Tag Archives: Rockaways

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 81. Breezy. Winds from the NW at 15 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 61. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Monthly Jazz Jam at  Flushing Town Hall

Come and enjoy live jazz by some of the borough’s top artists. Flushing Town Hall presents its monthly jazz jam, featuring performances by professional jazz musicians, grad students studying jazz, musical educators and special guest artists the Pablo Mayor Quintet. The event is free and starts at 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Man fatally jumps in front of N train in Astoria

Severed limbs flew onto an Astoria street Tuesday evening after a man threw himself in front of a Queens-bound N train, witnesses and a police source said. Read more: The Queens Courier

New York City Council to take up ban on foam containers

A bill is expected to be introduced to the New York City Council Wednesday that bans the use of polystyrene foam foodservice in New York City. Read more: ABC New York

NYC Landmarks Commission hears pleas from Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, others to preserve historic Forest Park Carousel

Fans of the Forest Park Carousel got a chance Tuesday to plead their case that the beloved ride should be designated as a city landmark. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens couple get prison for sex trafficking

A Queens man and his girlfriend have been sentenced to prison for sex trafficking. Read more: AP

Many Queens homeowners face skyrocketing flood insurance premiums or major repairs to meet demands of new federal codes

Homeowners in the Sandy-wrecked Rockaways may be forced to abandon their homes or spend up to $100,000 to raise them on stilts, thanks to new codes issued by the federal government. Read more: New York Daily News

Across U.S., nearly half say government spying OK within limits: PollNearly half of all Americans say the U.S. government’s broad surveillance tactics are acceptable within limits, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll on Tuesday that also found widespread concern about the methods that were revealed last week. Read more: Reuters

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast. High of 70. Winds from the SE at 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Overcast with rain showers. Low of 64. Winds from the SE at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Comedian Adam Sank

Widely recognized for his appearances on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, comedian Adam Sank headlines a Pride Month celebration at LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club on Thursday, June 6. Expect his trademark self-deprecation, including dating stories, the truth about Elmo and the latest on his “Mother From Hell.” Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NYPD officer kills wife, self in St. Albans

A Queens cop shot his wife, then turned the gun on himself in an alleged murder-suicide Wednesday night, according to published reports and police. Read more: The Queens Courier 

Parents up in arms after mold found in at P.S./M.S. 114 in Rockaway

Parents at a Sandy-battered school in the Rockaways were up in arms after learning mold was discovered in a building that city officials had assured them was safe. Read more: New York Daily News

NYC claims bike-share program had 100,000 rides in first 10 days of operation

New York City residents and tourists have already taken 100,000 rides just 10 days since the country’s largest bike-sharing program’s launch. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Panel: LIPA as we know it has got to go

Following the disastrous response to Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he wants to do away with the current Long Island Power Authority and have the utility run by New Jersey’s PSE&G. Read more: CBS New York

Administration defends collecting phone records

The White House on Thursday defended the National Security Agency’s need to collect telephone records of U.S. citizens, calling such information “a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats.” Read more: AP

TSA drops plans to allow passengers to carry small knives and bats onto planes

The Transportation Security Administration heeded backlash Wednesday and dropped a controversial plan it to allow knives back on planes for the first time since 9/11. Read more: New York Daily News 

 

Rockaway Ferry service extended for at least six more weeks


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Though the A train is returning to the Rockaways tomorrow, the ferry is still going to continue, at least until July.

Rockaway Ferry weekday service between the peninsula and Manhattan has been extended for the next six weeks, with the possibility of continuing through Labor Day weekend, city officials announced Tuesday.

The ferry will also start an additional one service run in each direction every Saturday and Sunday, from July 4 through Labor Day, and will now also stop at Beach 108th  Street.

“The continuation of the weekday service will give Rockaway residents another transportation option, and the expanded summer weekend service will make it easier for visitors to get to the Rockaways, bringing additional economic activity to the beaches throughout the summer season,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The service will be extended through the end of the summer “if ridership remains strong,” according to officials.

After Sandy damaged the A train and cut off service past the Howard Beach/JFK Airport stop, the city provided several transportation options for residents served by the portion of the subway that was no longer running.

One of those options included ferry service between Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive in the Rockaways, and Pier 11/Wall Street and East 34th Street in Manhattan.

Even with the return of full A train service, there is support to make the ferry permanent, including from Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder

A petition he started to keep the boat running gathered 2,000 signatures in three days.

