Tag Archive: Star Nissan

Nov 04 2011

‘King’ of Queens Gives Neighbors A Headache

In Auburndale there is no King and if there was we wouldn't endorse the owner of Star Nissan. Someone tell the Courier we will not be reduced to a bunch of peasants.

The Queens Courier, owned by Vicki Schneps, dubbed John Koufakis, Sr. as a ‘King’ of Queens.

What were they thinking?

The event is said to recognize Queens’ most influential men in business, or those that have been terrorizing a community for a decade.

Koufakis is the owner of Star Auto Group, the same company that has been menacing the residents of Auburndale for ten years.

Rhea O’ Gorman, President of the Station Road Civic Association held a protest  by Terrace on the Park where the Courier news group hosted the event to honor the dubious ‘Kings’ of Queens.

Who’s missing in the list? Practically everyone who makes a difference in northeast Queens. To see some of the other ‘Kings’ click here.

Residents are considering a boycott of the Queens Courier.

Read the letter below,

Dear Sirs:

The Queens Courier bestowed the honor of “King of Queens” upon John
Koufakis, Sr., owner of the Star Auto group today in part because he is
a successful businessman.

He is, however, not the king of Auburndale or Bayside where his Toyota,
Nissan and Scion service centers and dealerships are located. He runs
his businesses at the expense of the residential neighbors he abuts and
on the backs of his workers.

He may imagine himself the king of his commercial domain and his
neighbors, his serfs subjecting them at the service center for the past
10 years to hours of operation beginning with daily set-up as early as
4:00a.m.and lasting until as late as 11:00p.m.

During those hours the neighborhood is bombarded with incessant noise
from power tools, car alarms, paging systems, horns, etc. through open
bay doors and in his unmarked parking areas and with exhaust fumes from
an improperly ventilated building.

Additionally, there is an excess of cars far above the capacity of his
facility and the number allowed under his Certificate of Occupancy;
there is no designated customer or employee parking; deliveries take
place out in the open beginning at 5:15 a.m. and continuing through the
day while the loading dock remains unused; there is a clear view of the
operation from the neighboring homes where required screening proved to
be an inconvenience.

Though he may be a ”king” for the day, Mr. Koufakis is not above the
law and the city agencies charged with enforcement, who also service
and purchase their fleet vehicles from him MUST make him comply with
all applicable provisions of his Certificate of Occupancy, the Zoning
Resolution, Administrative Code, etc.

The Station Road Civic Association was founded in 2005 primarily for
the purpose of bringing Star Nissan/Toyota/Scion into compliance with
all of the above items. It has been a continual battle over the last 10
years. It is time to bring this issue to a positive and lawful
conclusion for the neighborhood.

Rhea O’Gorman
President, Station Road Civic Association
718-309-5694

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/king-of-queens-gives-neighbors-a-headache/

Nov 03 2011

Halloran Delivers Ultimatum To Risky Business

Halloran says he's had enough, so has Auburndale. It's true.

City Council Member Dan Halloran is counting to three.    1, 2, 3.

On October 31, Queens Politics reported on a slanted Daily News article reminiscent of a campaign hatch job. We pointed out that a  quality of life issue was buried in a report that pigeonholed  City Council Member Dan Halloran as ‘hot headed.’

Star Nissan in Auburndale has a nefarious reputation for burning the midnight oil literally and figuratively.

The public agreed. Dan did the right thing by giving Star Nissan a piece of all of our minds.

For his colorful remarks, “I’m not fucking joking!”,  said Dan, the critics dubbed him “Hollerin’ Halloran.”

Dan wasn’t phased by the name calling and shrugged it off like dirt from his shoulder.

Today, the Councilman issued a “Good Neighbor Deadline” to bring Star Nissan in full compliance with City regulations. Read the details in the press release.

Finally we’re going to get some sleep!

