Tag Archives: LaGuardia

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Cloudy. Periods of rain this morning. High 58. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain: Thursday night: Cloudy skies. Low 54. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY:  A Double Feature with Griffin Dunne: The Discoverers and After Hours

Griffin Dunne, the actor and director best known for his starring role in Martin Scorsese’s After Hours, gives one of the finest performances of his career in the bittersweet new independent comedy The Discoverers, directed by Justin Schwarz. In this special double-feature at the Museum of the Moving Image, Dunne and Schwarz appear in person to discuss and watch these films. Thursday May, 8, 7 p.m.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Plane lands safely at LaGuardia after bird strike

A United flight from Chicago to LaGuardia Airport with 140 people on board landed safely after a bird strike Wednesday morning, authorities say. Read more: NBC New York

 New video designed to stop jaywalking – before it starts

It’s catchy and cute, but a newly released video has a serious message about safety. Read more: ABC New York

Queens D.A. says rape conviction underlines the importance of DNA evidence

A Queens man has been convicted of threatening, robbing, and sexually assaulting a teenage girl. Read more: CBS New York

Schumer: Police need money for bulletproof vests

Federal funds to reimburse local police departments for the cost of bulletproof vests have fallen significantly in recent years — a trend that U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is urging Congress to reverse. Read more: New York Post

New York is the 2nd-most stressed out city

New York is the second-most stressed out city in the United States, according to a list released by real estate blog Movoto. Read more: am New York 

 

NYC airports experience most delays during recent extreme weather


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

The latest spell of extreme weather left thousands of delays and cancellations at airports across the country, but New York City area airports were hit particularly hard, according to an analysis by the Global Gateway Alliance (GGA).

From Saturday, Jan. 4 to Tuesday, Jan. 7, John F. Kennedy International (JFK), LaGuardia and Newark airports had the most delays at 5,320 and second most cancellations at 2,155. The most cancellations at the city’s airports occurred on Monday, with 706, and the most delays were on Sunday, with 1,692.

Chicago’s two major airport hubs suffered from the most cancellations at 4,655 and the second most delays at 3,134.

More than 50 percent of all flights were cancelled or delayed during the four-day period at both New York area and Chicago airports, according to GGA.

JetBlue suspended outgoing flights at, JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, and Boston’s Logan airports to catch up with weather-related delays and cancellations Monday. The airline started gradually operating again at 10 a.m. Tuesday, but wasn’t 100 percent operational until about 3 p.m. that day

“The rampant cancellations and delays we saw this week are a wake-up call for leadership to  start focusing on better airports, and they underscore why Governor [Andrew] Cuomo’s announcement  that he is taking responsibility for NYC airport modernization is so timely” said Joe Sitt, Chairman and founder of GGA. “Bad weather that causes serious disruptions in air traffic is going to happen, but it shouldn’t continually wreak havoc. Travelers should expect everyone involved in the industry to create a modern, safe and efficient aviation system, and should hold our leaders accountable for delivering.”

In Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address Wednesday he said LaGuardia is ranked as the worst airport in America.

“That is a disgrace my friends and it is unacceptable and it is going to change,” he said.

The state, he said, would assume management responsibility from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for construction at JFK and LaGuardia airports to modernize them.

The GGA is specifically calling for faster implementation of NextGen, particularly at NYC airports and other hubs; better customer service contingency planning; modernized airport terminals; and remaining focused on safety.

 

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Cuomo talks economic successes, medical marijuana in State of State


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo's Flickr

Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the go-ahead for legalizing medical marijuana, while promoting tax relief measures and touting New York’s economic successes, in his last State of the State address before running for re-election.

“In three years, [we] have reversed decades of decline,” the governor said, referring to the state’s transformation from a $10 billion deficit to the $2 billion surplus during that period.

By spending less, the state can now tax less, Cuomo said, and will do so through a $2 billion package of tax relief proposals.

