VOL. 21 • NUMBER 13 • APRIL 8, 2021
ON THE MONEY Cuomo Says State Will Rake in $500M+ a Year from Mobile Sports Wagering
See Story on Page 6 Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday noted that once fully phased in, legalization of mobile sports betting will provide much-needed revenue for the State to help rebuild from COVID-19 and grow what could be the largest sports-wagering market in the U.S. into a proﬁtable industry long-term. Photo Courtesy of Don Pollard/Office of the Governor
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 13 • APRIL 8, 2021 | 1
Addabbo, Rajkumar to Present Queens COVID Remembrance Day Group with State Resolution By Forum Staff On Saturday, May 1, the Queens Covid Remembrance Day organization will be holding a remembrance vigil to honor all the residents of Queens that have died from COVID-19. During the ceremony, State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (D-Woodhaven) will be presenting the group with a resolution from New York State, honoring them for their selfless work and dedication to the community during this difficult time. More than 400 benches located at the Forest Park Bandshell will be adorned with the names and images of actual residents of Queens who passed away due to COVID-19. The images that will be on display are custom made by Faces of Covid Victims — an initiative started by a 16-year-old artist who creates artwork depicting the faces of COVID-19 victims — for free. “The Queens Covid Remembrance Day will be a day of solemn reflection as well as a celebration of the lives that COVID has taken from us,” said Brian Walter, QCRD Organizer. Additionally, there will be an original art installation from The Floral Heart Project on display, as well as the “Yellow Hearts Memorial,” where yellow hearts bearing the names
Photo Courtesy of QCRD
Addabbo and Rajkumar encourage anyone who has lost a loved one due to COVID-19, if they were from Queens or anywhere else, to submit their names to the QCRD organization so they can be included in the tribute. To submit a name, visit https://queenscovidremembranceday.com/submit-a-loved-one.
of COVID-19 victims from across the world. There will also be an Essential Worker Tribute to honor all of Queens’ essential workers and those in the medical field. At 1 p.m., there will also be an interfaith prayer ceremony and words of remembrance
from Queens residents who lost loved ones to COVID-19. “The work that the Queens Covid Remembrance Day group put into this event is extraordinary and heartfelt,” Addabbo said. “I am proud to be able to work with this amaz-
ing group to try and help bring some closure and peace to the loved ones of victims of the COVID-19 virus, while honoring the memories of those that we lost right here in our borough of Queens. It is a privilege to present the Queens Covid Remembrance Day with a resolution from New York State Senate, recognizing their commitment to the community and their efforts to help Queens heal.” “It is a privilege to work with the Queens Covid Remembrance Day Organization. The people who are a part of this great organization exemplify resilience, strength and hope in the face of tragic loss,” Rajkumar said. “This day will recognize and honor all of those we loved, cherished and adored — our friends, neighbors and family members — whom we lost to this deadly disease.” Addabbo and Rajkumar encourage anyone who has lost a loved one due to COVID-19, if they were from Queens or anywhere else, to submit their names to the QCRD organization so they can be included in the tribute. To submit a name, visit https://queenscovidremembranceday.com/submit-a-loved-one. If you are an essential worker or know one who would want to be included in the Essential Worker Tribute, visit https://queenscovidremembranceday.com/essential-workerstribute.
DOT to Begin Issuing Violations along Main Street Busway By Forum Staff The City Department of Transportation will begin issuing bus lane camera violations along the Main Street busway in Downtown Flushing on Friday, April 9, 2021. The new 0.6 mile Busway allows for bus and truck priority on northbound Main St. and Kissena Boulevard from Sanford Ave. to Northern Blvd. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This complements the bus and truck priority corridor that was implemented in 2017 on Main Street between 37th Avenue and 40th Road in the southbound direction. The Main Street Busway Pilot launched on Jan. 19, 2021 and is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Better Buses Restart plan. DOT will continue to monitor the progress of the busway pilot, ending January 2022, as it remains committed to increasing bus speeds and automated camera enforcement of bus lanes across the city, two critical ways to keep New Yorkers moving. The corridor now has signage indicating regulations of the busway, and that the bus lanes are camera-enforced. Only buses, trucks, and emergency vehicles are permitted as through traffic; all other vehicles are required to take the next available right turn; except at 41st Avenue, where left turns are also permitted. To ensure that drivers were informed about the program, beginning Feb. 8, DOT issued warnings to motorists for a period of 60 days before beginning to issue violations,
Bus lane camera enforcement is already in effect for 26 MTA routes.
per state law. Since violations are issued against the vehicle, not the driver, points are not deducted from motorists’ licenses. A single violation will cost $50; under a state law passed in 2019, fines increase for buslane violations incurred in a single year – to as much as $250 for a fifth offense. Bus lane camera enforcement is already in effect for the following MTA routes: • Q52/Q53, along the Woodhaven Boulevard corridor, Broadway, and Beach 59th Street • Bx12, along the Fordham Road SBS cor-
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ridor • M15, along the First Avenue and Second Avenue SBS corridors • M34, along the 34th Street SBS corridor • M60, along the 125th Street SBS corridor • B44, along the Nostrand Avenue and Rogers Avenue SBS corridor • S79, along the Hylan Boulevard-Richmond Avenue SBS corridor • Q44, along the Main Street-Sutphin Boulevard SBS corridor • Bx41, along Webster Avenue SBS cor-
ridor • B46, along Utica Avenue, Broadway and Malcolm X Boulevard SBS corridor • M23, along the 23rd Street SBS corridor • Bx6, along East 161st Street SBS corridor • B82, along Kings Highway SBS corridor • Q58, southbound along Fresh Pond Road • B35, along Church Avenue • M86, along 86th Street • Q4/Q5, along the Jamaica Avenue • B25, along Fulton Street • B17, along Rockaway Parkway • Bx19, along the East 149th Street corridor • M103, along Lexington and 3rd Avenues • M1/M55, along Broadway • M42, along West 42nd Street • M14, along the 14th Street corridor • M3/M4, along 5th Avenue • M1/M2/M3/M4, along Madison Avenue • B26, B54, B57, B61, B62, B65 and B67 on Jay Street between Livingston and Tillary Streets Due to new state legislation passed in 2019, the City is now allowed to expand the bus lane camera program as needed. The program was previously limited to only 16 routes. Additional camera-enforced routes will be added over time. DOT also works with the NYPD to enforce bus lanes citywide.
