Tag Archives: rockaway

Domino’s delivery man attacked in Rockaways for pizza: NYPD


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Some people will do anything for pizza.

An apparently famished man punched a Domino’s delivery man in the face on Dec. 6 in the Rockaways before taking off with all of his pizzas, police said.

The attack happened in front of Ocean Bay Apartments, at 54-49 Almeda Ave., where the 58-year-old man was delivering pizza.

The suspect, a dark-skinned Hispanic man, escaped into the building and hasn’t been found. The delivery man refused medical attention.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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One dead after car crashes into support pillar for A train in Far Rockaway


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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A 28-year-old man died after his car struck the support pillar for the elevated A subway line in Far Rockaway Saturday night, police said.

Cops found the driver, Jeffery McDonald of Far Rockaway, about 8 p.m. unconscious and unresponsive with trauma to his body at Rockaway Freeway and Beach 25th Street, according to police. He was taken to Saint John’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

McDonald had been driving westbound on Rockaway Freeway in a white Lexus when he collided into the support pillar of the elevated train, cops said.

Police were investigating the crash.

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One dead, three injured in Rockaway collision


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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One person was killed and three more were hurt Wednesday night after a car veered into oncoming traffic and crashed into another vehicle in the Rockaways, police said.

A Nissan 350Z was driving eastbound on Beach Channel Drive near Beach 127 Street about 11:10 p.m. when it veered sideways, crossed over the double yellow line and entered the oncoming lane, authorities said. A Kia Spectra traveling westbound on Beach Channel then struck the passenger side door of the Nissan.

The Nissan’s 19-year-old passenger, Geovanni Balverdy, of Far Rockaway was pronounced dead at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, police said. The car’s driver, a 19-year-old man, was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

EMS took the Kia’s driver, a 29-year-old woman, and her passenger, a 21-year-old man, to Brookdale Hospital. Their condition was not immediately clear.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Rally held in Rockaway to show support for the NYPD


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Salvatore Licata

Rockaway residents gathered together on Monday to show their support for the men and women in blue.

“We want to show our support for the NYPD,” Councilman Eric Ulrich said. “We are there for them today, we were there for them before the tragedy happened and we will be there for them in the future.”

The rally took place at the 100th Precinct, located at 92-24 Rockaway Beach Blvd. Over 50 residents joined police officers and elected officials to show their solidarity and the respect they have for the NYPD, in particular the precinct that keeps watch over the peninsula.

“We are thankful for the brave men and women who protect and serve us, especially those down here in the 100th Precinct,” Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder said. “These officers wake up every day and all they look to do is help.”

The ceremony started off with a prayer for slain Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were targeted by a deranged gunman simply because they were police officers. They also said a prayer for four officers who were killed in the line of duty in the 100th Precinct in years past and lit a blue candle for each.

“These officers put on their badge each and every day to protect each and every one of us,” state Sen. Joe Addabbo said. “I’m glad we have a moment to gather and say thank you.”

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Toward the end of the meeting, Joseph Concannon, a former NYPD captain, announced that he is holding a rally at Queens Borough Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at noon. The event is titled “Support Your Local Police,” and is meant to raise awareness that there are many people who do support the NYPD.

“Come out and show your support for the men and women of the NYPD,” the rally flier reads. “Stand together with the law enforcement community and your Queens neighbors.”

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‘Little North Pole’ comes to Rockaway this weekend


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo by Vito Catalano

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Rockaway.

The “Little North Pole” is coming back to Neponsit on Sunday at 4 p.m. Joseph Mure is hosting the event at his home for the 19th year and has always done it for a good cause. Every penny that is donated at the event will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

“Juvenile diabetes is something that is very close to me as it runs through my family,” Mure said. “I love giving back to the foundation and getting the whole community together for a good cause.”

The event was originally supposed to be on Saturday, but due to the weather forecast, Mure switched it to Sunday. It will be held at 144-03 Neponsit Ave. in Rockaway.

The festivities will include singing, dancing and all types of entertainment. Special guests such as Tony Sirico and John Ventimiglia from “The Sopranos” will be there along with Joe Causi from WCBS radio, among others. And of course, Santa Claus will also stop by to see the children.

They will have a raffle for a brand-new 2015 Mercedes Benz GLA 250 for $20 a ticket. It is sure to be an event that everyone will enjoy, Mure said.

“This is an event for people of all ages,” he said. “I do it to put a smile on every child’s face that comes to the event and to help those special children who suffer with diabetes.”

Along with the entertainment, there will be food and drinks, which will be donated to the event, and every child will receive a toy.

