Today’s news:

Nonprofit needs new home after dispute with landlord

The volunteers at The Worthy Pause in Bayside have spent the last 25 years helping to find homes for stray cats and dogs, but now it is the nonprofit that is searching for a place to go.

After 14 years in its storefront space on 41st Avenue in Bayside near Corporal Kennedy Street, a rent increase has forced the thrift shop to relocate, founder and volunteer Gertrude Barron said.

Barron said a dispute with the landlord over how much time the charity had to find another space has resulted in The Worthy Pause’s facing an Aug. 31 eviction deadline.

But landlord John Baker said the charity did not accept his offer of 90 days’ notice — which would have meant a November eviction — and instead told him they needed six months to find a new spot. Baker said he has not raised the nonprofit’s $1,000 monthly rent in 10 years but was forced to ask for more rent because of a tax increase.

Barron, who lives in Bayside, said “we would stay here if we could. It’s just a question of finding a space.”

She founded The Worthy Pause 25 years ago in Auburndale with Sunnyside resident Florence Motta. The thrift shop sells a variety of donated items and uses the proceeds to fund various animal rescue endeavors, including paying the veterinary bills for stray animals, collecting food for strays and helping find new homes for unwanted animals.

The Worthy Pause was originally located in a storefront on Station Road in Auburndale, Barron said, but moved to the space near Corporal Kennedy Street more than a dozen years ago.

“We never had any problems with him,” Barron said of Baker.

Barron said the group would like a space in Bayside, near the Long Island Rail Road.

Baker, a Bayside native who lives on Long Island, said he did not want to force the charity out and has actually spent some time trying to find them another space.

“I love animals. That’s one of the reasons I kept them there as long as I could,” he said. “It’s really costing me more than I can afford to keep them there.”

Baker said he has a potential tenant who would like the space now occupied by The Worthy Pause and that he could not let the charity stay past 90 days. The landlord said Barron did not confirm the November deadline and he sent an Aug. 31 eviction notice on the advice of his lawyer.

“I’m not looking to throw anybody out,” he said. “I’m still ready to work with her if she’s ready to work.”

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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