2016-06-15 / Front Page

Dutch Kills Civic Meets, Discusses New Mt. Sinai Emergency Facility

By Thomas Cogan
A look at the new Mt. Sinai medical facilities in Astoria, an introduction to a new social justice group and a crime report from the newly-promoted commander of the 114th Police Precinct were the items presented at the June meeting of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, the last one before September.  The hospital’s new look includes an emergency department five times the size of the old one, probably to the relief of many.  To the relief of the commander, the high crime rate spike in the first quarter of this year has sunk considerably in the second, though it’s still up.  The social justice group is faith-based and meets twice monthly at a church on Broadway.

The Mount Sinai representatives were Judy Trilivas and Ana Rodriguez.  Trilivas began by describing the new Mt. Sinai building itself, on 30th Road.  It is a six-story structure that replaces the old building, which was of red brick and had air conditioners in its windows.  The new place, having been partially opened on May 18, was expected to be fully in operation by early July.   It has central air   conditioning and is largely made of glass.  Ambulances now have a drive-through entrance.  The emergency department has a large entrance at Crescent Street and 30th Road and, as an announcement there assures anyone coming in, has a registered nurse in charge, not simply a health care aide, Trilivas said.  She also said the new waiting room is far larger than the old one.  With perhaps with a little hyperbole, she said it looks as large as the old emergency department was.  She said the whole second floor is an outpatient clinic, while the third floor will have six operating rooms when it opens next month.  The fourth and fifth floors are for primary care, with what she called “one-stop shopping.” 

With a lot of unfinished construction visible on 30th Avenue and Crescent Street, it is hard to imagine everything up and ready to go by the forecast date.  Also, a sign remains on 30th Avenue stating that the anticipated completion date is Fall 2015.  Anticipation has necessarily been pushed back and may be further.

The Justice for All Coalition, with its motto, “United we stand—LIC and Astoria,” had a few members at the meeting who were looking to attract more.  Seeing impending rezoning in Long Island City, the coalition, which proclaims itself to be faith-based, states that “we are joining together to fight for real affordable housing and equal opportunity for good careers.”  The group is meeting twice monthly at 7:00 p.m. at Community Church of Astoria, 14-42 B’way., at the corner of 21st Street and Broadway.  Its next meeting is Monday, June 20 and the dates of future meetings will be announced.

114th Police Precinct Commander Peter Fortune is now a deputy inspector.  That and the fact that the crime rate in the precinct has receded are the good news items that he’s received lately.  But in the first quarter of the year, the situation was alarming, the crime rate at that time having gone up 20 percent.  Lately it has been up only 8 percent, so it may be on the way down from its corresponding period of 2015.  He reported two rape cases in the past four weeks, though one of them is a just-resolved case from 33 years ago. 

The burglary rate is up but the grand larceny rate is down.  Shootings continue, unfortunately:  there was one recently at Aces, a strip club at 32-10 37th Ave., normally open from 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.  This goes with the earlier one at Purlieu 36-04 34th St., where a taxicab driver was shot in the head.  D.I.  Fortune said the driver’s wound was not fatal and that recently he has recovered the power of speech.  Purlieu, on the other hand, has been shuttered.  He said that these clubs are in but not of the neighborhood and draw patrons from all points of the city.  He said he was uneasy at the prospect of rappers Maino & Uncle Murda coming to a club on Steinway Street, since they were allegedly present at the Irving Plaza incident in Manhattan in late May, when two patrons were shot, one fatally. 

The commander said that grand larceny auto statistics have been on the rise lately.  That’s because the stats include motorcycles, which are numerous within the precinct, a fact with which thieves from near and far are familiar, the commander said.  They are practiced in rolling up in vans and rolling motorcycles into them with pit-stop efficiency, he added.

There was better news, though.  He announced that fireworks would go off in Astoria Park on Thursday evening, June 30.  He said that event is as good as or better than the annual Macy’s fireworks display, which will return to the East River Monday, July 4. 


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