MTA worker struck and killed

College Point, N.Y. – A 59-year-old MTA employee died tragically Tuesday morning when a bus backed into him at the College Point bus depot, police said.

Law enforcement officials said a 56-year-old male MTA bus driver drove a bus in reverse inside the depot on 28th Avenue between Ulmer Street and College Point Boulevard at about 10:20 a.m. on March 27. The victim had been changing tires on a nearby vehicle. It appears the bus driver did not see the other MTA employee and proceeded to back the bus into the victim, killing him.

EMS rushed to aid the victim, but the worker was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity is being withheld pending family notification.

According to WABC-TV, the bus driver is being questioned about the incident.

Police from the 109th Precinct are investigating the accident, but say no criminality is suspected.

 

 

 

Fountains at Flushing Meadows Corona Park to be Revamped in Fall 2018

Flushing, N.Y. – A $5.2 million reconstruction project beginning Fall 2018 will revamp the fountains and reflecting pool that make up the ‘Fountains of the Fair’ located south of the iconic Flushing Meadows Unisphere.

The revamp will begin with transforming the reflecting pool into a ‘mist garden,’ said Parks Department spokesperson Meghan Lalor. Specialized mist and fog jets will create a cloud mist that will rise between 3 and 5 feet above the surface.

The center fountain will be made into a sunken performance area surrounded by lawn according to the Parks Department. The large fountain will be transformed into a water play area, complete with spray showers. New seating and lights will also be added.

The area will be paved with an art deco pattern to honor the look of the park during the 1939 World’s Fair.

The center and large fountain along with the reflecting pool were constructed for the 1964 World’s Fair. The pools were revamped in 2000 but were damaged during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The Parks Department held public ‘visioning sessions’ in 2015 and 2016 to get community input on the reconstruction. The community wanted more water options and expressed a desire to keep the art deco details of the first World’s Fair held at the park in 1939.

 

Bayside holds first ever St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Bayside, N.Y. – The ‘Wearin’ ‘O the Green’ was strong and steady as the first Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was held today at 10 a.m. down Bell Boulevard.

Enthusiasts marched down Bayside’s ‘main street’ between 36th and 41st Avenues to celebrate Irish heritage and culture. Nearly 20 community groups participated in the parade according to Kieran Mahoney, one of the event organizers. There was no shortage of Irish dance schools and bands. Those that marched include groups from Blessed Sacrament Catholic Academy, Sacred Heart Catholic Academy of Bayside and Holy Cross High School. Mahoney said the parade turnout was larger than expected.

Planning for the inaugural event began last October including raising funds to pull off the event. A dinner dance was held in January at VIVO! Mediterranean Grill & Catering and musical events were run by Monahan & Fitzgerald, a local Irish pub. The celebration was also sponsored by local businesses

The Grand Marshal of the parade was Pat Lynch, President of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYCPBA).

The parade promises to be an annual event along Bayside’s famed Bell Boulevard.

 

Update Your Passport, No Appointment Necessary at QCC in Bayside

Bayside, N.Y. – Whether you’re looking to renew your passport or you’re a first-time passport applicant, Queensborough Community College is now offering Passport Processing Services with no appointment necessary. The service is available to students, faculty and staff as well as members of the community.

QCC is the only City University of New York (CUNY) college to offer full-scale passport processing services in its Bursar Office. Applications will be reviewed by certified staff members who will also determine if passport photos meet strict Department of State guidelines. Completed applications will be sent to passport processing centers by Priority Mail. Walk-in passport services are not available at U.S. post offices and other locations, which require an appointment.

“This is a unique resource for the College and the community. This flexibility is so important for families as well as students, and a great convenience during the holidays, the busiest time of year,” said Christine Francavilla, Enrollment Bursar Director.

For more information, visit qcc.cuny.edu.

 

Long Island City group to donate beauty bags to local moms in need on Mother’s Day

Long Island City, N.Y. – A group founded by two moms in Long Island City has plans to make Mother’s Day special for families currently living in local homeless shelters.

Super Community LIC, started by Julz Donald, began three years ago with the help of Marjorie Phillips, both Long Island City residents. “I teamed up with a mom in Long Island City here because we were like ‘this is an amazing place to live’ and we really love our community and what we wanted to do was to celebrate the community but also facilitate ways to give back,” Donald said. “We knew there were a lot of people here with lots of resources – money and time – to give but not always being able to give because it’s not facilitated for them.”

Phillips left a previous job in the city and partnered with The Floating Hospital, a non-profit organization which provides healthcare services to underserved communities. The caring duo began donating baby items and toiletries to local families. Each month, Donald and Phillips collect needed items and transport them to The Floating Hospital’s headquarters at 41-43 Crescent Street. Staff then donates the items to local homeless shelters.

The group began filling ‘beauty bags’ last year with items and toiletries for Mother’s Day. They wanted to assemble 100 bags but surpassed that goal and ultimately created 450 beauty bags for women in domestic violence shelters.

