Tag Archives: bus

Residents say Q41 route poses threat of major accidents


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Geraldine Bruccoleri

Despite the small steps that are being taken to try to amend a recently changed Ozone Park bus route, residents say there are still major traffic problems in the area.

Those living on 109th Avenue, who first voiced concerns that the bus route had negatively affected parking and noise, say that a little more than two weeks into the new Q41 path, they are now facing the threat of major accidents.

The problem residents were seeing, said Geraldine Bruccoleri, was that the MTA had not mirrored the stops from their original layout on 111th Avenue. She elaborated that bus stops had been placed on the wrong ends of street corners. One instance she cited was a car travelling on 109th Avenue that wanted to turn south onto 116th Street. Because the bus stop is located at the turning corner, a driver now has to look to see if a bus is pulling out — possibly leading to a side collision, she said. As a result, Bruccoleri said cars have been forced to swerve around stopped buses and into the opposite lane to get around traffic.

Another problem, she said, was that the private bus that picks up her sister — who has Down syndrome — is blocked by the Q41 as it drops off and picks up passengers. Because of the double parked vehicles, traffic backs up.

The 109th Avenue resident said she has contacted Councilmember Eric Ulrich’s office about getting the bus stop in front of here home moved — as her mother has a handicap placard and her neighbor a handicapped license plate.

Ulrich’s office has looked into the bus stop, and a spokesperson said they are working on at least getting the bus stop moved from that location. A request has been put into the MTA about the issue, the spokesperson said.

Bruccoleri, who said she’s planning on attending the MTA meetings on July 23 and 25, encouraged MTA officials to come to the area and listen to and see some of the problems.

An MTA spokesperson gave a statement that reaffirmed the agency did not have plans to reverse the line and that the new route had been planned to speed service on the line.

Residents miffed at Q41 route change


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

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Ron Hagel, who lives on 109th Avenue between 115th and 116th Streets, said the narrow, two-way road has been affected by the Q41 bus route’s change and estimated about eight parking spots had been lost on either side of his block alone.

The route change, which went into effect on July 1, was designed to streamline the Q41 path and eliminate turns on 111th Street, an MTA spokesperson said.

Because of this, Hagel said he’s heard of residents getting parking tickets after they’ve been forced to find new spots in a neighborhood where parking is already difficult.

Hagel said that aside from one meeting — which he claims residents were not informed of — the MTA did not communicate the changes to residents of Ozone Park.

Trash and noise have become additional problems, Hagel said, because of the new route.

“You now have people leaning on people’s gates,” he said. “We don’t have trash cans here all the time, so garbage is a problem at times.”

The MTA spokesperson added that local elected officials and community boards were notified in January of the planned changes, and notified riders through posted messages on the bus line.

“Advance notice of the changes was given to customers through service notices posted on the buses and on the MTA website,” the spokesperson said. “Bus stop notices were posted [by MTA Road Operations] at all of the affected former bus stops; however, many of these bus stop notices were vandalized and removed by other parties, and had to be reposted.”

The MTA said there were no plans to go back to the original route.

Geraldine Bruccoleri, also a 109th Avenue resident, has been active in getting residents to petition against the changed stop, and said she’s already collected nearly 500 signatures. She’s also planning on attending the MTA’s July 25 board meeting to represent the concerned citizens.

The South Ozone Park resident said the MTA did not come to the community and listen to the concerns of people living on the block.

“Everything on paper can be black and white,” she said. “Nobody came to the community to discuss our quality of life – the gray shades.”

Elizabeth Braton, chair of Community Board 10, said the board voted nearly unanimously against the MTA changes last September; the board, however, is only advisory and the plan went through regardless, she said.

Assemblymember Philip Goldfeder said he had requested the MTA hold a public forum to hear residential concerns when the now-active route was in planning. Goldfeder said, however, that the MTA does not have to hold a public hearing if the change in route is less than 25 percent.

Goldfeder said he’d drafted legislation to have the MTA hold a public forum for any changes, hoping there can be “some balance where the community can have a say in the process.”

