Tag Archives: train

Man seriously injured after jumping in front of LIRR train in Woodside: MTA  


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

Updated 2:00 p.m.

A 39-year-old man was seriously hurt Tuesday morning when he jumped in front of a train at the Long Island Rail Road Woodside station, the MTA said.

The man, a Sunnyside resident, was hit at about 10:30 a.m. after leaping from the platform into the path of a Ronkonkoma-bound train, according to the transit agency.

He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital with severe head and leg injuries.

Eastbound service from Penn Station, with the exception of the Port Washington branch, was suspended for about an hour because of the incident, the MTA said.

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What to do if there is an LIRR strike


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Metropolitan Transportation Authority


Subways, shuttle buses, and even ferries– the MTA is pulling out all the stops to supplement LIRR service in case 5,400 workers strike starting on July 20.

As contract negotiations with unions continue to fall apart and the impending LIRR strike draws closer each day, the MTA released its contingency plan Friday to address the 300,000 riders that would be stranded daily with the loss of the train service.

Most of the MTA’s plans focus on Long Island customers, but there are resources and tips for riders from Queens and other boroughs.

There will be 4,000 free, secured parking spots at Citi Field and an additional 3,000 spots at Aqueduct Racetrack, where drivers can drop their cars and then take the No. 7 or A trains to work. Through social media and digital platforms, such as Twitter and a LIRR mobile app, agency officials plan to update riders on how many spots are available in the lots and traffic conditions.

The transportation agency also hired 350 school buses, which lack air condition, to shuttle riders from stations in Long Island to the No. 7 train near Citi Field, the A train in Howard Beach, and also the M and R train station on Woodhaven Boulevard. The buses will run from Long Island into Queens between 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. and return to Long Island from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

There will also be ferry rides that can carry 1,000 passengers per day from Glen Cove to 34th Street in Manhattan on 40 minute rides. But the MTA warns that parking near to the ferry is very limited.

The MTA is encouraging riders to telecommute if they can work from home. According to officials, about 18,000 workers already plan to do so.

Through its free lots and shuttle buses, the transportation agency estimates it can handle about 15,000 passengers daily, more than double the 7,000 passengers daily from the 1994 LIRR strike contingency plan.

“When the LIRR unions went on strike in 1994, Long Islanders had very limited options. There were no park-and-ride lots, no ferries, no real-time monitoring, no telecommuting,” said MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast. “Today, the MTA has a far stronger, more robust, multifaceted plan. Working with the state and elected officials from across Long Island and the city of New York, we are providing more shuttle buses, thousands of parking spots near subway stations, a ferry service, real-time traffic management and real-time parking monitoring.”

The MTA doesn’t yet know how much per day the contingency plan will cost, and officials said they hope not to have to use it.

For more details on the plan, click here.

 

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Woman struck by Queens-bound No. 7 train at Grand Central


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Dschwen

A woman fell into the path of a No. 7 train at Grand Central Station Thursday night after she passed out, police said.

The 32-year-old was waiting for the subway about 9:30 p.m. when she was hit by a Queens-bound train, according to the NYPD.

She was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition, police said.

No. 7 train service had to be suspended between Grand Central and Hunters Point Avenue because of the accident.

 

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Co-workers mourn Queens nurse who died in Metro-North derailment


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Kisook Ahn dedicated her life to helping others. It was one of the last things she did before she lost her own life.

The 35-year-old Woodside resident had just finished the night shift as a registered nurse the morning of December 1 when the Metro-North train she was riding in derailed in the Bronx, killing her and three others.

“She always had a big, bright smile on her face, even after working 12 hours,” said Linda Mosiello, administrator at the Sunshine Children’s Home and Rehab Center where Ahn was employed.

“She loved to make the kids smile no matter how sick they were,” Mosiello continued.

Ahn started working at the Ossining, N.Y. nursing facility in 2010, where she provided care for medically complex children, according to Mosiello.

She left the job briefly to finish classes at Lehman College where she was pursuing her masters in nursing as a nurse practitioner, said Mosiello, but had been working at Sunshine full-time since 2012.

Ahn came to the U.S. from Korea late in 2008 through a program for nurses, in conjunction with Perfect Choice Staffing.

According to Mosiello, Ahn has no relatives in the U.S.

Sheldon Meikle, Perfect Choice Staffing’s international director, said the Korean Consulate and the MTA are working together to help with funeral arrangements and to bring her family members to the U.S.

