Tag Archives: Breezy Point

De Blasio announces Sandy recovery overhaul


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo: Ed Reed for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a major overhaul to speed up Sandy recovery Thursday, along with the release of a detailed report on the city’s response to the storm.

The report includes recommendations that are expected to provide financial relief to businesses and homeowners, and revamp current recovery programs, the mayor said, as well as details on the city’s infrastructure rebuilding and storm mitigation efforts.

“We can’t stand idly by as red tape and bureaucratic bottlenecks prevent far too many New Yorkers from getting the relief they need. That’s why, from day one, we prioritized more efficient recovery,” de Blasio said. “And now, we’ve laid out a blueprint to provide critical financial relief to homeowners and directly engage communities in the rebuilding process—all while continuing our work to ensure a stronger and more resilient New York.”

Part of the engagement process will involve appointing borough directors in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, who will have the authority to direct city agencies to increase community engagement and coordination, and bringing Build It Back staff directly into affected communities, according to the mayor’s administration.

“These latest announcements from the administration have brought new hope to many of our residents who have been displaced and are fighting to put their lives back together and move forward,” Borough President Melinda Katz said. “My office will continue to focus resources on the issues and challenges still outstanding for these residents, so we may collectively find solutions.”

The report additionally highlights other improvements the mayor announced last month to Build It Back, a federally-funded program to assist those whose homes, offices and other properties were damaged by Sandy.

Comptroller Scott Stringer also just announced the formation of a Sandy oversight unit and an audit of the Build It Back program.

“It is critical to have an accounting of how government has responded to this event, and what we can do to better prepare for the future,” he said.

Stringer also said that he will be holding town hall meetings in affected neighborhoods during the upcoming months to get community input on what his office should be examining as it comes up with an audit plan of issues on the city’s Sandy response.

The meetings will include the following locations in Queens, with future town halls to be announced for June:

April 30, 6-8 p.m., Bay House, 500 Bayside Dr., Breezy Point

May 20, 6-8 p.m., Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, 348 Beach 71st St., Arverne

For updates on town halls, click here.

 

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Retired FDNY lieutenant featured in documentary series highlighting ‘unsung heroes’


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Coyne PR

John Nolan, retired FDNY lieutenant, worked to rebuild homes in Sandy-devastated communities after the superstorm and became one of the area’s many “unsung heroes.”

Now, Shell Rotella, an engine oil organization, has highlighted Nolan and several others in a short-form documentary series, “Unsung Heroes,” that tells the stories of these overlooked saviors and how their work and lifestyles are intertwined.

Nolan’s nearly five-minute clip opens up with the firefighter-turned-contractor pulling up to Breezy Point’s fire zone, which was reduced from over 100 homes to just rubble.

He said the night of the storm, the 500 active firemen in the neighborhood tried to save whatever they could after floodwaters rose high and a blaze broke out, catching quickly.

“Early evening when the fire started, it went to high winds, homes were catching fire one right after the other,” he said.

A shift in the wind allowed the Fire Department to get water on the houses that hadn’t yet started burning, but even still, the day after “it was just massive destruction everywhere,” Nolan said. “The entire community needed help.”

He and others from the fire “brotherhood” worked through the summer to get the beach front community back on its feet.

“We came together as the Fire Department always does and did whatever we had to do to get the people back into their homes,” he said. “It seems like every day is a sense of urgency; there aren’t enough hours in the day.”

He continued, “In Queens, you don’t judge a guy by how tough he is, by how many guys he can knock down. You judge a guy by how many times he can get back up,” he said. “That’s the Rockaway, Breezy community. They’re a resilient group of people.”

Nolan’s story and the other “unsung heroes” can be seen on www.youtube.com/rotellaunsung.

“Working on a project like “Unsung” really opened my eyes to the men and women working tirelessly to keep this country moving,” said Geoffrey Campbell, producer of the documentaries. “I have a newfound gratitude for the many people who put in long hours and work hard in a truck each day.”

 

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City Council District 32 candidates Ulrich, Simon look ahead to Election Day


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photos

The heated race for City Council District 32 is coming to a close.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich, the incumbent, has represented District 32 in the City Council since 2009. He stood with Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill and Woodhaven through natural disasters and hard-pressed community issues.

