Tag Archives: rockaway beach

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 88. West wind 5 to 11 mph becoming east in the afternoon. Thursday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 74. South wind 6 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Cowboys & Aliens at Rockaway Beach

Enjoy films, sand, waves and salty air at the same time in Rockaway Beach. The free movie starts at sundown (approx. 9 p.m.). Click here for more info or submit an event of your own

Prosecutors decline to prosecute cop accused of assaulting a Queens Supreme Court Justice

Prosecutors said Wednesday they will not charge a cop accused of assaulting a Queens Supreme Court Justice during a homeless man’s arrest in Jackson Heights. Justice Thomas Raffaele, 69, says he was hit with a chop to the throat in June by an officer who thought he was part of a rowdy crowd and that a police sergeant then refused to take his complaint. Read more: Daily News

Mets shut Santana down with back inflammationJohan Santana can start contemplating 2013

The Mets left-hander is not expected to pitch again this season, after the team on Wednesday placed him on the disabled list with an inflammation of the lower back. The decision to shut down Santana came after Mets brass received the results of an MRI exam taken on Tuesday. Read more: NY Post

Obama fundraises with help of his NBA friends

President Barack Obama is comparing the presidential contest to the fourth quarter of a basketball game. Obama is fundraising in New York with the help of current and former National Basketball Association stars. He tells a small group of donors gathered at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center that the campaign is like a hoops contest in the final minutes. Read more: NY Post

Explosive firsthand account on raid that killed Osama bin Laden coming from member of Navy SEAL team

A member of the U.S. Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden has written a firsthand account of the operation, triggering more questions about the possible public release of classified information involving the historic assault of the terror leader’s compound in Pakistan. Read more: Daily News

LL Cool J takes down burglar in his LA home

LL Cool J put his “NCIS: Los Angeles” training to good use against a burglar in his L.A. home early Wednesday morning. The 42-year-old rapper turned TV military cop left the would be robber with a broken nose and jaw in what police sources described to the LA Times as a”knock-down, drag-out” fight and detained him for police. Read more: Daily News

Two errors cited as cause for Second Ave. subway explosion

The mid-day explosion along the Second Avenue Subway zone might have been caused by two serious errors by the contractor, the MTA said today. Officials said that the blast appeared to be the result of too much explosives in one area. Read more: NY Post

Year after Irene, Rockaway Beach repairs press on

Efforts to repair some of the damage from Hurricane Irene are still under way nearly a year later, including the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach. NY1’s Roger Clark filed the following report. Workers were out on the Rockaway Beach boardwalk Wednesday repairing a portion damaged almost a year ago, and has some residents wondering why it’s been taking so long. Read more: NY1

Weekend events in Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Friday, August 17

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Both children and adults are invited to a fundraising event at the Forest Park Carousel to raise money for programs and services for those who have Alzheimer’s.

7 p.m. – 10 p.m., “Taxi Driver” at the Museum of the Moving Image: Martin Scorsese’s dark, dyspeptic view of New York, made all the more menacing by a brassy Bernard Herrmann score, is also a great visual love letter to the Big Apple.

7: 30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Irish Movie Night at the New York Irish Center: “Eat the Peach,” Two young out-of-work Irish men are watching an old Elvis Presley movie in which a carnival cyclist performs an act called the Wall of Death. Transfixed, they decide to put together their own “Wall of Death.” The film is based on the true story of two brothers-in-law, frustrated by life in a small border town.

8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Rufus King Park movie series presents “Knocked Up,” a Judd Apatow film about a one-night stand that results in an unexpected pregnancy for entertainment reporter Alison (Katherine Heigl), who vows to be a good mom and keep her career on track by trying to make things work with the slacker (Seth Rogen) who knocked her up.

8 p.m. – midnight, The Laughing Devil presents a showcase of the best comics that New York City has to offer, featuring a rotating cast with a healthy mix of celebrities and the next-big-thing.  Tonight’s show features Steve Hofstetter.

8:30 p.m., This outdoor movie series at Hudson River Park features family-oriented PG movies suitable for all ages. Tonight’s film will be “Back to the Future.” Free popcorn will be provided.

