Tag Archives: Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 48. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 34. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: 20th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival

In the first movie, A Mother’s Love, a strong black woman’s taste for the good life does not include her husband or daughter Monica. It takes another’s love and prayers to get the mother down to earth. The second flick, Between Friends, is set in Trinidad and Tobago. Middle class youngsters go to nightclubs and share moments at the beach, but filmmaker gradually exposes the different layers of their interaction. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Sources: Man shot in Midtown was aspiring Los Angeles rapper

Police say just before 2 p.m. Monday someone walked westbound on 58th street towards Broadway and shot Brandon Lincoln Woodard, 31, at close range in the back of the head. Read more: NY1

Queens drug addict busted for killing his mother and father — one year apart — as evidence surfaces under the patents’ fingernails

They gave him his DNA. And in the end, that genetic material doomed him. Queens drug addict Gregory Cucchiara, a 290-pound behemoth with a long rap sheet and little record of achievement, murdered his mother and father in separate attacks a year apart — murders that were ultimately solved from biological evidence found under the parents’ fingernails, law enforcement authorities said. Read more New York Daily News

MTA quits countdown clocks in favor of ‘Bus Time

Time has run out for New York City bus riders hoping to rely on countdown clocks. The MTA is reportedly giving up on posting electronic message boards that show bus arrival times. Read more: ABC New York

Single rides and monthly passes to cost more in M.T.A. plan

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board appears poised to consider a proposal that would increase base fares on subways and buses by a quarter, to $2.50, and raise the cost of a 30-day pass by $8, to $112. Read more: New York Times

Heroic ‘Operation Breezy Gut and Pump’ comes to an end

After an exhausting month of gutting, pumping and rebuilding, a heroic volunteer group suspended their Breezy Point operation on Sunday. Read more: New York Daily News

Strauss-Kahn, NYC hotel maid settle civil lawsuit over alleged assault

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a New York hotel maid who accused the former International Monetary Fund chief of sexually assaulting her agreed on Monday to settle her civil lawsuit against him for an undisclosed sum, ending one chapter of a scandal that cost him his job and derailed his political career in France. Read more: Reuters

Gov. Cuomo receives high marks for Sandy response


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

In a new Siena College poll, the majority of New York State voters said they were happy with how Governor Andrew Cuomo has handled the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

According to the results, 67 percent felt that the governor has done an excellent or good job, 22 percent said he has done a fair job and seven percent said he’s done a poor job.

In New York City, a slightly higher percentage, 70 percent, gave Cuomo a high rating.

In an effort to help with Sandy relief,  the  governor is travelling to Washington D.C. today to lobby for about $42 billion that the state needs to recover from the storm and protect itself from the next significant weather event.

State voters were almost as pleased with how President Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg handled the superstorm.

Sixty-one percent said that Obama did an excellent or good job and 55 percent gave Bloomberg the same rating.

In a Quinnipiac University poll from two weeks ago, New York City voters thought that Obama did a better job than Governor Cuomo, but gave him higher marks than Bloomberg.

But in the same poll, voters also rated New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s handling of the storm and its aftermath higher than all three politicians.

The Siena poll did not ask state voters about Christie.

It did, however, ask about the utility companies, FEMA and the MTA.

The majority of voters were pleased with FEMA and the Metropolitan Transit Agency, but gave Con Edison mixed ratings.

Forty-nine percent said that Con Ed did a good or excellent job, while 29 percent said the utility did a fair job and 15 percent gave it a poor rating.

Voters were not as happy with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), which has received criticism on how it has responded to the storm.

Only one in six Long Islanders said LIPA did an excellent or good job with post-Sandy power problems, and 60 percent said it performed poorly.

The poll also asked about other aspects of Sandy, including how the storm affected voters—from home and business damage to school closings and power outages.

“Nearly one in seven voters suffered damage to their home, including one-quarter of downstate suburbanites. More than one-third lost their power, including more than eight in ten suburbanites.  And more than two-thirds of  New Yorkers saw their schools close for at least a day, and one-third had schools closed for at least a week,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg  “Not in a very long time has a natural disaster directly affected more New Yorkers than Sandy.

Additionally, the poll found that more than half of New Yorkers have made a financial contribution to a charitable organization raising money for those affected by Sandy, and 26 percent have volunteered their time.

The storm may have also forced New Yorkers to take global warming more seriously.

Because of Sandy and other significant storms from the last couple of years, 69 percent believe that they climate change is real.

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

 

Take an online MTA survey and win a free MetroCard or rail ticket


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) wants to know what its regular subway, bus, railroad riders, and bridge and tunnel users think about their service, and is looking for people to complete online surveys three to five times a year.

