Tag Archives: Verizon

Two Glendale residents searching for kidney transplants


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

When the workday ends for Debbie Zeni, she returns to her Glendale home to her husband and two children, Ava, 8, and Dario, 9.

But before she can spend time with them, she has to meet with another member of the household: Nancy #3.

Nancy #3 is Zeni’s dialysis machine and its name was coined by her two children as it is now the third one to have taken residence in their home.

Zeni needs to use it each day for over two hours because she has a condition called polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary condition where cysts form on the kidney.

Both of her kidneys have been completely non-functional for almost two years, so she needs Nancy #3 to survive.

“It is a real hardship each day,” Zeni said. “But you just have to keep fighting and not give up hope.”

Zeni’s appearance would not cause anyone to think that she is fighting for her life each day, and many times when she breaks the news to people, they respond with a look of disbelief.

This also applies to James Deifel, one of Zeni’s friends who also is suffering from kidney complications. Deifel, a Glendale resident and father of two, has a condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), which has currently depleted his kidney function to about 16 percent.

Still, each day, he gets up and goes to work for Verizon in order to support his wife, Claudia, and two children, Julia, 9, and Michael, 13.

There is no cure for either Zeni or Deifel’s diseases. The only option for either is a kidney transplant.

Each has gone to family members and are on a transplant list, but neither has found a match.

But they are not giving up hope and neither is Deifel’s wife, who is now trying to up the chances to find a donor by using social media.

Last week, Claudia Deifel started a Facebook page called “Glendale Kidney,” where she has listed both her husband’s and Zeni’s conditions along with their case managers’ information. The page has already received more than 1,500 shares, and she is hoping that getting the word out to the community and beyond will better the chances of finding donors.

“I thought to myself, let me start with the community and get the word out to people,” Claudia Deifel said. “All I could do is keep putting the word out there and hope the right person sees it.”

Contrary to popular thought, with today’s technology, a kidney transplant requires only minimally invasive surgery. The donor would first have to take a blood test to see whether a match existed.

But both Zeni and Deifel understand the difficulty involved in kidney donation.

“We are aware it would really take a special type of person for a stranger to donate an organ to another stranger,” Zeni said, while holding Ava on her lap. “But if I get a kidney, I know I would live to a ripe old age.”

As they continue to fight, both are humbled with the overwhelming response they have gotten from the community via Facebook. They hope that as their story spreads, their chances of finding a match will grow.

“It’s great to see that friends of friends in the community have been spreading the word around,” Deifel said. “Remember, it only takes one.”

To find out more information, visit “Glendale Kidney” on Facebook.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Former international soccer player to host meet and greet at Queens Center


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Courtesy Verizon Wireless

With the FIFA World Cup about only a month away, soccer fans will be able to get a taste of the sport at Queens Center this weekend.

In preparation for the big games being held from June 12 to July 13 in Brazil, Verizon is hosting five shopping mall “Estadio Verizon” (Verizon Stadium) events for fans. The events will feature interactive soccer games, a customized stadium scoreboard, trivia games and a soccer-themed Plinko board to win prizes.

This Saturday, former Colombian national team captain and Major League Soccer player Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama will be at Queens Center doing a meet and greet with fans from 4 to 6 p.m.

Between noon and 6 p.m. this weekend, visitors at the Elmhurst mall will be able to learn about Verizon’s video offerings including its “La Connexion” and Spanish Language Packages that offer customized content for Hispanics and others who seek more Spanish-language programming.

Also, throughout the weekend and in honor of Mother’s Day, visitors at Queens Center will be able to make a free international call to their moms, using the latest Verizon Wireless mobile devices.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Goldfeder: Cell phone providers need to stay connected


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

In south Queens, one local leader wants the lines of communication open in the event of another superstorm.

After Sandy, thousands of the region’s residents were left without a lifeline for weeks, some for months – power was out, and cable and land-line service was gone as was cell reception.

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder has hopes that cell phone service providers, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, can build stronger cell towers and infrastructure throughout the region that will withstand the impact of any future weather disasters.

He will meet with Verizon and AT&T on Thursday to discuss upgrades and changes made thus far in preparation for another storm.

“Our inability to communicate via cell phone compounded the many issues brought on by Sandy,” Goldfeder said. “Communication is vital during a disaster.”

During the superstorm, the severe winds and flooding knocked out many cell towers.

“We cannot wait for another disaster to take action,” Goldfeder said. “Every company has a responsibility to their customers to invest in their infrastructure and towers to ensure that service will remain in place during our next potential disaster.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Verizon heroes honored by City Council for stopping Flushing rape


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Julissa Ferreras

Three Queens-bred Verizon technicians who thwarted a rape in Flushing in October were honored by the City Council Tuesday for their gallant rescue. 

“No one should ever have to experience such an atrocious crime as rape,” said Councilmember Julissa Ferreras, who chairs the Council’s Women’s Issues Committee.

Michael Popowich, Anthony Howley and John Gilday were on the job Oct. 30, when they said they saw a man push a woman down and pull down her underwear near 150-24 Northern Blvd.

