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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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‘Soul at the Polls’ event with WBLS’s Dr. Bob Lee by Susan Van Brackle Neither rain, nor cold, nor dark of night would keep Rochdale Village voters and those in neighboring communities from coming out to the polls at the Community Center. While this is not the first time early voting was conducted at the center, it is indeed the first major General Election the cooperative has held since the Board of Elections selected the campus in March 2019.

Lines, lines, lines


According to a Tweet published by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Queens came in second after Brooklyn for the highest number of early voters with 214,989. As per poll coordinator Tina Young, numbers specifically for the Rochdale Village site was said to be approximately 24,468. People could not believe their eyes when they saw the turnout that arrived to cast their ballots. Voters lined up at the center as early as 7:00 a.m. By the end of the first day the line had stretched for hours and went as far as Bedell Street from the voting entrance. Some voters turned back vowing to return later in the week. Most notable about the supporters was their commitment and dedication to waiting their turn, sometimes in close proximity of each other in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and, in bad weather that was at times cold, teeming rain. Lines eased when a separate queue was formed for senior citizens and the disabled in order to expedite the process. There was even a separate line created for dropping off mail-in ballots.

A range of participants made up the early voting pool. Elderly citizens, the disabled, young first-time voters and working families all graced the space. Children brought parents and grandparents brought their grandbabies to the polls so that they could all experience this right of passage together.

Dr. Lee does pop-up event By end of early voting, lines to the ballot box moved swiftly and dwindled in size. To keep patrons motivated as they waited, Rochdale’s Community Center Director Julia Shaw and Community Center Committee Chairman Jean Castro teamed up to host a pop-up ‘Souls at the Polls’ event featuring celebrity DJ Doctor Bob Lee and Crew of 107.5 WBLS FM. Waiting voters were serenaded with stress-free tunes while interacting with Doctor Bob on the mic. People received refreshments like water, snacks and free hot mac and cheese bowls from Chrissa Schmerler, owner of ‘The Big Cheese.’ A clown molding balloon animals appeased children after their wait in line and the complex even received a visit from MSNBC legal analyst and mayoral hopeful, Maya Wiley. The “I Just Voted” sticker was the most coveted accessory of election season. Let’s give a shout-out to New York’s Board of Election poll workers including Rochdale’s own Board President Jean Castro and Tina Young who served as location coordinators. Clara Sheppeard, Yvette Titus, Margaret Cummings, Margaret Cox and Mary Ingram also contributed their service. Well done.

General Election 2020 brought early voting to RV by Susan Van Brackle Registered voters at Rochdale Village participated in one of the most important elections in modern history. Not only did the ballot contain selections for President and Vice President of the United States it included incumbents for member of Congress for the 5th District, State Senator for the 10th District, Assembly Member for the 32nd District, a final vote for Queens Borough President and up to nine selections for justices of the Supreme Court for the borough. Early voting at Rochdale Approximately two years ago, New York City’s Board of Elections selected Rochdale Village as an early voting site.

Cooperators had first-hand access to a central polling place in the Community Center. Due to the importance of the 2020 election and the potential for large crowds, early voting at the Community Center allowed shareholders to avoid crowds on Election Day itself. Early voting provided convenient access to shareholders on weekends and evenings before Election Day arrived and accommodated commuters’ busy schedules. Since early voting at Rochdale was open to residents from surrounding districts like Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, Laurelton, South Ozone Park and Jamaica Queens, the community saw its fair share of traffic come through the complex.

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SAT. DECEMBER 19, 2020


BLACK SPECTRUM THEATRE 177-01 BAISLEY BLVD. | JAMAICA, NY 11434 | 718-723-1800 BSTC is funded in part by NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs, NYS Council on the Arts, The NYC Council of Black, Hispanic & Asian Caucus NYC Councilman Daneek Miller, NYC Councilman Donovan Richards, Department Youth Community Development. NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation, NYC Transit Authority Donation Committee Local Union 1182, 1199.