Saturday, August 18

7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Saturday is the last day of the fifth annual Summer Streets. About seven miles of New York City’s streets will be opened up for running, biking, walking and playing from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, along Park Avenue and connecting streets. There will also be activities and giveaways, including rock climbing and free bike helmets.

11 a.m. – 3 p.m., FlyNYC 2012: Come fly a kite at FlyNYC 2012, a kite festival in Riverside Park. There will also be kite making, live entertainment and other activities.

11 a.m. – 5 p.m., South Queens Park Association presents its second annual collectible car show at Roy Wilkins Park.

5 p.m. – 10 p.m., First Annual Rockaway Beach Club Crawl: Get to know your boardwalk concessions at Rockaway Beach.

8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., At the Alley Pond Environmental Center astronomer Mark Freilich will teach you all about the stars and the features of the moon with an outside viewing using a professional telescope.

10:30 p.m. – midnight, Playing with Reality’s Late-Night Sandbox Series: Three unplanned stories. three audience volunteers. one unforgettable show each month. Here’s your chance to step on stage with highly skilled inter-actors and become the star and co-creator of an entirely unscripted journey. Or, just sit back and enjoy. This one-of-a-kind sandbox is waiting for you. Fill your pail with enthusiasm, jump in and play.

Sunday, August 19

9 a.m. – 4 p.m., The 3rd Summer Craze Car Show & Blood Drive will have trophies, dash plaques, goody bags  and raffles.  All Donations will go directly to St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside.

1 p.m. – 7 p.m.Astoria Park Shore Fest: A Car-free celebration on Shore Boulevard adjacent to Astoria Park. It will include educational activities, live music, fitness programs and food-tastings with various neighborhood restaurants.

6 p.m. – midnight, Long Island City: Art, Graffiti, Infrastructure, and Sunset, One subway stop away from midtown Manhattan, Long Island City is undergoing its second makeover as its industrial landscape gives way to artists’ venues, the reuse of its daylight factory buildings, new condos and shorefront parks.

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.”

What to do with the kids this weekend


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

QUEENS

Friday, August 10 

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Attend the Star Wars Reading Day at the Long Island City branch of the Queens Library for a chance to win prizes and receive Star Wars giveaways. This reading day will feature a Star Wars craft station and other activities.

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Come for an evening of music at Grover Cleveland Playground. There will also be face painting for children, a raffle drawing and Latin dance instruction under the stars. All ages are welcome to participate. Seniors will receive a free gift while supplies last.

Saturday, August 11

8:30 a.m., The Family Adventure Race for parents and children at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park incorporates basic exercises and sports skills. Open to participants of all City Parks Foundation sports programs and their parents. The race course features 12 activity stations including a javelin throw and a basketball free throw.

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., The youth mentoring agency Stoked is celebrating the summer at Rockaway Beach. Come out for yoga and get your body stretched and ready for surf lessons and surfboard demos, supported by Global Surf Industries. Once you’ve mastered the paddling, kneeling, and standing on the board, enjoy some food and show off your skills in the ping pong tournament to close out a day of fun.

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., At this free family event, learn about the different animals that used to live at Rufus King Park. Bring your favorite stuffed animal and enjoy making a special craft for your animal.

12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., The USTA SmashZone Mobile Tour will be part of the Jackson Heights Play Street at Travers Park in Jackson Heights on Saturday. SmashZone Mobile Tour engages audiences by introducing them to the game in a fun and interactive way by makings stops at fairs, festivals and air shows. Children will have the opportunity to play tennis games.

Sunday, August 12

12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., The Myrtle Avenue Festival, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Glendale Queens and located on Myrtle Avenue between Fresh Pond Road and Forest Avenue, features food vendors, craft vendors, games, rides, Brooklyn Nets “Experience”, North Shore Animal League mobile pet adoption, FDNY Smoke House fire safety exhibition and more fun for the whole family.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., The Itty Biddies, a group that combines storytelling and song, will perform at LIC Bar this Sunday.

