Tag Archives: Roosevelt Avenue

Suspects wanted in attempted robbery at Jackson Heights deli


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of the NYPD

Police are looking for a man and woman in connection to an attempted robbery at a Jackson Heights deli.

The two suspects entered Flor’s Deli, located at 94-01 Roosevelt Avenue at approximately 1:14 a.m., the female suspect distracted the store clerk while the male suspect went behind the counter, according the NYPD.  The male suspect then displayed a knife while demanding for money.

The victim fought back and the suspects fled the deli empty handed.

Police have released photos of the two suspects.

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

 

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82nd Street Partnership unveils new look for Roosevelt Avenue


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of 82nd Street Partnership

Take a look at what the 82nd Street Partnership has in store for Roosevelt Avenue.

On Wednesday, June 19, the group revealed streetscape renderings for public spaces within the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District (BID) expansion area.

In March, the 82nd Street Partnership announced plans to expand its BID to include corridors of Roosevelt Avenue, Junction Boulevard, 103rd Street and National Street. This expansion will become a community-driven effort including property owners, businesses, residents, public officials and other stakeholders. The goal is to improve the strip’s sense of place.

In the past four months, the 82nd Street Partnership has met with businesses and collected more than 300 surveys from residents as well as property and business owners. The undertaking received support from community and economic development groups including the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Queens Economic Development Corporation, Corona Community Action Network (Corona CAN), Make the Road NY and Immigrant Movement International.

After gathering the information, the partnership created conceptual renderings depicting the vision of the community for the Jackson Heights-Corona commercial district once the BID gets underway in 2014.

In the renderings, Roosevelt Avenue is shown with improvements including new planted trees, street tables and chairs, flowers, outdoor café seating, lighting, banners, benches, bicycle racks, brighter lights and renovated storefronts with new awnings and swings.

“The business community envisions sidewalks and public spaces along the commercial corridor to be inviting, enjoyable places where people of all ages and backgrounds can relax and feel comfortable – as is depicted in the rendering,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership. “The community envisions a commercial corridor where people can comfortably and safely stroll all hours of the day and night.”

The BID hopes to improve the quality of life and support the local economic activity in the neighborhood by making the area cleaner, safer, brighter and more enjoyable.

“The Jackson Heights – Corona BID looks forward to helping the community realize its exciting vision for the future,” said Taylor.

For more information, visit www.JHCoronaBID.org.

 

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Community boards OK rezoning for East Elmhurst, Corona


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

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Proposed rezoning of parts of East Elmhurst and Corona seems to be on track, with approvals from both Community Boards (CB) 3 and 4.

The Department of City Planning received the go-ahead from the boards — a first step since Commissioner Amanda Burden’s June 3 announcement of the beginning of the official public review process of a 127-block rezoning of East Elmhurst and 14 block fronts along Roosevelt Avenue in Corona.

The objective of the rezoning is to protect the current character of East Elmhurst’s residential blocks, which are made up of one- and two-family detached, semi-detached and attached homes.

“This rezoning, which was developed in close consultation with the community and local elected officials, will protect the cherished one- and two-family composition of this neighborhood,” said Burden.

The proposal also looks to update commercial overlays in order to reinforce the main commercial corridors, better reflect current land use trends and constrain commercial incursions onto residential streets. The rezoning will aim to strengthen the character of Astoria Boulevard and help it stand out from residential streets.

The 14 block fronts along Roosevelt Avenue that are included in the rezoning proposal will also help increase development in the area. For example it will allow the 82nd Street Partnership’s Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District to provide services for the merchants and community on the busy strip.

“Though currently zoned for residential use, we’re seeing increased commercial activity along the stretch of Roosevelt Avenue from Elmhurst Avenue to 114th Street,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership.

“The rezoning pairs nicely with the proposed Jackson Heights- Corona BID, which would promote local economic growth and be a positive force for the entire commercial corridor.”

The rezoning proposal will now be reviewed by the Borough Board, Borough President, the City Planning Commission and then the City Council.

 

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57 NYPD surveillance cameras to be installed around Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Media Group

Smile, criminals. You’re on camera.

