Tag Archives: lindenwood

Lindenwood hosts ‘Wash for Autism’


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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SALVATORE LICATA

Over $10,000 was raised by the New York Families for Autistic Children (NYFAC) at the car “Wash for Autism” in Lindenwood on Sunday.

Along with volunteers, staff and board members of NYFAC washed over 100 cars, including those of state Sen. Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, in the parking lot of the Queens County Savings Bank on 153rd Avenue. NYFAC also benefited from the annual car show in the lot, which featured nearly 30 classic cars and hot rods. The money raised by the organization was aimed at bettering the lives of those with autism.

“It was a great day and a great event,” said Andrew Baumann, president and CEO of NYFAC. “The community once again came out to show its support.”

 

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Missing Lindenwood resident turns up at Mount Vernon hospital


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Luz Lopez

Daniel Otero, the 24-year-old who went missing on Monday, turned up Thursday morning in the Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital, more then 20 miles away from his Queens home.

Otero, a diagnosed schizophrenic, called his brother Marcus this morning, informing him that he was in the Mt.Vernon, N.Y. hospital, according to Daniel’s sister Luz Lopez.

Lopez said that there are no visible wounds on her brother but the hospital will hold him as they continue to do blood tests and give him medicine for his schizophrenia. With no car or money and two very blistered feet, Lopez believes that her brother must have walked the distance between their home in Lindenwood all the way up past the Bronx.

“He doesn’t recognize any of us,” she said. “So it’s incredible that he even remembered my brother’s phone number this morning.”

Daniel went missing on Monday after walking a relative to P.S. 232 in Lindenwood, triggering a missing person search by police and Daniel’s family and friends.

“I’m so relieved that he’s been found and he isn’t hurt,” Lopez said from the Mt. Vernon hospital.

 

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Lindenwood resident missing since Monday


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Luz Lopez

Update: Daniel Otero was found Thursday morning in a Mount Vernon, N.Y. hospital 

Police are searching for 24-year-old Daniel Otero, who went missing Monday in Lindenwood.

Otero has schizophrenia and his family blames the mental disability for his disappearance. The family is particularly worried about his disappearance because he’s never done anything like this before.

“He’s very scared of everything and he’ll listen to anything a stranger tells him to do,” Luz Lopez, Otero’s sister, said. “If you tell him to jump off a roof he’ll do it.”

Otero disappeared after walking a relative to Lindenwood’s P.S. 232 on Monday and in the early hours of Tuesday he briefly appeared in Wyckoff Heights Medical Center before disappearing again, according to Lopez, who found out about the visit after calling all the local hospitals in the area.

A representative from Wyckoff Medical Center confirmed that Otero flagged an ambulance down in Lindenwood around 3 a.m. Tuesday, complaining about neck pains. In the hospital they found that his calves were covered with ticks but since there was nothing wrong with him and he appeared to be alert and coherent he was allowed to leave the hospital at 5 a.m. It was only later that day that cops alerted all hospitals to keep Otero if he shows up again.

Lopez and her friend Phelipa Mirabile spent Tuesday night and Wednesday spreading out missing person fliers with basic information about Otero.

Otero takes several different medications for his schizophrenia and Lopez worries that the longer he stays missing, the harder it will be to find him. He was released from Queens Hospital on June 6 for treatment.

“He’ll get more and more disoriented as time goes by,” she said. “He’s very sweet and religious. He wouldn’t hurt anybody but we’re afraid others will hurt him.”

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Claims pour in to city after sewage backup


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Nearly 200 Queens residents filed claims against the city in the last week after storms left their homes swamped in rainwater and sewage, officials said.

One hundred of those claims came from homeowners in Howard Beach and Lindenwood flooded, who filed notice of claim forms supplied by city Comptroller Scott Stringer against the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), according to Stringer’s office.

“We are going to do everything we can to get your money back,” Stringer said during a Howard Beach civic association meeting on May 27.

His staff handed out the forms at that meeting so people could submit them submit directly to his office, rather than file one through a lawyer. A notice of claim is usually a precursor to a lawsuit unless the claimant and the city come to an agreement over payment.

There are another 78 claims from other Queens residents who were affected by the storm, Stringer’s office said.

For the locals who didn’t see much water damage during Superstorm Sandy, the flooding from the April 30 rainstorm was surprising, according to residents.