Those who register for the surveys will be eligible to win a MetroCard or 10-trip ticket on the MTA railroad of their choice each time an online survey is conducted.

Typically the MTA gathers this kind of information through on-board surveys, telephone surveys and focus groups. It will continue to survey people using tho se methods, the online surveys will allow the MTA to target surveys to particular geographic areas within the system.

Customers who are interested in participating should go to http://mta.info/survey and fill out a short registration form. Once a survey is conducted, the MTA will send participants an email message with a link to the online survey.

 

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Stabbed MTA officer leaves hospital, eager to return to the job

A wounded Metropolitan Transportation Authority police officer was released from the hospital and headed home Thursday, one day after he was stabbed in the eye during a confrontation in Jamaica, Queens. Dozens of MTA and city police officers were on hand to applaud at Jamaica Hospital as Officer John Barnett was brought out in a wheelchair, with a hat pulled down over his eyes. Read more: [NY1] 

Four-alarm fire sweeps through Queens residential street 

More than a dozen firefighters sustained minor injuries battling a four-alarm fire in South Richmond Hill, Queens on Thursday. It started in a house on 112th Street on Thursday afternoon and spread to the surrounding houses. Authorities say about 175 firefighters worked for an hour and 20 minutes to extinguish the flames. Read more: [NY1]

Queens lifeguard Emily Harms hailed as hero after rescuing 11-year-old from drowning

She is 21 years old, looks more like a teenager and is hardly your typical vision of the heroic lifeguard. But Emily Harms from Bellerose, Queens is all that and more. An 11-year-old boy might not be alive if not for her heroism. CBS 2′s Scott Rapoport spoke with her Thursday and heard the remarkable story. Read more: [1010wins] 

‘Transfer’ schools offer at-risk students a chance to graduate 

For some Queens high school graduates this year, the commencement ceremony represents achieving the previously impossible. But the special schools that made it happen often are tarred with bad marks due to federal standards that overlook their value, school administrators and education experts say. Ryan Rodriguez, 19, of Corona, attributes his success to North Queens Community High School — what is known as a “transfer” school, which takes students who are at risk of aging out of regular high schools. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Danielle Thomas Update: Ky. wake for Qns. executive 

Hundreds of mourners packed a Kentucky church yesterday to mourn a “small-town girl’’ who came to New York with big dreams, only to be murdered — allegedly by her lawyer boyfriend in Queens. Some 800 friends and family members wept as they filed into Centenary Methodist Church and surrounded the closed casket holding Weight Watchers executive Danielle Thomas. Read more: [New York Post] 

Scaffolding that malfunctioned in Queens wasn’t sanctioned 

The scaffolding that malfunctioned on Monday in Sunnyside leaving a worker dangling for dear life was not sanctioned, the Daily News has learned. The incident underscores a dark underbelly within the construction trade, a Queens lawmaker said Thursday. The city Department of Buildings issued a partial stop-work order at the 45th St. construction site and is investigating what caused the scaffolding to collapse, officials said. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Supersize Smack

No more super-sized Cokes. Forget about 64-ounce stomach-busting sodas at KFC. Even 20-ounce Snapples are on Mayor Bloomberg’s latest health-conscious hit list. In a dramatic move to reduce obesity, the city is going to become the first in the nation to impose a 16-ounce limit on the size of sweetened beverages sold in food establishments that receive letter grades from the Health Department, as well as mobile food carts. Read more: [New York Post]

 

Daily News’ spell king Arvind Mahankali hopes third time’s a c-h-a-r-m 

Queens super-speller Arvind Mahankali advanced to the semifinals Wednesday in his third Scripps National Spelling Bee. Arvind, 12, knocked out “garibaldi,” a blouse inspired by Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi, and “apparatchik,” a Russian derivative referring to a mindless follower. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

Cops release sketch in hunt for Queens rapist

Police have released surveillance video and a sketch of an alleged rapist who attacked a woman on a Queens street late Sunday night. The 19-year-old victim was walking on 89th Avenue between 102nd and 104th Streets in Woodhaven around 11 p.m. when the sicko grabbed her from behind and forced her to the back of a house where he sexually assaulted her, police said. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

MTA Ahead Of Schedule On East Side Access Tunnels

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it is ahead of schedule on one leg of its East Side Access project. Crews completed the third of four tunnels Tuesday that the MTA is building in Queens, seven weeks earlier than planned. Read more: [NY1]

 

