Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, representative of district still reeling from unsolved Vetrano murder case, comes out in support of “Familial DNA” matching technique

In August of last year,, 30, was murdered while out for an afternoon run. Six months later, her killer is still at large. Vetrano’s killing sent shockwaves through her tight-knit community of Howard Beach, in South Queens. This Friday, NYS Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, representative for Howard Beach and surrounding communities, will ask the State Commission on Forensic Science (SCFS), to change the law so investigators can use familial DNA matching, or “FM,” in pursuit of new suspects.

Pheffer Amato notes that the cutting-edge tactic, which builds a “family tree” map that can provide investigators with new leads, has been instrumental in closing several high-profile murder cases over the past decade. New York State’s laws are ambiguous on the tool, which makes prosecutors extremely reluctant to use it, lest cases are thrown out or overturned on appeal. The number of states that allow FM is nine, and Pheffer Amato is lobbying for New York State to become the tenth.

“As a mother and daughter,” says Pheffer Amato, “I’m unfortunately very cognizant that one in five women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Perpetrators of sexual violence are less likely to face prison than other criminals. As an elected official, I must look out for victims, their families and the whole community. The Vetrano family and so many others in my district continue to face the daily struggles of loss, made worse by the fact that Karina’s killer is yet to be found. In order to promote justice, to ease the pain of family and community members and to protect against an active threat to everyone’s safety, I strongly urge the SCFS to allow use of familial DNA searching in this case, and in all cases moving forward.”

Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato is encouraging those who are impacted and have opinions on the use of FM to join her this Friday, February 10th, 2017, at the Division of Criminal Justice Services, Office of Forensic Services, at NYC ADDRESS. The hearing will run from 9 AM to 5 PM. Pheffer Amato will be giving testimony at a time to be determined. Though the window for submitting public comment is closed, constituents and other interested parties are encouraged to contact the Assemblywoman’s office with input on the matter, at (718)-945-9550.

Construction for 5 Million Dollar Skatepark Set This Fall

By Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet

schematic-for-rockaway-beach-skate-park-reconstruction

Above is the schematics of the new Rockaway Skate Park which includes fences, plazas, grandstands, new entrance ramps and planting areas. 

Parks and Safety Committee held a meeting Monday night to discuss various upcoming parks projects for the Rockaways. One that stuck out- was the long awaited Rockaway Skate Park.

Rockaway Skate Park project had some residents and local skaters wondering if the funding would ever be secured for the project. Rockaway Skate Park was originally set to be built January 2017, but because of funding difficulties, the project was later delayed.

The good news is during the meeting- NYC Parks Administrator Portia Dyrenforth announced the 5 million dollar Rockaway Skate Park Project to begin construction Fall of 2017. Beginning a new era for Skaters across the Rockaways.

Primetime asked Dyrenforth about concerns of dangerous wood for the current temporary park. “We are aware and are going to replace the wood”.

John Cori, a member of the Parks and Safety Committee stated that he will also help with replacing and smoothing the foundation for skaters along with Parks.

The project is expected to be completed Spring of 2018.

 

 

Were Our Problems Solved Years-Ago? Take A Look At The Rockaway Task Force Report

rockawaytaskforce-300x225

By Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet

Back in 2009, the mayoral-appointed (Bloomberg) Rockaway Task Force was constructed to improve the quality of life for the Rockaways and Broad Channel’s 120,000-odd residents.

The Task Force Report included- transportation improvements, improved beach access,, and concern over what the report calls “the alarmingly slow pace of economic development.”

Senator James Sanders Jr,  then-Councilman, and Councilman Eric Ulrich were the leaders of this report.

“These are realistic, practical solutions that can be implemented,” Ulrich said. “I hope that City Hall will now act on these worthwhile initiatives so we can keep the momentum behind the revitalization of the Rockaways moving forward.”

“Though geographically isolated and culturally diverse, our peninsula can be a leading force for economic revitalization and a unique engine of job creation in New York City, provided that we invest in those areas where we possess a clear competitive advantage,” Sanders concluded.

Here is the list of plans that were on the report. Some of these plans are still up for debate in this present year of 2017.

  • Cross Bay Bridge Toll
  • II. Transportation
  • Improved Ferry Infrastructure. 10
  • Express Subway Service.
  • Improved Express Bus Service Van/Mini Bus Usage
  • Shuttle Train Service
  • III. Economic Development
  • 13 a. Far Rockaway Shopping Area/Stark Mall
  • Muni-Meters/Lighting
  •  Beach 116th Street
  •  Arverne East
  •  Hotel-Convention Center
  •  Far Rockaway Banking Development District 15
  • IV. Bay Access
  • V. Beach Improvements
  • Concessions
  • Showers
  • Jetty Repair/Removal
  • VI. Physical Infrastructure
  •  Bulkhead Maintenance
  • National Grid Remediation Site
  •  Sewer Treatment Plant Odor
  • Neponsit Nursing Home
  • Rockaway Courthouse
  • VII. Educational Infrastructure
  • VIII. Emergency Preparedness  

Click Here to read the entire report. Yes, the entire report.

 rockaway-task-force-report

Source- http://www.wnyc.org/story/195430-councilmen-ulrich-sanders-release-rockaway-task-force-report/

COUNCILMAN DONOVAN RICHARDS ON OCEAN BAY HOUSES CRISIS. 

THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORKOFFICE OF COUNCILMAN

DONOVAN RICHARDS

DISTRICT 31
For Immediate Release – January 9, 2017

Contact: Jordan Gibbons

(631) 748-2389, jgibbons@council.nyc.gov

Council Member Richards Releases Update on Power/Heat/Water Outages at Ocean Bay Houses in Edgemere

Edgemere – Early this morning, Ocean Bay Houses (Bayside) reported mass heat and water outages due to salt water corrosion in the primary feed line for the NYCHA development.

All apartments on the bayside of have no water or heat at this time and the Wavecrest management office is also without power. Seniors living in the building with no electric have personal generators for medical use.

As of 4:30 p.m., generators are on the way to restore some power to the buildings and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) Long Island has informed Council Member Richards’ office that the estimated time for full power to be restored is 8 p.m. this evening.

Stop and Shop and Wavecrest Management have donated 130 cases of water that is being given out at the management office. Council Member Richards’ office has been on the scene providing assistance along with the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, Wavecrest and the NYPD’s 101st community affairs units.

For additional assistance, contact Council Member Richards’ Far Rockaway office at (718) 471-7014.