Tag Archives: Rockaways

Enjoy these free summer concerts across Queens parks


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via queensbp.org/katzconcerts

With the summer heating up, Borough President Melinda Katz announced on Monday a series of free concerts at parks around Queens — from a Beatles cover band in Bayside to reggae in the Rockaways — starting July 12.

“The concert lineup we have arranged for July and August features a wide array of talent that is sure to be enjoyed by Queens residents and visitors alike,” Katz said.

The outdoor music events, dubbed the “Katz Concert Series,” will take place at the following places and dates:

THE TEE-TONES – Motown Concert
Sunday, July 12, at 5 p.m. at East Elmhurst Playground, 100th Street between 24th and 25th avenues in East Elmhurst
In partnership with Kupferberg Center for the Arts and City Council member Julissa Ferreras

YESTERDAY AND TODAY – Beatles Tribute Concert
Sunday, July 19, at 5 p.m. at Crocheron Park, 35th Avenue between Corbett Road and Cross Island Parkway in Bayside
In partnership with Kupferberg Center for the Arts and City Council member Paul Vallone

YESTERDAY AND TODAY – Beatles Tribute Concert
Sunday, July 26, at 5 p.m. at Tudor Park, 133rd Avenue between 81st and 82nd streets in Ozone Park
In partnership with Kupferberg Center for the Arts and City Council member Eric Ulrich

QUEENS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Sunday, Aug. 9, at 5 p.m. at Forest Park (George Seuffert Bandshell), Woodhaven Boulevard and Forest Park Drive in Woodhaven

THE TEE-TONES – Doo-Wop Concert
Sunday, Aug. 9, at 5 p.m. at Little Bay Park, Totten Avenue at Cross Island Parkway in Bayside
In partnership with Kupferberg Center for the Arts and City Council member Paul Vallone

BRITISH DEPENDENCY – Reggae Concert
Saturday, Aug.15, at 6 p.m. at Rockaway Beach Park, Seagirt Boulevard and Beach 17th Street in Far Rockaway
In partnership with Kupferberg Center for the Arts and City Council member Donovan Richards Jr.

SESSIONS THE BAND – R&B Concert
Sunday, Aug. 23, at 5 p.m. at Springfield Park, Springfield Boulevard between 146th and 147th avenues in Springfield Gardens
In partnership with Kupferberg Center for the Arts and City Council member Donovan Richards Jr.

DDENDYL from Season 6 of NBC’s “The Voice” – American Blues Concert
Thursday, Aug. 27, at 6:30 p.m. at Tribute Park, Beach 116th Street at Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway Park
In partnership with Friends of Tribute Park

MOTOR CITY REVUE – Motown Concert
Sunday, Aug. 30, at 5 p.m. at Astoria Park (Great Lawn), 19th Street between Astoria Park South and Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria
In partnership with Kupferberg Center for the Arts and City Council member Costa Constantinides

Lawn chairs and/or blankets are recommended at the concerts.

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City Council approves tax breaks for fully affordable Edgemere housing project


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Curtis + Ginsberg Architects LLP

The City Council approved Wednesday a Housing Preservation and Development Department grant for a 40-year property tax exemption that will allow the construction of a fully affordable 101-unit planned project in Edgemere.

The project, called Beach Green North, will be located on vacant land at 45-05 Rockaway Beach Blvd., and will be 100 percent affordable thanks in part to the tax break. It is being co-developed by Bluestone Organization in conjunction with L+M Development Partners and Triangle Equities.

The planned seven-story building will have more than 93,000 square feet of living space and about 500 square feet for commercial space, according to filings with the Buildings Department. There will also be a total of 35 parking spaces in the building, which was designed by Curtis + Ginsberg Architects and GDSNY.

Half of the building’s units will be for families making 60 percent or less of the area median income, according to reports. Developers are hoping to break ground on the project in the summer.

Beach Green North will be built with the use of bioswales and pervious asphalt to maximize stormwater retention, which will help prevent sewer system overflows. The building will also make use of energy-saving features and amenities to enhance resiliency against big storms, such as Sandy, which devastated the Rockaways.

