Tag Archives: JFK International Airport

JFK AirTrain to partially shut down from September 7 through mid-October


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photo

JFK International Airport’s AirTrain service will be partially shut down from September 7 through mid-October.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) will provide a free bus fleet from the AirTrain’s Jamaica and Howard Beach rail stations to Federal Circle for transfer to buses and terminals.

Customer Care representatives will then help guide travelers to their destinations.

The 10-year-old AirTrain line is set to get a “system-wide overhaul” which will replace track switches, the system’s operational software and train control equipment, according to PANYNJ.

PANYNJ additionally said September is one of the airport’s lighter travel months, and doing the work during this time will ideally minimize any traveler inconvenience.

For a tentative schedule of the shut down period and any updates, visit panynj.gov/airports/jfk-airtrain.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Overcast with a chance of rain, then a chance of rain in the afternoon. Fog early. High of 79. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain. Fog overnight. Low of 68. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

EVENT of the DAY: Hammer, Chisel, Drill: Noguchi’s Studio Practice

Hammer, Chisel, Drill: Noguchi’s Studio Practice opens today at The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City. The exhibit explores the working process of Japanese-American artist  Isamu Noguchi during his five studio periods from the 1940s until his death in 1988. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens teacher scolded for student-inmate cards

A teacher has received a warning letter from the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board for assigning her fifth graders to write Christmas cards to an inmate. Read more: NBC New York

School sends home bixsexual Queens student who wears ‘I enjoy vagina’ T-shirt

A Queens high school sent a student home Tuesday, saying her “I enjoy vagina” T-shirt was a distraction — but the bisexual teen says administrators are trouncing her free speech. Read more: New York Daily News

American Airlines: Improperly installed clamps to blame for loose seats

The American Airlines seat scare has expanded to a third flight. Some have suspected sabotage, but on Tuesday surfaced a new theory on what’s causing the loose seats. CBS New York

L.I. Police catch alligator in parking lot

A runaway alligator — now in the hands of animal officials on Long Island. Police were called to a Pathmark parking lot on Grand Avenue in Baldwin just before 8:00pm Tuesday night, where the 3-foot gator was spotted running loose. Read more: ABC New York

New York’s proposed council map is called unfair to minority groups

East Harlem would be split in two, and represented by two New York City Council members, including one from the Bronx. Two neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens with fast-growing Asian-American populations would be quartered, making it much more likely that the areas would continue to lack Asian-American elected voices.  Read more: New York Times

First debate sets up moment of high-risk theater

President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney come face to face for the first time in this presidential campaign Wednesday night for a nationally televised debate that will give millions of Americans a chance to size up two fierce competitors in a moment of high-risk theater. Read more: AP

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of rain, then rain in the afternoon. High of 73. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Tuesday night: Overcast with rain, then a chance of rain after midnight. Fog overnight. Low of 64. Winds from the ESE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

EVENT of the DAY: An Evening with Don Francisco, Celebrating 50 Years of Sábado Gigante

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with Don Francisco —a.k.a. Mario Kreutzberger. In a rare New York appearance, the variety show host will participate in an intimate discussion with a special guest moderator and show a selection of unforgettable clips from his Saturday night show’s 50-year history presented by Univisión. Sábado Gigante is the longest-running variety show in television history, and Don Francisco has been there from the beginning, hosting more than 2,600 episodes. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Girl struck by stray bullet while doing homework returns home for rally

A Queens community is saying enough is enough to gun violence after a teenager was shot while doing homework. Read more: CBS New  York

College student starts petition for Metro-North stop in Queens

A college student from Queens has launched a petition urging the MTA to open a Metro-North station in Queens. Quinnipiac University sophomore Ali Fadil, 18, of Whitestone, began collecting signatures about two weeks ago after he learned the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was looking at running trains on Metro-North’s New Haven line through western Queens. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens men get 6 1/2 years for role in fatal 2010 stabbing

Two Queens men were thrown in prison today for their role in the death of a good Samaritan who came to the aid of a transgender man the pair were bothering. Read more: New York Post

Second American Airlines flight returns to JFK after row of seats comes loose

Planes have been grounded and the feds are now investigating American Airlines. The Federal Aviation Administration is probing two separate instances of rows of airplane seats dislodging in mid-air. Read more: CBS New York

New Brooklyn arena serves as a test: Will fans accept smaller sodas?

