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Queens’ Largest Weekly Community Newspaper Group

In conjunction with Rochdale Village management The Queens Chronicle presents

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A quarterly supplement distributed throughout Rochdale Village and Southeast Queens

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Convenient access to Rochdale’s apartment waiting list is as simple as clicking a mouse By Susan Van Brackle Finding out about the waitlist status of available Rochdale Village apartments is as simple as clicking a computer mouse. Residents and guests may access details in two different ways once they type rochdalevillage.com into their browser. The first way to view the wait schedule of affordable Mitchell-Lama co-op apartments is by accessing the pull -down menu marked ‘Live Here’ on the front of the web page. The Apartment Waiting List section is the third option located in the ‘Live Here’ menu selection. Under this pull-down menu, viewers will also find information about Rochdale’s apartments and amenities along with the most recent wait status published by the Rochdale Village Allocations team. The second way to access information about apartment wait times is via the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal’s (DHCR) link, which is found on Rochdale’s Waiting List page. Once the link is clicked, and the name of the co-op property is selected, viewers will be connected to waiting list details according to DHCR. This online system is available anytime, day or night. As of the most recent posting by the Rochdale Village Allocations Department, access to new apartments is running anywhere from three to four years dependent upon the number of rooms being requested.

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Rochdale Village Outlet becomes haven for books By Susan Van Brackle When the Rochdale Village Outlet first opened its doors over 20 years ago in Mall #1, the space was a dormant section of the cooperative’s former movie theater. Fast forward to today, the space is a place where patrons may purchase everything from balloons to occasional furniture, refrigerator magnets to panty hose, convenience foods and lots of other things in between. “It’s not just about coming in as cheaply as possible, said owner/partner Glen Karmi, we’re committed to rotating stock on a regular basis, honoring ba rgai n pr ici ng on competitive products… and keeping the shop as orderly and neat as possible because that’s what the community deserves.” Affectionately known to many as the RVO, the store has evolved substantially over the years. What began as a hodgepodge product assortment with a little bit of this and a little bit of that has become a niche outlet in the Southeast Queens area with an eclectic selection of African-American books. Guests can find fiction, nonfiction, Christian, Bible, inspirational and children’s books; biographies, cookbooks,

coffee table books and more. For example, bestselling books like those about Steve Harvey, Michelle Obama and Frederick Douglass can be found in RVO’s book aisle alongside those from local Queens novelist and NAACP Image Award Winner Victoria Christopher Murray, who also happens to be one of Rochdale’s own. Ms. Murray’s works are also sold on Amazon and in other bookstores. What started with a few books on floor stands blossomed into what is now a fully stacked dedicated book aisle. According to RVO partner Peter Sechiano, “The first book purchased was a thick one and I think Oprah Winfrey might have been on the front. I figured, well geez, that’s gotta’ sell.” Inspirational books from Pastor Joel Osteen and Pastor T.D. Jakes are some of the outlet’s top sellers. Cookbooks and coffee table books are also popular and make great gifts. Like any other outlet store, there are other types of specialty items to choose from at the RVO. According to Karmi, “If you see something that you truly like, get it now. Specialty items tend to run out quickly and are generally available while supplies last.”

R.U.O.K. program keeps residents connected Staying connected and informed is a priority at Rochdale Village. That’s why residents young and old are afforded various means of communications at the cooperative. One such communication method that is earmarked for its senior citizens, disabled and single occupants is the Are You Okay system also known by the acronym R.U.O.K. Residents register for the R.U.O.K. program by dropping off the appropriate form at the Community Center Office. The system helps senior citizens, the disabled and residents living alone to stay connected in the event of an accident or emergency in their home.

