Tag Archives: Belle Harbor

Loved ones mark 11th anniversary of Flight 587 crash


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Flickr/NYC Mayor's Office

As Queens still recovers from Sandy, those who lost loved ones from the Flight 587 crash gathered to mark the 11th anniversary of the tragedy Monday.

On November 12, 2001, the American Airlines flight to the Dominican Republic crashed over Belle Harbor shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing 260 aboard and five on the ground.

The  service, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke, was held at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in the Bronx instead of at the memorial in Rockaway Park, because the area is still damaged from the superstorm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With fuel shortage, power outages, more Disaster Recovery Centers needed: Schumer


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

On Monday, Senator Chuck Schumer asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to open more Disaster Recovery Centers in New York City and Long Island.

The centers help residents apply for FEMA and other disaster assistance programs, but those in neighborhoods that were hit hard by Sandy have a difficult time getting to them and additional ones should be opened, said Schumer.

“These Disaster Recovery Centers are a useful resource to residents who need federal assistance but do not know how to go about applying for it,” said Schumer. “While touring neighborhoods across New York City and Queens, I heard time and time again that people do not have easy access to these important centers. Many of the residents, who are in need of this assistance, either do not have gas to drive to the DRC or do not have phone service to call FEMA and ask questions and that’s why today I am calling on FEMA to provide additional centers for New Yorkers.”

In New York City and Long Island there are 15 Disaster Recovery Centers, including two in Queens at Fort Tilden Park at Beach Channel Boulevard  and the Walbaums parking lot at 112-15 Beach Channel Drive between Beach 112th and Beach 113th.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Today’s Forecast

Friday: A slight chance of showers after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 57. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Friday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 42. Northwest wind around 11 mph.

Hurricane Sandy leads to city gas shortage, run on gas

With millions of New Yorkers heading back to work and limited subway service, many residents hopped in their cars only to find no place to fill up. “Gas is in short supply,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at the daily press conference updating New Yorkers on the city’s response to Hurricane Sandy. Long lines litter the gas stations throughout the borough that still have gas, with drivers waiting more than hour. Read more: Queens Courier

HOV rules clog river crossings

High-occupancy vehicle restrictions and the return of mass transit created a fresh nightmare for the flood of commuters trying to cram into Manhattan yesterday — backing up traffic for miles and causing long lines squeezing to get on shuttle buses. Police checkpoints were set up to enforce the rule of three people per vehicle and avoid a repeat of Wednesday’s staggering gridlock, but it also led to hour-long waits to cross the East and Hudson rivers. Read more: NY Post

Belle Harbor resident uses twine, electrical cords to save self, neighbors

Some people panic in a crisis, but others find their inner hero, like one man whose quick thinking and guts spelled the difference between life and death for his neighbors in Belle Harbor. Watch video: NY1

Generators should give power to people — not marathon

As hundreds of thousands of Big Apple residents suffer in homes left without power by Hurricane Sandy, two massive generators are being run 24/7 in Central Park — to juice a media tent for Sunday’s New York City Marathon. And a third “backup” unit sits idle, in case one of the generators fails. Read more: NY Post

Disturbed man randomly stabs woman, 22, after following her from Queens bus

An emotionally disturbed man followed a woman as she stepped off a Queens bus, stabbing her in an unprovoked attack, police said Thursday. Edwin Rios, 27, was busted at 12:40 a.m., almost three hours after he allegedly stabbed the 22-year-old victim at 73rd Ave. and Francis Lewis Boulevard, in Fresh Meadows. Read more: Daily News

Howard Beach pizzeria stays open despite blackout resulting from Hurricane Sandy

No power, no problem. One pizzeria in Howard Beach isn’t letting anything get in the way of a good slice. Romano’s restaurant is the only eatery on Cross Bay Boulevard that has been serving food to the blacked-out neighborhood since Tuesday. Read more: NY Post

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast with a chance of rain. High of 79. Winds from the SE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Monday night: Overcast with a chance of rain, then thunderstorms and rain showers after midnight. Low of 72. Winds from the ESE at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70% with rainfall amounts near 0.5 in. possible.