Bill Looks to Lower Prescription Prices
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In 2020, five of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. made $44.9 billion in profits.
By Michael V. Cusenza On Friday, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand stood with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Maria Alvarez, Executive Director of the NY Statewide Senior Action Council, Mario Henry, Executive Board Member of the NY Statewide Senior Action Council, and Tim Clune, Executive Director of Disability Rights New York, to announce a package of three bills to help reduce the cost of prescription drugs, and help ensure that everyone can access the medicine they need. The package of bills, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (IVT), includes: The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs under Medicare Part D; The Prescription Drug Price Relief Act which looks to level the market for Americans purchasing prescription drugs by pegging the price in the United States to the median price in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan; and The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act to allow patients, pharmacists and wholesalers to import safe, affordable medicine from Canada and other major countries. Under current law, the secretary of HHS is prohibited from negotiating lower drug prices on behalf of Medicare Part D beneficiaries. In contrast, other government programs, like Medicaid and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), are allowed to negotiate. According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, Medicare paid twice as much for the same prescrip-
tion drugs as VA in 2017. “As New Yorkers face growing health challenges and economic hardship in the wake of the pandemic, they are being forced to make decisions between picking up their drugs and buying groceries or keeping the lights on. And while people struggle to access the medications they need, the five largest pharmaceutical companies in the country are making tens of billions of dollars in profits,” Gillibrand said. “As a member of the Aging Committee, reducing prescription drug prices for our seniors is one of my top priorities. That is why I am proud to announce my support for this legislative package that will help us reduce the cost of prescription drugs and make sure that everyone can access the medications they need. According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, Medicare paid twice as much for the same prescription drugs as VA in 2017. In 2020, five of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. made $44.9 billion in profits. That same year, in the midst of a twin public health and economic crisis, drug makers raised their prices of more than 860 prescription drugs by 5 percent, on average. In 2018, the average annual cost of therapy for widely used specialty drugs was about $79,000. This is more than twice the median income for people on Medicare and more than three and half times the average Social Security retirement benefit. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently indicated that lawmakers are discussing including legislation to lower prescription drug prices as part of the next major legislative package.
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Meng Encourages Houses of Worship and Borough Nonproﬁts to Apply for Grants to Guard Against Attacks By Forum Staff U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) on Monday encouraged houses of worship and nonprofit organizations in Queens to apply for funding to improve the safety and security of their properties. Meng recently held a virtual workshop that provided information and assistance on applying for federal funds under the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s initiative that provides synagogues, churches, mosques, temples and nonprofit institutions such as community centers, schools and other facilities with funds to protect their properties against threats and attacks. The workshop helped houses of worship and nonprofits in the borough learn about the program and how they can successfully apply for funding for the 2021 fiscal year. These DHS grants, allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, cover target-hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities such as barriers, gates, safety gear, surveillance equipment, and other safety measures. This year’s deadline to apply for the grants is April 15. According to Meng, each house of worship-nonprofit organization is now eligible for up to $150,000 per year, up from $100,000. Those that submit applica-
“The rise in hate crimes and attacks have made these grants more important than ever,” Rep. Meng (l.) said.
tions from Meng’s congressional district are encouraged to contact the Congresswoman’s office for assistance and letters of support. The phone number for Meng’s office is 718-358MENG (6364). Meng’s workshop also featured a presentation by the Community Security Initiative, a joint program of the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. A presentation was also provided by the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee – the panel that funds all of
Meng’s workshop also featured a presentation by the Community Security Initiative, a joint program of the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, which is located in Manhattan.
the federal government’s agencies, programs, and projects – Meng announced in December that she secured a record breaking $180 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program for fiscal year 2021. This boost came after Meng increased funding to a record $90 million in fiscal year 2020. The Congresswoman has worked to increase funding for previous years as well. “The rise in hate crimes and attacks have made these grants more important than ever,” said Meng. “It is critical for houses of worship and nonprofit entities here in Queens and across New York and the na-
tion take the necessary steps to ensure that their properties are as safe and secure as possible, and the Nonprofit Security Grant Program can provide needed funding to help accomplish that crucial goal. As I have said, safety and security must always be the number one priority. Like I did last year, I again encourage all houses or worship and highrisk nonprofits to apply for these important grants.” In July, Meng announced that facilities throughout her congressional district in Queens received more than $1.7 million from the Nonprofit Security Grant Program.
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Pols Push Voter Empowerment Act
Photo Courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
The Voter Empowerment Act was originally authored in the House by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, who passed away last year.
