Tag Archives: jfk airport

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 84. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph.Friday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then overcast. Low of 72. Winds from the SW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY:  Rural Route Film Festival 

Whether a modern-day western set in Chile, a documentary about Chinese women thrust into an economic downturn or a drama about a forced marriage in Senegal, the Rural Route Film Festival screens work about people and cultures normally overlooked by the mainstream media. This year features screenings of 28 films from 13 countries, including a program devoted to the late documentarian Les Blank. Friday, August 3-Sunday, August 4 at the Museum of the Moving Image and other venues. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Man asks for $3, Tries to rape TSA worker on way to JFK airport: sources

A TSA worker on her way to Kennedy Airport Thursday was attacked by a man who tried to rape her after she wouldn’t give him $3, NBC 4 New York has learned. Read more: NBC New York

Report: Book pulled from reading list after parents object to sexual content

Sixth graders at a New York City school no longer have to read a book on their summer reading list after parents objected to its sexual content. Read more: CBS New York/AP

First lawsuit being filed against Southwest airlines after rough landing

A South Carolina woman who was injured evacuating the Southwest Airlines jet that landed on its nose at LaGuardia Airport last month is filing a lawsuit Friday alleging pilot error. Read more: New York Daily News

Storm-damaged R subway tunnel closing for repairs

A subway tunnel used by the R train that was heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy will be closed for long-term repairs beginning Friday night. Read more: Fox New York/AP

Russia gives Snowden asylum, Obama-Putin summit in doubt

Russia rejected U.S. pleas and granted American fugitive Edward Snowden a year’s asylum on Thursday, letting the former spy agency contractor slip out of a Moscow airport after more than five weeks in limbo while angering the United States and putting in doubt a planned summit between the two nations’ presidents. Read more: Reuters 

200 homes in Bayside, Flushing file airplane noise complaints last month


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Almost all the noise complaints filed last month at three major airports came from Queens, according to data obtained by The Courier.

More than 700 calls about airplane noise flooded LaGuardia Airport this June, while 348 grievances came in about John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to statistics from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Out of 1,061 total complaints that poured in last month, only 18 complaints were made to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

The complaints came from almost 200 homes in Queens, mostly in Flushing and Bayside, according to Port Authority data collected June 1-30.

About 500 complaints to LaGuardia were from those neighborhoods, with a majority of calls coming from residents near Travis Triangle and Bowne Park.

Residents from across the Queens border in nearby Floral Park made most of the complaints to JFK, a total of 200.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a new flight pattern last December, much to the dismay of residents who say the procedure causes nonstop noise from low-flying planes.

The Port Authority and the FAA said they expect upcoming projects to reduce noise.

Representatives from both agencies addressed the Queens Borough President’s Aviation Advisory Council on July 22.

They said plans to soon rebuild and modernize the Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia would allow for larger planes on the runways. With more passengers per plane, that would mean fewer aircraft in the sky.

Officials also said by 2016, airports will be mandated to only use planes with engine sound-absorbing designs.

Planes going in and out of New York airports, with the exception of corporate aircraft, are currently “Stage 3” planes. The designation means engines are moved further into the interior of the plane to lessen noise.

Propellers are also shaped to deaden sound.

Barbara Brown, chair of the Eastern Queens Alliance, said larger planes would not be helpful.

“Even if flights are getting quieter, that won’t mean anything if there are more flights taking place in general,” she said.

Port Authority officials said they are also in the process of replacing 22 noise monitoring terminals and should be done by spring 2014.

They added that a public website will soon launch for people to monitor noise decibel readings and file noise complaints.

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and multiple congressmembers from the city and Long Island have called for more action. They recently sent a letter to Port Authority executive director Patrick Foye urging his agency to create an airport advisory committee.

“It is simple common sense to say that the largest metropolitan area in the country should have an airport advisory committee like the one we are proposing,” Schumer said, “a body that would help increase quality of life for locals.”

The New York state legislature passed a bill this year that would require the Port Authority to conduct a one-time study to determine the effects of aircraft noise on Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and Jersey residents.

It awaits Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature in New York and ultimately needs New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s approval as well.

Additional reporting by Johann Hamilton

 

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Pols push for two-state study of airplane noise


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Airport operators have become the target of the latest localized effort to quiet Queens skies.