At the amenity-laden Barclays Center in Brooklyn, hungry concertgoers can dine on fresh-from-Maine lobster rolls, gourmet barbecue brisket and slices of cheesecake from Junior’s on nearby Flatbush Avenue. Read more: New York Times

Candidates prep for debates; No. 2s campaign

The presidential candidates are leaving the heavy lifting of campaigning to their running mates Tuesday as they spend one more day preparing for their first debate, scheduled for Wednesday night. Read more: ABC New York/AP

 

Queens Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com


DMV puts brakes on dealer 

A Queens used-car dealer will be driving off into the sunset — unless a judge overturns sanctions from the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Auto Palace of Woodside was hit with two rulings: One would suspend its business certificate for 90 days; the other would revoke it permanently. Read more: [New York Post]

Queens’ controversial Triumph of Civic Virtue monument could be in line for a long-delayed facelift.

A crumbling, controversial monument on the grounds of Queens Borough Hall may finally get a long-delayed facelift. The Triumph of Civic Virtue, which has courted legions of supporters and detractors for almost 100 years, has been fenced off. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Wounded heroes in the family 

These brothers don’t run from trouble. The older brother of the NYPD cop who arrested a neighborhood punk yesterday despite two gunshot wounds took a bullet himself in 2006 while nabbing two bank robbers who tried to carjack him in Queens. Read more: [New York Post] 

TSA PO’d over plug outrage 

Now they’re electrified. One day after a dim-bulb worker caused chaos at JFK Airport by failing to notice a metal detector was unplugged, the TSA cracked down on its security screeners at the international aviation hub yesterday. Read more: [New York Post] 

Afternoon Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

The-Afternoon-Roundup17

JFK Terminal Reopens After Metal Detector Malfunction.

Things are back to normal at JFK Airport after a terminal had to be evacuated Saturday morning. The Transportation Security Administration closed Terminal 7 for about two hours after TSA workers discovered that a metal detector malfunctioned, which meant a number of people went through security without being properly screened. Read more: [NY1]

First graduates of East Elmhurst experimental magnet school plan 30 year reunion  

There’s always been a positive attraction, no matter how far they’ve strayed. The inaugural class of The Louis Armstrong Middle School/Intermediate School 227 — one of the city’s first experimental magnet schools — was so smitten with their education that they plan to reunite three decades later. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Queens Residents Turn Weapons In To Police Through Buyback Program 

Police collected more than 50 weapons during a gun buyback in Queens Saturday. The New York City Police Department said 55 weapons were turned in at St. Benedict the Moor Church in Jamaica, including 19 semi-automatic handguns. Read more: [NY1]

Mets Adopt Live Chicken as Mascot – Then name it Little Jerry Seinfeld

It’s a call to the bullpen. Mets reliever Tim Byrdak turned the team’s luxurious clubhouse into a chicken coop this weekend — buying an $8 hen in Chinatown that he kept stashed at Citi Field for the Subway Series.  “We originally called him ‘Little Derek Jeter,’ ” Byrdak said before last night’s game. Read more: [New York Post]

Avatars coming to New York airports to aid fliers


| sLieberman@queenscourier.com

AVAACIFullw

Her name is AVA, and soon she will guide you through New York’s airports. She is a hard worker, requires no breaks, is never sick, and is completely content distributing the same information over and over again for 24 hours, seven days a week.

AVA is an avatar — a 2D video image of a woman on a screen.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has recently purchased three prototypes of these avatars, produced by airportONE.com of Airus Media for a six-month trial period. Each one costs $180,000.