By Forum Staff On Thursday, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Reverend Raphael Warnock, and U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn and Rep. Nikema Williams announced the reintroduction of the bicameral Voter Empowerment Act, legislation originally authored in the House by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, who passed away last year. This legislation would help protect the voting rights of people across the country by ensuring equal access to the ballot for every eligible voter, modernizing voter registration, and helping to eliminate deceptive practices that deter people from voting. The Voter Empowerment Act is a cornerstone of the For the People Act: a voting rights, anti-corruption and clean elections reform package. According to the elected officials, the Voter Empowerment Act takes a comprehensive approach to close the gaps in voting access and ensure that every American can participate in the electoral process. Specifically, it would do the following: • Requires states to make available online voter registration, correction, cancellation and designation of party affiliation. Requires states to automatically register to vote any eligible unregistered citizens. Establishes same-day voter registration, including during early voting. Prohibits purging of voter rolls by limiting the authority of states to remove registrants from the official list of eligible voters in elections for federal office in the state based on interstate voter registration crosschecks. Makes it unlawful to hinder, interfere or prevent an individual from registering to vote, and requires the Election Assistance Commission to develop best practices for states to deter and prevent such violations. Requires states to promote access to voter registration and voting for persons with
disabilities and older individuals. Funds grants to improve voting accessibility for persons with disabilities and creates a pilot program to allow persons with disabilities to register and vote from home. Prohibits the use of returned non-forwardable mail as the basis for removing registered voters from the rolls. Prohibits challenges to eligibility from individuals who are not election officials without an oath of good faith factual basis. Requires at least 15 consecutive days of early voting for federal elections. Requires that early voting locations be near public transportation, in rural areas and open for at least 10 hours per day. Prohibits a state from imposing restrictions on vote by mail, requires the state to implement a program to track and confirm receipt of mail ballots, and requires the prepayment of postage and return envelopes. Makes it unlawful to provide false information about elections in order to hinder or discourage voting. Increases penalties for voter intimidation and prescribes sentencing guidelines for those individuals found guilty of such deceptive practices. Restores federal voting rights to individuals with a criminal record, so long as they are not serving a felony sentence in a correctional facility. Requires states and the federal government to notify individuals convicted of state or federal felonies, respectively, of their re-enfranchisement. Eliminates the existing funding cap Requires each state to comply with any Election Assistance Commission request for post-election survey following any regularly scheduled general election for federal office Directs the Election Assistance Commission to assess the security, cybersecurity and effectiveness of the commission’s information technology systems.
The Pharmacist’s Corner
Presented by Frank Pantina, R.Ph
SPRING HAS SPRUNG BE PREPARED FOR BEE STINGS Despite some cold and rainy days in the last couple of weeks, spring has arrived and the sights, sounds and smells we crave all winter, will be upon us very soon. Spring brings flowers, flowers bring bees, bees bring stings, and stings can bring problems–on very rare occasions they can be fatal. This week we'd like to offer you some key information to help you deal with a bee sting situation should it arise. It's not the sting that kills people, it's their allergy to the venom introduced into the body via the bee's stinger. Bee stings can be relatively easy to treat, most often requiring nothing more than minor first aid. If the stinger is in the skin, it has to be removed. A common misconception is that it be squeezed or tweezed out, but that can cause the release of more venom. Scraping the stinger out is the best removal method. Use the edge of a knife, a credit card or even a fingernail, just remember the quicker the better. As a side note, be aware that wasps, hornets and yellow jackets don't leave a stinger behind when they sting you.
Next, wash the area with soap and water and apply an antiseptic followed by a soothing ointment, like hydrocortisone or calamine, and cover the area with a dry, sterile bandage. For swelling, apply an ice pack or cold compress. You can take an OTC oral antihistamine to reduce itching, swelling, and hives, but kids under two or pregnant woman can't. To relieve pain, take an NSAID, such as ibuprofen. One very interesting fact about stings is that you will not have an allergic reaction to a sting the first time you are stung by a particular insect. One or more stings are needed to sensitize your immune system, so don't make the mistake of thinking because nothing happened the first time, you're not allergic. And if you have an allergic reaction one time it doesn't mean you'll have one the next. That is why doctors often prescribe epipens for patients with a confirmed sensitization of bee venom. They should be taken with you at all times. And now, go out and enjoy the flowers of Spring. Until next week
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Cops Thank Community for Answering Easter Call
Members of the 106th Precinct on Friday thanked the Howard Beach community for donating hundreds of Easter baskets to the less fortunate this year. “Thank you to the Howard Beach/Lindenwood Civic Association and Howard Beach Moms for the Easter Basket donations to churches and shelters within our community,” grateful cops wrote on Facebook. “So many children will have a Happy Easter thanks to all your generosity.” The Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic returned the favor. “The HBLCIVIC/HBMom Easter
Basket Drive was an enormous success. None of this would have been possible without the tons of donations received from residents of Howard Beach and the surrounding communities,” they wrote on FB. “Once again our partners at the 106th Pct., especially Det. Brenda Reddick, were instrumental in identifying our distribution locations. Thank you to all who donated and to Hunny Bunny for putting love into making each basket. So many children will have a Happy Easter thanks to all your generosity.” Photo Courtesy of Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 13 • APRIL 8, 2021 | 5