But, according to the DEP, the flooding was not caused by nature. It was the result of a backflow from a local wastewater and sewage facility that is run by the agency. During rainstorms, the Spring Creek Facility is supposed to release the excess water into Jamaica Bay. But, according to the DEP, recently installed sensors failed to do this.

“DEP found that the new electronic system malfunctioned, and releases into the bay did not promptly occur. As a result, stormwater and wastewater backed up into streets and homes in parts of the New Lots and Lindenwood neighborhoods.” according to a press release from the DEP.

As the forms continue to come in, Stringer’s office is sending engineers out to verify the damages people claimed.

“At first, I thought this flooding was God’s doing,” said Tommy Durante, a Lindenwood resident. “But then we found out that our government caused this. So how am I supposed to trust the comptroller’s office to get me my money?”

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Courier reporter gears up for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos and video by Cristabelle Tumola


When I told my parents I would be jumping on a motorcycle for the first time in my life, their faces went blank and they gave me the response I’ve heard so often since I asked them years ago for a skateboard: “You’re joking, right?”

Although I was raised among mostly boys and had numerous falls and tumbles, my parents always made sure I knew “extreme hobbies” would be out of the question because safety was their number one priority.

However, when I told them that this particular adventure would be to go over the safe ways to handle a motorcycle, they eased off and gave me their blessings.

With New York State having over 680,000 licensed motorcyclists in 2013, according to the DMV, and 5,153 Queens students coming out of New York’s Motorcycle Safety School, it is always important to be aware of the safety and responsibility that comes with owning a bike.

In honor of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month I put on my leather jacket, strapped on boots and took part in a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Introductory Motorcycle Experience course offered by the Motorcycle Safety School just west of Lindenwood, Queens, over the Brooklyn line.

FOR MORE PHOTOS OF MY MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE, CLICK HERE

Our instructor for the day was martial artist, professional film and TV stuntman and DMV-certified instructor Adam Wood, who said he knew riding a motorcycle was exactly what he wanted to do. Coming from Colorado, he said, he did not want to be at the mercy of New York City’s public transportation.

The session began with an introduction to the different types of motorcycles — cruisers, sport, dual-purpose and touring bikes. With all the choices, the goal is to sit on as many different bikes as possible, find out what you like, how good it looks and feels, and think about where you’ll be riding.

However, before going out and picking your favorite ride, pay attention.

State law requires motorcycle riders to wear two things before hitting the road: Department of Transportation (DOT) certified helmet and eyewear. How do you know your gear is DOT-certified? Just check the sticker.

According to MSF, proper gear also includes a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, full-fingered gloves, long pants and over-the-ankle boots (rubber soles, no laces). Wood also showed us motorcycle-specific over-pants with armor built into the shins, hip and knees.

A safety fashion tip — leather is the best material to look for in motorcycle clothing because, according to Wood, at 25 mph, leather lasts up to six seconds when making impact with the floor, while jeans only last 0.75 seconds.

The importance of gear is to allow the rider to have good communication with the motorcycle. Comfort, visibility and protection are the key things to remember when picking proper gear.

“You’re going to want to buy the gear that allows us to interact with our motorcycle the best,” Wood said. “You should do research to arm yourself with information so you don’t put yourself in bad situations.”

Following the classroom lesson of the day, it was time to take the session outside and add some “seat time” under our belts.

Before mounting any bike, remember these are very heavy pieces of machinery, ranging from 200 to 900 pounds. Once you release that kickstand, it’s only you and your strength stopping that bike from hitting the floor.

In addition to the handlebars, a motorcycle has five other primary controls. Three of those controls are hand-operated and mounted on the handlebar. There is the throttle, which allows you to rev up the engine, the front brake and the clutch lever.

While on our Suzuki bikes, we learned the clutch lever is what allows you to change gears. When you come to a stop and you don’t want the bike to shut off, you have to squeeze the clutch and then ease back out.

Using what Wood called the “Friction Zone,” you maintain a smooth ride with your bike and don’t stall or accelerate uncontrollably.

The remaining controls are foot-operated and control the rear brake and shifting of the gears. You don’t need much pressure to switch to different gears; a soft tap up switches from first gear to N and then up to 5.

Unlike in a car, there is no meter telling you what gear you are in, so in order to check if your bike is on first, you have to give the shift lever three taps down and if you stop feeling clicks, that means you are on the lowest gear.

Although I wasn’t able to fully ride the motorcycle, because I do not have a permit, I was able to get a taste of what it takes to control such a machine — gentle taps, concentration and having the proper gear and training.

