Tag Archives: Subway

21 restaurants, food companies meet sodium reduction targets


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Credit by Spencer T Tucker

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

Some of the city’s restaurants are saying so long to high sodium.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced the results of a national initiative to reduce the amount of sodium in pre-packaged and restaurant foods.

Twenty-one food companies and restaurants – including Subway, Goya, Heinz, Au Bon Pan, Kraft and Starbucks – met or exceeded the standards set by the Mayor’s Office to reduce the amount of sodium in their food products.

The companies and restaurants participated in a voluntary partnership with the Mayor’s Office  known as the National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI). The program was started in 2008 and was the first nationwide program of its kind, according to the mayor.

“Prior to our National Salt Reduction Initiative, there was no comprehensive approach to lowering sodium in foods, and many questioned whether companies would step up to meet a voluntary pledge,” Bloomberg said. “These companies have demonstrated their commitment to removing excess sodium from their products and to working with public health authorities toward a shared goal – helping their customers lead longer, healthier lives.”

According to the mayor’s office, close to 90 percent of Americans consume too much sodium, resulting in high blood pressure, heart disease and increasing the possibility of having a stroke.

“Nearly 80 percent [of sodium intake] comes from packaged or restaurant foods, not table salt or home cooking, making it challenging for any individual to monitor sodium intake, and choose to decrease sodium intake,” the mayor’s office said.

A study cited by the mayor’s office said a reduction of 1,200 milligrams of sodium a day can save the city $24 billion in health care costs every year and prevent up to 92,000 deaths.

“I congratulate these companies for taking steps to make it easier for their customers to eat products with healthier levels of sodium,” Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said. “We set a high bar in New York City and I’m pleased to recognize these food company leaders that met or exceeded the NSRI targets.”

The NSRI has set new sodium target levels for 2014 and is still looking for companies to join the initiative. For more information, visit nyc.gov.

 

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| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Fare, toll hikes approved by MTA


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

New Yorkers will once again be paying more to ride public transportation beginning next year.

The MTA board passed all of Chair Joe Lhota’s recommendations at their monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 19 bumping fares and tolls across all MTA services.

The base fare on Metrocards will rise a quarter to $2.50, seven-day passes will go up $1 to $30 and 30-day passes will increase $8 to $112.  The new fares go into effect March 1 and is the fourth increase in five years.

The new fares also include a $1 green fee for each new Metrocard bought from the machine.

Long Island Railroad and Metro-North tickets will also increase an average of nine percent.

On bridges, E-ZPass drivers will be paying 50 cents more per trip, while those who pay cash will be forking over an additional dollar every time they use an MTA crossing.

Charts courtesy of MTA

Headlines from around the web


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Subway slay suspect says he heard voices before shoving Queens father to his death

The vagrant charged with killing a Queens father said he heard voices in his head just moments before the horrific crime. “I heard, ‘Naeem, he’s coming again. He’s coming again. You gotta do something.’ I kept hearing voices like that,” Naeem Davis told The Post yesterday in a jailhouse interview at Rikers Island. Davis claims he was harassed and threatened by Ki Suk Han before Monday’s violence erupted on the platform of the 49th Street station — and that he was high when he pushed Han to his death. NYPost

Queens teen pleads guilty to stabbing half-brother to death over cellphone

A Queens teen who stabbed her half-brother to death during a bloody fight over a cellphone pleaded guilty yesterday during an emotional courtroom appearance — and will get only five years for the crime. Yocairis Diaz, 17, admitted that she plunged a knife into 20-year-old Frank Fortuna’s neck as they argued on Sept. 7 in their Woodhaven home. Prosecutor Debra Pomodore said this was “the most just outcome” after meeting with Diaz, defense attorney Spiro Ferris and family members who had “asked for leniency.” NYPost

Group helps Rockaway residents with mold problems

Volunteers are fanning out through the Rockaways to help homeowners deal with mold as they recover from Hurricane Sandy. A group called World Cares Center is going into homes in the Rockaways to remove mold from the walls. The group has 11 years of disaster experience behind it. It’s been training and dispatching volunteers as part of its “Operation Muck Out” effort. NY1

Cyclist killed near Aqueduct Racetrack

An Aqueduct Racetrack employee riding a bicycle was killed Friday night when a horse trailer hit him in a track parking lot, police and sources said. The 37-year-old victim, who was not immediately identified, was struck at the 150th Ave. and 114th St. lot in Queens about 5:20 p.m. as the massive vehicle was making a turn, cops and sources said. NYDailyNews 

Heroic straphanger saves two men from oncoming subway train

It was double the trouble and terror — with twice the reward. Tiny Doreen Winkler miraculously helped yank two men from the path of an oncoming subway train on Thursday night after things went bad for a good Samaritan in the Bowling Green subway station. “Thank you, I thought I was going to die,” one of the death-defying duo told Winkler as they hugged on the platform after the near-miss. NYDailyNews 

Ferry service from Rockaways to Manhattan to begin Monday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo via Tumblr/nyc.gov

Rockaway residents still without subway service into Manhattan will now be able to make it off the peninsula and onto the island via a temporary ferry service set to begin Monday.