Phillies rally over Mets in 8th but Cliff Lee still winless

Even with a sore hamstring, Carlos Ruiz had no trouble trotting around the bases. Ruiz came off the bench to hit a tying homer in the seventh inning, Jimmy Rollins added a three-run shot and the Philadelphia Phillies busted loose late in a 10-6 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday night. Read more: [ESPN]

 

Comedian Steve Hofstetter comes home to  Forest Hills Jewish Center

Comedian Steve Hofstetter, 32, is taking his “stand-up routine on the road for a return benefit performance at the Forest Hills Jewish Center on Sunday at 4 p.m. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

 

Jackson Heights pigeon poop a persistent problem


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

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A Jackson Heights politician is fed-up with the foul fowl feces that shroud the face of the neighborhood’s premier subway station.

Councilmember Daniel Dromm says he is perturbed by the pigeon poop problem casting a shadow over the 74th Street station on Roosevelt Avenue, which hosts the No. 7, “E,” “F,” “R” and “M” trains.

“The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has neglected its legal responsibility to clean the pigeon poop,” said the councilmember, who called the MTA’s behavior a disgrace. “We have complained about it and they still haven’t come out to clean it. They promised they would [on] Monday, November 28, but they didn’t. This is a serious case of neglect and abuse of the Jackson Heights community. They have been a bad neighbor. One has to wonder why they continue to ignore Jackson Heights when it is one of the busiest stations in the whole transit system.”

According to an MTA spokesperson, the authority is aware of the problem and examining a variety of different solutions, including placing jagged spikes on the structure, making it less conducive for squatting.

“There is no way for us to place nets above the area, and we are limited in what we can do to solve the pigeon problem, but we do try and clean the area regularly,” said the spokesperson. “We do clean it, but the pigeons come right back. This is one of the difficult situations that we don’t have a solution to. From what I’ve heard it is pretty awful. It is disgusting, but we do have a pigeon problem throughout the city and we try different things in different place. We will just have to keep trying until we find a solution.”

The station receives regular cleaning every other week, including on the night of the December 6, according to the spokesperson.

Dromm claims his constituents have “continuously complained about the lack of maintenance to the 74th Street station,” including the pigeon excrements covering it, garbage left on the sidewalks in front of it and vacant stores surrounding it. The councilmember also plans to test the paint chipping away from the subway tracks above Roosevelt Avenue for dangerous chemicals.

Dromm, who says he has attempted to attain a regular maintenance schedule for years, to no avail, believes the MTA’s negligence has also hurt the community financially.

“The MTA is the biggest impediment to economic development in Jackson Heights, because that station is the entrance to the neighborhood,” he said. “You have vacant stores around a pigeon poop covered, paint peeling and garbage strewn subway station. People come out from the subway, and the first thing they want to do is turn around and go home. [The pigeon poop] makes the entrance to Jackson Heights undesirable.”

During the daily bustle of rush hour, some Jackson Heights residents admit they don’t bother to look up and perceive the problem.
“I’ve never even noticed it before,” said one resident as he hurried to work.

Others agree with Dromm and believe the station has become a blight on the community.

“This is the MTA’s property, and they should clean it up,” said David Barrionuevo, who uses the 74th Street station daily. “It shows they don’t care. They probably took a lot of money from the city to build this, so the least they can do is upkeep. The pigeon poop gives the station a gritty look, and if you look at some of the other stations, especially some of the bigger ones, they look nicer than this. This station is relatively new also, which means the MTA hasn’t been taking care of it at all. It looks like there is years’ worth of [feces] here.”

Improving MTA Cleanliness


| letters@queenscourier.com

 

There are many ways the Metropolitan Transportation Authority could reduce garbage in subways.

Why not install separate cans for recycling newspapers, plastic and glass along with regular garbage.  Selling advertising on the side of cans could generate revenue to help cover the costs of more frequent off-peak and late night collection and disposal. Ask the Department of Sanitation to do the same on the street adjacent to subway entrances.

There are also solutions to dealing with waiting for or riding the subway and having the “urge to go.” The odds of finding a working bathroom for “relief” may be too slim. Until the early 1960s, most subway stations had clean, safe, working bathrooms with toilet paper.  Revenues generated from a 10 cent fee helped cover the costs.

Why not consider charging a fee between 25 cents and a dollar?  That would generate revenues to assign a matron, along with covering security and maintenance costs.  This could help provide clean, safe, secure, fully-equipped bathrooms at most of the 465 subway stations.  Many riders would gladly pay this small price to insure working bathrooms, rather than face the current, unpleasant alternatives which contribute to dirty subways.

Larry Penner

Great Neck