One word on Saturday brought an estimated 20,000 or police officers to Myrtle Avenue in Glendale as New York City mourned the loss of NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos.
"Brotherhood," said Officer Kevin Chesney of Jackson Township in New Jersey.
NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos was laid to rest on Saturday, lauded by dignitaries and honored by more than 20,000 poice officers from across the country, and across international borders.
Little did we know last week, when we wrote in this space that anti-cop attitudes can only harm the city, the horrific form in which that concern would come to manifest itself.
Police officers assassinated, killed in a flash by an assailant they probably never even saw. On the street. In broad daylight. By a piece of human garbage who planned the act, who tried to tell as many people as he could that he was going to do it. And then did.
On cold, blustery days like last Friday, taking a long walk outside is far from an enjoyable experience.
Walking across Flushing’s Pomonok housing complex to the development’s senior center is difficult for many elderly residents, especially in the winter. However, changes in parking regulations are coming to the facility.
Officials from the Queens Hospital Center are promising to meet with the public in the coming weeks to discuss their plans for transforming its old tuberculosis sanitarium in Jamaica Hills into apartments and so-called supportive housing.
Known in Jamaica Hills-Briarwood vernacular as the T Building, the 1937 structure is located on Parsons Boulevard and run by the City Health and Hospitals Corp.
For a group of undocumented students at the City University of New York called the CUNY DREAMers, it boils down to one thing: Pass the DREAM Act.
That was the message they brought to Albany recently, urging Gov. Cuomo to include funding for the DREAM Act in his executive budget proposal next year. The act would allow undocumented students who meet in-state tuition requirements to access state financial aid and scholarships for college. It would also open 539 tuition savings accounts for all New York youth and establish a commission to raise private funds for a college scholarship program.
Over 3,000 coats have been collected for donation to the New York Cares Coat Drive this year through a joint effort between the Greater NY Automobile Dealers Association and Queens officials state Sen. Toby Stavisky and Assemblymen Michael Simanowitz and Edward Braunstein.
Without a place to store their coats during the summer, 90 percent of the city’s homeless will make use of donated coats this winter.
“Plymptoons,” short films and drawings by Bill Plympton, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Ave., video screening amphitheater, thru Jan. 4. An hour-long selection of Plympton’s best short films, from 1987 to 2010, plus trailer for his new film, “Cheatin’,” Info: movingimage.us.
The school also hosted its semiannual blood drive in conjunction with the New York Blood Center on Dec. 16, with almost 170 pints being donated.
The Interborough Rapid Transit Co. was incorporated by contractor John McDonald and financiers August Belmont and Cornelius Vanderbilt on May 6, 1902 and began running the city’s first subway that lasted on Oct. 27, 1904.
The IRT was always innovative. In 1910 it became the first subway company to operate a 10-car train. On May 10, 1920 it was first again, in using a coin-operated turnstile. The first stations to receive the turnstiles, which replaced human ticket choppers, were 51st and 77th streets on the Lexington Avenue line.
The new Mark Wahlberg film, “The Gambler,” is based on the 1974 movie of the same name that starred Sunnyside native James Caan, who was at the peak of his career coming off both “Brian’s Song” and “The Godfather.” In the film, Caan played Axel Freed, a literature professor at an unnamed New York college, who had a serious gambling addiction and found himself $44,000 in debt, which was very serious money during the Watergate era.
Fast forward 40 years and Wahlberg is Jim Bennett, an English prof at an unnamed Los Angeles university. Jim is a novelist manquÈ whose most recent book sold a paltry 17,000 copies, and it’s clear that its commercial failure has taken a toll on him, as he constantly berates his students. He does have a soft spot, however, for Amy Phillips (Brie Larson), a top student who is very attractive yet quite shy, and a star basketball player, Lamar Allen (Anthony Kelley), who has NBA aspirations and is a lot sharper than he lets on.
The recent column “Select Bus Service will make Woodhaven worse” attempts to raise groundless fears about SBS, and dismisses its potential to benefit riders, drivers and pedestrians. The success of other SBS routes in New York City and the daily experience of bus riders on Woodhaven Boulevard tell a much different story, about both the need and the potential for improvement.