How the R.U.O.K. program works Once a person is listed with the no cost R.U.O.K program, they receive daily, automated calls at approximately 8 a.m. Subscribers are required is to answer the phone when it rings, follow any prompts then hang up so that the system knows that the individual is in fact okay. If the automated call is not picked up, the system will continue to dial the individual to determine whether assistance is needed before Rochdale’s Public Safety department further investigates. A voice message will be left should an answering machine pick up the automated call. Instructions will be left for the recipient to return the call at the first opportune moment and to acknowledge that they are okay. There is no age restriction to sign up for the R.U.O.K. service and the cost to register for the program is FREE.


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ROCHDALE VILLAGE COMMUNITY CENTER 169-65 137th Avenue - Jamaica, NY 11434 (718) 276-5700 Ext. 337/339

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We also have rooms for baby showers, birthday parties, daytime meetings, trainings, workshops, company events & more! Various rooms, various sizes, various affordable prices! Contact us for an appointment or stop by.

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Rochdale Village, also known as the “Jewel of Jamaica,” is located on 120 acres of what was formerly the Jamaica Racetrack in Queens. Rochdale Village is a completely self-contained community. Our landscaped acres feature tall shade trees, beautiful green lawns, colorful flower beds, and sitting areas. Rochdale Village is within walking distance of the Locust Manor LIRR station, express bus service from Manhattan and is minutes away from the JFK Airport. It also has easy access to major highways, beaches and shopping centers.


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Reducing cooperative’s carbon footprint is priority number one at Rochdale By Susan Van Brackle Rochdale Village formally began participating in the state’s e-cycleNYC program in January 2015. During that time, the cooperative’s maintenance team placed blue e-cycle bins in the service hallways of each group for collection of electronic equipment. From that moment, residents contributed 28,808 pounds of electronic refuse that was packaged and hauled away for reprocessing by the Department of Sanitation’s E-Waste carters. The Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act warrants that specific types of refuse like keyboards, monitors, laptops, mice, tablets, televisions, DVR/VCR’S, gaming equipment, mp3 players, mobile phones and mini servers be disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner. As a result of this Act, it is now illegal to discard computer equipment and other electronic supplies into the general trash according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Items that are not accepted into e-cycling disposal

bins are fluorescent light bulbs, household appliances and loose rechargeable batteries, which contain heavy metals like lead and mercury. Standard alkaline batteries can be disposed of in the regular trash. Stores like Best Buy, Lowes and Staples have recycling stations and “take-back” programs that are established under New York State’s Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act. Other methods for electronics disposal include drop-offs to the Salvation Army, Goodwill and other locations. When contributing to e-cycling bins, don’t forget to remove important data like pictures, personal information, calendars, contact lists and mailboxes from a device before recycling it. If you bring the device to an independent recycling station, you can ask a representative for help with fully erasing your data. E-cycling does work. Who would have thought that 28,808 pounds of e-waste could have been collected and disposed of at Rochdale Village annually? At Rochdale Village, making progress to reduce our carbon footprint is priority number one.

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Upgrades to Rochdale Village ‘Total Energy’ Power Plant earns cooperative over $1 million dollars in rebates from National Grid By Susan Van Brackle Rochdale’s power plant is the jewel in the cooperative’s crown. The plant is in the esteemed position of being one of a few of its kind in New York City that is completely off Con Edison’s energy grid. This valuable resource fully supplies residential and commercial occupants with light, heat and hot water. As recently as December 2017, the cooperative completed seismic overhauls, including installations of four new boilers, two restored turbine generators; new roof ing and are upgraded cooling tower. As a result of these renovations, the cooperative received a massive energy conservation rebate totaling $1,337,595 from National Grid. The award was earned for improvements made towards reducing green house gas emissions and maximizing performance at Rochdale’s ‘total energy’ power plant. In May 2018, members of Rochdale’s Board of Directors, Management staff and Power Plant team, led by then Facility Manager Gilbert Francisco, gathered with partners from National Grid and contractors from ‘the Outage Experts’, for a check presentation ceremony that recognized the work that transformed the Rochdale Village Power Plant into a 21st century energy center and reestablished theplant’s place in the records as a ‘total energy’ leader. Rochdale Village also has a seat at

