All posts by Rockaway Primetime

Freelance Reporter in the Rockaway's Community Organizer Youth Worker

St. John’s Starts the Holiday Season

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital Holds Tree Lighting Ceremony

FAR ROCKAWAY, 2017—Thursday, November 30, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital hosted their annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Nativity Blessing at the hospital. The tree and decorations were donated by the hospital’s Medical Executive Committee. Before the tree was lit, attendees were led in prayer by Elder Rashn Staley, Assistant Pastor at the Refuge Church of Christ located on Mott Avenue.

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The lighting of the tree was preceded by performances from the scholars at Lucille Rose Day Care Center. The children led the audience, made up of community residents and St. John’s staff members in “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and “The Dancing Christmas Tree Song.” As the tree was lit, the crowd joined St. John’s Vice President of External Affairs, Renee Hastick-Motes in a rendition of “Joy to the World”.

The students were given stuffed animals, donated by the Lawrence Yacht and Country Club, as well as gingerbread cookies and juice after their performance.

Following the tree lighting ceremony, the audience was invited outside for the blessing of the hospital’s Nativity scene, which was led by Rev. Dr. Cecily P. Broderick y Guerra, St. John’s Vice President of Mission. The scene figurines were donated to the hospital by St. John’s Episcopal Church located in Hewlett.

“We all know that Christmas time is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ as well as spend time with our families and friends,” said Gerard Walsh, CEO of St. John’s. “The staff at St. John’s would like to wish all a happy and healthy holiday season.”

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About St. John’s
St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is the only hospital providing emergency and ambulatory care to the densely populated, culturally and economically diverse, and medically underserved populations of the Rockaways and Five Towns in southern Queens County and southwestern Nassau County, New York. St. John’s is a recipient of the Stroke Gold-Plus Get with the Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.

Pheffer Amato Speaks at Emunah of America Membership Tea in Far Rockaway

Last Monday, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Far Rockaway) spoke to attendees of the Emunah of America Esther Phillips Chapter Membership Tea which was held at Congregation Kneseth Israel (the White Shul.)  Pheffer Amato discussed the past year’s legislative session, as well as general safety tips for Senior Citizens, and changes within the local United States Postal Service.

“Emunah of America does such wonderful work,” said Pheffer Amato.  “It was a privilege to speak in front of a vibrant group of individuals whose goal is to help the less fortunate in Israel.  I wish them much continued success!”


By Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet

The following is an excerpt from the Giving the Gift of Love (GTGOL) organzation.

“The Rockaway-based non-profit ‘Giving the Gift of Love’ began in 2011 and was created by young people to serve and give back to the community.”

According to its website, GTGOL has held well over 20 charitable events and givaways throughout Rockaway and Marksville, Louisiana.

On Thanksgiving, the organization provided food to residents of the Beach 40th Street Housing complex. Although the objective was to provide a hearty meal for family members and their friends, emphasis was also placed on creating an atmosphere of appreciation, love and, most importantly, gratitude.

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GTGOL has been serving to the families of the 40th Street Houses since the day they’ve started. The organization has a proven track record across Far Rockaway in providing consistent, and valuable services to needy families across the Rockaways.

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Residents were invited to 433-A Beach 40th Street, which is commonly referred to as “The Red Building”, from 12p.m. to 3p.m. to usher in the holiday season.

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GTGOL also delivered plates of food and water to home-bound residents, and many of them were overjoyed when they received the meals and shared them with their families.

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Rockaway Woman’s Editorial on Matt Lauer

By Barbara McLean

I just feel the need to speak about how many other people have been exposed since Harvey Weinstein. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have watched The Today Show for my entire adult life, day in, day out and that I’ve had a big crush on Matt Lauer. I even took my kids to stand in the audience at the Today Show.

It’s also worth noting that of the best celebrity interviews I ever saw was Charlie Rose interviewing Bruce Springsteen. Now here we are and both of these iconic journalists have been exposed as sexual predators. Both of these talented men used the power afforded to them by their position in the media to prey on women with less power. All of a sudden we are told that everyone knew and the fellow members of the media kept the curtain closed, but it took one person to come forward and speak out and these men lost their careers and thus, the power that they were able to wield over others. This leads me to have two thoughts.

