Tag Archives: Far Rockaway

Police: Suspect shoots at officers during Far Rockaway chase


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated Saturday, December 28, 10:32 a.m.

A 19-year-old was arrested after he exchanged bullets with officers while they were chasing him in Far Rockaway Friday, police said.

Three plainclothes officers stopped the suspect, William Bazemore, when they saw an unusual bulge in the front pocket of his hooded sweatshirt about 12:30 a.m. at Beach Channel Drive and Nameoke Avenue, according to the NYPD. After approaching Bazemore, he turned and shot at the officers, police said.

The cops returned fire and Bazemore fled northbound on Beach Channel Drive towards Horton Avenue, with two the officers chasing him on foot and one following him by car, the NYPD said.

He was caught a block away after struggling with the officers, and they recovered a .22 caliber Rohm revolver at the scene, cops said.

Bazemore was taken to Jamaica Hospital with minor injuries to his nose where he was treated, according to police.

He has been charged with attempted murder of a police officer, attempted assault, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment, authorities said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

One dead, one wounded in Far Rockaway shooting


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A shooting inside a Far Rockaway home Monday left one man dead and another wounded, police said.

Shots rang out about 8 p.m. inside a residence at 211 Beach 31st St, police said. Daniel Fils, 18, was struck once in the chest and a 23-year-old man was shot in the arm.

Fils was taken to St. John’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The second victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Majority of Queens schools score well on progress reports


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The majority of Queens schools scored high on the Department of Education’s (DOE) recently released progress reports.

Out of the 62 Queens high schools that were issued 2012-2013 progress reports, 31 earned As, 16 Bs, 6 Cs, 5 Ds and 4 Fs.

The highest scoring institution was Long Island City’s Academy for Careers in Television and Film, which just moved into a new building at the beginning of this school year. It received an overall score of 100.9.

Flushing High School, Pan American International High School in Elmhurst, Frederick Douglass Academy VI High School in Far Rockaway and August Martin High School in Jamaica earned overall failing grades.

Progress reports were issued for 239 Queens elementary and middle schools. Fifty-eight of them earned As, 97 Bs, 74 Cs, nine Ds and only one, Springfield Gardens’ Community Voices Middle School, failed.

Waterside School for Leadership in Rockaway was the highest ranking Queens middle school, with an overall score of 90.3, and P.S. 203 Oakland Gardens was the top-rated elementary school in the borough, with an overall score of 86.5.

Across the city, the DOE found public school performance “remained consistent, with 87 percent of schools maintaining their grade or moving one grade compared to last year.”

The reports are based on students’ progress, performance, attendance and surveys of parents, students and teachers. High school progress reports also measure college and career readiness.

According to the DOE, more students are graduating from high school ready for college and careers.

The reports found that the four-year college readiness rate is up nearly 3 points since last year.

“The most important job of our schools is ensuring students are on track to succeed in college and their careers,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. “These results are further evidence that the hard work of our teachers and principals is paying off.”

This year’s school progress reports were the last ones issued during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure.

They could see some changes when they are issued under the Bill de Blasio administration.

“While Mayor-elect de Blasio supports making overall school progress reports available to parents, he would eliminate letter grades of schools which offer little real insight to parents and are not a reliable indicator of how schools are actually performing,” his spokesperson Lis Smith said.

To find a specific school’s progress report, visit http://schools.nyc.gov/ProgressReport.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Far Rockaway residents call for promised fixes to flooding issues


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Office of Councilmember Donovan Richards

Far Rockaway residents are flooded with problems, and say they have no life raft.

Bay 32nd Street regularly experiences heavy flooding. In August, those concerned came together with the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) to voice their concerns.

DC representatives in charge of repairs and upgrades explained, in detail, the overall improvement plan and temporary fixes that were to be implemented to alleviate the area’s flooding. However, three months later, those plans have yet to be put into action.

