening on April 19 heralded a new era of healthcare convenience for Glendale residents as well as local neighbors, as the facility, situated within the Shops at Atlas Park, commenced its operations. The $5.1 million investment is a testament to Northwell’s commitment to serving local communities.

The grand opening on April 19 marked a significant milestone for Glendale residents, with the $5.1 million investment showcasing Northwell’s commitment to community health. Credit: Queens Ledger Staff.

Mark Talamini, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Northwell Health Physician Partners, articulated the institution’s dedication to expanding healthcare accessibility in the area. 

“Northwell Health Physician Partners has made the investment in Queens a priority and that’s been made clear by our expanding range of health care services and medical specialists in the region,”Talamini said. “We want to be where people live and work to make access to care and the delivery of quality medical services as seamless as possible.”

Northwell Health offers a diverse range of medical services under one roof and a team of 10 physicians and 27 support staff.

This state-of-the-art facility encompasses a spectrum of medical disciplines, housing offices for primary care, behavioral health, cardiology, endocrinology, pulmonary medicine, urology, and various surgical specialties. With a team comprising 10 physicians and 27 support staff, the center ensures comprehensive healthcare delivery, boasting 16 exam rooms, an onsite clinical laboratory, and specialized equipment for diagnostic procedures such as ultrasounds and echocardiogram/stress tests.

John D’Angelo, Senior Vice President and Regional Executive Director of Northwell’s Central Region, underscored the institution’s commitment to serving Queens and beyond.

“In order to empower ever healthier communities, it’s important that Northwell provides a range of complex care beyond the walls of our hospitals,” said D’Angelo. “We have a long history of service to Queens and we’re doing even more in Glendale by bringing ENTs, cardiologists and surgeons to the local community.”

The grand opening ceremony saw notable figures from the local community, including Tom Grech, President & CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, and Ebony Young, Deputy Borough President, who lauded Northwell’s investment in Glendale as a testament to its leadership in healthcare.

“A 10-million dollar investment in Glendale is a great thing and as one of the largest employers in the state, with 86,000 employees, it is evident Northwell is a leader,” Gech said. 

For those seeking appointments or more information, Northwell Health Physician Partners at Glendale can be reached at 718-887-3090 or visited online at 


Glendale Man Indicted for Fatal Stabbing of Girlfriend in Maspeth Tavern

Queens Ledger Staff

Queens DA announces indictment of Glendale resident for fatally stabbing girlfriend at Maspeth tavern; suspect arraigned on murder charges as domestic violence concerns persist in NYC.

Marcin Pieciak, a 36-year-old resident of Glendale, was indicted on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Sarah McNally, at a Maspeth tavern in March, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced.

McNally, a 41-year-old bartender, was tragically killed during the incident at Ceili House Bar, where she was working at the time. According to authorities, Pieciak allegedly stabbed McNally multiple times before inflicting self-harm.

District Attorney Katz condemned the act, stating, “The defendant is accused of cruelly and brazenly taking the life of someone he purported to care for and doing so in front of her colleagues and bar patrons. We are grateful to the grand jury for returning these serious charges and we will work to seek justice for Sarah McNally.”

Pieciak was arraigned on an indictment charging him with murder in the second degree and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Supreme Court Justice Ushir Pandit-Durant remanded the defendant and scheduled his next court appearance for June 18.

McNally, originally from Ireland, had been living in the United States for about a decade. The tragic incident occurred on March 30, around 6:30 p.m., prompting a swift response from law enforcement.

According to authorities, Pieciak arrived at the tavern where McNally was working and allegedly launched a violent attack, stabbing her multiple times before turning the knife on himself. Both were rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center in critical condition, where McNally later succumbed to her injuries.

Details emerging from the incident reveal a harrowing sequence of events: Marcin Pieciak entered the Ceili House Bar on Grand Avenue in Maspeth, where Sarah McNally was bartending, and proceeded to stab her 19 times in the neck, back, and chest, as captured by surveillance footage. Following the attack, Pieciak turned the knife on himself, inflicting multiple self-inflicted wounds to his throat. Despite efforts to detain him, Pieciak confronted responding officers with knives, prompting them to safely disarm him.