 

AROUND NYC & LONG ISLAND 

Friday, August 10

8:30 p.m., This outdoor movie series at Hudson River Park features family-oriented PG movies suitable for all ages. Tonight’s film will be “Rango.” Free popcorn will be provided.

Friday, August 10 / Sunday, August 12

11 a.m.-1:00 p.m., During the Kids & Rigs Sailing Adventure, children ages 3 to 14 and adult chaperones will set sail in style aboard an 80′ 3-masted schooner powered by the wind. This two hour educational sail will teach kids about sailing and marine wildlife. The last activity on board will be a crafting workshop led by Chef Paula of LilChefs.com. Advanced payment and registration required. Space is limited. The boat sails from Schooner Soundwaters in Port Jefferson.

Saturday, August 11

7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Saturday is the fifth annual Summer Streets. About seven miles of New York City’s streets will be opened up for running, biking, walking and playing from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, along Park Avenue and connecting streets. There will also be activities and giveaways, including rock climbing and free bike helmets.

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Friends of the High Line and the Children’s Museum of the Arts are having their monthly drop-in art workshops for kids this Saturday. Using found objects and natural materials, kids can craft their own High Line-inspired masterpieces under the guidance of Children’s Museum of the Arts Teaching Artists.

11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., See Pinkalicious at the Long Island Children’s Museum. The musical is about a girl, Pinkalicious, who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink-loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament.

Sunday, August 12

12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Kiddie Cruise: A Princess and Pirate Adventure is an all inclusive fun-filled family event that sails for two hours on the Hudson River. Guests enjoy a puppet show, magician, face painting, arts and crafts, live music while soaking in the sights. All guests receive a healthy bagged lunch and unlimited juice and soda. Kids are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Princess or Pirate. The boat leaves from Pier #40 West Side Highway in Manhattan.

4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., SummerStage Kids is a day of jazz performances geared towards a younger audience as well as dancing, a double-dutch show, face painting and other fun activities.

Queens weekend events


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Saturday, July 28

Noon – 2 p.m.34th Annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow: New York City’s oldest and largest pow wow will feature three days of intertribal Native American dance competitions to which the public is invited. Over 40 Indian nations are represented at this spectacular event held in the apple orchard on the farm grounds. A large selection of quality Native American art, crafts, jewelry and foods are available.

6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Vertigo at the Museum of the Moving Image: Considered by many cinephiles the greatest of all films, Hitchcock’s peerless psychological thriller follows a San Francisco private detective who comes out of retirement to trail an old schoolmate’s beautiful wife, who appears to be haunted by a figure from her ancestral past.

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Come enjoy a summer night with the Bard. Queens-based Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a free performance of Shakespeare’s classic, “The Comedy of Errors” on the bathhouse plaza at Jacob Riis Park.

8 p.m. – 10 p.m., The Wild Party at Secret Theatre: Secret Theatre Musicals is pleased to announce their production of Andrew Lippa’s THE WILD PARTY. With a book, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, John and Jen, The Addam’s Family), this exciting production is directed by Taryn Turney and will play a 3-week limited engagement.

1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Bucket of Junk at NY Hall of Science: Design and build anything your imagination can think of by combining interesting objects you’ll find in our Bucket of Junk. Free with NYSCI admission.

Sunday, July 29

11 a.m.World’s Fair Marina, located at Pier 1 in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, invites you to master your fishing skills while connecting with nature. Experienced rangers teach the ecology of the waterways as well as the principles of fishing. This event is free.

Noon – 2 p.m.Rockaway Beach Sandcastle Contest: Build sandcastles at this 17th annual contest with Urban Park Ranger activities and prizes for several age categories. Bring buckets and tools. No experience necessary.

1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Sung in French Haitian Creole to a background of African Rhythms, “Compa Music” is undeniably infectious, high energy and fun to dance to at Flushing Town Hall. Dousing FTH with the flavor of this rich and varied music is The Agoci Band led by Rolhans Innocent. The Agoci Band is a group of Haitian musicians that combine fresh Hip-Hop, Roots, and Calypso flavors.