Enid Glabman, president of the Bayswater Civic Association, said responses received from the DDC were “courteous, but always the same.”

“New plans had to be drawn and new money had to be appropriated,” she said.

Glabman added the DDC requested “time – a few days, a few weeks,” but nothing has changed.

“These improvements are essential to the resiliency of Rockaway,” Councilmember Donovan Richards said. “We have to ensure that we are prepared for emergency situations and DDC’s lack of commitment to this project is very concerning.”

The DDC acknowledged that flooding has been a problem in this area “for decades, and we know that residents are anxiously awaiting a remedy,” said an agency spokesperson. Also, DDC engineers determined temporary fixes would be inadequate.

After August’s meeting, the agency changed and improved its design plan, which required more money. Now, they have given the project a green light and said residents will see construction soon.

Offsite, at Dwight Avenue, they have begun work on an outfall – a pipe that will channel floodwater into Jamaica Bay.

On November 8, Richards and community members gathered on Bay 32nd Street to hold the DDC responsible for having yet to begin making improvements.

“This project should have re-started months ago,” said John Gaska, District Manager of Community Board 14. “DDC needs to get its house in order.”

Residents experience extensive flooding during heavy rainfall and even more so during last year’s superstorm.

“Over one year after Sandy damaged our sense of security, we need to feel that our city agencies have not forgotten about our community,” Richards said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Chelsea Clinton helps with Sandy recovery during ‘Day of Action’ in the Rockaways


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the Clinton Foundation

The Clintons joined the ongoing Sandy recovery in a “Day of Action” in the Rockaways.

Chelsea Clinton and hundreds of volunteers visited Brookville Park, Rockaway Park, P.S. 197 and homes in Far Rockaway on Saturday to revitalize the damaged communities. This is the fifth Day of Action, which has brought in volunteers from all over the country to give back to their own communities.

Clinton also participated in the St. Bernard Project to break ground on the future site of the first “Resilient House.”

The former first daughter joined the home’s future owners, the Lyons family, at the event.

The Resilient House will be designed by Sustainable TO Architecture + Building and is modeled to be energy efficient, cost effective and able to withstand future disasters.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Walk-on is only St. John’s men’s basketball player from Queens


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

At the annual St. John’s men’s and women’s basketball media day event on Thursday, October 10, junior forward Khadim Ndiaye sat peacefully, watching.

He observed his teammates as they were being interviewed one on one or sometimes by a horde of reporters. Then he swiftly pulled out a glasses case and put on a pair of glossy plastic spectacles, similar to what basketball superstars Kevin Durant and LeBron James have worn during media interviews.

“I just wanted to look professional,” Ndiaye said.

Eventually a reporter from a local weekly came over to talk to Ndiaye. That was it. No ESPN, no New York Daily News, not even the student newspaper, the Torch, or student TV station, WRED, which was busy drooling over a limited chat with head coach Steve Lavin or sensational junior guard D’Angelo Harrison.

It’s expected for a walk-on player, such as Ndiaye. But on this global team, congested with mega recruits and future NBA players that hail from as far as Texas (Harrison), France (Marc-Antoine Bourgault), Nigeria (Chris Obekpa) and the Dominican Republic (Orlando Sanchez), that walk-on is the only player capable of calling Queens, New York City or even the tri-state area, home.

The days of local products such as Metta World Peace, the basketball player formerly known as Ron Artest, Erick Barkley and most recently Maurice Harkless, are gone for a break. It’s not like Lavin isn’t trying to draw local players. The fourth-year head coach made a push to acquire the services of Brooklyn’s Isaiah Whitehead, who was ranked 20th in the country by ESPNU. But the Lincoln High School star instead chose to play for conference rival Seton Hall University.

So now there’s just Ndiaye, a Queens native from Far Rockaway, who played on Christ the King High School, which is just a few miles to the west of St. John’s. He is following in the steps of past Johnnies, Barkley, Omar Cook and Malik Boothe, all of which played for the Royals.

