Tag Archives: Jacob Riis Park

Bikes, kayaks get green light in Jamaica Bay


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Parks and Recreation

Jamaica Bay visitors are about to get a little bike for their bucks.

The Parks Department announced California-based Wheel Fun Rentals has received the license agreement for much-discussed bike and kayak stands throughout Jamaica Bay.

A site in Queens opened at Rockaway’s Jacob Riis Park over Memorial Day Weekend, according to the Parks Department, with another site at Riis Landing expected to open in mid-June.

“Millions of people visit the parks and beaches at Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways each summer and this concession provides a fun and new recreational amenity,” Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White said in a statement.

Requests for Proposals (RFPs) were released in March to build stands around the park in a pre-Sandy project between the National Park Service and the Parks Department.

Howard Beach residents were upset the Frank M. Charles Memorial Park was included in the proposals even while the park was in dire need of repairs. At Community Board (CB) 10’s April meeting, members asked a Parks representative to consider taking Charles Park off the RFP until something was done to clean it up.

CB10 chair Elizabeth Braton said she’s happy Charles Park was not included in the plan and is hopeful authorities will focus on cleaning it up instead.

“I’m very glad that they took our advice and decided go with appropriate locations,” she said.

Braton added that the board would be open to including Charles Park in future proposals if a clean-up takes place.

 

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New photo exhibit shows before and after effects of Sandy


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NPS

Homes and businesses were not the only places that Sandy destroyed.

Gateway National Recreation Area, which encompasses parts of Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Monmouth County, New Jersey, is also still recovering from the storm and has yet to fully reopen.

The effects that Sandy had on the area can now be seen in a new exhibit, “Hurricane Sandy: Before and After,” at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

“These [photos] are snapshots in time. It’s the chance to see a historic event,” said Charles Markis, a park ranger and the exhibit’s curator.

As part of the storm recovery effort, the National Park Service (NPS) Incident Management Team went around the area taking photos to assess the storm damage. The team, one of the largest assembled in NPS history, even had access to aircraft for aerial pictures.

After looking through those photographs, and receiving inquiries from the public on what had happened to Gateway after the storm, Markis saw them as more than a remediation tool.

Using those photos, as well as shots from the NPS already had of the area’s condition before Sandy, both from on the ground and satellite imagery, he put together the “Before and After” exhibit.

He describes the 30 photos, some of which are side-by-side comparisons, as sad, yet interesting and beautiful, and has received a similar response from those who have seen it.

“My point was not to celebrate the disaster but to tell the story of what happened,” said Markis.

The photos show scenes of structural destruction at Jacob Riis Park, boats thrown onto land away from Great Kills Harbor and parking lots buried in sand.

The pictures also illustrate resilience through recovery progress maps, and that’s the ultimate message that visitors should take away from the exhibit.

“While these pictures demonstrate damage, the take-away message should not be one of doom and gloom, but rather one of resilience,” said Gateway superintendent Linda Canzanelli. “There is still a lot of work to do and some things have changed forever. But the park is reopening, the natural areas will rebound and park visitors will be welcomed back.”

 

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PHOTOS: Eerie sand dunes created in the Rockaways after Sandy


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Stephane Missier

Photographer Stephane Missier took these photos in the parking lot of Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways. The man-made sand dunes, which Missier compares to an “eerie lunar landscape,” are made out of sifted sand from the streets following Superstorm Sandy.

“Polished by the cold winter wind, these artificial cones formed an eerie lunar landscape. The presence of all kinds of construction and hauling trucks on the site as well as conveyor belts, generators, watch towers, and pole lights, gave me the impression of being on another some kind of a spatial station. The wind was pretty strong too and really accentuated that lunar feel.” Missier wrote on his website.

 

See more photos of the sand dunes here.

Congressmember Steny Hoyer tours Rockaways with Meeks


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Seeing is believing, according to Congressmember Gregory Meeks, and so he called upon fellow Congressmember Steny Hoyer to view Queens’ post-Sandy damage firsthand.

“We need to get more people to come out and see,” said Meeks after he and Hoyer toured the Rockaways on Thursday, December 6.

Hoyer is the Minority Whip, the second highest ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives. The influential Maryland congressmember can pass along the message of what he saw and speed the acquisition of federal aid, according to Meeks.

“Some people think we’re just asking for money, and they don’t know why,” said Meeks. “Once they see, I believe they believe.”

For their Rockaways tour, Hoyer and Meeks joined Colonel Kent Savre and Colonel Trey Jordan, both of the Army Corps of Engineers. Savre and Jordan briefed the congressmembers on the extent of the damage and the recovery efforts.

“I think it’s wonderful that he came out,” said Dolores Orr, Community Board 14 chair. “Seeing it on TV and in pictures doesn’t show the magnitude of the issues.”

Throughout the course of the day, Hoyer and Savre viewed debris disposal at Floyd Bennett Field while traveling to Jacob Riis Park, where they met Meeks and Jordan. Hoyer and Meeks then continued to the Breezy Point fire site, Neponsit, Rockaway Park, Shore Front Parkway and Beach 86th Street.

“As recovery efforts continue, I will be working with the Obama administration and my colleagues in Congress to ensure that Rockaway Peninsula and other affected communities across the East Coast have the resources needed to clean up and recover,” said Hoyer.

Aside from seeing the destruction at face value, Hoyer was able to view damaged home, business and beachside infrastructure. “There are weather incidents with catastrophic consequences,” he said, adding that urgency should to be put into rebuilding, and the coordination in doing so needs to be much better.

Orr, who also heads the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, spoke for all residents when saying that there was a great need for more jetties on multiple points of the beach, and that when the boardwalk is rebuilt, a sea wall that will protect the community should be included.

“The fact that [Hoyer] came up here does give us some hope that we have finally reached the exposure that we have been waiting 40 years for,” she said. “We live here. It’s not new housing stock. It’s been a need.”

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Today’s Weather

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 54. Northwest wind 13 to 16 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 43. Northwest wind 7 to 10 mph.

Event of the Day: William Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale”

E Phoenix Idealis Theater, Inc. delivers this classic story for a modern audience. Directed by Rachel Alt and Ben Fabrizi, it opens November 9 for a limited run at the Poppenhusen Institute in College Point. Find our more or view more events

Gas rationing begins today in NYC

More than a week into the gas shortage, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an emergency order rationing gas to begin Friday morning at 6. Cars with license plates ending in odd numbers or a letter will be able to purchase gas on odd numbered days; vehicles with plates ending in even numbers can purchase on even numbered days. Read more: Queens Courier

Housing Authority scrambling to restore power to 11 developments in Queens and Brooklyn by this weekend

The Housing Authority is scrambling to restore power by this weekend to 11 developments in Queens and Brooklyn that went dark more than a week ago. It doesn’t look promising. NYCHA Chairman John Rhea on Wednesday said he hoped to accomplish this, but a day later Mayor Bloomberg was saying, “I’m not sure we can make it.” Read more: Daily News

Residents displaced by Sandy are staring at life in Staten Island ‘jail’

The state is eyeing the recently shuttered Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island as a temporary home for people displaced by the ravages of Sandy and this week’s nasty nor’easter, officials said yesterday. Closed last December, the medium-security prison could feed and sleep as many as 900 people with nowhere else to go. Read more: NY Post

Students in displaced schools can now attend nearest school they can get to

On Thursday, for the first time since Oct. 26, every New York City public school was open. But nearly 200,000 students were still out, like a Coney Island third grader whose school building was damaged and relocated miles away in Bensonhurst. His elderly grandmother couldn’t get him to the new site. Read more: NY1

Personal items battered by Sandy litter temp landfill in Jacob Riis Park

Baby toys, photo albums, broken china—these are just some precious items that can be found in fast rising heaps of waste at a temporary landfill in Jacob Riis Park. Debris from storm battered Far Rockaway has been piling up at the park’s parking lot –by thousands of tons a day—thanks to sanitation workers who have been clearing thrash and sand-clogged streets. Read more: NY Post

Iran fires at U.S. drone over Persian Gulf, but misses: Pentagon

Iranian attack aircraft fired multiple rounds at an unarmed U.S. drone in international airspace over the Persian Gulf last week, the Pentagon revealed Thursday. The rounds missed. But the incident — the first known attempt by Iranian warplanes to take out a U.S. drone — added intrigue to the extremely tense relationship between between America and Iran. Read more: Daily News

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast with a chance of rain. High of 79. Winds from the SE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Monday night: Overcast with a chance of rain, then thunderstorms and rain showers after midnight. Low of 72. Winds from the ESE at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70% with rainfall amounts near 0.5 in. possible.

EVENT of the DAY: 30th Avenue Astoria Festival

Enjoy a plethora of booths selling food and goodies at the 30th Avenue Astoria Festival. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Peacock seen wandering Queens has been captured

The strut is up for one peacock that had been roaming Queens for weeks. The colorful bird was captured in Queens on Friday morning after it was spotted peacking the ground behind an apartment building. Read more: CBS New York

Hundreds grieve Queens high schooler Daniel Fernandez after party bus tragedy

The good times were rolling aboard the party bus to a Sweet 16 celebration — until tragedy struck for a Queens student who won’t see his 17th birthday. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens woman recovering from acid attack

A Queens woman whose eye and skin were horribly burned after her elderly dad doused her with sulfuric acid was up and talking yesterday as she battled back from the grisly attack. Read more: New York Post 

Seasonal parking bans please many Rockaways Residents but irk visitors

The houses in Neponsit and Belle Harbor, Queens, out past the last stop on the A train on the Rockaway Peninsula, are not what you picture when you think of New York City. Read more: New York Times

Citizenship help on offer thru City Council 

Immigrants will be able to get help applying for citizenship or deferred action — the new, temporary work and residency permits for young immigrants — at 30 City Council members’ offices starting next month. Read more: New York Daily News

On Labor Day, jobs debate a convention warm-up

Republicans and Democrats jockeyed for economic high ground in a Labor Day warm-up to the Democratic National Convention, with Republican Mitt Romney labeling the holiday “another day of worrying” for too many Americans anxious about finding a job. Read more: AP

Poll: Romney receives low score for convention speech

Mitt Romney’s speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa last week received a lower score than any presidential candidate’s convention speech since the poll starting asking the question in 1996, according to the polling firm Gallup. Read more: CBS News

Queens weekend events


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Saturday, July 28

Noon – 2 p.m.34th Annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow: New York City’s oldest and largest pow wow will feature three days of intertribal Native American dance competitions to which the public is invited. Over 40 Indian nations are represented at this spectacular event held in the apple orchard on the farm grounds. A large selection of quality Native American art, crafts, jewelry and foods are available.

6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Vertigo at the Museum of the Moving Image: Considered by many cinephiles the greatest of all films, Hitchcock’s peerless psychological thriller follows a San Francisco private detective who comes out of retirement to trail an old schoolmate’s beautiful wife, who appears to be haunted by a figure from her ancestral past.

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Come enjoy a summer night with the Bard. Queens-based Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a free performance of Shakespeare’s classic, “The Comedy of Errors” on the bathhouse plaza at Jacob Riis Park.

8 p.m. – 10 p.m., The Wild Party at Secret Theatre: Secret Theatre Musicals is pleased to announce their production of Andrew Lippa’s THE WILD PARTY. With a book, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, John and Jen, The Addam’s Family), this exciting production is directed by Taryn Turney and will play a 3-week limited engagement.

1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Bucket of Junk at NY Hall of Science: Design and build anything your imagination can think of by combining interesting objects you’ll find in our Bucket of Junk. Free with NYSCI admission.

Sunday, July 29

11 a.m.World’s Fair Marina, located at Pier 1 in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, invites you to master your fishing skills while connecting with nature. Experienced rangers teach the ecology of the waterways as well as the principles of fishing. This event is free.

Noon – 2 p.m.Rockaway Beach Sandcastle Contest: Build sandcastles at this 17th annual contest with Urban Park Ranger activities and prizes for several age categories. Bring buckets and tools. No experience necessary.

1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Sung in French Haitian Creole to a background of African Rhythms, “Compa Music” is undeniably infectious, high energy and fun to dance to at Flushing Town Hall. Dousing FTH with the flavor of this rich and varied music is The Agoci Band led by Rolhans Innocent. The Agoci Band is a group of Haitian musicians that combine fresh Hip-Hop, Roots, and Calypso flavors.

4 p.m. – 7 p.m., SummerStage Kids Queens Family Day: An exciting event to inspire and engage children of all ages and their families, featuring Randolph Matthews, LuckyBob and Little Club Heads. Families will also have the opportunity to participate in face painting, craft workshops, free sports lessons including golf workshops, and a fun and exciting hip-hop dance class!

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Come enjoy a summer night with the Bard. Queens-based Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a free performance of “Hamlet” on the stage at O’Donohue Park.