EVENT of the DAY: 30th Avenue Astoria Festival

Enjoy a plethora of booths selling food and goodies at the 30th Avenue Astoria Festival. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Peacock seen wandering Queens has been captured

The strut is up for one peacock that had been roaming Queens for weeks. The colorful bird was captured in Queens on Friday morning after it was spotted peacking the ground behind an apartment building. Read more: CBS New York

Hundreds grieve Queens high schooler Daniel Fernandez after party bus tragedy

The good times were rolling aboard the party bus to a Sweet 16 celebration — until tragedy struck for a Queens student who won’t see his 17th birthday. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens woman recovering from acid attack

A Queens woman whose eye and skin were horribly burned after her elderly dad doused her with sulfuric acid was up and talking yesterday as she battled back from the grisly attack. Read more: New York Post 

Seasonal parking bans please many Rockaways Residents but irk visitors

The houses in Neponsit and Belle Harbor, Queens, out past the last stop on the A train on the Rockaway Peninsula, are not what you picture when you think of New York City. Read more: New York Times

Citizenship help on offer thru City Council 

Immigrants will be able to get help applying for citizenship or deferred action — the new, temporary work and residency permits for young immigrants — at 30 City Council members’ offices starting next month. Read more: New York Daily News

On Labor Day, jobs debate a convention warm-up

Republicans and Democrats jockeyed for economic high ground in a Labor Day warm-up to the Democratic National Convention, with Republican Mitt Romney labeling the holiday “another day of worrying” for too many Americans anxious about finding a job. Read more: AP

Poll: Romney receives low score for convention speech

Mitt Romney’s speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa last week received a lower score than any presidential candidate’s convention speech since the poll starting asking the question in 1996, according to the polling firm Gallup. Read more: CBS News

People Making a Buzz


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

Lancman-with-QCC-students-at-Kupferberg-Center1

CHRONICLING THE HOLOCAUST

 

Assemblymember Rory Lancman presented awards to students who have documented the stories of local Holocaust survivors, keeping their stories alive for future generations. The ceremony was held at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center at Queensborough Community College, where the students presented their work.

Each student participating in the Holocaust awareness program conducted an in-depth interview of a specific survivor. The work of documenting survivors’ stories becomes more important every year as the community of Holocaust survivors continues to shrink.

“One of the most important things we can do to prevent another Holocaust is to make sure the stories of those who have survived are not forgotten,” Lancman said.

According to its mission, the project goes beyond just preserving the stories of the Holocaust. It also provides students with lessons in dealing with hate crimes and civic responsibility.

“These students have done tremendous and important work,” Lancman said. “We have to ensure that first-hand accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust are documented today so they cannot be forgotten or contradicted in the future.”

Dr. Arthur Flug, who has led the project for the past seven years at the Kupferberg Center, said that the work done by the students would become part of their generation’s commitment to social justice.

The following students received awards at the event:

Richard Flores

Jasmine Fludd

Akeem Dixon

Katherine Avalos

Danielle Del Priore

Sylvia Uzcha

Mauricio Moreno

David Coba

Joshua Oladiti

Yi Qiang Wang

Antoinette Malcolmn

 

SCHOLARSHIP

 Four teens from New York are among 12 legally blind, college-bound high school seniors to receive scholarships from The Jewish Guild for the Blind (The Guild). Among them are Daniel James Solomon of Belle Harbor, a student at Stuyvesant High School who has been awarded a scholarship of $10,000. The GuildScholar Program scholarships are awarded prior to the academic year that begins September 2012. The recipients are currently enrolled in high schools in the states of Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. The GuildScholar Program was created, in part, through a generous grant from the Jeannette A. Klarenmeyer Trust.

A teacher of one of the winners is also being acknowledged for his role in encouraging and bringing out the best in his student. Each applicant was asked to write an essay about a teacher whose encouragement made a great difference in their lives. The teacher chosen from among the applicants’ essays will receive a prize of $5,000.

