Out of Thinaire comes the next new technology

According to Andrew Pavia, a writer for the Queens Ledger Weekly Newspaper Group, the next wave of technology could have people waving their smartphones.

At least that’s what Tim Daly, a co-founder of thinaire believes. According to Pavia’s article published on September 27th in the Forest Hills Times, Daly’s company utilizes technology that is already in use for the purpose of advertising and connecting with consumers.

Thinaire -the leader in NFC (Near Field Communications) technology, has created a small RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Display) tag that hides underneath an advertisement. When a smartphone user waves their device over the tag, hardware inside reads the information and the user is given information on certain products and, in some cases, receives deals.

While speaking to us at the Queens College Business Forum on September 21st, Daly made it clear that the tag cannot steal information like cell phone numbers or data on the phone, and that any information the user provides is voluntary. He said its also easier to use than similar technology already on the market.

“If you put friction into the system, like QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) or different codes where you have to download a special app, you’re going to have drop off,  Daly said. “NFC takes away all that friction because it’s in your phone and you don’t have to turn it on.”

Daly explained that the technology has been around and in use for more than fifteen years.  “Its been used in warehousing, tracking where pallets are located,” he said.  Thinaire is attempting to to take this technology out of the warehouses and into places like chain restaurants and grocery stores.

Daly also explained that thinaire has the ability to access tags that are already in use and change the content.  In other words, the content in a tag can be updated or altered without completely changing the advertisement or creating a new tag.

Currently, thinaire is working with major manufacturers, but Daly would not disclose specific names.

Daly believes the technology will change the money is exchanged.  “Ultimately, we’re not going to take credit cards or money out and pay for things, ” he predicted. ‘We’re going to use things like Google Wallet.

“The smartphone has become the most relevant device in my life,” he added.  “If I need something, if I need immediate gratification, I can get it right here.”

Wow, before we know it, we will no longer be running out of the house with our wallet, keys and cell phone clumsily in hand. Everything will be neatly all in one place…our smartphones! And the technology to do this is coming out of thinaire!