Councilman Donovan Richards was pleased with those features of the project in addition to its affordability.

Beach Green North

“This plot of land has been left desolate for decades, but it will now feature housing that offers greater comfort for occupants and an enhanced level of survivability in case another catastrophic storm hits the peninsula again in the future,” Richards said. “This is a great victory for a community of working-class New Yorkers and as further developments come to fruition, I will continue to fight to ensure that the Rockaways remain a place for working families to live, work and thrive.”

The project will be the first development on vacant Edgemere beachfront property.

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Cable theft causes A train shutdown in south Queens: MTA


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Ad Meskens

Updated 1:55 p.m.

Limited service is back on the A line in south Queens Wednesday morning after crews worked to repair damage caused by the theft of nearly 500 feet of copper cables powering the tracks.

According to the MTA, the train troubles were discovered at about 11:22 p.m. Tuesday night, when a Manhattan-bound A train suddenly lost power just north of the Howard Beach-JFK Airport station. The MTA dispatched another train that pulled behind it, allowing some 150 passengers in the disabled train to safely walk back to the Howard Beach platform.

Upon investigation, crews reportedly discovered that copper cables which supply power to the third rail were missing. Signals and other related equipment were damaged due to the interrupted electrical equipment.

Photo courtesy MTA New York City Transit / Marc A. Hermann

Photo courtesy MTA New York City Transit/Marc A. Hermann

The cable theft caused a commuting nightmare during the morning rush hour Wednesday. The A line was entirely shut down between Rockaway Boulevard and Broad Channel, and shuttle buses were brought in to transport thousands of affected riders to the nearest working subway stations.

The MTA also noted the disruption made it impossible to dispatch trains stored at the Rockaway Park yard for morning rush hour service, thus reducing service along the entire A and C lines between upper Manhattan and Brooklyn. Some A trains were forced to terminate at Euclid Avenue in Brooklyn, the normal C train terminus.

MTA crews made emergency repairs to restore limited service by about 10 a.m. Wednesday, but the authority indicated the line would again be shut down tonight for further repairs. Shuttle buses will again replace A trains between Rockaway Boulevard and Broad Channel during the disruption.

Photo courtesy MTA New York City Transit / Marc A. Hermann

Photo courtesy MTA New York City Transit/Marc A. Hermann

“This morning’s service disruption was directly caused by the theft of cable from along the subway right of way,” MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco said in a statement. “We are working closely with the NYPD Transit Bureau to help them investigate this crime and identify the culprits responsible.”

Click here for up-to-date information on MTA service.

In the wake of the shutdown, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder called for an immediate investigation and the MTA to beef up security along the A line.

“Families in southern Queens and Rockaway have some of the longest commute times in the entire city. On a normal day, our roads, trains and buses are stretched to capacity. Outages like this have devastating consequences for families simply trying to commute to work or school,” Goldfeder said in a statement. “I am alarmed by reported security breaches along the A train and the failure to put in place effective alternative travel plans for our families. I demand a full investigation by the MTA to ensure that this never happens again.”

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Design workshops scheduled for Woodhaven/Cross Bay Select Bus Service plan


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC DOT

The city Department of Transportation (DOT) will hold the first of four public design workshops for the planned Woodhaven/Cross Bay boulevards Select Bus Service (SBS) system next Thursday night in Woodhaven.

All are invited to attend the April 16 workshop at P.S. 306 NYC Academy for Discovery, located at 96-16 89th Ave. This workshop will focus solely on redesigning the portion of Woodhaven Boulevard between Union Turnpike in Glendale and Rockaway Boulevard in Ozone Park.

The following week, April 23, the DOT will hold a workshop at Queens Metropolitan High School, located at 91-30 Metropolitan Ave. in Forest Hills, focused on Woodhaven Boulevard between Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst and Union Turnpike.