 

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Full A train service returns to Rockaways May 30


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo  Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Amy Hausmann

Almost seven months after Sandy significantly damaged the A train in the Rockaways, the subway will fully start running in the area on May 30, the MTA announced today.

The storm washed-out 1,500 feet of tracks, and damaged miles of signal, power and communications wires. Two stations were also completely flooded and needed to be repaired.

Currently, the A line ends at the Howard Beach/JFK Airport stop.

Shortly after the shut down, the MTA started operating a bus shuttle between that station and the Mott Avenue stop in Far Rockaway

The transit agency also resurrected the H train on November 20. The line makes intermediate stops between the Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue and Beach 90th Street stations.

Both the bus shuttle and H train will be discontinued when full A train service is restored.

Following Sandy, a third option, a temporary ferry, was also offered to residents travelling to Manhattan.

Though full subway service is coming back, one local political wants the ferry to stay.

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder is asking residents to sign a petition to continue the ferry service from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive to Pier 11/Wall Street and East 34th Street in Manhattan.

“I am urging the city to maintain the ferry even after the subway service has been restored to give residents transportation options and speed our recovery,” said Goldfeder.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain. High of 70. Winds from the East at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 90% with rainfall amounts near 0.4 in. possible. Wednesday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. Low of 54. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Symphony Orchestra

The Queens Symphony Orchestra will perform at LeFrak Hall at Queens College. Admission is free and open to the general public. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Homeless man arrested in South Ozone Park child sex assaults

A homeless man has been charged with sexually abusing two South Ozone Park girls in separate incidents, District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced Tuesday evening. Read more: The Queens Courier 

Subway service to return to Rockaway in June

The MTA is set to restore subway service to the Rockaways for the first time since Superstorm Sandy knocked it out of commission, agency officials said Tuesday. Read more: New York Daily News

Video released of suspect in Queens rape

Police in Queens are searching for a rapist, and they are hoping surveillance video will help lead to an arrest. Read more: ABC New York

New York City set to pass paid sick days plan

A national push for paid sick days is poised to score a significant victory, with lawmakers in the nation’s largest city set to vote on requiring businesses to provide the benefit to an estimated 1 million workers who don’t have it now. Read more: AP/ABC New York

Father, daughter fire off pellet gun in crowded Ditmars Park

A man and his young daughter terrorized a crowded Queens playground Tuesday when the dad fired a pellet gun that looked like a real firearm, frightened parents said. Read more: New York Daily News

Suspect in Ohio helped neighbors look for missing

In the years after his friend’s daughter vanished while walking home from school, Ariel Castro handed out fliers with the 14-year-old’s photo and performed music at a fundraiser held in her honor. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 77. Winds from the West at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Wednesday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers, then a chance of rain after midnight. Fog overnight. Low of 52. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: The Big Thing

At the Laughing Devil Comedy Club , get the New York area’s  freshest jokes by comedians vying to be the next big thing and become a club regular. The show also features some special guest headliners. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Council Speaker Christine Quinn blasts Councilman Dan Halloran’s ‘arrogance’

City Councilman Dan Halloran was a no-show Tuesday for the first council meeting since he was pinched by the feds last week, as Speaker Christine Quinn eviscerated him for sending out a “stupid” press release. Read more: New York Daily News

New York City councilman proposes crackdown on costumed characters

New York City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. introduced legislation Tuesday that would either ban or introduce tight regulations on costumed characters in New York City. Read more: CBS New York

Temptress who swindled elderly Queens man arrested after 6 years on lam

A temptress on the lam for six years after she was convicted of milking an elderly Queens man out of his life savings has been busted halfway across the country, authorities said Tuesday. Read more: New York Daily News

Quinn suffers small drop poll shows, but still outpaces opponents

A couple of weeks of constant battering cost City Council Speaker Christine Quinn a few points in the latest mayoral poll. Read more: New York Post

FEMA: Building a sea wall would change home elevation requirements

The community board in the Rockaways announced Tuesday that the city will spend $4 million on each of the five new lifeguard stands planned for this summer and $2 million on each of two public bathrooms to be built on Rockaway Beach. Read more: NY1

Obama budget targets millionaires, replaces sequester cuts

The White House on Wednesday proposed a budget that sharply trims the U.S. deficit over three years by forcing millionaires to pay more in taxes and enacting spending cuts that replace the “sequester” reductions that went into place last month. Read more: Reuters

Rockaway hockey rink set for repair


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Mike Leahy

A Rockaway roller hockey rink is getting some help from the Parks Department after damage from Sandy nearly put a summer league on ice.