For more information about thinaire, visit their Web site at: www.thinaire.net


New Queens Tennis Academy Gets World Class Direction


This week, The Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills announced that former top five player in the world, Gene Mayer, would begin overseeing the development of The Kew-Forest Tennis Academy which is held at the historic West Side Tennis Club.  The goal is to develop it from the local high-school level program initiated last year to a world-class tournament training program. 
“We’d like to see Gene develop it into a program comparable to The McEnroe Academy at Randall’s Island, or the USTA Elite Training Program that Tim Mayotte was most recently running at Flushing Meadows,” stated Christine K. Schott, a Kew-Forest parent. “But what really makes The Kew-Forest Tennis Academy unique is that the school has been able to adjust the students’ academic schedule so that they can be on-court by 2pm while still receiving a full college preparatory education.”  This is primarily due to the proximity of the courts to the school. Modeled on the Evert Tennis Academy and Boca Prep in Florida, where both Andy Roddick and Marty Fish once trained, The West Side Tennis Club is just minutes away from The Kew-Forest School.
“Kew-Forest is providing a cost effective venue for kids who want to focus on tennis, and possibly play college tennis one day, ” according to Mayer, 55, who was born in Flushing and went on to play tennis for Stanford University before reaching a ranking of # 4 in the world in 1980. “And, its great to be back at Forest Hills” he said.  Mayer and his brother Sandy defeated John McEnroe and his partner Peter Fleming in a WCT Tournament of Champions event at Forest Hills in the early ’80’s.
Steve Schott, also a Kew-Forest parent, member of the West Side Tennis Club, and Vice President/Capital Campaign for the New York Junior Tennis League, was instrumental in establishing the academy.  “This is about building bridges, not barriers. The Kew-Forest Tennis Academy brings together two formidable institutions in our community. It’s a wonderful opportunity for Kew-Forest School students to work with a world-class coach like Gene Mayer, who -having played for Stanford, understands the needs of our scholar-athletes.  And, it will be great for The West Side Tennis Club to have a world-class junior program like this. I must also commend Kew-Forest’s headmaster, Mark Fish, for the vision and committment to excellence he has -without which the academy would never have come to fruition.”
Seventeen-year-old West Side Tennis Club member, RJ Del Nunzio, is excited to have Gene Mayer around at the club. Currently ranked amongst the top 90 juniors in the world by the ITF, and formerly #1 in the country in the USTA Boys 16 and unders, Del Nunzio left Kew-Forest last year to be home-schooled and train at the prestigious IMG Nick Bollettieri Academy in Florida. “With Gene and his crew on board, The Kew-Forest Tennis Academy will be much more professional and I can really see it growing.  I hope to get some professional guidance from him that will help me reach my goals and develop a bigger game this year.”  Having recently won his first ITF tournament in Jamaica, Del Nunzio would like to start playing some “Futures” tournaments this year and get to the top 300-400 in the world so he can play World Team Tennis next year as well.  
Another Kew-Forest Tennis Academy stand-out is fifteen-year-old Ariana Rodriguez who has a USTA National ranking of 68 in the Girls 16 and unders.  She played in the Orange Bowl last year and is looking forward to continuing to play on the junior circuit this season while attending school.
Mayer has hired veteran coach Simon Shelton as director of The Kew-Forest Tennis Academy, and Bong Imperial as head coach.  Both worked at the famed Port Washington Tennis Academy where John McEnroe, Mary Carillo and Vitas Gerulaitis once trained.  Simon also coached former top ten player Kathy Rinaldi.  The tennis training program and coaching staff is the key to creating an exciting, successful academy. “No matter if the player is world class or not, if they have the desire and skill to stay on the court, the academy will be a good fit for them,” Shelton said.  The program begins at 2pm five days a week and participants play for two hours each day and have one hour of fitness training per day in the gym.  The program will run for 37 weeks at an approximate cost of $10,000 per year in addition to academic tuition. 
For more information about The Kew-Forest Tennis Academy, please contact Scott Gordon-Somers, Director of Health, Wellness & Sport at The Kew-Forest School: (718) 268-4667 ext. 116


Book Signing: The Wimbledon Final That Never Was

David Wood, the son of Tennis Hall of Famer Sidney Wood, will appear with New Chapter Press Publisher Randy Walker on Tuesday, July 19th, at 5:00pm, at the West Side Tennis Club.

David Wood will discuss his father’s posthumously published book, The Wimbledon Final That Never Was  ($15.95, New Chapter Press, www.newchaptermedia.com) which details the life and times of Sidney Wood with a focus on one of the most unusual episodes ever in sport –when he won the men’s singles title at Wimbledon by forfeit.   David will also be available to sign books -which will be on sale at the event, and show us the very racquet with which his father won Wimbledon back in 1931.

Sidney Wood -who reached the final of the U.S. Championships at Forest Hills back in 1935, later founded the prestigious Town Tennis Club in Manhattan.  His fascinating life also included dating the iconic Grace Kelly prior to her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956.

All members and guests of the West Side Tennis Club as well as players in the USTA Women’s National Grass Court Championships are welcome.

For more information, please contact: Randy Walker at New Chapter Press: (917) 770-0843


Forestdale Holds First Benefit Fundraiser at William Bennett Gallery

Forest Hills resident and Forestdale Board Member, Catherine Barton, helped organize the first benefit fundraiser for Forestdale at the William Bennett Gallery on Greene Street in Mnahattan on Tuesday night. 

Located here in Forest Hills, Forestdale is a non-profit organization dedicated to the future of families in Queens. The organization provides innovative social services to parents and children in inner-city communities. Forestdale’s programs include foster care, preventive services and support for pregnant and parenting teens. In addition, Forestdale hosts the nationally recognized Fathering Initiative, which works to strengthen the bond between non-custodial fathers and their children.  Founded in 1854, Forestdale now touches the lives of thousands of children and families every year.

Forestdale’s predecessor -the Brooklyn Industrial School Association, was founded by two women who were neighbors in Brooklyn Heights.  Due to the conventions of the time, we know them only by their husbands’ names, Mrs. Gamaliel King and Mrs. Richard Sharp.  Mrs. King was a member of the Washington Street Methodist Church, while Mrs. Sharp attended the Centenary Methodist Church.  They recruited other women in their congregations to start a small school for homeless children, which quickly expanded.  By the end of the 19th century, there were seven schools across Brooklyn.  These eventually consolidated into the Brooklyn Home for Children, which moved to its present location in Forest Hills in 1940.