 

New $1 Flushing buses may be illegal


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A battle is brewing in downtown Flushing between recently emerged $1 buses that are taking away customers from a cutthroat competitor, and authorities who say the new set of wheels could be operating illegally.

Hordes of passengers lined up single file on 41st Avenue and Main Street for a $1 trip to Chinatown in Manhattan on Monday morning, July 9. Some said the new “big bus” was a more convenient, cheaper and roomier ride than an already established and authorized commuter van service across the corner.

“Before, in the small bus, the service was very bad. They don’t let us eat and drink, and they drove very fast,” said Michelle Dhu, 26. “It wasn’t safe.”

The smaller commuter buses are operated under Flushing Commute Van Management Corp. and can only hold up to 19 passengers. It is licensed by the city’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) to shuttle people to Chinatown, Brooklyn and Elmhurst.

Fees for the commuter bus were as high as $2.75, Dhu said, before the company dropped the price to $1 to keep up with its newest rival.

Still, Dhu said throngs of people opted to swap services when the new ride rolled into town less than a month ago.

Passenger Claire Chen said she rode the minibus for six months, touting its faster excursions, and originally defended the company when she told The Courier it was not fair for the bigger bus to encroach on its settled turf.

But Chen, 21, quickly jumped ship and leaped off the line during the interview, when a collector asked her for double the price, straying from the latest $1 promise posted on nearby signs.

“If they just stayed the same price, I would have stayed with the small bus, but it keeps changing,” she said.

Councilmember Peter Koo said the large buses pose severe problems for both pedestrians who cannot pass through the large crowds waiting on line, and for drivers on the street whose vision is impeded by the large buses.

“We contacted all the agencies. In the very near future, they will do something to stop them,” Koo said.

A police source said the 109th Precinct has issued summonses to the buses for obstructing traffic. One bus, the source said, even crashed into the NYPD’s SkyWatch observation tower located outside of the Flushing library on 41st Avenue and Main Street.

The new $1 bus loads passengers in a “No Standing” zone, but vehicles considered commuter buses are allowed to do so. However, authorities said the new buses — which carry more than 50 passengers — are likely not commuter buses and are violating more than just traffic laws.

According to TLC spokesperson Allan Fromberg, under New York City law, commuter van services are only permitted to operate vehicles of up to 19 passengers. Larger vehicles exceeding that limit fall under the jurisdiction and licensing of the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT), he said.

DOT spokesperson Nicholas Mosquera said city agencies are initiating an investigation and will pursue relevant legal or regulatory channels, including the possibility of state or federal enforcement.

The new bus service is said to be operated by New Oriental Tour, Inc., under the ownership of Tony Luo, who could not be reached. Drivers and fare collectors on site also declined to comment.

 

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.

Little girl left on bus; driver charged


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo by Anthony DelMundo

Police parked a private bus driver in prison after she left her vehicle unattended — with a toddler still aboard.

Officers from the 110th Precinct responded to Christie Avenue and 99th Street in Corona at 9 a.m. on April 12 after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a Con Edison worker who spotted a child in the driver’s seat of a parked bus. Upon arrival at the scene, cops discovered two-year-old Samantha Bustamante abandoned inside the unattended private vehicle, which is operated by Anita Bus Company.

The police proceeded to break a window and remove the toddler, who they believe was left alone for roughly 15 minutes. Bustamante was taken back to the 110th Precinct, where she was reunited with her mother. EMS also responded to the precinct to evaluate the girl and determined she was in good physical condition.

“I was scared – terrified,” said mom Sandra Ramos, 24. “I started crying on the phone, but the police were telling me she was fine. I was terrified for my baby.”

Bustamante was picked up from her Elmhurst home at 7:20 a.m. by the Anita Bus and was supposed to be dropped off at Kathy’s Day Care, located at 97-30 57th Avenue in Corona, at roughly 8:30 a.m. with four other children. However, police say the driver, 62-year-old Ana Garcia, missed the girl while checking the vehicle after the other children departed.

Garcia was arrested by police after she returned to the bus and has been charged with failure to exercise control of a minor. She is also legally forbidden from coming near Bustamante. The NYPD says the Corona resident went home after parking the bus.

