Tag Archives: rosedale

Queens has most immigrant seniors in city: report


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Queens has the largest number of immigrant seniors in the city, with Flushing leading the list of neighborhoods, according to a new report.

The borough is home to about 162,000 foreign-born people over the age of 65, says a study by the Center for an Urban Future. The report shows more than 25,000 live in Flushing.

“Immigrants are critical to Queens,” said Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the New York-based think tank.

“They’ve driven a lot of the economic growth in the borough,” he said. “They make up almost half of the population in Queens. It’s important that they can grow old in the city.”

Droves of immigrants, mostly from Asia, first made their way to Flushing in the 1970s, Bowles said.

Since then, many more have moved from Manhattan’s Chinatown to the northern Queens neighborhood for a more affordable way of life that is surrounded by immigrant services. In the last decade, more than 8,000 immigrant seniors have settled in Flushing, according to the report.

“They want to live in Flushing because it’s more convenient for them in terms of language barriers,” said Kathy Liu, program director for the Flushing YMCA’s New Americans Welcome Center. “It’s one of the neighborhoods which allow immigrants to go to different agencies to help them in their language.”

The center is a one-stop shop for non-English speakers and one of many locations where immigrants can receive for free literacy, citizen preparation, job readiness and computer classes year-round. The facility sees natives from China, Korea and even France, Liu said.

The Flushing branch of the Queens Library, which offers similar services, is the most heavily used branch in the state, said Queens Library spokesperson Joanne King.

Still, the report shows immigrant seniors face a number of challenges, including a higher poverty rate. They are also less likely to receive government benefits.

“Many don’t qualify for retirement or housing benefits,” Liu said. “With rent so high in this area, they find it very difficult to live with the savings they brought from their own country.”

According to the report, Flushing has the highest concentration of poor seniors. More than half of all Korean seniors in the city who are below the federal poverty line live in Flushing, the study found.

The Rockaways had the second largest group of poor immigrant seniors, 3,154 people.

“Immigrant adults have all of those traditional challenges, but then they have additional ones because of language barriers or a lack of familiarity with programs and services that are available,” Bowles said. “I don’t see this as a problem necessarily, but as a challenge that New York City policy makers have to plan for.”

Some other highlights:

  • Bellerose, Rosedale, Forest Hills and Rego Park, trailing slightly behind Flushing, also made the list.
  • Howard Beach and South Ozone Park had the largest change in their immigrant senior population. They saw a 112 percent jump, which amounts to nearly 5,000 seniors.
  •  Over the last decade, the number of immigrant seniors in Queens increased by 42,000, while the number of native-born seniors dropped by nearly 41,000.



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Libraries get funding to expand


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Maggie Hayes

Ten-year-old Darius Barnes was upset when he learned his local Laurelton library might be closing.

“I didn’t want it to close,” he said. “The library has helped me.”

Barnes goes to the library after school, where he has been able to do homework and projects, as well as take courses in Mandarin with the site’s manager, Dave Wang.

When the budget for the 2014 Fiscal Year was initially proposed, library funding was set for across-the-board cuts. Ultimately, the cuts put the Rosedale and Laurelton libraries at risk of closure. The community and the City Council responded and were able to take the cuts out of the budget altogether.

Additionally, Councilmember Donovan Richards allocated nearly $3 million in extra funding to expand his district’s libraries.

“This library is my second home,” said Ruth Wright, 11, at the Laurelton site.

Wright, just as Barnes, visits the library after school and said not only has it given her a place to do homework, but also has given her the opportunity to meet new friends.

“Cutting funding to our libraries is the same as cutting funding to our youth,” Richards said.

Libraries are the central parts of the neighborhoods, he said, and these allocated funds will kick off a long-term project of expanding and improving the Laurelton, Rosedale and Rockaway libraries.

“Learning is the key. That’s what this library is about,” said Dwight Johnson, president of the Federated Blocks of Laurelton. “This is what we need in our community.”

Richards’ goal is to allocate $3 million a year for district libraries. He said the Rosedale library will take $7 million to fully expand and complete and $11 million for Laurelton.

“The idea is to give young adults a safe place where they can congregate and grow, with the latest technologies – this gives them a reason to stay in the libraries and off the streets,” he said.

Teen arrested in fatal stabbing of 18-year-old in Jamaica


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

A Queens teen died from a stab wound in Jamaica.

A 17-year-old has been arrested for the murder of a Rosedale teen who was stabbed in Jamaica Saturday night, police said.

