Tag Archives: Rochdale Village

Rochdale Village library to close temporarily for roof replacement


| editorial@queenscourier.com

SARA TOUZARD

The Rochdale Village branch of the Queens  Library will be closed for about two months while the roof is being replaced, officials announced.

The branch, located 169-09 137th Ave., will close at the end of business on Aug. 2 and will reopen in October, the library said.

A mobile library will be set up to provide limited service every Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the closure.

For more information, visit the Queens Library’s website or call 718-990-0700.

 

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Bill would disperse homeless shelters evenly throughout each borough


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Queens shelters may soon be finding new homes.

Councilmembers Ruben Wills and Leroy Comrie started work in 2011 on a bill that would disperse homeless shelters evenly throughout each borough. Wills said research revealed that Community Board (CB) 12 contains 10 of the 18 shelters in all of Queens. CB 12 includes Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans, Springfield Gardens, Baisley Park, Rochdale Village and South Jamaica.

“The DHS [Department of Homeless Services] is clustering all of these shelters,” Wills said. “All of these undesirable land uses are in certain community boards. We perceived that to be a huge problem.”

Under the bill, Wills and Comrie proposed limiting the number of shelters in any community board to one-third of the borough’s total.

Wills said placing shelters in one specific type of community, such as CB 12, is not in response to any increase in the homeless population.

“It is not fair that southeast Queens has the majority of homeless shelters in the borough,” Comrie said.

For the existing shelters, Wills suggested they make relocation plans so they and their residents are prepared to move when any site’s lease expires. He said it was important to put shelters in areas with convenient transportation.

The council pair proposed an additional bill under which the DHS would determine whether any shelter resident is a sex offender. If so, the department would notify the local community board, councilmember and police precinct. The department would also conduct mental health and criminal background assessments on all adults entering shelters. If passed, the bill will go into effect on January 1, 2014.

 

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Community comes out to pray, walk for peace


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Johann Hamilton

JOHANN HAMILTON

Residents of Queens refuse to take crime in stride.

Dozens of New Yorkers gathered in front of Baisley Park in Rochdale to participate in the first of many prayer walks over the summer. The walks are intended to help end violence.

Residents from all over the city participated in the program, headed by Reverend Phil Craig of the Greater Springfield Community Church as well as politicians and organizations including the Women’s Committee of the National Action Network and the NYPD’s Explorer program.

“We’re going to make this at least an annual event,” Craig said at the Saturday, July 13 rally. “I think this is a really good thing for the community and the community agrees. We’re going to walk around this entire complex and pray for peace.”

“There’s too much killing and prostitution,” he added. “We’re gathering here so that we can get Jesus into our communities and get the enemy out.”

Saturday’s walk went through Rochdale Village, which Craig explained has seen a high amount of drug-related activity along with prostitution and robberies.

Councilmember and public advocate candidate Letitia James also participated in the walk. She came from a similar event in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

“If you want to change your life and the lives of others today, then march,” she told the attendees. “March on behalf of children and their mothers. March on behalf of schools, and march so that little boys and girls can know that they can one day be the next president of the borough of Queens, or the United States.”

The prayer walks are open to all. No RSVP is required. More information can be found at the Greater Springfield Church’s website, www.greaterspringfieldchurch.org/nan.html.

 

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Sanders defeats indicted incumbent Huntley in State Senate primary


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

Incumbent State Senator Shirley Huntley, who just a few weeks ago was charged with tampering, falsifying business records and conspiracy, lost her District 10 seat.

Before her arrest, Huntley was already facing a viable challenger in the Democratic primary, Councilmember James Sanders, the September 13 winner.

Early numbers coming in showed Sanders ahead, but the results that Huntley’s campaign got at one point may have given the senator and some of her supporters, who were gathered at Rochdale Village, hope that she was going to keep her seat.

Around 10:30 p.m., loud cheers were heard coming from inside that gathering, which was closed to media.

Shortly after, many of those in attendance came out in a seemingly joyful mood. One, a woman decked out in a “Shirley Huntley for State Senate” T-shirt and button, was chanting, “Sanders needs a job!”

Huntley then came out, only saying that she was tired, and quickly got into a car.

