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CB5 to hold virtual meeting on Wednesday

Community Board 5 will hold a virtual meeting on Wednesday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m.
On the agenda is a public hearing regarding a citywide health and fitness zoning text amendment. Currently gyms, martial arts studios, spas, licensed massage therapists and many other health-related businesses require a special permit from the Board of Standards and Appeals to open in most parts of New York City.
The Department of City Planning is proposing new rules to ease these restrictions. Under this proposed zoning text amendment, the special permit requirements would be removed. The BSA process for obtaining a permit can be extremely costly, often adding six months and as much as $50,000 in startup costs to open a gym or other physical culture establishment.
There will also be a public hearing regarding a citywide Open Restaurants zoning text amendment. The City Council has passed legislation making the Open Restaurants program permanent.
The Deptaartment of City Planning has worked with the Department of Transportation and other city agencies to draft regulatory changes that would allow sidewalk restaurants and cafes to remain.
There will also be a public forum to review applications for the sale of alcoholic beverages and building demolition notices, and committee reports, as well as nominations and elections for Executive Committee positions.
Members of the public can view the meeting at or
Anyone wishing to offer a statement at the public hearing or during the public forum is asked to submit a typed statement to by 2 p.m. on JUne 12, so that it can be read into the record.
For additional information, call the Board 5 office at (718) 366-1834.

Battle Royale: Local Pro Wrestlers Shoot on COVID-19, New York State Athletic Commission

In a middle-of-the-block building in Williamsburg, concealed by the absence of any obvious sign, school is in session at the Technique 2 Training Wrestling Academy. Promoter Tom Frazier is looking on as about ten prospects – males of all sizes, a pair of females, and even a masked marvel – assemble the ring for the twice weekly classes he established for aspiring pro wrestlers. Frazier uses the Academy to develop local talent for Industrial World Wrestling (IWW), the promotion he’s been trying to get up and running since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve spent the whole pandemic getting things in order, buying the ring, and working out my deal over here at Technique 2 Training,” Frazier says. “Right now the State capacity laws are rapidly improving so I think Indy wrestling in New York will see a big boost as soon as people start feeling comfortable going out to shows again.”
Frazier, who got his start in 2019 under the banner of “Imperial World Wrestling” before adopting the new moniker, says that he did see some benefits to the break in action caused by the pandemic. Frazier and many other wrestling organizations nationwide pivoted towards producing wrestling shows from training gyms and other venues directly for the Internet.
“It allowed me to take my time and put together something way bigger than what I would have done without the pandemic. If there were no pandemic, I would have been doing live shows in a traditional fashion,” Frazier says. “The pandemic is indirectly responsible for my starting T2T, which allowed me a space to film so much IWW content.”
While the dark time allowed wrestling organizers to concentrate on marketing and leveraging social media, few debate the negative effect that more than a year without live shows with fans has had on the entire community.
“The pandemic was certainly devastating to indy wrestling, particularly among younger wrestlers and smaller promotions,” says Wesley Bolls, a ringside commentator on the local scene. “Doing stuff on the Internet without a crowd is not the same as having that experience of going to an indy show.”
Despite the impact of COVID-19 on virtually all domestic wrestling promotions, local pros say that it was already hard enough to run shows in New York because of the strict standards imposed by the State Athletic Commission. Local promoters and wrestlers alike say those adherences often drive talent and money related to pro wrestling to neighboring states.
“It’s very hard to run a wrestling show that fits into the Athletic Commission’s standards,” says Jake Gomez, T2T Academy’s head trainer and wrestler working under the name “The King of Chaos” Logan Black. “They have a lot required of you. Most people don’t do it, so there wasn’t a lot going on within New York.”
New York State classifies wrestling as a combative sport no different than boxing or mixed martial arts. In January 2017, the NYSAC imposed rules concerning a wide range of issues related to pro wrestling shows. The Commission ruled wrestlers could no longer taunt fans, and that things like tables and chairs could no longer be used during the choreographed combat. 
Most crippling to small, independent promoters, the state prohibited the “renting” or sub-assignment of their license to promote, which had been a long-held practice in New York. Promoters licensed in New York are required to secure a $20,000 bond.
In addition to requiring a doctor and ambulance at each event, pro wrestling promoters are required to secure “combative insurance,” a type of medical insurance for athletes which can cost more than $600 per event. Those in the pro wrestling business say these costs handicap their operations. “Doctors and EMTs are a necessary cost, but it’s a bigger cost for the license; and when I was starting out I had shows cancelled because I was renting a license from someone whose license was suspended for not following guidelines,” Frazier said.
But for now, pro wrestlers are staying active however they can, wherever they can. Some locals have traveled to New Jersey and Rhode Island where restrictions on gatherings and wrestling in general are less stringent.
Astoria native James Dijan Bonavia, who has wrestled independently as ‘Malta The Damager’ since 1996, traveled to Mexico to compete during the pandemic and plans to appear in an upcoming match in Puerto Rico. “I wrestled in Mexico City six weeks ago,” Dijan-Bonavia said. “Wrestling is very scarce right now and people are willing to wrestle for anything or nothing. It’s really affected the industry.”

Joseph Paul Ingrassia

Joseph Paul Ingrassia passed away on Sunday, June 6, 2021 at the age of 97. Beloved Husband of Cecilia Ingrassia. Loving Father of Patrice, Paul Ingrassia, and Elizabeth Ingrassia. Cherished Grandfather of Sarah, Claire and Jenne. Devoted Brother of Rose Cipolla, and the late Pete Ingrassia, Lucille Barra, and Anthony Ingrassia. Graveside Service offered on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 11:30 AM at Calvary Cemetery, Woodside, NY under the direction of Papavero Funeral Home, 72-27 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, NY 11378.

Norman Zuniga

Norman Zuniga passed away on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at the age of 36. Beloved Husband of Jessica Zuniga. Devoted Son of Carmen Pena and Cesar Zuniga. Cherished Grandson of Hector. Loving Brother of Cesar and his wife, Gina, and Vanessa and her husband, Tico. Dear Son-in-Law of Pat & Ed Zimmel and Brother-in-Law of Jonathan, Patrick, Luciana, Jaclyn and Thomas. Cherish Uncle of Julio, Frangelica, Mark, Cesar, Marcelo and Patrick Jr. Norman was an Active Probationary FDNY Firefighter. In Lieu of Flowers, memorial donations may be made to : Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Private Cremation held at All Souls Crematory, East Elmhurst, NY. Memorial Visitation offered at Papavero Funeral Home on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 from 2-8 PM under the direction of Papavero Funeral Home, 72-27 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, NY 11378.

Pamela Costa Carlos

Pamela Costa Carlos passed away on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at the age of 27. Beloved Daughter of Melanie Costa and Pablito Carlos. Loving Mother of Caleb James Sumira. Dearest Sister of Marchessa Aguillon, Maria Carlos and Camille Costa. Also survived by many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Funeral Services held at Papavero Funeral Home on Friday, June 4, 2021 from 2-5PM. Private Cremation followed at All Souls Crematory, East Elmhurst, NY under the direction of Papavero Funeral Home, 72-27 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, NY 11378.

Jeanette Galara Belmar

Jeanette Galara Belmar passed away on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at the age of 50. Beloved Wife of John Belmar. Loving Mother of Justin. Cherished Daughter of Marcia & Ron Stock. Dear Sister of Claudia, Gabriel and Ana, Sister-in-Law of Sandra and Joseph. Also survived by many loving nieces, nephews and friends. Mass of Christian Burial offered at St. Adalbert’s Church on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 11:30 AM. Private Cremation followed at All Souls Crematory, East Elmhurst, NY under the direction of Papavero Funeral Home, 72-27 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, NY 11378.

Patrick C. Pellegrino

Patrick C. Pellegrino passed away on Monday, May 31, 2021 at the age of 72. Beloved Brother of Marianne and Candida, and Brother-in-Law of Wilfredo. Dear Father of Candice. Cherished Uncle of Rebecca, Daniel and Ana. Mr. Pellegrino was a United States Army Veteran who served during the Vietnam Era. Mass of Christian Burial offered at Our Lady of Hope Church on Friday June 4, 2021 10:45 AM. Interment followed at Lutheran All-Faiths Cemetery, Middle Village, NY under the direction of Papavero Funeral Home, 72-27 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, NY 11378.

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