The first is that it is wonderful that this groundswell of women finding their voice can lead to more and more women speaking out and if you are reading this and need to speak I will listen and advocate for you. Second, vote. Apparently, it’s not enough to come forward and speak your truth when it comes to elected officials, so going forward we must vote. We must vote in every election and vote with our hearts and our collective conscience.

We must not allow predators to continue to be elected and we certainly must not allow them to remain in office. Women, coming forward and standing strong, are getting predators out of the media. Women, voting for candidates that see women as equals who should never be objectified or preyed upon, can get predators out of our elected offices at every level.
Please keep fighting,

Barbara McLean
VIA Community Services

Community Clergy Breakfast – Defense Training

It’s sad and disturbing that people can get shot while peacefully praying at a house of worship. Under those conditions and given the recent shooting at a Texas church that killed 24 and injured over 20, Senator James Sanders Jr. is hosting a safety training for faith-based leaders in the community so they can learn how to protect themselves and their congregations against a first-person shooter attack. It will be part of Senator Sanders’ monthly Interfaith Clergy Breakfast.

It will be on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at St. Anthony’s Of Padua: 127-17 135th Avenue, South Ozone Park, NY 11417 from 8:30-11am.  There will be a presentation by NYPD Shield, the Police Department’s latest counterterrorism program, and much more. Please RSVP by calling Senator Sanders’ District office at 718-523-3069.

NOTE: This event is open to members of the clergy ONLY.

The NYPD Shield Presentation is CLOSED to the MEDIA.

Pheffer Amato Marks Linking of RBA to Queens Chamber

Earlier this month, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach) was recognized at a meeting of the Queens Chamber of Commerce for work helping facilitate the joining of the Chamber with the Rockaway Business Alliance, the group that formed to help drive local business growth around the time of Superstorm Sandy.  On the occasion of Sandy’s five-year anniversary, the Queens Chamber held their first meeting that formally included the RBA.

“The story of Sandy is one of self-help, of the will of a community to come together and rebuild,” said Pheffer Amato.  “Nobody exemplifies that spirit better than the RBA.  They help businesses grow and help them write their own stories of recovery and thriving.  The Queens Chamber, meanwhile, is incredibly innovative and energetic and has been a major driver behind the progress of the Borough of Growth.  It was my honor to help formalize the weaving-together of these two fantastic groups.  They’ve already brainstormed some great ways to collaborate at this first meeting, and I’m sure there will be many more.  I look forward to the future we’ll build together for the business community in South Queens!”

“The Queens Chamber of Commerce was honored to organize the 5th Anniversary Remembrance of Hurricane Sandy with the Rockaway Business Alliance,” said Thomas J. Grech, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. “I have been seeking an organizational business partner in the Rockaways since I came on board in 2015.  With the support of Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato, we came together as one at the Bungalow Bar and have begun working on a true partnership to assist and support the businesses that call the Rockaways home.  We look forward to future endeavors together.”

“Hurricane Sandy had devastating effects on the Rockaway community, effects that are still felt to this day,” said Theo Boguszewski, an associate with Perch Advisors, who helps manage the Rockaway Business Alliance. “However, it’s a testament to the incredible resiliency of this community that from this awful disaster, Rockaway has emerged stronger and more connected — this was evidenced by the event last Monday. The Rockaway business community has such incredible passion and desire to grow and overcome, and the Rockaway Business Alliance is honored to drive this collective effort.”

Heads Up, Rockaway! Another Pipeline Can be Coming

By Jeffrey Williams-Maisonet

Oh, no! Another pipeline from Williams is among us. This time the pipeline will be no secret like last time.

Organizers like Food & Water Watch are conducting door-to-door outreach about the purposed project here in the Rockaways. For more click here

Food & Water Watch’s commitment to moving New York off fossil fuels embraces opposing pipelines and power plants that transport and burn fracked oil and gas.

According to the group, “The bad news is that the proposed pipeline is dangerous, threatening our water, communities, and environment. The good news is that we have time to stop it, we’re working with great allies, and the Cuomo administration has clear authority block the project.”

