4 THE QUEENS COURIER • FEBRUARY 15, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Faulty wires sparked deadly
Glen Oaks blaze: Fire Dept.
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
firstname.lastname@example.org / @robbpoz
Electrical wiring and an extension cord
helped cause a one-alarm fi re in Glen
Oaks on Friday that claimed a man’s life,
fi re marshals said.
Police said the fl ames ignited at 7:36 p.m.
on Feb. 9 on the second fl oor of a home on
262nd Street between 82nd and 83rd avenues.
More than 60 fi refi ghters and the 105th
Precinct rushed to the home aft er receiving
Photo by Mari Estrella
5Pointz artists get $6.7M for whitewashed work
BY ANGELA MATUA
email@example.com / @angelamatua
Aft er a three-week trial in November,
a Brooklyn judge had ordered developers
to pay $6.7 million to 5Pointz artists who
had their artwork destroyed to create residential
Th e abandoned building at 45-46 Davis
St. in Long Island City had for years been
used as a blank canvass for graffi ti artists
to create artwork that attracted locals and
tourists. Th e developer, Jerry Wolkoff ,
allowed them to use it for this purpose
until he decided to build two residential
buildings on the property.
In November 2013, Wolkoff whitewashed
the building overnight while the
artists had been trying to save the space
from demolition. Th en, in August 2014,
the property was demolished.
In 2015, 21 artists fi led a lawsuit against
the Wolkoff family, which owns G&M
Realty, claiming that the property’s owner
committed an illegal act by painting over
their work without giving them enough
warning to take it down and save it.
Th ey evoked the Visual Artists Rights
Act of 1990, which states that protections
against destruction of works are aff orded
to authors who create art of “recognized
A Brooklyn jury last November found
that 5Pointz developer Jerry Wolkoff
acted illegally when he painted over
almost 50 pieces of graffi ti at the famed
Long Island City site. Aft er months of
deliberation, Judge Frederic Block awarded
the artists $150,000 for each of the 45
works, according to Artnet News.
“If not for Wolkoff ’s insolence, these
damages would not have been assessed,”
Block wrote in the decision. “If he did not
destroy 5Pointz until he received his permits
and demolished it 10 months later,
the Court would not have found that he
had acted willfully.”
Jonathan Cohen, known as Meres
One, was the director of 5Pointz and
one of more than a dozen artists named
in the lawsuit. In an Instagram post, he
uploaded a video of him clinking glasses
of champagne with a copy of Frederic
Block’s book titled “Disrobed: An Inside
Look at the Life and Work of a Federal
Th e apartment buildings on the site will
also include about 12,000 square feet for
a 911 call; they worked quickly to
bring it under control at about 8:13 p.m.
Aft er putting the fi re out, law enforcement
sources said, fi refi ghters found the unidentifi
ed man unconscious and unresponsive on
the second fl oor. Responding paramedics
pronounced him dead at the scene.
Police withheld the man’s identity,
pending family notifi cation. WABC-TV
reported that the victim is a 48-yearold
man who lived at the home with his
senior parents, who were away on vacation
at the time.
According to the Fire Department, a
working smoke alarm was found on the fi rst
fl oor, but no such detector was observed on
the second fl oor where the fi re occurred.
Th e investigation is ongoing.
Hill LIRR station
BY SUZANNE MONTEVERDI
firstname.lastname@example.org / @smont76
Construction work to bring elevators
to a Flushing train station will
commence next month, a local leader
Th e Metropolitan Transportation
Authority (MTA) has awarded a $8.6
million contract to build two ADAaccessible
elevators at each end of the
Murray Hill LIRR station, according
to Congresswoman Grace Meng.
Installation of the new elevators is slated
to be completed in the spring of
Th e Murray Hill station, located at
150th Street and 41st Avenue, is part
of the LIRR’s Port Washington branch.
Th e two new elevators will connect riders
at street level to the platforms below
and make the station Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.
Th e project will also include the
installation of new communications
and fi re alarm systems, electrical
service upgrades, new LED lighting
by both elevators, repainting and
new security cameras — an addition
prompted by an anti-Asian graffi ti
incident in December.
“Th e planned elevators for the
Murray Hill LIRR stop will be a tremendous
benefi t to those who use this
facility,” Meng said. “It will greatly
improve the accessibility of the station
and fi nally make it handicap accessible.”
Th e nearby Flushing-Main Street
LIRR station is currently undergoing a
signifi cant overhaul. Th e $24.6 million
project, which includes the addition of
elevators, is expected to be completed
in the fi rst half of this year.
Meng is also among several local
lawmakers pushing for the re-construction
and re-opening of the shuttered
LIRR station in Elmhurst.
Photo courtesy of Flickr/iamNigelMorris
A federal judge awarded 5Pointz artists $6.7 million after their artwork was destroyed.
Photo courtesy of Congresswoman Meng’s offi ce
Murray Hill LIRR station