After looking at photos and watching my videos, I think my parents are more relaxed with the idea of me getting on a Harley Davidson one of these days… Now wait until I get that tattoo.

For more information of the Motorcycle Safety School, visit www.ridemss.com. MSF offers motorcycle courses at Queensborough Community College and for more information or to find a course closest to you, visit www.msf-usa.org or www.nysmsp.org.

 

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Star of Queens: Fran Goulston, founding member, co-chair, Lindenwood Alliance


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Fran Goulston

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Fran Goulston is a founding member and co-chair of the Lindenwood Alliance, a civic association that addresses problems in the community of Lindenwood.

BACKGROUND: Ultimately, what got Goulston involved in founding the Lindenwood Alliance was hearing about people having issues.

“I knew Joann Ariola and Christina Gold, and they were telling me about starting this group and I thought it was an important organization to join,” said Goulston.

GOALS:  Some of Goulston’s goals for the organization would be to help people in the community feel like they are heard.  “I believe the goal of the group is that if community members have a problem they can voice their [concerns, as] there are always delegates and police at our meetings listening in hopes of correcting any of the problems that arise.”

FAVORITE MEMORY:  One of the best things Goulston said she took away from being a part of this organization is getting to know the politicians “I really wasn’t into politics before becoming a part of the Lindenwood Alliance, and I really didn’t know much about politics either, and between Councilmember Eric Ulrich and Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder, which I adore, it opened my eyes to different politicians and what they offer.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: According to Goulston the biggest challenge is getting more of the community involved.

-KATELYN DI SALVO

 

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106th Precinct gets backup


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Office Of Councilmember Eric Ulrich

Backup is here, as the 106th Precinct added 16 new cops recently.

“They are a most welcomed addition to the community and we are very happy to have them,” said Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, the precinct’s Commanding Officer.

The precinct, which encompasses Ozone Park, Lindenwood and Howard Beach, has experienced an increase in car thefts and break-ins, which are up more than 65 percent from last year, according to the most recent NYPD crime statistics. Crime overall is up 20 percent.

However, the experienced new officers are ready to hit the ground running. Schiff said during their precinct orientation. They will be addressed by various community members and hear firsthand what concerns they have.

“We expect that they will quickly absorb the local flavor and perform admirably, making all of us proud,” he said.

The community and local elected officials have voiced both a need and a desire for more resources for the precinct. The NYPD team has struggled with limited resources and increasing concerns from residents, said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, who assisted in the push.

“More officers and a stronger police presence are necessary to combat rising crime statistics,” Goldfeder said. “More visibility on our streets will keep the community safe and strong.”

Additionally, Councilmember Eric Ulrich paid a visit to the new crew and is “so pleased that we are finally getting additional officers that we have been fighting for for so long,” he said.

“They will to a long way in keeping our community safe,” he added.

 

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City Council District 32 candidates Ulrich, Simon look ahead to Election Day


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photos

The heated race for City Council District 32 is coming to a close.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich, the incumbent, has represented District 32 in the City Council since 2009. He stood with Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill and Woodhaven through natural disasters and hard-pressed community issues.

“I am proud of my campaign and my work in the City Council over the past four-and-a-half years. I am running on my record of accomplishments and my ability to deliver real results for my constituents,” Ulrich said.

However, Lew Simon has not been far behind. He said he worked tirelessly through Sandy to ensure the safety of the district.

“The support we’re getting on our calls and door to door campaigning is phenomenal – people want change and they don’t feel like they’re being represented in City Hall on issues from schools to street lights to Sandy rebuilding,” Simon said.

Simon suffered a setback earlier this month when he received a stent due to partial heart blockage. He now said he’s spending every day “making sure every voter turns out” on Election Day.

 

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Speed board installed near Lindenwood’s P.S. 232


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Office of Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder

Speeders take note and slow down.

A new mobile speed board has been installed across the street from P.S. 232 in Lindenwood, right outside the bustling Lindenwood Shopping Center on 153rd Avenue.

“The Department of Transportation (DOT) has finally responded to our concerns,” said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, who requested a “traffic calming device” be brought into the area.

School officials, parents and community members have been asking and fighting for safer streets around the elementary school for years. Administration and faculty members frequently escort students across the busy intersection at 153rd Avenue and 83rd Street.