The Williams energy company is proposing to build a 23-mile long pipeline that would carry fracked gas beneath New York harbor. The route of the pipeline runs along the coast of Staten Island, and then crosses the harbor south of Brooklyn and joins an existing pipeline four miles off the coast of the Rockaways.

According to Food & Water Watch, “Williams pipelines and compressor stations, in particular, have a safety record ridden with explosions, fires, and deaths.”

Rockaway Primetime Reporting released a similar claim in 2016.

Rockaway Primetime Reporting doesn’t understand why local media across Rockaway and Coney Island has not made the public aware of this project in its entirety as of yet.

Although there is opposition from Governor Cuomo’s Administration. We can never be so careful after the first pipeline was signed and approved by the Obama Administration. Both Administrations claimed to be fighting climate change but approve such projects like Williams.

Time will only tell.

Listen out for your doors Saturday.


Where: We’ll meet at Beach 67th St on the boardwalk in Queens. Take the A train.

When: Saturday, November 4th 11 am – 4 pm.

What: 11 am: Everyone meets on the boardwalk for a briefing about the Williams Pipeline. We’ll provide a script, a map, materials, and tips on how to be an effective canvasser. We’ll practice in small groups, and then send folks in pairs to nearby streets to knock on doors. People are not required to stay all the way until 4pm, but are encouraged to arrive at 11 to receive the group training and knock for as long as they like.



Pheffer Amato-Led Working Group, with Rep. Meeks, Lay Out Priorities for National Flood Insurance Reauthorization

Mark Sandy Anniversary; Advocate “Now as Leaders, Not Victims”

Deliver Priorities for South Queens, “Informed by 5Y on the Ground”

On Sunday, October 29th, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Broad Channel), Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY5) and a working group convened by Pheffer Amato will mark the five-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, with a list of legislative recommendations for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is slated to be reauthorized by Congress in late October or early November (and which would otherwise expire on November 8th).  NFIP reauthorization was already slated to be one of three major legislative items of the current session of Congress before Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria made international news and threw the urgency of securing America’s floodplain into stark relief.  Over half of all Americans live in a county adjacent to coastline, and climate scientists expect flooding issues to worsen worldwide over the next several decades, making legislative steps taken in the near future potentially decisive to the success or failure of securing the floodplain.

Sandy was one of the earliest contemporary “super-storms,” and New York City and State’s successes and failures during the recovery period have been used as case studies for how America must address the flooding crisis from here on out.  Schumer, Pheffer Amato and the Working Group, composed of stakeholders from impacted communities in South Queens as well as representatives of Congressman Gregory Meeks and Borough President Melinda Katz, note that their input is singularly valuable to the national debate, informed as it is by the successes and shortcomings of the existing NFIP applied to the United States’s largest city, plus five years of follow-up action to rebuild in the storm’s aftermath.

“Insurance shapes the whole landscape of resiliency and recovery,” said Pheffer Amato.  “That’s why I convened this working group.  Everyone on this team rolled up their sleeves from Day One in 2012.  Now they have five years of experience under their belt – rendering aid, cleaning up, comforting their neighbors, rebuilding, lobbying for help, swapping best practices, wrestling with bureaucracy, fighting with insurance companies on behalf of their families and communities.  Insurance impacts us long-term, steering where people live and can afford to continue to live; it touches on every aspect of recovery and rebuilding.

“The rest of the country is, unfortunately, about to experience some of the five-year horror show we went through – red tape, bureaucracy, and blatant exploitation,” Pheffer Amato continued.  “But we did come out stronger, with a paramount desire to protect others from the worst and least-necessary shocks.  There’s no one better than a Sandy survivor to bring a list of important ‘To Dos’ to a nation now grappling with these issues every year.  And there’s no more impactful place to weigh in than on NFIP reauthorization.  I want to thank this incredible team for their work to put our hard-won experience to paper, and I’m grateful to our representatives in DC for bringing us in to the national conversation.”

“This working group convened by Assemblymember Pheffer Amato has been a great success because it has connected government officials with Queens residents who are experiencing the negative effects of ever-increasing flood insurance rates,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “Together we have come up with strong legislative recommendations for improving and strengthening the National Flood Insurance Program. Assemblymember Pheffer Amato and all those who have been a part of the working group deserve to be commended for developing common-sense proposals that would better protect Queens residents.”