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113th Pct. holds Thanksgiving turkey giveaway


Deputy Inspector Brian Bohannon, above, of Queens’ 113th Precinct, engages with the community before the turkey giveaway begins. Sergeant Gilot, right (holding box), NCOs Easton and Renzulli and more from New York’s Finest arrange supplies in preparation for the giveaway.

Up to 200 turkeys were purchased by the 113th Precinct; fifteen were contributed with donations by the Rochdale Village Board of Directors. Crystal Harrison, far right, Emblem Health Neighborhood Care’s Regional Manager, distributed PPE supplies along with her colleague at the 113th Precinct while guests made their turkey pickup.

It was good to see winners of the 113th Precinct’s turkey giveaway. While waiting I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of a patron’s BLM earrings, far left. Romena Almond, center left, waits for the festivities to begin with Officer Malloy of the 113th Precinct. Rochdale Village cooperator and poet Brian Skipper “aka JusB,” right, also got in the turkey line at the November event. PHOTOS BY LARRY LOVE MOORE

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Community Center engages in outdoor yoga and free drum clinic with social distancing

Outdoor activities were still in progress during the fall at the Community Center. Instructor Yvette Miller, above right, leads a class in outdoor yoga on Rochdale’s grassy noll. Daughter of Community Center Director Julia Shaw, center (in yellow), and others participate in an outdoor yoga session at Rochdale Village. On the far left, children participated in a free drum clinic in the Community Center’s courtyard hosted by Drum Master Larry Carthen of the Elite Marching Band. Students practiced social distancing PHOTOS BY LARRY LOVE MOORE while gaining skills, getting fresh air and camaraderie.

UJ’s Pizzeria celebrates first year at Rochdale Village Mall #1 Chairman of the Board of Directors Clifton Stanley Diaz was first in line to buy a slice of pizza, which he declared to be “delicious.” Mr. Diaz wished UJ’s Pizzeria success and longevity in Rochdale. Rochdale resident and Manager of UJ’s Pizzeria Kimberly Coon said she was happy to work for a business that was creating opportunities for young people that’s so close to her home. Board Secretary Joyce Williams, who was also in attendance, said “We are always looking for quality things to bring to the community and we hope that as the pizzeria delivers quality food, the community comes out and supports them in return.” PHOTO BY LARRY LOVE MOORE

Vice President of the Board Timothy Mercer, left; Board Chairman Clifton Stanley Diaz, third from left; Secretary of the Board Joyce Williams, right; owner UJ, center left; and the entire UJ’s Pizzeria team.

by Olayemi Okeniyi Since the beginning of New York’s lockdown due to the pandemic, Rochdale’s Senior Center has persisted in its directive to bring comfort to its members by helping to meet their needs. At the height of the quarantine, the center partnered with several committees and organizations, both inside and outside of the community, to ensure the elderly were getting the food and medical attention they needed while guaranteeing the safety of all involved. Senior Center Director Sheree Shivers explained that the programs she’s engaged with have expressed a desire to show support and want to reach out to this community’s most vulnerable population. Some of the auspices the center has worked with are Kevin Livingston, Director of the 100 suits initiative delivers meals to homes; New York Com mon Pantr y has a “Nourish for Seniors” food program, and the Thursday food pop-up that is made possible by Council Member Adrienne Adams and AGAPE Bethel CDC, Royal and Evangel Temple. As the Jewel Café is currently closed for lunch, the senior center partnered with Kevin Livingston and 100 suits to have prepared meals delivered to seniors

at their residence. Seniors must qualify for a free monthly food package from the New York Common Pantry. Eligibility is based on income. Shivers added that for seniors who prefer to prepare their own meals the Thursday food pop-up provides fresh produce including fruit, vegetable, eggs, milk and cheese to those who need it. She asked that any Rochdale resident who knows of a senior in need of assistance with meals or food or other services should please call the Senior Center for assistance. “We will be more than happy to accommodate them with fresh produce or canned goods depending on their preference,” Shivers said. Ms. Shivers added that while the physical Community Center is currently closed, nothing could actually slow down the very active members of the Senior Center, who continue to engage in activities like Zoom Bingo and a Halloween parade online. Board President Jean RandolphCastro said helping one’s neighbors is a Rochdale tradition that predates the pandemic. She urged those involved to adhere to the governor’s safety mandates, so that such community outreach would not be forced to end.