Waves pummeled the boards on the seaside rink near Beach 108th Street, which underwent renovations only a few years ago. The 20-year-old rink was not completely destroyed, but because the boards and other safety walls were gone, it poses a risk to younger players.

“The [asphalt] surface of the rink is okay,” said Rockies Hockey Commissioner Mike Leahy. “But I never would let a kid skate on there.”

Leahy said he’s been working with the Parks Department on getting the rink repaired in time for the summer league, which has players ranging in age from four to adult. But until recently he hadn’t heard much in terms of fixing the rink.

In the next week, however, he’ll meet with a Parks official to discuss how to fix the rink for this summer and improve it for the long run, said both Leahy and a Parks spokesperson.

Damage to the rink was one of several public facility casualties between Beach 87th and 108th Streets, according to the Parks spokesperson. There are no immediate plans to rebuild any of those amenities, the rep said.

Originally, Leahy said, Parks told him he’d have to raise money for repairs himself if he wanted the league to start rolling this summer.

“Up until this point we’ve been in limbo,” he said, adding Parks told him about three weeks ago that “we could make any repairs we could do.”

The league commissioner called Councilmember Eric Ulrich’s office to seek help after the talks seemed to go nowhere. Ulrich, who before the storm had set aside $300,000 to completely refurbish the rink, was able to arrange for Leahy to work directly with Parks officials.

Leahy said he’s happy to start somewhere in discussions, and has high hopes in the meantime that players of all ages will be dropping puck soon.

“I’m going up the ladder,” he said, “and they’re being thoughtful. So far I’m happy. I’m always optimistic until I hear otherwise.”

 

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Grant to replace books at Sandy-damaged libraries


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Public Library

A nonprofit is helping Queens Library get back on its feet by putting books back on its shelves.

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is giving a $250,000 grant to the Queens Library Foundation to replace more than 140,000 books and other library materials that were damaged by Sandy.

“Our public libraries provide essential resources to New York City residents,” said Megan Sheekey, president of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “We are grateful to the Queens Library System for its dedication to keeping its doors open in impacted neighborhoods and serving community members.”

Library branches in communities such as Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways were particularly damaged from flooding and are still trying to get back up on their feet.

The Broad Channel Library just reopened in early March. During Sandy, two feet of water inundated the building, ruining 16,000 books and ultimately costing $940,000 in damage.

Other branches have yet to reopen. During repairs, temporary facilities are serving the community.

“The Rockaways and Broad Channel lean on their community libraries for computer and broadband access, education, schoolwork support, job skills training, consumer health resources and their daily information needs. We are so grateful that the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City will help Queens Library restock the empty shelves and provide the critical information that will help the community rebuild,” said Thomas W. Galante, president and CEO of Queens Library.

Officials say a total of $2.2 million in books, DVDs and magazines must be replaced, including picture books and homework help materials for children, large print books, books in Russian, Spanish and other languages, materials for job-seekers who want to learn more about employment trends and build their skills, and so much more.

In addition, to the Mayor’s Fund grant, $1 million in additional grants have already been raised for replacement costs.

 

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Rockaway residents take to City Hall, demand say in Sandy rebuilding


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence M. Cullen

By day 143, Rockaway residents had had enough.

Scores traveled to the steps of City Hall on Saturday, March 23 to call on Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city to help residents rebuild after Sandy.

Shoulder to shoulder with elected officials and candidates for mayor and borough president, resident after resident told personal stories of their prolonged recovery and demanded a say in how the peninsula is rebuilt.

“Now, as community residents of the Rockaway peninsula and Broad Channel, we demand to always have our voices heard on what goes on with all future projects, and most importantly, to be part of the process when implementing them to protect our community from another Sandy, or any type of possible future disasters,” said Danny Ruscillo, president of the 100th Precinct Community Council. Ruscillo held a sign that became one of the chants during the hour-long press conference: “United we stand. Divided we drown.”

Senator Charles Schumer recently secured money to rebuild New York beaches, and take measures to prevent flooding.

 

The Army Corps of Engineers, which has been conducting surveys on protecting the beach-front community for more than a decade, recently said the study would take at least another year-and-a-half.