Assistant District Attorney Gabriel J. Reale, alongside Assistant District Attorney Veronika Podoprigora, is spearheading the prosecution, with oversight from Assistant District Attorneys John Kosinski and Karen Ross, and Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Shawn Clark.

The incident underscores ongoing concerns about domestic and interpartner violence in New York City. According to data analysis by Gothamist, such violence has been on the rise in recent years, claiming 71 lives in 2022 alone. Those experiencing domestic violence can seek support from the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, which offers assistance in over 200 languages and operates 24/7.

St. Matthias Catholic Academy Fighting Closure Threat with Community Support

Mohamed Farghaly

Principal Keri-Ann Wade-Donohue leads efforts to reverse declining enrollment and fundraising shortfalls, emphasizing the school’s legacy of academic excellence and Christian values.


The St. Matthias Catholic Academy in Ridgewood is facing a critical juncture in its 114-year history as financial woes threaten its existence. With the specter of closure looming over St. Matthias, the Ridgewood community rallies behind desperate efforts to stave off the shutdown of the cherished neighborhood institution.

The announcement of the school’s precarious financial situation earlier this month sent shockwaves through the tight-knit community, prompting parents and faculty to rally in a concerted effort to save the beloved institution. With a looming deadline in June, the academy’s fate hangs in the balance.

Established 114 years ago by the Sisters of Notre Dame, St. Matthias Catholic Academy has been an enduring fixture in Ridgewood, nurturing generations of students with a blend of academic excellence and timeless Christian values. However, recent years have seen a decline in enrollment, exacerbated by shifting demographics and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Principal Keri-Ann Wade-Donohue, alongside dedicated parents and faculty, spearheads a determined campaign to reverse the academy’s fortunes before it’s too late.

“Our academy has a long and storied history, we’ve been in Ridgewood for 114 years, we are part of the Brooklyn diocese,” Wade-Donohue said. “We’ve had a very good record and have made a huge impact in the neighborhood over the years.”

St. Matthias Catholic Academy holds a storied legacy within the Ridgewood community, boasting a tradition of academic excellence and a commitment to instilling Christian values. With a comprehensive curriculum spanning pre-K to 8th grade and innovative programs such as a hydroponics lab, the academy has long been a beacon of educational innovation.

Principal Wade-Donohue paints a stark picture of the academy’s plight, noting a sharp drop in enrollment from over 400 students a decade ago to a mere 152 presently.

“We really need to build that number in order to be sustainable,” she emphasizes, highlighting the urgent need to attract more students to secure the academy’s future.

Since then, the St. Matthias community has embarked on an intensive recruitment drive, aiming to enroll an additional 50 students within a two-week timeframe. Miraculously, enrollment has surged from 125 to 146, demonstrating the community’s dedication.

To complement enrollment efforts, a GoFundMe campaign and an alumni initiative have been launched. The alumni effort has garnered $57,000 in donations, while the GoFundMe has raised over $17,000. Despite these commendable strides, the academy remains far from its fundraising target.

Faced with an imminent closure decision, parents and faculty unite in a race against time to enroll an additional 50 children within a two-week timeframe. Miraculously, enrollment has surged from 125 to 146, demonstrating the community’s dedication.

To complement enrollment efforts, a GoFundMe campaign and an alumni initiative have been launched. The alumni effort has garnered $57,000 in donations, while the GoFundMe has raised over $17,000. Despite these commendable strides, the academy remains far from its fundraising target.

Faced with an imminent closure decision, parents and faculty unite in a race against time to enroll an additional 50 children within what was a two-week window.

“We need to have an enrollment of 180 by next year and now we’re at 152, so we’re still gonna be short by 28 If we don’t pick up some student registrations this coming week,” Wade-Donohue said. “Also, the goal for the fundraising was $1 million and we are significantly short of that.”


Courtesy St. Matthias

The St. Matthias Catholic Academy in Ridgewood faces closure due to financial struggles, prompting a community-wide effort to save the institution, which has been a cornerstone of the neighborhood for 114 years.

