West Nile victim’s son criticizes Avella

Francis Coppola (l.) confronts s Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz (second from r.) and state Sen. Tony Avella (r.) at a rally to raise awareness of Coppola's mother's death from West Nile Virus complications. Photo by Rebecca Henely
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During a rally Sunday where state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and state Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D-Electchester) called upon the city to do more to fight West Nile Virus in the wake of a 70-year-old College Point woman’s death, the woman’s son accused the legislators of not doing enough.

“All they’re doing is sitting here and doing nothing,” said Francis Coppola Jr., whose mother Maria died in March due to complications from the virus.

Francis Coppola and his family have said in the past that their mother contracted the virus due to standing pools of water and unkempt foliage at a nearby business and have been planning legal action against a business and the city.

About 30 College Point residents and civic activists attended Avella and Simanowitz’s rally at the corner of 11th Avenue and 138th Place. The first incident of West Nile Virus in the United States occurred in 1999 and Avella, a city councilman at the time, said the city has been lax in preventing it. He said there were five deaths last year due to the virus.

“As the years have gone on, the city’s attention to this issue has significantly decreased,” Avella said.

The senator called upon the city to spray and put out larvicides to get rid of mosquitoes in a preventive as well as a reactive measure. He also demanded the city do educational outreach on the importance of getting rid of patches of standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

Francis Coppola initially held up protest signs during the rally, but then told Avella as well as Simanowitz, that they had not really taken any action.

“Had it not been for me, there would have been no momentum,” Francis Coppola said.

The College Point resident also blasted the legislators for holding the rally at the same time as the Manhattan Pride Week festivities and one of Assemblywoman Grace Meng’s (D-Flushing) campaign events. The scheduling conflict is why some at the rally thought only one newspaper showed up on time to cover the event.

Francis Coppola also criticized Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), who had an event in Douglaston around the same time, for not coming.

“I’m ambiguous now on who to vote for,” Francis Coppola said.

The son said he would be holding his own rally at a later date with Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“He’s upset and that’s understand­able,” Avella said. “We don’t have the power to snap our fingers and make it happen overnight.”

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 9:03 am, June 28, 2012
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Reader feedback

Carmine says:
Our prayers go out to the Coppola family but what Mr. Francis Coppola may not understand is that Alfredo Centola and Senator Tony Avella are the only two leaders that have called upon the city to continue spraying to rid this area of mosquitoes, once and for all. Thank you Al.
July 1, 2012, 11:06 am
EllenB says:
You people that post comments with an agenda trying to discredit Mr. Alfredo Centola will have a problem with this one.

Alfredo has been working for years with local political representatives to combat west nile and I have over two hundred pages of documentation to prove it.

