St. Francis Prep switches to remote learning after threats
by Evan Triantafilidis
Jan 20, 2022 | 871 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Classes at St. Francis Prep will continue to be held remotely while an NYPD investigation continues into online threats made against the Catholic high school and its students in Fresh Meadows. Local law enforcement from the 107th Precinct were contacted on the morning of Friday, January 14, and made aware of photos posted to Instagram that showed firearms with bomb threats written in the captions. “The NYPD continues to investigate the threat made against St. Francis Preparatory School via social media,” a spokesperson for the school said. “The school will remain remote until the investigation is complete.” An initial search of the school building at 6100 Francis Lewis Boulevard revealed no credible threats or dangerous devices, according to a letter sent from 107th Precinct Deputy Inspector Kevin Chan to school officials last week. ATF officials and investigators from the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task Force assisted in the search. In a letter sent to parents from school principal Patrick McLaughlin on Saturday morning, he relayed that there is no imminent threat to students. “Additionally, we understand the concerns regarding some students' social media accounts being tagged in some of these posts are unsettling,” read McLaughlin’s letter. “We are confident such students are not associated with the person who created the threat; unfortunately, social media accounts that are not set to private have vulnerability.” School administrators are urging students with social media accounts to take the necessary precautions to safeguard their “digital footprint.” St. Francis Prep was closed on Monday, January 17, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and classes have been held remotely since Tuesday. The school said their plan is to have faculty back on Friday, with students returning on Monday.
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Pizzeria Panina during a cozy Sunday dinner. Their logo is still being finalized.
Pizzeria Panina during a cozy Sunday dinner. Their logo is still being finalized.
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Pizzeria Panina, Ridgewood’s newest neighbor, opens its doors
by Jessica Meditz
Jan 19, 2022 | 344 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pizzeria Panina during a cozy Sunday dinner. Their logo is still being finalized.
Pizzeria Panina during a cozy Sunday dinner. Their logo is still being finalized.
slideshow
After years of vacancy, the corner storefront at Catalpa and Forest Avenues in Ridgewood has a new purpose. Patrick Del Punta, owner of Sweetwater Restaurant in Williamsburg, and Nina Brondmo, owner of both Bakeri locations in Brooklyn, joined forces to open Pizzeria Panina. Panina held a soft grand opening last Thursday, and continues to remain open without formal announcement — for very specific reasons. “The key thing for me was opening our doors, having neighbors walk in and give their feedback. I didn’t want to be judged on something that isn’t even the finished product,” said Del Punta. “And I know that the products will be developed better and better as time goes by,” he continued. “I also want everyone working here to get comfortable, because they’re all new.” Originally from Verona, Italy, Del Punta worked at a pizzeria there in his teenage years. He hopes to bring some of the same sentiments and knowledge from that experience to Panina, but in a way that’s accessible to the whole community. As for the vibe of the space, it almost feels like you’re being transported to a restaurant in Italy and you forget you’re in Ridgewood. And when you remember you’re in Ridgewood, it’s because the staff makes an effort to embrace the diversity that the neighborhood is known for and have friendly conversations with everyone. The interior, which was designed by Brondmo, is simultaneously luxurious and cozy. The ambient lighting combined with candlelit tables is the perfect scene for a romantic date or a nice dinner with family or friends. But Del Punta says he and the staff tend to read the room to set the tone for each individual evening. “My three pet peeves in the restaurant business are lighting, music and temperature. I generally like it hot, so you have to take your coat off and stay awhile,” he said. “I’m not a big fan of bright lights, so I’ll dim them as the night goes on,” he continued. “And the music needs to be something that changes throughout the night; at least one song has to hit for each person in here.” Panina’s current menu offers a simple selection of small plates, salads and personal 12-inch pies — including a parmesan and ricotta salata plate, a radicchio and kale salad and pizzas with various cheeses, fresh herbs and vegetables. Also on the menu is a carefully selected set of wines and cocktails that are just plain easy to drink. Del Punta said that “natural” would best describe the style of his pizzas, rather than “traditional Italian style” or “New York style.” “Our bread is 100 percent sourdough, which means it doesn’t have yeast, only levain,” he said. “With the levain, it’s not as controlled, so it’s really up to the staff to keep it at the right temperature and handle it properly.” He added that Panina’s current menu is not “too adventurous” at the moment, and looks forward to being able to develop it more and see what customers enjoy. Even with successful restaurant neighbors such as Porcelain and The Acre, Del Punta said he feels support and warmth from these businesses as opposed to rivalry. The same positive feedback has come from community members who visited Panina during its soft opening phase, and he and the staff are thankful for their support. “The beauty about this neighborhood is I’ve met like a million people from all over the world,” he said. “People come from so many different demographics, and they’re all our neighbors. Everyone is equally as positive; they really want us to do well.” Although the pandemic has slowed down Panina’s ability to open, Del Punta believes that it is actually great timing to open a restaurant. “Clearly, most people around here wanted us to open, and I think it’s just the right time,” he said. “I think that we’re nearing the end of the pandemic, so I think it’s a positive thing.” The formal opening will not take place for at least another 10 days, but you can still visit Pizzeria Panina from Tuesday through Sunday between 5-10 p.m. and be treated like family.
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