Rockaway Resident Brandon Nunez Talks About His 2017 NYC Mayor’s Cup Championship

By Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet

Rockaway Resident and John Bowne’s Brandon Nunez talks about his 2017 NYC Mayor’s Cup Championship in 106lb bracket at the 2017 NYC Mayor’s Cup Wrestling Championship.

Nunez was also named the O.W. for the PSAL.

The 2016-17 NYC Mayor’s Cup Wrestling Championships brought together the top high school wrestlers from the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL), the Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) and the independent schools as they competed for the title of “Best in the City”.

City Councilman Richards legislation hopes to stem three-quarter houses


By Patrick Donachie

The scourge of three-quarter houses used for New Yorkers recovering from substance abuse or returning to society from jail must be addressed, City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Arverne) said this week.

He was one of several council members sponsoring legislation to regulate the locations passed by the City Council Feb. 1.

“Preying on our most vulnerable New Yorkers for a check is not the way to do business,” Richards said.

Three-quarter houses are one- or two-family homes, or larger apartment buildings that rent beds to single adults, purporting to offer rehabilitation programs to the residents, but they do not provide in-house services and are not officially regulated by any government agency.

The buildings are often in dismal condition, according to Richards, who said the largest contingent of homes were located in central Brooklyn. Tanya Kessler, an attorney with MFY Legal Services who has worked on three-quarter housing issues for the organization, said there were also such houses in Jamaica and Far Rockaway.

“It is very hard to ascertain exactly how many there are. We continue to get many calls from people in three-quarter housing, and it continues to thrive,” she said, saying landlords taking advantage of tenants “are looking for people who are vulnerable and in a difficult position and in a desperate need for housing. They recruit from substance abuse programs and in prisons and jails.”

MFY Legal Services helped to form the Three-Quarter House Tenant Organizing Project to advocate for the rights of three-quarter tenants and also contribute to the first in-depth policy paper on three-quarter housing, issued by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2013.

Read more here.

Assembly Members Pheffer-Amato & Titus Vote For Sanctuary State Bill

By Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet

Albany- Rockaway Assembly members Stacey Pheffer-Amato and Michaell Titus vote for Sanctuary State Bill on Tuesday, February 7th.

The bill is a response to President Donald Trump’s early weeks in office as he signed an executive order banning 7 Muslim nations. The bills were part of a series of legislation, which passed the chamber over GOP objections.

The bill in detail is described, “would prohibit state and local law enforcement from making arrests based on suspected immigration status and would prohibit state and local police officers from enforcing federal immigration laws”, per Politico News.

“For decades, New York’s harbor welcomed millions of immigrants that helped shape our nation into the strong, diverse country it is today,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie

“The Assembly Majority believes that the continued success of our state depends on ensuring that immigrants have access to the resources they need to make meaningful contributions to their communities without the fear of inappropriate deportation and other serious consequences.”Concluded Speaker Heastie.

The bill is set for opposition by the New York State majority Republican and Independent Democrats (IDC) in the coming weeks.

QPTC and Elected Officials Unite to Support QueensRail Study

queens-railQueens, NY – The Queens Public Transit Committee (QPTC) sent letters to outgoing MTA CEO and Chairman Thomas Prendergast and Governor Andrew Cuomo late last month in support of the study to implement QueensRail.

They were backed by local elected representatives Senator Joseph Addabbo, Senator James Sanders Jr., Assembly member Stacey Pheffer Amato, Assembly member Michele Titus, Council member Eric Ulrich and Council member Donovan Richards, all of whom provided their own letters in support of the study.

QueensRail, formerly known as the Rockaway Beach Line, was deactivated in 1962, but the right-of-way from Ozone Park to Rego Park remains intact. The MTA is currently studying this asset to determine the feasibility of using it as part of the public transportation system.

In its letters, the QPTC outlined why QueensRail is so important to the people of Queens, especially those residing in the southern part of the borough.

“Queens is widely known as a transportation desert,” said Philip McManus, president of the QPTC. “It is our responsibility to the city, ourselves and future generations to leave our transportation infrastructure better than how we found it.”