4 p.m. – 7 p.m., SummerStage Kids Queens Family Day: An exciting event to inspire and engage children of all ages and their families, featuring Randolph Matthews, LuckyBob and Little Club Heads. Families will also have the opportunity to participate in face painting, craft workshops, free sports lessons including golf workshops, and a fun and exciting hip-hop dance class!

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Come enjoy a summer night with the Bard. Queens-based Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents a free performance of “Hamlet” on the stage at O’Donohue Park.

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

EVENT of the DAY: Irish Music Concert in Sergeant Collins Park 

Visit Sergeant Collins Park for a concert of Spirited Irish Music with a Global Twist. Admission free, all welcome. Jigs, reels and more. Catch the Celtic Spirit! Fiddle-guitar duo Cady Finlayson & Vita Tanga with Tim Alworth on percussion.

[Click here for more info or submit your events]

State DOE slams Jamaica HS in report 

The New York State Department of Education is out with a scathing report on Jamaica High School. The report says two special education teachers are uncertified, there are no honors or SAT prep courses, and science and math classes have been cut. Read more: [NY1] 

Refurbished Forest Park Carousel enjoys a summer rebirth as crowds rediscover ‘jewel’  

The historic Forest Park Carousel, reopened after years of being shuttered, is rebuilding its audience this summer. It has hosted almost 15,000 rides since Memorial Day and long-time residents are rediscovering it every day. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Veteran sushi chef Taka Terashita sets up shop in the Rockaways

Taka Terashita rolls with the punches. When the chef lost his job in March, Terashita decided to take his sushi skills to the newest food frontier, Rockaway Beach. Surf Sushi in the Beach 96th St. concession area was the first location for Rockapulco Eats, a Daily News summer series that analyzes the deluge of finer food that has taken the boardwalk by storm. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

City Correction Department to battle Rikers Island violence with body scanners 

The latest in high-tech body scanners are not for passengers boarding an airplane. But for inmates locked up on Rikers Island and in other city correctional facilities– Prisoners who may try to sneak a blade or other weapons past correction officers. Read more: [NY1] 

Bad call by ex-pol 

In a move that was amazingly foolish and incredibly brazen, a former Queens lawmaker now under indictment on federal bribery charges called an FBI informant at the center of his corruption case — only minutes after he was released on $1 million bail — in a possible attempt to obstruct justice, stunned officials said yesterday. Read more: [New York Post] 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Five people killed, including two children, in fiery Queens SUV rollover horror

Five people were killed, including two children, after leaving a Nigerian heritage celebration in Queens early Sunday when their speeding SUV, swerving after blowing through two red lights, slammed into a concrete pillar, rolled over and burst into flames, police and witnesses said. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Con Ed customers could pay for ’08 death blast

Ed customers could be slapped with part of the bill for a horrific 2008 gas explosion that killed a Queens man and left his daughter needing medical care for the rest of her life. The family of Edgar Zaldumbide won a $20 million settlement from Con Ed, according to documents obtained by The Post. Read more: [New York Post] 

Beach replenishment coming to Rockaway

Sand-starved sections of Rockaway Beach, battered by erosion and Hurricane Irene, could be replenished later this year, according to the city Parks Department. The Bloomberg administration made a last-minute $3 million allocation to the agency’s budget to pay for the project. The money will be used to transfer sand dredged from the East Rockaway Inlet by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Queens man dead after ATV crash 

A Queens man is dead after police say he crashed his ATV into a metal pole Saturday night. Investigators said 33-year-old Dave Thomas was riding his ATV on the sidewalk on Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica when he hit the pole. Read more: [NY1] 

Annual Colombian Day Parade held in Jackson Heights 

A sea of red, blue and yellow filled the streets of Jackson Heights Sunday for the annual Colombian Day Parade. More than 75,000 people lined the parade route along Northern Boulevard waving their flags. The sounds of cumbia and salsa filled the air, along with the aroma of traditional Colombian food and treats. Read more: [NY1] 

Rockaway hosts 6th Annual Rockstock and Barrels Surf Festival


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

The waves were low, but spirits were high over the weekend as people flocked south to hang ten — or just hang out.