The state legislature has passed a bill that would require the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to conduct a one-time study to determine the effects of aircraft noise on Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and Jersey residents.

“With this study on aircraft noise, we can best determine the use of certain runways and flight paths and use federal funding to solve this serious issue,” said Assemblymember Edward Ra, who represents parts of Nassau County.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a new flight pattern last December, much to the dismay of residents who say the procedure causes nonstop noise from low-flying planes.

The bill would require the bi-state authority to submit its findings to both state legislatures by next June, depending on when it is enacted.

It awaits Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature in New York and ultimately needs Governor Chris Christie’s approval in New Jersey, though it was only introduced in the New Jersey Senate last month.

“We’re confident that if we get this study done, it will prove that there is a significant impact on our communities and the FAA and Port Authority will be required to find measures to remediate this problem,” said Assemblymember Ed Braunstein.

The legislation would also require the Port Authority — which operates five hubs in New York and New Jersey, including John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia Airports — to hold biennial public hearings.

“It is about time that all the communities that are affected stand up and say to the FAA and the Port Authority, ‘We’re not going to take it anymore,’’ said State Senator Tony Avella. “We may live by the airports, but when we all moved here, the air traffic was nothing like it is now.”

The FAA has since formed a committee to review its decision-making process, officials announced in May, and has agreed to hear out impacted communities.

JFK Airport’s Worldport terminal lands on endangered list


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Anthony Stramaglia/Save the Worldport

John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Worldport terminal has flown into new territory — a list naming it one of America’s most endangered historic locations.

On June 19, the flying saucer shaped-terminal was chosen for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s latest list of America’s 11 most endangered historic places. The site has been slated for demolition by 2015.

The terminal, owned by the Port Authority and leased by Delta Air Lines, made the leap to the list through the dedication of “Save the Worldport,” a preservationist group co-founded in 2011 by New Jersey residents Kalev Savi and Anthony Stramaglia.

Although Savi is from New Jersey, he felt a connection to the site after growing up in an airline family. He got his first impression of the terminal at a very young age.

“I just remember approaching this enormous glass sculpture, I thought I was going into a flying saucer,” said Savi.

“It was the symbol of a new era.”

Savi started a Facebook group after being made aware of the Port Authority’s plan to demolish the terminal in order to create a parking lot for airplanes. He met Stramaglia through the group. The two have been trying to come up with renovation plans for the terminal.

“What this list really does is give legitimacy to our cause,” said Savi. “It really is a validation.”

The National Trust has listed 242 sites to date, and only a handful of those locations have been lost. “Save the Worldport” hopes the extra attention for the terminal will inspire architects, engineers and other organizations to save the site.

“We listed it because we feel it’s a significant part of aviation history, design history,” said Roberta Lane, the National Trust’s senior New York field officer and attorney. “The threat is obviously very real. We wanted to raise awareness of this threat and of this place.”

Yet the threat came closer to being realized when a bulldozer started tearing up the roadway leading to the terminal earlier this week.

“The old Pan Am Worldport terminal at JFK served this region for more than a half century, but is obsolete for 21st century aviation purposes,” said Delta and the Port Authority in a joint statement. “Unfortunately, JFK is a land-constrained airport and the choice we face is between job creation today in Queens and preservation of a facility that is no longer functional.”

The preservationist group will work together with the National Trust to continue meeting with the Port Authority about various repurposing ideas. Those include turning the terminal into a longterm rest facility for delayed visitors and bringing the retro, cool feeling back to travel.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Partly cloudy with thunderstorms and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 93. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with thunderstorms and rain showers. Low of 73. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Farmhouse Fest

Get Real presents “Farmhouse Fest” at Alewife in Long Island City on Tuesday, June 25. Ticket includes entrance to the festival unlimited tastings of Belgian, Dutch, French and American style Farmhouse craft beers; unlimited tastings of Farmhouse style wines; and tastings of Farmhouse style foods like cheeses, breads, meats & gourmet pickles all perfectly paired with featured wines and beers. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NYPD cops pinch bank robbery suspect fleeing heist of Queens Capitol One branch

An NYPD sergeant and a rookie cop on Monday nabbed a bandit suspected of robbing a string of banks in Queens and Nassau County, police sources said. Read more: New York Daily News

