Tag Archives: Jonah Cohen

Lone road into Hamilton Beach to get major repairs


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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BY ANGELA MATUA

Hamilton Beach residents will soon see an end to the roller coaster they have been experiencing when driving through 104th Street.

Representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOT) said they would finally get started on repairing the road, which residents have been demanding for years.

Work is anticipated to start in the fall of this year and will include roadway resurfacing, according to a representative.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will fund the repairs since they decided the damage was a result of Hurricane Sandy, though Hamilton Beach Civic Association President Roger Gendron said the damage was done well before the storm.

According to Gendron, the DOT told residents that 104th Street would be included in its 10-year capital project plan in 2010. Repairs were never made and after the superstorm hit, the potholes and cracks grew bigger.

“I don’t want to say we were lied to, but we weren’t told the truth,” Gendron said.

Everyone who enters and exits Hamilton Beach must drive through 104th Street, making the street even more dangerous since people sometimes swerve to avoid potholes, Gendron said.

Buses also run through 104th Street, and potholes formed near the bus stops. Additionally, there is no sidewalk where riders can wait to board, so they are forced to wait on the street.

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Betty Braton, chairwoman of Community Board 10 says the repairs are “long overdue.”

“The community has had to put up with conditions not conducive to safe driving because of the potholes and the ripples in the street,” Bratton said. “It’s not been a good situation for this community.”

Gendron said the DOT has filled a few potholes but the work has not been substantial enough. The DOT has conducted a number of street resurfacing projects for Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach’s neighbor, but this is the first time residents here have heard concrete information about repairs.

“This is a giant step forward,” Gendron said. “We’ve never heard about a project until now.”

The West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department is located right off of 104th Street and Chief Jonah Cohen said when volunteers come to department headquarters, they end up hitting potholes and run the risk of damaging their cars.

Something as important as responding to a call should not require so much effort on the part of the driver, Gendron said.

“Me, getting milk and bread, I can take my time,” Gendron said. “They’re going to respond to a call, time is of an essence. To have to think about where am I driving, what side of the street am I driving on, is anybody coming? It’s a no-brainer to me [that] you shouldn’t have to think like that.”

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Sandy’s heroes celebrate 85 years of service


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

While the night marked 85 years of serving its community, the West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department dedicated its annual dinner/dance to all of those who pitched in during Sandy — particularly the men and women who were on duty that night.

Volunteers, friends, family and local leaders celebrated another year of community service on Thursday, January 31 at Russo’s on the Bay. State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Councilmember Eric Ulrich were special honorees, along with former Assemblymember Audrey Pfeffer and former State Senator Serphin Maltese. “Our own firehouse took more than five feet of water, destroying every piece of apparatus we own, and caused extensive damage to the building and equipment,” said treasurer and former chief Mitch Udewitch. “Even during our nightmare, we continued to serve our community, as the new Howard Beach Civic Association began using the department building as a food pantry, a soup kitchen [and a] clothing drop off for area residents. As the devastation became clear, members of the community began stepping forward and helping.”

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, the night’s presiding officer, swore in new and returning members of the fire department, including Chief Jonah Cohen, who has served a number of terms in the position.

The Howard Beach Kiwanis Club gave a $1,000 contribution to the firehouse. Several donations have been made to the department in the months after the storm. A slew of fire companies from around the country gave equipment, fire trucks and ambulances to the West Hamilton Beach department after its entire arsenal was damaged by flood waters. In December, Duane Reade/Walgreens donated $25,000, which Cohen said would probably go toward a new ambulance.

 

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Ozone Park Kiwanis gets new president


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Nick Beneduce

Victor Rodriguez, a plumbing supply owner, has taken over as president of the Ozone Park Kiwanis Club, succeeding Jonah Cohen, who had been the club’s leader for the last two years.

Rodriguez had been a vice president of the club for about the last year, Cohen said, and had run a number of events for the Kiwanis.

“He happens to be a very, very nice guy,” Cohen said. “I think he will be an asset to the organization. He’s a good leader.”

Rodriguez received the Kiwanis’ “Member of the Year” award on Saturday, September 29 at the club’s comedy show.