Tag Archives: Senator Joseph Addabbo

City agency no-show at civic meeting riles Hamilton Beach residents


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

BY ANGELA MATUA

Hamilton Beach residents were stood up.

The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) failed to make their appointment at Thursday’s Hamilton Beach Civic Association meeting, turning what should have been an informative session on a capital project into an airing of residents’ grievances.

The DDC was scheduled to unveil designs for a project to repair major corrosion and tidal flooding on James Court after residents rejected the first plan. However, the agency cancelled only a few hours before the meeting was set to take place, according to Hamilton Beach Civic Association President Roger Gendron.

Gendron said the project manager retired earlier this month and that the DDC was not sure if they could bring someone who could update residents on the specifics of the plan.

“We can talk about it all we want but DDC is not here to answer for themselves tonight and that’s the problem,” Gendron said. “I don’t care if they stood a guy in here with a target and said ‘We don’t have anything, take your best shot,’ but they didn’t do that and that’s wrong.”

Residents decried the last design plan, which was presented to them at a Jan. 22 civic meeting. The plan called for adding a bulkhead to the end of the street and up to two feet of asphalt to some parts of the roadway, thus elevating the street bed. This heightened road would force homeowners to bury or reconstruct the first few steps leading to their home if the steps are located on the sidewalk.

Patricia McCabe, a representative of state Senator Joseph Addabbo, relayed the lawmaker’s disapproval over the DDC no-show.

“He’s very, very upset with DDC,” McCabe said. “This is what his exact words were: ‘Make sure everybody at the meeting knows, he will be back at the district tomorrow, he will speak to the commissioner. They will get answers within the next week. They’re going to hold them to the time frame of this project.’ He’s as angry as you are.”

Rich Lynch, a Hamilton Beach resident who lives on James Court, said that the project manager had a responsibility to inform residents of the plan before his retirement.

“It’s kind of embarrassing from their point of view that it was a changing of the guard but the guard didn’t know he was in charge or something,” Lynch said.

Craig Chin, borough planner for the Department of Transportation, was in attendance but could not update residents on the plan because the DDC didn’t provide the DOT any updated plans.

“It’s DDC that we have to hold their feet to the fire,” Gendron said. “And believe me when I tell you I will.”

A DDC spokesperson reportedly told Gendron that they will attend the next Hamilton Beach Civic Association meeting on Aug. 20 to unveil the plan.

The DDC did not respond to requests for comment.

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Civic group continues fight against open-top rail cars in Glendale and Middle Village


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of CURES

As concerns over transporting construction and demolition (C&D) debris via rail through densely populated communities grow, civic groups in Glendale and Middle Village are looking to stop a plan to increase waste operations through local freight lines.

Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES) is now looking to the state government to step in and mandate hard lid covers on all waste-by-rail operations in New York State, before allowing any type of increase in waste-by-rail operations.

“We don’t want to breathe in C&D debris,” said Robert Holden, president of Juniper Park Civic Association, a founding partner in the CURES alliance. “We will pressure our local officials to make the necessary changes, to make them change the way they do business, or at least the way they transport waste.”

CURES wants “no expansion of waste-by-rail until NYS can control it, hard lids on all waste-by-rail.” According to the civics group, Tunnel Hill Partners, the non-hazardous solid waste handling company whose railcars travel through the Fresh Pond Railyard in Glendale has hard lid technology currently in use in New York, but it’s not being used in their Long Island facility.

If the state cannot control C&D residuals in open-top railcars, CURES believes that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) should not renew the permit for One World Recycling, a Tunnel Hill Partners operating site, creating more C&D residuals within the communities where the railroad operates.

“Dust, odors, vectors, litter, debris and stormwater runoff that are controlled by NYSDEC at the trash transfer station are dumped into open rail cars and sent into our NYC neighborhoods. These are acknowledged public and community health issues,” said Mary Parisen, chair of CURES. “NYS’s clear duty is to maintain the 370-ton limit for One World, not issue any other permits that increase unsealed waste-by-rail tonnage, and pursue updates to the law that will protect our communities from this unnecessary filth while getting trucks off the road at the same time.”

State Senator Joseph Addabbo stated in an email to CURES that NYSDEC reviewed a permit to increase operations at One World Recycling to haul 1,100 tons of waste per day. NYSDEC approved them for a reduced maximum total of 500 to 800 tons per day, with the requirement of lids for certain odor-emitting waste, which does not cover C&D residuals.