The trio chased down the attacker and sat on him until cops arrived.

“I am proud that these courageous men stepped in and prevented a potential rape from occurring,” Ferreras said. “It is my hope that their example resonates with all New Yorkers everywhere to help those who are in need.”

The technicians were honored with a proclamation Dec. 10 by Ferreras, Councilmember Peter Koo and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

“It was a big honor. It was very humbling,” said Gilday, 53, of Douglaston.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then overcast. High of 48. Breezy. Winds from the WSW at 15 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 39. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: D.B. Rielly at Winegasm

D.B. Rielly will perform a wide-ranging collection of Americana music, spanning several genres including Roots, Blues, and Country at Winegasm in Astoria at 9 p.m. D.B. promises his listeners an “instantaneous cure for all afflictions.” Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

‘Frisk’ judge Shira Scheindlin gets hushed by federal appeals panel

The appeals panel that booted a federal judge from the stop-and-frisk case said Wednesday it won’t let her defend herself in court. Read more: New York Daily News

Five bikers accused in alleged road rage incident appear in court

Five of the bikers who were allegedly involved in a September 29, road rage incident appeared in court on Wednesday. Read more: CBS New York

4 World Trade Center officially opens with ribbon cutting

The office tower at 4 World Trade Center has opened in lower Manhattan. A ribbon-cutting was held this morning for the 978-foot building. Read more: ABC New York

Obamacare enrollment low; Democrats unhappy

Add simmering Democratic discontent to the problems plaguing “Obamacare,” now that first-month enrollment figures are out. Read more: AP

Verizon data network problems

If you can’t get on the web or download files on your Verizon cell phone as quickly as you once could, there is a reason. Read more: Fox New York

 

Verizon workers stop Flushing rape, chase down suspect


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Three Queens-bred heroes thwarted a rape in Flushing last week by chasing, catching and sitting on the attacker until cops arrived.

Verizon technicians Michael Popowich, Anthony Howley and John Gilday were finishing up a job at 150-24 Northern Boulevard on October 30 when they saw a man lurking across the street around noon.

They said the alleged assailant, identified by police as 53-year-old Young Song, ran up to a woman who was leaving a corner café and put his hand on her waist.

“It’s a busy area. I didn’t really think much of it,” said Popowich, 50, who was born and raised in Astoria. “At first we weren’t sure anything was amiss. We thought maybe he was a friend.”

But then the man “got a lot more aggressive and physical with her” and allegedly pushed her down to the ground, they said.

“She had a skirt on. He put his hand up her skirt and proceeded to pull her underwear down,” Popowich claimed. “No one did anything.”

The three technicians shouted, but the noise did not scare him off, said Gilday, 53, of Douglaston.

“When we yelled at him, he didn’t even move,” Gilday said. “As we were walking over to him, that’s when he ran.”

The trio sprang into action and chased the man, who ran onto the street. They caught him and brought him to his knees, they said.

“The three of us manhandled him back onto the sidewalk,” Popowich said. “We sat on him with all of our weight until the police showed up.”

Song, a Flushing resident, was arrested and charged with rape, sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment, police said. He did not know the victim before allegedly attacking her, the victim told her rescuers.

“It was surreal to see something happening like this in broad daylight in the middle of Northern,” said Howley, 41, of Forest Hills. “It was basic instincts that kicked in to help this woman.”

The good Samaritans said the act was not heroic.

“We just reacted,” Gilday said. “I have daughters, a wife, sisters — I hope if something like that was happening to them, someone would do something about it. I don’t want to see that happen to anybody.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Far Rockaway residents still receiving Verizon bills despite no service since Sandy


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

It’s been five months since 77-year-old Arquilla Heard has been able to make a phone call.

Since Sandy, the Far Rockaway resident — and many of her neighbors in the Ocean Bay Houses — have had no cell phone service from Verizon.

Heard has received monthly phone bills since the storm, some reaching nearly $200. Despite not having service, she paid November’s bill, but has since refused to make payments.

“Maybe I have my own wires crossed, but to bill people without service seems negligent to me,” said Councilmember Donovan Richards. “For my seniors and my youth who may have had an emergency and no phone to dial out, this is a crime.”

“I don’t have the money to keep paying bills,” said Heard. “I need my phone. It’s a necessity.”

On Monday, March 25, Richards held a press conference outside the Ocean Bay Houses demanding that Heard and others in her predicament receive a six-month credit for the services they have not received since October, as well as an additional three-month credit for the inconvenience.

“It’s a crying shame that Verizon is so insensitive that they would still send bills to people’s mailboxes,” he said.
Since the storm, the community has been left without an explanation about service or billing, and although phone booths have been put up, many don’t work, according to residents.

Verizon, however, said it has offered customers free wireless devices for their telephone service. They have also restored service to nearly 6,200 Rockaway customers since the storm. They are working closely with the New York City Housing Authority to fully restore all service.