State Will Rake in $500M+ a Year from Mobile Sports Wagering: Cuomo By Michael V. Cusenza The $212 billion Fiscal Year 2022 Enacted Budget includes new revenue resources that provide the revenues needed to make the investments that will support the State’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and New York’s recovery from it, including long-awaited mobile sports wagering, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday. Once fully phased in, legalization of mobile sports betting will provide more than $500 million in much-needed revenue for the State to help rebuild from COVID-19 and grow what could be the largest sports wagering market in the U.S. into a profitable industry long-term, Cuomo added. Under the legislation, the state will issue a Request for Applications and must select at least two platform providers who must work with a total of at least four operators or skins. Once fully phased in, the program will provide $5 million annually to youth sports, and $6 million to combat problem gambling, doubling the resources currently available. The remainder of this new revenue will be dedicated to education, Cuomo noted. The governor on Tuesday announced more highlights of the FY2022 Empire State spending plan: The Budget supports the Governor’s $311 billion infrastructure plan - the largest in the nation and the most expansive in State’s history - that will create thousands of jobs across the State. The Budget establishes a first-in-the-nation program to provide affordable internet by requiring internet service providers to offer an affordable $15 per month high-speed internet plan to qualified low-income households. The Budget directs $2.3 billion in federal child care resources to expand availability, quality and affordability of child care across the state, and enhances the Employer Provided Child Care Credit to provide meaningful incentives to employers to help them provide child care to their employees. The Budget supports $29 billion in public and private green economy investments to create 12,400 megawatts of green energy enough to power 6 million homes - helping to fulfill the goals of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and also spur the COVID economic recovery. The investments include the largest offshore wind program in the nation, plans to make New York a global wind energy manufacturing powerhouse, constructing a green energy transmission superhighway, a public-private partnership to build nearly 100 renewable energy projects and supporting transit agencies’ transition to electric busses. The Budget ensures that New York uses Buy American principles in manufacturing of renewable components. The Budget also requires prevailing wage for construction labor peace agreements for operations and manufacturing. The Budget ensures access to fair and safe housing and protects renters by establishing a $2.4 billion rent relief program using Fed-
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Coughlin/Office of the Governor
“Thanks to the State’s strong fiscal management and relentless pursuit to secure the federal support that the pandemic demanded, we not only balanced our budget, we are also making historic investments to reimagine, rebuild and renew New York in the aftermath of the worst health and economic crisis in a century,” Gov. Cuomo said.
eral and State funds. The Enacted Budget includes comprehensive nursing home reform legislation to help ensure facilities prioritize patients over profits, establishing minimum thresholds for nursing home spending on direct resident care and staffing, and investing $32 million annually to implement the reforms, while capping profits and performing related party transactions to drive funding to where it matters most, the patients. The Budget enacts small business and arts relief and recovery assistance, a robust $1 billion relief package for small businesses, arts, entertainment and restaurant relief to help them recover from the impacts of the pandemic. It includes $865 million in grants and $139 million in tax credits. The Budget also continues the phase-in of the middle class tax cut, which is expected to save 4.8 million New Yorkers over $2.2 billion this year. From the beginning of the pandemic, Governor Cuomo led the national effort to secure Federal funding for state and local governments, with New York State receiving $12.6 billion in aid to help offset devastating revenue losses caused entirely by the pandemic. With this Federal funding and additional revenues, including $3.5 billion in new tax revenue that rises to $4.3 billion in FY 2023, the Enacted Budget closes the deficit and invests in the ongoing response to the pandemic and recovery efforts. “New York was ambushed early and hit hardest by COVID, devastating our economy and requiring urgent and unprecedented emergency spending to manage the pandemic,” Governor Cuomo said. “Thanks to the State’s strong fiscal management and relentless pursuit to secure the federal support that the pandemic demanded, we not only balanced our budget, we are also making historic investments to reimagine, rebuild and renew New York in the aftermath of the worst health and economic crisis in a century. This budget continues funding for the largest-inthe-nation $311 billion infrastructure plan, establishes a groundbreaking program to provide affordable internet for low-income fami-
6 APRIL 8, 2021 • Number 13 • VOL. 21 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
lies and enhances public safety through police reforms, all while continuing to provide relief to New Yorkers and small businesses as we recover from the pandemic. I thank the legislative leaders - Senate Majority Leader StewartCousins and Assembly Speaker Heastie - for their partnership in helping make this critical budget a reality and delivering results for the people of this state.” One of the most intriguing elements of the FY2022 Enacted Budget is “Addressing Systemic Injustices”: Strengthen Policing Profession: The FY 2022 Enacted Budget strengthens hiring and background investigation standards for police officers through the establishment of a certification process. All police departments will be required to certify their compliance with minimum hiring and background investigation standards. This legislation prevents officers who commit serious or criminal misconduct from serving as officers in another police department. Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes (SCAHC): The FY 2022 Enacted Budget adds $25 million to the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes grant program. This program boosts safety and security at New York’s nonpublic schools, community centers and day care facilities at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs or mission. This new funding may also be used to safeguard against cyber related hate crimes or attacks. Liberty Defense Fund: The FY 2022 Enacted Budget authorizes $10 million for the Liberty Defense Fund to provide free legal consultations and screenings to help undocumented New Yorkers. Support Raise the Age Implementation: The FY 2022 Enacted Budget includes a $250 million appropriation to support continued implementation of the Raise the Age initiative. Elections Infrastructure and Voting Reforms: The Enacted Budget includes $25 million in capital funding to modernize and secure State and local voting infrastructure. The Budget also provides $2 million in local funding and $1 million in State Board of Elec-
