About Us

The Line is a reporting project by Craft I students at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. We hope to show all sides of the debate, explore what’s at stake and present the key players who want to create the next stop for the Rockaway Beach Branch rail line in Queens.

Questions or comments? Contact us.

Jeff Bukhari

A sports fan at heart, Jeff handled reporting on the proposed Major League Soccer stadium in Queens and its connection to the QueensWay. He grew up in New York City, has previously worked for Major League Baseball and is pursuing a career in business reporting. Follow him on Twitter @JeffBukhari.

Queens Connection: Jeff covers Astoria, which gives him easy access to Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden.


Tiffany Camhi

Tiffany recorded the opinions of residents affected by the abandoned rail line in Woodhaven and Ozone Park. She also helped build the interactive “vox pop” map. In the future she hopes to cover cultural issues in local radio. Follow her on Twitter @tiffanycamhi.

Queens Connection: Covers Long Island City.


Topher Forhecz

Topher is editorial lead of The Line Project. He planned and edited content, and shot photos and video. Topher is an aspiring multimedia journalist focusing on urban reporting. He was a regular contributor to Express, a daily publication of the Washington Post, and covered three counties in southern Maryland for the Post Co.-owned newspaper, The Gazette. Follow him on Twitter at @ForheczT.

Queens Connection: Covers Rego Park.


Erica Hochstedler

Erica collected content for the historical timeline. Originally from Kansas City, Mo., she moved to New York City three years ago to pursue dance and writing. Along the way Erica has interned at Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine and the New York City Center. She plans to break away from her strictly print beginnings and innovatively report on the arts through video and other platforms.

Queens Connection: Reports on Sunnyside and Woodside.


Ashoka Jegroo

Ashoka interviewed Queens residents who support maintaining the line’s present state. He wrote content, captured photos and gave the editorial staff a hard time. Ashoka is an aspiring reporter with an international focus, trying to make it in the wild world of journalism. Check out his blog at ashokajegroo.journalism.cuny.edu.

Queens Connection: Lived in Woodhaven, reporting on Astoria, enjoys listening to Nas and Cormega.


Sarah Khuwaja

Part of the editorial team, Sarah took photographs, shot video and wrote copy for the Line Project. She has interned at WNYC and the New York Observer. Sarah is focusing on broadcast with a concentration in urban reporting.

Queens Connection: Flushing beat reporter.


Anne Lagamayo

Anne interviewed residents of the Rockaways on camera about their public transportation concerns in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. She’s pursuing a career in arts and culture reporting. Before coming to the J-School, she interned for Rogue Magazine and StyleBible.ph in Manila. Follow her on Twitter at @annelagamayo.

Queens Connection: Lives in Elmhurst and visits Little Manila in Woodside whenever she feels homesick.


Laura Lorenzetti

An eye toward design, Laura managed the interactive features and site layout for The Line. She captured audio, edited basic CSS and setup the HTML5 interactive in Tumult Hype. She’s a multimedia reporter with an interest in economic issues around the world. Follow her on Twitter at @lauralorenzetti.

Queens Connection: Reports in Elmhurst-Corona and often feeds her sister’s cat in Jackson Heights.


Ilie Mitaru

Ilie is a writer and media entrepreneur. Originally from Portland, Ore., he is working towards his master’s in Entrepreneurial Journalism at CUNY. Ilie worked on design, layout and outreach for the Line Project. He started www.portlandtalks.org, has written for Oregon Business Magazine and taught in the Masters of Applied Craft & Design at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Queens Connection: Reporting on Ridgewood.


Áine Pennello

Áine collected and edited audio clips from residents and business owners in Rego Park and Forest Park. She also took photographs of the line and surrounding neighborhoods. Áine is a multimedia journalist focusing on international reporting. She has interned at NBC News. Follow her on Twitter at @AinePennello.

Queens Connection: Lives in Astoria, reports on Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst.


Giovanny Pinto

Giovanny wrote an article exploring the perspective of those who support revitalizing the former Rockaway Beach Branch Rail Line. He is a print journalist pursuing a career in urban reporting. Giovanny has written for a slew of Bronx community newspapers. Follow him on Twitter at @FGPreporting.

Queens Connection: Lived in Kew Gardens and covered Jackson Heights.


Candace Sheppard

Candace served on the interactive team for the Line Project and produced multimedia packages for the site. She contributed audio and editorial copy for interactive pieces. She edits and writes for ehow.com and is pursuing a freelance career in broadcast production and urban reporting.

Queens Connection: A Flushing native, now covering news in Jamaica.


Matt Surrusco

One-third of the Line Project editorial staff, Matt captured photos, audio and video, edited drafts, contributed reporting and navigated the line. He’s a multimedia reporter on the up-and-up, pursuing a career in foreign correspondence. Matt has interned at Rolling Stone and WIN magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @mattsurrusco.

Queens Connection: Lives in Astoria, reports on Sunnyside and Woodside.


Danielle Valente

Photo editor, web staff member and writer, Danielle worked on the home page, captured photos and wrote “Road to the Trail” with Topher Forhecz. Danielle is also the “What’s On” editor of the Riverdale Press and is pursuing a career in arts journalism.

Queens Connection: Focuses her reporting on Forest Hills.


Faculty Advisers

Rebecca Leung, associate professor, Craft 1

Robert Williams, adjunct professor, Craft 1

Angela Thornton, adjunct research professor, Craft 1