Mure wants people from all over to come and kick off the holiday season for a great cause.

“We have a great show planned,” he noted. “It’s very important to me watching the children all around with a smile on their face.”

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Rockaway man charged with assaulting ex-girlfriend’s 13-month-old son


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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A Rockaway man is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend’s 13-month-old son while he was babysitting the child last week.

The child was abused so brutally that he was left with a fractured skull, District Attorney Richard Brown said.

The mother of the child brought her son to the Arverne home of Bishme Allah around 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, so he could watch him while she ran errands for about 30 minutes. As she left the child was awake and crying.

When she returned, Allah, 30, who had been left alone with the child, told her that her son was asleep, Brown said. The two then smoked marijuana and ate a sandwich.

At 9 p.m., when the woman got into bed with her son, she did not notice anything wrong with him. But when Allah joined her in bed and she moved her child, she then saw that he had marks on his face and severe swelling to his head, according to Brown. She then demanded that Allah take them to the hospital.

The child was admitted to Cohen Children’s Medical Center, where an examination showed that the boy had a severe skull fracture, hemorrhages, contusions, and bruising on the head and lower abdomen, prosecutors said. Medical personnel determined that the injuries were inconsistent with an accident and consistent with a forceful impact.

Allah was arraigned Wednesday night in Queens Criminal Court on charges of assault, attempted assault, and endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted he faces up to 15 years in prison.

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Only hospital on Rockaway peninsula to receive $500,000 grant


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Assemblyman Goldfeder’s office

It’s the only hospital on the Rockaway peninsula, and now it has the funds needed to improve its facility.

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital services over 130,000 residents in Rockaway in addition to those in the neighboring parts of Nassau County. After being hit by Hurricane Sandy, it has been hard for the hospital to get back to its full health.

As he saw that the hospital was struggling, Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder worked to provide the hospital with a $500,000 capital grant to help with their renovations, upgrades and expansion of its surgical facility.

“St. John’s Hospital is currently the only healthcare facility open to serve the entire Rockaway peninsula, and it is still struggling financially to cover the costs of expenses incurred two years ago during Sandy,” said Goldfeder. “This new funding will go a long way to ensure that St. John’s can modernize, grow and continue to provide quality and accessible healthcare on the Rockaway peninsula.”

This isn’t the first time he has helped secure funds for the hospital. When Hurricane Sandy hit, the hospital had to spend $4.3 million to run it and make repairs.

In June 2012, Goldfeder assisted in granting St. John’s Episcopal Hospital nearly $5.4 million under the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law of New York State (HEAL NY) to expand services after the closure of Peninsula Hospital.

Richard Brown, the CEO of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, expressed his gratitude to Goldfeder for helping to keep the facility afloat.

“This allocation will enable us to purchase a variety of equipment necessary for state-of-the-art, minimally invasive 3D surgery, as well as make great strides in providing leading edge education within St. John’s surgical residency program,” said Brown. “Most importantly, minimally invasive surgery techniques allow patients to heal faster and go home sooner. St. John’s will now have the highest quality instruments available, allowing us to grow in our mission to provide the best patient care possible.”

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MTA bus driver charged after allegedly stabbing wife’s lover in Rockaways


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Updated Wednesday, Nov. 5, 4:45 p.m. 

A city bus driver from Richmond Hill has been arrested after he allegedly stabbed his romantic rival in Arverne Tuesday afternoon, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.

Ephraim Henry, 30, had completed his route and was driving the empty bus to the depot when he spotted the victim, Oscar Williams.

Williams, 48, was driving a Honda near Beach 67th St. and Beach Channel Drive, when Henry allegedly stopped the bus and began to argue with Williams, who is reportedly involved romantically with Henry’s wife. The two began to fight and Henry stabbed Williams in the arm, Brown said.

Williams survived the incident but had to undergo surgery at a nearby hospital.

Henry was arraigned on Wednesday on charges of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

The stabbing was within blocks of where several stray bullets hit an MTA bus on Monday night. No one aboard the bus was injured, but a 21-year-old man was hit in the leg. He was taken to the hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

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Stray bullets hit MTA bus in Rockaway shooting


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Updated 2:53 p.m.

An MTA bus was hit by stray bullets in a shooting that injured a 21-year-old man in Arverne Monday night, according to authorities.

Two bullets went through the driver’s side of the Q22 bus, near Beach Channel Drive and Beach 73rd Street at about 8:20 p.m., police said.

Around 15 to 20 passengers were on the bus at the time of the shooting. No one aboard was hurt.

The 21-year-old man was found on Beach 67th Street with a gunshot wound to his leg and taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition, authorities said.