Attempts to contact Garcia were unsuccessful as of press time, and Anita Bus’ phone was not accepting incoming calls. Ramos says she paid for Anita Bus through Kathy’s Day Care, but a representative from the center would not comment as to whether they referred the bus service.

When Ramos received a call from the day care center informing her that her daughter had not been dropped off, she immediately called Garcia’s cell phone, but found police on the other end of the line. She initially suspected she was the victim of a practical joke, but her calm quickly turned to panic when the cops’ description matched Bustamante.

The frantic mother was then picked up from her job in Manhattan and brought to the station by police, where she found her daughter playing with officers and serving them coffee.

“When I first saw her, I started crying and I hugged my mom so my daughter wouldn’t see me. I didn’t want her to see the fear I had,” Ramos recollected. “She seemed so unaware – so brave in the situation. I guess she didn’t comprehend what happened so I didn’t want her to see me crying. I hugged my baby as hard as I could.”

Garcia’s son apologized to Ramos at the 110th Precinct, but she still has not been given an explanation for the mishap. She says she provides the bus company with a car seat for her daughter, and she is upset the child was unstrapped and able to walk to the driver’s seat.

“She was not in her car seat. She was walking around and that’s how they saw her,” Ramos said. “She was unbuckled and roaming around in the bus. It just shows their carelessness. Even if she was asleep or not tied in they are also supposed to check the bus. It’s frustrating.”

Despite the fear she initially felt for her daughter’s safety, Ramos is now happy just to have Bustamante safe and sound and is thankful a “good person” spotted her in the bus.
“What if it was someone else who passed by, someone not as good as the 9-1-1 caller – then they could have broken that window and taken my baby. I don’t even want to think about that. I want to think about having her,” Ramos said. “This is like a second chance for my daughter, and I’m just glad that I have her. I’m upset at the situation, but I’m happy with the result because I have my daughter safe.”

Infant left unattended on Queens bus


| brennison@queenscourier.com


A 2-year-old girl was left unattended inside a private bus on a Corona street when the driver left, reportedly, to go home.

The girl was found alone on the bus at approximately 9 a.m. Thursday morning, according to authorities.  Police were called and were able to get onto the bus and take the infant to the 110th Precinct where she was examined by EMS.  The girl was determined to be in good physical condition and was reunited with her mother at the station.

Police arrested the bus driver, Ana Garcia, 62, of Corona, and charged her with failure to exercise control of a minor.

The New York Post reported that Garcia parked on the street so she could stop by her house.  The girl was unattended for about 15 minutes, the paper said.

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man dies from gunshot wounds after jumping into stranger’s car

A mortally wounded man who was shot multiple times in Queens, turned to a random stranger parking nearby for help, but after the horrified woman dashed away, the bleeding victim briefly hopped into her car only to crash after succumbing to his injuries, police sources said. Read More: New York Post

 

Teen Charged In Fatal Shooting At Queens Housing Complex

Police have made an arrest in the shooting death of a Queens man over the weekend. Lacorey Johnson, 19, is charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Officers answering a call about an assault at the Astoria Houses Sunday afternoon found Tysheen Davis, 23, in a building lobby with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. “I was coming out to the store and then I seen what happened. But like I said, we’ve got to do more loving and caring for each other and stop all of this shooting gang-banging,” said one Astoria Houses resident. Read More: NY1

 

Ex-DA’s hubby Al Pirro threatens workers in ‘restaurant rage’

Al Pirro — the estranged hubby of former Westchester DA Jeanine Pirro — went berserk at a tony Scarsdale restaurant over the weekend, throwing a punch at a waiter and drunkenly threatening to bump off the entire staff, sources told The Post. “You don’t know who the f–k we are! I’m going to have you all killed!’’ Al Pirro allegedly screamed during the Saturday-night fracas, the sources said yesterday. Read More: New York Post

 