“CURES is strongly opposed to increasing daily tonnage at Tunnel Hill Partner’s One World Recycling facility,” Parisen wrote in a letter dated June 9 to Joseph Martens, NYSDEC Commissioner. “In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we and other citizens bore up under increased freight rail burdens because it was a public emergency. For Tunnel Hill Partners to take advantage, to permanently increase tonnage on a site that is inappropriately small and otherwise ill-equipped, is shameful.”

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State Senate bill gives communities input on homeless shelters


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Communities will now have the chance to hear plans for proposed social service facility sites before they appear in their neighborhoods.

The Senate recently approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Joseph Addabbo requiring a more transparent process when it comes to locating homeless shelters or other social service facilities in communities throughout the city.

“This legislation, while not avoiding or ignoring the crisis of homelessness, substance abuse or other serious social ills in our society, does provide a necessary means for community members to be fully involved from the get-go when homeless shelters or other social service facilities are planned for their neighborhoods,” Addabbo said.

“All too often, communities are finding that facilities are being virtually rammed down their throats, with no real thought given to whether the buildings are appropriate for the programs, whether the neighborhoods have adequate transit or other services, or whether the proposed operators have questionable track records that should be challenged,” he added.

Under the new legislation, social service providers would be required to notify community boards and the City Planning Commission (CPC) within 45 to 90 days of selecting a location for their facility. The CPC would then have to hold public hearings to gather local input on the proposed facilities.

Within 60 to 90 days of the public hearings, the CPC would have the final authority to approve, deny or modify the community-based programs.

Community boards may also request hearings be held within the same time frame if a provider is planning on renewing its lease. This allows for local input in cases where questions have been raised about the operation of the facility.

“The fact of the matter is that we need transparency, honesty and in-depth community conversations about these programs—before they happen, not after the fact,” Addaboo said.

The Senator pointed out the proposed homeless shelter planned for Cooper Avenue in Glendale as a prime example.

“This project appeared virtually out of thin air, with no opportunity for the community to raise legitimate concerns about the facility, the track record of the operators, or other very pertinent issues—which then fell on deaf ears when brought to the attention of city officials,” he added. “We can’t let this continue to happen. It’s not about trying to keep people in need out of our neighborhoods—it’s about bringing neighborhoods together, with all the information they require, to help determine the best outcomes for these same people in need.”

The bill is currently under consideration by the Assembly Committee on Cities.

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Birch Family Services will host hiring event in Ridgewood this June


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

Job seekers who are interested in working in the care service industry are invited by state Senator Joseph Addabbo to attend a mass-hiring event in Ridgewood.

The event, which is co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and Assemblyman Mike Miller in partnership with Birch Family Services, will take place on June 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, located at 59-03 Summerfield St. in Ridgewood.

“When we have held previous Birch Family Services hiring events, a large percentage of the participants  were able to move on to satisfying new jobs in the health care field in our area,” Addabbo said.  “During this event, those who are interested in working for Birch will be considered for positions at the Ridgewood and Glendale sites caring for some of our community’s most vulnerable local residents.”

Birch Family Services provides a wide variety of health, education and social services for residents with autism and other disabilities, including preschool special education, special education for people ages 5 through 20, day habilitation, and support for families who are raising children with disabilities, among others.

“Working with disabled individuals and their families is an extremely important and meaningful career path,” Addabbo said. “I can think of few endeavors more rewarding than helping others reach their highest personal potential.”

Individuals interested in job opportunities at Birch must have, at minimum, a high school diploma or G.E.D., experience caring for elderly and/or disabled individuals, and a New York State driver’s license.

Those who are attending the hiring event should bring their resume, two forms of identification, including the required state driver’s license, and proof of their highest completed educational degree. While not required, applicants are encouraged to bring information about any professional certifications they may hold such as HHA, CAN, CPR, AMAP and others.

For more information about the Birch hiring event and other free community events sponsored by Addabbo throughout the year, please contact Frank Fazio in the senator’s Howard Beach district office at 718-738-1111.

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Addabbo talks homeless shelter at Middle Village meeting


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

After reports surfaced of the emergency homeless shelter located at the former Pan American Hotel being infested with rats, members of the Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA) continue to voice their concerns over the planned opening of a homeless shelter in Glendale.

