Tag Archives: Rockaways

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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Stray bullets hit MTA bus in Rockaway shooting


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

PoliceCarLightsHC0708_L_300_C_Y-624x414

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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Ex-NYPD detective pleads guilty to DWI, accidentally shooting partner in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Gavel 2

A former NYPD detective who was busted for drunk driving and accidentally shooting his partner in Queens earlier this year pleaded guilty to the incident and was sentenced to undergo an intensive alcohol safety program, the Queens district attorney’s office said.

Jay Poggi, 57, a Long Island resident who, according to police, was a member of Brooklyn’s 75th Precinct, pleaded guilty Friday in Queens Criminal court to assault and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, prosecutors said.

In addition to the 12-week program, as a condition of his plea, Poggi must complete an awareness program for first-time DWI offenders, called a Victim Impact Panel, install an ignition interlock device on any vehicles registered to him and pay a $500 fine. His driver’s license has also been suspended.

In the early morning hours of April 24, Poggi was showing the hammer of his Smith and Wesson revolver to his partner, Det. Matthew Sullivan, when the gun went off, striking his partner in the right wrist, court records said. Poggi then drove Sullivan to Jamaica Hospital in their unmarked police car.

At the hospital, Poggi was observed with bloodshot eyes and was given a field sobriety test, which registered above the legal limit, at .113 percent, prosecutors said. He later refused to take a Breathalyzer test at the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills.

Poggi and his partner were supposedly on their way to conduct a robbery investigation in the Rockaways when Poggi accidentally fired the weapon, the New York Daily News reported. They were caught on camera drinking that night at The Wharf Bar & Restaurant in Rockaway Park.

In May, Poggi was terminated from the department following a recommendation from the Office of the NYPD Trial Commissioner.

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Op-ed: Keep the Rockaway Ferry


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY JOE HARTIGAN

As a lifelong resident of Queens and a 34-year resident of the Rockaways, I would like to emphasize the great potential ferry service will have for Rockaway and the rest of the city.
Since those living in the Rockaways have the longest commute of any NYC residents, it is evident that the ferry service, which was established after Superstorm Sandy, has dramatically improved commuter travel time but is also the only nice thing that has happened to Rockaway since the storm.

The ferry service that was put in place after Superstorm Sandy in Rockaway was done in three days. The Rockaways were very fortunate that Seastreak had the proper vessels available to establish the ferry run after Sandy.

The ferry has cut the commute time from the middle of Rockaway to lower Manhattan by over a half-hour. The ferry service has had an on-time performance of better than 95 percent with not one police incident in the almost two years since it started.

According to the NYC Parks Department, in 2012, Rockaway Beach saw almost 8 million visitors before Superstorm Sandy. Rockaway could become the number one (or two) tourist destination in NYC by improving beach access through better transportation. Rockaway has more visitors than the Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History and the Statue of Liberty, to name a few.

In the last week of August, the Rockaway/Brooklyn/Manhattan ferry did 1,300 rides per day. If the R/B/M ferry were free, it would give the Staten Island ferry a run for the top ridership spot.
The ferries would be built in New York State, thus creating jobs. Seastreak would base part of its operations in New York State, therefore creating 50 to 80 permanent jobs in NYC.

The route that I am proposing is JFK Airport-Rockaway-BAT Pier Brooklyn-Wall Street-Roosevelt Island-Astoria-Flushing, LaGuardia Airport and Willets Point Project. If the R/B/M ferry had the same number of ferry runs with the beach traffic and JFK Airport passengers, the ridership number would triple that of the East River ferry.

I am just trying to improve my neighborhood of Rockaway, Queens, by advocating for an overall NYC ferry service which, in turn, will assist in developing all areas of our city.

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Cross Bay Boulevard gets more parking — for bikes


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

Parking is never easy to find on Cross Bay Boulevard. But that has now changed — for bicyclists at least — as the Department of Transportation (DOT) has begun installing bike racks along the boulevard.

The installation of the racks is part of a citywide initiative of recycling and reusing the now-obsolete vehicle parking meter poles by converting them into bicycle parking spaces, according to a DOT representative.

“The bike racks being installed along Cross Bay Boulevard are part of a citywide project to recycle the single-space meters and retrofit the pipes into mini-hoop style bike racks,” the DOT representative said.

The installation began on Aug. 25 and a total of 86 bike racks are being put along both sides of the boulevard. The racks will extend from Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park, south to 165th Avenue in Howard Beach, according to the DOT representative.

The initiative was started in 2011 when many of the single-space parking meters had their heads removed as the muni-meters made their way onto city streets and demand grew for bike parking throughout the five boroughs. The bike racks are made to easily slide onto the old parking meter poles already installed on the sidewalk, according to the DOT website.

Howard Beach is part of the Jamaica Bay Greenway route, which has a bike lane running from the neighborhood into the Rockaways.

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Councilman Ulrich allocates $25K to clean up graffiti in district


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Cross Bay Boulevard can draw comparisons to 5Pointz with the amount of graffiti that has stricken its surrounding neighborhoods, but clean-up is on the way.

In his discretionary budget, Councilman Eric Ulrich has allocated $25,000 to graffiti clean-up in the district. Ulrich is teaming up with the Queens Economic Development Corporation (EDC), which will choose a company for the clean-up, for the first time and is hoping to start the job next month.

Cleaning up graffiti in these neighborhoods and all of Council District 32 is something that Ulrich has funded throughout his time as councilman, but this year he has allocated more money than ever to hit even more problem areas, according to Rudy Giuliani, a representative for the councilman.

The focus areas that Ulrich outlined are the neighborhoods of Woodhaven and Ozone Park. This is where graffiti is the biggest problem in Ulrich’s district, Giuliani said. The company that is hired by the Queens EDC will then move on to other areas in the district, which include Howard Beach, Lindenwood and the Rockaways.

 

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