Tag Archives: south ozone park

Sewage project could impact South Ozone Park traffic


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the DEP

Jamaica Bay is getting a clean-up, but it will require years of work.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) proposed to spread a citywide project to South Ozone Park next August to prevent untreated sewage from ultimately making its way into the bay.

Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) result from the combination of this domestic sewage and industrial wastewaters with storm water. The project, once completed, will monitor this, and consists of adding higher level sewer separation, wet weather stabilization, drainage basins and more in the event of a future storm.

Currently, plans are in preliminary stages. There will be period for public comment, and the DEP is working with the DOT on road closure potentials.

According to proposal plans, once construction begins, 126th Street between South Conduit Avenue and 150th Avenue will be closed for one year, as will the 150th Avenue westbound lane.

Additionally, the Belt Parkway’s on-ramp near 150th Avenue will be closed for 22 months, and one eastbound lane will be closed for one year during nighttime DOT work hours.

North Conduit Avenue near 150th Avenue will also experience various lane closures for up to two years. A traffic analysis concluded that the left lane can be closed for two months, and the second lane closed at night for two, one-month periods.

The green space between the Belt Parkway and North Conduit Avenue will be closed for two years.

There are also additional flagging areas for trucks, and temporary, short-term closures for truck unloading.

“You do not make an omelet without breaking a few eggs,” said Betty Braton, Community Board 10 Chair. “There are roadway concerns, there will be traffic issues. It’s a lengthy project and they’re trying to do it within a compressed time frame.”

Construction is projected to end by February 2017, and will reduce the volume of CSOs to Jamaica Bay basins by 24 percent.

Despite a busy construction scene, Braton said the benefit in the long-term will be a clean Jamaica Bay after any future storm.

 

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City Council District 32 candidates Ulrich, Simon look ahead to Election Day


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photos

The heated race for City Council District 32 is coming to a close.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich, the incumbent, has represented District 32 in the City Council since 2009. He stood with Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill and Woodhaven through natural disasters and hard-pressed community issues.

“I am proud of my campaign and my work in the City Council over the past four-and-a-half years. I am running on my record of accomplishments and my ability to deliver real results for my constituents,” Ulrich said.

However, Lew Simon has not been far behind. He said he worked tirelessly through Sandy to ensure the safety of the district.

“The support we’re getting on our calls and door to door campaigning is phenomenal – people want change and they don’t feel like they’re being represented in City Hall on issues from schools to street lights to Sandy rebuilding,” Simon said.

Simon suffered a setback earlier this month when he received a stent due to partial heart blockage. He now said he’s spending every day “making sure every voter turns out” on Election Day.

 

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Brooklyn man charged in 11 Queens burglaries


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A Brooklyn man has been charged with breaking into 11 homes in the Forest Hills, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park and Howard Beach neighborhoods of Queens and stealing thousands of dollars worth of property.

Mario Girau, 28, was initially arrested in connection to a September burglary of a Tahoe Street residence in Ozone Park in September, according to District Attorney Richard Brown, but was later tied to the other 10 incidents after police recovered stolen items from his home.

According to the criminal complaint, said Brown, officers assigned to the Burglary Larceny Apprehension Surveillance Team were investigating a pattern of residential burglaries last month when they arrested Girau for the Tahoe Street break-in.

Following that arrest, a search warrant was obtained for his home where police found items which were later identified as the property of 10 victims whose homes had been burglarized. Those burglaries all took place in 2013, with the exception of one which occurred in 2011.

Some of the items recovered included jewelry, cameras and computer equipment. According to Brown, investigators located the owner of one of the cameras by finding the bride who appeared in wedding photos take with that camera and discovering that some of her guests were burglary victims.

“People’s homes are their sanctuaries and this defendant is alleged to have crossed a very serious line in entering those homes and stealing personal and valuable items,” said Brown.

Girau was charged with burglary, criminal possession of stolen property and possession of burglar’s tools for the Tahoe Street break-in.

As of Wednesday afternoon, he was awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on multiple counts of burglary, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a weapon in connection to the 10 other burglaries. He faces 150 years in prison if convicted.

 

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Op-Ed: Where are we one year later?


| oped@queenscourier.com

BY STATE SENATOR JOSEPH ADDABBO JR.