Mob turncoat admits to 8 murders during testimony against 2 Colombo thugs

A mob turncoat copped to killing eight people, in a bloody prelude to his explosive testimony today against two former Colombo hoodlums. Made man-turned-cooperating witness Dino “Big Dino” Calabro nonchalantly admitted to those slayings during the federal murder and racketeering trials of Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli, 59, and Dino “Little Dino” Saracino, 39. Read More: New York Post

 

Brooklyn child seriously injured by city bus

A child is in serious condition after being struck by a city bus in Williamsburg today, authorities said. The young girl was struck on the corner of Lorimer Street and Marcy Avenue by a B48 bus at 9:37 a.m., said a spokeswoman for the MTA. Read More: New York Post

 

Obama Healthcare Challenge Begins In Supreme Court

As the U.S. Supreme Court wades into the constitutional challenge to President Barack Obama’s controversial health care overhaul, demonstrators are making some noise outside the court. Many of the protesters this morning carried signs calling on the court to uphold the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” passed by Congress in 2010. It aims to provide health insurance to more than 30 million uninsured Americans. Read More: NY1

 

Jets’ New Backup QB Tebow Addresses Media

Tebowmania reached new heights today as the New York Jets introduced their new quarterback at a press conference in Florham Park, N.J. The Jets traded draft picks to the Broncos for Tebow, who led Denver to the playoffs last year but lost his job when the Broncos signed Peyton Manning. Read More: NY1

Woman hit, killed by bus in Flushing


| smosco@queenscourier.com

2012-02-22_08-53-04_802-2

The relative calm of the morning commute was shattered as a Queens woman was struck and killed by a city bus while crossing one of the borough’s most dangerous intersections.

A Q44 bus was turning westbound onto Northern Boulevard from Union Street on Wednesday, February 22 when it fatally struck a female pedestrian, identified as 22-year-old Meilan Jin of Flushing. The bus operator was unaware someone was struck and continued driving for about four blocks. The bus was not in service at the time and was not carrying any passengers.

While she was struck by the MTA bus, investigators are still trying to determine if the victim was also struck by passenger vehicles.

The unidentified woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The streets surrounding the intersection were jammed with stunned onlookers, many of whom weren’t surprised by the fatal accident.

Ebonee Simpson, a Flushing resident whose daily routine includes crossing at that same spot, said that she has seen many accidents at the intersection and her roommate was actually struck nearby.

“She lived, thankfully. This could have been any one of us. It’s so dangerous here,” she said. “I’ve jaywalked here, but now I’m not crossing until that walk sign pops up. That’s for sure.”

Simpson’s friend, Michael Clement, said that it might be time to alter the crossing and make it safer for pedestrians.

“I think the walk sign should be a lot longer here,” he said. “It’s so dangerous here, and it feels like there are only a few seconds to cross.”

According to CrashStat.org — a Transportation Alternatives project — the intersection at Northern Boulevard and Union Street is considered one of the most dangerous junctions for pedestrians in the city, with 92 accidents between 1995 and 2009.

In response to the incident, Transportation Alternatives spokesperson Michael Murphy said, “For pedestrians to finally feel safe at that notorious intersection, the police need to hold dangerous drivers accountable.”

Assemblymember Grace Meng that this incident highlights the need for a review of the intersection.

“A study compiled by Transportation Alternatives in October of last year revealed that the intersection of Union Street and Northern Boulevard is the most dangerous intersection for pedestrians in Queens,” said Meng. “This morning’s devastating and tragic incident should serve as a wake-up call to the Department of Transportation. Actions needs to be taken immediately by the department to protect the safety of the people of Queens.”

The Department of Transportation did not return requests for comment.

As firefighters washed the victim’s blood from the street with a blast from a fire hose, passerby Nola Dixon shook her head and contemplated leaving the city.

“I’ve seen too many awful incidents like this,” she said. “It is just so tragic. I’m praying for her and her family.”

