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Board supports renaming two streets for firefighters

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Community Board 7 gave its unanimous support to renaming two streets in College Point for firefighters killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

At its Monday evening meeting at the Union Plaza Nursing Home, the board voted to name 14th Road at 118th Street “Firefighter Carl John Bedigian Road” and 130th Street between 23rd Avenue and 25th Avenue “Firefighter Michael J. Elferis Street.”

Family members described Bedigian, who grew up in Greenpoint and lived with his wife in College Point, as wanting to become a firefighter from a young age and always being concerned for the unfortunate.

Eugene Kelty, chairman of CB 7, noted Bedigian had donated bone marrow in 1995. The marrow was given to a child living in Eastern Europe, said Joseph Bedigian, the firefighter’s brother.

“It’s a very dangerous procedure,” Kelty said. “It shows the type of person he was.”

Victor Ross, a member of CB 7, spoke of Carl Bedigian’s accomplishments.

“He was a brave man who had a task to do, and he did it without flinching,” he said.

After the meeting, Joseph Bedigian said a blood clot in the spinal cord had paralyzed his sibling’s legs several years ago. But Carl Bedigian undertook a vigorous rehabilitation program, returning to the Fire Department two years later.

“He overcame so many obstacles in his life,” Joseph Bedigian said.

Susan Brustmann, director of the Poppenhusen Institute, which displays a memorial for firefighters killed on Sept. 11 with ties to College Point, submitted an application to have a street renamed for Elferis.

Her suggested location for the sign sits next to the old site of ball fields and the future home of College Point Sports Park, which is under construction.

Elferis grew up playing sports on the fields.

“By kids continuing to see his name, they’ll never forget his soul,” Brustmann said.

Ross read a letter from Richard King, a College Point resident and coach of Elferis.

“I coached Michael and watched him grow into a caring and selfless individual,” King wrote.

The City Council is expected to approve the street names.

After discussing the firefighters, CB 7 voted to reject a special permit for doctors’ offices on a residential street in Whitestone.

Dr. Paul Penzi wants to convert a one-story home at 12-18 154th St. into an office for himself and another doctor.

Penzi, who does not live at the residence, can legally use up to 1,500 square feet for offices. But he hopes to occupy 2,266 square feet, and therefore needs a permit.

Neighbors at the meeting complained of possible parking problems caused by the additional office space.

The board voted 31-10 against the permit. The city Board of Standards and Appeals has the final say in the matter.

CB 7 also voted unanimously to support establishing a Business Improvement District in downtown Flushing. The BID is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 141.

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