A renter’s tax credit would offer a refundable personal income tax credit to those who make under $100,000.
Cuomo proposed a reform to the estate tax, which, like the federal government would exempt the first $5.25 million of a person’s estate, instead of estates valued below $1 million, as the state does now.

Additional measures would provide relief on property and business taxes, and help simplify the tax code.

As anticipated, Cuomo called for a program that would research the feasibility of medical marijuana in New York.

He will use existing statutory authority, enacting an old law which established the Antonio G. Olivieri controlled substances therapeutic research program, to launch a pilot medical marijuana research program that allows up to 20 hospitals to provide medical marijuana to patients being treated for serious illnesses.

Focusing specifically on the New York City region, Cuomo said the borough’s airports were in need of care, particularly LaGuardia, which he said was ranked as the worst airport in the country.

Cuomo proposed modernizing LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports, by having the state assume management responsibility from The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

The governor also stressed the importance of education investments in his address, particularly in technology in the classroom and universal, full-day pre-k.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing for universal, full-day pre-k in the city, which would be funded by taxing the rich.

“I think it was very promising that the governor laid it out as a goal for the whole state,” the mayor, who attended the address, said in a press conference afterwards.

When asked if there was a conflict between his proposed tax raises and Cuomo’s tax relief package, de Blasio said that the state and the city each has its “own vision” when it comes to taxes.

Cuomo, despite critics who disagree with him for the need for ethics reform, promised to continue fighting political corruption.

“There has been a string of bad acts on almost a daily basis,” he said, proposing new anti-bribery and corruption laws.

“I believe the more trust we have from the public, the more we can do.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 84. Winds from the East at 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 70. Winds from the South at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Family Movies in the Park – Glory

Check out a free film screening of Glory, a dramatic account of the Civil War’s first all-black regiment, led by northern white commander Colonel Robert Gould Shaw at Baisley Pond Park at 8 p.m. This movie is based on the idealistic, privileged Shaw’s Civil War letters. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Anthony Weiner stays in race, new campaign ad

New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner has released a new campaign video saying he won’t quit the race. Read more: AP

Advocacy group: MTA fares could jump to $3.75 in a decade

It is only a projection, but an advocacy group warned Tuesday that if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority goes on raising fares as it has the past two times, a single subway or bus ride could cost $3.75 in 10 years. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Queens physician charged with being a Dr. Feelgood, selling Oxycodone prescriptions

A Queens doctor was busted Tuesday for allegedly acting more like a dealer than a healer — taking money for prescriptions for painkillers without examining patients, officials said. Read more: New York Daily News

Coalition formed to oppose Spitzer’s campaign

Business leaders, women’s groups and labor unions have joined forces in an effort to convince voters that former governor Eliot Spitzer would be a poor choice for New York City comptroller. Read more: AP

Montreal-bound American Eagle flight out of LaGuardia makes emergency landing upstate

An American Eagle flight that departed LaGuardia Airport bound for Montreal Tuesday made an emergency landing at an upstate airport after smoke was reported in the cockpit and cabin. Read more: New York Daily News

U.S. military judge to hear arguments in Manning sentencing

The trial of Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier found guilty on 19 counts of handing over classified data to WikiLeaks, is scheduled to move into the sentencing phase on Wednesday. Read more: Reuters

Near collision over Queens points to increased air traffic: pol


| mchan@queenscourier.com


Two planes nearly collided over Queens as one aircraft took off and another was completing a landing, officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a June 13 incident in which a Delta Airlines Boeing 747 regional jet arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 2:40 p.m. came perilously close to a Shuttle America Embraer E170 flight departing from LaGuardia Airport.

The planes were turning away from each other when they lost the required three mile separation between them, the agency said in a statement.

Both landed safely, though according to published reports, the two aircraft were at one point only 200 feet apart vertically and about half a mile horizontally.

The FAA said flight routes approved in December “ensure the required three-mile separation” between JFK arrivals and LaGuardia departures while using a new, precise navigation system.