Andrew Benitez, of Jamaica, has been charged with second-degree homicide in connection to the death of 18-year-old Aaron Jefferson as well as criminal possession of a weapon.

Jefferson was found unconscious June 22 with a stab wound in his back outside an apartment complex at 148-25 89 Avenue around 10:20 p.m., cops said.

He was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital.

 

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Suspect nabbed in brutal killing of cab driver


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Chinedum Agwu

Nearly a week after the Brooklyn slaying of cab driver Uro Orji Ama, a man has been arrested in connection to his death.

Shamel Allen, 28, has been charged with manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

“We are just going to let the law take its course,” said Agwu Agwu, Uro’s half brother following the news of the arrest. “Making sure that these kids are secure that’s my primary concern.”

Uro’s five children, ranging in age from 13 to 24, are in the midst of moving from Brooklyn to Rosedale to live with close relatives.

Cops found Ama, 54, in his 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis after responding to a traffic accident in Brooklyn on Thursday, June 13, police said.

Ama was dropping off a man and a woman when the man stabbed him through the right eye with an umbrella, piercing Ama’s brain. The cab driver lost control of his car and crashed into parked vehicles.

Cops arrived at the scene and rushed Ama to Brookdale University Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, authorities said.

There was no information about the woman witnesses saw.

 

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Family mourns devoted father killed in his own cab


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Chinedum Agwu

He came to the U.S. in search of the American Dream, but his brutal murder has left his family living a nightmare.

Nigerian cab driver Uro Orji Ama died after being stabbed in the eye with an umbrella shortly before Father’s Day weekend.

Cops found Ama in his 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis after responding to a traffic accident in Brooklyn on Thursday, June 13, police said.

Now his five children, ranging in age from 13 to 24, are in the midst of moving from Brooklyn to Rosedale to live with close relatives. Their mother is still in Nigeria.

“There are moments where [one of the children] will shout, ‘Daddy! Why did this happen?’” said Chinedum Agwu, Ama’s sister-in-law.

A few months ago, Ama, who was 54, brought the last of his children to the U.S. in the hope of providing for a better life.

Ama was known to work odd jobs even when he was in Nigeria in order to give his children a standard of living he had never known.

“Everything he did was [for] his kids,” Agwu, 30, said. “He wanted to lay the foundation for them to grow on. Each time you called him, he was at work or going to work.”

Ama was dropping off a man and a woman when the man stabbed him through the right eye with an umbrella, piercing Ama’s brain. The cab driver lost control of his car and crashed into parked vehicles. The motive for the stabbing is unknown at this time.

Cops arrived at the scene and rushed Ama to Brookdale University Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, authorities said.

The NYPD is offering a $12,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects, while the

New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers is offering an additional $5,000 reward.

Ama’s body will be sent back to Nigeria to be buried. His family is still working to schedule a wake in New York.

 

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Parents, officials demand DOT action following accident near little league field


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Alec MacFarlen, a seven-year-old from Rosedale, was crossing the street near his little league field when he was hit by a speeding car on Monday, April 22.

Although McFarlen survived, locals have had enough.

The community has requested a traffic advisory on 147th Avenue between Brookville Boulevard and 232nd Street for years. But community members claim the Department of Transportation (DOT) never followed up.

Rosedale Little League President Bernie Brown said she and other parents have petitioned DOT since 2006 to put “any sort of traffic advisory” on the stretch of road that she calls dangerous.

“These cars will not let people cross the street,” Brown said. “There are parks on both sides of the street. This is an area filled with children.”

Brown said that when she got the call that McFarlen had been hit, she ran to the spot of the accident. She said the little leaguer had blood coming from his forehead and dripping down his face. Brown added that the youngster had to get four stitches on his head and still has scrapes on his face as well as a bruised ribcage.

“Even as an adult, you can’t cross the street,” said Councilmember Donovan Richards. “It’s nearly impossible.”

Still, there were no fatalities in the area or any surrounding intersection from 2007 to 2011, the most recent years for which data are available. One pedestrian injury was reported at Brookville Boulevard and 147th Avenue in 2010.

Richards and Brown said DOT representatives have been to the area to survey the traffic, but that they come during off-hours. According to Brown, during baseball season the intersection is at its busiest Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

A DOT spokesperson said representatives have been in touch with Richards and the little league about their concerns. The agency plans to re-examine the area to see if there are additional ways to enhance safety for everyone using the street.