“Sandy severely damaged Verizon’s network serving all of Rockaway, including [the Ocean Bay Houses]. By the end of this month, we will begin restoring service to all those who live in the complex from 54th to 59th Streets on our brand new state-of-the-art fiber optic network. We are now working with the housing authority to gain access to the apartments from 51st to 53rd Street,” said a Verizon spokesperson.

Gian Jones lives in Bayswater and was without his Verizon FiOS service for about a month. He too continued to receive bills, but snagged a rebate after repeatedly calling the company.

“There might be some technical issues [with service lines] that we don’t know about,” he said. “But it took continuously calling them and fighting them to see a credit. There’s no reason why Rockaway residents should be paying a bill. At the very least, service should be suspended.”

Residents also noted that not only is there a lack of phone service, but Verizon power lines remain hanging from poles to this day.

“You can walk into the hanging wires,” said Felicia Johnson, Rockaway resident and Community Board 14 member.

“Verizon has really just neglected the community at large.”

“If you can send me a bill, why can’t you send me a letter saying, ‘This is where we are, this is what we’re going to do,’” she added.

Richards asks that any resident with phone service problems get in touch with his office.

“Common decency is needed,” he said. “My residents cannot afford to not have phone service for another day.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Korean grocer H Mart to replace closing Waldbaum’s in Bayside

Korean grocery chain H Mart has secured a deal to replace a Bayside Waldbaum’s that is set to close in July, the Daily News has learned. It is the second property in Queens owned by the A&P supermarket chain that has hit the market in recent weeks, causing uncertainty and unease among neighbors. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Ailing elderly couple in Rockaway without phone service for three weeks

An 85-year-old woman with dementia and her ailing 90-year-old husband in Rockaway were without phone service for three weeks because Verizon did not repair their line. The couple’s frustrated daughter, Rita Burgess, 53, managed to restore service, but only by switching to Time Warner Cable. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Fraud take one for wife

Who says chivalry is dead? One of the masterminds behind an enormous identity- and credit-card-theft scheme took a hit for his wife yesterday when he ’fessed up in exchange for her walking free. Read more: [New York Post]

8 hurt as kids’ bus flips

Five special-needs students were lucky to walk away with just cuts and bruises yesterday morning in Queens after a taxi blew a red light and hit their school bus, causing it to flip over, authorities said.The southbound cab met the westbound bus at 150th Street and 87th Street at 6:25 a.m. The kids, ages 4 to 11, were en route to Yeshiva HS and PS 80. They were treated at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. So was their driver, also for minor injuries. Read more: [New York Post]

Nearly 3,700 City Educators Alerted They No Longer Have Jobs

Nearly 3,700 city teachers, administrators and aides in four boroughs were told Monday they no longer have a job at their schools. The educators put on notice are from the 24 schools in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens the city is closing this summer to clear out staff members. Read more: [NY1]

Queens School Employee will not Face Sex Abuse Charges 

Sex abuse charges were dropped against a Queens paraprofessional Monday. The Queens District Attorney says a grand jury decided not to indict Brett Picou, 30. He was accused of fondling six female students at P.S. 52 in Springfield Gardens. Read more: [NY1]

Verizon workers rally for contract


| dbeltran@queenscourier.com

DSC_0137w

Verizon workers, without a contract since last August, are sending a clear message: “Can you hear me now?”

Over 300 workers, including many Communications Workers of America union members, rallied in front of the Verizon telephone building in Jamaica and in front of a nearby Verizon Wireless store.

According to Amy Muldoon, employees are currently working under an extension of their last contract, but said bargaining negotiations for a new contract are going nowhere.

“We’re trying to bargain but there’s no movement,” said President Jerry Bulzomi of the C.W.A. Local 1106. “They want to take away our medical benefits, pension fund, anything that costs them money. We want to know why they’re trying to take it off on our backs.”

However, John Bonomo, a Verizon spokesperson, said that most of the landline workers don’t pay anything for health insurance premiums.

“The telecommunications business is undergoing huge changes and the new contract should reflect those changes,” said Bonomo. “We’re not the monopoly in the phone area anymore. People are going to the cable companies for some services.”

According to Verizon’s bargaining facts web site, the number of Verizon landlines has gone down fom 55 million in 2003 to 25 million in 2011.
At the rally, workers chanted, “no contract, no peace” and, “C.W.A., we won’t go away.” A few even stood outside the Verizon store handing out flyers informing people why they were rallying and asking people to consider a switch to AT&T, which they say supports union workers.

“This is not one contract,” said one worker. “We are fighting a corporate climate across the country. Don’t be afraid to fight for your contract.”

“We’re not going to apologize for being a successful business,” said Bonomo. “Being successful means we can provide jobs and competitive wages.

According to Muldoon, Verizon workers’ last contract lasted from 2009 to August of last year and they’re looking to preserve everything they bargained for.

Bulzomi, along with many other workers, said it comes down to corporate greed. Despite already having gone on strike last year, and only making small progress in negotiations, workers aren’t ready to give up.

“People struck for us to have protection,” said one worker. “I will not give that up without one hell of a fight.”