Council Member Donovan Richards Calls on Mayor de Blasio for More Testing Sites in Queens

Queens is taking the hardest hit, leading with nearly 22,000 COVID-19 cases and no resources or testing sites.

I have called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to set up testing sites in our communities, recommending York College parking lot, Roy Wilkins Park and lot, and an expanse from Beach 32nd to Beach 56th Street as potential sites. I will continue to push for testing sites in vacant and unused spaces to help us fight against the Coronavirus. Our socio-economic status shouldn’t determine whether we have access to tests or not.

Until then, I strongly urge everyone to take care of their health by practicing good hygiene habits, social distancing and staying home to help prevent the spread.

Stay home, stay safe.

Youth Services and Education Committee Statement on Peninsula Hospital

Statement on Peninsula Hospital Redevelopment Project:

The Community Board 14 Youth Services and Education committee met
on Tuesday, June 4th for the purpose of discussing and evaluating the
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) published by the Department of
City Planning. The report pertains to the redevelopment of the Peninsula
Hospital Site. The lead agency for the analysis was the City Planning
Review of the report revealed that there are unavoidable adverse impacts
projected to impact local elementary and intermediate schools as well as
unavoidable adverse impacts to publicly funded child care and head start
programs. These are documented on pages 22-23 and pages 43-44 of the
EIS. Overcrowding of these impacted schools and childcare centers
would be inevitable and would compound existing problems with
overcrowded schools struggling to meet educational benchmarks in

Math, English Language Arts, and Science. The adverse relationship
between classroom overcrowding and learning progress is well
understood. Programs aimed at reducing classroom size to improve
student achievement in Rockaway schools have been in progress for
several years. The Environmental Impact Study clearly states that the
Peninsula hospital development in its current form would result in a
severe impact to local schools through overcrowding.

The report gives two remedies for these projected adverse impacts:
1. To increase seat capacity by expansion or reallocation of existing
space and/or construction of new school and childcare space. This
remedy would be applicable towards the three areas which would
sustain significant adverse impacts: elementary schools, intermediate
schools and child care centers within the impact zone of the
Peninsula Hospital redevelopment site.

2. Alternatively, the report states that a reduction in the planned number
of dwelling units by 521 units or by 36% would scale back projections
to below the significant impact level.

The committee feels that in view of the significant challenges currently
facing schools in this area of Rockaway, including overcrowding,
limitations in educational programming and schools struggling to meet
standardized benchmarks, the burdens projected by the redevelopment
proposal in its current form are unacceptable. Furthermore, the DOE and
SCA are already behind schedule in meeting the demands for additional
school space and additional school programming options in all areas of
Rockaway. This record does not inspire confidence that such
improvements would be developed in line and in conjunction with the
current project proposal.

The committee consensus, therefore, is that the Community Board
should not support the Peninsula Hospital project in its current form.
The committee further recommends that discussion on the hospital
redevelopment site should commence with their Environmental Impact
Study’s own recommendation of a 36% reduction in size, and with the
additional stipulation that it include space or funding to increase school
and childcare capacity in the area which is already strained by a growing

DEVELOPING: New Dollar Van Company Wants Service on Shorefront Parkway To Far Rockaway

By Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet

Dollar, dollar, dollar bill y’all!

A new van service has written a proposal to the Department of Transporation (DOT) to gain permission to operate 20 vans along Shorefront Parkway. According to the letter written to DOT, AJAP Trailways LLP has requested routes to start from Beach 108th Street down to Beach 67th Street and Shorefront. The route also will continue to Beach Channel Drive and 67th Street, ending its route off at the Freeway & Mott Avenue (Far Rockaway).

The current proposal is still under the approval process and Comunity Board 14 will still have their chance to hand over input on AJAP. All civics in the catchment areas of the operation were also informed and encouraged to submit input concerning the routes.

Dollar van buses have been under heavy scrutiny in the Rockaways and Flatbush, Brooklyn for some time. Many drivers were driving without proper licensing. Some drivers were even involved in several accidents in the past year, with one ending fatally.

Capture van driving

Above Is the written proposal to the Department of Transportation. (DOT) 

This is a developing story and we will continue to update everyone once more information is provided.

Rockaway Primetime Reporting has reached out to AJAP Trailways and is currently awaiting comment.


Pheffer Amato Statement on Proposed Homeless Shelter on Beach 101st Street

The Wave first reported a new homeless shelter coming to address 226 Beach 101st Street. The shelter will house roughly 120 single men, blocks away from multiple schools in the area.

Here is a statement from Assemblywoman Pheffer-Amato.

“The proposed homeless shelter on 101st Street is a completely misguided and irresponsible plan. Our families have been through so much to rebuild our neighborhoods from the effects of Hurricanes Irene and Sandy and still are not whole- we do not need additional hurdles,” Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach) said.“We have done more than our fair share in offering essential services to those in need and it’s time for the city to stop using our peninsula to solve its problems.”