An April 29 workshop at P.S. 146, located at 98-01 159th Ave. in Howard Beach, will center around Cross Bay Boulevard, and an April 30 workshop at P.S. 42, located at 488 Beach 66th St. in Arverne, will focus on implementing SBS in the Rockaways.

All of the workshops will take place from 6 to 8 p.m.

Representatives from the DOT will collect at each session “block-by-block feedback on street design and bus stop locations” for the Woodhaven/Cross Bay SBS. Last month, the DOT selected an SBS design that would include dedicated main-road bus lanes on Woodhaven Boulevard and offset bus lanes on Cross Bay Boulevard.

The plan, which requires the physical reconfiguration of Woodhaven Boulevard, also calls for the creation of SBS stations at major roadways that intersect the boulevard, such as Metropolitan and Jamaica avenues.

While each workshop focuses on a specific section, the DOT indicated that comments on any or all parts of the proposed SBS system will be accepted at all four sessions. Translation services are available and may be reserved in advance of the workshop by emailing brt@nyc.gov.

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Volunteers wanted for Relay for Life events in Queens this spring


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/File Photo

Those looking to put their best feet forward in the fight against cancer are encouraged to join Relay for Life events scheduled across Queens in May and June.

The relays benefit the American Cancer Society (ACS) and include teams of volunteers from families, businesses, churches, synagogues, mosques, schools, civic associations and other groups walking or running laps around a course to raise funds for cancer research and treatment.

New York City played host to 27 Relay for Life events last year, raising more than $1.4 million combined, a goal the ACS hopes to eclipse in this year’s relay events.

“The Relay for Life movement unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and take action to finish the fight once and for all,” ACS Relay for Life Senior Manager Ben Messner said. “Many participants are our family, friends and neighbors who have faced cancer themselves. Each new team that registers brings us one step closer to saving more lives.”

Each Relay for Life kicks off with the “Survivors’ Lap,” as local cancer survivors take the first steps on the course, symbolizing their resiliency and strength. Once the survivors complete their circuit, the fundraising teams take the track; at least one member of each team must be on the track for the relay’s duration, into the night and following morning.

Team members camp out trackside and, when not on the course, get to rest and enjoy games, music and entertainment.

After nightfall, volunteers hold a luminaria lighting ceremony, when candles lining the course are lit in honor of a cancer survivor or in memory of someone who died of its complications.

The Relay for Life for the communities of Broad Channel, Breezy Point and the Rockaways takes place on Saturday, May 16, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next morning at the Broad Channel Athletic Club, located at 125 Cross Bay Blvd. For more information, contact Carol Palacio at 631-379-4924 or carol.palacio@cancer.org.

Bayside will hold its Relay for Life on Saturday, June 6, from 4 p.m. to 7 a.m. the following morning in Alley Pond Park. Those interested in participating can contact Marlene Medina at 646-318-7636 or marlene.medina@cancer.org for additional information.

One week later, the Howard Beach Relay for Life will kick off at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, at Frank M. Charles Memorial Park, located on 165th Avenue near 83rd Street. To learn more, contact Meghan Neary at 631-300-3458 or meaghan.neary@cancer.org.

Lastly, the Middle Village Relay for Life will take place two weeks later on Saturday, June 27, from 4 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next morning at Juniper Valley Park’s Brennan Field, located off the corner of 71st Street and Lutheran Avenue. Contact Marlene Medina as the previously listed email and phone number.

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77-year-old woman found dead in Rockaway fire


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

Updated 2:41 p.m.

An elderly woman was killed Saturday afternoon after an accidental fire sparked by a cigarette broke out in her Rockaway Beach apartment, authorities said.

The blaze started about 1:35 p.m. on the seventh floor of a building at 107-10 Shore Front Pkwy., according to the FDNY. Firefighters were able to control the flames, which were contained to one apartment, by about 2:15 p.m.

Inside the residence, they found a 77-year-old woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Police did not immediately release the victim’s identity.

No other injuries were reported.

The FDNY said the cause of the fire was smoking and that there were no working smoke alarms in the apartment.