After high school Ndiaye played Division II basketball at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, where he scored 8.5 points per game and grabbed 4.9 boards in 27 games, but he became homesick and transferred to St. John’s.

“I didn’t like the feel over there, in terms of being away from home,” Ndiaye said.

Nydia is soft spoken, but assertive. He won’t tell you that he’s beaten 2012-2013 Big East Rookie of the Year sophomore forward JaKarr Sampson in one-on-one games — although Sampson has the upper hand in total matches—but he’ll acknowledge they’ve played.

“Khadim is one of the best one-on-one players I’ve ever faced to be honest with you,” Sampson said. “The way he dribble the ball is awkward so it kind of throws you off.”

This season, like any other, Ndiaye’s goal is to help his team win. This ranges from cheerleading on the sidelines to practicing hard to increase his minutes on the floor, a daunting task that seems near impossible with the influx of top level recruits Lavin has made in the past few seasons.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Chelsea Clinton to join volunteers in Rockaways for second ‘Day of Action’ for Sandy victims


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

The Clinton Foundation will bring together residents and volunteers for a second “Day of Action” for Sandy victims.

Chelsea Clinton will visit the Rockaways on Saturday, October 26 and along with hundreds of volunteers will work to rebuild houses, clean and update public parks, conduct conservation activities and more.

Clinton will also join the St. Bernard Project and its partners to break ground on the future site of the first “Resilient House” in Far Rockaway, the Designing Recovery competition’s winning design for New York. The house is modeled to be energy efficient, cost effective and able to withstand future disasters.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Backpack giveaway helps Far Rockaway students


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Leticia Barboza, NYCHA photographer

Students in Far Rockaway get to go back to school in style, thanks to a giveaway that doled out more than 1,000 backpacks to the tykes in need.

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) teamed up with nonprofit organization Kars4Kids and ventured to the Hammel Houses and Beach 41st Street Houses to help out the families still recovering from Sandy on Thursday, August 29.

“The kids were excited and appreciative, the parents were excited and appreciative,” said Peggy Thomas, Resident Council Association President at the Hammel Houses. “It went very well.”

Thomas added these types of giveaways are typically held “in the Bronx or Brooklyn or Staten Island, or even the other side of Queens,” but the Hammel Houses has never seen an event such as this one.

This is the second year NYCHA and Kars4Kids have collaborated to put on the event. Originally, the crew was supposed to cap the giveaway at 500 backpacks, but upped the ante when they saw the kids’ needs, according to Thomas.

“We’re here to send our kids back to school the right way,” said NYCHA Chair John Rhea.

More free backpacks are available at kars4kids.org/charity/backpack_giveaway.asp, while supplies last.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Far Rockaway native reaches WFAN contest finals


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Carlos Montanez

CARLOS MONTANEZ

Many inspiring sports radio personalities dream of working for a big station in New York City.

Far Rockaway resident John Schiavone has had his heart set on working for the sports radio channel WFAN for a long time. And once again, Schiavone is competing in the fourth annual WFAN Fantasy Phenom Challenge, where the winner could get the opportunity to host a show for a full year on the radio station.

Schiavone, 28, has competed in the contest since its inception and will make his first appearance in the finals on August 23.

“I always made the semifinals, the top 50, and I always just missed the finals, so I kept coming back, because I said ‘you know what, I am not going to give up,’” Schiavone said. “Every time they say no is another opportunity for me to get better.”

Schiavone started in radio at Hunter College’s radio station, WHCS. He holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Brooklyn College and was the program director for the inaugural year of Brooklyn College’s radio station, WBCR. He was the coordinating producer for the Brooklyn College Bulldogs on WBCR. Currently, he still hosts WBCR’s primer sports show Downtown Sports.

Schiavone learned about the competition simply listening to “the FAN.”

The contest is unique in that it takes the job interview straight to the stage. During the qualifying rounds contestants are expected to answer sports trivia and “rant” on sports topics. They advance based on their answers.