Borough President Helen Marshall has allocated $2 million to install NYPD surveillance cameras in 57 locations throughout Queens to help fight crime.

“These new cameras will give police more eyes on the street,” Marshall said. “They will be a fantastic deterrent to crime and greatly help our police to solve crimes and apprehend offenders. After all, the camera doesn’t lie!”

In announcing the initiative, Marshall noted the role of cameras in finding suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings. She said she hopes the extra surveillance will help reduce gun violence in the borough.

The Argus cameras, funded through the Fiscal Year 2013 Capital Budget, are expected to be installed within the next 12 months.

NYPD officials selected the future camera locations. The placements are based not only on crime data, but also on other factors such as the best spot for viewing and counterterrorism risk assessment, according to a borough president spokesperson. When factoring in crime data, violent offenses were given top consideration.

The cameras will be installed in 11 of Queens’ 16 precincts, including eight along Roosevelt Avenue.

Locals had mixed opinions about Argus.

“I’ve been living here for several years now and I think crime is getting worse, so I think the cameras are a good idea,” said Maevis Trenton. “It’s not safe to walk around late at night anymore, and if people knew they were being watched maybe they would think twice before doing something stupid.”

“Compared to other parts of the city, I think it’s pretty safe here,” said Jordan Brown. “I don’t think the cameras are necessary in this neighborhood, but [...] I don’t have anything against the idea either.”

Maqueda Tate was wary of the extra surveillance.

“I don’t think it’s right for the police to be watching us all the time,” she said. “I understand that it’s for our own safety, but I don’t think there needs to be so many cameras getting installed.”

-With additional reporting by Johann Hamilton

 

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Jackson Heights, Corona get ‘taste’ of better living thru business improvement district


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Julissa Ferreras

Businesses, property owners and residents along Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard are getting a taste of how being a business improvement district (BID) can improve their quality of life.

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras announced sanitation and graffiti removal services for the areas. They come as part of her New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue, which promised a “taste” of services to be offered by the Jackson Heights-Corona BID.

The “Taste of the BID” is a partnership between Ferreras, the Department of Small Business Services, the 82nd Street Partnership and local property owners. The Jackson Heights-Corona BID itself, which is still being formed, will cover the major commercial corridors of Roosevelt Avenue, Junction Boulevard and 103rd Street.

“By bringing new sanitation crews to our heavily-trafficked business corridors like Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard, we are not only increasing safety and cleanliness,” Ferreras said. “We are also helping to drive new customers to our local businesses.”

Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership, touted further pluses.

“Merchants and property owners along Roosevelt Avenue and Junction Boulevard will begin to see how cleaner sidewalks can make the neighborhood a better place to shop and stroll,” he said Seth Taylor. “We are delighted that the community is getting a small taste of what the proposed Jackson Heights-Corona BID will do to improve quality of life, and we are encouraged by the growing support for the BID.”

The “Taste of the BID” is expected to run until the end of the year, with cleaning ambassadors in the area every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The services will cover Roosevelt Avenue from 82nd Street to 114th Street and Junction Boulevard and 103rd Street off Roosevelt Avenue.

“New sanitation crews have already begun to make a difference along Roosevelt Avenue through cleaner and brighter streets,” said Rob Walsh, commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “By providing this neighborhood with a taste of what a BID can offer, this commercial corridor will only continue to get stronger.”

 

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Police looking for two suspects in three gas station robberies


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of NYPD

The NYPD is trying to find two suspects for three robberies of two gas stations in Jamaica and one in Flushing.

According to police, in each incident the suspects drove to the gas station in a dark colored minivan, then the driver exited the vehicle, watched the locations and returned to the minivan. Afterwards, the second suspect exited the vehicle, entered the location and either displayed a black handgun or simulated having a gun under his shirt and demanded money from the register and cigarettes.

On Saturday, March 16 at 5:40 a.m. one of the suspects simulated a firearm under his shirt as he robbed the Gulf Gas Station located at 241-15 Hillside Avenue in Jamaica.

On Tuesday, March 19 at 4 a.m. one suspect displayed a black firearm while robbing the Exxon Gas Station located at 137-21 Liberty Avenue in Jamaica.