In September, State Senator Joseph Addabbo requested P.S. 232 receive speed cameras for a pilot program designed to nab speedy drivers around city schools.

Now, the DOT has stepped in and put up the temporary speed board, setting the speed limit at 25 miles per hour. The organization is still completing a study that will determine whether speed bumps are needed in the area. DOT’s School Safety Unit has also committed to coordinate with the school’s parents and students to identify other solutions.

Goldfeder said the speed board will “deter drivers from using this stretch of road as a personal speedway.”

“This is the first step in the right direction, but we must remain vigilant to protect our children and community,” he said.

 

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Primary guide: City Council District 32


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

SIMON

As the clock ticks closer to city primaries on Tuesday, September 10, The Courier would like to provide you, the reader and the voter, with a fair, detailed guide of who is running. Here is a list of the City Council District 32 primary candidates (Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill and Woodhaven), who they are, what they stand for and what they want to continue to do if they go on to the general election in November.

Name: Lew M. Simon

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Private school teacher, Assembly District Leader

Personal Info: Simon was born and raised in Rockaway. He has been a community and civic leader for over 30 years. He works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, helping all who need help.

Platform/Issues: To secure funding and build much-needed schools. Make school safety and stopping bullying a priority. Reduce busing and keep siblings together in neighborhood schools. Establish an HOV lane on Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards during peak hours. See that every community has a good community hospital with a well-equipped emergency room. Will continue to fund all senior centers, Meals-on-Wheels and Access-A-Ride. Will increase funding for volunteer fire and ambulance departments. Increase the staffing levels so that each community board will have a building inspector. Will continue to fund the fight for additional firefighters and police officers. Support direct mass transit service to midtown Manhattan in less than 30 minutes (Rockaway Beach rail line). Clean up graffiti in Woodhaven and Ozone Park.

Name: William Ruiz

Party: Democrat

*The campaign for this candidate did not submit a profile as of press time

 

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Annual Lindenwood car wash raises $3K for New York Families for Autistic Children


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

NYFAC 04

New York Families for Autistic Children (NYFAC) raised more than $3,000 from its seventh annual car wash, which took place in Lindenwood on Sunday, June 23.

Organizers held the wash in conjunction with a car show by the Bow Wow Boys Car Club.

The money will go toward rebuilding the NYFAC facility, which opened in April after suffering Sandy-related damage and a subsequent setback.

Organizers said the day was about the members of NYFAC, both staff and students, having fun in the sun and helping to raise money.

Karen Long, a NYFAC board member who chaired the event, said people came all day to pitch in. Some donated without getting a wash.

“They’re even passing in their cars giving us five dollars,” she added. “We have a great time. This is like the best fundraiser. It’s fun, we’re outdoors.”

Long’s son, Robert, is a member of NYFAC. The parent said he has been enjoying the new facility and the new programs.

Long said the community has been supportive of the rebuilding.

“People have been generous,” she said. “But there’s still work that has to be done.”

The facility was originally slated to open in early November 2012. NYFAC President Andrew Baumann said rebuilding the facility has been a long road, but the car wash was a day for everyone to have fun for a good cause.

“Today’s all about fun,” he said. “You can’t not do what you’ve always done. You can’t let nature hold you down.”

 

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Parents, officials call for crosswalk outside Lindenwood school


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

As students poured out of school, a crowd gathered on the corner of 153rd Avenue and 83rd Street in Lindenwood.

Passing through were parents and guardians, sometimes holding the hands of several children as they tried to cross 153rd Avenue toward the Lindenwood Shopping Center. The crossing guard shuttled people across 83rd Street, but could not stop traffic because there is no crosswalk.

Parents, teachers and community leaders rallied outside P.S. 232 on Friday, June 14. They urged the Department of Transportation (DOT) to install a crosswalk across 153rd Avenue at the corner of the school.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, whose daughters are students there, hosted the rally.

He said the goal was to first get a crosswalk, and then get proper signs to make the intersection a little safer. He added he has also spoken to the 106th Precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Thomas Pascale, who said a crosswalk there would increase safety

“I did have a conversation with Inspector Pascale,” Addabbo said. “He said he’s in favor of a crosswalk if they ask [...] He would want one here to allow his crossing guard to cross people.”

Community Board 10 would support a crosswalk plan if DOT were to come up with one for the street, Board chair Elizabeth Braton said.

“If DOT indicates that it’s safe from their standpoint of traffic engineering,” she said, “I don’t see any reason why the board would not support it.”