“I am proud of my campaign and my work in the City Council over the past four-and-a-half years. I am running on my record of accomplishments and my ability to deliver real results for my constituents,” Ulrich said.

However, Lew Simon has not been far behind. He said he worked tirelessly through Sandy to ensure the safety of the district.

“The support we’re getting on our calls and door to door campaigning is phenomenal – people want change and they don’t feel like they’re being represented in City Hall on issues from schools to street lights to Sandy rebuilding,” Simon said.

Simon suffered a setback earlier this month when he received a stent due to partial heart blockage. He now said he’s spending every day “making sure every voter turns out” on Election Day.

 

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SANDY ONE YEAR LATER: Houses spring up in Breezy Point ‘fire zone’


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Rebuilding photos by Melissa Chan/Fire photo by Alexa Altman

Nobody can keep Breezy Point down, not even Sandy.

A year after the storm wiped away longstanding houses and an electrical fire burned down 135 residences, the framework for dozens of homes have appeared, particularly in a once vacant, ash-filled lot, in what residents have called the “fire zone.”

“The level of activity is mind boggling. Houses are up all over. It’s a major construction scene,” said Arthur Lighthall, general manager of the Breezy Point Cooperative. “I’m just overwhelmed that we’ve seen so much activity, as I was overwhelmed the two weeks after the storm thinking we’d never see this community come back to the way it is.”

The co-op office sees building applications coming in daily. As of October 17, the management team had seen 117 from home and business owners looking to rebuild.

Lighthall estimates they see two to three applications a day and said they are doing their “best” to gauge whether the building-design submissions fit the co-op’s limits.

Those limits reflect the city’s, Lighthall said, which require a base height of two feet, plus an additional foot. Each home’s height requirement depends upon the flood zone as well as the current sidewalk or land height of the area.

The building of 30 to 40 houses is underway and an additional 12 to 15 plans are in the final stages of being approved and can soon start rebuilding, according to Lighthall.

Building design applications are typically “identical” to what was there before.

“People just want their houses back,” Lighthall said.

The majority of residents are paying for the construction costs with FEMA grants, insurance money, or help from family. Roughly 1,700 homeowners applied for the city Build-it-Back program, but are waiting to hear what, if any, funds they will be granted.

“The people are doing it themselves in the community,” Lighthall said.

 

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SANDY ONE YEAR LATER: Army man’s family remains resilient after displacement from Breezy Point home


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Thomas Sullivan

Count on an Army man to barrel through devastation and come up optimistic.

Ocean waves, turned violent by Sandy, pushed a house onto Thomas Sullivan’s home last year, causing it to “twist and buckle” off its foundation until it was eventually torn down.

“It was my summer house and my winter, spring and fall house,” he said. “It was our home.”

Sullivan and his family are still displaced after losing their Beach 219th Street home of 12 years. But the man who has served more than 20 years in the reserves is marching them forward.

“Life has to go on. We have to go to work. We have to get the kids to school,” Sullivan said. “Life got a little more stressful, a little more challenging. But if we could be in a home after two years, I think it’s not the worst thing in the world.”

Before the storm hit, Sullivan, 42, sent his wife and three kids away from the coast to Levittown, Long Island. He chose to brave Sandy in his parents’ house in Breezy, which is farther from the ocean.

“I stayed for Irene, and I got a false sense that it wasn’t that bad,” he said. “Seeing the house next to my parents come down and seeing the damage throughout the night as it was happening, and the fires, I was expecting the worst.”

Sullivan was able to recover some photographs and jewelry from his house but had to deliver the dreaded news to his family: “There is no coming back to Breezy Point.”

“The kids had a big sleepover at their cousins’. They were having fun,” he said. “It was very sobering news to my wife to hear.”

Sullivan’s three kids — a pair of 11-year-old twin boys and an 8-year-old girl — “lost everything” and had to temporarily enroll in a new school in Levittown.

The youngsters proved as resilient as their hero dad, who served 13 months in Iraq and escaped from the 96th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Sullivan said they made friends and had a “positive impact on their classrooms” as one of the few displaced students there.

