Tag Archives: suffolk

Sandy-damaged small businesses eligible for expedited, low interest loans


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


As businesses still struggle to rebuild following Sandy, the New York Bankers Association (NYBA) and the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) have created a $10 million small business emergency fund providing immediate financial assistance for those affected by the superstorm, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

“The banking industry understands that the quick recovery of small businesses will be key to the rebuilding of our neighborhoods. We are eager to help in this critical effort so that New York’s small business owners can get back to work, and back to providing goods and services to their communities,” said Michael P. Smith, president and CEO of NYBA.

Businesses in affected areas can apply for up to $25,000 in expedited loans that will be interest and payment-free for the first six months, then will have a one percent interest for the next two years.

But to be eligible for the loans, a business must be in New York City or Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and have experienced direct damage or economic hardship as a result of Sandy.

Also, it must be independently owned, have fewer than 100 employees and have filed 2011 business tax returns.

To apply for a loan, visit www.esd.ny.gov or call 1-855-NYS-SANDY.

Residents angry over Suffolk rail terminal expansion


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of CURES

Locals are concerned an expanded rail terminal in Suffolk will result in expanded trains, noise and odor in Queens.

The Suffolk County Legislature approved the sale of more than 200 acres of land to Brookhaven Rail Terminal.

Residents along the tracks have longed railed against disruptive trains that rumble past their homes at all hours of the day and are worried their concerns will only increase.

“What does this mean for us? This means more trains, more emissions, more noise for residents” said Mary Parisen, chair of CURES (Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions).

According to Parisen, the new facility is said to be used for mining sand, but many believe it will soon be used for shipping municipal trash.

“That’s where the money is,” said Parisen.

Brookhaven Rail Terminal did not return repeated calls for comment.

“They say they are doing it to be green, but the only green is the money,” Parisen said. “Ask the residents near the rails if the rails are green. They’re still using locomotives from the 1970s.”

Residents and representatives from local elected officials made the hour-long trek to Suffolk to attend the legislature’s vote on Thursday, September 13, to speak out against the $20 million transaction.

“Our communities are already overwhelmed with polluting locomotives and more rail traffic than can reasonably be handled through the Fresh Pond Terminal in Glendale,” wrote Vincent Arcuri, chair of CB5, to the Suffolk Legislature.

Several area politicians also submitted letters to reconsider the sale to no avail.

“This is a call to examine the side effects of freight rail and handle them accordingly before expanding further and creating a larger mess,” wrote Assemblymember Mike Miller.

The sale was approved 16-2.

9 year old allegedly stabbed by mother


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

Photo by Robert Stridiron

A nine-year-old girl remains in stable but guarded condition after she was allegedly stabbed by her own mother.

The incident happened on Tuesday, May 29 in a Springfield Gardens home where the pair, from Suffolk County, had been visiting.

“We’re still trying to sort out the facts, the reason why this happened,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly reportedly said at a press conference.

The girl was stabbed in the head and back. Reportedly, a man intervened to stop the attack. The woman, 44, was arrested on the scene and cops reportedly recovered a knife.

FBI busts drug ring operated out of Woodhaven den


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

FBI 004w

Twenty alleged members of a drug trafficking organization, centralized in Woodhaven, have been indicted for conspiracy to distribute heroin.

The ring, called the Perez Organization, FBI officials believe, operated out of a location on 87th Avenue and 78th Street and oversaw distribution networks existing in Nassau and Suffolk counties, as well as a storage facility in Brooklyn, according to the indictment and a detention letter filed by the government.

“The charges and arrests announced today [Tuesday, March 13] have ended the activities of an alleged heroin distribution organization whose members were drawn from a variety of backgrounds but were united by common cause — profiting personally while seriously endangering the lives of so many residents in our communities,” said Loretta Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

According to the FBI, members of the Perez Organization were responsible for dispensing over 20 kilograms of heroin, possessing a street value of around $2.75 million, to drug dealers in Queens and Long Island over the past nine months.

The arrests and indictments of these individuals were the end result of a nine-month-long investigation, called “Operation County Connection,” run by the FBI and Nassau County Police Department (NCPD), along with assistance from the Suffolk County Police Department, the New York City Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service, Eastern District of New York.

Over the course of the investigation, sparked by an increase in heroin use on Long Island, law enforcement officials used wiretaps to document the dealings of the defendants. According to the FBI, more than 5,400 individual doses of heroin, set for distribution, were recovered from affiliates of the Perez Organization. Over $30,000 worth of heroin was recovered by agents throughout four storage facilities in Queens, Brooklyn and Roosevelt, New York.

Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents Block Association, applauded the efforts of law enforcement officials responsible for bringing down the organization.

“Well done to the FBI and the NYPD for nabbing these guys,” said Wendell. “Heroin is one of the most destructive drugs out there. It’s pretty low to be peddling heroin. You’re a leech on society.”

While Wendell was not especially troubled by the discovery of a drug ring in his neighborhood, he was stunned to see locals involved in such a scenario.

“It’s not the kind of thing you’d expect from someone in this community,” said Wendell. “You don’t look at your neighbors and think they could be someone who’s part of a drug gang.”

The alleged defendants are Jose Perez, 26; Norberto Rodriguez, 27; Wilfred Castillo, 26; Jose Taveras, 38; Rafael Pichardo, 30; William Baez, 30; Edwin Adames, 33; Leonardo Lopez, 25; Sean Brunette, 22; Anderson Taveras, 22; Kenneth Suarez, 33; Eric Suarez, 28; Dana Sollecito, 23; Tina Catrini, 29; Matthew Catrini, 24; Josephine Javis, 50; Roland Stern, 68; Corey Stern, 37; Kathryn Pappas, 21; and Felix Vargas, 33.

If convicted, each of the defendants potentially faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.