“We don’t feel safe without that crosswalk there,” said parent Lisa Neumann. “Hopefully, they’ll get our message.”
Stefanie Calise, whose son attends nearby P.S. 146 and gets dropped off at the intersection, said she nearly got hit by a car last week trying to cross the street.

Children “can’t cross that by themselves,” she said.

However, a DOT spokesperson said the intersection does not meet the criteria for a crosswalk under federal guidelines. Officials are looking into other ways to ease traffic at the intersection, the spokesperson said.

The most recent data DOT has to go by are from 2007 to 2011, when there were no injuries at the intersection.

Addabbo addressed the statistics at the rally and called for a more aggressive approach.

“Far too often, our city reacts to a bad situation,” he said. “They’ll give us statistics about not enough accidents here, not enough fatalities here. What we’re asking: let’s not be reactive, let’s be pro-active. Let’s prevent an accident.”

 

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Lindenwood to get new assisted living home


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

A new assisted living home is coming to Lindenwood.

Community Board (CB) 10 gave the green light for Birch Family Services to move into a two-family home on 80th Street. The new facility will house up to six young adults with autism or other developmental disabilities.

Before CB 10 members gave their approval, they asked about services, security and staff.

There will be three patients to a floor, and at least two staffers on each level, according to Lester Kaufman, executive vice president of Birch Family Services.

Kaufman said anyone who applies to work at the home goes through a rigorous vetting process. He told the board that in addition to background checks, staffers go through a full training process.

He added that the home has an open-door policy that allows neighbors to voice any concerns they have, while clinical specialists and supervisors will be on hand at the facility.

Residents of the home will be among the community during the day for shopping and recreation, all of which Kaufman said will be supervised.
CB 10 Chairperson Betty Braton said there are currently 15 similar facilities in the area, and that there has never been a major problem.

“This board has numerous facilities of this nature within our board area,” she said. “All of our other facilities have not impacted negatively upon the community. These are people who would be living in our communities if they didn’t have the needs that require additional assistance.”

Kaufman said the community was doing a good service by allowing his firm to come in.

“It’s really something you can be proud of,” he said. “We’re all going to be proud to be a part of your community.”

 

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Assemblymember Goldfeder announces Summer Reading Challenge


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder

Kids can keep their minds sharp this summer with another chapter of the state Assembly’s Summer Reading Challenge.

The program looks to beat the “summer slide” in which kids may not keep up with reading while school’s out. Sponsored by Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, this year’s theme is “Dig into reading” for children; for tweens it’s “Beneath the Surface.”

Students can pick up materials at their local schools in the 23rd Assembly District, or at Goldfeder’s Ozone Park and Rockaway offices.

Youngsters who read with a parent for at least 15 minutes a day for 40 days through July and August get an official Assembly certificate personally delivered by their representative.

Around 250 students from P.S. 232 in Lindenwood took part in the program last summer, according to Goldfeder’s office.

Principal Lisa Josephson said students who took part last year came back in September with keen minds, ready to learn.

“Our students at P.S. 232 who do their active reading during the summer months return to school prepared,” she said. “And they get rewarded for their efforts by Assemblymember Goldfeder.”

“Learning shouldn’t stop when the last bell rings at the end of the school year,” said Goldfeder. “The Assembly’s Summer Reading Challenge offers a fun and exciting way for families to spend quality time together while parents help their children expand their imaginations and learn.”

For more information, visit www.assembly.state.ny.us/goldfeder or call 718-945-9550.

 

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DA: Case against Forest Park attempted rape suspect put on hold


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

The suspect arrested in connection with an attempted rape in Forest Park will not be tried — at least for now — according to the district attorney.

Richard Kassebaum of Lindenwood was arrested on Tuesday, April 2 after it was reported he matched the description of a suspect who tasered a jogger four days earlier.

“We’ve deferred prosecution pending further investigation,” said a DA spokesperson.

But this could still leave the possibility that Kassebaum, who reportedly is charged with sexual assault from a separate incident, can be recharged in the Forest Park attack.

On Friday, March 29 the victim was running along the park’s horse trail around 7:30 p.m. when a suspect tasered her, police said. She was then pulled into the woods where the suspect attempted to rape her, but the victim was able to break free.

The 23-year-old was taken to the hospital and treated for head and neck injuries.

Park security was increased following the incident and police presence was felt in the days after the attack.

 

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