The Sixth Annual Rockstock and Barrels Surf Festival, held on Saturday, June 23 in Rockaway Beach, celebrated the surfing culture that has been revived in the area, along with hosting competitions in surfing and skate boarding, and live music.

The event was founded with the intent to be an unofficial start to summer, said Steve Stathis, owner of Boarders Surf Shop and one of the fest’s organizers. Nike sponsored this year’s surf race, which included a $3,000 prize; Red Bull sponsored the Manny Mania skateboard competition. This was also the first year the festival featured a paddle-surf competition, sponsored by H2O Generation — a shop that makes retro 1950s and 60s surfboards.

“We did this so young kids could surf and play,” said Walter Hornung, who coordinates the live music side of the festival. Ten to 12 bands will normally perform, Hornung said, all local and all original music. Toy Sugar, a local, young band opened the music portion of Rockstock and Barrels, and closed with a cover of The Zutons’ “Valerie.”

The popularity and the number of participants has grown over the years, the organizers said, especially as surfing has once again become popular in the Rockaways.

“Every year it just gets bigger and bigger,” said Jimmy Dowd, another organizer and owner of St. James Clothing Company. Dowd said there have been several times where people will come to Rockaway Beach, come across the festival and develop an immediate interest in surfing.

Erick Daschagas, who normally surfs at Rockaway, said it was good there was a festival that brought attention to the small surf culture that exists in south Queens. “I think it’s good in itself for the surf culture,” he said.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Judge Rules Synagogue Terror Plot Case Will Move Forward 

A judge will allow the criminal case against a Queens man accused of plotting to blow up synagogues around the city to go forward. Lawyers representing Ahmed Ferhani, 26, were asking the judge to dismiss the case, arguing the charges against him are based on insufficient evidence and that he was entrapped. Read more: [NY1] 

A Queens NYPD official warns about dangers of ATM ‘skimmers’ 

A Queens NYPD official is warning residents about an ATM scheme that could lead to some unwanted withdrawals. Sophisticated swindlers attached skimmers to the ATM machines at an undisclosed bank on Cross Bay Blvd. in Howard Beach last month, police officials said. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Queen boy publishes book to help raise money for cancer research 

When a hospital reached out to a Queens woman to ask if they could use her case of breast cancer to help find a cure, her son wanted to find a way to give back to the hospital. At 12 years old, DaeQuan Morrison decided to publish a book that he had written two years earlier for his fifth-grade class and donate a portion of the proceeds to the Feinstein Medical Institute, where his mother Patricia was taking part in a clinical trial. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Rockaway Beach Community Torn Over Beach Rebuilding Project 

Huge mounds of sand are at the center of a debate on Rockaway Beach. The mounds have been offering protection to a building there for the past six months, but a new plan to use the sand to shore up an eroded section of beach 30 blocks to the south has residents in an uproar. Read more: [1010wins] 

Richmond Hill merchants say J-train subway construction is hurting business

A construction site near the elevated 111th St. J train stop in Richmond Hill has been a massive headache for neighboring businesses, local merchants say. The site, where workers are painting and reinforcing the overhead tracks, has caused tremendous losses in revenue, business owners said, because of issues with parking, noise, and equipment blocking store facades. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Heat Advisory To Remain In Effect For Thursday

As a heat advisory remains in effect for Thursday, Con Edison is urging customers to conserve energy. The utility reduced voltage in dozens of neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn as a precaution to protect equipment and maintain service while crews fix electrical problems. Read more: [NY1]

Campaign 2012 Notebook: Queens Congressional candidates jockey for votes as primary nears

With the June 26 primary just days away, the four Democrats hoping to become the nominee for Queens’ Sixth Congressional District are busy trying to get people to the polls. While rain is generally the biggest detriment to voter turnout, the unusual late June primary poses a different question: Will potential voters want to spend any part of a sunny June day at the polls? Read more: [New York Daily News]  