Now the family is back in Breezy, living with Sullivan’s parents and submitting rebuilding plans to the city.

“I didn’t know if we would be able to come back,” he said. “I thought we were going to have to sell our plot.”

Sullivan said “the beautiful environment” he loves about seaside Breezy Point was the same one that turned on him. Still, he said he could not see his family growing up anywhere else.

“It’s spotless, it’s pristine. There are pretty dunes, and it’s extremely safe here,” he said. “Life is simple in Breezy — or it was.”

 

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Op-Ed: Where are we one year later?


| oped@queenscourier.com


BY STATE SENATOR JOSEPH ADDABBO JR.

On any particular day, whether I’m working, getting a cup of coffee, shopping or having dinner in the district, people detail their experiences involving Superstorm Sandy in many different ways. A year later, many still get tears in their eyes, others remain frustrated about the lack of progress, while some see it as a chance to make improvements and some are optimistic about community improvements. One storm, a year later, still causes many emotions.

While we can’t control the weather, we can take steps to control the level of our preparedness and what direction our government takes in addressing the next storm. We’ve learned a lot from Sandy, and I would urge my constituents to think ahead and make sure they have detailed emergency plans in place: know how to contact one another in case of an emergency; have adequate supplies of canned goods, medicines, batteries, flashlights and water on hand; know what to do to help secure your homes and properties to minimize risks during a storm. Useful hurricane preparedness information may be found at this NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/event/hurricane-safety.cfm.

I, along with other elected officials, have been advocating for adequate funding and needed legislation to help the district address the many serious human, economic and other consequences resulting from Sandy. As a member of the New York State Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy, I look forward to continuing the effort of our state in responding to Sandy’s devastation and obtaining assistance for those in need.  Currently, our city’s and state’s portion of the federal funding of $61 billion to help Sandy victims is being distributed through NYC Build It Back program, and the state’s utilization of community leaders in its NY Rising Community Reconstruction program aimed at improving our infrastructure.

A range of bills aimed at addressing various aspects of Sandy’s impact were passed by the state legislature and have been recently signed into law by the governor. Some topics include rebates of real property taxes, assisting Breezy Point residents with street frontage issues unique to Breezy Point, exemptions to filing fees related to federal Small Business Administration Disaster Loans, and the implementation of improved tornado warning systems.

This year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season is not yet over. We have learned a lot from Sandy and a year later are still dealing with its aftermath. It’s OK to share our emotions, feelings and sentiments about Sandy, knowing also that by working together we can rebuild and be prepared better than ever.

Senator Joseph Addabbo represents the 15th Senatorial District encompassing the communities – in whole or in part – of Broad Channel, Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Glendale, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ozone Park, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Woodside and the Rockaways.

 

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SANDY ONE YEAR LATER: Tilted Breezy Point home becomes iconic image of storm devastation


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/House photo by Maggie Hayes / Below photo by Melissa Chan

The Mok family will always remember the image of their Breezy Point home knocked off its base and left lopsided for leveling after Sandy.

Not because they called it home for 60 years.

Not because the last memory of the childhood house was of it teetering on its side.

But because the tilted, seaside house, doomed for demolition, became one of the most iconic images of Sandy devastation in the Rockaways.

The family said the photo is constantly replayed in media flashbacks.

“It was the first house people saw when they came in, and now it’s everybody’s file photo,” said Harry Mok, 62.

The faded red house at 102 W. Market Street came close to careening into an adjacent home during the superstorm when rising waters lifted it off the ground. It came to a halt instead on top of a brick barrier between the two residences.

“It was like ‘The Wizard of Oz,’” said Mok. “I couldn’t believe it.”

The city later condemned and razed the corner home, but it was a fate better than the shoreline house behind it, Mok said, which was completely carried out into the ocean by fierce storm waves.

“The old foundations were compromised,” he said. “They just didn’t have the strength.”

Mok said summers with his wife and three kids were spent at the beach house, which was in his wife’s family for six decades. The Flushing resident planned to eventually retire there.

Now only a plot of sand greets him when he returns once a week to fetch the mail.

“It was a total loss,” he said. “But we’re going to rebuild in the same spot.”