In their battle for survival, St. Matthias Catholic Academy opens its doors wider, inviting interested families to explore enrollment opportunities.  Each new enrollment brings them one step closer to their goal and they are now offering families a $1,000 credit towards their first year’s tuition. Financial aid is also available, ensuring that St. Matthias is an option for anyone who is interested.

“We pride ourselves on traditional Christian values and a strong educational package,” Wade-Donohue asserts, underscoring the academy’s commitment to excellence.

Beyond the confines of parental involvement, the academy extends an appeal to the wider Ridgewood community for support. Through events like radio bingo and upcoming student performances, St. Matthias seeks to engage and mobilize community members in their fight to preserve a cherished institution.

Marek Mscisz, a parent of a seventh grade student at St. Mathias Catholic Academy, expressed his fervent support for keeping the school open. He emphasized the positive impact the school has had on his daughter and the community, highlighting its uniqueness and the strong bonds it fosters.

“The kids, you know, look forward to attending and love the school,” Mscisz said. “We believe in the importance of keeping this whole thing going and ensuring that the message is received. There isn’t going to be closure.”

He shared concerns about the disruption it would cause to his daughter’s education and lamented the prospect of having to relocate to another school as she is on the cusp of approaching the eighth grade and graduating amongst all of friends and known faculty members, the thought of uprooting to unfamiliar grounds dampens the excitement of her impending milestone.

Reflecting on the significance of their mission, Principal Wade-Donohue encapsulates the academy’s unwavering resolve.

“Not only is there a legacy behind St. Mathias, but we are a safe and solid educational institution that welcomes all and we are here,” Wade-Donohue said. “We are here to help and to serve and that is why it’s important that we stay open.”

As the clock ticks down, the fate of St. Matthias Catholic Academy hangs in the balance, its survival hinging on the collective efforts of a determined community unwilling to let go of a century-old legacy.

Parents interested in enrolling their children or providing  support to the academy, please reach out by calling (718) 381-8003, emailing, visiting the academy’s website at or donating at the GoFundMe at


Courtesy St. Matthias

Despite challenges, the community rallies behind the academy, with recruitment drives, fundraising campaigns, and appeals for support from both parents and the wider Ridgewood community.

Street Naming Event Honors Heroic Legacy of EMT and 9/11 Hero, Hilda Vannata

Mohamed Farghaly

Councilman Robert Holden and FDNY officials commemorate Hilda Vannata’s legacy by co-naming a street in Middle Village, Queens, in her honor.


The memory of Hilda Vannata, a beloved Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) was honored on April 12 by Councilman Robert Holden of the 30th Council District of Queens, in collaboration with FDNY officials and local union representatives by co-naming a street in her name.

The ceremony, held on what would have been Vannata’s 68th birthday, marked the unveiling of Hilda Vannata Way at the intersection of 77th Place and Juniper Valley Road in Middle Village. Vannata, who passed away on September 20th, 2023, after battling 9/11-related pancreatic cancer, served admirably for 27 years at FDNY Battalion Station House 14 in the Bronx.

The ceremony began with a rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’, afterward First Deputy Commissioner, Joseph Pfeifer was the first to speak. Addressing the assembled crowd, painted a vivid picture of Vannata’s unwavering commitment to her community.

“The street naming is a special time, it’s a point in time, where we leave a permanent memory of Hilda and her supreme sacrifice to the city of New York,” Pfeifer said. “Hilda for 27 years, served the people of the Bronx, in EMS station 14. A matter of fact, I was talking to some of the EMS members here and they said they called her ‘Mother of the house’ because she took care of everybody. She is an inspiration to all of us and to the people that walk down this block.”

Pfeifer spoke of Vannata’s pivotal role on September 11, 2001, when she bravely responded to the World Trade Center attacks, putting her own life at risk to help rescue and care for those injured in the tragedy. Her courageous actions that day, along with her dedicated service throughout her career, left an indelible mark on the FDNY and the city of New York as a whole.

A little under a year ago we lost a member of the Fire Department family when Emergency Medical Technician Hilda Vanessa succumbed to her hard fought battle with cancer,” Assistant Chief of Emergency Medical Services Paul Miano said. “Hilda was a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend, and a critical strand of the fabric that makes up this department. Hilda did not just help people because she was an EMT. answering a call for help was her life’s work.”

