Civic president boycotts meet held by Avella

Alfredo Centola (l.-r.), Debra Markell and Kim Cody chat with state Sen. Tony Avella at a town hall meeting attended by a slew of city agencies. Photo by Joe Anuta
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State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) held a town hall meeting last Thursday where city representatives were asked questions by northeast Queens residents and civic associations, although one neighborhood group that was not invited called for a boycott of the event.

The hall was held at PS 193, at 152-20 11th Ave., and many of the residents put Hilary Gietz from the city Department of Transportation on the hot seat over requests for stop signs and speed bumps at various locations throughout Whitestone, College Point and Flushing — but most notably several residents asked for stop signs along 3rd Avenue near the newly reconstructed playground at Francis Lewis Park.

“Something has got to be done,” said Alfredo Centola, of the Malba Gardens Civic Association.

But Gietz replied that the bumps were once approved but never slated for installation due to community backlash.

Centola co-hosted the meeting along with Kim Cody from the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association and Debbie Markell, of the Waterside Estates Cresthaven Home Owners Association.

But no one from another area civic, the Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association, was invited to the event, which prompted a letter from its President Devon O’Connor.

O’Connor sent the open letter out to members of the community, indicating he was “shocked” to learn his group was not on the invite list. He called the group’s exclusion a “silly political jab” before calling on his membership to skip the meeting.

“Now, we all need to band together as a united community to tell Sen. Avella he was not elected to persecute his community,” O’Connor said in the letter. “Let’s send a clear message to Sen. Avella: It’s time to put an end to this bullying!”

When asked at the town hall why O’Connor’s group was not invited, Avella declined to answer.

A day later, his office sent a statement about the meeting and the groups in the area, offering another slight to the civic.

“Sen. Avella held a productive town hall discussion last night and was thrilled that respected local community groups co-hosted the event,” spokesman Xavier San Miguel said. “Groups like the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Association, the Malba Gardens Civic Association or the Waterside Estates Cresthaven Home Owners Association contribute to our democracy in a meaningful way and continue to provide real results for Queens County.”

Avella and the panel of representatives from numerous city agencies fielded questions for two hours from the crowd of about 50 people.

John Zullo, of De Phillips Athletic Club, said the city Parks Department has locked the bathrooms at College Point Fields hours before the Little League games actually end. Parks pledged to make sure the bathrooms are locked later.

Antonio Melone said the DOT repaved its roads in a manner that caused flooding and that, after waiting for more than five years for the city to replace his curbs, he had to do it himself.

Avella called the wait “a disgrace,” and revealed that the city has a 23-year waiting list for residents to get their curbs replaced.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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Reader Feedback

jOEY from MALBA says:

May 24, 2012, 3:56 pm
Frank from Whitestone says:
This successful boycott of this meeting seems to have benefited the Senator most of all. As we know, he is not one to engage in conversation with the voters. Never the less, very nice work WTW and all the other groups that refused to attend. You were able to send a very clear message on our behalf.
May 25, 2012, 9:39 am
Pat from Bellerose says:
What was that message? That divisiveness is good? Seems like WTW was being as petty as they claim the senator was being. The flyer did read open to the community, not just the groups sponsoring it.
May 25, 2012, 3:41 pm
Barbara from Whitestone says:
It truly saddens me to know that two fine people, Kim Cody and Debra Markell would sit at the same table with Mr. Centola.
May 26, 2012, 2:53 am
Ang from Beechhurst says:
Hey Alfredo, as Pat from Bellerose, stop being an a** kisser. Nobody cares what you think, that is why you were there. Get it.
May 26, 2012, 4:46 pm
Carmine says:
Hey ang get a life and kiss my a** loser!
May 26, 2012, 7:48 pm
Ang from From my moms basement says:
What's up with your nasty attitude dude? It can't be that bad c'mon chillax cuz. Babs what would you know about fine people? Forget your past and what you've done to those closest to you? Pretending to be a friend but heaven help them if they don't agree with you. My moms knockin, she needs to do the laundry gotta go. PEACE!
May 26, 2012, 7:55 pm
Alfredo says:
Devon conner is my hero and Dan Halloran is my superman.
May 26, 2012, 7:56 pm
Alfredo says:
Devon OConnor and WTW are truly outstanding . He has done so much for Whitestone I don't understand the hostility.
May 26, 2012, 9:25 pm
Alfredo says:
Devon OConnor and WTW are truly outstanding . He has done so much for Whitestone I don't understand the hostility.
May 26, 2012, 9:25 pm
Burger from Says says:
Hey got any injunctions you want to lie about?
May 26, 2012, 11:22 pm
Alfredo says:
Devon and Halloran are like batman and robin ridding Whitestone of all that is bad.
May 26, 2012, 11:23 pm
Barbara says:
Debra, do you understand now?
May 27, 2012, 7:17 am
Gary from Beechhurst says:
Tony held a street meeting about variences for a restaurant, He asked Devon to hand out flyers, and to bring as many people as possible. Devon (who is not affiliated with any party, but is a registered as a Independent) attended the meeting , and decided he did not agree with Tony's position. Since then Tony has been acting like a child, and has done everything he can to give Devon and his group a hard time. Tony, grow up, this pettiness is why the US Congress has become a non-entity. Devon has decided he will listen to both sides of a debate, and support the position he feels will be best for the community, and not along party lines. Whats really exciting, is that Devon is only 21 years old,and his been working for years to improve the lives of the people in Whitestone. We would have a better world if we had more people Devon's age "getting involved." l
May 27, 2012, 8:04 am
Maureen says:
Very much so! Thank you.
May 27, 2012, 9:35 am
Maureen says:
Yes Barbara, Very much so! Thank you.
May 27, 2012, 9:40 am
Carmine says:
Gary, Tony and Alfredo are good men, you are acting like a child.

Barbara understand what?
May 27, 2012, 9:57 am
Cheeseburger says:
Barbra asks if Debra understands and Maureen responds yes

Have to love the ridiculousness of all this
May 27, 2012, 11:11 am
Maureen says:
Alfredo, I didn't believe everyone at first, now you have made it all very clear.

Your "ridiculousness" is not funny in least.

I have reported your abuse to this publication.
May 27, 2012, 12:39 pm
Barbara says:
Maureen, I am having problems with my email, please tell her Wednesday is fine, see you all then. Thank you
May 27, 2012, 1:45 pm
Carmine says:
What is happening Wednesday?
May 27, 2012, 2:02 pm
Lisa says:
It's ladies night out Alfredo! Maybe you will come as EllenB., Please, please.
May 27, 2012, 2:19 pm
Why Is Everybody Always Pickin' On Me?
May 27, 2012, 4:09 pm
Gary from Beechhurst says:
Carmine, you should not speak of things you have no knowledge about.
A little history:
My wife and I made the first contribution to Tony's first campaign.
Over the years K aren has handed out more flyers for Tony than anyone else.
After Devon disagreed with Tony with reference to the restaurant, Tony called Karen and I, asking us to meet with him at his office. At this meeting which include 2 people from his staff, he threatened us that he would cause problems for Devon, because Devon had disagreed with him at this meeting. We told Tony that what ever he would do, he would end up looking like a pouting "child."
Tony should know not to threaten the grandparents with any kind of harm to our their 19 year old grandson.
Carmine, what do you think now that you know the facts?
I am not saying Tony is not a good person, but it would appear that when Tony's ego gets bruised, he does tend to regress to acting like a pouting "child."
May 28, 2012, 12:09 am
Carmine says:
I heard that story and tony was wrong Devon should have shown he was better than that and not stoop to the same level. Devon has done a lot of good, as have al and Tony. These people have the best interest of the community , especiallyAl and Devine as they are not looking to get reflected . Wouldn't it be nice if all this hostility be put to rest?
May 28, 2012, 12:37 am
Barbara says:
Mr. Centola, or Carmine if you wish. You seem to be blinded by the fact that the Senator uses people like you for is own self interest, not the communities.
Your mention of hostility is laughable because you are the only one with it.

