Tag Archives: Broad Channel

Op-Ed: Where to turn for help


| editorial@queenscourier.com


BY STATE SENATOR JOSEPH ADDABBO

As if a sluggish economy wasn’t enough for our local businesses to deal with, they now have to deal with the aftermath of Sandy. But as business owners start to pick up the pieces, many of whom also experienced personal losses at their own home, it is imperative that our city, state and federal government have programs that would assist getting these businesses open as soon as possible.

It has been weeks since Sandy hit our city and still the southern one third of my district is trying to recuperate. At this time, over 13,000 residents and businesses are without power in Rockaway. The areas of Broad Channel, Howard Beach and Hamilton Beach are suffering economically. By working together with our business owners, community groups, chambers of commerce and other governmental entities, over time we can revive the now dormant store fronts into active businesses once again. It is important for our businesses to know that they are not in this rebuilding period alone. I reassure store owners throughout my district that they can use my office as a resource for information and programs that have been established in the wake of Sandy.

The New York City Small Business Services and Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) have set up a number of programs to aid businesses who are seeking to reopen. These programs range from offering temporary work space to providing supplies and services. There are programs that deal with employee retention and alternatives to laying off workers. There is also financial assistance through an emergency loan program that offers up to $25,000 with no payments for six months and a 1% interest rate for months seven through 30. A tax exemption program through the NYC Industrial Developmental Agency exists for purchases of construction materials and equipment up to $100,000. The New York City assistance for businesses can be found at www.nyc.gov and www.nycedc.com.

New York State is offering aid through the Empire State Development (ESD) and Small Business Development Centers. For their services and recovery planning contact www.esd.ny.gov and www.nyssbdc.org . ESD is supporting several organizations that have made loans available to businesses affected by Sandy. Some of these loans have early no interest payments and go up to $150,000. Those interested can get detailed information at www.accionusa.org/sandy or by calling 718-205-3773 and 718-961-0888.

On the federal level, both the Small Business Administration (SBA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are offering loans for businesses at www.sba.gov. Information on tax relief can be found at www.irs.gov. Business owners seeking additional information as to other programs that exist, also for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) information, can complete an application at www.disasterassistance.gov.

I encourage owners to reach out to their elected officials for additional information on governmental assistance and other programs which exist to assist such businesses.

While my Howard Beach district office gets reconstructed after being wrecked by Sandy, I drive around the affected areas of my district and weeks later cannot believe the devastation. I know I will eventually get to attend another function at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach, but can never eat lunch again at Harbor Light Pub in Belle Harbor, Rockaway, which was sadly destroyed from fires caused by the storm. For the sake of our communities, for the sake of our neighbors, for the sake of our business owners, we must work together to get our local businesses back on their feet and running again.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 50. Winds from the NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Clear in the evening, then overcast. Low of 37. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Mets and City Harvest Sandy Food Drive

Fans donating 10 items or more of nonperishable nutritious food will receive a voucher redeemable for one pair of tickets to a select Mets game in April 2013. Donors will also receive 15 percent off select merchandise at the Mets Team Store at Citi Field. Season Ticket Holders who donate food can show their ID card to get 20 percent off select items. The discount will only be honored Wednesday, November 14. Drop off location will be inside the Hodges VIP entrance next to the Mets Team Store. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Sandy storm victims fear price gouging from electrical inspectors

Those red, yellow and green placards being plastered across damaged structures in storm-ravaged Rockaway and Broad Channel could determine whether you can indeed go home again. Read more: New York Daily News

Parents: Bus for relocated Rockaways students delayed in return home

Some parents in the Rockaways are furious after waiting for their kids for hours to come home from school Tuesday. Read more: NY1

MTA bigs: Refund only fare

Riders who paid for an unlimited MetroCard during Hurricane Sandy may see a rebate, after all. Read more: New York Post

Time Warner Cable sued for modem ‘scam’

Time Warner Cable was zapped with two class-action lawsuits that could affect 15 million customers Tuesday over its decision to charge a $3.95 monthly “lease” fee for modems. Read more: New York Daily News

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree survives Sandy

The Christmas tree that will dominate New York’s Rockefeller Center survived the winds of Superstorm Sandy that left a path of destruction in a New Jersey town and even its donor without electricity for weeks. Read more: ABC New York

Lawmakers probe widening generals scandal

Lawmakers are digging into the tangled tale of emails that exposed an extramarital affair ending David Petraeus’ CIA career and led investigators to a questionable relationship between a Florida socialite and the general commanding the war in Afghanistan. Read more: AP

 

 

Con Ed restores power to those without damaged equipment; thousands in Howard Beach, Broad Channel remain without lights


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

Two weeks after Sandy knocked out electricity to more than 100,000 Queens residents, Con Edison announced power was restored to all customers whose equipment was not damaged during the storm.