7-Year-Old Queens boy struck in head by pellet gun bullet

A 7-year-old Queens boy was hit in the back of the head with a bullet from a pellet gun while standing outside with his mother Monday evening, and police are searching for a suspect. Read more: NBC New York

Smoky plume At power plant draws alarm in Queens

A defective boiler was blamed for a plume of black smoke that blasted out of the “Big Allis” power plant in Queens Monday. Read more: CBS New York

$1.2M in cash goes missing from JFK-bound flight: FBI

The FBI is investigating the theft of $1.2 million in cash that was discovered missing from the cargo of a Swissair flight when it landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport late Monday, NBC 4 New York has learned. Read more: NBC New York

Kelly to Wallenda: You will not be doing an NYC skyscraper high wire act

Aerialist Nik Wallenda drew awe Sunday night as he successfully walked across the Grand Canyon without a harness, and now his sights are set on two of the most iconic buildings in New York City. Read more: CBS New York

Russia rejects US demand for Snowden’s extradition

Russia’s foreign minister bluntly rejected U.S. demands to extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, saying Tuesday that Snowden hasn’t crossed the Russian border. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy with thunderstorms and rain showers in the afternoon. Fog early. High of 93. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Monday night: Partly cloudy with thunderstorms and rain showers. Low of 75. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Central Astoria’s Independence Celebration

Central Astoria Local Development Coalition’s annual event on the Astoria Park Lawn will feature the Queens Symphony Orchestra, followed by a fireworks display. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police in Flushing investigate sexual assault at a spa

Police are investigating a reported sexual assault at a spa in Queens. Read more: ABC New York

JFK Airport roadway collapse injures construction worker

A construction worker was slightly injured Sunday when he was struck by falling debris during the demolition of the vacant Terminal 3 at Kennedy Airport. Read more: New York Daily News

Girl taken from Queens found, father arrested in Memphis

A 4-year-old girl was found safe Sunday in Memphis, after being taken by her biological father two days earlier in Queens. Read more: CBS New York

Lawmakers approve speed cameras for New York City

New York’s state Legislature completed its 2013 session by approving cameras to catch speeders in New York City, four Las Vegas-type casinos for upstate and tax-free zones to attract employers. Read more: AP

Report: NSA leaker Edward Snowden avoids extradition, bound for Ecuador

A former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for revealing highly classified surveillance programs has been allowed to leave for a “third country” because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law, the territory’s government said Sunday. Read more: CBS New York/AP

‘Difficult time’: Nelson Mandela in critical condition in hospital

Nelson Mandela remained in critical condition on Monday, after his condition deteriorated in hospital over the weekend. Read more: NBC News 

Op-Ed: More airport terminal gates = More Queens jobs


| oped@queenscourier.com

BY SETH BORNSTEIN

In late May, Delta Airlines officially opened nine more gates at JFK’s Terminal 4. This is great news for the borough of Queens and our on-going efforts to create, retain and attract jobs.

Here at the Queens Economic Development Corporation, where I serve as executive director, we offer numerous business- services programs that provide counseling; train people to get proper licenses and permits; coordinate commercial revitalization programs to upgrade our commercial neighborhoods; operate the Entrepreneur Space, a business incubator for small food businesses; and run the Queens Tourism Council, which promotes our cultural and recreational venues.

However, the most overlooked economic development program in Queens is not offered by my office. Rather, that program consists of our two Queens airports: LaGuardia and JFK.

The two airports are the unsung heroes of job creation and retention in Queens — with over 50 percent of airport employees being borough residents. That’s why so many of us know someone connected to the airports — whether it’s a friend who is a gate agent, a relative who works at a hotel or a neighbor who runs a catering company that supplies an airline.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which operates LGA, JFK, Newark and two additional regional airports, generates close to 500,000 jobs, $25.6 billion in wages and $65 billion in total economic activity. In Queens, LaGuardia generates over 100,000 jobs, about $5 billion in wages and almost $14 billion in total economic activity. JFK generates more than twice the number of jobs and wages as LGA — thanks to the large cargo presence, with a total of over $30 billion in economic activity.

The simple fact is that more gates at JFK means more jobs for Queens. The Port Authority estimates that for every 1 million passengers the airports serve, 4,100 jobs are created annually in the region. These are direct airport jobs as well as jobs in the myriad of businesses in and around the airport, including restaurants, florist shops, car rentals, gas stations, uniform manufacturers and retail establishments, as well as the tourism industry. And the people of Queens have benefited from this more than any other county.