This initiative hopes to perfect future air travel and provide a solution to airport traffic. These avatars will be virtual representatives, programmed on a motion-activated loop to give you instructions on where to pick up your bags, where to catch your flight, and how to be fully prepared to efficiently go through security.

L. Patrick Bienvenu, Chief Operations Officer at Airus Media, said that people typically don’t pay attention to regular signs.

“They will pay attention to an avatar because she is so new,” said Bienvenu. “Also, the avatar can provide a consistent and clear message where a human may not.”

Newark Liberty International Airport has already unveiled one of its avatars, while LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International are set to begin their trial run of the virtual assistants in early July.

These additions are part of a bigger movement that the Port Authority has begun to revamp New York City’s airports. This effort includes the $3.6 billion project to turn LaGuardia’s Central Terminal Building, opened in 1964, into a 21st century terminal. The Port Authority will also be increasing its Customer Care Representative force by 20 percent.

“The Port Authority is seeking novel as well as traditional ways to improve customer service,” said Ron Marsico, a Port Authority spokesperson. “The avatars will supplement the ‘human touch.’”

In terms of AVA’s future, “The sky’s the limit,” says Bienvenu, the avatar’s designer.

“In the future AVA will be able to respond to basic questions,” he said. “Think of ‘SIRI,’ the technology is there.”

For now, AVA is motion activated and begins her instructional loop when approached. When no one is directly in front of her she stands in slight motion, “Just so you know she’s alive.”

 

JetBlue expansion at JFK will bring jobs


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of JetBlue

More than 1,000 jobs are expected to come from a green-lit terminal expansion at JFK International Airport, the Port Authority and JetBlue announced last week.

The expansion will add 145,000-square-feet on three levels to the already 635,000-square-feet JetBlue occupies in Terminal 5. The new terminal will be called T5i and handle international flights and house a federal customs station — eliminating the need for customs inspections at Terminal 4 — according to JetBlue.

Port Authority Chair David Samson complimented the airline on its service and its commitment to the area.

“The JetBlue agreement is another great example of the agency’s efforts to partner with the private sector to provide for our region’s transportation infrastructure needs, while creating high-paying construction jobs and spurring further long-term economic activity in New York and New Jersey,” he said.

Along with the expected 1,090 jobs, the project is expected to bring in $74 million in wages and $325 million from economic activity over the duration, the Port Authority said. The project is expected to begin this summer; completion is expected by either 2014 or 2015. A price tag for the expansion has not yet been set.

Executives of Long Island City-based JetBlue said they were happy to continue expanding at JFK.

“We’re excited to move forward with our plans to further expand our presence at JFK and to create a seamless travel experience for our customers transferring from international flights, and would like to thank the Port Authority for their approval and on-going support,” said vice president of Corporate Real Estate Richard Smyth.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Police Bust 14 In Queens, Brooklyn Auto Theft Ring

If you own a specific type of luxury SUV, you could have been the target of a sophisticated car theft ring. The New York City Police Department and Attorney General’s office announced the arrest of 14 people Wednesday in a sting they’re calling Operation EZ Steal. Read more: [NY1]

 

A Whitestone tradition in danger of disappearing 

 

A Memorial Day tradition in Whitestone is in danger of disappearing. The Whitestone Veterans Memorial Day Parade has hit tough times, with organizers barely able to fund this year’s event. Some residents are worried it may become the last. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

Board Threatens To Disband NYRA Amid Pay Out Scandal

 

State regulators are threatening to replace the New York Racing Association amid allegations the entity cheated bettors out of millions of dollars. The state’s Racing and Wagering Board is blasting the agency for holding back $8.5 million in winnings and is now considering reorganizing all of NYRA which operates the tracks at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga. Read more: [NY1]

 

JFK Airport Cargo Worker Accused Of Stealing From Care Packages Meant For Troops Overseas

 

