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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

 

 

Primetime Interviews: City Councilman Eric Ulrich

Welcome. 

Primetime Interviews recently met with City Councilman Eric Ulrich of the 32nd District to talk about his career, the concerns of his constituents and his long-term goals. 

Topics of discussion also included:

  • His personal hero
  • His political background
  • His accomplishments in the district
  • His response to rumors of a Mayoral bid 
Enjoy the segment, and thank you for your continued support.
“J-Man”

Removal underway.

**** Breaking News****

~ Is It Safe To Tow Away The Boat? ~

Following yesterdays unexpected landing on the beach, investigators and the NYPD are on site as we type. The capsized vessel needs to be towed away, but first investigations are underway to ensure it is safe to remove. Rockaway Primetime Reporting was able to ask one of the “investigators” on site what was happening – to which he responded “We are now investigating the safety of removing the vessel. And looking for a contractor who is able to remove it.”

Attached are some photos taken at the Beach 56 Pl Boardwalk.

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Crews preparing for the investigation

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Loncke Launches Bid to Unseat Titus

 

Nigel Loncke believes it is time for change in Rockaway, and he intends to play a major role in the transformation. The 33-year-old hopes to challenge Michele Titus for the right to represent Assembly District 31. April will mark the representative’s 14th year in the New York State Assembly.

Rockaway Primetime recently met with Loncke and posed several questions about his campaign and decision to run for office.

When asked if there was anyone in particular that served as a source of inspiration, Loncke replied, “I was inspired by many, but the one person that sticks out is my dad.”

His father is from Guyana and his mother is from Brooklyn. He was born in the United States and noted that his parents struggled during the financial crisis of 2008. It was at that point that he realized he wanted to pursue a life in public service and change the political system. “My parents moved us from Brooklyn to give us a better life,” he said. “The move to Arverne worked out really well for me.”

At 33, Loncke realizes that some may wonder if he has enough political experience to unseat Titus. He told Rockaway Primetime that working with Robert Simmons, who served as Chief-of-Staff for Congressman Gregory Meeks, helped him understand the importance of being a public servant and the political system. “Mr. Simmons saw something in me that he liked and brought me in as a staff member. I served as Community Liaison in 2009,” stated Loncke.

In 2012, he ventured outside of the U.S. to study political systems in other countries. “I started to view politics in an entirely different light after traveling abroad. Shortly after I returned to the states, I began working on Barack Obama’s campaign,” he added. “I traveled to many different states canvassing and hosting events. I even organized the first Obama campaign bus tour in Rockaway, which gave residents an opportunity to be part of the political process.”  

Loncke also held Rockaway’s first “house party”, another term for campaign headquarters celebration, after President Obama’s 2012 victory. He described the event as a huge success and “a great experience” for Rockaway.

In the midst of working on President Obama’s campaign, Loncke returned to Rockaway to help residents affected by Superstorm Sandy. “I wanted to get back home and help. My church was flooded, but I didn’t just want to help my church. I wanted to help surrounding communities,” Loncke stated. “I helped distribute emergency materials like food, water, clothes and other items. I put Obama’s campaign on hold because I felt my community was more important.”

Later, he worked as an office manager for a Colorado-based company called Next-Gen. He was charged with the task of helping the company locate people that were interested in working in various professions, such as finance, human resources and public service. Loncke described the job as “people who cared about their community, women’s rights and climate change repeal.”

Rockaway Primetime asked Loncke if he felt the community was prepared for another Sandy and what he thought about climate change. He stated, “Climate change is real. We have to work together on this issue from a city, state, and federal level. I agree with all home-owners on the peninsula. We must protect our land with sea walls, jetties and make sure insurance companies don’t rip people off.”

When asked how he would go about getting on the ballot to challenge Titus, he said he plans to go door-to-door to speak with voters about how Titus has not adequately represented the community and how he would do a much better job. “I am going to talk to voters about the issues and about what they want, which is something that Titus has never done. Getting on the ballot is my first real challenge,” Loncke noted. He informed Rockaway Primetime that all he needs is 500 signatures to get on the ballot and that the real goal is 4,000. “Once I’m on the ballot, I will give her a good fight.”

At the end of the meeting, he indicated that he favors lowering the age requirement for voters. “The more youth we get involved, the better our chances for change. You can’t build without starting from the bottom up. We can’t have that one size fits all mentality. Make the youth feel welcomed and valued,” said Loncke. “The district serves 129,000 people, and age doesn’t matter. Things have to change, and I’m the one that will make those changes,” he concluded.

 

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