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Coyote discovered on roof of Long Island City bar


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Brian Porter/Laura Süpper

Updated 1:55 p.m.

BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ANGY ALTAMIRANO 

A “well-fed” coyote made its way onto the roof of a Long Island City bar Monday morning before escaping into a nearby building, according to witnesses.

The establishment’s owner, Brian Porter of LIC Bar, received a text message and photo that morning from a tenant above the bar alerting him to the wild animal.

When he arrived at the 45-58 Vernon Blvd. bar and saw the coyote hanging out beneath his air conditioning unit, he immediately noticed it looked liked a “well-fed animal.”

“It stood out that this animal, this coyote was pretty big. And it didn’t look like he was hungry,” he said.

Porter called police and animal control was contacted, and they tried to capture the coyote with tranquilizer guns and catching poles. A veterinarian from a nearby clinic also went up to inspect, thinking the animal might be a dog, but quickly backed off once she saw it wasn’t one.

Photo by Paula Kirby

Photo by Paula Kirby

The animal eventually escaped into a window of the old Paragon Paint building, according to Porter, who believes the coyote got onto the roof by coming through a broken window of that building, which is adjacent to his bar.

He doesn’t know how the animal wandered into the neighborhood, but insists the rooftop visit wasn’t a clever publicity move.

That evening The Coyote Anderson Quartet was scheduled to perform at LIC Bar.

“It would be a little bit of a stretch if I was trying to pull that off as a PR stunt,” Porter said.

And even though the animal caused some chaos on Monday, this isn’t the first time a coyote has made it into the Big Apple.

Recent sightings of the four-legged animal go back to last year when a park-goer spotted a coyote in the Bronx, according to the NY Daily News. Another coyote was caught in January as it found itself trapped in an Upper West Side basketball court, according to the New York Post.

Coyotes started to be seen in northern New York in the 1930s, according to The New York Times, and by 1994 were noticed in the Bronx.

According to Park officials, three Bronx parks are now each home to a coyote family and there is a solitary coyote permanently living in Railroad Park in Jamaica, The Times said.

The Parks Department now plans to educate the public by posting fliers and distributing cards that outline “Five Easy Tips for Coyote Coexistence,” The Times reported. Some tips include not feeding the coyotes, storing food and garbage in animal-proof containers, and if approached by one you should “act big and make loud noises.”

Mary Pearl, the provost at Macaulay Honors College, who has a doctorate in wildlife biology, said coyotes can thrive in human habitation.

“They can eat everything and anything,” she said, including pet food, rodents, stray cats and dogs, and even berries and insects in the spring and summer.

Pearl, noting that a witness said the animal looked far from scrawny, said March and April was birthing season, and the building may be a good retreat for an expectant mother. But she added male coyotes can travel great distances.

Her best guess was that the coyote found its way to Long Island City via railroad tracks or possibly a parkway.

Despite recent sightings in the city, Pearl cautions that they are not infestation, since the creatures distribute themselves sparsely, and the animals help our ecosystem by getting rid of rodents and roadkill.

“Too often we have a response when we see wildlife in our midst that they should be removed,” she said.

“[Coyotes] don’t inundate a place, but it’s just surprising.”

Field staff from the Animal Care & Control of NYC visited the location, spoke to a witness and searched the area, but no additional sightings have been reported. Coyote sightings should be reported to 311, and but any animal “presenting imminent public safety risk” should be reported to 911.

Members of the community are being advised that if they come in contact or see the animal they should call the police immediately and not attempt to capture it.

Officers out of the 108th Precinct have been instructed to remain vigilant for the coyote while they are on patrol.

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Lefferts branch of Queens Library to temporarily close for roof installation


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BENJAMIN FANG

The books at the Lefferts library will soon have a new cover.

The branch, located at 103-84 Lefferts Blvd. in Richmond Hill, is temporarily closing, starting at the end of business on July 26, to install a new roof. The facility expects to reopen by the end of September.

Residents are advised to use the three closest Queens Library locations: 118-14 Hillside Ave. in Richmond Hill, 92-24 Rockaway Blvd. in Ozone Park and 128-16 Rockaway Blvd. in South Ozone Park.

During the closure, limited service will also be provided by a mobile library.

 

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USTA plans to build roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium


| lguerre@queenscourier.com


Updated Thursday, August 15

Tennis fans may no longer have to suffer when it rains during the U.S. Open.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) officially announced on Thursday that it will construct a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, the central court in the Grand Slam tournament, as a part of sweeping $550 million renovation of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

“We have been working toward a viable design for a roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium for more than a decade,” said Dave Haggerty, president and chair of the USTA. “Through a long and arduous process, we feel that we now have a design that meets the criteria of being architecturally sound, aesthetically pleasing, reasonably affordable, and buildable.”

In the past, fans and players expressed concern about a roof at the U.S. Open to put an end to rain interruptions. With the retractable roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium, all four Glam Slam tournaments will have at least one covered court or plans to build one.

The renovations will be completed by the 2018 U.S. Open and will also include two new stadiums, a viewing plaza for practice courts and southern relocation of courts. This will allow the tennis center to hold 10,000 more people daily during the Grand Slam. The USTA will pay for the construction through bonds and “revenue generation.”

The roof itself is expected to cost $100 million and should be ready by 2017. The roof is being designed by Rossetti, the architect of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Construction will begin after this year’s U.S. Open in three phases. The first is to shift the existing practice courts and two tournament courts to the north and expand the viewing area near the practice courts. The viewing plaza near the practice courts will allow fans to view players as they warm up and train.

In phase two the new 8,000-seat Grandstand Stadium will be built in the southwest quadrant of the tennis center in time for the 2015 U.S. Open. In the final phase, a new 15,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium will be constructed, “roof-ready,” by 2018 U.S. Open. The USTA also plans to redesign the walkways around the center to make strolling around the area easier for fans.

“We recognize there are many known, and certainly many unknown, hurdles we will have to confront to meet this schedule,” said Gordon Smith, USTA executive director. “We are ready for the challenge and hope we can achieve it.”

 

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