22 The Queens Courier • august 6, 2015 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com M.S. 158 looks for alumni to celebrate 60th anniversary BY ALINA SURIEL email@example.com @alinangelica Bayside’s M.S. 158 is looking for alumni to help celebrate the school’s 60th anniversary. Administrators at the Marie Curie Middle School are inviting former students to its Oct. 3 fall festival with current middle-schoolers and their families. Alumni will be encouraged to reminisce on their formative experiences in the school during a walk-through tour given by student ambassadors, and class pictures from throughout the years will be on view. According to Principal Marie Nappi, alumni are also encouraged to participate in an upcoming career day to show current students how far they can go after an education at M.S. 158. The school is also looking to start an alumni association to have a stable level of funds to beautify the school. Nappi said having a relationship with alumni will add to what is already an involved community at the school. “It’s because of the great community and parents, students and staff, and the dedication we all have for our students and for education,” said Nappi, who has served as principal for the last decade. “That’s what led to our 60 years of excellence.” Retired M.S. 158 teacher Mary O’Sullivan says that the programs at the Bayside school are exceptional in many ways, especially its musical bands which have won several state awards. “What made me stay there so long? You wouldn’t want to leave a school that good,” said O’Sullivan, who retired this year after teaching at M.S. 158 since 1989. “It was an excellent school and it still is.” Former M.S. 158 student Gregg Sullivan still has great memories of the school although he graduated many years ago, and even shared a middle school secret which would likely have embarrassed his younger self. “M.S. 158 was a beautiful transition and right of passage for us that took us from childhood into puberty and adolescence,” Sullivan said. “I had my first crush on a teacher there: Ms. Jacobs. Anyone who reads this and was a student of hers will know what I mean.” Any M.S. 158 alumni interested in being a part of the 60th anniversary celebration or volunteering as a career day participant should email the school at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo courtesy of Diane Verlaque-Rosolen A 1969 photo of a seventh-grade class from M.S. 158. Three major Queens roadways led city in costly pothole claims: Stringer BY ROBERT POZARYCKI email@example.com @robbpoz Queens streets have gone to pot. Potholes on three major arteries serving Queens cost the city tens of millions of dollars in accident claims over the last six years, according to City Comptroller Scott Stringer. In a “ClaimStat alert” he issued on July 30, Stringer said the Brooklyn- Queens Expressway, along with the Grand Central and Belt parkways, accounted for a combined 1,561 claims between the 2010 and 2015 fiscal years, leading all other roadways in the five boroughs. Back in February, the Department of Transportation (DOT) reported that Queens had the most potholes in the entire city. The Belt Parkway, in particular, proved to resemble Swiss cheese more than a street, as the report pointed out that it “had the most pothole claims in four of the six years examined…making it by far the most pot-holed roadway in the city.” Damages to vehicles that hit potholes on streets citywide cost taxpayers nearly $1.5 million in claims the city settled with drivers over the six-year period, Stringer noted. An additional 2,681 personal injury claims resulting from potholes and pedestrian falls on defective roadways were settled for $136.3 million during the same period. The comptroller indicated that the alert gives the DOT a “road map” for making proper repairs well in advance of the winter weather that precipitates the creation of potholes. “Potholes are serious trouble,” Stringer said in a statement. “They deflate tires, break axles and twist ankles, often at a significant financial cost to the city.” According to the report, the common settlement for pothole damages to vehicles was $500, with 76 percent of all settlements amounting to $1,000 or less. Queens had a total of 3,590 pothole claims on its streets. For personal injury claims related to slips, trips and falls on defective roadways, the city paid an average of between $2 and $9 million, with a plurality of them (48 percent) costing $5,000 or less. Only 211 settlements during the period were of $100,000 or greater. Not surprisingly, pothole and personal injury claims related to defective streets spiked in years when winter weather wreaked havoc on New York City. Higher claims were also reported in areas of the city where the majority of households own a car, including much of eastern and southwest Queens. Sixty-four percent of Queens households, in total, have at least one vehicle. As with the most recent winter, the DOT went on a “pothole blitz” across the five boroughs whenever the weather was fair enough to allow for emergency street repairs. The city is also experimenting with Potholes on city streets cost the city millions in accident claims over the last six years, according to City Comptroller Scott Stringer. a different asphalt formula containing rubber which it hopes will prove more durable. Stringer’s report, however, suggested that the DOT should consider whether some streets particularly THE COURIER/File photo prone to potholes should be completely reconstructed. It also called on the city to re-examine its road resurfacing procedures to make sure the best practices are followed.
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