Tag Archives: Elmhurst Park

Pricey park potty has patrons perplexed


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo by Robert Holden

Elmhurst Park patrons are happy to finally have somewhere to relieve themselves, but many feel the taxpayer funded, city-built bathroom flushed money down the drain.

The stylish comfort station, which underwent construction during the summer of 2011 and took over a year to complete, racked up a $2.3 million price tag.

Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, believes the money should have been allocated to a more pressing project, such as resurfacing the cracked and flooding tennis courts at Juniper Valley Park or increasing security after the recent spike in violent attacks in parks. Holden, who has an architecture background, said the Elmhurst Park bathrooms defy the steadfast design mantra of “form follows function.”

According to Holden, the cavernous structure only holds two urinals, one toilet and two sinks in the men’s half, and three stalls and two sinks on the women’s side — ill-equipped to service the six-and-a-half acre park that is visited by nearly hundreds of people daily.

“They look great,” said Holden. “It’s just when you get a price tag in these tough times, in these times of cutbacks — it’s a testament to the waste in government. You can build a mansion with five or six bathrooms for $2 million. It’s not anything special.”

Tony Nunziato, a Maspeth civic leader who works with the Juniper Parks Civic Association, consulted a private contractor for an estimate on how much the park bathroom should cost. The contractor estimated that such a facility would cost $600,000.

According to a Department of Parks & Recreation spokesperson, the project cost $2.3 million largely because of its location — formerly the site of gas tanks.

“The industrial history of the site required contractors that were familiar with the testing and monitoring requirements that were put in place to guarantee a safe construction process and final product. No contaminates were found,” said the spokesperson. “We can only say this because we put the appropriate monitoring plan in place and paid for independent professionals to implement them.”

The parks spokesperson said direct construction costs ran $1.9 million while the remaining funds went towards land surveying, soil testing and design and that the money used to build the bathrooms came from “mayoral funds.”

According to the parks spokesperson, the bathrooms are similar to other new comfort stations throughout the city and increased usage of public restrooms calls for sturdier building practices than may be used for private facilities. The Elmhurst Park bathrooms are outfitted with thicker gauge metal doors and all-steel sanitary piping to extend the structure’s lifetime, said the spokesperson.

In defense of the bathroom’s spacious interior, the parks spokesperson said this maneuver was a deliberate attempt to combat the most frequently voiced gripe among parkgoers.

“One of the most common complaints of our traditional comfort stations is that they are dark and cramped,” said the spokesperson. “The plan gives us a form that fits in well with the overall park design, and provides a light-filled spacious interior.”

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then mostly cloudy. High of 75. Breezy. Winds from the SSW at 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms and rain showers in the evening, then partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 63. Winds from the WSW at 10 to 15 mph shifting to the NW after midnight. Chance of rain 60%.

EVENT of the DAY: Making Humps & Bumps exhibition

This is the last day to see the exhibition Making Humps & Bumps at the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, featuring rendering photographs and models of the sculpture, presenting the process of making the public art sculpture behind the scenes. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens bike horror

A father of two biking to work in Queens died on his birthday yesterday after smashing into a truck, police said. Read more: New York Post

PCB leak worries at Queens school

A PCB leak at a school in Long Island City has parents and local leaders outraged. They gathered outside IS 204 on Tuesday morning to draw attention to the matter. Read more: Fox New York

New $2.3 million Elmhurst Park bathrooms have lots of style and room

So this is what a $2 million public bathroom looks like. The long-awaited comfort station at Elmhurst Park, with its edgy design and spacious bathrooms, has finally opened its doors. Read more: New York Daily News

City plans to open 5 new homeless shelters

New York City plans to open at least five new homeless shelters by the end of the year. The expansion is in response to a sharp increase in the homeless population. Read more: NBC New York

MTA announces schedule for potential fare hike public hearings

The MTA announced Tuesday scheduled dates for public hearings on its plan to raise fares. Read more: NY1

Controversial pro-Israel subway ads immediately defaced, stamped as hate speech

Some controversial subway ads have been up for just one day — and already, they’ve been vandalized and have generated thousands of complaints. Read more: CBS New York

Obama urges UN to confront roots of Muslim rage

President Barack Obama told world leaders Tuesday that attacks on U.S. citizens in Libya “were attacks on America,” and he called on them to join in confronting the root causes of the rage across the Muslim world. Read more: AP

 

 

Funeral of Ramarley Graham, unarmed teen shot by cops, is held at Bronx church


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Funeral of Ramarley Graham, unarmed teen shot by cops, is held at Bronx church

Hundreds gathered in a Bronx church Saturday to mourn the death of an unarmed teen shot and killed by police inside his home this month.