A slow application process is currently keeping shovels from hitting the ground, Mok said. He doesn’t expect construction to be finished until after next summer, and neighbors anticipate an even later move-in date.

“On the bright side,” he said, “from my porch, I’ll have a view of the water for a while.”

 

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SANDY ONE YEAR LATER: Ghosts of summers past


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Phil Gilson walked past the now empty lots in his Breezy Point neighborhood, reflecting on how the beach community once was.

“That’s the disturbing thing. You look and you say, ‘Who used to live here?’ Even I don’t know where I am because all of the homes on the perimeter are gone, so all of the landmarks are gone,” he said.

Gilson said he couldn’t revisit the town destroyed by Sandy for months because “it was depressing.”

His own summer home of 43 years was washed away the night of the storm in October, “right off the foundation,” he said. It was torn down completely in April, and he still has no plan to rebuild. Gilson was there the day before it was demolished to collect anything he still needed.

“I was anxious about coming down,” he said.

After that day, he frequently returned throughout the summer to watch the rebuilding progress, though the “outstanding” Breezy Point summer he knew and loved wasn’t there.

“I’d come down over the summer, but I wouldn’t see anybody,” he said. “I would not see towels. I would not see hanging bathing suits.”

Gilson’s summer memories include those of a very close, tight-knit neighborhood, where “if you sneezed, somebody next door would say, ‘God Bless you,’” and “if you needed to go to the store 10 minutes away, it would take you an hour because you kept stopping to talk to people.”

“You can’t replace the camaraderie of the community,” he said.

For his own home, just two blocks past the fire zone where 135 homes were decimated, Gilson said he is waiting to hear if he will receive any city funds from the Build-it-Back program.

“It’s going to be a couple of years before we get back here,” he said.

Still, he enjoys going to his neighborhood, watching more and more houses pop up in vacant spaces.

“It’s very comforting,” he said.

Photo courtesy of Phil Gilson 

 

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SANDY ONE YEAR LATER: Family rebuilds after Breezy Point fire


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Shamus Barnes

One year ago, Shamus Barnes found his Breezy Point home in the fire zone that Sandy left behind.

“It just looked like a bomb went off in the area,” he said. “You heard about it on the news, but you actually didn’t think it was that bad until you saw it.”

Barnes, 44, had been going to Breezy Point since he was five years old. At the time of the storm, he, his wife and three children had a 1940s bungalow they spent summers in. His home, as well as his parents’ home on the same block, was burnt down after an electrical fire broke out that October night.

“Your first reaction is shock,” he said. “But in the end, nobody died. There are worse things that could happen.”

Barnes was able to get from his northern New Jersey home to Breezy Point the day after the storm. When he initially heard about the fire, he didn’t know whether his house had been caught in the blaze.

“It’s devastating, really,” he said.

His 17-year-old son had worked at the Breezy Point Surf Club the summer before and was looking forward to returning this past season, but couldn’t because their home had not yet been rebuilt.

Two weeks ago, Barnes was able to get his rebuilding permits approved and poured the foundation for a new home.

Through homeowners’ insurance and his own funds, he’ll be able to replace the house he lost, with upgrades, up six feet from the ground.

He estimates construction will be done by April, in time for next summer.

After the destruction, Barnes is looking towards the future, and his family is ready for another Breezy summer.

“My daughter will be 16, she’s looking forward to being a lifeguard,” he said.

 

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Woman wanted in connection to homicide of missing woman whose body washed ashore in Breezy Point


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/FILE PHOTO

Police are looking for a woman in connection to the death of a missing woman whose body washed ashore on a Breezy Point beach in February.

According to the NYPD, on Saturday, February 16 at approximately 8:40 a.m., officers responded to 149 Bayside Avenue in Breezy Point after a body was recovered from the beach. The body was later identified as 24-year-old Marisha Cheong, who went missing from her Jamaica residence, where she was last seen at approximately 10:30 a.m. on December 19, 2012.

According to reports, Cheong’s live-in boyfriend was supposed to pick her up at a Forest Hills subway station on the day she went missing, but she never showed up. There was no sign of the young woman until her remains washed up just across from 121 Bayside Avenue.