The staff is also helping the family come to the U.S. and is in the process of putting together a fund, said Mosiello. If anyone would like to contribute, they can contact Sunshine through its website, www.sunshinechildrenshome.org.

Ahn was remembered in a private service at Sunshine on Monday, December 2.

“I think it comforted the staff to come together and mourn [Ahn],” said Mosiello. “She was a very warm, loving woman. She was a great team player.”

In addition to the four killed, of the approximately 150 people aboard, 71 people were injured when the seven-car train, coming from Poughkeepsie and heading to Grand Central Terminal, jumped the tracks near the Spuyten Duyvil station around 7:20 a.m., according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and MTA.

At a press briefing on December 2, the NTSB said the locomotive was traveling at approximately 82 mph as it entered a 30 mph curve, according to preliminary information from the train’s event recorders.

 

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Queens resident killed in Metro-North train derailment


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Updated Monday, December 2, 4:36 p.m.

A Queens woman was one of four people who died Sunday morning when a Metro-North passenger train derailed in the Bronx.

A seven-car train, coming from Poughkeepsie and heading to Grand Central Terminal, jumped the tracks near the Spuyten Duyvil station around 7:20 a.m., according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and MTA.

Based on preliminary information from the train’s event recorders, at a press briefing Monday the NTSB, said the locomotive was traveling at approximately 82 mph as it entered a 30 mph curve.

Speed was a contributing factor in the crash, but the NTSB said it did not know at this time if the accident was due to human or equipment error

The NTSB also said it was not aware of any prior issues with the brakes.

Of the approximately 150 people aboard, 45 were treated on the scene or at the hospital and released, 26 remain hospitalized, and two women and two men were killed, said the MTA Police Department.

They have identified the deceased as Kisook Ahn, 35, of Queens; Donna L. Smith, 54, of Newburgh, N.Y.; James G. Lovell, 58, of Cold Spring, N.Y.; and James M. Ferrari, 59, of Montrose, N.Y.

A Woodside resident, Kisook arrived in the U.S. from Korea a year ago and was a nurse, according to the New York Daily News.

Kisook worked at Brooklyn’s Kings County Hospital from July 2011 to December 2012 as an agency nurse in its Pediatric unit, according to a spokesperson for the hospital.

“The Kings County Hospital Center family is very saddened by this tragic loss and we extend our condolences to the family,” said the spokesperson.

 

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Politicians, locals want trash barged


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

Locals and elected officials trashed a recently approved plan that will increase waste-filled train traffic, saying residents need refuge from the refuse.

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) approved a plan on June 11 that increases the amount of sanitation districts’ garbage that passes through the Review Avenue waste transfer station and ends up on trains that travel through Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth.

Currently, 958 tons of residential waste is delivered to the site, Waste Management spokesperson George McGrath said. The new plan will add an additional 200 tons from districts in Queens. The increase would not take place until after the facility is renovated, which has no timetable, he said.

For years, residents have complained about the noise and odor from the trains.

“You have people who can’t open their windows. You have people that I know of that have moved,” said Anthony Pedalino, who lives just down the street from the Middle Village tracks. “It’s just become a nightmare.”

Pedalino documents the daily disturbances recording the times the trains pass behind his house, with the times often occurring before 6 a.m.

Instead of alleviating the issues, homeowners are worried their troubles will only increase.

The DEC said the Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) analysis found the project’s impact would not be considered significant under the criteria in the State Environmental Quality Review regulation.

“I think any amount of increased noise or odor pollution is too much to withstand for these residents,” State Senator Joe Addabbo said. “These residents don’t need more rails bothering them on a daily basis.”

The DSNY could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Area officials — including State Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Mike Miller and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley — gathered with residents outside the waste transfer station to urge the DEC to reconsider the plan and instead barge the garbage.

Currently, the garbage travels from the Long Island City facility north to Selkirk, NY, crosses the Hudson River and travels back south through New Jersey to Waste Management’s landfill in West Virginia.

“Now I don’t think that makes much sense when you consider this facility is sitting on the Newtown Creek, a waterway,” said Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association.

Holden and the elected officials want the trash barged to a New Jersey port, either Port Elizabeth or Port Newark, both of which have stops along the CSX rail line that carries the trash.

“All we’re saying is we know the issue, we have to get rid of our waste. Well, we’re saying rationally, go with the barge, it’s right here; enough with the rail,” Addabbo said.

Any legislation to change the route would have to be federal because of the interstate travel.

While barging was considered, McGrath said, the narrowness of Newtown Creek at that point creates logistical problems.