Furthermore the "level" Mr. O'Connor is at is his own, one of Whitestones best.

You on the other hand have proven to be quite an embarrassment to this town.
May 28, 2012, 7:08 am
Carmine says:
Wow Barbara you mention people by last name assuming they are writing under pseudonyms etc. Yet you have no clue who I am . A little slanderous on your part no?

Why not put your last name out there as well so Mr. Centola can respond to you if he so chooses. As for hostility, reread all of the above posts as well as previous ones and do tell who it was that began the hostility and the a** comments.

You should be ashamed of yourself.
May 28, 2012, 10:42 am
Barbara says:
You are Mr. Alfredo Centola and we are ashamed of you. How dare you.
May 28, 2012, 1:53 pm
Adam says:
"heard that story and tony was wrong Devon should have shown he was better than that and not stoop to the same level"

Carmine, please explain.
May 28, 2012, 5:19 pm
Adam says:
"heard that story and tony was wrong Devon should have shown he was better than that and not stoop to the same level"

Carmine, please explain.
May 28, 2012, 5:19 pm
Adam says:
Didn't think you could!
May 28, 2012, 7:55 pm
Carmine says:
Adam. The whole neighborhood knows about Avellas discussion with devons grandparents. Devon should have shown up as he was invited by one of the co hosts, and shown Avella that a twenty something kid was more mature than a seasoned politician. Why would you think I couldn't? Avella has done good for the community and let's his ego get in the way, as do many of our elected officials, especially current ones. Devon is a good kid and Al is a good man these guys do this because they care not for position or profit. THATS THE BOTTOM LINE.
May 28, 2012, 10:56 pm
EllenB says:
And you are Barbara ________? Do tell.
May 28, 2012, 10:57 pm
Adam says:


THE BOTTOM IS you are out on your mind!
Alfredo, Carmine or EllenB whatever you want to call yourself.

You don't think (we) Avellas people are stupid and don't know who you are and what you write. You damn fool.
May 29, 2012, 7:29 am
Lisa says:
Carmine, you said, "Al is a good man these guys do this because they care not for position or profit. THATS THE BOTTOM LINE."

We know about Devon, where can I read about something you (or he) did?

Oh do tell.
May 29, 2012, 9:16 am
Alfredo says:
Devon is a Godsend to the town of Whitestone and WTW is the only official civic group of Whitestone. Adam, what rock di you crawl out from under?
May 29, 2012, 9:40 am
Lisa says:
Hey Al, Maybe your a "Godsend" to,(or is it too) we are just having problems finding any record of that.

Oh, by the way, ALL the other Whitestone "official groups" were proudly marching in the parade yesterday
May 29, 2012, 10:24 am
anthony says:
Did WTW march or just the Baloon van again this year?
May 29, 2012, 3:14 pm
Alfredo says:
What's with you? Devon is a true neighborhood leader who has done so much for the town of Whitestone, selflessly I might add. Thank you WTW for showing up and making this town great again!
May 29, 2012, 4:30 pm
Carmine says:
People have asked me why Malba Gardens civic did not march in the parade, I simply said, Mr. Centola called for all community groups not to have banners for shameless self promoting in this years Whitestone Memorial Day Parade and all the official groups did. His civics boycott and personal absence is a true testament to his convictions.

After reading his previous comments, I think Alfredo is trying to more on and put an end to all his hostility and insecurities

Alfredo, you are truly outstanding and It takes a good man to be that way. You, my friend are The Godsend and the true neighborhood leader.
May 30, 2012, 4:04 am
Carmine says:
Sorry, I wanted to say move on, not more on.
May 30, 2012, 4:09 am
Anthony says:
I simply said, "Mr. Centola called for all community groups not to have banners for shameless self promoting in this years Whitestone Memorial Day Parade and all the official groups did."