Several thousand residents in Howard Beach and Broad Channel will remain without power until their equipment is deemed safe, Con Ed said.

The last Sandy outages throughout the rest of the borough were finally restored last night, Con Ed said in a release.

“We want to restore customers as much as they want the electricity back, but we will not restore customers unless it is safe to do so,” said a Con Ed spokesperson.

There are several steps residents in those areas must follow before their lights can be turned back on, Con Ed said.

Residents’ equipment must be inspected, cleaned and repaired by a licensed contractor; the contractor must then complete a self-certification form and email (hurricanesandybrooklynqueens@coned.com) or fax (718-802-6349) the form to Con Ed.

Tens of thousands of Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) customers in the Rockaways also remain without electricity.

Queens’s Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 70. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Clear. Low of 57. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Rent A White Guy: The Musical

A new multilingual musical tale about the life of foreigners living in China, Rent A White Guy: The Musical, makes its New York premiere at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City tonight. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

New York area cleans up after strong storms

Residents and municipalities across the New York viewing area are cleaning up after a September storm. Read more: ABC New York

With storm season looming, Broad Channel residents push city to move quickly on flood control plan

Broad Channel residents, facing the annual barrage of autumn storms and floods, say the city is dragging its feet on a plan to repair vulnerable streets. Read more: New York Daily News

Report: Day care owners allegedly defrauded DOE

The owners of several day care centers in Queens are accused of defrauding the Department of Education out of more than $35,000. Read more: NY1

Body of missing scuba diver found

The body of a snorkeler who went missing last week was pulled from the water off Queens Tuesday morning, sources said. Read more: New York Daily News

F.B.I. criticizes officer’s role in a terror case

The undercover New York police detective at the heart of a case against a Queens man accused in a terror plot came under criticism from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for his handling of an earlier terrorism inquiry, according to a legal document. Read more: New York Times

Romney refocuses as Obama decries ‘victim’ claim

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are moving the presidential campaign back to familiar ground, grappling over the proper role of government in a debate where clumsy, seemingly dismissive statements have made both men susceptible to caricature. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 82. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the SE in the afternoon. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 72. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the WNW after midnight

EVENT of the DAY: Family Karaoke Night at Manducatis Rustica

At this Long Island City restaurant’s karaoke night there are over 40,000 songs to choose from plus $5 specialty drinks for adults and gelato for kids of all ages. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Brazen thief steals 2 silver Torah crowns from Queens synogogue during evening services

Two valuable silver Torah crowns were stolen from a Queens synagogue during evening prayer services, police said Tuesday. Read more: New York Daily News

Councilman proposes emergency lane along Queens Boulevard

While traffic on Queens Boulevard can be frustrating for drivers, one official says it may be causing bigger problems. Read more: NY1

Cagey peacock ruffles Queens cops’ feathers

They can rappel down skyscrapers, rescue plane-crash survivors from an icy river, and go toe-to-toe with terrorists.But elite NYPD Emergency Service Unit cops were outsmarted yesterday by a plucky peacock that has made a Queens neighborhood his home away from home for the past week. Read more: New York Post

Busted pipe slowly turning freshwater ponds salty in Broad Channel

A busted drain pipe and valve system is slowly ruining the ecology of Jamaica Bay, driving away birds that usually breed along two freshwater ponds. Read more: New York Daily News

Sources: U.S. Open ref arrested in connection with husband’s death

Sources say that police arrested a U.S. Open tennis referee Tuesday who is a suspect in her husband’s death. Read more: NY1

NYPD: Muslim spying led to no leads, terror cases

In more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloguing mosques, the New York Police Department’s secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, the department acknowledged in court testimony unsealed late Monday. Read more: AP

Blasting goes awry along 2nd Avenue subway; buildings, sidewalk damaged

Blasting along Manhattan’s still-under-construction 2nd Avenue subway line caused some damage Tuesday afternoon. Now, authorities want to know if human error was to blame. Read more: CBS New York

Searching for a new neighbor on ‘Sesame Street’

“Sesame Street” held its first-ever open casting call in New York this week to find its newest neighbor — a Hispanic character to reflect the long-running show’s increasingly diverse audience. Read more: Wall Street Journal 

BC/WSJ poll: Heading into conventions, Obama has four-point lead 

After Mitt Romney selected his vice presidential running mate, and just days before the political conventions kick off next week, President Barack Obama maintains his advantage in the race for the White House, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Read more: NBC news

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


EVENT of the DAY: Spider-Man at Cambria/Cabbell Park

Come to Cambria/Cabbell Park in Jamaica for a free screening of Spider-Man (PG 13), starring Tobey Maguire as the superhero.

Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Remains in attic of suicide house were woman who was knifed to death: officials

A woman whose dead body was found in the home of a Queens man who killed himself was knifed to death, officials said Sunday. The rotting remains of the still-unidentified woman were found in the attic of tenant Devendra Autar, 32. Autar, a police officer’s brother who was found hanging from a pullup bar in his Richmond Hill home July 20, left behind a chilling suicide note. Read more: New York Daily News

Qns. leader’s kin among dead

The uncle of a Queens man was among those killed yesterday in the Sikh temple massacre. Mohan Khatra was worshipping at the Sikh Cultural Society in Richmond Hill when he learned the news about his relative, Suvez Khatra, 77. “It’s very sad news for our family. It’s very sad news for our community” Khatra told The Post. Read more: New York Post

Police increase security at Sikh temples in NYC

The NYPD are increasing their patrols of Sikh temples around the city after the shooting in Wisconsin Sunday. In the Richmond Hill section of Queens, a officer was seen talking to the temples president. Although the shooting happened thousands of miles away, worshippers here are worried. Read more: Fox 5

Long-awaited barrier goes up along a dangerous stretch of road in Broad Channel 

The stretch of Cross Bay Blvd. that runs along the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is well-known for its scenic views but also its dangerous history. Wooden crosses pockmark the area where motorists and pedestrians were killed in accidents.Now, after years of haggling over funding, environmental concerns and logistics, the city is constructing a safety barrier to protect walkers, runners and bicyclists who use the popular pathway from traffic. Read more: New York Daily News

Silver consolation prize for Queens badminton club

There were bagels. There was badminton. And, in the end, there was bitter disappointment. At the CP Badminton Club in College Point, where groups of Malaysians often gather to play the game, about 25 enthusiasts gathered over breakfast early Sunday morning to watch the Olympic men’s singles final between Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei and China’s Lin Dan, the world’s two best players and archrivals. Read more: New York Times

 

 

MTA set to roll out bus route changes


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Microsoft PowerPoint - Woodhaven Blvd Route Changes presentation

Commuters relying on bus service may be “en route” for some changes.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that the Q21 and Q52 busses will undergo several service alterations, beginning on Sunday, July 1.

A spokesperson from the MTA claimed these changes are part of the agency’s efforts to renew and improve service in response to changing ridership and market conditions within funding restraints, adding that these particular alterations reflect the continuing growth of longer-distance, limited-stop ridership on Cross Bay Boulevard,

Woodhaven Boulevard and the new residential development in Arverne.

The Q21 will be shortened, operating as far south as 164th Avenue and 92nd Street near Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach and make local stops only between Howard Beach and Elmhurst. Hours of operation and frequency will remain the same as the current Q21 bus, as will service between Lindenwood and northern destinations.
Travelers aiming for Broad Channel and the Rockaway peninsula will be required to transfer to either the Q52 or the Q53.

Due to local roadway layout, customers heading northbound on Cross Bay Boulevard between 160th Avenue and 164th Avenue will need to board a Q52 or Q53 at 163rd

Avenue, take a southbound Q21 around the loop or a northbound Q21 at 160th Avenue and 92nd Street.

The line currently known as the part-time Q21 Limited will be renamed the Q52, continuing to operate full time on the same schedule as the current Q21 and using the same bus stops. Two new limited stops will also be added to this route at Cross Bay Boulevard and 163rd Avenue in Howard Beach and Cross Bay Boulevard and 5th Road in Broad Channel. This course will only see limited-stop access to and from the Rockaways.

The MTA alleged that transportation to the Rockaway peninsula would be greatly improved, including longer-distance service provided by full-time, limited-stop service.

Dan Mundy, Jr., President of the Broad Channel Civic Association, fears bus route alterations will cause delays and be detrimental to those travelling northbound.
“[These changes] will create a worse commute for people with the worst commute,” said Mundy. “We’re getting the short end of the deal here in terms of adequate service.”