Keep up the good fight Al.
July 1, 2012, 11:59 am
Cal from Littleneck says:
Thank you, Al
July 1, 2012, 12:54 pm
Charlie from College Point says:
It is time we put all our differences aside and work together with Alfredo and the Coppola"s to show the strength of this fine community.
July 1, 2012, 1:39 pm
Lou from Bayside says:
I wish to attend the next rally. Alfredo please send me all the details. Thanks and good luck.
July 1, 2012, 2:01 pm
Francis Coppola from College Point says:
Avella and Simowits didn't do crap yet across the street they were payed off by Mercedez Benz and Skaggs & walsh about the infested WEST NILE pools they have and the weeds are still the same over 12 feet high on 120 street come check it out on 25 ave dock walk on the water front there full of bolony and salami they only want your votes the next rally since Avella knows that we had a mild winter should've attacked the city to spray back in May. Ago down the docks wait, go to Poppehusen on 14th road we had mosquito in April meeting we were all shocked and the group sits and waits if you don't call 311 over and over until they turn red hot so there supervisors get on top of the disapcher who took the call and send no inspectors they'll never spray . I bet they will be much more many other this coming August infected from the west Nile total 2011-212 44 humans are dead 2 horses 2 cows and 1 dog are dead cause city has to save money for the budget cuts lol.
This will definetely effect Avella's votes and Simamowitz and guess what they both blocked me from face book I wonder why LOLL.
July 1, 2012, 6:24 pm
Francis Coppola from College Point says:
My family wrote to Avella office on face book back in Sept 2011 and turned his deaf ear like the usual him but on the news he acts and talks like a rose all smoke and nothing raosting and that goes for his tail Mike simanowitz. 2 peas in a pod!!
July 1, 2012, 6:26 pm
Carmine says:
Please keep up the good fight sir.
July 1, 2012, 9:07 pm
Francis Coppola from College Point says:
I said nothing but the truth that's why Avella and Simano witz blocked me from Face Bokk they can't take the heat from me there all talk all somoke nothing roasting in there oven
July 1, 2012, 11:24 pm
francis Coppola from college Point says:
when you guys put your full name I tlak to you when you put your first name tha means your chicken and hiding
July 1, 2012, 11:34 pm
Carmine says:
Be carefuls sir, others put first and last names that are not theirs. Not everyone you communicate with here is who they claim.
July 2, 2012, 6:49 am
Angelo says:
You got that right, Alfredo
July 2, 2012, 9:45 am
Angelo says:
Hey Alfredo, your first comments, as Carmine and EllenB, is patting yourself and Avella on the back, then your answer to Mr. Coppola was, "please keep up the good fight sir". Make up your mind. The Coppola family suffered enough, they don't need more of your nonsense.
July 2, 2012, 9:54 am
Angelo says:
Oh, by the way, I am sure this family and this community would like to know what, if anything you had to do with anything related to spraying for mosquitoes. You are so full of it, it stinks
July 2, 2012, 10:09 am
Bernadette Maxwell from Flushing says:
I think it is terrible what happened to Mrs Coppola, but there is no reason to attack & bad mouth the Politicians, there has been spraying in College Point & Whitestone. Every time I see any articles it is only Francis Coppola being irate & complaining, what about the rest of the family, what are their feelings on this, is he the
spokesperson or family representative ?
July 3, 2012, 5:32 pm
Lisa says:
Irate & Complaining?

Alfredo, CONGRATULATIONS, you just hit an all time low!!

Mr. Coppola, Bernadette Maxwell is just one more of Alfredo's aliases. He is trying to get a reaction from you to kiss up to the Senator. It is very sad.
July 3, 2012, 6:27 pm
Carmine says:
Lisa you are an idiot! Now bernadette is al? Go back under that rock will you!
July 3, 2012, 6:37 pm
Bernadette Maxwell from Flushing says:
By the way, I am a woman & not a man named Alfredo, I do not know him & have no idea who he is ! My opinion of Francis Coppola being irate & complaining is from what I saw of him on Channel 11 news a couple of times, a couple of newspaper articles, his 3 mins of speaking at the CB7 meeting in May, where he argued, spit & pushed one member in the hallway after he spoke & his behavior at the West Nile Rally which this article is about. So Lisa, I am not involved in any games you & Alfredo are playing, please do not connect me to him, I am a Queens Resident, who has a right to express my opinion in this comment section without being dragged into any neighborhood personality conflicts.
July 3, 2012, 8:13 pm
Carmine says:
According to Lisa/Angelo everybody is al

According to them all is omnipresent
July 3, 2012, 9:40 pm
Bernadette Maxwell from Flushing says:
It all seems crazy to me...I am almost sorry that I expressed my opinion, It's ridiculous to be dragged into this mess. What is the deal with the guy Alfredo, it seems that people are against him.
July 4, 2012, 1:54 am
Lisa says:
Alfredo, you are a disgrace and no use to this community or this paper. Go back home to the hate filled Queens Crap, there is no place for you here.
July 4, 2012, 7:05 am
Carmine says:
Nice way to start a holiday you low life trash!! Bernadette Maxwell has been working side by side with Mr. Alfredo Centola to battle this ongoing problem with mosquitoes for years now. Their hard work has opened the eyes of local politicians, pushing them to intervene. Bernadette Maxwell, a fine lady, a good friend and a loyal supporter of Malba Gardens civic and this community.

