Tag Archives: Far Rockaway

Queens Library CEO appeals for more city funding


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Borough Public Library

With a little more than a month until the city’s budget deadline, the Queens Borough Public Library is urging elected officials to make a much-needed investment in its system.

The Queens Library, along with the Brooklyn and New York public libraries, recently launched the “Invest in Libraries” campaign, which aims to engage New Yorkers in the debate and convince city lawmakers to provide an additional $65 million in combined funding in the 2016 fiscal year budget, which takes effect in July.

Queens Library’s Interim President and CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey outlined the campaign in an exclusive interview with The Courier Thursday. The Queens Library seeks an $18.2 million funding boost from the city, a drop in the bucket in a budget projected to meet or exceed $70 billion.

Should Queens Library receive the extra funding, Quinn-Carey claimed, it would restore the library’s funding level to that of 2008 and open the door toward adding more than 200 new jobs, expanding existing educational programs and restoring six-day service throughout the system. Since 2008, the library lost 20 percent of its funds, pared jobs and eliminated six-day service at two-thirds of its 62 branches.

Quinn-Carey charged that increasing library funds is a concept that aligns with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to increase economic opportunity for all New Yorkers.  For instance, the extra funds would enable Queens Library to expand its English as a second language program, which was held at 40 branches and proved so popular that some potential students were turned away due to a lack of available seats.

“This is really an investment not only in the traditional library system but also community engagement,” she said. “This is giving communities a greater chance of success.”

Additionally, the Queens Library is also seeking capital funds to renovate many aging, yet heavily used branches such as the Corona, Rego Park and Far Rockaway locations. De Blasio set aside $300 million in the city’s 10-year capital plan to renovate libraries, but Quinn-Carey noted the actual projected costs exceed $1.4 billion.

Quinn-Carey and the Queens Library have spent the better part of a year working to repair its image following a scandal centered around its former president and CEO, Thomas W. Galante. He came under fire early in 2014 after it was revealed that he collected a nearly $400,000 annual salary, ordered a six-figure renovation of his office and made other lavish expenses at a time when the library cut jobs and services due to funding cutbacks.

The library lost political and financial support, and local elected officials such as Queens Borough President Melinda Katz sought to change the library’s board of trustees after it resisted calls to force Galante out of office and fully open its financial books. Legislation enacted by the state in June empowered Katz and de Blasio to remove eight library trustees who supported Galante and resisted calls for full financial disclosure.

The board of trustees was stocked with new members by September, when it forced Galante into a leave of absence. Quinn-Carey was named as his interim replacement, and Galante was subsequently fired in December.

Quinn-Carey said she and the reconstituted board are working closely with the government to reform the library system. It engaged audit firms to assess the library’s risks and expenses. Steps were also taken to make the library more transparent; the library is now in compliance with the Freedom of Information Law and posts expense records on its website.

“These efforts and a reform of policies and procedures should reassure the public that the library is a great institution and still able to deliver these great services,” Quinn-Carey said.

Click here for more information about the Invest in Libraries campaign.

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Far Rockaway nursing home aide arrested in assault of 80-year-old bedridden woman


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's office

A 59-year-old nurse aide was arrested on felony charges Thursday for assaulting an 80-year-old bedridden nursing home resident in Far Rockaway, according to officials.

According to court records, on or around Aug. 15, 2014, at the West Lawrence Care Center at 14-10 Seagirt Blvd., Marie Jeanty, a certified nurse aide, instructed the 80-year-old victim to move so that she could change the resident’s clothing and bed linens.

Jeanty allegedly then pushed and hit the resident multiple times in the arm and shoulder with a closed fist and forcibly pushed her into the side of the bed rail, causing the victim’s face to hit the rail. This resulted in the resident suffering from a black eye and significant bruising and swelling to her left arm, right temporal area and right orbital area, according to authorities. Her injuries were treated at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.

“When New Yorkers place those who mean the most to them in a nursing home, they should have confidence that their loved ones are not in danger of severe physical abuse,” Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said. “My office will bring criminal charges against nurses who violate the trust of the residents in their care and their family members.”

Jeanty, who no longer works at the nursing home, has been charged with assault in the second degree; endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, or an incompetent or physically disabled person in the second degree; endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person; and willful violation of health laws.

If convicted, she faces up to seven years in state prison.

Jeanty pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Thursday in Queens Criminal Court and was released without bail.

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More Queens Library locations loaning mobile hot spots, tablets


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Library

Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card, and now more cardholders will be able to stay connected while on the go.

The Queens Library announced Tuesday that it will be expanding its mobile technology lending program in the upcoming weeks to more libraries throughout the borough.

While using their Queens Library cards, customers will be able to borrow free mobile hot spots, providing Internet access anywhere to any Wi-Fi-enabled devices with cellphone reception. Customers will also have the chance to borrow free Google Nexus tablets.

The hot spots are available for one month, and there are three renewals available afterwards. First-time hot spot borrowers will have to sign an agreement and bring a photo ID.