Mundy alleged that the MTA had yet to reach out to the residents of both Far Rockaway and Broad Channel.

Betty Braton, Community Board 10 chair, insisted that these bus changes would not affect the people of Howard Beach. Braton added that the MTA also discussed the idea of possibly altering the Q41 bus line at the Board’s May 3 meeting, but they had not set concrete plans.

To get more information about your bus route and how it may be changing, check mta.info or call 5-1-1.

Cross Bay Bridge rebate reinstated, but not right away


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Cross Bay Bridgew

Rockaway residents relishing in the relief of a reinstated, ratified rebate program are now holding their breath.

The Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge Residency Rebate Program recently passed the state budget, said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, meaning Rockaway and Broad Channel residents will now be reimbursed for their travels across the bridge.

With an E-Z Pass, they currently pay $1.19 each time they drive along the Cross Bay Bridge for up to two trips a day. While additional crossings are free afterward, local elected officials and residents have long deemed the toll a problem.

Goldfeder said the toll forced Broad Channel and Rockaway residents to reach into their pockets just to go to and from work, patronize local businesses, bring their children to and from school and take care of daily errands.

The toll — the only intra-borough one in the city — was free for residents of Broad Channel and the Rockaways for 12 years, but was reinstated by the MTA in 2010.

The rebate, local leaders said, would stimulate more activity and revenue between Rockaway and Broad Channel businesses, while saving residents between $800 and $1,500 a year.

“I made a pledge before taking office that I would work to eliminate the Cross Bay Bridge Toll,” Goldfeder said. “Today, I have made good on that pledge and have secured a huge victory for the hardworking families and businesses of the Rockaways and Broad Channel. The return of this important rebate program is a step in the right direction towards the complete elimination of this inherently unfair tax. This toll has been a burden for the residents and businesses of our community for far too long.”

Under the provisions of the bill, the discount program was expected to go into immediate effect once the budget was signed at the end of March. However, according to the MTA, residents may not see benefits until July 1 at the latest.

“It’s fully funded. The MTA, as of April 1, has the money necessary to give local residents a rebate for the toll,” Goldfeder said. “I’m urging them, and I have been urging them, to implement it as soon as possible at no cost to them. It’s in the state budget.”

An MTA spokesperson said the money first has to be transferred from the state to the MTA before it goes from the MTA to Bridges and Tunnels. In the meantime, the representative said, all E-Z Pass tags have to be reprogrammed, which may take a couple of months in total.

“As far as we’re concerned, all they have to do is electronically press a button. They’re playing games. The money is there. Do what you’re supposed to do. Don’t make us wait any longer,” said Democratic Assembly District Leader Lew Simon.

Simon said residents of the peninsula are prepared to “march across the Cross Bay Bridge in thousands” in order to send a “clear message” to the MTA.

“We’re not going to take it,” he said. “The money is in the budget, the budget should start right away — not by July 1.”

Congressmember Turner briefs Broad Channel


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Congresmember Turner

Congressmember Bob Turner attended the Broad Channel Civic Association meeting on Thursday, January 26 to update residents on his first five months in office, and to assure them that he is addressing their local concerns.  Turner spoke before a packed room at the Shad Creek VFW in Broad Channel.

“The Broad Channel Civic Association has done an outstanding job highlighting the challenges facing the community and I am committed to working closely with them as their congressmember. All the areas I am honored to represent should know that their unique and local issues will be priorities of my office,” Turner said.

Specifically, he noted the successful effort to include a resident toll discount for the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge for Broad Channel in the governors’ proposed budget. Turner, who contacted Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chairman Joe Lhota about the unfairness of the toll on Broad Channel residents stated, “I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder and Broad Channnel on this issue, and am pleased that Governor Cuomo has recognized that local residents should not have to pay a toll to conduct basic daily activities.”

In addition, the congressmember mentioned his meeting with representatives of National Grid and emphasized the importance of bringing natural gas to Broad Channel, the only area of New York City still without access to natural gas.

Turner also gave an overview of his first five months in office, including his committee appointments, trips to Afghanistan and Israel, and focus on creating jobs and preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Turner praised the efforts of Broad Channel Civic Association and its president, Dan Mundy Jr., and his father, past president, Dan Mundy, Sr., for their hard work and dedication.

