Getting Their Mulch On!

On March 19, the Culinary Kids Culinary Arts Initiatives hosted an open house at their farm site, which is located at 444 Beach 58th Street. There were about 20 kids from Rockaway and Brooklyn on hand for the festivities, and many of the youngsters were anxious to help and learn from Culinary Kids founders “Chef Malisa” and “Chef Marion”.

IMG_7314[1]

The duo kicked off the event by teaching kids the importance of farming and the value of good nutrition: harvesting, planting, healthy eating habits and laying down mulch. Mulch, also known as wood chips, is used to spread around or over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil. After learning and performing mulching, many of the volunteers felt a sense of accomplishment and wanted to perform other tasks on the farm.

IMG_7319[2]

The kids also learned about the “growing season”. It’s described as the period between late March and April when farmers begin to prep their farms. During this process, they start planting and allowing the plants and food to grow so they’ll be ready for harvest. The volunteers spent the majority of the day helping Chef Malisa and Chef Marion prep the farm.

It was during this time that I approached the kids and asked them to share their thoughts about what they learned and working on the farm. “We love helping the community and Culinary Kids,” they said collectively. “We had a great time, and we can’t wait to see the food grow”.

IMG_7316[1]

At the end of the workshop, the kids were reminded to always eat healthy and exercise. The day ended with everyone eating and socializing in the tent and reminiscing about their experiences on the farm.

For more information on Culinary Kids, Farm Rockaway and other projects “The Chefs” are working on, visit http://culinarykidsdaycamp.org/ or their Facebook page at “Farm Rockaway”.

“J-Man”

Assemblyman Goldfeder: Beware of Scams When Dealing with Flood Claims and Insurance

Broad Channel, Queens – As victims of Sandy begin to receive responses to their requests for review of their flood insurance claims, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D – Broad Channel) is calling on homeowners to remain vigilant in securing personal information. The Assemblyman’s awareness campaign coincides with an uptick in unsolicited calls to homeowners relating to tax season, as well as lingering memories of the fraudulent activities in the weeks and months after Sandy that spurred the reopening of flood claims last year.

“After everything our families have gone through during Sandy, it’s shameful that there are people that will still try to take advantage of victims,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “As policyholders begin to hear back on their claims, I urge families to remain vigilant in protecting their personal information and ensuring the identity of adjusters that may reach out to them. We’ve been through so much in the last three and a half years and the last thing we need is to see families victimized all over again.”

According to Assemblyman Goldfeder, families have contacted his office recently after receiving emails from adjusters regarding their request for review of National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP) flood claims filed last year. In one such email from the organization NFIP iService, adjusters use language such as “significant payout recommendation” and request personal information including date of birth, city and state of birth, and flood policy numbers.

In response to these concerns, Goldfeder contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which oversees the NFIP, to confirm the company’s identity. FEMA officials confirmed the identity of NFIP iService, explaining that FEMA has contracted the company as a third party to oversee the claims review process. FEMA has offered to work with Assemblyman Goldfeder’s office in verifying the identity of individual adjusters that may contact homeowners in regard to their claims.

This isn’t the first time local families have raised concerns with potential fraud stemming from the federal government’s Sandy recovery efforts. Last summer, FEMA agreed to reopen thousands of NFIP flood claims after reports of fraud on the part of flood insurance adjusters. As of March 3rd, 3,690 claims have been closed within the Sandy Claims Review process, resulting in payments of more than $25 million to some 1,700 policyholders.

Flood Insurance affordability and protection against fraud have been signature issues for Assemblyman Goldfeder. A member of the Assembly Committee on Insurance, Goldfeder introduced legislation last year to create the New York Flood Insurance Association as an alternative to the broken NFIP. Goldfeder also recently sponsored the Insurance Good Faith Act, which establishes grounds for filing civil lawsuits to recoup damages. For Goldfeder, flood insurance affordability is essential to maintaining a strong community in the years ahead.

Homeowners are encouraged to contact Assemblyman Goldfeder’s office at (718) 945-9550 or via email at GoldfederP@assembly.state.ny.us, with any concerns relating to insurance claims and FEMA appeals.

“Rising flood insurance premiums and unscrupulous behavior threaten to drown our families in debt. We must ensure that families can continue to live in the neighborhoods they know and love, and fixing this broken system is huge step in the right direction,” said Goldfeder.

Sanders Aim for Far Rockaway to be included in LIRR Discount Fare Program

The public is invited to attend and show their support.

Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village) will host a press conference on Thursday, March 24, 2016 advocating for Far Rockaway to be included in the Long Island Rail Road’s CityTicket program. The event will take place at 10 a.m. at the Rockaway LIRR station at Nameoke Street between Central Avenue and Redfern Avenue.

Community leaders and transportation advocates will join Senator Sanders and speak in support of his bill (S6741), known as the Long Island Rail Road Fare Act, which provides that trips between Far Rockaway station and other locations in New York City are to be included in the Long Island Rail Road’s weekend reduced fare program.