20-year-old man plunges to his death from elevated subway platform in Queens

An inebriated 20-year-old man jumped to his death from an elevated subway platform in Queens Wednesday night, fire and police sources said. The young man bolted from a stalled A train at the Beach 90th St. station in Rockaway Beach around 8 p.m., the sources said. The conductor saw the victim — who may have been trying to hop to a nearby rooftop and scale a fence when he suddenly dropped, the sources added. Read more: [New York Daily News]  

Police searching for missing 5-year-old Queens boy: report

Police are looking for a 5-year-old boy in Queens this morning, ABC 7 reported. According to the report, the boy — who answers by the name of Zachary — walked out of his home on Rockaway Boulevard and 118th Street in South Ozone Park at about 1:30 a.m. Read more: [New York Post]  

Arvind Mahankali, Daily News finalist in National Spelling Bee, awarded City Council Citation  

Twelve-year-old Arvind Mahankali, of Bayside Hills, was awarded a New York City Council Citation for advancing to the finals in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The seventh-grader, who placed third in his third appearance at the event, received the citation from City Councilmen Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and Daniel Halloran (R-Whitestone) during a ceremony held Monday, June 18, at Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74. Read more: [New York Daily News]  

Resorts Casino Raking In Slot Machine Revenue

The Resorts World Casino says it is raking in more money from slot machines than any other gambling hub in the country. Watch video: [NY1]

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Long Island City experiences new real estate boom 

 

Long Island City is undergoing another real estate boom, buoyed by a new batch of residential towers, hotels and high-profile property deals. Local real estate experts said they believe the momentum — with an influx of waterfront high rises and almost 20 hotels — is due to the once industrial neighborhood’s soaring reputation and an improved economy. Read more: [New York Daily News]  

 

A rookie and veteran, both from Ladder 163 in Queens, set to be honored at FDNY Medal Day

Firefighters at Ladder 163 in Queens have double the reason to celebrate at this year’s FDNY Medal Day ceremony. Two of their members will be cited for going above and beyond the already-dangerous call of duty as a New York City firefighter. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

Residents Flock To Rockaway Beach For Memorial Day Weekend

For early risers, Rockaway Beach can be almost a private playground on the sand and in the water. “You want to beat the crowds because it’s harder to get some good long rides in,” said one resident. “I’m still learning and I have a lot to learn but at least I’ll have some space.” Read more: [NY1]

 

Vet: US wishes I’d die

While Americans spend today at parades and ceremonies honoring service members killed in the line of duty, one Queens veteran believes government bureaucrats can’t wait for him to die. Frank Bari, a 62-year-old lawyer, has been waging an eight-year legal battle with the Veterans Administration over his claims that he was left permanently disabled by the Agent Orange that was sprayed on him while he served with the Coast Guard in Vietnam. Read more: [New York Post]

 

Jackson Heights man inducted into state Veterans Hall of Fame 

A Queens man who coordinated the largest air rescue behind enemy lines in American combat history has been posthumously inducted into the state Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. George Vujnovich, a retired small business owner from Jackson Heights, was awarded the Bronze Star in 2010, 66 years after the conducting the rescue. He died in late April at the age of 96, shortly after state Sen. Jose Peralta informed him of the induction. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

NYC Honors Military Members Who Gave Their Lives

Events are going on around the city and the country Monday to honor those who died in service to the nation. Mayor Bloomberg paid tribute to the nation’s fallen at a ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Upper West Side. Read more: [NY1]

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens couple found dead in apparent murder suicide

A man and woman were shot to death last night in their Queens home in what cops called an apparent murder-suicide — and one of the two children in the house at the time made the horrifying discovery, neighbors said. The victims, whose names were withheld, were found around 11: 30 p.m. in the home on Dillon Street in South Jamaica, cops said. In the house were the couple’s 2-year-old son and his 16-year-old stepsister. The teenager’s 18-year-old sister was out at the time. Read More: New York Post

 