The DOT studied the location for a traffic-control device and speed bump in 2009 and 2012, respectively, but the location did not meet the guidelines for installation, according to the spokesperson.

While DOT abides by federal rules, Richards suggested the city “reign in control” of the transportation organization as a possible solution.

“They’re going by federal regulations and we don’t have the pull we need to have them do better,” Richards said. “It’s really disturbing.”

Along with writing letters to DOT, Brown and parents have recently started to file complaints with 3-1-1 about the dearth of traffic devices.

“Set up a blinking yellow light, set up a ‘Children At Play’ sign,” she said. “We’re trying to do a sports program that will keep children off the streets and help mentor them. These kids need an outlet to get rid of some of their stress.”

“Thank god that this little boy—seven years old—has a strong body,” she continued. “He probably will heal, but this will be something he’ll remember for the rest of his life.”

 

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Body found floating near Idlewild Park Preserve


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via Google Maps

Police are investigating a dead woman’s body that was discovered near the Idlewild Park Preserve this morning.

Officers found the unidentified person, who authorities describe as a black female in her 20s, around 1o:30 a.m. floating in the water off of Craft Avenue and Huxley Street in Rosedale. EMS arrived and pronounced her dead.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

 

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Suspect sought in Rosedale attempted bank robbery


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Authorities are looking for a man who tried to rob a Bank of American in Rosedale last month.

According to police, on Wednesday, February 27, at approximately 2 p.m., the suspect entered the bank located at 241-42 South Conduit Avenue, approached the teller window and passed a demand note. He then took the demand note back and fled.

The suspect is described as a black man in his 20s, approximately 6 feet tall, 160 to 180 pounds and was wearing a light gray hooded sweatshirt with a black scarf tucked inside around the neck.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident 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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NYPD looking for suspect who shot man in behind, then fled


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a suspect after he walked up to a man in Rosedale and shot him, said the NYPD

On Saturday, March 2, around 3:50 a.m., the suspect approached the victim in front of 234-36 Merrick Boulevard, displayed a firearm, shot him in the buttocks, then fled on foot.

The victim was transported to Mercy Hospital and is listed in stable condition.

Authorities describe the suspect as a Hispanic male, 20 to 30 years old, 5’11″ tall and 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a beige jacket and brown pants.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident 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 at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Teen found dead outside Queens home


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

VIA FACEBOOK

A fifteen-year-old girl was found dead outside a home in Rosedale, according to the NYPD.

The body of Aeisha Sarooqui was discovered outside 245-07 135th Avenue around 7:40 a.m. on Sunday morning. Sarooqui lived on Parsons Boulevard, several miles from where she was found.

It is suspected that the cause of death was a drug overdose, according to the New York Post.

Bank robbers wanted in Flushing, Rosedale


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Flushing bank robbery

The NYPD is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying suspects wanted in two separate January bank robberies in Queens.

On Wednesday, January 9, at 9:15 a.m. the first suspect entered a Capital One Bank, located at 145-15 243rd Street in Rosedale, approached the teller and demanded money. The teller complied and the suspect fled with an undetermined amount of money.

The suspect is described as a black male and 5’6″ to 5’9″ tall.

Police are also looking for another man who robbed a Sovereign Bank, located at 150-28 Union Turnpike in Flushing on Friday, January 11, at approximately 3 p.m. During this incident, the suspect approached a bank teller and passed a note demanding money. After receiving the cash, the suspect fled the location.

The suspect is described as a black male, 40 years old, 200 pounds and 5’7 ” tall with brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black cap and brown waist length jacket.

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 by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

This suspect is wanted for robbing a Capital One Bank in Rosedale on January, 9.

 

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Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Rosedale added to FEMA flood map


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

fema MAP

Howard Beach, Lindenwood and Rosedale were added to FEMA’s latest advisory map on flood zone elevation in an attempt to avoid the same volume of flooding and damage experienced during Sandy.

“This is the first in a series of steps on what will become the regulatory guidance,” FEMA coordinating officer Mike Byrne told NY1. “We want to give them the most current data we can.”

This is the first map FEMA has made for the New York City area in 30 years, he said.

Byrne said these maps will prompt home and business owners to rebuild higher than before, and it was FEMA’s goal to get some information out as soon as possible as people want to rebuild now.

The finalized map might not come out for another two years, he said, but the advisory map could be used now on rebuilding homes. A future map would be based on the current advisories and not the older maps, he said.

“At the end of the day this is to sort of eliminate some of the suffering we’ve seen as a result of storms like Sandy,” he said.