So, yes Lisa, there is a Bernadette Maxwel...
July 4, 2012, 8:07 am
EllenB says:
Lisa, now that was a fine example of pot calling kettle.

Difference is there is no kettle in this case. Just you and whatever your real name is along with two other sad individuals constantly attempting to smear a good man.

Why? Because he knows what your friends are up to and isn't afraid to call them out on their lies!

Shame on you three! As the saying goes "karma is a .....!" I just hope I'm around to heat about it when it catches up to your "boys"!
July 4, 2012, 8:12 am
EllenB says:
Bernadette the people are three of them

A politician tired of being embarrassed and caught in his lies, along with a couple he has sent out as minions to discredit him.

That is the extent of it I assure you.

I too began writing on this site and was immediately attacked as being al.

Keep writing and express yourself. Beware these minions will post under your name, but do not worry , the real people on this sight know who is doing what.

Don't let them bully you into silence.
July 4, 2012, 8:17 am
Lisa says:
Alfredo, just within the past months you have been repairing an ageing building in College Point, Organizing a funding effort to keep the Whitestone Veterans Parade marching and now riding this area of mosquitoes. Remarkable!

You say you are a "good man", everyone that has had the pressure of knowing you, meeting with you and reading your endless commentary and actions towards them, would overwhelmingly support my assessment of your humble existence as Great. Let it be known to the world that Alfredo Centola is NOT a good man, he is a great man.

I am positive, Carmine, EllenB, Cal from Littleneck, Charlie from College Point, Lou from Bayside and of course, newcomerr Bernadette Maxwell from Flushing, would agree with me.

So on the July 4th. Let us all give thanks to God, country and to great leaders, like our Al.
July 4, 2012, 11:04 am
Bernadette.Maxwell from Flushing...thank goodness @ says:
I am saying once & for all.....I do not know any of you people, I'm beginning to think you all have a problem. I do not know Carmine, nor have I worked side by side with anyone ( except Off ) to Combat mosquitos. Although I am a good woman, I am not affiliated with Malba Gardens and I am not a good friend to.anyone here,for the record I am NOT a supporter of Malba Civic,.nor do I want to be. STOP connecting me to this nonsense, Carmine is lying about me, please stop, I will take legal action.
July 4, 2012, 12:02 pm
Lisa says:
Al, I would love to be there when you call your first witness. LOL :)

Alright, Bernadette Maxwell, apparently you don't agree with my assessment of Alfredo, I am sure you are not alone. However, as for you being a "good woman", your original comment about Mr. Coppola clearly tells us what you really are.
July 4, 2012, 12:44 pm
Bernadette Maxwell from Flushing says:
Lisa, I didnt give my opinion at all about Alfredo, so how could you also put words in my mouth, I said nothing about your " assessment" of Alfredo, I couldn't care less about him, I dont know anything about him or what he does, but its my opinion about how I feel about the actions of Mr Coppola, which I witnessed, so if you feel I am not a good woman for expressing my opinion about it, I think you have a right to your opinion, but I will not insult you, call you names or say you are not a "good woman" based on the numerous comments you made here. This is out of hand, people have a right to express their opinion here, everyone should be respected for it. I myself are starting to think there is not really an Alfredo.
July 4, 2012, 3:42 pm
Angelo says:
Where is Dr. Frank when we need him.
July 5, 2012, 5:05 am
Tanger says:
Can someone make this into a tee-shirt?

By the way, I am a woman & not a man named Alfredo

you can make $1,000,000.00 just in Whitestone.
July 5, 2012, 12:35 pm
Carmine says:
How about a shirt that says:

July 5, 2012, 3:10 pm
Lisa says:
Sorry it seems I skipped my meds this week
July 5, 2012, 7:12 pm
Lisa says:
Alfredo, don't you use enough names already?

Let the readers have some comfort in knowing I am who I say I am.
July 6, 2012, 7:34 am
Lisa says:

You are who you say you are?