On Wednesday, March 20 at 6:22 a.m. one of the suspects displayed a black handgun as he robbed the Mobil Gas Station located at 133-11 Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing.

Both suspects are described as Hispanic males, one suspect is 5’10″ to 6′ tall, large build and with a  moustache and the second suspect is  5’7″ to 5’9″ tall, medium build, with facial hair and wearing a black hooded jacket

Authorities have released photos for both suspects and a surveillance video of one of the suspects.

Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

 

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82nd Street Partnership expands business improvement district


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Logo Courtesy of the 82nd Street Partnership

The 82nd Street Partnership will now extend all the way through 114th Street as part of the New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue announced by Councilmember Julissa Ferreras.

“The 82nd Street Partnership is thrilled to announce this endeavor of expanding our business improvement district to include the major commercial corridors of Roosevelt Avenue, Junction Boulevard, 103rd Street and National Street,” said Seth Taylor, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership.

In this expansion, the 82nd Street Partnership will form the Jackson Heights-Corona Business Improvement District (BID). This will become a community-driven effort including property owners, businesses, residents, public officials and other stakeholders that will improve the strip’s “sense of place.”

“The future BID will work to improve quality of life and support local economic activity in the neighborhood by creating a cleaner, safer, brighter, and overall more enjoyable place for everyone,” said Taylor.

Under the leadership of Ferreras and the BID’s steering committee, it will work with community boards and city government agencies, like the Department of Sanitation, to certify all the city services and resources will be delivered to the neighborhood.

According to Robert Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, Roosevelt Avenue will continue to flourish once the change, which was brought to the stretch on 82nd Street years ago by the 82nd Street Partnership, is replicated throughout the community.

In addition to the expansion, $350,000 in funding, from Mayor Bloomberg’s office in union with Small Business Services, was secured for a “Taste of the BID.” This “taste” will introduce local business owners and community residents the benefits of the expanded partnership.

In the following months, the 82nd Street Partnership will work with its partners to develop the BID plan and help form the neighborhood’s future headed for a “collectively shared vision,” said Taylor.

An introductory seminar to the expansion for residents, property and business owners will be held on Tuesday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. at 103-24 Roosevelt Avenue. To get more information on the BID, the community can visit www.jhcoronabid.org.

 

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‘New Deal’ to improve Roosevelt Avenue


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

In order to revitalize one of the busiest strips in New York City, Councilmember Julissa Ferreras has announced a seven-point plan known as the “New Deal for Roosevelt Avenue.”

“My community thought that anything nice didn’t belong to them, anything clean must not be for them and that is what this ‘New Deal’ is about, that our community deserves better and they’re getting better,” said Ferreras.

Ferreras gathered with elected officials, representatives from various city agencies and members of the community to give details on her “New Deal” on Tuesday, March 19. The seven points of the plan focus on improvements involving increased sanitation services, new lighting and painting, a better business environment, community-focused public safety, updated zoning, a car-free Corona Plaza and instituting a Roosevelt Avenue Task Force.

“Brighter, cleaner, safer will be the foundation for Roosevelt Avenue,” said Robert Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services.

Ferreras announced that as part of the New Deal, she has allocated $500,000 to the DOT to increase lighting on Roosevelt Avenue and to the NYPD for the installation of cameras this year starting from 82nd Street through 114th Street.

“For a safer community we need to have a well-lit space to deter criminals and cameras to keep a watchful eye on crime, should it occur,” said Ferreras.

To address the other issues including prostitution and illegal vending, Ferreras announced the Roosevelt Avenue Task Force. Comprising agencies from consumer affairs to the Health Department, the task force will tackle the community’s issues with help from residents.

“This is a very vibrant community. Roosevelt Avenue is not just about the things that go wrong here, but if we are able to improve the quality of life, I think that’s how we’ll be able to squeeze out the crime,” said Ferreras.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 25 with a windchill as low as 3. Windy. Winds from the NNW at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph. Thursday night: Clear. Low of 12F with a windchill as low as 0. Breezy. Winds from the NW at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Beer Pairing Dinner

Come to Alobar in LIC on January 24 for a five course tasting menu and beer pairing courtesy of Brewery Ommegang. $55 for the beer and food. Call 718-752-6000 to make reservations. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Housing prices rise in Astoria and Long Island City

Real estate prices and rents in Long Island City and Astoria are on the rise, especially in the luxury housing market, where there isn’t enough supply to meet demand, a new report shows. Read more: New York Daily News

Woodside merchants say they’re losing business to evening ‘No Parking’ zone on Roosevelt Ave.