Deadly St. Albans ‘DWI’ crash


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

4 Accused in Theft of Aid Meant for Nonprofit

In 2006, a Queens state senator, Shirley L. Huntley, set up a nonprofit group called Parent Workshop that was intended to help parents navigate the inner workings of New York City’s school system. Then she began funneling state aid to the group, whose executives had close ties to her. But the money never helped a single family in the school system, prosecutors said Wednesday. They said four people with ties to Parent Workshop were involved in the theft of nearly $30,000 in state aid that Ms. Huntley had secured. Read More: New York Times

 

[UPDATE] Cops hunt Long Island City rape suspects

Police are looking for three suspects in connection with the ambush and rape of a woman in Long Island City. According to police, the 20-year-old victim — who is from the neighborhood — was walking along Vernon Boulevard and 10th Street in L.I.C. at approximately 3:45 a.m. on Sunday, December 4 when she was grabbed by two of the suspects and dragged to a nearby parking lot. There, she was held down between parked cars and raped by a third man. Read More: Queens Courier

 

What Would Judy Say?

Judge Judy Sheindlin answers your questions about problems that trouble you most. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Kids meet former Mets’ hurler John Franco

Thirteen-year-old Joseph Santana stood in line wearing an oversized striped Mets jersey, clutching a cobalt blue baseball cap. He bobbed excitedly as the line grew shorter, anticipating his turn. When he reached the front of the line, he thrust the cap at former Mets relief pitcher John Franco, who scribbled his signature in black Sharpie marker across the brim. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Riders on the Q111 bus uneasy about their safety after fatal shooting 

Rattled riders on the Queens bus line where a gunman shot two passengers last week said they are scared that violence may erupt again. After Demel Burton, 34, went on a shooting spree on the Q111 on Friday, straphangers said it underscored the fact that bus drivers can’t protect them. Read More: Daily News

Alec Baldwin apologizes to American Airlines passengers for plane outburst, but not to flight attendant

 

Actor Alec Baldwin apologized Wednesday to fellow passengers for the cell phone inspired tirade that got him bounced from an American Airlines flight. But the Hollywood hothead remains enraged with airline staff. “I learned a valuable lesson,” he said in a Huffington Post article. “I’ve learned to keep my phone off when the 1950s gym teacher is on duty.” Baldwin claimed that the incident was triggered after “one employee singled me out to put my phone away” while the delayed flight was waiting at the gate. Read More: Daily News

Deadly St. Albans ‘DWI’ crash

An allegedly boozed-up driver was arrested after he slammed into two cars in Queens yesterday, killing a 21-year-old man, cops said. Curtis Dean, 25, was cruising south in an Infiniti on 201st Street in St. Albans when he smashed into a Ford sedan just after 5 a.m., sending the Ford into a resident’s yard, cops said.Three victims were taken to Jamaica Hospital, including a passenger in the Ford who died there. Dean also allegedly plowed into a parked SUV. He was hit with a slew of charges, including manslaughter and DWI. Read More: New York Post

 

Remembering John Lennon: On the Anniversary of His Death, 5 Iconic Moments (Video) via the Hollywood Reporter

Department of Transportation To Investigate Dangerous Queens Intersection

It’s almost like a game of chicken. Drivers speed through the stop sign on Vleigh Place in an attempt to beat cars with the right of way on 72nd Avenue. And while most make it through the intersection without a problem, neighborhood residents say they have witnessed a lot of accidents. “There have been about four accidents in the past maybe month and a half. People fly past the stop sign like it doesn’t exist,” said one resident. Read More: NY1

Long Island City Residents Urged To Stay Alert After Parking Lot Attack

Police say a woman in Queens was attacked by three men and raped earlier this week, and now residents and local leaders are urging others to stay alert. Watch the Video: NY1

Atomic Bomb Survivors Visit Flushing International High School

Survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings visited the Flushing International High School to speak with students Wednesday. Watch the Video: NY1

Lame defense: Graffiti suspect: I’m crippled

An ex-cop standing trial on charges that he had revived his youthful graffiti-vandal compulsion was walking with a limp and appeared to be incapable of the dexterity required for the avocation, the arresting officer testified yesterday. Steven Weinberg admits that he once was the infamous “Neo” who, during the height of the city’s 1980s graffiti scourge, “bombed” trains and trestles with his bubble-lettered signature. But his lawyer, Patrick Broderick, said Weinberg, with an injured leg, couldn’t possibly make the climb required recently to spray-paint his tag on an overpass. Read More: New York Post