“The Mundys know the issues inside and out and have been enormously helpful to me and my office in addressing important Broad Channel and Rockaway issues.”

Cross Bay toll could be no more


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder

Rockaway residents may soon find their burdens lighter — at least while trekking across the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal, a discount program could see Rockaway and Broad Channel residents reimbursed for their travels.

Rockaway motorists with an E-Z Pass currently pay $1.19 each time they drive along the Cross Bay Bridge for up to two trips a day. While additional crossings are free afterward, local elected officials and residents have long deemed the toll a problem.

The toll was free for residents of Broad Channel and the Rockaways for 12 years, but was reinstated by the MTA in 2010.

Now that fares could be relinquished once again for Rockaway and Broad Channel residents, local elected officials — who have championed against the toll for many years — revel in a victory won while they look ahead to ending the toll boroughwide.

“We have been advocating relentlessly to end the toll on the Cross Bay Bridge,” said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, who has been a staunch advocate for a complete toll elimination. “From the many civic and community leaders who rallied, to the thousands of community members who signed our petition, we are one step closer to successfully eliminating this toll completely and lifting a significant financial burden off the shoulders of many hardworking families and businesses in Rockaway and Broad Channel.”

The assemblymember added that the toll negatively affects an already sluggish local economy and places an inherently excessive financial burden on the residents and small businesses of southern Queens and Rockaway.

According to Jonathan Gaska, district manager of Community Board 14, the proposal could stimulate more activity and revenue between Rockaway and Broad Channel businesses.

“It certainly will be positive. Broad Channel residents will more likely come in to Rockaway now,” Gaska said, adding that residents could save between $800 and $1,500 a year if the program passes.

But Gaska said businesses on the peninsula are not likely to see a “big boom.”

“Residents outside still have to pay,” he said. “The toll stifles economic growth within our community. It keeps tourists from coming into Rockaway, and all local businesses still have to pay for their trucks and vehicles going in and out of Rockaway. It’s been a significant problem for us.”

Still, Democratic Assembly District Leader Lew Simon said the discount is a giant step in the right direction.

“I was very much ecstatic. I was one of the happiest men on Earth when I heard,” said Simon, who for many years has rallied much opposition against the toll. “We’ve been fighting like hell to get rid of this toll to make sure the residents don’t pay it. I’m very excited with the governor’s decision, but I feel like all Queens residents should not be paying this unfair toll.”

The discount program is expected to go into immediate effect once the budget is signed nearing the end of March.

Deafening Noise After Incident At Queens Plant


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Two women shot in Astoria

Cops are on the hunt for a man who allegedly shot his wife and daughter inside of a home in Astoria on Monday morning.  According to reports, the two women were shot in the head and were taken to Elmhurst Hospital and are now listed in stable condition. Read More: Queens Courier

Teenage boy fatally shot by bus madman Damel Burton was a protector of neighborhood kids 

The mother of the teenage boy killed by her ex-con boyfriend minutes before he shot up a Queens bus said Saturday there had been no signs of trouble.  She fought back tears speaking of the bright future she had seen for her slain son, a senior at Queens Transition Center. Read More: Daily News

Deafening Noise After Incident At Queens Plant

A steam release at a power plant in Queens was causing a deafening noise on Monday morning.  The steam was released to reduce steam pressure at the TransCanada owned Ravenswood Generating Station at Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City. Read More: MyFoxNY

Queens family of seven evicted in dispute with landlord over ‘dozens’ of violations 

A Queens family of seven is scrambling to find a place to live after their landlord served them with an eviction notice the day before Thanksgiving. Laura and Thomas Cavanagh said began withholding rent on the Broad Channel home after their landlord refused to fix dozens of problems — ranging from black mold under the sink to a rodent infestation in the attic.  Read More: Daily News

Postal Service Cuts To Lengthen Delivery Time

As financial problems continue to mount, the U.S. Postal Service is set to announce a series of unprecedented cuts today.  The estimated $3 billion in reductions will affect first class mail and likely eliminate the possibility of next day delivery for the first time in 40 years. Read More: NY1

St. John’s Visits The Motor City To Take On Titans, Honor Vitale

Head coach Steve Lavin’s new-look St. John’s basketball team (4-4) stays on the road in its final contest before breaking for 11 days for exams, taking on the Detroit Titans (3-6, 0-2 Horizon League) on Monday at 7 p.m. The second-ever matchup between the Red Storm and University of Detroit will air live nationally on ESPN2. Read More: Red Storm Sports