But residents like Margaret Wagner think that’s too long. Wagner said she took the trip to lower Manhattan while her husband was at home putting up sheetrock in their Broad Channel home.

“We want the studies to end tomorrow,” said Wagner. “Give us a plan today. Not a year-and-a-half from now.”
John Cori and Eddie Pastore, who run Friends of Rockaway Beach and organized the City Hall rally, have long campaigned to build better beach protection.

This was not the first time Rockaway residents have criticized Bloomberg and his administration for what they believed was a delayed reaction to the storm. On a visit to Breezy Point in November, Bloomberg was lambasted by a resident; spectators at the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 2 booed him when he marched.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich and State Senator Joseph Addabbo both said it was crucial that those who live there have the final say in how the communities are rebuilt.

“These residents have to live with what’s left behind,” Addabbo said. “Let’s get to work for these people.”

“We heard about the federal money that Senator Schumer was able to secure and we’re very grateful for that,” Ulrich said. “But the community needs to be kept in the loop as to how that money is going to be spent.”

 

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Councilmember Eric Ulrich

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast with snow, then rain in the afternoon. High of 39 with a windchill as low as 21F. Windy. Winds from the North at 25 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph. Chance of precipitation 70% . Thursday night: Overcast with snow and rain, then snow after midnight. Low of 32 with a windchill as low as 21. Windy. Winds from the North at 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph. Chance of snow 80% with accumulations up to 2 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: World premiere of Robert Wuhl’s Hit-Lit

At the Queens Theatre on Thursday, March 7, world famous playwright Robert Wuhl debuts HIT-LIT, a mistaken-identity screwball comedy about an ambitious young editor who is searching for the next best seller. Runs until March 17. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Broken Muni-Meters are giving Queens drivers more headaches

Finding a parking spot in some Queens neighborhoods is a tough enough task. But now drivers say they are battling testy Muni-Meters that cheat them out of precious minutes and reject their coins and credit cards. Read more: New York Daily News

Sandy-damaged coastal communities prepare for flooding as winter storm approaches tri-state

Already-battered Tri-State Area coastal communities are dealing with another hit in the form of a winter storm packing rain, snow and high winds. Read more: CBS New York

NYPD sitting on cash for surveillance cameras in Rockaways, stakeholders charge 

A plan to install extra sets of police eyes in the Rockaways has been blinded by red tape, local stakeholders say. Read more: New York Daily News

Cranked-up earbuds next on Mayor Bloomberg’s health hit list

After launching campaigns against the Big Gulp, “big” salt and “big” junk food, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is embarking on a new target. Read more: CBS New York

Police suspect flying object spotted near JFK was model plane 

As the FBI continues to look into a report of an unmanned aircraft spotted near JFK Airport on Monday, police think it may have been a model plane. Read more NY1

NY police eye return of crash suspect held in Pa.

Police in New York were awaiting the return of a man arrested in Pennsylvania in connection with a gruesome car crash that killed a pregnant woman and her husband on their way to a hospital. Read more: AP

Op-Ed: Recovery through economic activity and investment


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY ASSEMBLYMEMBER PHILLIP GOLDFEDER

Last year, the legislature passed a bill, as the first step in the process to amending the state constitution, allowing enhanced gaming in up to seven locations across the state. While this was only the beginning, it was a huge victory for Queens families who have already benefited from the economic development and jobs created by Resorts World at Aqueduct and realize the potential for growth. In his annual state of the state address, Governor Andrew Cuomo shared a vision for the future of our state and I look forward to our continued partnership and collaboration in an effort to boost every community across the state.

In southern Queens and Rockaway, Sandy has left a path of unimaginable devastation and destruction and it will take the coordinated efforts of the public and private sector to fully recover. Now, more than ever, we need to find new and creative ways to help our small businesses to create good-paying jobs and rejuvenate our local economy. Creating a full-scale, enhanced gaming casino at Resorts World would not only increase revenues for the community and the state, but the impact would be felt immediately in terms of economic activity and job creation for southern Queens and Rockaway families.

Expanding gaming also provides opportunities for continued investment in southern Queens and Rockaway infrastructure. I continue to be a staunch advocate for the complete restoration of the abandoned Rockaway Beach Rail Line, as it would be the right solution to not only encourage economic development but to increase transit options for all of Queens’ families. Created at the turn of the century, the Rockaway Beach Rail Line, also known as White Pot Junction, was owned and operated by the Long Island Rail Road. Strategically placed within a major network of trains throughout New York City, the rail line provided residents with safe, affordable and expedient access to other parts of Queens and the rest of the city.