GOP hopeful that Police Commissioner Kelly will run for mayor

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is being courted by a top state Republican to run for mayor next year — and the city’s top cop is open to the idea, sources told The Post. Kelly, who has come under fire for the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk and Muslim-surveillance policies, could use the City Hall post to continue driving down crime and fighting local terrorism “for another four or eight years,’’ said former state GOP Chairman William Powers, who heads the party’s newly created statewide “advisory committee.’’ Read More: New York Post

 

Fearless squirrels invade Queens co-op

They are marauding gangs of troublemakers who set fire to cars, cut electrical wires and cause power outages, evading capture by scaling walls and climbing trees. But while the Queens co-op residents being terrorized by the daredevil vandals say they know exactly who their tormentors are, they insist that they’re helpless in stopping the crime wave — because the suspects are sex-happy squirrels. Read More: New York Post

 

Residents Help Clean Rockaway Beach For The Summer Season

While it’s not summertime yet, the unseasonably warm temperatures this week got dozens of local residents to make sure Rockaway Beach is ready to make a positive first impression this season. Read More: NY1

 

Queens man arrested for breaking into Diddy’s East Hampton mansion, eating his food and wearing rapper’s clothes

A Queens resident’s unwelcome visit to Diddy’s East Hampton mansion on April 1 was no joke. Quamine T. Taylor was arrested at the rapper’s residence after cops say he entered through an unlocked basement door, and treated himself to a nearly day-long feast fit for a music mogul, according to the East Hampton Star. Read More: Daily News

 

Rookie police officer arrested after assaulting fiancee in his Queens home

A rookie NYPD cop was arrested in Queens Saturday for assaulting his fiancée, officials said. Off-duty Officer Alexandru Baiasu, 27, was arrested about 10:50 p.m. at his Rego Park home after attacking his 31-year-old fiancée during an argument, cops said. Baiasu, who was newly assigned to the Police Academy, was charged with assault and harassment, officials said. Read More: Daily News

 

NY Jets’ Tim Tebow attends Yankees-Angels game, sits with Dwyane Wade and gets booed by fans

Tim Tebow made the scene at the Stadium for Sunday night’s 11-5 win over the Angels. The newest Jet, who is due to attend workouts with the team on Monday, sat on the third-base side next to the Angels dugout with a Yankees cap on and, at one point, engaged in an animated conversation with Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. When the Stadium video board showed Tebow, he received equal parts boos and cheers. Read More: Daily News

A flourishing future for Queens parks


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Lewandowski(cropped)w

BY DOROTHY LEWANDOWSKI

Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Borough President Helen Marshall and all of our Queens elected officials, we are continuing to benefit from the largest period of park renovation and expansion since the 1930s. Over the past decade, almost half a billion dollars has been allocated for more than 600 upcoming and completed projects in Queens parks.

We work hard to listen to and include all the communities of Queens in what we do at NYC Parks, and we’d like to share with you a look back and a look ahead as the new year begins.

This past summer’s opening of Rockaway Beach brought sand, surf, and sun, but also tacos, spring rolls, smoothies, arepas and more, thanks to an international menu from a slate of new vendors.

Those looking for something a little more active than a day at the beach were able to play cricket on the new grass cricket fields at Jamaica’s Baisley Pond Park, practice their backhand at the restored Forest Park and Astoria Park tennis courts or row around Meadow Lake, thanks to the new boat launch and restored boathouse at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

And Queens kids were able to climb, run and slide into new playgrounds at Middle Village’s Juniper Valley Park and Springfield Garden’s Montbellier Park. These 21st-century playgrounds feature challenging equipment and themed designs guaranteed to entertain even the most seasoned playground-goer.

As part of the mayor’s PlaNYC program, we’re making New York a more sustainable and livable city. One of PlaNYC’s goals has been to take advantage of existing, underutilized space and improve it for additional use. Last June, we took a space that was once blighted by giant, unused gas tanks, visible from the highway, and opened Elmhurst Park – six acres of rolling hills, expansive lawns and innovative playground equipment.