On Webster Avenue in the Bronx, ridership on the Bx41 has increased, and new bus lanes have eliminated delays. SBS also makes streets safer. The M15 First and Second Avenue SBS saw a 21 percent reduction in traffic injuries on the route segments where improvements similar to those being considered for Woodhaven have been installed. Traffic congestion has also been reduced over most of the M15 corridor, as demonstrated by before-and-after taxi GPS data.
Of the three design concepts the DOT and MTA presented for Woodhaven, concepts 2 and 3 would transform a dangerous, congested corridor into a street that works for the entire community. To the two agencies’ credit, all three options have been presented for discussion in community meetings wher
e plenty of substantive feedback was provided. Many more meetings are planned, to examine bus performance and traffic impacts, and design treatments of key street segments and intersections. The DOT and MTA to date have made good on their commitment to conduct an open and fair process — while ensuring that an urgently needed project moves forward.
And the need is truly urgent. Over 30,000 riders per day now suffer from slow, unreliable service on Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards. Long lines of riders now wait for buses throughout the day and late into the evening at Queens Center mall and major subway transfer points, without even the minimal comfort and dignity that a decent bus shelter would provide. These riders deserve better, as do the drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists who deal with these boulevards on a daily basis.
And they deserve to see those improvements soon. The column’s writers attempt to frame SBS vs. rehabilitating the Rockaway Beach Line as an either-or choice, but their costs, benefits and timeframes are vastly different and need to be evaluated on their own merits. Select Bus Service has the potential to transform Woodhaven — today one of Queens’ most dangerous streets — by late 2017. That transformation will be very much for the better, and can’t come a moment too soon.
It is time for everyone, protestors and elected officials as well as others, to back off all of the angry rhetoric that has been going on for the last several months, culminating with the senseless and brutal assassination of two New York City police officers on a Brooklyn street. The families of these two officers need to be able to grieve their losses without any more unnecessary difficulties.
The mayor and the Police Department need to sit down and begin in earnest to discuss all of the issues that have and continue to cause such tension and division. We cannot have our police officers being targeted by anybody who thinks that they have the right to shoot them. The mayor needs to unequivocally state that he supports the NYPD 100 percent. Our police officers all risk their lives each and every day to protect all of the people of this city, and they deserve the highest degree of protection and respect. If protesters cannot peacefully protest, then those protests must be halted immediately, since they are only exacerbating an already tense and worsening situation.
Our thoughts are with the families and colleagues of these two brave officers. All New Yorkers mourn this tragic and difficult loss. It is time for working together, and not continued confrontation, which does not help anyone at all.
I recently read the “Select Bus Service will make Woodhaven worse” op-ed in the Chronicle (Dec. 18). As a small business owner and a bus rider, I know firsthand how dangerous and congested Woodhaven Boulevard can be. My employees who live along the corridor suffer from long and unpredictable commutes on a daily basis, as do I.
I attended the DOT-MTA community meeting last month, where the concepts for SBS along Woodhaven Boulevard were introduced. I was pleased to see that SBS would not only reduce congestion along the corridor, but it would improve travel experiences for bus riders and drivers. Other SBS routes that have been implemented in New York City over the years have created shorter commutes and have reduced bottlenecks to eliminate delays.
In addition, the street redesigns that the DOT and MTA are proposing in the SBS concepts for Woodhaven Boulevard would mitigate many dangerous conditions along the corridor, making it safer for pedestrians and drivers.
Many of the 30,000 commuters who ride the bus along Woodhaven Boulevard every day lack the resources to travel by car. They deserve better transit options than what is currently available, and SBS could be the solution. For bus riders, for drivers, for pedestrians — SBS could be the solution we’ve been waiting for.
Financial assistance for Sandy-affected residents who must move into temporary housing while their homes are being repaired under the city’s Build it Back program is just one of multiple storm relief initiatives that are included in a federally funded $4.21 billion recovery plan, city officials announced last Friday.
“As we continue to build back a stronger and more resilient city after Sandy, it’s critical that we make every impacted family and small business whole again — and ensure they’re better protected next time they need to be,” Mayor de Blasio said in a written statement.
As a Queens College graduate (BA 1962) and commencement speaker (2012), I’m outraged that Q.C. adjunct professor Eric Linsker was among the mob of cop-haters who “allegedly” attacked police on the Brooklyn Bridge while yelling: “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want them? Now.”