Woodside merchants are urging the city to lift a weekday parking restriction on Roosevelt Ave. because they say it’s unnecessary and bad for business. Read more: New York Daily News

Cold weather stretch makes life dangerous for Sandy victims

Looking at the job ahead of him, Alberto Pizarro said he’s taking a break from helping his neighbor, William Farrell rebuild his home this week. The men said they can’t go any further until a new boiler is installed, and one small space heater isn’t cutting it. Read more: NY1

1 dead, 1 critical after being struck in separate Queens car accidents

An elderly man is dead and another is fighting for his life after the two were involved in separate accidents within five minutes of each other in Queens, cops said. Read more: New York Post

Defiant Secretary of State Clinton takes on lawmakers over Benghazi attack

Tempers flared Wednesday when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended her actions following the deadly attack on the American consulate in Libya. Read more: CBS New York

Military has to decide which combat jobs for women

The Pentagon’s decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat presents a daunting challenge to top military leaders who now will have to decide which, if any, jobs they believe should be open only to men. Read more: AP

 

End of an era in North Korea: Kim Jong Il dies after nearly two decades in power


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

End of an era in North Korea: Kim Jong Il dies after nearly two decades in power

North Korea’s Communist leader Kim Jong Il, whose nearly two-decade reign of power was marked by nuclear threats against his neighbors and a stifling of freedoms for his own people, has died. North Korean television announced Sunday night that the country’s “Supreme Commander” had died in Pyongyang at the age of 69. A weeping North Korean state television announcer said Kim died on a train at 8:30 a.m. Saturday of a heart attack brought on by “physical fatigue” while touring the country’s provinces. Read More: Daily News

 

Thousands Expected At NYPD Officer Peter Figoski’s Funeral Today

Much of Babylon will come to a halt this morning as family, friends and thousands of fellow officers gather for the funeral of NYPD Officer Peter Figoski, a decorated 22-year veteran who was shot and killed Dec. 12 while responding to a robbery in Brooklyn. Suffolk police issued a traffic advisory Sunday, warning motorists that Montauk Highway in Babylon will be closed Monday in both directions. Read More: Newsday

 

Police identify man who fired at pair of officers

Police have identified the man that allegedly fired at two officers earlier this month in Jackson Heights while disguised in a fake beard, trench coat, hat and dark glasses. Officers were alerted of a suspicious male on the corner of 76th Street and Roosevelt Avenue on Friday, December 2.  When the officers approached the suspect – who police say is Antonio Olmeda, 53 – and asked for identification, he pulled a gun and fired two shots, police said. The officers, who were unharmed, pursued the suspect but failed to apprehend him. The fake beard, hat and glasses were recovered during the pursuit. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Long blue line to honor ‘quiet hero’ NYPD Officer Peter Figoski 

A brotherhood of cops 10,000 strong is expected to salute the casket of Officer Peter Figoski Monday morning as it arrives at the Long Island church where the hero cop prayed for a better world. The Rev. Christopher Heller, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Babylon, is expected to lead the funeral Mass, offering Figoski’s four bereaved daughters a source of strength in a time of turmoil. “I feel for his poor daughters,” said Charles Spencer, director of Boyd-Spencer Funeral Home in Babylon and a retired NYPD cop. “They’re going to need a lot of help in the future, not just through this funeral. Read More: Daily News

21 arrested in Queens during stolen iPhone/iPad undercover sting

Police arrested 141 individuals – 21 in Queens – purchasing what they believed was stolen electronics during an undercover operation throughout the city. Undercover officers targeted locations that were suspected of receiving stolen merchandise in the past and offered Apple iPhone 4s and iPad 2s that the merchants believed to be stolen for vast discounts, according to police. Read More: Queens Courier