“There is no place to store barges in that area, so you have to move them in and out several times a day,” McGrath said. “That in turn probably involves lifting the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge several times a day.”

“Our focus is working with customers in moving waste as efficiently as possible. In this location we believe rail is the way to go.”

Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

NYPD officers save man from oncoming train after he faints on subway tracks

A Manhattan man felt the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day when a trio of NYPD’s finest saved him from an on-coming train after he fainted onto the tracks at Grand Central Station, police said. Surrounded by dozens of straphangers awaiting the next train, William Soto, 46, fell onto the southbound 6 tracks around 10:15 a.m. Saturday, police said. A good Samaritan who saw Soto collapse ran up the station stairs to summon help. Read More: Daily News

 

Police Identify Suspect In Fatal Staten Island Stabbing

Police have zeroed in on a suspect in connection with a deadly stabbing outside a Staten Island restaurant over the weekend. Sources say investigators have identified the man as Redinel Dervishaj, 35. Authorities say he has a prior record of violent crime. Antonio Lacertosa, 27, was stabbed in the torso early Saturday morning outside the Espana Restaurant in Annadale. Investigators say he was celebrating his engagement to his high school sweetheart at the restaurant. Read More: NY1

 

Workers Prep City Ballfields For Opening Day

As New Yorkers mark the first day of spring, the city’s Parks Department is busy prepping its fields for the upcoming little league season. Before the plates are laid out in city parks, crews are making sure the diamonds, bleachers, fences and fields are all in good shape. Parks workers in Queens are preparing 174 fields for the upcoming season. Much of their work includes inspecting fields and fence lines, painting benches, removing leafs and leveling the dirt on the infield. Read More: NY1

 

Peyton, Broncos agree to five-year, $96 million deal

Peyton Manning agreed to a five-year, $96 million deal Tuesday with the Denver Broncos, the NFL Network reported. The four-time MVP will be introduced as the team’s new starting quarterback at a 3:00pm ET press conference. The sides are reportedly still finalizing the details of the contract, but the soon-to-be 36-year-old is likely to make an annual salary of about $19 million. Read More: New York Post

 

Ex-Marine busted at Empire State Building with gun makes plea deal, gets no jail

The ex-Marine busted for trying to check his Indiana-registered gun at the Empire State Building got a no-jail, misdemeanor deal today. “I definitely did not know it was illegal to bring a gun into New York City,” Ryan Jerome, 29, of West Bend, said after pleading guilty in Manhattan Criminal Court. Read More: New York Post

 

Researchers mount new mission to solve Amelia Earhart mystery

Scientists on Tuesday announced a new phase in the search to resolve the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, saying fresh evidence from a remote Pacific island may hold clues to the fate of the renowned U.S. pilot who vanished in 1937 while attempting to circle the globe. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined scientists and aviation archaeologists to unveil the expedition, which will set out from Honolulu in July to probe underwater areas around the Phoenix Islands in Kiribati where they believe Earhart may have crashed 75 years ago. Read More: New York Post

 

Reading, writing & Rikers! City Education Department staffers arrested 14 times in 2012

A disturbing number of city teachers has moved from the schoolhouse to the courthouse this year. City Education Department staffers have been arrested at least 14 times in 2012, alarming parents and leading to changes in policy. The bevy of teachers, substitutes and aides has been busted this year for crimes ranging from sex abuse and assault to stealing subway art and keying a car. And the year is just three months old. Read More: Daily News

Woman murdered in Queens


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Woman murdered in Queens

A 33-year-old woman was found murdered last night in a Queens apartment building, police said. The victim, whose identity was withheld, was slashed across the throat and found at 8:30 p.m. by her in-laws in a second-floor apartment at 26-80 30th St. in Astoria. It was unclear how long she had been dead. The medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy. Detectives are looking to speak with the woman’s husband, cops said. Read More: New York Post

 

East Side ‘rape’ bust

A maintenance worker has been busted for allegedly raping a woman after breaking into her Manhattan apartment while she slept. Alberto Delgado, 37, of Queens, was arrested Tuesday on rape charges for allegedly assaulting the 24-year-old woman in her apartment on East 30th Street near Third Avenue, police sources said. The attack occurred in the early-morning hours on Dec. 16 after the victim attended a party at another apartment in the building, the sources said. Read More: New York Post

CUNY Law shielding bad grads from bar

Anxious CUNY Law School administrators are urging struggling students not to take this summer’s bar exam in an apparent bid to boost the school’s sagging pass rates, irate students charged. The administrators even offered a handful of students a grant in the fall that’s normally reserved for those taking the July exam if they would agree to postpone sitting for the test until February 2013. Students say an associate dean has pulled at least six classmates in for a one-on-one sales pitch advocating for the delay — even though the February exam is reputedly more difficult. Read More: New York Post