But State Senator Tony Avella said the close call was a warning sign of public safety hazards to come if the administration continues to increase air traffic over the city.

“This latest incident is indicative of this danger,” the lawmaker said. “Unfortunately, if the FAA continues to pursue this goal, near misses could become more common and lead to truly tragic events.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then overcast with rain showers. High of 46. Winds from the SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Tuesday night: Overcast with a chance of snow and rain showers in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 30F with a windchill as low as 23. Breezy. Winds from the West at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 80%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Open-Mic Storytelling Show at The Creek & the Cave

Every Tuesday at The Creek & the Cave in Long Island City, Jake Hart (The Moth, Nights of Our Lives, Local Stories) hosts an open-mic storytelling show from 7-9 p.m. No themes, no judges, and you get 8 minutes to tell whatever true story you want. Plus, special guest storytellers! Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens NYPD sergeant arrested for allegedly having child porn on computer

A 15-year veteran of the NYPD from Queens has been arrested for allegedly having child pornography on his computer, according to police and published reports. Read more: Queens Courier

NFL lineman Da’Quan Bowers flagged for gun at LaGuardia

A muscle-bound NFL lineman was busted at La Guardia Airport yesterday for packing a powerful .40-caliber handgun in a carry-on bag as he tried to board a flight, authorities said. Read more: New York Post

Walcott: City school buses ready to roll

City education officials say they are ready for regular school bus service to resume Wednesday. Read more: NY1

Subway heroes save stranger who fell onto tracks

Three men jumped onto the subway tracks to save a man who fell off a Manhattan platform early Sunday, barely avoiding the next train rolling into the station. Read more: NBC New York

Four-legged victims of Superstorm Sandy still looking for homes

Cinnamon, a friendly, one-eyed dog plucked off the streets of Rockaway after Superstorm Sandy, is trying to settle into her new digs in upstate New York. Read more: New York Daily News

Oscar Pistorius charged with premeditated murder

Olympian Oscar Pistorius fired into the door of a small bathroom where his girlfriend was cowering after a shouting match on Valentine’s Day, hitting her three times, a South African prosecutor said Tuesday as he charged the sports icon with premeditated murder. Read more: ABC New York

Certain television fare can help ease aggression in young children, study finds

Experts have long known that children imitate many of the deeds — good and bad — that they see on television. But it has rarely been shown that changing a young child’s viewing habits at home can lead to improved behavior. Read more: New York Times

 

Queens’ Morning


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 43. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the West in the afternoon. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 37. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Much Ado About Nothing

On opening night of Much Ado About Nothing at The Secret Theatre in LIC, patrons receive chocolates, a rose and two glasses of pink bubbly in a two-for-$30 deal. Show runs from February 14 to March 2. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Bloomberg to propose more electric  car parking, Styrofoam ban

On the eve of his State of the City address, Mayor Michael Bloomberg had a new ban in store, as well as a parking proposal that might drive some New Yorkers crazy. Read more: CBS New York

NYS audit finds MTA is sitting on $90M

A New York State audit finds that the MTA overlooked over $90 million sitting in various bank accounts. Read more: Fox New York

Queens officials request meeting with FAA to discuss noise created by new flight patterns

Queens elected officials are urging the FAA to redesign flight patterns to curb aircraft noise around its two airports. Read more: New York Daily News

Rebuilt Rockaway beaches need more than a big dose of sand, locals say

There’s a whole lot of sand coming to storm-ravaged Rockaway Beach this year, but locals are worried it’s not enough to stave off another attack from Mother Nature. Read more: New York Daily News

DOE to allow students to transfer out of public schools getting phased out

Department Of Education officials announced Wednesday that they will allow families to transfer their children out of 61 public schools deemed by city officials to be failing. Read more: NY1

American Airlines, US Airways announce $11 billion merger

American Airlines and US Airways say they’re merging in a deal they value at $11 billion, creating the world’s biggest airline. Read more: ABC New York

 

Update on Nemo cleanup


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

The  city is swiftly bouncing back after the blizzard dubbed “Nemo” swept through the Northeast last night.