 

Second Woman Claims TSA Forced Strip Search At JFK


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Second Woman Claims TSA Forced Strip Search At JFK

A second elderly woman has come forward, saying she was also strip searched by screeners at John F. Kennedy Airport. Ruth Sherman, 88, says Transportation Security Administration agents forced her to pull her pants down so they could check out her colostomy bag before a flight on November 28. This comes after Lenore Zimmerman, 85, says she not only missed her flight Saturday but was injured as well when she was told to disrobe after she asked to be patted down instead of going through a body scanner. TSA officials are denying any strip search happened in that case. Read More: NY1

New Performance Space Floated At Old Queens Diving Pool

Some big changes are on the way for one of the most iconic landmarks in Queens. While Astoria Pool may be the busiest in the city, drawing more than 150,000 visitors last year, the diving pool nearby has not been used in some 30 years. Now parks officials are set to turn the former diving pool it into an outdoor performance space, making the park more accessible to residents. Read More: NY1

Man kills girlfriend’s son, boards Q111 and shoots two more

Holiday cheer turned to terrified screams as violence erupted in Jamaica on Friday, December 2. Damel Burton, 34, allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend’s son, 18-year-old Keith Murrell, in an apartment the three shared on the second floor of the Baisley Park Houses. Burton then boarded the Q111 bus at the Parsons-Archer terminal, where be shot and killed passenger Marvin Gilkes, 36, and injured a second passenger, Jajuan Lipsey, 29. Read More: Queens Courier

File Under Viral: Michele Bachmann confronted by boy who says:  ‘My mommy’s gay but doesn’t need fixing’

It’s isn’t often Michele Bachmann is at a loss for words, but the GOP presidential candidate was left speechless when an 8-year-old boy confronted her about homosexuality. Video of the awkward encounter at a recent book-signing event in South Carolina has gone viral on YouTube. Read More: Daily News

Wall Street analyst David Gray crossed Atlantic  to harass gal pal Daniela Rausnitz 

A J.P. Morgan investment banker has been convicted of waging an obsessive, trans-Atlantic harassment campaign against a gorgeous young mistress he met while working in adjacent cubicles in New York. David Gray, 28, was accused of hacking the beautiful brunette’s emails, placing a tracking device in her phone, deluging her with hundreds of messages and even breaking into her London apartment after their torrid extra-marital affair ended, the Daily Mail reported. Read More: Daily News

Giants coach ‘sick’ over photo of ‘TD’

The Giants are sure the calls did not go their way in Sunday’s last-second 38-35 loss to the still-undefeated Packers. And, at least in one case, they have the picture to prove it. “I just saw a picture that made me sick to my stomach,’’ coach Tom Coughlin said yesterday, and the fact he believes what’s in the picture validates his case didn’t help ease his queasiness. Read More: New York Post

Astoria Man Charged With Killing Stepdaughter, Wounding Estranged Wife


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Astoria Man Charged With Killing Stepdaughter, Wounding Estranged Wife

A Queens man was charged with a Monday shooting in Astoria that left his stepdaughter dead and his estranged wife injured. Police say Guerino Annarumma, 52, is facing charges of murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon after shooting the mother and daughter in their home on 38th Street near 23rd Avenue just before 9 a.m. Read More: NY1

Postal Service Cuts To Lengthen Delivery Time

As financial problems continue to mount, the U.S. Postal Service announced Monday a series of unprecedented cuts. 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

Councilmember Eric Ulrich tapped for Romney campaign

Councilmember Eric Ulrich has been named chair of Republican and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in New York City. Born and raised in Ozone Park, Ulrich, 26, was first elected to the council when he was 24 and now represents Ozone Park and Howard Beach — serving as Minority Whip of the Republican delegation. Read More: Queens Courier