Currently, the Long Island Rail Road’s CityTicket program offers $4.25 trips for single direction travel within New York City on weekends. However, trips to and from Far Rockaway are excluded from this program because the train passes through Nassau County. This legislation seeks to correct this problem, allowing passengers traveling to and from Far Rockaway to enjoy the reduced fare.

“It is unfair for residents of Far Rockaway and visitors from other parts of the city to be deprived of the reduced fare because their train happens to pass through Nassau,” Sanders said. “This law will stimulate the local economy in an area where transportation options are severely limited.”

If passed, the legislation will create economic growth in the Rockaways and other parts of the city, making weekend travel to and from beach communities more affordable.

State Senator James Sanders Jr., Community Board #14 (Transportation Committee), Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation,Peninsula Preparatory Academy, Bayswater Civic Association, community leaders and transportation advocates 

Throwback! Rockaway residents march for climate justice.

“Residents from across the Rockaways in Queens, NYC are fighting for climate justice. On September 21, 2014, Rockaway Wildfire and Community Voices Heard – Far Rockaway Hub organized residents to join the People’s Climate March, history’s largest march for action against climate change to date.”

Video produced by Teodora Altomare, Marta Zukowski, Natsumi Yokura, Homer Hill, and Sylvia Morse.

 

 

 

Residents Launch Change.org Petition for Stop Sign in School Zone

By Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet

March 7, 2016 – An accident occurred at the intersection of Nielson Street and Dinsmore Avenue in Far Rockaway, just a block away from M.S. 53 and approximately two blocks from P.S. 253.

12825531_10153326566566218_544004219_n

This Google maps shows the site of the accident, which is in close proximity to two public schools.  

The accident occurred around 3:20 p.m. According to eyewitnesses, a white van was traveling about 40 miles per hour in a 25 mile an hour zone. A driver, a local resident who was only identified at “John”, was at the stop sign on Dinsmore Avenue. After looking both ways, he proceeded through the intersection. A white minivan that was speeding down Neilson struck John’s SUV. The impact caused the SUV to crash into another vehicle that was parked on the same block.

12825254_10153326557531218_328675574_n

The aftermath: The SUV was struck and forced into this white sedan. 

Witnesses in the area provided the following quotes to Rockaway Primetime: 

“We were walking on Dinsmore Avenue and Nielson Street and we saw a white van flying down Nielson. I turned around because we heard a huge boom,” said Jose Rivera. 

Another witness, who chose to remain anonymous, stated, ”Two people were injured, but their injuries were considered to be minor and they’re going to be okay.”

One of the victims in the crash, who did not want to provide comments, was released from St. Johns Hospital with minor injuries. Other victims were treated for their injuries and released.

Residents and those involved in the accident are demanding that city officials place a stop sign at the intersection. Many of them told Rockaway Primetime that if a sign had been there it would have prevented the accident. 

The Department of Transportation (DOT)  was contacted about placing a stop sign in the area, but DOT has not contacted Rockaway Primetime — or those demanding that immediate action be taken — with a decision. The offices of State Senator James Sanders Jr.,  Councilman Donovan Richards and Community Board 14 were also contacted, but none of the representatives have taken definitive action to address the issue. 

An email from Councilman Richard’s office stated, “I would like to thank you once more for reaching out to my office regarding your Department of Traffic issue. After reading your complaint, I understand the importance and urgency of the issue. I can assure you that I am doing my best to look further into it.”

A petition has been created and signed by over 40 supporters in effort to have the sign placed at the aforementioned location. 

Th following comments were posted on the change.org petition/website by community residents.

“This is needed and should be taken care of NOW!”  Linda Ruscillo

“A STOP sign should be installed. Why wait for someone to get hit or even a possible accident at this location?”  Danny Ruscillo

“I’m signing because of the children and pediatric safety! – Andrea Ross

More Photos from the crash.

This is leaking into the hudson river.

Tritium- is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. The nucleus of tritium(sometimes called a triton) contains one proton and two neutrons, whereas the nucleus of protium (by far the most abundant hydrogen isotope) contains one proton and no neutrons.

1280px-Tritium-h3_bionerd

Health concerns if exposed to the radioactive material.

Most studies indicate that tritium in living creatures can produce typical radiogenic effects including cancer, genetic effects, developmental abnormalities and reproductive effects. (Straume) Tritium can cause mutations, tumors and cell death. (Rytomaa) Tritiated water is associated with significantly decreased weight of brain and genital tract organs in mice (Torok) and can cause irreversible loss of female germ cells in both mice and monkeys even at low concentrations. (Dobson, 1979)

Studies indicate that lower doses of tritium can cause more cell death (Dobson, 1976), mutations (Ito) and chromosome damage (Hori) per dose than higher tritium doses. Tritium can impart damage which is two or more times greater per dose than either x-rays or gamma rays. (Straume) (Dobson, 1976) There is no evidence of a threshold for damage from 3 H exposure; even the smallest amount of tritium can have negative health impacts. (Dobson, 1974) Organically bound tritium (tritium bound in animal or plant tissue) can stay in the body for 10 years or more. While tritiated water may be cleared from the human body in about 10 days (Garland), if a person lives in an area where tritium contamination continues, he or she can experience chronic exposure to tritium. (Laskey) Tritium from tritiated water can become incorporated into DNA, the molecular basis of heredity for living organisms. DNA is especially sensitive to radiation. (Hori) A cell’s exposure to tritium bound in DNA can be even more toxic than its exposure to tritium in water. (Straume)(Carr)

ALL WORK CREDIT to NUCLEAR INFORMATION AND RESOURCE SERVICE

https://www.nirs.org/factsheets/tritiumbasicinfo.pdf

Guess what? Tritium is leaking as we speak at Indian Point power plant located in Peepskill NY.