For more information, check out their Web site at www.forestdaleinc.org


A High Line Park in Queens?

High Line Park in Chelsea may be the best argument for openning the High Line Park in Queens.

According to The New York Times (6/5/11), “The High Line Isn’t Just a Sight to See; It’s also an Economic Dynamo.”  The New York Post (6/6/11) calls The High Line a “Gold Mine” – that has brought billions of dollars and 12,000 new jobs to its nabe.

So, what exactly is The High Line?  It’s an elevated railroad track abandoned in 1980 that has recently been preserved as a public park thanks to a community-based group determined to turn an eyesore into an asset.  And, boy, have they!

Pointing to all the apartment buildings, art galleries, restaurants and boutiques the High Line now overlooks, Mayor Bloomberg said last week, “I don’t think anyone expected this economic impact.”  All that commerce more than makes up for the $115 million the city has spent on it.

So, could there be a High Line Park in Queens?

The Rockaway Line seems to have great potental as an elevated public greenway.  The Rockaway Line is an abandoned LIRR track that diverges from the main line in Rego Park at about 66th Avenue, cuts through Forest Hills. Forest Park, and heads out into the Rockaways.  Abandoned in 1962, the line is visible in Forest Hills near the Forest Hills Little League, bridges over Fleet Street, Yellowstone and Metropolitan Avenue and is adjacent to the new Metropolitan High School complex near Home Depot.  It is bookended by the Forest Hills and Ridgewood-Glendale-Middle Village-Maspeth Little Leagues before heading into Forest Park.

Something to think about and explore…


Remembering our neighbor, Edith Gati

On Saturday, May 29th, family and friends of Edith Gati gathered at The Community House in Forest Hills Gardens to celebrate her life.

Born on May 17, 1930, in Budapest, Hungary, Edith was the younger of two sisters. Her family was affluent and cultured. As a little girl, she was baptized a Lutheran.  When the Nazis invaded Budapest, she witnessed many atrocities first hand.  Her father was drafted into the Hungarian army and died during the war.  She and her older sister fled with their mother from Budapest to Vienna fearing that their Jewish ancestry would lead them to be interned.  After the war ended, the three emigrated to Sao, Paolo, Brazil.  Edith became an accomplished dress designer and seamstress.  She married her husband John, whom she had known in Hungary, and moved to the United States in 1965.  She worked as a custom seamstress for the Givenchy Boutique and then for many years at Bergdorf-Goodman.  She had two children, William and Paul.  In later years, she nursed her husband through a long bout with cancer before he eventually passed.  Edith loved gardening, fashion and all things beautiful, her friends, the opera, and her two sons above all.  She passes on to be with the Lord on May 24, 2011, after a ten-day illness.  Friends remembered her colorful garden, delicious cakes and warm smile.

The Reverend Noel Vanek of the Church in the Gardens and her son, Bill Gati, a local architect and musician, orchestrated a moving ceremony filled with thoughtful words, beautiful music, pretty flowers and, of course, some cake!


FREE TREES for Forest Hills Gardens Residents

In an effort to help replace the many beautiful trees we lost in the micro-burst this fall, the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance in partnership with MillionTreesNYC and the New York Restoration Project will be giving away 100 trees to residents of New York City on Sunday, June 12th from 1:00 -3:00pm at MacDonald Park (Queens Blvd & 70th Ave). The event will be held rain or shine, on a first-come, first serve basis, and the offer is limited to one tree per household/apartment building. Limited quantities of Cherry and Blackgum trees will be available. 

These trees are intended for planting on private property and cannot be planted along streets, on rooftops or terraces, or in city parks.  Simple tree planting  and care instructions come with each tree.

Led by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and  NYRP, MillionTreesNYC is a citywide, public/private initiative that recognizes the benefits trees provide New York City residents, neighborhoods and the environment, with an ambitious goal: to plant and care for one million new trees across the city’s five boroughs by 2017.