Fundraising Controversy Cuts Liu’s Approval Rating, But Campaign Continues

City Comptroller John Liu was talking about the economy when he said “this has been quite a challenging year,” but he could have been discussing his political future. Liu’s potential campaign for mayor is under investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office, an inquiry that has already resulted in the arrest of one of his fundraisers. The U.S. attorney is reportedly questioning other Liu donors and those who collect donations for him. When asked whether the inquiry was expanding at a holiday party in Flushing on Friday, Liu said, “You’re asking me if it’s true. How am I supposed to know if it’s true? It’s a Times story. Let’s be fair.” Read More: NY1

Delta Airlines To Add Flights Out Of LaGuardia

Delta Airlines is boosting its flights out of LaGuardia. The airline is adding routes that target business travelers as well as Delta’s competitors, American Airlines and United. “For the first time really in the history of aviation at LaGuardia Airport, we’re going to build a hub. That means we’re going to be connecting passengers and growing the number of seats and destinations in a very significant way,” said Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Airlines. In the largest expansion at LaGuardia in 40 years, the airline is adding flights to Miami, Dallas, Houston, Denver and Charlotte. Read More: NY1

Take lid off land deal: judge

A Manhattan judge has backed state investigators who are trying to get to the bottom of a controversial deal to sell state land to an Indian community group in Queens. The organization that got the sweetheart deal, the Indian Cultural and Community Center, has stopped cooperating with detectives dispatched by state Inspector General Ellen Biben, court records show. But Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez said in a ruling last week that there is “a legitimate and reasonable basis for [the IG’s] inquiry,” and he ordered the Indian Cultural and Community Center to turn over the records requested. Read More: New York Post

City could close two Rockaway elementary schools for poor performance

The city is moving to close a struggling Far Rockaway elementary school, despite strong opposition from parents, after it received an “F” on its report card. The Department of Education recommended earlier this month that Public School 215 be phased out starting in the fall of 2012 and replaced with another school in the same building. The influential Panel for Educational Policy is to vote on the proposal on Feb. 9 Read More: Daily News

 

Fired Queens prosecutor beats her old boss with acquittal for her client on trial for murder

An ex-Queens prosecutor sacked after she blew the whistle on a TB scare scored an acquittal in a murder case against her old bosses late Tuesday. Michael McLennon was found not guilty in the fatal 2007 shooting of a former tenant after lawyer Tamara Harris claimed her client was fending off a machete attack when he clicked off three rounds from a .9-mm pistol. McLennon, 41, was convicted of possessing a weapon and tampering with evidence. He faces a minimum sentence of three and a half years in prison. Read More: Daily News

Long Island City to receive more residential housing and businesses development

Long Island City is on the rise — one tower at a time — thanks to a host of new developments, defying the bleak real estate market. About 1,250 condos and rental apartments are slated to hit the market in the western Queens community next year, said Eric Benaim, owner of the local real estate firm Modern Spaces. And that’s just the beginning of what’s planned over the next few years for the once predominantly industrial area. Read More: Daily News

 

Flushing woman missing


| brennison@queenscourier.com

1245-11 109 Sqd 12-02-11

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a Flushing woman last seen a week ago.

Judy Nam, 28, was last seen leaving her home on Roosevelt Avenue on Friday, December 2 at 3 p.m., according to police.  She was wearing blue jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers.

Nam is 5-feet-8-inches tall and weighs 135 pounds.

Anyone with information in regards to this missing is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Jackson Heights pigeon poop a persistent problem


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

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A Jackson Heights politician is fed-up with the foul fowl feces that shroud the face of the neighborhood’s premier subway station.

Councilmember Daniel Dromm says he is perturbed by the pigeon poop problem casting a shadow over the 74th Street station on Roosevelt Avenue, which hosts the No. 7, “E,” “F,” “R” and “M” trains.

“The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has neglected its legal responsibility to clean the pigeon poop,” said the councilmember, who called the MTA’s behavior a disgrace. “We have complained about it and they still haven’t come out to clean it. They promised they would [on] Monday, November 28, but they didn’t. This is a serious case of neglect and abuse of the Jackson Heights community. They have been a bad neighbor. One has to wonder why they continue to ignore Jackson Heights when it is one of the busiest stations in the whole transit system.”