During the April 30 JPCA meeting in Middle Village, president Robert Holden asked state Senator Joseph Addabbo to write a letter to NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, asking him not to sign any contracts with Samaritan Village. The nonprofit group operates the Pan American emergency shelter and has a pending contract to operate a shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale.

“Can you write us a letter and say, with all the problems with Samaritan Village, we need them to back off and don’t expand into other facilities?” Holden asked Addabbo, adding that there would be “rats and other things” at the proposed Cooper Avenue shelter — just like in the Pan Am shelter. “Certainly they don’t deserve to run any facility.”

Addabbo responded that he will have a personal conversation with Stringer about the proposed Glendale shelter.

“This is what my community needs, I don’t think you should sign it,” Addabbo said he would tell Stringer. “I think it’s a wrong road going down with Samaritan Village.”

Addabbo also mentioned a town hall meeting last May in which the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) said no families would be put into the Pan Am Hotel location due to the fact that there were no kitchens in the rooms where they wanted families to live.

“And about four weeks later, what do you know, families are in there,” Addabbo said. “It just confirmed for me that you cannot trust Samaritan Village, you cannot trust Department of Homeless Services.”

Holden assured those in attendance that their fighting, largely conducted in partnership with the Glendale Middle Village Coalition, has not gone unheard. The opening of the shelter has been delayed due to their continuing fight.

“We’ve been winning rounds, by the way,” Holden said. “The reason this thing hasn’t gone forward is because the coalition has been battling; every time they put something in with the Department of Buildings, we challenge it.”

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More funding secured to upgrade outdated freight locomotives


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Train.tif

Extra funds are coming down the track from Albany to clean up some of the state’s dirtiest diesel locomotives.

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, along with other elected officials, civic organizations and the New York League of Conservative Voters, announced that $3 million was secured in the 2015 state budget to continue a program to overhaul old, state-owned freight locomotives.

This funding comes after Hevesi previously secured $6 million in the 2013 and 2014 state budgets. That money has already been put into retrofitting two locomotives of the 11-car fleet at Glendale’s Fresh Pond Railyard, which are set to roll out this December.

According to a source close to the situation, the first two locomotives, which received funding for upgrades during the last two years, were delayed getting their enhancements due to contract disputes with the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), which owns the railyard but leases it to the New York and Atlantic Railway. The two train cars went in for their scheduled upgrades this past summer and will be set to go by the end of the year.

“With this additional state funding, and the first two overhauled freight locomotives expected to come on-line later this year, it is encouraging that great strides are being made to fight for, and protect, the health of countless families in the boroughs of New York and on Long Island,” Hevesi said.

Retrofitting diesel freight engines was a top transportation and environmental priority in the Fiscal Year 2013, 2014 and 2015 Assembly budgets. The request was supported and signed by over 60 members of the Assembly, and received bipartisan support in both chambers of the legislature.

“I am very pleased that the new state budget includes an additional $3 million that will be used to continue a program to upgrade the engines of antiquated LIRR freight locomotives,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. “This program will improve the lives of Queens residents by reducing the unhealthy nitrogen oxide emissions and curbing the unpleasant noise pollution generated by the locomotives’ existing diesel engines.”

The train cars are currently equipped with antiquated engines which are up to the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for 1970s locomotives and give off toxic emissions. These outdated trains operate throughout Brooklyn, Long Island and Queens, and specifically at the Fresh Pond Railyard.

“This funding gives us greater ammunition in the fight for our constituents’ quality of life and I am thrilled we can continue to see the progress in overhauling the antiquated freight locomotives,” state Senator Joseph Addabbo said. “This benefits people near and far to the rail tracks — allowing those close to be less disturbed by train rumblings and those all around to allow more fresh, clean air into their lungs.”

The continued funding of this program will allow for a third freight locomotive to be upgraded to meet the current EPA Tier 4 emissions standards. The EPA Tier 4 standards are some of the highest in the country since the EPA changed their emission standards in 2000.

The enhancements to this third train car is expected to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions — a known byproduct of diesel engines linked to respiratory diseases — by up to 76 percent per year, or the equivalent of 120 tons of emissions over 10 years.

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Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps rallies to resolve collapsed building issue


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre 

 

Next year will be Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps’ 50th anniversary, but members don’t’ know if the organization will be around to see it.