The “Big 4″ lines – Babylon, Huntington, Port Washington and Ronkonkoma – of the LIRR are running on every two hours, the MTA announced. Service on other branches will be restored when rail travel is safe again.

While snow falls dwindled by noon today, the Office of Emergency Management advises that winds can still pick up and cause snow drifts throughout the area.

Snow plows have been clearing and salting streets. To see when the last time your street was plowed, click here.

Queens got comparatively less snow than other parts of Long Island, such as Suffolk County. Governor Andrew Cuomo said he has requested Mayor Michael Bloomberg send any additional snow plows to help ease the two-plus feet of snow in Suffolk. The plows won’t go out until after the city is completely plowed, Cuomo said.

Drivers should stay off the road today, the governor advised, as first responders are still trying to clean up from the storm.

“I’ve been all over the metropolitan area and it is dangerous to be on the roads,” Cuomo said. “This is not the day to be out and about.”

Both LaGuardia and JFK International airports are open, according to the Port Authority. Travelers should check with their airlines to check the status of their flight.

Cancelled flights strand thousands at area airports


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@PANYNJ

Hurricane Sandy has shut down New York airports forcing stranded passengers and evacuated residents to flee to nearby hotels to seek refuge.

“Our first thought, as always, is the safety of our customers and our employees,” said Rick Sacco, the general manager at the Holiday Inn Express at Kennedy Airport.

Airports do remain open, but air carriers have ceased operation until further notice, according to the Port Authority. The organization encourages travelers to not travel to the airports at all.

Delta Airlines in particular has cancelled a couple thousand flights, and have halted operations in and out of New York airports, according to Delta spokesperson Eric Torbenson. Flights are set to resume at a to-be-determined time on Tuesday.

With flights cancelled for at least Monday, October 29 at both LaGuardia and JFK International, hundreds of passengers are stranded in Queens, hoping to ride out the storm comfortably.

“We’ve activated our hurricane action plan,” said Jimmy Mitts, director of security at the Sheraton LaGuardia East. “We are totally up and running, and we have enough staff on hand.”

Members of the staff from both of the hotels are staying in rooms so they can stay off of the roads.

“We have about one half of the staff staying at the hotel as of now,” said Sacco.

Residents from the nearby Rockaways and other areas that were mandated to evacuate also headed to hotels to get out of harms’ way.

“We’re preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best,” said Ed Staniszewski, general manager at the Sheraton. “We’re fully prepared to be without power for a number of days.”

Many area hotels, including the Sheraton, have emergency generators that will kick on to accommodate guests in times of severe weather. The Sheraton’s generator can power the hotel for up to three days.

The Holiday Inn Express at JFK still has open rooms for upcoming reservations, and will hold them for as long as possible. The Sheraton LaGuardia East, however, is completely booked with airport passengers and local community residents.

“Everything is depending on what’s going on outside and in the area,” said Mitts of what security’s next move is. Their emergency plan will go into effect on a circumstantial basis.

Shuttle service for both hotels is still underway, but as the weather intensifies, it may have to be cancelled. Currently, shuttle service to local areas such as drug stores is going on at the JFK Holiday Inn.

“They’re all stuck, and we try to do the best we can and let everyone be as happy as they can be,” said Sacco.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: A slight chance of showers between noon and 2pm. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 62. Breezy, with a northwest wind 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Friday night: Clear, with a low around 41. North wind 9 to 17 mph.