The ferry, announced today by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Seastreak, will depart from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive and stop at Pier 11 with free transfers between Pier 11 and East 34th Street.

“The prayers of so many people in Rockaway, who since the storm hit have been left stranded on the peninsula, have finally been answered,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich. “Under this plan, fast reliable ferry transportation will be restored to the Rockaways.”

Fares for the ferry will be $2.  The first ferry will leave at 5:45 a.m. in the Rockaways with with four additional departures leaving until 9:20 a.m. Regular service will resume during the evening rush.

“Since the storm hit, we’ve been working to ensure that New York City is able to get back to business as soon as possible,” said NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky. “Until the reopening of subway service to the rest of the City is restored from the Rockaways, this temporary option will assist thousands of New Yorkers most impacted by this storm, allowing our City and our economy to take another step on the road to recovery.”

The EDC installed a temporary landing in the Rockaways for the ferry.  The trip to Manhattan will take about 50 minutes.

“I am very glad to see that the Far Rockaway ferry service is about to be restored and that some degree of normality is about to return to the lives of Rockaway residents,” said Councilmember James Sanders. “Come Monday, Rockaway residents who work in Manhattan will be able to reliably get to work again, and those who wish to get off the peninsula for the time being will have another route out.

 

No timetable for return of subway; limited bus service to resume at 5 p.m.


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook

Extensive flooding in the city’s subway system continues to knock out service with no timetable for trains to be up and running.

“The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system,” said MTA Chair and CEO Joe Lhota.

The storm caused extensive flooding in all under river subway tunnels, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Some railyards also suffered from flooding.

“That’s going to be a big problem to get them going,” Bloomberg said.

Lhota said the MTA is currently assessing the extent of the damage on the lines.

“Once we complete or assessment we will know more about when the system is up and running,” Lhota said.

If the agency can restore some parts of the system, those lines will resume service when possible, he said.

Buses will be used where train are unable to run.

Buses will resume with limited service today beginning at 5 p.m., said Governor Andrew Cuomo.  By tomorrow, he said he hopes all bus routes will be running.  There will be no fares on buses today and tomorrow.

 

 

Subway comes to Sky View Center


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Subway, the world’s largest submarine sandwich chain, opened its newest location at Sky View Center, the 800,000-square-foot, multi-level regional mall in downtown Flushing.

“The addition of Subway to Sky View Center emphasizes our commitment to providing the Flushing community with a variety of restaurant and retail establishments,” said Michael Dana, president of Onex Real Estate Partners, owner/developer of Sky View Center. “Subway brings yet another food and beverage dimension to the mall, giving both Sky View Parc and community residents an even greater range of quick service and dine-in options.”

Located on Level B, across from Chuck E. Cheese and near the entrance of Sky View Center at the intersection of College Point Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue, Subway is situated among other specialty food retailers in what has become Sky View Center’s unofficial dining hub. Completely customizable with an array of fresh, wholesome ingredients, the quick-service restaurant provides shoppers and community residents with a light, healthy choice.

“Sky View Center provides the consistent flow of foot traffic Subway typically looks for when opening a new location,” said Joyce Storm, Asset Manager for Sky View Center. “Additionally the wide variety of chain stores in the mall presents an ideal opportunity for the brand to expand its presence in Flushing as well as reach a range of consumers and community residents.”

Subway joins an expanding roster of national tenants including the 36,000-square-foot specialty Asian supermarket Sky Foods, as well as Five Guys Burger & Fries, Famous Footwear, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Coco Fresh Tea & Juice, Target (including a Starbucks and Pizza Hut Express), Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Marshall’s, Old Navy, Payless Shoesource, and Hershey’s Ice Cream. Chase Bank also recently opened a location within the mall in June.

Sky View Center is located at 40-24 College Point Boulevard. For more information, visit www.skyviewcenter.com.

 

Pols, advocates want harsher punishments for subway sex crimes


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Politicians and advocacy groups are pushing for harsher penalties for subway pervs.

On average every year, the NYPD receives 600 incidents of “riders being groped, flashed, grinded or similarly assaulted,” the Daily News reported.

Since smartphones came into use, women have been fighting back, exposing perpetrators to police and even the web. In 2005, a Queens woman posted a photo of a man publicly masturbating on the subway on Flickr and it made the front cover of a city paper.