Yes he did call for the boycott of advertisements and self promoting, especially from the politians. He also called on the community to stop by the VFW and personally donate directly to them. Carmine He was at the parade. I was there and we spoke. He stayed for about a half hour. Guess you guys missed each other.
May 30, 2012, 9:37 am
Adam says:
Alfredo, No one cares that you boycotted the Whitestone parade, you dumb a**. Politicians never carry banners only the kids in sport leagues. You always claim to care about children but you work to deny our kids the pride of marching and holding their team banners. Not only are you a joke but you are also the punch line.
May 30, 2012, 2:15 pm
Anthony says:
Hey Adam (as if there really is an Adam you people accuse al of using alias' yet you do it every time) you angry about something? Do you even know what al called for? Who's the dumb a**?
May 30, 2012, 4:19 pm
Adam says:
Alfredo, Anthony, whatever, isn't that a great example of the pot calling the kettle black.
May 30, 2012, 4:57 pm
Adam says:
YOUR WORDS!!!!!!!!

"Yes he did call for the boycott of advertisements and self promoting,"

Mr. Alfredo Carmine Anthony Centola
May 30, 2012, 5:04 pm
Anthony says:
Adam Lisa Barbara Angelo or whatever name you choose now FOR THE POLITICIANS! And the groups trying to take credit for organizing the parade . He also asked for the community to stop by the VFW and donate directly to THEM! Not these " groups" that come around asking for donations for police fire and veterans who only give a percentage to the actual charity. TO THE VETERANS DIRECTLY! !!!! Read his post and then you tell me.
May 30, 2012, 5:14 pm
Adam says:
Alfredo, I have read all your post and you are out on your mind. I call for the people of Whitestone to understand that.
May 31, 2012, 8:50 am
Paul Tower from North Flushing says:
Adam, Angelo, Lisa, Barbara, Maureen and all of your other bogus names. I have read these and other comments with great amusement and concern. It is obvious what your objective ia and while it might work on the few, rest assured the many see right thru you. Time will come when your actions will have to be answered for. For now rest assured the community knows and will know more, as the days progress. Good Day.
May 31, 2012, 11:34 am
Adam says:
It's still me you a** hole!

Alfredo, come on, cut the crap, grow up already!!!!!
May 31, 2012, 12:47 pm
Mom says:
Alfredo, it's not enough that the Senator invited you for his town hall meeting, you still must behave like a child with all your multi-character nonsense. Adam is right, "cut the crap".
May 31, 2012, 1:08 pm
Frank says:
Anthony, what groups are trying to take credit for organizing the parade. Please explain. Thank you
May 31, 2012, 4:49 pm
Anthony says:
Frank, there is a lot of talk in the community of groups alluding to organizing the parade which has been going on for decades. I will not get into who they are or are not on this forum. Sorry.
May 31, 2012, 8:18 pm
Frank says:
Anthony, I haven't read anything of any group taking credit for organizing the parade, it seems to have always been the veterans parade.

Maybe you are willing to discuss this boycott on advertisement banners for furture parades, that I do not understand. Thank you
June 2, 2012, 11:38 am
Lisa says:
Frank, nothing to worry about it's just Alfredo complaining about the good, good people do, again! Read the comments of others, then you will understand.
June 2, 2012, 1:31 pm
Anthony says:
Lisa, you are so negative and so very very wrong. Frank, the boycott was for politicians and self serving groups. It was to support the Veterans directly. Simple really.
June 2, 2012, 7:23 pm
Gina says:
Town hall meetings are always standing room only, Avella's last one at the school only had a hand full of people. It looks like Devon O'Connor's voice was heard and the folks stayed away. This "kid", as you people that appose him call him, is the reason you all quake in your boots. Anthony?, tell us again what Alfredo has done for Whitestone?, you can go back decades if necessary.

It's simple really, welcome to Whitestone, is what is, is.

Keep up the great work kid!!... :) lol

June 3, 2012, 3:18 pm
Lisa says:
Gina, very nicely said.
June 3, 2012, 4:10 pm
Angelo says:
So Alfredo, just to be care, you were for this boycott, right?
June 25, 2012, 7:04 pm

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