Tag Archives: Philip Goldfeder

Concerns over homeless woman and dangerous intersection at Lindenwood Alliance meeting

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

A local homeless woman, a dangerous intersection and continued worries about a potential liquor store were the focus of discussions at September’s Lindenwood Alliance meeting.

President Joann Ariola brought up the concern for the homeless woman, called Laura, who had been making Cross Bay Boulevard her home over the past few months. While the woman had been quiet and to herself, she has been disruptive recently, allegedly harassing shoppers on the street. Members were concerned not only about the quality of life in the area, but for the woman’s own well-being.

“For her own safety, she needs to be addressed,” Ariola said. “She could become a casualty of Cross Bay Boulevard, and that’s something we don’t want.”

The intersection at 88th Street and 153rd Avenue was a common concern among residents — where a stop sign had been removed four years ago following an accident — and never replaced.

Because the triangle is close to P.S. 232, residents were worried that something potentially horrible could happen to a child.

“Those kids are going to get killed,” said Ellen Buonpastore. “The old people are going to get hit.”

Assemblymember Philip Goldfeder, who had just a few weeks before reached out to the Department of Transportation (DOT) on the matter, assured residents he and his fellow officials were working on getting something at the dangerous intersection.

“It’s almost like saying ‘we have to wait until someone dies,’ and to me that’s not acceptable,” he said.

Rudy Giuliani, chief of staff for Councilmember Eric Ulrich, said the councilmember’s office was working to get the DOT Queens Borough Commissioner to attend next month’s meeting and hear out the worries of residents.

Lastly, some residents who missed last month’s meeting brought the planned liquor store in the Lindenwood Shopping Center back to the table. The potential store’s owner had a meeting with the State Liquor Authority on August 29, but final approval was put off to examine the site’s proximity to P.S. 232.

“Every co-op has a private park and that’s where the winos are going to be,” said David Postrion, who missed last month’s meeting.

Postrion and others were reassured that the Alliance was doing whatever it could to keep the neighborhood safe. Should the liquor store be approved, members could bring complaints to the Alliance, of which the shopping center’s manager, Joseph Trotta, is a member.

Because of Columbus Day and Simchat Torah, next month’s meeting will be held on Monday, October 15 at the Dorchester, located at 151-25 88th Street.

Restorations means Rockaway’s rocking

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Rockaway is rocking its way to a promising destination for beachgoers.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe ceremoniously cut the ribbon on Monday, August 6, at the completed $30 million restoration of areas of eastern Rockaway beach.

The restoration included a 15,700-square-foot skateboard park, handball and basketball courts, playgrounds, climbing wall, performance space, water play area, synthetic turf field and accessible comfort station, according to the mayor’s office.

“Rockaway Beach has been an iconic recreational destination for more than a century,” Benepe said. “Now, thanks to Mayor Bloomberg and PlaNYC, the Far Rockaway neighborhood has new parks, playgrounds and athletic facilities that make it like a mini Jones Beach for the 21st century.”

This is one of eight projects under PlaNYC, which works on making the city greener.

The mile-long span of beach was designed to accommodate the growing residential boom in the Rockaways, according to the mayor’s office. The renovations were also designed to withstand the effects of storms and waves.

Assemblymember Philip Goldfeder, who was present at the ribbon cutting, has also secured $8 million from the city to restore the bulkhead at Beach 108th Street in Far Rockaway.

“I thank Mayor Bloomberg for allocating the necessary funding to fix the bay wall,” Goldfeder said. “We cannot take chances on the safety and protection of Rockaway families, and I am glad the mayor heard our concerns.”

Goldfeder also noted that the same area had been restored five years ago, but was now eroding for undetermined reasons.

By restoring the wall, he said, it will help prevent flooding and bring more people and economic activity to the area.

“By revitalizing this site and repairing the deteriorated bulkhead, we can create a new economic engine to help put southern Queens and the Rockaways on track toward success,” Goldfeder said. “At the same time, through repairing part of the waterfront, we can shield the bay from contaminants and better protect the community from future flooding.”

Pols push for improvements to Charles Park

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Mike DiBartolomeo

Piles of trash in tall grass are just yards away from baseball fields where the pitcher’s mounds have nearly leveled with home plate. Behind home plate, there are cracks in the sidewalks that are overgrown with grass and weeds. Not much further from this scene is a picnic table, worn from years of use.

These are just some of the images of Frank M. Charles Memorial Park in Howard Beach, which officials and residents say has been neglected for years by the National Park Service (NPS).

Assemblymember Philip Goldfeder and Senator Charles Schumer recently sent a letter to NPS with concerns about upkeep of the park that residents claim has been inconsistent and underfunded for years.

“Frank M. Charles Memorial Park, a treasured resource for the residents of Howard Beach, has long been a popular location for youth sports games and family outings. But the park has seen better days,” Schumer said. “The level of deterioration at the park is unacceptable, and that’s why I’m urging the National Park Service to step up to the plate and clean it up so local residents get the park they deserve.”

Goldfeder said he and Schumer decided to urge for better maintenance now as summer heats up and pollution in the park has increased.

“I think it was time we sort of formalize our request that we’re serious about it and we’re not going to stop until we see some improvement,” Goldfeder said.

The assemblymember said NPS typically focuses its spending on West Coast parks and will sometimes forget about eastern areas.

He added that “Howard Beach is a beautiful community and we deserve a beautiful park.”

In the past, Goldfeder said he’s led cleanup efforts throughout the greenspace, but it needs consistent maintenance and not quick fixes.

Dorothy McCluskey, who heads the Friends of Charles Park group, has worked for nearly two decades to ensure the park is clean.

The Parks Service, she said, had not been allocating funds to, or regularly caring for, what she calls “the jewel of Jamaica Bay.” She cited poorly repaired tennis courts and baseball fields as some of the problems reported to the NPS.

John Warren, an NPS spokesperson for the area, said the agency was working the city to improve all parks near Jamaica Bay. Warren said plans with the city were “still in the early stages, but it’s going to help us pool our resources together…to provide better services to people at all of our parks in the Jamaica Bay area.”

Garbage, he said, is a problem endemic to all greenspaces, and NPS is continuing to clean the park.

“Trash is an issue at any park,” he said, “and it’s something we’re working on further improving.”