the table of Mayor DeBlasio’s New York City Carbon Challenge because of the power plant’s overhaul and ability to gain: • A remarkable 21% reduction in Natural Gas usage, thus lowering residents’ fuel bills • A reduction of 18,507 tons of CO annually (as per the EPA) which is the equivalent of removing 3,595 cars from the road for an entire year - every year and • A 63% reduction of atmospheric pollutants in the form of NOx emissions, which results in the reduction of 61 tons a year. The reduction of NOx directly and indirectly effects the health of local

residents (as per the EPA). The rebate check Rochdale Village received from National Grid in 2018 is one of two that the cooperative’s Management Company earned on behalf of the community for conservation efforts performed at the cooperative. In the summer of 2017, Rochdale Village received $250,000 in rebate dollars for a campus-wide conversion to LED lighting; an upgrade that keeps area lights bright while managing energy costs. Financial windfalls like those from energy rebates are just one of the ways that Rochdale Village, Inc. works to keep shareholders’ carrying charges low and maintain the cooperative as the affordable jewel that it is.


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Six degrees of Rochdale Village By Susan Van Brackle What are the “Six degrees of Rochdale Village” you ask? Well, according to the theory of the Six Degrees of Separation Theory, anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy first proposed the

theory in 1929 in a short story called “Chains.” For over 50 years, Rochdale Village has been a central location for hosting famous faces in the place. Some of our visitors were neighborhood rising stars with humble beginnings while others were established personalities with worldwide acclaim. One thing is for sure, most of these famous, and sometimes–infamous, individuals have gone on to become powerful personalities in their own right. There is a common denominator between each of these famous faces. Each person felt Rochdale Village was important enough to visit and that it was the place to be at that time. This is what you call the “Degrees of Rochdale.” Are you connected to Rochdale Village? If so, connect with us.

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Rochdale’s after school academy provides safe space for children of working families By Susan Van Brackle The Rochdale Village Academy is an after school program licensed by the state of New York and run by certified director Yolanda Brisbane and supporting instructors that provide a safe, fun and educational environment for children aged 6-12 years old. Children attend the academy until their parent or guardian picks them up at the end of the day. Program activities range from cultural arts, reading, educational computer, music and sports with snacks included. The program’s times of operation are Monday through Friday, 2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., which accommodates long-distance commuters. The program even provides pickup service for children attending classes in the local area. Community Center Director

Julia Shaw explained, “We’ll pick up children from surrounding schools like PS 354, PS 80. We will have instructors meet the children after school and then walk them over… if a parent needs a child bussed, then the parent will need to arrange their own transportation. She added, “The Rochdale Village after school program also provides coverage to families during winter and spring school breaks in the form of all-day programs for children so that parents have a place to bring them.” To register for the Rochd ale Village Academy

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after school program and to discuss weekly rates, contact the community center office at 718-276-5700 x337.

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Jamaica/JAMECO: the grounded heritage of Rochdale’s roots By Jonathan Rosenberg Jamaica, Queens is not merely a suburban jewel nestled on the outskirts of New York City. What many people may not know is that Jamaica, Queens has its own rich history dating back to the 17th century when in 1655, the first English settlers began to arrive from Long Island and Massachusetts. According to historic land records, the name Jamaica is actually derived from

the Jameco Indian Tribe, which established their trail near what was formerly known as “Beaver Pond,” now known today as Baisley Pond. What’s more, “Jameco” is the Algonquin word for the semi-aquatic animal called the beaver, which was plentiful in quantity and widely traded in old New York. When the Dutch settled New York in early-to-mid 17th century, they named the town of Jamaica, Queens “Rustdorp”

meaning “rest-town.” By 1664, the English gained control of Dutch holdings including Rustdorp. As a result, the English converted the name from Rustdorp to Jamaica in 1683, and the name has remained in place ever since. Two hundred and eighty years later, Rochdale Village was erected in 1963, in the town of Jamaica on the grounds where the sprawling Metropolitan Jockey Club and Jamaica Racetrack once stood. Today, the Rochdale Village cooperative still stands approximately 25,000 residents strong and bounded by Baisley Boulevard, which leads to Baisley Pond. Rochdale’s 20 apartment buildings, community center, restaurants and emerging retail all contribute to the renaissance that is taking place in this community. Rochdale Village is not just a place where people live. It is a community with a grounded heritage and a bright, promising future.