 

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Candidates vie for Sanders’ City Council seat in special election


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Candidates 15th district

A vacant seat has been left in the 31st Council District by James Sanders’ ascent to the State Senate, and more than one candidate hopes to slide into the spot.

A special election is set to be held on February 19 for the coveted Council seat, covering parts of Springfield Gardens, Laurelton and Rosedale. The race has attracted several different candidates thus far, many of whom have hit the campaign trail running.

Sanders’ former chief-of-staff, Donovan Richards, is considered the front runner, according to multiple media reports. Richards has received endorsements from not only his former boss, but also from the City Council’s Progressive Caucus and the Working Families Party. He worked in the City Council for ten years under Sanders (pictured right), and is now looking to acquire his own seat.

In order to be eligible to run, all candidates must file with the Board of Elections (BOE) by January 15.

Valerie Vazquez, a BOE spokesperson, said that as of press time, Allan Jennings, a former City Councilmember, and Selvena Brooks, who has worked in the State Senate, have filed to run.

Brooks filed her candidacy under the party name “Rebuild Now,” referencing not only rebuilding post-Sandy, but also rebuilding the education system, local economy and neighborhoods.

Marie Adam-Ovide, the district manager of Community Board 8, has been expected to announce her candidacy, as is Earnest Flowers, former chief-of-staff of Assemblymember William Scarborough. Flowers boasts a reputation of making his promises a reality, and having “quantifiable work.”

“The reason why we don’t get a lot of things done is because no one puts anything down on paper, so no one can be held accountable,” said Flowers. “Everything I do is transparent.”

Flowers recently held a fundraising event for his campaign in his home, where he spoke to a crowd of roughly 60 about his passion for the community.

Many others are rumored to join the race, and will face each other on Thursday, February 7 at the 31st District Candidates’ Night. Members of the community will join the candidates in Laurelton at St. Luke’s

Cathedral where they will be given the opportunity to ask the Council hopefuls questions regarding their positions.

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 37 with a windchill as low as 19F. Breezy. Winds from the West at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Friday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 28F with a windchill as low as 19. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: First Look Film Series

This annual showcase at the Museum of the Moving Image presents groundbreaking international cinema. Many of this year’s films take the form of journeys—geographical, emotional and artistic—with 26 works from a dozen countries. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Sandy-battered Rockaway businesses struggle to pay rent to absentee landlord

A pair of Rockaway stores that survived floods, tens of thousand dollars in losses and the exodus of customers due to Sandy now face a new challenge — battling an absentee landlord who wants them to pay up or move out. Read more: New York Daily News

House sets Friday vote for Sandy aid after criticism

The House is headed for a vote on aid for Superstorm Sandy victims after House Speaker John Boehner mollified Republicans from New York and New Jersey upset with his decision to cancel action on the bill. Read more: ABC New York

Meng, Jeffries among 84 new Congress members sworn in

New York City has two new members of Congress. Hakeem Jeffries, representing the Eighth District in Brooklyn and Queens, which includes Bedford-Stuyvesant, Coney Island and Howard Beach, and Grace Meng, of the Sixth District in Queens, which stretches from Ridgewood to Bayside, were among the 84 new members of Congress sworn in Thursday. Read more: NY1

Special election to determine replacement for Sanders’ Council Seat

Voters will be asked to head to the polls and choose a candidate in a special election to replace outgoing City Councilman James Sanders Jr. Read more: NY1

Attempted murder at Long Island mall

Police on Long Island say a man tried to kill another man in a mall parking lot. Read more: Fox New York

House chooses Boehner as speaker again despite dissent

Despite a rocky few weeks during the “fiscal cliff” fight, John Boehner won re-election as speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday and will again lead Republicans as they take on the White House over federal spending. Read more: Reuters 

 

 

Woman charged with DWI in death of pregnant passenger


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The woman behind the wheel of a car that flipped into a shallow marsh off of Jamaica Bay leaving a pregnant Queens woman dead has been charged with driving under the influence and without a license, according to the NYPD and media reports.

Denise Finley 32, of Arverne, was heading southbound on Brookville Boulevard in the Rosedale section of Queens around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday when she lost control of the 2000 Ford she was driving, overturning the vehicle into the water off of the roadway, said police.

Her passenger, Dominique Jamison, 25, of Far Rockaway, was removed from the car and taken to Jamaica Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

There were reportedly four other individuals in the vehicle at the time of the accident, three of which were injured.

Finley was taken into custody at the scene and later charged that day.