According to an MTA spokesperson, the authority is aware of the problem and examining a variety of different solutions, including placing jagged spikes on the structure, making it less conducive for squatting.

“There is no way for us to place nets above the area, and we are limited in what we can do to solve the pigeon problem, but we do try and clean the area regularly,” said the spokesperson. “We do clean it, but the pigeons come right back. This is one of the difficult situations that we don’t have a solution to. From what I’ve heard it is pretty awful. It is disgusting, but we do have a pigeon problem throughout the city and we try different things in different place. We will just have to keep trying until we find a solution.”

The station receives regular cleaning every other week, including on the night of the December 6, according to the spokesperson.

Dromm claims his constituents have “continuously complained about the lack of maintenance to the 74th Street station,” including the pigeon excrements covering it, garbage left on the sidewalks in front of it and vacant stores surrounding it. The councilmember also plans to test the paint chipping away from the subway tracks above Roosevelt Avenue for dangerous chemicals.

Dromm, who says he has attempted to attain a regular maintenance schedule for years, to no avail, believes the MTA’s negligence has also hurt the community financially.

“The MTA is the biggest impediment to economic development in Jackson Heights, because that station is the entrance to the neighborhood,” he said. “You have vacant stores around a pigeon poop covered, paint peeling and garbage strewn subway station. People come out from the subway, and the first thing they want to do is turn around and go home. [The pigeon poop] makes the entrance to Jackson Heights undesirable.”

During the daily bustle of rush hour, some Jackson Heights residents admit they don’t bother to look up and perceive the problem.
“I’ve never even noticed it before,” said one resident as he hurried to work.

Others agree with Dromm and believe the station has become a blight on the community.

“This is the MTA’s property, and they should clean it up,” said David Barrionuevo, who uses the 74th Street station daily. “It shows they don’t care. They probably took a lot of money from the city to build this, so the least they can do is upkeep. The pigeon poop gives the station a gritty look, and if you look at some of the other stations, especially some of the bigger ones, they look nicer than this. This station is relatively new also, which means the MTA hasn’t been taking care of it at all. It looks like there is years’ worth of [feces] here.”

Reyes flies south


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Jose Reyes has stolen the hopes and dreams of every Mets fan faster than he swiped 370 bases for the club.

The Mets’ all time leader in stolen bases has reportedly run from his nine-year home in Queens and flown south this winter after biting on a six-year, $106 million contract the new Miami Marlins used to bait him onto their hook.

The shortstop leaves Flushing as one of the greatest statistical players to ever don a Mets uniform, ranking second in hits with 1,300, first in runs scored with 740, first in triples with 99 and his .292 batting average is the seventh best in franchise history.

Once time passes and cooler heads prevail, and Mets fans cease cursing the Wilpon name, wiping the tears from their eyes and looking up the career statistics of Reuben Tejada (.256 batting average with one homerun and 51 RBI over 174 games), they will realize Reyes’ exit should be of no shock to them.

Fans have surely heard an ear-full about the Wilpons’ financial troubles and learned months ago that the team will cut payroll significantly.

Considering Reyes’ career year this past season, during which he became the first Met to win a batting title, it was fairly obvious he would be highly coveted and likely not be back in Queens.

Reyes’ departure, which transforms Roosevelt Avenue into the “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” is also the latest and largest example that the Mets have drastically changed their philosophy – the team’s free agent frenzy switch has been flipped from dim during last year’s offseason to complete darkness this winter.

In other words, if they weren’t in rebuilding mode before, the Mets just blew up their house.

According to reports, the Mets did not make a legitimate attempt to sign Reyes – as a matter of fact, they never even made an offer. The team has gone from chasing any and every free agent and having one of the largest payrolls in the league, to one of the clubs they used to pity, watching their stars leave for bigger bucks.

The sad truth, however, is that with or without Reyes, the Mets weren’t competing with the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves for the National League East title, let alone the pennant or World Series, in the coming seasons – reference this past season and the four previous years.