The QPTC provided counterarguments to those who would turn the asset into a park, in what is already a park-rich borough, explaining why the line should be used to address current and future public transportation needs.

Making use of the line would also improve access to JFK Airport, identified as a priority by the governor.

Mike Scala, first vice president of the QPTC, added: “We’re delighted to stand with our local elected officials in congratulating Governor Cuomo on the Second Avenue Subway and urging support of New York’s next big transportation venture, the implementation of QueensRail.”


What Are State Troopers Doing In Rockaway?


By Unknown Source: Courtesy of

Rockaway Primetime Reporting had a question. What are State Troopers doing in Rockaway?

OnRockaway first reported that State Troopers were spotted near Hammels Housing Project giving speeding tickets and traffic checks.

OnRockaway believes it has a lot to do with elected officials fighting over party politics.

Another source tells Primetime that the high number of police at Trump Tower, home of the current POTUS Donald Trump can be the reason for the lack of coverage in the local percent (100th).

Although there has been a lot of fighting between Mayor DeBalsio and Governor Cuomo; OnRockaway’s report can be proven true. Based on State Law- Governor of the State Of New York can declare State Troopers to fill in for absent police in any district.

Read the rest of’s report below.

Thanks to the animosity between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, there is a new sheriff in town – or, at least a new trooper.

For the past two weeks, Rockaway residents have seen New York State Troopers working both on the peninsula and in Broad Channel.

A number of locals have already been impacted by the state police, because the staties are giving out expensive traffic violations for speeding, failing to signal and the like, something that has been the bailiwick of city police for generations.

Sources say that the placement of troopers on city streets is designed to clearly designed to get in de Blasio’s face and under his skin.

“It’s just one more tit-for-tat thing between these two guys. This is [Cuomo] flexing his muscles. He said that he is also the governor of New York City,’’ a law enforcement source said in a recent statement to the New York Post

“People are asking, ‘What would [the troopers’] responsibility be?’ Don’t forget, there are 36,000 NYPD cops. So what are they going to do? Nobody knows,’’ the source said.

About 50 state troopers currently assist MTA cops patrolling trains and subway platforms at Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal.

Now, when Cuomo’s power play is through, the number of state troopers in New York City has doubled, the source said.

The out-of-town troopers typically spend around two weeks at $180-a-night hotels such as the Shelburne in Murray Hill before they’re swapped out for a fresh group, sources said.

State troopers currently have an office on Wards Island, but it’s mostly for administrative staff and some investigators.

The new digs would move Cuomo’s bigger force to the center of the action.

His people have already scouted potential sites at 4 World Trade Center and a Port Authority property on Park Avenue, and are set to look at other locations, the source said. The state co-owns the PA along with New Jersey.

It’s not clear what the timetable will be to open the barracks, but “It seems like he wants to get it done,’’ the source said of Cuomo.

The move is only the latest back-and-forth between the governor and mayor, who have clashed over everything from charter schools to how to pay for universal pre-K and how much to raise the minimum wage.

Ocean Village mom pleads guilty to beating her 2-year-old to death: DA



                 Photo by New York Post


A Far Rockaway woman pleaded guilty to fatally beating her 2-year-old daughter in 2014, the Queens district attorney said on Thursday. The beatings were repeated, authorities said, and the child had broken ribs and teeth, and bruises across her face, legs and body.

Ashley Diaz, 31, pleaded guilty to assault and manslaughter in the fatal beating of her 2-year-old daughter, Kevasia Edwards.

“The defendant admitted to doing the unthinkable — killing her own child,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “In the short two years of the victim’s life, she suffered greatly. Bruises, abrasions and lacerations covered her tiny body. She was shaken violently and her brain was severely damaged and her liver lacerated.

“The defendant will be incarcerated for a very long time.”

She will be sentenced on Feb. 1, but the judge who took her plea indicated he would sentence Diaz to 17 years in prison with five years of post-release supervision.

On Feb. 3, 2014, Diaz left a neighbor with a sleeping 2-year-old Kevasia while she went to the grocery store. When Kevasia woke up, the neighbor thought the child looked “pale and lethargic,” but the little girl replied she was “fine,” the DA said.

Diaz returned from the store. Later that evening, she called her neighbor saying the child was not breathing. When the neighbor arrived, she started CPR and noticed Kevasia’s red and bruised face, bleeding lip and missing teeth, according to the DA’s office. The neighbor’s sister called 911.

Kevasia, who was in cardiac arrest, died just after midnight in St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.

“The child had both old and fresh bruising on her face, legs and torso,” according to the DA’s office. “Two of the toddler’s ribs had been fractured and there was scarring on her right foot consistent with a prior burn.” The injuries were also inconsistent with the history given by Diaz who said that her daughter had a seizure and fell to the ground recently, the office said.

Diaz previously claimed her daughter, who acted healthy and normal up to that day, had a seizure at 9:30 p.m., but the woman didn’t call for help until after 11 p.m.

Among a host of findings consistent with abuse, the autopsy report showed “Abusive Head Trauma with multiple, violent impacts to her head and body.”


NYPD said they were questioning a person of interest in connection to Vetrano’s death No charges have been filed

By Alison Fox and Nicole Brown

According to AM New York, On Feb. 4, police said they were questioning a person of interest in connection to Vetrano’s death. No charges have been filed.

The investigation

Vetrano, 30, went for a jog about 5 p.m. on Aug. 2 — a fairly common activity for her, police have said. During her run, investigators said Vetrano had been texting her best friend and that the phone was swabbed for DNA.

When she didn’t return home that night, her family became worried. They began to search for her after she didn’t return phone calls or texts, and discovered her body about four hours later.

She was found face down in a marshy area, about 15 feet from a trail near 161st Avenue and 78th Street in Spring Creek Park.

In the days following, police recovered a DNA sample from Vetrano’s neck, under her fingernails and on her cellphone, but were unable to match it to any known individual.

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce has said police spoke to several people involved in her personal life, including an ex-boyfriend, who is not a suspect. Investigators also reviewed surveillance video in the area, but “haven’t found any video evidence at all to show anybody lingering.”

Police shifted their investigation toward Brooklyn in late August to determine if the attacker could have escaped the park westbound along the Belt Parkway.

On Aug. 18, Vetrano’s father said police were close to catching the killer, appealed to the family of that suspect and urged them to take the reward money raised, according to multiple media reports. But then-Police Commissioner William Bratton said that wasn’t true, and reiterated his appeal to any members of the public for help closing the case.

On Aug. 31, police released a sketch of a possible witness to the murder. Boyce said the individual is not considered a suspect, but hoped he may have more information about the incident. The sketch spurred more tips, but police still do not have a suspect.

On Sept. 12, “Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen,” published video surveillance that shows Vetrano running on a street adjacent to the park, but Boyce said the video does not provide any clues about who killed her.

“We’re looking for a break,” Boyce said in an interview with “Crime Watch Daily.” “We need a break in the case.”

On Sept. 21, Boyce said he’s optimistic that investigators will find Vetrano’s killer: “I think we will make an arrest in the case.”

Police have received more than 170 calls in the case, and of those, Boyce said 12 tips remained open for investigation.

On Sept. 27, Michael Fox, 47, was taken into custody after he was found naked and ranting in the same marshy park where Vetrano was killed. Fox was apparently agitated and incoherent, yelling that “the father did it… I have nothing to do with it,” according to a police source.

Fox’s DNA, however, did not match the samples found on Vetrano’s body and belongings, police said in early October.

On Dec. 7, more than four months after Vetrano’s death, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown asked the state to approve the use of a new type of DNA analysis that he believes could help solve the case. Brown wants the state to allow the city to use what is known as “familial searching,” a technique that is used in 10 other states, but not New York.

The state had no immediate comment on the letter, which was dated Wednesday, Dec. 7 and made public by Brown on Thursday, Dec. 8.

A day later, on Dec. 9, state Sen. Phil Boyle introduced legislation that would authorize the use of the so-called “familial DNA” to assist in solving violent crimes in New York. The senator said he drafted the measure after a phone conversation with Vetrano’s father in late November.

The NYPD and staff from Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s office plan to push for the use of “familial DNA” analysis during a public meeting of a DNA subcommittee of the New York State Commission on Forensic Science on Feb. 10.

On Feb. 4, police said they were questioning a person of interest in connection to Vetrano’s death. No charges have been filed.


Sources Say Howard Beach Jogger Murder Suspect in Custody

By Murray Weiss

 Karina Vetrano, 30, was found in running trails in the Gateway National Recreation Center near her home.

HOWARD BEACH – A suspect in the murder of Howard Beach jogger Karina Vetrano has been taken into custody by NYPD detectives, DNAinfo New York has learned.

The suspect, whose name was withheld, was grabbed around 6 p.m. Saturday and taken into custody after sources said his DNA was matched to DNA recovered from Vetrano’s body and cellphone, which was found in the marshy area in Spring Creek Park on Aug. 2, 2016.

Details about the suspect, who sources said in his 20s and lives in a Brooklyn housing project not far from the murder scene, were not immediately available.

But sources say the suspect was spoken to by investigators weeks ago, and apparently agreed to give them a DNA sample, which recently came back with a hit.

Vetrano, 30, went out for a run from her Howard Beach home, and when she did not return home, her father, Philip Vetrano, and NYPD detectives went looking for her. Vetrano’s father found her body among the tall weeds in the park.

Police were able to put together a genetic profile of her killer using DNA found on Vetrano’s phone, her neck and under her fingernails, but it did not match anyone in police databases.

read more here


Senator James Sanders Jr. to Host FREE Albany Bus Trip for Caucus Weekend

State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) will be hosting my annual free bus trip to Albany again this year. We invite everyone to attend. This is a golden opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the state capitol and see first-hand how your state government works.

Senator Sanders will deliver his State of the District Address. There will also be an opportunity to meet local and state legislators, as well as to engage in educational events and networking sessions. Attendees will also be able to walk and shop the Concourse Flea Market.

A complimentary breakfast and lunch will be served. Seating is limited so RSVP today! Call Senator Sanders’ offices at 718-523-3069 or 718-523-7017 to reserve your seat. Please see the flyer below for more details. There is also a list of all the events that will be taking place that weekend.


Game Stop Are Lying To Customers To Meet Quotas

By Anonymous

GameStop is one of the last bastions of brick and mortar retail hope in an increasingly digital landscape. The American retail chain operates 7,117 stores throughout the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

This strip mall staple is often the subject of internet hate because many consumers believe the publicly traded company implements unfair pricing practices. The retailer is frequently roasted with hilarious memes.

They operate a buy and trade program that allows customers to purchase games, then sell them back when they’re finished. Many customers believe the buyback prices are unfairly low and the pre-owned prices artificially high.

Recently, many gaming consumers have been outraged to learn that GameStop implements a company-wide quota policy called “The Circle of Life.” as reported by Kotaku. The goal of this corporate directive is to get people to sign up for rewards programs; sell more pre-owned games and consoles, and primarily to increase highly lucrative pre-orders.

This profit driven directive has created a perverse incentive system for GameStop employees. Each employee wants to hit their quotas, which might incentivize them to mislead customers because they can risk termination by not hitting quotas.


“I personally have witnessed similar things in the past at GameStop. When L.A. Noire got re-released with all the DLC at the end of 2011, I walked into the store and witnessed them opening copies out of the shipment box they had gotten. They did this to make sure there were would be pre-owned copies.

A month prior to that, I went to the store to buy Batman: Arkham City on release day. I hadn’t pre-ordered it and the employee had to turn a customer away because they didn’t have any copies available for people who didn’t pre-order. Luckily, I knew the employee so he was able to sell me one they had stashed away in a drawer filled with other copies (presumably weren’t pre-ordered).”

Rockaway Primetime Reporting reached out to Game Stop Corporate, they declined to comment at the moment.

Read more here