Locations that have been offering the free mobile hot spots and tablets since last year include branches at 89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica; 1637 Central Ave., Far Rockaway; 108-19 71st Ave., Forest Hills; 41-17 Main St., Flushing; and 35-51 81st St., Jackson Heights.

The new locations offering the hot spots include 214-20 Northern Blvd. in Bayside and 37-44 21st St. in Long Island City. They will also be available at the branch at 218-13 Linden Blvd. in Cambria Heights starting April 8; 193-20 Horace Harding Expressway in Fresh Meadows on April 15; and 169-09 137th Ave. in Rochdale Village on April 22.

The Google Nexus tablets are now available at Queens Library branches at 2012 Madison St. in Ridgewood; 128-16 Rockaway Blvd. in South Ozone Park; and 169-09 137th Ave. in Rochdale Village. Starting later this month, the tablets will be available at the following locations: 187-05 Union Turnpike in Hillcrest; 103-34 Lefferts Blvd. in Richmond Hill; and the Langston Hughes Community Library at 100-01 Northern Blvd.

A full list of borrowing sites is available at www.queenslibrary.org.

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Human remains found in duffel bag on Far Rockaway shoreline


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Image via Google maps

Unidentified human remains were found inside a black duffel bag along the Far Rockaway shoreline Monday morning, police said.

At about 10:45 a.m., cops responded to a 911 call at 14-52 Gipson St. where they discovered the remains inside the bag along the shore.

Emergency personnel pronounced the individual as dead and it was not immediately clear if the bag contained a whole body or parts of a human body.

The Medical Examiner will now determine the cause of death and the investigation is still ongoing.

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Police looking for man in Far Rockaway attempted abduction of 11-year-old boy


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Police are continuing to search for a man who they say tried to lure a 11-year-old boy into his vehicle in Far Rockaway Saturday afternoon.

The victim was on on Mott Avenue near Bay 24th Street about 2 p.m. when the suspect approached him while driving his car, authorities said. He tried to convince the boy to get inside his vehicle, but he refused and fled.

Authorities describe the suspect as a black male and have released a video of his car — a black Nissan Altima with chrome trim around the doors.


Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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One dead after car crashes into support pillar for A train in Far Rockaway


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

A 28-year-old man died after his car struck the support pillar for the elevated A subway line in Far Rockaway Saturday night, police said.

Cops found the driver, Jeffery McDonald of Far Rockaway, about 8 p.m. unconscious and unresponsive with trauma to his body at Rockaway Freeway and Beach 25th Street, according to police. He was taken to Saint John’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

McDonald had been driving westbound on Rockaway Freeway in a white Lexus when he collided into the support pillar of the elevated train, cops said.

Police were investigating the crash.

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Far Rockaway man arraigned in killing of rival dollar van driver: DA


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A Far Rockaway man is facing a possible life sentence after gunning down a rival dollar van driver in broad daylight and tampering with evidence earlier this week, the district attorney’s office said.

Fabian Sullivan, 38, was arraigned Thursday night on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence. He was ordered held without bail. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Sullivan, an unlicensed livery driver, got into an argument with the victim, 38-year-old Leon Brown on Tuesday morning, according to prosecutors. He then allegedly used his vehicle to cut off Brown’s Ford Ecoline van near the intersection of Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 81st Street before getting out of his vehicle and firing a single shot.

Brown, a Far Rockaway resident, suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and his van rolled into a parked car. He was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he died.

Sullivan, according to District Attorney Richard Brown, fled the scene and was apprehended after he gave a bag containing bullets from the murder weapon to his sister-in-law, Hind Chokary.

Chokary, 27, of St. Albans, Queens, was arraigned Thursday night on a tampering with physical evidence charge and released on her own recognizance. If convicted, she faces up to four years in prison.

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Suspect arrested in Rockaway shooting


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated Thursday, Jan. 22, 9:35 a.m.

Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the murder of a Far Rockaway man who was shot dead on Tuesday morning.

The victim, 38-year-old Leon Brown, was found with a gunshot wound to the torso at Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 81st Street just after 8 a.m., according to police. He was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to published reports, Brown was operating a livery van when he got into an argument and was shot by a driver in another van. Brown was not a licensed livery driver, reports said.

Police arrested Fabian Sullivan on Wednesday in connection to Brown’s killing. He has been charged with second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

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Livery van driver shot and killed in the Rockaways


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Updated 4:41 p.m.

Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a livery van driver in the Rockaways early Tuesday morning, reports said.

The victim, 38-year-old Leon Brown, of Far Rockaway, was found with a gunshot wound to the torso at Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 81st Street just after 8 a.m., according to police. He was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to published reports, Brown was operating his livery van when he got into a dispute and was shot by a driver in another van. Police are still looking for the gunman.

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Far Rockaway woman arrested in murder of boyfriend: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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A 27-year-old woman has been charged with murder after her 48-year-old boyfriend was found stabbed in her Far Rockaway home, police said.

Police, responding to a report of a man assaulted inside of a residence on Beach 84th Street near Beach Channel Drive, discovered Troy Davis stabbed and unresponsive about 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, authorities said.

Davis, a Brooklyn resident, was pronounced dead at the scene.

