Tag Archives: Major Capital Improvement

Op-ed: Make ferry service permanent

| oped@queenscourier.com


I would like to start by commending the city for the fourth extension of ferry service to the Rockaway Peninsula. I would especially like to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for extending the ferry service through May and keeping his word, as he remains dedicated to the recovery of Rockaway and New York City as a whole. Ferry services in the Rockaways have provided a much needed relief during an extremely trying time. The ferry has quickly become the preferred method of transportation to Manhattan for many people throughout the peninsula.

While we certainly are enjoying our time with the ferry, the threat of losing the service continues to loom over our heads. We have repeatedly been told that the service may just be temporary, that there would be yet another study or deadline, and that the service would be cut if ridership was poor. However, the ferry has continually maintained strong ridership, and it is time to put this ambiguity aside.

Rockaway needs a permanent ferry! Residents have had to deal with subpar transportation options for far too long, and Sandy has only made these shortcomings more apparent. Service may have been lacking on the best of days but became non-existent in the days following Sandy. Thousands of people were effectively stranded while still reeling from the devastation. While we simply were not prepared for a storm of that magnitude, that excuse only works once. We must never allow ourselves to be in that situation again.

While the need to improve our transportation infrastructure is obvious, there are many other ways this ferry has benefited New Yorkers. Commuters are getting to work faster; the ferry trip is peaceful, serene, and timely; the ease of travel also encourages visitors to come out and experience our beautiful beaches during the summer months, which is essential for local businesses still recovering from Sandy related losses. Anyone who has taken a trip on the ferry knows that it is as aesthetically pleasing as it is essential to our community.

The truth of the matter is that not only am I passionate about keeping the ferry, I am also very interested in creating another stop in Rockaway. While the ferry has maintained a strong ridership, this is a large peninsula. Creating a ferry stop between the center of the peninsula and Manhattan will increase ferry ridership and further address any concerns over small ridership. I have been working with the Economic Development Corporation and they have launched a study on the feasibility of extending the ferry.

I will not rest while these issues continue to plague my friends and neighbors. I know that the residents, community leaders, elected officials, and vacationers in Rockaway stand with me. I hope the rest of our city and the new administration will do the same.

Councilmember Donovan Richards represents the 31st District.



Ana Rivera

| jlane@queenscourier.com


Woodside on the Move volunteer

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Ana Rivera has volunteered for Woodside on the Move for the past three years in helping tenants with housing problems. “We help as many people as we can in the community with housing problems like Major Capital Improvement that landlords add to your rent for services that they shouldn’t be adding on. It’s an injustice.” She also helps address issues tenants are having with landlords such as “non-working security cameras, doorbells and by showing up to housing court for their cause.” Rivera believes that it is important for people to “gather together and fight against unfair charges and against landlords who don’t make [necessary] repairs to the apartments.”
INSPIRATION: She was inspired to volunteer with Woodside on the Move because they helped fight a problem she was having with a leak in her apartment and the complaints that went unaddressed for two and a half years. “I thought I was alone before but now I feel that there are so many and that we can make a difference. It’s not only one person’s problem, but many. We try to educate. Woodside on the Move really helped me get the problem solved.”

PERSONAL: Rivera, 68, is currently a retired building superintendent. Working with Meltzer and Meltzer she managed clerical work, supply ordering, assisted the plumber, among other things for approximately 40 years with her husband. After retirement she attended classes for the elderly such as art and ballroom dance at LaGuardia Community College class for “self improvement and [increased] self esteem.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Following through to help others sometimes is a big challenge,” Rivera said. She said that it is well worth the initial stress to help others because the results are fruitful. “When it’s a whole community that shows the same help and we all get together and show our voices … [it’s better] than one person doing it alone,” said Rivera.

FAVORITE MEMORY: “Gathering together and working together with everyone in March 2011 we went to visit the new housing commissioner in Albany,” said Rivera, who takes care of her grandchildren during her free time. “We expressed what our community needed: that major capital improvement notices should be sent in different languages and real rent reform.”

DREAM: “I hope to see the changes and improve our community for our tenants. We want our rents to be stable so we don’t have to go away from our home…we want our children and grandchildren to be raised in the same community as us. I hope all the hard work we are doing pays off,” Rivera said. – Salimah Khoja