by Olayemi Okeniyi My how time flies! It’s hard to believe that UJ’s Pizzeria rolled out the welcome mat and officially opened for business in the Rochdale Village big mall on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. A line of excited customers had begun to form at 11:00 a.m. The day before, the pizzeria gave away free slices during their soft open and several people returned to make actual purchases. Before the ribbon-cutting ceremony began, owner and operator UJ Harris in his welcome address thanked the Board of Directors for the opportunity to bring his business to Rochdale. He expressed gratitude to the people of Rochdale for their patience during the tedious process of preparing to open.

RV’s Senior Center maintains consistency during COVID-19 outbreak

RV’s turkey giveaway hosted by Assemblywoman Cook and Governor Cuomo by Cynthia Bernadine Assembly Member Vivian E. Cook partnered with Deputy Director Jordan Beberman from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office joined by Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Addiction, to bless the Rochdale Village community with holiday turkeys, trimmings and desserts for Thanksgiving. What a difference a year makes. The coronavirus pandemic has many people shut in and unable to participate in the traditional rite of shopping and/or cooking for holiday dinners. This grab and go event organized specifically for Rochdale Village cooperators provided assistance for those in need. Advance registration and presentation of a “red” ticket was required in order to receive a free turkey. “On behalf of the governor, I am so happy to participate here today with the community. I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and an enjoyable one but please remember to stay safe,” said Commissioner Gonzalez-Sanchez. The event was a joint effort brought forward by members of Rochdale’s Board of Directors. There to assist with the heavy lifting of holiday turkeys into community shopping carts were Board Chairman Clifton Stanley Diaz, Board President Jean Castro, Board Vice President Lisa Stark, Board Secretary Joyce Williams and numerous members of Rochdale’s own Maintenance team. Special thanks goes out to grocery partners like Key Food Supermarket manager Rudy Guzman and Geraldo Diaz, manager of Ideal Food Basket, as well as community partners Dr. Maria Hubbard, New Image and Elmhurst Electric for their bountiful contributions of turkeys and pies.

Board Vice President Lisa Stark, left; Board President Jean Castro; Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, Commissioner New York State Office of Addiction Services and Support; Jordan Beberman, Deputy Director for Governor Cuomo’s Office. On the right, a Rochdale cooperator receives assistance with filling her cart from Board Chairman Clifton Stanley Diaz, second from left, Assembly Member Vivian Cook, Board Vice President Lisa Stark and Commissioner Gonzalez-Sanchez.

The “Dynamic duo” of the newly reorganized NORC, left, hand out PPE supplies at Rochdale’s Community Center. Board Vice President Lisa Stark, center, gathers bags containing Thanksgiving turkeys thanks to contributions from Governor Cuomo’s office, Dr. Maria Hubbard, Key Food Supermarket, Ideal Food Basket, Assemblywoman Vivian Cook and other community partners. On the right, Commissioner Gonzalez-Sanchez engages with community members and extends greetings. PHOTOS BY LARRY LOVE MOORE

Rose Garden takes center stage as Rochdale’s latest amenity



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Have you visited the community’s latest outdoor quiet space? In the September 18 Weekly Shee t , Roc hdale V illage management announced a revamp of the Gazebo, which is

centrally located on the property. The Gazebo, now coined “The Rose Garden,” has been refurbished with a new coat of paint, lush greenery, blooming flower beds and the addition of

wrought iron fencing that surrounds the quiet area for reflection and relaxation. Bench and table seating in the Rose Garden is strategically spaced in order to adhere to

Governor Cuomo’s social distancing guidelines. Cooperators may also rent this newly refurbished space for outdoor events and/or gatherings through the Community Center office.