tions funding to support the implementation and oversight of voting reforms, including early voting. Tackling Food Insecurities: The FY 2022 Enacted Budget adds $50 million to Nourish New York for a total $85 million investment to extend the program through 2021. This critical program helps people who are food insecure access the nourishment that they need, leveraging the vast agricultural industry of New York State to connect food banks and providers to purchase locally grown and produced food. Other budget highlights include: Enhancing Access to Health Care Services for Holocaust Survivors: The FY 2022 Enacted Budget provides $1 million in additional support for the Holocaust Survivors Initiative. These funds will be used to increase access to health care related case management services for those who suffered in the Holocaust. Case Management services include, but are not limited to, mental health services, trauma informed care, crisis prevention, legal services and entitlement counseling, emergency financial assistance for food, housing, prescriptions, medical and dental care, socialization programs, training and support for caregivers and home health aides working with survivors and end of life care including hospice and ethical wills. $1 Billion for Strengthening Local Highways and Bridges: The FY 2022 Enacted Budget builds upon Governor Cuomo’s record commitment to funding local highway and bridge projects. Funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) and the Marchiselli program increases by $100 million to $577.8 million and funding for Extreme Winter Recovery is $100 million. The Enacted Budget also provides $100 million of new funding to localities responsible for State Touring Routes, increases highway aid through the PAVE NY program by $50 million to $150 million, and maintains funding of local bridge projects through the BRIDGE NY program at $100 million. This represents an overall year-to-year increase of $285 million and brings funding for local highway and bridge projects to more than $1 billion. These programs will play a vital role in improving conditions on State and local roads and bridges and rebuilding New York. Restore Mother Nature Bond Act: The FY 2022 Enacted Budget authorizes the Governor’s $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act. If approved by voters in the November 2022 general election, this historic environmental initiative will make significant investments across the state to combat climate change, reduce flood risk, invest in resilient infrastructure and revitalize critical fish and wildlife habitats. It will do this by connecting streams and waterways, right-sizing culverts and dams, restoring freshwater and tidal wetlands, reclaiming natural floodplains, restocking shellfish populations and upgrading fish hatcheries, preserving open space, conserving more forest areas, replanting more trees, reducing contamination from agricultural and storm water runoff and expanding renewable energy.
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QEDC Announces Finalists in the 2021 Queens StartUP! Business Competition
Courtesy of QEDC
The Queens Economic Development Corporation on Thursday announced the 12 finalists in the 15th annual Queens StartUP! Business Competition.
By Forum Staff The Queens Economic Development Corporation on Thursday announced the 12 finalists in the 15th annual Queens StartUP! Business Competition, a four-month challenge-and-instruction course offered via a partnership with Resorts World Casino New York City with support from the Srivastava Technology Fund. After attending at least four workshops on such topics as pricing, branding, marketing, and budgeting, StartUP! contestants submitted anonymous business plans to a panel of judges consisting of local entrepreneurship and commerce experts. The panel then select-
Courtesy of QEDC
Since it began in 2006, StartUP! has awarded a total of $450,000 in grants to 71 winners chosen from a combined pool of 4,300 participants.
ed three finalists in four categories from a pool of almost 50 solo entrepreneurs and teams in the early stages of operation. Here’s the list: • House of Playful Soul, a children’s learning center in Forest Hills, advanced in the Community division, along with the Jackson Heights cooperative bookstore Open Borders, and Women’s Weekend Film Challenge, an Astoria nonprofit that promotes female film industry workers. • Astoria’s Prince Abou’s Butchery, which sells locally sourced Halal meat products, went forward in the Food category, along with QNSY, a craft cocktail business run by a Jackson Heights couple, and Globurrito,
an Astoria-based international fusion food truck. • In the Sustainability cohort, the finalists are Terrart NYC, which designs floral arrangements inside terrariums; Astoria’s Kon Incense, which sells organic, plant-based incense in refillable, non-plastic containers; and Weeta’s Cositas, an Astoria-based art and fashion purveyor. • The Tech advancers are Kids Break Ground, a platform that helps youngsters explore career options; She Designs Creative Agency, which offers online courses, mentorship, and coaching related to coding; and Foodini, an app that explains different cuisines.
In late April, the judges will listen to live pitches before announcing a winner in each category during an online event. Each one will receive $10,000 in seed funding. “Congratulations to the dozen finalists and best of luck as you make your business dreams become realities,” said QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein. “It’s been a tough year, but we had many fantastic entries despite the pandemic. I’d like to remind those who didn’t advance that they can try again next year.” Since it began in 2006, StartUP! has awarded a total of $450,000 in grants to 71 winners chosen from a combined pool of 4,300 participants.
As Overnight Subway Cleaning Continues, Workers Must be Paid Prevailing Wages: Stringer By Michael V. Cusenza City Comptroller Scott Stringer recently sent a letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman & CEO Patrick Foye urging the MTA to ensure that the contractors providing subway cleaning services are paying prevailing wages and benefits to their employees. Highlighting concerns that these workers are not being paid what they are owed under the law, Comptroller Stringer is already investigating one contractor for underpayment of prevailing wages on a cleaning contract for subway train interiors. Stringer informed the MTA of his determination that Labor Law Article Nine applies to the cleaning of trains as well as subway stations. “For the past year, the employees tasked with disinfecting the subway have risked their lives keeping our massive transit system clean,” Stringer said. “These essential workers have faced extraordinarily challenging conditions, often without sufficient supplies and protective equipment. It is critical and common sense that we pay subway cleaners every cent of wages that they are owed for their invaluable work. There will be no economic recovery for New York without a
Photo Courtesy of Andrew Cashin/MTA
Comptroller Stringer is urging the MTA to ensure that the contractors providing subway cleaning services are paying prevailing wages and benefits to their employees.