His girlfriend, Shaquana Bell, has been charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon in his death, police said.

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One dead, three injured in Rockaway collision


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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One person was killed and three more were hurt Wednesday night after a car veered into oncoming traffic and crashed into another vehicle in the Rockaways, police said.

A Nissan 350Z was driving eastbound on Beach Channel Drive near Beach 127 Street about 11:10 p.m. when it veered sideways, crossed over the double yellow line and entered the oncoming lane, authorities said. A Kia Spectra traveling westbound on Beach Channel then struck the passenger side door of the Nissan.

The Nissan’s 19-year-old passenger, Geovanni Balverdy, of Far Rockaway was pronounced dead at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, police said. The car’s driver, a 19-year-old man, was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

EMS took the Kia’s driver, a 29-year-old woman, and her passenger, a 21-year-old man, to Brookdale Hospital. Their condition was not immediately clear.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Far Rockaway man killed after being shot in the chest


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

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A gunshot wound proved fatal for a Far Rockaway resident who was murdered in the early hours of Saturday, cops said.

Police found Kayvon Moore, 30, at Redfern and Nameoke avenues about 2:30 a.m. He had been shot in the chest.

Responders took Moore to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, but it was too late to save him.

The investigation is ongoing and there have been no arrests.

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Video released of Far Rockaway shooting suspect


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man who they say shot another man inside a Far Rockaway apartment building last week.

The suspect entered 20-30 Elk Dr. at about 11:15 a.m. on Friday and shot a 37-year-old man one time in the leg, cops said. The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition.

Authorities have released a video of the suspect who was last seen wearing a blue North Face jacket and a light-colored hat.


Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Rego Park Toys ‘R’ Us employee charged with stealing $56K in merchandise


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

A cashier at a Rego Park Toys “R” Us store was caught using a coupon code scheme to score $56,000 in free merchandise, District Attorney Richard Brown said.

The employee, Shontia Jones, 24, of Far Rockaway, is accused of stealing the goods while working at the Toys “R” Us store in the Rego Center mall between June and December of this year.

She would create coupon codes, which are given by customer service representatives to customers who are unsatisfied with a purchases, and use them to buy items on the store’s website, according to the district attorney.

Jones shipped more than $45,000 worth of products to her Far Rockaway home, and an additional $10,000 worth of items were shipped to her sister’s residence, also in Far Rockaway, Brown said.

Some of the products included baby formula, Disney Frozen toys, Xbox games, baby clothes, disposable diapers, Hot Wheels, beverages and board games. Jones still had most of the items in her possession and had given away the rest to family members, rather than sell them.

She was eventually caught when an internal investigation by Toys “R” Us found that an unusual amount of coupon codes had been created at the Rego Park store, according to court records.

Jones was arraigned on Tuesday on charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and falsifying business records. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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Five humongous Queens homes listing under $1M


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Multiple Listing Service and PropertyShark

While new apartments in Queens are getting smaller so developers can maximize profits, the borough still has a treasure trove of spacious gems in older homes that offer prospective owners the best bang for their buck.

For many, size does matter, so here are five single-family homes with enough space for parents, the kids, grandma and maybe even a crazy uncle or two, and each are under $1 million.

59-35 Menahan St., Ridgewood

This property has seven bedrooms and three bathrooms and was originally built in 1920, according to its listing. It sits on a lot of 5,137 square feet, which has a two-car garage and a private driveway. There is a finished basement and a laundry room as well. The broker is Peter Caruso of Caruso & Boughton Realty, and the asking price is $945,000.

 

105-42 133rd St., Richmond Hill

If you thought that last price was low, this Richmond Hill seven-bedroom home is listed for $649,999. This three-story detached colonial home has three bathrooms and a recreational room in the basement, according to the listing. The residence uses about half of its 5,084-square-foot lot space. Raias Khan of Century 21 is the broker of record.

 

168-04 35th Ave., Flushing

Just in case seven bedrooms wasn’t enough, this three-story colonial-style single-family Flushing home offers eight bedrooms and three full bathrooms, according to the listing. Blocks away from the Auburndale LIRR station, the house is located on a corner property and has 3,087 square feet of space. The residence features a finished basement, which includes a laundry room. It also has a one-car garage. The asking price is $958,000. En Ja Chung of Promise Realty is the broker.

 

88-52 195th Pl., Hollis

Those looking for style with a bargain price may have found it with this large single-family home. The three-story Hollis residence features a formal dining room and living room with French pocket doors, according to its listing. It has seven bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms in 3,400 square feet of space. There is a two-car garage on the property as well. Emmanuel Babayev of Charles Rutenberg Realty is the broker.

 

11-43 Beach 9th St., Far Rockaway

Access to transportation, a huge house, spacious lot and a bargain price — this home may have it all. This three-story residence sits on a nearly 8,000-square-foot lot and has about 3,500 square feet of living space, according to its listing. The asking price is $879,000. It has seven bedrooms, two bathrooms and a private driveway. The broker is Ann Bienstock of Five Towns Miller Realty.

Rockaway property

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