In May, the Medical Examiner’s office ruled Cheong’s death as a homicide.

There are no arrests and the NYPD is attempting to find an unknown female that can be seen in a surveillance video leading Cheong from her home to an unknown location.

Police have released the surveillance video.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Residents protest flood insurance hikes


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Maggie Hayes

Skyrocketing flood insurance rates could “do more to destroy the community than any storm has ever done,” say hundreds of residents who came out to protest the looming costs.

In July 2012, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which called on agencies such as FEMA to change the way the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is run.

Through the act, the NFIP will be required to raise flood rates to reflect “true flood risk” for a policyholder, according to FEMA.

“They say it’s going to be $400 this year, and $12,000 next year,” said Dorothy McClusky, a 33-year Howard Beach resident. “If the insurance rates go up that high, we’ll have to move.”

Residents said that over time, their rates could get as high as $30,000 a year.

Rallies protesting the price hikes were held nationwide on September 28. In the borough, people from Breezy Point, Rockaway Beach, Belle Harbor, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach and Broad Channel packed tightly into Broad Channel’s American Legion to participate.

“We’re brought together by a common thread of this outrageous legislation,” said Dan Mundy, Jr., president of the Broad Channel Civic Association. “[This act] basically will decimate your biggest savings.”

“FEMA is the agency that is going to enact this. FEMA also couldn’t find this island for two weeks [after Sandy],” Mundy said, met by resounding cheers.

The act will over time eliminate all subsidized flood insurance rates for those in participating areas and can increase those rates by two to 10 times their current cost over a five-year period, according to Councilmember Eric Ulrich’s office.

New FEMA flood maps additionally place many more residents into Zone A and Zone AE – Biggert-Waters designated areas.

“Areas that have never flooded will now be required to carry flood insurance,” said Roger Gendron, president of the Hamilton Beach Civic Association. “Homes would become virtually unsellable.”

Last week, the City Council passed a resolution calling upon Congress to amend the legislation.

“Sandy was a 700-year storm event,” Mundy said. “Nature took its best shot at us, but we were able to stay here.”

“We didn’t survive the 700-year storm to be destroyed by FEMA,” he said.

FEMA did not wish to comment.

 

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VIDEO: Humpback whales spotted off Rockaway shore


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of Bob Leonard

These whales are in town for a feast.

As Bob Leonard, who is from Breezy Point, stood on the Belle Harbor shore with his two sons, Bobby and Michael, on Sunday they saw a group of humpback whales starting their yearly feeding trip a season early.

After catching a glimpse of them from the shore, Leonard and his sons, recreational fishermen, decided to jump on their boat and head towards the whales. The humpbacks were also joined by hungry dolphins.

“It was exhilarating, humbling and beautiful,” said Leonard who uploaded a video of his encounter with the whales on YouTube.

Leonard said the whales usually appear during the winter to feed on baitfish or bunker and have been 200 to 250 yards away from the shore for about a month.

“They’re very active,” he said.

Two days later he took a trip to see the whales again and plans on making another trip to see the group.

The yearly visit by the large mammals is one of the many reasons people enjoy living so close to the water, said Leonard.

 

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Breezy Point continues to rebuild


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Maggie Hayes

Slowly but surely Breezy Point is coming back.

“We continue to push as hard as we can,” said Arthur Lighthall, General Manager of the Breezy Point Cooperative. “It’s a constant effort to get things expedited, processed, approved.”

The roar of bulldozers and banging of hammers can be heard around the once-silent streets of the sleepy beach town. After Sandy tore through the neighborhood, 350 homes were left uninhabitable, some due to fire.

Now, approaching the storm’s one year anniversary, Lighthall said the cooperative has received 85 sets of plans from various property owners and their architects, proposing a way to rebuild.

“These people spent the first several months after the storm just waiting to see what they could do,” Lighthall said, referring to new FEMA, insurance and city standards.

“This is not something that those 350 chose to do. These people are forced [to rebuild],” he continued.

The cooperative is the first to receive the architects’ plans to rebuild and restructure lost property, which are then sent to the borough’s Buildings Department. After the department approves the plan, the process to receive the appropriate city permits begins, and construction can start.