Indian-Point-Nuclear-Plant-Radioactive-Leak-3-1020x610

Photo of Indian Point Power plant. Indian Point sits on the east bank of Hudson River and 25miles north of New York City.

For more info on the leakage visit http://www.offgridquest.com/energy/new-york-cities-nuclear-power-plant-leak

Chris Matthews Vs Trump Supporter Omarosa

Commentary

As we all witness on media platforms across the country, the violence that has been taking place at Donald Trump’s rallies. Donald Trump’s Omarosa defends Trump’s violent rallies on MSNBC’S Hardball by stating, “You get what’s coming to you”.

This statement has been made just 24 hours before riots and brawls broke out in two U.S cities. St. Louis, where several were arrested because of numerous accounts of assault between protesters and rally attendees. In Chicago, where Trump canceled his own event due to security concerns near the Pavilion Center, where hundreds of protesters were already planning to shut down Trump’s rally.

Was Omarosa right? Or did Chris Matthews make his point clear? Watch below and weigh in.

 

On Track: Goldfeder Aiming to Improve Transportation in Rockaway

By Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet

One month after conducting an exclusive interview with State Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder, it appears the Rockaway representative has made good on his promise to address transportation issues that have plagued residents for years.

Two weeks ago, Goldfeder spoke at a legislative budget hearing in Albany, urging Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman Thomas Prendergast to consider reactivating the Rockaway Beach Rail Line.

According to a published report by the Forum News Group, Goldfeder told Chairman Prendergast, “The question here is, are we looking at big ideas to improve transportation in the city? The single most valuable asset we have is a right-of-way, and this makes the Rockaway Beach Rail Line a cost-effective means of improving transportation for families not just in southern Queens and Rockaway, but also the city. Reactivation would increase intra-borough connectivity and create a direct link to JFK Airport.”

Chairmen Prendergast responded by saying that the agency has been reviewing additional resiliency and expansion opportunities, including the Rockaway line, adding that while the MTA has yet to take any concrete steps, the proposal could be a good way to expand transit.

Goldfeder also made note of the fact that transfers from the new Rockaway Ferry would be available in 2017 and asked, “Is the agency considering honoring ferry tickets or covering transfer costs?”

City officials have already announced that ferry tickets would be priced at $2.75 to match current subway and city bus fares. However, the city, state and MTA have yet to reach any agreement on allowing free transfers to MTA buses and trains.

During his appearance on Primetime Interviews, Goldfeder was asked what specific plans were in place to provide better transportation in the Rockaways. “We need to make sure that we stand together when activating the Rockaway Beach Rail Line. Whether it takes 20 or 30 years to reconstruct, we must plan now and organize so that future generations can have more effective and reliable transit,” he said.

“As far as the ferry is concerned, we have to make sure everyone has access to the ferry. I will continue to fight for the people to make sure we can get shuttles from all ends of the peninsula and make sure we can have everyone connect to other methods of transit,” Goldfeder concluded.

It looks like the Assemblyman is hard at work when it comes to transit issues, which, at least for me, confirms that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“J-Man”

St.Patrick’s Day Parade draws attention from everyone!

St. Patrick’s day parade kicked off with mild temperatures around forty two degrees. The parade was filled from Beach 133rd street to 98th street. Crowds of over 1,000 people from all races and cultures across the peninsula attended in good faith and solidarity.

Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the parade (he was on time) as well as Congressman Gregory Meeks, State Senator Joe Addabbo, City Councilman Eric Ulrich , Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, City Controller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Latisha James and representatives from Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder’s office.

Mayor De Blasio took his time speaking to the people of Rockaway about their concerns. During his speech on Beach 105th street, De Blasio mentioned the Rockaway Ferry. “The ferry will be back in Rockaway as promised by spring of 2017.” Crowds cheered at the end, as the mayor took pictures with the residents before leaving the Rockaways for the day.

Slideshow of photos at the parade.

Photos by Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet and Theresa Racine

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Follow the Money!

Ever wonder where your tax dollars go? The following link will direct you to the website where you can view how much money is being allocated to community and/or non-profit organizations in your city council member’s district. You can even examine how funds were dispersed in districts across New York City.

http://council.nyc.gov/html/budget/database.shtml

The fancy term used to describe these financial awards is “discretionary funds”.

Discretionary funds are defined as denoting or relating to investment funds placed with a broker or manager who has discretion to invest them on the client’s behalf. 

Have a look. The results may surprise you. 

Be on the look out for a follow-up story soon…. There’s more to it!