Additionally, the Port Authority awards hundreds of contracts every year to New York-based firms for work at LGA and JFK. Last year alone totaled $68.5 million. Since the implementation of the Queens Air Service Development Office, which was founded at the QEDC over 25 years ago, the borough has been awarded nearly 7,000 contracts, totaling approximately $1.1 billion to Queens-based operations. Organizations such as All Lock and Glass Service Inc. of Long Island City, Glenridge Fabrications of Ridgewood, Solar Insulation Company Inc. of Maspeth and Capital Contractors Inc. of Douglaston. In addition, many small and minority-owned businesses have taken advantage of the Air Services Office.

Unfortunately, the future of this highly successful airport jobs program is in jeopardy. This is because our region’s airports are facing severe capacity limitations that will only get worse in the coming decades.

A critical component of the effort to increase airport capacity is the implementation of technological advances needed to bring our airspace into the 21st century. This is why QEDC was a founding member of the National Coalition to Advance NextGen. NextGen is a complete overhaul of the national airspace system, from the air traffic control system to its airports, using 21st-century, satellitebased technologies, operational improvements and new procedures. The system includes never-before-attempted innovations designed to ensure future safety, capacity and environmental goals.

Portions of NextGen are already in place or being tested around the country, including in New York. Working together, New York area airports and airlines including United and jetBlue, have initiated improvements that permit some flights to fly more precise, direct paths that preserve safety, save time, save fuel and lower emissions. These changes will help ease delays and cancellations, which will in turn ensure that LGA and JFK continue to serve as engines for job growth for Queens and all of New York City.

Seth Bornstein is executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation

 

 

JFK Airport workers want a living wage


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photo/THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Security workers at John F. Kennedy International Airport find themselves in limbo – between terminals and supporting families on minimum wage.

“Nobody cares about our guys in the airport,” said Lorrington McKenzie who works traffic security outside the terminals.

McKenzie, along with other security officers, gets paid $8 an hour. He has not gotten a raise since he started working at JFK nearly four years ago.

To support his wife and three children, ages 10, 6 and 1, McKenzie has resorted to pawning anything and everything, including his wedding ring. He said he is also considering getting a second job on top of working full time at the airport.

“It’s tough,” he said. “I’m struggling.”

McKenzie said not having paid sick days adds to the “terrible conditions” of his job.

He is in charge of monitoring traffic coming in and out of the arrivals section and said drivers have gotten hostile in the past.

“They’re not allowed to sit in the terminal and wait for passengers. It’s for safety purposes,” he said. “But they get angry and frustrated when they have to drive around.”

Once, when he turned his back, he said, a driver punched him from behind.

“I was a little shaky,” he recalled. “I told Port Authority. But nothing came out of it.”

The Port Authority is responsible for contracts with private security firms that guard JFK.

Terminal 3, where McKenzie worked, closed after JFK opened a new terminal. Since then, McKenzie has not had a stable position. His company’s officials said he could be subject to a pay cut, or even lose his job altogether.

“The [job market] is all about who knows who,” he said. “I can’t just go out and get another job.”

Shah Rahman, another security guard, has not received a raise since he started working at the airport.

“The wage is quite insufficient,” he said. “It was good 10 years ago. But since that time, living expenses have risen. The minimum wage is not good for now.”

Rahman said he cannot afford to pay all of his living expenses. His wife and daughter both work part-time, but it’s still a struggle. His 23-year-old daughter is starting college soon, and the expenses will continue.

“Sometimes I have to borrow money from others,” Rahman said. “We have demanded raising our wages and paid sick days, but the company has not yet accepted our demands.”

The Port Authority did not return requests for comment as of press time.

