On Friday, July 31, the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance was presented with a $5,000 check from the Aviation Development Council (ADC) that will go towards their new partnership program, Aqua 101 Youth Program. The education and leadership development program for Rockaway’s youth came about through dialogue with airline board members of ADC and the community affairs office of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Throughout the program, students from local middle schools and high schools will learn how they can protect the local environment with visits from renowned environmental scientists and educators. Students will also tackle environmental conservation work by conducting shoreline clean-ups on Jamaica Bay as well as restoring a natural dune barrier.
“Rockaway Waterfront Alliance is grateful to Aviation Development Council for supporting our summer youth program this year,”said Executive Director Jeanne DuPont. “Their support allows us to serve local youth who have not had previous experience connecting to the natural environment to discover the valuable waterfront resources and the environment of the Rockaway Peninsula, while enjoying opportunities to take part in swimming, surfing and kayaking directly off the Rockaway shoreline.”
Residents in South Ozone Park are planning yet another protest in response to the ACS’ juvenile detention center in the area.
The state’s Close to Home program moves 18 juveniles in upstate facilities back down to the city in order to have them closer to their families.
A group of residents, named the Committee to Stop the Prison in South Ozone Park, is hosting the protest. They will rally on Saturday at the parking lot of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, located on 133-25 128 Street.
“When our government infringes into our way of life, our freedom and our prosperity, we need to stand together and honorably fight for our rights,” a flier for the protest states.
Recently, the center was audited by city comptroller Scott Stringer. The contract was rejected last month but ACS resent the contract to Stringer’s office on July 13.
Another day, another crime at Resorts World Casino.
Around 7 p.m. on Saturday night, a man attacked a 66-year-old security guard outside of the casino. During the attack, the security guard dropped the keys to his 2008 Lexus. The attacker stole the keys and took off in the vehicle.
The guard was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for a broken eye socket and a broken nose.
The suspect is approximately 6 feet tall and bald. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.
Ozone Park’s new strip mall, located on Cross Bay Boulevard between Albert Road and North Conduit Avenue, is now in business. Some stores have already opened up shop while others will be opening soon.
The site had previously sat vacant for over a decade. Permits for the strip mall were finalized in March 2014 and construction began shortly after. Currently, there are a few businesses, such as Empire J Nail Spa (formerly Nail Tek, which was further down Cross Bay Boulevard but now closed), Nadia Rima and CKO Kickboxing that are opened.
TruBurger, Dunkin Donuts, a Verizon Wireless storefront, a sushi restaurant are all coming to the mall as well, although there is no specific completion date for any of the businesses.
After Monday’s sweltering heat, some homes in Queens are still without power.
Homes in Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn either lost power or had to live with reduced power as temperatures rose to nearly 100 degrees. Eight percent, close to 138,000, of Con Edison’s customers within the neighborhoods of Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Lindenwood, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Kew Gardens and Woodhaven were affected. Most have regained full power.
On Wednesday, however, some homes near the Aqueduct Racetrack have still reported no lights in their homes. Restoration is estimated to occur within the early afternoon between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
You can check service restoration status at www.conEd.com or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).
Tonight is the 2015 ESPYs Awards Show, where some of the biggest athletes from around the world will be honored. However, you can also meet with local sports heroes tonight when Resorts World Casino hosts the All Star Meet & Greet.
The event is taking place at Genting Palace within Resorts World at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd and runs from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Athletes include three-time Pro Bowler and former wide receiver and tight end for the New York Jets, Richard Caster, as well as former running back for the New York Giants, O.J. Anderson. Anderson played in the Pro Bowl twice and was named the MVP of Super Bowl XXV in 1991. Bruce Harper, the Jets’ all-time leader in kick returns, with 5,407 yards in kickoff returns, will also be in attendance.
Knicks first round pick and St. John’s University alum, Mel Davis, will join the football greats. Fans will also get a chance to meet Pam Oliver, one of the most respected female sportscasters on air.
Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased at rwnewyork.com or within the gift shop at Resorts World Casino. You must be 21 years and older to attend the event.
It seems like Resorts World Casino has become a breeding ground for crime. Not long ago, there was a massive brawl and even a brutal murder occurring on the steps of the Queens casino. Now, people are robbing one another.
Last Thursday, around 11:30 p.m., a thief stole $2,000 from an unassuming gambler then disappeared into the night. The 54-year-old victim was sitting at an electronic table game when the suspect grabbed the wad of cash from his hands and dashed away. Security cameras managed to record the crook escaping through a side exit stairwell.
The suspect is described as a light skinned man with a thin build in his early to mid 20s.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
An early morning fire broke out in Ozone Park, injuring five residents and two firefighters.
Officials said the fire began around 3:17 a.m. at 103-28 105th Street. The fire erupted on a deck and proceeded to spread throughout the first floor of a two-story private home. A neighbor banged on the door to wake the residents of the home and then called 911. At about 3:25 a.m., the blaze escalated to a second alarm. Firefighters managed to control the fire around 4:27 a.m.
The five residents were taken to North Shore University Hospital for minor injuries. One of the two injured firefighters was also taken to the hospital.
Someone torched a soon-to-be-closed Lutheran Church in Ozone Park this week.
Early Monday morning, around 2 a.m., an arsonist broke into Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church at 85-15 101st Avenue and lit a fire within the church’s community center. While working a double shift, Nathaniel Rodriguez, the custodian, noticed something amiss when he was across the street taking trash out. When he returned to the church, he saw that the hallway’s linoleum floors were charred and the gas burners in the kitchen had been turned on. A can of Easy-Off was on top of the stove, which shows that the arsonist wanted to create more chaos.
The arsonist used old church records to start the fire, some records going back as far as 1884. Church offices were also ransacked.
Church council president John Naudus couldn’t believe the amount of historical records, such as wedding and funeral information, that could have been destroyed.
“It’s a real kick in the teeth,” Naudus said.
The church closed its doors this week. In the future, they are planning to join with St. Luke’s Luthern Church in Woodhaven and St. Philip Evangelical Church in Brooklyn to form one mega church, All Saints Lutheran Church.
“Maybe someone didn’t like the fact we were closing,” said Rodriguez.
The much opposed Close to Home program is being audited by City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Although there is no word on how long the audit will last or what its looking into, news of the audit still comes to good news for city neighborhoods.
The Close to Home program, orchestrated by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), hopes to move juvenile delinquents from upstate facilities to buildings around the city in an effort to bring them closer to their families as well as have them re-introduced into society.
There has been a loud outcry from both South Ozone Park and Queens Village in an effort to dismiss the juvenile facilities from popping up in the areas. Last week, Stringer rejected the contract for the South Ozone Park facility due to “inconsistencies.”
Due to property value decreases as well as safety concerns, members of both communities hope that Stringer’s audit will be a step towards shutting down both facility plans.