Schiavone thought this is the ultimate interview, “[Instead of] applying on a resume and looking at a person on a page and maybe hearing a five minute demo.”

In the finals he will be judged along with the other finalists on a question and answer show with on-air sports personality Mike Francesa.

Although it’s been a long 10 years in the radio world for Schiavone, he is hoping to clinch a win and finally get his big break.

“The people who make it in this industry are not the best, not the most talented; they are the ones who are willing to stick it out,” he said.

The WFAN Fantasy Phenom Finals will broadcast live from 1-6 p.m. on WFAN 660-AM, 101.9-FM and simulcast on television via the YES network.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Man charged in Far Rockaway shooting of 10-year-old


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Police have arrested a reputed gang member for the shooting of a 10-year-old in Far Rockaway, announced District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Lenard Crudup, 21, of Queens, has been charged with assault, criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Crudup was seen firing several shots into the front courtyard of the Dix McBride Apartments near Dix Avenue just after 1 a.m. Saturday, one of which hit the victim, Brianna Palmer, above the hip, according to the district attorney’s office.

“Being outside on a warm summer night turned into a frightening experience for a young Far Rockway girl when she was hit by a stray bullet allegedly fired by the defendant,” said Brown. “ Physically, she will make a full recovery but the defendant’s alleged reckless actions will cause her to carry the traumatic and emotional scars of that night for the rest of her life.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

10-year-old Far Rockaway girl shot


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic image

A 10-year-old girl is in stable condition after being shot in the leg in a Far Rockaway shooting this morning, cops said.

Police responded to the gunfire at about 1:24 a.m. and found the girl at 22-29 Dix Ave. No arrests have been made at this time. The girl was not the intended target of the shooting, according to reports.

The victim is in stable condition at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Police are still investigating the incident.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 86. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night Partly cloudy in the evening, then overcast. Low of 68. Winds from the North at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Shakespeare at  Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s The Tempest near Flushing Meadows-Corona Park’s Unisphere at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Hot weather killed 8 people in New York City in July

The New York City medical examiner’s office says eight people have died of heat exposure during July’s punishing heat wave. Read more: AP

Queens woman, 96, waited an hour for ambulance at senior residence after 911 call

The 96-year-old Queens woman who waited more than an hour for an ambulance after falling down Monday is still suffering. Read more: New York Daily News 

Far Rockaway residents blast NYC over constant neighborhood flooding

There was frustration on Tuesday in a Queens neighborhood that’s plagued by flooding. Residents said the city is doing nothing to solve the problem. Read more: CBS New York

State to provide refunds for estate taxes paid by same-sex spouses

The State of New York said Tuesday that it will give same-sex spouses refunds for estate taxes they were forced to pay because federal law didn’t recognize gay marriage. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Queens woman recovers life savings from tossed fridge 

A happy ending for a Queens woman who almost lost her life savings. Read more: NY1

Rockaways native was honored by White House for being a “Champion of Change” in response to Hurricane Sandy

A Rockaways native who launched a website to help her old neighborhood after Hurricane Sandy was honored by the White House Tuesday as a “Champion of Change.” Read more: New York Daily News 

Fight over Detroit bankruptcy begins in federal court

A showdown over the biggest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history begins in a federal court on Wednesday morning as creditors challenge its legality. Read more: Reuters 

LIPA instituting Sandy fixes


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Nearly nine months after Sandy, LIPA facilities are still coming back online.

During the storm, five of the energy company’s substations on the Rockaway Peninsula took on water damage, shutting down the area’s power and leaving residents in the dark until repairs were made.

“It’s still a work in progress,” said Nick Lizanich, LIPA’s vice president of operations.

He explained that at the peninsula’s substations, LIPA worked on immediate restoration, which required both temporary and permanent mitigation. He added that in some cases, it can take over a year to order and receive the larger pieces of equipment that were damaged.

