Tag Archives: Aqueduct Racetrack

What to do if there is an LIRR strike


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Metropolitan Transportation Authority


Subways, shuttle buses, and even ferries– the MTA is pulling out all the stops to supplement LIRR service in case 5,400 workers strike starting on July 20.

As contract negotiations with unions continue to fall apart and the impending LIRR strike draws closer each day, the MTA released its contingency plan Friday to address the 300,000 riders that would be stranded daily with the loss of the train service.

Most of the MTA’s plans focus on Long Island customers, but there are resources and tips for riders from Queens and other boroughs.

There will be 4,000 free, secured parking spots at Citi Field and an additional 3,000 spots at Aqueduct Racetrack, where drivers can drop their cars and then take the No. 7 or A trains to work. Through social media and digital platforms, such as Twitter and a LIRR mobile app, agency officials plan to update riders on how many spots are available in the lots and traffic conditions.

The transportation agency also hired 350 school buses, which lack air condition, to shuttle riders from stations in Long Island to the No. 7 train near Citi Field, the A train in Howard Beach, and also the M and R train station on Woodhaven Boulevard. The buses will run from Long Island into Queens between 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. and return to Long Island from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

There will also be ferry rides that can carry 1,000 passengers per day from Glen Cove to 34th Street in Manhattan on 40 minute rides. But the MTA warns that parking near to the ferry is very limited.

The MTA is encouraging riders to telecommute if they can work from home. According to officials, about 18,000 workers already plan to do so.

Through its free lots and shuttle buses, the transportation agency estimates it can handle about 15,000 passengers daily, more than double the 7,000 passengers daily from the 1994 LIRR strike contingency plan.

“When the LIRR unions went on strike in 1994, Long Islanders had very limited options. There were no park-and-ride lots, no ferries, no real-time monitoring, no telecommuting,” said MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast. “Today, the MTA has a far stronger, more robust, multifaceted plan. Working with the state and elected officials from across Long Island and the city of New York, we are providing more shuttle buses, thousands of parking spots near subway stations, a ferry service, real-time traffic management and real-time parking monitoring.”

The MTA doesn’t yet know how much per day the contingency plan will cost, and officials said they hope not to have to use it.

For more details on the plan, click here.

 

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Pol: Racino money should go to Aqueduct


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Goldfeder

Following years of neglect and two recent crimes, one Queens pol wants to turn the Aqueduct Racetrack from a “national disgrace” back into a community gem.

“It’s unacceptable that this once national treasure has become an eyesore and serious danger to our families and neighbors in southern Queens,” said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder.

Goldfeder  introduced new legislation Monday that would require an existing $30 million, generated by neighboring Resorts World Casino, go directly to Aqueduct.

Earlier this month, a mentally handicapped 40-year-old woman was found naked in the racetrack’s bathroom stall after being sexually abused by Frank Wood of Pennsylvania, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.

Additionally, just this week the 1985 Breeders’ Cup trophy and several electronic items were stolen from the site, police said.

Goldfeder said his proposal would bring in funds to significantly upgrade security as well as give current employees the tools needed to combat crime. It would also go toward general upgrades for the facility.

The $30 million from Resorts World accounts for 4 percent of the racino’s yearly revenue. It is allotted to capital expenditures for maintaining and upgrading New York Racing Association (NYRA) facilities.

Currently, NYRA uses the funds at the Saratoga and Belmont racing sites.

Eric Wing, a NYRA spokesperson, said revenue received is diverted to Saratoga, Belmont and Aqueduct depending on what is needed in capital improvements.

“In the past year, we’ve spent well over $5 million just on upgrades at Aqueduct,” Wing said. “Everyone who comes can easily get a firsthand look at the many improvements that have been made.”

He said NYRA has a “responsibility to all three of our racetracks” and upgrades will continue to be made at the borough’s track.

 

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Breeders’ Cup trophy taken from Aqueduct Racetrack


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A burglar broke into the Aqueduct Racetrack Thursday evening, taking off with a 1985 Breeders’ Cup trophy and several electronic items, police said.

The theft took place about 8 p.m. on the second floor of the 110-00 Rockaway Blvd. complex, cops said. Two laptops, a flat screen TV and a flat screen photo finish monitor were stolen from an office and the trophy was swiped from a restaurant, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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DA: Man sexually abused mentally handicapped woman at Aqueduct Racetrack


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photo

A Pennsylvania man is charged with sexually abusing a mentally handicapped 40-year-old woman who has the mental capacity of a 2-year-old.

Frank Wood, 37, targeted the woman at the Aqueduct Racetrack on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2, according to District Attorney Richard A. Brown. A witness said she was in the facility’s restroom when she heard a woman scream and a male voice coming from inside a stall, according to a criminal complaint.

The male voice, identified in court documents as Wood, allegedly said, “Don’t tell anybody.”