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Page 21 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, December 10, 2020

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New Community Coordination Officers off to rousing start by Susan Van Brackle Public Safety Committee Chairman Talib Bey, committee Co-Chairman Clifton Stanley Diaz and Public Safety Chief Adolph Osback held a meet-and-greet session in conjunction with officers from the 113th Precinct on Wednesday, October 7. The gathering was held in Group 1 just outside of Count Basie Middle School 72 where officers Renzulli and Easton introduced themselves to cooperators, provided information and distributed safety flyers about auto theft, mailbox phishing and more. Rochdale’s new Neighborhood Coordination Officers Renzulli and Easton are the official replacements for NCOs Edwards and Bradley. Chairman Bey, Co-Chair Diaz and Public Safety Chief Osback also gave the NCOs an introductory tour of Rochdale’s command station and the cooperative’s grounds along with NCO Supervisor Sergeant Raymond Persaud and other NCO officers that are installed at the 113th Precinct. Here in their own words are greetings from Rochdale’s new NCO team:

Officer Michael Renzulli “I’m Officer Renzulli, new to the NCO Unit, which is the Neighborhood Coordination Unit. I’ve been inside the precinct for four years now dealing with the community and helping everybody out so I look forward to working with just the Rochdale Village and helping with any necessary problems that we can both work towards.” Officer Anthony Easton “Hello, how’s it going? I’m Officer Easton with the 113th Precinct. Before this I was the Youth Coordination Officer in the precinct. Before that I was also a Baisley Houses NCO so I’m familiar with all the things that come with being an NCO. Looking forward to helping out the Rochdale Village…It’s a beautiful neighborhood; a beautiful community. I like that you guys are a real strong…black community. I really appreciate that. Coming from Brooklyn New York and an area that’s just like this, it’s really nice to see that you guys all come together especially during times like this and COVID-19.

113th Precinct Neighborhood Coordination Officer Michael Renzulli, left and Officer Anthony Easton join RV in place of NCOs Bradley and Edwards. COURTESY PHOTO

Social Services reorganization of NORC program is complete by Susan Van Brackle At the end of June 2020, directors of Rochdale’s Social Services Board announced that the NORC program would undergo a major reorganization due to COVID-19-related state and city budget cuts. The program switched to a system of remote management and reduced staffing. Three JASA/ NORC office staffers including then-program director Cendy Theophile volunteered not to continue with the program when the City Council’s fiscal year ended June 2020.

Welcome New Program Director and New Team


Masters Level program director Phara Carolei has taken the reins of the program and is working to re-establish it under the still relevant pandemic restrictions. Also joining the team is Sade

Afolabi. Ms. Afolabi has years of experience in the healthcare field and has lived with her family in Rochdale Village for more than 16 years. Masters Level Social Work Student Emilia Nhaissi, who studies at Hunter College, is looking forward to helping Rochdale Village residents by running social groups on Zoom and by phone. Irvica Galla, Rochdale’s NORC nurse, is not new to this community. Nurse Galla has been working here for many years. In addition to helping individual residents with their health issues, Irvica will be running health workshops every Thursday.

How can NORC assist you? If you are 60 years old or older, the Rochdale Village NORC Program is here to help you! The social work team can help with preparing Medicare and other paperwork, inform about new

programs that might be able to assist residents, and any issues you have related to the COVID pandemic. Nurse Galla is available to help you manage your health conditions and to better communicate with your doctor. We offer Zoom and phone workshops to help you stay healthy and active. Please call to see how we can help you.

Lineup of program offerings from NORC Join Nurse Irvica Galla every Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in English and 12:30 p.m. in Creole for Virtual Health Workshops with NORC. These workshops will be held via Zoom and by telephone. Topics include: The Importance of Flu Shots; Staying Healthy this Winter; Exercising at Home; Home Remedies and Herbal Medicines, Do They Work? Let us know what other topics you’d like Nurse Irvica to cover. Call the NORC Program to register.