“We’re mindful of the often unexpectedly large sums of money needed to accomplish a successful transition from high school to a college or university, and we think that this scholarship money can be put to excellent use during this phase,” said Alan R. Morse, JD, PhD, President and CEO of The Guild. “At The Guild, we are committed to working toward a more inclusive society. The GuildScholar program will help assure that more blind students are able to enroll in colleges or universities that might otherwise be beyond their reach financially,” Dr. Morse continued. “We’re not concerned with their fields of study, but we are eager to help in the education of this country’s next generation of leaders, a group that must include persons with vision impairment,” he concluded.

The 12 winners were chosen after a rigorous application process that included criteria such as academic excellence, community involvement, legal blindness, financial need and U.S. citizenship.

For information on the GuildScholar Program’s scholarships for the 2013 academic year, contact Gordon Rovins at 212-769-7801 or e-mail guildscholar@jgb.org.

 

LOTTO WINNERS

The New York Lottery has announced the names of area Lottery players who claimed a winning ticket from one of the Lottery’s live drawings between December 25 and December 31, 2011. The following winners each received a cash prize valued at $10,000 or more.

*Jefferson Paulino of Bayside who won $29,206 on the Take Five drawing of December 24.

*Tarun Chillara of Floral Park who won $22,816 on the Take Five drawing of November 28.

*Concepcion Padilla of Jamaica who won $10,000 on the Win 4 drawing of December 21.

*Andrzej Wlodarski of Ridgewood who won $10,000 on the Mega Millions drawing of December 23.

*Ileana Sanchez of Ozone Park who won $40,000 on the Mega Millions drawing of December 23.

*Peter Chiu of Elmhurst who won $10,003 on the Mega Millions drawing of December 13.

*Stanley Kwiatkowski of Rockaway Point who won $250,150 on the Mega Millions drawing of December 23.

Alexander Akujuo of Rosedale who won $12,567 on the Take Five drawing of December 20.

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

The North Shore-LIJ Health System has announced the appointment of Kevin M. McGeachy, FACHE, as executive director at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) of New York. He succeeds Arthur Klein, MD, who continues as the health system’s senior vice president of children’s services, but is also now serving as North Shore-LIJ’s western regional executive director, a position in which he has oversight of all health system facilities in western Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island.

For the past two years, McGeachy has served as CCMC’s deputy executive director. Before joining CCMC, he was associate executive director at three different North Shore-LIJ hospitals: at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset from 2005 to 2009, LIJ Medical Center from 2004 to 2005, and Forest Hills Hospital from 2001 to 2004. He began his career at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in 1998 as part of an internal consulting group charged with examining integration opportunities among the various entities of the health system.

Before joining the health system, McGeachy served as the director of health policy for the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, an advocacy group representing hospitals on Long Island. He began his career at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan in a variety of positions within the Division of Ambulatory Care. He holds an MBA from Baruch College/Mount Sinai School of Medicine and received his bachelor’s degree from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University program in health administration. He is also a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Dr. Klein joined North Shore-LIJ and CCMC in March 2009. In his new role as regional executive director, he will have administrative oversight of Lenox Hill Hospital, the Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Institute, Staten Island University Hospital’s North and South Sites and the proposed Center for Comprehensive Care in Lower Manhattan. He will also focus on building physician partnerships and looking for new opportunities for growth and investment.

Before joining North Shore-LIJ, Klein was senior vice president and chief physician officer at Lifespan Corporation in Providence, RI, where he was also the associate dean for strategy and special projects at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He served previously as executive vice president and chief operating officer at the New York Presbyterian Healthcare System, and as executive vice chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, where he completed his residency and fellowship in pediatric cardiology. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Cardiology and has written and presented extensively on pediatric cardiology. He received his medical degree from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center and a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.

 

Kevin M. McGeachy (left), FACHE, has been appointed executive director at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center. He succeeds Arthur Klein, MD, (right) who continues as senior vice president of children’s services.