But even if a suspect is caught rubbing or “grinding” against a transit rider, a loophole in the law isn’t much of a deterrent, say officials.

Local politicians and advocacy groups want to get rid of that loophole and upgrade unwanted touching from a misdemeanor to a felony.

“When the laws on the books aren’t enough to protect people, we have to make them tougher. ‘Grinding’ is a deeply personal and deeply offensive violation that no woman or straphanger should have to suffer. We need laws that match the seriousness of this crime,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

On September 18, de Blasio and Hollaback!, an organization working to end sexual harassment and assault in public spaces, sent a letter to New York State assembly and senate leaders asking them to pass a new law that treats subway grinding as a felony.

A few days later a state senate bill that makes “unwanted sexually‐motivated touching of someone who is physically helpless, unable to move or on public transit” a class B felony was introduced in Albany.

A recent court ruling was the catalyst for the legislation.

“A sex offender with 32 prior arrests was facing charges for rubbing himself to orgasm on three young women ages 24, 22 and 17. Incredibly, the judge in the case threw out felony charges on the grounds that no threat of violence was present during the assaults,” it said in the September 18 letter from de Blasio.

“It almost implies that [subway grinding] is consensual, said Emily May, Hollaback! co-founder and executive director, about the decision.

“The recent ruling was an interpretation of the law. It wasn’t a failure to recognize the seriousness of the crime,” said Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., chair of the Public Safety Committee. “We shouldn’t leave it up to the courts and should have a law that protects women right now.”

On the city level, Vallone helped change public lewdness from a B misdemeanor with a punishment of up to three months in jail to an A misdemeanor with up to one-year jail sentence. But only the state can upgrade it to a felony.

Whether or not the law is changed, May gives female straphangers this advice: “There’s no wrong way to respond to [sexual harassment] because it’s not your fault that it’s happening to you.”

Subway announcements now ‘clear and accurate’: survey


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

Gone are the days when subway announcements sounded as if they were spoken from Charlie Brown’s teacher. A new survey by the Straphangers Campaign found a majority of delay and disruption announcements, 59 percent, to be “clear and accurate” for the time since 1997.

“We found that transit officials are doing a better job keeping riders informed,” said Straphangers Campaign Field Organizer Jason Chin-Fatt.

When it came to basic announcements — made at or between stops and includes the station, any transfers, destination, etc. — 85 percent were clear and accurate, the survey found.

The previous 10 surveys by the organization found a majority of the announcements to be garbled or incorrect; only 40 percent of notifications in 2010 were rated as good.

The No. 4 line produced the clearest and most accurate basic announcements, earning a 100 percent rating. The L, N, Q, and No. 6 rounded out the top five, all earning 99 percent ratings.

Riders of the R suffered through the worst basic announcements — just 56 percent were rated clear and accurate.

The lines with the most garbled notices were the C, B and R train — each having at least 25 percent of announcements as inaudible.

The 2012 survey was conducted between January 17 and April 29.

Subway Grand Opening in Whitestone


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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Subway, at 14-41 150th Street in Whitestone, hosted its grand opening on September 8. Owner Johnson Rethinasamy was joined by Bishop David Benke and Ranee Ratnarajah for the ribbon cutting ceremony, at which Benke also did a blessing of the store. Members and friends of Mosaic ministries and Immanuel Lutheran Church in Whitestone were also on hand. There were showers of blessings pouring literally on the day. To learn more, call 718-357-1200 or text orders to 917-553-9379.

NYPD seeks suspect in Queens, Brooklyn subway robberies


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

subway robber

The NYPD is asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating a man wanted for questioning in regards to three armed subway robberies in Queens and Brooklyn.

The suspect first struck on August 1 aboard a Queens-bound A train around 7:30 a.m. He approached a 21-year-old man and robbed him at gunpoint. After the victim handed over his possessions, the suspect fled from the 80th Street station in Ozone Park.

On August 15, the suspect committed another subway robbery in Queens. He held up a 27-year-old woman at gunpoint on a Brooklyn-bound A train at about 10:30 a.m. Again, he exited at the 80th Street station and fled in an unknown direction.

A few days later, on August 19, around 8:30 a.m., he robbed a 19-year-old woman at gunpoint on a Queens-bound subway in Brooklyn. After the victim handed over her property, the suspect fled the train at the Shepherd Avenue station in East New York.

The individual the NYPD wants to question is described as a black male, approximately 20 to 25 years old and 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall.