The team’s financial situation demands rebuilding, and giving Reyes over a $100 million (with a reported $22 million option in his seventh year) is too much cash to commit to a guy you have to pray plays over 120 games a season for a team that will be mediocre at best. His tremendous numbers this season also make Mets fans forget the multiple collapses and immaturity he has shown during his tenure as the team’s shortstop.

What rightfully stings is that he went to the Marlins – not only a division rival but a team that beat the Amazins’ on the last day of the season in 2007 and 2008, eliminating them from the playoffs on both occasions. It will be understandably difficult for fans to see Reyes in a Miami uniform, and not just because of how hideous they are.

Time, however, heals all wounds, and while it will be odd for many not watching Reyes between second and third next season, come April, the team’s supporters will have plenty on their plate to worry about.

What is certain is that Mets fans will be waiting with bated breaths until the team’s free agent switch is flipped back on.

Effort to keep Roosevelt Avenue clean


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Julissa Ferreras Councilmember Julissa Ferreras, Department of Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty, Douglas Marsiglia, chief of cleaning operations, Assemblymember Francisco Moya and Senator Jose Peralta (left to right) stand around one of the 14 new litter baskets placed along the Roosevelt Avenue business corridor.

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras is trashing old garbage pails that permitted refuse to overflow onto the sidewalks of Roosevelt Avenue.

The councilmember joined New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Comissioner John Doherty on October 18 to announce the installation of 14 new, high-end litter baskets along the Roosevelt Avenue business corridor.

“Today’s announcement is just the beginning of a much larger plan for improving the Roosevelt Avenue business corridor,” said Ferreras. “The new litter baskets have a larger capacity to better meet the demand of this high traffic area.”

The councilmember, who is sponsoring the trash receptacles, is also funding extra basket collection service along the avenue, in the hopes of quelling the garbage problem faced by members of the community.

“I want to see a thriving Roosevelt Avenue,” Ferreras said. “Creating a cleaner, safer place is a top priority for us. These high-end litter baskets will help keep overflowing trash off the street and help create a better environment for the residents and businesses alike, as we work to make Roosevelt Avenue a safer, cleaner destination for all.”

The larger baskets will be placed along Roosevelt Avenue on the corners of 82nd Street, 90th Street, Junction Boulevard, 103rd Street and 111th Street.

The extra collection service, which began in July, increased pickups from every other Sunday to every Sunday.

“By funding these initiatives, Councilmember Ferreras provides a great example of how elected officials and residents, working together with the Sanitation Department, can make a real difference in helping to keep their communities clean,” said Doherty.

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Julissa Ferreras:

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras, Department of Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty, Douglas Marsiglia, chief of cleaning operations, Assemblymember Francisco Moya and Senator Jose Peralta (left to right) stand around one of the 14 new litter baskets placed along the Roosevelt Avenue business corridor.

MTA ‘On the Go’ Info


| rcasiano@queenscourier.com

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The MTA is testing touch-screen displays that would be installed at subway stations in the city, including one in Queens, in an effort to provide commuters with easier access to vital information without the need of a computer.

So far, one On the Go! Travel Station is up in Manhattan and four more will be rolled out at four other subway and commuter rail hubs in the city. The Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue station is expected to get a new touch screen in a couple of weeks, according to a spokesperson from the MTA.

“With On the Go, we are adding yet another layer of state-of-the-art customer communications into our subway system,” said MTA NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast, at the launch of the MTA’s new touch-screens at Manhattan’s Bowling Green station on September 19. “On the Go will provide riders with instant information that makes using the transit system more efficient.”

The 47-inch colorful displays will show commuters information about trips and will include real-time train service status, escalator and elevator status and local neighborhood maps as well as access to the online trip planner service. In addition, news and weather information will be featured on the screen as well.

These travel stations are supported by ads and third-party applications “mycity” and “Zagats” that add local history, shopping and dining options and more to the On the Go displays.

Besides Queens, more displays will be added to Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, and Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street in Brooklyn. The displays may expand to additional subways stations throughout the city if the On the Go stations are successful and well received by customers, a spokesperson for the MTA said.

The new displays were designed by Antenna Design New York Inc. for the MTA and they use the Cisco Interactive Services Solutions software.