Where to watch the Super Bowl in Queens

It won’t be just Giants and Patriots fans hitting the bars to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5 — more than 110 million people watched last year’s game.  Bars and restaurants throughout Queens feature food and drink specials for Giants fans and anyone else that wants to take in the Super Bowl 42 rematch.  Here are a few places to watch the games in Queens… Read More: Queens Courier

 

Mike $laps Komen

Mayor Bloomberg rode to the rescue of Planned Parenthood yesterday, pledging up to $250,000 for the organization after the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer foundation yanked funding for screenings. “Politics have no place in health care,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Breast-cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care,” he said. “We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way,” he added. But Bloomberg refused to say whether he would cut his own ties with Komen. Read More: New York Post

 

Service disruptions on 7-line could put damper on Flushing Lunar New Year parade 

Queens’ massive Year of the Dragon celebration may be hindered by MTA subway disruptions, several elected officials and business owners fear. Saturday’s Flushing Lunar New Year Parade — one of the city’s largest celebrations — coincides with the ongoing 7-train rehabilitation that cuts service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza. The lack of a direct link from Manhattan to Flushing could stifle the flow of attendees, which usually tops more than 100,000 people, said parade organizer Peter Tu. Read More: Daily News

 

Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona gears up for Black History Month

Louis Armstrong was already an international jazz icon when he stepped out of a taxi in front of a Corona house in 1942 that his fourth wife, Lucille, had just picked out. After growing up in poverty in New Orleans, owning even a modest home in a middle-class Queens neighborhood was almost inconceivable. “He couldn’t believe he owned this house,” said Al Pomerantz, a volunteer at Satchmo’s Corona home that is now the Louis Armstrong House Museum. “It wasn’t until Lucille actually answered the door that he let [the cabbie\] drive away.” Read More: Daily News

Daytime Burglaries Rattle Queens Community

Some Indian New Yorkers think their Queens community is being targeted by thieves. “I turned the lock, and I was like, ‘wait a second, I locked the door when we left that morning,’” said Lea Balgobin, a burglary victim. She did, but someone had broken into her home after she left with her husband Rohan to run errands. The burglar only took cash and gold. “Every piece of jewelry we had, they took,” said Rohan Balgobin. Those items were worth over $50,000 according to the police report . The Balgobins say it’s common for Indians from Asia and the West Indies to keep large amounts of jewelry in their homes because people often give gold as gifts and the jewelry is passed for generations. Read More: NY1

LIRR a less noisy neighbor in Forest Hills


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Residents of Forest Hills may be receiving relief from what they have described as a disastrously deafening din debilitating their daily lives.

Members of the community who live near the local Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station have complained that the noise created by the train’s door chimes and speaker announcements has been intrusive and disruptive, greatly affecting the standard of living in the area.

“It’s like living in a train yard,” said Martin Levinson, who has lived adjacent to the station since 1982. “It is like the train is coming through your bedroom or living room. Every time a train comes through you feel like you are on the platform. You have this noise blasted at you. You can hear it all through the neighborhood. A friend of mine who lives a mile away hears it.”

Levinson says the noise has been so powerful that he has been forced to “blast” his television and keep the windows closed, even during the summer, in hopes of drowning it out.

“Forest Hills is a very busy station,” said Levinson, whose wife wants to move due to the noise pollution. “You are constantly subjected to these loud noises 24/7. You can’t say I just moved in either. I’ve lived here for 25 years. I know what it’s like living near a railroad, and I enjoy living by the railroad. But all of a sudden, in 2010, they started this noise pollution with these chimes and speakers.”

Other residents have been forced to interrupt daily activities due to the clamor.

“We expect noise from trains, but it’s these chimes and announcements that are too loud,” said Inas Kelly, an Economics professor at Queens College who lives across from the station. “I can’t have my windows open comfortably, and it keeps me from sleeping soundly. You have to stop what you’re doing, and if you’re having a conversation, you have to pause until the noise stops. It negatively affects me daily.”

According to an LIRR spokesperson, the railroad has received positive responses from residents regarding recent measures taken to reduce the noise pollution emanating from the station.

“We have worked closely with Forest Hills community and other areas we serve on this issue and are pleased to hear that residents notice an improvement,” said the spokesperson. “The LIRR has shut off the external speakers on the train cars in question. We also have reduced the door chimes sound by 10 decibels by closing the chime shutters and installing a muffling device.”