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Rochdale resident Ida Van Smith registered with Smithsonian’s Women in Aviation and Space History By Susan Van Brackle There were up to 140 active clubs and associations operating in and around the Rochdale Village community at one point during the cooperative’s history. One group’s activities were so unique that its main focus was to teach children how to f ly. Not just have kids believe they could fly but to literally have them enter a plane’s cockpit, ascend to the heavens and f ly. In 1967, Ida Van Smith, became founder and president of the Ida Van Smith Flight Clubs, Inc., which established its first location in Group 4, Building 15 at Rochdale Village. Who was Ida Van Smith and why is she important to the legacy of the cooperative? Ms. Smith grew up in Lumberton, North Carolina and was exposed to aviation at a very early age. Around the age of three or four, her dad would take her to a small airfield where they would watch planes together. Ida marveled at the pilots, their ability to maneuver the crafts carefully into the sky and later return them safely on the ground again. She became captivated by the miracle of f light and knew one day she would pilot a plane too. In the case of Ms. Van Smith, a dream deferred was not a dream denied. Her goal to f ly did not happen immediately although it did occur in appropriate time.

Ms. Van Smith at the age of 50 made the move to take f lying lessons at an airport in Fayetteville, North Carolina well after graduating with an undergraduate degree from Shaw College, a master’s degree from

Queens College, years of marriage, child raising and a full career. As she practiced, she noticed little children gathering along the airport fence to watch her. Later in life, she came to realize that these children had

never seen an African-American female pilot and they were just as enchanted by the idea of f light as she was when a little girl. At the end of each practice session, she’d engage the children in conversation to hear about their interest in flying. While her father accompanied her to the airport to watch planes in her formative years, she’d noticed that the children had no adult supervision with them. That’s when she decided to form the Ida Van Smith Flight Clubs for Children with the goal of introducing kids to the field of aviation. Ms. Van Smith went on to open more than 20 f light clubs for African-American children aged 13-19 to acquaint them with the field of aeronautics. Additionally, she taught introductory aviation at York College-CUNY and hosted a cable television access show in the 1970’s. Ida Van Smith died in 2003 and is listed in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Archives under Women in Aviation and Space History. In addition to numerous awards, Ms. Van Smith is also a member of the prestigious Tuskegee Airmen’s Black Wings, Negro Airman International and the Ninety-Nines. Ms. Ida Van Smith is not a hidden figure but a shining star to Rochdale Village and the world.

If you require assistance, my team is here for you. You can contact my office at tel: 718-206-2068 or adams@council.nyc.gov.

Council Member Adrienne Adams 165-90 Baisley Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11434


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PLEASE BE SAFE! 1) Wear those masks when in stores 3) Please don’t watch the news all day! 2) Drink plenty of warm fluids Spend time with your loved ones! On behalf of the Board and Staff of Black Spectrum Theatre Co. Please take care of yourself. Our community needs you now more than ever! See you when this is all over!!! (718) 723-1800

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Page 23 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, March 26, 2020

Looking to Spring & Summer in Rochdale


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Profile for Queens Chronicle

Living in Rochdale Village - Queens Chronicle 03-26-20  

Living in Rochdale Village - Queens Chronicle 03-26-20

Living in Rochdale Village - Queens Chronicle 03-26-20  

Living in Rochdale Village - Queens Chronicle 03-26-20