The ambulance corps headquarters took damage when building adjoining, 78-19 Jamaica Avenue, collapsed nearly a year ago. Recently members were forced to vacate after melted snow from the collapsed building caused water to flood into the volunteer group’s structure. Now the ambulance corps has damaged walls and mold, members said, and the volunteer organization has to wait for an inspection before they can use the building again.

Members of the ambulance corps and supporters rallied in front the ambulance corps building Sunday to ask the city to speed up repairs on the crumbling building.

“It’s very frustrating, sad and makes me upset,” said John Bennett, a member of the board of the ambulance corps, who has been with the organization for more than three decades. “It feels like I’m losing someone very close.”

The ambulance corps recently filed a lawsuit against the collapsed building’s owner to the tune of $13 million in damages and lost rent. However, it’s another slow process they have to deal with while the building continues to suffer.

The Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center rented space from the volunteer ambulance group, but had to move to a temporary location—American Legion Post 118—after the structure was determined unsafe by the city’s Buildings Department. The ambulance corps has lost its revenue source, and seniors want to move back into the volunteer groups’ building for its centralized location to transportation, wide space and other features.

“I miss the senior center because in the temporary location I can’t even use the bathroom,” Patricia Sexton said. “It’s not handicapped accessible.”

The owner of the collapsed building, George Kochabe, recently paid $3,200 in fines owed to the  Department of Buildings and hired an architect, according to the agency. However, the building still has many open violations and Kochabe owes thousands more in fines. He could not be reached for comment.

Assemblymember Mike Miller and State Senator Joseph Addabbo are pushing to have the city tear down the building, rebuild it and bill Kochabe. They not only fear for the survival of the volunteer ambulance corps and the senior center, but also worry about the threat the crumbling building creates for pedestrians.

“We don’t want to find out how much more this building could take,” Addabbo said. “We don’t want to react to a bad situation or a tragedy.”

 

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Ridgewood newsstand razed, problems persists across street


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Office of Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley

One long-standing Ridgewood problem down, and one more to go.

The troublesome newsstand on Metropolitan Avenue near Fresh Pond Road, which had been an eyesore in the community, attracting garbage and graffiti for more than two decades, has finally been taken out of sight.

The MTA/LIRR, which owned the land, demolished it on Friday with $100,000 allocated from Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley.

“After long delays from both the DOT (Department of Transportation) and LIRR, I am happy to see persistence pay off,” Crowley said.

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre 

Crowley called a press conference in 2009 with Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblymember Mike Miller to announce that they would remove the structure, and transform the space into a community garden.

But those promises were derailed due to complications with the LIRR and the DOT, which both have rights to the property.

The city was reluctant to have any work done in the area, according to Crowley, because of the renovations on the nearby bridge on Metropolitan Avenue.

Community leaders appreciate that the site has finally turned a corner, but now they want elected officials to focus on the other problem — literally across the street.

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre 

The DOT assumed control of the abandoned gas station on Metropolitan Avenue across from the newsstand site several years ago, but the property has also attracted graffiti. However, unlike the newsstand, the gas station is fenced in, meaning community volunteers can’t clean it up.

“The city takes available property, because they have to fix the bridge and then they let it go,” said Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, which has cleaned up the newsstand site in the past. “They don’t keep it up, and this is a disgrace. If we, regular property owners, did that, we’d get fined.”

Photo courtesy Bob Holden

Plans aren’t complete for what the newsstand site will become, but for now the DOT “will make it nicer,” according to a Crowley spokesperson.

 

 

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Resorts World Casino welcomes new and free Red Express buses


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF RESORTS WORLD

Resorts World Casino welcomed a new bus fleet, the Red Express, which will take patrons from Manhattan to the South Ozone Park gambling spot.

Casino president Edward Farrell, Community Board 10 chair Betty Bratton and State Senator Joseph Addabbo greeted the Red Express buses as they pulled into Resorts World, coming in from their first trip down from Manhattan’s Lincoln Center.

The luxury buses will run every 30 to 45 minutes from 10 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday. They are free of charge and can hold up to 40 passengers.

The West Side route begins at 96th Street and Columbus Avenue, and goes straight down to Central Park and Madison Avenue. The East Side route begins at 96th Street and Lexington Avenue, and goes straight down to Madison Avenue and Central Park South.

Additionally, the Midtown route starts at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue and runs through 6th Avenue and 50th Street.