On any particular day, whether I’m working, getting a cup of coffee, shopping or having dinner in the district, people detail their experiences involving Superstorm Sandy in many different ways. A year later, many still get tears in their eyes, others remain frustrated about the lack of progress, while some see it as a chance to make improvements and some are optimistic about community improvements. One storm, a year later, still causes many emotions.

While we can’t control the weather, we can take steps to control the level of our preparedness and what direction our government takes in addressing the next storm. We’ve learned a lot from Sandy, and I would urge my constituents to think ahead and make sure they have detailed emergency plans in place: know how to contact one another in case of an emergency; have adequate supplies of canned goods, medicines, batteries, flashlights and water on hand; know what to do to help secure your homes and properties to minimize risks during a storm. Useful hurricane preparedness information may be found at this NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/event/hurricane-safety.cfm.

I, along with other elected officials, have been advocating for adequate funding and needed legislation to help the district address the many serious human, economic and other consequences resulting from Sandy. As a member of the New York State Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy, I look forward to continuing the effort of our state in responding to Sandy’s devastation and obtaining assistance for those in need.  Currently, our city’s and state’s portion of the federal funding of $61 billion to help Sandy victims is being distributed through NYC Build It Back program, and the state’s utilization of community leaders in its NY Rising Community Reconstruction program aimed at improving our infrastructure.

A range of bills aimed at addressing various aspects of Sandy’s impact were passed by the state legislature and have been recently signed into law by the governor. Some topics include rebates of real property taxes, assisting Breezy Point residents with street frontage issues unique to Breezy Point, exemptions to filing fees related to federal Small Business Administration Disaster Loans, and the implementation of improved tornado warning systems.

This year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season is not yet over. We have learned a lot from Sandy and a year later are still dealing with its aftermath. It’s OK to share our emotions, feelings and sentiments about Sandy, knowing also that by working together we can rebuild and be prepared better than ever.

Senator Joseph Addabbo represents the 15th Senatorial District encompassing the communities – in whole or in part – of Broad Channel, Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Glendale, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ozone Park, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Woodside and the Rockaways.

 

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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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Primary guide: City Council District 32


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

SIMON

As the clock ticks closer to city primaries on Tuesday, September 10, The Courier would like to provide you, the reader and the voter, with a fair, detailed guide of who is running. Here is a list of the City Council District 32 primary candidates (Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill and Woodhaven), who they are, what they stand for and what they want to continue to do if they go on to the general election in November.

Name: Lew M. Simon

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Private school teacher, Assembly District Leader

Personal Info: Simon was born and raised in Rockaway. He has been a community and civic leader for over 30 years. He works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, helping all who need help.

Platform/Issues: To secure funding and build much-needed schools. Make school safety and stopping bullying a priority. Reduce busing and keep siblings together in neighborhood schools. Establish an HOV lane on Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards during peak hours. See that every community has a good community hospital with a well-equipped emergency room. Will continue to fund all senior centers, Meals-on-Wheels and Access-A-Ride. Will increase funding for volunteer fire and ambulance departments. Increase the staffing levels so that each community board will have a building inspector. Will continue to fund the fight for additional firefighters and police officers. Support direct mass transit service to midtown Manhattan in less than 30 minutes (Rockaway Beach rail line). Clean up graffiti in Woodhaven and Ozone Park.

Name: William Ruiz

Party: Democrat

*The campaign for this candidate did not submit a profile as of press time

 

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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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NYPD investigating South Ozone Park attack as hate crime


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of 106th Precinct

A Far Rockaway man was struck with a trophy outside of a bar, resulting in several medical staples to his head. He said he was attacked because he is gay.

“The bouncer let my basher run before the cops came,” said Zaman Mohamed Amin, the victim and a well-known figure in the LGBTQ community, on his Facebook page. “I received seven staples in my head.”

The incident, on Sunday, June 23, involved two victims, allegedly attacked in front of Players Restaurant and Bar in South Ozone Park. LGBTQ’s Anti-Violence Project (AVP) said they were both hit in the head with the trophy and verbally attacked by several unidentified people. Amin was sent to Long Island Jewish Hospital, where he received treatment for the laceration on his forehead.

“I am out of the hospital, even [stronger] now than ever, and ready to take this community and fight for my LGBTQ rights,” he said.

The NYPD told the AVP they are looking into the incident as a hate-motivated attack.

“Hate crimes must stop,” Amin said. “No one gives another person the right to hit another. We are all children of God no matter our race, sexual orientation, color of our skin, religion or gender.”

