Tag Archives: State Sen. Joseph Addabbo

Site near Aqueduct could be home to new MLS stadium: report


| slicata@queenscourier.com

File photo

A new soccer stadium is trying to kick its way near Aqueduct Racetrack.

After plans to build the New York City Football Club’s new stadium in the South Bronx fell through, developers are now looking at land near the Aqueduct Racetrack, according to a published report.

The owners of the club, Manchester City Football Club and the New York Yankees, are looking to develop the stadium near the racetrack because they believe there is “an abundance of land primed for development,” according to Capital New York.

This plan for an MLS stadium would be the second one proposed in Queens. Plans fell through for the first soccer venture in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The club is working with city administrators to find a proper fit for the stadium.

“The administration is committed to working with the City Council and the NYCFB club to identify an appropriate site in New York City to host a world class soccer stadium and facility,” Phil Walzak, a spokesman for the de Blasio administration, told Capital New York.

But the possibility for a new stadium in south Queens was met with skepticism from local politicians.

“Currently, I am extremely hesitant to welcome a soccer stadium to the Aqueduct site,” state Sen. Joe Addabbo said. “Exact location and size of the stadium, traffic patterns, public safety and the certain impact on the surrounding neighborhood quality of life are just some of the issues that I would need answers to in examining this proposal. My constituents need as many facts as possible now, as we start to have discussions on this issue.”

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Howard Beach residents to start neighborhood watch group


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image Courtesy of Joe Thompson

BY SALVATORE LICATA

Howard Beach is hoping to add a few more sets of eyes and ears to its streets in hopes of preventing crime.

The Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol, is a soon-to-be nonprofit group of residents that will be keeping a watchful eye on the neighborhood. In an effort to keep crime down, volunteers of the group will patrol the neighborhood and report to the police any suspicious activity that may be going on.

“Howard Beach residents are screaming for assistance,” Joe Thompson, president and founder of the organization, said. “We are going to be the eyes and ears of the neighborhood and it is up to us as a community to report any crimes.”

Thompson said he decided to start the patrol group after hearing resident’s concerns at community meetings.

Crime is down slightly so far this year in the 106th Precinct, but a recent rash of burglaries in Howard Beach set off fears in the community.

Thompson has over 30 years of experience in community watch groups and was an auxiliary police officer for 10 years. He said he hopes this group will help to prevent crime from happening but also noted that his patrol units will take no physical action if they see suspicious activity.

“We will have uniforms but no weapons at all,” Thompson said. “We will not take any action against criminals, our job is to just report what we see to the police. We don’t want to be seen as vigilantes.”

Thompson said he has met with the 106th Precinct and government officials and has their okay to go along with the program as long as the group goes through the proper training and follows the guidelines of community watch groups, as stated by the community affairs office of the NYPD.

“We are always looking for people to get involved,” said Kenneth Zorn, the community affairs officer for the 106th Precinct. “It is a large commitment but these people volunteer their time to help improve the quality of life for the community.”

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo also offered his support to Thompson – but not without some concern.

“We must make it very clear that volunteers must go through the proper training before they patrol,” Addabbo said. “But if it is done correctly it is a positive community program.”

The Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol will hold their first meeting/recruitment session on June 24 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Helen’s School at 157-10 83rd St.

Thompson hopes to gain support for his initiative with other residents at the meeting.

For more information follow Thompson via Twitter @HowardBeachCOP.

 

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