 

CORRECTION**Lorrington McKenzie and Shah Rahman are non-union members working at JFK Airport. They are not members of local union SEIU 32BJ as previously reported. We regret the error.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain, then a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 79. Breezy. Winds from the SW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 64. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: A Mouse in the City: A Puppet Musical of ‘Ginormouse’ Proportions

Starting at 4 p.m. children ages 3-13 years old can enjoy a performance of “A Mouse in the City: A Puppet Musical of ‘Ginormouse’ Proportions.” The show follows the tale of a mouse on his journey to the big city. Taking place at the Flushing Library at 41-17 Main Street. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Father and son attacked by pit bull mix

A father and son were viciously attacked by a pit bull mix in Queens. Read more: ABC New York

Huntley: I’m still AG Schneiderman’s target even though I’m prison-bound

Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley may be headed to federal prison, but she claims state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman isn’t through with her yet. Read more: New York Daily News 

New York City soda ban appeal heads to court Tuesday

The next step in the not-so-sweet battle over New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s war against obesity moves to a state appellate court Tuesday. Read more: AP

Sleeping guards at JFK raise major red flags about security

Protecting some of the world’s most strategically important sites in the New York area – including the airports, bridges and the new World Trade Center and memorial site – is a matter of vital concern and large sums of money. Read more: CBS New York

Scientists warn of larger flood zone, extreme heat for NYC

The projections paint an unsettling picture of New York’s future: A city where by the 2050s, 800,000 people could be living in a flood zone that would cover a quarter of the land, and there are as many 90-degree days as is now normal for Birmingham, Ala. Read more: AP

Federal government to comply with order allowing morning after pill for all ages

The federal government on Monday told a judge in Brooklyn that it will reverse course, and take steps to comply with his order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast. High of 55. Breezy. Winds from the ENE at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 30 mph shifting to the North in the afternoon. Monday night: Overcast in the evening, then mostly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 43. Breezy. Winds from the ENE at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Better Homes

SculptureCenter is pleased to announce the group exhibition Better Homes. The exhibit brings together a group of artists who examine the construction of the interior through design and homemaking from critical perspectives. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Boston marks week from Marathon bombs with silence

Seven days after the Boston Marathon bombings, the city planned to mark the traumatic week with mournful silence and a return to its bustling commute. Read more: AP

CBS News: Boston bombing suspect conscious, talking to authorities

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was conscious Sunday night, and was responding in writing to authorities, CBS News has confirmed with law enforcement officials. Read more: CBSNewYork/AP

First real test of FAA furloughs

Experts say the first real test of FAA furloughs is Monday. Read more: Fox New York/AP

NYPD: JFK terminal all clear after report of suspicious package

The NYPD bomb squad has given the all clear after a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport was briefly evacuated Sunday afternoon because of a suspicious package. Read more: NBC New York

Security remains tight in New York City after Boston bombings

New York City remains on high alert despite the capture of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. Read more: ABC New York

All-electric cabs hit New York City streets Monday

New York City’s taxi of tomorrow won’t be on the streets for another six months, but one way to mark Earth Day is to show off the coming technology. Read more: ABC New York

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast in the morning, then mostly cloudy. High of 64. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy. Low of 50. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: “Every Day Is a Holiday” 

Starting at 6 p.m., come view the film “Every Day is a Holiday” at the Flushing Library. Join filmmaker Theresa Loong for a discussion and screening of her film (in English with Chinese subtitles) that tells the story of a Chinese prisoner of war, taken by the Japanese, and his quest to become a United States citizen. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Bombs used in Boston Marathon attack said to be made from pressure cookers

One of the explosive devices used in the bombings of the Boston Marathon appeared to have been in a metal pressure cooker packed with nails and ball bearings, CBS News reported. Read more: CBS New York/AP

John Liu campaign fund-raisers begin corruption conspiracy trial

The conspiracy trial of two allies to mayoral hopeful John Liu opened Tuesday with federal prosecutors casting the pair as crooks bent on skirting campaign finance laws. Read more: New York Daily News

Over 5,000 register for NYC bike sharing program

New York City’s Department of Transportation says more than 5,000 people have registered this week for a bike-sharing program that launches in May. Read more: Fox New York/AP

JFK Airport finch pincher Marlon Hariram gets 6 months in prison

A birdbrained smuggler nabbed at Kennedy Airport with nine singing finches from Guyana hidden up his sleeve was sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison. Read more: New York Daily News

Cuomo holds steady in poll but fares poorly on corruption

Gov. Cuomo can exhale. A new poll shows his job approval ratings held steady between March and April after dropping since he signed New York’s controversial new gun control law in January. Read more: New York Post

Pat Summerall voice of NFL dies at 82

Pat Summerall, the NFL player-turned-broadcaster whose deep, resonate voice called games for more than 40 years, has died at the age of 82. Read more: ABC New York/AP

Boxing champ arrested at JFK for gun possession


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

A professional boxer is getting ready for a fight with the judicial system after being arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Robert Guerrero, current WBC welterweight champion, was arrested on Thursday after he presented a locked gun box to a JFK ticket agent containing a pistol and three high capacity bullet magazines, all of which were unloaded at the time.