Biden and Ryan quarrel aggressively in debate, offering contrasts

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Representative Paul D. Ryan fiercely quarreled at the vice-presidential debate here on Thursday night, with Mr. Biden using the cutting attack lines against the Republican ticket that Mr. Obama did not and Mr. Ryan delivering a spirited case for conservative policies that Mr. Romney had soft-pedaled. Read more: NY Times

Yankees fall in closeout game, allow Baltimore Orioles to force ALDS Game 5 on J.J. Hardy’s game-winning RBI double in the 13th inning

This time Raul IObanez didn’t help. Pinch-hitting for A-Rod didn’t help. The Yankees are running out of alternatives and answers as their Game 5 fate beckons. As the Bombers failed to conjure the previous game’s magic, the Orioles extended this best-of-five American League division series to a decisive game with a 13-inning, 2-1 victory over the Yankees Thursday night at the Stadium. Read more: Daily News

Melinda Katz kicks off campaign for borough president

Noting that it was crucial to determine what the common needs of a diverse borough like Queens were, Melinda Katz, former member of the City Council and Assembly, embarked Wednesday, October 10 on a year-long run for the borough president’s office — after incumbent Helen Marshall steps down at the end of 2013 due to term limits. Read more: Queens Courier

ESU police attempted To save Queens man shot by their fellow officer

On video taken shortly after Noel Polanco was shot by an Emergency Service Unit officer on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, the 22-year-old is seen being brought out of a unmarked ESU truck on a stretcher. Polanco, 22, was fatally shot by ESU Detective Hassan Hamdy following an early morning traffic stop near LaGuardia Airport last Thursday. Read more: NY1

MTA announces three new fast-track bus routes to LaGuardia Airport

The city and MTA are creating three souped-up bus routes to LaGuardia Airport, including one from Manhattan and one from the Bronx. With the new routes, Select Bus Service — which includes trip-speeding tactics like curbside payment — will be in every borough next year, officials said. Read more: Daily News

iPhone thief prowls Queens

An iPhone thief is wreaking havoc in Queens, police said. The robber is responsible for stealing eight of the smartphones between Aug. 1 and Sept. 20 in neighborhoods such as Astoria and Hunters Point. Read more: NY Post

Long Island City strip club hopes third time is the charm for liquor license

The owners of a controversial Long Island City strip club who have twice been denied a liquor license are hoping the third time’s the charm. Lawyers for 21 Group Inc., which currently operates Show Palace, have asked the New York State Liquor Authority to reconsider their most recent application. Read more: Daily News

Meeks pal cops plea

A Queens businessman who had been pressed by prosecutors to dish dirt on his friend, embattled Rep. Gregory Meeks, pleaded guilty yesterday to a $50 million mortgage-fraud scheme. Edul Ahmad — whose $40,000 “loan” to Meeks in 2007 remains the subject of a House Ethics Committee probe — faces up to 30 years in prison when he’s sentenced for the mortgage scam that enabled unqualified home buyers to get loans. Read more: NY Post

Delta helps in the fight against breast cancer


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF DKC PUBLIC RELATIONS

LaGuardia’s Delta terminal was pretty in pink for the arrival of the “Breast Cancer One” survivor charter flight.

On Thursday, September 20, LaGuardia welcomed the “pink plane” in from Atlanta. More than 140 Delta employee cancer survivors from 35 different locations around the world made the trip, and were greeted in Terminal D by tons of pink balloons, ceiling decorations and pink lemonade refreshments.

“This lifts your spirits. It doesn’t make you feel your pain, it just absolutely encourages you,” said Angie Trimble, a breast cancer survivor who was aboard the flight.

Delta has been involved with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) since 2005, and together they have raised over $5 million towards research funding, contributing to the $380 million raised by the foundation since its beginning.

A year ago, BCRF unfortunately lost its founder, Evelyn Lauder, to the disease. Thursday, Delta proudly unveiled a new addition to the “pink plane”: an emblem baring Evelyn’s signature, printed name and title, appropriately emblazoned in pink writing.

“This year, we dedicate our pink plane to the memory of Evelyn Lauder. We continue to be inspired by her tireless commitment and determination in the fight to find a cure for breast cancer,” said Joanne Smith, senior vice president of In-Flight service.

