Construction Project Planned for Beach 73rd and 81st Street Area

Information meeting: Hosted by Councilman Donovan Richards

Presentations: The Department of Transportation and the Department of Design and Construction (DDC).

Location: 348 Beach 71st Street

Overview: The meeting began with a presentation from the Department of Transportation (DOT). Specifically, the agency informed residents of construction plans for Beach 73rd and Beach 81st Street on Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

Rockaway residents are well-aware of the fact that the streets were heavily damage from Superstorm Sandy, and the presentation provided information on the extent of the damage and what would be required in order proceed with reconstruction efforts. The DOT noted that the water main, the increase in road width near NYCHA’s Hammels Houses and adding green medians in the area were some of the proposed projects.

According to the DOT, these measures will help reduce speeding, create simpler and safer left-lane turns and provide safer pedestrian crossings by creating larger sidewalk space. The final phase will involve the planting of shrubs and trees.

Construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and Councilman Donovan Richards is urging everyone living in the zoned areas to expect limited water use while the water main is being replaced. “The water will only be shut off for a couple of hours,” said Richards.

City officials view the projects as enormously beneficial for the community, but some residents are not satisfied with the DOT’s objectives. Residents at Arverne-By-The-Sea are concerned about the lack of street signs and medians in their area. One of them asked, “Why are the medians on Beach 79th and 81 Streets?” The DDC representative informed the resident that they could not build a median over a water main. The homeowner then requested to see sketches of the plans. When the sketches were presented and reviewed the homeowner proclaimed, “There’s a water main right under the median on these streets! What are you trying to pull?!” The DDC official indicated that it may have been due to a “budget issue”.

Councilman Richards told residents that they should be grateful the community was given funding for the projects. “We often get short-changed in this community. This time we got the money. Let’s get the project started,” Richards stated.

Ladies and gentlemen, expect the summer of 2016 to have service disruptions and numerous street detours before and during the construction period.


Weekly Update From Mayor’s Ofiice Of CommunityAffairs Unit

Weekly Overview


The City has successfully beaten back cuts to Medicaid and CUNY in this year’s state budget, while funding for universal pre-k and de Blasio-supported measures to boost the minimum wage and provide paid family leave are poised to become law…the Mayor’s Fund’s efforts to house veterans got a boost… the Mayor drew the link between global terror and income inequality…the TLC is modernizing its sexual harassment policy…DOHMH is helping New Yorkers quit smoking…more NYCHA developments are getting free Wi-Fi…the city will have a Mental Health Council, thanks to the First Lady…the “best-trained class” in NYPD Academy history has graduated…the City expanded paid six leave protections two years ago and our economy has added 250,000 jobs since…and NYC is showing solidarity with the LGBTQ community in North Carolina.


The Details


The State Budget – A state budget agreement has been reached in Albany, paving the way for the passage of a $156 billion state financial roadmap with significant effects on New York City services and finances. The Mayor, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and a coalition of legislators, policy advocates and community leaders rallied to beat back more than $1 billion in proposed cuts to City higher-education and health-care programs. With the passage of additional K-12 school aid, paid family leave and a minimum wage increase, the budget includes state progress on several initiatives at the core of the Mayor’s agenda.


Mayor’s Fund & Private Sector Combat Veterans Homelessness – The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, the Mayor’s Fund, and Enterprise Community Partners to support the City’s efforts to end veterans homelessness. The Mayor’s Fund also announced that it has raised $500,000 from private partners, including the Real Estate Board of New York, to help fund the City’s Veterans Housing Initiative. The grant and private investments will help fund initiatives aimed at transitioning veterans from the shelter system to permanent housing. The number of veterans in shelters or on city streets has fallen 90% since 2011. Last year, the City helped place more than 1,000 veterans in permanent housing. In December, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development praised the de Blasio administration for effectively bringing an end to ‘chronic’ veterans homelessness in New York City.


TLC Sexual Harassment Prevention – The Taxi and Limousine Commission is proposing a series of upgrades to measures aimed at preventing sexual harassment in cabs. The stricter harassment penalties – a $1,000 fine and 30-day suspension – would coincide with enhanced driver education and more descriptive definitions of inappropriate conduct. The proposals, set for public hearing later in the month, have received praise from anti-harassment and passenger advocacy groups.


DOHMH Anti-Smoking Campaign – The Health Department has launched “Quitting is Hard, Cancer is Harder,” a new ad campaign kicking off the agency’s Nicotine Patch and Gum Program giveaway. The effort is designed to help New Yorkers quit smoking. Eligible New Yorkers can receive a NYC Quits Kit, a coaching guide in four languages, and a two-week supply of patches and/or gum by calling 311 or visiting


NYCHA Free Wi-Fi Expansion – Two Fort Greene NYCHA developments – the Whitman and Ingersoll Houses – will be covered by free outdoor Wi-Fi access in April, thanks to a public-private partnership with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. The deal builds on the de Blasio administration’s efforts to bridge the digital divide and bring high-speed, affordable wireless services to NYCHA developments across the city.


NYC Mental Health Council – Mayor de Blasio announced the establishment of the Mental Health Council. The Council, led by First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery, will coordinate the promotion and implementation of mental health prevention and treatment programs across City agencies. It will consist of 20 representatives from a variety of city agencies, including the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Administration for Children’s Services, the Police Department, Fire Department, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, and the Department of Aging.


Paid Sick Leave Anniversary – The City celebrated the second anniversary of the de Blasio administration’s expansion of sick leave protections that now cover 3.4 million private and nonprofit-sector workers. In the last two years, thousands of employees have benefited from the coverage and another 9,600 have received restitution from employers who have violated the law. At the same time, the city has added more than 250,000 private-sector jobs, driving down the unemployment rate and quieting critics who predicted the legislation would hurt businesses.


House on the Rock Church Conducts Boardwalk Service

It was a bitterly cold day when people gathered at the entrance of the boardwalk on Beach 95 Street. But that didn’t stop the House on the Rock Church from conducting services with members of the Christian community.

The service began with a hymnal by all in attendance. Shortly after, Pastor Garry, the church’s founder, invited attendees and onlookers to pray. As the prayer concluded, Pastor Garry reminded everyone about the power of hope and how it affects everyday life. He illustrated the point by reflecting on the hardships Rockaway faced in the wake of Super Storm Sandy.

Additionally, he talked about the loss of his father and how hope and the power of prayer helped him overcome his grief. To the shock of many, the pastor also revealed how he was trapped in a fire and had 30 percent of his body burned. The horrific event occurred two days before Sandy descended on Rockaway. “If I had given up hope, who knows where I would be,” said Pastor Garry.

The pastor closed his sermon by noting that everything being built round us will cease to exist. “One day, the things behind me will no longer be here. The new condos, the homes being built on sand and the new boardwalk will be gone. But trusting in Jesus is forever… and will help build a mountain of hope,” said the pastor.

After a final prayer, kids received candy and took part in an Easter egg hunt.

For those interested, Pastor Garry has invited members of the community to visit his church, which is located at 91-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard.


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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”.


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.


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”.


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 or their Facebook page at “Farm Rockaway”.


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, 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 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.


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.


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 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.


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)


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


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

Chris Matthews Vs Trump Supporter Omarosa


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.


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