But it was Sanders and his supporters who ended up celebrating a win, not Huntley.

Around 11:45 p.m., Sanders, who also faced off against real estate professional Gian A. Jones, made his victory speech at his election night party in Richmond Hill.

With all the precincts reporting, he won 57.1 percent of the vote, according to numbers released by the New York Times.

Huntley received 39.9 percent and Jones won 3 percent.

Sanders does not have a Republican opponent in the general election, and is now the State Senator-elect.

“We pledge clean government, respectful government. This is not our money. This is the people’s money. We don’t have the right to spend it as we wish,” he said in his victory speech.

On August 28, the day after Huntley’s arrest for allegedly helping to cover up the fraudulent use of state money, Sanders called for Huntley to exit the race.

Pleading not guilty to the charges, Huntley, who has held the seat since 2007, refused to give up her campaign.

Neither Huntley nor her campaign could be reached for comment following her loss.

Along with thanking his campaign staff and those who believed that he could win when everyone said he couldn’t beat an incumbent state senator, Sanders also mentioned in his victory speech what he hoped to do for his community.

Sanders’ chief of staff, Donovan Richards, reportedly wants to run for his boss’ soon to be vacated seat.

“He’s the right pick to replace me in the city council,” said Sanders.

Former Queens Little League ‘coach of the year’ pleads guilty to sexually abusing minors


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Ellis Kaplan

A former Little League coach of the year pleaded guilty to sexually abusing players on his team.

David Hartshorn, a former coach at the Rochdale Village Little League, was arrested and charged in February with having sexual contact with three boys, ages 13 and 14, at his Rochdale Village home between July 2009 and January 2011. He was also accused of showing child pornography to minors and filming two teens engaged in sex acts.

Hartshorn pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual act, two counts of second-degree criminal sexual act and two counts of use of a child in a sexual performance. Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Buchter indicated Hartshorn would be sentenced to 18 years in prison, the district attorney’s office said.

“The defendant has admitted being a sexual predator who took advantage of his position as a Little League baseball coach to get close to young boys before sexually abusing them,” said District Attorney Richard Brown. “The consequences of his actions can have a lasting and profound impact on his victims – for that reason alone, the intended prison sentence to be meted out by the Court is more than warranted.”

According to the criminal charges, Hartshorn would frequently have members of his team at his residence.

This isn’t Hartshorn’s first time in trouble with the law. According to published reports, he was convicted in 1989 on charges of sodomy, promoting sexual performance by a child under 16 and promoting obscene sexual performance by a child under 16.

Hartshorn has been held without bail since his February 2011 arrest.

Additional reporting by Steve Mosco

Officials break ground on new Adult Learning Center in Rochdale Village


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo by Dominick Totino Photography

Brainy bookworms in Rochdale Village will soon have a $4.1 million new home away from home.

According to Queens Library officials, the community’s Adult Learning Center will be doubled in size to include more classroom and discussion group space, additional computers, listening stations and a new handicapped-accessible restroom.

“The expanded Adult Learning Center at Rochdale Village is a solid investment in the future,” said Borough President Helen Marshall, who provided $500,000 in funding. “When finished, it will be a practical resource for users who want to explore the programs and services it offers to enhance opportunities and career paths in a comfortable, up-to-date modern facility.”

Additional funds were allocated by Assemblymember Vivian Cook and Councilmember Ruben Wills, who joined Marshall and library officials on March 9 during the project’s groundbreaking and ceremonially kick-off.

According to library officials, the adult learning center — which is one of seven in the Queens Library system — serves hundreds of adult students every year, helping them to learn how to read, write and converse in English. The center also helps prepare students for pre-GED classes.

“The Adult Learning Center is vital to the adults in our community,” Cook said. “This expansion is great news for the residents of southeast Queens.”

The new center will be built on the vacant city-owned property adjacent to the library, officials said. Among other renovations, officials said, the roof, indoor ventilation systems and fire protection equipment will be replaced and self-service check-in technology will be installed.

Construction is expected to conclude in the fall of 2013.

Meanwhile, officials said,  will continue its normal operations, and the Adult Learning Center will hold its sessions at the Rochdale Village and Laurelton Libraries in the interim.