Councilmember Robert Holden, reflecting on Vannata’s lifetime of service, hailed her as a paragon of excellence in emergency medical services. He emphasized her resilience in the face of adversity, noting her battle with 9/11-related pancreatic cancer, a testament to her enduring strength and determination.

“Today we celebrate Hilda’s lifetime service, highlighting 27 years as an emergency medical technician at FDNY,” Holden said. “Her dedication and bravery set a standard of excellence in emergency medical services and made a profound impact on countless lives through her compassionate care. Her journey to becoming a pivotal member of New York City’s emergency services, is a perfect American success story.”

The decision to co-name the intersection of 77th Place and Juniper Valley Road in Middle Village after Vannata was met with unanimous support, symbolizing the lasting impact she had on her neighborhood and the broader city. Holden underscored the significance of the gesture, stressing that it’s not merely about the sign but about honoring the lives behind it and the profound contributions made by first responders like Vannata.

“This is the neighborhood of first responders,” Holden said. “This community is full of first responders that are all heroes, all of them. And I’m proud of that. Hilda’s resilience in battling this horrific illness showed us a strong spirit she had and serves as an inspiration to everyone.”

Mohamed Farghaly

Officials spoke passionately at the ceremony, highlighting Hilda Vannata’s unwavering dedication to serving her community as an EMT and honoring her legacy with the unveiling of Hilda Vannata Way.


Among those in attendance were Vannata’s husband, John, and son, Andy Martinez, both active members of the NYPD, along with numerous family members, friends, and colleagues. Their presence served as a poignant reminder of the deep sense of loss felt by Vannata’s loved ones and the extended FDNY family.

“She, like many other women in this city, did their thing, they made this city what it is over time,” John Vannata said.

In addition to the street dedication, the city council is establishing a new law to create a database honoring all fallen heroes like Hilda, recognizing the profound impact of their service beyond symbolic gestures, ensuring that their legacies of selflessness are preserved for generations to come.

Offering poignant reflections, retired EMT Mo Perez, a close friend of Hilda Vannata, shares cherished memories of their time together at station 14 during the ceremony.

“I can say she brought love to all those who cross her path, especially at station 14,” Perez said. “Hilda was aware of everyone’s birthday, she would put stickers on station mirrors with the dates of those birthdays that will come up so that everyone can be prepared for their contributions. For the holidays, she made sure that the station was ready for celebration of the occasion. She was a great partner and a great party planner. As an EMT, Hilda provided the best patient care to all those who were treated to heal them. Everyone was like family under her care.”

During the ceremony, held on April 12, which would have marked Hilda Vannata’s 68th birthday, her son took a moment to reflect on the significance of the occasion. Just days shy of his own milestone birthday, he expressed deep appreciation for the opportunity to honor his Mother in a meaningful way.

“Today I would have caught up with her in the morning and wished her a happy birthday,” Andy Vannata said. “A Mother is a Son’s first true love, a Son, especially the first Son is a Mother’s last true love. That resonated with me as well as it was touching. Your endless love has made a difference in who I’ve come to be. Mom, your love has come full circle as I now love and honor you. You are in my heart for all you are and all that you do. Happy Birthday Mom.”

As the ceremony drew to a close, attendees were encouraged to carry Vannata’s legacy of service and compassion forward in their own lives. Her name on the newly dedicated street sign will serve as a perpetual reminder to future generations of her heroism and unwavering dedication to helping others.

To honor Vannata’s memory in a poignant finale, a stirring bagpipe performance filled the air, providing a fitting tribute to her enduring contributions.  The crowd watched as the sign bearing Hilda Vannata’s name was unveiled to the public. Etched with the words “Hilda Vannata Way,” it will now stand as a permanent fixture at the intersection. The newly dedicated  will stand as a timeless reminder of her heroism, reminding all who pass by of Vannata’s heroism and unwavering dedication to helping others.

Mohamed Farghaly

Community members, officials and family gathered to remember and pay tribute to Hilda Vannata’s dedication and service during the unveiling ceremony of Hilda Vannata Way.

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