There is no need to look any farther than Resorts World at Aqueduct, a proven location for enhanced gaming and reliable community partner. Since their first year anniversary, Resorts World has set records in slot machine gaming, beating out the casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, contributing millions of dollars towards the education of our children. Further, Resorts World has been a valuable neighbor that has worked hand-in-hand with elected leaders, the NYPD and our community to ensure a seamless development at the Aqueduct facility. Resorts World is the perfect example of partnership and we need to give them the tools necessary to continue to succeed so that our families and small businesses may continue to recover and become even more resilient.

In addition to their success as a casino, Resorts World is committed to a long term partnership with our community and has continued their positive relationship through vital investments in our local organizations and standing on the front lines of Sandy relief and recovery. Given the right tools, Resorts World will continue to exceed every expectation, expand on our local workforce and stimulate our local economy, in addition to creating opportunities for the continued success and recovery of Queens.

Goldfeder represents the 23rd Assembly District including Ozone Park, Lindenwood, Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways.

 

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Schumer pushes for co-op, condo Sandy relief


| mchan@queenscourier.com

New York’s senior senator has joined the ranks of leaders pushing for relief to storm-damaged co-ops and condos.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer penned a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last Wednesday asking the agency to establish Sandy relief program guidelines for co-ops and condos.

Co-op and condo owners currently cannot receive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants for Sandy-inflicted damages because they are categorized as “business associations,” according to elected federal officials. The title makes them eligible for federal loans but not grants.

“After Sandy, FEMA was able to help many communities. However, due to inflexible bureaucratic rules, co-op and condo homeowners were left in the wake,” Schumer said.

The Stafford Act, which governs how FEMA responds to major disasters, does not include the word “co-op” in the law, according to Congressmember Steve Israel. But there is no statute that purposefully bans co-op owners from being eligible for grants, a privilege given to homeowners.

Schumer called on HUD officials to use Community Development Block Grants Disaster Recovery funds to help co-op and condo owners repair and rebuild.

HUD allocated $5.4 billion to the recovery program early last week. New Yorkers are eligible to receive about $3.5 billion of that total.

Some Queens co-ops suffered $1 million in damages, including Cryder Point Co-ops, a waterfront community which has to repair its shambled pier.

More than half of the total buildings in Glen Oaks Village endured “moderate to severe shingle loss,” according to Bob Friedrich, the co-op’s president. The co-op will have to shell out $250,000 for infrastructural damage.

And nearly 3,000 Mitchell-Lama co-ops in the Rockaways are forced to shoulder repair costs, said Dolores Orr, co-op owner and president of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association.

“It is astonishing to me that residential co-op buildings are not being afforded any financial assistance in the recovery from Sandy,” she said. “We are homeowners just like those who live in … family houses.”

 

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Doe Fund cleans up Broad Channel


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Broad Channel is seeing blue.

Nine workers from the Doe Fund, dubbed “the men in blue,” will help clean up a two-mile stretch of Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel, as the island still continues to recover nearly four months after Sandy hit.

The cleanup effort, which officially began on Friday, February 15, will run from the foot of the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge to the American Legion Post 1404.

The Doe Fund gives homeless men and women a second chance by providing jobs and starting a new life. Staten Island, Coney Island and the Rockaways have been other areas the Doe Fund has cleaned up in wake of the storm. The men will pick up the roadside trash and haul it on to Department of Sanitation trucks.

“The garbage and the litter and the debris are still here,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich. “People are going to be so impressed. They’re [the workers] going to do a top-notch job.”

Ulrich said he reached out to Doe Fund chair George McDonald two weeks ago to help clean up Broad Channel’s main thoroughfare, which is still littered with debris. Flanked by Doe Fund members and representatives from the National Park Service and the Department of Sanitation, Ulrich said the “Men in Blue” would be on Cross Bay Boulevard, picking up trash until the job is done. The goal, he added, is to have Cross Bay back to its pre-storm look, if not better.

Cross Bay Boulevard is the first view of the Rockaways visitors get and the road needed to keep that vista positive, Ulrich said.

The relationship between the Doe Fund and south Queens goes back to long before the storm, according to Community Board 14 chair Dolores Orr. The organization helps clean up Beach 116th street, an economic hub in Rockaway, every spring, Orr said.