Are you kidding? I know who you are, as do others that read this.

I am the real one don't try to take this name like you have the others!

I took my meds today so you can't confuse me anymore!

Get your own name

July 6, 2012, 8:51 am
Lisa says:
Oh Alfredo, sad, sad Alfredo!
July 6, 2012, 10:20 am
Lisa says:
Oh fake Lisa
Sad sad fake Lisa
July 6, 2012, 12:43 pm
Carmine says:
I am tired it this!!! Lisa you are an angry —— and Bernadette you are a filthy liar saying you don't know or have never worked with Al.(That hurts to most!!!) Tell the truth.

You people are crazy mixed up political minions of the losing party in this town and all your REAL names will be released soon.

Again I will repeat, Alfredo Centola and Senator Tony Avella are the only two leaders that have called upon the city to continue spraying to rid this area of mosquitoes, once and for all. That is what this is really about, that is why they do this!!Good Day.
July 6, 2012, 1:52 pm
Paul Tower from North Flushing says:
Angelo, Bernadette Maxwell, Tanger and Lisa, posting here with your bogus names. I have read these comments with great concern. It is obvious what your objective is and while it might work on the few, rest assured the many see right thru you. Time will come when ALL 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.
July 6, 2012, 3:49 pm
Lisa says:
Interesting, Paul Tower from North Flushing? How did you conclude, after reading these comments with great concern, that Carmine, EllenB, Cal from Littleneck, Charlie from College Point, Lou from Bayside and of course Med Head Lisa, aren't bogus names? Hmmmmm? That's okay, you can rest assured the community knows.

Alfredo, maybe give it a break this summer, spend some time under that rock you speak of.
July 6, 2012, 5:01 pm
Lisa says:
Hey fake Lisa why do you insist on using my name?
July 6, 2012, 8:38 pm
Lisa says:
Everybody in Whitestone knows that your name is not Lisa or the other
names you use to take credit for things you didn't do, you are Alfredo Centola.
July 16, 2012, 1:34 pm
Francis Coppola from College Point says:
That's why I don't except or befriend any cafone who tries to entrench upon my business if he read the bible stories it warns me about people like Alfredo there very sneaky but I'm more shrewd than him. Trust me I play his game and he follows my command I like obidient —— cats like him trust me just look at his face it saids it all the eyes are the mirror of the the soul his eyes are very dirty
July 16, 2012, 8:16 pm
Carmine says:
Very funny! HAhahaha..
July 18, 2012, 6:59 pm
Francis Coppola from College Point says:
Lisa I believe you about Alfredo in every aspect he seems to be a spy and a sneak to gain a brownie from the elected officials keep up the good work he's a phony
July 18, 2012, 9:14 pm
Lou from Bayside says:
Anything is possible under the leadership of Alfredo Centola from Malba Gardens. I'm glad to hear that someone is finally taking action. I hope he runs for office. He has my vote!!
Aug. 12, 2012, 2:48 pm
Ken Atkinson from College Point says:
Sorry I prematrely jumped into your murky waters earlier. Truth be told- y'all nuts! Can't put it any more succinctly than that!
Sept. 20, 2012, 10:30 pm
Lisa from Whitestone says:
Hi Mr. Coppola, sorry I did not respond to your July 18th comment, I was out of the country all summer. I see Alfredo Centola is still going strong with his usual BS.

Just wanted to say thank you, good luck and God bless you. Please stay well.

Sept. 24, 2012, 3:16 pm
Claudia from Whitestone says:
The Majority of politicians are self serving scuzz bags, none of them care about the people, they only care about staying in Office. The bottom line is a Beautiful, lively, caring woman was taken from her family, as were others because nothing is being done......the tax payers pay a lot of money so get these lazy ass people out there to cut down and kill all the cat tails and get rid of or clean up the standing water.....things can be done but they aren't because they want the money to stay in their pockets. I hope none of these dirtbag politicians lose a loved one as the Coppola's did......They need to start caring about the people and not the almighty buck!
July 15, 2014, 10:41 pm

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