Blog-of-blood family murder

A seething husband who accused his immigrant wife and her daughter of a green-card scam shot them in Queens yesterday — killing the young woman and critically wounding her mom — hours before the couple’s divorce hearing, law-enforcement sources said.“You are going to pay for whatever you did. I dont [sic] play no games. Good Luck, Bye Bye Bye,” suspect Guerino Annarumma, an Italian émigré, ranted in an Aug. 12 post on his blog about his  tranged. wife Olga Annarumma, 57, and stepdaughter Valeria Kuzima Lowery, 25. Read More: New York Post

Apology from kin of bus ‘killer’

The family of the crazed ex-con accused of a deadly shooting spree aboard a Queens bus apologized yesterday to the loved ones of the victims. “We are truly and deeply sorry to the families,” said a relative of alleged gunman Damel Burton who asked not to be named outside Queens Criminal Court. Burton, 34, is accused of killing his girlfriend’s 18-year-old son, Keith Murrell, then boarding the Q111, where he shot passenger Marvin Gilkes dead and critically wounded another rider, Jojuan Lispey. Read More: New York Post
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

Two Men Shot Dead, One on a Bus in Queens


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Two Men Shot Dead, One on a Bus in Queens

A gunman killed two people — one on a crowded city bus — in Queens on Friday afternoon, the authorities said. The police said that when they arrested a suspect, he told them he “had a beef to settle.” One of the victims was his girlfriend’s son. He apparently did not know the other one. A third person was shot on the bus, but survived. The violence began at about 3:40 p.m. in an apartment in the Baisley Park housing complex at 116th Avenue and Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in South Jamaica, the police said, where an 18-year-old, described as the son of the suspect’s girlfriend, was shot in the neck and then fell or jumped out of a second-floor window. Read More:  New York Times

 

TSA Officials Deny Grandmother Was Strip-Searched At JFK

A grandmother from Long Island says she was injured and humiliated during a strip search at Kennedy Airport. Lenore Zimmerman, 85, says she asked be patted down instead of walking through a body scanner because she thought it would interfere with her defibrillator. Instead of a pat-down, she says the security screeners took her to a private room and asked her to remove her pants and other clothing. Read More: NY1

 

Victim Marvin Gilkes told wife ‘I love you so much’ before being shot to death by maniac on Q111 bus in Queens

The Queens bus passenger fatally shot by a crazed ex-con told his wife “I love you so much” the day he died — and was on his way to see his mom when he was shot on the Q111. Minutes before Marvin Gilkes was shot in the back of the head Friday, accused gunman Damel Burton had killed his girlfriend’s 18-year-old son, police said. Authorities say he was delusional, certain his past crime victims and every passenger on the bus was out to get him. Injured — but recovering in Jamaica Hospital— was Jojuan Lipsey, 29, who was shot in the jaw on the bus. Read More: Daily News

 

Marlins reel in Jose Reyes for 6 years, $106M

Jose Reyes is speeding to the suddenly splurging Miami Marlins. The All-Star shortstop became the second top free agent to land with the Marlins in a matter of days, agreeing Sunday night to a $106 million, six-year contract, CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler confirms. After adding All-Star closer Heath Bell for $27 million over three years, the Marlins gave the NL batting champion a deal that includes a club option for 2018 that would make the contract worth $120 million, a person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been announced. Read More: CBS News

 

Heist cop hired to drive Brooklyn bus

An infamous dirty cop — who was caught moonlighting as a bank robber in the 1990s — has a new gig driving a city bus in Brooklyn, The Post has learned. Former Queens cop Paul Voss is now working the night shift driving the B44 bus, some 13 years after his arrest for sticking up five banks — including one when he was on duty. The MTA knew all about his criminal past, but it decided to hire the badge-betraying bandit last April. Read More: New York Post

 

J. Cole earns Best New Artist Grammy nod

In a year that J. Cole released a debut album that reached the top of the Billboard charts, the St. John’s University graduate has been recognized for his meteoric rise with a Grammy nomination. Cole, 26, was nominated for Best New Artist where he will go up against The Band Perry, Bon Iver, fellow Queens rapper Nicki Minaj and Skrillex.  Acts such as The Beatles, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys have taken home music’s version of Rookie of the Year. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Accused deadbeat dad ordered to pay child support for Staten Island son