The distinctive pink plane has flown around the world to “highlight and help raise awareness and funds for lifesaving research efforts,” said Smith.

BCRF acting chairman and the late Evelyn’s husband, Leonard Lauder, made the trip to LaGuardia to carry his wife’s message and mission.

“Your enthusiasm for the support of this great organization . . . you can make a difference,” he said. “The people in this room will make the difference.”

To continue to raise research funds, the “pink plane” along with all Delta flights and the Delta Sky Clubs will sell pink products including pink lemonade and pink headsets, distributed by Delta employees dressed in pink uniforms, through the month of October.

In addition, during October, Delta’s administrative headquarters will be illuminated in pink lighting in support of BCRF. Delta will also donate $1 to the foundation for the first 50,000 new “likes” on the Delta Facebook page.

“Together, we are going to make sure that this disease is eradicated,” said Lauder.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 79. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 66. Winds less than 5 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Showcase Wednesday 

Come to Resorts World Casino New York City to watch Crossing Midnight. The first time they were on the Resorts World Casino Bar 360 Stage, they rocked the house. This time around, this soulful group will definitely be a force to be reckoned with. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

FAA’s stealth pilot program involving LaGuardia and JFK Airports was just plain wrong, locals say

A federal pilot program came in for a rough landing after local leaders were told it began and ended without them knowing. Read more: New York Daily News

Cops pack Queens courtroom to watch alleged cop shooter John Thomas’ arraignment

Police officers packed a Queens courtroom this morning to watch the arraignment of an accused trigger-happy cop shooter. Read more: New York Post

Rockaways residents glad to see sand moved from ‘fornication hill’ to Beach 90th Street

You could say one person’s nuisance is another person’s newly refined beach — at least in the Rockaways. Huge dump trucks started have moved 7,000 cubic yards of sand from Beach 121st Street to Beach 90th Street. Read more: CBS New York

 A Hooters in Queens is sued for racial discrimination

Hooters, the restaurant chain widely known for the skimpy outfits of its waitresses, has built its reputation in part on its fun-loving and mildly provocative spirit. But a Korean-American customer has accused a Hooters restaurant in Queens of taking that carefree ethos too far and has sued the company for racial discrimination. Read more: New York Times

Former Rudy Giuliani aide Juan Reyes sends mailing blasting primary opponent, Councilman Eric Ulrich, for having dinner with gay friends

Two GOP primaries for the state Senate — including a hotly contested race in Queens — have sunk into the gutter with gay-baiting tactics.Read more: New York Daily News

U.S. ambassador to Libya killed in Benghazi attack

The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staff were killed in a rocket attack on their car, a Libyan official said, as they were rushed from a consular building stormed by militants denouncing a U.S.-made film insulting the Prophet Mohammad. Read more: Reuters 

Human remains near LaGuardia still a mystery


| aaltman@queenscourier.com


The human remains recovered in a marshy area just outside of LaGuardia Airport are still a mystery.

Maintenance crews clearing foliage just beyond the airport fence spotted the partial human skeleton lying at the shoreline along the Rikers Island Channel section of Flushing Bay around 6:20 p.m. on Monday, August 20.

Al Della Fave, a spokesperson for the Port Authority, said the workers quickly removed the remains from the bank to avoid the rising tide while awaiting the arrival of the medical examiner. Had it not been for the low tide, said Della Fave, workers would not have found the bones.

Della Fave said maintenance crews frequently clear beyond the airport border, pruning weeds and grass that may obscure the sightline in an area called the exclusionary zone that belongs to LaGuardia Airport.

At the scene, police expanded the perimeter and searched for additional evidence. According to Della Fave, detectives are now investigating open and missing-person cases.

“The initial thought is they may have washed up from the bay and got hung up on the shoreline,” said Della Fave.

A spokesperson from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) confirmed that the remains are human, but they could not identify the gender of the skeleton.

