FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM AUGUST 2, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 3
Plans brewing for Bay
A popular coff ee chain could be opening
its doors in a Bayside mall next year.
A representative of the Cord Meyer
development company told QNS on
Wednesday that plans are in the works
to bring a Starbucks location to the Bay
Terrace Shopping Center.
Th e Starbucks is expected to fi ll the
vacant spot next to the shopping center’s
First National Bank of Long Island location.
Bayside currently has two Starbucks
locations on Northern Boulevard and on
Horace Harding Expressway. Earlier this
year, Maspeth’s fi rst Starbucks location
opened its doors in the Shops at Grand
Avenue. Th e chain also opened up its second
location in Long Island City at 26-14
Th e new Starbucks location at Bay
Terrace Shopping Center could open in
early 2019, barring any unforeseen circumstances,
according to the Cord Meyer
Thief cuff ed for
Cops nabbed a Bayside man on Tuesday
who allegedly broke into several vehicles
parked on a Douglaston street.
Tommy Hernandez, 21, of Bayside was
picked up at about 10:30 a.m. on July 31
for the series of theft s that occurred on
Knollwood Avenue that morning, according
to the 111th Precinct.
Offi cers from the precinct responded
to the area aft er receiving a 911 call from
an eyewitness to one of the break-ins.
Additional units, including the NYPD
Aviation and K-9 Units participated in a
land-and-air search for the suspect.
A short time aft er initiating the search,
law enforcement sources said, offi -
cers located Hernandez in the area, who
matched the description of the suspected
Police said they found in Hernandez’s
possession a number of items stolen
during the reported vehicle break-ins,
including a licensed fi rearm and cash.
Hernandez was booked on nine counts
including petit larceny, unauthorized use
of a vehicle and criminal possession of stolen
Law enforcement sources said
Hernandez has a prior criminal history;
in June, he was arrested on petit larceny
charges for theft s that occurred in March,
according to criminal records.
RALLY TO SAVE LIVES
Photo by Jenna Bagcal/THE COURIER
Whitestone seeks senior driving law change
BY JENNA BAGCAL
Hundreds gathered for a rally in
Whitestone on July 30 to call for senior
driver reform in the wake of Madeline
Sershen’s untimely death.
Th e family and friends of the 17-yearold
student were joined by elected offi -
cials and supporters at the corner of
Utopia Parkway and 16th Avenue, the
site of the June 25 crash, to advocate
for changes to better assess New York’s
current driver laws for senior citizens.
Many held signs bearing Sershen’s face
with words that plead for reform.
“Th rough all the pain, tears and heartache
for Maddie’s death, one thing was
abundantly clear: there are individuals
on the road who should not be driving.
Th is is not age discrimination,
it is simply about ability,” said Rita
Barravecchio, Sershen’s aunt.
“We are not gonna stop until change
is made. So DMV, you better watch
out,” Barravecchio said.
Last month, Sershen was struck by
88-year-old Sheila Kahn Prager, who
blew through a red light and crashed
into the teen. Th e teen’s tragic death
added to the pattern of older drivers
killing pedestrians, including 9-yearold
Giovanni Ampuero who died this
Currently, New York state does not
have special driving provisions for
seniors and they are subject to a standard
vision test every eight years. Just
33 states and Washington, D.C., have
special renewal guidelines in place for
“I think that’s absolutely insane.
When you take a state like New York,
with our population, as big and as great
as our state is, the only thing that we’re
requiring individuals to do to renew
their license is to pass a vision test
that’s right in front of them? Just one
line? Th at’s insane. Th ere needs to be
more,” Barravecchio said.
At the rally, Senator Tony Avella
announced his commitment to advocating
for change and new legislation
“I’ve already set up a meeting with
the Automobile Association of America
(AAA),” Avella said. “We also have,
in two weeks, a meeting with AARP.
Th ey’re the key to passing legislation
in this respect. We are gonna work
together to make sure that we make
change, and when we introduce that
legislation, the fi rst thing I’m gonna do
is call it ‘Madeline’s Law.’”
Barravecchio added that at the meetings
with AAA and AARP, they will be
asking what the opposition is and what
new ideas the companies have come up
with in their research
Congressman Paul Vallone announced
that the Department of Transportation
(DOT) agreed to rename the corner of
the crash “Maddie’s Way” in honor of
the 17-year-old. Th e congressman added
that the DOT also promised to redo slow
zones and other traffi c features around
“Everybody has a street or a corner
or a block that they care passionately
about, and it’s always around a school.
So we gotta have that promise from
DOT to relook and don’t tell us ‘no’
when we ask for a speed bump or a slow
zone or a fl ashing sign or a stop sign or
any type of device that will slow down
traffi c,” Valone said.
Raul Ampuero, the father of
Giovanni, emphasized that politics
should be set aside when dealing with
“What’s wrong with the senators,
playing politician games? What’s the
matter with you? And I’m talking about
Senator Flanagan and Senator Golden,”
He told QNS that there are several
things that need to be done to increase
safety in the streets.
“Th e fi rst thing we need is support.
We need all the senators, Republican
senators, Democratic senators, to get
together,” he said. “Every three, four
years for retesting is not gonna help.
We’re asking at least once a year or
once every two years.”
Th e father also said that the speed
camera program that went dark on
July 25 needed to be brought back and
“It changes drivers’ behavior, so you
know that you gotta slow down.”
Others like Whitestone resident
Julian Ho started a Change.org petition
in support of retesting senior drivers
over the age of 80 every two years.
“I didn’t know Maddie, I didn’t
know Maddie’s family. I’m just a concerned
citizen. Th is is my neighborhood.
We live in Whitestone. We love
Whitestone. We wanna keep this street
safe,” said Ho, whose petition has over
21,250 signatures. He added that in his
bus route to work on the Q20, he passes
by the sites where Ampuero and
“Th is can’t keep happening,” Ho said.
“I can’t keep passing by and seeing bouquets
and candles. Something needs to
be done. And it’s fi ne to rename the
street, but we can’t keep renaming
streets of dead children, it doesn’t make
sense. We need to change the law.”