Linsker “allegedly” tried to toss a garbage can at police (according to news reports), but was stopped by two cops who were beaten by other members of this murder-seeking mob.
He has a First Amendment right to protest, but no right to assault cops and incite violence against them. Nor does he have a right to earn $18,000 yearly of taxpayers’ money as a teacher at Queens and Baruch colleges. Linsker is a self-proclaimed poet whose “alleged” poetry includes: “F--- the police.” He’s no Robert Browning, but his actions are worse than his verse.
New York State provides a third of CUNY’s total budget. CUNY must fire this “alleged” felon or face the loss of taxpayers’ funds. Do it now.
The state DEC wants all mute swans out of New York within 10 years, claiming they harm the environment, but animal activists and many lawmakers disagree.
Gov. Cuomo last Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have delayed a plan to kill or remove every mute swan in the state. The Department of Environmental Conservation considers the birds an invasive species and wants all 2,200 of them that live in the state gone by 2025.
Following an uproar from faunitarians, or animal lovers, the DEC decided it would revise its plan. State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in the upper house and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) in the lower chamber authored a bill that would have put a two-year moratorium on any swan slaughter. It also would have forced the agency to hold at least two public hearings in areas where mute swans live, and to include a public comment period of at least 45 days after the second one, before adopting any swan management plan.
Two Astoria men and a business owner there were charged with being part of an international heroin pipeline spanning from New York to Mexico that involved six other people, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said on Thursday.
Ajay Carter, 38, and Miguel Tormo, 42, were both charged with first- and third- degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for their alleged part in the international pipeline. Their bail was set at $5 million bond or $2.5 million in cash.
Following the assassinations of Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos last Saturday in Brooklyn, numerous elected officials from Queens issued statements lamenting the violence.
The following is what Queens’ two boroughwide elected officials, Borough President Melinda Katz and District Attorney Richard Brown, said:
Re “Resolution blasts basements abodes,” Dec. 11, multiple editions:
I fully agree with the decision of Community Board 9 not to allow cellar occupancies.
One would think that a person who is mayor of New York City would know the difference between a basement and a cellar. According to the Housing Maintenance Code, a basement can be occupied as living quarters; a cellar is not a legal occupancy.
The Administrative Code clearly states what constitutes a basement or a cellar.
The mayor’s request to make cellar occupancies is not a good idea. The New York Fire Department objects to it. One of the major reasons is the lack of a second means of egress in case of an emergency to save a human life.
Apparently the mayor wants his affordable housing instituted at any cost: Let the people live in illegal cellars like rats probably with insufficient sanitary facilities and no secondary means of egress. And he wants to save a life!
Can raising chickens in Queens be trending? Ruth Harrigan of Douglaston wouldn’t be surprised.
She has been raising chickens in her small 245th Street backyard for four years and says they make great pets. “They are very low-maintenance pets, like having a cat, except they lay eggs,” Harrigan said.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all be civilized citizens?
We have to thank our Police Department for the fact that our great City of New York is regarded as one of the safest cities in the world today, with a diverse population of about 8 million people from over 120 countries, speaking over 135 languages. The reason we have one of the safest cities is in large part due to the hard work of the men and women in the department. We should praise them, not criticize them.
Statistics show that crime is down by 80 percent from 20 years ago; this tells us that the police department is doing a great job.
It has been said that the city will spend $29 million dollars of taxpayers’ money to retrain the police. Instead of wasting this money, it would be much better spent on educating the people who criticize the Police Department. The money can be used to place advertising on public transportation
such as our trains, subways and buses. This advertising should emphasize to our citizens the importance of obeying the law, getting an education, respecting other people’s rights, not stealing and not committing crimes. If we continue to criticize the hard work of the men and women of the Police Department, then we jeopardize our city with going back to 20 years ago when crime was so bad that we could not leave our homes or apartments without being mugged.
Let’s work together. We have millions of tourists visiting our great city every day bringing wealth and jobs. I believe in the next few years our population will continue to increase because our city is a safe one.
2014 will go down in the record books as the FDNY’s busiest year in its very active century and a half history, according to the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York and Fire Department data.