All routes end, of course, at Resorts World Casino on Rockaway Boulevard.

 

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‘Peace officers’ may be coming to Resorts World Casino


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

One pol wants to keep the peace at Resorts World Casino.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo has been advancing legislation to create “peace officers” at the casino – security officers who would have the power to make arrests.

Currently, the casino has security guards that are not authorized to make arrests. They instead must detain any criminal offenders and wait for local NYPD officers to arrive on the scene before carrying out any arrests.

“I think that the threat of an immediate arrest might serve as a greater deterrent to those who are seeking to cause trouble in the area, and peace officers would have that authority,” Addabbo said.

The peace officers would be unarmed but would provide added law enforcement presence at the casino.

The legislation recently cleared the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, of which Addabbo is a ranking member. After being cleared by the whole Senate, it will go under consideration by the Assembly’s Codes Committee.

No wait for rebate on Cross Bay Bridge


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Rockaway residents roving across the Cross Bay Bridge will now be reimbursed for their travels from April 1 and on, according to the MTA.

The Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge Residency Rebate Program recently passed the state budget, said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder. But while the discount program was expected to go into immediate effect once the budget was signed at the end of March, residents were told they may not see benefits until July 1 at the latest.

An MTA spokesperson said the money first has to be transferred from the state to the MTA before it goes from the MTA to Bridges and Tunnels, and all E-Z Pass tags have to be reprogrammed, which the representative said may take a couple of months in total.

Now — after persistent urging by Goldfeder and local leaders, including a petition containing 2,000 signatures in support of the toll’s elimination — the MTA said customers will receive credit for tolls incurred on the bridge retroactive to April 1 until back office operations are completed. According to the MTA, the rebate program will be fully operational by mid-summer, but residents will not be responsible for fees acquired right away.

“In this economy, every dollar counts,” Goldfeder said. “Hardworking families should not be burdened with this unfair fee for one day longer than they have to and now we will finally get the relief we so desperately need and deserve.”

The rebate plan is only valid at the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge for passenger vehicles using an E-ZPass, who are enrolled in the Rockaway Resident Program and who live in zip codes 11691, 11692, 11693, 11694, 11695 and 11697. It does not apply to commercial trucks, motorcycles, taxis, buses or limousines, according to the MTA.

With an E-Z Pass, Rockaway residents currently pay $1.19 each time they drive along the Cross Bay Bridge for up to two trips a day. While additional crossings are free afterwards, local elected officials and residents have long deemed the toll a problem.

The toll — the only intra-borough one in the city — was free for residents of Broad Channel and the Rockaways for 12 years, but was reinstated by the MTA in 2010.

The rebate, local leaders said, would stimulate more activity and revenue between Rockaway and Broad Channel businesses, while saving residents between $800 and $1,500 a year.

“There was never a good reason to impose this financial hardship on residents of our borough who travel from their homes on the peninsula to anywhere else in Queens, sometimes several times a day,” said Senator Joseph Addabbo. “It was long perceived by resident drivers and affected small businesses as a ‘fine’ for living on the peninsula.”

Peninsula Hospital’s patients absorbed by other hospitals


| mchan@queenscourier.com

While Peninsula Hospital struggles to stabilize itself financially, elected officials say they’re worried for already “overburdened” area hospitals receiving the brunt of patient overflow.

“Other hospitals are overtaxed and overburdened as it is,” said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder. “St. John’s [Episcopal Hospital] was overburdened when Peninsula was completely opened. Now that it’s closed, I can’t imagine the patient load they have to deal with.”

According to Liz Sulik, a spokesperson for Peninsula, the hospital has transferred approximately 78 patients so far. She said they were moved to a “variety of hospitals” including the North Shore/LIJ Health system, based upon their acuity levels.

However, because of Peninsula’s “isolated geographic area” and recent hospital closures over the past few years, Senator Joseph Addabbo said there are few other facilities in the area that could openly receive the patient excess.

“Every second counts when we talk about emergencies and providing health care to residents. The need just gets magnified when you think about Peninsula’s geographic location. St. John’s cannot handle the entire peninsula,” Addabbo said. “We’re already seeing a reduction in hospital beds with a growing senior population and people moving into the communities. We certainly need these beds. Now is not the time to reduce them.”

But according to CEO Nelson Toebbe, St. John’s has flourished in the face of chaos.