The body of Ramarley Graham, 18, lay in an open casket as more than 400 relatives and friends began to fill Crawford Memorial United Methodist Church in Williamsbridge for the teen’s funeral.

Read More: New York Daily News

 

‘Teflon rapist’ mocks Bx. DA for missteps that got charges dismissed

A slippery suspect whose DNA was matched to three sex attacks mocked the Bronx DA for missteps that got his charges dismissed, joyfully taunting during a jailhouse interview “How’d they blow it? How’d they blow it?”

Brian Brockington, 34, insisted he never raped anyone — though he claims that a full calendar year is a blackout for him.

Read More: New York Post

 

Transit Officers Catch Alleged Subway Pickpocket In The Act

Two transit offers were on the right train at the right time on Saturday and ended up catching an alleged pickpocket in action.

Police say the officers were patrolling a Queens-bound E train early Saturday morning inManhattan, when 50-year old Manuel Alduey got on an adjoining car at West 4th  Street and sat next to a sleeping passenger.

Read More: New York 1

 

More human bones found on Long Island where series of skeletal remains were discovered

Another human skeleton has turned up in a wooded area on the eastern end of Long Island, in a town where at least four other sets of human remains have been discovered in recent years.

The latest set of bones was discovered at around 6:30 p.m. Friday in a pine barrens in Manorville. A resident of the town, Matt Samuel, said he was walking through the area with his dog when he made the find.

Read More: New York Daily News

 

Qns. granny kin sue in blizzard death

The family of aQueens grandmother who died of a heart attack during the December 2010 blizzard is suing the city for failing to clear the streets, which they say delayed emergency responders. Faith Radvin and Robin Martucci claim in a suit filed yesterday that a day after the storm, their mother, Gail Radvin, 73, had a fatal heart attack.

Read More: New York Post

 

After two years and $2.3 million, Queens park still awaits public toilet

A costly restroom facility in Elmhurst contracted by the city nearly two years ago is still under construction, and it could end up costing even more than originally indicated.

The comfort station at Elmhurst Park— the former site of the Elmhurst Gas Tanks — was originally quoted at just under $2 million in July 2010. The city has since raised the price tag to nearly $2.3 million. And parkgoers continue a scramble to find places to relieve themselves nine months after the park opened.

Read More: New York Daily News

 

ESPN fires writer for penning racist Jeremy Lin headline; suspends anchor for 30 days

ESPN has fired the writer who wrote a headline using the phrase “chink in the armor” to refer to Jeremy Lin, the network said Sunday morning.

The network also hit anchor Max Bretos, who used the same term on the air while discussing Lin, with a 30 day suspension.

Read More: New York Daily News

 

This Queens couple’s lifestyle is for the birds; they rehab injured pigeons in their one-bedroom apartment

A Queens couple has found a unique way to avoid an empty nest — by filling their one-bedroom apartment with ailing pigeons.

Japanese translators Kaori and Eugene Oda ofAstoriasay they rescued and fostered 80 sick, injured and abandoned pigeons last year. When the birds healed, they released them in Astoria Park.

Read More: New York Daily News

 

Woman endures ‘unorthodox’ custody battle after leaving strict community

This rabbi’s daughter has an unorthodox custody battle on her hands.

Pearlperry Reich, 30, a stunning mother of four, said she’s done with the Hasidic community after it fought tooth-and-nail against her repeated attempts to end her rocky marriage — despite her claims of emotional and physical abuse. “It was an arranged marriage,” she said of her betrothal at the tender age of 18. “We got married and right away we had issues.”

Read More: New York Post