“The time for talk is over.  It’s time for action” -Dan Halloran

Press Release:

Halloran Sets “Good Neighbor Deadline” for Star Nissan/Toyota

Auburndale has waited ten years for Star Nissan/Toyota at 40-20 172nd Street to play by the rules and respect its neighbors.  Council Member Dan Halloran (R-Auburndale) is tired of waiting.“I am setting a ‘good neighbor deadline’ of Nov. 15 for Star Nissan/Toyota to be in full compliance with the City’s regulations,” Halloran said.  “If Star does not have its act together by the ‘good neighbor deadline,’ there will be consequences.  The City has coddled this misfit business for too long.  The time for talk is over.  It’s time for action

Halloran’s demands include that Star close its windows and doors at all hours, per the City’s zoning laws; install a ventilation system in accordance with the Administrative Code; and cease parking over 44 vehicles on its lot, in violation of its certificate of occupancy.  The Council Member’s office has received hundreds of constituent complaints regarding the business, and the business has outstanding violations from the Department of Buildings and Department of Environmental Protection.

Per City law, the business must provide one parking spot for every 10 employees.  According to their own statement in this week’s Bayside Times, the service center employs 200 workers, meaning Star Nissan/Toyota must provide and mark 20 spaces for employees.  The lack of employee parking has resulted in the excess of cars on the lot.  In the same article, a Star Nissan/Toyota employee admitted the doors were all in working order, but said that the front door needed to remain open for the 60 to 100 cars the station services each day.

Halloran has met several times with the owner of Star, who personally promised the Council Member that the business would keep its doors and windows closed when not servicing a vehicle.  While attending a recent ribbon-cutting on the same block, Halloran observed the business operating with all its doors and windows open, entered the business, and informed the employees — in no uncertain terms — that such continued behavior was not acceptable.

A Star Nissan/Toyota employee recorded video of Halloran’s message on a cell phone, then gave that video to the New York Daily News.  But the Council Member’s voice is barely audible over car alarms blaring in the background — just another noise violation by Star, this one conveniently caught on video by its own employee.

“Star lied to me, just like they have lied to Auburndale for a decade,” Halloran said.  “If I don’t put my foot down now, I know they will continue to lie, ignore City regulations and abuse their neighbors.”

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/halloran-delivers-ultimatum-to-risky-business/

Oct 31 2011

Dan Halloran Speaks Up For The Neighborhood

“I’ll park every fucking city agency down here for the rest of fucking two years.”  “I’m not fucking joking. Either these doors stay closed, top to bottom, all the fucking time or we’re gonna have a problem! This is the last time we have this conversation!” These comments were the focus of a Daily News article that lost sight of a serious quality of life issue.

An article in the The Daily News tried to pigeon hole Councilman Dan Halloran as “hot-headed.”

Sounds like a case of gotcha journalism. The article published on October 29th titled, ‘Councilman lashes out with curse-filled rant at Queens auto business’ lost sight of a serious quality of life issue behind the clever headline.

The Star Nissan Dealership on 172nd St in Auburndale has been the subject of serious concern at  civic organizations. Residents are fed up with the lack of parking, the screaming car alarms and the pneumatic air drills that pierce your eardrums at 4AM.

The sounds of labor can be refreshing and it’s good to know people are hard at work but it’s also good to be able to get a full night’s sleep.

 

Dan Halloran tried to negotiate with the dealership on several occasions and last week he had enough of the runaround and lip service.  The Daily News article focused the  story on Dan’s self-described “NY dressing down,” highlighting the demand for an apology for his comments in the first sentence. Elements of the story were arranged in such a way that uninformed readers could get the wrong impression. The article also used an unflattering picture of the Council Member and failed to adequately disclose the frustration of the neighborhood that manifested in Dan’s  colorful language.

Queens-Politics contacted Councilman Dan Halloran who had this to say,

“Star Nissan has abused our neighborhood for ten years, making noise 24/7 and ignoring complaints from neighbors and violations from the City.  Now I’m calling them out, and they have the gall to ask for an apology.  I don’t owe an apology to Star Nissan.  Star Nissan owes an apology to Auburndale.”

Maybe the reporter has never been to Auburndale? Hats off to the Council Member  for speaking his mind on behalf of the silent majority in the neighborhood.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/dan-halloran/


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