A Queens man is accused of ducking out on more than two years of child support payments for his Staten Island son. Authorities say Sammy D. Pico, 28, was ordered in October 2007 by a Family Court judge to pay $63 a week in child support. According to court papers, he was in arrears for $16,485.  His son, who is now 11 years old, lives in Grymes Hill, according to authorities. Read More: Staten Island Live

Man in Fake Beard Fires at Officers in Queens, Police Say

A man disguised with a fake beard and wearing a dark trench coat pulled a gun from his pocket and shot at two police officers who approached him in Queens on Friday afternoon, the police said. Neither officer was injured when the man, described only as in his 30s, opened fire at the corner of 37th Road and 76th Street in the Jackson Heights section. He fled and was not caught. His fake beard, dark glasses and hat were recovered during the chase, the police said. Read More: New York Times

Police Find Queens Shooting Victim In Car With Multiple Wounds

Police are investigating the shooting death of a man found with multiple gunshot wounds inside a car in Queens. Ronny Valdez, 29, was found Saturday morning slumped over the wheel of a White Acura with New Jersey license plates in Howard Beach. Neighbors say Valdez was shot while driving and lost control of the vehicle, side-swiping another car before coming to a stop. Read More: NY1

J.H.S. 194 parents, pols protest elimination of school buses


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Bob Doda. The Department of Education said 7th and 8th grade students must wait at an MTA bus stop down the block for the two-bus, 90-minute trip to school.

As the school bus pulled away, virtually empty, not only were parents angry, they were protesting.

City Councilmember Dan Halloran and several elected leaders from northeast Queens joined parents from J.H.S. 194 in College Point on Friday, November 4 at a rally protesting the elimination of the school’s buses.

“The Department of Education [DOE] must provide transportation to ensure that students travel safely to and from school,” said Councilmember Peter Koo. “It is unacceptable for the DOE to make budget cuts or reductions to services that adversely impact the well-being of tomorrow’s leaders. The safe transport of students is the responsibility of the DOE and they should immediately resume yellow bus service. During these difficult and challenging times, parents have enough to worry about and we should not further burden them with the concern for their children’s safety when traveling to and from school.”

Organized by J.H.S. 194 parents, the rally was held at the school bus stop for 6th grade students at the intersection of 6th Avenue and College Point Boulevard.

But rather than permit 7th and 8th grade students to ride the desolate bus, the DOE has said they must wait at an MTA bus stop down the block for the two-bus, 90-minute trip to school.

Parents at 194 were informed one day before school started in September that 7th and 8th grade students would not be eligible for school bus service this year as they had been in the past, as a cost-cutting measure by the mayor.

“College Point is one of the most underserved communities in New York City,” said Halloran. “It is shameful that 11-year-old children from this community have to take a dangerous, complicated two-hour commute twice a day just to get to school and back. It’s unsafe and unreasonable, and they deserve better. Every time an empty school bus drives by this bus stop, it represents a waste of the taxpayers’ money and a slap in the face of College Point.”

For MTA info dial 5-1-1


| brennison@queenscourier.com


For any MTA-related issue or question, Queens residents now have to remember only three numbers, 5-1-1.

The MTA and New York State Department of Transportation announced this week that the New York State Travel Information Line will handle MTA-related inquiries, also.

The number will still provide information regarding roads and bridges, traffic and congestion, ferries and public transportation run by other agencies.

Dialing 5-1-1 provided limited MTA information before, but now will also allow callers to select additional functions such as Lost & Found, MetroCard Balance Protection, comments and concerns, ticket machines, ticket refunds, and group travel.

“This is a great example of how we are working to make it easier for our customers to get information and interact with the MTA at the same time that we reduce the MTA’s administrative costs,” said MTA Managing Director Diana Jones Ritter. “Customers now have a single phone number for all transportation-related questions, instead of a long and sometimes confusing list of agencies and departments.”

The MTA reduced what was 117 separate public phone numbers into just one.