Levinson acknowledges the changes, and has noticed an improvement in the past several weeks, but admits he is hesitant to let his guard down too soon.

“The people who run the railroad live far from stations, so they don’t care,” he said. “It took them too long to make these changes, and the residents near the tracks don’t trust them. We now worry they will do something else. I feel the LIRR is like the old Communist governments before the fall of the Berlin War. They are unaccountable to the people, and they feel they can do whatever they want.”

Deal to halt train noise, pollution in Middle Village


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Local leaders and politicians have moved a noisy and odorous train hookup further from Middle Village houses, though community concerns remain.

Senator Joe Addabbo, Assemblymembers Andrew Hevesi and Mike Miller and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley were able to successfully negotiate terms with CSX Freight and NY & Atlantic Railroad to move the trains further from residential areas, a plan that has now been implemented.

The trains were previously left idling while their brakes were pressurized at the intersection of 69th Place and Juniper Boulevard South directly behind a residential area, causing considerable noise pollution as well as emitting fumes from garbage on board.

Though local officials hailed this first step as a move in the right direction, discussions with the train company are not over.

“I appreciate that CSX and NY & Atlantic are addressing the quality of life concerns of the people who live near the railroad,” said Crowley. “It is important to know that this is just a first step and that we have many more expectations for the Railroad companies to meet.”

Officials are still exploring further ways to remedy the quality of life issues that residents may still face — including more noise and odor.

“There’s been an improvement,” said Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, since the train hookup has been moved. “There’s still a problem with trains switching and idling for long periods of time. They only moved it 400 feet, so it’s still affecting people, though it’s a little better now.”

The primary hookup is now located several hundred feet southwest of 69th Street near All Faiths Cemetery – moving the noise and fumes further from the residential community.

A secondary hookup, utilized only when the trains are operated when trains are operating at maximum capacity, is located 450 feet back from the current site.

“It’s a great first step in a long process. This move should help address some of the quality of life concerns faced by those living in the surrounding community,” said Miller.

Train derailment causing delays on 4,5 and 6 lines


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

A train derailment on the northbound No. 6 line early this morning caused delays and service changes on the 4, 5 and 6 trains.

Normal service has returned following the derailment though there are still residual delays.

If possible riders should use an alternate route to avoid delays.

No injuries were reported from the derailment and the cause is under investigation.

Making Strides, raising funds, giving hope


| amanning@queenscourier.com

“Hey, Soul Sister,” the smash hit by Train, was blasting through speakers as walkers gathered in the field at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for the American Cancer Society’s annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. The song was fitting as hundreds of survivors who had never met all became, in a way, “soul sisters,” rallying for a common cause that they knew all too well.

The survivors were, of course, not alone at the walk, which took place on Sunday, October 16. There were flocks of “striders” who came out because they knew someone who battled or is battling the disease, which affects about one in eight women in the United States.

The 106th Precinct Explorers were there, along with Community Affairs Officers Kenneth Zorn and Brenda Bratcher and Captain Thomas Pascale.

“It was nice of those kids taking the time,” said Zorn.

Even Assistant Chief James Secreto, Commanding Officer of the NYPD’s Patrol Borough Queens South, walked for the cause, which is very close to his heart.

“I think it’s something important, it’s a good cause. It affects me personally because my mother and aunt both had it,” said Austin Phillips, a senior at St. John’s University who walked with his own team, the Pink Panthers. “My mother’s in her eighth year of remission; she’s doing well, she’s healthy.”

People of every age and background honored and celebrated breast cancer survivors, raised awareness – and raised more than $877,000

Some had been doing it for years, like Marge Cashin, who manned the St. John’s tent for the Office of Community Relations. Although this was her 13th year taking part with the school, which is a flagship sponsor, she originally walked with her sister-in-law, whom she lost to breast cancer two years ago.

Others were taking part for the first time, as Adrienne Pellegrino was. A four-time All-Star winner for Relay for Life, she decided to try her hand at fundraising for Making Strides, raising an impressive $5,070 by herself. With her birthday coming up and the American Cancer Society’s slogan being “Creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays,” Pellegrino donned a life-sized birthday cake costume, garnering her lots of compliments and second glances.

One survivor, Delma Rosario, a St. Albans resident, summed up her experience – “You’re grateful to be a survivor.” Rosario, who was diagnosed just 10 days before her 39th birthday, has now been in remission for 15 years.