A cargo worker at John F. Kennedy Airport is accused of stealing from care packages meant for U.S. troops serving overseas. Investigators said the theft was discovered when the suspect was caught wearing one of the stolen items. Read more: [1010WINS]

 

Like they never Met

Guess he’s still more of a Wally the Green Monster kinda guy. Mayor Bloomberg seemed to give Mr. Met the cold shoulder at City Hall yesterday as he announced that next year’s MLB All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field. Read more: [New York Post]

 

Queens College students plant one of the city’s biggest apple orchards on campus

 

Where most Queens College students saw an empty field, senior Grace Magee imagined a place where an undergrad could pluck a low-hanging piece of fruit on her way to class. She suggested to school administrators last month that the campus partner with an initiative that plants Newtown Pippin and other apple tree types in New York’s public spaces. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Sun News Briefs


| mchan@queenscourier.com


Pol: Save Jamaica Bay from runway expansion

SOUTHERN QUEENS —

Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder recently sent a letter to Port Authority executives, urging them to reject proposals to expand the runway at JFK International Airport into Jamaica Bay.

Port Authority executives introduced a plan back in February 2011 which included filling in a significant part of Jamaica Bay.

“This plan has the potential to affect local neighborhoods and a wildlife refuge,” Goldfeder said. “Air traffic has greatly increased in recent years, and I understand the need for expansion, but this proposal has too many negative implications.”

Goldfeder said runway expansion into the bay has both environmental and economic risks. The area, he said, serves as one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the northeast and is home to more than 60 species of butterflies and an array of reptiles and fish. In addition, many local businesses rely on the bay, he said, and residents who enjoy the park would see the space reduced.

“The public has really made their opinion quite clear on the issue. They do not want any part of Jamaica Bay destroyed,” Goldfeder said.

Instead, the assemblymember urged the agency to explore different, potential solutions that he said would “accomplish the same goal with less impact on our local families and environment.”

According to Goldfeder, the 400-acre parcel of wetlands and shoreline in question was designated as a wildlife refuge, park and recreation area in 1972 by the National Parks System. Congressional approval would be necessary to fill it in, as federal law specifically prohibits any airport expansion in the protected zone, he said. An environmental study of the area stated that any further man-made incursion would “diminish a national environment asset for future generations,” said Goldfeder.

“Jamaica Bay is an incredible natural resource that deserves our protection,” he said.

 

Night of comedy at Church Hall

OZONE PARK —

The Nativity BVM and St. Stan’s Parish will present a “Night of Comedy” on Saturday, March 24 at 8 p.m. The show will take place at Nativity Church Hall, located at 101-41 91st Street, and doors will open at 7:30 p.m. There will be hot dogs, snacks and an available bar. Tickets go for $20 per person. Show officials said some material may not be suitable for minors. For more information, call Steve Jasiak at 718-551-2333.

 

Gas price gouging tactics thwarted

STATEWIDE —

The assembly has recently passed a bill that would allow victims of gas price gouging to sue violators. According to Assemblymember Mike Miller, the rising costs of oil have led to serious competition between gas distributors, causing many stations to charge outrageous amounts for a gallon of gasoline.

Miller said price gouging occurs when gas merchants continuously raise their prices over the course of a 24-hour period, dramatically increasing consumer costs without the actual price of gas going up. The “predatory practice,” he said, “allows a deceitful gas distributor to make unreasonable profits at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet.”

“As gas prices constantly fluctuate, we must make sure Queens’ families don’t fall victim to price gouging at the pumps,” said Miller. “This legislation would ban gas stations from adjusting their prices multiple times daily.”

As of March 13, the average price of gas in New York is $3.98 a gallon — 22 cents higher than the national average, said Miller, adding that in many places around the state, gas prices have exceeded $4 per gallon.

However, before the law passed, only the state’s attorney general had the power to fine or prosecute violators. Now, consumers may seek justice and compensation from dishonest merchants, Miller said.