Lizanich detailed those issues at a tour of the Rockaways’ substations on Wednesday, July 17. Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder and Councilmember Donovan Richards attended to see the repairs so far firsthand.

“LIPA is doing a good job ensuring the elected [officials] are in the loop. Communication was the biggest issue we had during Sandy,” Richards said. “To their credit, they’re taking steps forward.”

In Far Rockaway, LIPA’s substation was inundated by roughly three to four feet of water. Lizanich said workers could not get in for several days, but mobile equipment and mobile substations were brought in to temporarily distribute power. But he pointed out that while “there was power on the street [...] no customers [were] attached to it because their homes weren’t safe.”

“There’s a lot of room for improvement in that entire process,” Lizanich added.

Now LIPA is monitoring the fixes and working on turning temporary repairs into permanent ones.

“I think prior to Sandy, LIPA sold us a lot of smoke and mirrors. The storm made it clear there were holes in the system,” Goldfeder said. “But now to see real equipment, real plans and new notification systems is a great thing.”

However, despite visible changes, Goldfeder said “we have a long way to go.”

“I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re moving in the right direction,” Richards said.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Disney movie stars help clean up Rockaway Beach


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

A pair of Disney teen movie stars stepped out the spotlight and into the sunlight to join a Far Rockaway Beach clean-up on July 14.

Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell, who play surfing lovers Brady and McKenzie in the upcoming Disney Channel flick “Teen Beach Movie,” mixed and mingled with about 45 volunteers and helped tidy up the beach and repair damage done by Sandy.

“It’s really, really cool to give back to the community,” Lynch said. “And also it’s nice to meet everyone who is cleaning up the beach.”

The clean-up was a part of a global Disney volunteering initiative in conjunction with Verizon employees. Teams from both companies and their children picked up garbage, painted rusted railings and, together with the teen stars, applied mulch to prevent weed growth and stabilize the soil for new plants.

“For us to be able to come out with our families and volunteer as a unit, it’s really important,” said Adrienne White, a manager of the volunteer group at Disney. “We know that by doing that it inspires our young kids to become lifelong volunteers and contributors.”

In their surf-rock musical movie, Mitchell and Lynch battle bikers for control of a beach hangout. They spontaneously break out in song and dance throughout the film. The stars said while learning their roles, they were taught about the importance of the beach ecosystem. They were blown away by the beauty of Rockaway Beach.

“It was great to see [Rockaway Beach] and see a new part of New York,” Mitchell said. “I’ve never been here and it looks beautiful.”

“Teen Beach Movie” will premiere on Friday, July 19 at 8 p.m. on the Disney Channel.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Security cameras to be installed in Far Rockaway NYCHA complexes


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Big Brother is watching in NYCHA complexes across Far Rockaway.

Security cameras are set to be installed in various housing projects, intended to curb violence, particularly gun violence, in troubled areas.

“I’m tired of hearing the stories – our seniors and our children not being able to play outside because they’re afraid of getting struck by a stray bullet,” said Councilmember Donovan Richards.

After the City Council passed its budget, Richards allocated nearly $2 million for closed-circuit security cameras in the Ocean Bay Houses and Beach 41st Street Houses.

“Public housing is regularly left underfunded with no real consideration given towards necessary improvements,” Richards said. “You have to prioritize where you want your budget money to go. I felt that was an area that needed it the most.”

Carleton Manor will also receive funds for community room upgrades for residents to enjoy, Richards said.

The camera design will be finished within eight to 10 months and installation is expected within a year-and-a-half.

Richards’ predecessor, current State Senator James Sanders, allocated funds for security cameras in the Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway during his tenure. Richards said that since then, it is “like day and night.”

“I can’t remember the last time I heard of a shooting in that development,” he said. “I want to make sure they’re carrying that across the board. Make sure our children and seniors and their families are safe.”

“If you’re walking, you’re on camera. They look at blind spots. No matter which way you run, you’re going to get caught,” he added.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES