Tag Archives: jamaica

Flushing-Jamaica bus routes set to get upgrade in distant future


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Department of Transportation

The city is hoping to reduce bus travel times between Flushing and Jamaica — just not any time soon.

Preliminary plans that will spend a least a year being refined were floated by officials at a recent meeting with community members at York College.

Among the proposals is the implementation of Select Bus Service, where, among other things, passengers would pay the fare on sidewalk kiosks before the bus arrives to reduce boarding and debarking times.

“The bus trips are long and slow,” a spokesman for the Department of Transportation (DOT) said. “And with Select Bus Service we think there’s a solution to improve things.”

The DOT is considering two routes between the neighborhoods for SBS. The first would travel along Main Street where the Q44 and Q20A/B run. The second route under consideration is Parsons and Kissena boulevards, currently serviced by the Q25 and Q34.

Whichever street is chosen would undergo changes like the installation of bus-only lanes and sidewalk fare kiosks.

In the meantime, the city is considering installing a feature on some buses called traffic signal priority, according to a city spokeswoman.

The feature uses GPS to track a bus and can either prevent a light from turning red until a bus passes the intersection or shorten the length of a red signal to let a stopped bus start moving again.

But, the spokeswoman noted, if the community decides that it doesn’t like this idea, than the city won’t install the traffic signal feature. The DOT plans on working with the community for at least a year to find how SBS can be best suited to its needs.

“I think it’s clear that local community members want faster bus service,” said Jess Nizar, from the public transportation advocacy group Riders Alliance. “It’s really important to get community input in the planning process of these things.”

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Popular music in Queens, according to Pandora


| kmedoff@queenscourier.com

Screenshot/THE QUEENS COURIER

What are Queens’ top tunes? Ask Pandora.

The Internet radio’s data science team investigated New York City’s musical tastes by determining the top three Pandora stations created in August in various neighborhoods.

Two Queens neighborhoods, central Queens and Jamaica, were featured on the list.

According to the results, central Queens residents are listening to “2000s Rock,” “Classical Guitar” and “Punjabi Hits” (music from the Punjab region of South Asia, which includes parts of Pakistan and India).

In Jamaica, “Hindi Bollywood Hits,” “Gospel” and “Today’s Gospel” took the top spots.

Other neighborhoods studied throughout the five boroughs included the Upper West Side, where “Classical,” “Yoga” and “Toddler” were popular; the Lower East Side, where “Indie Dance,” “Laid-Back Beach Music” and “Indie Rock” reigned; and the central Bronx, where residents most often created stations for “Boleros,” “Latin” and “Bachata Dominicana.”

View the complete list here.

What is your go-to Pandora station? Let us know by commenting below.

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Woman’s throat slashed in Jamaica apartment building lobby  


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

POLICE TAPE

A woman was seriously injured after her throat was slashed in the lobby of a Jamaica apartment building early Wednesday morning, cops said.

The attack happened at about 5:20 a.m. in a building on 171st Street near Jamaica Avenue.

The victim, who is in her 20s, was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where she is listed in serious but stable condition, according to police.

There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

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Queens man busted for shining laser at NYPD helicopter


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

A Jamaica man was arrested for shining a high-powered laser beam at an NYPD helicopter as the chopper searched for an assault suspect last week, police said.

The helicopter’s two pilots were looking for the suspect at about 9:30 p.m. within the 107th Precinct when one of the pilots said he suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, saw “a bright green light that illuminated the cockpit.” The flash caused him to pull off his night-vision goggles.

After realizing it was a powerful laser beam, the officers radioed patrol units on the ground and sighted the source — a man in the rear yard of a school at 162nd Street and 86th Avenue, according to authorities.

Police arrested 26-year-old Daniel Parris, who lives one block from the school. A six-inch-long laser device was recovered from his pocket, cops said.

Parris was charged with reckless endangerment, menacing and obstructing governmental administration.

A week before Parris’ arrest, a Brooklyn man was also busted for interfering with an NYPD helicopter during a nighttime search after he flew a drone within 50 feet of the chopper on Sept. 17, according to authorities.

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Police searching for suspect in shooting, robbery off Van Wyck Expressway


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

PoliceCarHC0312_L_300_C_R4-624x413

A man shot another driver off of the Van Wyck Expressway in Jamaica Friday night before robbing the victim’s girlfriend, police said.

On Sept. 26 at about 7:30 p.m. cops received a call about a man shot on the corner of the Van Wyck Expressway service road and 94th Avenue.

The victim later told police that his girlfriend and him were at a sneaker store when they saw two men watching them. As the couple left the store in a BMW, a white Jeep followed them, according to cops.

During the pursuit, the Jeep forced the BMW to crash into a fence and afterwards the suspect exited the Jeep and went to the driver’s door and shot the victim in the upper thigh, police said. Then the suspect went to the passenger side, struck the victim’s girlfriend on the head with the gun and stole three necklaces from her. The suspect then jumped back into the Jeep and fled the scene.

However, the Jeep was later recovered on 134th Street and 97th Avenue, police said.

The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition. The investigation is ongoing.

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Top vegan-friendly food places in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos via Rose Valley Cakes Facebook page / Courtesy of Johnny Solo

BY ECLEEN CARABALLO 

PETA recently declared New York City as 2014’s “Most Vegan-Friendly City” for its numerous establishments that offer veggie lovers an array of options. We’ve compiled this list of food places in Queens that offer delicious cuisine along with vegan-friendly choices.

Co Co Lin Vegetarian House
64-19 Fresh Pond Rd., Ridgewood
718-416-1688
cocolins.com

This restaurant houses a wide array of vegetarian options that are made from a fuse of Chinese and Thai seasonings and flavors. Whether craving a smoothie or a simple vegan-friendly meal, Co Co Lin seems to have the right amount of options for both meat and veggie lovers alike.

Ginger Organic
37-01 30th Ave., Astoria
718-777-0626
facebook.com/GingerOrganicAstoria

Connected to Astoria’s Grand Café, this organic juice and smoothie shop just opened a few months ago. The establishment offers all-organic smoothies and cold-pressed juices bottled on site, salads, kale chips and much more, which is all 100 percent vegan. Ginger also serves up organic liquors, wines and champagnes. Juices come packaged in recycled cardboard six-pack beer containers.

Happy Buddha
135-37 37th Ave., Flushing
718-358-0079
happybuddha.com

This veggie-loving restaurant in downtown Flushing earned a place on SuperVegan’s list of “Top 5 Vegetarian Restaurants in Queens” with a nice list of reviews from customers who are pleased with the vegetarian option in the community. Happy Buddha aims to create a peaceful environment for guests, and create a fusion of “innovative vegetarian cuisine, Zen surroundings, and respect for all living things.”

Rose Valley Cakes
134-03 Liberty Ave., South Richmond Hill
718- 523-2253
rosevalleycakes.com

This bakery meets plenty of dietary needs with their unique focus on vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free baked goods. With impressive reviews and complex cake decorations, it has earned a 4-1/2 star rating on Yelp, and claims to be able to create “any confectionery creation you can think of.” Although it does offer specialty cakes of all sorts, it also sells bakery items that are available daily.

Simple Veggie Cuisine
95-26 Queens Blvd., Rego Park
718-830-0808
sveggie.com

Simple Veggie Cuisine keeps it simple with a wide array of options on their menu, and a promising amount of good reviews on Yelp. This restaurant offers Chinese food, with vegan options that are moderately priced and seemingly loved by the public.

Smile of the Beyond
8614 Parsons Blvd, Jamaica
718-739-7453
smileofthebeyond.com

This vegetarian diner located in Jamaica was established in 1972, making it the first vegetarian diner in New York City. The diner offers classic and unique breakfast and lunch items and vegan-friendly options, which include everything from a good hot cup of organic coffee to a tofu scramble and more.

The Oneness-Fountain Heart
157-19 72nd Ave., Flushing
718-591-3663
oneness-fountain-heart.com

This vegetarian restaurant has been in Flushing since 1998, and is committed to creating an environment where you can “enjoy food that nourishes the body, heart and soul.” With unique options on their menu, like Cashew Nut Paella, it has earned an impressive list of reviews on Yelp, and was mentioned in the Long Island Restaurant Review as well as The Restaurant Fairy and others.

Veggie Castle II
132-09 Liberty Ave., South Richmond Hill
718-641-8342

This hidden treasure in South Richmond Hill is a grab-and-go go-to for many veggie lovers because of its vegan-friendly options and juice bar that offers a well-reviewed green juice, as well as smoothies.

What do you think are the top vegan-friendly food places in Queens? Let us know by commenting below. 

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Two killed, teen injured in Belt Parkway ramp crash


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

ambulance

Updated 2:49 p.m.

Two young men were killed and a 14-year-old was hurt Thursday night after their car lost control near the Belt Parkway before slamming into a pole and then a tree, authorities said.

The vehicle, a Mitsubishi Lancer, was apparently speeding westbound on North Conduit Avenue in Springfield Gardens at about 10:45 p.m. when it swerved to overtake another vehicle, according to police. It then tried to swerve back into the left lane and enter the entrance ramp to the Belt Parkway near 181st Street.

The Mitsubishi lost control, drove onto the grass shoulder, striking a light pole and then a tree, cops said.

The driver, 20-year-old D’John Arias, of Corona, was pronounced dead at the scene. His front seat passenger, 19-year-old Karim Carter, of Jamaica, was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased, authorities said.

A 14-year-old boy suffered injuries to his legs and was transported to Long Island Jewish Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

The NYPD’s Highway Collision Investigation Squad is looking into the crash.

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Jamaica school bus accident sends 11 to hospital


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

ambulance

Updated 11:00 a.m.

Eleven people, including nine children, had to be taken to the hospital following a school bus accident in Jamaica Tuesday morning, officials said.

The crash happened at about 7:20 a.m. at Liberty Avenue and 183rd Street, according to the FDNY.

The bus, carrying nine students who attend various schools in Queens, was stopped at a traffic light when it was reportedly hit by a speeding car, Department of Education spokeswoman Marge Feinberg said.

All of the students, as well as the bus driver and a matron, were taken to Long Island Jewish Hospital for observation, according to Feinberg. There do not appear to be any serious injuries.

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Man wanted in Flushing livery cab robbery  


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A man had a livery cab driver take him on a ride through the borough before robbing him during a final stop in Flushing, cops said.

The driver picked the suspect up at 85th Avenue and Parsons Boulevard in Jamaica on Sept. 1, and was asked to make several stops in Queens, police said.

When they arrived at 131-25 Avery Ave. around 2 p.m., the suspect simulated a gun and demanded money from the driver, according to authorities. The suspect then fled on foot.

Authorities describe the suspect as Hispanic, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 200 pounds and with a scar on his forehead.

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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Woman injured after jumping from dollar van fleeing cops in Jamaica


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

police car

A 22-year-old woman is in critical condition after she jumped from a dollar van as its driver tried to flee from police in Jamaica Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

Cops attempted to pull over the Ford Econoline van about 4:40 p.m. on Archer Avenue, near 165th Street, according to police. As it sped away, its passenger jumped from the vehicle on Union Hall Street, near 107th Avenue.

The escape left the woman injured and she was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where she is listed in critical condition.

The van’s driver, Jameson Golding, 22, of Brooklyn, kept going, but soon tried to flee on foot and was caught by police, according to published reports.

Golding was arrested on a slew of charges, including resisting arrest, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, unlicensed operator and obstructing governmental administration, police said.

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JFK duty free shops cashier busted for stealing more than $19K


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

A 19-year-old Queens man was arrested for stealing more than $19,200 while he worked as a duty free shops cashier at John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to Port Authority police.

Tyrone Simmons, of Jamaica, in an interview with authorities, allegedly indicated his responsibility in the thefts, saying that he took money from the register on several different occasions. He is accused of stealing the cash from this May until the end of August.

Simmons was arrested at the airport by Port Authority police detectives Thursday and charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, officials said.

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9/11 heroes battle cancer with hope


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Asha Mahadevan

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Thirteen years ago, when tragedy struck the World Trade Center, they were one of the first to respond to calls for help. Today, they are suffering the after-effects of their selflessness.

Two days before the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, four Queens residents, who developed cancer because of their exposure to carcinogenic substances at the WTC site, came forward to share their pain at the North Shore – LIJ’s WTC Clinical Center of Excellence at Rego Park on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

John Licato, 52, a resident of Howard Beach and a former cop with the 110th Precinct in Corona, was diagnosed with neck cancer in 2012. Since then he has undergone chemotherapy and radiation and now, his cancer is in remission. Christian Foggy, 67, an electrician from Jamaica who transported generators to the site for almost two months, was treated for prostate cancer.

Former narcotics cop Joe Ramondino, 52, developed Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. “They said it was safe,” said the Maspeth resident about concerns that arose in the aftermath. Last August, he was told he is dealing with a type of cancer he calls “treatable but not curable.”

“It is devastating learning what is in your body,” he said. “I am just staying positive and following a healthy lifestyle.”

Added his wife Toni, “It was frightening. We are sticking together and getting through.”
The program at the WTC Clinical Center is federally funded by the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which is meant for treating the people who fell sick due to exposure to harmful materials at ground zero. The funding runs through 2016. Initially, the people being treated were those with respiratory disorders such as asthma and sinus cases, and mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder. However, cancer takes many years to develop, said Dr. Jacqueline Moline, vice president and chair of Population Health at North Shore-LIJ. “We have more than 2,500 certified cases,” she said. “Truncating the program after 15 years is not right.”

Patricia Workman, 76, and her sister Julia Mooney, both from Flushing, helped at the site as Red Cross volunteers. “I worked in the pit, in the morgue, served meals, distributed supplies, whatever needed to be done,” said Workman. She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2008. She was treated and went into remission but suffered a relapse earlier this year. Despite her trauma, she says she doesn’t regret helping out the way she did. “It was a terrible day,” she said. “We should not forget it because if you do, it can happen again.”

Mooney, who suffered from PTSD due to her time at the site, added, “These people [who died that day] deserve to be remembered always.”

Despite their pain, the patients and their families are staying positive. As Ramondino put it, “Things could have been worse. Lots of people died that day. We are still here.”

“I have three children and three grandchildren,” said Workman. “I have a lot to live for.”

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Jamaica hosts auditions for new dance competition show


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Dancehall Got Talent/Nicole Duhaney

Residents of Jamaica got to show off their reggae and dancehall moves in hopes of landing a spot on a new reality TV show named “Dancehall Got Talent.”

Auditions for the show, which will air on the OPM Digital Network, were held at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, located at 153-10 Jamaica Ave., on Saturday. This was the first site for the competition and more than 60 performers came out to try to wow the judges.

The competitors were so talented that only about 10 of them were eliminated, according to Nicole Duhaney, the host and executive producer of the show.

“There were so many talented performers,” Duhaney said. “It was a lot of fun.”

The competition is the first of its kind and is solely based on reggae and dancehall music.

Dancehall is a genre of Jamaican music.

The acts included all types of Jamaican music, according to Duhaney, who said she is known as the “number one dancehall media diva worldwide.” This filming was the first of eight live New York tapings for the show.

Photo courtesy of Dancehall Got Talent/Nicole Duhaney

The competition was the brainchild of Kevin Royal, who is a partner at the OPM Network. They hope to air the competition on the network, which can be seen on such devices as Xbox or Apple TV, among others, at the end of fall.

The fate of the contestants will be determined by viewers of the show through a voting process.

“This is going to be the show that everyone, no matter where they are, can watch,” Duhaney said.

Even though the first filming was a success, Duhaney said she wishes more people would have come to compete.

“I think a lot of people missed out on the opportunity to compete,” she said. “I’m inviting all of them out to any competitions coming up, even if you were eliminated already. We want a person who is willing to work in the competition.”

The next audition at the same venue in Jamaica will be held on Sept. 12 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., according to the show’s website.

To find out more about the competition, visit “Dancehall, GOT TALENT” on Facebook or www.dancehallgottalent.com.

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Pedestrian struck and killed in Jamaica


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

POLICE TAPE

A 53-year-old man was fatally hit in Jamaica Saturday as he was trying to cross Liberty Avenue, according to police.

The accident happened at about 4:50 a.m. near Tuckerton Street.

After he was struck by the car, the victim, who has yet to be identified by police, was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead, cops said.

The driver remained on the scene and the investigation continues.

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Man charged with father’s murder in south Jamaica: DA


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Title

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

A 37-year-old man from south Jamaica has been arrested for allegedly killing his father Tuesday night, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Anthony Guyton, has been charged with murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

On Aug. 19 at about 10:25 p.m., Guyton allegedly fired a single shot at his father, 55-year-old Bruce Langley of Astoria, near the intersection of 143rd Street and 119th Avenue, said Brown.

Langley was shot in the chest as he sat in his Chevy Impala at an intersection a block away from Guyton’s home. According to the district attorney, police patrolling the area caught Guyton as he stood holding a 9 mm handgun next to his vehicle, a Dodge Charger, which was near the Chevy Impala.

Langley was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

“The alleged actions of the defendant are totally incomprehensible,” Brown said.

Guyton is awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

 

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