Flight 587 ten years later: Holidays without a loved one


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan.

For Angilda Delacruz, 21, without her aunt and godmother Magnolia Pena, the upcoming holidays are the toughest part of the year.

“When we were little, we would always go to her house, and she would always have these baked cakes ready and chocolate lollipops in her fridge. We would always get in trouble for stealing them,” Delacruz said.

“The holidays were her thing. We always knew that out of everybody, we would always get the best presents from her. The first couple of years after this happened, we didn’t really celebrate the holidays because it wasn’t the same,” she said.

Although it took almost a decade, Delacruz said her family has gotten used to the loss, and has started celebrating the holidays again.

“It doesn’t feel like 10 years,” she said. “It feels weird. It feels like time stood still, yet it passed by so fast at the same time.”

The family also just welcomed a new addition, one-month-old Gavin, who would have been Pena’s first grandson.

“Every time that a big moment happens, I think about her not being there. She was the one we all expected to always be around,” she said. “I know that it seems like everybody says this, but she was the best person ever.”

Click here for the full story and photo gallery.

Flight 587 remembered 10 years later


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan.

Click here to view our Flight 587 memorial gallery.

Ten years may have passed since the tragic crash of Flight 587, but hundreds of loved ones who gathered to mourn at the memorial site remember as if it was yesterday.

“After 10 years, we still have open wounds from what happened,” said Rafael Almonte, who laid flowers for his brother, Juan Bautista Almonte. “Each day that passes, our wounds open, then close, and open again.”

Family and friends gathered for the 10 year anniversary memorial held in Rockaway Park on Saturday, November 12 to honor the 251 passengers, nine crew members and five people killed on the ground when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in Belle Harbor in 2001.

The plane was en route from John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. According to reports, the disaster is attributed to a pilot error in overusing the rudder in response to wake turbulence.

“Over the past 10 years, you have shared strength that has transformed grief into hope and promise… hope that together we will continue to heal and a promise to remember those we lost and to continue making them proud of us every single day,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“We honor them each day in countless ways and countless personal ways. Today, publicly, as a people, we also thank those who loved them for keeping their memories alive, for raising their children, and for finding the strength to go on with your own lives,” he said.

A moment of silence followed a bell toll at 9:16 a.m. to mark the moment Flight 587 crashed at the corner of 131st Street and Newport Avenue. Family and friends then read off the names of all 265 victims.

“I don’t really have words to explain because it was so hard for our family,” said Yishel Matos of Bay Shore Long Island, who came with her sister, niece and nephew to mourn the loss of her brother Orlando Matos. “It’s like a puzzle and you’re missing a piece. The family, after he died, was never complete. It really changed our life. We miss him.”

Following the ceremony, several family members visited the actual crash site — located 15 blocks away from the memorial — to lay flowers on the small plaque dedicated to the victims.

“But as you know all too well, every day in the wake of a tragedy is a day of remembrance — a time to honor and an occasion for finding strength,” Bloomberg said. “For every day, we also know that the presence of those that we have loved and lost is always with us.”

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan.

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/10/2011:Ex-Queens resident gets 20 years jail term in wife’s death


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Ex-Queens resident gets 20 years jail term in wife’s death

A former Queens resident has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the choking death and dismemberment of his wife, whose parts were stuffed in a suitcase found by teenagers in a park almost a year later. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Tennis might come back to Forest Hills Stadium

A historic Queens stadium might once again serve up tennis. Reports have revealed the latest bid to save the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium is coming from Stadium Arts Alliance, a nonprofit that wants to redesign the site and convert it into a space for tennis, concerts, art shows and possibly minor league hockey. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Salmonella cases in NY linked to chicken livers

Dozens of people in New York have been sickened after eating kosher broiled chicken livers that were not fully cooked. Health officials say the liver contaminated with salmonella was manufactured by Schreiber Processing Corp. under the MealMart brand. They say 89 cases of foodborne illness have been linked to the product, including 56 in New York City and 33 in nine upstate counties. The Queens-based company is recalling the product. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Anti-Gang Forum in Elmhurst