“It’s awesome,” Phillips said. “I’ve lived here for nearly seven years now and there’s something very special about this community in that everybody bands together when anyone has an issue.”

Children in family shelters are also given beauty bags to give to their mothers as gifts for Mother’s Day.

To collect money for the beauty items, Donald is hosting a number of events this year. A Bingo Night was recently held from which $1,200 was collected. The group gave $1,000 directly to The Floating Hospital and put $200 toward items for the beauty bags.

A Trivia Night at Woodbines Restaurant, 47-10 Vernon Boulevard, LIC, is to be held on March 22 at 8 p.m. to raise money for the bags. The cost to enter is $20. There will be food and drink specials plus prizes for all participants.

Hudson & Bleecker, a local shop that sells makeup and travel bags, will donate bags for the event again this year.

The bags are typically filled with shampoo, conditioner, makeup, jewelry, nail polish and other beauty items. “Well all know what a lipstick can do and how it can make you feel,” Donald said.

Donald will also be collecting donations at 47-20 Center Boulevard, Apt. 416 and Phillips will collect items at 155 Borden Avenue, Apt. 19J.

The beauty bags will be assembled by volunteers on May 6 at The Loft LIC, a restaurant located at 2-03 Borden Avenue in LIC. The restaurant is also hosting Super Community Volunteer Day. Children are welcome to the event.

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/Supercommunitylic.

 

Residents Want Flushing Home Demolished

Flushing, N.Y. – Neighbors on 167th Street in Flushing say a home on the block has been neglected for decades. They’re worried about the homeless or teens loitering in the backyard and the safety of the building. State Senator Tony Avella wants the New York City Department of Buildings to declare it unsafe, demolish it and bill the owner. The DOB says a demolition can be done only if the building poses an imminent threat. The owner could not be reached for comment.

By Patti Neda

Curtis Sliwa Arrested

New York, N.Y. – Founder of the Guardian Angels and talk radio host Curtis Sliwa was arrested outside Gracie Mansion Tuesday morning.

NYPD officers arrested Sliwa as he was reportedly trying to hand Mayor Bill de Blasio a lawsuit.

In a YouTube video, Sliwa is standing just outside the gates of the Mayor’s residence and is heard saying “I want to serve the Mayor.” Sliwa has both arms raised and doesn’t move away from entrance gates as instructed by officers. He is then ushered to the side and handcuffed as a vehicle with tinted windows exits the gates.

A tweet by political activist Michael Faulkner states “Curtis Sliwa was just arrested outside Gracie Mansion for serving Bill de Blasio with papers to disqualify him for WFP ballot line #yeswewill.”

According to the New York Daily News, police arrested Sliwa because he refused to move.

By Patti Neda

 

MTA Bus Technology Shortens Travel Time But Frazzles Other Drivers

New York, N.Y. – The city’s Transit Signal Priority technology (TSP) synchronizes MTA buses with select traffic lights, turning signals green faster as buses approach. While it allows buses to pass through intersections quicker either by holding green lights longer or shortening red lights, the technology is worrisome to taxi and passenger cars who are often left waiting at red lights.

TSP has been in operation on 5 bus routes at 260 intersections since 2006 and bus travel time on these routes has been cut by 18 percent. MTA and city Department of Transportation announced on Monday they plan to install the technology at 550 additional intersections and on 10 more bus routes citywide by 2020.

“We know mass transit in this city is a disaster and something needs to be done, but if you do it at the expense of other vehicles, you’re serving nobody,” said New York Taxi Workers Alliance Executive Director Bhairavi Desai.

The lights timed to buses are located along Hyland Boulevard in Staten Island, First and Second Avenues in Manhattan, Nostrand and Utica Avenues in Brooklyn and Webster Avenue in The Bronx.

“We’re pledging to quadruple the rate at which we are doing our piece, at the various intersections,” said city Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, an MTA board member.

The MTA set in place a $9.9 million contract to put TSP technology on computers inside buses to sync along with the additionally selected traffic signals.

The question remains as to whether these additions will negatively affect the flow of vehicle traffic.

By Patti Neda

Attack in Park

Flushing, N.Y. – A man was arrested Friday after allegedly raping a woman at knifepoint and sexually assaulting another at popular Kissena Park in Flushing, Queens.

The first victim, a 54 year old woman, was taken to a wooded area of the park and raped around 11:00 p.m. Wednesday night. The victim was also robbed.

Approximately a half hour later, a 17 year old female jogger was threatened with a knife and forced to perform a sex act.

The attacks took place near Main Street and 56th Avenue, in an area known as the Kissena Park Corridor.

On Friday, police noticed a man drinking from a water fountain in the park who matched the first victim’s description of her attacker. Police arrested the 30 year old man but have not yet released his name. Charges are pending.

By Patti Neda

 

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