(RPR) Yellow (Not green)

Senator Sanders Launches Collection Drive To Aid Federal Workers Affected by the Government Shutdown

Senator Sanders Launches Collection Drive To Aid Federal Workers Affected by the Government Shutdown

Teamwork! As Senator Sanders announced that he is conducting a collection drive to help federal workers affected by the government shutdown. He was joined by supporters –  William McDonald, Commander of the Rosedale-Laurelton American Legion Post 483, left, Gabriel Pedreira, Legislative Director and Political Organizer for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and Timothy McLaughlin, National Representative, 2nd District, American Federation of Government Employees.
Senator Sanders, left, and William McDonald, Commander of the Rosedale-Laurelton American Legion Post 483, display some of the food available at the legion’s pantry including chicken and carrots.
Former Assembly Member Phil Goldfeder drops off some donations on behalf of Cross River Bank, the company for whom he now serves as SVP of Public Affairs.
Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) today announced that he is collecting food and other essential items to help federal workers affected by the partial shutdown of the U.S. Government.

“These hardworking men and women who serve our nation should not be punished, or left struggling to support themselves and their families over Trump’s feud with Congress,” Sanders said. “We should all do our part to help these federal workers during their time of need.”

Senator Sanders’ collection drive is being conducted with support from the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) the largest federal employee union – representing 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas, and the Rosedale-Laurelton American Legion Post 483, which operates a local food pantry.

Shortly after launching the collection drive, Senator Sanders received his first donations, and they came from former Assembly Member Phil Goldfeder on behalf of Cross River Bank, the company for whom he now serves as SVP of Public Affairs. “We appreciate this generosity,” Sanders said. “Our collection drive is off to a good start.”

The government shutdown started on December 22, 2018 over an inability for congressional Democrats to agree on funding President Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S. – Mexico border.  It is unclear how long this stalemate will continue but in the meantime, 800,000 federal employees are working without pay or on furlough.

“They can’t count on their boss, the President, to do anything for them, so they are forced to become dependent on the kindness of strangers,” said Gabriel Pedreira, Legislative Director and Political Organizer for the AFGE.  “I am glad to see that here in Rosedale, Senator Sanders and the American Legion have opened their hearts to these workers and opened their doors to these workers and are allowing them and their families to get some free food when they
need it.”

Those affected by the government shutdown  include agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as well as staff from the State Department, Coast Guard, IRS, Department of Homeland Security, NASA, the National Park Service, the Forest Service, the Transportation Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the IRS.

“We don’t know these people, but they are not strangers to us,” Senator Sanders said. “These are our neighbors. These are very proud people who are usually the ones giving to the food pantries. They are not used to coming and receiving from the food pantries. To the workers, I say, the shame is not yours. You need to come out. Don’t sit in your home hungry.”

In the New York City area, the AFGE has over 10,000 members, and of those, 6,000 are not receiving paychecks due to the government shutdown, according to Timothy McLaughlin, National Representative of the 2nd District of the AFGE.  He said these members speak to him on a daily basis about their anger, desperation and confusion over their current predicament.

“It’s absolutely despicable to have people work and not pay them,” McLaughlin said.

Senator Sanders is collecting donations of non-perishable food, toiletries along with baby formula, diapers, and other childcare items for these affected workers. Items can be dropped off at his District Office, located at 142-01 Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park, Monday – Friday, between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Those seeking to receive items must present a valid, current, federal ID from one of the agencies affected by the government shutdown.

While Senator Sanders is in the process of collecting items, those with immediate needs can visit the Rosedale-Laurelton American Legion Post 483, which operates a food pantry on Wednesdays from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.  It is located at 240-08 135th Avenue in Rosedale, Queens.

“We not only assist veterans, we assist active military members, but more importantly we assist the community, because we are a part of the community,” said William McDonald, Commander of the Rosedale-Laurelton American Legion Post 483. “If you are in need, our doors are open.”

For more information, contact Senator Sanders’ Office at 718-523-3069.

Those in need can also find the location of their local food pantry or soup kitchen by visiting


Pheffer Amato: “Neighborhood Grant Applications Due This Month!”

Queens – Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D – South Queens) today reminded all local volunteer groups that the deadline to apply for a 2019 Neighborhood Grant through The Citizens Committee for New York City is January 21st. Pheffer Amato held a grant workshop this past month with local community organizations.

The Citizens Committee for New York City awards grants up to $3,000 for neighborhood projects that range over a variety of different areas. Areas include community gardening, visual and performing arts, nutrition awareness, beautification, tenant and immigrant organizing, healing circles, physical fitness, public safety, and many more.