The event is sponsored by Jet Blue Airways, BNP Paribas, and Toyota.

For more information, please contact Michael Perlman, Queens VP of the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance at unlockthevault@hotmail.com


Response from The Diocese of Brooklyn concerning the case of Monsignor Dempsey

According to the April 10, 2011 issue of the Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church bulletin, a response has been issued by The Diocese of Brooklyn concerning The Reverend Monsignor Michael B. Dempsey - the beloved priest who served this community for many years before being placed on administrative leave for the possible violation of internet child pornography laws.

The statement received on April 4th reads: “The issue that resulted in the Rev. Monsignor Michael Dempsey’s placement on Administrative Leave in 2010 remains unresolved.  The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, will seek a final and definitive resolution of his case from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.”

Monsignor Dempsey informed Bishop DiMarzio that the federal investigation was dropped back in November. Parishioners have been wondering why there has been no update from The Diocese of Brooklyn.  Although this is not the answer parishioners were hoping for, at least it shows a respectful response from The Bishop which is appreciated.



Mourning the loss of a long time neighbor and congresswoman: Geraldine A. Ferraro (November 26, 1935 – March 26, 2011)

Geraldine A. Ferraro – a long time resident of Forest Hills Gardens and former Queens congresswoman, who will best be remembered as the first woman in American history to be nominated for vice president of the United States, has died.  She was 75 years old and being treated for multiple myeloma – a form of blood cancer, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston at the time of her death. 

Also the first Italian-American to be nominated for national office on a major-party ticket, Ms. Ferraro was Roman Catholic and attended Our Lady of Mercy Church in Forest Hills (although she was a member of the Our Lady Queen of Martyrs parish).  A member of the Democratic party, who ran with Walter Mondale against Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush -who ultimately won the 1984 presidential election, Ferraro spoke out on behalf of women’s rights and abortion.  She stated that although she personally would not stand in the way of a woman’s right to an abortion, she was personally against it.  Sadly, because of this, her funeral mass, which is scheduled for Thursday, March 31st, at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Manhattan -where she was currently residing, is meeting with some debate.  Whatever the outcome, the family has asked that the funeral be private, and that only family and close friends attend.

A wake will be held at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home in Manhattan on Tuesday, March 29th, and Wednesday, March 30th, from 2:00-5:00pm and 7:00-9:00pm.

Ms. Ferraro is survivied by her husband John Zaccaro; her children Donna, John, Jr. and Laura; and eight grandchildren.  In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation for which Ms. Ferraro served as an honorary board member. 

For more information about the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, or to make a donation, go to: www.themmrf.org


Prayers and letters of support for Monsignor Dempsey

Parishioners of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Forest Hills are praying for The Reverend Monsignor Michael B. Dempsey -the much loved priest who served this community for nearly 50 years before being placed on administrative leave last year for the possible violation of internet child pornography laws.

The decision to place Monsignor Dempsey on administrative leave was made by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Brooklyn Diocese immediately upon learning of the federal investigation directly from Monsignor Dempsey, himself, back in January 2010.  An announcement was made to the parish by Monsignor Paul Sanchez, Episcopal Vicar of Queens, who explained that Monsignor Dempsey would be unable “to perform public priestly ministry” while the investigation was under way.

In November 2010, Monsignor Dempsey informed Bishop DiMarzio that the federal investigation had ended and requested reinstatement.  Apparently, no response has been made to his request, however, nor has an update on the investigation been given to the parish.    

As previously reported by the Forest Hills Gardens Blog (2/7/11), and the Queens Ledger/Forest Hills Times , parishioners are upset and asking why there has been no response, nor update from the Bishop.  Many parishioners and long time friends of Monsignor Dempsey, concerned for his soul, have taken it upon themselves to both call and write letters to Bishop DiMarzio  – including Monsignor Funaro, Pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs. Yet, still no response has been made.

We would like to encourage anyone who wishes to send an additional letter of support to do so this week – preferably by FAX, to the following address:

The Most Reverend Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn

310 Prospect Park West

Brooklyn, NY  11215

FAX: (718) 399-5906