Community mourns loss of Tom Ripley

Ripley, left, at his Grand Ave. shop in the 1970s.

Ripley, left, at his Grand Ave. shop in the 1970s.

Sometimes on Sunday nights, after Tom Ripley had logged countless hours over the week at the first company he’d ever owned, Grand Avenue’s Maspeth Glass, he and his wife Lorraine would sail out to the Manhasset Bay with their two young children, and through binoculars look at the glittering homes across the water.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to live there,” they’d say to each other, to their children. Some 50 years, two businesses and 10 grandchildren later, it was in a glittering house in Manhasset, his home for more than three decades, that Ripley passed away on July 2, 2015, just a few days short of his 86th birthday.

One of Maspeth’s most successful entrepreneurs, Ripley started out as a new Marine Corps grad with a $200 loan from his parents and went on to build numerous businesses throughout Maspeth, reaching customers across the country and employing 17 from his Grand Ave. store at its peak.

“Tom was always someone that could look at something and imagine what it could be,” said John Horan, Ripley’s son-in-law and protégé, over coffee at the Fame Diner last week. “He could see a jewel in the rough, see the ability or potential in it, and follow through.”

Read the full story in the Queens Ledger

Councilwoman tours Maspeth Coca-Cola factory


Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley tours the Coca-Cola factory, part of north Maspeth’s industrial zone.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley toured the Maspeth Coca-Cola packaging facility this week. The site’s been open since 1946 and has over 450 local employees, shipping to vendors throughout the five-boroughs.

“The jobs created here by Coca-Cola allow hundreds to sustain the lives of themselves and their families,” said Crowley. “It’s important to keep this vibrant, industrial community thriving. Coca-Cola invests so much in their local communities, and have shown they are a partner.”

The Federal Railroad Administration launches safety review after Maspeth crash

The train accident that took place in Maspeth a couple weeks ago

The aftermath of the train accident that took place in Maspeth a couple weeks ago

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration announced the launch of a safety review of the New York and Atlantic Railway in response to the train-truck collision in Maspeth last week.

According to Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, this safety review is needed in the community.

“I am confident that this review by the FRA will help to improve safety standards.  I will continue to monitor this important situation and working with my partners in government- city, state and federal, to make sure that Queens rails and roads are safe,” Nolan said.


Train strikes truck in Maspeth

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A freight train struck an 18-wheeler at the intersection of Rust Street and Maspeth Avenue last night, causing significant traffic delays through the night and into the morning commute.

There were no injuries to report after the train allegedly stuck the tractor-trailer while going approximately 10 miles per hour (per ABC7).

Crews were still on the scene this morning, directing traffic and cleaning up debris from the incident.

Police team up to stop drag racing

The NYPD 104th precinct

The NYPD 104th precinct

A joint operation between the 104th and 108th precinct is aimed at cutting down on drag racing and making the streets safer for motorists and pedestrians.

Last Friday, May 15, at 3 p.m., the commanding and executive officers from the 104 Precinct and 108 Precinct conducted the operations in regards to numerous complaints from the community regarding the racing.

A vehicle was placed, in plain view, with flashing lights at the McDonald’s (56-60 55th Road) to send a clear message to motorists that drag racing in the vicinity of the precincts will not be tolerated. In addition, traffic officer were deployed to the hazardous locations to be on the lookout for racing activity.

Members of the community are reminded to call 911 for emergencies and 311 for non-emergencies so that these incidents are appropriately documented and dispatched to members of the service on patrol.

Please note both Precincts are also aware of additional locations in and around both Precincts where these drag racers may frequent. Those locations will also be met with enforcement.

Police announce seven prostitution arrests

Police announce seven prostitution arrests

New York Police Department’s 104th precinct announced seven prostitution arrests that stemmed from an undercover sting operation executed by the vice enforcement division.

Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) passed along information regarding the arrests to residents in a newsletter.

Capt. Gregory Mackie of the 104th precinct, according to the newsletter, said that the vice division conducted undercover sting operations in the night hours of March 5.

The NYPD 104th precinct

The NYPD 104th precinct

According to Det. Thomas Bell of the 104th precinct, the seven arrests occurred at four different locations.

Arrested at 66-49 Grand Avenue were 29-year-old Carol Hong of Queens, who faces charges of unauthorized practice of profession, Liu Jia-Jia, 33, of Maspeth and Li Hai Fang, 50, of Queens, both face charges of prostitution.

At 66-47 Grand Avenue: Chin Fen Lee, a 52-year-old Maspeth woman was arrested and charged with unauthorized profession of practice.

Also on Grand Avenue, at 65-50 Grand Avenue, there were two arrests. Police say Gao Lan, 24, of Queens, is charged with unauthorized profession of practice and Ning Hao, 34, of Maspeth is charged with prostitution.

There was one additional arrest in Ridgewood, according to Bell. 51-year-old Meihua Piao of Queens was charged with prostitution at 52-01 Metropolitan Avenue.

All of the arrested individuals were women.

Knockdown Center bucks back with all ages event schedule

knockdown-centerWith or without permanent assembly and liquor permitsThe Knockdown Center, located at in Maspeth at 52-19 Flushing Ave is trucking on.

Although the local community board has been putting stress on the venue, The Knockdown Center has several upcoming events with promise. The goal of the venue, as outlined on the Knockdown Center website is, “to create an adaptable environment that thinks beyond what ‘is’.”

Tomorrow, for example, the center is hosting a benefit for the Traysh Island multimedia arts festival in the Appalachian Mountains of local and international talent from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online.

The show will feature artists like:

Underground, international singer-songwriter legend R. Stevie Moore


Xenia Rubinos

Little Band of Sailors

Jimmy Whispers

Alta Vida



The Doors of Knockdown

Deriving from an old construction factory, the atmosphere is trendy and spacious. With high ceilings and 50,000 square feet, people can pour in comfortably.

US2799370-1The Knockdown Center was originally built in 1903, but has recently been taken over and restored. The name of the venue comes from the Knock-Down Door Buck or the K-D door frame which was a more efficient construction of the one piece steel door frame. The K-D door frame made the transportation easier due to it’s make-up of three separate pieces. This revolutionized the industry of construction allowing a more efficient process and was manufactured in The Knockdown Center for 3 generations.

There have been many events already at The Knockdown Center such as, a Roberta’s Tiki Disco, Swing Lessons and a concert featuring hit artist MIA. Partnering with a new app-friendly transportation company, Uber, The Knockdown Center makes it easier than ever to arrive and depart from the venue for the various events.