 

Bill encourages open government

STATEWIDE —

Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder announced a new package of bills recently passed by the assembly that encourages transparency in government.

“This package of bills allows New Yorkers to have greater access to state government by increasing openness and accountability,” Goldfeder said.

Among the changes, the legislation bars government agencies from inappropriately using the copyright law to deny access to a public record and limits the time in which state agencies would have to appeal court decisions that order the release of documents, the assemblymember said.

“We need to restore the public’s trust in government. Southern Queens and Rockaway families deserve an open government that works for them,” Goldfeder said.

Cab Driver Charged With Raping Passenger May Be Linked To Second Attack


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Cab Driver Charged With Raping Passenger May Be Linked To Second Attack

Police have arrested a yellow cab driver who they say raped a passenger at knifepoint in Brooklyn last spring, and sources say he may be charged with a second attack that took place in the fall. Gurmeet Singh, 40, of Queens was arrested on Monday and now faces charges including rape, robbery, assault and sex abuse. Police say Singh picked up a 26-year-old woman on May 6 in Williamsburg and allegedly attacked her in the back seat of the cab. The woman, who had been drinking and fell asleep in the cab, woke up during the assault and found she had a knife to her throat. She was then abandoned in Downtown Manhattan, where she contacted police. Read More: NY1

Mayor’s plan to limit booze sales

First, Mayor Bloomberg went after smoking in public places. Then trans-fats, salt and sugary drinks. Now Bloomberg — known for sipping fine wine and downing a cold beer from time to time — wants to crack down on alcohol sales to curb excessive drinking, according to a provocative planning document obtained by The Post. The city Health Department’s far-reaching Partnership for a Healthier New York City initiatives proposes to slash the number of establishments in the city that sell booze. Community “transformation” grants provided under President Obama’s health-care law would help bankroll the effort. Read More: New York Post

JFK Terminal 4 expansion on schedule

After a smooth takeoff, the $1.2 billion project to expand a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFKIAT) is on track — with no foreseeable delays to its arrival destination date. Improvements to Terminal 4 — the Delta Airlines terminal, which officials say serves 10 million international passengers a year — have been underway for the past year. Upon completion in May 2013, fliers can expect to see a new mechanized baggage screening system — which officials say will expedite the process — a centralized security system on the terminal’s new fourth floor, as well as nine additional gates and a 1,500 linear foot passenger bridge to connect Terminals 2 and 4. Read More: Queens Courier

Beyoncé & Jay-Z’s $1.5M in ‘Blue’ gifts

What to get the baby that has everything — even more. Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s baby girl, Blue, has been lavished with more than $1.5 million in gifts, from a golden rocking horse to a “fantasy” crib fit for Cinderella. Blue Ivy Carter — the music world’s smallest diva — left Lenox Hill Hospital yesterday in the arms of her famous parents for home, where she’ll enjoy the priciest swag this side of Buckingham Palace. When she gets bigger, baby Blue will rock on a solid-gold, handmade horse from Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka that Jay-Z bought for $600,000. Read More: New York Post

Sparano to replace Schottenheimer as Jets offensive coordinator

Jets fans won’t have offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to kick around anymore. The Jets announced last night Schottenheimer informed them he would not return for next season. It seems unlikely he would just walk away from the two years and $3.2 million left on his contract, so it appears the two sides worked out an agreement for him to walk away instead of getting fired. Former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano, according to a source, will replace Schottenheimer.  Read More: New York Post

Genovese wiseguy Anthony Romanello lucks out, cops to gambling rap with feds 

A Genovese geezer hit the daily double Tuesday, pleading guilty to illegal gambling and winning permission from a federal judge to hang out with a mobbed-up pal who runs the famed Parkside Restaurant in Queens. Reputed capo Anthony (Rom) Romanello, 74, got lucky when a cooperating witness for the feds had a heart attack over the weekend while prosecutors were prepping him for the gangster’s trial, which was to begin this week. Read More: Daily News