 

Airplane noise torments northeast Queens residents


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

A nonstop rush of aircraft flights and a barrage of low flying planes have residents in northeast Queens alarmed at the deafening “war zone” they say their neighborhoods have become in the last two months.

“The sound — it’s like you’re living in an airport,” said Angela Polito of Bayside. “It’s nonstop, every 20 seconds, one after another. It’s been terrible.”

Residents from Bayside and downtown Flushing say they have been tormented since mid-June by the ear-splitting roar of airplanes they say soar past their homes by the minute each day from 6 a.m. to noon and then again from 6 p.m. to midnight.

Oiman Chan of Flushing, who suffers from anxiety, said the constant blaring booms that rattle the windows of his Franklin Avenue co-op have become “numbing.”

“It sounds like you’re under a war zone,” said the 63-year-old retired Department of Education employee. “I am suffering from panic attacks already and this is killing me.”

Eddy Liu, 68, who lives in the same Flushing co-op, said the nonstop noise distresses thousands of shareholders, including masses of elderly people.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did not comment before press time. But in a June 22 letter sent to State Senator Tony Avella, the agency said they were conducting a six-month trial to test a procedure at LaGuardia Airport, in which departing traffic turns left to the north off Runway 13.

Amy Yeung of Flushing said flight routes used to run north over College Point Boulevard, only shifting downtown during the annual U.S. Open tournaments. But recent lavish neighborhood developments like the Sky View Center mall, Sky View Parc luxury condos and upcoming future plans for Willets Point, she said, could be the motive behind the rerouting.

“That’s my wild guess,” said Yeung, 45. “[But] you can’t make one group of people happy and disturb the others, if that’s the case. Everybody has to go to work and everybody has to have quality of sleep.”

The FAA said it would take in public comment before making the new route permanent.

“The agency does not have the authority to prohibit aircraft from flying over a particular geographic area unless the operation is unsafe or the aircraft is operated in a manner inconsistent with federal aviation regulations,” the FAA said in the letter.

Meanwhile, Polito said the frequent flights over Bayside are almost as unnerving as how low the planes are flying.

“We can practically wave to the people in the planes,” she said.

Queens residents in Woodside and Briarwood have also said they’ve been living in turbulence from thundering aircraft.

Fewer geese slaughtered near Queens airports as safety measure


| mchan@queenscourier.com


More than 200 Canada geese were corralled and slaughtered in the city last week as part of the federal government’s attempt to prevent bird strikes near high-traffic airports, but officials said the casualty count is on the decline.

The United States Department of Agriculture removed a total of 255 geese from 12 city parks within a seven-mile radius of LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International airports last week, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

This year’s roundup total fell from 575 last year and has drastically declined from a 1,357 count in 2010, according to the DEP.

The mitigation measure — the fourth year it has been renewed — is conducted to control the city’s goose population and prevent bird strikes like those responsible for the emergency landings of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in 2009 and most recently Delta Flight 1063, officials said.

The city said the removal process is “straightforward and humane,” adding that the geese processed for breast meat will be donated for the first time to the state and distributed through local food pantries.

But the mitigation measures continue to draw heat from animal advocates, who protest the killings each year.

“This indiscriminate slaughter is inhumane, ineffective and not supported by science,” said Patrick Kwan, New York State director for the Humane Society of the United States. “It is the wrong way to address the goose population, especially when more humane and scientific solutions exist and have been successfully implemented in Prospect Park and Central Park.”

No geese were removed from Prospect Park this year for the second time in a row. Kwan pointed to goose management programs implemented last year as a major reason for the reprieve of the park’s fowl.

As part of the program, the public is discouraged from feeding wildlife, trained herding dogs are used to move geese out of the park, and eggs are treated to prevent population growth.

Kwan urged the state to make airports and surrounding areas more undesirable for the geese — while preventing flock growth — instead of killing them en masse each year.

“Many of the geese who are currently being rounded up and killed would have never been hatched if the city had adopted the humane goose management plan we have proposed since 2009,” he said.