Anyone with information in regards is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit 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.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


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EVENT of the DAY: Live at the Gantries Groove to a free jazz performance by talented students and staff members from the York College Music Department in the great outdoors. Expect a mix of traditional jazz from the blues, swing and fusion. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Racino at Aqueduct Race Track in Queens draws a record 1 million customers in July and generates nearly $60 million in net revenue for the month

July was a jackpot month for the racino at Aqueduct Race Track in Queens. More than 1 million customers visited the racino in July — the highest monthly total ever recorded by one of the nine virtual casinos in New York. Read more: New York Daily News

Police seek suspect in Queens assault case Police are looking for a suspect in an alleged assault in Queens. Authorities say a woman was attacked around 9:30 a.m. Monday at 131st Avenue in Laurelton. Read More: NY1

Queens native to participate in texting competition 

Kent Augustine is out to prove he’s 1NAM. That’s “one in a million” in texting lingo. The Jamaica, Queens, native is an avid texter. He can type 3.5 characters per second. At the LG U.S. National Texting Championship in Times Square on Wednesday, he’ll find out if that’s fast enough.Read more: New York Daily News

Queens man takes $20G in suit against Subway where he found knife in bread

That’s a lot of $5 footlongs! The Subway sandwich chain has cut a deal to pay $20,000 to a Queens man who filed suit after finding a serrated knife baked into the bread of his “cold cut combo” in 2008. New York Post

Missing Queens dog found a year later – in North Carolina

Queens dog owner whose adopted pooch disappeared more than a year ago received incredible news last Thursday — Annie, a cream-colored, 6-year-old Westie-Mautese mix, had been found along a North Carolina highway. Read more: Pix11

MTA to hike fares in ’13, ’15 & ’17


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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City straphangers are getting a brief reprieve from a 2013 fare hike, but will soon be paying more at both the turnstile and MetroCard machine.

The MTA approved a preliminary budget including a bump in 2013 fares, followed by further increases in 2015 and 2017. A $1 “green fee” will also be added to newly purchased MetroCards. Tolls and commuter line fares will rise as well.

Fares were originally intended to be boosted beginning in January, but will be held off until March.

The biennial increases will net the agency $450 million next year and an additional $500 million in 2015.

Details on the hikes have not been released and will be made available later this year ahead of November’s public hearings.

“They should not increase the prices,” said Nesto Murdolk, 40, of Bayside. “There’s no way people can afford it.”

New Yorkers are frustrated at being “fed a steady diet of fare increases without corresponding improvements in service,” said Ya-Ting Liu, the transportation advocate for Transportation Alternatives at a June 25 MTA hearing.

Fares have been raised three times since 2007.

Other residents see the need for an increase to cover the MTA’s deep debts.

“I think it is necessary because of the running deficit,” said Bayside resident Fred Z., 71. “We’re going to have to increase taxes or get money from the fares.”

Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said there is a fine line between the agency’s financial woes and providing a service, though he says that the MTA is not to blame.

“We think that the state doesn’t fund transit well enough,” he said. “There should be more support, rather than getting it all from the riding public.”

The MetroCard surcharge will produce about $20 million for the MTA — $18 million from the fee and $2 million in savings through printing fewer cards.

It is not known when a proposed $1 surcharge for new MetroCards will go into effect, though it will likely be enacted along with the March fare hike.

“My feeling is that people should be reusing their cards and part of it is a monetary benefit to the riding public,” Russianoff said.

Many cards are tossed aside with money amounting to less than one fare remaining. The MTA projects that $56.2 million will remain on MetroCards at the close of 2012. The number includes money on cards thrown away, lost or yet to be used.

— Additional reporting by Greg Giaconelli

Q, 7 rated top subway lines, N, R worst in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign released its fifteenth annual “State of the Subways” Report Card today, and several Queens subway were rated the best in the city.

The report, which profiled 20 subway lines and rated 19, was based on how often they run and breakdown, seat availability, cleanliness and announcements.

The Q, which connects Astoria to midtown Manhattan, was given the highest “MetroCard Rating,” $1.60. Tied for second were the 7 and J/Z lines at $1.55.

It was the first time since 2001 that the Q train topped the list. During rush hour it was rated at or above the system’s average in every category except for how often it runs.

No Queens lines were at the bottom of the list. The lowest rated lines in the borough were the N and R, tied in seventh place with a rating of $1.20. Only 36 percent of N passengers were likely to get a seat during rush hour, compared to 44 percent system wide. The R line’s worse rating was for how many times it broke down.

For the fourth year in a row, the C line, which runs from Washington Heights to East New York, near the Brooklyn/Queens border was dead last at 85 cents.

Overall, the New York City subway system had some slight improvements. Car announcements were up at 3.4 percent and breakdowns improved 1.5 percent. Cleanliness, however, dropped 4 percent.

 

MetroCard credit and debit transactions go down


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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At about 9 a.m., MetroCard credit and debit card transactions stopped working throughout the whole system, said a spokesman for the MTA. The spokesman did not know what caused the problem, but as of around 10 a.m. said the MTA is working on fixing it, and it will be solved in the next few minutes.