clean, safe, reliable subway system – and the MTA must not shortchange the very workers who are crucial to ensuring that millions of New Yorkers and our frontline workforce can use our transit system safely.” Stringer also noted that last May he sent a letter to the MTA concerning the payment of prevailing wages to employees of New York
10 APRIL 8, 2021 • Number 13 • VOL. 21 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
City Transit contractors that perform the important task of cleaning and disinfecting subway stations and trains. “On May 18, 2020, I wrote to you concerning the payment of prevailing wages to employees of NYCT contractors that perform the important task of cleaning and disinfecting subway stations and trains. How-
ever, it has come to my attention that NYCT is not requiring payment of prevailing wages to employees on contracts for cleaning the interiors of subway trains,” the comptroller wrote. “It is critical to ensure that the contractors providing these cleaning services are paying prevailing wages and benefits to their employees. Nearly a year after these cleanings began and with no indication that they will stop in the near-term future, I am concerned that these workers are not being paid what they are owed under the law. My office is currently investigating one NYCT contractor for underpayment of prevailing wages on a cleaning contract for subway train interiors. We will continue to monitor the work on these contracts and accept complaints from workers, with an eye to recovering unpaid prevailing wages for these workers retroactively,” Stringer added. “Once again, the COVID-19 pandemic is putting tremendous economic strain on New York City’s workforce and vulnerable communities. These workers are risking their own health and that of their families to ensure that New Yorkers—especially our frontline workforce—can use our transit system safely.”
Two Virtual Job-Recruitment Fairs this Month By Forum Staff As part of a continuing effort to addressing the current economic downturn, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. on Monday announced his office has scheduled two Virtual Queens Jobs Recruitment Fairs during the month of April. First, Richards and Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Corona) will co-host a special Virtual Queens Jobs Recruitment Fair on Friday, April 9, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. Then, the following week, Richards will host his regular monthly Virtual Queens Jobs Recruitment Fair on Thursday, April 15, from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM. “Although more than a year has passed since the pandemic started, we are not letting up on our efforts to get Queens residents back to work. That’s why I am so pleased to partner with Assemblywoman Cruz in co-hosting a special April 9 job fair that will be held in addition to my office’s regularly scheduled job fair on April 15. We will not rest until every Queens resident who wants a job has a job,” Richards said. The two fairs held this month will feature brief presentations from employers and recruiters seeking to fill numerous positions in a variety of fields, including aviation, transportation, developmental support, retail, finance and more. Question and answer sessions will follow the presentations.
Photo Courtesy of Emil Cohen
“We will not rest until every Queens resident who wants a job has a job,” Borough President Richards said.
The organizations scheduled to participate in the April 9 fair include: 82nd Street Academics, Animal Care Centers of NYC, Building Skills NY, CAMBA, Inc., Commonpoint Queens, the Council for Airport Opportunity, Express Employment Professionals, New York Life, the Queens Chamber of Commerce, and Workforce1. The April 15 fair is scheduled to feature Animal Care Centers of NYC, Building Skills NY, CAMBA, Inc., The Child Center of New York, Commonpoint Queens,
the Council for Airport Opportunity, District Council 9 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Empire Vets, Express Employment Professionals, Forest Hills Financial Group, the New York City Children’s Center, NYC Transit/ MTA, New York Life, the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Queens Centers for Progress, Resorts World Casino New York City, Turning Point for Women and Families, WATCHGUARD 24/7, Westhab, Inc., and Workforce1.
The April 9 Virtual Queens Jobs Recruitment Fair will air online from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM at queensbp.org. Those interested in participating in the fair’s live interactive Q&A must RSVP by Thursday, April 8, at queensbp.org/rsvp. Instructions on how to participate in the Q&A will be emailed on the day of the event to those who register. The April 15 Virtual Queens Jobs Recruitment Fair will air online from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM at queensbp.org. Those interested in participating in the fair’s live interactive Q&A must RSVP by Wednesday, April 14 at queensbp.org/rsvp. Instructions on how to participate in the Q&A will be emailed on the day of the event to those who register. Queens’ unemployment rate was 12.9 percent in January 2021. That’s down from a high of 21.6 percent in June 2020 — but still 9.9 percentage points higher than February 2020’s pre-pandemic low of 3 percent. The January 2021 unemployment rate in Queens was also 2.2 points higher that the borough’s 10.7 percent unemployment rate for the previous month (December 2020). This suggests the borough is still experiencing a very tough job market. There were 2.5 million first-time unemployment claims filed in New York City between March 14, 2020 (near the start of the pandemic) and March 20, 2021, according to the State Department of Labor.
De Blasio Administration Launches City Cleanup Corps By Forum Staff Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced the launch of the City Cleanup Corps, a New Deal-inspired economic recovery program to directly create 10,000 jobs and make New York City the cleanest, greenest city in the United States. Announced in the Mayor’s Recovery for All of Us plan, the New York City CCC is modeled after the New Deal’s U.S. Civilian Conservation Corps, which hired thousands of unemployed Americans from across the country to improve public lands, forests and parks during the Great Depression. The federal stimulus passed by President Joe Biden and Democratic majorities in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate will be used to fund the program. “In 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt built the nation’s economic recovery by improving infrastructure, putting Americans back to work, and restoring civic pride in our public spaces. Today, New York City is leading the way in doing it again,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Building a recovery for all of us means creating thousands and thousands of jobs that will make our city a safer and more beautiful place to live, work, and play. That mission has never been more important. Together, we will deliver the kind of recovery that New Yorkers deserve.”
Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
“Building a recovery for all of us means creating thousands and thousands of jobs that will make our city a safer and more beautiful place to live, work, and play. That mission has never been more important. Together, we will deliver the kind of recovery that New Yorkers deserve,” Mayor de Blasio said.
Hiring will begin in April, with 1,000 New Yorkers hired this month. More than 7,700 positions will be posted in July and build to 10,000. Hiring will take place across 10 different City agencies, including Department of Parks & Recreation, Department of Transportation, New York City Housing Authority, and Department
of Environmental Protection. According to the administration, the CCC will immediately get to work revitalizing New York City’s public spaces and neighborhoods, beautifying parks and green spaces, and bringing art to the city’s open spaces. This will include a citywide graffiti removal campaign, pressure wash-
ing sidewalks, designing murals, tending to community gardens, and maintaining Open Streets. The CCC’s work will focus on key areas identified by local communities and elected officials, business districts, and the 33 neighborhoods hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic as identified by the City’s Taskforce on Racial Equity and Inclusion. “As elected officials, our constituents expect us to ensure that their families are safe, and their streets are clean, among other duties,” said City Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village). “While in office, I ensured that proper funding was allocated for street cleaning services, graffiti removal, snow shoveling, and additional basket collections. The mayor’s City Cleanup Corps is a great initiative that would not only create jobs but help keep our streets clean.” Councilman Francisco Moya (D-Corona) added, “Beautifying our parks and spaces, and cleaning our streets throughout the pandemic have been a labor of love for so many New Yorkers, who have volunteered their time, especially across my district. Now we can truly double down on having cleaner neighborhoods that we can be proud of while getting thousands of New Yorkers back to work. The City Cleanup Corps is great news for our City as we work to recover from this pandemic.”
THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 13 • APRIL 8, 2021 | 11
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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 13 • APRIL 8, 2021 | 13
Legal Notices LOKUS MANOR RECORDINGS LLC Authority filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 11/06/2020. Off. loc.: Queens Co. SSNY des. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to LOKUS MANOR RECORDINGS LLC, 13429 166TH PLACE, APT. 1B #17c, JAMAICA, NY 11434. Purpose: General. SQUAREFORCE LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/17/21. Off. loc.: Queens Co. SSNY des. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to the LLC, c/o Robinson Brog, et al., Attn: Albert V. Dumaual, Esq., 875 Third Ave, 9th Fl., New York, NY 10022. Purpose: General. Next Solutions Group LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/17/21. Off. loc.: Queens Co. SSNY des. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to the LLC, c/o Robinson Brog, et al., Attn: Albert V. Dumaual, Esq., 875 Third Ave, 9th Fl., New York, NY 10022. Purpose: General. Aleen Holdings LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/17/21. Off. loc.: Queens Co. SSNY des. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to the LLC, c/o Robinson Brog, et al., Attn: Albert V. Dumaual, Esq., 875 Third Ave, 9th Fl., New York, NY 10022. Purpose: General. Metropolitan Caregivers LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/05/21. Off. loc.: Queens Co. SSNY des. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to Metropolitan Cargivers LLC, 3-26A Endeavor Place, College Point, NY 11356. Purpose: General. MONILUVSTYLES LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 01/15/19. Off. loc.: Queens Co. SSNY des. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to SIMONE A. COTTLE, 109 16 FRANCIS LEWIS BLVD., QUEENS, NY 11429. Purpose: General. TRESCLAVELES LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/17/21. Off. loc.: Queens Co. SSNY des. as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to the LLC, c/o Robinson Brog, et al., Attn: Albert V. Dumaual, Esq., 875 Third Ave, 9th Fl., New York, NY 10022. Purpose: General. APEX IMPERIAL, LLC Authority filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/18/2021 Office Location: Queens Co. LLC formed in New Jersey (NJ) on 12/12/19 SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process APEX IMPERIAL, LLC, 133-47 SANFORD AVE. #13E, FLUSHING, NY 11355. Purpose: any lawful activity. BRISAL PROPERTIES, LLC Authority filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 03/03/2021 Office Location: Queens Co. LLC formed in New Jersey (NJ) on 12/12/19 SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to: SALISHA HOPELEDGISTER, 240-24 145TH AVE, ROSEDALE, NY 11422. Purpose: any lawful activity. 14 CHOI PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LLC FILED W/ SSNY ON 3/3/21. OFFICE: QUEENS CO. SSNY DESIGNATED AS AGENT FOR PROCESS & SHALL MAIL TO: 153-02 NORTHERN BLVD., FLUSHING, NY 11354. PURPOSE: ANY LAWFUL
MOVEMENT AND MIND COACHING AND CREATIVES, LLC filed w/ SSNY on 3/1/21. Office: Queens Co. SSNY designated as agent for process & shall mail to: MOVEMENT AND MIND COACHING AND CREATIVES, LLC, 111-14 76TH AVE. APT 102, FOREST HILLS, NY 11375 Purpose: any lawful. Notice of Formation of 42-20 Development LLC. Art. of Org. filed Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 6/22/2017. Office location: Queens County. SSNY Designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to: The LLC, 141-43 Northern Blvd., 2nd Fl, Flushing, NY 11354. Purpose: any lawful activity.
CROSSTOWN LOGISTICS LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 03/10/21. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to KUDESIE CHUNIELAL, 11710 140TH STREET, JAMAICA, NY 11436. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. WITTS SERVICES, LLC Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 02/16/21. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to REGISTERED AGENTS INC, 90 STATE STREET, SUITE 700, OFFICE 40, ALBANY, NY 12207. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.