“Many of our homeowners were failed by the current National Flood Insurance Program,” said Denise Neibel, Assistant General Manager of the Breezy Point Cooperative.  “Relief was slow, painfully bureaucratic and extremely inconsistent.  Despite paying into a program which was meant to protect and assist citizens, the program became the disaster after the disaster. We hope that by working to reform the NFIP, future victims of natural disasters will not encounter these same problems.  Giving participants the guidance, answers and assistance they deserve will better enable them to reconstruct their lives.”

“Maintaining affordable flood insurance for coastal communities is the single most-important issue for millions of residents who currently are mandated to maintain this coverage,” said Dan Mundy, Jr., the President of the Broad Channel Civic Association.  Broad Channel was among the hardest-hit areas during Superstorm Sandy.  “As Congress is currently debating what the future of Flood Insurance will look like, it is very clear that some in Congress think that homeowners paying ten to twenty thousand dollars a year in premiums is a good idea.

“The loss of affordable flood insurance will destabilize coastal communities,” Mundy continued; “and for this reason, Assemblywoman Amato has formed the Flood Insurance Reform Advisory Group. I am proud to be part of this group, which has produced a working document which highlights the critical points that we need to see in the new reauthorization bill.  Hopefully, we will see these commonsense concepts included and flood insurance will remain affordable for working families.”

“We urge all our congressman and Senators to support the SAFE Flood Insurance Bill,” said George Kasimos, a Realtor / Broker with George Kasimos Real Estate, LLC.  “It provides the most protection against the exorbitant rise in flood premiums, funding to correctly map flood zones across the country and provide mitigation funding to raise homes that are in harm’s way.”

Pheffer Amato Speaks to Groups for Assembly Vets’ Committee

This past Saturday and Sunday, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-South Queens) spoke on behalf of the NYS Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee at the Queens County American Legion Legislative Breakfast and the Queens County Council VFW’s 53rd Annual Legislative Breakfast, in Flushing, Queens.  Pheffer Amato recapped the Committee’s achievements supporting veterans in the 2016-2017 legislative session, and looked forward to the 2017-2018 session, whose preliminary budget discussions are “coming up faster than you can blink.

“It was an honor to speak to our Veterans as the official representative of the Committee, and I thank Chairman Michael DenDekker for giving me that opportunity,” said Pheffer Amato, who has sat on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee since taking office this past January.  “I want to thank the American Legion, the VFW, and, of course, our incredible Veterans and their families.  My first bill this session, recently signed into law by Governor Cuomo, was to make information more accessible for Vets.  We owe these brave men and women everything, and our country has so much more it must to do to honor their sacrifice.”



The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Warning for Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning high tide cycles

Widespread moderate coastal flooding expected in coastal neighborhoods

September 18, 2017 – The New York City Emergency Management Department today urged New Yorkers to prepare for potential impacts of Hurricane Jose. With Jose’s track moving about 75 – 100 miles to the southeast of Long Island, residents living in the city’s coastal neighborhoods could experience moderate levels of coastal flooding. The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory along the shores of Brooklyn and southern Queens from 6 a.m. through 12 p.m.Tuesday. A Coastal Flood Advisory is also in effect for Staten Island from 6 p.m. Tuesday through 12 p.m. Wednesday. The National Weather Service has also issued a Coastal Flood Warning along the shores of Brooklyn and southern Queens from 6 p.m. Tuesday through 12 p.m. Wednesday.  During a Coastal Flood Warning, widespread moderate flooding is expected, resulting in beach erosion and flooding of vulnerable shore roads and/or properties. Coastal residents in the warned area should be alert for rising water and take appropriate action to protect life and property.

“We are closely monitoring Hurricane Jose and the potential impacts it may have to New York City,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “If you live in vulnerable coastal neighborhoods, take steps to protect your property. Prepare your Go Bags, charge your cell phone batteries, and don’t forget to check in on relatives, friends, and neighbors.”

Hurricane Jose is also expected to bring dangerous surf, strong rip currents, strong winds, and rain to the New York City area. The National Weather Service has issued a Rip Current Statement for Brooklyn and southern Queens through 8 p.m. Tuesday. A High Surf Advisory is also in effect for Brooklyn and southern Queens through 6 p.m. Wednesday. A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area producing dangerous rip currents, widespread dune erosion, and localized washovers.

The City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan has been activated to help mitigate potential flash flooding and ensure a quick, effective, and coordinated response to any flash flood events that do occur. Flash flooding can occur with little or no warning due to the large number of paved surfaces across the city. These surfaces do not allow rainwater to be absorbed into the ground and can result in storm drains often being overwhelmed, causing localized flooding. NYC Emergency Management works closely with NYPD, FDNY, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Sanitation, Department of Transportation, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to mitigate the impact of flash floods. New Yorkers are encouraged to report clogged catch basins and areas of standing water to 3-1-1 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115).
The Department of Buildings has issued an advisory for property owners, contractors and crane operators to take precautionary measures to secure their construction sites, buildings, and equipment in preparation for strong winds associated with Hurricane Jose. The department will perform random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the City and will issue violations and Stop Work Orders, where necessary, if sites are not secured.

NYC Emergency Management remains in constant communication with the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service to track and monitor Hurricane Jose and share storm updates with city, state, and private-sector partners. NYC Emergency Management encourages New Yorkers to take the following steps to prepare for potential rain, wind and coastal flooding effects ahead of the storm:


  • Make a plan with your household that outlines what to do during an emergency, including a coastal storm. Use the Ready New York: My Emergency Plan to create your family’s emergency plan.
  • If you have a disability or access or functional need, make sure your plan addresses how your needs may affect your ability to evacuate, shelter in place, or communicate with emergency workers. Arrange help from family, friends, or service providers if you will need assistance.
  • Know your zone. Areas of the city subject to storm surge flooding are divided into six evacuation zones (1 through 6) based on risk of storm surge flooding. Use the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder or call 3-1-1 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115) to find out if your address is located in an evacuation zone.
  • Prepare a Go Bag that you can grab in case you need to leave your home in a hurry. For more information about what to pack in a Go Bag, visit
  • Stay informed by signing up for Notify NYC to receive emergency notifications and updates via email, phone, SMS /text, or Twitter. Notify NYC messages are also available in American Sign Language (ASL). Visit or call 3-1-1 to sign up.


If you live in a flood-susceptible area:

  • Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber, on hand to help protect your home.
  • Make an itemized list of personal property, including furnishings, clothing, and valuables.
  • Move valuable items from basements to upper floors. (Basements are vulnerable to flooding.)
  • Know your flood risk. To learn more about coastal flood risk in New York City, visit the FEMA Region II Coastal Analysis and Mapping website for flood hazard information at
  • Consider getting flood insurance. Protection against loss due to floods is not covered under a homeowner’s policy. Contact your property/casualty agent or broker about eligibility for flood insurance. For more information, visit the National Flood Insurance Program online at
  • Learn the safest route from your home or workplace to safe, high ground in case you have to evacuate. This should be part of your household disaster plan.


  • Build or restock your emergency supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery-powered devices.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting. If you lose power, items that need refrigeration will stay cooler for longer.
  • Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors, especially older adults and people with disabilities, access and functional needs, or health conditions. Help them to prepare if needed.


Strong winds can bring down trees and power lines and can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. To protect against the hazard of strong winds, New Yorkers should:

  • Check the area immediately surrounding your home for unsecured objects or potentially dangerous conditions. Tree limbs, garbage cans, yard debris, or other materials that can be moved by the wind are potential projectiles aimed at your home or parked vehicle.
  • Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys.
  • Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.
  • Close up and secure patio umbrellas.
  • Secure retractable awnings.
  • Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.

Stay informed

Before and during an emergency, the City will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels including Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about traffic and transit disruptions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 3-1-1, visit, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

Send us your comments, request or inquires via email at:
Notify NYC is the easiest and most up-to-date way for your office and your constituents to get information on emergencies. Please encourage all New Yorkers to register at or by calling 311,  and follow Notify on Twitter @NotifyNYC. You can also follow @NYCEM or like us at