“While it is regrettable that Peninsula General Hospital has closed, St. John’s has been able to fully accommodate the increase of patients,” he said. “Measures have been initiated in the past several months to enhance capacity, service and access to both inpatient and outpatient care. The board of managers, management and staff of Episcopal Health Services remain strongly committed to serve the healthcare needs of the Rockaways and the Five Towns.”

Back in August, when Peninsula faced potential closure threats after its former sponsor MediSys decided to end its affiliation with the hospital, St. John’s received permission from the state to begin expansion of its emergency room outpatient care, surgery, intensive care and in-patient facilities, according to Toebbe.

The added emergency department bays and 62 new medical, surgical, pediatric critical care beds helped house the extra patients, officials said.

Still, local politicians continue to push for Peninsula’s reopening.

“Southern Queens and the Rockaways need access to quality health care,” Goldfeder said. “Whatever problems there are, we need to get the right people in the hospital to resolve them and get the hospital back up and running.”

 

Addabbo calls for more cops in 106th Precinct


| mchan@queenscourier.com

The pressure is on for NYPD officials to assign more officers to an area local leaders are saying is quickly becoming inundated with mass volumes of visitors.

Senator Joseph Addabbo sent Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly a letter on February 8, requesting a “significant increase” in additional officers for the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park — home to the newest city hotspot, Resorts World Casino.

While Addabbo said there is “never a magic number” in regards to how many officers are needed, he said major changes to the precinct coverage areas should be coupled with substantial increases in their resources.

“We are a different precinct than we have been in the past. Rationally, there is a dire need for an increase of police officers,” Addabbo said. “I don’t expect a quick answer, but I think everyone is on the same page. Nobody would want to see the neighborhoods around Resorts World become a bad area if they want the casino to flourish.”

According to Betty Braton, chair of Community Board 10, the current number of officers the precinct has is not enough to properly service an area that now sees over 20,000 visitors per day and close to 100,000 on the weekend.

“That number of people adds to the load of the day-to-day work of police officers,” Braton said. “For the police department not to assign additional police officers to the 106th Precinct when we have that volume of people coming in, out and through our area is not acceptable.”

Addabbo said the fight to secure more resources for the precinct has been ongoing since even before the casino made its debut. Now, more than ever — especially with the proposed convention center at the same location — he said there is a “greater need for public security” in the area.

The senator also cited the “recent rise in crime in the area” as one of the reasons for his request, however NYPD officials did not comment regarding reported rumors of crime spikes near the Racino.

Though Stefan Friedman, spokesperson for Resorts World, declined to comment on these specific allegations, he said the facility has been “incredibly safe.”

“We just want to be preventive of any spikes in serious crimes,” Addabbo said. “We should always stay ahead of the curve.”

The NYPD did not comment as to whether the 106th Precinct will be getting additional officers.

Southeast News Briefs


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Job hiring event for veterans

BOROWIDE — Veterans seeking job opportunities are invited to attend a hiring fair, designed for employers who have open positions to fill within their companies and specifically want to offer those opportunities to veterans.

Sponsored by the America Works of New York, Inc. and the mayor’s office of veteran’s affairs, the event will take place on January 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 346 Broadway in Manhattan, on the eighth floor.

“Our veterans risk their lives to protect us every day,” Turner said. “They deserve all of the assistance we can give them to make a smooth transition back into civilian life. This is a wonderful event that seeks not only to provide veterans information about potential jobs, but for them to interview and get hired on the spot.”

All veterans — especially those receiving federal aid, or those who are living in a shelter or in danger of homelessness — are encouraged to attend.

“This event is a good opportunity for unemployed veterans to put the skills they learned as members of the armed services to work for the American economy,” Turner said.

Employers will be interviewing veterans to work in fields of food service, personal training, driving, green technology, warehouse, security, banking, machine repair and maintenance.

To reserve a spot, call Carlyle Outten at 212-599-5627 Ext. 133 by January 13.

 

Public hearing on street changes

WOODHAVEN —

Residents seeking to voice their concern or hear more about street change proposals in the neighborhood can attend a public hearing on Wednesday, February 1 at 7 p.m. It will take place at St. Elizabeth’s on 84th Street and Atlantic Avenue.