Application instructions and guideline can be found by going to the following link:

The last grant winner was won by Perfect Pieces of the Puzzle Inc. An organization fueled to be the leader in autism advocacy, legislation, and research. The organization also has been the leader in school policy for the Department of Education’s District 27; a school district that represents the Rockaways and parts of Ozone Park.

Rockaway Primetime (RP)

Introducing Rockaway Village to Downtown Far Rockaway

In March, Councilman Richards office announced plans to transform the nearly abandoned Thriftway Mall in Downtown Far Rockaway. After decades of neglect, this underutilized property will be transformed into an active village center, bringing new mixed-income housing, modern retail and commercial space, and public space to the centermost part of the neighborhood.

Called Far Rockaway Village, the project will anchor the revitalization of the neighborhood, delivering nearly 700 units of mixed-income and affordable housing and over 90,000 square feet of modern retail and commercial space to the center of the neighborhood’s new rezoning area.

Further activation of the property could bring additional mixed-income rental homes, along with new commercial and ground floor retail, and open public space to the heart of the neighborhood. Construction of a first phase of the project is expected to be complete by late 2021.

It’s been a long wait for economic progress in Downtown Far Rockaway. We’ve laid the groundwork for success and now we must continue to work to ensure this project moves forward rapidly while serving the community’s needs for affordability, quality retail, and good jobs, per Richards Newsletter.

Continuing in the newsletter.

An answer to countless calls from the community, this is a major sign of progress for the revitalization of the neighborhood. The project following City Council’s approval of the de Blasio Administration’s plan to rezone Downtown Far Rockaway, which helped to bring $288 million of City investment to the area and will unlock new mixed-income housing, commercial space, open space, community facilities, and better connections to transportation.

The City’s comprehensive plan for Downtown Far Rockaway includes efforts from a range of City agencies, and investments in infrastructure, parks, community facilities, housing resources, and small business support. Highlights of the City’s Far Rockaway investments include:

● Building a brand new $10 million park on the site of a vacant, City-owned lot.
● New state-of-the-art $40 million Downtown Far Rockaway Library.
● More than $100 million to upgrade sewer infrastructure, expand sidewalks, and create new public plazas.
● Building about 1,600 units of 100% affordable housing on public land committing to finance homes affordable to families making between approximately $30,000 and $78,000.
● Providing free legal services for Rockaway residents facing unlawful evictions and tenant harassment.
● Supporting existing businesses through free legal services and increasing access to other small business resources in addition to securing a study for the formation of a business improvement district.
● Investing $10 million in upgrades to existing schools’ playgrounds, libraries, auditoriums, and science labs, and reserving a site within the Urban Renewal Area for the School Construction Authority to accommodate a new elementary school if needed as the neighborhood grows.
● Grants for cultural organizations and increased arts programming.
● An additional $250,000 for Rock Safe Streets to expand their anti-gun violence efforts to Redfern.
● Installing real-time bus arrival displays at key bus stops.

Pheffer Amato, Addabbo, Ulrich, Richards demand EDC to reinstate Weekend Ferry Shuttle Service

This Friday May 25th, 2018 at 10:00 AM, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Councilman Eric Ulrich, Councilman Donovan Richards community leaders, local businesses, residents, and other elected officials will call out the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), for the cancellation of weekend Ferry Shuttle Service on the Rockaway Peninsula, and requesting that they reinstate the weekend shuttle service immediately.

EDC contacted local elected officials and community leaders last week to inform them that weekend service for the Rockaway Shuttle Bus will no longer be an option as of today. EDC stated that the removal of weekend shuttles was due to “trade-offs” and “lack of ridership” even though they have increased ferry boat sizes and frequency of travel throughout the summer months.

Pheffer Amato, Addabbo, Ulrich, and Richards are calling on EDC to reinstate the ferry shuttle for weekend service immediately. The Ferry has become an integral part of the community not only for residents but for the millions of visitors across the city and state and lack of shuttle service will leave thousands of ferry users stranded.

WHEN: Friday, May 25th, 2018

TIME: 30 mins prior to beach opening, (to be determined.)

WHAT: Press conference to demand the EDC to continue the Free Ferry Shuttle Service on weekends throughout the Rockaway Peninsula.

WHO: Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Councilman Eric Ulrich, Councilman Donovan Richards, community leaders, local businesses, residents, and other elected officials.

WHERE: Rockaway Boardwalk at Beach 108th Street.

***Press Conference*** Sanders to Announce Lawsuit Against Duo Who Accused Him of Bribery

State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) will announce at a press conference on the steps of City Hall that he plans to sue in civil court a couple from Far Rockaway for $1 million because they intentionally tried to defame him by spreading lies that he sought a bribe.

In 2016, Marion Moses and Malisa Rivera leaders of an agricultural group called Culinary Kids, Culinary Arts came forward with some very serious accusations, which Sanders believes were politically motivated.