The witness then saw Wood exit the stall, adjusting his belt and pants. She then found the victim, naked, inside the bathroom stall, according to the DA.

Wood is charged with a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, endangering the welfare of an incompetent person, sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment.

 

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Aqueduct Racetrack hosting street art show ‘Murals’


| editorial@queenscourier.com


The grandstand walls at Aqueduct Racetrack will serve as canvasses for 11 contemporary urban artists who will transform the first floor of New York City’s only racetrack into a horse racing-themed street art show entitled “Aqueduct Murals,” opening to the public on Saturday, November 23.

“New York City is arguably the Mecca of street art and “Aqueduct Murals” integrates horse racing with a celebration of this vibrant, artistic community,” said Paul Kelleher of The New York Racing Association, Inc.’s (NYRA) Corporate Development department. “Aqueduct is New York City’s racetrack and this exhibit will be emblematic of the track’s wonderful, multi-faceted environment.”

The artists – from as far away as South Africa and as near as Brooklyn – will descend upon the racetrack for three nights prior to the show’s opening to pair the Big A’s walls with their unique visions of the “Sport of Kings.”

“Part of the beauty of street art is its impermanence,” said artist Joe Iurato, also the show’s curator. “A piece might last an hour or a few years, but every artist accepts that it won’t last forever. An exhibition like this, where works of this scale are housed indoors, isn’t something you see happen very often. In a sense, it preserves a small piece of New York culture that is otherwise constantly fleeting.”

One of the five local artists featured is 41-year-old Chris Stain, who teaches art at P.S. 49 in Middle Village.

“When I was approached to do the show, it immediately reminded me of my grandfather,” he said. “I always heard him talk about the track and the horses, so there’s some sentimental value there for me and it’s a way to explore that more. What sets street art apart from other forms is there are no rules to it. With other forms of art you have to follow a certain structure. With street art you can freestyle and there aren’t any limitations.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. daily, beginning November 23 at Aqueduct Racetrack, 110-00 Rockaway Boulevard, Ozone Park. For more information, call 718-641-4700 or go to www.aqueductmurals.com.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers, then a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 81. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70% with rainfall amounts near 0.7 in. possible. Friday Night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers, then a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 72. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: An Evening Ride on the Forest Park Carousel to End Alzheimer’s

New Yorkers of all ages can enjoy “An Evening Ride on the Forest Park Carousel to End Alzheimer’s”  from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. The 2nd annual fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter will donate 100 percent of all proceeds from carousel rides to the Alzheimer’s NYC Chapter. Visitors can have unlimited carousel rides and face-painting for $10 or enjoy individual rides for $3. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Woman burned in Queens fire: FDNY

A woman suffered burns to over 40 percent of her upper body when a fire tore through her Queens home Thursday evening. Read more: NBC New York

NYPD sergeant who blew the whistle on fudged police reports slapped with departmental charges

An NYPD sergeant who blew the whistle on his fellow officers in a Queens precinct about routinely downgrading felonies to misdemeanors to make the crime rate look better has been slapped with departmental charges for speaking out about the misdeeds. Read more: New York Daily News

Subway shark mystery solved?

A family from Brooklyn is offering some insight into the bizarre discovery of a dead shark on the N train subway early Wednesday. Read more: Fox New York

Aqueduct Racetrack subway station A full-time stop, MTA says

Getting to the Aqueduct racino just got a little easier. Read more: NY1

Vacant lot near Queens Center Mall to get three chain restaurants

Let them eat crab. A vacant lot near Queens Center Mall that sparked a legal battle between the city and a developer will finally be occupied. Read more: New York Daily News

Man accused of killing wife, posting it on Facebook 

A South Florida man who authorities say fatally shot his wife – and apparently then posted a photo of her body on Facebook – has turned himself in to police. Read more: AP

Aqueduct convention center scrapped, Willets Point eyed


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

convention center

Willets Point might become the new destination for a convention center, after it was announced that plans for one near the Aqueduct Racetrack have fallen through.

Governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledged Friday, June 1, that talks for what would have been the largest convention center in the country were not working out. Any future plans to discuss building elsewhere will wait until voters decide on new gaming laws in November 2013, said Jack Friedman, executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

Because the Genting Company – the desired builder of the center – holds the rights to build at Aqueduct, other investors may be called in for alternative sites, should the new gaming laws pass next year, he said.

While directly discussing potential projects with new bidders may not start until then, Friedman said planning for an alternative at Willets Point has already begun.

Willets Point would be the desired alternative, he said, because of its closer train ride to the city and LaGuardia Airport. Currently, the area known as the Iron Triangle is planned for a shopping mall, but Friedman said a convention center would bring more and better jobs.

“We’d like to see that plan modified for a much larger convention center,” he said.