 

Republican club meeting

OZONE PARK —

The next meeting for the Angelo Graci Republican Club will be held on Tuesday, January 24 at 8 p.m. It will take place in the Community Center of Christ Lutheran Church, located on the corner of 101st Avenue and 86th Street. The club is looking for new members.

 

Peninsula Hospital expands radiology services

FAR ROCKAWAY —

Peninsula Hospital Center recently expanded its radiology services, unveiling its new state of the art Novarad Radiology Information System. The newly-installed equipment is said to cut costs and time, saving the hospital thousands of dollars annually, officials said. It will allow hospital physicians to access their radiographic imaging studies remotely on their iPads or smart phones, among other things.

 

Ozone Park celebrates 130 years

OZONE PARK —

Southwest Queens neighborhood Ozone Park turns 130 years old this year. To highlight and celebrate the anniversary throughout the year, Senator Joseph Addabbo — who is a lifelong resident of Ozone Park — plans to speak before various civic groups, visit area schools, libraries, senior centers and attend observances held around the neighborhood.

“Ozone Park is a great community. It consists of hard working people, small businesses that serve the area and residents who truly care about the neighborhood,” Addabbo said.

 

Teen cancer survivor keeps on giving

MIDDLE VILLAGE —

Carly Rose Nieves will be celebrating her Sweet Sixteen on February 3. But in lieu of personal gifts, the Middle Village teen who battles with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is asking for guests to bring new toys, games or gift cards to be donated to The John Theissen Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

“We weren’t sure if she would make it to that age, and she did,” said mom Lisa Horner. “Now, she just wants to help other people.”

For more information on how to help donate, email lhorner67@gmail.com.

 

Free informational lecture

HOWARD BEACH —

Senator Joseph Addabbo will host a series of open and free Social Security informational lectures on Medicare, e-services, retirement, disability and benefits around his 15th Senate District. The most upcoming event will take place on Tuesday, January 24 at the Howard Beach Senior Center, located at 156-45 84th Street. The lecture will begin at 10:30 a.m.

Conventional Wisdom: Cuomo pushes for center in Queens


| smosco@queenscourier.com

Images Courtesy of Resorts World

During his State of the State address on January 4, Governor Andrew Cuomo made many bold pronouncements, but perhaps his most ambitious statement was his proposal for the “nation’s largest convention center in Queens.”

And the governor already has a spot picked out and a developer in mind – Genting America, the company which brought the Resorts World casino to the grounds of the Aqueduct Racino in South Ozone Park, which announced its plans for a convention center in a letter of intent.

Dubbed the New York International Convention and Exhibition Center (NICE), the $4 billion project would be financed by Resorts World and would encompass 3.8 million-square-feet, with the first phase to be completed by November 2014 at the earliest.

The project would also include up to 3,000 hotel rooms, and officials believe, all told, it would bring 10,000 construction jobs, 10,000 permanent jobs and tens of thousands of ancillary jobs throughout the borough.

“I personally think this is a good thing,” said Paul Anteri, a resident from the area surrounding Resorts World. “It’ll bring more revenue to the area. Usually when you develop convention centers, it tends to bring a better type of people to the area. It brings business, jobs, tourism. A convention center means you’re going to need hotels, places for people to stay and eat. It’ll just help raise small businesses.”

While most elected officials are putting their support behind Cuomo, many believe developers must have their ears open to community input.

“I am enthusiastic about the idea of a convention center at the Aqueduct Racetrack site, but I also believe we should proceed forward in a cautious manner,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo. “I am an advocate for community input on this project and feel most people would want to see plans or drawings for the proposal. Given our current economic situation, I would certainly work toward creating the thousands of jobs and revenue to the city and state the convention center brings.”

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder echoed Addabbo belief that the community must be involved in the planning process.

“The proposal to build the largest convention center in the nation at Aqueduct is an ambitious plan that must be undertaken responsibly and appropriately with real community involvement and participation,” he said.

Representatives from the Queens Chamber of Commerce, which has advocated for a convention center in Queens for almost a decade, added that this project will give the people of Queens what it needs most – jobs.

“This is a great day for the people of Queens County and the Queens Chamber of Commerce,” said Jack Friedman, executive director.

Carol Conslato, the Chamber’s president, who attended the State of the State speech, added, “The Governor’s plan to build a 3.8-million-square-foot facility with 3,000 new hotel rooms at Aqueduct Racetrack is a huge victory for the borough of Queens.”