A man who identified himself as a manager at Players Restaurant and Bar said he could not comment on the attack.

 

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Police seek help identifying woman’s body found in South Ozone Park


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a woman who was found dead in South Ozone Park Friday.

The woman has a green dragon/lizard tattoo on her upper left chest area, and the words “Daddy Rock” on her right thigh.

Her decomposed body was found near South Conduit Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway at 9:25 p.m. on June 21, police said.

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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Decomposed body found in South Ozone Park


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Decomposed body found in Queens

Police found the decomposed body of a woman in South Ozone Park late Friday night.

Her identity was not released. She was pronounced dead on arrival on June 21 near South Conduit Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway at 9:25 p.m., police said.

There are no arrests at this time, police said, and the investigation is ongoing.

The cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner.

 

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Arrest in South Ozone Park stabbing death of 19-year-old


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

A man has been arrested for fatally stabbing a 19-year-old in South Ozone Park last week.

Wilson Rivera, 19, of South Ozone Park, has been charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

He is accused of stabbing Danthony McDonald around 9 p.m. Friday on Linden Boulevard.

McDonald, who lived nearby, was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

According to published reports, McDonald was killed just one day before his 20th birthday and had planned on joining the Marines.

 

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Man fatally stabbed in South Ozone Park


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

A 19-year-old was stabbed to death on Linden Boulevard Friday night.

Police responded to a 9-1-1 call around 9 p.m. on Linden Boulevard, where they found Danthony McDonald with a stab wound to the chest.

EMS transported McDonald, who lived nearby, to Jamaica Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

No arrests have been made at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Partly cloudy with thunderstorms and rain showers. High of 84. Winds from the SW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with thunderstorms and rain showers. Fog overnight. Low of 68. Winds from the SW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Natalie Green: I’m building a shrine

The Chocolate Factory concludes its spring 2013 season with a new performance by Natalie Green. Her first evening length dance is personal and expressionistic. It is meant to be experienced as a dream, though it is grounded by earthly motivations. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

FBI agent’s car stolen in Ozone Park with assault rifle and bulletproof vest

An FBI agent’s personal vehicle — with an assault rifle in the trunk — was stolen outside his Queens home Tuesday night, law enforcement sources said. Read more: New York Daily News

Body found strangled, bagged in trunk of car likely missing mother of 3: cops

Police are investigating after a body believed to be that of a missing mother of three was found strangled to death in a bag in the trunk of her car in Queens. Read more: NBC New York

Workers at Queens car wash are first in city to sign union contract

Workers at a Queens car wash that was the first in the city to unionize now have a contract giving them a boost in pay and benefits. Read more: New York Daily News 

Bloomberg announces property tax relief for those impacted by Sandy 

Life after Hurricane Sandy is going to get a whole lot easier for New York City homeowners and businesses ravaged by the storm. Read more: CBS New York

Con Ed plans to invest $1B to protect system against major storms

Con Ed is taking steps to protect itself from major storms as the next hurricane season approaches. Read more: CBS New York

U.S. accuses currency exchange of laundering $6 billion

U.S. prosecutors have filed an indictment against the operators of digital currency exchange Liberty Reserve, accusing the Costa Rica-based company of helping criminals around the world launder more than $6 billion in illicit funds linked to everything from child pornography to software for hacking into banks. Read more: Reuters

Officer honored for drug, gun bust


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Police Officer Frank Calafiore was honored as the 106th Precinct Community Council’s May Cop of the Month.

Calafiore, part of the anti-crime unit, was cited for the April 11 arrest of a suspect and for recovering narcotics and a loaded firearm.

The suspect, 18, followed a woman to her South Ozone Park home and pointed a gun at her, according to Deputy Inspector Thomas Pascale.

Calafiore and other officers from the unit then followed the suspect into a nearby home. Inside, police found five people, Pascale said, and detained them while cops searched the house. A loaded 9-mm. gun and marijuana were recovered. Calafiore then obtained a search warrant and recovered 200 Xanax pills.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

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

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queens Symphony Orchestra

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

Homeless man arrested in South Ozone Park child sex assaults

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

Subway service to return to Rockaway in June

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

Video released of suspect in Queens rape

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

New York City set to pass paid sick days plan

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

Father, daughter fire off pellet gun in crowded Ditmars Park

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

Suspect in Ohio helped neighbors look for missing

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