Notice of Formation of H5 Capital, LLC. Art. of Org. filed Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 4/20/2018. Office location: Queens County. SSNY Designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to: The LLC, 14615 Cherry Ave, Flushing, NY 11355. Purpose: any lawful activity.
Notice of Formation of MCDUFFIE PROPERTY STOCK HOLDINGS LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 03/30/21. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: BAKAR MCDUFFIE, 10519 170TH STREET, JAMAICA, NY 11433. Purpose: any lawful activities.
Notice of Formation of Grand 147th Street Development LLC. Art. of Org. filed Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 4/16/2018. Office location: Queens County. SSNY Designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to: The LLC, 10-03 141st St, Whitestone, NY 11357. Purpose: any lawful activity.
Notice of Formation of LADY KONFIDENTIAL LLCArts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 03/03/21. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: KIM IBRICEVIC, 78-24 19TH ROAD, #2B, EAST ELMHURST, NY 11370 Purpose: any lawful activities.
MAQUINA 37 LLC filed w/ SSNY on 12/21/20. Office: Queens Co. SSNY designated as agent for process & shall mail to: MAQUINA 37 LLC, 8908 163RD AVE, HOWARD BEACH, NY 11414. Purpose: any lawful.
Notice of Formation of TMCNY REAL ESTATE, LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 01/08/21. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to:REGISTERED AGENTS INC., 90 STATE STREET, SUITE 700, OFFICE 40, ALBANY, NY 12207. Purpose: any lawful activities.
Citydocs IPA LLC filed w/ SSNY on 3/2/21. Office: Queens Co. SSNY designated as agent for process & shall mail to: 14728 Hillside Ave., Jamaica, NY 11435. Purpose: any lawful. AF FREELANCE MARKETING, LLC filed w/ SSNY on 3/9/21. Office: Queens Co. SSNY designated as agent for process & shall mail to: ARIES MANALOTO FRANCISCO, 91-15 86th Drive 1st floor, Queens, NY 11421. Purpose: any lawful. THE AVENUE CAFE NYC LLC filed w/ SSNY on 3/5/21. Office: Queens Co. SSNY designated as agent for process & shall mail to: STEPHEN KANHAI, 103-24 170TH STREET, JAMAICA, NY 11433. Purpose: any lawful. MIKE & TERRY LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 03/11/21. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, 41-07 162nd Street, Flushing, NY 11358. Purpose: Any lawful purpose. BUTCHER SHOP REALTY LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on 03/10/21. Office: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, 41-07 162nd Street, Flushing, NY 11358. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.
14 APRIL 8, 2021 • Number 13 • VOL. 21 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
Notice of Formation of RUTH TEITELBAUM PLLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 03/22/21. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: RUTH TEITELBUM PLLC, P.O. BOX 604008, BAYSIDE, NEW YORK, 11360. Purpose: any lawful activities.
Notice of Formation of KOTA ESSENTIAL LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 03/01/21. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: HAROLD TIPPETT, 11430 175 TH STREET, JAMAICA, NY 11434 Purpose: any lawful activities. Notice of Formation of 821 Sourcing Solutions LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 03/18/21. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: Niccolo Duranti, 4610 Center Blvd Apt 1611, Long Island City, NY 11109. Purpose: any lawful activities. Notice of Formation of STRAIGHT AHEAD FILMS, LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 04/08/19. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: NEAL HEMPHILL, 5136 30th Ave, Apt 1 G, Woodside, NY 11377. Purpose: any lawful activities.
Notice is hereby given that an order entered by the civil court, Queens county, on the 22nd day of JUNE 2018, bearing Index Number NC-00056818/QU, a copy of which may be examined at the office of the clerk, located at 89-17 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, NY, 11435, grants me the right to assume the name of (first)JENNIFER (middle) MELISSA (last) MARTINEZ. My present name is (first) JENNIFER(middle) MELISSA (last) MARTINEZ aka JENNIFER MELISSA VILLODAS aka JENNIFER MARTINEZ. The city and state of my address are RICHMOND HILL, NY; the year and month of my birth is JANUARY 1989; place of my birth is MANHATTAN, NY. Notice of Formation of LUCKYCLOV3RS LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 03/01/21. Office location: Queens County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: WILLIAM CAIRNS, 9507 160TH AVENUE, HOWARD BEACH NY 11414 Purpose: any lawful activities.
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THE FORUM NEWSGROUP • VOL. 21 • Number 13 • APRIL 8, 2021 | 15
We gladly accept phone orders!
09 10 11 12 13 14 15
LET US TAKE CARE OF ALL YOUR GROCERY NEEDS WITH ONLINE ORDERING!
Boneless Chicken Breast
Boar's Head Genoa Salami
Boar's Head Assorted Chicken
Red Roma Tomatoes
¢ Per LB
$ 99 each
$ 99 Per LB
16 APRIL 8, 2021 • Number 13 • VOL. 21 • THE FORUM NEWSGROUP
Nestle Pure Life Water 28 pk-16.9 oz
Boar's Head Combo 1/2 lb of Bologna and 1/2 lb of American
Boar's Head Pitcraft Turkey
Boar's Head Combo 1/2 lb Deluxe ham and 1/2 lb Muenster Cheese
$ 99 Perr LB LB
w/card. must buy 3 limit 1 offer
Red Ripe Strawberries
2/ 5 $
1 lb cont