“It’s equally important for the residents trying to recover themselves,” Orr said.

McDonald, who’s also running as a Republican for mayor, said the men and women of the organization were hard workers and dedicated to getting their life back on track.

“It’s on behalf of all the citizens of New York that we come here and help clean up,” McDonald said. “We are thrilled to be able to give back. I know this partnership is going to do great things for this community and I thank Councilmember Ulrich for thinking of us.”

 

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New policy forces mentally ill out of adult homes


| mchan@queenscourier.com

DSC_0085

Adult homes in Queens are now forced to evict hundreds of mentally ill residents and shut out new entrants under a new state policy.

Privately run adult homes in the state, including nine in Queens and nearly 50 in the city, will have to cut their mental health population down to 25 percent, according to regulation put in place by Governor Andrew Cuomo last month.

The homes have less than 120 days to move out residents into smaller supportive housing units where they will live on their own.

“Displacing these residents without the proper preparations for their new living will have an adverse effect on patient care and on the communities they will be living in,” said Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder.

The new rule is expected to throw adult homes into financial turmoil, leaders in the field said.

“No assisted living facility with mentally ill populations can remain economically viable,” said Jeffrey Edelman of the New York State Center for Assisted Living. “If this radical social experiment to force the seriously mentally ill to live on their own fails, residents will never be able to return to their adult home because we will be out of business.”

Goldfeder said Queens adult homes, most of which are located in the Rockaways, are also the source of hundreds of local jobs.

“At the end of the day, we have to do what’s in the best interest of the patients and we have to think about the community at large,” he said.

Queens Adult Care Center, one of the borough’s affected adult homes, will have to boot 90 of its 300 mentally ill residents, according to chief administrator Leon Hofman. They would be without regular medication and constant supervision outside of their homes, he said.

“I’m concerned some of these people will not have a place to live or if they’ll make it,” Hofman said.

Jonathan Gaska, district manager of Community Board 14, said he fears some residents will end up freezing to death or wandering without supervision to nearby oceans.

“We didn’t agree with the policy,” he said. “It’s not fair to them, and the state will have to answer for that. I’m not sure they thought that through.”

Cuomo’s efforts come after a similar 2009 ruling by a Brooklyn federal judge who said large adult homes in the city violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

AFFECTED ADULT HOMES IN QUEENS:

  • Sanford Manor Home Care Agency in Flushing
  • Queens Adult Care Center in Elmhurst
  • Belle Harbor Manor
  • Long Island Living Center
  • New Haven Manor Home for Adults
  • Rockaway Manor Home for Adults
  • Seaview Manor Home for Adults
  • Wavecrest Home for Adults
  • Surfside Manor Home for Adults

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Overcast with rain, then snow and rain in the afternoon. High of 39 with a windchill as low as 19F. Windy. Winds from the ENE at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph. Chance of precipitation 100% with accumulations up to 1 in. possible. Friday night: Overcast with snow. Low of 23F with a windchill as low as 7. Windy. Winds from the North at 25 to 30 mph with gusts to 55 mph. Chance of snow 100% with accumulations up to 11 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Survey

In honor of Valentine’s Day, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center will present SURVEY on February 8. SURVEY tells the story of Tom Lawrence, a romantically clueless talk show host whose fiancée leaves him. Baffled, Tom turns to the unlikeliest sources for help-three ex-girlfriends. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Airlines announce widespread flight cancellations ahead of winter storm

Hundreds of flights across the country have already been canceled or delayed ahead of the snowstorm anticipated to pound the Tri-State Area on Friday. Read more: CBS New York

Transit changes due to potential blizzard

The big storm heading for the Northeast is already disrupting rail travel. Read more: ABC New York

Queens man pleads guilty to Federal Reserve bomb plot

The Bangladeshi national said that he wanted to “destroy America.” Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to bomb the New York Federal Reserve Bank, resolving to commit mass murder last October, according to the FBI. Read more: Queens Courier

Rockaway residents worry outsiders could take over rebuilding process

There’s no shortage of people interested in helping Rockaway residents figure out how to rebuild their storm-battered neighborhoods. Read more: New York Daily News

150-foot asteroid will buzz Earth, but no need to duck

150-foot-wide asteroid will come remarkably close to Earth next week, even closer than high-flying communication and weather satellites. It will be the nearest known flyby for an object of this size. Read more: AP