Police are still looking for the shooter.

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Sandy recovery process highlighted at town hall in the Rockaways


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

It’s been two years since Superstorm Sandy ravaged southern Queens and though the recovery process is slow, it is moving in the right direction, city officials said at a town hall meeting in Rockaway.

“We are approaching the two-year anniversary of Sandy and still people are struggling,” said Councilman Eric Ulrich. “We wanted to give the community a chance to hear about the recovery process and ask their questions directly to the city agencies.”

The meeting, which was hosted by Ulrich and Councilman Donavan Richards at Beach Channel High School in Rockaway on Oct. 27, provided updates on the state of the Rockaway boardwalk, ferry service, street and light repairs, Build It Back numbers, FEMA insurance and other programs presented by representatives of the DOT, EDC, DEP, Parks Department, Build It Back and the Mayor’s office.

“Sandy highlighted many of the vulnerabilities that we had in the city,” said Dan Zarrilli, director of Recovery and Resiliency in the Mayor’s Office.

He added that his agency is working on strengthening coastal defenses through sand replenishment and bulkhead expansion while also lobbying the federal government to keep FEMA insurance at an affordable price for residents.

Amy Peterson, director of Build It Back, said that even though the agency is not where it needs to be, much progress has been made. Since January, there have been 750 construction starts and 1,000 checks issued throughout the city.

When it came to the DEP, Emily Lloyd, director of the agency, said they inspected 51 miles of storm sewers on the Rockaway peninsula running from Arverne to Neponsit and added that there was minimal damage to the water mains in the area.

She also said that the agency is working on minimizing the crude smell of the Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Plant, located on Beach 107th Street and Beach Channel Drive, via odor control and an upgraded filtration system but said there will never be absolutely no smell.

Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver gave a much-anticipated update on the Rockaway boardwalk. He said that the construction of the boardwalk, which was started in April, will be finished by Memorial Day of 2017. He added that when finished this boardwalk will “rival all others in the world.”

The DOT, represented by Queens Borough Commissioner Dalila Hall, has allotted $2 million for resurfacing work throughout southern Queens. Hall also said the agency is diligently repairing street lights and traffic signals, which were damaged from Sandy, and is working on getting Select Bus Service to the Rockaways as the need for transportation became so apparent in the wake of the storm.

Finally, Kyle Kimball, president of NYCEDC, gave news that met with much uproar from residents. The Rockaway ferry service, which was put in as a temporary transportation method after Superstorm Sandy, will be ending this month. He mentioned that the $5 million a year it would take to run the service was not in the city’s budget.

Councilman Richards said that even though the city still has a long way to go in the recovery process is still a long way to go, two years after the storm hit, progress has been made.

“Our communities still need repairs,” Richards noted. “But the stronger we remain together, the more likely the entire community will be rebuilt.”

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$232M Arverne View Rockaway housing development reopens two years after Sandy


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy HDC and Kevin J. Laccone

Rockaway seems even more resilient with the return of one of its large residential complexes.

Real estate firm L+M Development Partners and the city Housing Development Corporation cut the ribbon on the $232.3 million Arverne View housing complex in Rockaway on Monday, two years after the buildings were devastated by flooding from Superstorm Sandy.

The 13-acre complex, consisting of 1,093 units throughout 11 buildings, features affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families and has a daycare center, a community center, a supermarket, more than 10,000 square feet of on-site retail space, laundry facilities, 24-hour security, management office and parking.

In October 2012, days before L+M was about to buy what was then known as the Ocean Village housing complex, which had many buildings in need of repairs, Sandy wrecked the community. L+M continued with the purchase in November and committed to rebuilding the housing development. The buildings underwent a $60 million interior and exterior rehabilitation, funded by federal, city and private partnerships, and new storm-proofing and resiliency measures were installed.

“The devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy just two years ago left many of my neighbors in the Rockaways without adequate shelter. I applaud both the public and private partnerships that came together to rebuild and restore Arverne View,” said state Sen. James Sanders Jr.

Ribbon Cutting

The ribbon cutting was only ceremonial as renovations were completed in March.

The apartments range in size from studios to five bedrooms in the buildings, which vary in height from four stories to a 19-story tower.

Originally built in 1974 for low-income families, Arverne View remained affordable housing by accepting individuals and families earning no more than 80 percent of the area median income of $66,400 annually for a family of four. And 25 percent of units in the buildings were reserved for those earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income.