The duo, who are former chefs, said they came to Sanders when he was a City Councilman seeking funding to advance their organization and that he promised to give them $1.7 million in taxpayer money in exchange for a $250,000, which is false.

“These individuals made statements, which are untrue, and now they are going to have to face the consequences of those actions,” Sanders said. “This lawsuit that I will be filing is about setting the record straight. I have consistently fought for the districts I have represented during my time in politics, both at the city and state level, and I will not allow these people to ruin my record of service to my constituency because of their nefarious motivations or agenda.”

Moses and Rivera went so far as to take their claim to investigators.

Culinary Kids, Culinary Arts does not have 501(c)3 status and could not have received discretionary funding in the first place. Even, hypothetically, if money were to have been given, it would have had to go through a city agency – the Parks Department, because the land they wanted to utilize was parkland. The Parks Department would have then reimbursed them for the money they spent if they were able to document their expenditures with receipts.


Who: State Senator James Sanders Jr.
What: Press Conference
When: May 20, 2018 at 12 p.m.
Where: The steps of City Hall
Why: To set the record straight

List of Organizations That Took Pipeline Money Last Cycle

Please note: Most organizations applied and accepted the fund after the pipeline project was complete. The funds are also not used to pay organizations off for any benefits to Williams Partners.

Without further ado, the full list of all grant recipients.

Williams – a major operator of natural gas infrastructure in New York – today announced the latest recipients of the Rockaway Community Grant Program, awarding grants to 25 local organizations.

The Rockaway Community Grant program was designed to benefit the environment and local communities in which Williams operates its Transco natural gas pipeline near Rockaway, N.Y. The company has awarded nearly $900,000 since the grant program was first initiated in 2014.

FALL 2017 Grant Recipients.

 $5,800.00 to the Gerrittsen Beach Fire Department, Inc., Brooklyn, NY, for Hose Replacement

 $5,800.00 to the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, New York City, NY, for Public Space Enhancement

 $5,000.00 to the Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY, for Today’s Teens, Tomorrow’s Techies (T4)

 $5,000.00 to the PFC. John G. McLaughlin Post 8540 Veterans of Foreign Wars, Breezy Point, NY, for Hope 4 Heroes

 $5,000.00 to the Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation, Far Rockaway, NY, for the Beach 20th Street Plaza Youth Connect Initiative

 $5,000.00 to the Swim Strong Foundation, East Elmhurst, NY, for Swim Strong @Rockaway: Water Safety
and Job Readiness for Youth

 $5,000.00 to the Rockaway Beach Volleyball League, Rockaway Park, NY, for the Community Adult
Volleyball League

 $4,000.00 to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, Inc., Brooklyn, NY, for Environmental Education

 $3,700.00 to the Natural Areas Conservancy, New York, NY, for Rockaway Beach Clean Up

 $3,500.00 to the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Far Rockaway, NY, for Stewardship Saturdays

 $3,000.00 to 14 Sculptors Inc., Rockaway Park, NY, for On the Rock 2017: An Exhibition of Sculpture

 $3,000.00 to the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, New York City, NY, for Small Business

 $3,000.00 to the Resurf Project, Long Beach, NY, for Resurf’s “Rockaway Youth on Board” Project

 $3,000.00 to the Rockaway Youth Task Force, Inc., Far Rockaway, NY, for the Urban Farm Improvement Project

 $2,500.00 to the Giving Alternative Learners UpLifting Opportunities, Inc., Brooklyn, NY, for Drainage solutions to Therapeutic Riding facility in Howard Beach, Queens

 $2,500.00 to the New York City Audubon Society, Inc., New York, NY, for Tidal Connections

 $2,500.00 to the Queens Borough Public Library, Jamaica, NY, for Young Bosses of Queens

 $2,000.00 to the Brooklyn Hurricanes, Inc., Brooklyn, NY, for Fall Season 2017 Support

 $2,000.00 to the Rockaway Little League, Belle Harbor, NY, for Decking Project

 $2,000.00 to the Rockaway Rockies, Belle Harbor, NY, for the Youth Hockey Program

 $2,000.00 to the Rockaway Rugby Club, Rockaway Park, NY, for Rugby Field Renovation – Year 3

 $2,000.00 to the Rockaway Rugby Club, Rockaway Park, NY, for Youth Rugby Development/Safety

 $1,000.00 to the CVH: Center for Veterans Health, Arverne, NY, for Rockaway Veterans Health outreach project

 $1,000.00 to the Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation, Arverne, NY, for Health & Wellbeing for Rockaway Seniors

 $1,000.00 to PS/MS 114 Q, Rockaway Park, NY, in support of the Belle Harbor School After-School Drama Program
Can we ask for more money next time? Williams brings in 24 Billion in investment per year. Keep that in mind next cycle when you apply again.

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