Another of the initiatives under the PlaNYC program has been to improve schoolyards and open them after school hours and on weekends for public use. Last year, we opened the city’s 200th such site when we cut the ribbon on Jackson Heights’ P.S. 69. In total, 52 Queens schoolyards have already been opened, and an additional eight are currently being improved.

Queens was particularly hard hit by the 2010 tornado and last year’s many storms, so recent Queens plantings targeted Forest Hills, Rego Park, and other communities that lost trees during these storms. As you may know, the goal of MillionTreesNYC is to plant one million trees on NYC’s streets and in our parks by 2017. Last year we reached the halfway mark, planting our 500,000th tree, including more than 120,000 new trees in Queens.

I would like to thank all of our Queens partners and elected officials who have – through advocacy, special events, and funding – “adopted” Queens’ parks as their own, and made 2011’s improvements possible.

And we’re always on the lookout for new volunteers to help keep Queens’ parks clean, green and beautiful. If you want more information about volunteer opportunities visit nyc.gov/parks.

We’re working for a greener, cleaner 2012, and look forward to seeing you in the beautiful parks of Queens!

Dorothy Lewandowski is the Parks Department’s Queens Borough Commissioner.

Christmas Tree Collection to Begin January 3


| brennison@queenscourier.com

After the presents have been unwrapped, the stockings unstuffed and the new year has passed, comes the time to take down the decorations and discard the Christmas tree.

Beginning Tuesday, January 3, the Department of Sanitation will collect the curbside Christmas trees that should be removed of tinsel, lights, ornaments and stands.  The program will run through Saturday, January 14.

The trees must not be placed into plastic bags.

The trees will be chipped and turned into compost and spread throughout the city in parks, ball fields and community gardens.  Compost is a natural fertilizer and is a soil enrichment that promotes the growth of plants and grass.

“The department is very pleased to offer this special recycling service.  Providing collection and recycling options for residents is environmentally valuable and benefits our neighborhoods,” said Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty.

The city’s Parks & Recreation Department will also hold a Mulchfest on Saturday, January 7 and Sunday, January 8.  Residents can bring their trees to one of the 70 designated locations around the city — 10 in Queens — for mulching.  New Yorkers who drop their tree off at the event will also be able to pick up free mulch.

For more information on Christmas tree collection and recycling and/or Mulchfest 2012, visit www.nyc.gov/sanitation or www.nyc.gov/parks or call 3-1-1.

Here is a list of Queens Mulchfest locations:

  • Astoria Park* (19th Street & Hoyt Avenue)
  • Brookville Park* (Brookville Boulevard between 144th Avenue & Caney Road)
  • Cunningham Park* (Visitor Parking Lot & 196th Street)
  • Forest Park Bandshell* (Forest Park Drive, west of Woodhaven Boulevard)
  • Juniper Valley Park* (80th Street between Juniper Boulevards North & South)
  • Kissena Park (Sunday Only*) (164th Street at Underhill Avenue)
  • Land Restoration Project Compound* (Queens Plaza South & 10th Street)
  • Rockaway Beach (Shore Front Parkway & Beach 94th Street)
  • Roy Wilkins Park (Park entrance at Merrick and Foch Boulevards)
  • Travers Park* (78th Street at 34th Avenue)

* Free mulch will be provided

New sand on Rockaway Peninsula beaches


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder is seeking community input and calling for a public hearing on the projected maintenance dredging in the East Rockaway Inlet. The public hearing would involve key stakeholders, including residents, local businesses and community organizations.

“The potential for new sand on our beaches is welcomed news to our community,” Goldfeder said. “Our beaches got hit badly by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee,” he said. “The damage has left our community in desperate need of help. We should be doing everything possible to restore our beaches, not only for our local families but for the thousands of tourists that come to enjoy the very best beaches in New York City and the local businesses who depend on them.”

The project will potentially be carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is expected to involve the removal of approximately 240,000 cubic yards of sand from the East Rockaway Inlet, Goldfeder said. The removed sand would then be available for placement along the Rockaway Beach shoreline.

The new sand would only be a temporary resolution, Goldfeder said, adding that he was still urging the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite their studies and examine the possibility of installing rock jetties.