Enjoy Free Live Music by Zoom and telephone, brought to Rochdale Village by Concerts in Motion. You can enjoy Broadway Music/ American Standards every Wednesday at noon, and talented young performers playing a variety of music every Monday through Thursday at 4:00 p.m. Call the NORC Program to get the dial-in information. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all NORC services are being offered primarily by telephone and Zoom until further notice. Our office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you need help with something specific or want to learn more about the other services and programs that the Rochdale Village NORC offers, please call the Rochdale Village NORC office at 718-525-2800. When prompted press extension 2. We look forward to speaking with you!

Public safety recruits conduct training at Rochdale

Rochdale Village Public Safety Chief Adolph Osback, Human Resources Director Dolores Benner, President of Rochdale’s Board of Directors Jean Castro with Public Safety recruits in training PHOTO BY LARRY LOVE MOORE and Public Safety’s Lieutenant Ernest Gaither.

by Olayemi Okeniyi Rochdale’s Public Safety division is in the process of turning its latest recruits into full-fledged officers. The cadets were put through rigorous training on Thursday, October 22 by Public Safety veteran Lieutenant Ernest Gaither and Sergeant Chinnery, Rochdale’s newest officer on the Public Safety team. According to Chief Adolph Osback, “They will become officers once they graduate.” The fast-paced training involved making a delivery up five flights of stairs, a wheel chair rescue, a simulated citizen rescue from a burning car and a mad dash with a fire extinguisher, which every recruit had to perform from start to finish. Lieutenant Gaither kept records and made notes each time the drill was completed making sure that each recruit was able to run the full exercise. Sergeant Chinnery comes to Rochdale Village with 21 years of experience as a retired detective with the New York Police Department as well as public relations

acumen. He was equally involved with the training procedures as he captured the recruits’ progress on film and even ran with them up and down the flights and more. Sergeant Chinnery is very familiar with Rochdale Village having spent time over the years in and around the community in neighboring areas. Public Safety is tasked with preserving peace and safety on the Rochdale Village Campus, a task further complicated by the restrictions of COVID-19, but Chief Osback believes that the department, with the added help of Rochdale’s new recruits, is up to the task. “The purpose of this training is first and foremost to give them an awareness of their physical fitness at the level they are at. It’s also to develop a camaraderie between the recruits. It’s just to inspire them to get more physically fit, more physically active and to unify them as a team by developing relationships and friendships from the academy training and hopefully that will transfer over into when they get assigned to the Public Safety department,” he said.

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Event hosted by Youth Planning Committee

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays – and thank you for being part of this great community!

and was well received by many cooperators especially since Mayor de Blasio discouraged traditional trick or treating. Coming to families in each circle provided a safe and convenient chance for children to come out and show off their costumes and have delicious snacks without going door-to-door. This exclusive event was limited to Rochdale Village residents in order to promote safety amidst the pandemic. Children had to be accompanied by an adult and social distancing regulations were expected from all in attendance.




by Olayemi Okeniyi On Saturday, October 31, members of the cooperative’s Youth Planning Committee hosted a Halloween Grab-n-Go from 5 to 7 p.m. Par ticipants were treated to candy and refreshments all distributed on a first come, first served basis. Buildings 3, 8, 10, 13 and 17 became candy wonderlands for residents in their circles. After months of isolation, this unique method of celebrating Halloween in each of the residence groups was devised by Rochdale’s Youth Planning Committee

The Kirby, Pfohl & Quigley Families and all of us at Plaxall

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Halloween Grab-n-Go!

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Rochdale Village 12-10-20 Queens Chronicle  

Rochdale Village 12-10-20 Queens Chronicle

Rochdale Village 12-10-20 Queens Chronicle  

Rochdale Village 12-10-20 Queens Chronicle