Guerrero is charged with one count of criminal possession of a firearm and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

“I hope that Mr. Guerrero fights better than he thinks. For anyone who hasn’t gotten the message, let me be crystal clear. You cannot bring an unlicensed weapon – loaded or unloaded – into this county or this city. And if you do you will be arrested and face felony charges,” Brown said in a statement.

Earlier this year, New York passed the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, one of the strictest gun laws passed in the country. Under the law, it is a penalty to illegally possess an unloaded firearm in the state.

“It is therefore more important than ever that if a passenger chooses to travel with a weapon, they should first acquaint themselves with the weapon laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting and comply with any and all legal requirements,” Brown said. “Otherwise, they may find themselves being arrested and charged with a felony, as is what occurred in this case.”

Guerrero, 30 of Gilroy, California,was released on his own recognizance and will appear in court on May 14. If convicted he faces up to seven years in prison.

 

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Man accused of sexually assaulting Queens woman arrested at JFK with stun gun


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

A 23-year old Greek national was arrested on charges of sexual assaulting a Queens woman, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced.

The defendant, Promdromos Vasilopoulos, of Athens, was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport while trying to board a plane to London. Vasilopoulos was found with a stun gun, which the Queens DA believes was used during the attack.

The unnamed victim is a former girlfriend of Vasilopoulos. According to District Attorney Richard Brown, Vasilopoulos made approximately 200 calls to the victim, during a one-week period, in which he said she would pay for breaking up with him.

“The facts alleged in this case chronicle a frightening ordeal of mental, physical and sexual violence,” Brown said. “Hopefully, the young woman who was brutally victimized will rest easier in knowing that her alleged rapist has been brought to justice and will be vigorously prosecuted.”

According to Brown, Vasilopoulos knocked on the door of the woman’s residence and jolted her with a stun gun on her neck and stomach.

Vasilopoulos reportedly then proceeded to attack and sexually assault the woman.

The woman was treated at a local hospital for her injuries.

Vasilopoulos is being charged with one criminal complaint with predatory sexual assault, first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, strangulation and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and in a second complaint with second-degree aggravated harassment and second-degree harassment. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

 

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Shake Shack coming to JFK


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of SSP America

Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport is about to get a “shake” up.

City favorites Shake Shack and Blue Smoke will soon set up shop in the terminal as it goes under renovation, announced food and beverage operator SSP America. The first phase of the restaurant upgrades will be ready by May 2013.

The expansion will cost $28 million and is partially inspired by a larger Delta Airlines expansion at the terminal.

“These new restaurant offerings, which complement the exciting renovations made by SSP  just a few years ago, demonstrate that Terminal 4 is again raising the bar, “said Alain Maca, president of JFK Airport.

Along with offshoots of the popular NYC hotspots, other new eateries include: Uptown Brasserie, Street Food by Marcus Samuelsson, La Brea Bakery, Dunkin’ Donuts, Central Diner, McDonald’s, Le Grand Comptoir, Asobu, Camden food co., The Palm Bar & Grille and Buffalo Wild Wings.

 

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Pilot spots drone near JFK


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

Look up in the air! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…a drone?

An Alitalia pilot reported sighting a drone near his jumbo jet Monday afternoon has he neared JFK Airport, according to news sources. Now federal agents are investigating who the drone belonged to, and what it was doing just about three miles from the airport.

While the reported mini-aircraft did not come too close to the plane, or cause any damage, other pilots nearing the airport were warned, it was reported.

“We saw a drone,” the pilot told the control tower. “A drone aircraft.”

It has not been confirmed if the drone belongs to the military or a hobbyist, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is not taking the siting lightly. FAA and FBI agents are investigating the source of the one-meter aircraft.

Personal drone owners are capped off at flying their aircraft at 400 feet, according to The LA Times. The Alitalia pilot, however, reported seeing the drone at about 1,500 feet.

 

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