Tag Archives: Con Edison

Queens communities facing brownouts


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Several Queens communities face a voltage reduction from Con Edison due to electrical equipment problems.

The 100 degree heat has many residents blasting air conditioners to stay cool.

Con Ed said the neighborhoods affected will have a 5 percent voltage reduction.  This was done in an effort to prevent a significant outage, a spokesperson from the company said.

There are about 20 individual  outages in Queens right now according to Con Edison’s outage map.

The reduction will occur in Bellerose, Cambria Heights, Floral Park, Forest Hills, Glendale, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Jamaica, Jamaica Hills, Laurelton, Middle Village, Queens Village, South Jamaica, Springfield Gardens and St. Albans.

Con Edison asked customers in these areas to conserve electricity and turn off nonessential electric equipment, such as TVs, computers, air conditioners, washers, dryers, and microwaves.

To report power outages or service problems visit www.conEd.com or call 800-75-CONED (6633). When reporting an outage, customers should have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power.

 

Windsor Park will save green by going green


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

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Larry Goodfleish, 56, said he thinks it’s good his building will become energy efficient and cost effective.

“[It’s] absolutely good; and if it’s Earth friendly and Earth healthy, I’m all for it,” he said before going into his apartment at Windsor Park.

The Bayside co-op is converting from oil heat to natural gas, with completion of the project set for the end of the year. It will cost $4 million, but will save the co-op more money in the long run, officials announced May 17.

Updating the buildings will pay for itself after about three-and-a-half years, said Larry Kinitsky, Windsor Park president, and will save the co-op more than $800,000 each year after. The choice to switch to natural gas was more economical for Windsor Parks than Oil 2, Kinitsky said.

In addition to the updated heating system, the inside of the buildings’ chimneys will be re-coated to handle the exhaust fumes.

The project is in compliance with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s new law to change all Oil 6 buildings to a more environmental fuel source by 2015.

The overhaul of the complex’s heating system is a coordination between National Mechanic Corp., Con Edison and City Councilmember Mark Weprin’s office.

Already three weeks into the program, National Mechanic Corp. is contracted to evaluate and change any equipment that needs updating. Con Edison is responsible for transporting the natural gas from the mainline under city streets into the buildings’ line.

Gary and Greg Mortman, vice presidents of National Mechanic, said they’re working on five buildings of the complex’s 20, which house 1,830 apartments. Greg said the impact to residents has been “very minute.”

Terri Bonavolonta, spokesperson for Con Edison, said the project is easier to coordinate in the summer, when resident’s won’t worry about heating, though temporary hot water suppliers have been installed.

Weprin, whose office is located in the complex – complimented Windsor Park for its initiative to make the conversion.

“I’m delighted that Windsor Park is doing this,” he said, before adding that he has been working with other co-ops to ensure they are updated by the 2015 deadline.

Man busted in city-wide manhole cover thefts


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The man behind the theft of manhole covers has been uncovered. Andrew Modica, 46, was arrested yesterday in connection with the numerous stolen manhole covers across the city, law enforcement sources told The Post this morning. Cops pulled Modica over in a stolen pickup truck near his home on 67th Street and 21st Avenue in Brooklyn after they tracked him down through a license plate and parking summons, sources said.

Modica has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property and criminal impersonation.

Modica admitted to some of the manhole thefts from the streets across Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx, but claimed there were others he did not commit, sources said.

[New York Post]

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.”

Con Ed crew foils robbery


| smosco@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Steve Mosco

A routine gas inspection turned into a harrowing chase as four Con Edison employees rushed to the aid of the victim of a violent purse snatching in Bayside on the night of January 25.

The Con Edison crew — John Kane, John McDonnell, Michael Santeramo and Anthony Farmighetti — were working on a gas line just off Northern Boulevard when they heard the screams of a young woman on 201st Street and 42nd Avenue. When they rushed to the scene, they saw the victim on the ground, bleeding from the mouth.

The crew approached the suspect and that is when the incident escalated. The man pointed a gun at the workers and told them to step back; the suspect then ran off with the crew in hot pursuit. With total disregard for their own personal safety, the four-man team chased the suspect through a neighborhood backyard.

“We heard screaming and saw bags scattered all over the ground,” said Santeramo, 27, a Con Edison worker for five years. “We ran up to her [the victim] and she was bleeding from the mouth.”

McDonnell, 29, said that he and his fellow workers just did what anyone would do in a situation like that — explaining that when someone is in danger, the right thing to do is help the person without thinking twice.

“We ran right there, you know,” said McDonnell, describing scene. “You hear something like that happen and you just run right there. You just go right into mode, you want to help somebody.”

Despite their heroic efforts, the determined crew lost the perpetrator. The workers returned to the victim, a 24-year-old woman, and stayed with her until police responded to the scene.

“She was very grateful that we helped her out and she was very thankful that we stopped the altercation,” Kane said of the woman, whose identity was not released.

After the incident, the crew went back to work and finished their shift. The next day, Santeramo and McDonnell went to work as if nothing happened at all.

“We came in the next day and didn’t think twice about it,” said McDonnell, who has been with Con Edison for seven years. “We were called upstairs and we thought we were in trouble.”

But Con Ed officials, proud of the men’s heroism, simply wanted to thank them and let people know their brave story.

No arrests have been made in the incident, and police describe the suspect as a black male.

Pols Push for Underground Power Lines


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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When Hurricane Irene thrashed through Queens, it left thousands of residents without power for days.
Those extended periods without power need to be over, according to Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, who introduced legislation shortly after the storm that proposes installing underground power lines in her district.
“The benefit of moving these wires underground outweighs financial cost. Con Edison has a responsibility to make sure that residents in Queens are afforded the most technologically advanced and efficient power supply that other customers with underground wires are accustomed to,” Crowley said in a statement.
According to the councilmember, the 30th district has miles of above ground distribution wires that make it experience frequent outages. The utility company that services the area, Con Edison, contends that installing underground power lines would be an unnecessary and costly upgrade for those neighborhoods.
To institute underground power lines, the utility company would have to foot the entire bill, which would total almost $1 million a mile and cost each homeowner in the area up to $10,000, said Chris Olert, a spokesperson from Con Edison.
“You have to tear up sidewalks, streets, pavements – it’s terribly expensive,” he said.
Underground power lines would increase electricity reliability in the area. Nearby Manhattan has underground wires and experiences fewer outages than Queens, according to James Denn, a spokesperson for the New York State Public Service Commission.
Though the underground lines are more reliable, they could also be more difficult to get to and expensive to repair than overhead power lines, Denn said.
While the advantages of having underground power lines in communities is clear, the issue boils down to whether or not the costs outweigh the benefits.
“The bottom line to this discussion is cost versus the gain in reliability,” he said.
Crowley is in discussions with Con Edison to come to a compromise on who should be responsible for the bill. The councilmember is also looking at the option of subsidizing the costs with City Council dollars, according to Crowley spokesperson, Kaitlin Moore.
If the community were to decide it wanted to switch to underground lines, not only would their electricity rates go up to pay for it, but the bills of their neighbors would go up too. Those residents wouldn’t be able to have the benefit of underground lines, but would see increases in their monthly bills, Denn said.
One cheaper solution to the issue is better tree maintenance. If Con Edison were to routinely prune trees in the neighborhoods, it could prevent them from falling onto overhead power lines during bad storms.
“The simplest approach is to have an aggressive vegetation management program,” Denn said. “That’s the most cost effective approach.”