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Brooklyn man arrested in deadly shooting of Rockaway teen


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated Sunday, March 8, 12:46 p.m. 

Police have apprehended an 18-year-old man for fatally shooting another teen in the Rockaways Friday afternoon.

A disagreement between the two 18-year-old acquaintances — Isaiah Lee and Darnell Green — turned violent about 12:50 p.m. at the Carleton Manor NYCHA development at 71-15 Beach Channel Dr. where Lee lives, authorities said.

Green reportedly showed up at Lee’s doorway and shot him in the face and chest.

Lee was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he died.

After announcing Green as a suspect in the murder earlier in the day, authorities said late Saturday that they had arrested Green, a Brooklyn resident.

Green was arraigned Sunday on charges of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, according to a spokeswoman for District Attorney Richard Brown. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child because an 11-year-old and a toddler were standing in the doorway as he was shooting at the victim.

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Police looking for pair in Rockaway robbery


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

They beat him for his Beats.

Police are searching for two suspects who attacked a man in the Rockaways before stealing his pricey headphones and electronic gadgets.

The pair approached the 33-year-old victim from behind at 5:25 p.m.on Feb. 4 inside of the Edgemere Houses on Beach Channel Drive and began kicking and punching him, authorities said. They then took his Samsung tablet, Beats headphones and Samsung cellphone before fleeing on foot.

The victim was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and released.

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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New residential and commercial building coming to Edgemere 


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Map via Google 

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development filed applications with the Buildings Department to construct an eight-story, 101-unit mixed-use residential and commercial building on a vacant lot in Edgemere.

The project will dedicate 93,491 square feet to living space and nearly 500 square feet of commercial space.

There will be a total of 35 parking spaces at the residence, which will be designed by Curtis + Ginsberg Architects and located at 45-05 Rockaway Beach Blvd.

Renderings of the project, called Edgemere West, can be found on the architect’s website.

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Goldfeder’s push for backup generators on the Marine Park Bridge prevails


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

The MTA announced that they have installed on-site backup generators at the Marine Park Bridge after a recent power outage shut the bridge down for hours.

“Installing generators at the Marine Parkway Bridge comes as a great relief to the thousands of families who rely on the bridge every day to travel to work or school,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “I want to thank Chairman Prendergast and the MTA for their swift action to ensure that the bridge will be powered at all times.”

On Nov. 29, one of the two electrical feeder cables at the bridge was damaged, which led to a power outage. The outage lasted for six hours and prevented thousands of motorists from crossing. Goldfeder wrote letters to the MTA and Con Edison shortly after asking for backup generators just in case something similar happens again.

After multiple efforts, Goldfeder was notified last week that the backup generators had finally been installed at the bridge in the hope of preventing another shutdown due to the loss of power.

The Marine Parkway Bridge links the west end of the Rockaway Peninsula to Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. It is one of the three access points to the Rockaways, together with the Cross Bay Bridge and the Nassau Expressway.

In 2012, the bridge served as the primary evacuation route for tens of thousands of families in the days leading up to Superstorm Sandy. The bridge carries 23,000 vehicles daily, with traffic doubling during the busy summer months, according to the MTA.

“The lesson we learned from Sandy is that we need to be prepared,” said Goldfeder. “This includes ensuring our vital infrastructure is up to the challenge at all times.”

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Suspect arrested in Rockaway shooting


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated Thursday, Jan. 22, 9:35 a.m.

Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the murder of a Far Rockaway man who was shot dead on Tuesday morning.

The victim, 38-year-old Leon Brown, was found with a gunshot wound to the torso at Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 81st Street just after 8 a.m., according to police. He was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to published reports, Brown was operating a livery van when he got into an argument and was shot by a driver in another van. Brown was not a licensed livery driver, reports said.

Police arrested Fabian Sullivan on Wednesday in connection to Brown’s killing. He has been charged with second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

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Livery van driver shot and killed in the Rockaways


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

CrimeSceneTapeHC1010_L_300_C_R-624x416

Updated 4:41 p.m.

Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a livery van driver in the Rockaways early Tuesday morning, reports said.

The victim, 38-year-old Leon Brown, of Far Rockaway, was found with a gunshot wound to the torso at Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 81st Street just after 8 a.m., according to police. He was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to published reports, Brown was operating his livery van when he got into a dispute and was shot by a driver in another van. Police are still looking for the gunman.

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Select Bus Service lanes to speed up travel along Woodhaven Boulevard


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA

Transit officials unveiled three potential designs for Woodhaven Boulevard’s new Select Bus Service (SBS), slated to be the first rapid transit lane in the city physically separated from traffic.

The MTA and Department of Transportation (DOT) have to choose whether to either quickly create designated lanes off-set from the curb with room for parking; extend sidewalks that would meet the off-set lanes; or dig up medians and build main road bus lanes.

Whichever design is chosen, the route will run from Queens Boulevard to the Rockaways and will allow for three lanes of traffic on both sides of the corridor.

In the first option, the off-set bus lanes would be one lane out from the curb, leaving space for parking along the boulevard. This option would warrant the least construction out of the three proposed routes.

Additionally, the DOT would build out the sidewalk at designated “SBS bus bulb stations.” In that case, the sidewalk would be extended out to the off-set bus lanes to allow more room for passengers waiting to get on the bus.

The second proposal would create main road bus lanes in the right lane throughout the designated area. From Union Turnpike to Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South to Rockaway Boulevard, it would run in the right lane of the main road corridor. Then, it would take the right lane from Rockaway Boulevard south to the Rockaways.

If main road bus lanes were put in, the DOT would come in and rip up much of the medians separating the main roads from the service roads and widen them so that people waiting for the bus have at least 7 to 10 feet of curb space to stand on.

They would also be building new medians in certain designated areas that have not all been determined yet.

For the final proposal, the red painted lanes would run through the middle of each corridor where the left lanes currently are.

To do this type of project, the DOT would come in and rip up the corridors that separate north- and south-bound traffic and expand them where necessary.

Furthermore, for the median lanes, north- and south-bound buses will travel right next to each other. For north-bound stops, the median for people to stand on will be on the east side of the bus, and for south-bound stops, travelers will wait on the west side.

All plans at this point are still being studied by the agencies. They will continue to work in more detail on every section of the boulevard for each proposal and will also have more community outreach, according to a representative who is working on the project.

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Last cleanup for Rockaway aims to clear beaches for winter


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Sea Shepherd New York

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s New York City chapter plans a cleanup of Beach 116 in the Rockaways on Sunday. They have done it twice before this year, but the trash just keeps piling up.

The cleanup is open to the public and anyone can volunteer. Volunteers will meet on the boardwalk off Beach 116 under a Sea Shepherd Jolly Roger flag by 2 p.m.

They will clean the beach until 4:30 p.m. and spend the next hour sorting the trash on the boardwalk so passersby can see what is thrown away at the beach.

“During our earlier cleanups, we have found soda bottles, empty alcohol bottles, plastic cups, paper products from fast food places nearby and metal bottles,” said Ethan Wolf, coordinator for the society’s New York City chapter. “In the summer months, we have also found pieces of clothing.”

Once, his team found a plastic box filled with rusty nails. “That was the weirdest thing,” he said.

The most harmful thing to discard in the beach is plastic, Wolf said. “Plastic doesn’t go away,” he said. “It breaks down into smaller particles. The marine wildlife eats it, even the birds eat it, and then their stomach gets filled with plastic. They then cannot eat the food they need to sustain themselves.”

Sea Shepherd now has a plan for all that plastic. The organization has teamed up with Bionic Yarn to convert the plastic trash found on the beach into fiber. The project is still in its initial stages as both sides have yet to figure out which type of plastic can actually be used.

Wolf said that this is the last cleanup of Rockaway that the organization has planned for this year, since usually, not much trash accumulates on the beaches during the winter. However, volunteers will continue to check the beaches during the winter, and if they feel it’s necessary, they will organize another cleanup.

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


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

ambulance

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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