Community leaders in Queens say that gangs are a growing influence on teens, so they got together Wednesday evening to give parents some tactical support to help their children. City Councilmember Julissa Ferraras, who organized the meeting, said that gang problem is getting worse and that they are recruiting in middle school and even in elementary schools. Read More: Fox News

 

Queens Residents Discuss Memories Of Flight 587 Crash Ahead Of 10th Anniversary

It may not look like it at first glance, but Queens’ Belle Harbor is where American Airlines Flight 587 went down. The only recognition is a small plaque that marks the spot, but the memory is still vivid for some. Read More: NY1

You can help Valentina


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

Valentina

When Valentina Priolo, now four, was only three months old, she began having seizures.

Her mom, Raquel, who had suffered complications when giving birth to Valentina and her fraternal twin Isabella, became concerned and immediately sought help for her little girl.

“They called it immature neurological development,” Raquel told The Courier.

At six months, as the seizures continued, Valentina was diagnosed with epilepsy and low muscle tone. She was put on medications.

“She didn’t hit any of her milestones,” said Raquel, who lives with her family in Belle Harbor. “She couldn’t sit up, she was rolling her head. She never slept.”

A sleep disorder clinic said that Valentina had sleep apnea and cerebral palsy.

It was on July 30 of last year – Raquel’s birthday – that the family got the news: Valentina has Rett Syndrome.

According to the International Rett Syndrome Foundation, the disease is “a unique developmental disorder that is first recognized in infancy and seen almost always in girls . . . It has been most often misdiagnosed as autism, cerebral palsy, or non-specific developmental delay. Rett Syndrome causes problems in brain function that are responsible for cognitive, sensory, emotional, motor and autonomic function. These can include learning, speech, sensory sensations, mood, movement, breathing, cardiac function, and even chewing, swallowing, and digestion.”

Raquel, who said there are only 2,000 children with Rett in the New York area and that it is “very misdiagnosed,” was devastated, especially, she said, since the doctor made the diagnosis without the results of blood tests, which later confirmed.

“The doctor said she’s going to lose all abilities, all motor function,” she said. “When I was pregnant we were talking ballet, now we were talking helmets and feeding tubes.

“I was depressed for a long time,” continued Raquel, who said that Valentina can speak and walk with orthotics, though she does fall a lot. “We googled it to death and found the only doctor in the area to deal with Rett Syndrome. She is an amazing woman who gave us hope.”

And that has translated into a cause.

“I now have hope that I can give my daughter everything and she will have a full life,” said Raquel. “I feel that way because I have met other moms with Rett angels who fight for the cure. Through fundraising and support from friends and family all over the world, we, along with hundreds of other families, have made a difference in raising awareness.”

In her efforts, Raquel was told of Joe Mure, who is extremely involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and hosts numerous events a year to support that cause.

“We went to Joe looking for a simple donation but came out with a fundraiser,” remarked Raquel, who was touched by his willingness to help.

“She is a beautiful little girl,” said Mure, who will be hosting a “Halloween Spooktacular” fundraiser at his home, 144-03 Neponsit Avenue in Neponsit Beach, on Sunday October 23 from 5 to 7 p.m.

“We want to create awareness for the disease,” said Mure. “I just couldn’t sit idly by.”

The event, he said, will feature food, candy, music, entertainment, rides, even the original Adam West Batmobile.

Proceeds will go to Montefiore and the Rett Syndrome Research Foundation (RSRT).

“Be aware that 97 percent of every dollar raised for RSRT will be invested in the best possible science and data gathered from Rett research and will have ramifications for a broad spectrum of disorders including autism, schizophrenia and cancer,” said Raquel.

And Mure said that there will be a donation box outside his home through Halloween.

“When we hear researchers say they believe treatments and or a cure will be discovered within the next 10 years, we believe them,” said Raquel.