“Throughout the rehabilitation of Arverne View, our goal was to provide quality homes in a great setting and at the same time preserve affordable housing for the many New Yorkers that need it,” said Ron Moelis, CEO of L+M. “Standing here on the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy among these beautifully renovated buildings truly makes you appreciate just how much we’ve accomplished.”

 

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Real estate roundup: The Crossing in downtown Jamaica revealed, friends return to Sandy damaged house


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of BRP Companies

93-01 Sutphin Boulevard Revealed

“BRP Companies have released renderings of their 25- and 14-story mixed-use development project at 93-01 Sutphin Boulevard, in Downtown Jamaica. Dubbed The Crossing, the complex will contain 580 residential units and 100,000 square feet of retail space.” Read more [New York YIMBY]

After 50 years in business, Frankie’s Pizzeria has closed

“The operators of Frankie’s Pizza, which is located at 22-56 31st Street, left a note in the window that read: Dear Costumers! Thank you for your loyalty and support after 50 years of business– Frankie’s Pizza is closing!” Read more [Astoria Post]

Organic Coffee Shop with Vegetarian Menu Opens in Forest Hills

“A new coffee shop featuring organic and vegetarian menu opened this week in Forest Hills, a neighborhood that has been primarily served by coffee shop chains, including Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Rockaway Park Friends Return To Homes Damaged In Superstorm Sandy

“Nearly two years after Superstorm Sandy, two friends in a Queens neighborhood are finally back in their own homes.” Read more [CBS]

Real estate roundup: More homeless shelters to Queens, borough’s dining scene thriving


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

City Plans Second Homeless Shelter in Rockaway, Local Pol Says

“Another homeless shelter will open in the next few weeks in Rockaway, the second to open on the peninsula this year, according to an elected official and the local community board.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Wanted: Gentrifiers for huge Long Island City warehouse

“Investors in a far-flung corner of industrial Long Island City are looking for a way to transform a 300,000-square-foot development site into a property that will raise its neighbors’ values.” Read more [The Real Deal]

The dining scene turning Queens into the new Brooklyn

“Brooklyn, once an affordable refuge for restaurateurs and diners creating and seeking culinary adventures, is losing its down-home charm. And Queens, long known for its cheap ethnic eats, is filling the gap. For the first time ever, four of its restaurants have won a coveted Michelin star, and there are plenty more contenders.” Read more [New York Post]

Real estate roundup: Rockaway boardwalk project delayed, permits filed for Rego Park apartment building


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Rockaway Boardwalk Renewal Delayed Again as Project is Redesigned

The rebuilding of the Rockaways’ boardwalk will likely be delayed another three months as the design is modified to address community concerns about access to the waterfront, according to an official. The delay, the latest of many since the city began the project after Hurricane Sandy, will impact the more than a mile-long stretch that will also include a giant “ROCKAWAY” sign implanted into the boardwalk. Read more [DNAinfo]

Downtown Flushing: Where Asian Cultures Thrive

People who live and work in downtown Flushing sometimes call it “the Chinese Manhattan.” Both downtown Flushing, in north-central Queens, and Manhattan are centers of commerce, transportation and finance, and both have shiny new buildings with expensive and sought-after condominiums. Read more [New York Times]

Permits Filed: 65-70 Austin Street, Rego Park

There, at 65-70 Austin Street, behind the Long Island Rail Road’s main line, a new building permit application has been filed for a seven-story residential building. The building would, according to the permit application, rise 70 feet and include 45 apartments spread over 34,550 square feet of net residential space, for an average unit size of less than 800 square feet (we’re guessing rentals). It will include 28 off-street parking spaces, which is only a few more than required by zoning. Read more [New York YIMBY]

New shuttle bus coming to Catholic Charities centers in southern Queens


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Senior citizens may find it difficult to navigate around southern Queens, but that will soon change for many.

A new shuttle bus has been funded by Councilman Eric Ulrich to transport the elderly to and from their homes to five Catholic Charities senior centers throughout the 32nd Council District.

A total of $25,000 was allocated from Ulrich’s discretionary fund to pay for a driver, insurance and other vehicle-related expenses.

“This is important for senior citizens in this district,” Ulrich said. “[The bus] will be a lifeline for them.”

Along with transportation to and from the senior centers, where residents can participate in a variety of classes and workshops, the shuttle will provide rides to shopping centers and other local activities spots.

Ulrich hopes to extend the service to more of his constituents in the future.

“If this bus is successful now, I will do everything I can to extend it,” he said.

Residents and Catholic Charities officials thanked Ulrich for the allocation.

“We cannot tell you how much we appreciate this,” said Debra Hoffer, director of field operations for Catholic Charities. “Seniors will finally have the door-to-door service they need.”

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