Lighthall estimates that roughly 20 applications have been approved in the city’s system.

During the storm, an electrical fire also decimated 135 homes. Of those, about six homes are beginning to rise from the sand.

However, nobody from the fire zone is back in their homes.

All new structures are set to be built higher to comply with FEMA standards in addition to the two feet the city added for flood elevation. Additionally, no house will have a basement, Lighthall said.

The majority of homeowners are still displaced, living in various places throughout the city. Some residents have taken a different approach to rebuilding; one family installed a two-story modular home on Reid Avenue to get back into Breezy.

Lighthall and the cooperative continue to work with city officials in such a way that he said will hopefully get plans approved as quickly as possible.

“It’s frustrating at times having to contend with the bureaucracy,” he said. “There’s a lot of interest in getting these people back in, and city officials to smooth and quicken the process.”

 

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Primary guide: City Council District 32


| editorial@queenscourier.com

SIMON

As the clock ticks closer to city primaries on Tuesday, September 10, The Courier would like to provide you, the reader and the voter, with a fair, detailed guide of who is running. Here is a list of the City Council District 32 primary candidates (Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill and Woodhaven), who they are, what they stand for and what they want to continue to do if they go on to the general election in November.

Name: Lew M. Simon

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Private school teacher, Assembly District Leader

Personal Info: Simon was born and raised in Rockaway. He has been a community and civic leader for over 30 years. He works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, helping all who need help.

Platform/Issues: To secure funding and build much-needed schools. Make school safety and stopping bullying a priority. Reduce busing and keep siblings together in neighborhood schools. Establish an HOV lane on Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards during peak hours. See that every community has a good community hospital with a well-equipped emergency room. Will continue to fund all senior centers, Meals-on-Wheels and Access-A-Ride. Will increase funding for volunteer fire and ambulance departments. Increase the staffing levels so that each community board will have a building inspector. Will continue to fund the fight for additional firefighters and police officers. Support direct mass transit service to midtown Manhattan in less than 30 minutes (Rockaway Beach rail line). Clean up graffiti in Woodhaven and Ozone Park.

Name: William Ruiz

Party: Democrat

*The campaign for this candidate did not submit a profile as of press time

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then overcast. High of 84. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 66. Winds from the NE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: In the Mood for Love

The Museum of the Moving Image presents In the Mood for Love as part of a retrospective on Wong Kar-wai, the influential Hong Kong Second Wave filmmaker. This movie chronicles the intense friendship and sublimated desires between two mutually cuckolded neighbors in a tale of passion tragically thwarted. Starts at 7 p.m. Tickets for Friday evening screenings include admission to the Museum’s galleries, which are open until 8:00 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Cops looking for suspect who struck officer in Astoria  

A police officer on patrol in Astoria Thursday night was injured when a vehicle suspected in a robbery struck him as it tried to speed away, according to published reports. Read more: The Queens Courier

Police say attack on interracial couple in LIC not a hate crime

Cops say the attack on an interracial couple in Long Island City this past weekend was not a hate crime. Read more: The Queens Courier

Sandy victims say they’re being scammed by contractors

Some Breezy Point residents whose homes were damaged by water and fire during superstorm Sandy say they’re being scammed by the people they hired to help them rebuild. Read more: CBS New York 

Eliot Spitzer, Scott Stringer argue over credibility in comptroller debate

Manhattan Borough President ScottStringer tried to convince voters that he is the most credible choice for city comptroller, while former Gov. Eliot Spitzer touted his resume in the capital markets during a Democratic debate that grew tense at times Thursday night. Read more: CBS New York

Nasdaq trading halted for 3 hours

A mysterious glitch halted trading on the Nasdaq for three hours Thursday in the latest major electronic breakdown on Wall Street, embarrassing the stock exchange that hosts the biggest names in technology, including Apple, Microsoft and Google. Read more: AP

Bradley Manning becomes Chelsea Manning

By asking to be known as a woman named Chelsea, Bradley Manning has created a host of possible challenges for the military as the soldier began serving a 35-year prison sentence for giving secrets to WikiLeaks. Read more: AP